Sunday, December 31, 2006

Running at the Murph

A few weeks ago my friend Maria (whom I trained with and ran Superior 100) put out a post on the Minnesota Dead Runners Society list asking if anyone was interested in a New Years Eve/Day run at the Murphy Hanrehan Park, near her home. She received responses from a handful of people and an organized run was born.

The plan was to start the run at 8AM for 20.07 (or so) miles. As I posted yesterday, we were in the middle of a torrential downpour. It was still raining HARD at 5 AM this morning when I awoke, and kept pouring for most of our run.

At 745 I pulled into the lot. Shortly thereafter Maria pulled in with her roving aid station. Honest to God, her mini van has been the aid station more times than I can count on one hand. Today she had it stocked with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, orange slices, cookies, cookies and more cookies, salted nut rolls, candy bars, M&M's, potato chips, coke, water and many more items I am sure. Thank you Maria!!!

Scott, Alicia, Lynette and Kevin pulled in with Bob, Chris and Doug following. Shortly thereafter came Les, John and Doug. We had a great turnout!

The temperature stated 42F, the rain was coming down in sheets. The forecast told us that it was going to turn over to snow late morning and that we could receive 5" of snow. THE snowfall of the year, as we've only received like one inch so far.

We took off down the trail, sloshing through the puddles and exclaiming how it sure felt like April. The trail was very very muddy and wet, we were soaked within a few minutes.

The conversation was excellent, it was so wonderful to spend some time on the trail with my friends. I realized I haven't run with people since Ed Fitz. Well, maybe 1 or 2 run clubs since Ed Fitz, but that is it. I enjoyed running with my friends so much today.

We ran 8.5 and came back to the parking lot; refueled and hydrated. A few left for dryer climates and the rest of us took off for another loop. We were all quite chilled as we stood around talking, talking, chewing, chewing for long enough to get cold. Soon enough we were warmed up. I had to take off a shirt as I over-dressed.

I was following Maria closely from behind and slosh! Right into a huge puddle with ice hiding what was below-a few inches of icy water! That is what I get for following too closely :)

Back to the lot for MORE food and MORE drink and MORE conversation until the chills set in we were for more fun and miles.

We ended up seeing one barn owl-that was it for the wildlife. We saw many deer tracks but we were talking so much, I am sure we scared them off before we could reach them.

It was a lot of fun to find out what races we are all going to run next season. A few of us will be running the snowshoe marathon in a few weeks, Les is going to run a 50K in Kansas that Maria and I are thinking we will participate it as well. February 10, I believe.

We were talking about FANS and I stated I finally have that monkey off my back. After a discussion I think I have decided to try Kettle Morraine 100 instead of FANS again this year.

An hour or two before we finished the rain finally turned over to snow. We could feel the temp drop and the winds escalate. I was getting tired.

The Murph is a gem of a park to run in; lots of different trails and routes with a ton of hills! We ended up running 23 miles.

After changing into dry warm clothes in my car I was ready to head for home. In a snowstorm! It was horrible. I saw many accidents and cars in the ditch. I was shaking while driving because I am such a chicken on ice. It was glare ice. With snow on top. It sucked big time. The snow was so heavy that I couldn't see the road, I drove super slow.

At last I arrived home, took a hot shower and decided I did NOT want to go to our friends home another hour away for their party. I would have to do the driving home and I was not up to it. The family agreed and we stayed home to watch another movies. We're liking this NetFlix thing!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

42 Miles for 42 Years

Happy Birthday to Me!

I planned a perfect way to spend the day: on the trail, running 42 miles.

I arranged for the boys to be picked up early by my sister to head to the water park for the day. Steve was going to pick up my car at the trail to have my remote starter installed. I was planning on finishing up by 1 PM, time to shower, grocery shop and get the boys hair cuts upon their return. I let my family know my wish for today was to run long and to spend the night watching movies. What a great birthday!

Cooler was packed with apples, bananas, grapes, cheese, Subway sandwich; I had lots of HEED and water; gels, dry gloves and socks.

At 4AM Topaz and I were ready to roll. The trail was wet, not even icy. At 4 AM it was already 37F outside. Crazy. Cloudy, so very dark. I had my headlamp and a hand held flashlight, spare batteries.

It was so quiet out there, quiet and extremely dark. Topaz is freaky over lights; he kept on trying to herd up my beam. Good grief! He is skittish and the dark shadows freaked him out more than once. I was quite amused while I watching him.

The hours ticked 9 AM I headed out to my car and caught Steve as he was ready to leave for the shop with it. I talked him into walking a loop with me. How could he refuse? I am out there running 42, it is my birthday, all I want is for him to walk a loop with me..he did, and he enjoyed it too. Or, at least he wouldn't let on that he wasn't having a nice walk. He couldn't imagine how I could actually want to go any further, but that is one of the differences between he and I. The more I go, the more I want to go.

I piled all of my stuff from my car to his truck and then refueled and made sure Topaz took in some calories and water. We were all set for a few more hours of running.

I spent all day out there and never saw ONE other person! I am surprised that there aren't many others who use the trail, but I am sure grateful that it is quite private. Of course it began to rain quiet heavily..yeah..rain on December that probably was a deterrent for many.

We finished running right on schedule; no aches or pains, no Advil necessary. I consumed a whole Subway during the day, an apple, banana, a few gels and lots of HEED.

Home to shower and get groceries before the boys and Steve arrived home. After they arrived we fit in the hair cuts, had dinner and then it was movie time. We watched a few episodes of 24 (I bought Tyler the first 4 seasons for his Bday), Mission Impossible III and Super Size Me.

What a great day.

It's now 43 F at 10PM; it is raining cats and dogs out. Tomorrow I'm meeting some friends am the Murph for 20.07 miles of running trails. I better get to bed.

Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 Recap and Pondering 2007

It's already been two years since I began this blog. It has become more than I ever intended. This blog began as a place to write my thoughts, to log my miles and race reports.

I have 'met' so many wonderful cyber people through this blog, and through your own blogs. I have been inspired by so many of you, and I thank you for your cheers and well wishes as I try to reach new highs.

I began this blog on my 40th birthday. I wasn't looking forward to turning 40, I was quite depressed by the thought. Thank goodness the days leading up to turning 40 were worse than turning 40 itself. As I look toward turning 42 tomorrow, it is no big deal! I'm happy where I am and wouldn't change a thing.

2006 was quite a year for me. I excelled at running, surpassing my wildest dreams and goals. My goals were to PR at all ultra distances 50K-100 mile to 24 hour. I was able to check off that goal. I PR'd at 50K, 50 mile, 100 mile and 24 hour. Running McNaughton 2 hours faster than the previous year gave me the confidence I needed to try 100 miles at FANS. FANS scared me. I had dropped out the previous year at 12 hours and hadn't been able to reach 100 miles during my 2 prior attempts. Lo and behold, I was able to run 116.8 miles and capture 2nd woman. CRAZY. Voyaguer 50 mile came along and I wanted to break 1030. I did, 1026. Incredible when you take into account my first V was 1406, then 1234 and 1045. September brought Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile Trail Race. I was confident that I had a good solid training program to get me to the finish. I logged plenty of miles on the SHT and had Maria to run the race with. Damn. I couldn't finish it. I DNF'd at 77 miles.

My 2006 goals of finishing 3-100 miles races was going to bring me to my 2007 goals: Running The Grand Slam. Because I DNF'd at Superior, I may not have had the confidence to try the GS. I may have decided to finish Superior instead of trying Wasatch. Because I didn't get into Western States, I don't have to worry about it.

That brings me to my main goal for 2007: Finishing the Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile Trail Race. To get to the finish line I will add longer back to back runs on the SHT. My legs gave out at 77 miles. I'll run the 50K up there in May on a Saturday, followed by another 20 mile on the SHT on Sunday. I'll go up for weekends, training back to back long runs mid summer to late summer. I'll finish that race..or damn near die trying!

I'm also going to dip my toes into the sport of triathlon. Those that have been reading my blog since inception will know that my friend Ann and I were training for triathlon in the months before she was diagnosed with Lymphoma, Stage 4. We were biking 20-30 miles and swimming. Her swimming was getting pretty strong, mine still sucked. It still sucks. When Ann was diagnosed at the end of October we still had plans of completing the Chain of Lakes triathlon in May. After Ann passed away in February, I just couldn't bring myself to complete the triathlon without her.

It's been a tough (almost) year that Ann has been gone. Running all of the races this past summer without Ann has been especially tough.

For 2007 I will complete the Chain of Lakes triathlon, in May. I'm going to train with Team in Training for the 2007 Lifetime Fitness Olympic Triathlon and will be collecting funds for Lymphoma Cancer Research in Ann's memory. I'll then try my hand at a 1/2 Ironman..looking like either Pigman or Steelhead. Collecting funds in Ann's name and helping to further the research for Lymphoma Cancers will get me into the pool. I know that Ann will be with me. 2008 will bring another 1/2 Iron and Ironman WI.

I'll also run the McNaughton 100 mile in April; I love that race! This year they are adding a 150 mile option..I just don't know that I want to go around the course an additional 5 times. June will bring me to FANS, and you know, now that the fear is gone I might as well try cracking that 100 again. I'll run my usual favorites: Superior 50K, Afton 50K, Voyaguer 50 mile; yes, I'm a creature of habit. I don't have the money or the time to travel long distances to run my races. I enjoy the Minnesota races very much and am very happy right here.

I guess I better get into the pool...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Runner Girl Saved By Dog!

This is a great link. I sat here and cried, I'm not the only runner girl who has a dog as a best friend :)

Holiday Preparations

I'm all prepared for the Holiday. Today I made the last of the prepartations: Grocery Shopping. Egads, the grocery store was crazy busy but well stocked, thank goodness.

Christmas Eve menu: Appetizer: Cream Cheese Ball, Meat and Crackers, Veggies, Blue Cheese Dressing, Olive Tray, Shrimp Cockatil. Main Course: Lobster, King Crab Legs, Porterhouse Steak, Tequillaberry Salad, Marshmallow-Cherry Salad, Fresh Baked Bread, Cheesy Potatoes, Lefse. Dessert: Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake

All ingredients are purchased and I'm ready to cook.

So did Lobster become more expensive this year or did I just purchase the biggest one I could find because I am hungry? One lobster (I'm the only one that likes it) ran me $42.50. Sure, it's 1 1/2 pounds @ $32 a pound, but sheesh. I don't think I've spent that much ever on a lobster. I only purchase one each year, for Christmas Eve, and yes, it is a major splurge for me financially. It's worth it once a year, you know! I figure I deserve it. Yeah, that's how I rationalize it. Oh, and my nephew Lukas likes to eat some of 'aunties' lobster too.

Before I did all of the shopping I and Topaz ran 15 miles on the trail. I didn't have to worry about slushy Heed either. It was 34F when I left this morning. Crazy. There is about 1 inch of snow, it made for nice soft footing. It is supposed to hit 40F today so I'm thinking the snow won't be here for Christmas afterall.

Next Saturday is my 42nd Birthday. I'm thinking 42 miles for 42 years would be a great way to celebrate.

Have a great Holiday weekend!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Hills Are Alive..I am not..

I do I do feel dead! This is the year that hills will not kill. I will be strong running up and down hills. I will train on hills, I will, I will!

Yesterday Troy had a basketball tournament in Big Lake. After a few hours of basketball I volunteered for a few more hours at the concession stand. It is always the same parents who volunteer for everything. Sit courtside to make sure each child has equal playing time .. no one will raise their hand. 14 boys, there is at least one parent with each boy..some have two parents and will anyone raise their hand to help the coach out? Hell no. OK, up goes my hand. I'll help. Hell I'm at every game anyway. Now for each game I will be sitting on the bench with the boys. I will not be working any more concession stands, however. My time was served.

After basketball duties I hit the asphalt and hills. The Monticello route that my triathlon friend, Susan, ran with me last year. Oh man. It was as tough as I remembered. Last year I ran the route 3 times. This year I'll be running it once every 1-2 weeks. It's a killer.

I headed out at 1:00 with Espresso Hammergel and two 24 oz bottles filled with HEED. I brought some money and more HEED in plastic baggie so I could purchase water at the convenience store and mix up another supply. I had a few bars and some cliff blocks to try out. Grabbed my iPod and I was all set.

The first 15 miles went by pretty well. No aches and pains, drinking, eating, all is well. I was given FREE water by a cute guy working in the store, mixed up my heed and ate a few cliff blocks, which were OK. By 20 miles I was tired. I have only run a 20 once since Ed Fitz in mid October, so my body isn't all that used to that distance yet. I do have a snowshoe (or trail shoe the way the weather is looking) marathon next month so I better begin some long run training. Any how, the pavement, the hills, merciless hills and 20 miles kicked my ass. By 24 miles I was plain old exhausted and thinking of a hot shower. I reached my car just before dusk.

Geeze, I had a concert to go to! Tyler asked me if I'd take him to the 93X Nutcracker. It was his first concert and I was flattered he wanted ME to take him. I must not be too much of an un-cool Mom. I would have rather died than go to a concert with my Mom. Never ever. So, yeah, I was pretty excited. I was tired, but it was a lot of fun.

This morning was 15 EASY miles on the trail. Slow and easy. While sitting through church I almost feel asleep. I'm tired, a good tired, you know?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spring Has Sprung

Last night I hit the trail for 10 minutes. In shorts-and it was raining outside. Raining on December 12. That's crazy for Minnesota. All this week the temperatures are supposed to be in the 40's with a shot at 50 on the weekend.

We built our home 15 years ago and only one other time have we had a brown Christmas while living here, but it was -15F. I don't recall it being this warm in December, ever. Crazy, but I'll take it.

I broke off one of the crampons on my snowhoe during the marathon last winter. For only $5 Northern Lights repaired it for me. I don't care if it sits in the garage, unused for a few more weeks!

Tonight instead of run club I'm playing Bonkos. I'll be hitting the trail earlier in the afternoon with Topaz. I'll be wearing shorts. Again.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Racing the Sun..Set

Yesterday was Tyler's 15th Birthday. I can't even believe that 15 years has passed since his birth. Those of you that are parents know exactly what I mean. It's crazy. You ask yourself how did this happen even though you know exactly how it happened.

As per tradition since Kindergarten, I brought in a sheet cake to his class to serve and sing Happy Birthday. I thought once he entered HS he may balk at that idea, but he didn't. He enjoyed it very much, as did his classmates. For dinner he invited 5 boys over for my manicotti and more cake.

I didn't make it to Run Club because of the birthday celebration but did make it to the trail. Man, I have been fighting the cold weather for weeks. I have been complaining about it and dreading going out for my runs. It's been a mental battle that I finally overcame last night. The sun was shining brilliantly, the temperature was 17F with a -8 windchill. I wore three pair of pants, three tops and a jacket, gloves and mitts and a facemask. The full facemask was the ticket! It felt wonderful to run in the sunshine! I and Topaz ran 10 magnificent miles and had to race the sunset to finish at dusk.

Today I am looking forward to my evening run.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

No Western States in 2007

I simply forgot that the lottery for Western States was being held today. I had read that each entrant had a 26% chance of receiving an entry into the race, so I never really felt I'd get in.

Olga reminded me of it today, and alas, I was not selected.

I would like to attend the Western States training camp in May. Three days of running 70 miles along the trail, now that sounds like fun! Who knows..maybe I'll enter next year..but if I had to enter today, I wouldn't.

Last year I really wanted to run the Grand Slam, but it is tough to have a goal that could be unattainable. Wasatch is now a lottery, and hitting WS and Wasatch the same year could be damn near impossible. I think I'll let that goal go and think up a few more instead. I think I will just try to finish Superior 100 as well as McNaughton and FANS. I like those races and they are near home, that is important when selecting my races.

I've been feeling under the weather and I believe a full blown flu is on it's way. Tyler was sick last week, I suppose it is going to be my turn.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I still can't quite believe that Inov-8 offered a sponsorship to me. Every once in a while I'll receive a box of goodies. Today I received a box of goodies for the winter running season. How cool is that? I've ever so grateful.

Winter running pants and jacket

Wow! Winter running pants and jacket. Posted by Picasa


Today after my run with Topaz I saw a box on the front step. was from Inov-8, what will it contain?

Well, Merry Christmas to me! 4 more shirts, 3 pair of shoes-Gortex, of course, thick socks, 2 more running bras and uh..two.. pouches????

See the black and blue pouch. Hmmm..what is zippered up in there?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Family..3 Generations at Thanksgiving

Family Posted by Picasa


Feast Posted by Picasa

Family and Feast

I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving. We celebrated Thanksgiving #2 on Thursday. My parents, some relatives from Bemidji and St. Cloud and Laurie and her family all came over. We had a fabulous time. We played cards, dominoes, watched old movies of family and ate. And ate. And ate. Oh lord: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, lefse, cranberry hot dish, salads, cookies, pecan pie, ice cream, red cake..too much. Luckily we began the day with a 10 mile run/jog on the trail. Laurie is really getting into this running thing. She asked if I had an extra water bottle carrier for her to use. Of course! I just love it.

Friday was all about shopping. It is tradition that Laurie, Mom, me and sometimes Dad hit the malls or shop somewhere on Black Friday. Not because of sales, no...we do we get up and out at 5 AM. We just spend the day shopping together, just because we are all together and we can. This year Dad went with Tim and Steve to Cabellas and Gander Mountain. Steve bought his Christmas present already! He decided on a gun scope, case and a number of other 'gun/hunting' things. Mom, Laurie and I hit Arbor Lakes/The Fountain of Maple Grove. We shopped for a few hours and had enough. I finished up Christmas shopping and we just had a good time together, laughing and such.

Back to our house for leftovers. Oh man, one microwave and a 4 burners on one stove was not enough to reheat everything! Plus Mom had to prepare lutefisk and lutefisk is just wrong. I try it each year and just can not get past feeling it in my mouth. Ewww. I stuck to salads and turkey. Tyler had some lutefisk and was up from 11 PM to 4 AM puking. I'm sure he is blaming it on the lutefisk. Ick.

My parents will head out of state, to TX, on Monday until April. Each time they go I worry that I may not see them again. Sad, but hey, you never know. They drive all they way there and back, and so far, have been safe. We usually fly out for a long weekend to visit them during the winter. I'm thinking about President's weekend in February for our visit.

It's late this morning and we haven't even left for a run yet. I and Topaz are on our way..15 miles today. Mom and Laurie are thinking about getting in 5. Today: hitting the Outlets at Albertville.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Getting Longer

Yesterday Topaz and I ran 15 miles..I figured we might as build on that long run, my longest since Ed Fitz. Today I woke up early, we hit the trail before dawn for 20 miles. Topaz stirred up the snoozing deer and had a blast herding them back to me. I couldn't see that well, as it was still very dark, but made enough noise to make them turn away from me.

I became tired at about 15 miles..Topaz was still full of energy, bounding after grouse and trumpeter swans. I was taking some walk breaks, he was not.

20 miles took us 3:40; enough time for the frost to melt, for the temperature to increase from 14F to 34F and enough time to tire me out!

I came in and prepared Thankgsgiving Meal Number 1, as family flew in from CA on Friday. Topaz chose to go outside and run after the boys playing paint ball for 5 more hours.

Good grief!

I had planned to attend JFK 50 mile this weekend, then chose Ultracentric. When family decided to fly into town, I decided not to race and Steve gave up a weekend of deer hunting.

Maybe next year.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Topazs' First Road Run

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Topazs' First Road Run

I had been thinking about how I was going to fit in a run today, preferably with Topaz. During the week he is stuck inside of the house for 6 hours, anxiously awaiting his family's return. I didn't want to run without him.

I decided I'd try him on-leash, in town, while Tyler was at his 5:00 guitar lesson. Troy had a basketball practice from 630-830, I was planning on attending the gym during that time slot.

Topaz has run in our neighborhood before, off leash. We live out in the country, there isn't much traffic, I live on a dead end with .5 mile of driveway so he isn't used to moving vehicle traffic. He lives a sheltered life!

After some digging around I found a waist belt webbed leash I purchased for him online but had never put to use before. I found his collar. Tyler packed up his guitar, we were ready to roll.

I don't know why I haven't taken Topaz with me during the guitar lesson run. I guess much of the time it is too warm, the pavement is too hot for him, and I don't mind running without him once in a while. I knew he'd love it, hell, he'd love running over a molten lava field as long as he was running and he was with me. He loves me.

I brought Tyler to his lesson, parked the car and Topaz and I began our run. Oh my gosh, he pulled and pulled and pulled. I couldn't believe how he pulled me forward. He was making that gasping choking sound and I was going as fast as I could go! Thank goodness he was fastened by the waist band because I needed my arms to pump as fast and hard as they could!

We had a few miles in before we came upon the lake, I took out my flashlight so we could see where the rocks were and he went in for a swim and drink. Back out to the sidewalk and another mile before we came upon the real heavy traffic along Highway 10. The asphalt path is inbetween the lake and the highway for a while. Topaz is not used to traffic; this was heavy heavy traffic. Semi trucks, people honking at us that recognized me, trains, etc. He ran even faster! I realized what a country dog Topaz is. He was confused as we waited for a red light. I had him sit and stay and he's like 'why? I have my leash on and we are going for a run. what's up?'

Eventually we came upon a heavily wooded area where I was able to take the leash off and he could romp around as he loves to do. I realized he hadn't fully extended his legs during the whole time he was on leash. There was no way that he could while I was attached to him! He had stopped gasping early on, but there was never any slack in the 10 feet of leash between us.

He ran all out, tearing up the field, legs fully extended. I sat in a ball on the grass and panted.

He kicked my ass. I'm proud of him! He did very well on his first run in town. We now have a new Tuesday run around the lake.

We finished our run in time to pick up Tyler, get back home; pick up Troy and get on back to town for basketball practice, as I went to the gym..for workout #2: shoulders and back.

Is it wrong to have a dog for a best friend?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Racing Topaz

What a fun run today! After work I came home, changed clothes and told Topaz 'let's go for a run!' We headed off to the trail before the sun was going to set. The sky was beautiful: pinks, oranges and yellows. I didn't have my camera. I'll bring it next time!

I felt pure happiness again while running. It's been a while. I've felt burnt out, in a rut, whatever you want to call it. I'm not sure what is was. Probably still a sting from Superior 100. That won't go away until I finish her.

Anyhow, as I and Topaz were running I began to laugh, to talk to Topaz, and realized I hadn't done that in quite some time either.

I felt awesome, happy, strong and fit. I was trying to race Topaz. As he would meander off of the trail to chase a deer, or smell a turkey, I'd run up ahead as fast as I could. Inevitably, he'd notice I was ahead of him and tear up the trail as fast as he could, passing me, and getting in another 200 feet for good measure. I can not beat that dog. Ever. I kept trying, it was hilarious. For my last effort, he took off for a pheasant, of course the trail happened to go up hill, I ran as fast I could, trying to be quiet so he wouldn't notice that I was ahead of him. I didn't get half way up the hill when he came tearing by me as fast as he could go. I couldn't stop laughing. What a speed demon I have created in him! He truly loves running as much as I, plus he has that little Border Collie herding instinct working for him.

As we walked to the trail head I realized I was laughing, beaming, just having a grand time. I'm so glad I'm back!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sugar and Fat

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'Tis The Season

My cookie baking season began today. 20 dozen Buckeye and 20 dozen Russian Tea Cakes. Next week will be all about Pecan Pies, Waldorf Asotria Red Velvet Cake, Oreo Brownies, Lefse and Rosettes. Sweets for family (I live with three cookie monsters), teachers, co-workers, run club, book club, etc. Put a few dozen on a festive plate, some ribbon, wala, a great gift..that tastes good too!

On the running front, yesterday was 10 miles on the trail with Topaz and a 60 minute cardio crazed run on the treadmill. Today we ran 15 miles on the trail..because we hadn't run that far in a long time. Felt great!

I remembered that I have one broken snowshoe from the marathon last January. I still haven't had it fixed. I don't know if it is fixable or if I need to buy another. Is a person able to buy ONE snowshoe? Hmmmm...I know REI is holding a woman's snowshoe seminar in a bit. I wonder why women would be separate from men? Just curious. Is there a 'men's' snowshoe seminar? Strikes me as odd..

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

June Running In November

Today it hit 70 degrees! Yeah, 70! All I could think about was run club and being able to run outside in shorts. Funny that being a runner, that is all I thought about all day. It brought me a smile when I was irritated with students and brought me a smile as I was paying bills. Not a bad thought to have during the course of the day.

Since it was run club tonight, I had to hit the gym at 4 AM. Shoulders and back for 45 minutes with bursts of cardio. 15 minute run for a cooldown and back home quickly to shower and get the boys up for school. I'm liking this new gym and the 24 hours business. I can be there as early as I like.

Run club was wonderful! We had a good turnout, all sporting shorts and smiles. Hard to get used to the darkness at 6 PM, but with the 70F, no complaining here!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Seeing Orange

This morning the deer hunting opener for rifle took place. Steve and Tyler headed up north to get the almighty buck. I and Troy will be home enjoying the next three weekends in each other's company.

I and Topaz headed out for the trail early this morning. The hunters were out and shooting. The trail which I run is closed to hunters, and it is well posted as such. However, there are hunters surrounding the property, and the sound of gun fire in unnerving. I have orange running jackets - and Topaz wears his orange dog jacket as well. We ran a nice 10 mile route, never seeing any hunters but watched many many deer. Topaz was very busy herding them back to me.

After the run I came home and picked up Troy. We headed to the gym. I had a plyometric workout on tap. Oh good lord almighty. It kicked my ass. Big Time.

Last night the new trainer emailed me this workout and I was like, 'wow, no weights!' Well, no wonder. He wrote me to go hard and fast on the cardio, which I did. Warmed up with 10 minutes running, then plyometrics. Step jumps, jump over step, lunge on step, stairstepper break, jump on and off step, mountain climbers, elipitical break, bend and thrust, dumbbell step up with lunge, walking lunges and finish off with a 15 minute sesson on the treadmill at 8.5 mph. HELLO!

I was wringing wet and exhausted. Yeah. He calls this a 'fat stripping bootcamp workout'. I call it hell. I don't want to see it on my workout list again! I'm sure I will be there again.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Oh yeah, it happened. The chocolate. The chocolate that I haven't had to eat in months and months. Months and months that I haven't even craved it. The sugar monster has been asleep for a long time. I woke her up today. I sure did.

After Troy and I arrived home he poured all of his candy onto the kitchen table and began to sort it out. Three Muskateers here, Reeses in this pile, Hersheys over here, 10 Twix bars over there, Snickers here and Whoppers over there.

I was broiling a No Name Salmon steak and pan frying some asparagus. I hadn't eaten dinner yet. The damn little pop out thingy hadn't told me the salmon was done yet.

I could smell the freaking chocolate, I could hear it. Then I tasted it. Uhhu. The Reeses, the Three Muskateers, the Whoppers. All of them. I ate them all. And then the salmon and asparagus. Good grief.

A few hours later I went off to Run Club. There were 6 of us in the 28F/35 mph wind. Brrr. Soon we were all heated up and running fast. I felt great, full of energy, hell I had just consumed mucho mega carbohydrates and my body knew it, felt it.

The sugar freak awoke. I'll try putting her back to sleep. At least I got a good run in!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Happy Halloween!!

Oh yes, another October 31. Troy and Steve are out doing their trick or treating. They ride throughout the area on the four wheeler, Troy getting all of the candy that he can. He just thinks it is a great deal: FREE CANDY! What could be better for a 10 year old?

It's 23F with a cold blustery 40 mph wind; windchill of 5 so I don't thing they will be out too long. Just long enough for Troy to fill his goody sac.

I am so sore. I lifted 8 different leg exercises today; 4-6 sets each with reps of 12-15; that's higher than what I am used to. My trainer is mixing it up and boy can I feel it Legs are toast. I am lifting 6x a week, going on week 2. Sunday is a day off: cardio only. Ha! I'm doing cardio bursts inbetween my sets and my Topaz runs as additional cardio. Trying to burn off the fat and feed the muscle. We'll see how this experiment works.

I'm eating clean as can be, as usual. Only difference really is the oats for the AM meal..then eating 5-6 small meals a day, usually totaling 1400-1600 calories a day. Higher than what I'm accustomed, but I'm ok with it for now.

Today and tomorrow I am at the gym at 4 AM as I can't fit in the evening Mom duties and run and lifting in one night. I was shocked to see 3 others at the gym at that ungodly hour.

Stay warm and have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekend Fun

This weekend was all about family. Friday afternoon I was talking with my Mom and Dad, who live in Virginia, MN; about 250 miles North of here. They didn't have any plans for the weekend and we didn't really have any set plans for the weekend. Maybe a dinner out, a movie, nothing too scheduled. Free and easy. By the end of our telephone conversation Mom and Dad were packing their bags and spending their weekend with their two daughters.

They are both 65 years old now, in very good health, both have recovered from various cancers and other serious medical issues. Mom golfs every day (they winter in TX) and Dad walks with her every day and runs 4 times a week. I and Dad ran Grandmas Marathon 2000 together. What a treat that was, a day we will never ever forget. The whole family and many friends were with us that weekend.

Saturday morning my sister Laurie, Mom, Dad and I all met at the trail for a walk/run. We ran the first 5 mile loop and then ran/walked a second loop. It was a beautiful morning and it was so wonderful to spend our time together running.

We all went shopping and out for lunch later in the day. I had everyone over for dinner (stuffed pasta shells/green salad/garlic cheese bread/Walford Astoria Red Cake) and this morning we did it all over again.

We all met at the trail, ran 5 and then ran/walked another 5. I headed off to my church, Laurie and Mom went to Lauries'. I went to the gym for a lift of shoulder/bicep and tricep with cardio inbetween: 1:40.

After dinner tonight (salmon steak, asparugus, yams, pecan pie) we all went for a 40 minute walk. This time Tyler, Troy and Lukas ( my nephew) joined us on their bikes.

Family..what a great way to spend the weekend :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

3 - A - Day

Yesterday was reminiscent of my summer vacation workouts. I had the day off for various appointments and was able to get in plenty of workouts during the day.

1) Running with Topaz on the trail. My favorite! We hit the trail at 8 AM and must have been the first ones on the trail as we saw LOTS of wildlife. I saw my first owl out there, a big feathery creature and it was huge, making a loud racket and the flying over my head. Awesome. I also saw 11 deer; now I don't know if they were the same deer over and over as I looped around the course but I did count 11 of them. They can hear the shotguns go off from the bird hunters near by and they all come into the Wildlife Refuge where they much know it is safe for them. 5 miles. :55

2) Gym workout: Abs Abs and more Abs with burst of cardio: stair stepper,eliptical and treadmill. I was soaked and exhausted. 1:30

3) Run Club: I haven't made it to Run Club in 3 weeks. Thankfully, they didn't give me my walking papers. I was tired so hooked up with the back of the pack and ran with Gene and Kay, from St. Cloud River Runners. We had a great conversation and fun run. Gene is turning 70, yeah 70 today! I would have guessed last 50's, maybe 60, but never 70 for his age. I want to be running like Gene when I'm 70!! :42

It was an awesome day. Today: full body weights with cardio interval training and trail run with Topaz. Yippee!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ooooodles of Noooodles

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Chicken and Noodles

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Every two weeks I ask Tyler to pick out what he'd like for dinner. Troy gets to choose each week, but he picks out 'junk' things like pizza, tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches; things I don't normally cook for dinner. Tyler, on the other hand, chooses things like manicotti, stuffed pasta shells, crab legs, etc.

Well, today he chose my chicken and noodles. Tons of noodles. I boil up three whole organic chickens, then cool. While cooling mix up the whole grain flour, salt and organic eggs. A dozen of the them. Roll out and cut.

Debone and defat the chicken, place back into pot of fatty water, add organic carrots and dried flour strips. Whala. A three hour stay in the kitchen.

This is why Tyler only gets to pick dinner every two weeks. Next time it will probably be pasties or something else time consuming!

Ah, very tasty though!

My sister wanted directions and pictures so since I was taking them for her I figured I'd post them here for your next dinner delight!


I have been nothing but exhausted this week. Completely and totally, physically and mentally. Exhausted and plain old wore out.

I have never really felt this tired while training; I always love training and running long distance. This week though, man, the miles caught up to me!

Wednesday I was going to go to run club. I cooked dinner, ate, cleaned up the kitched and sat on the couch to watch the news, dressed in running clothes. I woke up at 610 when run club begins at 6. Oops. Exhausted. Totally and completely!

Thursday I managed to make it to a new gym in town. I wanted to check it out, see how busy it is. It is only 6 minutes from home vs the 25 it takes me to get to Gold's. But there is less equipment, but, they are open 24 hours. It's cheaper. I obtained a 2 week pass; I'll use it for a while but continue my membership at Gold's just incase I end up waiting for weights. I couldn't tolerate that. I ended up doing full body; 65 minutes and ran with Topaz on the trail for 5 miles; well, walking and running.

Friday a few friends that I have met along the way arrived into town for a body building competion. They looked fabulous! We had dinner, caught up and they went off with their nervous selves to get some rest. It reminded me up the night before a 100 miles..all the nerves and wondering what will transpire the next day. It was incredible. Wow, the muscles these girls have developed, incredible!

Yesterday they had pre judging in the AM and the final judging in the PM; it was awesome to watch the women body builders. The show was a natural; no drug enhanced physiques here, all drug tested. Many families of the competitors came to watch and cheer.

I found myself wondering what their employers/co workers/friends must think a few days prior and after the competion, the contestants color their skin very very dark to show each muscle with definition. On stage they look great all oily and dark, but in real life, it looks freaky. I suppose their employers and the people in their life just get used to it and think "oh yeah, she's competing again..." just as when I come hobbling into work post long race my co workers say "oh yeah, she raced long again and can't walk and probably is full of blisters and no toenails" ...

K took first Overall Champion in Body Building (she was in the heavyweight class at 141) and S took 2nd Overall in Figure (tall class) Pretty darn awesome!

This afternoon I and Topaz will hit the trail for 10 miles. I feel like I have some energy to burn!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


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Alicia: Crew and Cheerleader :)

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Strrrreetttcchhhh out the back of the knees

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Gee, I'm happy and its sunny!

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Alicia and Cheri - Awesome Crew

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Kevin, Julie and Scott

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John passing Kevin, Julie and Scott

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Kevin, Scott and Julie

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Winner In Progress..John Storkamp

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Ed Fitz 100K Race Report

Another fantastic weekend with friends! You know, it is not only the races that are fun..but spending a weekend with a bunch of friends, with like minded interests is really a cool way to spend a few days.

I arrived Duluth Friday afternoon and met up with John and Cheri Storkamp at the DECC. We then had an early dinner at Pizza Luce'. I, of course, had my pre race staple of spaghetti. They do a superb spaghetti and meatball with a ceaser salad and breadsticks. I had the same meal at Luce' the night before Voyageur.

We then visited quite a few shops in Canal Park. We stopped by a Chocolatier. I purchased Troy a caramel apple covered in Oreo cookie and gummy worms (dirt and worms) and bought Tyler a caramel apple covered in peanut butter and chocolate chips (peanut butter cup). John purchased 4 decadent chocolates that I and Cheri helped him to consume as we walked back to the DECC for our race packets.

There was a 30 mile an hour wind and SNOW! It was horrible. We stopped at Caribou for a hot coffee to take off the chill. There was even snow accumulating on the ground.

At the DECC we were able to pick up the race packets for Scott and Kevin, as they would be arriving later with Alicia, who was crewing for us. Pierre would meet us at Kathy's a bit later as well.

Back to Kathy's to unload everything, set up camp, meet up with the others and go to bed. We all slept together in a separate little guest house that Kathy has. It was very nice and cozy, although, by the time we left this morning, the little guest house and taken on an order of garlic and sweaty tired runners. I and Alicia were very priveliged, as we were able to sleep together in the pull out bed. The others had the floor and mats.

Our alarms went on at 245 AM. Oh lord, what in the world were we thinking? The wind was howling-howling, and the snow flakes were falling. Brrrrr. Who wants to do this? I, Pierre, Scott, Alicia and Kevin headed out at 315; John and Cheri were able to sleep in a bit later as John was taking the 7 AM start. If you think it will take you over 10 hours, you are encouraged to take a 5 AM start. John is fast. It wouldn't take him that long to cover the distance.

We drove to Finland and arrived with 15 minutes to spare. We checked in with the race director and headed back to the car to sit with Alicia until the start. It was SO cold. 25F and windy with snow flakes. Ick. Finally, we got out of the car and noticed that people were already running down the street. I asked a woman if the race had begun. Infact, it had. We missed the "START". Oh well. We began to run, only catching one person during the next 50 miles! We caught one other soloist at about 55 miles. Unbelievable.

The race is for soloists, running the 100K, and there is also a team relay taking place, as well as a 50K solo/relay. The soloists are allowed a crew vehicle to follow, and you can take aid from the vehicle at each 5K aid station. Alicia followed I, Scott and Kevin during the whole race. At each 5K checkpoint she would pull over and ask us what we needed. It was such a treat! I had a cooler of sandwiches, HEED and Ensure to pick from. There were cookies and snicker candy bars at each aid station. No sandwiches, potatoes, bananas or the usual ultra food. Having Alicia is the best. She would take my gloves, get me my sunglasses, get my food and drink; she is awesome. She is always positive and smiling, just what we needed. She even went to get hot coffee for Kevin and Scott.

The relay teams could begin between 5 and 7 AM. Each person does a "leg" of the race, carries a baton to hand off to the next team member, the vehicle driving along, following them.

What's so much fun is that the relayers really think that the ultra runners are rockstars. They cheer for us, bow to us, tell us we are an inspiration, crazy, etc. It's amazing. You have cheerleaders all along the course.

Before we left John and Cheri at Kathy's, I told John to make us proud. I thought he was going to go for the win and knew he could win the race. He told me that if all worked out he'd see us at 40 miles. Last year he passed Scott and I at 40 miles.

Yesterday he passed us at 21 miles!! All of a sudden, here comes Cheri, driving along...I damn near died. Here comes John, yelling and screaming "run until they are bloody stumps!" He was flying. Flying I say! Man, what a sight. Flying up the road, nobody anywhere near him, running fast. We were all in awe and wished him well. He flew on and Cheri told us that the nearest competion was a mile back. Go John. Kick ass and take names.

Pretty soon the Big Lake Run Club team came by. My friends that I run Wednesday night Run Club with. It was so great to see them out on the course. I look forward to it every year. We came up to a 5K check point and they all piled out, hugged and wished me well. They were having a fun time, Kevin was running the next leg so I high fived him and off he went. We didn't see them again.

I tried something new. I've never tried Ensure before but figured I'd give it a whirl. I purchased some Vanilla Ensure with High Protein. It was on ice and went down quickly and easily. I drank one container every 10K and didn't feel sick to the stomach or anything from it. Each container had 230 calories, a good fast way to get energy down. I packed sandwiches but didn't want the heavy full feeling they provide. I ate one sandwich at the beginning and carried one with me for 6 hours until I finally pitched it.

I, Kevin and Scott ran the whole 100K together. It was Kevin's first 100K. He ran his first 50K at Afton this July, his first 50 Mile at Voyaguer in July and his first 100K yesterday. That is so awesome! This was Scott's 6th Ed Fitz; my 4th. We had so much fun. I was one of the guys for the day. I burped, farted and swore with them. We sang songs and had great conversation. Scott knows every tree, sign and landmark along the course. He was our tour guide. He would say "we'll run up to the No Passing Zone." We would run up to the sign, take a walk break "we'll run to the far end of the guard rail" and we would. We took many walk breaks, did a lot of hard running. We were so damn tired.

At 50K Scott looked at his watch and couldn't believe we were over 6 hours. He was in shock. How can we be over 6 hours? It's never taken me 6 hours to get over 50K he said. We're running hard. The effort is tough. What the hell? I and Kevin were like, yeah, whatever, who cares about the time? I really didn't. I was EXHAUSTED. I was doing great mentally, which is where I usually check out, but I was tired physically. I have many miles on my legs this year and I didn't taper at all. I ran 60 last week and Twin Cities Marathon the week before. I knew I'd be tired. Scott ran Twin Cities and just came back from hiking the Grand Canyon for the better part of a week. He was tired too. Kevin ran Twin Cities too and just wanted to finish the 100K. Me too.

As we ran on, Scott was still perplexed at the time. Eventually he said he wasn't going to look at his watch any more. He'd look at the sun as a sundial as it was more our pace. It was too, we were slow, but felt like we were going as fast as we could. I could not push it one bit faster. No way no how and I was fine with that.

I had to take 4 Advil during the first 10K, the back of my damn knees were stiff and sore. I didn't feel any more pain until the last 5K, so that was good. I was just tired.

The last 20K was a grind. We knew we would finish, but when the hell were we going to finish? We all felt like walking but that would have taken forever so we kept grinding out the running sections, walking every now and again.

Alicia told us John's nearest competion was over 30 minutes behind him and Pierre was a few miles ahead of us.

We kept on grinding out the miles.

Finally, the finish was in sight. Another mile and we'd be there. Alicia had parked the car at the finish and walked back out to us. We all ran into the finish together. We had Kevin first, me second and Scott third. I think we finished 13:10 or so. I don't recall a clock and looked at my watch a bit later at 13:30, so I'm guessing. We did it. Thank God it was over. The wind, oh my gosh, it was an extremely tough day!

Pierre finished in 11:50.

JOHN WON THE RACE! HE WON THE RACE IN 8:08. Can you imagine??? He held that blistering pace where he blew by us the whole freaking way? He won the race and the second place finisher was AN HOUR behind him. Oh yeah.

We all went back to Kathy's for showers and then went to the DECC for the finishing ceremony. They call up each soloist, introduce us one at a time, we ring the bell, get our jar of taconite and take a place on stage. John, as the winner, had to give a speech. He thanked Cheri for crewing him the past three years at the race, all of the relayers for cheering him on, and his group of friends that make it all so much fun.

We were so damn tired. And hungry. We went back to Pizza Luce' where I had a huge ceasar salad with chicken and almost fell asleep at the table. At 1100 we had been awake for 20 hours, we climbed into our sleeping bags and were instantly asleep.

What an awesome weekend. Thanks for the memories you guys!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Last Long One

I wanted to get in one last long asphalt run prior to Ed Fitz 100K next week. Now that I think about it, it probably wasn't even necessary. I just ran TCM last Sunday, that was probably plenty. Oh well.

Today's run began at 4 AM as I wanted to be back home before the boys awoke. Steve's out of town and I wanted to make them a pancake, eggs and bacon breakfast that I usually do on Sunday mornings. We attended service at 1045 so I needed to be home in time for that as well.

I didn't want to get out of bed! This has been a high mileage week and I ran 15 on the trail yesterday. I felt tired. And grumpy.

Out of bed, into run clothes, feel bad for Topaz because he is giving me a dejected look. Promise to take him on the trail this afternoon.

Then I forgot my iPod. Oh good grief, I can't run for 4 hours on asphalt without something to listen to. And I should have my vest with reflective tape which I haven't worn since last winter. Oh, and a flashlight.

Finally out the door. I was so bored. I didn't take a very exciting route. Just up and down a county road by home, into Big Lake, around the lake and gee, nobody is up walking their dog or riding their bike or anything at this hour..lonely. Maybe I should have brought Topaz?

I forgot my blister potion too. I could feel one begin on the arch of my foot but it never fully developed. Lucky.

THEN the sun began to rise..oh, spectacular! Now it was better than sleeping, and then I saw the trumpeter swans, oh yeah, beautiful, now I'm feeling better, enjoying time to myself, just running and thinking and enjoying this process.

Before I knew it I was back into our neighborhood, lights were on, people starting their day..and mine began 4 hours ago. I like that.

Breakfast was good, too :)

Now I taper. Again.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Too Busy to Blog?

It's unlike me to let 6 days pass without blogging! I've been swamped.

This week at work has been crazy; homecoming week and all of the festivities. Both boys are playing football..every day for Tyler and every evening for Troy. It's crazy! Township meetings and County meetings this week. The Township meeting was in the way of my weekly run club run. No fair I say!

So yeah, here is the weekend and I have a few minutes before Troy and I leave for his football game. I was able to run 15 miles on trail before we leave. Topaz was kind of skittish in the dark, in the woods. It was funny to watch him walk apprehensively up to a pile of shadows, sniff, and then decide it was ok to pass on by. Funny!

The sunrise this morning was spectacular. Too bad my camera was home charging for the game. All pinks and oranges and beauty.

Today is supposed to be 78F! I think this may be the last beautiful weekend before winter begins to dawn upon us.

OK, so the Twins sure didn't make it very far in the playoffs, did they? Yikes. Just didn't have what it took. Guess I won't be going to the game on Sunday! Ha. Well, not funny, really.

Next Saturday is the Ed Fitz 100K. The Big Lake Run Club has formed a team again so they will be up there, I'll be running it solo. Alicia is going to crew for both Scott and I, yippee! She is an awesome crew, not to mention an awesome friend, so we'll have a great weekend. A bunch of us are staying at Kathy's in Duluth so we'll have fun all around. I know I, Scott and John are running; I think Eve, Duke and Cheri and crewing for John. I'm looking to beat last years time of 1153. Anything less is good for me. Hell, a finish is always good!

The following weekend a few friends of mine are competing in a body building/figure competition in Elk River. Two years ago I attended and was going to be on stage in two years. I didn't make that a priority, did I. I love lifting. I love a muscular body. I love the way it makes me look and feel. I think I'm going to get back into it, seriously. Now that the running season is closing here in MN, that's where I may be..back in the gym, pumping iron. Of course, I would still run..there just aren't any races to train for, I need something out there to progress toward!

Have an awesome Saturday! I need to get to a football game.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Twin Cities Marathon

Yesterday after Troy's football game I traveled to St. Paul to meet up with Marie and Bonnie, both of whom were running Twin Cities. We headed off to the Expo to do all of the shopping and wandering. All I kept thinking is that there are WAY too many people. Too many people in St. Paul, too many people at the Expo; I realized how much I love living in Rural Minnesota! I'm actually glad that I no longer work downtown, too. The people, the noise, the all drove me insane. Or am I just PMSing?

After we picked up our packets we headed over to Cosetta's for a lunch lunch. It was fantastic. I had chicken and pasta. Yeah, pasta. Haven't had that since Superior 100! Yummy.

By 1000 last night I was in bed, read for an hour and drifted off. Back up at 4 AM to get ready for the marathon.

Curt, from my Run Club offered to pick me up today so I didn't have to drive and park and bus or anything. At 545 I realized I had given Curt incorrect directions. I told him to take a Left when he should take a Right into my neighborhood. I grabbed my running flashlight and ran out and up the road, carrying my race bag. I saw a van take a turn into the darkness and thought it was probably he. It was. A few more blocks to run and eventually I caught up with them! Thank goodness!

After we picked up Steve we were on our way to the Dome. My knee hurt. It felt stiff, it has been stiff since Superior. I tried not to think about it.

Peg, Curt's wife, dropped us off at the Dome. It was chilly, 50F and windy, but a high of 84 was forecast. Much warmer than we had anticipated.

I had picked up a 350 pace band at the Expo, but really didn't think I could run a 350. I wanted to get in under 430 though. I figured if I could catch the 450 or 4 pace group I'd hang with them and see how I felt. My nagging knee was making me nervous.

10500 of us began the race. Again, I was thinking about too many people, too crowded, too loud, too many bad smells. I was thinking I LOVE TRAILS! I love woods, I love peace and quiet and room to run. My god, it was CROWDED. The guy in back of me kept on running on the back of my shoes. It sucked!

I got over the resentment of 10500 others and tried to navigate myself through the throngs of people. We were backed up and congested. Running the parkways around the lakes was damn near impossible. Miraculously I found the 430 pace group, then the 400 pace group and the 350 group. I hung with the 350's for 16 miles. I had NO knee pain. I couldn't even believe it. The route unclogged and I was able to enjoy myself. So much so, that I decided I hang back a bit. I ran a bit slower and watched the 400 team come along. This was a fun group. I ran with them over the next 10 miles.

Some odd things: I only stopped to pee one time. Usually I make 3-4 stops. I drank at each aid station, I took one E Cap since it was warm, but I didn't begin to swell until AFTER I took the E Cap. Maybe I didn't need it? I didn't take anymore. I consumed 4 Espresso Hammergels and wasn't hungry or headachy or tired or anything.

I had a very enjoyable time. I took in the crowds of spectators, the beautiful landscape. The trees are turning, there was a nice breeze, it was sunny..just beautiful. Once I got past the crowds, I really enjoyed the race.

The last miles along Summit Avenue are fantastic. It runs downhill, you are almost near the end, there are huge mansions with big oaks and maples, turning brilliant orange and red.

Yeah, I loved it.

I was able to get a PR for this course. I've run TCM 6 times; my fastest was 4:09, my PR for a marathon was at Grandmas last year at 359. I finished today in 4:00 right on! I ran like hell the last mile, trying to get a 359, but didn't. And I'm fine with 4:00! More than fine. Exuberant. No knee pain! I wasn't sure what I would be able to do today. I promised myself I'd walk off the course if my knee hurt. It didn't!

Now I feel ready for Ed Fitz 100K. Definitely :) A few more back to back long ones and I'll be there.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Minnesota Twins!

Yeah Baby! They won in the 10th inning last night! Troy had football until 8 so I missed the first few innings; but the game went on to 10 innings so I was able to watch plenty! Glad I didn't fall asleep..

We have tickets for tonight's game, we'll be at the take on Chicago White Sox..Rock On Twins!! Maybe I'll make a Circle Me sign. Or not.

(Thanks for the nudge anon..thought I better post something on the TWINS :)

I'm reading Chi Running. Have you read it yet? I would have liked to take the seminar last Saturday in St. Paul, but instead I was being made into a Princess. It was my day at Juut, waxing, massage, etc. It was wonderful. But, I didn't make the seminar on Chi Running. I'm hoping to make an October date.

Last night while running I was practicing my Chi. I'm not very good at it yet, but it is very interesting. I'm practicing posture, the form, the strengthening execises and such. Now I'm looking for Tai' Chi classes in the area. You know, there isn't a whole lot to choose from out here in Big Lake. Looks like I'll have to go a bit south for classes.

Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday! The weather looks good: 50's at start, clear, 60's at finish. I need a 3:50 for Boston but am thinking a nice long training run may be a better plan. I'll see how a 3:50 feels the first few miles and adjust from there.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ultracentric 24 Hour

I've decided to enter the race. The Ultracentric 6-12-24-48 hour races, in Grapevine Texas.

I ran 116.8 at FANS 24 hour run in Minneapolis in June, so figured..why not try running that mileage again?

I have two long asphalt training runs coming up: Twin Cities Marathon is on Sunday and the Ed Fitz 100K is two weeks later. Both are great training runs for the 24 hour race.

I'm thinking it was meant to be.

At the Ultracentric ( races the 24 Hour USA Team will be selected. Top men and women will make up the team. The "A" team will run 125+ miles for women, the "B" team will run 115+ miles.

I'm sure that the top notch 24/48 hour runners will be there, it will be pretty awesome to watch..and to run with some of them.

I'm stepping WWWWAAAYYYYY out of my comfort zone. I've never travelled out of state, alone, to a race venue before. I am going to fly into Dallas on Friday, November 17, run the 18th-19, and fly back home the 19th. Dallas is only a few miles from the race venue, so I won't have too far to travel back and forth.

I had already planned on being out of town this weekend because I was going to run with the Inov 8 Team at JFK. Since our team wasn't able to get together at JFK, this will work perfectly!


Last night I wasn't able to attend Run Club. I had an early township board meeting. I ran 5 miles with Topaz on the trail. I didn't feel like I had much energy..kind of strange.

Today I ran 5 on trail with Topaz in the AM, tonight will be 5 at the football practice.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Just Checkin' In

This recovery week is going very well. All of the swelling is down, I'm back to running.

Monday I went to the gym during Troy's football practice and lifted chest/bicep/tricep very heavy. It went well and felt good to be back in the gym. It's been a while!

Tuesday I went to Troy's football game, but they had a 45 minute practice prior so I hit the Monti asphalt trail-it was a new route and lots of fun. I stretched out my legs after my run, the back of my knee and calves are still super tight. I don't know what it up with that.

Wednesday I debated about run club. I didn't know if I could keep up and wasn't sure about the asphalt 2x in a row on tired legs. I'm glad I went! I received a warm welcome and a good job for 77 miles welcome! I and Curt ran the route together in 41 minutes. I felt very, very good. Another good stretching session aftewards.

Thursday I ran around the neighborhood for 5 miles with Topaz in the dark. Not a fun run, but good to be out and feel like I'm a runner again.

Today I'll run on the trail with Topaz..I hope the rain lets up..and am thinking I'll hit the gym for legs. Or not. We'll see.

I heard from a member of the woman's team for JFK; apparently Connie Garder (who was going to be a member) is going to run the Ultracentric 24 hour in TX on the same day, so our team fell apart. It doesn't look like I'll be going to JFK; bummer. BUT...I am thinking about Ultracentric 24 hour. Why not? It's near the Dallas airport-it's the same weekend that I've already planned on being away..and I had a great 24 hour not too long ago. This is a qualifier for the USA Team so there will be top notch runners there. How cool would that be??

Sunday, September 17, 2006

..And On the Seventh Day..She Ran..

What a relaxing weekend I've had. Yesterday Troy had a 1000 football game; I slept in and then we went to the game. His team lost, but they had a great game. Afterward, it was sunny out and the craving for the woods came on quite strong. I and Topaz went out to the trail. We walked 5 miles, I felt tired but it was good to stretch out my legs and actually move a bit. I was finally able to get my shoes over my feet; the swelling and blistering has gone down quite a bit.

The rest of the afternoon I just hung out at home. I helped Steve stain the deck..a very little bit..and moved some black dirt around for my perennial garden. I still haven't finished up that project. I printed off Sheila's stretching routine and stretched for 20 minutes.

I finally unpacked my drop bags from the race. I didn't want to feel the hope that I had while packing them, I didn't want to go there again. After talking with Maria, that's where I went, to unpack them and unload those emotions. It was good and it was good to move on.

This morning I awoke early, my body must have finally had enough rest. I pulled on my running shorts and filled up a few bottles. I and Topaz went to the trail. And I ran. It felt so good. I smiled and laughed and was happy to be out there. Rain and all. It was glorious. I talked to God and thanked him for allowing me to run Superior as far as I did and was grateful that I wasn't injured and that I felt like myself again. I ran 5 miles and then walked 3.

Mid week I told the boys we were going to go to Church this Sunday. I just am not much into Church; I have never made it a priority. I was raised Catholic, married in a Catholic Church and had both boys baptized and made their first communions in our Catholic Church. But the last few years I have disagreed with the Catholic ministry. I don't believe that women shouldn't be able to minister and I don't believe that minister's should have to be celibate. Those are only a few disagreements I have with the Catholic religion.

Last year Tyler went to the Riverside Alliance Church, because a few of his very good friends attend there and enjoyed the youth program. When I saw how excited he was over it (he even went to a church youth camp) I decided I and Troy would come along to Church as well. I went for a few weeks, enjoyed the Church very much, was a bit surprised at how different in was from the Catholic Church, but enjoyed the change. Then I became busy with other things (running Sunday's) and just let it go.

Today we attended and I found it a wonderful experience, again. It was interesting. The Pastor was speaking about being 'mournful'. He stated that to "mourn" means that we stop trying to cover up our messes, our guilt and our pain on the inside. He asked us to bring our pain to the outside, to acknowledge it and to be real. To be real about what is going on in our lives, to let people know how we feel and to know of the mess we feel inside, that to feel this openness and this mournfulness is a blessing.

He stated that we will experience God's love, comfort and grace when we are real about our hurts, our pain and our discouragement inside.

Isn't that awesome? That is JUST what I have been doing!

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Perfect Mile (Neal Bascomb)

While running Superior last week; I, Maria, Jerry and Stuart were speaking of Dean K and Pam Reed. We all had read Ultramarathon Man and enjoyed it, I was giving a recap of the Pam Reed book and then stated I had finished reading The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb. Jerry was in the process of reading the title, so I didn't give too much away.

This is a National Bestseller, it gives one hope and that feeling "YES, I CAN DEFY ALL ODDS". I think that is why it is a Bestseller. Who doesn't want to feel hopeful..and you know, if he/she/they can do it..why can't I?

That's the feeling I get whenever someone will tell me they can't run or they can't quit smoking or they can't lose weight. HELLO! If I can, you can too.

This story took me much longer to read than the last two. The story is very very indepth. I really came to know Wes Santee, a Kansas farm boy; Roger Bannister, an English medical student and John Landy, an Australian rich boy.

The three men were out to break the 4 minute mile barrier. This story tells of their lives as children, high school students and college/military men. We learn of their coaches and their training procedures, their Olympic dreams and battles, their races against one another.

I found myself wanting Wes, the Kansas boy, to be the first to break the 4 minute mile. He truly believed he could. He had no doubt.

This story takes place in the early 1950's; before steroids and such were invented. They plain old eat well and work hard. It's an amazing story.

One by one, each man gets closer to the 4 minute mile barrier. Each man breaks the barrier..again and again they chisel away at it. It makes the reader realize that we set our own limitations. If we open our minds to what we really want, and to what we really might just get it!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Turning The Corner...

Thanks for your patience of me, of my ranting and raving and calling myself a failure. I'm now learning from my experience at the race and turning the corner. It only takes some time to put everything into perspective.

My swelling is going down, I managed to pee and sweat off four pounds of bloat last night. Robin, a friend of mine from Leanness Lifestyle, reminded me to use Glutamine. I did last night before going to bed, and what a difference I felt this morning. Glutamine helps to repair damaged tissue and muscle cells. Gee, I think I have a bit of that going on inside. Wouldn't it be awesome to see what running these ultras does to the cells and muscles; then to be able to watch the repair process. I've been eating plenty of lean proteins to help with the repair. Much of the pain has lessened today. I know it isn't only because of the Glutamine but I know that this did help. I'll continue using.

I'm realizing that my experience at Superior was a gift to me. All of my running expereinces are gifts. Yes, even the DNF's. Probably more the DNF's than anything else. This was a huge learning experience. I learned more about myself than I probably ever have and I did have a lot of fun. I'm not quite ready to share all that I have learned of myself.

I know that part of the reason I'm not recoving as well as I could is due to my fuel. I have become 'carb phobic'. I know that when Coach Dave at Leanness Lifestyle suggested I look into Paleo Eating For Athletes, I was all for it. LL works in conjunction with PEFA. Then I began to get sloppy with it, I became less careful of adding the good carbs in (sweet potato, recovery drinks with glucose/fruit/protein powder/juice)after hard efforts. I didn't eat the recovery diet as I should. I usually feel nausous after a hard effort of 6 + hours and usually don't eat afterward for quite some time. I was done with Superior in the early afternoon of Saturday, after working hard for 30 hours and didn't eat until Sunday morning. This is probably a reason for my delayed recovery start. This is a wake up call to me, another learning experience. For some to look at my diet, it is pretty damn clean. But I'm ready to bring it up a notch. To eat the 5 stages/windows with PEFA prescribes. The same way Joe Friel trains his athletes. I'll recover more quickly and be ready for the next workout fueled and ready to go. I'm eating Stage 5 now as I recover and will follow PEFA very very tightly. My first long workout will be Twin Cities Marathon in 2.5 weeks and I will have my recovery food ready in a cooler post race.

During the race I was able to spend a LOT of time with some new acquaintances (Stuart and Jerry are a few) and strengthen new friendship, such as with Maria. We really spent a lot of great hours together. It was only the last few that were grin and bear it!

Not reaching my goal at Superior will not break me, nor stop me from trying again. The anger that I feel over not reaching my goal will fuel my fire for the next time. I wouldn't have tried this race if it hadn't been a challenge. I knew it would challenge me to my capacity; I enjoy challenges.

I felt so very defeated on Saturday and Sunday. I felt like I had failed myself and that I had wholly let myself down. I couldn't stop crying because I hurt so badly inside. I wasn't worried about what others thought; I don't put much into what others think of me. But to let myself down, that was a huge disapointment.

I've had a hell of a year, I've progressed more than I even though I could. And next year, I'll kick Superior's Ass.

I received an email from a person that has been reading my blog for a while. She attached this message to the email that she read in Runner's World:


I love to run. It is a gift, the joy I feel while doing so is uncomparable to anything.

Run On!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rest, Recovery, Re-Evaluate and Rehash

Thank you for all of the nice comments you left for me. Who knew a person could find such support online by strangers..and even some of my in person friends left comments. Thanks Bonnie and Dallas!

Phil, I'm sorry about the PF, but you are right. Those 5 mile cliff runs are worth more than the 50 mile trail race. You'll get that one eventually but you don't want to risk the daily runs. They are what will keep you sane.

Olga and Rob, thanks for talking about me during your run on Sunday. I like that! I can't wait to meet you guys in person.

Donna Rae and some of her friends were betting on my finishing time. Donna bet I'd get 30 hours. Thanks for having that confidence in me DR! Sorry you lost the bet!

So my legs are still not working, it looks like I have no knees nor ankles, just a lot of water bloat from the muscle stress I suppose, salt and carb bloat. It will just take time to go down. The blisters are there, I'm wearing my Molaci Montrail slides to work with dress pants. My Principal keeps asking me to race him! Pretty funny, actually.

Steve is out of town for work until Friday so I am not cooking big dinners. I'm resting and reading. Luckily neither boys had practice last night and tonight elections are held so the games were cancelled. More couch time. I and the boys are eating salads with grilled lean meats. It's good for them, too, but they are tiring of it. Maybe I'll cave in and let them have Subway tonight.

I'm rehashing and re-evaluating the race. I'm deciphering what I've learned and planning the future.

Of course I keep thinking I should have tried hobbling to the next aid station, maybe I would have been better in 8 miles. Then I remember I thought that at the previous 3 aid stations and didn't get better.

I think what I could have done in training is more back to back long runs. Long run Saturday followed by a long run on Sunday with lots of walking mixed in to mimick the walking on tired legs for day 2 of the 100. Maybe some night runs on the Superior Hiking Trail. I think for the 50K next year up there in May, I'll run the 50K Saturday and go out and run another 20 on Sunday with lots of walking.

But then..I went and mailed in my Western States application last week. After this DNF, I don't think I would have done that. I probably would have waited a bit or not entered at all yet this year. But maybe there is a reason I applied so early? I don't know.

The Lottery for WS is held the first Saturday in December. If I get in, I'll make my plan there. Do I go for the Grand Slam? A very experienced Slammer is of the opinion I should. He told me each 100 is training for the next and that Wasatch is tough, but mostly mental tough and that he would help me with the mental training. Again, I have until December before I make my plans.

If I do get into WS, Maria had offered to attend the Memorial Weekend training camp with me, and pace me at WS, and Doug offered to crew. Doug may have had enough of crewing after Suuperior! Again, these are just the thoughts careening through my mind and I won't know for months if I need to make any decisions about WS and the GS and these plans were spoke of before Superior.

And should anything change because I DNF'd at Superior?

I learned alot about myself at Superior. I have a dark side. It came out up there. I am still learning about myself as I'm trying to put this whole experience into perspective.

Kerry Owens, who won the woman's race told me after the race 'word out on the trail was that Julie Berg overtrained' Why would people even bother talking about me out there? And talk about my training? I didn't talk about another person's traning out there or there performance. Maybe posting my training here isn't the wisest thing. Or maybe I just don't like critisism relating to my training. I didn't think that would bother me, but it does. I told Kerry I didn't believe over training was a reason for a DNF. I told her I didn't believe in over training. Wouldn't the reason that I didn't finish be because I WASN'T trained enough? She told me that would be her guess. She told me she agreed with me, she believe over training was an excuse people liked to use. I talked to her for a very long time. We went over my training and hers, I'm anxious to speak with her on the telephone soon.

Next run for me is Twin Cities Marathon in a few weeks, October 1. I don't think I'll push it much, this will be a training run for the Ed Fitz 100K a few weeks later. I love Ed Fitz. It's a relay and a solo ultra. Not many enter the ultra but there are many teams that participate. My Big Lake Run Club is going to have 2 teams. Fun Fun. I have posted a race report from last years Ed Fitz on the side bar. Lots of fun.

Originally I wanted to run TCM in 3:45 to qualify for Boston. I have the speed work in and all, but don't think after Superior I'll have the push. We'll see. Play it by ear I guess.

So that is where I am today. Who knows where I'll be tomorrow..