Looking at CT50. #3

My 3rd take on Cayuga Trails 50 mile is coming up in less than 2 weeks. The last 2 years it has been my favorite trail race.

2015: I ran 10:08
2016: I ran 10:07

I like the idea of being consistent. but – ultimately, sub 10 hours would be sweet.
Each year this race comes during the busiest times at work. Which means my training suffers. My sleep suffers.

This year I’ve pretty much given up. I haven’t been running. I mean… I ran a marathon trail race Saturday. but … training miles have been pretty sad. At least I know I can make it 25 or so.

I’m dead. I don’t want to run. I’m burnt out. My body died a few weeks ago – was pretty much incapable of doing anything.
A few positives:

I’ve been consistently strength training with Josh Rossi at Fore performance. If I have any success at all this year – it’s thanks to them.
— I’ve had solid training runs thanks to races. (Ontario Summit, Breakneck, pacing at GA Death Race).
— Friends have gotten me out on some good runs.
— Friends are awesome.

I’ve got a few things to be excited about:
I get frustrated with training – but I love racing. And still look forward to them, no matter the miles I’ve put in.
— Racing allows me to have nothing else. Nothing to do other than run. When it’s just me and my mind, and some friends in between. Often it’s a battle. Often I feel like this is what I’m meant to be doing. Often it’s the moments I feel nothing else matters. Low points are hard – quitting is tempting – but always remind myself that I really have nothing better to do.

— I go into every race with no expectations. Because something always happens. At the end, there’s always a story.

The season of adventure is just beginning.
And I’ve already had a few awesome ones.

First run of the year. 1.1.17 ❤

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.
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.

How’s that look for ultra training?

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!
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.
    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!

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.



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.

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….
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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

Training update

It’s been a weird couple of weeks. I think yoga combined with multiple weeks over 50 miles killed me. Also poor hydration. I would run then go to Bikram yoga – or do yoga then run. I don’t really think about electrolytes unless I’m running – so I failed to replace them after hours of sweating from Bikram.

This was the week of March 15th – I did 56.4 miles. 8hrs and 14 minutes of running. 5.5 hours of Bikram yoga

I felt fine though. Until I hit a wall. Complete fatigue, for about a week. Then I got sick – minor cold – but still, no fun.

The week of being sick I still managed 49.8 miles – out of my goal of 60.

And this week was cutback week. I took full advantage with a measly 2 runs – so far. And 1 hour of Bikram.

I only have 3 more days of paid Bikram left. Not sure If I’ll use them. It was a fun experiment. Definitely helped get me through the last part of winter. But I’m over it.

Mileage for March was 195.5 – If I didn’t take a few days of rest/easy I would have been over 200 again…. lame. Then again – I’ll have plenty of months over that now that the snow is gone. So I’ll cherish these easy weeks. I also did 15.5 hours of Bikram last month.
On another note – My computer died. Which explains the lack of blog posts. It was kind of nice not spending hours on the computer. However this mornings 4am wake up meant I needed something to do – So I’ve currently hijacked Kyles computer. But Matt B is a genious and has supposedly fixed my 8 year old Dell! Or at least gave me more time to save up for a new one. BFF right there.
I’m getting really nervous about all of the races coming up. Mostly over things out of my control. I’m scared the end of May will come with bad timing. Cayuga is the main concern. Guess we’ll see.

The End. Happy Easter.

Eat and Run

We all lose sometimes. We fail to get what we want. Friends and loved ones leave. We make a decision we regret. We try our hardest and come up short. It’s not the losing that defines us. It’s how we lose. It’s what we do afterward. – Scott Jurek in Eat and Run

I finally finished this book. Sadly – yes. It’s taken me over a year. I love the idea of reading. I like it when I actually sit down and do it. What gets me is that it’s stopping and doing nothing for an unknown amount of time.  My goal for this year is to read more often. I average about 1 book a year. In 2012 I might have read 2.

I finished “Eat and Run” last night while I couldn’t sleep. Read till about 1:30am. And woke up at 5am. It’s ok though because sleep is overrated. Read THIS – Article in OutsideOnline – Dean Karnazes averages 4 hours of sleep a night, and he’s awesome. His book “Run” is awesome too.

So reading is on the 2015 resolution list. So is nutrition.

I am officially registered for Cayuga Trails 50. So I figure serious training will take more than me just running hard and sticking to the training plan. I need to eat right. And get these internal issues figured out. So – Im cutting out junk. Starting yesterday. Staying away from too much sugar, and snacks after dinner. Everytime I do this I feel so much better. Currently, we actually don’t eat bad at all. Pretty much live off 12 different kinds of rice, sweet potatoes, beans (Mung Beans – my favorite), yogurt, fruit, veggies, oatmeal. We make wraps with hummus. Burgers out of portobello mushrooms. Rarely eat pasta. Rarely eat meat. Our downfall is sugar – cookies, chocolate, poptarts, cereal, trail mixes.

* Something I learned from finishing Eat and Run last night – There’s a herb that makes beans more digestible – Dried Epazote – Can be found in the Mexican food section of a grocery store. But heck yes – more digestible is always good. *

So after registering for Cayuga, I looked at the course and elevation. Pretty intimidating. Just means I gotta stick to the training.
course Map

This race makes me nervous in so many ways. 6am start time. Possibly staying overnight before the race = pre-race routine out the window? Whether or not my morning goes like other race mornings – There’s really not much control in an Ultra. If I can get through this winter, I’ll be good to go.

The Ultra distance forgives injury, fatigue, bad form, and illness. A bear with determination will defeat a dreamy gazelle every time.

– Eat and Run.

Last minute Ultra?

I felt kind of lost after finishing CanLake 50.  I was able to recover really fast, and ran a super awesome (and very tough) 8 mile race at the Swain Ski Slopes (Ossian Mountain Run) the weekend after. It was the first race for Flour City Race Works – therefore only 10 people raced. It was extremely hard – the mud did not help. It was the first race I had to use my hands to clutch onto roots, trees, rocks to get me up a hill. I came in 4th overall (out of 10) and 1st female (out of 2).

Before the start

Before the start


So. Back to feeling lost. I started to panick that I was no longer training for something. I felt like I needed a purpose for continueing to run – especially because it’s getting colder. I thought of the Mendon Trail Run. It was only a few weeks away (now just 1 week away (Next Saturday)). The race is 10k loops in Mendon Ponds Park, with distance options of 10k, 20k, 30k, and 50k. The 50k is the only one that counts towards the Trail Runner of the Year standings. So I waited until I could see the 10 day weather forecast to make sure nothing crazy would happen. I saw 51 degrees, and no rain… works for me – I signed up (50K). Ofcourse, since I signed up the temps continue to drop for Nov. 1st… down to a high of 43 degrees… not cool.

Mendon 50k is not a race I was planning on doing. Not a goal race, but still the thought of DNFing is not acceptable. I have no idea what to expect – this will be my first trail ultra. Something dramatic always happens… I barely survived Sehgahunda (trail marathon). I’m planning on being able to run this 50k faster than my Sehgahunda time – much less hills (I think). Im nervous – mostly about freezing….

I finally have a doctors appointment at the end of November. So one last big race – then ugh…. pretty sure it’s been 6 years since I’ve been to a doctor.

In other news – I’ve already ran more miles than last year (1303.1 vs 1227.66) and I’ve raced more miles (261 miles vs 232.2). I will be very close to my goal of racing 300 miles after Mendon 50k – which makes me want to attempt the Stage Races the weekend after (3 races in 2 days)….

Im about to go preview the Mendon course. 7am runs are gross… but I get to practice being cold.

The end.

Trail Recaps and training update

Last week was pretty eventful. I ran the first Dirt Cheap Trail Race Wednesday, then the Muddy Sneaker 20k on Saturday. Both I was still recovering from this cold that won’t go away, pretty sure I have a sinus infection. Anyway – Here’s some results:

Dirt Cheap #1:
I was 117th overall out of 307
4.6 miles in 50:13

I didn’t bother getting any other details, cause this was a nightmare! By far my worst dirt cheap, last year I ran a 40:35 at this race. I was feeling good too, right behind girl #2 with plans on passing her. But then my nose starts running like crazy, I didn’t realise it was blood for a little while. I tried to just let it go, but it just got worse, started going down my throat, and I started coughing up blood. Not pleasant. Then I started wondering how much blood can you lose from a nose bleed? and would I eventually pass out if I keep running? So I slowed down… tried to get it to stop. I ran the last 2 miles holding my nose… I was very frustrated at first, but I guess it’s just one more inconvenience that can happen while running. One more thing I can always be prepared for too!

Muddy Sneaker 20k:
7th female overall out of 56
58th overall out of 170
2nd in age group out of 5 (20-29)
12 miles in 2:11:12

This was my first time running Muddy Sneaker, and I was prepared for a hard race. This was in the High Tor wildlife management area in Naples, NY. I started out easy, had some mild stomach issues in the beginning, but they eventually went away. It was a crowded start, and I wasn’t going anywhere fast… which was ok with me, I knew I would need the energy later. These were probably the longest hills I’ve ever ran, they just kept going. Im proud to say I was able to run everything, up until the last 2 miles of hill. The last 2 miles started out steep then flattened out a bit, but still at an incline. So it was a mix of walking/hiking and running till the finish.

Overall, it wasn’t as hard as I expected. There was never a thought that I didn’t want to do this anymore. I was never wishing it would just end. The miles went by surprisingly fast. I probably could have pushed myself harder, but I havent been training on hills. I’ll definitely be back for next year, and can’t wait to get closer to 2 hours. This race made me feel better about running Sehgahunda in a month. I only fell once in this race… I also ran into a tree…. I have some other battle wounds, im not sure how I got them… OH YEAH, and no nose bleed! 🙂

Tree Punch

Tree Punch

More races are coming up quick, and kinda stressing me out. Flower City Half Marathon is this weekend… I was planning on running it, but now I can’t decide. I think it will depend on how this week goes… Then the weekend after is another trail race- Medved Madness (15 miles). Which Im planning on doing, even though it’s a week before Mind the Ducks… and GAH… less than 3 weeks till Mind the ducks (12 hour). Then 4 days after that is another dirt cheap, then a week after that is Sehgahunda… then a week after that is Chase Corporate Challenge! I’ve done May Madness before and survived, but never quite like this… 1 month 5 races and two of those races are over 26 miles… should be interesting.

As for training…
Sunday: Ran easy for 2 hours – 12.5 miles
Monday: off
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: Dirt Cheap – 4.6 miles
Thursday: 1 mile (testing a couple shoes for Muddy Sneaker)
Friday: off
Saturday: Muddy Sneaker – 12 m

Week #14 – 30.1 miles (Goal 63)
Week #13 – 10.3 miles (Goal 59)
Week #12 – 12.2 miles (Goal 38)
Week #11 – 24.7 miles (Goal 56)
Week #10 – 47.1 miles (Goal 54)
Week #9 – 26.7 miles (Goal 36)
Week #8 – 48.3 miles (Goal 52)
Week #7 – 37.6 miles (Goal 49)
Week #6 – 33.5 miles (Goal 34)
Week #5 – 44.3 miles (Goal 50)
Week #4 – 32.6 miles (goal 44)
Week #3 – 37.1 miles (goal 32)
Week #2 – 44.8 (goal 46)
Week #1 – 34.5 (goal 44)

Still a slacker… but with the weather finally getting better, i’ll have less of a struggle getting out the door. I did run twice yesterday, which is allready a big improvement. I wasn’t too sore from Saturdays race… until after yesterdays runs. And then I even rolled out my muscles… that never happens. I think Im getting back on some kind of track!

Good Luck to everyone running Boston today!

2013 in Review

2013 seemed long, I’ll try and remember if I accomplished anything…


I Ran 8 5k(ish) races, 2 10k’s, 2 12k’s, 2 half marathons, 4 marathons, and a bunch of other random distances. Totaled 24 races and 228.285 racing miles.

FAVORITE RACE: The Dirt Cheap Stage Races – 3 trail races over 2 days, I got 3rd overall female, and 2nd in AG.

WORST RACE: Niagara Falls International Marathon – Worst time yet – killed me mentally, took everything I had to keep moving and not quit.

2013 MILES: I ran a total of 1227.66 miles. 828.71 of those miles were marathon training. I raced more miles this year than last year, but trained less.

I finished 2013 off strong with my best week since Niagara Falls Marathon- 30 miles (22 of those miles were elliptical), plus I did Yoga, and some sort of workout everyday.


WORK: I stumbled upon the greatest company and now have a full time job that I love. I no longer work in retail.


  • Disney World for Disney Marathon – Kyle’s first Marathon.
  • NYC for NY 13.1 Half
  • New Jersey for NJ Marathon
  • Adirondacks for High Peaks hiking
  • NYC for a day trip so Kyle could get tattooed- 22 hour day and 12 hours of driving!


1. We have an EPIC Disney trip booked. For once were not camping but staying in a Disney resort!
Also it will be our 6 year anniversary 🙂

2. My trail race schedule is coming together, still waiting for some race dates to be updated, but I’ll post my plans soon.

3. MAY is going to either make or break me (literally). There are 6 races I want to do that month:

  • Trail half marathon – Medved Madness
  • 12 hour race (run as much as you can) – Mind the Ducks
  • Pink Ribbon 5k
  • Dirt Cheap Trail Race
  • Chase Corp Challenge – 3.5 miles
  • Trail Marathon – Sehgahunda

4. Im really excited about the 12 hour race – Mind the Ducks. Should be my first Ultra Marathon, I’m hoping I can last for at least 50 miles. I would definitely like to do more, but I’m trying to be realistic.

5. Looking forward to training for trails, and really focusing on hills!

6. Kyle and I are changing up our diet. Going pretty plain and simple for a week, then working our way up to vegan for a bit. New Year so were starting it out without any junk.

Starting 2014 off with a 7.5 mile race today. I’d be more excited if it wasn’t freezing…


Dirt Cheap Stage Races

I spent the weekend driving back and forth to Mendon Ponds Park, for the Dirt Cheap Stage Races (3 trail races in 2 days). Last year a lot of my trail running friends did the series as well, but this year it was pretty much just me. That didn’t stop the race from being awesome though!

Stage 1 – Start time was 9 am on Saturday. It was a 3.1 hilly time trial. We lined up according to our bib # and were started individually every 5 seconds. It was a tough race, my legs didn’t have much juice and I was having some stomach issues… I thought I was going to lose it during the last mile. Time wen’t out the window and my goal was to just keep moving. My time wasn’t horrible, about a minute or 2 slower than last year… could have been worse!
Results – I was 56 overall out of 162 — 6th female — 3rd in age group — Time was 29:56

Stage 2 – Start time was 1 pm – also on Saturday. It was 5 miles, slightly less hilly but still had a couple good ones in there. It’s the same course we run for the Dirt Cheap Trail Races. I started out good, but ran into stomach issues again! I slowed down and eventually it got better. My time was again about a minute slower than last year.
Results – I was 39th overall out of 182 — 4th female — 3rd in age group — Time was 42:54

Stage 3 – Start time was 9 am on Sunday. This was the epic 11 miler, which takes up most of the park… including all the hills. I had no expectations for this stage. Saturday night my stomach was still upset from the day of racing… Sunday morning it still felt weird. So I decided I wouldn’t try anything crazy, I just wanted to earn my hoodie! (finishers of all 3 stages get a hoodie).

I started out easy – my plan was to take the first half super easy. I was trying to stay behind this girl runner in the beginning, and told myself not to pass her… but then she started walking up a hill and I passed her… argh! My goal was to run easy so that I’d have enough juice to run the hills too. Hills are where I lose a lot of time, especially if I walk them. (backtrack to Sunday morning quick – I re-read the article about how to run hills efficiently on TrailRunner Mag I think that helped me so much!)

My legs felt awesome during Stage 3, which blew my mind. Going easy went out the window thanks to all the down hills…. I figured might as well let gravity help me out. Somewhere after mile 5 I passed a friend I had been chasing for a while… never thought Id catch them. After I Passed them I was on my own, I made it to my favorite part of trail running. No mans land! It’s a crazy feeling to be in a race and have no one in sight behind or in front of you. It’s my favorite! I was also excited because I was over half way through the race and I was in a grove… It was an awesome feeling. I made it to this bog area where it gets really technical… first few steps I go flying. I did not expect a head dive to the ground…  I found it kind of funny and got up immediately. After the bog came more hills. Some of them I couldn’t run up, my legs couldn’t do it. But the down hills always got me going again.

One thing I was thinking during the race – Trail running you can go from feeling great, to no juice in seconds. But then you can bounce back and get back in a grove. I’ve never had a 2nd wind while road running, but trail running I feel like you get a dozen 2nd winds!

This was an awesome race to boost my confidence. I feel like I’ve been beaten down mentally from racing, since the last 2 were very rough Marathons. This weekend was refreshing. It was also fun talking to new people, made a couple trail runner friends!

Results of Stage 3 – I was 28th overall — 3rd female — 2nd in age group — Time was 1:37:53 (about 27 seconds faster than last year 🙂 )

Overall Series Results – I was 31 overall out of 154 — 3rd female out of 58 — 2nd in age group out of 7 — Overall time for all 3 races 2:50:43 (last year was 2:48:24)

Stage 3 was my favorite last year, and it was again this year… that race made my entire weekend. Also – I earned a BLUE hoodie which is a plus!

Map of Stage 3

Map of Stage 3

I am excited to really start trail running. I need a lot of hill training… but it will be exciting to notice improvements! I’m not much of a trail runner in the winter, hopefully this winter I can get out there. I may have to resort to inclination treadmill running as noted in Inclination for speed (I LOVE this article!)