2016 Racing Schedule

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

ICEBOX 480


Icebox 480.  I hadn’t run the Icebox 480 before.  A timed race, of 480 minutes (8 hours). 2  years ago I had a broken ankle and last year I had an evil morton’s neuroma removal.  I was so glad to give it a try this year!

The course is a single- track mountain biking trail – lots of hills – in the woods of Western Wisconsin on the Whitetail Ridge which consists of a  loop of 7 or so miles-which is run as many times as possible, until  the 8 hour limit expires. I love loops. I love a drop bag at the start/finish. Easy peasy fun o rama!

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day!  I arrived to the course about 45 minutes before race time. I wasn’t sure who was going to be running as  there wasn’t a list of entrants on the website. I was so happy to see Robyn and her mother as I pulled up in  back of them.

I walked a few steps and saw Kevin, a few more steps to the start and there was Jim, Matt and Zach!  It was so good to see them again. It was going to be a party on the trail! We kidded around about ‘way back in the day’  and that we were ‘old school ultra runners.’ I guess so.

As I was waiting in the line for the bathroom I saw Duke!! No way! I haven’t seen him in years. When he told me that Eve was here, too, I was so excited!! Eve had an ice house set up near the start/finish to help crew for Duke. We squeeled in delight and hugged and laughed!! Man I’ve missed these two!

I placed my drop bag on the tarp and packed up some gels, music and a water bottle to carry. We were about to begin so I lined up near the back. Off we went!

The course was really great. Woods, lots of hills-constant up and down. There were two aid stations set up plus the start / finish. Awesome. I ran a comfortable pace, no goal other than to stay healthy and to have FUN!  That was the order of the day.

I had an absolute blast.  The first loop I ran alone, just taking in the sights. I was warming up so made a mental note to drop my long sleeved shirt at the start / finish. I removed my gloves,  ate a gel every 30 minutes and just moved along, enjoying the woods.

At the start/ finish I dropped off some clothing and noticed that Jenny brought her new puppy, Jasper!  OMG, I kissed him and held him and let him chew on me and let him lick my happy tears!  He is just a little ball of love fuzz. As I ran out of the start/finish I had Topaz on my mind and just began to gasp and bawl. I just miss him so much. I know that I am lucky to have had him in my life for 14 years and I know that those years were well worth the feelings of sadness I have now..but I still miss him and cry and am mourning him.  





Somewhere during this loop I ran into Janet. Janet finished the Gnarly Bandit last year so our conversations during the next loop centered around that. She was now training for HURT and looking to run without becoming dehydrated. It was fun to run a loop with her.

Back into the start/finish. More hugs and kisses to Jasper. I carried him around a bit and just loved on him. 



I just really had a lot of fun. I spent the next 20 miles alone, just reveling in my thoughts, prayers and meditations. I never felt tired or grumpy or like I wanted the race to end. I just ran and ran, happy in my surroundings and thoughts. I never even played any music.




Before I knew it 7.50 hours had passed. I came into the start finish and was instructed to run the out and back mile for the duration until 8 hours had passed.  As I was running back and forth I saw John and Bill cheering us on. What a great time!  At the end of 8 hours I had run 36 miles. I was thrilled.

Wow, I didn’t want to leave the party. I helped to clean up and tear down the tents.  I cuddled up and carried Jasper around for a long time, played with him and had him follow me around. He helped to hear my heart a little bit. What a love bug.  After visiting  with Duke and Eve, Bill, John, Jim, Matt and Zac for a very long time, I watched them all leave and decided I’d better do the same.

I will certainly run this again next year. I drove home with a big fat smile on my face!




My 11th Twin Cities Marathon












When the Twin Cities Marathon opened for entries last March I was still recovering from my foot surgery. I had no intention of entering.

Fast forward 6 months and I was feeling good!  I hadn’t run anything longer than 10 miles, but, oh well.

I couldn’t believe it when I heard on the local news channel that TCM was STILL open and that I could purchase an entry at the expo on Friday before the Sunday race. Incredible!! 

Sure enough, I paid for an entry and bought a CHICKED down skirt from the expo. I had no idea how the race would go; I just knew that I really yearned to run my 11th TCM. I really enjoy the race.

Sunday morning I drove into Minneapolis. I always park at the Jerry Haaf ramp because it  is close to the start which used to be the Metrodome- which was torn down and is now being replaced with the IceCube, the US Bank Stadium. It’s looking fabulous!



It was amazing to me that 10,000 people were milling around the start area and I was able to run into personal friends whom I had no idea were going to be there!  I saw Dan and John. Incredible! 

The race is divided into chutes with start times staggered every three minutes so that the congestion is at a minimum- which works very well. I mosied over to the bag drop off to leave my after run clothes and headed over to the start. I was so excited to be right where I was! I felt blessed. I am blessed.

The course is really pretty .. for a road marathon. Of course I prefer trail but TCM has a place in my heart. My plan was to run easy, take in the changing color of the trees, enjoy the run, give thanks that I was able to run.

I felt great the whole way. At mile 20 I  noticed that I was running behind the 415 group and hadn’t yet noticed the 430 group pass. This was a comfortable easy pace for me. I stopped to hug a few friends that I noticed among the 300,000 spectators-again, crazy!  When I saw Bonnie and Marie at mile 21 we hugged and I cried. I started running with these two in 2002. They don’t run very much any more, but there they were, cheering and looking out for me. What a treat. My heart felt full and blessed. Those hugs carried me into the finish line. 



I finished my 11th Twin Cities Marathon. I would have never believed  it,  way back when it was only my 2nd marathon. I would have never believed that I could love to run, so much.  I never would have believed that I would have hit 17 years of sobriety, either. Time. A person can change. Thank God.

Eugene Curnow - Half Voyaguer


One of my first memories with my ultra running friends is the Half Voyaguer. It’s now named after the past race director: Eugene Curnow. The race is the baby of the Voyaguer 50 mile, a favorite of mine, which is run 2 weeks later.

Because I’ve been rehabbing my foot/knee and whatever other body parts which are angry at me there is no chance I’ll be run running Voyaguer 50 this year but I’m good to run the Half.

Maria and I went out for a 6 hour run two weeks ago-my first run of any sort of this distance since Superior 100 last September!  I really did a number on myself there. Ugh. Anyhow, our run at Afton  was such a wonderful experience!  She’s rehabbing her hamstring, I’m rehabbing foot/knee. We walked, jogged, and ran.  My rehab schedule had 11 minute jog/4 minute walk on the plan which we stuck to pretty well. At the end of our 6 hours I was jubilant. I didn’t hurt. I felt good. Eugene Curnow may be a reality. Why not try it?

We spent the first week of July up at the lake. Had great weather and a great time. I came back into town to deliver Troy so that he could work and then decided to go back up to the cabin to spend a few more days with Steve. I left the lake, spent the night at my Dad’s house and then left for Carlton to the race in the morning.

It was a beautiful warm morning and was going to be a great day. I hadn’t looked online to see who may be running the race so wasn’t sure whom I might see.

I arrived in plenty of time to fill my pack, figure out music, lube my feet, etc. I didn’t recognize anyone so I just climbed onto the bus that would take me to the start.

As I climbed off of the bus I saw Alicia right away. Yay!!  Alicia and I have run a zillion miles together and I just love her. She was one of the those that first ran with me at that first Half Voyaguer so many years ago.

We began the race together and ran together up until the last few miles where she went ahead and finished a few minutes in front of me. What a great 6 hours of fun! We reminisced, we talked of the present, the future, of how much things in ultrarunning had changed and how much we had changed. It was such a great time. Neither my foot nor my knee hurt, I was able to climb through the powerlines without a problem. Such a blessing.

Janet ran with Alicia and I most of the race, too. She wanted to run a PR and said that by hanging with us she would do just that. She did! She ran a great race and finished inbetween Alicia and I.

As we were running along Scott came up on us. Scott!  Scott was also along on that first Half Voyageur so many years ago. I hadn’t seen him in a few years. We caught up a bit and then he left us to bomb on down the hills.

As I came across the finish all I could think about is how blessed I was. Sharing the trail with amazing people, such good friends to me.

I hung around the finish line and cheered the rest of the runners in. Drank a non alcoholic beer and headed for home, with a big smile on my face! What a fabulous day.