My First Century
June 23, 2014

Century: a. A period of 100 years, b. A company in the ancient Roman army, usually of 100 men, c. A bike ride of 100 miles, usually ridden by crazy cyclists.

Image

I finally crossed that threshold in my training and as a cyclist. I biked a century.  And not just any century, or just any 100mi training ride, but The Harpeth River Ride Century.  A very large organized ride with a major sponsor that takes cyclists through some of the biggest, toughest, non-stop hills around middle Tennessee.  I was completely terrified of it.  The most I’d biked to that point was 77mi, and that was a few weeks before.  Would my legs hold up?  Would my mind hold up?  And more importantly, would my “saddle” hold up?  But, you know what, it really wasn’t that bad.  Since it was such a large, well-supported race, it was broken up into several rest stops that were fully stocked.

before

Since this is such a massive bike ride, with thousands of cyclists, I was really nervous about the mass rollout that morning.  Turns out several friends and teammates weren’t keen on it either, so several of us decided to meet very early and get a head start on the crowd.  The plan was to roll out at 6am, a full hour ahead of the masses.  It was great, we had the road to ourselves, we hit the rest stops early so the food was plenty and the porta potties were fresh and clean.  We hit the rest stop at around mile 34, just before climbing the infamous Pulltight hill, a KOM for those in the know.  I love me some hills (small, light cyclists usually do), but I was a little nervous after hearing everyone talk about how bad it is.  The climb is no joke, but it wasn’t as bad as I imagined.  Just drop your gear and spin, you’ll get there.  Crest the top, then fly down to the other side, my least favorite part of cycling.

Turns out when you leave early, that means you also pick up everything in the road first too.  As I started descending behind my teammate, I distinctly started to hear a click…..click…..click…click..click..clickclickclickclickclickclick… Someone threw out tacks on the road.  I picked up a tack and when I got to the bottom, had to change my tire.  Another teammate picked up one earlier in the hill and changed his at the top.  While we were working on my tire, my stem broke on the new tube!  ARGH!  Toss that and start over….bent the stem on the second one but we were still able to get it pumped up, but not screwed back down.  Now I’m down to one tube left, not a big deal unless you’re like me and ride with 650cc tubes (smaller than the standard). One more flat and I’m done for the day, the sag crew probably doesn’t have one for me to use if I flat after that.  We saw so many people with tacks and flats for the next 10-20 miles.  That’s so dangerous.  If someone had blown a tire flying down that hill, it could have caused a serious wreck.  Looks like I reached a top speed of 41mph flying down that hill (and that was with my brakes gently applied).  I’m really surprised I didn’t wet my pants going that fast.

At the next rest stop, I had support check my wheel.  He gave me some more air and said I’d probably be ok, but may lose some air slowly.  The rest of the ride I was so nervous with every bump, rock, and pothole in the road.  Fortunately, our patch job held.

I really began to struggle over miles 45-65.  I think losing time to fixing all the flats and getting our group back together, getting caught up with the crowds again, the sun had finally started really coming out and getting hot, and maybe I was getting low on calories while I paid more attention to my tire instead of my nutrition.  I was in a bad place, my group had long left me, and I was trying to ride my own ride, but I was struggling and getting passed.  Then one of the worst hills in my opinion was at mile 60, super steep and at the turn from a stop sign.  When I got to the next rest stop, my group said I didn’t look ok.  But I got some ice in my water bottles, some gatorade from a cooler, more sunscreen and a couple peanut butter jelly sandwiches.  A few minutes in the shade and I think I was doing better.

kec

After that, it was pretty uneventful, just meandering through rural middle Tennessee.  Once I hit about 80 miles, I was feeling much better, good even.  I got stopped by a train just before the rest stop at mile 82.  That’s the second time I’ve been stopped by a train this year, I really hope this isn’t a trend.  When I got to the stop, we found another teammate and were able to get our picture together.  I was also offered ice for my water bottles.  Filled up 2 bottles, then took another cupful and poured it into my sports bra.  The cheers from the onlookers were hilarious….it’s like they’ve never seen a triathlete in the heat.  It felt so good.  At this point we were only about 18mi from the finish.  I was so glad I brought some extra “chamois butter” to apply at this point.  While I was probably ok, if nothing else it helps you mentally to know that you’ve added an extra layer of protection.  A couple of us reapplied our lube of choice and we were back on the road.

glide

At this point I was mostly familiar with the rest of the route.  It was nice to know I was really close to being done.  My group stopped at the last rest stop, which was less than 10mi from the finish. I met them there, but said I’m feeling good, let’s go, let’s get this over with!  A few more hills and were were back at the finish.  And just in time.  Within 15-20min of finishing, a severe thunderstorm rolled in.  Fortunately I was able to get back to my car and bike loaded inside before the rain hit.

Yes, these legs pedaled those wheels for 100 miles.  ONE HUNDRED MILES.

Yes, these legs pedaled those wheels for 100 miles. ONE. HUNDRED. MILES.

So, for my first century, this was a good one.  It was hot and hilly and really pushed my limits physically and mentally.  It was really well supported and the route was clearly marked with stickers on the road that were obvious and didn’t deface property.  I would definitely do this race again.  Just maybe not tomorrow, my legs have earned a little rest.

watch

I scream, You scream…
June 5, 2014

 

crankin-logo

 

That’s right, it’s that time of year again. ICE CREAM!! It’s ok, go ahead, scream it!

If you live in the Nashville area and have never been to Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’, you’re really missing out.  It’s a local tradition, going strong for 29 years.  Hundreds of homemade ice cream crankers will be churning up delicious frosty treats.  Everything you could imagine from the classic vanilla to exotic combinations of flavors.  There are prizes for best chocolate base, vanilla base, and other, but the most coveted prize is for Best Of Show.  The winner of Best Of Show will be produced as a new Purity Ice Cream flavor.

So get down to the Crankin’ on Sunday, and maybe you’ll get a chance to taste the next greatest ice cream flavor on the shelves next year.

I’ll definitely be down there.  What else is the point of training for an Ironman and burning thousands of calories a day if you can’t indulge in all you can eat ice cream?

When: Sunday, June 8, 3pm-5pm
Where: First Presbyterian Church (4815 Franklin Pike)
Tickets: Advance tickets are $10 for adults ($13 after June 6) and $8 for children ($10 after June 6); children under two are free. Buy your tickets here.
Parking: Parking is free at Franklin Road Academy, Judson Baptist Church and Overton High School, with regular shuttle service to First Presbyterian. (like your own personal ice cream truck!)

Tips:
* My friend Lesley has some fabulous tips for making your Crankin’ experience perfect.
* Come ready to taste from more than 500 gallons (!) of ice cream.
* Bring comfortable, flat shoes, because it all takes place on the lawn of the church (no heels) .

My favorite part about the Crankin’ is that is benefits the Martha O’Bryan Center, which provides a cradle to college to career continuum of integrated services for families living in Cayce Place, Nashville’s largest and oldest public housing development, and the surrounding area. The Center supports children, families and individuals as they work to achieve greater self-sufficiency through education and sustained employment.

Thoughts on a long bike ride
March 22, 2013

Last weekend I went out on my longest bike ride ever. 45 miles.  For most Ironmen and ultra-cyclists, that’s a warm-up, but for me that’s 3+hrs of my life by myself and alone with my thoughts.  I thought I’d take you on that journey.

  • Alright let’s do this.  It’s so nice out, it’s going to be a great ride.
  • Ok, just get through these next couple intersections.  Please, nobody hit me.
  • Dammit missed the light,  stupid sensors don’t pick up bikes.  I’m turning anyway.
  • Wow my legs are feeling really good!
  • Ooh cows. (at this point you hear me audibly yell “MOO!” at the cows. Yes, I’m that person)

cows

  • Ew cows, definitely smell them this time.
  • It’s really rural out here.  Wait did I just hear gun shots?
  • Ok, cue sheet says turn left here.  And that’s the direction of the gun shots.  Is it hunting season?
  • I have no idea where I am.  I really hope I don’t get a flat.
  • Time for a Gu break!
  • More cows.  MOO!
  • Oh goody a train.  Stopped on the road.  How am I supposed to finish my ride? I don’t even know where I am.
You shall not pass!

You shall not pass!

  • Train is still not moving.  Guess I can walk around it to get to the other side.
  • Dammit, it started moving again (as I’m halfway down the side of the train)
  • Ok, back on the road.
  • OMG what is that SMELL?!!!!  Don’t puke!
  • Ooh look goats! Hey buddy how’s it going?

goat

  • What the? Chickens?
  • Time for a Gu break!
  • What was the name of that town?  I have no idea how to even get here in my car!
  • Hm, what am I going to destroy eat when I get back home. Maybe I should have another snack.
  • OMG.  STOP.  BRAKES.  That’s an alpaca farm! Shut up!

alpacas

  • Ok, back to a part of the course I recognize.  Getting closer to civilization.
  • Legs are starting to get a little tired, but still feeling surprisingly good.
  • Ooh, a Dr. Pepper on the side of the road.  I could really go for a soda right now.
  • 39 miles? Man, am I ever ready to get out of this saddle.
  • Ugh, I still have to run 2.5 miles after this.

So yeah, all that “legs feel good” nonsense was no help on my 12 mile run the next day, especially not on the big hill 2/3 of the way through the run.

Race Judicata report
March 1, 2013

I kicked off my racing season last weekend with the Race Judicata.  And because I like to be difficult, I didn’t just do one race, I did 2!  See this race is both a 5k and a 10k and you have the option to do both, back -to-back.  Also, it’s in one of the hilliest parks in the area.   Seriously, check out the elevation profiles!  It’s not for the faint-hearted or weak-quads.

5kCourse profile – 25:34 – 1st AG

I learned a good lesson, don’t take a caffeinated gel at the beginning of a race. I took off like a maniac and fortunately was able to recognize it early and slow my roll for the big hills (and second race) to come.  I think I managed the race well having trained the course for a couple months. At the start of the race, I was passed by this woman with a name on the back of her hooded sweatshirt.  I finally overtook her (and chicked a bunch of guys) on the long hill after 1 mile.  I guess she stayed pretty close behind me because at 1/2mi left, she passed me and we ran together for a while.  Finally on the last turn I decided to see if I could pull ahead of her and did.  I couldn’t tell what her age was, but didn’t want to lose a spot in a race I’ve trained hard for to someone wearing a hoodie.  I finished in 25:34.  Not a PR, but only 1 minute off my PR on a flat course.  And came in 1st in Age Group (thanks to overall winners, love them)!!  I’ve never come in 1st in running since I was a kid!!  I got a nice thermal lunch bag printed with the race logo on it for my AG win.  Oh and turns out hoodie girl was only 16.  So yeah, I’m more than twice her age and still took her out!!  Yeah!

Also, did I mention this is my first race of my new age group? (In running, I’ve been this age group in Triathlon already thanks to USAT rules).  Pretty sweet to get a podium finish in my first race in that age group.  Getting older pays off sometimes.

Then about 30 minutes or so later, after changing my shirt and switching my bib numbers, I lined up for the next race.

9.2kCourse Profile – 50:21 – 4th AG

This is traditionally a 10k, but the volunteers had the turnaround a little too soon.  Also, after training this course for 2 months, I still managed to miss the fact that there was a turnaround.  It threw me off when I saw people running back towards me after 3 miles, but apparently everyone else was thrown off that the turnaround was in the wrong place.  I think I managed the pace well on this one too.  Only took one regular gel at the beginning of the race (was too scared to take another caffeinated one after my near heart attack at the start of the 5k) and really wasn’t feeling really up to taking another during the run.  Fortunately since it was short, I wasn’t really ready for one yet.  At the very last couple tenths of a mile an older (60s+) guy caught up to me and started sprinting and yelling at me “don’t let me beat ya, c’mon” so we raced it in at the finish really hard and strong.  Sometimes you don’t think you have it in you until someone calls you on it.  Finished in 50:21, 4th Age Group.  Kinda wished I had gone about 20-30 seconds faster and gotten a double podium win.  But those who finished ahead of me only ran the 10k and weren’t coming right off of a FIRST PLACE win in a 5k!  So yeah, it was pretty awesome.

Pro: Overall not a bad day of racing and good kick off to the year.  Small.  Fairly quick turnover to the posting the times and presenting awards, so people aren’t waiting forever.  Long sleeve technical T swag.  Gorgeous course though a wonderful park.

Con: (Besides the course screw up on the 10k) I had heard that if you do both races you get cool arm warmers in addition to the t-shirt (something I actually need right now).  But this year it was just plain black gloves.  And they only had large man-hands sizes.  So I guess I’ll store those in my car for emergencies.

Signs of the weekend
January 27, 2013

While making my way around the town this weekend, I came across some fantastic signs.

Have you ever wished for an extra hour in the day?  Well apparently someone here found it.  Who knew it was at a coin laundry?  What a pleasant discovery just next door to a new-to-me Ethiopian restaurant?

25hrs

Next, while meandering downtown, I found out that the Convention Center was hosting the National Pavement Expo.  Ok, which one of you was keeping this secret from me?  You’re fired.  I mean, think of all the different kinds of nationally recognized pavement (gasp, even asphalt!) I could have seen on display?!  Just so you know, if the International Pea Gravel Convention is going to be anywhere within a 500 mile radius, you better give me a heads up!

pavement

And someone thought this town was boring!

Then on Sunday I made my first ever winter weather bike ride.  I just could not bear the thought of attempting to ride the equivalent of 25 miles on my trainer, so I bundled up and headed South to a rural part of the next county over.

At the mid-way point of my ride.

At the mid-way point of my ride.

In two different places I had to go through a single lane underpass under the railroad tracks.  While that sounds treacherous alone, it’s also on an S-curve with no mirrors.  I only had one close call in the 4 times I went through these.

At your own risk.

At your own risk.

And finally, while riding through an area that us Southerners like to call Cun-Tree (that’s “country” for the rest of you), I came across some very suspicious cows.  The first time I rode by, I noticed they all stopped and watched me carefully.  So, on my way back, I stopped to see them.  They were exceptionally apprehensive this time around.  I snapped a couple pictures anyway.

WTF, don't come any closer!

WTF, don’t come any closer!

Dammit.

Dammit.

How was your weekend? 

Sally’s 2012
January 1, 2013

I love reading everyone’s year-in-review.  But I never feel that I have anything particularly interesting to share myself.  However looking back at where I’ve come since January 1, 2012, my year reads like the elevation profile of the 11.2 mile run through Percy Warner Park.

January
On New Year’s day I wake up with pain in my left shoulder.  It becomes very severe over the next few days and I begin many painful and expensive tests to diagnose it.  I eventually lose most of the strength and mobility in the arm altogether.  It is not for several months (see below) before we are able to diagnose the mystery condition.  But I take my first Caribbean vacation to Jamaica with my good friend Sara.  It is fantastic and just what we needed to thaw the dreary winter grays.  I also start training to Hoop the Half Marathon again.

February
I take a trip to Chicago to visit the city and see friends.  I begin planning my race calendar for the year.  But 2/3 of the way through the month I became very ill and take a brief stay in the hospital.  This sets me back physically and race and training-wise.  I eventually end up having to miss out on 4 different races this month and the next month due to illness and recovery.  I also support a friend during a difficult trial and witness that sometimes the judicial system doesn’t always work out the way it’s supposed to.

March
I miss out on the Triple Crown races due to the previous month’s recovery and post my first DNS ever, unfortunately it’s a 3-for-1.  I come up with an Athletic Bucket List and start working towards a plan to check off the items.  I tour the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and hit 7 distilleries in 2 days.  I attend an Olympic soccer qualifying tournament game.

April
I apply for the Nuun Hood To Coast team, though I don’t get picked, I still make a funny video.  I post some really high mileage with our hoop walking.  And eventually complete the Hooping the Half Marathon.  Many thanks to everyone who donates to the cause.  I finally really start training again in all 3 sports.  I also have my first swim lesson and find out that my self-taught freestyle form really isn’t that bad.  I also meet my Coach for the first time in a different swim lesson.  I witness my amazing friend Kira become ordained as an Episcopal priest.

May
I do my first open water swim ever, which also happens to be my first wetsuit swim ever.  I manage to survive both.  I compete in my first triathlon of the season and learn an important lesson of mental tenacity.  I have another minor surgery unrelated to my two previous medical issues earlier in the year.  I get a new fitting on my tri bike.

June
I make another trip to Chicago for a wedding and to visit friends.  I begin training with my Coach.  I go through a little bit of heartbreak.  I revise my race schedule for the year and really buckle down and distract myself with training.  I compete in the Du Run Run duathlon again and walk away with my first podium finish!  I also finally get back to the doctor for my left arm, and get a diagnosis of Parsonage Turner Syndrome.  I compete in the Muddy Buddy with a friend and have a great time, and once again somehow manage to never really get muddy in a mud event.  It’s a special talent.  I witness more heartbreak at the loss of a friend.  I also go to see Tenacious D with Sara and we have a lot of rocking out silliness.

July
I do a LOT of running, biking, swimming during the hot month, and put down more mileage than I ever imagined.  I compete in my first Olympic distance triathlon.  And I go to the Forecastle Festival after my race and get to see my favorite band play.  I volunteer at a major triathlon in my city and really get a chance to give back for all the racing that I do.  I run in a cape for beer.

August
My Coach comes to town and I get in another swim session.  I work on riding the course for my next big race, but the course keeps changing and I learn my lesson on some hills.  I get up way too early (even for me) to watch the Olympics for marathon and triathlon.  I compete in a Women’s super sprint tri and get misdirected on the course by a volunteer.  They throw out the run times and I end up with a podium finish, but maybe not the one I planned.  I begin physical therapy for my arm and shoulder.

September
I compete in my second Olympic Triathlon, in a torrential downpour.  This is my last tri of the season, but I don’t let that stop me because I sign up for my first Half Ironman race for the next year.  I attend my first Nashville Rollergirls bout and love it.  I buckle down on my running to train for my next few running races of the season.  I run my first 5k in probably 5 or 6 years, and walk away with another podium finish, once again a second place in my age group, which makes for a hat trick of podium finishes for the year.  My best friend has another baby, once again with a dramatic entrance.

October
I run in the Boston Half Marathon.  I get to visit my old friends and meet new ones, and see my best friend in a play.  I tour the Sam Adams Brewery finally.  I try Eritrean food, and of course eat lots and lots of lobstah!  I walk the Goo Goos Jog N Hog due to a painful injury.  That injury turns out to be peroneal tendonitis, and I also find out (on my 3rd Xray and MRI of the year) that I have a cyst in my heel, but the doctor doesn’t think it is affecting me.  I attend a Vanderbilt football game and watch them actually win!  I take a Motorcyle class.  I watch the Kona Ironman championships online and am amazed by the athletes.  I do the Color Run with a couple friends.

November
I make a road trip to tour the Calfkiller brewery and fall more in love with their beer.  I try to talk them into selling me a bike jersey with no luck.  I run in the Ragnar Tennessee relay race and tick off another Athletic Bucket List item.  I volunteer at the Flying Monkey Marathon and witness some truly hardcore runners.  I run the Boulevard Bolt and get another PR.  Coach comes into town again and we have a little team dinner and recap of the year and discuss the next year.

December
I start the month off with my first 12k, the 12 South Winter Warm Up, and finish the day with the 12 South Winter Warmer, one of my favorite beer fests.  Running and beer, what a perfect day!  Then I announce I’m doing something really crazy for my birthday.  I document all of my runs here, and follow it up with beers with friends.  I do one more Yazoo Barely a 4k Beer Run and earn a Yazoo Santa hat.  I find out I qualified for the USAT national championships for Olympic distance triathlon based on that Women’s race in August, which redeems the unfortunate results of that race.  I bake a monstrous cake and swear off buttercream forever.  I take a little New Year’s vacation and got to see my alma mater play in a bowl game.

2013
And what does 2013 hold?  I’ve already started working on my race schedule for next year.  Who knows what else it holds?  I’m hoping for a happy, healthy, and injury-free year.  Looking forward to ticking off more Athletic Bucket List items and maybe clawing my way to more podium finishes?  I’d also like to start trying to race more duathlons.  What are your plans and goals?

I Thought This Was A 5k
December 28, 2012

…or how I ran my first Ragnar Relay

Ok, so I’m not that dense, I knew it wasn’t a 5k, I was very much aware it was a 196-plus-some-change mile race between Chattanooga and Nashville.  But that was our very cleverly coined team name.  As I have been slowly attempting to tick off items off of my Athletic Bucket List.  One more that has been dogging me for a while is a major relay race.  After applying for Hood To Coast, I knew I really wanted to be on a team for Ragnar this year.  So, I set my sights on stalking the Facebook page.  Fortunately after only one post, Cayla snatched me right up.  Boom, I was in!

As we got closer to race day, I was finalizing all my plans, packing and reducing and packing and reducing again, stalking the weather in several cities at bizarre hours of the day like a fiend, and overeating like it was my job.

Thursday:
Packing and prepping day.

All my stuff for the next 30 hours.

I took the day off work to get all my crap together.*

Packed neatly into 1 backpack. No Diva Kitty didn’t join us for the race.

Really glad I did this.  I was able to pack, prepare 6 peanut butter sandwiches, and just relax and make sure everything was taken care of.

Peanut...Peanut butter...

Peanut…Peanut butter…

All the rest of my team had already gone down to meet in Chattanooga, but another teammate (whom I recruited) and I went to a concert in Nashville and decided to get up early on Friday and drive down then.  It was too bad we didn’t get our team bonding in early, but when you’re about to spend 30 hours in a van together, there’s plenty of time for smelling each other’s sweaty runner funk bonding.

Friday:
5am Wake up call in time to throw on my my first running outfit with a sweatshirt and yoga pants to cover up.  Eat some breakfast and hop in the car with a mug full of coffee, pointing south to Chattanooga.

8:45am We arrived at the hotel and met up with Cayla, our more than fearless leader.  We pack our stuff into the van and head to the start line.

10:30am Our start time and our first 2 runners in our van are off.

teamstart

Team “I thought this was a 5k!”

Van 1 goofing off at the start line.

Van 1 goofing off at the start line.

12:05pm – LEG 1.  This leg is a 5.1 mile leg all downhill on Suck Creek Mountain.  I averaged a pace in the 7’s range, but I still got passed by 4 people, 3 guys and 1 gal.  That gal chicked all other guys so it was worth it.  No kills unfortunately.  I didn’t want to blow it up and go too fast on the first leg and have nothing left for the other 2 longer legs, but I also knew that the downhill leg would burn out my quads if I tried to brake myself too much.  It was a delicate balance of watching my speed and trying not to trip and causing a snowball effect down the mountain.

Starting my first leg.

Starting my first leg.

Handing off to runner # 4

Handing off to runner # 4

4pm – Van 1 is done with all the runners.  We stop at a Cracker Barrel to get some food and head to the next major exchange to rest and wait for Van 2 to come in.  By “rest” I mean everyone trying to nap in the van during the daylight.

3

A little threesome action in the back bench of the minivan.

Once Van 2 catches up with us, it’s starting to get dark and we’re all about to head out on our night runs, donning lots of lights and reflective material.

9:44pm – Leg 2.  This is my longest run, 6.8 miles, fairly flat going over Tims Ford Lake area.  This run felt great and averaged 8:49 pace.  Not bad for night time in the middle of nowhere Redneck Outback.  6 kills on this leg, I was taking them out left and right.  I got lots of compliments on my LiteBelt.

Saturday:
5:53am – Leg 3.  This was my hardest run.  I had gotten sick overnight and my quads were searing from the downhill leg the day before.  But I took some anti-nausea medicine and drank some Coke to settle my stomach.  The last thing I wanted to do was run, but I got through 6.1 miles at a very slow 10:13 pace.  At one point my team had stopped to check on me.  They asked if I was OK, I shook my head a pathetic “no” and just kept going.  I knew if I stopped I would never get going again.  I managed 2 kills on this run, it looked like everyone was hurting on this one.  I wish I had felt better on this run, because I started this run in the dark and the sun came up and it was fully light by the time I finished the run.  A total of 18 miles and 8 kills in about 19 hours.

Van 1 at the finish

Van 1 at the finish

Finish – After handing off to Van 2, we headed to my house for much needed showers and rest since I live in between the final major exchange and the finish line.  After crossing the finish line with the entire team, I went home and promptly slept for a full 12 hours (5pm-5am) straight.  I woke up when I tried to roll over and my quads started screaming at me.

Team "I thought this was a 5k!"

Team “I thought this was a 5k!”

And the MVP award goes to our Captain, Cayla who stepped up when one of our teammates got sick after her first leg and ran the extra 2 legs.  That’s right, she ran 5 legs in 24 hours totaling 22.6 miles.

MVP

MVP

I had a really fun time and I’d totally do it again.  We had great weather and this is a very well executed race.  Don’t get me wrong, it was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done, but I really enjoyed it.  I had excellent teammates, even with being the rag tag bunch that we were.  I still remain in very close contact (usually on a daily basis) with my teammates and we’re planning to do other relay runs again.

Side Note:  If you decide that you need to massage your piriformis after you run, make sure none of your teammates are standing by with a camera to document it.

IMG_0016

*What I packed for the race:
1 pr running shoes (based on weather decided to go with just 1 pr instead of 2)
3 prs running shorts
1 pr running tights
3 prs running socks
3 sports bras
2 short sleeve running shirts
1 long sleeve running shirt
safety gear (reflective vest, head lamp with rear lamp, LiteBelt)
1 light weight running jacket (with removable sleeves, i.e., doubles as vest)
Clothes for in between runs (yoga pants, sports bra, underwear, socks, slip on shoes, long sleeve shirt, hoodie, rain jacket just in case)
running hat (with reflective strips)
gloves
Ear band/hat
iPod + charger (doubles with phone charger)
Garmin + charger
RoadID
Body Glide
Handheld water bottle for running, plus large water bottle for drinking in van
Nutrition: several Gu/Cliff Shots, Cliff Bars/Picky Bars, Nuun for my water, Sport Beans, Honey Stinger chews.
baby wipes and facial wipes (whore’s bath all the way)
toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine hygiene, brush, chapstick, etc.)
Meds (Excedrin, ibuprofen, anti-nausea Rx, Immodium, etc.)
Extra freezer bags and grocery bags
small roll of toilet paper
sharpie
swiss army knife
Travel blanket that folds up small and can be used as pillow

Food:
PB sandwiches
pretzels (I subsisted on these almost entirely)
small Cokes (second half of what I subsisted on besides Nuun water)
fruit snacks (didn’t touch these)
Gummi bears (well the coke version)
Large reusable bottle of water
Various protein bars

35-35-35 FINISH!
December 10, 2012

So I tried really hard, but I was unable to “outrun my birthday” as a clever friend said to me today.  But I did finish my 35 miles, with 3 hours to spare!

The big 3-5!

The big 3-5!

Yes, I am going to “STOP” running for a while.  Well, until my next race next weekend.  I’m not as sore as I expected to be.   I had a massage today for 90 minutes and I feel even better.  Not better enough to consider doing this again, but I do think I came up with a good plan for this crazy idea.  I’ve never run much more than 13 miles in one day and I certainly didn’t even train up to that mileage going into this.  I am not an ultra runner, nor do I have interest in turning into one.  Hell I don’t even want to run a full marathon.  But it is amazing what the body can do.

But most of all I have to thank all of my friends who ran with me: Tracy, Trent, Marc, Amanda, Karen.  And to the countless other friends and even strangers who cheered me on through texts, twitter, facebook, and blog comments.  It really helped get me through it.  You have no idea how much I appreciated it!

But here is the plan that I followed:

The week before the run:
I didn’t run at all.  I rode my bike, swam, and did some upper body strength training.  I wanted to save my legs.  I also ate a little more on the heavy side.  I figured I wouldn’t be eating much during those 35 hours due to my sensitive stomach (when running).  I wanted to store as many calories for energy as I could.

The run:
I knew I had just an hour shy of a day and a half, but since it’s December daylight hours are at a premium.  So I had to get in my runs very closely together.  I figured I could run up to 10 miles at a time without much trouble, especially if I split it up into at least 2 laps with a break for water and stretching in between.

The first day:
As planned, I ran a 5 mile loop, and had some water and a few minutes for rest and some stretching before beginning the second loop.  I was feeling OK and mostly managing to keep a 10 minute or more pace so I made it a 6 mile loop to work in some extra miles.  After I went home, showered and stretched.  I put on my compression tights and did some work on my foam roller.  For the second run, I managed two loops of 5 miles.  I worked in a bit of walking any time I came to a slight incline or just to rest for a minute.  That evening, I had a 60 minute massage scheduled and I slept in my compression tights, taking them off after a couple hours.

Second day:
I woke up very early after sleeping well and ran 1 mile as a warm up.   After eating breakfast and a little more stretching and foam roller, I went for another run.  Another 2 laps of 5 mile runs with stretching in between and brief walking breaks during the second lap.  I went home and rested and stretched and foam rolled some more.  Then all I had left was 3 miles, so I made a promise to myself I would run the entire 3 miles.

Third day:
I scheduled a final 90 minute massage to work out final kinks.

Nutrition/Fuel:
I made sure to consume plenty of fluids, in particular water (for basic hydration), nuun and pedialyte (for electrolytes), chicken broth (for sodium), chocolate milk (for recovery), Coke (to settle my stomach).
I ate plenty of bananas (for energy and cramps), peanut butter on bagels (for nutrition), Cliff Shots/Gus (during runs), salt (for sodium and cramps).
And of course a celebratory “Shower Beer” before meeting friends for (veggie) burger and (waffle) fries and more beer.

beer

Runs:
I worked on trying to keep the first runs slow at 10 minute mile or slower and allow it to get slower on its own or be dictated by my pacers.

1.  Sat, Dec 8, 2012 8:10 AM
Distance: 11.00 mi
Time: 1:49:56
Avg Pace: 10:00 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:49:55 11.00 10:00
1 9:46.92 1.00 9:47
2 10:17.85 1.00 10:18
3 10:12.61 1.00 10:13
4 9:55.64 1.00 9:56
5 9:50.09 1.00 9:50
6 9:55.49 1.00 9:55
7 9:58.4 1.00 9:58
8 9:58.6 1.00 9:59
9 9:58.71 1.00 9:59
10 9:55.06 1.00 9:55
11 10:06.16 1.00 10:07

*****

2.  Sat, Dec 8, 2012 2:14 PM
Distance: 10.00 mi
Time: 1:48:44
Avg Pace: 10:52 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:48:44.4 10.00 10:52
1 10:44.4 1.00 10:44
2 10:56.9 1.00 10:57
3 11:03.6 1.00 11:04
4 10:35.2 1.00 10:35
5 10:32.9 1.00 10:33
6 10:36.0 1.00 10:36
7 11:07.6 1.00 11:08
8 10:59.1 1.00 10:59
9 10:37.2 1.00 10:37
10 11:29.1 1.00 11:29
11 :02.5 0.00 9:35

*****

3.  Sun, Dec 9, 2012 6:49 AM
Distance: 1.00 mi
Time: 10:11
Avg Pace: 10:12 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 10:10.7 1.00 10:12
1 10:10.7 1.00 10:12

*****

4.  Sun, Dec 9, 2012 9:06 AM
Distance: 10.01 mi
Time: 1:45:32
Avg Pace: 10:33 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:45:32.0 10.01 10:33
1 10:41.2 1.00 10:41
2 10:36.9 1.00 10:37
3 10:13.9 1.00 10:14
4 10:08.4 1.00 10:08
5 9:58.8 1.00 9:59
6 10:36.1 1.00 10:36
7 10:23.1 1.00 10:23
8 10:38.9 1.00 10:39
9 11:39.0 1.00 11:39
10 10:32.8 1.00 10:33
11 :03.1 0.01 9:44

*****

5.  Sun, Dec 9, 2012 3:06 PM
Distance: 3.00 mi
Time: 31:33
Avg Pace: 10:32 min/mi

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 31:33.5 3.00 10:32
1 10:28.0 1.00 10:28
2 10:34.6 1.00 10:35
3 10:31.0 1.00 10:32

And as far as how I’m doing after the run, well I walked away fairly unscathed.  Yes, I have some muscle soreness.  Only had some pain in my knee while running on the last day, but that didn’t stick around.  Oddly I developed blisters on the bottoms of several of my toes.  No new blisters on my feet, but several toes (only on the bottom) were casualties.  I also have 2 weird tiny chafed spots on my back.  I’m assuming from a sports bra, but it’s just 2 small spots the size of a pencil eraser and kinda low to be my sports bra, but it doesn’t hurt and I can’t see it so I’ll pretend it’s not there.  Otherwise I escaped relatively injury free.  Not bad for an old lady!

35-35-35 3rd+ Run
December 9, 2012

Another 11 miles down in the books.  Just 3 miles left to reach 35!

Last night as I was falling asleep I had a dream about…running.  Go figure.  It was one of those dreams, I’m watching my feet as I run, then I step off the edge of the greenway and nearly roll my ankle…And jerk awake at the same time.  After that I got a decent night’s sleep.

Then I got up early and decided to do a short shake out run of 1 mile around my neighborhood.  Marc was a trooper and joined me on a humid 1 mile at a 10:12 pace.

Wow, my eyes look tired and puffy.

Wow, my eyes look tired and puffy.

And of course I had to get a close up shot of my hat.  This stuff has been getting me through the weekend.  Regular Body Glide on my body and the WarmFX Anti-Pain on my tendonitis and any other sore spots.

bodyglide

After getting some breakfast, I headed out to the greenway to join Karen for some more mileage.  She was a great pacer! And she had just paced her daughter during a good portion of a marathon the day before.

 5 miles with Karen and Marc.

5 miles with Karen and Marc.

Then Marc was a trooper and ran with me for the last 5 miles.  While I’ve been feeling surprisingly good, especially on the first 5 miles, I was starting to struggle the last 2 miles of this run.  I was sore and really thirsty.  It is unseasonably warm here and very humid because of the off-and-on rain.  But I did it.

Another 10 miles at 10:33 pace.  Maybe a touch too fast at this point.

Because of all the soreness and the heat I had to wear the most ridiculous outfit today.  Note the tri shorts under my running shorts hoping to minimize muscle vibration and my Swiftwick compression socks for the same reason.  I couldn’t wear my beloved fancy compression tights because it was so darn hot.  And speaking of the heat, I’m wearing a tank top…in DECEMBER!

Seriously, this is winter?

Seriously, this is winter?

Then I proceeded to take an Epsom salt bath and rest in my compression tights.

Consumed:
Banana and most of 1/2 of a bagel with peanut butter, with some coffee and some Pedialyte, and some extra ibuprofen.
Salt packet and Mocha Cliff Shot before running with some sips of water.
Mint Chocolate Gu at the halfway point and sips of Pedialyte.
Nuun during the last mile of my run.
Salt packet, chicken broth, Pedialyte, and big cup of chocolate milk after running.
Small coke while I was in Epsom salt bath.
Banana and a few small pretzels after the bath, plus an Immodium.

So far my stomach seems to be hanging in there.  I didn’t take any Immodium this morning because I was feeling ok, but managing your GI for 30+ hours is a delicate balancing act.  Hoping it holds out this last run and then on to the celebratory beers with friends after.

I’ve been doing pretty well about stretching (maybe not quite as much as I should), but the massage yesterday helped and I’ve been working my foam roller in quite a bit.  I try to wear my compression tights during rest when I can, or use The Stick.  I’m not nearly as sore as I expected, but definitely feeling the 32 miles I’ve done in 27 hours.

Less than a 5k left!

35-35-35 Second Run
December 8, 2012

Second run complete. 10 miles. 1:48: 44 (average 10:52 min/mile).  Thanks to Marc and Amanda for joining me for this run.

Looks like I have 3 hands holding her coke and my phone.

Looks like I have 3 hands, one holding her Coke and two holding the camera.

We started out with a 5 mile loop around one of my favorite greenways.  After a brief bathroom/water/stretching/Gu break, we took off down another part of the greenway.

As we started going through the two tunnels to another section of the greenway, I found a little surprise that Amanda had set up for me.

Holy Trackspikes Batman!

Holy Track Spikes Batman!

When I saw the first one, I had decided to walk that short but steep hill.  I laughed, because I figured one of the nearby high school track teams had been leaving messages for each other.  But then I got to the next tunnel.

tunnel

It says “Keep Going” and has a hopscotch with 35 on it.

Keep

Keep

Going

Going

35 hopscotch!

35 hopscotch!

Have I ever told you how awesome Amanda is?  She drove to a different part of the park early to write it on the greenway with chalk.  Best part, I’m running there tomorrow so I’ll see it again!

Fortunately the rain held off for these runs.  Had a little drizzle in the first run, but it was very light.  But it was really warm, especially for December.  I had a few more walk breaks this run and walked any small hills.

The park where we ran has a giant tree decorated for Christmas.  So, of course we had to get a picture in front of the tree!

tree

After the run, I went home and made a little dinner.  Then I had a 60 minute massage scheduled.  Really glad I had that set up.

Consumed:
Banana about an hour before I left for the second run.
Salt packet and Mocha Cliff Shot and some sips of Pedialyte before the run.
Salt packet and Peanut Butter Gu and some more Pedialyte at the break.
Chicken broth after finishing 10 miles.

Don't knock it til you try it.

Don’t knock it til you try it.

More chocolate milk.
Baked salmon and broccoli au gratin rice for dinner with a small Coke and some nuun.
Couple candy cane oreo type cookies for dessert and water and a small ginger ale.