Saturday, February 16, 2013


 I had an amazing trip to Salt Lake City for OR!! ( THANK YOU MTN SPORTS for letting me go! ) it seriously was a wonderful experience.  I learned so much! met so many cool people in the industry. It was invaluable I feel to meet with reps, and sitting in on meetings with Steve ( my boss ) and the reps.  I can earnestly say I LOVE LOVE LOVE working for Mountain Sports so much. It truly is a special store owned by the nicest family. Please support them and BUY LOCAL!!! Your local independent dealer gives you costumer service, one on one interaction you will never receive with an online purchase or from a big chain/ big box store. :) 

 It truly was so wonderful. Brock got to go as well, and I know he really enjoyed walking around the convention center while I had appointments, and we went skiing together one day. Brock and Steve went to a utah jazz game etc. so I know he had a great time as well. 

mtn demo at solitude 

Solitude ski resort

View down big cottonwood canyon ( from solitude ski resort) Wasatch 100 2014?? I think so. 

 I couldn't find my helmet so I used one of brock's. and wore a knit hat with it.  does it make my cranium look extra large??

                                            North Face lounge thingy at OR
 more ski pics from solitude

 COOL KUHL truck outside the salt palace

 My boss and one of my favorite people: steve cheers. He hates having his picture taken and wasn't too thrilled with me snapping this one -- can you tell?

 The CEO of GO pro had one of his Porsche's at their booth. We thought it was pretty cool. 

. Salomon is outfitting me for the 2013 racing season in exchange for some ambassadorship responsibilities.  I had just received my gear and was SO excited to get to try out some of the new clothes and shoes for this race! I wore the XR missions a couple of runs the week before the race and decided to go with those. I'm a HUGE fan of the SLAB series, I wore them during Umstead 100-- very cushy-- just wear long socks:) Salomon is coming to Mountain Sports Ltd to have a couple demo days this year. Very excited to lead some fun trail runs in the area and let runners see all the new shoes Salomon has in their line up. I am really interested in the Fellraiser and the Mantra models. I haven't gotten my hands on them, but hope to soon and do some shoe reviews.  I'm really extremely grateful to Salomon for just giving me the opportunity to wear their things and promote for them, and i'm really motivated to train and race hard this upcoming season:) 

 Really excited about demoing cool products for Salomon like these gloves for example-- cool, huh??
 it snowed a couple times the past couple weeks. Here is a shot my friend Ginger Stewart took on the VA creeper trail. I do most of my speed work on the creeper. It's a rail to trail-- very flat and runnable  hybrid trail that is 34 miles long one way. and just a great place to run hard  on a soft surface and not worry about foot placement too much. 

 The weekend before holiday Lake 50k the IMTR's  ran 17 mile route we call "orange dot" it has alot of big climbs and is just a very fun route that utilizes the AT, Tn side of the Iron Mtn trails. It was cold and snowy that morning and I had to capture Tim Lamie with his uber beard he is growing for the winter. very impressive.  Very fun day on the trails and post run, we all ate at Blue Blaze Cafe ( in the location of the pizzeria formerly known as "quincy's" ) yall check it out if you are ever in Damascus. 

 My australian shepherd, maverick loves to run and play. We have been having fun in the snow the past couple weeks. 

 i also was excited that I had gotten some GU products to use for my 50k-- and for training and racing the next 6 months or so. Super elated to be on the Gu ultra team they call the "Gu crew".  Once I get the dates for my clinics on sports nutrition, I will post them here and on my FB.  THANK YOU GU ENERGY LABS!! 
 I was very happy about using GU brew instead of Nuun in my hydration bottle.  I've used Nuun for years-- most of the time just eating tablets because dissolving them in water was such a muted flavor-- and I found it a little hard to drink with exception of doubling up tablets in my bottle, but was intrigued by the different flavors GU brew has-- they are tablets too-- so was happy to try those out.  Let me tell you the flavors are SOO much better. Peach Tea is my favorite!!  Blueberry- pomegranate is another favorite. 
 Gu brew was also what was out on the course for holiday lake so that made it very easy for my fueling at the aidstations brock couldn't get to-- knowing I was using the same products and that would probably be more agreeable with my tummy.  I'm super excited to experiment with all the Gu products and find a good combination  for my racing nutrition plans especially for my 100 milers for this year. 

HOLIDAY LAKE 50k Race Report: 

 wow. that didn't go the way I had planned!!  How many times in life have things happened that throw you off course and try to detour you from your goal? it happens all the time. That is why it's so important to stay flexible, focused on the finish line and not get discouraged-- even when things don't go your way or you don't achieve desired results.

 My goals for Holiday lake were pretty simple. LONG RUN for OD 100. I'm just now starting to train seriously after hell gate 100k/ break during the holidays. So I didn't taper for this race or really make it a  big deal. I idealistically wanted to run about 5:20, what I ran the previous year. but knew going into this race I was much more leg tired than what I was last year. I feel my base is great. but as far as leg speed and cadence.. I haven't really done any speed work since before Grindstone, so I knew that was out the window. So I came to this race with the mindset to do my best, but enjoy the day and just get time on my feet. ( boy did I jinx myself- self fulfilling prophecy there!!) 

 I was thrilled that Brock and the kids were coming to crew for me. The kids hadn't been to a race in a while and really are excited about me racing and helping ( they love to hand me things-- and run, play and have fun while waiting for me at Aid stations) So that was another plus in holiday lake race weekend that we were all together as a family. We had a great meal at Wasabi in Lynchburg Friday night, took the kids swimming at our hotel before retiring for the evening because we had to get up so early (4:30 am!!)
We got to the  start RIGHT in time. I had the chance to go to the ladies bunk house and say hi to ALL my ladies!! ( prissy and martha, diane etc) and tell them good luck and before i knew it we were lining up and were off. 
 starting off I was running about 9 min pace and felt slow really kinda stayed in the same gear all day.  Wish I had more exciting things to write about!! it just is what it is. off day. 

 going through the first AS.  HIDEE Bill Potts and Clark Zealand!! 

 going around the bunk house at the turn around.  Amy Albu is in front of me in the hot pink skirt. 
 My son Jack switching bottles for me at the half way point.

 Harry landers, myself and Laura Duffy about mile 21

 It was SO great to see so many IMTR's and my friends having good days and running strong. YEP, it really kinda made me have crazy thoughts during my race like: 1. I should of tapered. 2. I need speed work  and other things lamenting for feeling slow and having a ho- hum run... some runs are just like that-- but it makes you appreciate the special runs when races go well-- AND I don't want to be peaking now anyways!! I want to be peaked june 1st. it's okay where I am:) I had to remind myself of my goals for this year and what Im out there for. 
 BUT I was on pace to finish 5:25-30.. and I was happy with that.. I kept harry landers in my sights. and knew I was going to be okay. I counted on the turn around and knew I was 13th woman at mile 29. -- been doing a stellar job of falling back in the field through out the race. 
Well coming out of the last Aid station for SOME STUPID REASON. I didn't turn left down the road..  I ran straight into the woods?! and ran and ran and found myself on lake side trail. crossed a bridge and realized I was on the wrong side of the lake!!  I looked across the lake and could see runners running at what I call "2 miles to go" at the picnic area. HEAD SMACK!! 

 I was frustrated at my stoopid blunder at first. upset that I would now finish WAY behind where I was supposed to because I now had to run ALL the way back practically to the last AS.  but I quickly mentally shifted gears and actually had MORE FUN running the bonus miles and then once I got on the right trail, the last 3 miles. My feet didn't hurt. I felt fine. I wasn't tired. I felt I could go run another 50k. lol like I was just getting warmed up. maybe I was just getting warmed up and that was the problem.  I finished in 5:58.  I will say this is the first ultra in a LONG LONG time ( maybe ever?!)  I finished with skinny fingers!!! that  is exciting. I ate GU/ GU roctane and drank GU brew only in my bottle this race. no S caps. it was a cool day 25 at the start and 45 at the finish.  HMMM.  interesting!!! 

  I once was lost but now am found!!  Finishing with some extra miles on my feet, no worse for wear and just happy to be there with boys.  I love these little guys more than anyone else on the planet. My kids are my everything. After the race they both told me they were so proud of me for not quitting even if things weren't going my way. It's amazing they are 5 and 8-- and they GET it that early.  I really want  more than anything them to learn to set and achieve goals for themselves, but also I want them to know the importance of good sportsmanship and being apart of community and the JOY it adds to your life.  The Ultrarunning community adds a tremendous amount of joy to mine. You guys are like family to me, and the races a big family reunion and celebration of what we do!! :)

 ALL the charlottesville crew gave me the stupid award!! lots of hugs and laughs at the finish line. 
I'm here with Harry landers, bob clouston ( picture courtesy of Sophie Speidel) 

So week after holiday lake, I'm super accepting of how it went down. If I run it again, I will be WAY more aware of coming out of that Aid station. and not be dead heading around and get myself lost.
I really just rested that sunday, I feel pretty unfazed by my 37 mile long run. Life is random. Many times things dont work out the way you'd like them to, it's important to be flexible, re-group and revise things and THEN go back after it.

I'm happy to think about Terrapin MTN 50k and getting ready for that. It's more my cup of tea and I fairly sure I wont get lost on this course. I skipped it last year, so I'm excited to get back there. I'm going on the road the next couple weekends for some group long runs. in C-ville and Roanoke. :) YAY!!! and then have terrapin march 23rd. and maybe a trip to the barkley the week after. ( to watch/help crew)  April will be a very big month too!!  so I will be  taking tons of pics of my advenures in march and do a couple blog posts-- back to my resolution to blog more this year!!

 This is a cool panorama of my parent's farm in richlands, va. This is the view from their front porch overlooking their property. I never get tired of it.  and just wanted to share.  CHEERS YALL!!!