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Monday, September 30, 2013

I am not the chosen one

Remember when I wrote this blog post about why I love trail and ultrarunning so that I could win an Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek vest?  Well, as if to add insult to injury (literally), I just saw the three chosen posts, and mine was not one of them.  But if it can't be me to win the vest, I hope it will be Cory, of Fast Cory.  Not only do I love his blog, but he's a fellow Utah trail and ultrarunner, so I'm rooting for him.  So, go vote!

Panic. No. Don't Panic!

Well, what do ya know?  My knee is still sore today.  Not as bad as yesterday, but still pretty bad.  I've been trying to remind myself that all of my training is done.  Nothing I do in the next two weeks will make or break race day.  I've trained hard. I've put in my time.  Now, I am forced to rest.  Sitting all day is not my idea of a good time, nor is an easy thing to do with three kids and a menagerie in the house.  So, I figure that today, on uber-rest day I'll make a list of things I can do each day.  I like lists.

1. Ice
2. Foam Roll
3. Stretch
4. Core Strengthening
5. Pull Ups
6. Push Ups
(if I can't run, I may as well...)
7. Blog about running

I'm also going to head to the chiropractor later this week.  Then, once my knee isn't sore any more I'll hit the gym for some weight lifting and bleedin' elliptical (can you sense my enthusiasm?)  Then once I'm feeling confident I'm not going to mess it up again, I'll resume running.  I really hope that day will be before race day.  But, if it's not, c'est la vie.

I'll just sit here and stare at my race medals with this bag of frozen cranberries on my knee.  Frozen peas or cranberries make the best ice packs.  

Do I seem calm?  I'm trying to remain calm.  I really am panicking, but only a little.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Beautiful [Bummer of a] Run

Today was the perfect day to run.  It was cool and beautiful.  I met up with Tricia and Tehra, whom I'd never run with before, but know through other friends.  We met at Bonneville Shoreline Trail at This is Place Heritage Park.  It was quite cool at first, but not too cold.  As the sun rose, it was just beautiful out!  I really enjoyed the company of these ladies.  Soon we soon spread out and each ran our own run, meeting up at intersections.  

Around mile nine, as we headed down into Memory Grove, my right knee started bugging me again.  This was not a happy thing.  It hurt the worst on the downhills, and we were heading straight down the mountain.  At the half way point, Tricia left us, continuing on through Memory Grove and on to her house and Tehra and I hoofed it back up onto the Shoreline Trail. 

I was a bit worried about my knee, but kept a comfortable pace.  I knew I was going to have to cut the run short.  I love the downhill on this run, and was forced to slow my pace considerably.  Other than my knee, I was feeling really great.  This was actually quite discouraging and I managed to get in a pretty good funk around mile 16.  I talked myself out of pouting and just did my best.  By the end of the run my knee was pretty darn sore.  

I've since iced it twice, taken my vitamins, fish oil, ibuprofen and am sitting with my leg up.  It already feels better than it did at the end of the run, but I know that the next 19 days need to consist of babying the hell out of it.  The taper is on!
Blurry Tricia and I hiking uphill.
Snow capped mountains.  

Heading down into Memory Grove.

I knew that Tricia, Tehra and I would get along when they told me they named this hill FTH (fuck that hill.)  Yes.  A very fitting name.
Tehra spotted this guy crawling across the trail.  He was the biggest spider I'e ever seen! 

I was feeling pretty crappy at this point, so I decided to take a couple pictures and regroup.

The final stretch to the trailhead.  
It wasn't the 24 miles I had planned, but I do not need an injury this close to race day!  I thoroughly enjoyed the company of these two ladies and hope we can get out on the trails together again soon!  Now on to rest!  Rest!  Rest!  Taper!  Taper!  Taper!

18.85 miles
14:22 pace

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Daily Mile

Today, I met up with a group of friends to run Dimple Dell gully.  Michelle, Zach, my neighbor Kristin, Ozzy (my dog) and I met at 6am and headed down into the cold darkness.  I really enjoy running in the gully and with this large group the creepy factor was completely diminished.  It was seriously cold, though.  38º at the start.  Long pants, gloves, the whole she-bang.  It's fun to run with some new folks and mix it up!  Now, to throw the second Harry Potter party this month!  


Friday, September 27, 2013

Daily Mile

I can say, with confidence, that running in the cold is not my favorite.  Now, let me clarify.  I do not like running in the heat either.  Not that cold or heat ever stops me from running.  They're just not my favorite.  50º-60º has got to be my favorite running temperature.  Unfortunately, I live in a place that seems to skip Spring and Fall.  Here in Salt Lake our seasons go like this: almost winter, winter, not quite winter, hotter than hell.

But, enough whining about the cold.  My run was quite nice this morning, and I felt good despite the chill in the air.  It's not that cold yet, so I suppose I shouldn't moan too much.  I know Fall is certainly here though, because my entire run was in the dark.  And let me tell you what!  9400 South between Highland Drive and 1300 East has an alarming lack of street lamps!  I ran on major roads this morning because they're more well lighted and populated and make me feel less like I'm in a scary murder movie.  I'm not too much of a sissy, but it's still a little scary running through dark sections of town.  I'm also less likely to run into dogs out on major streets and after a little bit of a chase from a random dog in my neighborhood this morning, that is a welcome thing.  What out folks!  I'm not afraid to pepper spray your pooch! 

7 miles
10:51 pace

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Daily Mile

It felt great to run today after a few days off.  I was seriously shocked at the end of the run that my pace was so slow.  I was sure that we were running in the 10's.  Meghan met me at 6am and we ran to the nearby rich neighborhood and gawked at the houses as we ran.  Fall is certainly here.  It was time for gloves.  I'll wear shorts until it's 40º out, but below 50º I need gloves.  I hate having cold hands!

Did I mention my second ultra is coming up?  (Insert evil laughter) Well, it is!  Only 22 days left!

4 miles
11:18 pace

Last minute, I decided to go to the gym after working in my daughter's class.  I can't believe some of the horrible fitness and nutrition information I overheard some "personal trainers" telling their clients!  One trainer boasted about eating white bread every day, but justified it because he works out five times a week.  Good grief!  Forget the bread, lift heavy instead!

My routine today:
Dead lifts
Bench press
Lat pulldown
Lat arm raise machine
Hamstring curls
Hip adduction & abduction

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

No Workout Wednesday. (or Monday... or Tuesday...)

Monday and Tuesday my right knee was still sore from my long week and back to back long runs last week.   I decided to take a those days off.  Then today, I woke with a wicked migraine.  The good news is that after three whole days of rest, my knees feel like brand new.  That, and my migraine is gone.

I often forget that rest is a good thing.  Even running only four or five days a week is a lot when you have a busy life!  Three days off is the longest I've taken off in ages, but I feel good tonight.  I'm ready to run in the morning and I'm feeling ready to tackle my last super long run (24 miles) this weekend.

23 days left!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Howling at the Moon

Today was a great day!  Starting at 6am I met Dona and her friend, Cassie at the Equestrian Center.  We headed up Clark's but before we reached the top there was a massive coyote howl fest and we decided to turn around.  At first we only heard one coyote howl, but then several more chimed in with howls and yips and we decided turning around was the best plan.  They couldn't have been too far from us, because they were pretty loud.  

Then we headed out Ann's where Cassie left us for the trailhead and Dona and I went to end and then up Maple Hollow. After that, we made a stop at the spigot before turning back around and heading back up Clark's and down Canyon Hollow.  The leaves are starting to change and it was a beautiful cloudy, cool day.  We were sprinkled on a little, but not bad at all.  Dona is a rock star because her longest run ever before today was 17 miles!  Way to go, Dona!

Lovely fall leaves on Clark's trail.
Dona is just way too cute, and a very cool chick too!

Thank you Corner Canyon.  Thank you.

Thanks for the awesome run today, ladies!  Despite being fairly slow, the run felt really good!  Now time to rest (and by rest I mean, do laundry, take care of kids, cook food and run to the grocery store)!

20 miles 
14:15 pace 

Training Week 12

Monday -Rest
Tuesday 7.1
Wednesday -Weight Lifting
Thursday 5.5
Friday Yoga (class)
Saturday 10.4
Sunday 20
Weekly Total 43

Previous Weekly Total 390.74
Training Grand Total 433.74

Highest mileage week ever!  And I can certainly tell!  I'm a little beat today!  It sure does feel good, though!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Back to Back?

Is it still a back to back if you do the longer run on the second day?  I really don't know.  However, since my plan calls for several back to backs and Sunday works out best for me to run long, I do my "short" long runs the day before.  Today, I met up with Michelle who ran with me and the great group of ladies last week in Millcreek Canyon.  She was running a little late, so I ran about 1.25 miles before she was ready.  We met at the Equestrian Center trailhead and headed up into Corner Canyon.  

It was a very nice and easy run.  I didn't want to push it too hard, since I have my long run tomorrow.  I was a little frustrated at myself, because I unintentionally cut our run short by looking at the wrong lap screen on my Garmin.  We finished up with 8.74 miles under foot, which was a bit shorter than I had intended.  However, I was anxious to get to my son's soccer game, so we called it and I headed home.  I then decided to just run to the game.  I changed my socks and shirt and threw on my street shoes and ran the 1.66 miles to the soccer field.  I felt much better about my mileage total after that, and bonus, it brought my average pace way down!  

Can I also just say that I guess I should post more pictures of myself in my underwear, because I had a record number page hits yesterday!  Ha ha!  I suppose I should have seen that coming!  

A lovely morning in Corner Canyon!

10.4 miles
12:36 pace

Friday, September 20, 2013

Body Fat: A girl and her skivvies

Today was yoga at the gym.  I swear the instructor makes the classes just for me!  We did a lot of hip and hamstring stretches that I desperately needed and a ton of core work!  Love.

Then, I had my body fat percentage tested and guess what!?  I'm down to 19% body fat!  In June of 2012 I was at 23% body fat.  This makes me want to say ridiculous things like, Holla!  Woot! and Booyah!  I guess that's why I am seeing more and more muscle definition.  I find this extremely motivating!

Body fat according to ACE (American Council on Exercise)
Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart 1

According to Jackson & Pollock (the body fat caliper folks)
Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart 3

Well, call me Althlete Renee!  Go me!

Because I know you're all dying to see me in my skivvies what 19% body fat looks like on a 37 year old female runner.  Not bad for an old lady with three kids!

P.S. 28 days until my second ultramarathon!  BRING IT!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Daily Mile

Fall is here!  It was chilly, at 47º this morning!  I had to wear sleeves and a headband.  I felt great, and luckily so did my running buddy.  Meghan and I cruised up and back on Viscounti feeling quite great on this crisp morning.  Not sure I'm ready for the cold weather, but I guess I'd better get used to it.  Winter is on it's way!

The moon was big and bright this morning, lighting our way until the sun came up.

5 miles
11:08 pace

lap 1 (uphill)
2.5 miles
12:10 pace

lap 2 (downhill)
10:06 pace 

Plus, I ran the half mile home from walking my kids to school this morning, so today's daily mileage is 5.5!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Did they say "Scott Jurek Ultra Vest"?!?!?!

So, trailandultrarunning.com, in conjunction with Ultimate Direction, is giving away an Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek Ultra Vest!  All have to do is blog about why I love trail and/or ultrarunning to get a chance to win!  Well, hot damn!  Count me in!

Why do I love trail running?  Why do I love ultrarunning?  Where, oh where, do I begin?!
Let's start with...




Unique Experiences





I love trail running for all these reasons and many more.  I love ultrarunning for all the same reasons and because it allows me to find out what I'm really made of.  Ultrarunning has given me the chance to really get inside my head and find out that I can do anything I put my mind to.  The human body is amazing, and through ultrarunning I have learned to appreciate myself and my body in a way that I never before have.  I believe trail and ultrarunning has made me a more patient and gracious person.  And that, my friends, is why I love trail and ultrarunning!

Gym Rat

I've actually started to really like lifting weights.  I used to be terrified of the gym.  I suppose knowing how to use the weights is one huge factor, but I also am more motivated and more confidant than I used to be.  Today I only had forty minutes to work out after volunteering in my daughter's class to bust out a work out.  I managed, and left the gym with limp, wet noodle arms.  Mission accomplished!  I'm actually starting to see definition in my abs that I haven't seen since I was 19 years old!  I think another before and after picture is in order soon...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Daily Mile: The fun we have

This is what happens when Katherine and I are feeling less than enthusiastic about running.  In fact, we were both feeling quite slug like today.  That's okay.  We still had a blast out on the Sandy Rail Trail.

Someone left their forty on the trail just for us.

Does anyone else make friends with their shadow?  I like to watch my shadow when I run.  As silly as it may be, it motivates me!
I had gotten a ways ahead of Katherine when what do I notice sitting on the side of the trail, but a folding chair.  Time for some more tomfoolery! 

Miraculously, despite running into the wind the first half of our run, and feeling like slugs, we managed an okay pace.  Daily mile, done!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Training Week 11

Monday 5.08
Thursday 4.04
Friday 5.2
Saturday 9.05
Sunday 13.9
Weekly Total 37.27

Previous Weekly Total 353.47
Training Grand Total 390.74

Only 33 days until race day!  Are you excited!?  I am!


I had a fabulous idea recently and made a group on Facebook for myself and my running buddies, so we can plan long runs together.  Today, we had a group of five ladies that came out.  Myself, Katherine, Dona, and two friends of Dona's, Michelle and Jessica. It turns out that Katherine and I met Jessica and Michelle on a Wasatch Running Club training run in February, plus Jessica and I both used to work at the Cliff Lodge at the same time.  Small world!

We ran the Pipeline trail in Millcreek Canyon.  Jessica and Michelle did about half, and Dona joined Katherine and I for the long haul.  It was a beautiful day and I was feeling really quick until about mile ten, when a headache struck.  It was my own fault as I ate too much cake at my daughter's 8th (Harry Potter) birthday party yesterday!  But, it was still great to be out, and overall a wonderful time.  The trail was fantastic with wonderful views and the company was stellar!    

Four of the five.

Clockwise from top left: Michelle, Renee, Jessica, Dona, Katherine.

Half way!
Me, fool around?  Never!

This picture was an accident, but it's kinda cool.
Dona leading the way back.
Thanks for coming to join me today ladies!

13.9 miles
12:52 average pace