Whiteface Sky Race

A bit of a delayed race report. But here it is!
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After months of a hectic work schedule. A lot of 12+ hours days. I had a week of hiking in the Adirondack’s to look forward to.

I went up the week of July 4th to chase Jeff around in his quest to hike all 46. Then the Whiteface Virtical weekend was the 9th and 10th. I was registered to race the Sky Race – 2X up and down Whiteface and one alpine loop. Totalling 15 miles.
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The week leading up to this was full of unusual pre-race stuff. Hiking 3 high peaks, then “running” 2 more. Backpacking, camping and 3 nights of hammock sleeping. Plus I saw a bear!

Hammocking in Wilmington

Hammocking in Wilmington

I Volunteered on Saturday for the vertical K – Starts at the Base and runs up to the Summit Chair lift – about 2.5 miles and 3,300 ft.

Vertical K

Vertical K

Vertical K profile

Vertical K profile

Some people are crazy enough to do both the Vertical k and then the Sky Race on Sunday.

I’m not a fan of endless hills. But Mountains are different.

In true Whiteface weekend fashion – the weather was not cooperating. Saturday had lightning – which delayed the start about an hour. Sunday was drizzling, cold, and lots of fog.

Sky Race map

Sky Race map

Sky Race profile

Sky Race profile

The Sky Race starts with a 2.5 mile climb up to the Summit chair lift. It’s a nice grueling hike, which only took about an hour. You reach the top and have 2.5 miles of down to look forward to! The down is runnable, but steep and slippery in places. It was fun to be fast and careless thanks to the cushion of mud – and a decent that only took about 20 min.
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I got to the base aid station with quads that were toast – but an alpine loop to look forward to. This is a 5 mile loop from the base of the mountain – which is all runnable. Running felt nice at first, but after a while my legs had nothing. I spent the last 3 miles of the loop debating on dropping. I was sure I’d be unable to climb the mountain again… no way.

After about an hour and 20 minutes on the loop… I reached the base aid-station again. I grabbed some food. Stood there for a while – told Strat this was hard. And started walking to the start of my second ascend…. what?
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I saw Joe Azze on the way up – he snapped some awesome photos.

This photo is great. I feel like it captures how awful yet how awesome this race is.

The 2nd time up was brutal. As expected. Legs were toast. Back was aching. I was thirsty (of course didn’t carry water – it was too cold to dehydrate….. right). I really wanted a pb&j at the Summit. I came up to a girl who had passed me on the alpine loop, and we spent most of the ascend together. We would go back and forth. Taking turns stopping and just staring up… and thinking “whyyy… ???”

Then I discovered crawling. CRAWLING felt awesome. So much easier. I kept moving from then on. Told the girl to crawl. She was surprised too. Got to the top and saw Jan – got my pb&j. Started down, life was good.

I was excited to be done soon. Another “20” minutes – This down took me about 30. I could feel the trauma I’ve done to my quads. I pushed them through this last down just as careless. I thought about the DOMS that would follow for the next week…. always a good feeling.
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The Finnish was awesome. Surrounded by friends and team mates. Seeing MPF/RNR crew always helps to keep going – grateful for their support.

This is definitely one of the hardest races I’ve done – physically. Probably my favorite race from this year. Along with Cayuga Trails 50. I was destroyed for about a week after this. The first time I’ve gone for runs where running up hills felt better than going down.

View the details of my race on Strava
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If you’re looking for races to do next year – you should save these dates!

April 15 – Breakneck Point
June 3rd – Cayuga Trails 50
July 8th and 9th – Whiteface Sky Races

whitefaceskyrace2016

Photo by Joe Azze

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What’s next for me?
I applied to Hellgate 100k. And got in. So that’s the plan for December 10th!

The end.

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Looking at Burning River 100

1 week from today I’ll be 5 hours into my first 100 miler.

I signed up for Burning River after a long run with Dan-o – we both talked about doing a 100 miler this year. We decided Burning River was good timing for Cayuga 50 to be a good training race.
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So 100 Mile Training.

  • I still haven’t followed a training plan.
  • I wanted to do a 100 mile week, or 2… nope.
  • I wanted to do 70+ mile weeks… nope.
  • I got 2 weeks that were over 50. One week included Cayuga Trails 50, the other was a week in the ADK’s hiking and the Whiteface Sky Marathon.
  • I’ve already done 215 miles of racing.
  • The races I’ve done have been awesome, and hard.
  • I ran a trail marathon the weekend after a trail 50. Everything hurt.
  • I hiked 3 high peaks, and “ran” 2 more before racing a Sky Marathon on Whiteface. That destroyed me. Then raced a trail half marathon the weekend after and PR’d.

I had accepted that my low mileage would be ok. Maybe im just a low mileage runner? At least I wouldn’t be going into the race injured.

But then. I hurt my foot.

trainingMileage
How’s that look for ultra training?
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So yeah. 1 week and I somehow twisted my foot in a way to injure the top/side/arch… It feels a lot better just 3 days after… but it’s still swollen, and some faint bruising. I definitely can’t run on it yet.

Foot death.

Crazy how you can run all kinds of races. Hike and run for 24 hours in a week. But in less than 2 miles in one of the easiest places to trail run (Bay Park West), you ruin your foot? I had an awesome injury free streak going.

It’s weird. Im use to things just going away. But I keep waking up and it’s still there. I’m slightly concerned. But running a 100 will still happen.

Also – It could definitely be worse. I’ve just never been sidelined before, so I’m a huge baby and am going to complain about this!
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So the plan for BR100?

  • Just run. and finish under 30 hours. but I’d love to be closer to 24.
  • I’ll have an awesome crew and pacers, and an awesome Dan-o that’ll be somewhere out there.
  • Try not to die. but if I do – I’m ok with death by running.
  • If I can’t run till race day, I’m just keeping up with strength training. Not much I can do now, other than repair my foot, and get more sleep.
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    Goals in life.
  • Never DNF.
  • Never DNS.
  • Never be comfortable. I never what to be 100% about something. I have to go in with some concerns – you never know what will happen – in life and in races.
  • Stay consistent, but also be competitive.
  • Always try something new. You never know what you’re missing. It could be the one thing you needed!
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So this year I’ve been a low mileage runner. But have done better at most races. I have to give credit to the Rossi strength training though. Low mileage plus increased strength = good running.

Also – I love racing a lot more than just running. I could go on a rant about racing. but I won’t. Maybe later. Maybe after Burning River… oh yeah….

… Burning River. I’m nervous. The end.

 

 

2015

I ran 2235.75 miles.
I raced 322 miles (16 races)
I raced 4 Ultra’s (3 of them 50+ miles)… and ran 3 50k training runs.

Comparing 2014 and 2015:
2014                                    2015
Ran 1610.9 Miles                 Ran 2235.75 Miles
Raced 306.5 (24 Races)         Raced 322 (16 Races)

That’s the simple way of summing up 2015.
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January – I started training with Mike. Each month we would hit 200+ miles. This is also when I started running with the crew (Mike, Chris O’brien, and Matt) – and Jeff Green appearances became more frequent.
FL50

February – Feb. 1st was the first run/meeting of Jason Vidmar. This is where I told him of our Great Range traverse idea, and he was immediately in.
– Ran Cast a Shadow relay with Matt and Kirsten.

Me, Kirsten and Matt

Me, Kirsten and Matt

March – Started doing Bikram Yoga.

April – Ran Muddy Sneaker. Also ran my first 50k training run – with Mike, Jeff, and Matt. Ran a 20 mile PR on the greenway with Mike and Jamie.

May – Ran 58 miles at MTD, and 2nd place. Watched Chris run Sehgahunda. Volunteered at OSTM.
Ran Cayuga Trails 50 — So far my all time favorite race. Cayuga was overwhelming, and the first time I didn’t want to come home. Cayuga will always be a special memory.

Final laps of Mind the Ducks 2015 with Coach Mike and Mertsock.

Final laps of Mind the Ducks 2015 with Coach Mike and Mertsock.

Photo by Matt B

Cayuga 50 2015 – Photo by Matt B

June – Ran the 2nd 50k training run of the year – with Mike, Jeff, Matt, and Josh. Ventured in the ADKS, with 4 days of hiking… 1 day being the Great Range Traverse – with Danielle, Jeff, Jason, Matt, and Kyle. (Ron and Mark joined for the pre-traverse hike).

3 of the best dudes and Marcy in the backround.

3 of the best dudes and Marcy in the background.

July – Found myself hiking in Taughannock Falls the day before FL50 with Jeff. Watched Jeff run FL50. Ran the 3rd 50k training run of the year – With Jeff, Mike, Dan-o, Matt, Josh. Ran O SPF (Trail Half). Watched Mike and Daven run Burning River 100. Paced Daven for 20.
— Burning river is when I discovered I loved to crew and pace just as much as I love racing.

Burning River finish

Burning River finish

twisted.jpg

Twisted Branch 100k – Me and Jeff

August – Ran the crescent trail with Dan-O, Jeff, Kendra, Lesher, Matt, Josh. Ran 10 mile sunrise run in OCP, then first slack line party – with Jeff, Matt, Josh, Jason, Ron, Chris, Mike Mertsock. Spent 2 days watching Mighty Mosquito and running 42 miles (35 saturday, 7 Sunday). Started Bouldering at Red Barn. Ran 20 miles with Jeff in Alleghany – after waking up at 3am to drive there. Bouldered on real rocks. Ran Twisted Branch 100k.
— I had a lot of time to think at Twisted Branch. I was not prepared for the emotions that day would bring. It started out as a joyous run through woods in the dark with friends. Quickly turned into a day of battles. Endless leg cramps. Couldn’t breath. Lung pain. Chest pain. Abandoning Jeff – who had stuck with me for over half. TB was soul sucking. I was pretty fine post 100k. But it took weeks to recover emotionally.

September – More rock climbing. Ossian Mountain run. Ran Virgil 100 relay – with Jeff, Jason, Danielle, and Katie. Ran in Hi-tor with Ben, Ron, Mertsock, Jeff, Jason, Chris. Ran in Canada with Jeff. Rock climbed real rocks in Canada.

Virgil Relay Team photo - Jason, me, Jeff, Katie, Danielle

Virgil Relay Team photo – Jason, me, Jeff, Katie, Danielle

October – Spur of the moment ADK trip with Jeff and friends (Peter, and Liz). Watched Daven run Oil Creek 100 – with Mike and Jeff. Paced Daven for 13. Ran Watergap 50k and started 30 minutes late. Jeff stayed with me the whole race – paced me to a 50k PR and 2nd female overall, with the 30 minute penalty. Ran back to back 5k and 12k trail races the weekend after Watergap.

Water Gap 50k

Water Gap 50k

November – Ventured back to the ADKs for some winter backpacking. Met up with Danielle, Mark, and Stacey for a day of hiking. Hiked Phelps Mt. for the 3rd time this year. Then Jeff and I set out for some Lean-tos by Avalanche Lake. We Jet boiled bag food. Did 3 days of hiking on 2 Nalgenes of water (this water also used to boil bag food). Hiked Mt. Skylight. I froze. Winter is pretty. I moved.

On our way to Skylight

On our way to Skylight

December – Started doing Bikram again. Crewed Hobbs at Hellgate 100k – with Jeff, Chris, and Ron. Driving in Virginia is awesome. Crewing this race was awesome. Hellgate is in the top 5 best days of 2015. Ran a 5k PR at the Reindeer run. But still not sub 20. Started going to Fore Performance and doing Muscles for Mileage with Josh Rossi.
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Thats all.

So now im figuring out what im going to do in 2016…

Run a marathon? on roads? yeah…

Run 100 Miles? yeah.

Run 4000 Miles? yeah. wait… probably not.

“You only live once” seems to be an overused statement. But it’s what I keep telling myself. It’s how I justify any crazy event. You know. Why not. In the end, all that matters is what you did, and how you lived. Do whatever you need to do to be happy.
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2 years ago I started running with Matt Bertrand. Shortly after followed Mike W. Life is significantly better thanks to these 2. Thanks to the running fam. Which seems to keep growing. Thanks Chris, Jason, Mike M, Dave J, Josh, Daven, Jeff. Medved peeps. Trailsroc. Goose.

2016 should be good.
The End.

 

KILL ALL MILES – Virgil 100 Mile Relay

Virgil Ultra’s happened the weekend of 9/19 (Yes – 2 months ago). Consisting of a 50, 100, 100 relay, and a 50k. A month or so before – Jason asked me if I would be interested in running the Rochester marathon relay. I was like… Yes. But – It’s the same weekend as Virgil   I was planning on going whether I was running or not.

I suggested we run the Virgil 100 relay. Then we held off registering till we all survived the weekend of Twisted Branch 100k.

A few weeks before Virgil we finally cracked down – gathered people for a team. Registered. We (coincidence?) ended up with a team that was also the Great Range group. Which is proving to be the perfect group of people to spend unlimited hours with.

Team: KILL ALL MILES – consisted of 5 people. Jason Vidmar, Jeff Green, Katie Ann, Danielle Snyder, and me (Laura Rekkerth). Our relay strategy –> Pick names out of a baggy. Each leg was random. The same person could be picked multiple times in a row, but no more than 3 times. One person would do 4.
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We knew doing a 100 mile relay would involve somewhere around 24 hours of running, driving, being awake. This year has been about getting the most out of every day, every weekend, every hour. Often including race weekends that span over 3 days, and very little sleep.
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FRIDAY Sept. 18th
Jeff and I ventured to Virgil to pick up our teams bibs, and camp at the start. We set up our tents and sat on a hill looking at the clear sky and stars. It gradually got colder, and had to retreat into our tents.

As usual I couldn’t sleep. I layed there, and eventually was accompanied by messages from Captain/Coach Jason. He was going over race data, and also not sleeping. Facebook messages spanned from sometime before 12am, till sometime after 1am.
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SATURDAY Sept. 20th
I woke up before my 5am alarm. Packed up my tent, put it away. Waited for Jeff to get up. We ventured to the pavilion, and spectated 50 and 100 milers getting ready to start. They took off at 6am – and would have 36 hours to finish the 100 miler.

50 and 100 mile start.

50 and 100 mile start.

Jeff and I now had 2 hours to kill before the start of the relay. Patiently awaited the arrival of our teammates.

Photo by Jason Vidmar

Photo by Jason Vidmar

Baggy draw #1 – Jason Vidmar was selected to start us off. In true Vidmar fashion he took off, and gave those first 6 miles almost everything he had. Jason was running from the start, to Hitching Post. about 6 miles.

Team photo - Jason, me, Jeff, Katie, Danielle

Team photo – Jason, me, Jeff, Katie, Danielle

Baggy draw #2 – Jeff was selected. I was jealous of this section, as I knew it had fun single track. Jeff was running from Hitching Post to Tens Kate – about 6 miles. The next person that runs would be up for the hardest section – Hurt Locker.

Jeff coming into to Tens Kate - befriending the competition.

Jeff coming into to Tens Kate – befriending the competition.

Baggy draw #3 – Hi Jeff. Your up again.

Hi Jeff

Hi Jeff

Bye Jeff.

Bye Jeff.

Baggy draw #4 – Laura (me). I would get to run 5 miles from the #trailsroc aid station to Rock Pile. Supposedly mostly down hill, and easy.

Waiting at the #trailsroc station - Jason captured my custom shirt design.

Waiting at the #trailsroc station – Jason captured my custom shirt design.

Jeff came in to the #trailsroc aid station – I was off. The trail was awesome. This section only took 42 minutes, which left minimal time for the team to get to the Rock Pile aid station. I saw Sheila Eagan and Michael Meynadasy as they ran the 50 miler, and Tim Raggets running the 100 miler.

Baggy Draw #5 – Jason Vidmar. However – I reached the Rock Pile, and at first glance had no team. But Katie came running out of the woods 2 seconds later, saying the others were still coming. She handed me her phone, and it was now her turn.

Baggy Draw #6 – It was starting to get late in the day, and Danielle was still waiting for her turn. We pulled a name. Not Danielle. She wanted to run sooner than later as she was not feeling well. So we decided she would go next. We waited for Katie back at the #Trailsroc aid station. Danielle would be running to TenKate Crossing – also meaning she would go down Hurt Locker.

The switch at #Trailsroc aidstation.

The switch at #Trailsroc aid station.

Baggy Draw #6 – Laura (me). I would be running from TenKate to Hitching post.

This section was also a lot of fun. I knew their was opportunity to get lost in this part – but Jeff gave me the heads up that the course stuck to the white marked trails.

Baggy Draw #7 – Danielle.

Danielle was up again, to run us back to the starting line at Hope lake. Headlamps would be needed as we started the second half.

Baggy Draw #8 – Katie.

Katie waits for Danielle at the start!

Katie waits for Danielle at the start!

Waiting.

Waiting.

Danielle on the move. Concluding the 1st half of the relay.

Danielle on the move. Concluding the 1st half of the relay.

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So were back at the start. We have to do all this all over again!?
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Baggy Draw #9 – Jason.

Jason started the race off for us – but had been patiently waiting his second turn. Now was his chance. He destroyed the section from Hitching Post to TenKate – Jeff and I had both ran this part, and Jason had the fastest time of the 3.

Team waiting for katie at Hitching Post

Team waiting for katie at Hitching Post

Jason. Definitely ready to kill miles.

Jason. Definitely ready to kill miles.

Baggy Draw #10 – Laura (me)

I was finally going to get my chance to #1 – run in the dark. #2 – Run up hurt locker. I was pretty excited. The section from TenKate to #trailsroc is no joke though, definitely one of the hardest runs. The team ended up waiting for me at the bottom of hurt locker, and Jason offered to join me for the last 3 miles. It was dark, and I accepted.

Baggy Draw #11 – Danielle.

Jason and I came into the #trailsroc aid station, and Danielle was off to the Rock Pile. While at #Trailstoc – Dave Justice informed us of the oncoming monsoon. But it wasn’t raining yet. It’ll hold off. Yeah…

Baggy Draw #12 – Jeff.

We waited for Danielle at the Rock Pile. It had started to rain. It started to rain harder. We had been talking about starting the “buddy system” – two people would run together for the rest of the relay. So I offered to run with Jeff back to #Trailsroc, then we would also continue on to TenKate Crossing. Knocking out 2 legs in one go.
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I forgot to mention that Katie hurt her ankle during her 2nd relay leg. So our team was down to 4.
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Jeff and I made it from the Rock Pile to #Trailsroc pretty easily – considering the trails were hard to see through the rain and fog. It took us just over an hour. We both felt pretty good, and would be good to keep going through the next section.

We took our time grabbing food at the aid station. We would now be running from #trailsroc AS to TenKate crossing, which included going down hurt locker.

It was still raining. It was still misting and foggy. Pretty early on we realised we hadn’t seen a flag in a while. And we’d been going down hill. Long story short — We turned around. Ran/walked back up this hill. Went a different way. Eventually saw some flags. I started dying. We kept thinking Hurt Locker would be coming up any minute. I was beginning to think Jeff would have to finish this one without me. Just as I was reaching panick mode – we heard cars. We saw lights. There was no hurt locker… no ski hills. We messed up. (Thank God).

Start - Rock Pile. Finish - TenKate

Start – #trailsroc. Pit stop- #trailsroc. Finish – TenKate

Jeff and I felt terrible for cutting the course. But were so happy to be done. We found Danielle and Jason getting ready at the car. They were pretty surprised to see us so soon. A few minutes later, Ian walked by and we told him what happened. With bigger things to worry about, and being the awesome dude he is… he let it slide. Plus the relays were so spread out, that cutting an hour out of our section wouldn’t have changed anything.
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Danielle and Jason were up for the section from Tenkate to Hitching post. Jeff and I decided we would drive over the next aid station and wait it out. We were soaked. Cold.

SUNDAY Sept.22
The next run would be to the finish. Who would it be? Jeff and I were feeling pretty much… done. But could slug it out if needed. We waited – about 2 hours? and eventually saw the headlamps coming in. Jason looked excited and ready to take us home. Danielle was battling the stomach issues she’d been suffering through all day – she was done. Captain/coach Jason once again proves his awesome selflessness, and takes on the solo run to the finish.
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We arrived back to an empty Hope lake. No one at the finish. No one in the Pavilion… at first. Then we were greeted by a cool guy volunteer.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Jason ran the final section in about an hour and 12 min.

The Vid-Star!

The Vid-Star!

Team finish line photo

Team finish line photo

Our relay finished in 19 hours and 24 minutes. Started at 8am, and finished at 3:24am. Good for 2nd place.

Team Splits

Team Splits

Overall results

Overall results

The team then decided we would gather our sleeping bags, and stay in the pavilion. We claimed a picnic table – Jason and Danielle had sleeping pads and slept on the floor. Jeff and I each claimed a side of the picnic table bench — Somehow managed to not fall off.

Post relay -- pre bedtime

Post relay — pre bedtime

We got up early and watched the top 100 milers finish, as well as a couple of relay teams.

Being spectators.

Being spectators.

The team decided we would go grab breakfast at Perkins – then get on the road. But Jeff and I decided to drag this thing out longer — After breakfast we returned to Hope Lake to watch Natalie and others run the 50k.

Hi Natalie. She's fast. She got 2nd.

Hi Natalie. She’s fast. She got 2nd.

Hope Lake

Hope Lake

Most of the spectating consisted of this.

Most of the spectating consisted of this.

I like panoramas.

I like panoramas.

RIP Virgil Crest Ultras.

The end.

Twisted Branch 100k – 2015

Update:
Now that a few weeks have passed – Race reports have been rolling in. Instead of reading my sappy mess, you should check these out.

Jeff Green – Actually all you need in life is Jeff Green, and his reports. Read this and you’ll be happy forever.
Rob Feissner – Never ran further than 33 miles. Race was over before it started. He pulled this race off like a pro with his positive and relentless attitude.
Mike Mertsock
– Knows how to race, knows what he’s capable of. Before this race he said he wanted to push himself harder than he has before – he did just that.
Jason Vidmar – Continues to be the nicest guy I know. He’s a marathon runner, on his way to the dark side of ultra running.
Chris O’Brien – Great friend and teammate. Never ran an Ultra before – so he chose the hardest one and battled his way to the finish.
Matt Bertrand – Had constant knee issues the 5 weeks before this race. He wen’t into this injured – never doubting that he would finish. He never stopped moving, took 2 minutes or less at aidstations. Ran/walked/hiked perfectly in order to make the cuttoff at the finish line.
Dan Lopata – You would normally see Dan as the course sweeper, or volunteer. He chose to run this one, to challenge himself. He, as well as half of the other racers, found himself chasing cut-off’s.

Ascend Collective – Check out the masters of photography, and their photos from Twisted Branch.
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Friday, August 28th.

I convinced Jeff to give me a ride to Ontario County Park – I had decided I would join the crew in camping before the race. We picked up Mort. Got to OCP and drove aimlessly until we saw The Feisners, the Lopata’s and Josh. Eventually we found our correct site – home of Chris O’brien, 5 cars, and too many (cool) people.

The night was clear and dry, I set up my tent without the rain fly. Jeff, Strat and I played Frisbee until we decided we should prepare to run this thing tomorrow. We sat by the fire, surrounded by fellow racers, pacers, and crew members. They started trickling away into tents around 9pm.

I crawled into my tent. I layed there and could not sleep. I didn’t want to look at my watch, I didn’t mind. As a person that likes to be awake, I especially liked not sleeping in this setting.
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Saturday, August 29th.

At some point I woke up. In all the “not sleeping” I was doing, I was having dreams that I couldn’t sleep. I opened my eyes and was completely happy. Looked at my watch, it was 2:08am. I was wide awake, but layed there until 3am.

I was soon joined by Chris, Strat and Jeff by the cars, as we sat, and did pre-race things. One thing I lacked to think about was how long it would take to walk over to the start. As I walked back to camp from the bathrooms, cars had left. So I started walking, looking at my watch it said 4:50am. I started running. Made it with a few minutes to hang out at the start, and off we went.

Start photo - by Dave Justice

Start photo – by Dave Justice

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This would be Ultra #6. My first ultra only being 15 months ago. Each of them completely different, and one thing I’ve learned is you never know what will happen. I expected this race to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I never expected it to be mentally and emotionally the hardest day of my life.
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The race starts as expected. Nice and easy, long down hill in the dark. I’m soon surrounded by the people I’ve trained all year with. It starts to get light out, and we break apart. But it always seemed that none of us were ever alone. Jeff and I were together, and eventually heard voices behind us that sounded like Matt, Strat and Chris. The five of us re-united again, but it was still early.

Things start going south quick. I had been feeling twinges of cramps in my feet early on. I tripped or kicked a root, my calf seized up. I looked at my watch… it was mile 12. It’s too early for this. Miles 13 – 15 involved a good amount of climbing out of Naples. We hiked about 1000 ft in this section, and may have pushed too hard. I was toast. I took a pretty good spill in the Hi Tor area shortly after. Seized multiple leg parts. I layed, clutched my legs… here it was… break down #1 out of 20. I sat, Jeff sat with me. And that was it – we were in this together.
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After I picked myself up, we start running again. And soon realise we don’t see orange. We had missed a turn, and wandered onto some camp ground. A guy was there, and said this trail would lead back to orange, but we didn’t want to risk cutting the course.

Wrong way.

Wrong way.

As we ran back up the trail looking for orange flags, we saw Rob Feisner. We caught him just as he was missing the turn we had missed. Glad to save him the extra mileage, and welcomed his company. Rob stayed with us for a while, told us how he had a bad morning. He was the LAST person to cross the start line, but was working his way towards what we be a better day, 24th overall and 16ish hour finish.
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I had forgotten to return my headlamp at the first aid station, and was carrying it up until my spills in hi-tor. I noticed I was no longer holding it. Must have dropped it. But really – Jeff had it.

We finished the 1st half in 7ish hours. Things were ok at Italy Turnpike aid station – mile 29ish. Things were definitely going south though. We were 10 miles from Bud Valley. 10 miles from picking up pacers. 10 miles from still having 20+ more to go. I looked at my watch… we could make it to Bud Valley by 2:30pm.

With Jeff by my side, we had some good stretches of running, good stretches of dyeing. I lost track of cramps and break downs – but that was all me. We got to a quick stop aid station around mile 35. We sat in some chairs, there were other runners sitting, taking their time. I had M&M’s and tailwind by accident. And a PB&J. and more M&M’s. We left eventually, and set off for a long 4 miles to Bud Valley.

We came to a short steep up hill to a road, and had to pick ourselves over a guard rail. We sat. Looked at my watch. We could still make Bud Valley by 2:30pm. Jeff had actually been keeping track of cut off times – turns out bud valley was 3:30pm. We realised as we sat… we would be chasing cutoffs the rest of the night, and started moving.
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Bud Valley was the emotional turning point. Mike Welden was there, waiting for me. He would be my pacer. Mike Bray was there, he would be Jeffs. My parents were there, I can’t even remember if I talked to them. Danielle Snyder – is like my spirit animal – always there… always makes things better. Mike started walking towards the woods, trying to will me away from the aid station. But Jeff was still there. I started walking towards Mike. I walked backwards. Heart breaking as the inches grew between me and the person that stuck with me through over half of this. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t leave. I wanted Jeff to come. I went back – Jeff and Bray followed.

Photo by my Dad

Photo by my Dad

Shortly after – the distance between Mike and I, and Jeff and Bray grew. Bray eventually came up to Mike and I…. Said he didn’t think Jeff wanted a pacer. I wanted to go back. I looked back, I saw Jeff. I looked forward… Mike was still running. Mike was there for me. Completely torn…. This was the hardest part of the race. The hardest thing I’ve ever done. My Heart broke…completely. I couldn’t breath. I ran away, crying. Mike noticed I was emotional… he told me the low points would pass. But this was no low point.
___________________________________________________

It took a long time for me to get over abandoning my friend. I should have went back. Everytime I thought about it, I couldn’t breath. But running felt good. Cramping was less frequent – until I would trip or kick a root. I had Welden and Bray… sometimes they ran together ahead of me… sometimes I was Mike sandwiched. Bray left us a few times to wait for Jeff at aid stations.

As the running increased, breathing was becoming more difficult. I could no longer take deep breaths. I would focus on breathing…. but it hurt. It started to feel like I was breathing through a straw. I became stressed, and breathing was audible to Mike. He told me to stop. I was angry, I kept running. Mike kept telling me to stop.

I did finally. Breaths were short, sharp, and hysterical. I had stabbing pains in my ribs. I hunched my way over to Mike and a log. We sat. I was dyeing. Mike secretly wanted to pull me at this point.

We sat for a good 5-10 minutes. Then started walking. We still had 4-5 miles till Urbana. Bray caught back up to us and I was eventually ready to run. Running felt good again, breathing was better. We caught up to Matt and Jason, and Chris and Dave. We passed them, we ran hard. Trails were awesome in this section – flew down the hills. Ran all the way into Urbana, just as it was getting too dark for no headlamps.
____________________________________________________
I took my time at the Urbana aid station. My headlamp was MIA (I would later find out that it saved Jeff’s life). Josh gave me his. I put on a long sleeve, as I had been feeling cold. Stole some pickles from Matt’s pickle stash (Thanks Meagan). Was about to start running again… then realised – I need to hug Josh. So I did.

It was 8:30pm as we left Urbana. Supposedly only 4 miles to the finish. Mike and Bray said it’d be an hour. I said 2 hours…. at least. We walked, it was dark. We knew we would be climbing soon.

I had been doing terrible on climbs up until now. My legs would cramp. Or I felt dizzy. There were times Mike walked behind me, to make sure I didn’t fall back. I had been dreading the climb out of Urbana. At the rate I’d been going, it would take an hour.

The climb starts right around mile 60, and it’s about 886ft. Steady climbing until mile 62 or so. But it went well. I didn’t mind the climb. I was alone. Mike and Bray were a ways ahead, but close enough for me to hear Bray complaining.

We get up this thing, pop out of the woods and were greeted by the moon.
______________________________________________________

The finish line was elusive after this point. It was so close, but so far away. Always seemed like we had 2 more miles to go. I wanted to run, but I couldn’t run without tripping (tripping = cramping). We hiked. We can eventually hear the finish line music, but it would still be about 30 minutes till we got there.

The new Triad Trail was pretty awesome. The switchbacks would have been cool to do in the daylight. The finish line was straight out of the woods.

I cross a road. See the lake, see the finish with tons of lights, and people. Im greeted by Eric. Then Danielle. Danielle gave me the details on everyone else, including Jeff. Where was Jeff!? I didn’t think he was there. But eventually she said – “oh, he’s right over there”.

I walked over. Managed a word…. “Jeff.” Hugged him, and sobbed for the 20th time. Then we sat and talked. I heard Matt finish shortly after, then Chris right behind him. Roger Oskvig shoved food at me, and tried to make sure I wouldn’t freeze to death. But I was good. I went over and hugged everyone. Matt, Chris, Danielle, Jason, Dave, Jeff’s parents. It was weird to be done.
____________________________________________________
People I need to note:
Jeff’s parents. We saw them more than anyone else during this race. Everytime I saw them, no matter how I felt, I couldn’t help but smile. They are so supportive, so positive… they were also usually a sign that an aidstation or road was near by.

Ben Metcalf. Helped Mike out all day with crewing. I would see him out on the trail, waiting for us. Always a welcomed site, and once again – couldn’t help but smile at his presence.

Jason Vidmar and Dave Justice. Two marathon guys that were there to pace 2 other runners. But I would discover them helping me, throughout the day. Two guys that are now unknowingly part of club Welden. Two guys on their way to the darkside. Welcome to the family you two.

Josh Stratton. DNF’d at 50k. I would start seeing him at every aidstation, and as sad as I was that he didn’t finish… I Ioved that he was there. He’s so positive, and has a smile that makes you forget life has problems.

Danielle Snyder. Ofcourse Danielle was there. Ofcourse she made things better. I didn’t require any technical help at this race – like getting gloves on cold wet hands. But if I did, she would’ve been the one to pull that off. Her words, and company was all needed this time.
____________________________________________________
Results:
I was 32nd out of 47 finishers. About 87 people lined up at the start.
6th female out of 11
64/65ish miles in 17:36:56 (course cutoff was 18 hours)
____________________________________________________

Things I learned:

  • As proved by Matt and Rob Feisner – this course can be completed with less than ideal training – with the right amount of mental strength and determination.
  • Matt can run with no knees.
  • I never felt tired or fatigued. The mind and heart were willing, the body just doesn’t cooperate sometimes.
  • Sometimes the adventure trumps finish time and place… or finishing at all.
  • Team Welden + Jeff + Jason + Dave = ❤

Things I used for fuel:

  • Oatmeal for breakfast
  • Picky bar in the first hour and a half
  • pb&j (x3)
  • 1 pickle at mile 12, then not again until 40 and 60.
  • nutella and jelly (x2)
  • Oreos (x4???)
  • M&M’s (x???)
  • Chips of some kind
  • water
  • salt tabs

If there’s one thing the course lacked – it was pickles. Jason had bought some and left them at a few aid stations. But most didn’t have any. Pickles are awesome. Everything else was perfect though – Scott Magee pulled this off amazingly.
_______________________________________________________

Coach told me never to think of this race as a failure. I was like… yeah – no way. This was the best race of my life. I experienced things to new extremes. I was out there for almost 18 hours, and never wanted it to end. Jeff and Mike both saw the terrifyingly emotional side of me, and didn’t run away. This race made friends and the community feel more like family. I felt love, pain, heartbreak. I cherish the experience I had, even if it was rough.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Post Race
We ventured to Mikes Lake house only a few minutes from the finish line. People trickled in, and gathered around the living room with post race drinks and food. We stayed up until 3am or so, and eventually passed out on the floor. It was over. There was no sense of great achievement. Just a sense that this was some kind of turning point.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
A little side note : I asked Mike to Coach me in December 2014. Shortly after, I signed up for this race. Twisted Branch would be what we worked towards all year.  I soon found out that Dan O, and Jeff Green signed up. Then I Met Chris and found out he was with Mike too. Then Matt and everyone else signed up.

We all do different races throughout the year – but this one, brought everyone together. Im beginning to feel like home isn’t the old yellowish house I live in.

Home is running silently with Mike. Neither of us being good at all at small talk. Home is 8+ hour training runs, with a group of friends I can never tire of. Home is any amount of time with Jeff Green, Mike Welden, Matt Bertrand, Chris O’Brien, Josh Stratton. 5 People that have showed me nothing but love, friendship, and support. Makes you question what love truly is. These people are my life.

The End.

P.S. Save August for Twisted Branch 2016.

Strength doesn’t come from physical capacity, it comes from indomitable will – Mahatma Gandhi

The Road to Twisted Branch

Sometime in November/December 2014 I signed up for Twisted Branch 100k. The race is point to point – beginning at Ontario County Park (Naples, NY) and finishes on the shores of Keuka Lake (Hammondsport, NY). The race is scheduled for August 29th. Currently only 28 days away.
elevation

My training has been pretty consistent. Even though I feel like I’m a slacker – The month of July was only a few miles short of my mileage for May – 247.8 (highest mileage month ever). In May I RACED 127.9 miles. July I only raced 13 (total mileage = 242.7).

Bar Graphs! ... are cool.

Training bar graphs! … are cool.

May 9th – I ran 58.7 miles in a 12 hour race (Mind the Ducks) – Pretty much a 12 hour training run.
May 31st – I ran Cayuga Trails 50 Mile. That was goal race #1.

June 20th – We previewed the 2nd half of the Twisted Branch course (50k training run). It took us 8 hours. Looked something like this….
last50k
last50k2
How’d I feel after that? Terrible. Super intimidated. Do I really want to race this and die? not really.

June 27th – We completed the ADK Great Range Traverse. Which put me in a “completing stuff with friends is fun mode”. I know coach thinks I can do well… or “win”. If I try to do that I’ll likely be in tears, and not in a good place mentally. So im not gonna try to do anything.

July 4th – I watched Jeff run his first 50 miler – Finger Lakes 50. While Mike and I ran the “course” backwards incorrectly… somehow ended up with 20 miles out and back – when it should have been a 15 mile loop.

July 11th – we went back out and ran the first 50k of the Twisted Branch course.
first50k
first50k2

I felt better about the 1st half. Much more runnable than the 2nd. Just as much elevation though. Just as dead at the end. And took almost as long.

July 18th – I raced 0SPF – Trail Half Marathon. Took 23 minutes off last years time. 13th overall – 6th female – and 3rd in AG. Trailsroc never fails at putting on an awesome race – or being the best cheer squad – or aid station.
_________________________________________________________________________________

July 25th – I watched my coach run 100 miles (Burning River 100). I thought Cayuga was the best race experience. Turns out crewing and pacing are way better. There’s really nothing like watching someone run for 23 hours. And in the meantime watching other people run – and coming up with names for them. Like “confused guy”. Or “rough guy”. “white shirt guy”. “Yellow shirt guy”. Don’t judge us on our naming skills – Were an obvious bunch.

We were also cheering for Daven. Eventually we got a text from his dad saying he could use a pacer. Matt and Jeff shuttled me to the 70 mile mark, and I jumped in. My first time pacing. Daven’s first ultra with a pacer. Cool. unfortunately this meant I would miss 40 miles of Mike running. But pacing Daven was probably the coolest thing I’ve done yet. Good company, and an enjoyable 20 mile run. And maybe I helped by being there? Maybe not – 4 hours of silence can be annoying.

Oh yeah – and Daven won. Cause he’s super cool. and Coach was inching his way up the entire day – finished in 17th overall, and sub 24 hours. __________________________________________________________________________________

August 1st – (Today) – Ran with a fun group of people on the Crescent Trail. Managed 18/19 miles. Seeing most of them again tomorrow at crazy hours (4amish) to run the start of Twisted Branch in the dark.

Everything that’s happened gets me more excited about running. Running longer. Adventuring further. Sleeping less. It’s the one thing im 100% about. It also makes it seem like everything else is falling apart.

Life’s confusing. I don’t know what im doing. Somehow I manage to make it to work everyday. I fear Kyle might disown me eventually. I’m the closest to “bankrupt” I’ve ever been. But I have this thing where I don’t care about money, cause it’s lame. You should be able to do whatever you want. Much like my thoughts on sleep (a waste of time). Both are equally bad advice. I used to care about things. Now I just care about people. Im contemplating 100 milers – something I had no interest in earlier this year. I used to be so organized, and punctual. Now it’s just chaos. Lovely chaos.
___________________________________________________________________________________

So back to Twisted Branch. Do I have a plan? No.

Thinking of combining the first half and 2nd half is pretty terrifying. I could compare it to Cayuga – I mean, it’s only 10 miles more right? yeah. Cayuga was super runnable though. Cayuga hills were steep – but they were over quick. Twisted Branch is a soul sucker. The kind of hills that just beat me down. They never end… then turn a corner, and continue to never end.

I guess I could be semi-optimistic and say there are more runnable sections than hills. I’m just a wimp. I like rolling stuff. I like downhills. Or if im on a mountain – going up is cool. When I want to run – not cool.

So how’s this gonna work? The thing that’s worked best so far, is having simple goals. Forget cut off time. Forget any time goal. Forget the competition – it will be good. I’ll try to stumble my way in, but the course is rugged and hilly – it’ll be a long day. I will break down. I’ve accepted this is just part of the journey. Hitting bottom, finding what’s important, then bouncing back.

I’m beginning to think I don’t want to spend that day alone. Normally I love the point in a race when everyone is spread out, and I’m in no-mans land for hours. Maybe I’d be all about some “me time”. But im beginning to think of it as an adventure. And who’d I want to adventure with… hmmm.

I’ll have a “crew” – but I don’t think I’ll need them for anything other than seeing their faces.

So It’s August. This thing happens soon.

The end.

Corporate Challenge. Cayuga. Stuff.

Cayuga is in 3 days.

I’m pretty tired of thinking about it. I’m nervous. I feel weird. The last couple days I’ve felt randomly dizzy.

I managed to run pretty well at the Corporate Challange on Tuesday. I wanted to get a decent time, without killing myself. I kept the effort level low, and managed to feel great for almost the whole race. I picked it up the last .5 mile which resulted in feeling a bit puky at the finish. Other than that tho – the best I’ve felt for a 5kish race. Usually I feel like im sprinting for 3 miles and want to die.

Results:
chase

I ran for Team CatPrint. This was our top 4 – we had about 14 total team members.
CatPrint_results

I designed these shirts:

tshirts

T-Shirts printed by Crazy Dog T-shirts

Cheetah close up:

catprintdotcom

Were awesome and printing things – Check out CatPrint.com!

I convinced our company to do the corporate Challenge last year, and I hadn’t been there 1 year yet. They let me put it together, and be the team captain. And then they asked to do it again this year. Hopefully it’s a yearly tradition. It is a whole day thing – we end up spending 12+ hours together (work + corporate challenge). A big time commitment. But it’s awesome.

Im volunteering at Ontario Summit Trail Marathon Saturday. Hopefully watching other people run will take my mind off running Cayuga. Ugh. Im super excited for the weekend. The hanging out, and cheering for people part. But Cayuga – ready or not… here I come… I guess.

Mind the Ducks 12 Hour

I woke up at 3:15am, after going to bed somewhere after 11pm. I sucked at sleeping… it was hot… we were dumb and didn’t turn the A/C on. I made the usual pre-race stuff – Coffee. Then eventually oatmeal. I sat at the computer. Thought about how much I didn’t want to run in circles.

I wen’t out fast. Had to keep reminding myself this was not a goal race. I died. Came back to life. Had the best coach, crew, and best spectators, friends, people cheering all day. I was told the temperature got up to 92 degrees. It felt hot. I handled it well for the majority of the time. I sat down twice. Once because I was starting to freak out, and breathing was getting hard. And my feet hurt. Chris rubbed them. He’s a keeper.

Miles 1 through 34

Miles 1 through 34

I think things started going downhill after I hit 50k… Or that’s when things got hard. The foot pain actually seemed to get better, but I started battling sidestitches, and breathing was still hard.

Miles 35 through 58.686

Miles 35 through 58.686


I didn’t think I was going to make it out of the 40’s. 40 – 50 took forever. I sat down again, because things got fuzzy. Blackness and dizzy. Coach sat with me. Definitely dying. But it was all familiar.

#trailsroc kept things fun. They’re awesome. Ron took awesome photos.

Matt told me he ate some magic pickles. So I ate some pickles. They are magic.

I walked some laps with Matt, and we ran some. I was dieing, but I wasn’t alone.

Finally getting to mile 50 was a turning point. I started running more. Mike (Coach) joined me for the last hour. We did the unthinkable and ran the entire time. I’ve had a lot of great hours in my life… but that 11th hour, was one of the best. Pain seemed to go away, sidestitch ignored. I wanted to be done – then we finished lap 57 and still had 15 minutes to go. Lame. One more.

Final laps with Coach and Mertsock.

Final laps with Coach and Mertsock.

I finished 5th overall out of 139, 2nd female out of 74, 58 laps = 58.696 (11 hours 55 min). Officially the longest and farthest i’ve ran.
10458433_686455347536_7652991247074153545_n
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What I ran on for 12 hours?
A Picky Bar (Blueberry) – Water – Diluted coconut water – Saltines with molasses – More water – More diluted coconut water – A lot of diluted coconut water – a lot of water – 4? Endurolytes – Newmans Ginger O’s – 2 popscicles – A couple pretzels – A couple tortilla chips – Half of one of Meagan’s blueberry muffins – 4 half’s of pickles – Gingerale from the aidstation a few times.

Things I learned – Coconut water is awesome. And pickles actually work.

I felt good overall during this. I felt pain and nausua, as expected. But I have definitely felt much worse. The breathing thing… I don’t know. It’s happened in the last 3 Ultra’s that were 50 or more miles. But it was not nearly as bad for this one – so maybe it’s getting better.
——————————————————————————
Mind the Ducks last year was a turning point. It was my first Ultra. Now I’ve ran 4.
That’s the first time I saw Coach.
That’s the first time a friend came to watch me race (Matt) – and we had JUST started running together.
That’s the first time I completely broke down.
That’s the first time Kyle carried me cause I couldn’t walk.

A lot has changed.
——————————————————————————————-
Recovery gets easier and easier. Saturday night after the race – I kept walking around, took a bath, rolled my legs. I felt 95% normal the next day. A lingering side stitch was about it, and minor foot pain in the morning. But as I got moving it definitely didn’t feel like I just ran an Ultra.
——————————————————————————
I was nervous about running this before Cayuga 50. Only a couple weeks away. Whether Cayuga goes well or not – It won’t be because of this race. Bad races happen. And I seem to be unscathed from the weekend. So moving on – May 31st…. should be interesting.

Sorry this was long.
The end.

Kyle and I after the race.

Kyle and I after the race.


11255810_686455222786_5468295500612284193_n

Listen to your running Coach.

It’s not very often i’ll re-post something, or share something on Facebook. But when Picky Bars shared this article from Runner World, I actually read it. I like Lauren Fleshman. I like that she made mistakes. I like the advice that’s in this. So you should probably read the whole thing – but im gonna pick out the cool stuff.

Why you should listen to your running coach? – By Lauren Fleshman

  • Consistency wins. The key to becoming great, he [University of Colorado coach Mark Wetmore] said, isn’t found on the edges of training, diet, science, or technology. The key is consistent, uninterrupted training.
  • I went on to lose eight pounds… I lived like a Kenyan (that is, my fantasy of a Kenyan’s life). I severed relationships. I stopped listening to my body. I tried to will myself to the next level.
    The very week after running into Wetmore at Stanford, I broke my foot, and his words haunted me for three years until things finally clicked.
  • Back when I was a little softer, stayed up late with friends occasionally, slowed my paces down or skipped a run when I was extremely tired, I was a force.
  • Being consistently “pretty awesome” beats “amazingly awesome” because amazingly awesome rarely makes it to the starting line.
  • There’s no magic training program. “Stop looking at what everyone else is doing all the time: It’s annoying, not to mention it makes you incapable of optimizing what you’ve got.”
  • Eat more bacon. It took me years to realize that you don’t have to have a “bad list” of foods so long as you eat appropriate portion sizes.

———————————————————————————

I’m still trying to figure out the food thing. I say im going to cut out sugar, or junk food all the time. When in reality “junk food” is usually trail mix. Trail mix isn’t the worst thing in the world. (I have an addiction). When your running for a few hours day – or 12 hours a week… food isn’t something you should put a limit on. Variety and portions tho – that’s important.

I would normally skip a run if I felt extremely tired. I listened to my training plan instead of my body this winter, and slugged out a 15 miler after a week of feeling exhausted, tired, and probably dehydrated from tons of Bikram yoga. The week after I was sick. When you start running and immediately want to stop… it’s probably more beneficial to go take a nap.

The winter helped me slow down a bit. You don’t always have to run fast. Slow easy runs doesn’t mean you’re a slow runner – probably just means your smart.
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If you haven’t tried Picky Bars – you should. I joined the Picky Club… last year? I dunno – a while ago. They’ve been a part of every long run, or every race so far this year. I have yet to feel anything but normal after eating one before or during a run. I had one during our 50k training run this past weekend (5k+ elevation), yes there was also a lot of hiking…. but I never once felt like I was hitting a wall. Which was a first. I’m excited to truly put them to the test in a week or so – during Mind the Ducks 12 hour. Then Cayuga 50.

Matched my hair to my Picky Bar.

Matched my hair to my Picky Bar.

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So yeah. Listen to your running coach. If you don’t have one – get one. (J/K). If you don’t have one, usually there’s smart people around to listen to. Just because one week feels terrible, doesn’t mean you’ve lost fitness, or taken steps back in training. It’s all part of the process apparently. Like Lauren said “I am finding myself increasingly reflective of my early runner years, able to see which seemingly insignificant moments turned out to be critically important turning points.”

It’ll be interesting to see how this year goes. Thanks to having a coach – I’ve already ran over half of last years total mileage. I ran my first 65+ mileage week – pretty much all on trails. I’m about to run 2 ultras in 1 month. Here’s some cool stuff from Strava to look at:

Last weeks Mileage

Last weeks Mileage

Last 4 weeks

Last 4 weeks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m currently enjoying cutback week (the beginning of every month). I’ll be racing Medved Madness this weekend. I felt like I needed one more trail race to feel better about going into Cayuga. Rather than going into it after a bunch of road stuff. We’ll see.

That’s all. I’m late for work.
Not really.

The end.

WTFUDGE? 0 Degree Winter Trail Festival

Yesterday was WTF – Winter Trail Festival – at Powder Mills Park. It consisted of 3 races – 15 miler / 10 miler / and a 5 miler (Each a 5 mile loop). I ran the 15.

The morning consisted of many dilemmas. Carry water? Carry a gel? What to wear / how cold was it really? Traction or no traction? It’s been a while since I raced… I forgot how to do things.

I decided I would wear a wrist pocket thing to hold my car key – and stuff a Cliff gel in there just incase. As for water – I had a feeling I would need both hands – so I stuffed the weird floppy Salomon cup in with the gel.

weird. but works.

weird. but works.

As for traction – I decided my trail shoes had enough grip – less is more.

The 15 mile start was at 10am – probably the best start time ever.

My plan was to stick with Dan O and Greg as long as possible. As I was sure we were pretty similar in pace. I passed Dan sooner than I expected and kept up with Greg. About 3 miles in was the first major hill. My legs felt like they had nothing already – so I didn’t try at all to run up it. Greg pulled away as I walked my way up. Sean was at the top asking how I felt – I said “this hill sucks” – and got running again. I quickly caught up to Greg, just in time for hell on roots (I think it was called?-which also had a rope). This climb wasn’t as bad to me as the one just before… maybe because it was purposefully ridiculous. And no expectations for anyone to run up it.

Lap 1 - Just before Ski Hill

Lap 1 – Just before Ski Hill

*Estimated Lap 1 time = 50:56 (I tried to do math)

I stayed with Greg as we finished our first loop and into the 2nd. He kept saying I could pass him. There’s a section of the course where I could fly for a bit, so I waited until then. In lap 2 my legs felt great. I even ran up a part of the horrible hill. As I came around to finish lap 2, I could hear the #trailroc crew cheering. Pretty sure I heard Eric say “…your coach hates you.” Probably true. 🙂

*Estimated Lap 2 time = 49:40

My legs still felt pretty good going into Lap 3. Until mile 13ish. That hill… is terrible. I had no desire to walk up it. I wanted to crawl. I was thankful there was no one at the top. I was by myself. Took my time getting to the top, and started to shuffle along. I got some speed back thanks to the downhills, and tried to look unscathed as I ran by the aid station for the last time.

I made my final ascend up Hell on Roots. Screw the rope. It was slippery. I crawled. Grabbed roots / trees / snow… Made my way to the top and once again started to shuffle. Now my legs felt dead. I got speed from downhills and straightaways, but had nothing for any sort of incline.

I made my way around the field for the finish and could feel my calf seizing up. I heard Eric saying if I finish hard I would beat my coaches time from last year. (Lies). I couldn’t tho – I tried to hold my pace – any harder and I would cramp up.

*Estimated Lap 3 time = 53:30

I finished – got highfived and congratulated. What? I didn’t even realise that the entire race… I didn’t see any other females – except for those running a different distance. There were only 8 females running the 15 miler, out of 41 total. But I’ll take it – here’s the results:

3rd overall out of 41
1st female out of 8
15 miles in 2:33:09

bwahh?

bwahh?

And this is weird… —>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To give you an idea of how many people were running – there were also 43 finishers in the 5 miler, and 45 in the 10 miler. Pretty equal number of people in each race.

map

I have a lot to thank the folks from #trailsroc for. Without them and Medved and all these other trail things popping up – I would probably be on an entirely different running path. They have built a seriously awesome trail community in Rochester. With the new company Trail Methods – I see things only getting better. Thanks for the support.

WTF is awesome – #trailsroc is awesome. Everyone I’ve been meeting recently is awesome. I missed my two favorite running people yesterday. Matt – was moving his life. and Coach was a slacker – and missed me win. He gets away with it tho cause he’s a whole nother level of awesome.

I say I want to win stuff. Do I think it’ll actually happen? No. If I have a chance – I’ll go for it. This was cool.

The end.