Monthly Archives: September 2013

Out of the Closet

Finally cleaned out the closet

22 pairs of running shoes

13 pairs of trail shoes
9 pairs of road shoes (two Hoka hybrids)

Pairs I have not had on my feet in last year or two:

3 pairs of old Montrail Wildwood Trace-uppers are kind of dry rotted. Pitch
A pair of Yellow/Black that I can’t even identify the brand on. Pitch
4 pairs of old Sauconies that are only fit to walk around the estate on. That still leaves 3 more pair of Saucony to wear around estate.
Old Mizunos with screws.  Time for them to go.


Nice clean White Saucony-these are actually my work shoes.
La Sportiva Raptors-one pair with total ripped up uppers.

 Need to fix or contact La Sportiva before tossing

Montrail Bajadas-also ripped, but these have screws from last winter, so will use these as winter running shoes

3 pair of older Saucony-for walking around estate

Been wearing Hokas for most road running around here. One pair of road Hokas and 2 pair of hybrids.

Will still have my La Sportiva Ultra Raptors, Montrail Mtn Masochists
Solomon SpeedCross-3-need to try these out some more.  I believe I wore these twice, trying out new shoes before either RevRing or MMT this year.

 I tossed eight pairs of running shoes.  My husband still was not amused.  It’s hard to explain to a non runner. I can wear my LaSportivas on rocky courses, like MMT and Hardrock, but it’s not the shoe to wear on smooth singletrack, like Mohican or Salt Fork.  That’s what the Montrails are used for.
The Hokas have been great on my little road running escapades.  I’ve worn them for some short trail runs at Salt Fork.  I also ran about 10 or so miles at The Ring, they were certainly comfy over the rocks but I don’t know about more mileage yet with them on the rocks.

I also put away all the laundry this morning before week.  I have been taking advantage of this spare free time in the morning before work since not running!

A Week Off

I actually got in to see my doctor this week, which, in rural Ohio, is amazing.  Health care in rural areas is pretty piss-poor.  I won’t go into that rant now.

I presented my nurse, and doctor, with my typical printed out list.  When  I see my doctor, I try and present, in writing, my problems.  They really appreciate this.

For my back, I had the time line, and symptoms, and pain, that I had since September 14.  So when the doctor arrived in the room, we did not have to go over the whole story once again. I was able to give her the “short version” with more specifics, on what hurt when.

Good news:  doc does not think I have any disk issues.  She thinks it is still just a muscle strain issue, and since I keep running, I am not making it any better.

Advice:  One week  off from running and a course of prednisone therapy. 

Once the doctor said, no disk involvement (unless this doesn’t resolve in about a week) I felt much better.  My back has been feeling better, but my big issue here has been, get this issue fixed, so I don’t have trouble down the road.  I would much rather take the downtime now, than continue on and be hurt and have bigger issues later.

I let the coach know what was going on and got some positive reinforcement for some future race plans.

The silver lining to this injury is the fact that I do not have ANY races looming over me at all.  If I was running Grindstone/Oil Creek/WV Trilogy I would be a bit unhappy and I would also still be running through the pain..cuz those races are almost pretty much here.  Actually, I guess I would take an early taper and then hope for the best.

So I am not going to run for a week.  I am cleared to walk.  Which I will do, some mornings. (Not tomorrow.)  I am going to get in some quality sleep.  Maybe get that closet cleaned off of excessive shoes (I am looking for a purse for vacation in there somewhere.)  I will watch my eating and drinking too, to make sure to dial that back up with less miles on the body.

 I may have one more 2013 goal race to go.  I had almost discarded the idea of applying for Hellgate, but have gotten some positive reinforcements, so when the app for that appears, I may throw my name into the hat.

Cowan Lake State Park Hike

I went on a little out of town trip with my husband, down to southern Ohio (the other side, the western side.) I found a little state park to run in.
Cowan Creek was named for the area’s first surveyor, John Cowan. A dam was completed across Cowan Creek in 1950, and in 1968, Cowan Lake was dedicated as a state park.

Six hiking trails are available in the park:

  • Beechnut Loop Trail – 1/2 Mile – Easy
  • Dogwood Trail – 0.7 Miles – Easy
  • Emerald Woods Trail – 1.8 Miles – Easy
  • Lotus Cove Trail – 0.7 Miles – Moderate – Offers a boardwalk view of an American Lotus (water lily) colony
  • Oldfield Trail – 0.8 Miles – Moderate
  • Lakeview Trail – 1.1 Miles – Moderate

Cowan Lake State Park has one Mountain Bike Trail – 1 Mile – Easy-Difficult

It poured rain on our drive to southwest Ohio, so I had no high hopes for this hike.

You notice  I said hike. Not run.

I’ve jacked up my back, to put it in runner medical terms.  I overdid lifting and carrying stuff at YUTC.  It hurt that day at YUTC, but I just figured “I overdid it” as I am apt to do, and the strain would be gone soon.

It has not gone away.  At mile 8 of my 10 mile run on Thursday, it came back with a vengeance. It made it difficult to turn over while sleeping.  I still got my Friday seven mile run in, with lots of pain through out.

It still hurts pretty bad.  It is in the small of my back, so it’s not just muscle strain.  And what I am worried about is that is has hurt more, rather than less, as the week went on.

I took 800mg of ibuprofen this morning before we drove south and that thankfully helped.  Monday  I will see about getting a doctor appointment set up.  That will take about one week or so.  Really, it will, in my limited health care area.

I still decided to go with my husband and check out this state park.  The rain and gloom suited my mood entirely.

 I had difficulty finding the trail head. In fact, I just found a trail and blundered down it.  There were no markers.

 Not a bad little trail. It stopped raining, as I arrived.  Dark and wet.

You can tell the Trail Goddess doesn’t feel good.  Glasses and no Buff.  I think I look tired.

I pop out of one trail, and see this sign across a drive. Hey, that’s where I want to go!
Some old slippery timber steps lead down to this…non view…
So I go around this trail, and then walk down the drive, where I could see the lake and all the lilies.

The American Lotus colony was pretty cool.  It was huge!

 Probably a couple of acres of lotuses..loti?  I could see why this park is popular for kayaks, in nice weather.

I could see the seed pods on the plants, but they were all facing away from me, no pic except this off the web:

And you can eat the American Lotus!!

I brightened all the other pics except this one so you could see the lilies better.  It was a dark and overcast morning.

I never found the boardwalk either.

I wandered down this trail called “Deer Trail” which is not on the map of the state park.

It then intersected with what I believe was the mountain bike trail, but I was kind of done for the morning and took another trail back to the vehicle.

I drove into the campground a bit while recceying for the trail.  They have both cottages and RV hookups.  The part that I was in was fully wooded and looked pretty nice.

So if you are ever in southern Ohio, Cowan Lake State Park is about 11 miles out of Wilmington.  You could cobble together a short little run there, on some easy, non-technical singletrack.  I bet the water lilies are beautiful when blooming!

P.S.  The only positive aspect to my hurting back is the fact that I don’t have a big race, or any race coming out right now.  Hellgate is a consideration, but we’ll see.  I am hoping that some rest will help me out tremendously.

Do You Worry About Runners Face?

 I did not know about the condition called “runner’s face” before.  Thank you, internet.

This was an actual interweb article:

QUESTION: Is there really such a thing as ”runner’s face”?
ANSWER: If you’re over 40 and a woman, you probably know the urban myth of ”runner’s face” – the gaunt, skeletal look you end up with if you run for fun or fitness. Only, alas, it’s not a myth. And it affects men, too.
It’s not just joggers who can suffer from a prematurely aged face but people taking part in any sport or training in which the aim is to lose fat.

”Unfortunately, fat reduction is seldom selective, and not only do we lose fat from the areas we want, such as bellies, thighs and backsides, we lose it from parts of the body we don’t want to, such as the breaisementsts and face,” says cosmetic physician Sean Arendse.

The face has a number of fat pads that sit beneath the skin and act as scaffolding, giving structure and volume. As we age, we lose these naturally.
”And when they’re lost at a young age, for example in joggers, we tend to look older than our years,” Dr Arendse says.
According to plastic surgeon Gerald Imber, another contributor to the premature ageing of a runner’s face is the continual high impact of pounding up and down, which pulls the skin of the face away from its underlying muscles. ”This constant bouncing causes a gradual destruction of the elastic tissue that keeps faces firm,” Dr Imber says. ”It accelerates the loosening and stretching of facial skin.”
But Dr Arendse says he would never encourage someone to stop running, as the health and lifestyle benefits far outweigh the toll on appearance.
And a temporary solution for the problem is available. ”The atrophied fat pads in a jogger’s face can now be safely replaced with hyaluronic acid fillers, such as those in the Juvederm or Restylane range, restoring youthful curves and volume in the face.”

Q: Is there any specific skincare that runners should use?
A: Many runners spend hours exposed to the elements without proper protection for their skin. As well as a lithe body, the result can be wrinkles. In Australia, ”photo ageing”, or sun damage, is one of the most prevalent but preventable external ageing factors. So put simply, use sunscreen. Before your run, apply an SPF50 sunscreen that’s water (and therefore sweat) resistant. Use generously on all exposed areas – including the often-forgotten back and sides of the neck and decolletage (a big tell-tale sign of ageing in Australian women).
Dermal therapist Sally Risby, of Toorak’s Flawless Rejuvenation, says runners should use a Vitamin C serum beneath a moisturiser and sunscreen for added photo protection. The antioxidant reduces free-radical damage and is vital for the production of the collagen that gives skin its strength and texture.
At night, use a retinoid (Vitamin A). ”Retinoids have a large body of scientific evidence behind their use in anti-ageing,” Risby says. ”They assist with hyperpigmentation [age/sun spots] and have an inhibitory influence on the process that breaks down collagen.”
Traditional moisturisers are a must, she says. Running outside can exacerbate skin dehydration causing it to appear crepey and making fine lines more noticeable. “

So do I have the “gaunt skeletal look” here?

Worried about my face in 20 degree weather, high winds, and Short Mountain Reverse Ring 2012

Do I look that bad? Top of Jawbone, MMT 100 2012, Mile 95  Pretty worried here. It must be the aid station food making my cheeks plump
Still worried about the wrinkles

Okay, protecting the face here from wrinkles..or frostbite

But really, I should be worried how I look after a run now?  The only physical thing I do during a run is try and finger comb out my nappy curls, after they have gotten all sweated down on my head.   And that is just to make me feel better, because I don’t like the feeling of my matted hair on my head.  I will also occoassionally wipe my face off or pour water on my face to get rid of salt that I have excreted.  But that is also for comfort, to make me feel better, not to make me look better.

More relieved at being done than what I look like The Ring Finish 2013

What I do Use

Okay, in all serious, I do not use a Vitamin C serum.  But I do use a daily moisturizer, I’ve been using Oil of Olay since I was about eighteeen years old.  I have dry skin.  Most Oil of Olay products have a sunscreen.

Most days when I go run I also apply sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or 30.

In the winter, I try and remember to apply this before runs:

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Cream.  Yes, it is Vaseline, but in a cream format, not the ointment.  So it goes on smoothly, like any other cream, and sinks into the skin, unlike if you tried smearing the petroleum  jelly ointment on your face, which will just sit there.  I find it gives my skin a nice barrier from wind burn.

So there is the Ultra Trail Goddess skin beauty tips: put some sunscreen on, go run, and don’t worry about what you will look like afterwards.  Think about how you will feel afterwards!

A Better Run Today

A day off from work. I woke up to see the hillside below totally shrouded in fog or light rain.  I knew  I had a fair bit of free time before some medical appointments ( a follow up mammogram and ultrasound) that I had to get out the door about 130 pm.

The schedule called for an 8 mile run, and since I have eschewed the schedule for the last few days, I was bound and determined to follow it.  But I really lacked the energy.  My back was still strained after too much volunteering at YUTC on Saturday.  I donned the clothes and my new pair of Hokas and went anyways.

The morning was nice and cool.  I felt sluggish.  I glanced down at my watch-yes I am sluggish.  I decide I just don’t care and I am out to just run.  Just run your route, Kimba.  Time really is not important or an issue right now.  But consistency is.

I wore my new purple/pink Hoka One One hybrids out of the box, and they are just as comfortable as my first pair.  My original Hokas have about 450 miles on them, and they are getting worn on the bottom.  But hey, they have lasted longer in mileage than my other go-to shoe, my La Sportiva Raptors.

I am amused at my awesome color coordination.  My purple shorts and pink top match my new running shoes! (I had just randomly picked up running clothes and donned them, not thinking about matching..)

I started to feel a bit better around mile three, not as sluggish, but I was just out for a run.  I ran up some of my hills and walked up others.  I do like running when I don’t have the “before work” deadline looming on me.

It was a nice cool morning.  I felt far better after the run than before.  That usually is what happens!

Run Around Town

Today was a day off from work, and I had a few errands to run in town.  I planned to get my run in after my hair cut.

The hair salon (if you could call it that, I think I prefer the hillbilly “beauty parlor” term) was closed unexpectedly, so I was able to get my run on a little sooner.

I parked in the center of town, at the IGA, and took a route out of town, which I knew would be a straight climb up the ridge. Then onto an unknown to me road, then a loop back into town. 

I haven’t been on this road in 4 or 5 years.  It’s a gradual ascent out of town.  As I am running west, the sky is darkening quite quickly.

 I don’t mind the rain as it is about 72 degrees out.  If lightning starts, there are plenty of houses that I can go and stand on their porch or near a building, so the storm isn’t really a worry.

 It was really dark for a moment! This is a barn in the normal light.

Here’s the barn after I brightened in up in Picasa.

So I climb climb climb the ridge in pouring rain.  I am looking for a road to my right.  It doesn’t matter if I find it or not, as I am supposed to run 7 miles, I can always just turn around at 3.5 miles.

But I find my side road, and start down hill.

Very low ceiling through here.

Only one selfie because I had to put the camera away due to the rain.

I really liked this white barn coloring.

 But of course my pic doesn’t really do it justice.  Soon I was back in NCT again.  I glanced at my watch, almost five miles.  I decided to just end the run at the vehicle, and get the rest of my errands done.

I had a dry shirt in my vehicle, but walked into the IGA sopping wet otherwise.  I don’t shop much at the IGA, but I was surprised to see a better beer selection.

As I was buying for my purchases (no, sadly, no beer) the cashier mentioned my running, and the man in line behind me mentioned his son Trevor loved to run in the hot hot weather.  I mentioned Trevor’s last name, another local ultra runner, and the man indicated yes,it was that Trevor,  his son, and “he’d seen me around the local 100 mile races”… LOL…  it is a small world.

Being on a different route was very helpful today.  I have had the post race blues since The Ring. I’m tired of running by myself. I’m tired of running either UPHILL or downhill. I would love to just have a nice almost flat 10K loop.  Getting the runs in have been both a mental and a physical struggle, even though (luckily) The Coach has made them short ones!

I’ve had a bit of a knee niggle, so I have been icing that.  I think that is just a Ring residual, just like when my foot ached after MMT and I thought it was a stress fracture.

It’s entirely normal to have the post race blues too, and I know that. I will get my running mojo back soon.  I think the difference this year is even though I have a terrible mental attitude about a run, I still get out there and do it. Having a coach, therefore, accountability, too helps get one back on the trail.

YUTC is this Saturday, so I am sure being around trail runners for the day will certainly help with my post race blues.