Monday, November 28, 2011

fun pre HG long run, vicki's death march picto blog

Well, recovery from MMTR has gone pretty well. I was a little surprised a couple days after the race, how "normal" I felt, and proceeded to ease back into training with cautious optimism. I've been doing some intervals and a couple longer runs, and this past weekend did my last long run before hellgate at SNP with the VHTRC. :Vicki's death march! I had SO much fun running in the mtns big climbs, rocky trails ( that reminded me of Middle Earth on LoTR) and great companionship with a zaney cross section of people who make up Va happy trails... Love running with these guys! never a dull moment. It was a beautiful day, ( a little warm!) met so many new friends and enjoyed spending time with old ones!
here are some pictures from Vicki's death March:

Sophie, kara, Laurie and I at the falls
a Happy David Snipes
just starting out on the fire road, already a warm morning
group shot at the falls

Quatro's "presidential" profile shot
Gary Knipling and I
sophie is either yawning or letting out a primal scream here.
Q- the coolest texan I know.
ham who is very tall.
view of old rag from hawksbill
on the summit of hawksbill tallest peak in SNP

myself, sophie and kara with the massenuttens in the background
a trash can at the stables that a bear had mauled.

SO here I am less than 2 weeks out from HG. Longest race for me to date-- first 100k and it's a doozey of a 100k. I'm looking forward to Epic fun, sharing the trail with so many great ultrarunners. and really, just celebrating what a great year and journey it's been. I've learned so much this year. and I know I still have so much more to learn.
I love night running, I enjoy running in the cold/love winter sports.. so I'm not really scared or worried about those aspects of the race. I know it's going to HURT, and be LONG and take awhile... I've come to terms with all those things when I registered for the race and not fearful about those things. I've accepted this to be " it is what it is." and I'm just ready to run in the mtns with all my friends, and see how the journey unfolds and HAVE FUN, and eat tons of AS food. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Wow. What a weekend. What a journey. It's amazing to be sitting here typing this out. Last year, post MMTR ( where I blazed the course in 11:07 and had the toughest day) I was licking my wounds: I suffered from a severely bruised ego and deflated self esteem. I pretty much wrote a SUPER long, whiney race report offering up ALL the excuses of why I ran such a crappy race. Maybe I just needed that justification for myself, but let me tell you, that 2010 MMTR stayed with me like stepping in a big pile of doggy poo-- you know how the stink stays on your shoes ALL DAY?? That was EXACTLY what it was like. I had zero desire to run Masochist ever again.

THEN Sophie ( dear sophie!) and martha wright talked me into signing up for LUS after holiday lake this year. I decided to do it, but man, I shuddered to even think of going back there and face my demons. I decided to shelve even THINKING about it. That's right I'll pull a Scarlett O'hara.. I think about it tomorrow, for Tomorrow is another day.
Little by little as my fitness and training improved over the summer: I lost 15 lbs by not doing anything in particular really different, other than running and working out tons. I felt lighter, fitter, leaner, meaner, tougher... and then I REALLY started thinking about Masochist, and how I was going to face it again.

and even more importantly, I wanted Redemption.

So the week leading up to Masochist I had a really great sense of calmness about it. I KNEW I had done the work. I did have a little snafu with my ankle on my LAST hard workout of hill repeats on the AT ( it's a bear of a workout! I ran every 2 weeks -- that and running in hurricane section of Mt Rogers was my salvation for this race-- it got me UBER PREPARED) 2 weeks before MMTR, I was just ROCKING my hill repeats and SO excited because I was running so strong, and on the downhill of my next to last one I rolled my ankle HARD. So hard I couldn't run on it anymore and had to walk out of the woods, I then spent the next 3 days with my foot in a bucket of ice every hour I was awake---I would ice it for 10 min. over and over and over. but I wasn't really upset or freaking out ( other than the first day I hurt myself, I was PISSED it happened to me and the timing of it all-- but I quickly accepted the situation and moved to actively try to fix the problem) felt if it was meant to be, then it was going to happen. So what did I do???

I threw a party. And that really was a great distraction. I didn't worry that I wasn't running, I worried about picking up my house and making a menu and going grocery shopping. I had SO much fun cooking for my friends! I think I'll have another before Umstead 100.
So the wens before MMTR I did a test run on single track with the IMTR's and the ankle seemed to hold up well. But my mojo for downhill singletrack was gone. I was very careful and focused about foot placement.

okay, so I get to Lynchburg, meet up with Brock ( who is working up there) and we go check in, I happily laid out aLL my gear for the next day, went over the crew plan with brock ( what he's supposed to hand me at which AS) and then went to packet pick up where it was SO great to see ALL my friends and get my CAT shirt to run in the next day!! okay, I committed a faux pas here. I peaced out and didn't go to the racers meeting. I wanted to sleep. I so left at 7pm and took two benedryl, set my alarm for 3:45am and it was LIGHTS OUT. I was asleep by 8pm and I had the BEST nights sleep EVER. I didn't wake up until the alarm went off. Got up, dressed, ate poptarts.. left Derek and Christian rode to the start with us.. more fun socializing at the start.. it was cold 32F and I really just felt relaxed.. not scared or fearful like last year.

So for the start of the race, I ran SLOW. I ran alot with BOB, but then he went on, and I just kept it about 9min pace.. and it felt like the entire field was in front of me. I came through the first AS, and I was #143. so I was WAY back there. no worries. I watched the sun come up and it was SOO beautiful. Sophie and Marlin caught up to me, so I decided to hang with them and we just had a good time, laughing and talking.. and I did that pretty much with EVERYONE I ran with.. just had a good time and enjoyed my day Loving the fact I was going to spend ALL day in the mtns and

mile 13.. and I can FLY!! don't I look like the hulk?

I FELT it.. the magic of MMTR-- I was too self absorbed and into my pity party to feel it last year.. WHY MMTR is such a special, special race-- it's practically tangible! I decided right then to harness all this awesome positive energy that was OOZING from every direction: the runners, the volunteers, the mtns, the sun, the blue sky, the trees and pretty leaves.. and just SMILE ALL DAY LONG and be-bop on down the road to montebello! and I was LOVING my slime green CAT's shirt! GO CATS!!!
I pretty much sat in until mile 29 and then decided to push a little harder because I really was feeling awesome and wasn't taxed at all. I had a great climb up buck mtn. got to run with rick, kathleen and marlin some more.. then I was SO excited to get to the loop!! That was a very special part of my race! I LOVE the loop. I thought of my friend JJ Jessee , and really just tried to smile and run the loop hard for him, because JJ is awesome. I thought of ALOT of the people in my life while I was running, I thought of my friends, the IMTR's, my family, my kids, my brother Todd, My sweet dog maverick who I knew would LOVE to be running with me. and I know I sound a little flakey talking about all the positive energy-- but in the loop I just felt LOVED and I felt SECURE in myself and my ability. and it just made me run faster and push harder, and it felt great-- I had a permagrin the entire way.

Out of the loop: brock pulls me over to hand me an Ensure and tell me I'm 11th woman and 10th is just a little bit ahead of me. I had my mouth FULL of brownie and I look at him and say: " top 10 gets a goose down jacket." with brownie crumbs flying in all directions while I'm talking ( spouses who crew: THIS IS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE-- you see the good, the bad and the ugly.) and I guzzle the ensure and sprint away.

brock telling me what's up-- out of the loop

I get to salt log gap and Jamie Darling's crew is all upset because they missed her. I realize now that is WHO I'm after.. They had a gel and I 5 hr energy for her. I had looked at the clip board, and knew she is just 3 min ahead.. so I told her crew that I'll take her stuff to her, because I know I'm going to be seeing her here shortly.:o) So alas! about a mile or two later.. I see pink up ahead... more than happy to deliver her things to her, and slide on down the trail 10th woman.. THEN I see another lady.. and pass her-- we end up passing each other back and forth a couple of times.. racing in and out of the last AS. and then she finally catches me and drops me on the downhill. curses! oh , well I tried to be 9th. I just couldn't run on those rocky jeep roads that fast as she.. she rocked the downhill. I later discover this was meredith terranova.. Who is very cool and glad that I met her-- we both pushed each other hard and that was fun and intense to race with her:) and she kicked my butt the last 2 miles-- I admit it.

okay, so am on the road, my last 1/2 mile or so to the finish, and I'm just running as hard as I can. I'm SO HAPPY not to be finished, because I actually felt like I had alot left in the tank.. but SO HAPPY to have had a good day and SO much fun in the mtns. I can't believe it's legal to have that much fun and feel THAT GREAT!! . SO HUMBLED.. by how many people helped me to get to that finish line: brock : is an amazing crew at races, and no way could I train and race if he didn't support me, and cheer me on, my parents and brock's parents who watch my boys for races and training weekends, Eric Grossman, Sophie Speidel, the people who I train with aka MY FRIENDS! the IMTR's ( LOVE YALL!!!) , this fall I ran alot with: VHTRC and the CAT's -- thank you to these two groups for being so inclusive and making me feel so at home on the trails with you. So I have this HUGE support network..

So me crossing the line 9:45:33 and 10th woman at MMTR, while much of the race was solo, the journey getting there involved ALOT of people. THANK YOU to everyone. I really am SO blessed and lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. So happy to be apart of this wonderful community. and congrats to ALL my friends who ran MMTR! ERiC Grossman won over all! Sophie was 6th and won LUS, Kevin Townshend ran his 10th MMTR, Rob French ran LOW, LOW 9 hrs and won masters. Martha Wright won Masters for the Women. Congrats to Bob and David ( CAT's) who ran their first MMTR!


TOP 10 women for MMTR 2011
SWEET SWAG!! patagonia goose down coat for the top 10
the 2 women responsible for me even running MMTR! Sophie,martha, and myself in our patagonia LUS hoodinie jackets. Sophie is LUS women's champion, Martha is the LUS master's Champion, and I squeaked in with 3rd in the LUS series.