Friday, July 22, 2016

Capital Reef 50K



-->
I had such an amazing time at Capital Reef!  I don’t really know where to begin.



In March I asked Steve if he’d like to go on a road trip during the summer. We haven’t traveled without the boys since before they were born, 24 years ago!  He was up for it so I began to plan. I wanted to see Glacier for sure. I also wanted to see a hoodoo.  We decided we’d travel to Montana, stay at Glacier for 4-5 days, head to California to see the Redwoods, then to Utah to see the hoodoos. As we tightened up our plans we decided California would be it’s own trip during another adventure. 



After we decided on the Minnesota to Montana to Utah adventure I decided to look for a race. Well, I found a 50K just outside the Capital Reef National Park. I hadn’t heard of Capital Reef so did some research and pretty soon we decided this was going to be our destination. Good decision!



I entered the race and then I began to look for race reports, the race description, checked out Ultrasignup. I was perplexed that Ultrasignup forecast me finishing in 9:15 hours!  My 50K time is usually 6-7 hours. Oh boy.



Soon thereafter I learned that the race is held at 11,700 feet elevation!  OK, this 9:15 hour finish time was beginning to make some sense.



Steve and I drove to packet pickup the night before the race. We learned that one of the aid stations would no longer be. An UTV lost its tire while trying to get out there.  He became stuck and would have to be towed out. They were trying to figure out how to get it out of there. The aid stations were very remote. There was no crew/pacer access except at one aid station and to get to this station you had to be UTV’d to it. Because of one less aid station this section would be 9 miles long.  I vowed to myself that I would fill my bladder at every aid station.



Steve was planning on meeting me at the aid station with UTV access. He would hike to the ranger station, they would then shuttle him to the station. Hopefully I would be able to figure out a rough estimate time that I would be out there.



A few weeks prior to the race Jenny contacted me stating they would be on vacation at the same time and that she entered the race as well!  I was so excited to learn I was going to have a running buddy on the course!



Steve and I picked up Jenny for the race start. We swung by their campground, gave kisses to the dogs, said Hi to Paul and buzzed to the start. We were ready!



This race is 100% eco friendly. The toilets at the start / at aid stations were composted, they washed and rinsed glasses at the aid stations, no paper cups, no garbage was tolerated. Fruit rinds and peels were thrown into one bin for compost, wrappers into another. Very cool.



As we were listening to the RD before starting, Jenny pointed to a woman with whiskey hanging off of her waist!  We later  learned from another runner that she had back surgery and this whiskey was to minimize the pain. Not a good idea. 



(Let's go!  Jenny, Me)


The RD said to GO so off we went!  We started climbing right from the start. The race began at 7500 feet, just out of the Utah desert up on the Aquarious Plateau. When it was 99F a few miles away in the desert, it was 60F up on the Plateau at 11,500 feet. We were so thankful we were on the plateau!



We began following a jeep type trail, through the woods, through the meadows, then up a steep, rocky, shale like mountain.  We would jog for a mile, then have to take a walk break, even if we weren’t climbing at the time. The air was THIN! I was gasping for air. Seriously.



After a mile or so we veered from the jeep trail and followed a narrow trail, straight up the mountain. It was steep. We just plugged on, trying to keep up a conversation was difficult.  Jenny kept on pointing out bear scat. It freaked me out. We talked about what we would do if we came upon a bear. This was a few weeks after the bear attacked a man at Glacier. We had just left Glacier.



As we were moving up this gargantuan mountain, Jenny stopped. She looked off to our right and had a look of concern on her face. I was immediately concerned. I knew it was a fricken bear. We saw all of this dark fur. Upon further assessment, we realized it was a group of 4 very, very large cows, staring down at us.  Oh thank god!  There were cow all over the place, free range Angus cattle. I was still freaked out.



We moved along, taking pictures as we went. We weren’t in any great rush. We were doing what we could, moving forward, taking photos along the way.  This was an adventure, a training run, laid back fun day. As we found a great photo op with beautiful views, a woman came upon us. She commented that we seemed to have a lot of fun while climbing the steep mountain. She said she could hear us laughing and she thought we’d be fun to hang along with.  Her name was Virginia, from Denver,  and she hung with us to the finish! We made some new awesome friends along the way.  


 (Jenny climbing near the cow sighting)


 (We just met Virginia, she took this pic)


The first aid station was only 2.5 miles out. We ran in and learned that we were number 44 and 45! There were only 55 runners or so. This was surprising, that we were nearly last. We were also the only Midwesterners. This did make a difference. I used their bug spray, the mosquitoes were bad at this point, but I don’t think I noticed them after. Guess the spray worked!  I had a piece of watermelon, filled up my bladder and we moved on, across the meadow.



We ran through the grass, surrounded by alpine lakes, boulders and the remains of big dead animals. Bones, fur…it made me wonder..


(Dead stuff)




As we entered a mountain of boulders, we couldn’t see a trail, just rock. We climbed and climbed. The views were amazing. The air wasn’t. Gasp.





 (Boulder Trail. I'm picking my way down)


Our conversation was varied. I shared some recent personal ongoings which caused much laughter. We shared our ailments. We passed around around lip balm, foot potion, salt tabs. We shared a wonderful time and a fabulous race.



This is the most technical race I have ever run. Yes, much more technical than Superior. Between the logs, rocks, roots, it was amazing. The plateau, the alpine lakes, the mountain meadow, this was truly sensory overload.



The Great Western trail up on the plateau is not very frequently traveled. The trail was difficult to pick up a times. We could see flags every so often up in the distance, showing the way, although we couldn’t see a trail.



I was looking forward to the third aid station. I knew that Steve was going to try to get up there. He would have to hike a few miles, then ride an UTV to the station. As I was running in, sure enough, there he was. He had a good ride. Was cheerful, enjoying his day. Seeing him there was a big lift.





(Steve took this at the aid station)

We left him and circled around the alpine lake, dotted with a few kayakers. As we ran along Arnulfo Quimare of Born to Run passed us.




A long section was coming up. We knew that there would be no aid for 9 miles. We filled up and moved out. At one point we saw again saw something black and still ahead. I made no bones about it, I’d turn around and go back to the aid station, a few miles prior, before I’d chance running into a bear.  I asked if I should blow the whistle on my pack. Yes, yes, Virginia and Jenny responded. I blew, nothing moved. Virginia began to creep ahead. Eventually she realized it was a piece of black burned out tree or something. We laughed and moved on.



We were climbing through a dense forest. There was no trail that we could see, only ribbons, telling us where we should go. It was crazy. Pretty soon we came upon a rose bush field-deep rose fragrance, prickly bushes. They had grown in after a burn. I’ve never seen so many roses.







 (Alpine lakes, streams, waterfalls, amazing views)


 (Eco friendly aid stations)


Another woman joined our merry band. Lori was from Phoenix, she ran with us to the finish.



We moved along and came off of the plateau. We climbed down from 11,5000 feet to 9000. I could breath more easily. We came into a section of river. There was a man who ran out of water and was filling his bottle from the river. I was thankful I still had at least half of my pack full. I was carrying an 80 ounce bladder.  It was getting HOT as we came off of the plateau. The high in Torrey was 99F. Ugh. We had been running in probably 65-70F on the plateau all day. Pretty awesome.



Eventually the girls all ran out of water. My bladder was larger than theirs so I still had some available. I  shared my water with them, asked if they needed any gels or blocks. I had a ton. Jenny shared her chap stick. Virginia shared more sunscreen.  We were warm and burning.



We came into the aid station. Oh, happy day!  The volunteers were excited to see us, enthusiastic and willing to care for us.  I drank a couple glasses of coke, had some watermelon and just wanted to get out of there and on my way. I and Laurie headed off while Jenny and Virginia took care of their needs.



The elevation continued downward. We were able to see some of the red rocks of the canyon in the distance. We were closing in on the finish.



What a most excellent day!  To be able to run in such an environment, to be strong and healthy, to run with old friends and to meet new friends, what a blessing! I feel so lucky.





( On the jeep path.  Lori, Jenny and Virginia. Closing in on the finish. We can see the canyon, the red rocks, feel the heat. It's coming.)


Jenny and Virginia caught up, we all continued through the red rock, the hot canyon, anxious to see the paved road which would signal we were a mile out from the finish.  We were running down, down, down a jeep type  path which was red sand. The big red cliffs and buttes were all around us. We were out of the plateau and into the hot hot canyon area. Jenny was crossing over to the side of the path in front of me, she jumped over a little branch. I decided to do the same. I didn’t clear the branch!  Boom!  I fell onto my front, sprawled out and banged the side of my head..on the sand. This was the second time that I had fallen today. Both times I fell upon sand. Crazy.



There it was!  We began to run faster, down the trail, across the road, up the driveway to the Resort. Whew!  What an adventure!! 10:43 hours of adventure!!  Wow!




The finish line was laid back, Jenny’s family was able to make it, Steve was there. We weren’t hungry. We hugged, congratulated Virginia and Lori, and headed back to end the day.  I had no aches, no pains, no blisters, no problems. I was in my happy place. I had so much fun. I was really thankful to have run the whole race with Jenny and to have met Virginia and Lori along the course. Old friends and new. 

This race was very challenging, but oh so much fun!  Matt Gunn, the Race Director was really great. The  volunteers were  amazing. I'd run this again. I'd like to run more of  Matt's races. For finishing we received a Tshirt, hat and hand made mug.



What an amazing day. I’m still smiling!  Next up: Voyager 50 Mile.






























Thursday, June 23, 2016

Metabolic Assessment

I wanted to share the results / process of the metabolic assessment that I had today.

As I eluded to earlier, last February I began to enter races for this year. I had a long time off from running after neuroma surgery and it just really took a long time for me to be able to run again. 8 months or something dumb like that. Anyhow, that is a long time.  

When I was able to finally run again, I wanted to run again withOUT pain, withOUT beating myself up. I am also so done with restriction and being hungry all of the time. For years. I just want to run, to feel great, to eat!

I began to research different training methods when I again came across Maffetone low heart rate training. I remembered that my Dad used Phil Maffetone methods as he trained for Grandma's Marathon in 2000. We ran together and it was so awesome!   I then saw that  my friend, Tracy Hoeg, was training clients using Phil's methods. In February I reached out to her and she was willing to take me on.  At first, in order to keep my heart rate at 140 or under, I had to WALK. I'd run a few steps, and walk. It was disheartening, going so slowly, but it wasn't beating me up, either. Every 3-4 weeks  Tracy had me run a 10 mile MAF test. At first my MAF miles were in the 12-13 minute mile area. I was discouraged. I had to walk some of each mile to keep my heart rate down.  As time went one, I would see great improvement. Pretty soon I was taking off 1:30 each mile, no walk breaks and feeling really good. I couldn't believe that I could run 10 miles, on track, without any ankle pain, without any joint soreness. I had also at this time, added in fats, due to Tracy's and Phil's recommendation.

I'm excited to preform another 10 mile MAF test next Thursday. 

So today I had an Active and Rest Metabolic Assessment at LifeTime Fitness, Chanhassen. A friend of mine, Heather, is a trainer there and preforms this test. I was so curious to see how my fat burning has increased. I knew that I was doing pretty well, because at Grandma's last Saturday I ran the whole race at 140 HR, had NO issues, it was hot, I did it on one bottle of UCAN. Incredible. I'm the one who needed one gel every 30 minutes. 

I had to go into the test fasted. No breakfast, no coffee!  I did fine without the breakfast but the coffee was tough! I stopped at Caribou on the way back from the test.

Heather hooked me up to a machine, attached a mask and the computer would read the data from my breathing. First was a rested assessment. I sat in a chair, closed my eyes and relaxed for 20 minutes. I learned that I now burn a lot of fat at rest. 96% of my burn is   from fat while at rest.

We then went to the treadmill. After a warm up she had me run at 5.5 mph, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5 to watch my fat/sugar burn and define my heart rate zones. I burn most of my fat at below 147 HR.

I learned that I should eat more calories. My body burns 2180 just breathing. I burn 2834 going through life, without my workout.


I learned that my VO2 score is 48.7

My heart rate zones/burn
It was very informative and I'm glad that I completed the testing. Heather was very thorough and gave me so much data. There is more information that I still have to wade through. Heather really impressed upon me  that I need to eat more food. I have restricted for so many years that this is kind of scary to me but I have made progress. I know that science shows I need to eat more. I'll have another assessment in a few months. It will be fun to compare the data.

In other news, Steve and I are heading out for a drive vacation out west next month. We'll hit Glacier National Park to camp and hike for a few days and then south to Utah, where I've entered Capital Reef 50K. It begins at 7000feet elevation and much of the race is at 11000feet elevation. It ought to be a great trip, we are looking forward to it!



 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Grandma's Marathon

-->




Late last year when I read that Grandma’s Marathon would be celebrating its 40th Anniversary I knew that I had to enter the event. I had run 49 marathons; Grandma’s had been my first-back in 1998 and would be my 50th marathon. I have run 11 Grandma’s Marathons.

With a few 50Ks earlier this year, Psyco Wyco in February and Chippewa in April, I wasn’t too concerned about training for a marathon. I and my friends, Heidi and April, began to run each Tuesday after school, on pavement, so I was getting my legs used to the asphalt. I ran a few 20s and a 30 on asphalt and felt good. So good, in fact, that I decided to enter FANS 24 hour run. I changed my mind, a week before FANS, as I was feeling some neuroma pain in my ‘good’ foot. I knew my foot would hold up for a marathon on asphalt but rethought the 24 hour business.

Heidi has relatives who live exactly on Mile 22 of the course, on London Road, on Lake Superior, right at the base of Lemon Drop hill. What a location !  Her relatives opened their home to 16 of us. Seriously. We weren’t even cramped!!  They were the most hospitable, welcoming, warm people I have probably ever met.

Friday 4 of us rode together and rolled into the Expo about 4. I actually ran into people that I knew just by chance. It was a blast. I messaged Kim and we met up for a quick hello. So much fun to see good old friends.  



We made our way to our hosts’ home for a dinner they prepared. Spaghetti, meat  sauce, various salads, fruit, breads, a real banquet.  We walked around the property, checked out the lake, the beautiful home and the lot. I was first to bed, at 830PM.  That’s me!

At 430 I awoke, without an alarm, this is my regular wake time. I dressed and got myself ready for the day. I went up hoping for coffee and of course, our hosts had coffee brewing. Incredible.

The others began to filter into the beautiful 4 season sun room. We had breakfast and checked out the weather. A gorgeous sunrise was showing itself over Lake Superior, right in the back yard. It was amazing. The forecast had called for rain/thunderstorms but that was not going to happen today. I certainly didn’t think it was going to be a black flag excessive heat warning, as it was!

For breakfast I had a sweet potato, avocado, coconut manna bowl. I sprinkled half a scoop of UCAN over it. Delish. My new pre race/long run meal for days I have time for digestion.

Since February I have been training using a low heart rate-140 (Phil Maffetone) or below-and have been adding more fats to my diet, in an effort to be able to burn more fat while running, not being so dependant upon gels. This gel every 30 minutes has become tiresome. (Superior 100) Also, the 140 HR allows a speedy recovery for me. Tracy  has been helping me to train in this manner the past 4 months. I’m loving it!

We were only down the hill from The Edgewater, where the busses were delivering runners to the start. We grabbed all of our stuff and were off. We rode the busses to the start and were ready to rock and roll!

Riding the bus to the start I couldn’t help but recall previous Grandma’s Marathons that I had run. My first. The one I ran with Dad. My family waiting on London Road. All of the friends I have met. So many memories.


As I was walking to the bag drop off I ran into so many people that I know from running. I wasn’t looking for anyone, but yet I saw Kelly, Jim, Shelly, Doug, it was crazy. 10,000 people and again I am running into others that I know.

I removed my sleeves, it was already warm, it was going to be a toasty day. There wasn’t a breeze, either.

The herd began to move toward the starting line, here it was, my 50th marathon!

I kept my heart rate at 140 or below the whole way. The heat caused it to rise a few times. I noticed the black flag warning of excessive heat at about mile 10. I then drank, grabbed a sponge at the aid stations and walked until it came back down to 140. Only a few steps, and back down it went. I wasn’t going to push it.

During the race I used a scoop of UCAN at mile 18, I had a strawberry and orange slice during the race that was handed out.

At about mile 11 I was running along and pretty soon Scott was at my side!  What a nice surprise!  He and Greg were running together. We gabbed for a while and then they were running too fast.; I looked at my HRM and told them to have a good race, I was staying at 140. That was my plan.

At mile 19 I began to look for Kim, it was so great to see her and Barry. Hugs. I was ready to move on. At mile 22 I stopped to say hello to our hosts, then up the hill I climbed, onto the finish line.

I was getting warm. It was toasty. I saw the 445 pace time pass me, I was ok with that. My first marathon and slowest marathon was 459. I felt that this 50th marathon would probably be about the same. I was happy with that. I only wanted to finish healthy. My feet didn’t hurt at all, nothing hurt. I was in a good place, albeit it a bit warm.

I thought about the 18 years that have passed since I first ran this marathon. I thought about my family, the friends that I have made, the sobriety I have kept, all of the lift changes…running has been a constant.

I am truly blessed. I crossed the finish line with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. 4:50.  I felt fantastic! 




Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Chippewa 50K


I just had the best time yesterday!  I went to WI to run the Chippewa 50K. I have only run the race one other time, in 2011. Wow, time flies!!

My Dad was coming through Big Lake from spending winter in TX so I was going to make a quick trip. Leave at 4 AM, arrive at 7 AM, Run 8-2, hang out for thirty minutes and head home. Quick.

As I was driving to WI the sun began to rise. Ah, all of the pinks, blues, purples. Truly beautiful!  My drive was uneventful…just long.

I pulled into the race site and was directed to a spot of grass straddling the parking lot. I felt odd parking there but was told in no uncertain terms that this is where I was to park. OK then. I placed a piece of paper on my dashboard stating “THEY TOLD ME TO PARK HERE”

As I picked up my race number I said hello to so many friends, it was like old home week. We were going to have a blast.

The race meanders through such beautiful country, it goes past lakes, ponds, over lakes via boardwalk and deep into the woods. Just gorgeous.


The day!  It was perfect. Sunny. We began at about 40F and I finished almost 7 hours later at 65F. Very sweet.



I finished 20 minutes faster than when I ran in 2011. 

The photos that were taken pretty much sum how I felt!  I don’t need words to describe. I smiled every step of the way. I felt fantastic. I am a lucky woman.




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Herren Project








In October of last year I became a member of The Herren Project RUNS.  I learned of The Herren Project through a friend of mine, Pam Rickard.  Pam is the organizer of the fundraising and running campaign. She has also been sober for 10 years. 

(Please click on the link above for information regarding The Herren Project)

I have dedicated  my 2016 running season to raising funds for The Herren Project.

It’s interesting: through running, especially ultrarunning, I have met so many other addicts. We share more than one common bond.  We share joy in sobriety. Oh, such joy.

I have this strong nudging inside of me, drawing me toward this project where I can combine my sobriety, faith and running.  I want to help others who are struggling with addiction.  At times it is difficult when I am nudged out of my comfort zone. Talking about my faith, addiction and running doesn’t always come easy…stepping out isn’t something that comes naturally for me.  I know that when I am led out of my comfort zone the end result is always joy, gratitude and grace. Always.

A few days ago I realized that I will celebrate a number of milestones on September 9. I will have been sober for 20 years.  TWENTY YEARS!! I will be finishing my 4th Superior 100 finish and my 20th 100 mile finish. Great cause for celebration!

OK, The Herren Project. I’ll tell you about it.

  The Herren Project provides:

  • Treatment Navigation (for individuals and families...many of the families we've helped are actually running with us!)
  • Mentoring and Recovery Coaching after treatment is completed; scholarships to clinics and camps for kids
  • Preventative Education, and support of more than 400 student-led Project Purple sites across the country.
  • Scholarships when a need is demonstrated. assistance to many in taking the first steps toward recovery and a life of sobriety through treatment navigation, educational programs and mentoring resources.

I created one post on  my FaceBook page  a few months ago about The Herren Project and received $420 in donations!! I thank you so very,  very much. YOU can donate to this project via my link, here:



We can make a difference together!  I just know it.Thank you.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Psycho Wyco 50K




Psycho Wyco is a fabulous race held in Kansas City, Kansas. Surprisingly, it is in the woods with  lots of roots, rocks, river crossings and hills. All hills. It’s awesome.  It is not what I think of when I think of Kansas!

I ran Psycho Wyco a few years ago, when it was a cold year, there was no reprieve from the Minnesota winter. This year was a whole different climate!

Maria and I were running a long run at Elm Creek a few weeks ago when I asked her if she’d like to go out to run PW again. She thought about it for a week and then let me know that she and Doug were up for it. Yippee!! I had travel companions!

We left Apple Valley around 8AM. Kansas is about 6 hours away. They decided Doug would drive the van so that we would have more room. I was very thankful; as we rode across Iowa, in 60 mile per hour winds, we saw 9 semi trucks that had blown over into the ditches. It was scary stuff. Doug drove us through to safety!

Maria had planned a few stops along the way. We took a detour into Kansas City Missouri for Christopher Elbow Chocolates. Oh man, it was fabulous. We each spent $80 on high end wonderful chocolate. I binged. It wasn’t pretty. It is all gone now. I even gave Troy the last pieces.




We traveled on to Kansas and stopped at Cupini’s Italian Deli, a counter that served up Italian staples.  Guy from DDD, FoodNetwork had visited and gave it a rave review. It was very good.

Before hitting the hotel we swung by the race start. Oh my gosh, green grass, some budding going on in the trees, the smell of spring. It was 70 degrees!  WOW.  As we were checking out the area we saw Minnesota friends: Ed and Andrew Sandor and Dan LaPlant with his girlfriend, Jamie, who WON the women’s race and broke the record. Yeah, way to run!

We headed over to check into the room where race packet pickup was. The sweatshirt is great, all of the bling was awesome. We received  a trucker hat and cool medal for finishing.

Saturday morning at 500 it was already 45 degrees. Fabulous!! I had on a skirt and a short sleeved top, really!  I had just purchased a pair of Altra trail and a pair of Altra road shoes from Kurt at Twin Cities Running Company . I was going to try out the trail shoes right from the box. I placed a pair of my tried and true Inov-8s in a drop bag in case they didn’t work out. They did work out!  I wore them for the whole race without a problem.

I ate breakfast and was ready to roll. We drove to the start, arriving about an hour beforehand. Of course I hadn’t pooped in two days due to the change in my schedule. Ugh. I tried not to worry about it because we were going to be in the woods anyway so it wasn’t like I was running Twin Cities Marathon and wouldn’t be able to find a bathroom upon the way. I stuffed some toilet paper into my pocket.

I was so excited. This was all about fun, no fast time, no out of breath business, I was going to keep my heart rate low-140 per MAF training. I’d walk when the rate increased too much. I was just happy to be out in the woods for the day. I was glad we were going to be driving home after the race, I’d have a whole day at home and wouldn’t miss out on church. Yeah!

The race is a 10Mile, beginning at 9 AM and the 50K and 20 Mile beginning at 8 AM. I started with a light Patagonia Hoodini which I had just purchased. I watched someone steal my last one at Superior 100 right after I finished in 2014. Yup. Nice, hu? I was too tired to run this person down and ask for it back.

I began in the back of the pack, running with a hand held. I didn’t need a pack, there was an aid station every 4 miles and back to the start/finish to my drop bag every 10 miles. After 1 mile I tied my jacket around my waist. It was going to be a delightful day!

The creek crossings weren’t very deep-the cool water felt good on my feet. The hills were as steep as I remembered but the footing was SO good!  The trails weren’t muddy, they weren’t frozen, they were soft and fabulous. All I did was smile.

My heart rate hovered between 140-145 most of the time. Climbing hills brought it up to 160 but it quickly recovered back to the 140 area. I felt like I could run forever. I had no pain, I didn’t want the race to end, I was enjoying every step.









I came into the first loop and refilled my bottle, grabbed some foot potion for chaffing. My chubby thighs were causing some friction.  I was good to go!

The second loop was awesome. I ran with Doug for a while. He was running the 20 miler. I fell into a line behind him. We just enjoyed the sun. I didn’t feel the need for music, I was thinking about how grateful I was for being able to do this. I really believed I was done running last year at this time. I just couldn’t recover from my foot surgery. It was a long recovery. I was just so pleased to be right where I was. I gave thanks to God and had conversations with Him during the whole race.

Eventually I passed Doug and took a detour for a potty break. Thank goodness!! I finally went. I was so excited, as I done I yelled out to Doug “I finally went”!  My poop looked like a crocodile poop. Seriously massive. My gut was relieved!

I ran along, finishing up the second loop. I felt so great. The sun was warm, I was in good health and high spirits. I didn’t stop smiling.

The third loop was my best. I was able to pick up KTIS from Minneapolis and just sang to the songs, worshiping the whole way. It was amazing. I wasn’t ready to stop.  I came upon the Sandor’s. They had been ahead of me the whole time. I didn’t want to sneak up and pass them in the final miles. I yelled out “you better move!  You don’t want me to pass you now”. They looked back and Andrew asked how it was that I was able to catch them. He said I came out of nowhere. I was on fire, I felt like I was flying. They hoofed it, I didn’t have to pass them. I wanted to run more. I came into the finish at 750, feeling blessed.  Maria was there to take a finish photo and an awesome medal was put around my neck, a hat in my hand. It was awesome.

We visited for a few minutes at the finish and then headed for home. We stopped at Chipotle to refuel, at Target for Starbucks and at every other rest area on the way home. Doug is a great driver. He doesn’t mind stopping a zillion times along the way for us. We walked around, stretched, peed, drank and ate. We had so much fun. I LOVE road tripping with Doug and Maria.  Can’t wait to plan the next one!

We rolled into Apple Valley about 1230, I then headed for home and arrived at 130. I unpacked and slept hard.

What a great trip and race! Oh, and I entered Superior 100 today . Oh yeah. My favorite 100.





Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Securian Winter Carnival Half Maraton


I’ve always enjoyed the winter carnival half marathon. It is normally very cold but this year it was very balmy!!  Saturday morning I woke up to 32F!  Wow!  I decided I’d wear light leggings with a skirt, one long sleeved top and a pair of light gloves and light buff. No screws in my shoes! No ice! Yay!

Last year, due to foot surgery, I wasn’t able to run the race. I was very excited to sign up this year.

I arrived to the race an hour before start time. I always like to leave plenty of time to find parking and find the race start.  For road races the biggest stressor for me is to find a bathroom as soon as I park. I always have an hour drive or more. Luckily for me, there was a bathroom in the parking ramp. Yes!

With only a short walk to the pre race festivities, I had plenty of time to pick up my number, shirt and mug. I couldn’t believe all of the people that I knew at the race. With a race of over 1000 people it always shocks me that I can pick out friends whom I have no idea are in attendance.  As I was walking through the skywalk I ran into John,  then Amy and Shawn, then Jeff. Pretty soon it was Dan and Karen. Amazing!  Kate and Brian. Quick fun chats with everyone. 

With just a few minutes to go before the start, I mosied outside to find a spot among the runners. I decided I’d run between the 200 and 210 pace groups. I was in no rush, this was just a training run to get in some miles on my feet. I wanted to see how my feet would stand up to the asphalt. I’ve entered Grandmas Marathon in June and haven’t really run any asphalt yet since my surgery.  I figured a 915-930 pace would be just great.

The first few miles were new to the course. We  circled around downtown before we headed out onto Shepard Road to run along the river. There has been a lot of reconstruction of the road and the area surrounding it since I’ve last run this race. The road is heavily slanted and I kept moving around the road, trying to find the place where my feet were on stable ground.  At times this was in the middle of the road and at times it was on the shoulder. Very strange.  I could feel the slant of the road in my ankles and in my knees.

The sky was blue with bright sun and just a hint of breeze. It really was a beautiful morning. I could hear the jingle of dog tags following me so I turned to look, sure enough, a large poodle was prancing along with a woman. The dog was as happy as could be as I watched the women feed her a cliff bar. They stopped often as the women let her dog drink from her water bottle. So awesome to see.

I had 4 gels and filled my water bottle once during the race. 

I was running 915s most of the race, this was  a comfortable pace for me. I was surprised that my heart rate was quite high-my average HR during the run was 162. Too high, really. My highest HR was 182, as I climbed the final hill to the finish line.

The route is an out and back so I was able to high five and holler out to each of my friends, whom I mentioned earlier. I also saw Kate while we were running.  I did not see her at the start.

What a blast of a day!  I felt great, I finished in 201 and nothing hurt. Woot!!!  The pavement was OK on my foot so I am feeling good about Grandmas.

After I arrived home Troy and I went suit shopping for the first time. He has a Career Fair at the U of M, where he attends the College of Science and Engineering. I asked John at the race for a recommendation as to where we should shop. He suggested Men’s Wearhouse so that is where Troy and I went. We were blown away by the high level of customer service and the ease of  purchasing his  suit. We will certainly go back.

Next up is Psycho Wyco 50K on February 20. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to this one. Looking forward to it!!