Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mission Accomplished

Since I've returned to work I've really been struggling with balancing work, running and the boys. With Robert still not sleeping through the night regularly and James waking up at 4 or 5 most mornings I struggle to get in an early morning run and work seems to zap me in the afternoons. In fact since I've been back to work I can't seem to get in more than 2-3 runs during the week. This week I decided I didn't care how short the runs I was going to get in 4 runs during the week. And with work meetings and therapy this week I wasn't even sure if I'd squeeze in a mile period. But somehow I managed...most were short runs but 4 runs during the week and 2 runs on the weekend! I figure if I can establish the consistency then I can start building back the miles. But too many days I'd been saying oh I only have time for 3 miles so it's not worth it. 

Tuesday I only managed 3 sweaty treadmill miles at 4am before James woke up. Thankfully I got him back to sleep for just long enough to get in a shower. It might have been short but it certainly made the long day of client meetings more bearable. So this is my plan for the rest of the year...consistency...even if it's low mileage I'm going to keep with it. Hopefully by January the boys decide to sleep a bit more and I can get some actual runs in. 

The boys, yes all three, also decided to get sick last week which made for a lot of fun for the mama! Thankfully all are on the mend and as crazy as ever. Other exciting happenings around the house included a trip to a new park which resulted in no fewer than 11.8 meltdowns until we realized it was actually a pretty cool park, putting our shoes on ourselves, throwing a poopy diaper down the stairs (I suppose its time to make a bigger potty training push again) and stunned looks of disbelief watching it all happen! Most of the time I'm pretty sure Robert is in awe of the family he was born into.

Monday, October 26, 2015


This past week heaven gained an angel and I lost my favorite worst running partner ever. Seamus loved to run...just not in a straight line, or following a path, not next to you or attached to a leash...and mostly only if it included a significant amount of time stopping to smell the flowers...okay really just random bushes that some other animal had probably peed on, chase squirrels and hide from deer or anything else that appears even remotely threatening. 

 Almost 11 years ago now my sister, Caitlin dragged me to the humane society to look at dogs I had zero intention of bringing home. With his tongue hanging out of a huge grin Seamus, then Adrien, stood...okay danced, skipped, hopped and jumped in his kennel behind a sign "Rehabilitation Services". Cait claimed this dog was amazing! He goes to hospitals and visits kids and is such a good dog. So reluctantly I agreed to "meet" Seamus. It was becoming more obvious that this dog did not go to hospitals and was by no means a therapy dog. Fleetwood from the human society commented oh no HE'S in therapy. I threw my hands up and in unison Cait and I responded we'll take him. And so that is how I came to have a dog, a crazy, insane, lovable, special needs dog. Somehow I guess that sounds just about right. He fit in perfectly! I miss my puppers...even if he was a terrible running partner.

We also got our first snow of the year. Dan and I are pretty sure our summer loving dog sensed this and knew it was his time. The thought of one more winter was more than he could handle. Needless to say my running still feels like it hasn't rebounded post- RRR. I really need to at least get my mileage back to something that resembles a runner. But I have been feeling better and getting faster with my MAF training so I guess that's a bit of an improvement. 

James was reading pumpkins until he fell asleep last night

Not award winning gluten free Halloween treats for daycare

We have a BOB problem...bought a second single to make our runs more manageable

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pumpkins and Offseason

Why I spend all day chasing the boys...
because if I don't this happens
Thanks to Sandra my hip flexors felt like they were floating all week and it took an act of god to swing my legs forward and take a step for most of the week. I hate this's one of those things that the whole time you're doing it you keep asking yourself why? why would I willingly subject my body to this kind of brutal torture? And then you leave and you're saying to yourself I really need to keep doing this... Honestly I can feel myself getting stronger and I think if I can find a way to fit it into my schedule it will really help my running. Currently I also can't lift my arms high enough to brush my teeth...apparently my attempt at my only arm workout being lifting the boys is not going to fly anymore. 

Dan was still sick this week so we didn't get to go on our planned long run for Friday which was a bit of a bummer. I really haven't ran anything exciting. I have become quite intimate with Green Mountain, mapping out several new routes from my office. And really its not as exciting as that sounds. I've also been sticking with MAF training, which is only slightly killing me. MAF training on Green = a lot of hiking. I am starting to feel the benefits of it, but ugh...sometimes it's so frustrating that I'm not just running. 
First selfie with the boys

The boys are busy mostly just keeping me busy. I feel like I'm constantly running around chasing someone, breaking up excessive hugging, feeding either child and trying to get just enough chores done to stay alive through the week. I'm starting to get a better balance at work and the past few days have been really consistent with my running. Right now that's my only goal. If I can be consistent on getting out even if its only for a couple miles I'm considering it a success.  

James is also completely in love with pumpkins this year. Everything has to be pumpkins though...not the silly white ones, or funky colored ones...nope those apparently are not the real deal. I'm wondering how we're going to tell him he has to stop wearing his jack-o-lantern shirt after next week!

Monday, October 12, 2015

As & As

In keeping with trying some new things to improve my running I went to Pilates this week. Sandra gave me a few sessions as my 'push' present to help get me back to my normal self. I cursed her a lot during that hour...well as much as I could between the screams coming from my whole body. My abs were so sore my ribs hurt for 3 days! And my arms? I grimaced every time I had to pick up James. Aside from the names I was calling Sandra I kept thinking...this is totally going to help my running. So yep I'm a glutton for punishment and will be back next week.

Running-wise I feel like I'm still on a taper. My workload in the office doubled while I was on leave so getting back into my routine has been tougher than I thought it would. I know I'll figure it out but right now it feels like I'll never run more than 4 miles again. I've also decided to do MAF training for the next 3-6 months. So now I'm running 4 slow miles a day. Next week will be better though and slowly we'll get there. Eventually I'll have a routine...and boys that sleep...
Mom forgot to bring extra pants to school...
real men wear pink!

James is moving up to the preschool room over the next couple weeks. That can only mean one thing...time to buy a chalkboard so I can take the obligatory First Day of Preschool 3k photos. Really I'm excited though I think this will be a really good move for him. And since we're all worried about the transition and doing all sorts of things to make it easier on him it means he's going to breeze through the transition and look at us like what was all the fuss about? 

Robert is getting happier...although I would be happier if he would sleep a bit longer. Some day...

still unimpressed...

finally a fall day

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Run Rabbit Run 100 Race Report

I would have to say I do not recommend a 10 week training program for a 100. It sounded like a good idea back in sounded like a somewhat okay idea in sounds like a ridiculous idea now. That said I did manage to get my legs in shape for the race. What I didn't take into account is sometimes there are just things you can't control that will affect your race. I mean I knew that there were a lot of risks with signing up for RRR this year. Finishing would be questionable at best, finishing well...well damnit I was sure as hell going to try. 

I was trained up, I was tapering. I was trying to keep busy...and then James got the stomach bug. I swore I could beat it. No way I would get the stomach bug in September...nope that doesn't happen. January, February sure, but not September and not before a big race. At least two direct shots and countless wiped tears later I only managed to keep Robert from getting it. In the end I guess this is really the only important thing, but man its sucks. And so Monday afternoon found me trying to entertain, feed and keep track of two boys from my position lying on the floor. By Tuesday I was keeping fluids down again, but not much food and I was down 4 lbs. That would be great to just about anyone other than someone who is 3 days away from running a 100. In my case that was devastating. I did what I could to gain back the weight but was still down 2.5 lb by Friday morning. I felt like I had rehydrated alright, but that was apparently not right. 

Friday morning I woke up got the boys and myself ready amidst the flutter of nerves that always accompanies a 100 morning. Of course this is where the post-flu mistakes began. I was so caught up feeding Robert and getting James settled that I drank a cup of coffee and a water. Halfway to the start I realized my protein bar was still sitting on the counter in the condo. No biggie I'll drink and eat as soon as the race starts, right?

It was raining...okay it was more like a torrential downpour. My rain shell was at mile 20. Thankfully the clouds began to part at 7:59 and it was barely a drizzle at the start. A mile up the ski hill and it was snowing. Now this wouldn't be so bad except I have this propensity to not eat or drink when its cold. I wasn't too terribly cold, I wished I had gloves, but otherwise I was moving well enough to stay warm. At the top of the gondola Dan, James and my Dad were there to greet me as the first female up the climb. Last year I was fourth, first was not where I wanted to be. But I wanted to run my own race and not worry about what the other women were doing so I went with it. I actually felt really good on the climb which was somewhat unexpected. I finally got to the top of Mt Werner and was ready to run. I headed down the now snow covered and muddy trail heading to Long Lake. It was a much slower go this year which I thought was good. The mud kept the pace slower and I was basically by myself for this whole stretch. 

I got into Long Lake well behind my anticipated time, but figured I was still okay. It was still pretty chilly but I wanted to make sure I left my shirt in case I needed it later that night. I refilled my gel flasks and headed out to Fish Creek. I was running it pretty hard at this point wanting to make up some time, in reality though I should have backed off a bit here. The technical section was so wet and slick that I was forced to practically walk down a couple sections so I figured that was controlling myself enough. I emerged out into the parking lot and immediately grabbed my pump so I could be pumped before I got to town. Of course I miscalculated the splash effect from running while pumping and how close cars were to you on the road so I'm sure there are a few people out there that got a bit of a show, my apologies. Regardless I got the job done, bagged the milk and hightailed it into Olympian. Dan met me a couple blocks away and we chatted easily as we made our way in. We got in and I started refilling everything...except my bladder...I hadn't touched that yet. I hugged my boys, thanked my crew and headed up to the lane of pain. 

I was still climbing pretty well and really just wanted this damn Cow Creek section done with. It's not a super long climb so I made it to the top in what felt like a reasonable pace and then started to really push the downhill into the AS. My stomach started going south almost immediately. I backed off the pace for a bit, but that didn't seem to help so I figured it was best just to run fast down and regroup at the AS. I got in with my stomach a disaster and I was beginning to really feel out of it. I shouldn't feel out of it at 30 miles into a race so I began to worry a bit. I stood at the table trying to assess what I needed but I couldn't seem to hold onto a thought. All I knew was I thought I needed to really drink water. But the problem with my calorie system is that in cupless AS you can't just chug water right there. I had also forgotten an extra calorie flask, but I was pretty sure my salt intake was too high anyways so I was backing off the calories. Instead I chugged a ginger ale and started off down the road. I figured I could chug my bladder and refill it at the water stop and then be able to start taking calories again. So with that plan in mind I ran the 2 mile stretch to the turnoff...last year I had sworn to myself I would run that whole section. I hit the trail determined to keep running but pretty sure I needed to back off. I was feeling more and more out of it so I slowly plodded up that hill. I hate this hill. Its not steep, its not technical, its totally runnable and every year I seem to not be able to run it and it never seems to end. 8 miles from the AS to the top...its BS when they tell you its only 10 miles back to Olympian, its 2 miles down the road, 6 up the hill and then another 4 back to Olympian. I drained my bladder and was feeling a bit better, but the water stop was empty. All I could do was push on to Olympian and re-evaluate when I got there. About a mile from the AS I got passed by the eventual winner.

I got into Olympian still in second but completely dehydrated, low on calories, totally out of it and knowing something was really not right. I was also starting to have pelvic muscle spasms which were not only crazy painful, but messing with my gait so my left quad and right knee where starting to have issues. I was a complete mess as I fell into Dan and Sandra. They loaded me up the best they could got me squared away pumping inside to hopefully regroup and gear up. As I was pumping I started getting the chills and could not shake them. I knew it wasn't that cold, but I couldn't stop shaking. I finally managed to get out of Olympian with Sandra at my side heading to meet Dan at Fish Creek. No one was sure how much race I had left in me but we were going to re-evaluate at the TH. I was somehow still in 3rd when I left Olympian but was deteriorating by the step. The lead hares passed me which was completely demoralizing. Last year Rob Krar didn't pass me until the road between Long and Summit, I was hours away from that.

As I approached Fish Creek I knew my race was over. I knew I could walk the last 65 miles or so but I wasn't here to walk it in in 36 hours. I finished last year and this year the goal was to run a strong race not just to finish. I just felt like everything was shutting down and I was done. On top of that I wasn't having fun. I hadn't had fun for the last 30 miles...that's a long down patch. And so as I tried to stand there tears streaming down my face my crew hugged me. They said all the right things, they tried to get me going but also knew that sometimes its not about pushing yourself to one more aid station. 

Looking back now I still question if I made the right decision but deep down I know I did. I was too severely dehydrated to continue and the muscle spasms likely would have led to some larger problems in my legs. 65 more miles that night wasn't worth not being able to run all winter or getting myself that much sicker to where I ended up in some serious trouble. You have to know your body and know yourself to know what's pushing through being uncomfortable and what's pushing in a damaging way. There's no way to completely know which one it is so you have to be prepared to accept your decision. 

I'm definitely bummed and upset about the way the race ended up for me. The DNF has definitely fueled my fire to train harder and be better prepared for next season, but at the same time I can't let it continue to just eat at me. I have to move on and learn from it. And I can say I learned a lot more from the 48 miles I ran that day than from the 107 I ran last year. I'll never stop daring to try the things that sound too crazy or impossible...that's where I live right on the edge of insanity just outside my comfort zone. Its easy only to do the races you know you can do, to never attempt something that might be just a bit too crazy. But that's not my style. And with that comes a higher chance of defeat. I've rather fail in a blaze of glory than to wander cautiously down the path. It's not the choice for everyone, but its the choice I made. 

So thank you Steamboat for kicking my ass and remind me I am indeed a mere mortal...

A huge thanks to my crew and pacers who despite only running a couple miles each never once complained. They gave it their all to see me through this crazy adventure and for that I am forever grateful. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It's All In The Bag

Robert's 10 weeks old which means that my Run Rabbit training is done and I'm officially tapering. For the record I do not recommend training for a 100 miler in 10 weeks, but sometimes that's just the way it works. On one hand I am certainly not burnt out. Of course on the other hand I have to keep wondering if I built up miles too quickly and will pay the price during the race or if my fitness is back enough to run for nearly 30 hours. Well we'll see soon enough. 

This was my last big week of training. Although as it ended up I cut an extra day off the weekend so I ended up with a bit less mileage than I would have liked. However I doubt that extra 12 miles on Saturday was what would make RRR for me. I'm pretty sure if anything it was better to cut it short and start recovering for race day. 

All in all I felt good. I ran my last long run with Dan at Buffalo Creek on Friday. I began to worry a bit as I made my way up Buck Gulch and my legs were just tired and sluggish. I felt like I was climbing okay, but not where I should be this close to a 100. But the longer the run went the better I felt. I felt myself subconsciously continuing to pick up the pace and my legs just felt more and more relaxed. So hopefully this is a good sign. I just have to remember its just the warm-up until I get to Olympian Hall. 

Week August 31 - September 6

Miles: 57.5
Hours: 9.5

My present from James...he told me I look "cool" with his flower

At the grocery store James made everyone's day...
and the bagger who also has special needs insisted I let her buy James a pony ride

The giant prepping for game day

First selfie

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Soccer Practice

With only two big weeks left of training this was a make or break it week. I survived the last day of daycare being closed as well as the getting James used to the new facility. That was no easy task either. Drop-off has always been easy so to now have the kid who was laying in the hallway crying was tough. Every morning I felt like I was in a panic searching for the closest teacher James would recognize. They were awesome with him and by the end of the week the meltdowns had been significantly minimized. 

And as much as my heart broke to do it I took Robert in for his first day of daycare as well. I wanted to get him a bit used to it...although since he is so unimpressed with anything these days I wasn't really sure he would even care if he was somewhere else. But I needed to get in a real long run on trails and so I dropped him off and scurried out of there before I could change my mind. 

I was halfway up the trail at Apex when I realized I had not actually told Sandra I was free. I was also already bored at the thought of 30 miles by myself doing loops at Apex. Thankfully it had been months since I had run there. Which by the way amazing what can happen in a few months. The new parking lot and bathrooms were open and honestly you could curl up on the bathroom floor for a nap and not worry about what disease you might catch. This is aside from the fact that the toilets flush and there are water fountains and a bottle filler! Are you kidding me? Almost too fancy for us trail runners! So anyways thankfully Sandra was able to meet me for the last 7+ miles to save me from my boredom. But I was super thankful to be out on the trails and feel pretty good. I did 17 on Wednesday so to feel good after a 30 on Friday made me feel like I might be able to pull off Run Rabbit.

I was also able to catch a smile from Robert although don't let him know because he apparently wants to maintain his "grumps" nickname for the foreseable future. 

James also really wants Robert to be a playmate...enough of the baby stuff already. Although I'm getting worried that Robert is going to be 6'5" and 20 years old and James will still be calling him "BABEEEE"!


I've been so excited to see James finally progress with pretend play. On Monday while I was feeding Robert James brought this small figurine up to me and pretended to feed it...on me...hmmm...then he kissed him covered him with a blanket, more like buried, but it counts and said "shhhh" and signed elephant sleeping. He's also learning to play the banjo. I am very thankful Uncle TJ bought the plush version of the banjo...

Week August 24 - 31

Miles: 74.3
Hours: 12.5