Friday, July 22, 2016

Trail Runner

I enjoy running on trails so much more than I enjoy running on streets. Don't get me wrong I will run anywhere I can because I love running.  Running in the woods just makes me feel so care free, no cars, less people, beautiful scenery. Last week I had the opportunity to run an event called Quadzilla. It was a 15K trail run and it was a blast. First of all I made it to the start with only minutes to spare. My husband was kind enough to drive to me to the race which was over an hour and twenty minutes from our home and then we someone missed an exit. We were hoping to get there at 7 am and got there at 7:25. Oops. Anyway I did not let that stop me from having a good run. I quickly grabbed my race bib pinned it on my shorts and headed over to the start. Since I got there so late I just lined up and the back of the pack.

There was some walking almost immediately after the race started which is always frustrating but it comes with the territory. Its hard to fit over 350 people on single track trail in the woods when we all start at the same time. I had kind of wished at this point that I was up further at the start but looking back this probably saved me to finish the race feeling as strong as I did. Had I been up front I would have went out much faster and probably fried my legs by mile 4. My legs felt great during the entire event. It was very hot and I was surprised as to how much open trail there was on the course. I was wishing for more shade during a July trail run!

The hills were great. I am by no means an amazing hill runner but I do love a challenge and Quadzilla gave us just that. Im very happy I signed up and Im even more happy that my husband came with me!  The event staff and volunteers were great and I freaking love the shirts we got for signing up. The race was really enjoyable and if you live in Southeastern PA I would recommend you sign up for it next year.

PS check out them calves!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016


How freaking cool is the race name Quadzilla? I wanted to run this race just on the name alone but then I read into more and its a trail race that is 15k. I thought this event would be the perfect event to follow up after our 50 miler.  I have not signed up yet but I am pretty certain that I will be.

Running has been tough since the Glacier Ridge race. I guess 50 miles was more taxing on my body that I had expected it to be. I am finally feeling like I have my full energy levels back. It took nearly a month. Every time I would go running I would feel so tired. My legs are feeling strong again. I am so grateful for this. I can think of nothing better to do now that my legs are feeling strong again so lets trash them on some gnarly trails!!!

We have reviewed the elevation change for Quadzilla and I think it will certainly be a challenge but it is nothing more than we have done before. It will just be condensed hills and it should be a freaking blast. I don't have many weeks to train but I honestly don't think I will need long. I haven't really stopped running at all. I took 5 days off from running immediately after the 50 mile race. ( 1 day off for each 10 miles raced) When I started running again I switched to only 3-4 days a week rather than the 5 that I was running during my last training plan. I am ready to ramp back up to 5 days a week now. I am going to work on speed training and hills! I will also be doing lots of legs routines to super charge my quads!!

Name these quads??

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Emotional AF

Over the weekend I ran my first 50 mile trail run. The event was in Northern PA, Glacier Ridge Trail.
I was stalking the weather forecast for Butler PA for a week before the race as I normally do. Rain rain rain all week. The past two ultra events I signed up for it had rained the entire week before the event. I was keeping the faith that the trails would still be run-able and that I would be able to finish but that my time would just be slower.

We got the start area and dropped off our drop bags around 545. The start time of the race was 6:30 for the 50 mile runners, 7:30 for the 50k runners and then 8:30 for the 30k runners. Thankfully we started the race with no rain. I want to say there was very little rain until about 8 but the trail was already super muddy and pretty soft in many places. When we stopped for fuel at the mile 10 aid station I was feeling great and optimistic even with all the mud and rain. As we set off on the next stretch things were going good but the course was even more destroyed. By the time we reached the half way point of this leg the people in the head of the race were coming back the other directions and also some of the fast 50k runners were starting to pass us. Once we were running back towards the aid station I was pretty much in shock as to how much softer the trails were then when we just ran on them miles ago.

At mile 20 things started to really change for me mentally. My fingers were extremely swollen which had never happen to me before. I didnt know what was going on with my body. I took way to much time at the aid station this time and my legs suffered. Since it was so cool and raining my body cooled down and my IT Band was pissed off for the remainder of the event. My mantra for this race was if it hurts to walk and it hurts to run, RUN. I kept telling myself that. It was so hard to run this freaking course. Not just because my IT Band was pissy and my fingers were sausages but the mud made it so hard for me to enjoy the event because I kept skipping and sliding everywhere. I almost lost my shoes so many times. I had other shoes in my drop bag but I figured what is the point in changing them when they too will be trashed in just a matter of feet.

We kept on going, Miles 20-40 on the swamp run leg were rough. I had a mental break down around mile 30. I had to call my husband so he could give me a pep talk. He told me how I wasn't a quitter and that I had to keep going so I did. My watch had died at this time which was a blessing at first but then a bit of of a curse at the very end of the race when we finished 5 minutes shy of the cut time! I was so disappointed that we didn't finish before the cut time that I couldn't allow myself to be happy that I even finished at all.

I am way to hard on myself. I am grateful to know that I can complete that distance. I was pissed about the mud but seriously I couldn't do anything about that. I know what I could have changed to make the race better. I lived I learned. I am so thankful that at no point during the race did I think about giving up running!! I was hoping to feel like the picture below but better luck next race.

I would like to thank everyone who helped me get to the start and finish of this race. My family and friends for watching my children during my insane 20 week training schedule and over race weekend. The many people who listened to me talk over and over about my race when you could care less about ultra running and probably all think I'm insane. My awesome running team Miki & Kelly thank you for forcing me into trail running and getting me to sign up for nutty 50 mile events! Everyone at the Glacier Ridge Trail Ultramarathons, the managers and race directors and many volunteers and sponsors! The event its self was really well organized and the aid station were amazing. The only thing I would have changed was the mud haha.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Back to Back Long weeks

Weeks 16 & 17 of the training program I have been following were nuts!! The first of the two hard weeks was not as hard as the second. My legs were spent on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday of the Second hard week. On Saturday when I started out my long run it was so much harder than when I started that exact same run the week before.

When I started my 12 mile run on the second Sunday however I felt much better than I did on the 12 the Sunday before it was the strangest thing. I think it was purely mental. I think on Sunday the 17th the 12 was so hard because I knew I had another brutal week ahead of me and then on the 24th the run was much easier because I knew I was starting my taper and that would be the last run over 10 that I had to do until race day.

Training for this race I have not been as mental about my running performance as I was when training for the Blues Cruise 50K. I have been running injury free for months and month now and that really had built my confidence up but the last two weeks the mental monster started to creep back in. 

I have just started my taper and last week and even just yesterday I was all gung-ho to taper and now that it is here Im losing my mind already haha. I know my body needs this time to recover from all the running I have been doing the past few weeks. I really need to trust this training schedule that I have been following for the past 17 weeks, and trust myself. Today I have to run 4 tomorrow 8 Thursday 6 Saturday 10 and Sunday 8. Next week I will be on vacation so this taper couldn't have come at a better time! I remember stressing about my long runs last year on vacation and that wont be the case this year!