I went for a run.

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I did.  I went for a run.  I was a little bored, and a little frustrated.  So off I went.  It was warm in the sun and it soon got difficult.  So I stopped and took a break in the shade.  I grabbed a drink from the fountain.  I greeted two friendly older men with four dogs between them.  Both agreed, great morning for a run.

 

They are right.  it IS a great morning for a run I thought.  My garmin thought otherwise.  Not even a mile in and the watch was reporting my current condition as Fair  -2.  I don’t even know what that means.  I made it home, woo hoo!  Stopped the watch, looked down, 41 hours recovery recommended for a 1.54 mile run.  Yikes.

I wil try again.

 

Panic shuffle

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A “run” in which I panic, shutdown, get too hot and go home.  I re-considered my whole existence.

15 minutes of ‘what in the hell’.

It reminded me of the last moments I spent in Zion 100 2016 last month.  I had some deep clarity.  It felt good to feel that kind of raw honesty inside myself.

I want to be a beginner again.  I don’t want expectations, or the performance stress.  When I was a beginner everything was a PR.  Every run was a success.  I want to get back to that.

I want to run joyful again.  Not because I have an agenda for the run.  I want to run just because.  Sure I will still keep track of things, just because I can ( I paid for that damn watch, so I better well use it!).

I want to take cues from the dogs, they just go because they can go.  Not because I tell them to (lets be honest, who’s telling who here) but because they have the ability.

Today’s morning “run” felt SO hard.  I knew if I just hung in there I could keep it up, but I turned around and came home.  I need to go slow.  I need to work myself into it. Like running 4play.

Running should not feel like a chore. Better to follow the light than pout in shadows.  I will remind myself to be grateful for what I CAN run, rather than what I did not run.

Last month I tackled 100 miles.  I made it through 73.

This morning I did a a mile and a half, and it felt like 73.

Go figure🙂

Sorting, always sorting.

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Us humans like things categorized, sorted and filed.

I’m still trying to find words for Zion 100, or Zion 73 for me.  I’ve been a quiet sourpuss.  I decided I needed to do more disconnecting.  Or maybe it happened despite my decision.

Whatever the reason… I’ve been quiet.  I haven’t been nurturing much with in myself.  I’ve been trying to push myself out there.  Right out of my comfort zone and into vulnerability.  It’s scary.

The past two years I’ve worked for a great resort here in southern Utah.  I love my co-workers and that is what made it so hard to go.  But ultimately I did say goodbye.  I said goodbye to my fun city job and to the rest of my security.

This decision came through a lot of deliberation, and a lot of frustration.  Like I said… I loved the job, but the schedule was not conducive to me creating the life I wanted for myself.

I want to spend more time running.  Sure… I HAD time to run.  But I struggle in heat, southern Utah is a hot dry sunny place.  To me it feels like running under a magnifying glass.  That means I run early, or I run late.  My resort schedule did not allow for this.  Seasonal work is also hard to budget with.

Sorry, just justifying.  Anyhow I went onto craigslist and went through every category looking for something that might be interesting.  Lucky for me I found something!  I’ll leave that for another post.

It brings me back to why I wanted to write this.  I just wanted to say hi.

Hi.

 

 

Fundraising and Overnight Air

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This race has a lot of baggage for me.  I’ve got a good idea that I can do it.  I know I can do it.  I just… I don’t know.  It’s been hard to gather the effort to get myself into my shoes and out the door.  For those of you who follow my starva, my lack of training has been apparent.

I have been suffering from a lack of motivation for some time now and I don’t know why.  Lack of community maybe, or maybe its something else.  Maybe I’ve lost my love of running.  If that’s the case, I don’t really think I would get so excited by races, and following runners.

I think that is not the case.  I haven’t lost my love of running, races, the running community.  It’s something else.  It’s this place.  It’s just so hot, and it’s my jobs.  They have me up so early, that I miss the early morning running groups.

So this race has me on edge.  I’m just out of time.  I didn’t get everything I wanted to get done.  I’ve been feeling pressed for some time.  Something has to give, and it will NOT be what I love.

So… now this race.  I just want to get it done.  I’ve been hemming an drawing and looking at my schedule for weeks now.  It will be nice to get my reset under way.  I want to be a beginner again.  I want to find joy in the little things, the 5k’s, the morning training runs, my running family.   I’ve been suffering and it’s just unnecessary.

There have been some bright moments.  Oiselle is one of them.  I learned that the weather for the race will be cool and rainy.  I don’t feel entirely prepared for this.  I’ve run in rain and snow storms before… just never for this long.  I wanted to be prepared.  Wool!  Of course!  Wool stays warm when it’s wet.  Oh shit.  Less than 48 hours to start time.  So, I called the store, because the web site only had a contact email.  I called the store and begged to ask if they could hustle the warehouse to get my order into the hands of UPS ASAP.

That was just before noon yesterday. The box arrived just after 10 am today.  HOLY SHIP THATS FAST!  :D  HUGE thank you to Oiselle and UPS for keeping up their end of the bargain on my next day air shipping.  :)

Post-race rememberings

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So… it’s been a week today.  I have been thinking about a couple things.  Stuff I thought about during the race, things I tried, or would like to try again.  Things I don’t think will work.

 

This is just kind of jumbled up thoughts, so forget rhyme or reason here. I just want to get it out and let it go or learn and move forward.

  • I totally dig arm warmers.  I forgot to mention I used them on the run.  They were perfect for the chilly morning.  (I wish I had them today for the hike).  I also dig this hat.
  • I am disappointed the aid station ran out of pickles by noon.  They are my favorite and pickle juice has saved me a couple times.  I need to remember to include this on the post race survey.
  • I did not have enough time pre-race to get my shit together packing wise and drive time.  I need to ask for the time and not just expect or hope.  Use that voice!
  • People want to help, think of ways they can help.  It is hard to watch someone who needs help and not know what to do for them.  Make a list for Zion.
  • Pod casts are awesome!!!!  I need to start running with headphones more.  I am learning so much, but also being entertained.  Make a blog about some pod casts I like.
  • Keep in contact.  Don’t check out.
  • Eat more leaves. Not during the race.  Just in general, ya know?
  • It’s ok to be human.  It’s OK to have shitty days. But when you fall in a pile of shit, you don’t stay there.  You jump back out.
  • Answer those damn questions in Anatomy of the Spirit.  If you haven’t read this book, go for it.  It’s hard, parts are boring, inspiring, thought invoking and scary.  It could change your life, if you follow the instructions.
  • I loooooved having Cait and DJ help me thought the second to last stop through the 3 sisters aid station.
  • I discovered I need a post race check list.  I forgot my drop bag AGAIN.  Uhhhhh.  I almost lost those sweet arm warmers!
  • I should meditate more. Whatever happened to that Cafu pillow I liked.  Hmmmm.  I don’t need a pillow to meditate.  I can do it with out.
  • It is never as simple as put your shoes on and go, because I complicate it.
  • I need to come up with a plan.
  • I love the dogs.  They are so snuggly, even when they won’t snuggly.  They look snuggly to me.

Ok.  That is all.  Ramble over… for now.

Monument Valley 50 mile race report

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The morning of the race I woke up, and started my pre-race prep.  Bagel, Yerba Mate, Banana.  Clothes.  Gear.

I was frazzled from the night before, but I had otherwise planned out what I needed.  I decided because of the aid stations/drop bag and weather, a hand held would serve me just fine for this race.

I knew there was going to be a lot of sand going in.  A LOT OF SAND.  Something I am an old time friend of.  No worries.

We lined up on top of the hill, watching the sunrise over the valley and mittens below.  Lots of runners hopped around and snapped photos while we waited for our start times.  The 50 mile went first followed by a start of the 50k racers.  We crunched up and then snaked out when the path turned to single file.  I had begun near the middle, and ended up toward the back to take photos.  I happily ran into Ben and Mark along the way.

I tried to stick with Ben, but admittedly I was feeling unconfident and nervous.  I had been sick and fatigued all week.  The sudden endorphins and pull of the pack soon wore me out and I decided to prompt Ben to push on and go to his happy pace.  I was better able to keep pace with Mark, whom I had befriended a year prior at a different race, was good company.

I  kept honest with how I was feeling, we made it to the first aid station and I was having some serious doubts and nerves.  We saw some beautiful horses, and I slathered with some sun screen ( I missed some spots) I had a couple pickles, a gel, and a few more snacks.  I checked out the map and learned what we had ahead.  This aid station was an out and back.

So back we went.  Next aid station was Adriana, Wally and Aaron!  Hoooooray!!!!  My GOTR pals and good friends.  I was honest, and told wally I wasn’t feeling well, he got me a whole glass of pickle juice which I think saved me.  I had some fruit, some snacks.  I attempted a ginger chew, but it was too big and sticky and I couldn’t get it to swallow.  Adriana took a photo of me and we pushed on.  Along the way Mark and I picked up a runner named Dirk. He ran with us for a while.  It was a nice chat, through a long shitty sandy wash.  We finally made our way up to the road.

Lots of vehicles and 50 k runners/half marathoners were running by.  Then I saw Cait followed behind by DJ.  Cait was winning the 50k women race!  That was exciting to see.

3 Sisters Aid-Station.  Awesome!  Dennis did an amazing job manning the grill and pumped out so many great quesadillas, made sure the avocado was chopped.  It was a crowded and busy aid station as everyone passed through multiple times.

It was a bit chaotic, but I took some time to have snacks, refill and say hellos before Mark and I began the red loop.

Red loop was great!  The hill at the beginning led to a beautiful hard packed single track trail with scenic views.  This loop was beautiful.  6 miles.

Back to 3 sisters.  More snacks, more questions.  more drinks.  Onto the white loop.

White loop.  SAND SAND SAND!  A couple very beautiful stopping points, Big Hogan, and some others, many horses, a water crossing and a couple pals I made.  Ivy from Germany, and two Baltimore guys.  We plodded along. I got ahead of Mark and as I arrived into 3 sisters again. I was greeted by a fresh Cait and DJ willing to help me in whatever way they could.  Cait helped me with drinks while DJ grabbed me some Ibuprofen.  Nothing was hurting yet, but things were starting to have feels.  It’s best to avoid the feels.

Cait and DJ did a great job hustling me out of 3 sisters and up to the blue loop.

Mitchel mesa… this is where it gets interesting.

I am happily plopping along taking my time, I run into Jill.  Jill is in a little fuss about Zion, oh hell no.  It’s ok.  It will be ok.  Just keep on plopping along.

I catch back up to the Baltimore pals.  We make our way up the thousand foot climb to the top of the mesa.  Then a switch back above I hear Ben’s voice.  I would have thought he had finished.  But nope.  His race had blown up and I was getting the opportunity to help him just like he helped me through the Grand Canyon.

He was with this great woman named Jessica.  Yes!!!  Another new friend.  Then Mark caught up.  It was a party.  A plopping party.  We made our way up the mesa and caught all the beautiful views before sun set.  We punched our bibs and headed back.

The sun was setting.  We were soooooooo close.

Back at the 3 sisters aid station again.  Final miles ahead.  Yes yes yes yes!

We just had a short hike up the gravel road and we would be done.

Long story short.  We finished with 10 minutes to spare.

I wanted a long run and I got one.

Gear:

Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie

Oiselle Flyte Tank Top

Oiselle Competition Brief

Injinji Trail Socks

La Sportiva Mutant Shoes

Amphipod Hydraform Jett-Lite Thermal 20oz

Pre-Race #$&@#*$@$@$!!!

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So… this race was less than perfect.  I’ll leave my expectations there.  This is how it all went down.  Mostly.  According to my memory, which may or may not be perfect.

I could have sworn I asked for the Friday before the race off.  Apparently I didn’t and both jobs asked me to work.  Awesome.  Then I couldn’t get a co-worker to switch or cover me.  That pushes me back to 2:30 get off work time.

All the week prior to Saturday I had been on my ass.  Monday when I woke up I noticed my throat hurt and it was the first thing I said.  It progressed into a mucus -filling head cold (which I am still fighting with).  I spent a lot of time sleeping prior to the race, and you know, really using my tapering expertise.  I should have gone in feeling rested and confident.

Instead I went in like a frazzled banshee running an hour behind in rush hour traffic.

Anyways, back to how it went down.  I was behind in packing.  I thought I knew what I was doing.  I looked at the map, ok, good, three aid stations, I’ll make three drop bags, the weathers nice so I’ll carry a hand held.  Perfect.  At least I had that done.

I was looking forward to getting home from work, showering and hitting the road.  I get home, and this awful smell is filling the house.  Shit.  Literally shit.  Blur had diarreah all over the crate and even outside of it.  I did not have time for this shit!  Literally THIS SHIT.

I grabbed my car camp gear, threw it in the car, and then headed out.  Ok, cool, It’s a little before 4 pm.  I have a 5.5 hour drive ahead of me.  Blah.  I was really disappointed I would be missing the pre-race talk and information.

I was very very stressed.  I showed up well beyond what I wanted to, and missed check in.  Missed getting my drop bag out on time, for which the great Turd’l gave me shit for.

But I made it… two shots of whisky later I was slumbering away in the back of my car…..

What is running?

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Running has filled many “holes” in my life.

 

My running grew out of an unpleasant event.  Not unlike a tree growing in a crack in the sidewalk.  Against odds I stuck with it.

It brought me places, literally but also figuratively.  It became my social crutch.  As I struggled through my 20’s…

Should I go out, or should I behave and get that long run in?  I did well in my 20’s.  I often was able to place in small races in my age group, or even better.  Many women were trying to establish families, careers, or hitting the bars too hard..  Meanwhile I was bar hopping but managing my running.

It became my social crutch.  I know more than once I absolutely reeked of liquor while out running.  I wasn’t out running an addiction.  I was just a young woman having a lot of fun. I know some were concerned, but I’ve always had a decent head on these shoulders.

I met some beautiful souls out on those roads.  I would say that these people had a huge impact, those years feel more formative than any other I can recall.  I learned so much from them.  They shared so much with me.

That feeling of belonging and community is what I have been homesick for.  I’ve attempted to seek it out (admittedly not terribly hard) but my job schedule makes it so hard to get to the local running store for the group runs in the morning.

 

I’m not sure what to do about this.  Lately I’ve just wanted to run back where I used to.  Where it was comfortable and I had plenty of community.  I do miss it. If you’ve got any tips as far as creating a community, please share them with me.  I could use more information!  This place isn’t as time accessible as my old place.

 

 

Antelope Canyon 55k Race Report

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ALLLLLLLLLLLL THE SAND!

That’s how I feel about this race.  I did the 50 miler last year and  I enjoyed it immensely both years.

The views are wonderful, the racers are so fun to talk to, and the race staff/directors/volunteers are THE BEST. Onto specifics…

I had a plan.  A good plan, but I did a shitty job following it.  Life was up and down for a while.  I knew race season was coming around, but I was having commitment and other issues. I got a couple long runs in, and decided that I would use the 55k as a training run, followed by Monument Valley 50 miler in training for Zion 100.

Antelope Canyon 55k also happened to fall on my boyfriends birthday.  His mom flew out from Chicago to come to the race with us and the pups.

If you haven’t been to the Amphitheater where the start/finish is staged you’re in for a treat.  A large cove-ish area filled with the sinfully silly sand you will become well acquainted with during the race.  There were fires, food and  great Navajo culture available to those interested.

We explored, socialized and then headed to the tents to relax.

Race morning I knew what I wanted so it took maybe a half hour to get ready, and six minutes to walk over from my tent. No commuting or pre-race rituals for this girl!

THOSE AID STATIONS THOUGH!  Seriously anything you could want during a race is available.  Fresh fruits, potatoes, sweets, chocolates, chips, pretzels, cheese, pb&j… and PICKLES!!!

I’m a huge fan of the aid stations at the Ultra Adventures races.  I love running from buffet table to buffet table.  Always happily greeted by friendly volunteers who were eager to help me with whatever I needed.  Refiling  hydration bladders, bottles or showing me what there was to eat.  They also let me pet their dogs.  A huge THANK YOU to the volunteers!

The course is sandy.  Sandy like the sand in a playground, not that luxurious hard packed sand thats frozen or wet. The soft sugary kind, more like powdered sugar, but less sweet.  Honestly though there is enough slick rock and views to make up for the sand.

I wouldn’t have headed back if it weren’t worth it.  I’m so glad I was able to share this race with so many friends and loved ones.

Personal re-cap: The first six miles I really struggled with being dehydrated (oops) and as soon as I finished a bladder of Nuun Energy in Mango orange I was as good as new! I ran with Jenna for a nice early portion of the race, and then caught up with Tom and ran with him for the remainder.

 

Views. For. Days.

 

 

 

It’s been a while.

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I’ve gone dark.  I thought I had nothing to say.  I discovered I did, but I also found that I didn’t feel the need to share.  Selfish? Nah, just unattached to my opinion.

I’ll spare an apology.  I’m not sorry. I don’t have anything to apologize for.

 

 

I’m healthy.  I’m doing well enough to survive and my two pups are happy.