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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.