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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/14/2019 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. I just get distracted easily these days. I’m still doing the thing. I still wake at 4 and run until I don’t want to. I still train for races, though maybe 1 or 2 a year instead of 5 or 10. I still love the woods more than the roads and still love the dawn more than dusk. I still consider the loop the reason I’ll always run. It’s the same old me. Now, where’s my pie? -me
  2. 6 points
    It's been 3 months since I've posted on here. Since then I trained for a marathon. And I didn't get hurt. But it was summer (so, a little warmer than usual around here). And I wasn't really motivated. Because you see, it was a trail marathon. So when I didn't really get enough miles in, I shrugged and said, eh, no matter. It's just a fun run in the woods. Time will be ridiculously slow anyway, so, whatever. So I enjoyed running and didn't push it when it got hard, and (not coincidentally) stayed healthy and happy. I maxed out at 17.5 miles and 42 mile weeks. The race was the Skyline to the Sea Marathon. It starts at the top of the hills outside San Jose and runs mostly downhill to the ocean near Santa Cruz. It's all trails, mostly single track, and all shady and beautiful through a redwood forest. I'd been wanting to run this one for years, but needed the right motivation. It came when Mild Sauce agreed to meet me there and accompany me on this little run through the woods. So I found myself in another part of the world, and I found myself behind the wheel of a large automobile, and I found myself on a beautiful trail, with a beautiful girl, and I asked myself, well, how did I get here? It was a seven hour drive, that's how. Got to Santa Cruz Friday night and scouted the local establishments. Found one up to the Sauce's standards. So we had a couple beers Friday. Saturday was open so we explored the area with a long cliffside hike. Then of course we had to ride the circa 1924 Giant Dipper. A must for any Santa Cruz visit. Sunday was race day. We had to ride the bus over an hour to get to the start. The bus driver took the loooong way around and up the hill, but we managed to arrive in time to pee and get our bibs. Then the race director talked to us in the parking lot and pretty soon said 3-2-1-go! We were still a jumbled mass in the lot and casually headed over to the trail. There were only 130 people, but the race got to the trail in 50 yards so it was a little crowded, but amazingly most of the fast and slow people were in the right place so it worked out pretty well. It started out with a pretty steep downhill and I was full of energy so I may have gone out too fast. Saucy said so anyway. What do I know about trail running? I felt easy and was enjoying cruising along with a group at a pace that seemed effortless (about 9:00). But of course with an expected five hours ahead of us, I probably should have backed off. Same as it ever was. But it was fun. And beautiful! The course did not disappoint! Huge trees, narrow trails with rocks and roots, bubbling streams, water flowing underground... Here are some shots from the website. So I cruised along. Saucy stayed nearby and by the time we reached the first aid station at 6 miles we had separated from the others and were mostly just running alone, the two of us. The shade kept it cool, despite temps near 80 in the area. The next section was mostly uphill for 4 miles and we did lots of walking. Then it would be mostly down the rest of the way. But, boy, those downhills were getting to my quads! Not just the steady decline, but stepping down over roots and rocks constantly was even more jarring. Sauce led the way most of the rest of the way, and I was working to keep up. Although she stopped and walked whenever I asked, I still felt the pressure to keep going, because it was a race, after all! I had a goal to break 5 hours, because, why not? And it seemed like it would not be easy. Gotta keep pushing! We hit half way in right around 2.5 hours. But mostly downhill now, right? Well, yes, but, those quads... We got to an aid station at 15 and I was spent. And then there was more uphill... My God! What have I done! Well, no matter. It's just a fun day in the woods, right? We walked and talked. When we reached downhill I ran, but it was steep, and my legs were not functioning properly. I tripped about ten times but never went down. But the later it got, the more nervous I was about it, so I slowed over the hard steps, just putting more pressure on my quads. I was getting more tired and between the shadows and my bleary eyes I knew I was one step away from disaster. And there were some steep drop-offs close to the trails' edge! But I persisted. At one point about 17 I slipped on a rock and landed on my butt and felt dizzy, so Sauce gave me her stashed rice krispy bar. Apparently I wasn't fueling properly. Me! Shocking! I never eat enough. It helped. But after that there was even more walking. Oh well, walk in the park. Enjoyed the beauty. At about 20 we reached a wider trail that was groomed. Basically a dirt road. So I was able to settle into a shuffle that didn't tax my legs as much and we started making better progress. That lasted 3-4 miles until the last aid station where they said the last 2 miles were mostly uphill and sunny. Ugh. But we were going to make it. Had to walk the ups, but then we finally heard the finish line cheers, and cruised down a steep hill (OW!!) and to the finish at last. 5 hours and 15 minutes of fun. Would have been good for a 3rd place age-group medal last year, but only 5th this year. Darn ten-year categories. All the winners were at least 5 years younger than me. But the finisher medal and shirt were quite cool. The post-race spread was NOT impressive, sadly, but we went out later for pizza and beer to celebrate. My legs were thrashed, but I never fell, and I had a fun time with a buddy cruising through a beautiful place. I can check trail marathon off the list. Now I'm recovered and I have a 5K, a 3 mile turkey trot, and a 10K on the calendar in the next 4 months. Next long one is a half in Atlanta 3/1. No more marathons until next Fall (Chicago is the plan, lottery permitting). Meanwhile I'm going back to enjoying my runs with my local group and running for fun.
  3. 4 points
    I guess I’ll try writing a race report. This will be the first race report since I wrote about my first marathon a little over a year ago. Yep - Marshall was my first and I did a second at the end of March this year. It was the Carmel Marathon and it didn’t go as well as Marshall. I went a little more aggressive and blew up around 20 miles like so many do. Enough about that. So not long after Carmel, I decided that I wanted to do a 50K trail race. For years, I’ve been far more into trail running than road running despite the fact that I almost never run on trails. My so-called excuse was that I spend so much time running already that I can’t really justify spending more time driving at least 25 minutes one way to the nearest trail. Trails appeal to me for a lot of reasons. The scenery obviously, but I’m also not ashamed to admit that running long is more interesting to me than running fast. That explains my lack of speed workouts generally, but trails give you the excuse to go slower. You’re supposed to walk the uphills and the technical stuff on trails, right? So I decided that I’d run one of the closest trail 50Ks to where I live. It’s called the Rough Trail 50K and it’s in the Red River Gorge here in Kentucky. How “Rough” could it be, right? I signed up in April and kind of put it in the back of my mind because it was a November race. Sometime early summer, I mentioned to one of my running buddies who does a lot of trail races (he’s done Western States and the Vol State 500K and he’s done Rough Trail twice) that I’d signed up. His response - “You’re making a mistake. You need to do something that’s easier than that one for your first”. A real confidence booster, right? Well he probably had a point. Although I’ve randomly done some trail running, I hadn’t done any in quite awhile and had never done a trail run longer than 10 miles. So one of the ways I started training in late spring was to start limiting my runs to a heart rate lower than 140. When my HR gets to 140, I start walking or at least back off. When it drops below, I start running again. I figured this would mimic the constant shifting from run to walk you do on trails where the terrain is a bit technical and more importantly it would boost my endurance. So basically, all of my running the last 6 months or so has been slow. I’ve not done a single interval, tempo or anything that closely resembles speed. Eventually, I got around to asking my trail running buddy if he would take me out to “the gorge” to do a practice run and show me around a bit. Our schedules finally synced up sometime in August and I headed out for what was essentially my first trail run. (Just throwing in a couple random pictures from the gorge that aren’t me since the race hasn’t posted the photos yet) Well….he’s supposed to be a buddy, but I think he tried to kill me. He basically took me on a section of the course that had most of the big climbs. It was a run that was about 12 miles and it took me 3 hours. And it left me broken. As in, I couldn’t run for 5 days after that because my legs were so sore. And I went out and tried to run every day. I immediately considered dropping down to the 25K option. There was a 10 hour cutoff in the 50K and I’d just managed to only run about a third of it in 3 hours. As it turns out, he is a good friend because that run put the fear of this race in me. I started going out to the gorge anytime I could find someone to go with and I started driving to a more local trail for 10 mile runs on the other weekend day each week (and some Friday afternoons). I upped my road running as well and turned in a 250 mile month in September. The most I’d ever done before that was just under 200. Over 100 of those miles were on trails. I kept it up into October culminating in a 16 mile run that covered the last half of the course and was very similar to that first trail run...only longer. I’d made a lot of progress. I wasn’t even sore the next day and I was able to run. I had one more taper 10 miler on an easier section of the course and the hay was in the barn. I can’t say I was confident, but I felt better about my chances than 2 months prior. I’d essentially run the entire race course at least twice at that point on various runs. But still, I hadn’t had a run longer than 5 and a half hours, and I was figuring at that point I was going to shoot for 8:30 in the race. So I might be 3 hours into uncharted territory. I made a race plan that essentially had me holding myself back for the first 17 miles. That first part has most of the easiest sections whereas the majority of the big climbs were all in those last 14 miles. Two days before the race, a running acquaintance of mine - Marcelo - messaged me and asked if I wanted to carpool. I agreed and I told him that I was aiming for 8:30. He said he was too, so now I had someone to run with as well. Race day was pretty cold. And that’s a good thing for me. It was going to be about 23 at the start and climbing into the 40s. I decided on shorts, calf sleeves, two short sleeve running shirts and a very light jacket with gloves and a buff over my ears. I ended up being comfortable the whole day and never took off the jacket. Don’t worry, I don’t remember many details about the race, so this will wrap up pretty soon. And anyway, running and racing to me is more about the entire journey and not the single day of running/racing. The race started and I was mildly successful at holding myself back during that easier first half. Well….maybe not so much! I did keep the effort where I felt it needed to be, but I was going quicker than I figured in my planning. At the first aid station at 8 miles, I was already about almost 30 minutes ahead. At mile 13, that was now about 45. I was 50 minutes early at that 17 mile aid station. So I’d pretty much failed in holding myself back, but I was feeling pretty good. So that is where I figured the real race would start. There’s about a 7 miles stretch to the next aid station and it had a lot of climbing - including one of the biggest climbs leading right up to the aid station itself. Marcelo had dropped back around mile 18 and said he'd catch up. I didn't see him again until about mile 25. I ran most of that time alone with nobody passing and nobody to pass. When I got through that section, my cushion was now up to 53 minutes over my plan so I’d basically held even with the plan. I wasn't gaining on it anymore, though and was also starting to feel the miles and hours in my legs and pretty much everywhere else. From that point, there are two other aid stations in fairly short order. I gave back about 10 minutes of my cushion in that stretch as I just really didn’t feel like running on the easy stuff anymore. At the same time, though, I also started thinking about the chance to break 8 hours. Here is a photo from around that time: By the time I got to the 27 mile aid station, I was feeling a little better. I’d had some food at the previous two and maybe that was working its magic. I also chatted for a second with a running friend who was working the aid station and that gave me a boost. I was a bit disappointed that she didn’t have the shot of Fireball she told me earlier that she’d bring for me (for the record, I don’t like Fireball at all but it was something fun to think about). Or maybe she’d already drank it herself. At that point, the 4 miles left felt doable. Never mind that the longest climb of the race starts at mile 28. (Trail running tip that I learned - At that last aid station, I asked one of the aid station workers to fill one of my bottles with coke. Do not do that. Within about a minute of running, the shaking caused the carbonation to activate and the bite valve popped open and coke started spraying out a little bit. I stopped, took off the cap, chugged half the bottle and poured out the rest.) The last 4 miles was pretty uneventful. Marcelo didn't stop at the aid station and left me on the downhill. I got to the last climb and I worked my way up in the fastest time I’d ever climbed it. I caught and passed Marcelo at the start of the climb. When I got to the top, he was nowhere in sight. At that point, it gets a bit difficult mentally because the climb is over, but you still have to drag yourself along for 2.5 miles on flatter stuff to the finish. I was doing math at that point and figured I should be under 8 hours. But it would be kind of close. I got to mile 30 and then to mile 31 and I still wasn’t quite sure where the finish was. I started wondering if I’d taken a wrong turn. In training, I’d just take the trail back to the parking lot, but the finish was in a slightly different place along a trail I’d not used. As it turns out, Marcelo did actually take a wrong turn at the top of the climb and ended up running an extra half mile. By the time I got to 31.3 miles, I was starting to get nervous about that sub 8. But that’s about the time I spotted the finish line chute about 15 feet above me around a curve. Finish time 7:53:20. I was 60th overall out of the 140 registered. Honestly, it went about as good as it could have. Garmin says it was 6900 feet of elevation gain. Strava says it was somewhere around 6,000. Not sure why they are never closer. The race says 6500, so maybe that’s what it was. It was 2 plus hours longer than I’d ever run. Sure there was a fair amount of walking during the uphills and technical sections, but I never stopped moving forward except to grab food and fill up my water bottles at the 6 aid stations. Nutrition and hydration weren’t ever an issue. I basically drank Tailwind most of the day and had a little bit of aid station food each time to supplement. I think I had a few brownies, some mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a small pickle and some potato chips over the course of the race. There were rumors of grilled cheese sandwiches at the last aid station, but they must have been gone when I got there. I was kind of stiff and sore that evening and more so the next day, but nothing too bad. The day after I went for a 2 mile walk, but I was still a bit too sore to run. So the question in my head now is what next? I’ve considered doing the Atlanta Marathon Loophest next spring, but I’m not sure I want to do another road marathon right now. And the failed spring marathon this year is in my head. Training goes so well in the cold months of winter and then the race ends up being warmer than you’re used to. Fall races seem to be the opposite. I also REALLY enjoyed this race. Despite the fact that it was supposed to be a mistake as my first, I think it was tailor made for me. I’m sure better trail runners than me would disagree, but I thought there was a lot of the course that wasn’t runnable and I kind of liked that. I’ve looked at a couple of spring trail ultras but haven’t pulled the trigger on those either. I’ve got to make up my mind soon because races that I do have to be in cooler months. So that means mid-April or earlier. And that means training starting real soon.
  4. 3 points
    Holy f***. Oh girl. Oh girl, I'm so so so sorry. What a horrible sh***y month you've had. My heart broke just reading all the freaking mess you had to endure. I apologize for the bad language. I just want to scream and cry all the F words in your behalf. I'm so sorry. It's not fair. It's stupid. That not only did you have to deal with the pain of a miscarriage, but all the crap and runaround that went with it. =( I find it absolutely freaking amazing that Garbo posted on FB, "Hey everyone, go bloop" and I was all, "OK" because I like Garbo. And then I come here and the first bloop I see is yours and just...the serendipity. My miscarriage was the beginning of me not running anymore. I tried to run away my grief after not being allowed to run for a while, and I ran too far too fast and blew out my ITB and it never recovered. So it was just a S***storm of pain from losing my baby and pain of not being able to run anymore and it was just a freaking mess. Oh man that hurts to remember. So I quit blooping. And then I come back and here you are. I don't know. It's like I was meant to be here today. 🤷‍♀️ I want to tell you...I don't know if you're currently in a place where this is helpful...if not, just ignore it and come back to it later...but it does get better. It's a freaking nightmare for a while and you can't breathe through the pain and there are so many tears and so much hurt. But after a while the grief lessens. And then it lessens some more, and then you can breathe, and then you can think, and then you can move on and the happiness comes back. Takes a while, but it happens. It's been several years, but now I can think about our baby without bawling. Except today. Today I'm tearing up a bit. But other than that it's fine. I'm a religious person, so I firmly believe that that child is ours and we will see him again. Or her. I never did find out which. Anyway, I'm waffling. Point is, it does get better. When you're feeling like you can't take it anymore, or you can't stop crying, or you're wondering if the pain will ever end....it does. It will eventually all be ok. Not that you'll ever look back on this experience and be happy, but that you'll be able to look back on it and be ok. Take care of you. Be kind to you. Be gentle with you. Love you, Eliz. Hang in there. ❤️
  5. 3 points
    October 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 376.4 - a monthly mileage PR, barely! Sep. 30-Oct. 6: 88 Oct. 7-13: 91.7 - but on the Sunday through Saturday week of Oct. 6-12 I ran 100 for the first time ever! Oct. 14-20: 92.1 Oct. 21-27: 80.4 Oct. 28-Nov. 3: projected at 60 It was too cold for this! Races: Oct. 5 - Panther Run 5K as a "bonus" race that my coach added at the last minute in 17:52 for first female and my first 5K in the 17s! Winter arrived, some days Workouts: Oct. 2: 10 miles moderate (1 warm up, 1 cool down), which was slated at 5-10% slower than goal marathon pace, or 6:29-6:48. My coach noted on my schedule that I'd "win" this workout by keeping all of my miles within that range, so I won with 6:35, 6:45, 6:38, 6:46, 6:42, 6:39, 6:41, 6:47, 6:38, 6:33. My grade-adjusted paces were a little more even, because I ran a rolling route (480 ft of gain). Oct. 5: After the Panther Run 5K and as part of a 16 mile day, I had a 30 minute progression run, starting at 8:00 and finishing at 6:00. I set my watch to take half mile splits and aimed to drop 15 seconds off my pace each half mile. The half mile split paces were: 8:04, 7:30ish (I messed this one up by hitting lap and splitting it into 2), 7:19, 7:02, 6:51, 6:43, 6:34, 6:08, 5:53. I was happy to feel strong on this; when I saw it on my schedule I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it after the race! Daniel and Michael ran this with me, which was quite helpful (every other workout I ran this month was solo). Oct. 8: 10 x 1K with 1:00 recovery jog in 3:37, 3:37, 3:34, 3:33, 3:38, 3:39, 3:36, 3:38, 3:35, 3:35 (that is 5:43-5:54 pace), 3.2 warm up plus drills and strides, 2.1 cool down. My coach told me "5:50-5:55 pace and no faster", but 5:50 effort is sure different in 42 degrees than it is in 70 degrees, so I kept having to reel myself in! It looked like a long workout on paper but it went by quickly. Oct. 12: During my 24.5 miler I had 10 x 1:00 pick ups to marathon pace-ish at the beginnings of miles 12-21. My paces were: 6:03, 5:58 (decline), 6:01, 6:28 (incline), 6:17, 6:06, 6:03, 6:17, 6:36 (uphill), 6:17. I liked doing this in lieu of 24 all easy, because it broke up the run and got my legs turning over, but it was just a light stimulus so didn't leave me any more fatigued than 24 easy pace miles. Oct. 15: 10 x 4:00 at tempo/2:00 at MGP (that's 60 minutes total alternating 5:55/6:15) - I ended up with 10 miles at 6:01 average with 4:00/2:00 split paces of: 5:53, 6:11, 5:55, 6:06, 5:54, 6:04, 5:53, 6:24, 5:54, 6:11, 5:51, 6:12, 5:56, 6:09, 6:02, 6:20, 5:57, 6:24, 5:58, 6:18, 3.2 warm up, 3 cool down. The workout was technically over 11 seconds before I stopped, but I wanted to run to 10 to see what my 10 mile time was. I had no idea I was going to be so close to 10 miles in an hour; while I exceeded expectations with my paces, after seeing 6:01 average I wished I'd have run 2 seconds/mile faster! I had a much harder time finding 6:15 pace than 5:55 pace, which is evident in my splits. I know tempo effort well but marathon pace in training (especially coming off tempo pace) is something I am not good at settling into! I was pretty excited to run an unofficial 10 mile PR and 15K PR, the hard way (uneven pacing) by myself in the dark. Oct. 22: 12 x 1K with 1:00 recovery jog in 3:37, 3:37, 3:39, 3:40, 3:40, 3:42, 3:44, 3:38, 3:37, 3:39, 3:47, 3:40 (2.1 warm up, 2.5 cool down). My goal was 3:35-3:40, so 9 of the reps were on target and 3 were not, so I'd call it a mediocre day. It was windy, and at the beginning of the workout it seemed "not that bad" whereas at the end it seemed "terribly windy." I think hitting the pace early on took more out of me than it would have without the wind, making hitting it later more difficult. I took 1:00 standing recoveries instead of jogging after reps 7 and 11 to try to get back on pace. 1Ks were easier on Oct. 8! Oct. 26: 10 miles at 6:10, which ended up being 6:02 average via 6:07, 6:02, 6:04, 6:07, 6:04, 6:01, 6:00, 6:04, 6:02, 5:53 (3.2 warm up, 3.6 cool down). I was a little nervous for this workout, I think since it was my last long run workout before my marathon so I wanted it to go really well. I kept telling myself that 10 steady at 6:10 shouldn't be an issue since I'd done 10 at 6:01 alternating 5:55/6:15 on Oct. 15 - but in my head 6:10 is still really hard. Once I got started I felt great, and my pace kept drifting more towards 6:00. I started the workout in a short sleeve shirt, arm warmers, and gloves (it was 44*, wind chill 38*), but around mile 3 I peeled off my shirt and tossed it in the ditch - also a good skill to practice before race day at a fast pace. Around mile 6, it started raining! Cold rain is my least favorite, and luckily it was a light to moderate rain, but the portions running into the wind were pretty cold. Weather.com had told me the rain that wasn't going to start until after I finished the run - although the day before it had 90% change of rain from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m., so I'm not sure why I trusted it. When I saw my average pace at mile 9 I really wanted to continue to 13.11 for an unofficial half PR, but I made myself stick to the distance my coach had given me, although I did try for that sub-6:00 final mile. Oct. 29: 6 miles with 5 at MP and 1 hard, full recovery, 4 x 800 at 5K effort with 2:00 recovery in 6:15, 6:14, 6:10, 6:08, 6:18, 5:59 / 2:55, 2:55, 2:53, 2:52 (2.1 warm up, 2.2 cool down). I felt alright on the marathon pace work, but then my legs did not want to turn over any faster. I think I could have used another easy day between the Oct. 26 workout and this one, and I mostly accomplished the workout but had to really work for it (and 5K effort was not 5K pace!). I also walked for a few minutes on my full recovery, and milked the 2:00 jogs for all I could between the 800s. On my warm up, I'd told Abby that it didn't even matter how this workout went, because my cycle had been solid, and I stand by that, although I wish mile 6 and the 800s had been a little faster and come easier! Doubles: Oct. 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, (a tiny 1.1 miler on Oct. 12 in order to hit 100 miles), 14, 17, 21, 25, 27, 31. Strength work: Weekly totals of 2:36, 1:50, 2:09, 2:25. Yoga: Weekly totals of 1:20, 1:52, 1:41, 1:37. Favorite workout: The Oct. 5 Panther Run plus progression and the Oct. 15 workouts really showed me that I'm stronger than I think I am, but Oct. 8 and Oct. 26 exceeded expectations too - so I'll just say I am feeling very blessed this month! I said "Vogue" pose & this is what happened (they are too young to understand!) It's the days of sports bra & gloves workouts! Long Runs: Oct. 5: 16 miles via 3.5 warm up, Panther Run 5K, 30 min. progression run, 5 mile cool down. This didn't feel like a 16 mile morning since it was so split up! Oct. 12: 24.5 miles (7:42) - The Big One, with some pick ups as described above. Due to some route miscalculations, I ran a half mile over the scheduled 24, and it was really hard to restrain myself from going to 25! It was 28 degrees at the start of this run, which was a bit shocking considering I hadn't done any other long runs this season in weather cool enough to even wear a shirt. Missy and Rebecca ran the first 12 miles of this with me, and then Rebecca was with me off and on for most of the remainder. I stopped to pee during mile 15 and didn't get my Garmin stopped, so my average pace was a little faster than this, but it was still an easy run - actually the slowest pace I've run a 24 miler at ever in training, but that was by design (it's taken me a week to recover from most 24s in the past, plus this was tons of time on feet). Oct. 19: 22.4 miles (7:44), with heart rate caps of 132 for the first 10 and 140 for the next 10 (then easier final 2). My HR monitor wasn't working so I went by paces that these HRs usually correspond with, with 8:00ish for the first 10 and 7:30ish for the second 10. Earlier in the week I'd tried to talk my coach into adding a 2 mile fast finish, but she said no, and when I had 2 miles left I was sure glad she'd said no! I really enjoyed this run, and Missy and Rebecca ran 16 of it with me (I did 3 from my house to our meeting spot and 3 back home after they finished), but around mile 19 I started feeling pretty out of gas. I'd been traveling for work in the 3 days before this run, returning home the evening before, and that always tires me out. I also didn't fuel very well (just water before, and one scoop of UCAN in water during), which I am sure didn't help. Oct. 26: 16.8 miles, described in workouts above. Favorite long run: The 22 on Oct. 19, because I had so much fun with my friends during that run! Missy took 3 videos and several photos of us while running. She is a good multi-tasker! Missy took this of Rebecca & me on Oct. 19 Running highlights/thoughts/randomness: I really enjoyed this podcast with Sarah Hall. She is my favorite professional runner and I am really pulling for her at the Trials in Atlanta 2020! I got podcast mentions at 1:59 here and 1:38 here. I ran my first ever 100 mile week! The weather was pretty bipolar this month - one morning I'd be in shorts and a sports bra, and the next in tights, long sleeves, gloves, and an ear warmer! On Halloween morning there were snow flurries. I got 3 new pairs of running shoes that are pink! It is so dark even at the end of our runs again... Pink power! The New Balance have a bright pink sole. Life highlights/randomness: We continued to foster the stray kitten we found last month, which we named Biscuit - she goes to her permanent home on Nov. 2. My cousin Bill visited from Colorado. We took our annual pumpkin patch visit. My birthday fell on a Saturday. Albani went to her first ever school dance - isn't 6th grade too early for these?! Halloween results in excessive amounts of sugar at our house, as per usual. Stand off on our deck So much cuteness Catching throwed rolls at Lambert's You have to take visitors from out of state to Lambert's Halloween Wars would be impressed This was in my hotel room when I was traveling for work - I was impressed Pumpkin patch fun Jon is the world's greatest farmer We all painted pumpkins Foster siblings (I wish Nugget & Bandit would do this!) Bandit We love Skip-Bo! I can barely handle this cuteness - I just wish Bandit would participate Our church's fall fest Gotham City Ready for her first school dance Books: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett Roar by Stacey Sims Theme of the month: Ready or not! My next 26.2 is right around the corner, and I am ready to run with joy the race set out for me, no matter if it takes me 2:44 or 3:44!
  6. 2 points
    I can think of few better things than running a half marathon in Bermuda in February.
  7. 2 points
    Cupcake!! Perfect reward. In my dream world, they would replace all those stupid medals with cupcakes.
  8. 2 points
    getting old brings wisdom. unfortunately, the wisdom is knowing that getting older is a pain in the ass.
  9. 2 points
    As long as you keep writing I'll keep reading.
  10. 2 points
    Total mileage: 76.0Not as high as I had hoped it would be. Had a few days where I just wasn't feeling great, and I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity, so some days became easy days or running for time days, which always means I lose some mileage. The silver lining is I hit a beautifully round number without even trying!I'm putting a hold on marathon training. Still planning on doing a half marathon that I signed up for in mid-October, but there's enough flux in life right now that being able to have the mental capacity to do the 16-20 mile runs just isn't there. I'm okay with it. If I'm being honest, I wasn't that excited about the course of the marathon I had chosen and I'd rather put in the effort for something that I think I will thoroughly enjoy. My first marathon (and only so far) was such an amazing experience from start to finish that I can hardly see improving on the entire marathon experience. I had a fantastic one, I know I'm capable of putting up an improved time, and yet I'm okay if I never prove that.Favorite workout: a 45-min guided Peloton outdoor run, with 13 minutes of warmup, followed by a 8-9-8 minutes at marathon pace, with 3 minute recoveries in between. I did this workout on a hilly section of trail that is near my house and was really pleased with how my splits turned out, given the hills. When I run on these long rolling hills, I aim mostly for an even effort, as opposed to even pace, and that works really well for me. It's also the strategy that I've employed over my last few PR'd races.Splits: 10:34 (downhill), 11:23 (uphill), 11:13 (uphill)Marathon goal pace is 10:38Favorite long run: a 10-miler in which I listened to several episodes of the LA Times' Dirty John podcast. I now understand why everyone was obsessed with it and why they made a mini-series on it. Completely fascinating. I binged the entire podcast in about a day and a half, and had to Google the story before I finished because I just had to know how it worked out. Highly recommended if you haven't listened to it and enjoy Dateline-type stories.Oh, and the run was fine, too. A bit slower than I would have preferred, but legs and MJ felt good.In life news, I had a leadership training at home, while my husband got to fly to Amsterdam for a work conference. On the surface, it hardly felt fair until he reminded me that he flew 30 hours round trip for a 36 hour stay. My commute was definitely better.Photos from the month: Jeff with Refrigerator Perry the cat Hotel Mirror selfie while at the leadership training (we had a fancy dinner) Fall flowers in one of our beautiful wedding gifts Trying to read more books, rather unsuccessfully, but I also listen to a lot of podcasts, so thought I'd recommend some of my favorites from this month:If you are a bachelor fan, Here to Make Friends is doing some live shows and recapping the first ever season of The Bachelor. It's hilarious and delightful.Dirty John, by LA Times1619, by New York Times MagazineClean Sport Collective PodcastFrom the Front Row (the 9/25 podcast features me!)Did you have any favorite runs that had nothing to do with the actual running like I did this month?
  11. 2 points
    trying to think of something clever but I've got nothing. So I'll just say I'm really happy for you!
  12. 1 point
    This would be so easy for me to do. Once during Ouachita trail 50 we showed up at the AS coming from the wrong direction. They made us turn around and find where we went wrong and come back the right way. It ended up being the Ouachita trail 55. I ran it again this year and almost made the exact mistake. I stood around debating which way for at least 10 minutes
  13. 1 point
    Which Gwen wrote this? Will the real Gwen please stand up?
  14. 1 point
    OCRG is back in the house. Yay!
  15. 1 point
    ok, that was pretty terrific.
  16. 1 point
    Ehhh - not a free trip to Bermuda, but it's a free race while in Bermuda!
  17. 1 point
    68 half marathons! That's amazing.
  18. 1 point
    It's a noble way to mess up one's ankle, but crap.
  19. 1 point
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
  20. 1 point
    Thank you for the offer, and feel free to reach out if you ever want to discuss anything too. Being "advanced maternal age," (I'm now 36 too, but the OBs liked to throw that term around often when I was pregnant with DD when I was 34-35) you start to question fertility, so I take hope in the fact that pregnancy loss at least shows that you are able to get pregnant. After you take the necessary time to heal, I look forward to the day when you bloop and announce happy news!
  21. 1 point
    I’m in the Altra Paradigm right now. I was wearing the intuitions and escalantes, but they discontinued the intuition and the escalantes hurt my foot
  22. 1 point
    Funny how it works, right? I've slowed down a lot since those peak years on The Loop, and my races are mostly exercises in frustration. And yet...I'm still highly motivated to run, even if it's a minute per mile slower than it was four years ago. It gets into your blood, I guess. What's helped in my case is the social aspect and mentoring aspect of the sport. I run with a big group every Saturday and help coach (and run with) a middle school team twice a week. That by itself keeps me fit, and at our age fitness becomes far more important than competitive success. We were lucky that we had those opportunities a few years back; to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, "We'll always have Boston." I hope your injuries clear up once and for all--there's still good running to be had!
  23. 1 point
    Oh mylanta. Foot pain is a ... well, it's a pain. I can't believe how dang fast you were on a gimpy foot. In other news, I was watching this video about the dude from Tool and apparently it was co-produced by Brad Angle. Any relation? ☺️
  24. 1 point
    Oh no, I'm so sorry you're injured too. =( It's a pain. Thank you for saying my writing is entertaining! One does worry that it's rather boring and meandering.
  25. 1 point
    I'm so sorry you went through this. That's all I can say.
  26. 1 point
    patiently waiting for your coffee table book featuring Sarah exiting port-a-pots around the nation. Sure to be a best seller.
  27. 1 point
    I feel your pain about injuries and running. But you surely haven't lost your touch when it comes to entertaining writing.
  28. 1 point
    Ah, Coachella: we used to run a track meet there every year. They actually had a grass track--I guess so that the desert wind wouldn't blow away all the dirt (since all-weather tracks were rare in those days). Nice job on the race and the golf! Considering all the self-indulgence, you did well.
  29. 1 point
    I'm glad you're still at it--you've probably kept The Loop alive more than anyone. And I apologize for being so absent the last couple of years or so. I don't really have a good excuse, but since I slowed down significantly around 2016-2017, I just haven't felt that my runs (and especially my races) have been bloopworthy. The good news is that, even though I don't feel motivated to write, I still feel motivated to run, and have been able to make some adjustments to my routine. Anyway, I applaud your level of commitment, and I should really make more of an effort at least to read and comment here. I still see other Loopsters from time to time, and still treasure all the friendships I've made here.
  30. 1 point
    Hi. I'm so sorry. Which always sounds so incredibly insufficient. But you already know the answer. As the days go on, it gets better. Never let the memory go away; it will always be an important part of your life. But make room for the joy still to come. It never always gets worse, the old ultra saying goes. It never always gets worse.
  31. 1 point
    So sorry to hear this Liz. I hope you are feeling better. Take care of you first. There's plenty of time - my sons were born when my wife was 36 and 38.
  32. 1 point
    I’m so sorry. A roller coaster of emotions. Sending hugs and milkshakes.
  33. 1 point
    I am so sorry Eliz. This is hard, hard stuff. Peace to you and your husband. (I had two ectopic pregnancies and gave birth to two beautiful children … all during my 30s … so please don't give up hope. ❤️)
  34. 1 point
    Praying for healing! I can’t even begin to understand or imagine what you’ve gone through. Hugs.
  35. 1 point
    Ligament issues are the worst. Hoping the rest helps you! My dad thinks he will be able to golf his age next year. He will be 72. To be fair, he has golfed 2-3 times a week since I went to college. He was also incredibly disappointed when my husband told him he doesn't golf.
  36. 1 point
    You need a new hobby.😁
  37. 1 point
    Oooh I just signed up for a Turkey trot in Palm Springs. Hope the foot pain goes away.
  38. 1 point
    I seriously thought this was a farewell post and my heart damn near broke. Keep writing.
  39. 1 point
    The lady who won the AG ran a 1:43! Can't wait to run NYC! And see KRG because she's one of my favorites! ❤️
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    I love the title and analogies throughout! Also amazing race!
  42. 1 point
    Welcome back! Trails are such a different beast...that is why I don't run them, haha! Looks beautiful and fun though!
  43. 1 point
    I always run alone. I like it that way. I'm weird.
  44. 1 point
    the first Disney marathon in 1994 was my last marathon.. also got talked into it by DW who wanted a winter vacation ;-) now do one run a week with the local running store, usually the slowest one there, but they tolerate me kindly.. ha
  45. 1 point
    Way to let the miles go by...
  46. 1 point
    Trails are so tough but reading this made me smile. Reminds me of nearly every single trail race I've ever done, LOL. Your race plans for next year were quite literally what I was considering over the weekend. Weird.
  47. 1 point
    I gave A LOT of people anxiety that weekend! Believe me if there had been any wind i would not have been that close to the edge.
  48. 1 point
    That almost sounds like a lot of fun. Almost.
  49. 1 point
    The pics are absolutely amazing! Sounds strenuous. Well done!
  50. 1 point
    The Short: I decided that running the Indy Women's Half for the third year in a row would be a beneficial fitness check and practice trip to Indianapolis six weeks prior to my goal race there, the Indy Monumental Marathon. Since the race morning weather left a lot to be desired (a humid 74 degrees), my goals for the race were to complete the best I could in the field and hopefully hit marathon goal pace. I am not sure anyone was more shocked than I was when I finished 3rd overall in a new half PR of 1:20:29. Although I'm still dying to add a sub-80 to my resume, I was pumped to PR on a day I was sure I wouldn't! My official results are here, the race leaderboard is here, and my Strava activity is here. Podium Stats The Long: My race in Indy last year did not go as planned; I started it slightly injured and finished it very injured, then was very unhappy about taking 10 weeks off running. On the other hand, my 2017 race there went well and was where I ran my previous half PR of 1:20:50. The event is well-done, the course is flat and fast, in 2017 and 2018 the temperature was around 50 degrees, and I was excited to return in 2019...until I wasn't. During the week leading up to the race, I became fearful about getting injured, only because I had at that point in my training last year. Everything felt fine, but I couldn't shake it. I was never worried about my race performance because I was just worried I would get hurt, which was odd because I am not superstitious or anything of that nature! I kept reminding myself that I'd started Indy already hurt last year, and this year I was going in feeling strong. Summer has really been hanging on this year, and although we got a couple of cool mornings during the week leading up to the race, the race morning forecast kept getting warmer as race day grew closer. When it was a couple of days out and looking like it would be 69 degrees with 100% humidity, my coach and I discussed a pace plan. She said she thought my training indicated I was in shape to run a 1:18 (6:00ish pace), but that the weather would slow me down by 15-20 seconds/mile. We decided that anything under goal marathon pace (6:17) would be a win. While I was disappointed that Mother Nature wasn't cooperating, this really took the pressure to hit any certain splits off. I didn't really taper for the race; although my weekly mileage was lighter than usual at 75, it was because I had Wednesday completely off. One week before I did a significant 20 mile workout, followed by days of 12, 9, 15, 0, 10, and 7 leading up to race day. My dad and I drove to Indy from my home in Missouri, leaving early Friday morning. We went to the race expo, explored the area a bit, and found our Bed and Breakfast by about 5:30 p.m. For awhile I thought I'd be going to the race by myself, so I wanted accommodations that I could easily run to the starting area from, but my thriftiness couldn't handle a $300 downtown hotel, and the BnB was only 1.1 miles from the start, in almost a straight shot (i.e., it would be very difficult to get lost!). We had several rooms, sspace to sleep 4, and free parking, and were pleased with the BnB (except they were very strict on breakfast times). Expo fun I was honored to be featured as one of the "Five Women to Watch" for the third year. When I picked up my race booklet and read about the other four women, I didn't feel like I belonged in the feature though. I thought it was unlikely I'd be able to beat any of the other 4, and there are always a few fast women who are not featured, so I predicted I'd be racing for 5-8th place. Look at those 4 ladies' credentials! When I woke up race morning and checked my weather app, it was even worse than I'd expected: 74 degrees. I was mentally ready for a warm one, and during my 3 mile warm up I decided I wasn't going to look at my watch. I'd had a sub-par long run workout the Saturday before in similar weather, and that day I couldn't get my pace down to 6:15 for the life of me, so I just didn't want to see splits in the 6:20s and get upset. I'd made peace with no chance of a 1:18, and I also felt that as long as I started and finished healthy I was in a great spot (what a difference a year makes!)! As the race started and everyone settled into pace, I found myself in a pack of about 10 women. There were two women out in front of us, although I suspected one of them was in the 5K (she was, and the other was Pasca Myers, a top contender). The other 3 women to watch were in the pack, in additional to several other women I recognized from previous years races. There is a lot of power in running in a pack, so I thought it was an ideal situation! The pace felt right effort-wise, and as the miles clipped away the pack dwindled. I settled in right behind two women in blue tanks, one of whom I recognized as Sarah Pease, a pro runner for Oiselle. By mile 6 all of the others had fallen off the pack and it was us three. The woman who wasn't Sarah (I'll call her the girl in the hat) was pushing the pace. I felt strong but not ready to pick it up, so I let her pull away and then it was me and Sarah. Since she is from Indy, many people were cheering for her so I just lied to myself that all the "Go Sara(h)"s were for me, haha! I also kept thinking, "How is this happening?!" in regards to running with her; she has quite the impressive resume and just competed in the U.S. Champs 10,000 m. I follow her on Instagram and she is a runner I really admire. Trailing the second female (Sarah Pease is behind her) I felt strong, but from the hair pin turn just after mile 6 I knew there were a whole slew of women not far behind, so it wasn't just Sarah I was competing with. I also had the second place woman in the hat in my sights, so I was pushing towards her. When we went up an incline between miles 9 and 10, I pulled slightly ahead of Sarah and thought, "Well, this is it!", although I still felt like I was in some alternative universe running with/ahead of her. The second place woman had a good lead on me, but I had over a 5K to cut into it the best I could, and I wanted to try, so that really kept me pushing. Focus Fatigue The race felt hard but also controlled the whole way. I felt like I could maintain my effort through the end, and the closer I got to the finish line the more confident I was about a third place finish (by around mile 12 I knew it was unlikely I was going to catch second). I smiled through the final mile and kicked it in, seeing the finishing clock in the 1:20s and knowing I'd somehow managed a PR, and hearing the announcer call my name and my dad cheering his heart out! My dad's video of my finish is here and is heartwarming. PR in sights I had to stop my watch at the line to capture the PR - I also had no plans to buy the photos! Drenched in sweat & happiness Since this month I had two performances I was happy with in humid 70+ degrees, I suppose I have to stop saying that I never run anything worthwhile in this weather; although I do believe I would have run significantly faster in cool weather, I held my own in this one. I have come to the conclusion that my performance in warm humid weather is less predictable. Some days it bothers me more than others, and I'm not sure what the difference is. Top 3 And although I sure still want to add a sub-80 half to my running resume, the confidence-boost I got from this race was just as good as if I'd have run a 1:18-1:19 in cool temperatures. Four weeks prior to running 2:47:14 at CIM, I ran a half marathon in 1:23:53 in temps in the 70s, so I was mentally prepared to be completely calm with a 1:22 half. Really, as long as I walked away from this race uninjured I was counting it as a huge success after last year, no matter what my time was. Now I just have to hope that fall arrives before the Indy Monumental Marathon on November 9! Either way, I'll be there fighting... "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - 2 Timothy 4:7 Awards ceremony Top 10 Top 20 Oh the irony that they gave us scarves!
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