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Monday, May 29, 2006


Topaz likes his new pool Posted by Picasa

Crazy teenagers Posted by Picasa

Pool Season!

The heat wave continues in all of her sultry splendor. Another record breaker; 95F and sunny. Yeah.

Today I hit the trail solo. I came upon a family of Sand Hill Cranes. They are such an odd bird. They look almost prehistoric; with a huge body and a long gangly neck. As they walk they strut and the head bobs back and forth. The head of Mom and Dad were up past my waist. The little babies were not even knee high. There were 8 of them and they surely didn't like me coming across 'their' field. They were making a huge ruckus. I ran quickly past so that I wouldn't frighten them more than necessary. I didn't have my camera today. Bummer. I left it attached to my double water pack.

Today I used the single bottle carrier that I will probably use at FANS. I also wore the clothing that I will probably wear. Yesterday, at Afton, I was having shorts issues. Yeah, my shorts were climbing up my butt and it was NOT a good thing. I had to pull them down constantly. The person in back of me assured me it was OK that my jiggly butt was hanging out but I knew better. He was probably gagging. Today's clothing was much more comfortable. I'm going to try out a handheld tomorrow. I should have tried one yesterday but didn't think of it until I saw John running with his.

I ran 10 miles today. The bugs were horrendous. Mosquitoes and deer flies; they have definitely hatched and are out rampant. After 5 miles I stopped at my car to re-spray.

I bought Topaz a little present yesterday. A new swimming pool. His old one was full of holes that I kept plugging up with ear plugs and there was gross green algae growing thicker than a person should allow. He hopped out of the truck after his ride from Lake Vermilion and popped into his pool.

I cleaned out the people pool as well. As soon as I did Tyler called 5 14 year old boys over. Oh man. Those boys are really getting big. Seems like yesterday they were coming over when they were 6. Time flies. They ate me out of house and home. 30 hot dogs on the grill, 4 bags of chips and a case of pop before the mothers' came to pick them up.

After they left I and Troy went for a swim.

It's pool season!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Heat Wave

Finally! Summer is here, her sultry self. It is 95 today; it isn't very humid and there is a strong stiff wind. It's beautiful. I love 90's. Mid winter I wonder to myself why in the hell do I live in MN; but then I remember. There are only a few days out of the winter that are tortuous. Hopefully they don't all in the first week of February next year...when I'll be running Arrowhead 135 Mile Ultramarathon.

Steve and Troy went up to the lake for the weekend; I wanted a weekend at home. I've been gone the past two, will be gone next weekend so just stayed put. Once I told Tyler I was staying home, well, he decided to stay home as well.

I sent Topaz up to the cabin too. He loves it up there. He can swim and run all day long. I ran by myself at the trail yesterday and found it was quite sad. I didn't realize how much I enjoy running with Topaz. Yeah, I love running with that dog.

Today I headed out to Afton State Park to hook up with Alicia and John. It was wonderful! There were no bugs, a nice breeze and fun all around. After running for 2 hours we visited while eating watermelon and other good things. I and Alicia left for home and I believe the others were going to take a dip into the St. Croix River. A great way to spend the day!

I may like the heat, but I hope it isn't this warm during FANS.

Matt and Phil, on the blisters..I used the 'foot potion' during the Superior 50K last Saturday and didn't have one blister AT ALL. I usually have half a dozen. I have tried taping, injinji socks, blister shield, 101 others things and usually always get blisters after 4 hours.

I'll have some potion packed up for FANS. I don't think a person can run a 24 hour on pavement without a blister. We'll see.

The foot potion:

4 oz vaseline
4 oz vitamin A
4 oz vitamin E
4 oz aloe vera gel
4 oz desitin
4 oz A&D ointment

mix up and smooth on. Beth Simpson swears by it. It makes for goopy feet, but, oh well...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Recovery/Taper ??

I feel very good and strong; recovering well, or am I tapering? Both, of course. Recovering from a strong effort on the Superior Hiking Trail 50K and tapering for FANS 24 Hour Run. Ooohh..that FANS thing still gives me a fright.

On the way home Sunday I ran a 10 mile section of the SHT from Manitou to past Caribou River. It was real beautiful but damn, it was tough! It felt good to stretch out my legs and all, but it still hurt. It was a tough stretch of trail. I need to figure out where I'll be at night during the 100 so I can check out that section of trail. I still haven't quite put together those thoughts.

Monday I and Topaz ran 5 miles on the Blue Hill Trail, just nice and easy. Yesterday was the same thing, plus I lifted 50 minutes at the gym; back and shoulders.

Lat Pull Downs: 90x8x3
Row: 95x7x4
Bent Over Row-DB: 35x10x3
Pull ups: Unassisted 6 then died on 7

DB Shoulder Press: 30x8x3
Lever Shoulder Press: 45x6x3
Smith Machine Shoulder Press: 105x6x5
Superset Front-Side-Etc.DB 25x4x3;20x4x3;15x4x3

Tonight was Run Club. I and Curt - who ran his first Superior run on Saturday - ran it in 40:xx. We kept speeding up and had to tell one another to SLOW DOWN. We are not racing, we are recovering, we can't talk, SLOW DOWN! I thought it would be a 43-45 minute night. 40 was awesome :)

I'll run 5's Thursday and Friday, lift biceps/tricep/chest then probably a 5 and 10 this weekend.

Then it's FANS time!

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Moose Mountain Posted by Picasa

Moose Mountain Posted by Picasa

Views of the 50K Posted by Picasa

4th Place Woman (It's a miracle) Posted by Picasa

Post Race: Alicia and Scott Posted by Picasa

Post Race: Kate, Amie, Julie, Jo Ann, Kris Posted by Picasa

Post Race: Amie, Julie, Jo Ann Posted by Picasa

PreRace: Julie, Jo Anne, Alicia, Maria Posted by Picasa

I LOVE the Superior Hiking Trail

Do you have a place where you LOVE to run? Where it is so difficult, where you have to dig deep, where the trail is so technical that you can't take your eyes off it for a split second or boom..on the ground you go? It is so beautiful: the vegetation, the rocks-sheer granite-the climbing, the river crossings, the waterfalls, the mountains, up up up, the roots, the quad crushing downhills, the smell of oak and pine and wildflowers. That is the Superior Hiking Trail. If you haven't run it, you must. It is THAT wonderful. It is THAT difficult.

When I first began running ultras I refused to run the Superior Hiking Trail. My newbie ultra running friend, Bonnie, was going to run her 3rd 50 at Superior. I was too afraid. I had heard stories of the moose, the bear (yeah, its true), getting lost in the dark (been there..done that), the bone crushing up hills and down hill, I wanted no part of it. I chose to run the City of Lakes 25K instead. She came back and RAVED about the SHT. I decided to run it the following year and now go back for the Spring and Fall races. It's THAT awesome.

I've run 3 50 mile (14 hours, 17.5 hours and 12:20) and 2 50K's up there now. The big 100 I'll be running in September. I love it.

I have always stayed at Caribou Highlands; the races start and finish there..it's perfect. Nice pools, hot tubs, rooms with multiple bathrooms, bedrooms, fireplace, bunk beds, etc. Great view of Moose Mountain. I, Troy, Ryan (Troy's friend) and my Mom and Dad stayed there this weekend. We had a blast.

I and the boys left Friday about 9 and met Mom and Dad in Duluth, we made it to the Temperance River and I ran out about 4 miles while they hiked, then ran back. We arrived Caribou Highlands, swam, hot tubbed and relaxed. Went to the packet pickup and had dinner. Race Directors Rick and Linda asked if I would say something about Ann's passing. They wanted me to speak to the group of runners for the pre race meeting after the dinner. I agreed; then realized I had 20 minutes to think of something to say. I decided to talk about how I enjoyed the SHT and talked Ann into running this same 50K with me last year. I spoke about how much fun she had, how we enjoyed the race so much that she came back for the marathon in the fall as I did the 50 mile. How Ann ran a PR at TCM in October and was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma in November. How Scott honored her at his Fat Ass Afton run and I had the Ann Maser 8K in January. How she passed on in February and how she would be with us on the trail come race day. It was tough..but I think I did OK.

Saturday morning was beautiful! The 50K began at 7 AM; the 25K at 9 AM. I didn't have to wake early or anything. What a bonus. After having coffee and a sandwich I kissed my family goodbye and headed out to the start.

Last year I ran a 7:09 here. I'm stronger and more fit this year. I figured I could run a 630 for sure; maybe a 615 if I pushed it. But did I want to push it with FANS in only 2 weeks?

Rick said go and we went. I started out with a front pack of 10 or so men and 3 other women. I caught one of the women fairly early and was trying to gain on the others.

The trail was beautiful. The sun was shining, the rivers full and moving swiftly, the wild flowers were out, it was perfect. Just perfect. There was a bit of mud in spots, enough to make it feel like your shoes could be sucked off, but in most spots it was dry.

Moose Mountain is tough. Up up up up up you go, but its early in the race, so not so bad. On the way back Moose Mountain is a bitch. She's mean and will suck the air right out of your lungs and make your quads quiver.

I could feel Ann running with me. A few times I broke down and began to sob. I had a few conversations with her; I talked about this race last year that we ran together and how much fun we had at TCM last October and about her treatments. Then when I was sobbing so hard that I couldn't see my feet while I was running over rocks and roots so told me to stop crying, wipe my eyes and run for both of us.

I did.

I ran my heart out.

At the turn around I was at 2:57. I couldn't believe I had traveled 25K that quickly. I decided to run hard the way back too. I told myself 'who knows, you could have the flu during FANS, why hold back?' Duh.

I tried to catch the gals in front of me. I saw them before I reached the turn around and figured I could catch one. I could not!

At the last aid station-Oberg-I spotted my family. It was awesome to see them at the aid station. They have never come out to an aid station before. I was so happy! My iPod had died during the downpour (oh yeah..the sun left..the clouds came and a downpour followed) so I was able to get that off my arm and give it to me Dad, got a big kiss from Troy and Mom and fled for home.

I passed 7 men during those 7.2 miles. Some young men too. That's a great feeling, for a 41 year old woman to pass those young guys! It made me run faster..I couldn't have them catch me!

Moose Mountain was her bitchy self. She's tough on the way back. There were 2 young guys in front of me, climbing up and complaining about their legs and saying " I bet the RD is laughing about this climb..right here with 5 miles to go." I chimed in "well, at least it is 25 miles in and not 95. Just think if you were running the 100...you'd hit this at 95" They both grunted and said never. Ha! I passed them on the hill and watched them finish.

I ran as hard as I could that last section. It wasn't enough to catch the girls, but it was enough to take 1:06 of my fastest time out there! I finished in 6:03...good enough for 4th Woman! I ran across the finish line; Mom, Dad, Troy and Ryan were cheering. Scott put a medal around my neck and gave me a huge hug. It was wonderful.

Nothing hurt, I was able to eat and drink..everything went well.

I know that Ann was running with me.

It was so much fun to watch the finishers come in..some beat and bruised..but all so happy to have spent the day on the trail. It was a perfect day for running. But what day isn't?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Taking it Easy

After a high mileage week of 86 miles last week, Superior 50K this Saturday and FANS in a few weeks...I'm taking it a bit easy this week.

No 800's, no run club fasties..just me and Topaz loping our way around the trail. It's been awesome.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were 5 miles a piece, I'll run another 5 tomorrow night and run a 10 mile section of the SHT as we travel up to Lutsen on Friday. Saturday is the 50K and Sunday I'll run another 10 mile section of the SHT as we travel home from Lutsen. Sections to familiarize myself with the 100 mile run in September.

One year ago I and Ann ran this 50K together. We started out in the back of the pack and I finished in 7:09, just taking it easy. It was Ann's first run on the SHT.

This year I think I can finish in 6:30 without pushing it. If I push it, I could probably get 6 hours. I don't know if I should push with FANS right around the corner. I guess I haven't decided on a goal. It'll just be a fun run on a beautiful trail.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

FANS Training: All wrapped up

Last night as I was laying in bed, thinking about today's training run, I changed my mind. I was going to run 20 on the asphalt hilly route of Monticello, then realized this was my last training weekend for FANS. My race would probably be better served by heading over to Lake Nokomis and running 30 miles on already tired legs. That meant two hours of driving time, waking up earlier, packing a cooler, blah blah blah. I was wishing that I had put out a post to the MN DRS list to see if anyone would be up to running with me..but it was too late. I wasn't getting back out of bed.

This morning at 330 AM I was packing food, drink, clothing and heading out for Lake Nokomis. I was pleasantly surprised; there were other FANS runners out there training as well. I was a bit concerned about running in the dark by myself. I wasn't totally alone the whole 4:45/30 miles but it wasn't as popular as the Lake Calhoun/Isles/Harriet route is. I like that route better than Nokomis.

The training run was fine; I had my iPod, sandwiches, Hammer Heed, Hammer Gel. I felt no aches or pains, no Advil was needed. There was a steady rain/drizzle but it was 50F so I didn't become cold.

I am as ready as I can be for FANS. The race is in 3 weeks so there really isn't much more that I can do. I've been training on asphalt, doing repeats, I'm lighter, I'm stronger. I want 100 miles and I'm going to be stubborn and strong enough mentally to get it done. FANS is tough for me. It's easy to climb into my car and call it a day. Damn, that's what I did last year. I can not do that again. I won't do that again. I'll hang in there until the finish, proving that I am strong enough mentally to finish the damn race. I need this finish to prove to myself that I am strong enough mentally to finish Superior 100 and The Arrowhead 135 Winter Ultramarathon. Each goal builds on another.

Next Saturday is the Superior 50K. I and Troy are going to go up to Lutsen on Friday morning. We are meeting my Mom and Dad in Duluth and they will follow us up. I am going to run a few sections of the 100 mile route that I will be running in September on Friday and Sunday. On Sunday I'll look at some of the areas that I will be running in the dark.

Oh my gosh, the game was fantastic last night. Yeah, 8-4; TWINS. Think they can pull another one out tonight?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Twins Win!

I couldn't believe my eyes last night as I watched the Twins take on the White Sox. Boy did they take them on! Johan! Hothothot. 10-1. Yeah, I'm excited. I am also hoping they saved something for tonight. We'll be at the game at 610. Radke is pitching. If we win again..I can't even imagine what I'll do. I'll think of something great though:)

Today I and Topaz headed out for another 20 miles on the trail. The sky was cloudy but it wasn't raining, finished up 20 in 3:15.

Our final loop was horrible. The bird watchers were having a get together of some sort on the trail. They were whispering and pointing with binoculars and telephoto lenses on their cameras. They didn't like that Topaz was rooting up the birds, herding the swans to me and making a nuisance out of himself. I was glad they didn't show up until the final loop. There were over 20 of them. Eeek.

I had to grocery shop and run fun (NOT) Target errands today. On the way I stopped by the gym for some lifting. Again, not one woman in the weight room. Man, talk about feeling like I don't belong! All men per usual. I lifted chest/bicep/tricep:

Chest: dumbbell Press: 45x7x3..had a guy spot me so I could get one 50x6x1. OOHOO!
Barbell Bench Press: 130x8x3
Incline dumbbell Press: 35x5x3

Bicep: 21's Barbell: 50x7x3; 40x5x3
Lever Pull Up: 80x8x3
dumbbell Curls: 25x8x2; 20x6x1..arms are falling off..

Tricep: Rope Lever Kick backs: 80x8x3; 60x4x3
Skull Crushers dumbbell: 20x8x4
Standing up with dumbbell over head and down to back of neck..what the hell is that called? I forget. Oh well. 25x11x3

I was fried..then went grocery shopping and could barely lift the groceries.

Now I think I will take a nap. Really.

Friday, May 12, 2006

800's=Cold and Windy

Last night Tyler had a baseball game at 4; they tied. I cheered. Troy had practice at 6, dropped him off, brought Tyler to baseball practice 2, dropped him off.

Headed to the track. It was WINDY and COLD again, just like last Thursday. Only last night it was 43F with a 45 mph wind! BRRRR!

I actually though about pitching the 800's because of the wind. But who doesn't run because it is too windy outside?

So it looked like this: 1 mile warm up; then 6 800's: 1) 3:35, 2: 3:40, 3: 3:31, 4: 3:40, 5: 3:33 and 6: 3:38 with a 2 mile cool down. I thought the wind and the 15 freaking fast miles the night before might ruin the speed. The speed was still there :)

Superior 50K is next Saturday. Hopefully it is dry. Cold is fine, but dry would be great.

Tomorrow we have Twins tickets. Think they can pull out a win against the White Sox?? Now that'd be quite a game.........

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I Rocked and then I was Rolled

This morning Tyler and Troy asked if they could go to the batting cages tonight. I told them I could drop them off at 545; then attend run club at 6. Steve could catch up with them at the batting cages after he gets off work, around 7. Well, this meant that instead of having to be home at 7 I didn't have to be home until later. Woohoo. More running time for Julie.

I decided I'd get in a longer FANS training run..asphalt and cement for 15 miles.

After dropping the boys off I headed for the school. My plan was to run the first 5 HARD. HARD as I could go, then tempo run 6-10 and recover 11-15. I did, I lined up with the power runners. Mile 1: 7;30. I told George I couldn't talk, I could only run and breathe hard. He was OK with that. Mile 2: 7:35; still couldn't talk. Mile 3: 7:36 NEVER had I run three miles this fast. NEVER. Mile 4: Side ache comming on; pressing my hand into it very deeply-had to stop, bend down, work the pain out and jab my hand into my side some more-lost George-7:30. Mile 5: 7:36. Wow. Never have I run the route that fast..never. I kept it pretty consistant, too. I was beaming and feeling strong.

I came in third. I've never done that either. After I drank some water, and chatted with the others a bit, Kevin told me "Julie, you've found a new gear, one that you never had before. You were 1.30 minutes ahead of me and during the last stretch you gained over 2 minutes on me. You never used to have that gear you pushed into." Gotta like that.

I grabbed my iPod and headed out for another 5, knowing this would be much slower. Mile 1: 7:30; Mile 2: 7:45, Mile 3: 7: 50, Mile 4: 7:56, Mile 5: 7:45; that is still very fast for me. I couldn't believe it. What is up with this? Training..that's it..to run faster I needed to RUN FASTER. Ahhha..it's not rocket science, is it?

Back to the car, more water, remove sunglasses and head out for final 5. Mile 1: 8:30, Mile 2: 8:15, Mile 3: 8:05, Mile 4: 8:10 and Mile 5: 7:45

Run On!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Spring is here! My favorite rhododendron Posted by Picasa

The kayak I won at Northwoods Snowshoe Marathon Posted by Picasa

Weekend of Sunshine

This weekend was the complete opposite of last weekend. High and dry, the sun shining, simply beautiful.

Saturday morning I had planned to run 10 miles with Topaz on the trail. Well, after running 5 I knew 10 wouldn't be enough. I wanted to run more and of course Topaz was up for it. I had a jug of HEED in the car so knew I had plenty to drink and the streams and ponds were full for Topaz to drink out of and to lie in.

The wildlife was abundant. I saw 4 bald eagles, 2 pileated woodpeckers, 3 doe and 1 buck. I rarely see buck out there. We were running downhill, around a corner, I didn't even see him at first. Topaz rounded the corner before me and took off after him, then herded the damn buck back toward me. He was huge. I'm raising my hands saying NO TOPAZ, F+CK, IT'S A BUCK! As he came near me he jumped off the trail back through the bush, Topaz chasing at his heels. Eventually Topaz came back Mr. Buck was on his way, off with his doe friends.

We ended up running 20 miles, never seeing one other person the whole 3.5 hours.

Today I headed for pavement and hills. I ran the hilly route in Monticello that kicks my ass every time. 20 miles and 101 hills later I was dragging. It took me 4 hours today. Those hills! I need to run them more regularly..I know, I've said that before...

After my run I went South to pick up the kayak I won at the Northwoods Snowshoe Marathon. Shannon has been storing it for me in her barn all winter long. It's cool; it seats 2, is 13 feet long, it was free, can't beat that. I should have some fun with it.

So it was a good week of workouts:
Run: 61 miles-10 hours (tempo, 800's, hilly long and long)
Strength: Back/Shoulders + Chest/Bicep - 1.5 hours
Bike: 36 miles-2 hours

Looks like I'm fully recovered from McNaughton. All I can think about is FANS...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Home Run!

This morning I hit the gym at 5AM as planned. I lifted back/shoulders for 50 minutes. I was toasted afterwards.

This evening after bringing Troy to his baseball field for practice and Tyler to his baseball field for practice I headed for the track..right in the middle of the baseball fields. I grabbed some water, my iPod, watch and set out to warm up. It was cold and windy; 47F. Warmed up 1 mile then kicked off 5 800's. 1@3:41; 2@3:38; 3@ 3:35; 4@ 3:31 and 5@ 3:33 with a 2 minute recovery inbetween. Finished with a 2 mile cool down. #3 was getting tough until Guns and Roses Rocket Queen began to rock and then it was Ozzie Osbourne Flying High Again..well..the body just begins to move fast, you know?

I haven't lost any speed over the winter. Last fall I was up to 12 800's at 3:35. This summer I'll work up to 12 again but they'll be faster.

After cooling down I walk over to the field to watch Tyler's team scrimmage against another. He's up to bat and hits a HOME RUN! Wow. I'm cheering like a crazy woman- runs over the plate with a big smile on his face and says "Fast like you, Mom". Yeah.

Off to Troy's practice and he's up to bat..and gets hit on the elbow with a crazy kid pitch..and is walked.

Ah well..he had a good time!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

38:21!

Yeah Baby! I ran the 5 mile run club route tonight in 38:21! That's pretty damn fast for this fat slow chick. Wow. I wasn't last either as usual. There was a stiff wind around the lakes which made it challenging but, hey, what a good run.

Last week I was luck to pull out a 43:45! I wasn't too hard on myself as it was only 1.5 weeks past McNaughton. I'm sure glad I'm getting my legs back.

Tomorrow I'll begin 2 a day's. I'll head over to the gym for 5 AM lifting; then back home in time to shower and wake the boys. Tomorrow during baseball practice I'll run 800's.

Run On.