Thursday, February 28, 2008

Slippin' and Slidin'

Went out to Wyco park today and did some hill repeats and of course, it was muddy, but not as bad as the race was, thankfully. My calves were feeling pretty tight for the first 3 miles until I started doing hill repeats.. after that they felt great.. weird. My run yesterday was cut short due to shin problems so I was just thrilled to only have tightness and not pain anywhere. It was pretty darn nice, cloudy but in the upper 30's.. nice enough to take off my jacket while suffering on the hills. It's that time of the month for me and I feel pretty darn crappy, and since I have no intention of using my ovaries I wish there was a switch that could just shut off the period. I wish my body would sense that DH has been fixed and just give it up, it sure would make my life a hell of a lot easier. I realized the other day that the Free State marathon falls on the same day that I usually start my period... GRRRR!

So on the drive home from the park, there was a guy parked on the side of the road and he pulled out a big plastic bag and dumped out a ton of aluminum cans and then started stomping on them.... WTF? I can appreciate flattening your cans to save space... but randomly on the side of the road?? It made me laugh and shake my head, people are funny.

I ordered Running on the Sun from Amazon last week and it showed up today, so tonight after work, my ass will be planted on the couch. DH said he'd watch it with me.. which is both good and bad.. he already said he thinks Badwater is the stupidest thing ever and that sticking pins in your eyes sounds more sane. Now in some ways I can't blame him... if I hadn't been raised the daughter of an ultra runner would I think the same? No one in his family is even remotely athletic, in fact he failed gym in high school because he refused to wear shorts. In my family any athletic endeavor was fully encouraged and completely funded, I was very lucky. Actually I am still very lucky... thanks to Mom & Dad I got a Garmin 205 for Christmas... my favourite training partner!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yesterday was a great run! 16 miles at Wyco Park and I actually had people to run with this time! I don't mind running by myself, in fact I think I prefer it most of the time, but it sure was nice to have a bit of company. There was only 3 of us that showed up for the group run (Bad Ben, Gary & I ) so the guys were gracious enough to run slow with me. There was a lot of great conversation and those guys have a ton of hilarious stories.. Ben's description of the aftermath of his first marathon actually had me stopped, holding my guts I was laughing so hard. The day was beautiful, sunny, and in the upper 20s, and we had gotten a few inches of snow the night before. There was a ton of animal tracks and everything was so peaceful. I could have run for days in conditions like that..
I probably should have eaten some breakfast since I felt like I ran out of gas pretty quick and I was totally dehydrated. I had been out at a smoky bar the night before so my lungs were not very happy with me either, but all in all it was not such a bad run, the company made it go by real quick.

Saturday night was fun, dinner out and then karaoke for T & V's birthday, I don't sing but I sure enjoy the people watching at the Red Balloon. I didn't drink anything but I got to bed much later than I was planning on, and combined with having 2 glasses of red wine the night before I was feeling a little rough on Sunday morning when the alarm went off at 6 am. So when I got back from the run I just spent the day lazing around on the couch with the dog and DH. We watched a few episodes of Dead Like Me and the Oscars and hit the sack.

Today is a day off from running.. did about 40 minutes of Pilates mat work, which always makes me feel much better. Now if only I could get myself back on track and do it more than just a few days a week.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Yippee Friday!

I got off the Hill today... I needed some new scenery and I knew the park trails were going to be way too slick so I drove down to the Trolley Track Trail. With the word "trail" in the name, the first time I ran it I was hoping for unpaved.. at the very least crushed rock, but nope this is a suburban paved trail that stretches about 10 miles through part of Kansas City, Mo. It's pretty much flat and there are some dodge cars sections like the 2 places where the trail abruptly ends and you have to cut through a couple very busy parking lots to get to the next stretch, but it works for something different. Today the trail was snow packed for about 1/2 and really icy & rutted for the other half. I did some walking to avoid some falling.
Today was 8 easy miles, I was feeling a bit nervous since my shins were hurting quite a bit yesterday, but today I had no problems. I wore my old Ryka $30 cheapo running shoes that feel like slippers... I never had any problems in these.. why did I feel like I needed to go to the running store and get "fit" for new ones? I now have like 5 pairs of different (expensive) shoes (Brooks, Asics, New Balance, more Asics, Montrails) that give me problems. What the Hell? I guess maybe I'll stick with my cheapo ones until I can come up with an extra million dollars so I can keep experimenting! The only time I want a dreadmill is when new shoe buying, it sure would be nice to put a few miles in and be able to take them back if they suck.

I stopped by Costco on my way back from the run and picked up more Cara Cara oranges and so for lunch I pretty much finished off another 8 lb bag. I guess all the vitamin C has helped because I didn't get the flu from DH. Tonight we're going bowling with some friends.. I haven't been in like a bazillion years so I'm looking forward to doing something different. We all have the winter blahs so I've been trying to come up with new & exciting stuff to keep us all semi-sane. We got tickets the other day to see the Police & Elvis Costello at the Sprint Center... whoo-hoo! The price was not so whoo-hoo... $85 each, not including Ticketbastard charges. Normally we wouldn't pay that much for a show.. but the Police & EC are favourites. We also need to keep reminding ourselves to take advantage of living in a city where we can do stuff, since we are hoping (fingers crossed) to be not living in a big city come next year at this time. If only immigration would hurry the heck up and let us know what is going on!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

chocolate chip cookie day

I don't eat cookies anymore but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the smell of them... on the backside of my run today it smelled like fresh baked chocolate cookies, yummm. Makes me miss them, kinda. It's been almost 1 year since I became a raw food-est and it's the idea of some foods that I still miss. I don't miss how I used to feel on a standard american diet, and I really love my fruits & veggies, but I think the textures are what get to me at times. It's a worthy trade off in my mind.. I wouldn't be running if it wasn't for my fuits & veggies!

It was lightly snowing and about 8 degrees this morning, I did a 5 mile loop and then came back and got Otis for another 1.3 miles. My shins were giving me some grief at points.. I've been trying to work on Chi-running, but it seems like since I started fucking with my form I've had problems. GRRR. Frustrating. I'm going to start doing some exercises for shin splints to see if that helps and switch up my shoes again..Stupid pavement running, I have no problems when I'm running on the trails... why can't I be rich enough to not have to work and have the time to run trails every day? I had my ipod on today and as I came around on my favourite section of the Hill, ELO's Mr. Blue Sky came on, of course it was anything but blue out, but that song always makes me smile and puts a spring in my step.

Had a yummy smoothie for breakfast: blended up a mango, peach, handful of blueberries and a pineapple ring. Yummo! The peach gave it a nice zing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I'm such a wuss

I wussed out today..when I got up to run this morning it was 5 degrees with a wind chill of -13... fuck that! I'm so tired of cold weather, I usually don't mind winter but this year has been horrid. It may be that I've been outside, actually getting off my ass that has made it seem worse.. but really warmer weather can't come soon enough! Now someone remind me of this when I'm bitching about the 100 heat in July!

Yesterday was an interesting run.. just an easy 5 mile loop, but on the backside of the loop suddenly my bowels decided it was time to go.... NOW! There are no business open at 7 in the morning on Strawberry Hill so I had to do a funny butt clench run and sometime walk back to my house. Kinda ruined any enjoyment of the run. So I got home, shat 12 pounds and took Otis out for a 1.5 mile run. I've really been enjoying taking him on short runs through the 'hood.. I don't hold out any hope that he'll ever be a long distance runner (that damn propensity towards hip dysplasia), but he really seems to enjoy his runs. His tail is up and wagging up a storm the whole time and once in a while he gives a low quiet woof! We're working on the command "pay attention" since he has a tendancy to run into me sometimes and with his size I could go down real easily.

I ate an 8 pound bag of Cara Cara oranges yesterday and I could have eaten more if I had more...they are so freaking good! I also need the vitamin C since DH has got the yucky flu thing that has been being passed around. (knock wood) So far I feel fine!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Race Report: Psycho Wyco 20 miler 2/9/08

Feb 9 2008 Psycho Wyco "Run Toto Run" 20 mile Trail Run Kansas City, KS

I started running in September with the goal of running a marathon in the spring with my Dad. I had planned on picking a road marathon with lots of cheering crowds and bands.. lots of chaos & commotion to keep me going through 26.2 miles. Well I had forgotten the lure of the trails... Dad is an ultra runner and growing up, family vacations always revolved around trail races, I never really ran but growing up in Colorado the trails are like part of the backyard so they feel like home. When I started running I made the mistake of telling a guy I knew, "Bad Ben" that I had decided to run a marathon... well Ben just happens to be an ultra runner, race director and all around fanatical nerd about trails & running.. so much so that he started a club called "the Trail Nerds". So Ben starts harrasing me about doing a group trail run with the Nerds.. he starts bribing me by bringing me t-shirts & hats with the Trail Nerds logo on them.. check out my website, he says, it has lots of maps for local trails. That was the beginning of the end... really, I wasn't supposed to fall in love with running and most assuredly I was not supposed to get an ultra bug... I just thought it would be fun to do an event with Dad and that would be the end.. HA!

Almost 6 months to the day I atarted running I found myself lining up on a brisk Feburary morning in Wyandotte County Lake Park about to embark on a 20 mile trail race. Up to this point the longest I had run was 13.1 miles, I wasn't sure if I was ready for the full 20, but what the heck, it's just supposed to be a training run! Dad had come down from Colorado Springs along with a friend of his who was running the 50k portion, Dad was going to run the 20M with me (there was a 50k, 20m, 10M and a 5K going on at the same time). I had slept pretty poorly the night before, I just could not get my brain to shut down and relax, way too many nerves. Bad Ben gave us some quick instructions before starting the race... simple things like "follow the signs" "if the sign says "wrong way" you're going the wrong way" "have fun" and "it's going to be muddy" and then he said GO! Just like that we were off and moving.

Now this course is notorious for being difficult, in fact the tagline for the race is.. "it's Kansas, how hard could it be?" I had run the course before... kinda... I had gotten lost all 3 times I had run it.. but at least I had gotten lost at different points so I knew what the whole course looked like just not all together. We had had a good snow on Tuesday, but then things warmed up and by the end of the week a lot of the snow had melted, the high was supposed to be about 45 degrees and we had been warned that it was going to be sloppy, but I had no idea just HOW muddy it would get!

We started off in a big clump, through a field, over a bridge, through another field next to the lake and up a short paved section where we turned left onto the bridle trail. The 50k, 20m and 10m were running at the same time, so there was about 250 of us starting together, the pace was slow at first and there was a few bottlenecks until we got onto the bridle trail. I was trying to start out at the back, but kinda got caught up in the middle and started running a bit quick, but thankfully Dad yelled at me right away to slow the heck down. The first couple miles were a lot of fun, the trails were soft but not really bad yet, and there was a lot of friendly chit chatting going on. I was feeling really good, which made me REALLY happy since I had had some bad runs leading up to the race. I found my easy rhythm early on and just settled into steady slow running, & walking the steep hills. I dropped Dad after about 2 miles, he had had the flu a few weeks back and was still recovering. The course is a 10.35 mile loop so you get to know the hills well.. did I mention it's a very hilly course? According to my Garmin 43% was uphill, 35.8% was downhill and only 21.2% was flat. The first lap felt great.. I ran comfortable, talked a bit to people around me and enjoyed the scenery. I kept reminding myself to drink water since I know I'm bad about that.. and at about 5 miles I had a few dates. I have found that dates are the best source of quick sugar for me, since I am a strict raw vegan, all the normal running aids like gus, and gels and Gatorade are not things I can eat, so finding something easy and naturally sugary was a bit of a test. Next time though I will de-pit the dates before the race, I almost broke a tooth on a pit at one point.

My husband was waiting for me at about mile 8, at a large well-stocked aid station, but I was feeling so good I didn't stop, just yelled at Erik to have a bannana waiting for me at the start/finish area at the start of the second lap. The last 2.5 miles from that aid station have some pretty mean hills and it was starting to get pretty muddy by this point. As I was nearing the start/finish area there was a girl just in front of me and she kept looking over her shoulder and running competitive urges started to kick in but then I realized she was doing the 10m, and there was no need for me to try and catch her. I made it into the start/finish area at 2:15 which totally boggled my mind, based on my training runs out there I was figuring on at least 2:30! I knew that really, my race was starting now.. 10 miles was easy & known territory.. now it was going to get hard. I ate a quick banana while Erik took my number off my vest and repinned it on my long sleeve tech shirt.. I almost ditched my gloves but kept them at the last minute and I was so glad I did! I collected a quick kiss from Erik and I was off. As I ran off across the field, there was a few guys that had just finished the 10M standing around, and I heard one of the guys say.. "hey she's still running" and another one said "dude.. she's running the 50!" and they went Woah and stood there watching me run by.. I snickered to myself and figured there was no way I was going to correct them!

By this time the course had cleared out a lot, and I felt free to roam all over the trail since the mud was in full force now.. I started out trying to run around the mud bogs and tippy toe through the water crossings but after about 2 miles of that I figured screw it.. it's only going to get worse and just started running right through the middle of the mud bogs. On the wider bridle trail sections this worked fine but once I got to the "Triangle" section which is narrow single track with lots of ups and downs it became just a slip fest, I was glad I had my skiing and hockey skills to fall back on. I had to stop and tie my shoelaces a lot tighter quite a few times to keep the mud from stealing my shoes. From about mile 12 to 14 I was starting to hurt pretty bad.. the mud was taking a toll and I was pretty much running by myself, but I just kept slogging on and walking the hills. I started drinking alot more water and at mile 15 I finished off my dates...and POW instant energy rush! Suddenly I started feeling much better..looked at my Garmin, saw I only had 5 miles left and decided I wanted to finish in under 5 hours so I kicked it into gear a bit. Well that lasted about .5 miles until the mud took over, it was totally frustrating to want to run, but not be able to because it was so slippery, I was sliding and falling everywhere.. but at the same time I was having so much fun! I liked the course the 1st lap, but I really LOVED the course the 2nd lap, I was hooting and hollering as I leaped over logs and laughing as I careened madly downhill on a sea of mud in an area called "Fester's Wander". Fester's Wander is switchbacky singletrack section created by the Race Director's dog Fester. Damn that dog! My hips were starting to ache and one of my shoulders was killing me but I just kept slogging ahead in mud up to my knees. I had left any semblence of running "form" somewhere on the 1st lap and now I was just propelling my body forward willy nilly. As I came into the aid station with 2.5 miles to go, I grabbed a couple of orange halves and kept going (God bless all those aid station volunteers, what a bunch of fabulous people!). At this point the mantra in my head was "under 5 hours.. under 5 hours" and "dry, warm socks and shoes.. dry warm socks and shoes"

The last 2.5 miles feel like a heck of a lot longer.. due to a couple nasty hills.. whom I named the bitches.... and I talked to them... oh yes... "alright Bitch number 1, your ass is mine" "I don't care how much you make me slip and slide Bitch number 2, I WILL BEAT YOU!" And what I said to Bitch number 3 is probably not fit for print... but I made it over all 3.. they bowed to my will, I might have even pounded my chest and let out a bellow after the third one! (OK, maybe I was getting a bit loopy by that point.) As I made the left turn into the section that leads to the start finish, what do I see in front of me but the backside of a girl... my lip goes up in a snarl and my competitive juices start flowing, and I start kicking... and as I get to the start/finish area with her in my sights.. she cuts off to the right to do another lap... DOH! But hey! There's the finish line and the clock says 4:56:05! SWEET! YES! under 5 hours!! and 3rd place female to boot!

I really can't say enough good things about the race..RD Ben is great and all the volunteers were so nice and helpful..and the course really is fun.. hard, but fun.

So now I'm totally hooked and can't wait for the Free State Trail marathon in April, and I'm thinking the summer version of this race might be the perfect place for my first ultra... after all how hot could it be in July In Kansas???