Monday, October 15, 2012

Le Grizz 50 miles - what was I thinking??

It was so cozy in my sleeping bag when the alarm went off on Saturday morning. It was already raining and I knew it was going to be a long day.  Here is my report:

OUCH.  My thoughts came in this order:
  1. Why would anyone add elevation to this distance?
  2. Why would anyone DOUBLE this distance? and, of course,
  3. Why would anyone DOUBLE the distance AND ADD ELEVATION? (not to mention roots, rocks and other obstacles??)
I love my ultra friends, but they have odd ideas of fun! 

After getting cut off at Bighorn by 10 minutes, I knew I would finish a 50 miler.  Of that, I was confident.  (after some good counsel from Rich)

Le Grizz could have never happened without my super crew:  Iris!  I didn't think I would need anything from the car, but every time she came by, I got something.  Then, when I really needed the help, she ran with me to the finish.  (miles 35-50)

Deb, Calli and Calli's husband were all super awesome as well.   I enjoyed the company. chatting with Deb, Iris and Calli.  Iris ran an extra long run for her, which I thought was super cool, too.  While we were dragging my butt to Hungry Horse, my friend Peggy was competing at the Hawaii Ironman.  Good vibes were all around as we talked about what Peggy was doing and what I was doing. 

Thanks, too, to Janice and Martin for letting me tag along to the start line with my tent and gear.  To all HURLers:  if I start talking about signing up for another ultra, make me re-read this. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mt St Helens

Epic. The word may be overused these days, but it is appropriate to describe the Volcanic 50. The first “running” of the circumnavigation of Mt. St. Helens was a crazy hard day. It meant so much to me to be on the volcano all day. When I would start getting negative, I could look up to the cone and think “hey, I get to run around Mt. St. Helens!” I lived in Spokane when she blew on May 18, 1980 and remember it vividly. In fact, the volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest have been my “spiritual homeland”, if you will, for quite some time.

At the start line, I got to give a quick hug and good luck to Kevin Downs and Marta Fisher.  Scott Blum was my campanion for the weekend and a great travel partner.  We gave high fives all around and we were off. 

What was so hard about 6,700 feet of altitude? We do that in Montana frequently. It wasn’t the boulder fields that got me down, or the rope climb up the cliff. No. The thing that got me was the constant silt between my toes. Three days later, my toes are still throbbing where the blisters were worn by the ash, sand and silt of the mountain. On a side note, I ordered new gaiters this morning.

That is not to say that the last boulder field at Mile 30 wasn’t a wee bit irritating, because it was. By then, I thought I was done with all that and ready to pick up the pace to the finish. I was supremely happy from the day by that point, so even the angry guy behind me complaining about the last boulder field at Mile 30 didn’t get under my skin. Turns out, he and his buddy had taken a wrong turn at some point in the day. I passed his buddy in the last 2.5 miles, thereby coming in 3rd from the back. Yea!

This is a great race. If you go, be prepared, bring the route directions with you and go with the flow. It won’t be a PR, but it will be EPIC.

See the trail?  Me neither.

More bouldering.

One of the river crossings.

We went up and down these crevasses all day!

Mt. Rainier in background.

                                                                              Blast zone!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

HURL - Helena Ultra Runners League

Run til you hurl, then run some more.....

Saturday May 19th adventure run.  First we climbed up to where we were going to run.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't Fence Me In 30K: Heaven and Hell

Beautiful trail, sunny day, great cause.  I know these trails well and was enjoying the heck out of myself.  The total elevation gain is over 4,000 feet.  At about Mile 16, my head popped off.  ha-ha.  I was starting to pick up my pace to make my goal time.  Then, I realized that my "running math" was wrong - as usual.  It is almost impossible for me to add, subtract and mutilple after I have been running for a few hours.  The brain just doesn't compute.  When I knew I wasn't going to make my goal, I got pissed.  Then I was running and swearing until the end!  I hate it when that happens!!  I got over it when I learned that the true distance WAS printed on the map and I was the one who read it wrong. 

The photo is from the race.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

running inspiration

This chick inspires me with her pure running happiness.  She has been delightfully exploited as you can see below.

Go Bubble Girl ~ whoever you are!

It's spring time in the Rockies!

Living in Helena is fabulous.  Right now it is cool and crisp with the snow still on the mountains.  Eby and I run early and see the sun come up or go later in the day and enjoy being warm. 

Training for the 50-miler is coming along.  Last week and this week is somewhat recovery, so I have been biking instead.  This weekend will be my first real bike race - kinda.  It's not for points and my team mates may bail on me, but I am riding darn it!  :)

DEQ WebCam Image

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Training update

My favorite running partner, Eby-dog, and I have been logging early morning Saturday miles.  After letting her cut back for the past two weeks, she will be going long once again.  Our morning routine is to go out for about 60-90 minutes together, then I drop her back at home and keep going on my own.  It is a fun way to start because with her starts and stops, I warm up slowly and get ready for the long haul. 

This week, we will be running along the Missouri River near Townsend Montana.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic 50-mile Run

Claudia and I at the finish.
Part of the reason I ran the Fat Ass 50K without much training was to see if I could pull it off.  I did finish it and almost an hour faster than the other time I ran the whole thing in 2009.  In the back of my mind, I figured if I could do that, then I would sign up for my first 50-mile run. 

After debating between the Bighorn and the Rainier to Ruston in Washington, I decided on the Bighorn because it is all off pavement.  While Rainier to Ruston starts in my spiritual homeland of Mt. Rainier and goes right by my friend Erin's house, much of the course is pavement. 

In February, the HURLers (Helena Ultra Runners League) ran from the Sieban Ranch exit toward Silver City and back.  It was a fabulous day with no traffic, free running dogs, good friends, and lots of sunshine is the beautiful Montana winter. 

Barring unforseen circumstances, I am confident as I continue my long run schedule (thanks mountain madness!) that I will get to the start and the finish of the Bighorn run in June. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fat Ass 50K - Martin's revenge!!

This Saturday is the annual Fat Ass 50K.  It means there is no formal organization and you bring your own nutrition.  There is a relay option, too, but why run shorter than the run?  I am a distance slowtwitch person all the way.

Although I haven't been running too much, I plan to do the whole thing anyway.  When I did 22 miles last time, I felt like I didn't really run the Fat Ass. 

Wish me luck and send me strength!  Photos: 1 - Danni and I in 2008.  Photo 2: Janice, Martin and me before starting in 2008 (?)  Photo 3 - after finishing - HA!  Photo 4:  Iris and I in 2010.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Working on the skate skiing again this year.

On my first day out of the season, I came to the realization that I don't suck as bad as last year!  I truly love skate skiing, but it is so intensive.  My heart rate goes up and down more than when I teach group cycling!  I hope to get out tomorrow.

A nice Saturday in December so far this month includes skiing in the morning and taking the dog to the woods in the afternoon.  She runs around and I snow shoe.  Fun in the Montana winter!

The Cathedral is a Helena landmark.  I don't know where those bison are from, but it is not Helena.  :)