It’s all about the adventure

My knee is still inflamed and sore but getting better after crashing on a mountain bike Tuesday night. It was my first time on a mountain bike since 2014, and my first time riding trails in New Hampshire after biking in Arizona and Colorado. In retrospect, I probably should not have biked so close to race day but I chose adventure instead of caution.

I’m a pretty cautions person when it comes to choosing to turn back so I can live another day in the mountains. But I really didn’t think mountain biking would be dangerous. I love mountain biking and just laughing as I speed down hills and sweat going up the hills in the woods. It’s so much like skiing in that you are in the moment and not thinking about anything else. Whereas with running you are thinking of everything. When you get that chance to ride in a place you’ve never been with a fun, hot mountain bike racer, you take it. Ha! Crashing on roots and rocks, while not ideal, is part of the adventure. I forgot that.

But alas, I’ve been here before. Not really thinking of the outcomes but taking the adventure because I wanted to do something new or different. It’s why I took a job in Concord and moved here in 2017. It’s why I took risks in relationships and signing up for a race I wasn’t sure I could do.

It’s about the adventure.

I’m trying not to despair as I sit on my sofa on a rainy Friday morning contemplating the next few days. While I can’t run and can barely walk, it’s going to be okay. My race is 8 days away and I can’t even taper. The worse case scenario: I don’t make it to the start line. The best case scenario: my knee heals and I make it 50 miles on May 26. So for the next few days I will swim, stretch, foam roll, walk and do the elliptical at the Y.

May 26 is just a race. It’s not the end of the world. [read out loud and repeat]

Week 14 Recap, Leadville Training

Tapering is tough when you have a long term goal that is 12 weeks away, and want to be fit and ready for your B race. Tapering last week worked well for me this week; and I need to remember this.

My weekday runs were great; some trail, some road. I had a great race on Saturday (mountainous, trail) and recovery run of 7.5 miles on Sunday (flat, road). Sunday was a great ending to the training cycle in preparation for the my first 50 Miler in 2 weeks.

Here’s how the week played out:

I am particularly psyched about the elevation gain/vert 7,850.

Everything is going so well and I just don’t want to screw it up. So this means foam rolling, stretching, walking and just going with the flow. This week’s mantra – Just roll with it. I’m going to be better about figuring out that fine line of planning and going with the flow (see photo at the top). I have so much I want to accomplish. There is so much I want to do and see and feel. Life is good and I’m so happy – Imagine That.


Peak Blood Ultra 30 Mile Race Report

I found my people today!

What a great day.

The Peak Blood Ultra 30 Mile course was tough: two big climbs, so much mud, branches everywhere,  and it was 30 miles.

I went out knowing that I would walk most of uphills and that turned out to be a good strategy. The first climb seemed to last forever and when I finally got to the top it was like my legs forgot how to run. I’m so glad I tapered this week and started this race on fresh legs instead of using it as a training run. While the course was hard I never had the ache-all-over feeling I had at the TARC 50K a few weeks ago.

The best part of the race was the aid station people. They were so wonderful and kind and helpful.

The best part of the day was meeting two runners, Janine and Bob.

I started talking to Jeannine in the parking lot and she was clearly nervous. She told me how she randomly signs up for races and didn’t know how she would fare today. Sounds familiar; it’s me since 2007. Her new nickname is #1 since she finished First Female. Pretty good results considering she said she is primarily a road runner.

Bob and I started talking after the first climb. He had an M Dot on his calf but Ironman talk came later – he is running the Leadville 100 and the Leadville marathon this year. He raced the 100 last year but DNF’d before dark now he has a coach and going to the camp. I had so many questions about his race, nutrition, gear. We talked about Leadville and triathlon for most of the race. It’s so much more fun to run with someone to take your mind off the pain.

At the finish I teased the race director about the three mile loop at mile 22. The trail wasn’t even a trail; it was bushwhacking. Bob noted that it was very Barkley-ish. My legs are so cut up from the briars. Why would they put that so close to the end? WHY WHY WHY? The race organizers were so fun and engaging to every racer. Such a fun day. Plus, I was completely surprised to be told I was second female and got a plaque.

It was a good day on an interesting, unique course in the mountains of Vermont so close to where I used to live in Killington. Driving to Vermont is always such a pleasure since it seems like such a different world as soon as you cross the Connecticut River. And it brings back such great memories of living in Vermont, oh so long ago. I drove by the river on Route 100 and remembered it was where my friends and our dogs would play during the hot summer.

I will do  this race again. They change the course every year so running it once doesn’t matter. Despite cursing out loud about the mud and loose branches, I loved the course and the event. Highly recommend. It was an unknown adventure I signed up for since they don’t post the course prior to the race, and that is exactly what I got. Plus, I met some new training partners.

Tapering is hard

I’m doing a mini-taper this week preparing for the 30 mile Blood Peak race on Saturday. I’m not sure what I’ve gotten myself into by signing up for this race but I know that it is going to be hilly, mountainous and ridiculously hard.

All I have to do is beat the cutoffs and finish. Just finish.

But tapering this week has been difficult. I’d rather run 20 miles than 4 miles today. Yes, I really wrote that. I’m antsy. I’m emotional. I have too much free time on my hands. I want to do weights (but I’m not). I want to swim and do yoga (but I won’t). I need my legs to be fresh. I’m not good with standing still. Grrrr.

So I will race on Saturday. A hard race. Not my A race. But a race that is #2 of the 5 races that I have chosen to define 2019. All I have to do is finish. All I have to do is not screw it up.

Week 16 Recap, Leadville 100 Training

It is the biggest mileage week: 56 miles ran. 62.7 when I include hiking. This may be why I felt like ca-ca today on my trail run. I’m waiting for Garmin to synch to Strava to get total vertical for the week.

This week I ran a 10 mile mid-week run. For the 100 mile training plan there are a few long-ish mid-week runs. This week I opted for a fast-ish road run but in the future it’s all trails, baby!

Saturday I drove up to New Gloucester to pre-run the Pineland Trail Running Festival’s course. The plan was to run a full loop – around 15 miles. However, the groups got split up and we lost the way. Plus, I was talking to some runners before the group run started and forgot to put gel/food in my hydration vest. I realized the error when I was suddenly starving at mile 6.

Along with lack of food and 100% humidity and the endless hills – I was, again, feeling like ca-ca. I decided to cut the group run short and headed back to the car for a grand total of 7 miles and 800 feet of elevation gain. My legs were sore. I drove in my car longer than I ran.

Here’s how the week played out:

I had to move a bunch of runs around due to running the Pineland course and then not getting all the miles in that I needed. I didn’t get two days off which is probably why my legs are wrecked but also getting a massage the day before a long run isn’t advised. But, again, I had to work everything in without ideal scheduling.

Next week is the Peak Ultra in Vermont. I’m starting my taper Monday and trying to keep keep the legs fresh before this mountain trail run on Saturday. And just 20 days until the 50 miler.