Thursday, September 29, 2005

Blech on the Taper

Yes, Jenna, I should be tapering. I mean, I AM tapering. Not the conventional marathon taper; but a taper none the less.

I typically run 55 - 60 miles a week. Last week I ran 40ish and this week will be 20ish prior to Sunday.

I don't taper well.

It's bad enough not lifting any weights for legs; I did lift upper body. But then to have a few days off from hard/long running..it makes me feel all bloated and crabby. Of course, PMS is contributing to that feeling as well.

I really enjoyed my treadmill workout this morning. It felt good to breath hard and feel the muscles waking up. I've felt sluggish. This evening I ran a few easy slow miles in the cold and wind during Troy's football practice. It was real cold.

Marathon forcast is perfect for me. Sunny, 55F start and 75F finish. I like that.

A friend whom I very much respect and always heed the advice he gives, contacted me today. He told me a "3.50 = bullshit. You can run a 3:39-3:43 marathon".

Oh man. He believes in me more than I believe in myself. I'm going to begin to believe in myself..

Intervals

Last night I missed a run club night. I had an Orrock Township meeting I had to attend, so ran on the trail with Topaz earlier instead.

As I pulled into the Blue Hill Trail lot I spotted a man and woman smoking a joint and drinking a beer while sitting on their back van door. Good grief!

I ran only one loop for 5 miles, then arrived home to pick up Tyler from football, get the boys fed and off to my meeting.

This morning I ran intervals on my treadmill. I love my treadmill. I've had it for 9 years now, and don't know what I would do without it. I ran at 7 mph for 2 minutes, then 8.5 mph for 2 minutes for 30 minutes. Just as I was going to call it quits AC/DC showed up on my iPod and I had to run a bit more.

I love my iPod too. I recall running along on my treadmill, listening to 93X and getting so irritated with the commercials. It is so awesome to run to music. Only music.

PMS is driving me absolutely crazy. I feel like a beached whale. Running this morning made me feel MUCH better.

M1: Oat pancake: Used .5 cup of oats instead of 1 cup because of the beached whale feeling
M2: Banana, 1 scoop All The Whey Orange
M3: Cucumbers, 1 tuna pouch
M4: Large green salad, 6 oz salmon

Will run for 45 minutes during Troy's football practice tonight. Go away PMS go away. Endorphins are nice.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Twin Cities Marathon

Twin Cities Marathon is held this Sunday at 8:00. I have been speed training for the first time..ever..this past summer. Running Yasso 800's each week. I began by running 3 of them, then as the weeks passed I was able to run 12 of them @ 3:45 minute average. Supposedly that is going to get me across the finish line in 3:50 so that I qualify for the Boston Marathon.

The Boston Marathon is held in April. My luck it will be the Monday following The McNaughton 100 Mile Trail Race, which I also want to run. I haven't dared look up the dates..yet.

If I run a qualifying time, it will hold for two years, so I could always opt to run Boston the following year. That's a big IF.

Typically, while running marathons (I've now run 19 marathons...26 ultras..) I have to take 4 pee breaks and maybe one poop (yeah, sorry, but this is a natural occurrence..you know..) break. During an ultra, oh, don't get me started...

So I'm concerned about making the time with the potty breaks. I can NOT wait in line at a port a pottie. No way. At Grandmas, and at ultras, I can go in the woods..but in Minneapolis and St. Paul, that is not an option. We run residential/city lakes and rivers. There is not much for the wilderness. Also, the port a potties have lines of people waiting to use them. Lines! I have been known to squat in back of the port a pottie and just go there, you know, I can't wait in line.

What do you do? Really? I'm wondering...

A friend of mine suggested that I take an immodium tablet approximately 30 minutes prior to the race. I don't know, I haven't tried this in training and I don't really think I should try it during the race. We'll see.

I'm going to attend the Expo on Saturday to pick up my packet and check in with the Cliff Pace Team. My plan is to run along with them and their 350 pace team. I ran with Danny Ripka (Team Leader) during Grandmas Marathon. He was leading the 400 marathon group and he crossed the finish line in 357. I had to stop and poop and made it in 359:58. I will ride along with Ann and family to the start on Sunday morning. It is SO cool not to have hotel expenses for this race. I only live 54 miles away..that rocks.

I'm taking it a bit easy this week; maybe 20 miles prior to the marathon. Easy on the weights, no working legs. This doesn't go well with the aggressive exercise program I wanted to set up with Leanness Lifestyle. I'm down an extra 1.5 pounds than my goal setter so I have some room for maintenance this week. Next week I'll go fast and furious...and then of course there is the Ed Fitz 100K on October 15...

Today: 5 mile treadmill/5 mile trail

M1: Oat Pancake( 1 c raw oats, 1 egg, 5 whites, cinn, splenda, ICBINB spray, sf syrup)
M2: 5 oz Tuna, 2 T raisins, 1 apple
M3: McDonalds Ceaser Salad, ff dressing
M4: 6 oz Salmon, cucumber, tomato, ff dressing
M5: 1/2 c Cottage cheese, cinn, splenda, 1/2 apple

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Toffee; bird hunter Posted by Picasa

Up and Running

My parents arrived on Friday. My Dad, computer geek that he is, called Dell Support shortly after he found out my computer was not working, due to the storm on Wednesday. After 2.5 hours of conversation with the Tech's he was able to get the computer up and running.

Yesterday the printer stopped working. After 2 more hours of conversation with the Dell Tech's...it still isn't working!

On the running front, not much to report.

I and Topaz hit the trail for 10 miles yesterday, then watched Troy's football game where they won; did some shopping with Mom and sister.

Today, 15 miles on the trail with Topaz and will shortly be going over to the Sis's house for a Mom Birthday Dinner.

Oh..this morning..I was emptying the dishwasher when all of a sudden a BIRD flew past me. IN THE KITCHEN. I have an irrational fear of birds. I yelled to Steve, then ran out to the deck, off of the kitchen and peered into the French door to watch.

Toffee, our Ragdoll cat, hunter he is not, actually caught the bird, wounded it and ran upstairs with it; placing in UNDER MY PILLOW! I was still outside. Steve put on some gloves, grabbed a shovel and came back with the dead bird.

Ish.

This is a picture of Toffee. Our large Ragdoll.

That's all folks :)

M1: Oat Pancake
M2: Canned Chicken/carrots/mayo/apple salad
M3: 6 oz grilled turkey, large green salad, mashed potatoes and gravy.
C: 1496; Carb: 42%, Protein: 44%, Fat: 14%

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp Intensive III

Yesterday was the start of Bootcamp III. This is my third bootcamp with Leanness Lifestlyle. I first joined LL in January but didn't get very serious with losing fat. I just became familiar with the online tools.

On February 9th I began Bootcamp I and lost 5 pounds, continued to lose and then began Bootcamp II in April to lose another 8 pounds in the 5 week period. Then continued on until I had lost a total of 25 pounds on July 4. I've maintained since then, other than my Blizzard fix last Sunday, I've been doing very well. That blizzard caused many cravings, crabbiness and bad feelings. Totally was not worth the sugar. It gave me 5 pounds of bloat for 3 days and today it is finally gone.

During this Bootcamp I'm looking to lose another 5-8 pounds to reach my wow goal of 120 pounds. I just want to touch that number, even in for one day, then I'd like 'to live' at 123.

Last night Coach Dave held a conference with 35 of the Bootcamp members. It will be a fun group. The one person who loses the largest % of fat will win $250 worth of gasoline vouchers. #2 will win $100 and #3 will win $50. The first place person also gets their bootcamp free of charge.

If you've been trying to lose a few (or many) pounds, I have to tell you, LL really is a good program for health and wellness. It's not only about food in and exercise out, it's about dealing with the emotional eating as well. I'm still peeling away the layers of myself, learning about myself. Sometimes learning too much.

On another note...

Last night I ran with the run club. As I was getting ready to leave the house I could hear thunder in the background. It didn't look dark outside so I drove into town.

We began to run at 6:00 and at about 2 miles into the run the sky turned green, the wind kicked up and the sirens began to sing. Shit. What do you do? Continue running I guess. I and Ann were together, running through the wind and rain. At one point a branch (a little one) hit me in the head. The sirens blew off again. The sky looked bad. The lightening was constant. We're running along, both holding metal keys in our hands, sheesh.

Then the hail began. Oh joy.

As we approached mile 4.5 and were passing the Holiday Gas Station, the attendant came running out and was screaming something at us. We assumed they were saying "stupid runners". Not so. She was yelling "Tornado on the ground in Clearlake, baseball size hail coming, GET IN HERE" Man. She scared us. I and Ann went into Holiday, we told the crazy lady that Kevin was on the way.

Crazy lady began to tell gas customers "no gas, pumps are off, station is closed". We hid in a dark little room in the back, waiting out the storm.

10-15 minutes later John came into the station. "Are there any runners in here?" Out we came. The worse had passed, he gave us a ride back to our cars. Mine has some pretty bad hail damage. What a bummer. Everyone was safe though.

My computer went down at home during the storm. I hope the hard drive didn't fry. I'll have to call Dell when I have 100 hours to spare. In the meantime, I'm posting from work.

M1: Oat Pancake
M2: Strawberries, All The Whey ( 1 scoop)
M3: Tuna Creations pouch, cucumber, tomato and green pepper salad, nf dressing
M4: Kashi Go Lean, Soy Milk
M5: Banana, Cottage Cheese

Run: 6 miles on trail with Topaz

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dancing in the Moonlight

Oh my gosh, my alarm rang this morning..well, actually it was 93X ringing in my ears..and it was light outside! Yes! Light outside at 4 AM; it was the moonlight. It was incredible!!

I was NOT going to go down into the basement and log 4 miles on the dreadmill..

"Topaz go for a run?" I whispered before I left my bed covers. He was whimpering with excitemnent..so was I!

It was an awesome run. I ran for 60 minutes, without a light; I didn't need one. There were no lose dogs to chase me, no traffic, it was the best!

Tomorrow I have run club so I'll probably sleep in until 5..

M1: Oat pancake
M2: 4 oz salmon, brocolli, cauliflour
M3: apple+1/4 c cottage cheese
M4: 4 oz grilled sirloin, large green salad
M5: Banana, peanut butter

I'm so glad to read your posts stating that it's not ALL the bike. I guess I should have figured that the engine needs to be strong too. It's not like anyone can just go out and do a tri without training, or an Ironman. I was just so suprised at Susan's statements about her bike and the cost. Wow. Thanks for the input :)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ahhhchhhoooo!!!!

I have caught the cold that the boys have had for the past week. They have been complaining of head ache, tiredness and generally feeling like crap. They have been going to school, going to football practices and then crashing at home shortly after we arrive.

Now it is my turn.

I decided I'd at least lift today. After bringing Troy to football practice I went to the gym. My workout felt good, made me feel human again, but wasn't as strong as usual. That's OK. I least I did what I could.

Chest/Biceps/Triceps

Chest:
DB Chest Press; 40 x 6 x 4
BB Chest Press; 110 x 5 x 3; 80 x 10 x 1
Pec Deck; 80 x 6 x 4
Lever Chest Press: 80 x 6 x 4

Bicep:
"21's" BB; 50 x 6 x 2; 40 x 8 x 2
DB curl 30 x 8 x 4
Straight bar on cable pull; 80 x 6 x 2, 60 x 8 x2

Tricep:
Rope on lever pull; 80 x 10 x 4
Skull Crushers: 25 x 8 x 4
Tricep push down on cable: 85 x 10 x 2, 60 x 12 x 2

Then I felt better..fried..but better.

Met Steve at the field and finished watching Troy practice. Oh my gosh. The mosquitoes are back in full force. They were horrible. Steve left, he couldn't take it in his short sleeved shirt.

Tomorrow I have too much to do so will have to opt for a 4 AM treadmill run. Pits.

Tyler has football from 230-430, guitar lesson from 445-545 and Troy has a football game at 6. No time for a run with Topaz. I just don't want to go out and run in the dark at 4 AM. But, who knows, maybe he'll look at me with his sad little blue eyes and I'll take him down the dark streets. I don't think so though!

Last night I had an ice cream splurge. A huge Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard something or other. It was awesome. Hadn't had a sugar splurge in 8 weeks. Guess what? The scale was up 5 pounds today. Nice carb bloat. Unreal, hu? Today eating was right on:
M1: Oat pancake ( 1 c oats, 1 egg, 5 whites), sf syrup
M2: Tuna pouch, tomatoes, cukes
M3: Cream of Wheat, peanut butter, Myopro scoop (still craving carbs from yesterday's splurge)
M4: Apple
M5: All The Whey Protein w/ banana

Calories: 1241 Carb: 42%, Protein: 46%, Fat 12%

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sunday Ramblings

I'm tired. I need to take a nap this afternoon. I'll put that on my to do list for today.

I didn't sleep at all last Saturday night after the race. After a long, hard effort my body can't turn off. It stays awake all night long. Actually, I last looked at the clock at 5 AM and woke up at 630 AM so I guess I did sleep..a bit.

This past week was a whirlwind of working, football and meetings. I couldn't catch up. This morning I thought I'd catch up, but, alas, Topaz was in my face at 5 AM and Steve was in my face at 6 AM. Ugh. Yeah, the hubby is as bad as the dog.

Anyway, I and Topaz hit the trail for 10 slow easy miles. I probably walked 1-2 of them and that is ok.

It's another beautiful MN day. 75 and sunny.

This morning as I was getting ready to go I told Steve to leave the housework. He was beginning to get the broom and dustpan. This is what he said "well, it will be my exercise for today". How sad is that? Housework should not be exercise. My jaw dropped, he was serious. I came home from my self-indulgent run and my carpets were vacuumed, my tile swept and the wood swept and mopped. He was waiting for Tyler to wake before cleaning the upstairs.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate this but it does make me feel a bit guilty. He doesn't mean for it to make me feel that way. He's being kind.

But exercise it is not...he's out mowing the lawn now. That's exercise. During the summer, when I'm off work, that's my job. I'm glad to give it up this month! We have a lot to mow. I think over an acre of our lot is lawn. That push mower takes a beating.

More ramblings..

I went for a bike ride with Susan, a triathlete. She won this awesome Cannondale tri bike at a triathlon she participated in this past summer. It was a $2000 gift card, she added another $2000 to it. It's a pretty spectacular bike, (stating the obvious). So we are riding along, I'm following her, there is NO way..NO WAY that I can catch her.

After our ride I'm explaining to her that I could not catch her no way no how. She very matter of factly states that it's all the bike. If she wants to compete in her age group, she needs a multi million dollar bike. I have a Fuji something or other road racing bike that's good enough for me..but she explained that all the age group winners have these $4000+ bikes. I think that's sad. Just a sad fact I guess.

I'm looking forward to trying my first triathlon in June. It's an Olympic distance and the water will probably be freezing. God, I'm such a tri-newbie, aren't I! Those are the only two facts I can come up with. Oh, and I won't have a million dollar bike.

Wil, Flatman, Chris and Jessie; does the bike really have that much to do with placing in the tri?

With ultra running you don't need expensive gadgets to be competitive. . A pair of shoes, some gaitors (which I don't even have but will get..some year...), a water pack and boom..your ready.

And maybe I'm wrong, maybe Susan is incorrect, maybe you don't need a the big $$ to be competitive. I certainly don't know. I hope not. I haven't even participated yet. I've only read and read and read. And listened.

More rambling...

You can't fake ultra running. I have found out this past year, if someone says they are getting in 50-60 or 70 miles a week, you will know it. It will show on the trail and at the race. There is no way to fake the training.

I've been running an average of 62 miles per week this year. Late winter/early spring I was hitting 80 in preparation for McNaugton. Now I've backed off to 50-55.

I've definately showed an improvement in my race times because of the weight I've lost and the miles I've been able to put in. Because I'm running faster, I can put in more miles in the same amount of training time. It's been pretty sweet.

After Twin Cities Marathon in two weeks and Ed Fitz 100K, two weeks later, I'll be trying out the big mileage again. I'm going to try and run 70 miles a week, and hold that, consistantly, until I get close to Western States 100 Mile. Then I'll crank her up to 80 + again.

I need to apply for Western prior to November. The lottery is December. I guess I better and the entry to my to do list.

Oh and check this out. Steve P. ran Wasatch last weekend. Here are some awesome cool pictures. They scare me. I'll be there summer after next.

http://community.webshots.com/album/452826143hekqmq

Another ramble..Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp Intensive III begins next Wednesday. I'll be focusing on losing another 5-8 pounds. You'll probably get tired of my obsessive talk over macro nutrients.

Have a great Sunday.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Rushed

I'm looking forward to the weekend.

This week was full of meetings and football practices.

Tonight Troy has a football presentation during half time at the High School game, Tyler has a game and Troy has a game tomorrow morning. Lots of football.

Last night I had a Planning and Zoning meeting. I rushed I and Troy home from work/school, ran 5 miles, ate dinner, picked up Tyler from football practice, brought him home to eat, brought Troy to his football practice where Steve would meet up with him later and rushed off to my P & Z meeting.

I have no meetings this weekend and no football games/practices after 10 AM tomorrow. Whew. I can become self-indulgent again and spend time running/bicycling/lifting weights. I'm planning on a couple of ten milers, easy on trail with Topaz.

Today was a 5 mile run with pup on the trail. It's a truly beautiful day outside today. 77 and sunny.

Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp Intensive III begins next Wednesday. Woohoo:)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wednesday Run Club

I wasn't sure if I was even going to be able to run tonight, what with the little race I participated in on Saturday...

I decided I'd give it a try; I could always walk if I had to.

Riding along side me on the way was my award to show to my friends. I had emailed them my 'race report' and they all knew how the race had gone for me.

As I removed myself from the car everyone was in a great big circle, smiling huge smiles at me, offering congratulations, hand shakes, kisses and looks of dismay. Isn't it grand? These guys with whom I have been running with for the past 6 years, these guys who thought this chick was plain old crazy for ever even THINKING of doing an ultra, these guys who have been there every Wednesday night. They were awesome. They endulged me, allowed me to tell them all about it and warned me to take it easy tonight.

I took it easy. I ran the full five miles; maybe more of a 'slog' than a jog. It took me 50 minutes. Not bad. I'm just thankful for being able to run at all.

They were all finished and standing near the school as I came running (slogging) into the lot. They made a human bridge-two rows of men on each side, arms in the air, cheering and whistling as I came through. It was awesome. I was SO touched.

They allowed me to get my plaque, show it off and talk even more about the race.

What a great group of guys. Thanks Guys.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Many Thanks

My gosh, I can't believe all of the emails, telephone calls and comments I have received from you stating your congratulations. Thank you ever so much. I had no idea. I really didn't realize that I could inspire anyone and I feel honored and humbled to have been able to do so.

That's not just a load of crap either. I mean it.

I know what it's like to look at someone else and think "wow, could I do that?" "how can she/he do that". I didn't realize some people were having those thoughts about me, when I'm always thinking, and looking up to others. I thank you.

I'm recovering nicely. Yesterday I and Topaz went for a 5 mile walk at Blue Hill Trail. It was slow and exhausting, but felt good to walk out all of the aches and pains. My feet are still too swollen for running shoes so I was in my Merrell sandals without socks.

Today I was able to walk/run a bit for 5 miles on the trail while Troy rode his bike. I and Troy then rode together for another 5 miles. He was as exhausted as I when we were finished! His football game was cancelled..the field was too wet to play on so the bike ride did him good.

I'll run/walk at run club tomorrow night, taking it easy.

My appetite is coming back:
M1: 1 egg, 6 whites, 1 c oats, splenda, sf syrup
M2: Tuna pouch, garden tomatoes, cukes
M3: 6 oz salmon, large green salad, lf blue cheese dressing
M4: 1 banana, 2 T natural peanut butter

Again, thanks so very much.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

No Longer Anonymous

I found out this weekend at the race that some of the runners know of this blog. I was pretty stunned.

At Voyaguer, Pierre told me that he was googling a search for Voyaguer and my blog came up because I had referred to the race. I asked him not to say anything and gave him the shhhh sign with my finger across my lips. I felt very 'exposed'.

Isn't that an odd way to feel? Here I am, posting things on the 'net, to whoever wants to read my entries. But when a person I knew, personally, found this, I was embarassed .. or caught of guard .. or something.

My friend Marie told me a few weeks ago that she found this blog. I realized then that many others probably had too.

Here I am, posting pictures of me in my swimming suit; start weight, mid point, at goal. Rather embarassing, you know?

Yesterday a gal, MC, I'll call her, told me she found this blog and enjoyed the eating/Leanness Lifestyle part of it as well as the blogging. I about died. Then I heard a few others mention it. Eek. I have worked through the weird feelings, it's all A - OK.

I first began this blog when I turned 40. I didn't like being 40. I was tired of being heavier, I wanted to get lean. I then decided to post my goals and hold myself accoutable to them, hence, the blog. It began as a weight loss tool but has become a mish mash of running, family, friends and yes, my struggle with fat/food. Leanness Lifestyle has given me a handle on the food issues, allowed me to lose fat and to run faster.

I'm very excited to be a part of the Bootcamp Intensive III which begins September 21. I'm going to focus on losing 5-8 more pounds. I've been able to maintain since July 4 and it's been going very well. I'm ready to lose the final pounds. Then I'll have a bit of 'cushion' when I do have a splurge every now and then.

Here's a nice warm welcome to all of my running friends :)

Jeffrey and Chris at their finish!! Chris' first 50 Miler :) Posted by Picasa

My award. First Master Woman2nd Woman Overall/11th Finisher. Posted by Picasa

I DID IT. I'M DONE AND IT'S NOT DARK:) Posted by Picasa

Heaven on earth. Posted by Picasa

Temperance. A great river crossing during the race. Posted by Picasa

There are mountains to run in MN. We ran this, out and back! Posted by Picasa

Me, Jeffrey, Chris(First 50) and Ann(Marathon a bit later) Posted by Picasa

Thinking about tomorrow's race Posted by Picasa

Wow. Just. Wow.

Did you hear me? Did you hear me yell out YIPPEE as I crossed the finish line? Did you hear me scream NO WAY when I found out my results..where I placed in the Superior Trail 50 Mile Run.

I bet you did. I was loud .. and proud.

I headed Up North to Lutsen, MN around 830 Friday morning, just after the boys boarded the school bus.

Extremely excited to run, no pre run jitters, just excitement because I was going to spend the weekend with my favorite friends and spend a good 13 + hours on a beautiful trail. Gods Country. Truly.

I arrived in Lutsen earlier than my roomates so I checked in, unpacked and did some hiking out to the start line, onto the trail and up into the woods a few miles. I was thinking about the next morning, thinking about the race, wondering what would happen out here on the trail.

Would I be able to eat and drink without feeling sick, would I have blisters and would I again be stuck in the dark?

Friends arrived, we went to the packet pickup at the host hotel, where we were staying, mingled with everyone and settled down to the hotel's pasta special. Spaghetti, sauce, garlic bread and salad. Well, the spaghetti sauce was without meat, apparently the previous year 'too many people asked for meatless'. Unreal. So no meat for anyone. And the spaghetti, it was fat and water logged. I called it flobberworms (I'm reading Harry Potter). It sat in my stomach and grew even more.

I had a bad dream about the spaghetti that night. I dreamed that I had a spaghetti tail growing from my bottom. Oh man, a spaghetti nightmare. Should I cut it or let it grow? Please wake up. I did. No more flobberworms for me.

Race day morning was fun. I and Jeffrey were late checking in. We moved up to the front of the start. Runners were all around us, Race Directors Larry and Colleen were standing in the front, clipboards in hand. I and Jeffrey walked up to them and as they were checking us in I felt like it was an 'Amazing Race' moment. Of course I said what I was thinking out loud, as I usually do, and everyone laughed. It was a funny moment. I love 'Amazing Race'.

It was warm and dark. We began at 6 AM. I had a flashlight to carry and then drop off in my drop bag at Oberg Aid Station. I figured I could then pick it up on the way in if I was going to be running in the dark. I hoped I wouldn't need it.

Larry told us to head out, so out we went. At Voyaguer I and Jeffrey started out in the front pack, and that turned out to be a good thing. I figured I'd try it again. There were about 15 people in front of me as I ran the first section. I ran like hell. It was hot. I removed my long sleeved shirt before I hit mile 1. That was a sign of things to come.

It took about 1:40 to get to Oberg; 7 miles. I was happy with that. I dropped off my flashlight, said HI to Scott and Alicia who were working the aid station, had my bottles filled and was out of there.

I felt awesome, but it was early. The next section was 5 miles. Lots of climbing, lots of rocks and roots. This trail is so rough. SO rough. It's like nothing else I've ever run upon.

The fall colors were spectacular. I stopped along the way and took many pictures, I then told myself to cut it out and get running. No more picture taking. I will post the pics soon. There was beautiful scenery.

It took me 1:30 to cover the next 5 miles. Into the aid station, get both bottles filled (48 oz in 1:30!), grab a PB&J and out of there.

Onto the next 5 mile section. More climbing, climbing, climbing up the hills. But I felt good, felt strong. I told myself it was early, the bad patch would arrive soon.

It didn't.

The pack I had started out running with was dispersed and I was running most of the race alone. I was happy that the marathon was going one from our turn-around back to our start, so I could see some folks.

My friend Ann looked awesome in the marathon, she was in a bunch of 4-5 when I saw her, we said hello and good bye. Ann ended up finishing in 6:04, taking 2nd Master Woman. Go Ann. You rock!

This section is 8 miles long and goes on forever and a day. I drained both bottles of drink; one water, one Hammer Heed, had to dig into a Myloplex bar and finally arrived at the aid station. Filled up the bottles, grabbed a sandwich and was on my way.

5:45. 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Wow. A Miracle!!

I was feeling so good, I was hot, but not baking. It was 81F and very very humid. Some people were frying. I was eating, drinking, doing Ecaps every hour, no pain other than blister pain, but that's a given for me. I was feeling really strong.

I noticed the first woman on the way to the turn around, Deb Bennet, she rocks. She finished in 10:30. Yeah, 10:30. I spoke with her after the race for a long time, trying to glean some knowledge from her! An awesome strong woman, 46 years old.

Going back toward the start was awesome. I love out and backs. I was able to see all of the runners, get a few high fives, a few shocked glances, lots of encouragement. These ultra runners are just the best.

I just kept moving forward. No pain, no cramps, no bad patch. It was a miracle. Ouch, I did get stung by a bee a few times. It didn't bother for too long though.

I was trying to figure out the math in my head, trying to figure out the miles and the time I may finish. Then I thought I was becomming too cocky and just better run. My luck I'd fall down and break an ankle as I'm dreaming of a 13 hour finish. Just run, woman, run.

All alone to my thoughts, not a person to be found after the 50 Milers reached the turn around was real lonely. I yelled out "TOPIE WOPIE" for Topaz. I actually thanked him out loud for being my faithful training partner this past year. For helping me to go out and snow shoe for 20 mile snow shoe runs during the winter when I was cold and lazy and didn't feel like it. For always being at my side with a wag of a tail and a wet kiss for me. He's the best.

When I reached Oberg at 430 I was pretty amazed. I think Scott was shocked. I asked him if I needed my lights and he laughed at me "No, Jul, you don't need your lights. You'll finish this thing in the day light" He gave me a big hug and a bunch of encouragement and I was going to run in the last 7 miles. I was going to run my ass off.

I started crying as I was running that last section. Crying because I was doing something I never thought I could. Finish WITHIN the time limit? I hadn't done that here before. I was always the slow, fat chick. Barely finishing before the cut off's or even after. 17:50 last year and 15:30 the year before.

I might finish in 12:45. But I might crash and burn. I might get sick or fall or who knows what.

I was running along and saw Kim Holak running towards me on the trail. She has won this race in the past. She wasn't running because she is doing Bear 100 in three weeks. Her husband, Andy, won the race (tied with his friend) in 8:xx. Anyway, I asked Kim how much farther. "1.5 miles Julie, and it is all downhill"

Crying again, I ran as fast as I could. It probably wasn't that fast but boy it felt like I was flying. It was all downhill, over the rocks, the roots, over the final river. I told myself DON'T LEAVE ANYTHING INSIDE. LEAVE IT ON THE TRAIL. LEAVE IT ALL ON THE TRAIL. All the blood sweat and tears. Leave it here. Run hard. Run hard.

Man I ran hard. I was bawling. I was embarassed. Nobody saw me though. I came out to the road, up the hill, saw the Caribou Highlands. Saw the pool. Oh my god. I'm here.

Ann yelled. They all began clapping. I crossed the finish line in 12:20. Second Woman. First Master Woman. 11th Overall.

11th Overall. That's what really gets to me, inside. 11th Overall. It's shocking. It makes me cry..happy tears :)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Over and Out

I feel like a puffer fish. In preparation for the Superior Trail 50 Mile Race on Saturday I have been eating a few more carbs than usual. I usually eat approximately 130 grams of carb/150 grams of protein and 30 grams of fat each day.

Today I have consumed 250 grams of carb; tomorrow will be about the same and during the race I will eat as many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during the race that I can. I have learned that I need to eat as much as I can as early as I can. I have found that 1/4 of a pb&j, a 1/2 banana and 20 oz of water/hammer heed every aid station does wonders. There is one section of the race that has 8 miles in between aid stations. I do carry 2 24oz bottles in my waist pack and always drain both during that stretch. I carry Myloplex bars and Clif Shot if needed.

After 8 hours my appetite is way off and I can barely stomach anything. That's why I eat early and often.

I also take one Succeed cap (salt/electrolyte/potassium) each hour.

I have two drop bags planned. I usually don't use drop bags but I'll begin the race in the dark so I'll have to carry a hand held flashlight. I'll drop that off at an early aid station in one of my bags. I'll then have my head lamp in a later aid station in a drop bag in case it gets dark..oh I so hope it doesn't..on the way to the finish. Last year I became lost and finished in 17 hours. It was such a bitch. It was so damn hard. I didn't have any lights and had to sit around for an HOUR waiting for some other runners to help me out. Thankfully, Bob and Chris were very experienced ultra runners, had a spare light for me, and we all finished together. I was just damn lucky they were still out there running.

Two years ago I finished in 14 hours. I'm hoping to finish this year in 13. We'll see.

Tomorrow morning after the boys board the school bus I'll be on my way to the beautiful Lutsen, MN to hit the Superior Hiking Trail. I can't wait!

Over and Out..

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Taper...Blech

I had a great long weekend up at Lake Vermilion. I'll have to post a few pictures. The weather was incredible, the runs were wonderful, the swimming fun, etc. Just a great weekend.

I ran 8 on Saturday, 10 on Sunday and 10 on Monday. The air was cool and crisp, the lake was glorious. Topaz loved swimming inbetween the miles.

Now I'm in the funk of tapering. I hate this. I know that I need to rest a bit before Superior 50 Mile Trail Run (www.superiortrailrace.com) but it really is difficult to do.

I wasn't going to do speed work yesterday, but I did. I didn't do the full blown 12 800's but did complete 10 @ 3:45 with a 400 recovery lap in between.

Tonight is run club so I'll get in 5 miles and I probably won't run until the race on Saturday. I'll take Topaz for a few walks in the woods and try to hold back.

I am riding my bike each evening for an hour, watching Tyler and Troy play football, doing some resistance training. I rather be running hard.

What would I do if I ever came up with an injury? I shudder at the thought.

I will apply for Western States 100 Mile Run in November but won't find out if I've been accepted in the lottery until December. Upon finding out, I'll then set my training plan into action.

Friday, September 02, 2005

TGIF.. again.

I can't believe the students have only been back in class for two days. Today it seemed like they had been back the whole week. Today was crazy busy. Registering new students, ordering texts for larger than earlier known classes, attendance, etc. I was glad when 3:00 came along and I could leave for the day.

Troy and Tyler both had great first days at school, although they are both happy to go to the lake tomorrow AM for a long weekend.

During Troy's football practice last night I managed to squeeze in an 8 mile run around the lake and still catch the second half of his practice. Not bad.

Tonight I and Topaz finally hit the trail for 6 miles. We hadn't been out there for a few days. Poor Topaz. He is going to be all alone now during the days. He'll get a much deserved rest and maybe even put on a few ounces of fat :)

I'm all packed up for the lake. We'll leave in the AM. I have all my running stuff packed, all my lean proteins, veggies, fruits and oats, my P90X resistance bands, ready to roll.

Have an awesome l o n g weekend and get in some good workouts!