Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Superior Sawtooth 100 Preparations

I have my pace chart created. I took my 50 mile training run mid July, which was the first 50 miles of the race ..that pace was 18:51 per mile, including the very long aid station breaks. I used this pace for a 32 hour finish. I hope to stay on track at this pace for the hours 8AM to 8PM. Then I figured out a 35 hour pace; based on a 20:50 minute mile. This takes into account night time slowness. I'm hoping when daylight breaks on Saturday morning that I am on a 35 hour pace. At least I would have a bit of cushion to finish then. BUT, I also have a 38 hour pace chart which is the last chance at a finish. It is based on a 22:25 minute mile. I'm fine with being here on Saturday. But Friday I really want the 32. I will strive for the 32.

My best case GOAL scenario is to finish in 35 hours. I'd love a 35 hour finish. Second goal is to finish. 38 hours. MAN, that is a loooonnnngggg time. Yeah, I must finish this. I will try my hardest, I'll try with all that I have. I will not quit, I may be pulled, but I will not quit.

I've figured my drop bags based on the three charts. I'll have 5 bags with clothing, foot potion, extra shoes, jackets, rain ponchos, bandanas, hat, advil, S Caps, flashlights..all strategically placed at the earliest point I may need them. For instance, there is NO drop bag access at Tettegouche Aid Station-mile 34.2; which I will hopefully reach at 6:33 PM, when I would like to pick up lights. BUT there is an AS at mile 24.3; Silver Bay, which I may reach (earliest) at 3:29 PM. I'll have to carry flashlights at that point to night fall. If I'm earlier than 329 I'll be carrying lights forever before I finally need them. I'll wear Race Ready shorts with many pockets so I can stuff things into them. They will be heavy with stuff and falling from my waist.

I'll have a drop bag at 58 miles-Sounju Lake-with shoes, socks and foot potion IN CASE I have foot problems. If i don't, I'll just move on. I'll have an empty drop bag at first light in the AM aid station to drop off my lights into. I'll have another lights bag at Sawbill just in case I'm running the 38 hour pace and will be finishing in the dark. Could happen. I'll be prepared.

I am SO excited that Larry is starting the 100 on Friday at 8 AM, so that the marathoners could still be on the course, and the 50 milers will still be on the course as we run the last sections of the race, maybe together. That will give me something wonderful to look forward to. Many of my friends are running the marathon or 50.

I ordered an iPod battery attachment for my iPod. It should arrive today, so I haven't tried it out yet. It is supposed to charge the iPod while the iPod battery is getting low. Supposedly it will add another 12-15 hour charge; just what I'll need! I'm thinking I'll listen to music during the daylight hours and will just carry the iPod throughout the race. Did I mention that I finally figured out the freeze problem I was having with it? Yeah, I needed to learn to re-set. I learned, thanks to the help from my cyber friends.

I'll carry a two water bottle pack in addition to a hand held bottle. There are sections 6-10 miles without aid stations so 70+ ounces is needed. I find that I drink 24 oz an hour, whether hot or cold. I'll have two ultimate direction little packs attached to my waist belt for my iPod if it rains, and my camera. I'll have some foot potion, advil and S caps, some hammergel, back up batteries for lights, some toilet paper for the start.

It will be light at the start so I won't need lights. I don't know if I'll need a jacket. I hope it isn't raining, but probably will be. I'm prepared.

I'll place velcro on all of my shoes in drop bags so that I can use my gaitors.

Cliff, the course is point to point. No loops. That's why I need to place drop bags all over the place.

I have the Fenix 1 and 2 handhelds along with a headlamp that is a 12 LED, I'll look like a freight train coming through the woods.

Dallas, thanks for the tips. Light is good.

What else? I need to figure out the boys schedule. Tyler and Troy both have school Thursday and Friday, along with football practices. Steve leaves the house at 4 AM and returns and 7 PM normally. He is thinking of taking Friday off to be Mom, and I will get the boys off to school on Thursday before I leave for Lutsen. Thursday practices are up in the air. I'd think some parents could help out with rides Thursday night.

The pre-race dinner is at 5 in Two Harbors. I'll be there for sure. That will mark the beginning of the Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile Trail Run festivities.

I'll enjoy. I'll enjoy the time in the woods, reflecting on me, my life, the beauty that nature provides. It will be awesome.

I'm looking forward to the race. It is another something that I said I would never do. I'm going to enjoy feeling my body move through the woods, enjoy the nightime adventure, maybe see the Northern Lights, enjoy the whole race..immensely...and make it to the finish line.

I'm excited!


Yeah. Tapering. You'd think it would be a nice break, you know, easing back on mileage and weight training. Not. Makes my schedule too open, too much time on my hands (to .. eat?) sluggish and what not. I don't care for it. At All.

Instead of 800's last night I brought Troy to football practice and ran the run club route..then realized it was a mile away from where we usually start so actually ran 7 miles. Oh well. They were easy slow miles. Not the killer 800's, so I figure that was worthy of the name taper.

Because I have to work the Open House at the High School tonight from 5-730 I was able to come in late, at 930 today. Since I'll be missing run club tonight, I and Topaz hit the trail at 7 AM. It was awesome to sleep in until 6 and make Troy and Tyler pancakes before heading out. Yeah, we all are early to bed and early to rise.

It was incredibly foggy this morning. While I was running I couldn't even see Topaz up ahead of me. As we were nearing the river I could hear a coyote barking and howling. I don't know if we suprised him because of the fog-does fog mask the sense of smell? Usually the coyotes smell Topaz and I, and leave us alone. Anyhow, Topaz ran up on him and thought he needed to be herded. Oh man. I couldn't see through the fog, couldn't see the coyote but certainly heard that he was near. Topaz's hair on his back stood on end and he did his herding stance. On all four, crawling toward the coyote, giving him the Border Collie stare. The coyote wouldn't budge. He was howling and barking up a storm. Finally I saw the coyote ran off, Topaz after him and I don't know what happened from there. Topaz eventually came back, panting hard, but fine.

Nice way to start the day...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile Trail Run Freak Out

Yesterday I received my packet of information from Larry, RD of the Superior Races. It freaked me out. It make the race real and that made me fearful, full of anxiety, excited and waiting in anticipation all at the same time. Too many emotions with fear over riding them all. Fear of the unknown - running longer than I have - not in distance (102.5 miles) but in hours. FANS was 116.8 miles but 24 hours. This will be 102.5 miles but 35-38 hours. Wow. That's a long time! Much can happen to me physically and mentally in the span of 38 hours. I'll have highs and lows and those altogether awesome periods when nothing matters but the trail in front of me. When I am living in the moment, wishing that my family could see the beauty and feel what I am feeling. That's what I'm looking forward to. When the endorphins are so high and plentiful that nothing matters, nothing hurts, it's all good.

I am thinking Superior Sawtooth 24/7. I am thinking about my drop bags; what will I put in each one. Where will I be on the trail when it gets dark, what bag will my flashlights go into. Do I need another iPod for Day 2? Probably. What drop back will be near sunrise. Where should I put a spare, dry jacket? Foot potion? I'll need an empty drop bag to drop off my flashlight in. What type of clothing do I need? I suppose I need extra shoes at one point for 'just in case'. Dry clothing to change into in the morning, that might feel nice. Or maybe I'll be too close to the cut offs and just need to move on out. No time for the luxury of changing clothing. This is where a crew comes in handy. Everything is in their car. No worries. I guess this just takes planning and this IS my first time with the drop bags strewn about (McNaughton was a 10 mile loop so I only needed one drop bag at the start/finish) so this IS why I find myself in freak out mode.

I'm trying to make a pace chart. There has GOT to be a worksheet on someones ultra page where you just plug in the mileage, the minute expected per mile and wala..instant clock time and race time shows at corresponding aid station. Where is that?? Someone has to have created one out there in internet land.

I've created one using 32, 35 and 38 hour finishing times. I don't know how accurate it is. I figured out a 17:32 mile pace which is what I and Maria did last week; an 18:32 pace which is what we did during the 50 mile beta test and a 38 hour which was 22 something I think. Those times included our very very long aid station breaks. I won't be breaking as long as I did during the prior training runs. Plus we ran those training runs pretty slow. BUT the training runs didn't have a night run..only some darkness. Whatever.

I'm very grateful that the fifty milers will probably be upon the course toward the finish as I am. It will be wonderful to see other people out on the trail. With only 28 entered into the 100 I will be by myself most of the time I am sure. When I come upon the 50 milers and maybe the marathoners, that will really give me a boost.

Alicia and Lynette are manning the Oberg station. That will give me something to look forward to, near the finish. They are 7.5 miles out. I don't know where everybody else is volunteering at. I'll have to find out, it'll be a treat to know a familiar face is coming up soon.

This is a tapering week and I don't care for it. I ran my 800's, run club, a few 5's and 10's this weekend. I am cutting back weight training to 2x this week. Next week I'll cut back even more.

I and Topaz headed out bright and early for 10 on the trail before Tyler's football scrimmages. He had three scrimmages and a potluck afterward, with all football teams grades 9-12 and parents. It was a fun time.

Now I'll think about those drop bags some more and maybe pack some up.

Yeah. The Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile Trail Run.

Wow. It's less than two weeks out.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Little Iron; A Little Speed

My schedule is changing into school year mode. Yesterday I awoke at 4 AM so I could be at the gym parking lot by 445 for the 5 AM opening. On the schedule was lifting back and shoulders. It looked like this: Lat Pull Down 80x12x1, 90x10x1, 105x8x1; Seated Row: 80x12x1, 90x10x1, 100x10x1; Pull Ups: 15x2 :)Shoulder Press Machine 45x12x3, 50x8x1; Shoulder Press Overhead DB: 25x12x3; Superset Front DB w/Side Lateral: 25x12x3, 20x6x2. I was totally shot. Showered, home, rode bike to work.

Last night was 800's at the track. I wasn't sure what I would be able to pull off since spending the weekend on the SHT. I was pleasantly surprised:

1600 warm up, 1@ 3:36, 2@ 3:38, 3@ 3:35, 4@ 3:32, 5@ 3:30, 6@ 3:27, 7@ 3:40 (?) 8 @ 3:37, 9 @ 3:39 and 10 @ 3:45 !! I ran a 400 slow jog inbetween. At the end I was draggin' and walked/jogged an 800 for a finish. I was finished in just over an hour. I slowly walked back to the football field to watch Troy's practice as the parents looked at me like I was a crazy woman. I suppose I looked like a drowned rat. Oh well.

Tonight is 5 miles with the Run Club.

Brent-thanks for the links to the winter training. Pretty soon that will be next up on the agenda. Yikes a doodle. Are you going to be at Ed Fitz 100K this October?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lake Superior @ Grand Marais

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Tyler, Troy, Mom at Carlton Peak

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Tyler at Carlton Peak

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Final SHT Training Run

As we were nearing the Superior Hiking Trail I noticed tears in my eyes, then they began to stream down my cheeks. I felt goosebumps. I realized how much I love running the Superior Hiking Trail. I love it so very much. Running fills an empty spot that I have within, that I have tried to fill for years. Running fills that spot. Running fills the void. Running on the Superior Hiking Trail overfills that spot.

We met my Mom and Dad at McDonalds in Duluth, they followed us to the trail head that would bring us to Carlton Peak. During the 50K last spring the boys and Mom and Dad just missed me at the aid station that would show them Carlton Peak. This trip I wasn't going to let them miss it. The area is a wonderful place to hike. There are huge outcroppings of rock-anorthosite rock, blocks of whitish mineral that was carried up from the base of the earth's crust, 25 to 30 miles below, suspended in molten diabase magma. The climb to the top of Carlton Peak reveals some tremendous views of the area. The trail isn't real difficult, navigable for my 65 year old parents, an inactive husband and a 10 and 14 year old boy.

They loved it! Tyler and Troy scampered down the trail, commenting on every mushroom, caterpillar and spider they could round up. The rock walls were awesome, they hiked up the summit and slid down. My Dad decided he has had enough of walking and hiking and actually RAN from the peak back to the Britton Peak Parking Lot. It was wonderful. He hasn't run in a few years but since taking glucosimine chondroytan every day for the past year his knees are feeling good.

Saturday I, Maria and Doug headed out at 4 AM to hit the trail. Doug left us at the Finland Rec Center. Man it was dark in those woods! Our lights worked well, we only needed the for 45 minutes or so before we tucked them away. We saw zillions of toads crossing the trail; big huge fat ones! I think those toads were the only wildife we saw the whole day.

Dawn approached and showed a beautiful blue sky, not a cloud to be seen. The forecast was for a rainy day, I was grateful the forecasters were incorrect.

We removed our jackets and took in the views. We saw beautiful Sonju lake, the mist lifting off of it, the sun shining and reflecting on it, it was a magnificent sight.

We ran through low bogs, high cliffs, pine forests, maple and oak stands and large areas of birch. It was so wonderful, so peaceful.

We didn't see anyone on the trail except for one section. A piece of trail between Caribou River Wayside and Cook County Road 1 showed us 5 or 6 people. That was it! We didn't see any others. Amazing.

Doug met us at each of the aid points for a refill of Hammer Heed, a peanut and butter sandwich, some oranges, etc. Their son, Jason, helped out at two of the stations. They did a fabulous job! Doug was at each station before we arrived, ready to fill out bottles and asking what we needed. What a guy.

I wanted to be back to the resort with my family by 2, so I called it a training run at 30 miles or so. Maria went for another 10 miles to Carlton Peak.

I am glad that I ran the portion that I will be running through the night hours of the race. The trail isn't TOO treacherous in these portions, there is actually a good percentage of the trail that is runable and there aren't too many cliffs that drop off. I feel much less fearful of this portion of the trail. A river crossing at Manitou River could be treacherous. The bridge is going to come down next week and won't be rebuilt in time for the race. It had rained three times in the past week so the river was pretty high and moving fast. I don't know that I and Maria could have gotten across without the bridge or help of some sort. Larry is going to have a rope and volunteers helping us cross during the race if the river is still moving quickly. That's a good thing, it will be dark and we'll be 60-70 miles into the race at this point.

After Doug brought me back to the resort I showered and we all headed to Grand Marais. We hiked for 3 hours and had dinner. It was a nice afternoon. Back to our resort, I and the boys swam and met up with Maria and her family. I and Maria were pretty exhausted. We were ready to get back to go to bed.

Today before heading home we hiked the portion of trail through Tettegouche State Park. Again, everyone loved it. The bridges over the Baptism River, all of the stairs, we had a great time!

Now I guess I taper, hu? 3 weeks..and it will be all over. Bummer.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Off to Lutsen!

Today I am back to work for Day 3. It's going well but I am glad that it is a three day week! Tomorrow I am already taking a vacation day so that I can get up to Lutsen. We'll leave in the AM, pick up my parents in Duluth, arrive Lutsen early afternoon.

Saturday early early I, Maria and Doug will head out for the Superior Hiking Trail. Doug is going to be our traveling aid station and I and Maria will run from the Finland Rec Center toward Lutsen. I think I am going to run roughly 30 miles and Maria is planning on 40.

Doug will drive me back to the resort-Eagle Ridge-so that I can spend the rest of the weekend with the family. We'll do some more hiking, swimming, check out the gondola and the alpine slide. Then I'm set for the Superior Sawtooth 100 mile race.

Would you like to pace me?? I'm still looking for a pacer. I'll get a condo at Caribou Highlands so will have plenty of room for a pacer and crew, in case I get so lucky. I'd like someone to run with from 8 PM to 6 AM but it is getting close and I still don't have any takers! I'll probably be walking most of the dark hours as the trail is so rough, so will be fine on my own too. But a pacer would be wonderful.

Last night was Run Club. The Cross Country team from Big Lake showed up! It was wonderful, many many young runners were out running the course. We have over 60 students out for Cross Country this year. I hope they stick with it.

Tuesday I ran 800's during Troy's football practice. I ran 10 @ 3:30-3:35 with a 400 recovery jog inbetween; a one mile warm up and one mile cool down. Next week I'm going to try to hit 3:25's-3:30's.

I find it more difficult to run in the evening/afternoon because of the eating. I so love my early morning runs but they are difficult to fit in during the work week, its dark and I go to the gym at 5 AM twice a week now for early lifting. I get off early (3PM) so it is easier to run at 330 with Topaz on the trail. But then I have the stomach problems from eating during the day. Yesterday I had a salad at lunch and it was ready to move on out by the time I finally ran-at 6 PM plus I was hungry. During my 800's I had eaten a salad at lunch and again about 4, but by 7 I had a stomach ache and thought I was going to barf. Early morning runs on an empty stomach rock.

Today I'll run the trail at 330 with Topaz after work, before Troy's football practice, I'll drop him off as I have a Planning and Zoning meeting at 630 so Steve will be on football duty.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Last Summer Vacation Run

Today is my last day of summer vacation. I've thoroughly enjoyed 8 weeks off from work, enjoying summer. I've spent most of this vacation in my running clothes or my swimsuit. I love the slow pace of the summer; no schedule other than the boys sports, my running schedule and dinner at 5. That's about it. It's been fabulous.

This morning I brought Tyler to football practice at 8 and then I and Topaz headed out to the trail for our final summer vacation run. The sun was shining, the grass was still wet from the night before, it was a lovely 58F with a light breeze and no humidity. Minnesota Perfect.

All during the run I kept thinking about how grateful I am to have 8 weeks off, to be able to run every day, to have my health and a healthy family.

I came up with the realization that maybe I enter these 100 mile races so that I have a reason to run long. You know, if I wasn't training for Superior 100 I would have to explain my 100+ mile week last week. I would have to explain a 30, 40 or 50 mile training run. What are you training for? At least with a race looming ahead I have an answer that some people may understand. Or not.

Many don't understand why I run what they call 'junk miles'. Why spend all those days running with Topaz on the trail? Haven't you heard of junk miles ? You are wasting your energy. Make each workout count. Tempo, track, hills, long, train train train, make every workout count.

I run the 'junk miles' because that is what I enjoy. I don't run for a means to an end. I don't run only because of the next race. I'm not running only to train. I wouldn't give up my 'junk miles' for anything. They are as important to me as any other training run I do. These are the runs that keep my sanity. These are the runs that make me feel alive, that give me a sense of myself, that make me... me and that I enjoy fully.

Many people don't understand that I run because it makes me joyful. It gives me peace. The act of running itself calms me.

I run to spend time with Topaz, my quiet running partner, who is always there, always runs my pace, is always ready and never late for a run.

We have a wonderful time.

Ultramarathon Man; Dean Karnazes

I just finished the above title, for the second time in less than a week. I had to read it twice. It's a wonderful read. I can see why this book became a National Bestseller. It's fabulous.

Dean takes so much heat on the big ultra list. Oh my gosh, so many hate him. Hate his fame and fortune, I guess. I don't quite understand. Hate that he brought ultrarunning into the limelight for a few months..I'm not sure why the response to him is so negative. Same thing with Pam Reed, the big ultra list has nothing nice to say about these two and they don't know them any more than I do: not at all.

I think they are both incredible human beings, going farther than anyone says they can, digging deeper than they thought they could. How can a person not respect and honor that? Who cares if they make money off of the publicity they receive? More power to you!

Dean begins his book by talking of his childhood, brought up in CA as a surfer boy. He surfs, bikes, camps, hikes and runs. He ran Cross Country in High School and did well. He broke records and respected his coach. His coach taught him to 'run with his heart' and he did. Cross Country season ended and he tried out for track. He told the track coach he 'ran with his heart' his coach laughed at him out loud and mimicked him. Dean walked off the track and didn't run for 15 years.

He became very successful in business, climbing the corporate ladder, making tons of money, but felt empty. On this 30th Bday he and his wife went out and he became drunk. Upon arriving home for some reason he took out his gardening sneakers, took off his pants and ran in his boxers. For 30 miles. He called his wife in the morning and asked her to pick him up!! He was very sore but found what he had been missing. His love for running.

Shortly after this episode he was running in the CA hills and came across two other runners doing hill repeats. They told him they were training for Western States. He did a search and found out all about WS. He had never run longer than the 30 mile drunk stint but was intrigued. He decided he was going to run WS and needed to qualify by running a 50 mile race. 6 months later he did. He ran his first 50 in 8:47 and then went comatose in his car before leaving the lot. He recovered and trained hard. He quit eating sugar except during long long runs, gave up processed carbs and bad fats. He became a lean mean running machine.

Western States: He didn't know if he could dig deep enough, but knew he wanted it badly enough. He hung in to the finish. 21:01. 15th place. Yeah.

He was listening to his heart, finding his place in the world. He yearned to test the limits of human endurance and stretch the limits of himself. He needed to know if he could run over 100 m iles. If it could be done, he wanted to do it. He needed to know how far he could go.

He lined up at Badwater the following year but didn't finish. He passed out at mile 72 and the party was over. He trained for Badwater for over a year but didn't have what it took to finish.

The following year he trained harder and ran smarter and he finished Badwater.

He works full time, is a Dad to two, a husband and still trains by his heart. He has begun to run races that raise money for underprivileged children and children ill of health. He ran a relay of 200 miles solo, raising money for a heart transplant for a little girl. He was successful, Libby received the transplant and lives today.

It was an awesome book. Inspiring, motivational, just all around a good read.

I'm now reading The Perfect Mile and enjoying that very much, too!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Weekend Runnings

I had a great weekend! Happily, it is only 940 AM so most of Sunday is still wide open. I am going to head over to the Outlets of Albertville in an hour or so to do some more school shopping for the boys. Thank goodness they are not very picky and Old Navy, Nike and PacSun serves them fine.

I was originally intending to drive to WI yesterday AM to trail run with friends along the St. Croix. However, as the weekend drew near and I realized Tyler had football equipment pick up and Troy had paintball and Steve really wanted to work on the deck and I wasn't going to run 40 at SHT next weekend, more like 25, I rearranged my schedule.

Yesterday I headed out at 4 AM to the Blue Hill Trail. There is a sign that states Daylight Use Only. Oh well, so write me a ticket then. I ordered some new lights from ZombieRunner that I wanted to try out so I and Topaz left home bright and early. Topaz already had 35 miles on this week so I asked Steve to come and pick him up at 8 AM; 20 miles was going to have to be enough to Pazzie. Most of the water holes are completely dry; there is one river that has like one foot of water in it and that is it.

My lights worked incredibly well. I have never run on the trail here in the dark, it gave it an eerie look, but very cool. The sunrise was fantastic, all pink and orange coming over the hill. There were white swans flying overhead. I hope they are not leaving the area already. Please don't tell me fall is already on the way.

As Topaz and I were running the 4th loop at 20 miles he took off into the woods. I heard what I think was a couple grouse getting angry with him. They were making that fluttering sound and puffing themselves out. I stopped running, I'm standing in the middle of the trail, looking back, into the woods and listening to this ruckus. All of a sudden Topaz come barreling out of the woods, full of pickers and brush, flies past me and the DAMN BIRD lands at my feet! What the hell? I hate birds. Well, I like them in my bird feeder, I like to watch the Eagles at a distance but I don't like birds near me. I screamed out three loud screams, freaked Topaz out so he is jumping and me and this damn grouse is flopping at my feet and PECKING me. WTF?? I'm out of there. We ran toward the trail head as Steve was walking out to the trail to pick up Topaz for me. I walked a loop with him and of course we never saw the damn bird. He and Topaz took off and Topaz was not a happy camper.

I finished up the next 15 miles uneventfully and was able to make it home before the boys activities began.

Today I was a bit apprehensive, but excited about my run. I was running with Curt, from run club, and a friend of his, Steve. Last night I was able to talk Deb, from run club into joining us as well. Yippee! I wanted to get in 20 miles and Deb was planning on 12 or so. We met in Elk River at 530 and headed out into the dark streets. We ran asphalt, I tried out my Inov 8 Terroc shoes and they felt awesome the whole way. They are so light I just can't believe it.

We ran city streets, bike paths, quiet residential roads. We arrived at the starting point at 2:08 so Deb and Steve called it a run and I and Curt went out for another hour. It was awesome. We ran 9:20's most of the time and my legs felt fine.

So I guess I'm all trained up for the Superior Sawtooth 100 mile run. There isn't much else I can do now. I'll check out the night portion of the race next weekend and just hang tight. I'll probably run 2 50 mile weeks, a 30 mile week and it'll be party time!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Planning Another Superior Hiking Trail Run

Next Friday I, Steve and the boys will head up to Lutsen so I can get in one more run on the Superior Hiking Trail before the Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile Trail Race ( September 8.

My friend, Maria, and her family are planning on being up there as well. Maria is running the 100 too, I asked her if she would like some company while running the trail next Saturday. Thankfully, she said yes. So..plans were made.

I was pleasantly suprised when Steve and Tyler said that they wanted to come along. I knew that Troy would like to come. It'll be a fun weekend.

I and Maria will begin at the Finland point and head toward Moose Mountain. We'll begin at 5 AM so we will be on part of the trail during the dark. This will be the portion of trail we will be covering during the night hours of the 100.

Maria's husband, Doug, who is an ultra-runners dream spouse, will crew for us. He is crewing for Maria during the 100, too. He crewed for us while we ran the 50 up there a few weeks ago. What a guy! He has this crewing thing down to a fine art.

I'm planning on running 25 miles or so. I don't want to run all day as I want to hike and hang out with my family. If they weren't going to come along I'd get my last long run in up there, and do 40. I'm glad they are coming though, so I changed my plans.

I'll run 40 miles tomorrow near home. Some run club members are running 20 on asphalt on Sunday..I'm going to tag along and get two last long back to backs in. Looks like another 100 mile week on tap!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My pup!

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Come on! Let's go!

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Taking a Water Break

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Team Inov-8

Last week I received an email from the Team Inov-8 Rep. She asked me if I was interested in racing on a woman's team for Inov-8 at the JFK 50 Mile Race in November, in Maryland. The woman's team can have 5 members and 3 of the members will score/place. My first comment was "oh my gosh, I'm not good enough". Then I felt foolish for spurting out my true feelings about myself. I was worried she would think less of me, because I thought less of myself. I wasn't sure what I was feeling. That I was too fat, that I was too slow, that I'm an imposture runner..all of that. I need to work on my feelings about myself.

After conversing with another member of the team, I have decided that I will participate. I mean, really, what an honor! I get to travel to Maryland, a part of the country that I have never visited to take part in a race that I wouldn't be running in otherwise, and I'll get to meet these other women that I wouldn't otherwise meet. It really will be awesome. I've never flown to a race before..I've never raced farther from MN than IL! I'm looking forward to it.

I am going to put the feelings that I am not good enough away, and I am going to continue training hard, getting into the best shape of my life, and come November I'll run as well as I can and have a blast doing it! Isn't that what this is all about anyhow?? This is just the reason why I was so excited when I received the Inov-8 sponsorship.

This morning I and Topaz hit the trail for 6 miles. The ponds are drying up, we need some rain. I took a few pictures of him and see that I am not the best 'focus-er'. I'm focusing on weeds and noses and who knows what else!

Tonight is Run Club. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Extra Mile by Pam Reed

Last Wednesday when I and the boys went to Barnes and Noble I picked up a few books. I purchased The Extra Mile by Pam Reed, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes, Duel in the Sun by Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley and The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb. I know, I should go to the library once in a while. I have a zillion and one books on many bookshelves, but I love to read.

I just finished The Extra Mile: One Woman's Personal Journey to Ultrarunning Greatness by Pam Reed.

I found it phenomenal. I wasn't sure what to expect. When the title was first available at book stores quite a few people on the big ultra list took stabs at her. They made fun of the title saying it "isn't Ultrarunning Greatness a bit much?" they said much worse than that too and I found it all too negative for me and deleted most of the posts without reading.

Once I began the book I could not put it down. Today I finished it for the second time. I found it that good.

I actually met Pam in real life. I was running the Superior 50 mile and she was running the 100 mile. Somehow we ended up running the same section of the race together. I looked at her and was stunned! I didn't even know that Pam Reed was in the race. I knew who she was immediately; I believe she had WON Badwater just a few months prior. She was very kind to me and let me ask her the 101 questions I had as a newbie ultrarunner. I remember all that she told me, too.

Pam begins the book with her life as a child, growing up in the UP of Michigan. She talks much of her battle with anorexia which she still battles. She went to treatment a few times for it and has been hospitalized because of it. She is very frank and honest with the battle.

She talks of her first marriage, the subsequent affair, divorce and remarriage. She speaks of her Ironman finishes before she began the 100's and her family life, she has three sons and two stepsons.

She talks of her relationship with the media and how the so called rival with Dean Karnazes was blown entirerly out of proportion.

She is a normal mom, wife, worker, friend, daughter and one hell of a runner.

I loved that she talked about her training, her races, how she gets into a mindset, how she works the race, looks at the competition and makes her move. It's awesome. It's an inside view of what it might be like to be uber competitive and so talented. She talks of Badwater 1,2,3 and 4; she talks of the San Diego 1 day race, the World Champion 24 and 48 hour races, a London Marathon/Boston Double; how she loves Leadville and Grand Teton 100's. It was fascinating.

I'll probably read it again..after I read Ultramathon Man, which I'll begin tonight.

It's so nice to read about ultrarunners. I guess that is why I enjoy some of the blogs of other ultrarunners out there. I would probably be rather intimidated to introduce myself to at the races; hell, I'm intimated to introduce myself to anyone who just looks lean and fast! I enjoy reading all about them.

I highly recommend the book!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


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Taking Shape

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Decking is on

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Looking like a Deck

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Deck Progress

After I and Topaz finished a 10 mile run on the trail yesterday I and the boys loaded up into the car for a road trip to Bemidji. We had a family reunion there yesterday. I wasn't looking forward to it. I imagined drunk relatives and lost of sugar and fat laden foods and lots of driving and complaining boys. Well, much to my surprise, none of that took place!

We had a nice drive, taking 371 through the lakes area of Brainerd, Gull Lake, etc. It was actually quite picturesque! The family reunion was actually fun. My Aunt and Uncle, who were hosting, live out of Bemidji in Nymore, on a huge parcel of land. They had a 9 hole golf course set up, volleyball, bean bag toss, etc. We had a real fun time. I brought along a platter of veggies and fruit as well as some chicken breasts to grill. Good thing, because I was right on about the food. Hotdogs, sloppy joes, salads covered in mayo and sugar. Blech. Oh, and lots of pies and cakes.

By 6 PM I and the boys crawled back into the car and we were back home by 930. Not a bad day!

Meanwhile, Steve spent the day at home working on the deck. It's coming along nicely. Last weekend when it was 100F, and I was at Voyageur, I didn't think he'd be able to accomplish much in that heat. He was able to complete all of the decking though and is now putting up the rails.

Today I and Topaz ran 15 on the trail. Some of my friends from Run Club were running 18 on asphalt at 530 this morning. I thought I may spend the night in Bemidji and wasn't sure if I was up to 18 on asphalt so passed. 15 on trail was wonderful though, finished up in 2:15; that's pretty good for this girl ... and her pup.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Goodie Box

I'm recovering well from the Voyaguer 50 Mile Trail Race. My quads were a bit tight, but after tonight's run they are feeling great.

I walked 5 miles with Topaz-well, he ran, on Sunday after I arrived home from Carlton on Sunday. He hadn't been out for a run since Thursday so he needed one! Monday was a slow jog, feeling a bit better and yesterday was a good run on the trail. Today I wasn't sure if I'd make it to run club, my quads were still tight and the thought of that pavement wasn't a good one. I ran 10 miles with Topaz; slow and easy. All felt good.

After spending the afternoon at Barnes and Noble and a big salad at Champps with the boys, I decided a run with Run Club might not be a bad idea. I haven't seen my Run Club friends for three weeks. I figured I could at least visit pre and post run and walk if necessary.

We had a huge group tonight. There were two women that I've never met before; Deb, Colene and Susan made it too. There were Cross Country kids and our regular standby's. We had a great mob running down the road.

It was great to visit with everyone and then to run, and run well. I finished the 5 miles in 40:54. Not too bad post 50 mile run! I was pleasantly surprised. After some stretching my quads felt pretty good.

I arrived home and dug into the Inov-8 goodie box that arrived this afternoon. Shoes, hats, shirts, jog bras, all kinds of good things. I took out two pair of shoes for a spin around the yard and driveway: Flyroc's and Roclite's. Both felt great, fit well and both felt very light. It will be fun to try them on trail tomorrow. They are much lighter than my Montrail Vitesse, which I have been wearing since April. Prior to then I was wearing Ascis Gel Eagle for 3 years. I can't wait to try out all of the products in the Inov-8 line.

Tomorrow we're heading to the Water Park. Splish splashing away..