Monday, April 28, 2014

Support your running buddies!

A couple weekends ago was the Treasure Valley's famed RACE TO ROBIE CREEK.  It is not a secret to those who know me well that I do NOT care for this race much.  So, when I found out that one of my running friends SECRETLY signed up I did enjoy harassing her by calling her a "sell out" and a "traitor".  All in great fun of course.  On race morning Michele (who is converted to my anti-Robie feelings) decided to send our friend Kris off quite a BANG!  The theme for Robie was KILLER QUEEN.

We arrived at her house Saturday morning with balloons, chocolates, a crown, a second bib to attach to her official race bib and the Queen hit blaring on the stereo.

 She ended up having a great time and doing better than she had hoped!  All because we weren't with her to push her too much and she just ENJOYED herself!  Here is her race report...

-head wind all the way up but not bad it kept me cool
-65-70 degrees
-tried something new, ate a piece of banana at each station. Had a lot of energy. Felt great
-walked on the up side 5 times on the steeper parts
-got to the top at 1:51
-stopped to eat a banana, oranges and drank half of my rip it energy drink. Took about 2 mins.  Then I took off and didn't look back.
-LOVE THE DOWNHILL. RAN FAST AND STEADY. Kept up pretty much the same pace all the way down and did not stop. I kept passing people and thought I feet great!  Must be the Rip It and banana combo
-At the summit I was runner #1559, at the finish I was #1418, meaning I passed 141 people on the downside.
-Overall 1418 out of 2314.
-age group 56-59 I placed 14 out of 51
-chip time 2:33:36
-All in all I enjoyed the race. The only thing hat could have made it better was if my two running partners were running with me.
-My good husband "Mr. Tortoise" was there at the end to greet me.

So.. the lesson learned here?  If one of your running buddies signs up for a race that you think is dumb, as long as it isn't deadly or dangerous.....SUPPORT THEM!!  Good Job Kris!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Running makes me HAPPY!

There are very few things in this world that you can truly count on.  There are the ones that we all list; God and family.  But some days even that seems tested.  I have come to realize that RUNNING is something that I can always count on.  I get up and I start my run and I know that I will then finish that run.  Contrast that with the laundry that will NEVER be finished, the house that will NEVER stay clean, or the weeds which are NEVER gone.  Running also doesn't talk back, hold a grudge, or get jealous.  It is always just simply; my run-my way.

Over the past year I have had some amazingly trying experiences.  Before it all happened, would I have signed up to experience them? NO WAY!!!  I would have never signed up to have a giant tumor grow inside of me and then have major surgery to get it removed followed by long days of recovering.  I would have passed on the piles of medical bills that stress my poor husband out every time he checks the mail box.

However, I am glad it did happen.  I have received a new outlook on life and of course on my running.  Now I will admit,  I do still push myself and try to PR when I can, but there is something else new in my running outlook.  I think a lot of that came when I switched to Ultra running.  There is a more calming, welcoming atmosphere in this genre of racing.

Now don't get me wrong, I still set my goals way too high, run around in circles when my sister is in the porta john to try and get extra mileage, and never finish a run on an odd mileage amount; but I am much more laid back.  If I feel tired, I walk.  If I hurt, I stop.  If I wake up feeling run down, I ignore the alarm and take a day off.

Ironically, this new me has been logging in twice as many miles per month as I was pre surgery.  I feel better and I'm happier.  Running has given me a lot.

My sister recently has had a neighbor start to continually nag her about how unhealthy running is and bad for her body.  She is nearing her last nerve with this person.  If I ever meet them I will simply say, "When the surgeon removed the 8 pound tumor from my body, he told me that running saved my life.  So because of running I am alive to hear YOU insist that running is bad for me."

Last week we had a fabulous run through the trails.  So much beautiful scenery.  A great day.  Yes running makes me happy!!  If you aren't happy... start running!!

These rocks look like a giant hand coming out of the hillside!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kris' birthday trail runner (without Kris)

Birthday's are celebrated by people in a variety of ways.  Some go out to dinner feasts, others have large parties, a few may simply chose to ignore it all together. We recognize our birthdays in true runners fashion......  A TRAIL RUN!

So, this April it was Kris' birthday!  Time to celebrate.  She picked the day, she picked the trail, she took off work, and then she cancelled on us! WHAT?!?!  As a runner, what would you do?  Well, probably exactly what we did.....

Does that make us bad friends?  No, we were running in honor of her birthday, that makes us the most extreme dedicated friends anyone could ever hope for.  Lesser friends would have forgotten the planned run and moved on.  No, we ran.

The plan was to park up high on 8th street, run Corrals to Scot's then cut across the road and come down the interpretive trail.  We haven't had a chance to run this trial in the spring to see all of the waterfalls and scenery so we were very excited.  The trail did NOT disappoint.  The views were amazing.

This looks like a giant rock hand emerging from the hillside!!

We had a great time and texted Kris all of the pictures to let her know what a great Birthday run it was!  She is lucky to have such great friends!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I just became an ULTRA-MARATHONER!!

This year I had decided to jump out of the road racing series and try my "feet"at Ultra Trail Racing.  I have ambitiously signed up for a handful of Ultra and began my training. Then before I knew what hit me.... it was March 27!  How did that come up so quickly? The nerves really started to kick in as soon as I had my race packet in my hand. I had signed up to run a 12 hour timed race?  Was I really ready for this?

The race I was signed up for was the Pickled Feet Runs.  You could choose your time that you wanted to run; 48, 24, 12 or 6 hours.  I chose the 12 hour option from 6 PM Friday to 6 AM on Saturday.  My goal was to get 40 miles in.  And as race day approached I began to wonder what I was getting myself in to!

I spent TWO DAYS packing my gear and supplies.  I fretted over what foods to bring, clothes, socks, everything!  Would it rain, be hot or cold?  I knew I would need to have everything with me that I could possibly ever need!  Here it is a work in progress.

I couldn't sleep the night before the race.  It was like it was Christmas Eve and I was 6 years old hoping for the new Pink Party Pony Castle!  I maybe got 4 hours of actual sleep if even that!  I woke up and went all out with a HUGE breakfast for champions!

This was the LAST thing I ended up eating.  I got so nervous around lunch time that my stomach warned my "what ever you eat, I am sending back!"  So I sipped on water and G2 and watched the minutes slowly tick away. I was getting so nervous!

Time to go!!!

The whole family piled in to the car and we headed out to Eagle Island State Park. Race start in 2 hours.

The Course Map (You can do the loop either direction)

Race Bib Attachment #808
Me and my sweetheart before the race
Last minute advice from my sons (they are actually asking me what is for dinner)

My 10 year old is more excited than I am!  This one is for you Cory!!
Here is the lake I would be running around all night.  Hope I don't take a wrong turn followed by an unexpected swim!


Not sure if they are proud of me or worried about me or concerned about dinner!

 As we lined up at the start I found Marcie Bettys.  She is so inspiring!  She was running the 24 hour option.  AMAZING! I loved seeing her, she got me pumped up to run!

6:00 PM on the dot and we started.  I was taking the first steps towards my first Ultra!  My goal was 40 miles.  I had calculated a dozen times exactly what I would need to do in order to achieve that.  I however had no idea what running for 12 hours would require of me both physically and mentally.

Like I ALWAYS do in EVERY race I run in..... I went out too fast!  I'd like to blame it on my speedy son who ran with me at the start, but I am adult and no one can force me to do anything!  No I took off too fast because that is what I do. But I still had a GREAT TIME DOING IT!!

 I ended up running the first 7.5 miles non-stop at a 9:30 pace.  Turns out that is probably too fast for a silly girl running her first ultra marathon.  Whoops.  I started to ease up on the pace and take some walk breaks.  I didn't want to fall short of the 40 mile goal I had set.

The weather was PERFECT!  Up until my time start it had been pouring rain.  But for my entire 12 hours it did not rain and was a comfortable temperature.  I met a few new runners and got to run with some I already new, it was such an awesome atmosphere.

To summarize my run (otherwise this post would be too long)......

I had a cot and tent set up in case I needed a break.  My husband and 10 year old (who returned after dinner) slept on it from 11:00 PM until my finish.... so NO I did not take any rest there.

I never changed my shoes or socks, received no blisters, and suffered from only one toe nail causality.

I got very nauseous at midnight (6 hours in).  That's when they introduced me to my new BFF - chicken broth!

Favorite sign on the course read: "You paid to do this!"  Gave me a chuckle every time I passed it!

One of my favorite parts of the run was passing the timing tent and hearing Rich or Andy say "Hi Jodi.  You are at Mile ____"

My sister and the Bossy Bandit showed up at 2:00 AM to volunteer and support me.  This was a critical time!  I was tired and worn down.  They gave me the jolt to get me back into it!

Discovering how delicious cold bacon is after 10 hours of running!

Running in the dark, tired, I took a wrong turn, got lost for a bit... It added a mile to my course total!

As I hit 40 miles I couldn't believe it! I still had time left!  I finally stopped and sat down and rested.  My legs, knees, ankles, arms, back, EVERYTHING was hurting.  Yes, I was tired but I felt so proud of myself.  I had pushed my body to a limit I didn't know it had.  My legs were cramping and really starting to hurt.  Michele and Kris started to rub my calves for me.  Kris announced, "Well this is something I NEVER thought I would do!"  We laughed and just took a second to enjoy the moment.  One more bathroom break and I was headed out to keep going.  They jokingly said that they would go with me in case I couldn't get up off of the toilet seat.  I am pleased to report that I managed on my own.  As I was leaving the bathroom, a runner was washing her hands.  She was there for the race that would start at 6 AM when mine ended.  She was clean, fresh, alert and looked ready to run.  I walked past the sink and she gave me the "not washing your hands" look.  I announced to her and all who could hear me, "I have been running for nearly 11 hours straight.  I do not care about hygiene right now and I will not be washing my hands!"

Time to finish.  I pushed myself, my sweet 10 year old ran with me, my husband, my sister, and Kris were cheering for me as I finished.  I wept as they hugged and congratulated me.  45.21 miles (their lap count gave me 44.2 but remember I got lost and I am counting all my miles!!).

And so now I enter the group of Ultra-Runners.  I type this as I obey the recommended "rest" time so my tired body can recover.  Next up: Weiser River 50K solo run.  31 miles? Should be a piece of cake.... or should I say BACON!