It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This. . .


Living the Beach Life

I can’t think of a better place to rest and recover than the beach!  The boys and I spent the past week in Myrtle Beach, SC visiting family and living the beach life.   We slept in, ate a lot of good food, played in the ocean, dozed in the sand while the sun warmed our skin, roamed the Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Odditorium, and played mini golf (a 3 way tie, can you believe that?).   I literally did not exercise one time, unless you count the crunches I did while waiting for the boys to get a shower one day, or the short hike I did at the state park!

Here are a few pics from our trip!

 

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A day in Charleston.  Beautiful city if you ever get the chance to go!
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You can usually see dolphins at Waterfront Park but we didn’t see any that day.
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A view from the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach.

 

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Brotherly love?  Hunter burying Eli while I was in the bathroom.  haha
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A hiking trail in Myrtle Beach State Park.  Had to get some nature therapy from the forest while we were gone. 
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Almost looks like home. 
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But these skinks kept darting across the trail in front of me every quarter mile or so!

When we got back home to PA, my husband and I celebrated our 18th anniversary.  MORE food and it was so delicious.

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Ahi tuna with artichokes, sundried tomatoes and steamed spinach.  Then we went for ice cream for dessert of course!

Back on Track

Now that eating without abandon is out of my system, I am so ready to get back on track this week.  The fridge is stocked with spring mix, a ton of fruits and vegetables, and healthy snacks.   I am in between official training sessions, so here is my rough plan for the next few weeks. . .

Workout Goals

  • I plan to get more workout sessions in at the gym.  I want to get back to lifting more and sticking with a good core routine.   The good news is that it’s summer and I’m a teacher, so I have more time to accomplish this goal!  I lost some definition in my muscles between tapering, racing, recovering, and living the beach life.  hahaha
  • For my runs, I’ll continue running trails but taking it easy for a little bit longer.  Less miles than when I’m training, but trying not to lose any gains I’ve made in training for Cayuga!  I kind of miss having a training plan to tell me what to do, but I’ll be winging it for the next couple of weeks I guess.
  • I need to get some double runs and night runs in next month so I’m ready for Ragnar West Virginia in August.  Hoping to meet up with my relay team for the night runs!

One thing my husband wanted for Father’s Day was to give the boys a hard workout at the gym.  Great opportunity for me to get started on my goals!

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Wrestlers never smile for pictures.  Can you tell this was taken AFTER their workout?
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I got a good workout of my own done while they did their thing.  Core and upper body.  Feelin the burn and I’m sore today and loving it.

Nutrition

  • More protein. (Especially after a hard workout).
  • Less carbs. (No white flour carbs and less sugar.)
  • Whole foods. (No junk!)
  • Drink more water.  (I’m loving my raspberry watermelon water today.)

 

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Example of a typical breakfast I’ll have. . . sprouted grain toast with cashew butter, honey, and coconut and fresh fruit.

 

My First Trail Run since Cayuga

Saturday morning, Eli, my youngest, woke up in a rotten, uncharacteristically grumpy mood.  Maybe it was all the traveling we’ve done the past week, or maybe it was teenage hormones, but he was tough to get along with!  Since he’s my runner (of the two), I made him get dressed in running clothes after breakfast and we drove down to Pine Grove.  It seemed like a little trail therapy was in order.

My plan was to take him on the 5 mile Sunset Rocks / Appalachian Trail loop.  He slept on the drive there and as soon as we got out of the car, we got drizzled on and he complained.  I told him it would be fine and we started off.  His calves were sore from a workout the previous day and he was having a rough time since he didn’t want to be there.   At one point I turned around and started to head back since he was struggling and he wouldn’t let me.  He said he was going to get it done no matter what.

Two miles in we ran past some thru-hikers at a shelter on the AT and we stopped at the halfway point on the AT so I could tell him about it.   When we started running again, all of a sudden he found his legs and his attitude changed and he was flying through the woods ahead of me!    I let him go at his own pace and my heart filled with joy as I ran behind him.

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He was running pretty fast so this was not an easy picture to take!  

It was a sticky hot and humid day, and Eli stopped about a mile and a half later for a water break.  I caught up to him and noticed tears in his eyes.  When I asked him what was wrong he explained that he was realizing as he ran that he hasn’t been pushing himself enough the past two years.  He wants to work harder in wrestling and in life.  It’s true that many things often come easy for him and he has not been pushing himself to reach his full potential.  Not to say he hasn’t had successes, because he has, but they have not always been the result of blood, sweat, and tears if you know what I mean.  For whatever reason, running on the trail that day, he had an epiphany.  He was starting to enjoy and appreciate the trails and our run together in that moment.

When we got closer to Sunset Rocks, I told him we’d have to climb over some of the boulders and we wouldn’t be able to run the trail at that point.  Just like life, sometimes you can run full steam, other times you plod along, and still other times there are huge barriers in your way, but you climb over them and don’t let them stop you.   Without missing a beat, Eli says, “No Mom.  You bust right through them and show them who’s boss.”  Good point, son!  Good point.

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Eli on Sunset Rocks Trail.
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Me on Sunset Rocks Trail.
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We sat for a good 10-15 minutes soaking up the view and talking about life.  It truly does not get any better than this.  

I can’t wait for Eli to join me on more trail adventures this summer.  He says he’ll run with me at least once a week.

Miles to go for you, son.  Miles to go. . .

 

 

Week #20 and New Hydration Gear!


I think I can honestly say I’ve run through any kind of weather you can imagine, short of  a hurricane, during this training!  Blizzards, pouring rain, sunny cold days, sunny hot days, freezing rain, knee-high snow drifts, mud, puddles up to my knees…you name it, I’ve run it.  There were training runs in single digits with 40 mph winds, and 95 degree temps with high humidity.  I feel ready to run 50 in whatever nature throws my way on June 3rd.  Until then, I’m logging my taper miles, eating healthy foods, and trying to catch up on sleep and core/strength workouts.

Here’s how this week went down:

Monday:  rest

Tuesday:  10 trail miles (I was going to do my 8 on this day because Wednesday was supposed to be even hotter, but I only got in 6 on my normal trails in the time I had.  I decided to run some more while my son was at Power Train since I didn’t need to do any grocery shopping, so I went to an Appalachian Trail parking lot and had a fun evening run!)

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I ran a new to me, NOBO AT section of 2 miles out and back.  Saw 8 deer and almost as many bunnies.  Also saw a thru-hiker who had pitched a tent to rest on the edge of the trail.  

Wednesday:  3 evening road miles  (I was busy making cupcakes for a luncheon at school, so I decided not to drive to the trails for a short run.  Took the pup and he was pretty tired by the end. )  It was over 95 degrees!

 

 

Thursday:  5 trail miles, 90 degrees

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My new crew socks that I got for Mother’s Day.  They keep trail debris from getting in between my socks and feet and have been great so far!  

Friday:  rest

Saturday:  10 trail miles (Started early Saturday morning so that I could by home by 9:30 to make breakfast for the boys.  It was a nice run and felt good to feel strong for a 10 miler.  Most of my 10 – 12 milers this training cycle have been the day after a 20 + mile run when my legs are tired!)

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No pic of the trails, but here is my breakfast after the run.  It was so good that I’m still thinking about it!  3 scrambled eggs with some mozzarella, avocado, sauteed onions, chipotle salsa, and sriracha…all on a whole wheat pita.  Definitely making this again!

Sunday:  8 trail miles (Seems SO weird to be running without tired legs all this week.  Although….I did not get into a good groove until mile 7.  Hahahaha…..good thing this is a long race!

New Gear:  UltrAspire Collapsible Soft Flask with Tube

I always fill my hydration bladder with plain water and keep a bottle in my vest pocket for Nuun.  The problem is, I was using a handheld 12 oz Nathan bottle and it was leaking down my leg and all over the vest pocket during my runs (for at least the first few miles). Also, Nuun tablets are for 16 oz of water and I was drinking some pretty strong Nuun since it didn’t hold that much!   I didn’t mind the flavor too much, but the leaking was getting annoying so I ordered this soft flask and it’s working well so far.

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I’ve used it 3 times already and will definitely be using it during the Cayuga Trail 50. The soft flask is easy to fill, does not make a sloshing sound when I’m running, fits perfectly in my vest pocket, and most importantly does not leak!  I love that I don’t have to take it out to drink and that it holds exactly 16 ounces.  Also, you can trim the bottom of the straw to whatever length to fit your needs.  I trimmed off about 3/4″ and it was the perfect height to be able to secure it into the yellow loop you can see in the picture near the top of the straw.  The straw is out in the picture because I was done running and had a drink, but it stayed secure in that loop while I was running. I’ll only have to take it out of the loop when I’m refilling it at aide stations.  I also like the soft flask better than my hard bottle I was using for the fact that the more I drink the smaller it gets, which means less weight/ bulk to carry around on the trails.

You can check it out here:

Ultraspire Collapsible Soft Flask with Tube

What new gear are you loving right now?

Any races coming up soon?

 

 

 

Ultra Training Week #18


And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. ~John Muir

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Happy, hungry, tired, and sore.  That pretty much sums up how I am feeling at the end of this week.  I had so much fun spending so many hours on the trails this weekend, admiring the beauty that was all around me.   My training this week has been empowering, captivating, and humbling.  I am proud of how far I have come, but most importantly, my soul is happy.

Monday:  rest

Tuesday:  4 miles on the xc course

Wednesday:  12 trail miles (double run 7, then chiro, then 5 more)

Thursday:  6 trail miles

Friday:  rest

Saturday:  26 miles (rained the entire time)

Ran from Pine Plantation at Kings Gap to Pole Steeple, played around on some other trails at Pine Grove, then ran back.

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A quick stop at Pole Steeple to refill my Nuun and eat a banana.  

 

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It literally stopped raining just for my arrival at Pole Steeple.  When I started back down for the AT, it picked back up again. 

Sunday:  7 miles cycling, upper body, and 10 miles hike/run

I ended up hiking the majority of the first 6 miles because my knees were just not ready to run again.  I was fine hiking but running was a killer.  My legs literally felt exactly like they did in the last 5 miles of Ironmaster’s 50K last year.  By mile 6 they started to feel better and by mile 7 I was 100% running, no hiking at all.  I planned to stop at 8.5 but a huge trail blocked my path when I was 0.1 miles from the parking lot.  I always climb over or through trees to keep going but this one had poison oak all over it so I turned around and went back the other way.  My legs actually felt springy so I ended up getting to 10 miles.  I was even leaping over some of the trees by the end of this run!

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Why do the most beautiful things only last a short time?

 

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They say that color is nature smiling 🙂
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These I could do without though.  Gypsy moths are back.  EWWW!   If they get on me I break out in an itchy red rash.  Good thing they are spraying for them in the park soon.  We had a ton of them in the Poconos.  

The Big Mystery This Week

What happened between Thursday and Friday to all the trees in Kings Gap?  Especially around Pine Plantation.  Thursday night I finished my run and talked with the park ranger who was warning me abut a bear sighting.  I even mentioned to him how nice the park was looking because all the down trees from the winter had been cleared off the trail.  Then by Saturday morning it looked like a war zone!  I counted 5 trees down in the first half mile of my run that day.  We had pouring rain Friday and I guess we must have had some wind too because the damage is crazy!  The pics below are just two of the twelve or more I encountered this weekend.

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One more quote to leave you with. . .

“No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.”

-Jack Kerouac

 

 

Week #16…Playing it Smart by Listening to My Body


This week my patience has certainly been put to the test!  It was supposed to be another 50+ mile week, but that was clearly not going to help me meet my goals.  With the combination of racing the Buck Ridge Burn faster than I had planned, and then a solid week of 56 miles last week (which included a 10, 11, and 23 miler), my body began to tell me it needed rest in the form of a nagging weakness in my right hip that was causing my IT Band to let me know of it’s presence every time I had to exert force on that side.   I’ve been through enough training cycles to know how this goes.  Could I have logged a decent amount of miles this week?  Absolutely.  Would I have been running weak and actually caused a “nagging tightness” to turn into a full blown injury?  Definitely.  So I had to ask myself what was more important.  Sticking rigidly to a training plan and modifying my runs here and there so that I could say I ran this week….or giving my body the rest it was demanding so I could meet my overarching goal of arriving to the start line of Cayuga strong as hell and ready to kick ass.  I choose ass kicking every time 😉

The decision to rest extra days when your training plan tells you otherwise is NOT an easy one.  However, I have complete confidence in the training I have done so far.  I have gotten in many solid long runs backed up by a second long run the following day, mountain repeats with decent vert, and some faster runs that were on both road and trail as well.   This was the first time I had any type of signal during the past 16 weeks that my body could possibly break down if I continued to hammer on as per my training schedule.  In the past (Gettysburg Marathon training & Ironmaster’s training) I pushed through potential injuries I started to feel about 10 weeks into training and ended up with an actual injury that put me out of running for 3-4 weeks.  So playing it safe and resting this week, given my past experiences, was definitely necessary to help me meet my goals.  An extra week of rest, a regular cutback week next week to ease back in…and then two more hard weeks before taper is the plan for now.

This is life, you know?  Roll with the punches.  Play it smart.  Stay positive.  Focus on your goals.  Things hardly ever go as planned.  So you problem solve, create an alternate path, and work your ass off in new ways to continue moving forward.

So what did I do this week?

I rested, saw my chiropractor, did my chiropractic homework (dynamic “cobra pose” stretches to open up my hip muscles more), stretched, foam rolled, ate fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, replaced runs with cycling, and lifted and worked on core like a boss.

Monday: 8 mile cycle, upper body, core, foam rolling, stretching, tennis ball for myofacial release in hip (works wonders!)

Tuesday:   rest

Wednesday:  3 mile trial on trails with dog (run/walk to test the extra rest day).  It was clear I needed more than one extra rest day so we stopped @ 3 miles and I went to the gym), 7 mile cycle, upper body, core

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The forest is coming to life with the colors of spring!

Thursday:  6 mile cycle, core, weights

Friday:  rest

Saturday:  10.2 mile cycle, stretching, strength, upper body, core

Sunday:  stretching, foam rolling, core

How to Maintain your Sanity when you Can’t Run

Besides getting frustrations out during weight lifting, here’s how you can to stay sane during time off from running. . .

  • Read a good book!  (Never have time for that!)
  • Go to a good sports chiropractor.  For anyone in my area, Dr. Lenny at Align Chiropractic is amazing.  The boys have gone there for wrestling related injuries, and I went during my Gettysburg Training.  Dr. Lenny takes the time to assess what is going and figures out the root of the problem.  He does not just treat the symptoms.  He is pretty confident I will not be sidelined over this, just a little bump in the road.  I go back tomorrow.  I love getting an expert’s point of view during a critical time in my training and am thinking that I should probably make it a regular thing when my training gets more demanding.
  • Catch up on work or chores to stay busy.  (Not exactly fun or stress relieving, but good to know something can be crossed off the to-do list).  My students will be amazed that their tests are graded and entered so fast!
  • Talk to your friends or text them to see how their trail runs went.  You might think that would be like rubbing salt in your wounds, but NOT AT ALL!  I am living vicariously through them.  If I can’t run in the woods I want to hear all about someone else doing it 🙂
  • Discover an obsession for something new….like sriracha.
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Egg whites with spinach, onion, and cheese topped with sriracha?  Don’t mind if I do!
  • Watch trail or ultra running videos on You Tube while you are cycling.  Here’s one I watched this week.  Crazy race!

The High

  • Have your family over for lunch and build some new hayfeeders for your goats.
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Happy goats in your backyard are the solution to all problems.
  • Heck, just cuddle up with your goats while they take a nap.  LOL
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This picture says it all.  

How do you stay sane when you aren’t running?

Keeping it Real. . .and Random


 

Last February I joined an online Weight Loss Challenge Group hosted by my good friend Karen.  I have always been athletic and at a healthy weight for my height, but let’s get real.  Having two kids, loving to cook and bake, and living most of my adult life chasing little kids around as my only form of exercise, I wasn’t where I wanted to be.  (Yes, those of you who know me….after high school and until I was 33 years old I was not a runner.  Family hikes and occasional workout DVD’s were my only purposeful exercise).  It was a time to focus on family and I loved every second of it.

When running came into my life, I started feeling really in shape for the first time.  I felt a renewed sense of health that I hadn’t had before …especially when I increased my distance from 5K to 13.1 and eventually a marathon. I was in a good groove;  however, two moves 800 miles away, in two years, and two new jobs in those new towns left me feeling like I didn’t have the time or energy to put into running and working out.  2013 was a very stressful year for our family for a lot of reasons.  We were between the moves, wanting to move back to PA to be near our family. We were dealing with a lot of stress, both financially and health-wise (my father became very sick and was in the hospital for weeks).  Needless to say, running took a back burner.  I still ran a few times a week when I could but did not train for any races or do any other type of exercise.  Most of my energy was put into applying for jobs and packing up the house to move back to PA!  We left behind some good friends, but the move needed to happen.

Thankfully it worked out, and in the summer of 2014, after getting settled into our new life, jobs, and community.  The following spring I began to train for my first race in about a year:  the Gettysburg North-South Marathon.  It was my fourth marathon, and I ended up with a nagging hip injury a few weeks out but was still able to do the race.  It wasn’t my best race at all, as I was under-trained and not in the best shape.  My nutrition wasn’t what it should have been.  Although we have always eaten a healthy diet for the most part, I wasn’t thinking of food as fuel the way I do now.  I wasn’t doing any form of cross training, lifting, or regular stretching.  I was pretty much doing the minimal.  I think I finished in 4:30 something.

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My Dad at the end of my race. Thankfully he made a full recovery and has always been a huge supporter of my running.  Love you, Daddy!  

I can see the difference in my body between now and then just looking at these pictures.  I love myself no matter what, but it makes me realize how much stronger I’ve become and how much my hard work is paying off!

One good thing that did come out of my Gettysburg training was that I took the plunge during training and signed up for my first trail race.  A half marathon on hard snow and ice around a frozen lake with freezing temps and the best soup and candy at the finish line.  I became hooked on trails and pretty much knew that Gettysburg would probably be the last road race finish line that I would cross in a long time (maybe ever?).

I still trained on roads for logistics purposes in 2016, but I focused on getting ready for my first 50K race:  The Ironmaster’s Challenge 50K.  After my first trail race I decided that an ultra had to be in my future!  I did some long runs on trails once a week but didn’t make trails a priority like I should have for that training.  I planned to add more trails around February or March, but that never happened because I ended up with a stress reaction behind my knee.  (Again, NO cross training, NO lifting, and minimal strengthening).

I decided it was time for a change so here is where Karen’s online Weight Loss Challenge came into play.  I knew I could be stronger.  I knew I could feel better running.  And I knew I could hone in on my nutrition to optimize my potential.  I just needed to be held accountable and to start putting a plan into action.

I had a goal of losing 10 pounds I think.  For my petite stature (5’1″) 121 pounds was not an ideal running weight.  I didn’t like how my shorts or pants were fitting and it was impacting my running.  I just didn’t feel very strong or swift on my feet.   The knee injury only added to my good fortune as I became a crazy stationary cyclist to log my miles (all while watching You Tube videos on ultra running nutrition), and I even began to lift weights and work on my core. I started to see more definition in my muscles over the first month or two of the challenge and I was doing really well.  I was finally on track and getting the results I wanted to see.  I have always loved the feeling after a good run (and still do of course), but I was gaining new appreciation for the feeling in your muscles after a good lifting session.

Here is a before and after that I took at the beginning and end of this challenge:

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Abs, where have you been hiding?

I started to keep a food journal and made sure to eat plenty of protein, healthy fats, minimal sugar, and minimal carbs (except for long run days!).  I cut out all processed foods and made sure to eat mostly whole foods.  Even for snacking.  Breakfast was oatmeal or eggs with fruit.  Lunch was a healthy salad with avocado and veggies.  Dinner was a lean protein and veggies.  For a snack it was plain Greek yogurt with PB2, honey and ground flax, fresh popped popcorn, or nuts.

I can see the difference in my body between now and then just looking at these pictures.  I love myself no matter what, but it makes me realize how much stronger I’ve become and how much my hard work is paying off!  I mean, I’m going to be running a crazy tough 50 mile course in less than four months, so I need to be strong and ready!

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Here I am at the finish line of my 50K!  

 

I’m proud to say that I have continued my lifting and core routine since this time last year.  I aim for 2-3 sessions per week and am currently trying to figure out when to add a steady leg routine in as well.  I am a much more well rounded runner and feeling strong on the trails (and roads when I have to run them).  I feel light on my feet and the newly found strength in my core has paid off tremendously over the long distance.  I have my nutrition figured out.    I am getting out on the trails 2-3 times per week during this training cycle. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever been this fit in my whole life.  I surpassed my 10 pound goal and my body has found it’s happy place which I am maintaining well with my current training and nutrition.  What an amazing feeling!

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Ironically enough, it’s the same outfit I wore to run Gettysburg.  I do have other running clothes but I guess it’s “fitting”.  lol

Excuse the poor lighting on this next one.  It’s not like me to post random pictures like this, but I think it shows how I am feeling inside.  Strong, confident, and ready to put in more work to conquer the Cayuga Trail 50 mile race.

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or at least get to the finish line in one piece…

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Hell of an elevation chart, right?

Thankfully I have my girl Jen to share food ideas with, talk training, and all things ultra trail running.   We will both be going up and down the hills of Cayuga in June, cruising (or rolling) to the finish line, whatever it takes.

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This is the first day I met Jen and I’m so grateful that I did!  We ended up running a lot of the 50K race together and did so to the finish.  That’s Jason in the middle.  We were like the 3 blind mice, only lost.  We all missed the same orange spray painted arrow and orange ribbon.  But then we found each other so it was all good.  lol   This was our last aide station before the finish and all we wanted were oranges. ALL the oranges!

So that is, in a nutshell, how I got to where I am now.  If you read this far, thank you for sticking with it.  You must have some serious endurance.  Have you ever thought of running an ultra?  😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soggy, Slippery, Sunset Rocks


We got a ton of rain today, which washed away most of the remaining snow.  While it poured, I caught up on some things around the house and did some core and stretching routines while watching Netflix with Hunter.  Finally, a few hours after lunch, I got myself ready for long run #2 and drove out to Pine Grove.  It was still raining lightly and super foggy driving over the mountain.  The trails were pretty much the same.

I chose to run the AT past the halfway point and past Tom’s Run shelter, to Sunset Rocks and complete the loop.  The AT was pretty soggy with large puddles in some places, but not as muddy as I thought it would be.  Sunset Rocks were very slippery so I really took my time scrambling through there!  Legs were feeling pretty good.

Saw another pileated woodpecker about a half mile from the place I saw one a few weeks ago on the same trail.  Pretty cool!

Here are some pics from today.  I hope everyone had a great weekend of running!

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My current favorite running socks.  There was one pair on runningwarehouse.com a few months ago at a clearance price of like $5 so I snagged them.  They are so warm and comfortable!  I’ll have to get some lighter ones for when spring gets here.
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Two weeks ago I thought I’d pass the halfway point but I had to turn around and head back.  Today I passed it and realized I had only been about a half mile away!

 

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And a random mailbox in the middle of the woods next to the halfway sign!  When it’s closer to spring maybe I’ll leave something for thru-hikers 🙂

 

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Tom’s Run shelter.  Pretty nice little set up. 

 

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It can be the gloomiest, yuckiest weather and I still always feel renewed  and happy after a trail run!

 

That’s a Wrap, Week # 6 of Training in the Books:

Monday:  REST

Tuesday:  3.5 miles easy

Wednesday:  7 road miles @ 8:36 average pace

Thursday:  4 mile snow run

Friday:  5 mile cycle, lifting, core

Saturday:  16 snowy AT miles, lots of elevation change

Sunday:  stretching, foam rolling, core, & 9 mile trail run

 

Looks like a weather warm up is on the way.  Enjoy your miles, guys!

 

 

 

 

 

“Keep on a Runnin”


It’s crazy mild and foggy here today.  I couldn’t wait to get out on the trails!

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Love this breakfast!

I chose Flat Rock trail today because it had been a few months since I’ve run there.  Plus, with 2,000 feet of elevation gain in one round trip (about 5 miles), it makes for a perfect place to train for Cayuga.  Today I planned to make two round trips without stopping at my car for anything and that’s what I did.

There was only one car in the parking lot when I started.  I decided on a light Nike long sleeve, capris, and a hat.  The trails were really wet from the rain this past week, and it was kind of misting when I started, but with temps in the mid 40’s, I knew it was going to be a great run.

This trail is very rocky in areas (which I love).  It’s so peaceful and gorgeous here wether this sun is shining or not.

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Start of the first stretch of climb.

 

 

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I absolutely loved how this tree looked with the foggy background.  So bold and majestic.
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Sun started trying to peak through the closer I got to the top.
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And then I was here.  Standing above the fog, looking down on the gray blanket covering Newville and up at the gorgeous blue skies!

 

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There was a beautiful sky up there today for few to see!

There was a group of 4 enjoying the overlook when I got their, along with their adorable chocolate lab puppy.  We talked for a few minutes.  They asked if I ran up there and I said I ran and power hiked.  It took them almost 2 hours to make the hike and they asked me how long it took me.  My Garmin said 38 minutes.

On the way down the mountain I ran conservatively since the rocks and leaves were so wet.  I passed an older gentlemen in a blue track suit carrying hiking poles. We said hi and I kept running.  24 minutes down to the parking lot. I turned around and started right back up again.  Somewhere half way up I passed Mr. Blue again on a steep climb and stopped to talk. He couldn’t believe I was going up again.  He asked what I was training for and said I was one tough girl.  We talked about the local trails and then when we started off on our way again he said “Keep on a Runnin”.   Those are words to live by for sure!

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A view of the eastern side of the mountain.
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Nuun and a Honey Stinger waffle to fuel me today.

When I reached the parking lot again I continued on a side trail that meanders around a lake and along a creek, for an extra mile.  I guess I did somewhere around 9-11 miles.  The trail sign mileage did not match my Garmin so I’m not totally sure.

I was happy to see my Nuun order sitting at the front door when I got home.  I had used my last tablet for this run and will need these tomorrow for another long run. I haven’t tried the Energy or Vitamins yet and am excited to test them out. I did have some tropical Nuun to rehydrate after the run and it was really yummy.  The perfect balance of electrolytes make such a difference in my running!

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Well time for the last home wrestling match to begin.  Good luck Bulldogs!