Friday, December 31, 2010

Interval Workout

I did my first interval type workout at the gym last night.

You know I am turning into some serious training machine when I was looking forward to my workout all day long!

The only set back was the Stair Master (there is only one) at the gym was out of order! That was part of my program!

I started out by running a mile at a slower pace to get all warmed up. Then I set the tread to a 10 minute mile pace and ran for five minutes. I hopped off and went to the ellipitcal, for 5 minutes, which was around 0.6 miles.

I then repeated this four times on each machine. On the third treadmill interval, I cranked it to 6.1 MPH, which was a 9.49 minute mile. It's funny, with the mindset of "only five minutes" how I could hold that pace.

I wish the stair master had been working. I worked up a great sweat (the YWCA was far too warm!) and think I scared some people there.

Oh, and the other added benefit of working out at the gym? I finished up, then remembered to get my stretching routine in also before I left!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

20 in 10 Recap

My 20 in 10 Recap. I'm not going into any long detail on any item

* Get my podcast going-did not accomplish. It's on the agenda for 2011
* Finish the WV Trilogy-did not accomplish. DNF'd the 50 mile event. I believe I will be returning in 2011 and I WILL Finish!
* Call my mother more-I hope I did this better
* Read one book a week-not sure if I am reading one book per week, I am reading more overall
* Run a 5K-didn't make it. Didn't want to give up a morning training for that short of a run
* Lose 20 lbs-YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!
* Learn to swim-no. Shoulder injury from a fall prevented this. On the agenda for 2011
* Run a marathon/ultra in a new state-did not accomplish. I stuck around the neighboring states-Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania. I did a new race/event in each of these states though.
* Leave blogging comments more-yes
* Go to wine country with hubby-yes
* Implement weight training/core routine-NO. FAIL.
* Run 50 Miles at URINEO-YES
* Complete Laurel Highlands 70 Mile Race-no. DNF around mile 62. I may return in 2011, it depends on recovery after my MMT Finish.

I've got a few items to work on. I will get back on the core routine. Going to the gym may help with this.

20 in 10 Recap

My 20 in 10 Recap. I'm not going into any long detail on any item

* Get my podcast going-did not accomplish. It's on the agenda for 2011
* Finish the WV Trilogy-did not accomplish. DNF'd the 50 mile event. I believe I will be returning in 2011 and I WILL Finish!
* Call my mother more-I hope I did this better
* Read one book a week-not sure if I am reading one book per week, I am reading more overall
* Run a 5K-didn't make it. Didn't want to give up a morning training for that short of a run
* Lose 20 lbs-YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!
* Learn to swim-no. Shoulder injury from a fall prevented this. On the agenda for 2011
* Run a marathon/ultra in a new state-did not accomplish. I stuck around the neighboring states-Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania. I did a new race/event in each of these states though.
* Leave blogging comments more-yes
* Go to wine country with hubby-yes
* Implement weight training/core routine-NO. FAIL.
* Run 50 Miles at URINEO-YES
* Complete Laurel Highlands 70 Mile Race-no. DNF around mile 62. I may return in 2011, it depends on recovery after my MMT Finish.

I've got a few items to work on. I will get back on the core routine. Going to the gym may help with this.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Day Off

I finally did it. I dumped all* my running gear out, and sorted through it. I have several running skirts that don't fit any longer. I'm too small! (Hee hee hee)

I sorted everything out-bondi bands, gaiters, socks in one pile. I went through my socks, threw out six or eight Injinjis that I've worn through on the bottom. I think I am going to have to stop buying them. It's far cheaper to just tape my toes that wear a 15 dollar pair of socks 2 or 3 times and then have them wear out. Bras and underwear in another pile-yep, got rid of two bras that the elasticity has seen the better days.
Tank tops, short sleeve shirts, long sleeved shirts, separate piles. I know there are more singlet type shirts upstairs. Shorts and skirts, and long bottoms in separate piles.

I was sad to sort through my skirts! These were my original running skirts! We had been through alot together!

Now to put them away in some better order than stored previously..

I kept waiting for a warm up before my long run. I started out in a Lands End long underwear top, with a merino wool top over that. I wore long underwear under my tights.

FAIL! Within two miles, with the sun beating down, I was baking!!! I took the top layer off, felt much better. Well, at least I know that those two tops together is a nice warm layer. Good knowledge for later runs.

I also experimented with some malto dextrin/protein powder as my energy supply. This seemed to work fine, so I may be exploring this as a running food supply more.

*there's some more summer gear upstairs that I didn't feel like dealing with.

Guest Star

Stefanie made me her 'guest star' over on her running blog, check it out!

#reverb10 Prompt

I'm so far behind on the reverb 10 ruminations, I'm just going to go with the current one...

Prompt: Defining moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

Bursting into this meadow on Friday of the WV Trilogy. Seeing nature in her finest, knowing there was only 10 to 20 folks out there in the world who were going to see this view. And being very happy that I wasn't at work, shopping, at school-able to take a Friday off and experience nature. I was very happy, even though this was an entire uphill hike through this meadow. (And then I drank all my water and ran out...)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bottle It!

I just wish there was a way to capture the feeling. The feeling, on a cold winter run in Ohio, where, at mile 1.2, you're good. The fingers can be uncurled in the gloves, the Buff Band is pulled off the head, and the legs are warming up. You're on a downhill and feeling fine.

I wish you could put that into a little liquid, and pour that into a shot glass. Then, as you putz around the house, procrastinating, you could take the shot, and get that feeling. And my, would that get you out the door!

I got a new jacket. As you can see, it's too big. I bought it that way on purpose. It's so I can fit it over the hydration vest. It's from Merrell, with both wind-resistant and breathable. I wore it with a capilene shirt, a merino wool shirt and the jacket. I liked it. I liked being able to zip it up and down to help with heat control.

Oh yeah, the run. 6.3 miles in 1 hour 24 minutes. One unplanned bathroom stop. I should probably stick to oatmeal vs a bagel for a pre-run breakfast.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day on the Trails

A light snow fell as I started my run. It was beautiful. There was probaly a 1/2 inch of new snow down, covering everything.

A peaceful day in the woods. I shared trail with some turkeys and some deer, and one startled blue jay.

I felt fine on this run, fatigue is gone. I took Christmas Eve and Day off from working out; I indulged in a few treats. But that was yesterday, and today is back to a normal training day.

138 days until MMT!


Listening to the Dirtbag Diaries, this morning, "What We Had", about how a friendship developed into a company, called Paradox Sports where a guide takes disabled athletes/folks out to remote fly fishing locations in Alaska, I thought "how extraordinary". Both the guide, and the fishermen.

I highly recommend checking out the link and "Liking" them on Facebook.
"Paradox Sports seeks to recognize and foster an individual’s potential and strength, defying the assumption that people with a physical disability can’t lead a life of excellence. We provide inspiration, opportunities and specialized adaptive equipment so that the physically disabled can be active participants in human-powered outdoor sports. This mission, coupled with an individualized mentor ship program and a strong volunteer ethic, ensures success by providing opportunities for everyone to give back to the community."

Then I thought of a kind of stereotypical American. How very un-extraordinary they are. Go to work, go home, eat potato chips, watch TV, play some video games, go to bed.

Then I think of my outdoor ultra community where extraordinary is...the ordinary.

When Adam says he's going to run the Appalachian Trail, I just nod my head. Of course he is. There is no "that's crazy talk!" "what, why on earth would you do that?" No, the community understands that. Of course you would want to.

"If if wasn't hard, everyone would do it." A common theme, marathon and beyond.

Then there is this: (via Gary Gantrell)

1) You will never accomplish great things with small goals
2) There is no guarantee you will have a chance tomorrow.

Where the idea of a double Laurel Highland (140 miles) or a double Ring (144) miles isn't blinked at. It's more a matter of being interested in when the person is going to achieve/attempt it, more when will it be and logistics involved.

Where my ordinary world gets up at 3 am to run 50 miles to put your name on a short list with others. Where you sleep outside in December because you're training to run 135 miles pulling a sled.
Where you guesstimate your finish time at a no-shirt, no buckle, low key 100, unsupported remote trail race at 34 to 48 hours.
This is my ordinary.
Looking from the outside in, maybe we do seem like superheroes. Or reckless fools.

But in my reality, my ordinary, great feats of endurance, strength, mental fortitude (or craziness) is the norm.

And I feel so lucky and blessed to be included in the extraordinary crowd where I can run all night by myself on a mountain trail and not be afraid. To look at an elevation map with 2000 feet of climb and considerate it "doable". Where training runs 4-6 days per week. Where folks mention and do run their birthday age in miles-usually the over 30 crowd.

I'm so glad I put down the cheese puffs off the couch a few years ago and re-discovered the great outdoors. There is hardly anywhere I would rather be than hanging with my very ordinary (extraordinary) ultra family.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Wee Bit over the Line

My first statement is, don't assume your recovery from a 50 mile run will be the same as your recovery from a 50K run. I think I'm teetering on the edge of over-training.

Or really, I haven't allowed myself recovery time from Saturday's event.

I did not run Sunday or Monday. Tuesday I got out on the trails. As I blogged earlier, I felt pretty good until mile 5, then the wheels fell off.

I spent Tuesday evening looking over the training calendar for the rest of the month and January, and fretting about not getting enough miles in this week.

Wednesday, I got up, tired. Mentally fine with getting out for my 6.4 mile run-I mean how else am I going to get my target miles in?

Quads were still feeling like bags of cement. I just had fatigue going on. Interesting enough, my time was only 7 minutes slower than my PB last week or so around the block. But I was oh so tired on this run.

Came home, had a Recoverite hot chocolate (very good) and ate a second breakfast before going to work. (Yes, I made sure I ate before the workout.)

Very tired all day at work. Got feedback from Slim that he wasn't recovered too, so that made me feel a bit better. (I did't even poll the younger guys!)

I went to bed earlier last night, but couldn't fall asleep right away. Uh oh, one of those "over training" signs. And besides, I usually fall asleep in minutes.

I did get about seven hours sleep. I woke up and took my resting heart rate. 57. Yep, I need to recover a bit more. My resting HR is usually in the 40's.

So the Christmas holiday comes at a good time. I'm going to go walk 2-3 miles on the treadmill this morning, and then stretch. I'm going to eat well and drink fluids-maybe throw a Nuun tablet into my water today. I may take Christmas Eve work out off and wasn't planning on a workout on Christmas-(unless I need to walk off some Christmas ham) and then get out for an easy walk/hike on the trails on Sunday.

So I just think I hit the line in over-training, and just need to think about and build in recovery days, just like I pencil in workouts.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Recovery Run

I got out on the trails about noon. (I should have ate lunch first.) Gorgeous day to be in the woods!! First I followed a deer trail, then hopped back over to the main bridle trail.

Trail was a bit difficult. It reminded me of crunchy almost frozen frosting. The mud had frozen into ruts. These were more deer hoof ruts than horse hoofs.

Still, I was enjoying myself out there.
My quads were still pretty sore, and I didn't seem to get to knock the lactic acid out of them.

Around mile 5, I was tiring. Even with Heed in my hydration pack, and two gels, I was tired. Perhaps having lunch first would have helped!

So I got to the campground road, ran down it a short ways, then took a Trail Goddess shortcut over to the trail which led to my car in a short distance.

I still got 7 miles in, nice recovery run. I shared the woods with 11 deer, one turkey, numerous squirrels, and one cardinal.

# Reverb 10 Catchup December 15

Prompt: 5 minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Finishing the Reverse Ring-the creek at Judy Springs-the fall colors at the WV Trilogy-making Reynolds keep running at Mohican-our wine trip to Napa-stepping the scales-running down West Market Street knowing I would run a sub-5 marathon-running at night at Slim Pickins-the lake on the MMT Trail-the Signal Knob experience-sleeping in my tent before ultras-AS at Forget the PR-soaking my legs in the Clear Fork river-running with Slim at URINEO-seeing Mikey out on the trail-running in the cold on my back roads, seeing the icicles glisten in the sunlight-petting my dogs, watching them play/fight with each other.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Running: Anton Krupicka

A great video from Running Times Correspondent and WV Mountain Trail Runner Joel Wolpert. Enjoy!

Kim's note: I had to remove the imbedded code from my page because everytime I opened my blog, the video started right up. If you haven't seen it, here's a link to the Running Times Page! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

More #Reverb 10 Catchup

December 17

Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I'm starting to feel like all I do is talk about myself here, with these prompts. Which is kind of ironic because this is my blog, and that's what blogs are for, to talk about yourself on!!
Best thing I learned was my fierce determination. Now, I knew I always had it, but the switched had been kind of toggled off for a couple of years. Now it's been turned back on, and it's awesome to have again!

December 18
Prompt: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn't go for it?

This is easy. Learn to swim. But the first time I hit the pool, in July, my shoulder was still hurting from a trail fall in June. I hope to get back to swimming lessons, this time I might start earlier than July.

December 19
Prompt: Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?
Too personal to mention here, but I am healed. There's still a scar, but it's getting better.

December 21
Prompt: Future self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

December 22

Prompt: Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

December 23
Prompt: New name. Let's meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?


URINEO-Ultra Runners in North East Ohio

is the annual Fat Ass for NEO Trail in December.
Held at Mill Creek Park, running most of the same course as the YUTC. Folks who planned to do a 50K needed to just run 4 YUTC loops. Runners planning on running the 50Miler needed to include a section called "The Lily Pond" and the "Big Bear Split or Loop". These sections make the loop 8.33 miles, so a 50 mile runner would need to complete 6 of these loops.

I took the early 4 am start time option, with Cam Baker, Mike Keller, and Jim Harris. I had declared early (June) my intention of running 50 miles this year, which would make me first female to run 50 miles at URINEO. Mike had best intentions of running with me, but this changed when I told him I was going to run the "long loop". This would take me around Lake Newport, making my first loop 12.5 miles.

I had a wardrobe malfunction early. My drinking tube would not draw water. Slim helped me at the covered bridge-the tube, despite having Heed in it, had frozen. (It was about 17 degrees F out.) I quickly put the hydration vest under my top layer, then stuck the tube down by my boobs...hey, there's warmth there..

The guy trio left me and I went down the west side. I kept waiting for the road sections, and then found I was crossing the little footbridge at the bottom of Lake Newport. I had forgotten the road section was all on the west side. It was rather chilly down here, especially when I hit the road section.

An uneventful loop, back to the Log Cabin. I decided to run the same loop again, now in reverse. This would give me 25 miles, then I would only need to run 3 of the shorter 8.33 URINEO Loops.

Another uneventful loop. I did kind of bonk a bit around mile 19 or 20. I made sure I ate, and felt a bit better. I ran into Slim on the Big Bear Loop-he said he was struggling, so I made I told him I felt great! Inwardly I was thinking wow, that's not good if he's struggling, he's probably at mile 26 or so.

Back at the Covered Bridge, I made sure I ate, had some sweet tea, and headed out on the next loop. Somewhere, around mile 30, I hit the Covered Bridge. And the sweet tea, and my "magic beans"-which were peppermint covered Junior Mints kicked it. I "only" had 20 miles to go! I was darn happy about that!!!

The Race

I think I was still on the East Gorge boardwalk, or just off, when Slim hollers at me from the opposite side of the creek. He is about a 1/2 mile or so behind me. "I'm coming for you"! The throwdown was on. I yelled back some equivalent of "yah, you think so" and I took off. I thought perhaps I could get as far as the Monkey Trails before he caught up. Besides, we had nothing else to do in the middle of our run, so why not challenge?

I get to the Monkey Trails and take them as quickly as the slick conditions will allow. I'm sweating, but Slim is not in sight. I go around Pot Smoker's corner and have that very runnable section. The snow has packed down the more technical rocks, so I am able to move.

I get through Slippery Rock Pavilion, slowing down for little walk breaks, but then breaking into a run. I've got the mentality: "he can catch me, but I'm going to make him work for it."

I climb up the mud at the Troll Bridge, and then the little switchback trail. At the top, I pause-and see him!!! He's under the bridge! Oh crap. Now he's about 1/10 of a mile behind me? I feel like the gazelle being hunted down by the relentless hunter.

Still, I got the "make him work for it" mentality, and I just go! I run into the Professor.

"Hi Rich, can't talk, Slim's hunting me down".... hug Rich, and keep going.

I'm at Volney Rogers, then crossing the road, crossing the interstate, carefully going down the steel steps...still no Slim.

As I turn onto Price Road, I hear this ROAR and now there's a PACK of three (or four) runners, at the top of the Steel Steps! I both giggle and say 'oh shit' now I'm caught.

Then I decided, no, I'm not, they'll have to catch me. I run up the small incline hill (and mile 32) at a 9.31 minute mile. I'm pretty much sprinting (as much as I can at mile 32) trying to hit the log cabin before Slim. Lloyd Thomas comes out of nowhere behind, surprising me.

And I do it! I hit the log cabin about twenty feet in front of Slim. Both of us are laughing and breathing pretty hard. Nothing like a hard foot race in the 33rd mile or so of a 50 mile fat ass.

Slim and I decide to run his last loop and my second to last together. This makes time go so much faster and better and we chatter the entire time. Slim also decided to run another loop, and I could be his pacer. (Slim didn't want me to be out there by myself. It was not necessary,but it was very much appreciated, and I was glad for the company!!)

So Slim finishes his 50 miler, we eat up, and I head out in front of Slim. Cam Baker, who has finished the 50 miler in the fastest time, wants to know what Jim is doing. "You can't do that!" Cam is indignant. He's so competitive, but is floored that now the bar has been raised...and he's ready to drive home, he can't get time for another loop in.

Last loop goes well. We only lose the daylight into the last 4 miles. My Garmin clicks to 49 miles, then the battery dies. From where we are, I know we have a mile to go, so I know I've got the solid 50 miles in.

I had watched Lloyd Thomas finish his 50 miles at URINEO last year. When I asked him why, he replied something to the effect that he wanted to add his name to a very short list of runners who had done this. I decided then and there that I wanted to do the same. I also got to be first female to do so. My time was 14 hours, 6 minutes, 57 seconds.

I had a good solid run. I need to tweak some cold weather gear clothes. I did eat more per hour this run, so I think that helped. I still need to experiment with my calories. I did the solid Perpeteum, which I'm not quite sold on, and I felt like they gave me gas.

This was a nice training run for my 100K coming up, January 15.

The 1000th Post

I've made it to 1000 Posts. When I started "Ultra Newby" back in the day, in 2006, I was an ultra newby. Heck, I still think I am an " ultra newby". I still have LOTS to learn. Well, back in 2006, I was about six lbs lighter than I am today (because I'm talking about struggling with ten lbs to lose on the blog) so I am way pleased with my 2010 weight loss.

I've been re-reading a few early blog posts. They're very amusing. Like this: "I think I am in love with Mohican. I have a serious love affair going on with the trails. I feel like Robin Fry." (It's still true, I'm still in love.)

And this is classic! The night before my first 50 miler/100K at Mohican:

"I arrived at the campground around noon on Friday, immediately met up with Sherry Meador from Alabama, got my tent set up. I gave Sherry a driving tour of course loops then we went back to pick up registration materials and talk with everyone. This was my first real socializing with other ultra-runners-what a friendly, nice group of people. How obsessive-compulsive we all are. I saw people with computer spreadsheets, handwritten pace charts of various times, course maps redrawn—all wonderful fodder for us runners. We even got into the “what’s in your drop bag” conversation. I heard about lots of other races (I heard enough about Massanutten to not really want to ever run it!!!) and got lots of advice. (I don’t know if it was good advice or not, but advice.)"

I guess I feel older, and maybe wiser now. I know lots more, enough to "know better" on some things. You know the old "ignorance is bliss" statement? Very true. When I ran my first 100 mile race, all was good because I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Anticipating the second 100 mile race was worse-Because I KNEW what I was getting myself into!

I'm glad I've kept my blog going, in these days of Twitter and Facebook. I like to have the medium of the written word to get my story, my thoughts, my triumphs and failure out there. I like to have a very wide form of media-via words, pics, video, that isn't enough via the FB and I certainly can't confine my words to 140 characters or less.

And thank you, faithful readers, for continuing to follow my blog and sometimes leave comments! Reading through some early 2006, it's nice to see some of the original folks who left comments-Olga, Sarah, are still around four years later.

Will I keep this blog going? Oh yeah. I need an outlet. I may also get my own podcast going, since with the MMT training, there will lots of material to chat about!

Runners Vs Joggers

This had me giggling...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

#reverb 10 Prompt Dec 16 Friend

Prompt: Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

The two people that immediately come to mind is Bob Combs and Jim Harris. These two men have always said I could meet any goal. I would just have to train for it. They've been the duo that put the idea of MMT into my brain. They both, for the last 3 years now, have said I could do it. I believe they had more faith in me that I did.

Well, somewhere, in the very end of 2009, maybe at URINEO, I decided I needed to change. I needed to lose weight so I would be faster and not DNF any more races. And I needed to 'ultra up' and reach for some goals.

I did just that. I didn't reach my goal in both my "A" races in 2009-the Laurel Highlands Ultra and the WV Trilogy-but I'm okay with those DNF's.

I think some of the more notable changes came when I signed up for the Ring in June/July. I did this on my own, not really knowing who else would be doing this.

Jim Harris was wildly enthusiastic with my plan of doing the Ring. He not only invited me to drive down to Virginia together, he introduced me to many of the very cool VHTRC members. Jim's support, praise, and admiration, has really grown my confidence in myself. That has really helped with my own development. I'm very glad to have Jim and Bob as my best cheerleaders out there. (And Mikey of course, that goes without saying!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The First Step

is always the hardest.

We had gone out to lunch, had a great pizza (and no wine!) at the local winery, dropped off a Christmas present to our vet's office, and returned home. I immediately started donning clothing-I knew I had to get out FAST before those rumbling little thoughts took effect...

Two steps onto the road I was regretting it. My hamstring was tight and my tummy was upset. It was cold out.

I started running. I turned onto the side road in about 1/3 of a mile. A cool song came on the Zune. The road went downhill, then uphill. My hands were no longer cold, my legs were loosening up. I was warming up.

One mile beeped on the Garmin. I was good to go.

It's just that initial little mental obstacles you've got to get over.

Incidentally, PR'd this 6.6 mile around the block...that I had just PR'd on Monday.
I have screwed my shoes, so I had much better traction, for this run today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Covered Bridge

"Run at Mohican. Meet at the Covered Bridge."

This was a Facebook post from Don Baun. Although I can't join in this weekend, for this run, it just stimulated my Mohican yearnings, and our runs from Mohican.

My first introduction to running at Mohican was via Regis Shivers. I was an ultra-newby. I had just stopped by his house, to meet him, and his friend Jerry, another Mohican veteran, when I got the invite: “We’re running Mohican tomorrow, wanta come along?"
Folks, I was just off my first ultra (50K) finish and IT-Band injury. My long run before the injury was 7 miles. Now I was planning on 13+ miles at Mohican! I happily joined up.

This was where I met Tanya Cady and Roy Heger, two very experienced ultra runners. This is where I was running with Regis, who kept falling with a lot of alarming regularity (it turned out to be new bifocals) on these beautiful trails. My most favorite memory is running on the Orange Loop (the mountain bike trail) above the campground, thinking "oh there is no way I could run this at night" --which is now, such a happy memory, whenever I run this section at night.
On the same "Orange Loop" (mountain bike) section I've remarked to Cheryl Splain on numerous occasions, we must hit and activate the secret "biker sounds" on this section. I cannot ever remember running this section, without hearing a Harley cycle down on the road. Spring, summer, fall, winter, I seem to always hear a Harley through here.

The Covered Bridge is where we stage many training runs out of. It's usually a simple post on the Yahoo! Mohican Page: Hey, running at Mo, run the Orange/Purple/Red-Green Sections, meet at the CB at 8 am...

Experienced and late arriving runners can figure out where we are, and meet up. The Covered Bridge is the little Star of the previous Mohican 100 race Courses. Meeting at the CB means you can cover as little as 4 miles, and run as many as 50+ miles, meeting back up at your vehicle for refueling.

The Covered Bridge, and the little hike to Lyons Falls, is a big tourist attraction. There is limited space at the CB for parking, and I'm sure sometimes us runners hogged it all.
In 2008, a person found out what it meant for the "no parking" sign. I finished a Red/Green Mohican loop, to find branches covering the entrance back up to the park. A tree fell, right on a car in the "NO PARKING" zone. I guess the Park meant it about the no parking there! (It was not a runner!)

Many shivering pictures taken quickly in front of the bridge as the last late comer arrives, quickly snapped so we can head out on the trails. New runners to Mo arrives, are welcomed into the family. New friendships are built as folks find others with similar paces. No one gets left behind, because there are usually plenty of seasoned Mohican runners who can find shortcuts and trails-or not-to add or cut off miles.

Running at Mohican seems to be both preventative and curative medication for many a tired soul. There is something about the beauty of the pine groves, the single track through the woods; the water crossings are there to wash away our troubles. Even that last mile back to the Covered Bridge-whether it’s splashing through water filled trail next to the river, or the 12 bridges on the Hog Hollow Trail (Green Loop) is beautiful.

Even though it’s usually a huge relief to see that Covered Bridge again after covering 10/15/32 miles, it’s a bit sad to know that it’s almost time to leave.

The Covered Bridge always has “tourists” about. I, of course, do not consider myself a tourist. I’m a Mohican Runner. I go farther than 2 miles from the Covered Bridge-I-WE-stray far into the forests. Splash and wade through the water. Marvel at the ferns. Whine about the big climbs.

Soaking the legs in the Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River, in the shadow of the Covered Bridge, has also become part of the tradition. But usually after the soak, it’s time to get the smelly runner body in the vehicle, to wait for the next email: “Run at Mohican. Meet at the Covered Bridge.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#reverb10 Prompt December 14

Prompt: Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

That is easy.My health. I'm so happy to be in such good shape, to be able have the experiences and adventures I've had due to being an ultra trail runner.

How do I express gratitude for it? I try to take care of myself.I try to eat correctly and keep the processed foods to a minimum.

Which led to the situation at work today: I made a green smoothie, consisting of spinach, banana, frozen cherries and strawberries. I put this in a regular see-through water bottle. As I was shaking it, and drinking it, this afternoon, I got the usual comments from the co-workers:
"That's sick" Me: "No, that's really healthy"
"But you were eating vegetables earlier today.Why are you drinking that?" Me: "To get more veggies in."

I'm sure, if I had been eating a bag of potato chips, no one would have batted an eye, or made any comment.

Which, thinking about, I'm now wondering if I even get my daily servings of veggies and fruit in. I will need to look into this!

Monday, December 13, 2010

#reverb10 Catchup December 11

Prompt: 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

1. 11 lbs came to mind, naturally! 11 lbs means I can trek up mountains much easier.

2. Distractions-I don't need distractions. I'm sure I could eliminate a few of the computer-generated quite easily. But, on the other hand, some of the distractions-like FB and twitter-has found me new friends, and updates on friends.

3. Guilt-well I can't eliminate guilt, but I can work on it. Guilt, when I spend the weekend away from the husband. Guilt, when I bag the workout.

4. HFCS-I still say it's evil.

5. Self doubt. I'm getting better. I do believe. And the believing is becoming more easy. But I don't want to teeter over into complacency or feeling superior. Sigh. See #6.

6. My perfectionist attitude-I am my own worst critic. I am very hard on myself. I need to dump this, for sure.

7. Negative energy sucking vampires-I did a great service to myself when I switched jobs, about 1.5 years ago. My old career was literally sucking my will to live.
I don't like to be around negative people. I prefer to hang with the "glass half full" crowd.

Well, I got seven. And I think this was a cool prompt, because it made me THINK! Which is the whole point.


The winter storm hit here overnight. We only received about 2-4 inches of snow, unlike the northern half of the state which really got the snow.

The temperatures did drop with the storm. It was 14 degrees out.

My husband really did not want me to go outside in this weather. That kind of made me more determined to go. I have, in the back of my head, the thought of upcoming two winter events-TWOT and Reverse Ring. If I am going to run in the mountains of Virginia in February, I better get used to trying out clothing options!

I garbed up and got out the door. Usually I walk for five minutes, to warm up, but today, I broke into a run after about one minute.

It was fabulous! I had just enough clothes on to get a bit too warm at times. Then my road would curve, and I would get hit with the wind, and not be over warm.

I had a big fleecy balaclava on my head, which I swapped out at mile one for my normal headband. I did have sweat-sickles in my hair at the end.

And I ran fast! I PR'd my run around the block, pace was 12.13, better than any previous runs, winter or summer! I just had such a good run. I was so proud of myself for getting out there, and enjoying the blue sky and sun. Very satisfying!

I wore brand new long underwear, from Lands End, under a pair of winter shell pants-like windbreaker pants. I've had the pants for a long time--they now fit again!
Tops-a capilene long-sleeve, then a merino wool, then a wind shirt. I did get a little hot and sweaty now and then, but when I came inside, most of my skin was pretty red.
I wore a fleecy balaclava but had to switch it out for a winter sweater headband. I did get a little cold, up on the ridge top in the high wind, but then the road would descend and I would get out of the wind.
I had some winter Drymax socks and my cheap little stretchy gloves.

I do need to get my shoes screwed! I wore trail shoes, on my back country road. The road is all ice, under the snow. I was able to keep traction by running in the snow, or in the gravelled areas.

Great run today!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 9 Prompt #reverb10

Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

Party? Music? Shenanigans? Well, I don't have much of a social life. Occasionally our friends down the road have a campfire party, and we go and drink wine on their hill top.

I believe my most fun was the YUTC post party. I finished early, since I had started early. This allowed for me to hang out with friends, drink some non-sanctioned park beverages, and just be able to chat and hang out with fellow runner types.

#reverb10 Prompt December 10 Wisdom


Prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Well, I don't know whether it was the wisest decision, but it was a good decision. Meaning to go run on the rocky trails of the Massanutte mountains.

This is a low key event sponsored by the Virginia Happy Trail Running Club. I signed up, alone. Then just a few weeks/days later, Jim Harris, noticed I had signed up, and quickly invited me to drive down with him. Jim, along with Cam Baker, would be the NEO Trail members to represent this year at the Ring.

I really did not know what to expect. Most of the email advice I recieved mentioned Signal Knob and how bad it would suck.

I didn't want to fail. I didn't want to come to Virginia, representing the female contingency of NEO Trail and not complete the run.
I didn't want to get lost and die out there either. (Okay, this was a remote chance, but hey, imagination and all...)

I went to Virgina, and got to experience the rocks for the first time myself. I found that it wasn't as bad an experience as I thought it could/would be. (Signal Knob was worst that I thought it could be.) Even though I was still last, I finished a bit faster than all previous last place finishers.
Finishing the Ring was wise for me because it gave me confidence. Confidence in my training and weight loss, that I have just as good chance as everyone else in the MMT 2011 to finish.

December 8 #reverb10 Prompt

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

I spent a little bit of time on Sunday at the Aid Station/Start Finish Line of the Bigfoot 50K. Most folks coming through were finishing up their second loop, with around 10 more miles to go.

So I guess what makes me different is my happiness. I've had many people comment on me, coming into aid stations. I always have a big smile, and am happy to see people.

Well, yeah. Aid station means food, and water. Also, when you've been out there *alone* it's always good to see community again.

But I was amused by how many people were coming through, not happy-looking. True, it was a very cold, windy day, and I'm sure they weren't happy with the idea of 10 more miles to go.

But I'm always happy if I'm running trail. That is what makes me different. I go through my cycles of up, and down, and hurting, and feeling lazy, but pretty much, if I'm on trail, all is good.

Friday, December 10, 2010

#reverb10 Catchup-December 7

December 7th Prompt

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010?

I have several "communities" of trail runners that I like to hang out with.
My stylized illustration:

My little running communities overlap each other, in fact may be composed of the same peeps.
"Western Reserve" is just kind of a broad term, to characterize the Northern Ohio/Cleveland/Akron area of trail runners.
Another group would be the "Mohican" Gang. These are the folks who come to together, who may not actually run the Mohican Trail Race, but love to train in the State Forrest and Park. Mo Runners compromise of alot of Western Reserve and Central Ohio Runners.
Central Ohio Trail Runners is another group of community I would like to get to know better. The members of this loosely organized group are finding there are more and more folks interested in running trails around the Columbus area.
NEO Trail is what I consider my main club, organized out of the Northern Eastern Ohio area, we have members in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Through NEO Trail I met and became a member of the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club. Boy, these are a great group of people I look forward to meeting more of.
The West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners Group may be a bit more isolated than meshing with most of the Buckeye State, but the members of it, from WV, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, many belong in VHTRC.

What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
I would like to get to know more folks from both VHTRC and the Central Ohio Trail runners.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

MMT Lottery

Peeps, I am in!!!!!! (And yes, when my husband approached me with the turkey wishbone last week, I grasped it, wished for a slot in the MMT Lottery, and voila, the wishbone comes true!!)

This is for the Massanutten Trail 100 Race, on May 14, 2011. This race takes place over trails of the Massanutten Mountain in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

The MMT is a challenging 100 mile trail ultra over a demanding, rocky course in the Massanutten Mountains of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. The course includes short but rugged mountain climbs that total over 18,000 feet.

When they say rocks in Virginia, they mean rocks.

And these (the pic above) are good rocks.

How do I feel? Gratified. That I have my spot. I don't have to worry about the wait list. I just have to worry about my training. That's it. Number One goal.

I'm very gratified I've kicked weight loss off and lost 27 lbs. I need to lose another 10 to 15 lbs. Between now, and May 1, I should be able to do this.

I've really started training for this already. All of my 2010 races were geared with an idea toward MMT 2011 Plans. Run Laurel, see how that is. Laurel helped me with long aid station stops on both the Ring and the WV Trilogy.

I feel like I have a good base of running going into the MMT Training Season-which starts now!

Favorite Podcasts

I really dislike listening to the radio in the car. I hate that it isn’t my selection of music or news items to listen to. So years ago, I discovered podcasts, which are what I pretty much listen to exclusively. I also listen to podcasts while out running, usually more so on roads than trails.

What do I listen to? A small variety of genres. I am most interested in podcasts that are about exercise, training, motivation, weight loss. My oldest podcast-and I believe the oldest triathlon podcast is Coach Brett’s “Zen and the Art of Triathlon.” I believe it’s been around for about five years now.

There is a great website out there, called Running Podcasts. They have a great directory of running and triathlon podcasts. I have one small problem with some of the running podcasts-they podcast, while running. And I can’t listen to-breathe-when they are-breathe-running-and talking-breathe-at the-breathe-same time. Now, both Brett and Gordon from This Running Life will sometimes record on their bike-which I am okay with. I can listen to them. It’s just the huffing and puffing that I find hard to listen to, so many running podcasts I might listen to briefly, then I don’t subscribe to them.

I have just recently found “Marathon Talk” which is a very well produced podcast out of the UK. They have interviews, training tips, I have found it very entertaining and educational.

Marathon Talk then led me to IM Talk” which is “All things Iron Man” out of New Zealand-again, a very well produced show with lots of interviews and advice. One of the hosts, Bevan James Eyles, has started another podcast, called “Fitness Behaviours”. It’s very insightful. If you are into endurance training, I highly recommend listening to this.

Running With the Pack-I’ve been listening to Allan since he began this podcast, and he and Stevie are closing in on Episode 100.

The Dirtbag Diaries-Another podcast I’ve listened to all episodes, and some a few times over. Stories about the outdoors, epic fun, dirtbagging, etc.

Foodie Podcasts

I have three six favorites that I always listen to:

My Life as a Foodie-Phil is a California foodie. Funny and well produced

Table Conversations-I believe I stumbled across Tampa Tribune Food Critic Jeff Houck during the Twitter chat that originated around TopChef. Great interviews with a variety of food people. Jeff’s very quick witted!

The Restaurant Guys-Francis and Mark own two restaurants in New Jersey, and have a weekly radio show. Sometimes it is just the duo chatting, other times there are interviews included.

Good Food-long standing NPR podcast with Even Kleiman.

The Sporkful-It’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters. The Sporkful is a podcast and blog about food, but not so much about cooking or recipes or restaurants. We discuss, debate, and obsess over the most ridiculous food-related minutiae, always seeking new and better ways to eat. Hosted by Dan Pashman and Mark Garrison, former co-workers at NPR, The Sporkful is where sacred cows get grilled.

The Food Humor Network-they poke fun at the Food Network on a weekly basis!


Jay and Silent Bob Get Old- Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith. They’re middle-aged now!

We’re Alive-Podcast like a live radio show. It’s about living through the Zombie Apocalypse. The first season was good. I feel they are losing their story line. I’m kind of bored with it, but I want to see how it ends. (It needs to end soon.)

No Agenda-Politics with Adam Curry and John C Dvorak

The Daily Source Code-the Podfather, Adam Curry, is again airing his daily source code-albeit it’s now once a week or so! Music that Adam wants to play!

I probably have thirty podcasts on the Zune (which will automatically download new episodes) but the ones I have highlighted above are the ones I will listen to first.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


December 6 Prompt

Prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

Hmm. I made dog biscuits around a month ago. It was a bit time consuming, and they ate them much faster than I made them.

I did make this:

I call it my motivation board. I add quotes, from folks or magazine ads, pictures, anything for motivation for training. There are a few pics of rocks from Virginia on there. I keep adding to it, to keep it fresh.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Taking a Zero Day

Since my 1/2 marathon left me tired on Sunday, I decided to sway days off and work out on Monday.

I woke up with a very sore throat-where did that come from? The day went downhill from there. Achy, tired, just the general feel of malaise.

I canned the workout. I know the whole "you can work through a cold" I just don't want to.

I'm going to bed early tonight, maybe I can stop this cold cold!

Paying it Forward

Me, ecstatic and very tired, after getting off Signal Knob, 27.5 hours finishing The Ring in Virginia
This was stolen directly from Olga's blog:

To read all the lines, you can GO HERE, but let me start with what they started:

Dale Carnegie once said, “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It’s what you think about.”

And really, follow the GO HERE link. The blog post is called "75 ways to stay unhappy forever".
Read it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Round and Round

I was jonesing for an outside longer run. Being still deer gun season here in Ohio, I opted to visit the local high school track. I had thought about a 1/2 marathon to run over in Ashland on Saturday, but then preferred to do my own "Fat Ass" version of it. I brought my aid station right into the track-gym bag and a gallon of water mixed up with some Heed.

Then I started running in circles.
Many times.
It's not as bad as you might think. I listen to podcasts. I zone out. I let Garmin keep track.

At five miles, I turned and ran the opposite direction. I was keeping a nice pace. My slowest mile was a 13.06, where I walked a lap while chewing up Perpeteum and washing it down.

They have come out with solid Perpeteum Tablets. These are chewable. 3 Tablets are one serving, with 100 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein. I have not formed an opinion on these yet. I was chewing about a 1/2 tablet at a time, and it was sticking to my teeth, and I had to keep washing it down with water. Maybe I will try chewing up smaller pieces next time. Now, I really did not need Perpeteum on this length of a run, I just wanted to try it out.
These solid tablets would be easy to carry during an ultra than the powder. I will be trying this out at the upcoming URINEO FatAss December 18.

Around mile 11, my hamstrings and glutes were starting to tighten up and protest. I switched from podcasts to rock and roll. I finished my half-marathon in 2.24.54. This is my fastest 1/2 marathon time in about 4 or 5 years. I think I was around the 2.30 mark at my second marathon, the Las Vegas Marathon (and I was real unhappy with that time!) Isn't it great, how your perspective can change? Now I'm very happy with my average 11.04 pace. I was running at a comfortable pace, and all time includes my aid station stops, five minute walking warm up. So I am indeed getting faster!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I've decided to join this project for the month.

Reverb 10 (#reverb10) is now an annual event, an inspired response to (and evolution of) #best09. It’s an open online initiative that encourages participants to reflect on this year and manifest what’s next. It’s an opportunity to retreat and consider the reverberations of your year past, and those that you’d like to create in the year ahead. We’re connected by the belief that sharing our stories has the power to change us. We look forward to reading yours.

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

2010: Comeback. I had a disappointing 2009, and made a resolution to make 2010 much better. I dropped weight and improved on my training.

2011: Believe. That the belief in myself will lead to belief in my performances

December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

Sleep? I have actually been starting to focus more on my writing. I've been focusing more on getting blog posts out, which is my outlet for my writing.

I will endeavor to keep up with this project!

First Workout at the Gym

Well, the new gym. I haven't had a gym membership in over a year. This time I joined the YMCA, which is located in the town I now work in. The only drawback is there is no pool there. Sigh. I would have enjoyed learning how to swim this winter.
This being my day off from work, I resolved to go to the gym and work out for about two hours.

I had toured the YMCA around a month ago, and it had seemed over warm to me. I was relieved to find the temps on the cool side.

I managed to do 4.5 miles on their treadmill. Yes, I do have a treadmill at home, but the commercial models are slightly more cushy than mine. It felt pretty effortless running, although a bit tedious mentally. I think I need to add some videos or movies to my Zune for my amusement.

I then moved to the Stair Master. I did 10 minutes, at Level 4, on a program called "Pike's Peak". I love the Stair Master. It can really make you sweat. I felt like I could do much more, but stopped at 10 minutes. There's plenty of time to build on that this winter.

Final cardio was the ellipitcal. My goodness I could move on that. I had to keep bumping up the Level on this. I did 4 miles on it in 39 minutes.

So a good cardio inside day, of 1 hour 40 minutes. It was fun to mix up the workouts. Next time I will remember to throw one of my bands in my gym bag, so I can get my stretching done right after the cardio.

I think the gym will be a good solid tool to have for this winter, no excuses for not training!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Lottery

I’ve entered the Lottery. No, I won’t tell you which one.* I don’t want you to enter. I want to keep my minimal chances of being selected.


The Lottery selection closes in a few days, and entrants will be selected after 4pm on Wednesday, December 8.

Those not selected can elect to join the waiting list. The waiting list is weighted. Previous winners and veterans of the race get higher status on the wait list.

I have no previous tries at running the race or even staying on the waiting list, so I will be at the bottom of the wait list with the other noobs.lott2

Sigh. Seven Days. A long time to wait. under Time to crawl under my rock and emerge around 5 pm December 8!


*Okay I will tell you, it’s MMT Trail 100. I do not want to make the karma gods angry!