Countdown to Leadville – 37 days

Oh my gosh – 37 days until race day!

Every day I’ve been reading my race plan and I thought I would post an inspiring sentence from my race plan document. I’ve been adding to it for the last six months and now that race day is so close I want to remember these motivational quotes from past racers that are part of the race plan.

I’ve kept a blog since 2005. Thanks to my friend Tim, who has always helped me keep my domain name and WordPress CMS up to date so I can blog. This is my third blog.

While I love sharing (sometimes over sharing) stories on my blog, the main reason I write these blog posts are really for me to remember everything that happens. I love reading the posts over and over in order to stay motivated. I read my blog several times during the day from work and on my phone. Over the years I’ve deleted pictures or lost phones with photos so I read the blog posts to remember friends, places I’ve lived and visited, and re-read race reports.

Here’s today’s motivation so I finish Leadville 100 Run:

It only takes one positive thought to keep moving.

Leadville Training, Week 7 Recap, Mount Washington, Baby

Here’s how the week played out.

Monday started out great – recovery day. 

Tuesday was a nice, short 4 mile run.

Wednesday’s run was fantastic with a 15 mile scheduled run and I finished 14 miles on a mixture of trails and roads. The bugs in the woods are terrible. If I wasn’t for wearing headphones with ear buds they would’ve been in my ears. The small, buzzy’ing black bugs really liked to bite the back of my arms. Grrrrrr

Thursday was a little longer than scheduled but again, a nice post-14-mile run that was about 7 miles. Since it was the 4th of July I packed in so many fun things that it felt like a super, big training day: swimming in Lake Winnipesaukee with Kendra, Adam and Toby-dog, and a fun swim in the Merrimack River with Kyle and Pants. Such a fun, fun day. 

Friday was another recovery day preparing for what was supposed to be a big mileage weekend. I’m trying to not be disappointed as I write about the weekend because I think part of the ultra running life is learning to go with the changes that happen in a long training plan and just not dwelling on it; keep moving forward to the next big training day. 

Saturday was hot and humid at 6am. I had to run 30 miles but after 4 miles in I had to decide to go left for the big loop that would bring me back for water/electrolytes at mile 15, or go right and 8 miles would bring me back for water/electrolytes or stopping – I went right. I was dripping from sweating and just felt off for the entire run.

At mile 8 I called it quits for running outside and went to the Y to run in A/C. The real feel was 84 and I was very low energy, and a bit dizzy. I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill and did about 200 stairs and wanted to quit. 

I sat on the stretching floor for about 5 minutes trying to figure out what to do. I wanted to go home. I debated. I could do some weights which I seemed to have energy for or more treadmill or just sit here and decide. For the record, I don’t usually ponder for so long what to do, I usually act. I usually just go home. But this time, I decided to make use of the time and do weights. This is huge for me. I just couldn’t run. 

Then I proceeded to have a good rest of the day with Winnie, Kyle and Pants; and get over myself.

Sunday was a hike with Bob and Mark to Mount Washington. Originally the plan was to run 20 miles. At the beginning of the week it was unknown if I could even be able to go to Mount Washington since I didn’t have anyone to let out Winnie during the day. I couldn’t take her because it’s one of the hardest hikes in the White Mountains. On Saturday Jeff texted me and said his plans changed and he could let Winnie out. Whoo Hooo!!! It was on. 

When I arrived at Pinkham Notch Bob mentioned something about two loops. Wait, WHAT? Their plan, which wasn’t communicated, was learning mental fortitude for Leadville – they would hike to the top, turn around and do it one more time. I had no idea. But I should’ve known because these guys are ultra runners, they think like me however, this one caught me by surprise. I thought it was one run/hike ascent of Mount Washington. I said I would try. 

The hike was amazing and since I hadn’t hiked it since 1992, it was new to me. Although, I did remember all the rocks on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and how hard it was. However, being in the best, freaking shape of my life made the hike so doable and so enjoyable. We had to take Lions Head trail to the top of Mount Washington because the top part of Tuckerman’s was closed due to snow. Being on top of the rock pile is one of the most amazing things in the world.

Being on top of the world was amazing and I want to do it again – I want to do the Presidential Loop before heading to Leadville. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky. We talked about all our training and they told me about Leadville Training Camp, and what they learned. It’s so great hanging out with people who are going through what you are and have the same joys and concerns about preparing for 100 miles at 10,000 feet. It was a great day. 

I opted out of the second loop. But those two – total rocks stars with 9,000 feet of climbing in 8 hours and 16 miles. I drove home and hung out with Winnie-dog.

An end to a somewhat good training week and remembering where I started.

Repost / Mid-year goal review

This photo is so true. The original post from December 2018 really struck a chord. Seriously, my goals of running a 50 miler and 100 miler started years ago. I think the first time I thought about a 50 was 2014 when I crashed on my tri bike and decided to only run.

I signed up for a 50 miler and then couldn’t do the training.

DNS (Did not show) – however, not my first DNS.

Now, 5 years later I finished my first 50 miler and I’m seriously ready for my first 100 – all in the same year.

Here’s to finally meeting goals and my new mantra for 2019

Take  each adventure as it comes and be open to all possibilities.

Leadville Training – Week 12 Recap

I didn’t write a weekly recap last week, Week 13 since I did a race report for Pineland. So here is the update on training for Leadville that is in – OMG – 12 weeks!

This week I’ve been thinking about my first 50 mile finish and what was going through my brain as I sat on the picnic table at the finish line. I thought for the first time that maybe, just maybe, I will finish the 100 mile race. I felt like my body adapted well to 11 hours of hilly running despite nagging knee pain during most of the race. I liked having a pacer, which I’ve never had before. I really think that as I build up mileage in this next weeks, I might just do this.

I took it easy this week and had no expectations of mileage despite knowing I should try to run 47 miles according to the training plan. I really wanted to give my knee a break so I limited running and added more biking and hiking. The plan worked because today, Sunday, I have no more knee pain.

One of the things I needed to start doing to really prep for Leadville was running with poles.  I ran on June 1 with poles for the first time when run/hiking Whiteface. The poles got in the way a lot but they helped take some pressure off my knees. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Another thing is I need to start running at night and I’m not looking forward to that.

Next week I’m going for a 40 miles week versus a 60 mile week since I want to taper a little bit for the Leadville Marathon on June 15, then it’s 3 weeks of 70 mile weeks. I seriously can’t wait for these high mileage weeks:

I’m also mountain biking more to work my core and to make the legs stronger. It’s also great for cross training. And, oops, I got a bit sign up happy and registered for the Top Notch Triathlon in August in Franconia Notch. (see the picture of swimming in Echo Lake in the top photo) I wanted to do the triathlon for so long. I didn’t have a mountain bike so I couldn’t sign up for the last two years. Now, I can do it.

I heard about this race from a novel, Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian. I read his book in 2006 when I lived in Colorado. The story is set in northern New Hampshire about a family that spends their summers near Franconia Notch. The book is about complicated families and the ramifications of bad decisions and accidents. But what has stuck in my head is the ending that takes place on the slopes of Cannon Mountain as the family members compete in the Top Notch relay triathlon. I have never forgotten that story and how Bohjalian chooses to end the story on top of a New Hampshire mountain. It’s a story about forgiveness and acceptance – something I still need to figure out with my complicated family.

Miles this week: 28 with hiking

Vertical: 4,366

Average resting heart rate: 47

Pineland Trail Festival Race Report, 50 Mile

I ran my first 50 on May 26. I really didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know how it was going to feel. I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around the course with all the loops and running around fields. My mind at the start said just follow the arrows and course markings, and not overthink it. So I just ran. I started out slow, ate and drank at every aid station and waited for Mark to pace me at mile 27.

I ran most of the first 27 and only later started walking up the steep hills. Most of the inclines were runnable. I fell twice during the first 15 miles and landed hard on my right shoulder. I wasn’t lifting my left leg high enough because of knee and abductor issues. It’s a pattern to fall in the first half of a race rather than the latter. Go figure.

Mark was a great pacer and kept my mind occupied with other things. At about mile 40 I felt confident that I was going to make it to the finish. However, the miles seemed off when posted at aid stations. It was then we realized it was going to be longer than 50 miles; which psychologically was tough. At the mile 42 aid station/drop bag I took Advil and drank coke and suddenly I was able to kick it into high gear. The exhaustion went away and I powered up the hills and opened my stride. I felt great and got ahead of Mark. I passed a few men (which is always fun, ha) and finished feeling great. Marianne and Richard were at the finish cheering me on. Mark came in a few minutes later.

At the finish. Photo Courtesy of Richard Hoebel

What a day. The mud was crazy and the heat sometimes overbearing, but I did it. 50 miles.

Now it’s all about a little recovery and getting ready for Leadville in 12 weeks. My knee still hurts a bit but hopefully it is healing.

It was a great festival and the finisher packet was pretty good. I ended up placing 3rd in my age group and 12th female but the official results weren’t posted when I left so I didn’t get a beer mug.

I came for the finisher pint glass and that is exactly what I got. Race 3 of 5 – finished for 2019. Next up Leadville Marathon in June and Leadville 100 in August.