Monday, October 31, 2005

Too much stress..

I normally don't become too stressed. I usually just go with the flow, taking what comes as it does. No big deal. I really don't have a life that is filled with stress.

Well, this week is feeling a bit stressful.

Steve told me that he is thinking very seriously of accepting a job offer with a different company. He's been with the same company for 15 years. It's been very stable, very safe and I'm afraid, he is now thinking, very stagnant.

After a few very long discussions he has decided to accept the offer.

This scares me to death. I like the same old, same old. I don't do well with change.

This is a very good opportunity, more money, less cost in insurances, etc. But it is a change. An unknown.

He doesn't jump right into anything. He'll weigh the pros and cons and do what he has to do. And I'll support him in his decision.

I have been working two jobs this week. I accepted a position as a cashier last week at our local grocery store.

I had added up my expenses for 2005 so far. In just races, hotel and gasoline; no shoes, clothing, bars, gels or ecaps, and I spent over $2500. The races for '06 will cost even more, as I'm planning on running 3-100's and Western is a huge $250. Plus I'll have to add in air fare and expenses for any pacers I might be lucky enough to talk into pacing me.

I figure Grand Slam in '07 will cost me a cool $6500. I decided not to take any more $ out of the family savings account. Hence, the second job. It is only a few nights a week-a few weekend afternoon's-not bad at all. I think of it as my race job.

So with Steve's job offer, my second job, Topaz's foot and my friends' cancer..yeah, I'm a bit stressed.

I think I'll go for a run; it beats grabbing that Halloween candy or a Special Export :)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Running. Alone.

Thump, thump, thump. 5 AM and Topazs' tail is thumping on my comforter, wet kisses on my face. I can hear the rain on the window. "We are going to get wet this morning, Topie."

I roll out of bed and follow Topaz to my bathroom. I can hear his akward gait on the tile. He is limping.

Last night we were all playing football. Topaz was fetching the football; back and forth. He went out for Tyler's pass. On the way back to us he jumped over the bird bath and landed akward. He yelped loudly and began to limp.

This morning he is still limping.

I hated to leave him at home. He looked at me so excited as I put on my running clothes, anticipating our morning run.

I had to run alone. In the pouring rain. I knew I was going to run, rain or not. I didn't know I would be running alone.

I don't think I've ever run this trail without Topaz. I've run 10 miles with him, then have had Steve pick him up so that I could run another 10, not wanting to take him too far. But I don't recall that I've ever run the trail without him at all.

I had a lot to think about.

My very dear friend found out that she has lymphoma cancer. We found out on Friday. We thought she had mono for the past few weeks. Maybe she doesn't have mono at all. The symptoms of mono and lymphoma mirror one another.

She's one of the healthiest people I know. She's very moderate, I always tease her about it. She never smoked cigarettes, never tried drugs and has one glass of wine a month; at the most.

She used to run in a very moderate way too. Until she met me. I talked her into running her first marathon at 40. And she did, in fine fashion.

We've shared many miles and many races together. I love her. Dearly.

And she has cancer.

I realized, as I was running, that this was exactly what I needed to do. I needed my body to move as it knows to move. The consistant motion that has become so very comfortable. I needed my mind to open up and to feel. To think. I needed to cry. I needed to cry hard.

I realized that I am a runner. Not too long ago, I wasn't a runner. I didn't know how to deal with stress, I didn't know how to open my mind. I didn't know how running can make me feel more whole. More focused. More clear.

As I felt the rain and my tears run down my face I knew that I was where I needed to be.

Running. Even if I had to run alone.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It's A Wrap

First of all, why is my blogger bar fat up at the top and blocking out the title of each post?

Today is the last day of the Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp Intensive III. Our last phone conference will be this evening.

I've lost 4.5 pounds this past 5 weeks. I'm all 'bootcamped' out. I've struggled a bit during this bootcamp. I was SO focused on Twin Cities Marathon and Edmund Fitz 100K that the camp became a secondary focus. Still, I'm happy with the 4.5 loss.

I had my body fat tested yesterday at the gym. 14.7%. Lowest ever. I like that.

So for the next month I'm going to run approximately 30-40 miles a week and focus on lifting and a bit of swimming. The swim coach at the High School for which I work has offered to give me swimming lessons on Sunday and whenever I can fit them in. If I want to try a tri, I must learn.

Admission: I don't know how to do the freestyle stroke. Ahem, must learn.

30 minutes HIIT on treadmill AM
55 minutes trail run PM

M1: 8 egg whites/stir fry veggies
M2: 1/2 c cottage cheese, apple
M3: 1 chicken kabob, veggies (more leftovers!)
M4: 4 oz tuna, carrots and peppers
M5: 1 chicken kabob and more veggies.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Biggest Loser

I barely made it home in time tonight for the ending of The Biggest Loser. Actually, I was able to catch the last half hour.

Troy began basketball practices tonight - seems like we just finished football - and I ran to the gym for 45 minutes to lift while he practiced.

Did you watch? Pete had lost 80 some pounds in the past 8 weeks. 80 pounds! He was voted off, although they all loved him very much, and since he has been home he has lost another 50 pounds. That's incredible!

There was a clip of Pete and his wife running down a road. She's lost 50 pounds along with him. Amazing.

The show has changed their lives. I think it is so good to see that people 400+ pounds can make a lifestyle change. He would have NEVER believed that he would be running miles with his wife. Now that's inspiring.

I'm pretty well recovered from Ed Fitz 100K. Last week I ran 30 miles and I'll probably continue to run only 30-40 miles a week through November.

I applied for Western States 100 Mile Run ( I Won't know until December 5 if I've been accepted to the race. Once I find out I will begin to make my running plans and workouts for '06. It all kind of hinges on getting into Western.

I'm scared to death, I've never run on a mountain! My long range goal is to run Grand Slam so I better get started :)

This morning I ran 45 minutes on the treadmill for 5.75 miles.
Lifted tonight: Chest/Biceps

DB Chest Press: 40x6x3
BB Bench Press: 110x8x3
Pec Dec: 60x8x3
BB Curl (21's) 50x6x2; 40x8x1
DB Curl: 30x8x3
Preacher Curl: 25x12x4

M1: 8 whites; banana
M2: cottage cheese, apple
M3: chicken kabob w/veggies
M4: cherry garcia shake (post lift)
M5: All The Whey

And Flatman ( tagged me and I have never been tagged before and don't know the 'etiquette'. So I tag Wil ( as I am excited to watch her transformation to lean mean muscle machine!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Feeling Fine

Thank you so very much for all the kind words and congratulations. This cyber-world is pretty incredible. I sure enjoy the enthusiasm and the support I feel from you.

This week has been all about recovery. I've been sleeping a bit more, eating a bit more, stretching much more and doing a bit of walking/running and resistance training.

Monday I and Topaz went for a walk in the woods. It was just beautiful. I had to break into a run for a few miles but it was mainly walking.

Tuesday I lifted. I was able to lift the same weight and reps as prior to Ed Fitz. That makes this gal very very happy. Running and eating less could be disasterous for my muscles. I do not want to lose them.

Next week it is back to lifting 3x a week. I will be doing a split of chest/bicep/tricep; back/shoulders/hams; quads/calves/abs.

Last night was Run Club. It was so much fun to talk to death Ed Fitz Relay and the 100K Solo. Everyone had a great time. I ran /walked the 5 mile route.

Tonight I and Topaz ran 4 miles on the trail and now I have to get to a Planning & Zoning meeting. Joy.

M1: Oat Pancake ( 1/2 c oats, 6 whites, sf syrup)
M2: Banana/All The Whey
M3: 5 oz tuna/large green salad/olive oil
M4: 4 oz sirloin/2 c frozen veggies
M5: Orange/cottage cheese

Calories: 1354 Carbs: 38% Protein: 42% Fat:20%

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Scott and I at start of Edmund Fitz 100K

 Posted by Picasa

Edmund Fitz 100 K . . . ROCKS!

On Friday I arrived to the DECC in Duluth for the mandatory pre race briefing. I was going to meet Scott and Alicia and attend the meeting, then follow them to a mutual friends' home who was going to put us up, or put up with us, for the weekend. It was really nice not booking the hotel and spending a wad of cash, that whole scene. I was looking forward to staying at K's home.

Scott was running the 100K solo and Alicia was going to crew for us. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she was planning on doting on me every bit as she was going to be there for Scott.

We attended the meeting, picked up our race packets and headed over to K's. We hadn't had dinner yet so we stopped at CUB FOODS and did a fair amount of shopping.

The three of us were able to have the guest house to ourselves. It was very nice; we set the alarms for 2 AM and dozed off to sleep.

2 AM and the wind was whipping! I could hear it blowing outside. Oh man, I just didn't want that. Luckily, the temperature was 48F, it was temperature was warmer than I had thought it would be.

We packed up all of our junk and headed off to the start line, in Finland, MN.

It was REAL windy. But REAL beautiful. The stars were so bright, up in the beautiful north woods. The moon was almost full; just spectacular. We were watching shooting stars. I asked the stars to guide me to the finish line without an injury. They obliged.

At 4 AM the sky was so bright that I didn't need a flashlight. I put in back into my bag and never did use it.

As I went to the port-a-potties I realized that I was definately going to put my wind pants on over my shorts. It was freezing! That wind was crazy, I'm glad I didn't know what the wind chill was, but I bet it was in the 20's.

5AM and were ready to roll. I had my iPod, food, clothes, etc. with Alicia in her car; she would follow us along the 62 mile course to the finish. She was going to pull over before each 5K aid station to see what we needed.

This is an interesting race. There are 100+ relay teams, consisting of 5-8 people. Each team has a vehicle, one person runs a 'leg' of the race at a time, hands off a baton to the next person, and so on. The team, in the vehicle, drives along the course.

For the solos; if you are lucky, you have a crew. That person will drive along the course and cater to your every whim. Alicia even bought us hot coffee at one point..just because we thought it would taste good at that moment. And it did!

You would think there would be a ton of traffic and chaos; but there isn't. It is very well run and quite organized. If one isn't up to the solo, I would certainly suggest one try the team relay.

OK, so 5AM and we are off! The solo runners are offered a 5 AM or 7 AM start. If you can finish in 10 hours, you are encouraged to take the 7 AM start.

As I was running along someone introduced himself as Brent. Here it was Brent from WI who posted on my blog a week or so ago. It was real neat to actually meet him in person. Brett finished in 11:15! An awesome first finish at the 100K distance! Congratulations, Brent.

I really struggled with my running the first 4-5 hours. My right thigh was hurting, it's never ached before and I was worried about having had the flu earlier in the week. My legs were dead. Just tired dead. I was thinking about all of the miles I have run this summer, all the races, TCM was just 2 weeks ago, well, duh, I should have tired legs. But I didn't want them this early in the day. I didn't feel like I had eaten enough carbs the night before, I didn't have my usual pasta feast. All of these things kept nagging at me.

Around 1.5 hours into the race I fell in back of Scott and just couldn't catch him. It was making me mad; not that he was in front of me, but that I could not catch him. He would run, then take a good long walk break, run again, walk break. I could make NO gain on him. I wasn't taking a walk break, I was running consistantly and could not catch him. Up the hill he'd go and I'd be trudging along trying to catch him.

I was lucky, eventually he waited for me to catch up. I think he was stretching and just decided to wait. I ran the next 45 miles with him! We would run a while, then walk, 'run to the passing sign', then take a walk break. He told me this is how he has always run this race-I figured I'd run along with him, he has 5 finishes here!

I think the walk breaks saved my legs. By miles 25-30 I was coming back, getting into what I call "The Julie Zone". I get into a place where nothing hurts, I have only happy thoughts and yeah, I'm going to finish this thing.

My Big Lake Run Club was doing the relay race out there. I was SO happy to see them along the course. It was awesome. They all piled out of their van, ran around me with hugs and candy, gave TONS of encouragement and piled back into their van, continuing up the road. I saw them out there a few times. Once I was so happy to see them I did a little dance.

I was feeling awesome.

Eventually it warmed up, I was able to give Alicia my pants, gloves and ear band. Thank goodness!

Just before 50K the 7AM starters began to catch us. It's so cool to see them. The winner from last years race was the first to pass us (he won this race, too). He moved along like a well oiled machine. I just can't imagine to be able to hold that pace. He finished in like 7 hours. Gah.

Somewhere along the course Scott told me his favorite part was coming up. We turned the corner and there was like a one mile rolling downhill. The sun was shining, the leaves were in their full color, the road went down, down, down; and you could see Lake Superior in all her splendor. It was beautiful. It took my breath away.

We ran and ran and ran..down, down and down. It was awesome. I think I smiled the whole way.

Scott has run the course .. and finished .. all five times. He knows it very well. He told me when each aid station was coming up, etc. It made it very nice. It was like I had a tour guide!

Alicia, as I said, was just fantastic. I told her at one stop that I'd like a sandwich, she'd pull ahead to the next 5K check point, walk across the highway and stand there, sandwich in hand, asking me what I'd like at the next check point. It truly was a treat.

At one point, near the end of the race I asked her for a potato chip. I and Scott had grabbed a handful from her earlier and they were really good. Sure enough, at the next aid point she had a baggie chips for me to carry along the course!

The last 18 miles of the course is run on Grandmas Marathon. I know that course very well, so it really surprised me that the course seemed so hilly yesterday! Of course, after running 50 miles I guess anything seems hilly.

I and Scott hit 50 miles at 9:45 or so. You know, when I run FANS, on pavement as well, it takes me almost 12 hours to get 50 miles. And there aren't any hills! This makes no sense to me. I suppose since I usually enter FANS for the 24 hour option, maybe I run slower. I don't know.

Shortly after the 50 mile mark Scott began doing calculations and figured maybe we could break 12 hours. I was feeling really good. I thought maybe we could. We ran/walked a while longer and Scott told me I should go ahead and break 12 hours. I thought about it a while and decided yeah, I'd give it a try.

I ran ahead, I felt sad to break away from Scott, I had really enjoyed running with him and he saved my legs. But I wanted to break 12. Off I went.

I asked Alicia for my iPod at the next station and rocked on for the finish line.

The relay runners make the ultra runners feel like rock stars. I had one group of relayers stand along the shoulder and do the WAVE as I ran by. They yelled and screamed at me and told me how awesome I was. It was incredible.

It was one big ego trip, those last 5 miles in.

Rick; an ultra runner friend of mine appeared around 55 miles. He ran the Glacial Trail 50K last week so wasn't running. It was so neat to run with him for a while. I had no idea he would be out on the course. He just wanted to offer his support.

I had 5 miles left. If I ran 11 minutes miles I would make it. I had been running 11 minute miles; I could do it. Maybe. If I didn't fall or puke or who knows. Anything could go wrong at this point.

Alicia parked her car and ran over to my side of the road. "Right here, this spot is 4.5 miles to the finish" I told her I might be able to break 12 hours. If I ran my ass off.

I ran my ass off.

The relayers were SCREAMING! "Woman solo! Woman solo! Your an inspiration! How do you do it? GO GO GO GO GO GO!" It was crazy fun. I was smiling so much my face was hurting!

I turned into the wooded finish area, about .5 mile left and knew that I was going to do it. Woohoo!

Oh my gosh, as I'm running into the finish, there is Bonnie. I couldn't believe it! She was clicking off pictures and clapping and yelling. She and her daughter had driven up and were able to watch Scott and I finish.

The announcer: And here's a solo..Julie Berg..from Big Lake..just ran 100K..congratulations!

11:53! Yeah hoo! I ran this race 2 years ago in 12:40.

It was awesome.

I felt really good. 4 minutes later, here came Scott, in 11:57! He broke 12 hours; a PR for him too. Woohoo!

We walked into Lake Superior and soaked our feet and legs. It had warmed to about 55 degrees, but by 5 PM it was cooling back down.

Bonnie went back to Minneapolis and I and Scott were treated to massages. It was fantastic.

What a wonderful day in the beautiful Minnesota northern woods.

***I brought along my camera; I didn't realize the battery was low. I did get 2 before pictures I'll post. Bonnie will be emailing me many that she took. I'll post those when they arrive.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Stung by the Flu Bug

Yuck. Tuesday night I came down with the flu. I imagine now that I have been moved to the main office of the High School, I am going to be coming down with more cold and flu germs than ever. Germy students!

Three weeks ago it was a horrible cold, now it is the flu. I stayed home ill yesterday, but hated to stay home today when I am taking Friday and Monday as vacation days.

Friday I am leaving for Duluth for the race and on Monday Tyler's Middle School has their 'take your parent to school day'.

So, I went into work today, even though I was feeling sub-par.

Tomorrow I'll head up north. I need to attend the mandatory Ed Fitz 100K meeting at the DECC. I'm going to hook up with a few other runners and spend the night with them at a mutual friend's place.

We'll head out at 3 AM for the bus ride to the start of the race, up near Lutsen. I begin the race at 5 AM and expect to finish around 5 PM.

The forecast looks wonderful. Lows in the 40's; highs in the 60's. No rain so far.

I received the funniest email from my run club today. They are taking part in the Ed Fitz relay. Here goes:
1)Question to Relay team:
A woman starts running at 5am on a beautiful moon lit morning on a quiet country road in the Minnesota Northwoods. She runs about 6mph, or
in running terms a 10 minute per mile pace.

The woman is an experienced ultra marathon runner with several wins
under her belt. She has trained hard for this race, and is prepared to

At approximately 7:30am, on a cold, dark and dangerous gravel road high
in the Saw Tooth Mountains, one of the older members of a mostly middle
aged relay team, flashlight and pepper spray in hand, starts his run. The
team hopes to average about 7.5 mph, or an 8 minute pace. The relay team,
due to very unfair race rules must run 5k more than the individual woman

The Question: Will the old men catch the woman? and if so, at what mile

2) Reply from a relay runner:
IF the assumptions are correct (see caution below) the old guys
should pass the foxy blond at 3:30 PM.
The girl has an hour and half head start at 6 mph (9 miles)
The girl has a course that is 3 miles shorter and that is "felt" at
the beginning,
thus, the real head start is 12 miles
The old guys run 1.5 mph faster (CAUTION - there is one of them that
thinks we should add a probability factor to that in that there is a high
risk that he can't perform as expected). It will take 8.00 hours (12
divided by 1.5) to make up the 12 mile head start.
That puts the cross over point at about 3:30 PM. By that time, the
girl will have been on the course for 9.5 hours and the guys for 8 hours
3) Response from another relay runner:
That's not quite the formula I used to solve the problem.

I think your close, but according to my calculation, we will not catch
the blonde unless she stops at the finish line and waits for us. unless of
course she does some walking along the way... then we have a chance....

here is my formula (I haven't done a story problem in years so not sure
if this is correct):
Distance = Rate * Time
Blonde: d = 6mph * (t + 2.5hours)
Team: d = 7.5mph * t - 3.1

then just solve for t
6 * (t + 2.5) = 7.5 * t - 3.1
6t + 15 = 7.5t - 3.1
18.1 = 1.5t
12.067 = t

now substitute for t
Blonde: d = 6mph * (12.067 + 2.5hours) = 87.402miles
Team: d = 7.5mpr * 12.067 - 3.1 = 87.402miles

However, if for example, the blonde stops for a couple nature breaks, and
maybe a bite of smoked salmon along the way, and only averages 11 minute
miles, and the guys maintain the 8 minute pace, then the guys would catch
the blonde at 66 miles (the finish line)

Wonder how a college calculus student would solve this probem?

4)Me: WOW. A formula. I should have paid more attention in Math!!

Blonde had the flu yesterday. May make more potty stops. Ewwww.

5) Relay runner: this may be the first time I've applied any math formulas or knowledge to a real world problem!

I'm not sure how to work in "potty stops" or "being taken in the woods" into
a math formula? that could obviously throw all the calculations off.


I'm impressed/happy that they actually tried to figure out when they'd see me :) But, as I said before..they are a great group of guys!

Talk Sunday.. Over and Out....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Troy's football season is over. His team lost their game on Saturday, so the season came to an end. For now, I have my evenings FREE. Next week he begins basketball, but for now, I'm free.

Tyler had a football game after school today. They lost. Poor kid, out of 4 games..they have had 4 losses. He's pretty disappointed.

It was cold sitting out there on the bleachers watching them play. I wanted to get up and run around the track! At least I would have warmed up. But I held back, for I had already been running today. Took Topaz around the neighborhood, in the dark, headlamp on head, running up and down the streets at 430 AM. I got in 6 miles in :48:10.

It looks like I'll have a crew after all. A friend of mine that is running Ed Fitz will share his pacer with me. Thanks! This eases my mind a bit.

So I guess I'll be hitting the couch and the TV button. It's been months. I used to like watching The Amazing Race and The Biggest Loser. I'll see if I still enjoy them!

Sunday, October 09, 2005


I ran my yesterday run today. I was scrunched for time yesterday so ran 5, today had more time so ran 10. The rivers are real high; Topaz went for a swim instead of just laying in the water. We've had torrential rains this past week.

It's a beautiful day today in Minnesota. When I hit the trail it was 40F, now it is up to 56F and sunny. The smell of fall is in the air, the leaves are changing, it is truly wonderful.

So while I was running this morning I began to think about Ed Fitz 100 K. The race is taking place next Saturday. I'm feeling good and recovered from Twin Cities Marathon last Sunday. Next week I'll feel even better.

I ran Ed Fitz 2 years ago; I had a crew of Ann and Bonnie. They met me at most of the aid stations every 5K to cater to my every whim. It was a great day. It was my first 100K and I finished in just under 13 hours. I ended up taking 3rd woman and won $150. Go figure!

Last year I caught a cold right after running Superior 50 Mile, I still had it while running TCM and by the time Ed Fitz came around it had turned into bronchitis so I never ran Ed Fitz. Bummer.

This year I'll be at the start. I don't have a crew though so that's the pits. I can have a drop bag at 50K so I'll put a few Myloplex bars and gels, maybe a sandwich or something in there for the half way point. I'll probably begin the race in pants, over shorts, then I can just pull the pants off and tie them around my waist until I get to my drop bag. That's kind of a pain. I'll have gloves, ear band, etc. I'll feel like a damn pack mule. I've even been thinking about wearing my camelback just to carry stuff, but oh, how I hate wearing that.

When I first began running ultras I used the camelback and I packed everything but the kitchen sink. During Ice Age 50 Mile it weighed 27 pounds. That's crazy!

I've since pared down a bit.

I really like my Nathan Sports 2 24 oz water bottle carrier. I'll probably just use that.

The aid stations at Ed Fitz mainly cater to the relay runners. They are many teams that run the 100K. My Big Lake Run Club will be up there with a team.

If you don't have anything to do next Saturday and would like to go for a drive in the great north woods, hey, maybe you want to spend 12 hours driving around, crewing for me?

I better check the weather forecast for next Saturday.

Enjoy today!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp Intensive III Week III

Yesterday marked the beginning of Week 3 of the Bootcamp III.

I'm down 4 pounds. I did have the Blizzard extravaganza the weekend prior to BCI-III so I've mainly lost gain from that episode. I'm working on an additional few pounds to lose over the next two weeks. I'll get there too.

Last night we had the conference call with Coach Dave. There are 32 members of this Bootcamp and together we have lost over 100 pounds. WooHoo!

We spoke about the addiction to foods; sugar mainly. Yes, I whole-heartedly know about that one. I have found that the only way I can stay away from sugar/processed foods/bakery is to view them as cigarettes and alcohol. Sounds crazy; but it works.

Today a co-worker brought in a pan of home made Special K bars. She melted one bag of butterscotch chips with one bag of chocolate chips for the frosting on top. Do you know how that smells? Very, very good. I had the gals cover them up with a sheet of saran wrap so I didn't have to smell them all day long.

Then I walked into the lunch area. There in a big bowl sits a mixture of dry roasted peanuts (shelled) with halloween candy corn! Can you imagine how good the sweet/salt must taste? It must be like a Salted Nut Roll.

I ran away from the bowl. I hope it is gone tomorrow. I don't know how much more I can take!

Tonight: 1 hour run during fb practice

M1: Oat pancake
M2: Banana/All The Whey Protein Powder
M3: Tuna pouch, 1 bag frozen veggies, apple
M4: EFL Taco Salad
M5: FF Cool whip/FF Pudding :)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Here I am, recovering nicely from the tough effort at the marathon on Sunday.

I'm surprised at how sore my upper body is. I recall scrunching up my shoulders during the race, then letting them go, trying to run relaxed. I was so tense and must have been scrunched up most of the race.

My neck, shoulders and arms are SO sore! I don't think I've ever had such a stiff and sore upper body after a race before. It was very sore before I lifted weights last night. It actually felt good to lift and stretch everything out.

After lifting weights I attended a beginning Yoga class. I have gone to the pilates classes before; but never Yoga. I enjoyed it very much. I felt like my cat, Toffee, doing all those stretches! I'll definately attend again.

I wish I could afford a massage! That seems like such an expensive luxury; I think I spend enough on this running habit-I don't really need to spend more for recovery :)

Tonight is run club but I may opt for a kinder, more gentle run on the trail with Topaz.

M1: Oat Pancake
M2: Banana/All They Whey Protein Powder
M3: Tuna Pouch, Apple, large green salad
M4: Turkey Patty, 2 c cabbage
M5: Apple, cottage cheese

Monday, October 03, 2005

TCM finishing grounds at the Capitol Posted by Picasa

TCM After Posted by Picasa

TCM Before Posted by Picasa

The Day After...

Thank you for so many nice congratulatory messages; even though I didn't reach my goal. I realize that it isn't the end of the world, that there are other races and that yesterday just wasn't my day.

I really ran my hardest, albeit not my smartest. How could I not realize I should wear my water pack. Did I lose respect for the marathon distance? I would never ever not wear a water pack while running an ultra. Maybe I have never worn a water pack during a marathon simply because I didn't know they existed prior to ultras. Maybe it wouldn't have even mattered.

And why was I SO focused on running with the pace group? I know why. I really thought the group would make it easier for me to run the distance in that speed. Well, hello, did I really think it was OK to run 3 sub 8 minute miles to catch them? No, I know I have no business doing that..very strange indeed that I did. I don't understand some of my actions.

Gels and bars. I ate two. Two gels. WTF? That's not enough. That's stupid. I had 8 in my waist pack thingy bob and 1 myloplex bar. But I was running so damn fast I didn't have time to eat one. I didn't FEEL like it. Whine whine whine whine.

OK, so I am learning from this race. That's what it is all about.

Next year (yea, next year) I'll train on the course. Why wouldn't I have thought of that this time around?

So now I'm thinking about Ed Fitz 100K in two weeks..well, less than two weeks.

I'll recover a bit, bike a bit, run a bit and stretch; mainly just rest up.

Blech. Another rest period.

M1: Oat pancake
M2: 4 oz tuna, large green salad, ff dressing
M3: apple, cottage cheese
M4: Cherry Garcia protein shake
M5: Boca Burger, large green salad, ff dressing

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Not Boston Bound :(

Hi there,

Below is a copy of my race report to my ultra running group. I didn't do it today. I did not have what it took to qualify. I'm ok with that (like I have a choice in the matter-well, I suppose I could be pissed, I'm not)as I gave it all that I had today. I could not hold the pace. Man it was hard!!

Thanks for all of your encouragement and support while I was training for this buggar! I appreciate that so much.

Sometimes days just go like this and we have to learn from them :)

I'll post some pics in a bit.

TCM was tough tough tough for me.

Last June I pr'd at Grandmas in 3:59:58 and this surprised me greatly. I had never broken the 4 hour barrier.

I then hatched the great idea of trying to qualify for Boston at TCM by running a 3:50.

I trained hard these past few months. I began to run at the track, running Yasso 800's in 3:40-3:45. I started with 3 and worked my way up to a dozen. I began to run tempo workouts as well, these are two workouts that I've never incorporated into my training before because, well, running faster than what I was used to, hurt. Plain and simple.

The speed workouts and losing some weight helped to quicken my ultra distances. I began to PR at the 50K and 50 mile distances.

I thought I could run a 350 today, maybe even a 345.


I drove over to Ann's this morning. I was so lucky to again be able to ride with Ann, her hubby Fred and son Kyle. Kyle entertained me all the way there .. and back. He's a funny little energetic 7 (I think) year old that reminds me of how my boys were at his age.

After we were dropped off at the Dome we stood around in lines, met up with friends and then I was ready to find my pacing group.

I thought I had plenty of time to find them. Wrong again. 20 minutes prior to start and the chutes were already crammed and full. I pushed my way up to the 445's and stopped dead. Oh well, I figured I'd catch them soon enough. Wrong again.

We were off and running. I crossed the start and tried to find my group. I spoke with Val from Voyageur, whom I and Jeffrey ran with at V for quite some time, it was awesome to see her again.

1 mile down and I still hadn't caught the 350 pace group. 1 mile: 7:34. Not good, way too fast. Mile 2 and I still hadn't caught them! Not good again: 7:56. Mile 3 and finally caught them. Mile 3: 8:00. This was bad. Way too fast for me. In retrospect I SHOULD have just run my miles off of my pace band but at the time I was hell bent on catching the group. (another lesson learned) I was out of breath, hot and dry.

I realized that I should have been carrying my ultra pack with the 2 24 oz bottles. Heck, I always train with this and I always drink 24 oz an hour. That's what my body is used to. Why didn't I have it? (another lesson learned). I was having trouble sustaining on the 3-5oz cups of water, even though I was trying to chug as many as I could.

At mile 10 I was at 3:45 pace. I was pretty excited about that, but not excited about the way my quads were cramping. I've never had cramping in my muscles. Never.

I was doing electrolyte caps, did a gel, more water at the aid station..then guess what. Another first and bad move. I missed an aid station! I thought there was only one table that I passed, I guess I must have passed a few more because all of sudden I realized the water tables were gone and I hadn't had anything to drink. (another lesson learned)

Mile 13 and holding onto the 345 pace but fading fast. I could feel it fading.

Mile 16 and holding to the 350 group..then I had to make a pit stop. Yeah. Of course.

Mile 19 and I fell. Yeah, fell during a marathon on asphalt. No roots, no rocks! I was running along and didn't notice (wasn't looking I guess..duh) the guy with the rake in front of me, raking out the cups and runner debris. My toe hooked the rake and BAM. Face plant. Scratched my sunglasses, the hat flew off but I was OK. I caused a collision in back of me. It was the pits. My iPod shot out of its case on my arm and slid a ways. I probably would have laughed it I wasn't feeling so lousy and hot and dry and crampy in my quads.

Mile 20 and I'm falling off of 350 pace. Mile 21 took me 10 minutes. I just want this over with.

Then I changed my attitude. I was going to finish and I was going to have fun. I couldn't qualify for Boston today but I could at least enjoy the marathon, enjoy the spectators and enjoy the other runners. There was no way I could keep the 350 pace. That was real fast and real tough for me to hold. I was going to finish the race in 10 minute miles, around 4 hours and enjoy the surroundings. I could not go any faster.

I enjoyed the spectators. I saw members of my Big Lake run club: Kevin and Ken were loud and encouraging! I saw Jo, Don and Chris and the girls; I kept seeing Marie's Tom over and over again! It was so much fun finding spectators that I recognized.

My legs were heavy and tired. Man they were tired. I was running as FAST as I could and I could not break a 930 mile this last section. I'm sure I didn't.

I was running my best, doing what I could do today and it was not good enough for a Boston qualifier. It was just not good enough. It was the best I could do today. The best I could, that's all I could give and I'm happy with that.

My watch time was 4:02, I think the race clock said 4:08. A TCM pr for me.

At the finish line I was able to watch Ann run in, it was fun to see her finish! A PR for Ann. Woohoo!! We hobbled to the changing tents and who was there but Leslie from Voyaguer! A gal I and Jeffrey ran with for a while. I never did see Val from V again.

Leslie left behind a container full of wet wipes. Ahh, how good it felt to wipe the salt from our face! The little things in life!!

Kyle entertained me all the way back to Ann's. All in all, it was a great day!

There were many of the MN-DRS out there, don't let me be the only one to talk about the day:)

Julie Berg
Big Lake

Saturday, October 01, 2005


This morning I wasn't going to run. I really wasn't. I was going to take a day off. But when I woke up it was 55 degrees out; a beautiful morning, we won't be having many more mornings like this in Minnesota..for a long long time.

What's a gal to do?

I had until 930 before I had to be home to do the football goings-on. I grabbed my running clothes and I and Topaz were out the door and driving to the trail.

It was a fabulous 3 mile run. Short and sweet. I didn't feel like a beached whale; I felt sharp and focused. Just what I needed.

Off to the football game where Troy's team won 25-6. Yippee!

I and Marie were off to the Twin Cities Marathon Expo. Neither I nor Marie are big shoppers. We just kind of mill around, aisle after aisle-looking for the free stuff. Today I came home with many free items, even Fresca pop. 6 cans! Unreal. Plus Listermint strips (do runners have bad breath?), chapsticks, cereal samples and a whole lot of unimportant flyers and papers that I tossed out.

Oh yeah, and a Clif Pace Team 3:45 wrist band..gulp.

I decided not to try immodium since I haven't tried it in training. I'm going to try something else. I and Ann aren't leaving until 6 AM so I have plenty of time to go for a little pre-run, a warmer upper of sorts. I'll hop on my treadmill for a mile or so..then I'll have to go..for happens every time.

The forecast for tomorrow is 65F start time and 86F for a high. My kind of running temps. I much rather have warm than cool and rainy.

If you are out on the course tomorrow I'll have on black shorts, pink sleeveless top-that may be tied around my waist showing a multi pink/black jog bra, white/purple Montrail "Run Like A Girl" hat. Number 3980. I hope to see you!

Over and out...