Daily Chatter

Thursday, May 31, 2012

While Not Blogging...

I've have been partying.
Happy almost 11th birthday, S'ghetti girl.

I've been talking Biking Sherpa into enduring the heat.
  At least I got in some great heat training during

I've been celebrating.
LBM's pre preschool graduation.
We will miss LBM's sitter/daycare so much!

I've been playing.
The only thing better than a corn field is a freshly cut hay field...and running through it!

I've been running...and running...and running.
Day 754 and still going

I've been picnicing.
A great day with my whole extended family.

I've been field tripping.
S'ghetti girl loved her trip to Gettysburg.

I've been amazed.
So proud that S'ghetti girl helped design and make these lasting memorials to the school.

I've been wasting time.
LBM and I found the new "junk to art" sculptures that the 5th grade class made as a tribute to the elementary years a fitting place to play away an hour.

I've been the most proud mom ever!
Congratulations to S'ghetti girl on all the awards she earned in 5th grade.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Looking Forward

Emotions are still flying high from this past Saturday's amazing 50k.  I could post for days about all the aspects of my race experience (and probably will) but just as sweet as those memories are what I have coming next is even more exciting!

Here is also a relay and a 50k option so if  you want to join me in PA please sign up soon!

Looking forward to something is always more fun than looking back. 
What's your next great adventure?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Capon Valley 50k ~ 2012 Race Report

Yellow Spring, WV
May 19th, 2012 ~ 7:00 a.m.

First off I have to say a big thanks to the Potomac Highlands Distance Club for the club entry into this race. Without it I may never have found this hidden gem. It will definitely be a repeat event on my race calendar.

My adventure started with the drive to Winchester, VA with the kids to our hotel.  We stayed at the Courtyard so that the kids could enjoy the pool that evening and the next day.  Hubbs jointed us after our swim and we went to my favorite restaurant; Carrabba's Italian Grill.  After a much too heavy meal, we were back to our room and in bed. 

Sleep is rarely something I have in abundance the night before a race so I was happy that I was a mere 20ish minutes from the race start when it was time to get moving in the morning.  A quick kiss to the still sleeping kids and encouragement from the hubbs and I was out the door.

Thanks to my GPS I quickly found my way to the race start.  The start and finish was at the Ruritan club making packet pickup a smooth process.  The only downside was the lack of modern bathroom facilities.  The only option were outhouse/privy-type potties.  However, you don't have to be an ultra runner for long before you have gotten back to "nature" when it comes to nature calls.

 If you look closely at the above photo you can see I started very close to the front of 200 other runners.  I'm the runner in my Yellowman pink shirt.  The last runner in the shot.  This might make you think that I am attempting some sort of foreshadowing but I simply ended up there when I walked to the start line chatting with another runner, Stacy who would end up finishing 25th overall.

The course, as it reads on the website, seemed very runnable.  In fact that is a term that is used repeatedly in the course description; runnable.  This first section was a great mix of surfaces including backyards, creek crossings, trails and dirt roads covering shy of 4 miles before reaching the first aid station located at a barn on one of the many private properties that we could be running on.

Between aid station 1 and 2 was another mix of terrains covering over 7 miles.  This would be the longest stretch between aid stations.  Although there was a water only stop between the full aid stations for runners that might need it. 

Miles 4 through 10 were a roller coaster of terrain and emotions for me.  The hills were often and steep.  I quickly got warm but I was loving the surroundings and I was so glad I had brought the camera even though it was causing me some equipment malfunctions.

This power line section was a great spirit lifter.  The views were amazing and I was finally getting past the early miles struggle and feeling warmed up and loose. 

At this point in the race I was simply enjoying the trails and my fellow runners.  Stopping to take photos and talking with which ever runners I found myself with.

West Virginia really didn't disappoint in beautiful surroundings to run in.  Another thing I noticed was about my fellow runners, they were not overtly concerned about running all of this reportedly runnable course. 

I think that the word runnable in the course description was used to explain that the terrain is, for the most part, not technical however, many of the inclines (call them hills or mountains, your choice) are not runnable at my fitness level.  And apparently not at many other runners levels either.  On many steep long hills I got to practice my "walk like you mean it" method of ultra running.

Although I did my share of walking on hills, I also did a lot of running.  Without a lot of big rocks and roots I was able to really run the majority of the course.  This gave me the opportunity to run with several different groups of runners.

Just before the #4 aid station I was running off and on with Christine and Bob and a group of three ladies from West Virginia who frequented the trails.  Knowing this was reportedly the toughest section I knew I needed all my energy focused on forward movement.  This is one of the first ultras where I did far more listening than I did talking.  Who knew I could do that?  I was surprisingly focused on running a smart and strong race.  And so far, I really was. 

Aid station #4 was where I had dropped a bag.  I really didn't have much in it but it was nice to have something to look forward to.  I had a fresh pair of socks, my Mission Enduracool Instant cooling cloth, pickles, a tank top, glide and baby wipes.  I had chosen to wear my CEP calf sleeves and Sof Sole socks.  This is the only aid station where I stayed more that 2 minutes.  At the second full service aid I was "scolded" by a volunteer for not drinking enough.  This would happen repeatedly.  However after the first reprimand, I was drinking much more.  I think the warning stemmed from the amount of salt all over me simply because I sweat so much.  

I used the baby wipes to clean up a bit and remove some salt to head off some chafing issues.  I ate some pickles but decided that my feet were already water logged and changing my socks might cause more blisters than it would be worth.  After some salt, topping off my Camelbak, a couple pringles and a banana section, I did pick up my Mission cooling cloth and put my drop bag in the return box.

Between #4 and #5 lay almost 6 miles with a lot of nice running broken up with some refreshing creek crossings.  This was surprisingly an enjoyable distance.  Again the surroundings were breathtaking and the changing terrain made the journey mentally interesting for me as I was still running by myself mostly, moving from group to group of runners.   

By this time of day the heat was becoming a factor.  Even under the forest canopy the humidity was reaching a challenging point.  Having never used my Mission cloth before I was happy to find that it really did help to make me feel cooler.  I simply wet and re wet the cloth every chance I got.  Sometimes all I had was a creek to dunk it in but then a quick snap of the towel and it made my neck feel instantly cooler. 

A note about Capon Valley aid stations.  The volunteers were wonderful.  They were very proactive in helping fill packs and encouraging runners to eat, drink and then get moving.  The aid stations had the usual offering of Heed, water, soda, chips, crackers, pb&j squares, bananas, candy, ibuprofen, petroleum jelly and band aids.  There was also a water spray available at the 6th aid station.  I can't thank the volunteers enough for supporting my day and being proactive in hassling reminding me to drink more.

With just over 2 5ks to run I was feeling fantastic.  That little hidden reserve of energy you always dream of finding, I found.  The course was now in my favor with the majority of the remaining distance more down hills than up, I was loving the surge of energy! 
The final aid station was back at the landowner's barn. I re wet my cooling cloth, put petroleum jelly on some chafing, grabbed a banana, a cup of water and some salt when Bob grabbed my shoulder and said, "Let's go!" Having only been in the aid station for a few minutes I knew he was right, why was a lingering. I needed to move and so we did.

I don't know where I lost Bob who I know was trying to stick close but I found myself passing people and the usual trail chatter returned.  But I was passing people too quickly to do anything but offer encouragement to my fellow runners.  I didn't even mind that final road section, it simply rounded out a day full of changing surfaces. 

Capon Valley 50k ~ 6:15:35

And there it was that final stretch.  I tried to catch one last runner but Tom Corris was just a few seconds too close to that finish line to catch him even with Gary Knipling's encouragement.  But it didn't make the completion of another great adventure any less sweet.  In fact it made it even nicer to have friends at the finish line, finishing in front of me and behind me and cheering me to my own finish.  As my circle of ultra friends grows each journey becomes less about numbers and more about those smiling faces that I get to share them with.

Some of the great friends who I got to share my day with;  Stacy who I wish I could have ran with the entire race, Abbi who ran with her sister and shared dinner with me,  Christine who joined me in the creek after the race, Ultrarunnergirl who was sporting a sassy new hairdo!, Gary and Tom who are ultra running history still being written, and Rebecca who went on to run the Bob Potts marathon the next day.  There were so many friends that I am sure I missing some who shared in a day full of good times.
Thanks to every one for helping make Capon Valley more than just another 50k!

photo credit and thanks to PHDC and Lindsay Brill

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Capon Valley 50k Done!  6:15:37
-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Friday, May 18, 2012

This Week in My Life

This Week in My Life
Catching you up Edition

I spent lots of time with little LBM playing at the pond

I spent meticulously recorded countless hours running.

I cheered for S'ghetti girl and her teammate at her soccer games

I've enjoyed letting S'ghetti girl dazzle me with her crafting skills

I've annoyed my younger sister by visiting way too frequently
but how can you get enough of this new little face?

I've been getting rid of stuff through a online yard sale

I've been looking forward to Capon Valley 50k
No goals.  I'm going to finish and have fun.
But if you want to wager how I'll do feel free.

Have an amazing weekend.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Plan B

It's time to talk about Plan B.  I left hints on THIS post
Did you click and check them out? 

After the incredibly long wait to see if I got into my A Race I had to post the disappointing news HERE.

But after some encouraging words from friends I have concreted Plan B.

These two races will be the next steps in getting to my 100 mile goal. 
Since I had every confidence that I was going to get into Massanutten Mountain Trails I had already planned my fall racing schedule which I'll keep those details until closer time....

...just to make sure I can still walk, let alone run after both of these.

Do you know what today is? 
Do something amazing today and think of me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A funny story aka why I don't go commando

On Daily Mile there is a daily question.  It is usually something fun to answer so I try to participate often.  Today's question was this: 

Today's #dailymission

Whoops! Share your worst training or race day wardrobe malfunction story.

I thought the answer was funny enough to share the amusement here. 
Happy Hump Day.

One of my worst training or race day wardrobe malfunctions came more in the form of an absence of wardrobe than a lack of it's performance.

Quite a few years ago I raced canoes

Ones like this

Not like this

Those days were some of the most fun-filled days of my life.  I loved being on the water.  We would train in the canoe for hours and then run through the trails.  Days that were pretty much heaven on earth to me.

As we prepared for an upcoming race by putting in an extremely long training paddle, our canoe sprung a leak.  We were in the middle of no where.  We got to the bank and assessed the damage.  It was a small hole but we didn't have anything with us to apply a temporary repair so that we could finish the paddle to our pickup site.

That day there we 3 of us.  One solo canoe and on C2.  One of the guys suggested that we just plug the hole with something and paddle hard.  They needed something that wouldn't absorb water like the cotton tee shirts they were wearing and looked at me.  In those days I regularly worked out in just a sports bra and shorts. 

They wanted my shorts.

We had to portage the canoes for miles to a road and then run to the nearest house to ask to use their phone.  In the boonies there are few houses and no cell coverage.

And that was the last day I ever went commando.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Playing Hookey

You will never believe what I am doing.  Go ahead, guess!

You won't guess it so I'll just go ahead and tell you.

I am sitting at my kitchen table eating a meal and sharing it with no one.
That's right.  And my house is quiet.  And I have already ran 13 miles today.
And done 3 loads of laundry.  Okay that part is not fun just necessary BUT I folded each item

Yes be jealous.
I have an entire house with a child in it for 6 hours today.
Un Heard Of!!!

It's almost like a vacation.  Well, a vacation where I still have to cook my own food and do my own laundry and clean and...Okay it's not like a vacation at all
having the chance to have a moment to just myself is, for me, priceless.
Maybe taking a day off to go to the doctor is just a cover for the need to have a moment alone.  Maybe it's a bit selfish but I know my kids will come home to a much happier mom tonight.

And with my extra time wait till you see what I've cooked up for Plan B.

Monday, May 7, 2012

How'd April Go?

April 2012

Monthly Miles Ran: 283  (Year total: 1266.9)
9.4 miles/day ~ 70.75 miles/week
Highest Mileage Week: 4/9- 4/15 (DM Weeks) 80 miles

Rest Days Taken: 0
The Streak: April 30th was Day # 722 of the streak ~ 6,138 miles
That means only 9 days until my 2nd year runnerversary!
Runs ~ ave. 8.5 miles per day/ 59.5 miles per week
Bull Run Run 50 Miler

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:

Blueberry and Raspberry yogurt covered pretzels
Non-food Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
trash tv, what can I say?
Which Outfit did I Wear the Most:
This month has been well, April. 

In like a lion
 and out like a lamb.

What We Are Watching:
With the Kiddos:
Scooby-Doo episodes
over and over again.

My Viewing:

I just discovered
The Secret Life of the American Teenager
Well, I have to have something to focus on during those treadmill runs

Funniest/Best Kid Quote:
I took the kids to see their new cousin shortly after she was born.  S'ghetti Girl was eager to hold her and oooed and ahhhed.  Like many little kids, LBM wanted to keep touching her head and kiss her.  It was all a very sweet scene. 
What was priceless was when their cousin, Z the new baby's big brother made it a point to remind LBM that the new baby was HIS sister. 
LBM looked at me and asked, "When do I get my baby?"
I told him,  "Not for at least another 20 years if you know what's good for you."
Current Triumph:
Another 50 miler in the books
and a new BRR PR too!
Current Goals
To plan and execute the family move
To not give up on my 100 mile goal
Current Blessing:
Every single day in my life. A gift.
Current Excitement:
Less than a month to having our family all together
Extended Family:  We have a new niece to love!
Plan B

Current Concern:
Finding time and the skills to pull off operation Big Move
Following my own advice about consistency with LBM
Finding a new way in my coming new daily reality
How did your April days add up?