Monthly Archives: April 2013

Four or Off

That is today’s schedule.

Other reason why I like having a coach.  Yesterday, I had a 14 mile run, since it was my day off from work.  I went to Salt Fork to run, having mapped out in my head a route that should garner me 14 miles, more or less.
I got to the Lodge in about seven miles, not really feeling the trail love so much. It was beautiful to be out there in the woods, but I was a bit apathetic.  But I was determined to get in my miles, as that is what the scheduled called for.

Now here is where the ‘coach’ part comes in. This is mainly mental, well, probably all mental. 

In past times, in same frame of mind, I would have probably shorted the run up to ten miles-I know my trails well enough to know the shortest way back to the vehicle.  I would have used my “guilt card” about spending half my day off away from the husband, and home, and how much stuff I could be doing around the place.

But having someone else in charge of the schedule really frees up my ‘runner guilt’ as it is. The husband asked what I was doing on my day off. I told him I had a dentist appointment and then had 14 miles to run, so I figured that would be about four hours. And you know what?  No guilt there at all.  It was pretty much like going to work-hey I will be gone this long, doing this.

Leaving the Lodge, the day warmed up.  My body warmed up too, and I was enjoying my time out on the trail. I got back to my vehicle around 13 miles, so I decided to finish up by running over to the beach on the lake.  I ended up having an excellent run.

Todays schedule is “4 easy or OFF” depending on how I felt.  Hmm.  This can be a tough call.  Am I tired? I know I have to work all weekend.  But I did go to bed early last night and got eight hours sleep.  And it’s only four miles..and easy.

I told the husband I only had four miles to run, as I was packing my duffel bag of running gear.  As  I only have four more hours in my work day here, and I’m not that tired, I think I will opt for 4 easy sunny (but STILL COLD) miles in on the trails.

22 days until MMT.

Weekend Trail Runs

I had shorter runs on the schedule for the weekend, 6 miles for Saturday and 8 miles on Sunday..which ended up being five on Saturday and nine on Sunday..hey, trail miles and loops don’t always round to the number that you need!

So much for another weekend of warm weather.  I was in tights and long sleeved wool shirt on both runs.

 Saturday I ran the white bridle trail, and took the spur which leads to one of Salt Fork’s Marinas.

I spotted some different daffodils in this area.  It’s always a pleasure to find some different variety than the standard giant jonquil.

This picture doesn’t do the tree justice.  This was a HUGE tree snapped in half, probably due to the derecho storm that went through the area last June.

Yes, it’s mid April, and I am still wearing a fleece headband a wool shirt.

 Sunday I went out from the Lodge and planned to do most of the Bigfoot Loop.  Although it was still cool out, the sun did come out, so I had to shed the long sleeve top to keep from getting overheated.

We still need water here. The creeks are very low.  At this time of year, they should be bursting.
But that means the bridle trails were in very good shape, and since there has not been many horses out, they are not chewed up yet. (Hey, they are the horses trails.)
This was an oddity I spotted. These are daffodil sprouts, but this is on top of a big old rock.  How did these get here? Did someone plant them?

These are “fiddleheads”.  Some types of fiddlehead ferns are edible, but I don’t believe the ones in our area are. I’m not adventurous enough to try them either.
I had some good runs.  Energy was good on both days.  On Sunday I had a bit of a niggle with my left knee.  This is the knee I fell on last Saturday in the 50K.  I went ahead and iced it down after my run.
I wore my new La Sportiva Ultra Raptors, and tried out my new Ultraspire waist pack-this one holds two bottles.  Gear is getting pretty set for MMT.    27 days out!

Special Guest Runner!!!!

As I was enjoying the first day of my three day weekend, diligently going through my filing cabinet, culling the clutter, my cell phone rang, and it was my friend Gombu, asking what town I lived in.

Gombu was in the area on business, it turns out, so he was able to make a detour and was on my doorstep within a half hour!

Bob indicated that he wanted to get a run in, and wanted a tour of my 10K “around the block” that he knows so well from the blog…

So off we went, so odd for me to run this with another runner, let alone a good friend!  Bob moved to Colorado two years ago; his home is where I stayed last summer pre-Hardrock. 

We passed Scooter’s owner in his vehicle and was warned that Scooter was out.  Yep, he was, along with the other two “old dogs”. 

Scooter liked Bob.  In fact, quite a bit.  I guess he was excited just to see someone else “besides me” out there that he was all over Bob.

Well, all was well a short ways down the road, Bob was just kind of covered in Scooter mud and Scooter spit…

Bob also got to meet the Gump dogs but quickly ran away..
It was great having company out there and sharing my little back country roads!
I did note that Bob was not wearing his trademark yellow shorts, but he said he had to save them for MMT, they are starting to wear out!
Awesome to have company on my run today.  Even better when it’s with a good friend. Thanks Bob!!

30 Days Until MMT

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.
If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it.
On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
-Mahatma Gandhi


I was at work when my co-worker’s phone went off.  “oh my, bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon” he told me.  Huh.  Boston? Marathon? I grabbed my phone.

This has been about the most useful Facebook has been; runners posting their status that they were okay.

As far as I know, everyone I know who was running Boston is fine.

I don’t really have words. I saw some of the horrific pictures.  I saw the video of the one explosion. Then I turned off the TV to avoid upsetting myself further.

I’m not a road runner. Sure, someday I would like to run Boston, but I’m a dirt trail runner.

But I do understand that for a runner, Boston is the golden ticket, the magic.  People work very very hard to get “their BQ”  Boston Qualifier, if you don’t know.  A “BQ” is a very big deal.

In the last two years, the BAA has tightened up the time requirements, and rewarded the faster runners to sign up first.  So it has become more of a challenge, first to just qualify, and then be able to enter the race!

And regardless of whether I am a dirt runner, and you are a road runner, we’re all runners.  This has hit my community and I am shaken.

Running is a happy activity. Running is a healthy activity.

 Running marathons are a triumphant.  Running The Boston Marathon is a huge triumphant, the cherry on the sundae, the 26.2 miles of reward after your hard hard work to get there.  It shouldn’t be taken away with fear and grief.

So how do we recover from this? Is this too soon of a post to talk about recovery, when the trauma has just occurred?

I’ve been very down, and depressed this afternoon, with all this news.  But isn’t that “WHOMEVER” wants?  For me to change, due to circumstances out of my control?

Isn’t that why the bomb was to blow at 4.09, a popular marathon finishing time, at the most famous marathon, where the finishing line is continuously being filmed?

The social media world says to wear a race shirt today, or Boston colors, and go for a run.

I’m not going to. I did not plan on running today; I am determined to rest up and recover well from my 50K on Saturday.  I’m not changing my plans. 

Would I like to go for a run? Yes, I would, I would like to be in a big posse of my friends, running a trail somewhere, or cutting off the trail and hopping over rocks and sliding down a hill. I don’t want to run alone.

This is a pretty badly written and organized post, but I’m going to hit the publish button anyways.

Glacier Ridge Trail 50K Report

I ran the Glacier Ridge 50K in the inaugural event, in 2011. It was cold, windy, and very muddy.

The same conditions presented themselves in the 2013 race. I was hoping for dry conditions; but the totorrential spring rains that started Tuesday rolled through.

It was cold and 41 degrees at race start.  I had the right race clothes for the conditions: capris, merino wool long sleeve shirt, gloves.  I wore my La Sportiva Ultra Raptors to see how they would fare.

The GRT 50K route was the same, muddy, some climbs, lots of nice runnables.  The variable here was the runner.  She was in  much better shape than 2011.

I had to pass some runners in the first 2 miles. We were climbing up a hill, and it was just too slow for my current effort. 

I took a spill about mile 4, hitting my knee and elbow. It just hurt for a minute, I shook it off and assured the two runners right behind me I was fine.

Another runner-I think his name was Don-caught up to me, and we chatted until the 10 mile Aid Station.

I stopped for a bio break, and Don disappeared.  But in this section was where the 50K runners were meeting the 50 mile runners coming back, as they started one hour earlier.

Just for clarification, there were three races occurring.  The 50 Mile Race started at 630 am.  They ran the 50K out and back, but with another little loop around the 15 mile.  The 50K just did the 15 miles out and back.  The 30K kind of did an out and back.

I got to see Coach Hanks and The Professor from NEO TC, both running the 50 miler, and that gave me a huge boost.

The GRT 50K was a training run for MMT.   I wore my Ultraspire Waistpack, with just the one handheld in it.  I carried one Clifbloks (200 calories) and one EFS shot (400 calories.)  I had 400 calories of maltodextrin in the handheld.

I had a huge caloric breakfast. Nutella tortilla, cranberry juice, peppermint patty, most of an Egg McMuffin.  So, about 800-1000 calories right there.

I felt pretty sluggish for the first hour, probably due to the cool temps and my full belly.

I hit the 15 mile turnaround in 3.30.  Hmm. I wanted to run a sub 7 hour 50K.  But could I negative split the second half?  In all this mud?

I resolved to not look at the watch at all, in the second half.  I changed my headband, and put in my music for the first time.

I started to feel really good, about mile twenty.  I also started picking off 50K runners.

One green vested guy was pretty determined not to be Number Six. He stayed ahead of me, but I kept nipping at the gap. I caught him on a bit of an uphill, where he was going around the mud, whereas I ploughed straight through it. 

Everyone I passed I dropped pretty dismissively. Nobody came back. I passed eight runners (although I believe one was the last 30K runner) so seven 50K runners.


But then, as I was singing out loud to “Red Solo  Cup” I got passed by this Timmy Olson look-alike and a chick in almost bun huggers.  And they were gone!   Huh? Where did these 50K runners come from?

I got passed, in the last 5 miles or so, by 6 more runners.  Decisively, and quickly!

I finely figured out it was the fastest 50 miler guys blowing by me.  Finishing their race in about 8 hours! No wonder I was being passed so quickly!

Many parts of the GRT are very runnable.  As I knew I was around mile 28, in a runnable area, I kept running. I envisioned parts of the MMT through here.  I got to the last two miles, which is back on a paved bike trail. I envisioned the Moreland Gap Road, on the way to the MMT finish line, and kept chugging along.

Spotting the finish line clock, I was surprised!!!!  to see the time of 8.20 on the clock!  Then I remembered the clock started one hour earlier, with the 50 mile race start.

So, 7.20 finish time.  I didn’t glance at my watch, on course, after the turn around. I had already determined, to myself, that I had a good run, a good effort, no matter what the time said.

My time in 2011 was 8.06.  A 46 minute improvement.  I will take that.

My word for 2013 is “improve”.    I am working well on this.