Daily Chatter

Monday, December 10, 2012

How'd November Go?

November 2012
Monthly Miles Ran: 322.7
10.8 avg miles per day   75.3 avg. miles per week

Year Total: 3198.4 ~  Daily avg 9.5 ~ Weekly Avg.  66.8

Highest Mileage Week: 11/12- 11/18

Rest Days Taken: 0
The Streak: November 30th was Day # 936 of the streak ~ 8,070.6 miles
Runs ~ ave. 8.6 miles per day/ 60.4 miles per week

Stone Mill 50 Miler
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:

Chocolate covered Ritz sandwiches


Non-food Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
Stalking race websites to set up my spring schedule
Which Outfit did I Wear the Most:

What We Are Watching:
With the Kiddos:
Every Christmas show many, many times over.

My Viewing:
On the mill, I'm watching the UK version of Being Human

Funniest/Best Kid Quote:
LBM calmly came to me in the morning and said his eye was stuck shut.
I love how kids can be so brave.

Current Triumph:
Finishing another great 50 miler and rocking my workouts and eating habits for the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge.

Current Goals
To better balance the responsibilities I hold.
Include regular cross training
Current Blessing:
Every breath I take.
Current Excitement:
BIL was just released from another stay in the hospital
the blessing is that all his tests are coming back amazing even his doctors.
I'm on the wait list for this
MMT 100
Current Concern:
The Oldest being too grown up.
S'ghetti girl growing up too fast.
at least LBM still wants to be little.

Improving my fitness
Get to my racing weight
Stay sane

How'd your November Go?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The BIG Announcement

Did you actually think that at my age I'd be announcing a new baby? 
You guys are too funny!!
Anywho, she arrives today at ...sometime between 11 - 3.  Delivery companies have the best business practices.  I would have loved being able to say to my boss that I'll be there somewhere between 8 - 11.  Anyway, it's kinda like Christmas around here today.  In the sense that I have this huge exciting new toy coming and just like a kids at Christmas who rips open their presents and then has to rush off to the relatives houses, I will have to wait - about 2 weeks - before I'll ever get to use it. 
I want it NOW!
That's like the worse torture ever for a runner who doesn't mind running on a mill.  I frankly loooove knowing that I have no excuse when it comes to running each day.  I already love her.  Knowing that when the super secret spy has to travel, I won't have to stress over taking LBM out in the jogger if the weather is too wintry for him.  Our new addition will be such a blessing.
She doesn't have a name.  Since she will be discuss at length in the blog I should call her something. 
Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

HBBC Weekly Update - Excess

LBM is awesome at Insanity
This past week might be summed up as a week of excess.  Not the usual kind of excess in drinking or eating but an excess in workouts and let's not forget the excessively nice weather! 
The start of HBBC is usually the start of some serious cross training for me.  This time of year I don't have any races to look forward to until at least February so I use the "off" time to try to focus on getting my fitness a bit more well rounded.  This year I am also working on getting my hips to look at little less rounded.

How many times do you think I've stepped on that cat?
November 26th;  15.5 mile run, 1 FV, 1 FB partic = 17.5 pts
November 27th ;  10.36 mile run, 3 Insanity Plyo Cardio , 1 WOW, 1 FB partic = 15.36 pts 
November 28th;  7 mile run, 3 Insanity Plyo Cardio , 1 Cardio abs, 1 FV, 1 FB partic = 13pts
November 29th;  10 pts run, 3 Insanity Pure Cardio, 1Cardio abs, 1 FV, 1 FB partic =  16 pts
November 30th;  14 pts run, 3 pts Insanity Power/Resistance, 1 pt Cardio Abs, FB 1 pt, FV 1 pt = 20pts
December 1st;  12 run pts, Insanity Power 3 pts,Cardio abs 1 pt, FB 1 pt, FV 1 pt = 18 pts
December 2nd;  9 mile run, Insanity Plyo 3 pts, FB 1 pt, FV 1 = 14 pts 
113.86 pts for the week
I didn't look back to see what my running/workouts looked like last year at this time but I ended the week feeling like my schedule might have been a little excessive.  And considering I'm expecting I probably should not go over board.   

What do you think?  Excessive or just holiday spirit?
Speaking of excessive, our neighbors put up their lights.  Actually they had been working on it for a few weeks.  This is just a small sample of what their property looks like.  
 Did I slip that in or will you be back tomorrow for the announcement?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mile Stones

When I run in rural Pennsylvania which is where the majority of my running life has taken place, I would run the same handful of routes every day.  I came to feel as though I knew every little stone on the paths I would take.  There was a sense that I could tell if something was out of place.  As if I could tell the changes that had taken place even in my absence. 

Life for me is often the same way.  I feel like I know the stones I'll encounter along the way.  Many are ones others wouldn't even notice.  I feel like I can sense changes even if I wasn't part of that change. Through the years of our lives there are all kinds of stones that present themselves on our path; some are large perfectly shaped and beautiful, while others are barely noticeable until we arms spinning, balance failing have caught our toe on them.  There are stones that we expect to encounter and others that catch us by surprise.  One thing is the same about all the stones that litter our paths they provide us with a moment to show what we are really made of.  We can allow their size or quantity to overwhelm us and send us crashing to the ground or we can find the beauty in all of them as they add texture to our lives.

May you know the stones on the path of your life and may you greet them all with grace.

for my daughter.  Who meets all life's stones with grace.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Busting at the Seams

I have a pair of shoes. 
They have been like that friend that you have that no one else seems to understand why you like.  So you try to down play their flaws in the hopes that you can make them more likable to everyone else.  These shoes worn oddly from the very first week.  The bottoms are worn into a wedge from landing on the outside ball of my foot putting a lot of stress on the outside seams of the shoe.  As you can see where the "leather" was sown to the mesh fabric on both shoes, the seams have torn.  I have worn these shoes on groomed trails so I assumed that the extra stress on those seams from the often titled terrain and my foot strike aided in the early demise of these shoes.  There I go, making excuses for my friend.  But the seam on the inside where the "leather" meets the fabric has also completely torn.  
But I still pull these on.  I have other new shoes still sitting in their boxes but when I am just hitting the mill or going out for a short run up the road, I grab these sad shoes.  I just feel so bad for them.  They just didn't live up to the logo they boast on their sides.
So this morning I pull the dryer sheets out of them -
 What?  Am I the only one who puts dryer sheets in their stinky shoes?
- and pulled them on thinking it was going to be a short run day.  They clearly are not  the shoes to wear for a 14 mile run which is what my morning turned out to be.  But since their life has been so short it's hard to let them go.  They probably thought they were destined for so much more. 
Did you ever have a pair of your loyal shoes fail sooner than expected? 
Did it cause you to switch brands?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Reach Your Max

3 people suffering from colds
25 hours clean sweep cleaning a house
2 family Thanksgivings
1 church luncheon
57.9 miles run
Return to Insanity
Start of HHBC
13 Hours of driving
1 Dead mouse
1 crying little boy
Mix all ingredients over a six day period. 
That was the recipe I used to end up in bed this morning until 9 o'clock feeling like a bus had run over me.  I had pushed myself to my max and finally my body told me that was it.  It was done.  It needed some rest.  So this morning when that little boy was crying again I snuggled in bed with him.  The super secret spy would handle taking S'ghetti girl to school.  I had already packed lunches so back to bed I went without a second thought.
I didn't dream about missing an early morning run.  I didn't dream about all that cleaning.  I didn't dream about that mouse.  I didn't dream about Shawn T.  Well, I might have a little.  And when I woke 2 1/2 hours later, I didn't have a single regret for having fallen asleep.  LBM needed the comfort of mommy with him and my body had hit it's Max.  It was time to pause.
I'll still run later today but maybe a shorter distance at a gentle pace.  I'll probably still do Insanity thanks to taking a little extra time this morning to allow my body to rest.  And if I don't I may lose all use of my arms by tomorrow. 
While I wouldn't recommend this recipe to others and I hope to not use it again any time soon.  But it did allow me to quickly see how everything in life can add up.  The past 6 days helped remind me that it's okay to push myself even when life gets hectic and it's also just as okay to allow myself a little extra rest.
What does it take for you to reach your max?

Monday, November 26, 2012

HBBC Week 1

Monday:  9.55 Miles 
With the start of HBBC I wanted to make sure I'm not just running to simply "get points" because that isn't the point.  I want to focus on being healthy during what can easily be a busy time of year filled with extra indulgences. 
Tuesday:  9 Miles
I started my day with some yummy food trying to use up some left overs. 
After last nights dinner I knew I had some steamed veggies.  That meant I had enough to add them to my eggs for breakfast and then my salad at lunch. 
Sorry I was too hungry to remember to take a photo of the deliciousness.
Wednesday:  9.61 miles with local running friend, Chris. 
A nice mix of trails and roads while I explored some new running routes.
Then rounded out my miles on the TM to keep things neat.  10 miles for the day.

Thursday:  8 dark Miles.  Thanksgiving was filled with housecleaning, cooking and family visiting.  Some extra housework pushed my run until after Thanksgiving dinner.  I enjoyed running back on my home turf even in the dark.

Friday:  8 Miles.  More house cleaning clean sweep style, extended family visiting, and family game time.
Saturday:  10 early miles followed by a day of house cleaning.  Isn't a holiday meant for resting?  I missed that part.  I was excited about my run in the early morning because I had gotten a Twilight movie to watch since I would be on the treadmill.  Not so excited when I realized that I had gotten the wrong one. 

 Sunday:  6 Miles.  Early quick miles, church, a church lunch with a visit from Santa and you guess it, more cleaning before we piled in the truck to return to Virginia.
60.55 miles
7 Pts for FV
Hopefully this week I will be able to keep the FV going, add the WOW and maybe not do quite as much cleaning.
How did your first HBBC week go? 
No entered?  It's not to late to get involved.
Join me HERE

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Stone Mill 50 Miler Race Report

2012 Stone Mill 50 Miler Race Report
The week leading up to Stone Mill had been a stressful chaotic one.  The plan for the kiddos wasn't worked out until two days before the race and it would require me to drive an additional 3 hours and go to the race solo.  But the peace of mind knowing the kids were set for a great weekend with family helped set the stage for a less stressful race day. 
After a five and a half hour drive I was finally at my hotel which was a quick 15 minutes from the race start.  I made final decisions about race day gear and slipped into bed for what little rest I would get that evening, thanks to a nagging chest cold.
At dark o'thirty I found myself that the start and finish line of my repeat Stone Mill date.  I quickly got my race pack and returned to my car to put on my chip and pin my bib on.  With 30 minutes until the start time, I stayed warm in the car and ate some granola bar and sipped tea.  While I waited I took some cold medicine to hopefully keep my coughing under control.  This turned out to be one of the smarter things I did in preparing to be able to enjoy running 50 miles.
Being a looped race the start and finish were at the Watkins Mills High School.  Although the school wasn't open before the 6 a.m. start, the track bathroom facilities were...and they were heated.  It was nice to be able to chat with fellow runners after a final bathroom visit without my teeth chattering.
If there were final instructions, I missed them.  In fact I'm not sure what was said to actually start the race but a minute after snapping this photo, we were running around the school heading out into the dark and what would be an amazing day of running.
One of my favorite views during this race is this short stretch covered in frost
After the quick loop around the school we headed down that steep frost covered hill in front of the start/finish line and into the dark woods.  A single shining line of runners.  We weaved through the woods, along a short road section and back into the woods.  I passed the first aid station without really realizing it was there.  This year we did a short out and back early in the race instead of at the end of the race.  The course changes also included cutting out the deep creek crossing that I had enjoyed so much but I wouldn't have loved getting quite that wet so early in the day.

After about an hour of running we came out into an opening were we could see the rising sun and the frost on the ground.  It is one of my favorite views at Stone Mill.  It reminded me that I wanted to take photos along the way what else is new and send updates to my family who couldn't be there cheering me on.  So prepare yourself for photo overload.
Diane cheerfully greeting runners
Right on schedule I hit the Rt 355 aid station and ultra runner friend, Diane was there to cheer us all on.  Unfortunately she was nursing a sore foot back to health or we may have been cruising the trails together.  She and all the volunteers were super helpful even at the chilly early hour.  I drank a cup a gatorade, ate a quarter of a pbj and chatted a little but quickly got back on the move.
After Rt 355 aid station there is a short stretch across an over pass and then you hop the guard rails to return to the trails.  I was busy sending off text message updates when I came to the frost covered yellow and green ribbons.  Ahead of me two men had continued going straight.  I yelled that I thought we hopped the guard rail.  Of course being geographically challenged I didn't really argue with them when they disagreed and continued.  I just knew that this was the spot.  I hopped the guard rail and told the others coming behind me that they needed to do the same.  Funny how later in the race I would get off course three times but at that point, I was certain that we needed to hop the guard rail.  Luckily for the men who didn't heed my advice the group following me sent some men to get the others to double back.  Men simply don't take directions from women, do they?

About 12 miles in and still feeling strong
In my defense the dog was really big that was coming at us so of course our eyes were on the dog and not so much on the trail markings.  That was course edit number 1.  When the two ladies I was running slightly behind took a turn that we were not to take thanks to the distraction of a charging dog and an owner who did little to restrain the animal.  Luckily the dog turned out to be friendly.  Unfortunately we and another runner went off course.  Eventually backtracking and finding our error.  Edit number 2 was again with several others when we simply missed a ribbon and continued out of the trail onto a road.  After trying the trail across the road and both up and down the road we again backtracked only to find the then obvious ribbon.  Edit three I scored all alone.  I wish I could blame it on poor trail markings but this time it was simply being lost in my own thoughts on a beautiful trail.  I share my errors in hopes that they will remind me in the future to be more aware of finding my own trail and not following others.  But I also share it to hopefully help other trail runners to remember that same and to know that it doesn't ruin a race day to "lose" time taking a wrong turn.  It's just adds to the adventure.
Beautiful scenery
Ultra trail running really is about being part of a welcoming family of like minded, mildly obsessive brethren.  When you first enter it's a little like being that wet kitten a kind soul found along the road and took pity on.  They bring you in, clean you up and try to guide you as you grow.  But in no time at all you are a familiar face in the pack.  When I ran into the Quince Orchard aid station I hadn't been really watching my time or mileage so I honestly didn't know exactly where I was.  I was just having fun playing with my proverbial ball of yarn, when a cheering voice started yelling my name.  It was Larry.  You might remember that Larry tolerated my company this past spring when we ran the majority of a 50k together to secure my still standing sub-6 50k PR.  If you know Larry, you know he has just one of those smiles that is instantly contagious.  So of course that meant poor Larry got a sweaty hug and I got a boast to my energy levels.  But the fun wasn't over, Matt was there too.  Too bad I couldn't drag them along with me for a while.  But nothing beats having friends at aid stations to greet you. 

Quince Orchard Aid Station - Larry and Matt's smiling faces made this aid station

 At a little more than 4 hours in the course hit a slight road section.  The sun was out, my cold medicine wasn't working nearly well enough and my earlier surge of energy was waning.  I knew that I had been fueling at aid stations so I knew that it was merely mental fatigue.  I was bored.  I felt as though I had been running alone and needed much more chatter.  So I did what any one would do I checked FaceBook, I sent text messages, I played DrawSomething.  And it worked.  I was quickly off the boring road and back on trails and in no time my phone started to chirp with replies.  Every time my phone would chirp it helped me quicken my pace.  Those little tweets told me that someone was out there encouraging me even though they could be there with me. 

A short  struggle on a brief road section
Pennyfield Lock Aid station - half way
 For those looking into whether Stone Mill is the right 50 miler for you there are a few things you should know about the course.  No.  Not that it is the - surprise - 55 miler like last year.  What you need to know is that it is runnable.  What does that mean?  Well, in my experience that means that yes you are on single track a large portion of the distance but the length and grade of inclines and declines are not as challenging as a technical course.  It means that the amount of roots, rocks and creeks is minimal and you can run without having your eyes glued to the ground as you have to do on the Fire on the Mountain course.  This year I was much more aware of just how runnable the distance was and I paced myself so that I could run the distance.  I may have taken that "don't have to glue your eyes to the ground" point a little too far because I did set a new record at Stone Mill.  I set a PR in the number of times I fell.  My new falling in one race PR is now at 6.  Well that's when I stopped counting anyway.  I am also super excited that I did not utter a single curse word when I hit the ground either. 

Half way - about to start the tow path

Having made it to the halfway point at the Pennyfield Locks aid station I ate 4 olives, drank a cup of gatorade, a piece of something sweet kind of cake and a piece of pbj.  I had only gotten my pack topped off once throughout the entire race since I was drinking at most aid stations after the first two.  But then I was hit by a bit of dread.  I knew that the next section on the tow path had been incredibly hard for me last year.  But that was last year, this year I had come with a plan.  And the plan called for loving nearly every step of this race.  So I did something I rarely every do.  Something I've never done in a race.  I listened to music.  While for some runners listening to music is a no brainer to help "get them through" long miles, for me I don't want to "get through" a run I want to enjoy the running.  That is why I run because I like it.  Love it even.  But after 25 miles and  my history with the energy sucking sun baking tow path I was glad I brought some tunes.  And just like magic, they worked.  In fact I would run the majority of the second half with one ear bud in singing and dancing to the songs. 

Singing on the tow path
  If you read at least one other race report of mine, you will know that I suffer from trail brain. One of it's many symptoms includes the inability to string together distinct points along a trail. I can vividly remember sections of trail just not what order in which I ran those sections. So even though I ran Stone Mill last year and have ran the Seneca 50k three times does not imply that I "know" my way around these trails. Infact it is almost a perfect recipe for disaster. Since I did have such a feeling of familiarity with much of the course I kept having a feeling of Deja vu.  While that feeling might have contributed to me getting off course, it also had the positive benefit of filling me with great memories while running on the Seneca portions of the trail. 

This aid station was at the Stone Mill about mile 29 which is also the site of the finish line for the spring 50k.  Even though my family wasn't there I could clearly see my daughter running on that road just as she had done during my first visit to this trail.  It is amazing how different things can carry you through a run.  I quickly got a cup of gatorade, a couple chips and a piece of pbj and headed done a short gravel road section.

Loved the surge of energy being at the "finish" of the Seneca 50k course

The road section went quickly.  I ran off and on with several other runners chatting briefly but not finding a pace that fit with anyone else, I hit the trail ahead of the other runners and headed in alone.  I spent the majority of the race running alone.  Granted I ran briefly with Joe, Alan and Ed.  I shared several miles with trail brethren that I had only just met.   But for the most of the day I was alone with my thoughts.  The day was amazingly beautiful.  The quiet of running through the woods lost in my thoughts helps remind me why I do this.  Like the nut case that I am I prayed for loads of people while I was running.  It's amazing how the simple act of thinking of others can take your mind off your own temporary discomforts.  The woods was filled with inspiring views around every turn.

That "being home" feeling I have while running through the woods fills me with far more satisfaction than any road race PR has ever given me.  I know how blessed I am to be able to do these things.  Running trails reminds me to take time to focus on things that actually matter.  Its about more than just the distance.  It's about that connection with the simple things around me and how those things add joy to my life.  The sound of my feet on the fallen leaves, the smells of the forest, the frost on the morning trail as the sun rises and the lengthening shadows as the sun sets.  The ability to do this thing is not based solely on hours spent training, it stems from something inside each of us that carries us through and allow us to enjoy what others find difficult or seemly impossible. I am endless grateful that I am among those lucky few who get to be a part of this amazing journey.

Stone Mill has some of the very best aid stations.  While the goodies are fabulous and much appreciated and needed, it is really those faces and kind voices that make Stone Mill such a special event.  Every single aid station I went through someone was standing ready and asked me "what can I get for you?"  Seriously, I often was so caught off guard that I didn't know what to say.  Just the exchange of a few kind words sometimes was all I really needed.  But I also appreciated the cups of gatorade, one accidental cup of Mountain Dew, a cup of soda, a piece of banana, quarters of pbj, 4 olives, a handful of chips, 2 ginger cookies, a piece of cake, a cup of noodle soup, a cup of pasta veggie soup and 4 salt tabs.  There were so many more kinds of treats.  This year even bacon...some of it chocolate covered.  Saying thanks barely suffices to show my appreciation of the efforts volunteered by the over 70 volunteers. 

More hot soup, drop bags and wonderful volunteers.  Riffle Ford Rd Rocked!


Another highlight was running by the lake and remembering Sceneca 50k

One notable difference in my running of this year's Stone Mill 50 miler would be that nature never called.  During last year's extra long running as during most ultra length events I've done, nature always gives me a ring.  But this year, my cold symptoms aside, I felt great the entire time.  Every runner knows those "tummy" issues that can turn race day into a dash to find the nearest bathroom or large enough tree but Saturday I was the sitting by the proverbial phone because it never rang.

One of several deer that were sharing the trail with us

I ran into the Riffle Ford Road Aid station knowing that there now I only had a single digit count down to the finish, my drop bag was there, and there was again warm soup.  Two wonderful volunteers came up and offered to find my bag for me, while others offered me whatever fueling options I needed.  The mental boost was amazing to have the flood of interaction.  I only pulled my flashnight from my drop bag and then grabbed a cup of gatorade and a cup of soup.  Then I began the count down to the finsh.
I love all the different underpasses we run through

Before the race my mother was asking how long this race was. I told her it was 50 miles. She asked about how long to would take me to run. I started to attempt to explain how I really didn't know and speed wasn't really what I was doing it for when she said, wasn't the point to do it faster than the time before?  The conversation really got me thinking about what goals I really had for this race.  Frankly for nearly every ultra I run.  I'd love to go out and be able to run each 50k or 50 miler faster than the last one but there are just too many differences between courses, weather conditions, my own conditioning and my determination on any given day.  So although I had a plan to attempt to PR the distance and was on schedule to be within striking distance of that time goal at the halfway mark, course edits and two slow miles during the second half had pushed that goal out of sight. 

The look of a former road runner when they know their time goals won't happen

With strong miles to the RT 355 AS I arrived there with the sun up but knew that I still had 3 trail miles to go and would probably not make my "finish in day light" goal.  Diane was still there volunteering, she would end up putting in a 14 hour day.  Volunteers are the best!  We chatted briefing and she said all the right things to help encourage me to keep moving and stay positive.   

Thanks to everyone who stood in the cold just to document my day of fun

The last three miles went by so quickly as did the remaining daylight.  It felt at the time like I was pushing my pace but eventually I had to stop and pull out my light.  I ran alone with another runner close behind.  The day couldn't have gone much better.  It had been a reaffirming day on the trails.  And then with cheers filling my ears and a final push up one last hill, Stone Mill 2012 was done.

 Didn't quite beat that sunset
After chatting with friends briefly, I gathered my things and headed into the school to change and grab a bite to eat.  And share a few stories from my day on the trails and hear a few.  I was great to be able to clean up a bit and put on fresh clothes.  This really helps when you are running an ultra solo and have a long drive home after the race.  Many thanks to the RD, the many volunteers, MCRRC and sponsors for making Stone Mill a true ultra trail runners kind of event. 

2012 Stone Mill 50 Miler

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A double yoke kind of day

Yeah I'm wearing the pink Nike top again. 
 I love it! and it's thumb holes.
Just when things seems to be stacked against my plans there are little rays of light.  With the super secret spy's insane work schedule I had been at my wits end trying to work out kid coverage for Stone Mill but now that all I have to do is a lot of driving
 oh and a fair amount of running
I have filled my time with making sure the kids and I are ready for what I hope will be a wonderful weekend for everyone.  I tried out a new pair of on regular Saucony trail shoes.  Thanks to all the great insights my readers shared with my on THIS post. 
I have a brand new pack that is ready to hang with me for 50 miles chafe free.  I'm hoping.  I've packed two or six potential race day outfits, kids clothes, toys and favorite snacks. 
With all that done what better way to set the stage for a great day than to bake cookies?!   

Take delight in the smallest of miracles
The simple act of cracking that egg reminded me that no matter how things seem on the surface - ordinary, average, predictable - things can always surprise you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Game On

Just when I think I stuck, when I want to hide in the bathroom and cry my eyes out, when I want to literally
the skies brighten and amazingly things just work out.
Okay they didn't magically just worked out but after many several plans failed, I finally have a plan for making sure the kiddos have a great time while I am out in the woods frolicking with my trail brethren.  Thanks to my sisters and my mom the kiddos will be having a blast spending time with family.  They will be happily cheering me on in spirit which will ease my mind so I can focus on my race.

Armed with a grateful heart I headed out for a quick p.m. run.  Although I had already ran 10 miles this morning before The Plan came together, another run would give me a chance to test out my fresh pair of Saucony Trail shoes that I will be wearing on Saturday. 
It is amazing how light I can feel with the weigh of worry lifted from my shoulders. 
 Now it's just that little detail of running 50 miles...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The No More BullShit Post

It's Tuesday.  You probably knew that already.
I only mention it because that means that I should be stalking the weather and packing and re-packing for Stone Mill but instead I am still trying to figure out IF I will actually get to run it.
I know that most of you want to read about how great my family and friends are at supporting my insanity of running ultras.  You want to envy how easy it is for me to bang out double runs, long days on the trail and countless spring 50ks but it's time this blog got real.
My family is about as excited about my running as they are about having to say, clean the bathroom.  They don't really care whether or not I run.  Well, they like it when I am not a raging B but otherwise they really couldn't care less.  Because my running is really my running.  And the only time they really think about it is when my running effects their plans.  And that gets me to this coming weekend.
I have one, as in one single long race this fall.  I have not abused my family or friends as I may be guilty of in the spring.  But when I spent out my plea for help for Stone Mill a race for which I will only be gone over night, a race I asked if a niece could go with us, a race I am willing to drive almost 6 hours to arrange for the kids and then get to the race start, I still don't have a concrete plan.
I'm freaking out!
So why bother sharing this of all things?   Because I know that easily 90% of the blogs I read talk sunshine and rainbows about the support and help of their families.  I know that I am not the only mother runner who doesn't always have that corner filled with ever ready cheerleaders.
Am I?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chime In and Join Me

Day # 913 ~ Double Day a.m. 8 miles - p.m. 6.2 miles
Even though the temperatures have plummeted re-hydrating was still on my mind after my run last evening.  I mixed my glass of chocolate milk and realized that I still hadn't figured out what I was going to use for hydration during Stone Mill.  With the Stone Mill 50 miler less than a week away it is a decision I need to make soon.  
I am looking at getting a pack with a bit more storage but one that is sized better for my body than the giant Camelbak that I used during Laurel Highlands. 
These are two packs I am looking at.
Nathan Intensity Race Vest
Basically they are the same.  The Intensity is supposed to be sized for a female body.  I am hoping someone will have first hand experience with one or the other to let me know...
1.  Was there enough storage.  What could you carry?
2.  Did you get the Nathan HPL and think it felt too big?
3.  What about the valve?  Did you have any trouble with it?
4.  Any issues with the pack shifting and causing chafing?
I've read a ton of reviews about packs but can't find them locally to try them out for fit.  Since I still have the scars on my back from chafing during FOTM, I am hopeful that I can finally find a pack that stays put and keeps me supplied.
Now that you offered your two cents, let me return the favor and remind you that
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