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Monday, December 31, 2012

Daily Snow Hike

Today Katherine and I hit up the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  It was 25° out and snowing.  It was very rough going as the trail was very uneven and very slippery.  We had to slow to a crawl in many places just to get up and down steep slippery sections.  I was feeling very stiff and achy.  I found myself cursing a week of sea level runs.  It was, however beautiful out and I'm sure it was very good training for my race as it could very well end up being similar conditions.  Not that I want to think about a.) running in conditions like that for 31 miles, or b.) how long it would take me to finish a race in those conditions!  It felt more like a snow hike than a run.  What did Katherine call it?  A snowy mountain adventure, I think.

  Katherine snapped these three photos while we crept along.  Killer icicles.
Making my way down a rather slick section.
Blue skies over the valley.
I snapped this one after we were done.  I have a snow mustache!
We called it quits early.  Honestly I'm glad we made it as far as we did!  
3.1 miles
18:19 pace (The answer to how long would it take me to run a 50k in these conditions?  9 hours 27 mins at that pace! Yikes!  Hope for sunshine!)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Training Week 6

This week was fantastic!  Running in the warm weather with new terrain and scenery has left me head over heels in love with running again.  It's a good thing too, because it looks like I have some seriously snowy runs ahead of me this week.  I missed one run this week, due to being on vacation and traveling, but I figure three miles isn't going to make or break me in the long run.  It's a good thing I got most of my mileage in though, or I might have gained ten pounds!  My right leg is still a bit stiff, but my father-in-law and husband picked me up a foam roller on Friday so I've been rolling and feeling a lot better. I see a lot of rolling and stretching coming up this week.

Week 6
Monday: Sleep in, eat cookies
Tuesday: 3.01, eat pie
Wednesday: Sleep in, eat cookies & pie
Thursday: 6.01 eat more pie and cookies
Friday: 13.5 eat cake & brownies
Saturday: Sleep in, eat more cake & brownies
Sunday: travel
Total: 22.52 perfect vacation miles

Previous Total: 119.39
Training Grand Total: 141.91

Friday, December 28, 2012

Beach Bum Run

This morning I headed out early and ran through the neighborhood, then decided to head to the beach. The beach portion of the run was spectacular.  I loved it so much I found myself grinning ear to ear.  At one point I threw my hands up and in the air and gave a whoop!  I couldn't help it!  It was one of those amazing runs that make me glad to be alive.  I ran on the beach for about three and a half miles before I realized that I had passed my turn around point and would be adding extra mileage to my run.  At first I was a little bummed because I thought I might have added about two to three miles to my run and even thought about getting a ride, but by mile eleven I was happy about it and kept on keeping on.  It turned out I only added one and a half miles, which isn't so bad.  I ran on the beach for about 7 of the 13.5 miles I ran.  I wish I could run on the beach every day!  

Good morning sunshine!  

Peaceful, quiet and oh so beautiful!  

Can you see my happiness? 

It warmed up so much that I took my (long sleeved) top off.   Many of the locals were wearing long sleeves, sweatshirts and coats.  I got a lot of strange looks. 
 I'll miss the sunshine and waves.  Time to psych myself up for some fun snow runs!

2 hr 31 min
11:11 pace

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Daily Vacation Mile

The view that greeted me this morning as I headed out on my run.  I ran through the golf course again, this time looping more of the course.  It was stunning with the water and the palm trees.  The air was crisp and I felt great.  The nagging in my right leg didn't make a peep while I ran and I thoroughly enjoyed the change of weather and scenery.  I saw a few heron, lots of squirrels, birds and very few people.  Just perfect!
This guy was eating a fish!   
The house at the end of my in-law's road is impressive to say the least.  This, I'm not even sure what it is but we'll just say building for lack of a better word, drive through building in the middle of the driveway amazes me.  It's not even the main house, but is as big as my house!  Some driveway, eh? 
Gorgeous!  Tomorrow I think I'll do my long run since the forecast calls for thunder storms on Saturday.   Maybe I'll run down to the beach tomorrow.  Oh boy!

6.01 miles
1 hr 02 min
10:19 pace (Hooray for lower altitude!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Mile

It is so warm out here in Florida! Pretty, too!  The sunrise was full of pinks and there were lots of really cool birds on the marsh. I ran on the golf course path through the marsh this morning. The perfect way to start Christmas day, forget I'm still stiff from that darn plane ride. I still managed to move along though!

10:09 pace

Monday, December 24, 2012

Traveling aches

After running twenty two miles total on Friday and Saturday flying all day on Sunday wasn't the best thing I could have ever done. I was pretty stiff after I got off the plane and for the first half of the day today. Luckily I'm feeling good now after some rolling on my rubz ball, ibuprofen and lots of stretching. The plan is an early morning Christmas run before the kids wake up tomorrow. The high is supposed to be 70° tomorrow, so I am looking forward to it! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Training Week 5. Not the End of the World.

This week has been up and down, but luckily ended on a good note.  Today was my second back to back.  I met up at Katherine's house and we ran down to the Sandy Rail Trail for a seven miler.  It felt good, but my hamstrings were a bit mad at me.  Seven miles seems over really quickly after running 15! I'm so excited about the shorts I just packed for my runs next week in Florida!  Bring on warm Christmas runs!

Week 5
Monday: 3
Tuesday: 6
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 15
Saturday: 7
Sunday: Marathon Plane Trip (not my favorite kind of marathon!)
Total: 31

Previous Total: 88.39
Training Grand Total: 119.39

Friday, December 21, 2012

End of the World Run

Today when my alarm went off at 6:35am, I felt insane.  Why on earth was I leaving the warmth of my bed with all of my family sound asleep to run in the dark and cold?  I checked two different weather reports.  One said it was 23, but "feels like" 17 degrees.  The other said 19 degrees and "feels like" 19 degrees.  Any way you slice it the temperature was cold.  I layered* massively, drank a little hot tea and headed out with Ozzy and a flashlight.  Almost instantly I was happy I was running.  Today was a great run!  Despite the dark and cold, or maybe because of it, I felt alive and ready for an adventure. I did 7.6 miles with Ozzy, dropped him off at home and headed back out.  Although Ozzy could probably run 15 miles, I cherish the solitude and wanted that today.  15 miles felt easy and I've felt great the rest of the day.  Now, hoping seven miles tomorrow will feel equally great!

After the sun was coming up, it was still pretty cold.

Love that sunrise!

15 miles
2 hr 45 min
11 min pace

*What I wore today
Ear warmer headband (I don't like hats, they're too hot and I have lots of hair)
My visor (because I can't run without it!)
Neck/face warmer to keep my cheeks warm
Long sleeved technical shirt
Short sleeved technical shirt
Pull over fleece
Powercore running tights
Running shorts over tights to keep my other cheeks warm
Ankle gaiters
Fleece mittens

I was just right and actually took of the neck warmer after only a few miles.  After the sun came up I was starting to get a bit too warm, but as my run was nearly over it was no biggie.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Missed Miles

The past two days my runs* have been like this:
Run to the grocery store
Run to the instacare for prednisone (lame lame asthma that made me miss a three miler)
Run to buy Christmas gifts
Run around like a chicken with it's head cut off wrapping, cleaning, preparing for our trip, etc.

I've had to switch my long runs around this week because of our travel on Sunday.  Tomorrow will be my long run (15) and then I have another back to back, so Saturday will be seven.  Sunday it'll be marathon plane rides.  Not my preferred marathon.

Now let's see if I can cross a few more items of my to do list and get to bed at a decent hour!  That run tomorrow will be an early one!

*Not actual runs.  Just running around! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Daily Mile

Today I am tired of running.  There I said it.  Not that it will slow me down, but I'm just feeling like it's one more thing on my long to do list before we leave on Sunday for Christmas vacation.  It doesn't help that my right leg and foot have been bugging me.  Not hurting, bugging, just half a bubble off.  Plus it's cold out.  Today was super icy and cold.  I was happy to have Katherine join me, but her foot was bothering her too and she bowed out at mile two.  So, Ozzy and I lapped the neighborhood and got it over with.  I'm dreaming of warm Florida runs next week where I can wear shorts and not worry about snow and ice.  Hopefully that will renew my enthusiasm.   Now off to get tackle that list...

6 miles
1hr 7min
11:10 pace

Monday, December 17, 2012

Daily Mile

Well, my asthma is hanging on for dear life and today is crazy windy so I decided to hit the treadmill. In order to get it over with asap, I ran as fast as I could. I realize that I really am a slow runner because at this pace I almost died! But I didn't. So let's hope for no wind tomorrow.

3 miles
9:25 pace

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Training Week 4" or "Five and a Half Nails"

You may or may not know that I lost three toenails after the St. George Marathon last year.  I promptly went to Wasatch Running Center and got fitted for new, larger shoes.  That hasn't seemed to stop my toe ailments, though.  Last month you may have read how a ten, plus, mile run ended in a black toenail.  For a while now I've been suspecting one day I would lose said black toenail.  Well, today was the day.  I am now down to five toenails.  Yes, that is counting all the toenails on both feet.  You've only mentioned the loss of five nails, you might say.  True.  True.  I have no idea how the other one came to it's end.  And technically, I only lost half of that toenail, so I actually have five and a half toenails.  So much for my annual Christmas pedicure.

Toenail loss aside, this week was great.  I'm getting my breath back and have been able to train outdoors all week.

Week 4
Monday: 3
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 6.13
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3
Saturday: 12.35
Total: 24.48

Previous Total: 63.91
Training Grand Total: 88.39

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Snow Run

Today's run was epic!  It snowed all night and continued through our entire run.  I met up with Katherine and her friend Shelby, who may I add is not a regular runner, and headed through town to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  We ran the Shoreline trail for a few miles before turning around and heading back home.  It was anything but a boring run.  Snow, ice, speeding cars, slushy puddles, wet socks, calf high snow on the trail, you get the picture.  We ended up with a little less mileage than we initially set out to do, but with the snow depth it was rather slow going.

Three ladies out on a mission!
Shoreline Trailhead
Shelby and Katherine.  May I just take this moment to say what a badass Shelby is.  Girlfriend isn't a runner and thought that a half marathon distance in the snow sounded like a great idea!  She kept up and had a blast like a pro!

The "non-runner" powering uphill ahead of us.
It was a true winter wonderland!
Running Buds!

It was fun, hard, amazing, difficult and I loved every minute of it, however I think I'll wear my sunglasses next time.  Now I'm seeing stars*!  Hmmm...

12.1 (+ approximately .25 when I stopped my garmin & forgot to restart it)
14:47 pace 

*The stars finally went away!  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Daily Mile

I was due for a great three miler and today was it!  I felt great from the start!  Gotta love a day like today!

3 miles
10:03 pace

I saw this quote and it made me think of today's run. I have no idea who Pat Teske is, but the quote is great no matter who he/she is.

"Relish the bad training runs.  Without them it's difficult to recognize, much less appreciate, the good ones." -Pat Teske

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Brutality to Bliss

Never ever ever stop a run because you feel crappy, before mile three. These are words I must live by. Yesterday I started off in search of a trailhead (The Orson Smith Trailhead) that I couldn't find. After thirty minutes of driving around in the van I found it. I was rather frustrated by that point and not in a happy mood.  Then, the first entire mile was uphill into the wind (the weather called for 31 mph winds, gusting up to 43 mph.) I had Ozzy on the leash because there was a biker up ahead of me and I didn't want him bothering him. I was feeling like the six miles ahead of me might as well be a marathon, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other.  I kept reminding myself that I can't control the weather on race day and promised myself to run at least three miles, but by the time I got to mile two I was feeling much much better.  I was on a smaller section of trail that hugged the mountain a bit more and the wind let up considerably improving my mood immediately.  There were patches of snow, ice, mud, water and rocks on this part of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail that I'd only ever run a couple times before.  By the time I hit mile three I was feeling like a champ and by mile mile five I was running in the eights! Fantastic!

6.13 miles
1hr 16 min
12:24 pace

This picture was taken, literally, on the run!
My very happy running buddy.
Yes, I was wearing shorts.  It was only about 48 degrees out.
Beautiful!  This is why I love trail running!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nikki Kimball

Nikki Kimball is an amazing female ultrarunner.  This movie trailer about her is filmed mostly on Antelope Island during the Buffalo Run 50k that I will be running in March. Enjoy!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Daily Mile

Another delightful run on the treadmill. Watching a guy on an bike trainer sweat is not exactly my idea of a fun run, but listening to Ultramarathon Man on my mp3 player made me feel way better about my situation.  It was not over 100 degrees, nor had I already run 50 miles with 50 more to go.  Three miles on the treadmill isn't so bad, I guess. Plus, I didn't cough and that's certainly better than the alternative at the moment.  It's hard to believe I'm on training week four.  I don't feel like I'm training.  I guess that's a good sign.  I'm looking forward to a little more midweek mileage starting this week and another 13 miler this weekend.  Cross your fingers my asthma is under control by Saturday!  Let's go Qvar!

3 miles
10:24 pace

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Training Week 3

That title should probably read "Training Weak 3" as this weeks training was a bit of a bust.  I ended up with a cold, which triggered my asthma and have been coughing up a storm!  (((boo!)))  Luckily I still have my asthma meds and have started back on them and hope to be cough free within a few days.  Today's run turned into two runs.  I got up and out at 7:45am this morning and started my run in the snow with temps in the low twenties.  About a half a mile in I knew that my lungs were just not going to cooperate in the cold and headed back home.  After lunch I went over to the (warm) gym and ran on the dreadmill *ahem* treadmill.  It actually felt good as I haven't run many miles this week.

Today's mileage

Blizzard Run
1.5 miles
13 minute pace (ugh!  I told you I was hurting!)

Treadmill Run
5 miles
11:14 minute pace

Today's total: 6.5

Week 3
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 3.09
Wednesday: weight lifting
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Sick
Saturday: Sick
Sunday: 6.5
Total: 9.59 (I hope you were sitting down for that total.)

Previous total: 54.32
Training Grand Total: 63.91

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Daily Mile

0 miles
0 minutes
0 pace

Impressive, right?  Ugh!  Today was very busy and I don't know if it's the air quality or what, but I'm having some asthma issues.  LAME!  So, I didn't run today, even though I should have.  Hoping to be hacking less tomorrow so I can get my five miler in.  I hope you still went running!

"No matter how slow I run, I'm still faster than my couch."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Karl Meltzer!

Look who's on the cover of the December issue of Ultrarunning! Karl Meltzer, the same ultrarunner I saw out on Antelope Island on Saturday. Cool.

Daily Mile

Yesterday Katherine and I headed out into my neighborhood for a quick three miler. I have officially decided three miles is my least favorite distance. I often feel sluggish the first few miles and in distance running, that's okay because those miles are just a warm up and I start feeling good after several miles. A three miler often leaves me feeling like I don't much like running. Yesterday was no exception. I finally started to feel good at the 2.4 mile mark, and by then the run was nearly over. Oh well, I guess three milers are just a necessary evil. I suppose I could just switch all my three milers to five milers...

3.09 miles
11:09 pace

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Training Week 2

Today was my first back to back long run,* and the end of week two of training.  When I woke up before my alarm at 6:40am I could hear the wind raging outside and did not want to get out of bed.  After peeling my tired legs out of bed and getting ready to go Ozzy and I headed out on a loop that is uphill for the first three miles.  Let me just say that those first three miles were B R U T A L!  Not only was I tired from yesterday's trail run, the wind was howling around me and my legs felt like lead weights. At mile two I was contemplating the sanity of my decision making skills.  Luckily, by the time I reached the top of the hill and headed back downhill, I was feeling pretty decent and by the time I hit mile six I found myself running at a 9:30 pace!  Honestly, I knew it would get better because the first few miles are always the most difficult, but I didn't know I'd feel that good! What a great confidence booster!  I can almost see the 50k finish line!

7 miles
11:42 pace

*The back to back run is when you run two long runs in a row.  The purpose of the back to back for ultramarathon training is to prepare you for running on tired legs that you will certainly have on race day.  The back to back goes like this:  Day 1 long run, Day 2 long run of approximately half the distance of the day before, i.e. Saturday= 20 miles, Sunday= 10 miles.

Week 2
Monday: 3.1
Tuesday: 5
Wednesday: weight lifting
Thursday: 3
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13.1
Sunday: 7
Total: 31.2

Week 1 Total: 23.12
Training Grand Total: 54.32

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Running with the Buffalo

Today was the second training run for the Buffalo Run.  The race director is kind enough to set up training runs each month before the race in March, starting in November.  I talked Katherine into going with me and we were planning on 14-15 miles total.  I picked Katherine up bright and early and we headed north.  When we finally arrived on the island and got out of the car, I was totally geeked out!  Karl Meltzer had just arrived and was heading out on a run!  Karl Meltzer currently holds the record for the most (30) 100 mile trail race wins ever!  So I was like a screaming Beiber fan, well minus the screaming or mob scene.  I quick grabbed Katherine, "Oh my GAWD!  Did you see who that was?!  That was Karl Meltzer!"  Once I quite geeking out we headed out on the trail.  

Check out the mane on Katherine!
Working hard and enjoying the view.
A little uphill at the seven mile mark.
See the trail?  Yeah, me neither.  Bushwhack time, baby!
This was Katherine's longest run ever.  She was a champion!
We were running along and all of a sudden Katherine let out a panicked "RENEEEE!"  I turn around to a buffalo charging down the hillside right next to us.  You could hear the drumming of it's powerful hooves.  It was intense and amazing.  Luckily, buffalo don't much want anything to do with humans and he just ran along towards his pals who were grazing next to the trail.  Then two of them started rolling around on their backs like playful puppies.  Quite an amazing experience!
Katherine and I ran along with another woman named Lori for the last half of the run.  She was quite nice and took the above picture of Katherine and I together.  Afterward the race director had hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps for everyone! What a great day!

13.1 miles
2 hr 30 min
11:27 pace

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Daily Mile

Today I didn't set out to run fast at all. I just set out to finish. Sometimes, as odd as it may seem, my short runs are the most difficult. I am just getting warmed up at about two or three miles so stopping at that point seems wrong. Today I actually felt quite speedy and pushed it a bit and ended up with a pretty good time. I usually run three miles in about 30 to 33 minutes. Today wasn't too shabby at all!
3 miles
9:45 pace

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Gully

First, for those that worry, a note about safety.  I always run with a friend and my dog, Ozzy, when I run trails in the dark.  I carry pepper spray, and so do my other runner girlfriends.  I also carry a whistle and a cell phone.  When I run trails during the day I bring Ozzy whenever possible.  Many trails here are watersheds and there are no dogs allowed.  I always tell Jeff where I am going and when I'll be back.  When I run with music I only ever put one ear bud in so I can hear what is going on around me and I don't wear them on trails at all.  Now, on to my story...

Today Katherine and I met at (the absurd time) 5:15am at Dimple Dell Gully.  It was 28° out and even though I had lots of layers on it's still darn cold at that time of day.  It was pitch black out and very slow going.  The ground in the gully is rough with lots of rocks and indentations from horse hooves with lots of ups and downs. Even in daylight I usually run at about a 12-13 minute pace on this trail.  Ozzy loves running with us there because at that time of day I let him run off leash.  He runs up ahead and waits to see our headlamps and flashlights before going on.  At the halfway point I decided to take a drink of water only to discover that the bite valve on my water pack was frozen solid.

Note to self: Sip from water on a regular basis when temps are below freezing.

No biggie really, since we only had 2.5 miles left to go.  Overall, the run was fun.  We even had to cross a stream twice and joked that it was the Rucky Chucky River crossing.  If you haven't read Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes or are not familiar with the Western States Endurance Run, definitely look at that link.  Your mind will be blown!

5 miles
1hr 10 min
14 minute pace

Monday, November 26, 2012

Daily Mile

Today I drove to a nearby trail with Ozzy.  It's a pretty short trail, but long enough for a few miles. It was 29 degrees out.  Very chilly.  My fingertips were pretty frigid.  It feels good to start week two of training!

Note to self: buy warmer gloves, perhaps mittens. 

3.1 miles
10:22 pace

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Training Week 1

Today wraps up my first week of 50k training.  And as Lila would say it was easy peasy lemon squeezy! Today I ran 12 miles.  I ran from my house to Meghan's house, which is two miles away, then we ran just over six miles together.  We ran up through the neighborhood to a nearby trail and ran out and back on that and back to her place.  Then I headed back home taking a new route that I knew would give me a little more mileage.  I came upon a hill that I was not expecting!  I gained 70 feet at a 10-18% grade in a matter of minutes!  Luckily after that it was mostly a gradual downhill the rest of the way home and I made it in great time!  Today was one of those days that was so great you're certain if everyone on earth was a runner there would be world peace.

12 miles
10:35 min/mile pace

This week's training
3, 3, 5.12, 12
Total mileage: 23.12

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Little Cottonwood Creek Trail

Today's run was outstanding!  Meghan and I ran up Little Cottonwood Creek Trail.  This trail follows the creek up Little Cottonwood Canyon.  With an elevation gain of 1300 feet, this trail is straight uphill (however we didn't run all the way to the top.)  Today there was a fair amount of crusty snow on the ground and Meghan kept saying it was like an obstacle course.  It was slow going, but very fun!  The downhill is amazing and you can really fly.  Today, because of the snow and ice there was very little flying.  It still felt fantastic and I felt ready to conquer the world by the end of our run!  What a great way to start Thanksgiving day!  Days like today I'm really thankful to be able to run!

5.12 miles
1hr 6 min
12:53 min/mile pace

I never miss a chance to ham it up on a run!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Daily Mile

Today was another three miler.  I was supposed to do five, but I figured I'd save five for Thursday since it's Thanksgiving and I'm certain to eat more than my fair share of food that day.  Katherine met me and she, Ozzy and I headed up to Flat Iron Mesa for a few laps around the park.  Today was somewhere between feeling good and feeling apathetic about running.  We were a bit faster than yesterday and enjoyed the sunshine and good conversation as we ran.
3 miles
10:53 min/mile pace

It's Here!

My first issue of Ultrarunning magazine arrived today. I'm so excited! What's the first article in an ultrarunning magazine about, you wonder? Why, the Leadville Trail 100 of course! Don't know anything about Leadville? It's a 100 mile footrace through the Colorado Rockies.  The elevations of this race are from 9,200 to 12,600 feet.  Leadville is serious stuff.  I'm so excited about this magazine because I'm completely fascinated by ultrarunning.  A 50k is just the tip of the iceberg and although technically considered an ultramarathon, the real ultras are the 50 and 100 mile (and beyond) races.  I don't know that I'll ever run Leadville, but I never say never.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Daily Mile

Today marks the official start of my 50k training plan.  Three whole miles and boy was I dragging today after  my long run last night!  But, I had my good buddy Katherine with me and it's a beautiful day out so I enjoyed my run despite the fact that my legs felt more like lead weights than legs.

3 miles
11:14 min/mile pace

P.S. After a recommendation from my soccer playing son, I popped the (very painful) blood blister under my toenail from yesterday and now my toe feels as good as new!  Thanks Kurtis!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Accidental Adventure

Today's run started out simply enough. My family all loaded in the van for Boondocks (think arcade + bouncy houses) and I set off on foot.  Only nine miles away I would run and meet them there. Easy enough right? Around the time I knew I would need directions in Draper my cell would not pick up wifi, and I didn't know the way so began to wind through the streets guessing which way I should go. Long story short I ended up lost.

But let me back track a bit. The run from my house to Draper is mostly downhill. I love running downhill! I brought Ozzy along with me. We encountered a bit of rain the first few miles, but nothing too bad. The next few miles were beautiful. The sun peeked through the clouds and giant sun rays where shining through the cloulds and onto the mountains all around the valley. Stunning!  When it started getting dark and I called Jeff trying to figure out if I was on track.  He didn't know the exact address, and after a few chats and texts I decided to just continue west.  As it was growing darker I looked in my pack for my flash light only to find it was missing.  Bummer.  Luckily I was wearing a bright yellow top and lots of reflective gear.  I got to the frontage road and thought I was nearly there but I hit a dead end.  At the same time a car came up next to me driving really slowly (I think he was as lost as me) and I was happy to have both Ozzy and my pepper spray with me.  I had two choices.  A field with a large antlered dear bounding toward me, or turn around and go back the way I came.  I chose the latter.

It was dark now and my phone battery was getting low.  Jeff called to let me know they were on their way to get me and we discussed my location.  A few moments later they zoomed passed me on the freeway honking away.  Then just minutes later the family pulled up and scooped Ozzy and I up and we headed home for a nice hot pot of ham and potato chowder.  When we got home I remembered the nagging ache I was having on one of the toes on my left foot.  What a surprise I had when I took off my shoe!  And before you say so, I already got fitted by a running store for new shoes that are in fact a whole size larger than usual. Small price to pay for the fun I had.

This accidental adventure was amazing!  I had so much fun!  It was just what I needed.

1 hour 46 minutes
9:49 minute/mile pace

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Last Rest

This is is the last weekend before I start my 50K training.  My last chance to rest and relax before eighteen weeks of training.   Winter training will be different.  I like running in the snow, but snow before dawn doesn't sound like the best thing I've ever heard.  I suppose I'll get creative and I might even do some short runs on the treadmill.  I really dislike the treadmill, but I'm terrified of falling on ice so I might give in now and again.  I also need to get in as much trail running as possible.  At least once a month I'll be joining the Buffalo Run crew for training runs.  Mostly I'm looking forward to training and once again testing myself and my limits.  But for now I'll enjoy sitting in my jammies and being a couch potato.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Daily Mile

Today I almost didn't run.  But I figured I ought to anyway, so I laced up and took off for a run after walking Lila to school.  I only did two miles, which seems almost as lazy as going back to bed.  Any running is better than no running, right?

2 miles
19 minutes
9:30 min/mile pace

Cross Training

I've finally added some cross training to my running.  I've known for quite some time that I needed to, but my marathon really punctuated that.  By about mile 25 in the marathon my low back and biceps were killing me.  I could tell that with more core and upper body training I would have been better off.  So, the week after St. George I started hitting the gym with Jeff.  Mostly we do weight lifting, but I have been putting some time in on the elliptical and bike trainer too.

Yesterday was chest and triceps.  I have been making it to the gym about one to three times a week and have really been enjoying the time with Jeff.  I figure by the time March rolls around I'll be a lot stronger for my 50k!  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Viscounti Run

Well call me Mo Farah!  Guess who was doing the chasing today?*  If you guessed Katherine was chasing Renee, you are the winner!  Katherine and I met up just before 9am and headed out on one of our regular routes.  It is an out and back that happens to be uphill on the way out and a speedy downhill on the way back.  It is one of my favorite runs.  We refer to it as the "Viscounti run" because from my house out we run through the neighborhood, up Viscounti Drive and beyond.  My PR on this route is under 49 minutes.  We didn't quite make that, but we were pretty swift.  We ran 5 miles in 50:42, a 10:08 min/mile pace!** I felt amazing.  It was one of those runs that feels good from start to finish and makes you happy to be alive! I think my body likes the cold weather because I have been feeling great this week! Bring on Winter!

*Disclaimer: Katherine was chucking her cookies a mere 24 hours prior to this run!  So, despite my speed today I can't brag too much.

**I realize that a 10:08 min/mile pace is more than double what Mo Farah's pace is.  But it's fast for me! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Daily Mile

I wasn't sure when or if I would manage to get a run in today, but I worked it in.  I had about 40 minutes, so I figured I'd just run as far I could in that time.  Ozzy came with me and we headed out into the neighborhood at about 2:25p this afternoon.  It was partly sunny and pretty crisp, about 32 degrees.  I was feeling great and finished 4.13 miles in 41:20, a 10 minute/mile pace!  Hell yeah!  I guess I need to chase Katherine more often!  Now that I think of it,  more often will be tomorrow morning at 8:45am.  I've got five miles of chasing fun to look forward to!  

Note to self: you did quite a bit of foam rolling this morning, so maybe that helped too.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I'm still a beginner when it comes to long distance running.  I am learning what works for me, but I still have a lot of trial and error ahead.  I do know that running twenty miles two days after a brutal stomach flu isn't a great idea and that not eating frequently on a three to five hour run is ill advised. However I certainly don't claim to know it all.  Here are a few things I've read time and time again attempting to figure it all out.
For the beginning Ultrarunner
How to train for your first 50K
Ultramarathon Running

Saturday, November 10, 2012

9 Fantastic Miles

Today was one of those days when I knew my run was going to be fantastic. I spent the entire day waiting for three o'clock to roll around so I could meet up with Katherine for our run. It had been snowing for two days and the sun started to come out as I was getting ready to head out the door.  What a gorgeous day!

Our plan was to run four miles out from Katherine's house in White City out to Draper Park and then add a little extra mileage from there so we would do an out and back of nine miles.  It was chilly, but we were both pumped and ready for an adventure!  

The first four miles flew by and I even doubted that we had run that far (even though we had.)  Once in Draper we headed up the Porter Rockwell Trail that looked particularly beautiful half covered in snow.

The hard thing about this out and back is that the out is mostly downhill, making the back mostly uphill.  I was not looking forward to the hills to come because the last time I ran up this way (1700 East from Draper to Sandy) I already had a half marathon under foot and was starting to feel the pain.  Luckily, it wasn't nearly as difficult as I had remembered it and was able to run much more comfortably than anticipated.  The hard thing was, try as I may, Katherine is quite faster than I am so I spent the entire second half of our run desperately trying to catch up to her.  The entire way back I willed myself to run faster and catch her.  Finally all that good karma I've stocked up on was paid back to me in the form of a red light, and I caught her!

We mostly stayed out of the snow, but had to run in patches of it here and there.  As we neared the end of our run the sun went behind a cloud and it started to get cold.  We picked up the pace thinking of warm showers and hot meals and finished our nine miles in 1:38 (I think.)  I forgot my Garmin *gasp* and I think it was 3:21 when we started and 4:59 when we finished.  Not too shabby. I should chase Katherine more often!

Oh, and I was right.  It was a fantastic run!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Plan

This is my 18 week training plan for my 50k.  The truth is, I made it up.  I totally faked it!  I have no idea if it's a good plan, but I'm flexible, so if it's too hard or too easy, I'm open to change.  I'm also open to suggestions. And no, telling me how nuts I am isn't helpful.  I patched this plan together based on three different plans, a lot of online ultramarathon tips and a few words of advice from a friend or two.  Here are the plans I used to make this beauty:
Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Plan- Novice 2 (This is the plan I used for the St. George marathon)
Ultraladies 50K Event Training Plan (Yikes! 20 whole weeks?!)
Santa Clarita Runners: Ultramarathon Training Plan (Double yikes!  Only 12 weeks!?)

I see a lot of early mornings and sore muscles in my near future.  What else could a girl want?  I'll be starting this bad boy on Monday, November 19th.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Into the Wind

There is a wind advisory today of 30mph winds with gusts of up to 50mph.  So what does any sane person do?  Go running of course.  It actually isn't that windy out yet.  I did 3 (2.98 if you're really counting) miles in 31 minutes which is actually pretty speedy for me.  I brought my dog, Ozzy.  He loves running with me, but is pretty freaked out by wind so it was interesting.  At one point I thought I was going down because he ran straight into my legs.  Luckily, aside from screaming obscenities, nothing happened and I continued on my merry way.

It's odd to have no training plan to follow.  How far should I run?  Should I be taking it easy?  Should I even run today?  Luckily, my new plan will start on November 19, so I only have a couple more weeks of limbo before I will have my sense of purpose back.  Eleven more days. Think I can make it?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The day I became a Runner

When I was young I ran because I was vain.  I wanted to stay skinny.  I liked running, but I never identified myself as a runner.  I ran off and on over the years, but only very sporadically.  Then, on a whim in March of 2011 I laced up an old worn hand me down pair of Asics and did a one and a half mile loop around my neighborhood alternating walking and running. At the time I think it was merely an attempt to have some time to myself and perhaps attain a bit of fitness that had been long lost after three pregnancies.  Then it turned into something more.
The next thing I knew I could run more than walk. Then I did the unthinkable.  I ran the 1.5 mile loop twice! I did it!  Three whole miles.  Then came 4.5 miles.  I was really starting to enjoy running and enjoy reaching new distances.  I started to love running, and running loved me back.
Fast forward through two 10k races, a 5k, two half marathons, a mudder and a marathon (not in that order) and you'll find me today.  I sit analyzing, reading and re-reading  as I make my training plan for my next running adventure.  The Buffalo Run 50k on March 23, 2013.  For you non-runners, 50k is 31 miles, an ultramarathon.  I am beyond excited for this trail race!
So, when is the day I became a runner? Well, I think it happened over the course of many days, weeks, and even months as I laced up despite the snow on the ground, or the tired legs. I think I became a runner when running became who I am and not what I do.
I started this blog mostly for myself.  I hope to write about my training, my races and my every day experiences as a runner.  Maybe you'll find it interesting.  Maybe it will inspire you to find your inner runner.