Sunday, July 31, 2005

Race Report..V

It was awesome, simply awesome.

Here is the race report I posted to my ultra running group:

After running the Afton 50K a few weeks ago in 6:20 I realized that I was
feeling way to good at the finish and probably should have tried to push it a
bit harder .

I have never been one to set time goals, I've only tried to finish, while
digging deep to reach the cutoffs. Some of which I couldn't reach.

I was talking with Don Clark at Afton and he suggested I try running out of
my comfort zone, try setting a time goal and see what I can do. I agreed. I
would try and run Voyaguer in 11 hours. Pretty scary to me.

Voyaguer 1 (2002) took me 14:03 (13 hour cut off), V 2 (2003) I dropped at
50K and V 3 (2004) was an 11:52 so an 11 hour finish was going to be tough.

I decided to share this goal with my friends; I felt that by sharing this
time goal with them, they would hold me accountable if I should end up crashing
on the trail. Knowing that I told friends of my 11 hour goal, that would
push me even harder to reach the goal.

Race day morning and the weather was beautiful. High of 75, sun, the stuff I
love to run in. I brought Jeffrey up to the front of the line to introduce
him to Doug Hansel and at that time the start was yelled; there we were up
with the front guys. This turned out to be a very good thing. Jeffrey and I were
following after Tom Bunk and others that we had no business running with. We
were out of our league but we kept on pushing. We were at the second aid
station within an hour! We felt good, strong, getting fatigued but figured we'd
just push on and see what would happen.

Of course I had to make a pit stop before the powerlines and I figured that
was the end of running with Jeffrey. I've never caught him after a potty
break. Well, this time was different. After aid station 7 or so we were running
together again. First time I've ever caught him!

We ran into the turn around at 5 hours; I headed back out while Jeffrey took
care of business with his drop bags.

I came up out of the aid station and fell into line with Lisa from WI. She's
finished 89 ultras, has completed the Slam and completes Ironman. It was
awesome to run with her. We ran together for 15 miles.

Lisa was slowing down and told me to head out. I did. I was feeling great. I
was eating a ton of food, drinking a lot, everything was going well. I had
visions of a 10:30 until I was running the last section through the rocks and
it took me 39 minutes! Sheesh, I never thought the bike path was going to
come. I got on the bike path and ran as fast as I could to the finish.

10:45. Wow.

This race is so much fun. After an awesome trail run there are showers,
great food and a fun awards ceremony! Big thanks to Gene and Barb and all of the

Thanks to so many of you for your congratulations and kind words. I sure
found myself a terrific group of friends!

Julie Berg
Big Lake

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Voyaguer 50 Mile Trail Ultra

The race will be held this Saturday. I'm trying to lay off the running a bit this week, I've been biking and even tried a few swims.

Yesterday I biked 20 miles at an easy pace-it took me 1:20-then pulled into the driveway, hopped off the bike and ran a 5 mile run with Topaz in the neighborhood. Got some looks from the neighbors when they saw me biking; then running. Kind of like 'oh oh, here she goes again'. When I first began to run marathons I would get comments like 'you ran by this morning when I was drinking my coffee, not I'm eating my lunch and you are still running' well, yeah, 30 miles takes me a while!

I'm not very good at the swimming, but have contacted a few people who are so that will be helpful.

Today I shouldn't run. I should just pack, get groceries for the family while I'm gone and relax. But I really want to run. Only a few miles? We'll see. I shouldn't.

OK, so after running the Afton 50K on July 2, and doing much better than I anticipated, I decided I'd set a time goal for V. I set a time goal of 11 hours. I'm still going to try to get an 11 hour finish. That's 50 minutes off my fastest V. I have 24 pounds less of fat now, that should help somewhat!

The weight is still 126.8 today. I've been increasing my carbs to 150-200 grams Wednesday and Thursday, Friday will be a bit higher. Carbo Load.

I contacted a friend of mine that I met while we were training for our first Marathon in 1999. While we were training for the marathon, Amy was also training for an Ironman. Wow. I talked to her yesterday. She told me the WI Ironman usually fills immediately; and they open registration 13 months in advance. So, if I'm thinking of doing IM 2007 I'll have to register in August of 06. Wow. That would give me all next summer doing spring and Olympic distance tri's, getting a feel for what I'm doing. In 2007 I'd be training for IM. Woohoo.

As far as running goals, my friend, Larry Pederson is taking over the Superior marathon and 50 mile this September; next September he'll have the 100 mile as well. I'm running the 50 again this year, next year I'll try the 100. I'm going to run that baby. It's the toughest, rockiest and most brutal trail I've ever run. 100 would be way hard. I'd need to ask for a pacer for sure. I'd like to do McNaughton too! Defend my title for first women in the 100.

Back to reality, time to focus on V!


OK, so I ran 4 miles on the trail with Topaz. Four very easy miles!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Yes, triathlon.

This past week or two I've realized that I really enjoy riding my bike! I bought a Fuji road racing bike a few years ago and only rode here and there. Running came into my life and I really didn't get into the bike very much.

Well, I've gone out on 4 15-20 mile bike rides during the past week and am loving it. I went to Eriks' Bike Shop and got a lesson on using my bike. I couldn't figure out why I was having trouble shifting (I was doing it incorrectly!) and couldn't figure out why I was losing air in my tires (again, filling incorrectly!). I bought a helmet and have been riding since.

I entered a triathlon for August 28. The link is it is a .5 mile swim, 17 mile bike and 4 mile run. The swim is the biggest mystery for me. I know I can bike the distance and run the distance. I've completed a few brick workouts where I bike 10 miles, get off and immediately go for a 4-8 mile run without a problem.

I've been going to the local beach for my swim. I don't do the crawl stroke very well. I need a teacher. In HS I was on the swim team and did the breast stroke. No crawl. I went to the gym this morning and lifted legs. Asked the front desk person about a swim coach or masters swim class, she didn't have a clue. Man, we only live 40 miles from Mpls., St. Paul and you'd think we were on another planet. I can't belive there isn't a Northwest or Life Time Fitness around here. Our gyms simply suck.

I've been reading a few triathlon titles: The Triathlon Bible, Triathlon Training for Women and Going Long: Ironman Training. If I'm going to do a tri I'll eventually do an Ironman of course.

I don't know the practice of MODERATION.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

From the dock this morning! East. Posted by Picasa

Riding the water bike at the lake. My sister is in the blue.  Posted by Picasa

At The Lake

I'm back in Northern Minnesota at Lake Vermilion. The weather has been storybook perfect, the water is awesome and it is oh so peaceful! I and Topaz are up here alone. Steve had to work, the boys are at camp so I high tailed it up to 'God's Country'.

I've been running each day. Yesterday I boated to the landing and ran 12 miles, then later in the day boated back to ride bike for 7. The hills are killer here. I took my Mom's water bike out for a bit, what a fun way to see the lake.

Today was 4 mile run; 12 mile bike.

Eats are right on. I packed loads of tuna, chicken, veggies, fruit and eggs. That's about all I require.

I'm really enjoying biking. I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm having visions of a triathlon and see that there is one in Baxter MN the end of August. I could try for that. Why not? Um...because I've never done a brick workout and the only swimming I've done lately is for leisure, up here, or back home in my pool! I don't think those are good enough reasons though. Maybe because I don't have any padded biking do I need those..or an athletic swimming suit..goggles..plenty of reasons..but none good enough.

I packed up my P90X DVD's and resistance bands and did back/chest yesterday; arms/shoulders today. I'm tired. About ready for a nap.

Monday, July 18, 2005


I weigh 127 pounds today. Wow. 25 pounds of fat has left my body since I first joined Leanness Lifestyle in February. I kicked off membership with Bootcamp Intensive 1, then did Bootcamp Intensive II.

I learned that my body hordes it's carbs and likes to turn them into fat. I have found that I can very easily eat a diet consisting of 38-40% of carb, 40-42% protein and 20% fat and still run good, hard and strong. Of course on the day before a long race (marathon+) it's all about pasta!

I've learned that to lose fat I need to eat roughly 1500 calories a day and exercise approximately 100 minutes a day. That is what it takes for me to lose weight.

So what does it take for me to maintain? I'm about to learn all about that. I think. I'm a bit apprehensive, I've had such success with the determination and focus that I have needed to lose fat, I'm nervouse about this whole maintaining thing.

My plan is to maintain at 125-127 until September when Bootcamp Intensive III begins. Then I may jump on board to go down to 120. I figure if I go down to 120, it will be easier for me 'to live' at 125.

Today: 7.5 miles run, 45 minutes lifting legs and 26 mile bike (to and back from gym). I'm ready for a nap!

Squats: 135x10x2; 150x8x1
Extensions: 140x10x2, 160x5x1, 130x10x1
Slant Press: 120x10x3, 130x8x1
(getting tired...)
Hamstring Curl: 60x10x2, 70x6x1
Calve Raise: 90x15x2

This week my marathon schedule is for running hills. I was going to complete tomorrow but after taxing my legs today and running 80 miles last week I may have to wait until the end of the week for hills. Tomorrow may be an 8 mile trail run.

M1: Oat Pancake (1 egg, 1c oats, 5 whites, splenda, sf syrup)
M2: Cobb Salad + Bleu Cheese Dressing
M3: Turkey tenderloin, corn on the cob
M4: Cherry Garcia Shake
M5: Tuna pouch, cherry tomatoes

Heat Wave Breaks

Friday, Saturday and Sunday I had to leave Topaz at home while I ran. All three mornings at 530 AM it was already at least 85F and a dewpoint of 70+. That's too warm, even for Topaz to run in.

I opted to run on the pavement; getting a break from deer flies and mosquito repellent. I ran 10 Friday, 20 Saturday and 10 Sunday around the lakes.

Today at 530AM the temp was 60F and the dewpoint down in the 50's. I and Topaz ran on the trail for 7.5 miles. Back to the deer flies and mosquito repellent.

I had an 80 mile week last week and 3 sessions of weight training. This week I'll back off the mileage and next week as well, the 50 mile Voyageur is in two weeks.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I'm getting smaller

Yesterday and I my sister, Laurie, went shopping. We went to Marshall Fields and I purchased my first post lean body clothing items (besides running wear). A size 6 Tommy Hilfiger short. How sweet is that? A size SIX!

The best part...I tried on this same short in a size TWELVE a few months back..and it was too tight. I cried in the dressing room and vowed never to buy a size FOURTEEN.

Size SIX rocks.

Size! Posted by Picasa

Size 6 shorts. First size 6 EVER! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sultry Summer and Great Workouts

We've had some very hot weather during the past two weeks in Minnesota. I usually don't run the central air but I had to roll in all of the windows and crank it on yesterday. It's been in the high 90's since we arrived home from the lake.

I've been spending a lot of time out in the pool!

Yesterday I ran a speed workout on the treadmill. I did the Yasso 800's in 3:45x4; I haven't completed them in 3:45 before. A new personal best. Yahoo!

I had to run on the treadmill because it was already 86F outside at 7 AM. Topaz would die running in the heat. He doesn't know when to let up. We have a 'puppy' pool for him outside that is always full of cool hose water. It is really a hard plastic toddler pool. He dives in there many times during the course of a day.

Today I and Topaz went to the Prairie Edge trail. I ran from 5-8 AM; it wasn't quite so hot! Had a great weight training session at the gym: chest, bi, tri and then rode bike for an hour. Tonight I'm swimming at the lake. Tyler has a baseball picnic so I figured I'd swim in the open water. I don't swim in the lake as much as I'd like. I realized when at the cabin this past week, I pretty much suck at it.

In high school I was on the swimming team, you'd never know it now. Swimming in our pool is a far cry from lake swimming.

I'm thinking of doing a tri in the future. We'll see.

M1: Oat pancake ( .5 c oats, 1 egg, 5 whites, ns syrup)
M2: 2 c spinach, 1 tomato, 1 cucumber, 5 oz chicken, 2 T nf dressing
M3: 2 South Beach Chicken Caeser Wraps, apple
M4: 6 oz salmon, large green salad
M5: sf jello and nf cool whip. Yum.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

TOPAZ! Posted by Picasa

Me, Topaz and Troy enjoying the lake. Posted by Picasa

Back from the 4th

I had an excellent week up at the lake during the 4th of July holiday. I was quite nervous as I had a goal of 127 pounds to reach on July 7 you know!

In my suitcase was my bathroom scale, my P90X DVD's, my resistance bands and a supply of Myoplex bars and powders. This is all in addition to my usual running supplies of shoes, water bottles, packs, etc. Of course I had to stop by the grocery store to stock up on a healthy supply of veggies, fruits, oats, eggs and lean meats.

Nobody gave me any grief for all of my stuff and food. My Mom and Dad were very complimentary of my new body; they hadn't seen me since the end of May. On Sunday evening Steve and I went to the Eveleth Street Dance where I saw many old friends. Wow, it sure felt good to look so lean. Of course, most of them think the running finally caught up with me and I lost weight because of it. They don't realize that I've only run 300 more miles so far this year than last and the weight loss is because of LL, not only running.

I, Steve and the boys, my sister Laurie, her son and hubby and my Mom and Dad were all at the cabin. We had glorious weather-sun all days, did water skiing, tubing, fishing, even spent a day on a houseboat. It was all fun.

I had anticipated on coming home last Thursday but was having such a good time I extended my trip until Saturday.

OK, and I reached my goal! The goal I set on February 9. My all time goal, to die for goal, of 127 pounds on July 7. I did it. And now I want more. Or less! I'm going to go down to 125 and then maintain there, maybe go down a bit more for some 'cushion' for a splurge here and there.

I really do need some new clothing. I tried on my size 6 Tommy H jeans but they were a touch large. Good grief. Give me a break. I can't believe I just typed that out. Plus they were $69 and I'll be damned if I'll pay $69 for a pair of jeans that I will . gulp. outgrow . in. a . few. weeks.

So I'm wearing running clothes for the most part each day!

While on vacation I did 3 days of resistance bands and P90X DVDs and ran a total of 49 miles. Today I went for a run of 15 miles and lifted legs at the gym. And mowed the lawn for 2 hours. Now I need to do laundry and grocery shop.

We have no food!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Me and Ann @ Afton 50K Posted by Picasa

PR at Afton

The Afton Trail 25K/50K was a blast. I had so much fun and knew that I would! All of my friends were there. Many were volunteering; some were running.

The day was picture perfect. 85F, sunny with a nice breeze. There were NO bugs! Just perfect. I'm so tired of running in the rain.

I woke up at 330 AM so I could be at the race at 6, with a 630 start for the 50K. There is an 8 hour time limit.

I pulled into the Afton State Park right at 6:00. Our crazy government couldn't settle a budget so they closed the state parks and rest stops. Hello! Luckily, Scott's race was still able to take place.

OK, so I set a low goal. I decided since I ran 7:13 last year that 7:12 was good for this year. What kind of goal is that? Not a very far reaching one. Sheesh.

My friend Ann was working the aid station #1. It was great seeing her there, although I told her I wished she were running instead!

I finished 25K in three hours and realized I set low goals again. Damn me. I felt awesome, strong, ready to run another 3 hour loop.

When I arrived aid station #1 Ann told me she was going to run a bit with me. She stuck with me for 5-6 miles and then had to get back to manning the station.

I came in at 6:20. I felt awesome.

Get this. I took off my shirt during the race and ran in my race bra. I've never had the guts to do that before. Many people commented on the weight I have lost, they were all full of compliments.

After the race I hung around for 3 hours visiting with friends and just having a blast. I was talking with Don, a very seasoned ultra runner and good friend. He told me I'm not a 'goofy girl runner' any more and need to set some serious goals. OK, goal set:

11 hours at Voyaguer 50 mile the end of this month. Yup, 11 hours. History: 2002 14 hours, 2003 dropped at 50K and 2004 11:50.

Goal set.

I'm going to Lake Vermilion for the holiday. Talk next week!