Daily Chatter

Thursday, March 31, 2011

3 Things Thursday - The holy sh** edition

First I apologize for the out-of-character potty mouth. 
This is a family friendly blog after all but today is a BIG day.

Holy Sh**! 
It's snowing again.  Well, that was after the sleet but it's winter precipitation.  I'm really over winter now.  I am completely ready to begin complaining about the humidity and sweating too much.  Turning off the pellet stove and not having to clean it again would be great.  And don't even get me started on the electric bill.

Holy Sh**!
S'ghetti girl that rock-star of the academic life.  That streaker of school days to the tune of 5 years without missing a day!  That amazing nearly always straight A student. 
Forgot part of her homework for the THIRD time.
...in Math.  Her least favorite subject. 
yeah, it's booooorrrrring.

Holy Sh**!
In 8 more days I WILL be running the Bull Run Run 50 miler.  After watching my name creep painfully slowly up the wait list, it rested at #1 all evening and through the night only to be greeted this morning by an email from the RD telling me that...

Holy Sh**! 
I'm IN! 
...to the tune of...
... 50 miles....
...to just beyond what my eyes can see today...
...and in 8 more days, I'll be wondering what is just beyond the new place I find my feet...
...at the end of 50 miles.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

The HAT Run Trail 50k

A creek crossing.  I loved getting cool feet!

Having a blast in the woods running like a kid.

The trail along the creek.

A beautiful scene

An oasis in the race.  Aid station volunteers rock!

The 3 times through aid station. 

Just a photo pause

Loved this amazing tree!

Another hill

The view was worth it!

Still loving it!

After another creek awesome old building.

Others coming into the finish

My signature pretzels still in my hand

My shoes nicely washed by the creeks

The band entertaining us after the race

Another amazing experience out in the woods.
Awesome knit embrodered beanie for the finishers

Ultra # 5 ~ 6:17
second best time
13/48 AG
166/420 OA
The HAT Run.
Can't wait to go back next year!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just Another Day

Streak ~ Day # 324

Today was much like any other day.
I woke up wanting more sleep but I got up any way.
wondered where I was on the BRR wait list
I woke S'ghetti girl up.
wondered where I was on the BRR wait list
I woke S'ghetti girl up again.
checked the website...I'm 13th
I woke S'ghetti girl up again.
wondered if I'd move up on the BRR wait list
S'ghetti girl caught the bus to school.
worried that I'd move up on the BRR wait list
I ran my morning miles.
imagined what running to 10+ hours would feel like
LBM and I got ready for our day.
confirmed that I was still 13th on the BRR wait list
LBM off to the sitter.
wondered if my name would move during the day
Me off to work.
saw my name move to 12th on the BRR wait list

Busied myself with the day's responsibilities at work
stalked the BRR website
I have barely had a moment to think with so much to do;
planned two possible hotel options
dealing with customers,
printed out routes from both hotels to the race start
talking with co-workers,
printed out routes from home to the hotels
balancing check books.
checked the BRR website just in case my name moved
I did take a moment to pray for those who will be running BRR 50 miler
especially those concerning dropping out
I'm only thinking of their safety
you know, maybe 13 of them

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Few Happenings

We celebrated Hubb's 40th birthday.

We attempted to roller skate...

...finally figured it out...

...and then totally rocked it!

I move up to 15th on the wait list
looks like I am actually going to be doing this! EEEK

We played in the woods

We climbed to new heights

We enjoyed a few runs just for the fun of it!
Day # 323.

Sometimes non-racing weekends are the best!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Today is day 319 of my streak.  I am so excited that in a mere 46 days I will have completed my year.  A year that started out as a challenge to do 100 runs and went a little viral from there.  While I know that running every day is not the only or best route to a healthy lifestyle, I do believe it shows that even a busy working mom can make the time to focus on fitness each and every day.  It's just a matter of priorities and I believe it's time we all start making ourselves a priority again.

If you haven't read my insanely long wonderfully articulate HAT Run race report you should.  It in I talk about my feelings towards celebrities.  Well, my honesty touched a place deep inside Chris
 (yeah, I can call him Chris we are practically BFFs now)
because he already wants to share photos.  Now I don't know where this will go I mean I am a married woman but clearly we share a deep admiration for one another...well that and PB&J sandwiches.

I am sure you remember my post asking each of you to guess my finish line time for the HAT Run.
You remember it because it was a giveaway.
I think next time I'll have to request a reserve with so few entries.  
All joking aside, I listed the entries in reverse order just to switch it up.
And the winner is... 

Rae drop me an email and I'll get you the details.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The HAT Run 2011 ~ Race Report

As I like to do I have taken a few days to think about my experience at the HAT Run Trail 50k before sharing my thoughts with you.  Often this give me time to neither share too shining of a review from still being on that racer's high or to low of a review from still suffering from the pains after the run.  In this case, no amount of time would diminish they utter enjoyment I had during this experience.
Let's begin.


For this race Hubbs was taking the kiddos to his parent's house for the weekend.  His folks were renewing their vows and due to a scheduling problem our events happened on the same day.  This meant that I needed to wait until he got to the PA house and picked up the kids before I could start the 3 hour drive to my hotel. 
The kids and I used that time to play together since I wouldn't see them until Sunday afternoon.  They enjoyed a little extra solo mom attention until Hubbs got there.  Of course as all things go, by the time the cars were loaded, conversations had, last minute trips to the bathroom completed and arguments of who would get the last hug were had it was late.  Which meant I would get to my hotel late after a week of getting to bed late.  Oye.

I'll spare you the details of the long drive and summarize it with the fact that I am a rural chick.  I don't believe any road needs to have 8 lanes of traffic and I think the concept of paying to drive in tunnels is insane!  However, I made it to my hotel with the car and myself in one piece and tried to check into my room.  yeah about that.  I would have loved to see my face when the guy told me my credit card didn't work.
All race nerves were gone in an instant.
After trying three credit cards he finally got the first one to work.  Hummm, operator error? 
don't worry, I'm watching the other emergency cards for any charges.

Finally in my room I did the normal check for bed bugs pre race set up; filled my pack with fluids and 6 GUs, got my ibuprofen ready, double checked my "drop bag", made last minute sock decisions and finally called home to say goodnight to the family.
Off to bed.


You may think it is a little over board to share all these details about the prep, pre-race, race and post-race things but I know from experience that when I am looking to run races I want to read all these details so I know what to expect when I am there.  I also want to record how the event went for me because I am a runner who loves to run the same races over again.  I want a record of what worked and what didn't for the next time I am here. 

I drove for about 15 minutes to the address of the Stepping Stone Museum when I saw a car in front of me with two running stickers on the back.  I decided to follow it.  Good choice.  It turns out I didn't need to go to the museum at all.  I got a great parking spot which allowed my car to be accessible three times during the race if I had needed to get anything.  Plus I didn't have far to walk after the race back to my car.
Packet pickup was in a building just at the top of the parking area.  For a trail ultra this race had swag!  We got a nice Northern Face draw string bag, a tech race tee and a copy of Born to Run.  Oh yeah the author, Christopher McDougall was running with us.  No big deal.
Seriously though, I saw him at the start and that was pretty much it.  I am really not into the whole celebrity thing.  I admire people who are able to do what they love to inspire and educate others but beyond that I'm not really going to knock myself out for an autograph.  I mean, he didn't track me down for mine.  I am a less-than-spring-chicken, full-time-working, mother-of-three, holder-together-of-the-Cable-family-universe and I find time to run 50-60-80 miles a week and run ultras, so who should be asking for who's autograph?
I don't hold it against him though.

The start
515 runner registered.  420 made it to the start line. 
362 would make it to the finish.
another reason for my delay in posting is a delay in getting photos so I'll share more later when I get them.

The start was a gathering of runners across an open field followed by a 3.9 mile loop and two identical 13.7 mile loops.  The first loop began with an out and back on a paved park road.  A narrow road.  I had a little trouble finding a steady pace until we returned to the field and passing was more of an option.  We passed through the finish line and pavilion to run across a large hay field before entering the single track trails.

photo courtesy Jeff Hinte

During my first small loop through the trails, I realized that this race would be the best marked course I had yet run one.  The course was marked with small bright yellow plates with arrows on them.  It was nice to have the worry of getting lost removed from my mind.  The next issue would be the creek crossings and there was to be a lot of them.  This early in the race there were still a lot of runners bunched together but passing was possible and I quickly found myself running to two veteran ultra runners.  Steve (who happened to be the driver of the car I had followed to the race site) one of the veterans said that the first creek crossing was coming up quickly and jokingly offered to carry me across.  Knowing I had quite a few more opportunities to get wet I figured I might as well just charge across and cool my feet.  Turns out the cold water was a welcomed relief each time I got the opportunity to get wet.

photo courtesy Jeff Hinte

My plan for pacing (what little pacing I attempt to do during these events) was to simply keep my 5 mile blocks between 45 minutes to an hour.  After running the first small loop that gave me a taste of what the trail was like I felt that a lot of this race might be runnable, if I was smart about my paces. 
Which we all know I am rarely smart.
Before I knew it we were headed back up the hill to the "finish" aid pavilion to start the first of two 13.7 mile loops.  I grabbed a small cup of water and a few pretzels, pulled out a GU, snapped a few photos you know the ones I don't have to add yet and headed out across the hay field.

During the first loop I felt extremely confident in my running aka I ran too fast and I ran a lot.  In previous trail races I have been hesitate on downhills.  This course allowed me to run all the downhills.  With the 9800 feet of elevation change I was constantly using different muscle in my body, I know that played a big part in allow me to run as much as I did. 

I rarely stopped for longer than a minute at aid stations on this loop.  I was relying on GU, my hydration pack and a few pretzels that I'd grabbed.  At the second creek crossing during the second big loop I made a mistake.  I didn't pause to look at the creek at all I simply charged across only to end up hip deep in water with my feet sunk in a sediment pile. 

A brief run through at an aid station with Christopher McDougall
I'm in the pink in the background.

A section of the 13.7 loop was on trail roads and briefly on paved road.  While the majority of a trail run is not ran at a consistent pace, this section I ran at a very fast pace.  I heard the warnings from other runners that I was running too fast.  Of course, I knew that it was a calculated risk to push during this section not knowing how long I would be on the road and knowing that I have trouble scaling my pace back once I am provided with a easy road to run on.  Luckily the road didn't last too long and I quickly found myself at an awesome aid station located at a community park.  The funny thing was this aid station was maybe 25 yards through the woods from the aid station pictured above.  I didn't like knowing that during the second loop.
I filled my pack and continued to loosely follow my plan of taking a GU about every 45 minutes to an hour.  I took a few ibuprofen at this aid station too.  There were port-a-potties here and I debated about stopping since there were few times when I was running alone but decided to risk having to coop a squat along the trail if necessary. 

I wish I had my photos to share the beauty of this course.  It was almost perfect running.  There were only a few muddy spots in drainage areas.  The weather was ideal and surprisingly I hadn't over dressed.  I don't know when I fell in running with a young lady, Jenn and her boyfriend.  I honestly can't recall if it was during the first or second loop.  It seemed like I was with them for a long time.  Long enough for me to think they were tired of my chatter.  But I have to mention them and thank Jenn especially for the company on the trail.  She told me that the HAT was her first 50k. 
Jenn went on to finish in 6:14
Even though I knew she was a bit younger than myself, that competitive nature kept me from letting her get ahead of me until late in the second lap when sanity finally found me at the end of the road section after I ran it too fast for the second time.  So a big THANKS to Jenn and her boyfriend for helping me enjoy my own HAT experience a little bit more!

Facing the finish line to start the second loop was not at all difficult for me.  I had listen to many veterans say that seeing the finish line and knowing you still had to keep running was an issue but it really didn't bother me.  I enjoyed having the race not only broken up by aid stations but also by the loops.  I knew I only had one more loop to go and I was done.  Mentally it actually helped me manage the distance.
I paused at the aid station only briefly.  Again I was relying on myself for fueling and only indulged in a few pretzels and water.  During the race I only topped off my pack once. 

But there was the hay field again.  I don't enjoy running cross country and hay fields are not very smooth.  I was so happy to hit the tree line and go back into the woods.  My second go round with this loop was for the most part identical to the first.  I felt strong the majority of the way and enjoyed the scenery a little more the second time.  Stopping at a giant white oak tree to take photos of fellow runners.  The view around the lake from within the trees was amazing.  By this point as my body tired I noticed more aches and pains.  One of which I had ignored to this point. 
My heel.

I had gotten a little rub mark from all the grit that had gotten in my shoes from the creek crossing but had been able to ignore it until now.  Not being willing to stop I adjusted my socks and hoped for the best. 
It's at this point those last few miles when you know that the end is near that things get tough.  All those little annoyances that you could ignore suddenly become major issues.  As I had been using my time on the trail to pray for certain people and issues, at this point my prayers turned to all the runners behind me.  I know how hard it is to run for hours on end and those runners who would finish after me know the challenge too.  I thanked God for the opportunity to do this crazy thing that I love.  I encouraged the runners around me who were so eagerly awaiting that final hay field that I had previously disliked.
And there it was.  An opening in an old stone wall awaited me after a brief climb and that suddenly amazing hay field lay beyond it.
Oh how I loved that hay field!  No hay field of my youth ever smelled as sweet.  I didn't have much push left to give but I ran with everything I had to that finish line.  A set of bleachers were filled with cheering supporters and race finishers.  My ultra friends cheered something like, "Here comes PA!"
And 6 hours and 17 minutes after I stood in a Maryland hay field with 420 others,
I was finished.

2011 HAT Run Trail 50k ~ 6:17
second best trail ultra ever

AFTER THE RACE...to be continued
The winner of the CSN Stores gift card will be announced tomorrow.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The HAT Run is done

My 5th Ultra is done.
SUPER Tough Course.
Second best time ever!
6:17 finishing time

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Friday, March 18, 2011

You have been warned

Last night the kiddos and I ran errands after work.  This is something I do not like to do.  After working all day I want to go home and get my run on.  Then my day is complete.
But last night I had to get a few things for the house.  The kids are going to spend the weekend with their grandparents while I race so I picked up a few things to make sure they had familiar items with them while I am gone.
While I was shopping I saw these.
and they saw me coming!

Of course they were NOT on my list but they called to me as I walked by pretending not to notice them.
They playfully reminded me that I have a BIG important long calorie-burning race on Saturday so I could indulge in a few less-than-healthy treats. 
Oh, I tried to resist but in the end they came home with me.
I sat them in a bag of other race day after-the-event refueling items for my long drive home.  Then I heard them again calling to me.  They reminded me that I didn't want to risk eating something new after such an impressive physical demonstration of my utter amazingness and become ill thus ruining a wonderful day!
That sounded like great logic to me.
I ate them.
Not all but a lot.
And they liked it!

I'm not saying they made me but I think they strongly encouraged me.
So now you know.
Don't say you weren't warned!

(The things we do to keep our minds off the fact that the BIG race IS tomorrow morning!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The HAT Run Trail 50k ~ Goals

I am reminded; in light of all that is happening in the world today that I am sheltered from but not unaware of, that I am so fortunate to be given the opportunity to be out in nature with other like-minded people enjoying what God has given us and helped us to be capable of. Along my run on Saturday I will be praying for various people and situations as I often do. I ask that you might join me (perhaps during your own run) in praying for all those affected to the recent natural disasters around the world.

Day # 311 ~ p.m. run ~ 6 miles

Did you see the weather forecast?

I guess I should be happy that the temperature for my Saturday race is a more comfortable 50degrees however I already thought there would be enough water on the course with at least 4 major creek crossing!
The upside is that I usually like running in the rain.  I just don't know how I will like running hills in the rain for 6 to 7 hours.  My fingers are going to be crossed that it holds off until after I have crossed that finish line!

The conditions will be what they will be so I won't speed a lot of time worry about them.  I'll try attempt to prepare for them as I look at setting so goals for this latest adventure. 

So here it is:

My I FINISHED goal: To arrive on time. To start. To finish.
aka: Finish Feeling Fine having Fun
This may be my biggest worry for this race since I will be traveling alone to a place I have never been.  Did I mention I am geographically challenged?  I am.  I have a card.  It's a club.
My I CAN goal: Finish in 7:06. 
Which is my time from the most challenging Ultra I've yet run.

This one is a little harder this time.  I don't know the course at all.  I DO know that it is relentless hills and water crossings.  So I am going into this race with much the same attitude as the Skyline Challenge 50k.  That would be to enjoy the challenge of this course.
My I LOVE IT goal: To finish within 31 minutes of my PR.
 With a current PR is 6:06 my I LOVE IT time would be 6:36.
My I DREAM IT goal: Under 6 hours.

As I often say, on any given day you just don't know what you are capable of until you amaze yourself doing it.  I will take all the positive experience I can from this race and it's runners and volunteers no matter how my body chooses to perform on Saturday. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Are you guys cRaZy?

March 15th was the 75th of 2011
and my 100th run and 684th mile of the year.

For my streak it was my:
310 day
422 run
2535.4 mile

During which I ran various shorter distance races (5ks, 10ks, 21k and a relay) plus 3 Trail Ultras.

And after all that you guys think I can run another trail 50k with a finishing time ranging from 5:59 to 6:40!
If you haven't offered your best guess click on yesterday's post to entry my giveaway with your guess.

Did you not look at the profile?
Go ahead click.  Take a look.  I'll wait.

See!!!!  What I mean!

Wow.  What confidence you all have in me. 

Thanks for believing I can.
and if any of you want to come out to
the Stepping Stone Museum in the great Susquehanna State Park
and offer to support me, feel free to drop me a line. 
It's going to be a beautiful day.

Tomorrow I'll set some realistic goals for Saturday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What better reason (for a Giveaway!)

Yesterday was a great day.
At the start I had my doubts though.  With the time change and the loss of daylight in the morning I overslept and we had to move it to get ready for the school bus.  But like a champ S'ghetti Girl hustled and we made it with time to spare. 

After getting S'ghetti Girl on the bus I did what any obsessed runner would do with a flexible 20ish minutes I hopped on the treadmill and ran 3 miles.  I justified this by telling myself that I never know what the day might have in store for me but this way I did at least a little something good for me.

Fast forward through the drudgery of the work day and we are back home.  I can't interest LBM into getting into the jogging stroller even though it is really nice outside.  Not wanting to waste much time in the effort I relent and get on the treadmill for 5 miles while the kids play. 

I stop knowing the 8 miles is more than enough with my next race, the Hat Run Trail 50k on Saturday.  When I get upstairs and see that we still have a bit of daylight remaining I tell the kids we are going to walk to my sister's house and pump up the tires on the jogging stroller.  This will not only make sure the tires are ready for when I can get LBM to go for a run but will also give the kids a little more exercise outside.   Surprisingly LBM climbs into the jogger asking for a snack on his little tray.  He hadn't forgotten all the little stay-in-the-stroller tricks after all.  I grab a little pack of gummies and S'ghetti Girl grabs her scooter and we run down to my sisters to pump the tires.

Task accomplished we jog back up the hill to our house but when I try to get LBM out of the jogger he tell me he wants to keep going.  Well, who am I to deny the child what he wants?!  I grab my Garmin and we are off.  I keep offering to turn around but LBM encourages me to go farther finally agreeing that we should turn around near my one mile marker of course I finished out my mile before turning, runner first.

And that jogging stroller mommies is how you get your little back in the jogger after being stuck on the treadmill all winter.  So what better reason to have a Giveaway?!

The great folks at CSN Stores have a $55 gift card for one lucky follower.
Since I am running the Hat Run on Saturday and I want to keep this nice and simple here's what you need to do (can complete in ONE Comment):

1.  Be a follower or your comment won't count.

Then you can choose to do both or just one of the following:

2.  Give me your best "How I got my little one back in the jogger" story.

3.  Guess my finish time for The Hat Run Trail 50k. 

Hints:  You can use anything helpful from the Hat Run's site.  My last 50k on trails was my PR setting 6:06 which was March 5th (less than 2 weeks ago, think tired legs might be a factor)  however my last trail 50k on a more technical course in the rain was 7:06 at the Skyline Challenge.

You have until Friday night March 18th at midnight to leave your comment.
Winner will be the person who guess my exact race time to the minute if that does not happen the winner will be selected by random drawing.
Good Luck!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Doing De'Funk

Maybe it was all the rain and flooding we had.

S'ghetti girl at Family Fun Night at her school

Maybe it was all the extra non-running activities of the week.
Whatever it was Saturday I felt like I had poured glue on my a** because it was stuck to the livingroom chair most of the day.
I call this a FUNK.

This sometimes happens to me when the kids are not around as this past Saturday they went with Hubbs for some Daddy child bonding AND I was attempting to limit my miles and effort with my next Ultra 5 days away.  I just don't function very well while I am in a FUNK.
I tried to tell myself that my legs, hips and feet would appreciate the rest and I would perform better in my next race BUT the mind is a powerful thing.
And habit, to the tune of 309 days is a crazy creature
  I thought about all kinds of random things to help the time pass the time.

I thought about:
warm treadmill smells
dog poo
of course that just brought me back to thinking about what I was trying to NOT think about...

I survived Saturday with only 3 miles.
Luckily I made a full FUNK recovery on Sunday with a great new attitude and 8 miles.
This morning Day #309 I enjoy 3 miles to help start my day off right. 
Five days until the HAT Run.
Tomorrow we'll talk about goals, the difference a technical course can make, and the joys of being FUNK-free.

How do you survive being in a FUNK?