Deconstructing Charleston and a New Breakfast Idea

Let’s start off with a cool new breakfast idea.  Look at this yummy egg and banana pancake.  I found the recipe on an old blog that I just keep reading year after year.  Love KathEats!

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It looks like a huge breakfast but it is really only 2 eggs and 1 banana.  (and some chia seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon)

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All you do is mash the banana up and stir in the eggs and other ingredients.  Then fry it up on a lightly greased pan.

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Boy was it delicious!

It is a rainy day here in North Carolina so I’ve got some time to jot down a race recap from last weekend’s Charleston Marathon.  Let me start off by saying Charleston is a wonderful city and the race was very well organized.  We stayed near the convention center and boy was this area hoppin’.  You will find every imaginable chain restaurant and store that you could ever want.  The cool thing is this area is only 3.5 miles from the finish area so it is very convenient.  The finish area is actually the coolest area though.  This is where you’ll find nice restaurants that are not of the chain sort.  We had Italian Friday night and then after the race we went to a seafood restaurant.  I just love visiting new cities and exploring.  The weather was on the warm side and we even dined outside on Friday night.  Dining al fresco is my favorite!

Let me give you all the normal recap stuff and then I’ll go into more detail of what happened in my race.

Expo  –  on the small side but well organized

Shirt – nice!  Long sleeved tech shirt.

Medal – nice as well!

Course – Flat!  Pretty nice scenery.  We got to run by the water and to the end of a dock.  I had heard that the 2nd half would be lonely but that didn’t prove true at all.  I was never alone.  There are plenty of full marathoners and even after the split at mile 10 there were so many other runners to keep me company.

After race party – Very good.  They had shrimp and grits, boiled peanuts, mimosas, and a good craft IPA beer.

Here’s my flat Melissa for the race.  I was being so superstitious and I have no idea why.   I wore my OBX hat to help me remember I can do hard things. One year at OBX there was a monsoon and it was very tough. I wore my Lifetime training shirt to honor coach Kelly and all my running buddies. Also because I hope to run for the rest of my Lifetime. And those gray running shorts are the ones I wore in my very first marathon. (I can’t believe I still have these. LOL)

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My race was not what I had hoped for.  My time was 6:04:51.  My second slowest time ever. My slowest was a 6:05 at City of Oaks back in 2012.  How could I have repeated this?  My IT band didn’t hurt this time and Charleston was flat!  City of Oaks was very hilly!  It really doesn’t make any sense to me at all.  All of 2016 I really focused hard on speed and I felt I was prepared for Charleston.  In late 2015 and early 2016 I posted the best half marathon times of my life.  I cross trained and I had lost a little weight.  I ran all my long runs.  Charleston should not have been a 6 hour marathon.

Here are my splits:

Charleston splits

As you can see, I was doing okay up until the half.  This was what was written on my hand and I had such high hopes of really knocking this race out of the park!

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I started slowing down a bit but not too much.  At mile 16 I had planned to get my music going.  I hadn’t walked at all up until this point and I was trying to get my music started while I was running.  I have an old iPod and even though I had charged it fully when I turned it on before the race it was dead.  I charged it while we were driving to the start and it was about 50% charged when we lined up for the race.  However at mile 16, it was dead again.  I tried hard to not let this bother me and I really can’t blame what happened next on the music.

I mentioned that it was warm and it was.  The race didn’t start until 8:00am.  I enjoyed not having to get up so early but that late of a start meant I was in full sun for quite some time. I got a little dizzy around this time and I think I started psyching  myself out.  I decided to walk a little.  I saw the 4:45 pace group go by me and my plan was to stick with them like glue.  Well that was a laugh.  They seemed to fly by me!

Then the 5:00 pace group leader passed.  I knew him and he stopped and gave me a hug.  He was all smiles and running effortlessly.  No sticking with him by any means.

Then not long after that the 5:30 group passed.  They were doing intervals and I kept up with them through 2 walk breaks.  They were flying as well.

I started calculating how long it would take me to finish if I continued with 20 minute miles.  Oh my gracious. Was it ever hard.  I wasn’t hurting and after a few Gatorade stops I wasn’t dizzy anymore.  What was going on?  Well I say I wasn’t hurting.  I was a little.  I have a bunion on each foot and they always tend to hurt when I run very long distances. My left bunion was burning but I just chalked it up to the normal hurt that it always does. After the race when I tried to take my sock off I realized it wasn’t the normal hurt.  This time I had a blood blister and my sock was stuck to my skin.  I know, I know, Yuck!  But that’s what happened.  My socks were good ones so I have no earthly idea what the cause could have been.

Here I am with Ron at the finish.  It was a hard race for me but Ron did great!  I was so jealous.  He hardly trains at all and seemed to be out for a walk in the park.  Ron isn’t fast by any means but it amazes me how effortlessly he runs.

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The good news is I have another marathon on February 18th.  Maybe this can be my redemption marathon.  It’s at Oak Island so it should be flat as well.  Maybe I’ll try intervals from the beginning.  What I do know is that for the next 4 weeks, I’m going to focus on cross training.  I haven’t been going to Camp Gladiator and this is going to change.  I promise to go 3x a week for the next month.

I’m also going to work on push-ups and planks.  Every single day.  And yoga and my ITB routine.  I’ve got 4 weeks and I’m going to make the best of it.

Tomorrow I’m heading out for 10 miles and then the week after that 14.  On February 11th I shouldn’t be running 20 miles but I’m going to.  I’m an idiot for sure.  I won’t kill me and even though every running coach out there would tell me to taper, I’m not gonna.  If I can eat right, focus on getting a good night’s sleep each night, drink plenty of water, cross train, and run, I think Oak Island is going to be mine!

Let’s get to it!

PS…I put a bandage on my blister area and went out for a slow 5 mile run last night.  I felt good.  My bunion burned a little but there is no new damage.

 

 

Resolve

The end of August!  How in the world is it almost fall already?

Time go so much faster than it used to!

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I thought I’d pop in and give an update to my New Year’s Resolutions.

  • First up was the Run Streak.  I ran every day for 65 days.  Most days I ran at least 3 miles but there were some of the days that I only ran 1 mile.  Two times I ran in place for 10 minutes.  I know, Crazy!  I really wanted the sweatshirt and I was so hoping I could make it all year but it wasn’t in the cards.  On the day before the Chattanooga Half Marathon, I “forgot to run.”  I didn’t realize it until the next day and I was so bummed.  I truly just forgot.  After that, I didn’t have the heart for it anymore.  I may try it again next year and see if I can get farther.  Maybe not though.  A runner I met on Facebook that  is much faster than me told me her secret to going fast is scheduling in a LOT of rest days.

 

  • Next was the Tai Chi and Kung Fu experiment.  I was a student for 3 months and made it to Blue Belt and boy was it fun but very, very, hard.  I passed the Tai Chi test too. This proved to be the most mentally challenging thing I’ve done in my adult life. I really loved it but after the Blue Belt test we had to purchase mouth guards and then we had to start sparring.  Like in real fighting.  Ummm, No thank you.  I respectfully withdrew from class and wished Ron the very best.  I secretly think he’s happy I’m not a student anymore.  He was excited to share it with me but in the end, it was his thing and not for me.

 

  • When I gave up Kung Fu, I knew I needed something for cross training.  I had huge success last year with Cross Fit and I really enjoyed it.  However, I really wanted to work out in the mornings before work to help use my time more efficiently.  My coach’s box had a 5:30am class and I did try it a couple of times.  I’d leave the box as close to 6:30am as I could but more times than not, I’d still end up in bad traffic.  Sometimes I wouldn’t get to work until 7:30 and I’d have just barely enough time to shower and get to my desk by 8:00.  It wasn’t working.  And, even though the 5:30am coach was awesome, I missed Liz, the owner and head coach.  I was very close to giving up on my goal of morning workouts and just sucking it up and trying to make it to after work sessions.  However, my good friend and running buddy, Amelia, had been talking about Camp Gladiator.  It just so happened that they were running a huge promotion.  I tried it out in March and was hooked.

Let me give you all a review of Camp Gladiator.  Each time you go to camp you “check-in.”  I’ve checked in 41 times so far since March 16th.  That’s an average of 2 times a week.  That’s pretty much what I was doing last year with CrossFit.  My goal is 3x week so I’m hoping to up my game for the rest of this year.

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Camp Gladiator has outdoor camps just about everywhere.  I think there is something like 75 different locations and times in the Raleigh area.  It’s a group fitness class with a personal trainer.  Most of the camps are in the mornings but they do have camps after work and even a new one coming up during the lunch hour.  They have a couple of locations that offer Saturday camps.  You have to bring your own mat and dumbbells but CG provides all the other equipment.  A couple of the camps have indoor locations at area churches and such but some just have parking decks and awnings to get under if it rains.  It really isn’t a problem at all.  I think it has only been raining 2 times that I wanted to go to camp.  1 time I went to the camp at the United Methodist Church in Garner since they have a gym and the other time I went to my regular camp at Cameron Village.  I run all the time in all kinds of weather.  Cross Training outdoors is no biggie at all.  In fact I love it!  This is going to sound cheesy but near the end of the workout when we are stretching and on our mats, I love to stare off into the sky.   I look at the moon and stars and the clouds.  I notice the rising sun.  It really is a great source of inspiration.  Think about it.  How many chances do you get to lay on your back and look into the heavens on a regular work day?  Sure you can when your at the beach on vacation but how often do you do it during a normal week?

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The way CG works is they have 4 weeks at a time for camps.  Each week is different:  Endurance, Strength and Agility, High Intensity Interval Training, and lastly Peak or Metabolic Conditioning week.  The 5th week is what they call Bold Week and that’s when you can choose to take a break or try a different kind of workout.  During these Bold weeks they have things like Zumba, Cardio Dance, Yoga, Run clubs, etc.

Camp Gladiator has helped me a lot with strength.  I’m doing so much better on push-ups.  I can do 10 now on my toes but I don’t go very low.  One of my coaches told me she wants me to stay on my knees for a while longer until I can get stronger.  Not gonna lie here, it hurt my feelings but I know it is the  truth.  Form over speed and number of reps!  I’ve still got a lot of work to do in the flexibility area also.

The best things about CG is all the amazing people.  Everyone is so nice and supportive.  All the coaches are very motivating.

  • My last resolution for 2016 was to try and not buy anything.  I’ll do a separate post on this.  I haven’t been perfect but I haven’t given up either.

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Best wishes to all as we strive to make the most of our time and push forward in our goals.

OBX Half! Best Race EVER!

I’m late getting this review up but for historical sake, I have to publish.

On November the 8th I ran my very best half marathon ever!  2:06:48!

OBX results

Outer Banks Marathon was my very first marathon back in 2010 and I’ve also done the Flying Pirate there in 2012.  The Flying Pirate course follows the 1st half of the full marathon.  The OBX Half is the 2nd half of the full marathon.

When I went into this race, I didn’t have any goals other than having fun.  I’ve had a good year and I had actually taken a little time off from so much running since my 50 miler I did back in September.  I still ran during the week.  I just didn’t make all my weekend long runs.

It was a cold, windy morning and I hung around with Ron as we waited for the race to start.  He was in one of the corrals near the back and even though I knew we wouldn’t stay together, I didn’t want to stand all alone in one of the corrals closer to the front.

When we took off, I kissed Ron goodbye and made our plan of where to meet up at the finish.  During races lately, I have started running without my phone and I love it.  I actually have also stopped carrying water and GUs.  Most of the races I go to have really good water and aid stations and I’m not as afraid of different GUs as I once was.  My stomach, (knock on wood) has been behaving.

I was careful in the beginning to not weave in and out of runners when we took off.  It was my choice to start out near the back and I didn’t want to be discourteous.   When my Garmin buzzed and it showed a sub 10:00 mile I could not believe it.  I was being careful and had no idea I was running at a good clip for me.

After miles 2-4 also showed sub 10:00 miles, I really began to question what in the world was going on.  Then after mile 5 I was floored.  I hit a sub 9:00 mile.  I never do this in races.  At that point I decided to give it my all and see if I could come in under my previous PR of 2:12. I started praying for a 2:11.

I felt great the whole way except towards the end my feet (bunions) started hurting. I didn’t care. I kept thinking of that running slogan, “Your feet are hurting because your kicking so much Assphalt.” There’s a  bridge at mile 10.5 and it was a beast but not terrible. I had 2 miles of 10:15s right around that.

The only thing that I can think of is that these results are due to my CrossFit trainer, Liz Brozowski.  The week prior to this half I went to CF 4 times.  I’m usually a 3x a week CF girl but my coach has just opened a new Box and I’ve been trying to go more.

From mile 6 on, my mantra was, “This is easier than burpees. This is easier than walk the floors. This is easier than slam balls. This is easier than wall balls.” I heard Liz’s words in my head, “You’ve got this Melissa.”

This race has renewed my belief that I can BQ someday. 5 years ago I ran my first full marathon. I’m not the same person I was before running. I am so grateful to God for this hobby. Thanks to all my running and CF buddies. Thank you to my family. My cup runneth over!

For a race review here are my opinions:

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I’ve sworn off racing so much for now.  I love it and we have a ball but it can get expensive.  My husband’s really good friend has been encouraging us to run the Chattanooga Marathon in March of 2016.  I guess we’ll do that but hold me to it – not many more at all next year.

A few of my running friends and I have joined a new running club at LifeTime Fitness.  We run on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and have been learning more about hill repeats and fartleks.  Coach Jennifer is the bomb!  I’m hoping this 16 week class will help me come in under 4:30 in Chattanooga!  A 4:30 is a huge goal for me but I’m up for it!  Wish me luck.

I wish for you one and all the merriest of a Christmas and the happiest of a New Year!

Happy Running!

 

 

My Medoc PR

Back in 2012 I ran the Medoc Trail Marathon and I loved it so much.  The hilarious and awesome race directors have kept me on their email list and this was the year for me to do a repeat.  And best of all, Ron signed up for the 10 miler!  I was so excited that he was coming with me to experience first hand how much fun this race really is.

We actually signed up for their 1st annual Twilight 5k and went up to Hollister, NC on Friday night.  It’s only 1.5 hour drive from Clayton straight up I95.  The race started at 6:00 and didn’t end up getting dark until just as we were finishing the 5k.  We had our headlamps with us but we didn’t really need them on the trail.

Here Ron is rocking his Twilight 5k shirt and his 10 miler medal.  You can’t really tell in this shot but the shirt has hints of purple in it.  The ladies version has a V-neck and is a little longer in the back.  So unbelievably AWESOME!

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After the 5k we dined under the shelter on some delicious spaghetti, salad, and desserts.  We were  both really hungry and went back for seconds.  By the time dinner was over it was very dark so we drove over to the group camp area and set up our “camp.”  We camped in our van!  Our van has stow and go seating and we’ve always wanted to see if we could camp in it.

Our queen sized air mattress was just a little bit too wide but it seemed to work okay when we tested it.  We were wrong.  We ended up rolling towards the middle and Ron and I were literally human hotdogs!  It was very cold.  Somewhere around 40 degrees.  I slept in my Hinson hoodie with the hood up to stay warm.  Below is a shot of our van and me in modeling my hoodie once we got home.

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The bad part was we had gone to bed around 8:00pm and didn’t get up until around 7:00 am Saturday morning.  We rolled around and slept cuddled up on and off for 11 straight hours!  Just when we’d get warm and cozy, I’d get a hot flash (boo menopause) and then I’d have to pull away and kick off all our covers.  It was a VERY long night.  I think we slept more than we realized though because neither of us were tired at all.   That was a good thing!

The marathon and the 10 miler were so fun!  I didn’t remember how technical this race really is.  You cannot take your eyes off the trail.  It is filled with Roots, Rocks, and Hills.  Notice the words on the hat we got for “doing the double.” (the 5k and the race the next day)  We also got the cute shot glass.  Medoc swag is the very best!

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The marathon is a 3 loop course.  I completed the 1st loop in 1 hour and 54 minutes.  The second loop took me 2 hours and 14 minutes.  The 3rd loop took me 2 hours and 12 minutes.  That brought me in at 6:20!  (18 minutes faster than back in 2012 woot woot!)

Check out this image of the elevation I found on Google images:

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I ran most of the 1st loop with Carley from Coral Springs.  She’s 15 years old and is totally amazing.  This was  her 2nd Medoc and last year she earned the record for the youngest to complete Medoc!  She’s a triathlete and is on her school’s cross country team.  Her mom and brother ran the 10 miler today and her dad ran the marathon.   I loved listening to all her stories and her cheerful attitude.  She was faster than me and she ended up pulling away and I didn’t see her again until the middle of the 3rd loop.

I ran with Heather at the end of the 2nd loop and almost all of the 3rd loop.  She remembered me from 2012.  This was her 5th Medoc!  When I came upon Heather I had been alone for a while and I was getting so discouraged.  Heather cheered me up and gave me the inspiration to keep going.  She told me about how this verse from Hebrews came to here this week just when she needed it.  Little did Heather know that I needed to hear this so much today!

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I had a goal of 6 hours and after that 2nd loop I knew that I wasn’t going to make it.  I was getting so sad.  Well after I ran with Heather for a while I was a new woman.  Each mile marker I would see I was like Party On!  I was so enthusiastic.

Before long we hooked back up with Carley.  Heather knew Carley from last year.  All 3 of us were doing so amazingly well on our last loop!  Here’s a picture of Heather  and me at the finish.

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Then, right near the very end, I ran into Jordan.  Jordan is my friend that I met when I volunteered at City of Oaks.  We see each other every now and then at races and fun runs around Raleigh.  Jordan had fallen 2 times and was having a rough time finishing.  Well, I decided to run it in with her and was so happy to be able to offer support to my good friend.  Here we are at the finish.

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Ron and I loved Medoc so much.  Check out the marathon shirt and the finishers surprise.

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I adore the shirt.  It is a V-neck too and has that longer back to it like biking shirts.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  The finisher’s surprise this year was a zippered pull-over.  LOVE!

Here’s the amazing medal.  It is the best ever!  I love the bridge on the back and the beautiful fall colors.

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I guess I should give you a few more running details before signing out.  I chose to run without my Garmin or my Fuel Belt. With all the trees in Medoc, we were warned that our Garmin might not be very accurate.  I remembered from 2012 how much my fuel belt bothered me so this time I didn’t even try to wear it.  3 weeks ago at Hinson, I drank a cup of water or Gatorade every 1.5 miles.  So this time, I drank one cup of water AND one cup of Gatorade at each aid station.  The stations were approx. 3.2 miles apart.  It worked out great and I never got thirsty.  I ate 3 Honey Stingers.  One on each loop.  I also had 2 cookies and a few M&Ms and one cup of Pepsi.  I think I fueled the best in the race of any race I’ve ever run.

Don’t be afraid of the roots, rocks, and hills.  Give Medoc a try.  I promise you will not be disappointed!

Happy Trails!

Hinson Lake Ultra

Wow!  I cannot believe we did it!  Yesterday my good friend Connie and I ran 51.1 miles!

Here’s a shot of us at the finish line.  It took us 13 hours and 29 minutes.  What an Adventure!

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Hinson Lake 24 Hour Ultra is a 24 hour race but the beauty of it is you can stop any time you want.  There were 314 entrants and Connie and I finished in the 101 and 102 places.  The winner ran the whole 24 hours and completed 117.234 miles.

Click here to see the awesome finishing results

Connie’s amazing husband went down on Friday and set up a tent for us to change in.

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He was calling it our medical tent but I liked thinking of it as our phone booth of sorts that we could go in and emerge back out as Super Heros !  I changed socks 3 times and my shirt and sports bra once.  I used plenty of Chamois Butter and didn’t have one bit of chaffing or blisters.  And….did I mention it rained on and off the entire day!

Here’s some shots of the course and the mud.  The part right around near all the tents was the worst.  Most of the trail was actually pretty amazing given all the rain.

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The race was so well run.  The director and all the volunteers were amazing!  I loved every minute of it.When you finished the loop you came right through what they were calling Jerry’s Food Castle. (Jerry is the race director) They had a sign at about a 1/4 mile before you got to this area that said “Jerry’s Food Castle” and I won’t mention how many loops it took me to figure out what they were talking about.  LOL

Here they are getting the boiled potatoes ready.  Notice the paper plate of salt you could dip your potato in.

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Here’s Connie coming through the food castle.

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And here I am.  I’m holding a cup of water so it must have been on a odd numbered loop.  My race stradegy was to drink water and eat on odd numbered loops and only have about 3 oz of Gatorade on even numbered loops.  Since I have on a blue shirt and my Brooks running shoes, it must have been after loop 17.  We had to complete 34 loops of the 1.5 mile course to get in our 50 miles so at 17, that was our halfway mark.

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Here I am in the red shirt and Hokas that I ran in for the first 17 loops.  I also have my fuel belt on.  That did not last very long at all.  I didn’t need to carry my water thanks to Jerry’s Food Castle.  Also, I had my iPhone in one of my pouches and I tried to listen to a book on Audible for a while.  That didn’t last either.  I couldn’t concentrate on the book and I missed listening to all the other runners.

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Some of the things that I ate were of course GUs but I also had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (Uncrustables), fig newtons, pretzels and York peppermint patty minis.  I brought all my own food and I had them in little baggies with the number of the loop written in permanent marker on it.  The only foods I got in the castle were a couple of small bites of potatoes and one small piece of cheese pizza.  I did however grab a few small cups of soda.  I think I got maybe 3 cups of Ginger Ale and maybe 3 cups of Coke.  I did get Mellow Yellow one time by mistake when I thought I was grabbing Gatorade.  That Food Castle was the bomb!  There was so much good food and the volunteers were so cheerful.  I wish I had been brave enough to try all the pumpkin breads and cupcakes and everything else.  I’ve had stomach issues in other races and I didn’t want to spend any time in the porta johns.

Thinking back on yesterday I cannot believe what an Epic time we had.  Running with Connie and some our other friends made it so much fun.  I really want to send a huge thank you out to the guys, Scott and Ron, our husbands.  Scott was in charge of the changing tent and that proved to be indispensable.  Scott and Ron even put up a tarp in the Food Castle to keep the rain from blowing in on the volunteers.  I think it was a cold dreary day for those that weren’t raising their body temps running.   While Connie and I were finishing up our last loops, Ron helped Scott take everything down.  Hinson Lake is about a 2 hour drive for us and Ron drove both ways for us.  We had to get up at 3:30 am and we didn’t make it back home until after midnight.

Today I feel awesome.  Sore yes but not that much different than a normal long run.  I am amazed in the human body.

Here’s one more closing shot.  This is of me and Connie and Connie’s good friend (and my new friend) Patricia.  She ran 42 miles yesterday and stayed to the end to be with us.

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I am so thankful to God for giving me this hobby of running.

Isaiah 40 31

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Happy Ultra Racing!

PS. Must haves for trail and ultra racing.  Gaiters!  I got a pair from Dirty Girl gaiters but I only had time to put the velcro on one of my pairs of shoes.  I saw some other brands of gaiters on other runners and some of them didn’t require velcro.  I didn’t get any rocks in my shoes when I had my gaiters on but when I switched to my Brooks without gaiters, I had to stop at least 3 different times to dump the grit out of my shoes.

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One other thing to mention, after the race, all I wanted to do was brush my teeth.  I think all the Gus and soda was too much.  I didn’t have a toothbrush with me and I wanted one so bad.  Patricia told us to bring some mouthwash next time and that would help in a pinch.  Next time,  I don’t think so. Not ready for another ultra any time in my near future.  LOL

Taper

Last week and this week I have felt somewhat lost.  I feel like I have set a pretty good taper plan so I am happy with that. It’s just when you go from running 5 days a week and racking up some awesome miles and then you drop down to last week’s 3 run days, and this week’s 2, it feels very odd.  I ran 3 miles with my friends this morning and got to my desk by 7:26am.  Over a half an hour early!  That NEVER happens!

I did go to CrossFit 4 times last week and I also went last night and plan to go on Wednesday.  But even with that, it feels like I have sooooo much time on my hands.  That’s a good thing though because goodness knows I need to clean my house!

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So this is my last post before my epic 50 mile run attempt.  I’ll be honest; I have been getting a little scared.  When I decided to try this way back in December I thought it would be such a cute idea.  I was turning 50 this year so why not run a 50k and a 50 miler!?  I knew it was a little crazy but others were doing it so why not me?!

Now when I tell people, they really look at me and tell me how crazy it is.

It is crazy but for some reason, I’ve just got to do it.  It wouldn’t feel the same if I ran 50 miles next year when I’m 51.

Sadly, the weather forecast isn’t looking too good at all.

Weather

I’m not giving up though.  I’ve got the training in and I’ll be ok.  I plan to take about 3 different outfits and change every 13 miles or so.  I’m not even going to try and get a jacket or anything.  I know I’ll be too hot with a jacket and since I sweat so much, the rain won’t really be that different than some of the really hot long runs I went on this summer.

I’ve got to run 34 loops of the 1.5 mile course.  That will get me in over 50 miles.  My plan is to drink about 3-4 ounces of water or Gatorade every time I pass Ron.  I’ve also got it all planned out about when I’m going to take a GU and when I’ll grab some pretzels, dates, candy, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (I got the little Uncrustables that you can find in your grocer’s freezer section.)

I know my Garmin won’t last the whole way so I plan to borrow Ron’s Garmin for the first 25 and then switch to mine for the last 25.  I’m going to try and set mine up so you guys can follow me on my Garmin Connect page.  I’ll let you know if I can get it to work.  If not, I’m going to get Ron to make some Facebook updates for me.

The race starts 8:00am so by 8:00pm Saturday night, I might be a drowned rat but I should be in the 50 mile club.

I promise, after my trail marathon that I have planned in October (Medoc) and my half marathon in November (OBX), I won’t sign up for another distance race until I can start doing better on speed.

I met a 63 year old on Facebook recently and she ran a sub 24:00 minute 5k.  She said her only secret was getting plenty of rest days and only running half marathons.  I like the sound of that!

Before I sign out, I want to thank all my running and CF friends.  Connie, you’ve run almost every mile that I have leading up to this 50 mile attempt.  We can do it!  Thanks so much.  Centennial ladies, Amelia, Gayle, Kim, Mindy, thank you too! And to all my fellow WannaBeasts at Galloway, ya’ll are amazing!  Lastly, to my CF buddies, you guys rock!  I just love it how we always encourage one another.  Christie I wouldn’t have made it through that round 7 last night without you!

Happy Running!

California Dreamin’

Here ya go.  After almost 6 weeks back home, I’m finally posting some shots from our trip to California.

Lighthouse

I promise you though.  I have not been lazy.

I’ve been RUNNING!

Take a look at these totals.  I cannot believe I’ve run this much.  170 miles in August.  I’d say I was all in for August all right.  I’m 45 miles so far for September and by the end of the weekend, I’ll be over 85.  That’s right.  I’ve got a 28 miler on Saturday and a 12 miler on Sunday on the ‘ole training log.  I’m not the least bit nervous.  I’m excited.  The first 23 on Saturday will be with all my best buds at Galloway and then I’m sure Ron will run some with me on Sunday.

Running totals

And then I’ll almost be there.  Only 2 weeks left until Hinson Lake, and the next 14 days are all about taper.

During these last 6 weeks, I’ve really focused.  I’ve tried to go to CrossFit as much as possible.  I’ve made it 2x week every week and sometimes 3x.  I’ve done my ITB exercises some. (I wish I could say I did more.)  Lastly, I have watched my diet.  I haven’t really stressed so much about what I’ve been eating but I have kept track of my weight. Two times this week someone noticed that I was loosing and I was so excited.  I looked it up and I’ve lost 8 pounds since vacation.  Yay!!

But enough about running and health.  I owe you these awesome shots.

Aww…The Ferry Building along the Embarcadero.  So pretty.

Clock tower

We toured in and around this building both on Saturday and on Sunday.   We walked up and down The Embarcadero and had so much fun.

SF skyline

Sailboat and clouds

Safeway was Ron’s grocery store growing up so I had to get a picture the first time I saw one.

Safeway

We had an awesome lunch at  The Plant!

Ron at Plant

Plant burger

Pier 39

Pier 39

play fighting

loner

just getting up

Holt Tower

Holt Tower

crowds

All the piers were cool and we both had a blast.  The sea lions were so interesting, I could have watched them forever.  The crowds were kinda big and that’s the only thing I didn’t care for so much.  The next morning when we ran by all these sites it was very quiet.  The smell of the sourdough bread baking was heaven on earth.  San Francisco rules!

On the Monday after the marathon, we headed out of San Francisco and traveled down the Pacific Coast Highway toward San Luis Obispo.

First up was the lighthouse at the top of this post, Pigeon Point.

Lighthouse1

Lighthouse3

cliff at lighthouse

sun on the rocks

Pigeon Point might have been my favorite spot of the whole day!  The have a hostel there and we met 2 bikers.  They were headed to Mexico from Canada.  I was impressed!

Our next stop was Pescadero State Beach.

PCH and Mel

Pescadero State Beach

Suculants

Tai Chi Ron

The entire way was lovely.  Sometimes I was a little scared.  I didn’t get carsick but I was very glad Ron was driving.

We stopped at Carmel and had some breakfast at the cutest cafe.

Cafe Strvaganza

cafe

Greek omlettes

Yummo!

Hearst Castle was breathtaking!

HC

Herst

pool 2

pool

This view from Hearst’s bedroom was my favorite!

view from the castle

Limekiln State Park and the Redwood were gorgeous!  I wished we could have stayed there for a week!

among the Redwoods

redwoods

Bixby!  Really really cool!

Bixby

Bixby Bridge 1932

Ron at Bixby

Elephant Seals!

Elephant Seals

in the ocean 3

in the ocean


Sunbathing

Sunbathing

As we got closer to the place that we were getting off the PCH, I spotted this spooky rock.  Can you see it in the distance in the ocean?

spooky rock

These shrimping boats were cool too.

Shrimp boats

Before we knew it our day was done and we had made it to San Lusis Obispo.  I loved this city!

SLO

SLO

We walked around a little that night and then the next morning we had breakfast at Bliss Cafe and then toured the mission.

Quote

DSC_0266

DSC_0267

Ron at the fountain

misson

misson 2

DSC_0285

DSC_0284

After we left SLO, we spent some great times with Ron’s family.

DSC_0346

DSC_0349

Joseph, Dad, and Ron

lunch at Aunt Linda's

the guys

So much LOVE all around.

One day we went to Sequoia National Park and had a really BIG day!

Ron and Dad at GS

Sequoia

Sequoias

Sequoias

top of GS

going up to Sequoia

And then on the next to the last day on our way to LA, we saw WINDMILLS!

windmills

Windmills 4

windmills

windmills

Now our plan for retirement is after we hike the entire AT, we’re going to be camp hosts in California!

Love you all!

Gotta run.  LOL

Bed is calling.

I’ll check back in one more time before my 50 miler and give you an update on my last 2 weeks of training.