Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another rest day...

RUNS: Second rest day in a row. And then back at it tomorrow. My legs have been feeling great so I hope this rest is rewarded with a great run tomorrow!
OH. AND. Tomorrow is sign up for Stone Mill 50Miler!! I am so excited. I hope I get in. Wish me luck. It would be my first 50M!!

EATS: Breakfast was two of the Date & Walnut Muffins that I made yesterday. The recipe is from the good old Betty Crocker Cookbook with minor tweaks.

Then went to my work office for my annual review and came hope with a headache. So Rik made dinner which is our most favorite Trader Joes frozen Vegetable Fried Rice! I could easily eat a whole bag myself! 

We usually try to stretch it and make the meal more filling. So we have the great debate of what to eat with it though! We have mixed in chicken or scrambled eggs in the past. Not going to work today. So I swung by the grocery store and picked up some frozen veggie egg rolls. Bad idea. They were nasty! We ate them...but never again. Seriously, what do you eat with fried rice? Miso soup maybe?

For desert I had two more of the Trail Mix Cookies from yesterday. Then packed lunches for tonight and tomorrow. Riks lunch was already ready since he took another night off at the last minute last night. So I just threw together some leftover Mexican Cabbage. PB graham crackers. Carrots & dip. Orange.

Peace out until tomorrow...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ahh...Rest Day!!

RUNS: Rest day! Instead I got to take Dakota to Urgent care for xrays and an air cast.

EATS: Nothing to eat in the am since I took Dakota soon after I got up. Then came home starving and not much food in the house. Luckily I did end up putting enough together to make this...
Mexican Cabbage
with crushed tortilla chips on top!

Then I baked some cookies for the week and muffins for the kids for breakfast. Trial mix cookies. PB Chocolate Chip Oaties. Date & Walnut Muffins.
My portion for snack
After my snack I packed up lunches for tonight and tomorrow. Mixed grains with PB and honey. Carrots and dip. Orange.

I will no doubt have another snack after that meal...just not sure what yet!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rosaryville 50k * SUMMER EDITION* July 2012

Well, I ran Rosaryville 50k on 11/11 as my first ultra and loved the course. I knew they also had a summer 50k at the park that is put on by a different group. So I had the idea of running it in the back of my head for awhile. Only problem is that my asthma has been bad this year and I dont tolerate running in heat and humidity very well. As the date got closer I kept my eye on the weather. It was looking pretty reasonable so only three days before the race I signed up for it! Now I was commited.

Of course, the night before I got NO sleep. Got up super early to head down. Got there super early...before the race workers even. Finally got our bibs and chip. This is the first race I've done that had chip timing. The RD started giving us prerace info at about 7:15 and we took off shortly after that. We started first and the 25k, 10M, and 10k people started after us. We headed down the road and onto the trail for a series of 3 loops. The temps were a nice 67ish but the humidity was in the 70s. I was trying to keep a slower pace on the road and settled in nicely behind a group of three girls once we got onto the single track. My breathing was doing good too.

I was just moving along trying to find my groove listening to the girls gab. They were moving just a little slow but I thought it was good to hang with them for awhile as it was going to be a long day. The middle girl had on Hokas and I wanted to ask her about them because the trails at Rosaryville are a very nicely groomed hard packed dirt and was thinking my Hokas would probably do pretty well here. And not even 5miles in Hoka girl rolls an ankle and did a roll off to the side of the trail. We all stop briefly and she is okay so I keep moving along and as Im leaving I hear her say that that was her bad ankle too. Yeah, my Hokas will be staying on the road!

Oh shoot, now Im in the front. Time to set my own pace now I guess. A few miles later I hear someone hollar my name and it is my friend Traci who is running the 25k today (she was taking it easy after a string of ultras). We exchange a few words and off she goes into the distance! Next thing I know, another friend Rob catches me! He was running with a slower friend and decided to push on. Rob ran behind me and we chatted until the 10mile aid station. Then he moved on from me as well.
Rob & I after the race!

Onto loop two! In November this loop was really tough mentally for me. This time around it was physically tough. Stupid asthma! My legs were feeling great but my breathing was down right scary to anyone running near me. I just kept moving forward at a slow pace. I had several times where I figured I would drop after the second loop. I told myself that if my husband looped me that it would be okay to drop. That if I got to the 20mile AS and was in last place I would drop. I was really just looking for any excuse. No such luck! So I kept moving forward!

The third loop was the best. I was actually running with/leap frogging with several people. I know for sure I kept moving at a faster pace because of them! Even if that pace was, oh, 14mm! At 25mile AS I stopped for some soda, potatoes and banana for the road. I was trying to suck down my food fast so I could keep moving when the AS volunteer very seriously asked me if I was ok or if I needed anything. I sometimes forget how bad my breathing sounds until I am pointed it out by someone. I was breathing so aweful that I sound liked I had just been sprinting! Sorry dude, Im fine. Really I am! What a difference from the November race when at mile 25 the AS worker remarked about how great I looked! I got out of there quick, lol.

Kept running with the same group but more spread out now as we were all just ready to be done. Came around the one side of the trail where you could hear people at the finish but know I still had about 3 miles because we wind around the trail a bit more. Eventually I came out of the trail and onto the road for the last mile of uphill road to the finish! I walked some of the road just because it sucked. But once I saw the finish in the distance I picked the pace back up. Well that and I turned around to see two girls hot on my tail! Didnt want anyone to pass me at the finish!

I finished in 7:05 with Rik & Rob cheering me in. This was almost exactly 30mins slower then my November time. That is bittersweet. I really wanted to finish with a better time because I have so much more training in then I did back in November. But I also know how poorly I run in heat & humidity that 30 mins slower makes sense. AND we did three little out & back road sections which they did not include in the fall race...so extra mileage there. I do know that my legs felt much stronger this time around. And my recovery is easier. Both good signs! Now I just need to decide if I am ready for 50miles or continue to work on getting stronger in the 50k first! I know I should wait but I will be 40 this November and that 50M the week before my birthday just sounds so sweet...as long as I dont death march the last 20miles.....

Either way, Rosaryville is an awesome park with super awesome trails. I really just love it there. But...I've had enough of the loops until atleast next year!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

"The night time is the right time, Conestoga Run"

"It's easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top." 
-Henry Ward Beecher 

Running the Conestoga Trail at NIGHT!!

If you have not run the Conestoga trail you have not experienced what Pennsylvania trails have to offer. Lots of hills, rocks, roots, numerous creek crossings, unsteady and slippery footing....you get the picture. It is part of the Susquehanna Superhike and the Conestoga 10mile run. The superhike course runs the "easier" direction and the Conestoga 10miler runs the more difficult direction. Make no mistake...neither direction is easy by anyones standards.

So Gary Bowman decided that he wanted to hold a group run on the section from Pequea to Holtwood. This is the direction of the Conestoga race. The more difficult direction...of course! And how about we do it at night to make it more FUN! It would be point to point and we could car pool to the start at dusk. Sounds like a whole lot of dumb fun. So much so that 35 people agreed to do it! A few other crazies decided that one direction was not enough and would rather be punished with the whole out and back...my husband was one of them.

I worked Friday night so I came home Saturday morning and slept some. Got up and had a pre game stick to your ribs bowl of mixed grains with peanut butter and honey! I have been finding that I run longer distances with a belly full of grains and fat...lasts me for hours.
Then we headed down to Holtwood Park for Rik to meet up with the few others for the out and back. As if that isnt good enough, as we are crossing Holtwood Dam bridge, we see Jesse running across from the York side for the meet up...tacking on umm, IDK, 10 more miles?!!
Anyhow, here are the crazies of the out & back club!
I think Jesse is catching a quick nap before some more miles ;-)
Leon, Steve, Rik, Scott, Jesse, John
They took off alittle before 6pm and that left me to wait for others to show up which actually happened way earlier then I expected which was nice. I got to meet & chat with some new people and even ones I havent seen for awhile. We eventually loaded 30ish people into 4 vehicles to head up to Pequea campground to the start of our run. I rode with Paul Davey in his snuggle van...VW van that had so many people in we were snuggling!
At somewhere around 9pm we met the crazy 6 and got ready for the run back to Holtwood. Here is everyone listening to Gary ramble on about...something ;-)
And we took off thru the campground and onto the trails. It was hard to get adjusted to running on the trail with my light in the dark. It probably took me about a mile or two until I adjusted. Adjusted to the light and running in the dark but I never really adjusted to my head lamp. I have never run so long with one...about an hour or so before this. And it kept sliding down all night. I even had it so tight trying to keep it in place that I now have a lump and bruise there today. Note to self: need a new head lamp with overhead strap for next night run. But anyhow we eventually came to a lollipop section and I decided instead of doing the lollipop that I would continue on the trail ahead to get some pictures. We got to the end of the trail to a road section to find Leon already there with his camera set up for some pics as well. Thats him sitting on the ground taking his pictures...
Here come the lights up the trail!
And there they go.....
We ran the little bit of road section and back onto the trail. At this point it people kind of broke into several groups. Our group was Rik, Leon and I. And thats about how it was for the remainder 3hrs of the run.

I dont know what I can say about the trail to give you a good idea other then to say that it went up, up, down, up, up. I thought the trail was so difficult because of the rocks...loose and otherwise more so then the hills. The hills were difficult for sure but you just hike those sections.

Oh, but let me tell you how AWESOME Gary is and how he knows how to put on a run...I mean being a 4th of July weekend and all. About 3 miles into our run we start hearing fireworks. Mega fireworks! We kept running and running. Eventually we could see them off into the distance between the trees. It was pretty cool. After a couple of the big ones you could hear people down at the river yelling and cheering.

We got to an area they call the wind tunnel! Mind you, it had been 95* during the day and was probably still in the high 80s and humid as we were running this early in our run. But at this area is a whole bunch of very large boulders with an area about a foot wide between the two biggest ones and somehow they are positioned just right to create a breeze that feels about 20* cooler. It felt just awesome and we spent way to much time chillin here.

We soon made it to an outlook but it was just after the fireworks had ended. But you could see the river and large boat club below. There was a group of teens hanging out that had been watching the fireworks. We asked and they said that the other groups were 5-10mins ahead of us. They were lucky enough to have been at the outlook during the fireworks and hung out for a bit. Had I known...I would have tried to move a little faster!!

We took off again down the trail and thats when the music started. Yep, they were having one heck of a party down at the river! That music had to have been blaring down there because for the next 1 1/2hrs we got to enjoy country music mixed with Brittney Spears, LMFAO-Sexy and I know it! among others. It was pretty cool how long we could hear that music. And cool how it would get quieter and then louder again as we wound back around the trail. Eventually it got quiet and thats when we could hear and feel the trains go by on the tracks below. Some of the faster people were at the tracks as one went by.

After you pass the tracks IT comes. If you dont know what IT is let me just say that I had been warned but never experienced IT....Pinnacle Hill! The crazy people around this area like to run what they call Pinnacle Hill repeats! This is a monster of a hill that does not stop! They train on it to practice for runs like Hyner and Laurel Highlands. I was quiet happy to do this hill just once and pleased that I only actually had to stop once on it! And that was only after I was deterred by the fact that I kept thinking I was almost at the top because Rik & Leon kept stopping to make sure I was okay and still coming. That gave me the fake sense that they were at the top!

But I made it and was rewarded with another amazing view of the river below...and some fresh spring water from the pump. We hung out and relaxed for a couple of minutes before heading out to finish up the last three miles. Yeah, you would think it would be cake after that point. But no, more rocks, water and hills!

By the time we made it back up to Holtwood park it was just after 1am and were welcomed with yelling and cheers as we ran across a grass field! I cant tell you how cool it was to have everyone there partying and cheering STILL at 1am! Im used to most people leaving or have left by the time I get done a race. Again we were rewarded. This time with some freakin' awesome food and beer! I think that after running for 4hrs just about anything tastes good. But I tell you what...runners...especially trail runners know their food. Know how to eat! And as Patty put it...everything was vegetarian except for well, the meat. She had made some kind of ravioli with a pesto sauce...YUM!  Lots of veg friends there. Thanks to Eric and the Reading crew for grilling up the food and basically being in charge of the post run fun!

The last of the runners came in at about 1:45am. Amazingly enough, Leon had lost his car key somewhere out on the trail and had just left after hitching a ride with someone...when Josh came running in with Gary proclaiming the they had found it! What are the chances of that! We hung out a bit longer, ate more food. We helped clean up and everyone started clearing out. It was after 3am by the time we got home! I cant remember the last time I was out until 3am that I wasnt working, lol!