Tuesday, October 31, 2006

BOO!

Happy Halloween!!

Oh yes, another October 31. Troy and Steve are out doing their trick or treating. They ride throughout the area on the four wheeler, Troy getting all of the candy that he can. He just thinks it is a great deal: FREE CANDY! What could be better for a 10 year old?

It's 23F with a cold blustery 40 mph wind; windchill of 5 so I don't thing they will be out too long. Just long enough for Troy to fill his goody sac.

I am so sore. I lifted 8 different leg exercises today; 4-6 sets each with reps of 12-15; that's higher than what I am used to. My trainer is mixing it up and boy can I feel it Legs are toast. I am lifting 6x a week, going on week 2. Sunday is a day off: cardio only. Ha! I'm doing cardio bursts inbetween my sets and my Topaz runs as additional cardio. Trying to burn off the fat and feed the muscle. We'll see how this experiment works.

I'm eating clean as can be, as usual. Only difference really is the oats for the AM meal..then eating 5-6 small meals a day, usually totaling 1400-1600 calories a day. Higher than what I'm accustomed, but I'm ok with it for now.

Today and tomorrow I am at the gym at 4 AM as I can't fit in the evening Mom duties and run and lifting in one night. I was shocked to see 3 others at the gym at that ungodly hour.

Stay warm and have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekend Fun

This weekend was all about family. Friday afternoon I was talking with my Mom and Dad, who live in Virginia, MN; about 250 miles North of here. They didn't have any plans for the weekend and we didn't really have any set plans for the weekend. Maybe a dinner out, a movie, nothing too scheduled. Free and easy. By the end of our telephone conversation Mom and Dad were packing their bags and spending their weekend with their two daughters.

They are both 65 years old now, in very good health, both have recovered from various cancers and other serious medical issues. Mom golfs every day (they winter in TX) and Dad walks with her every day and runs 4 times a week. I and Dad ran Grandmas Marathon 2000 together. What a treat that was, a day we will never ever forget. The whole family and many friends were with us that weekend.

Saturday morning my sister Laurie, Mom, Dad and I all met at the trail for a walk/run. We ran the first 5 mile loop and then ran/walked a second loop. It was a beautiful morning and it was so wonderful to spend our time together running.

We all went shopping and out for lunch later in the day. I had everyone over for dinner (stuffed pasta shells/green salad/garlic cheese bread/Walford Astoria Red Cake) and this morning we did it all over again.

We all met at the trail, ran 5 and then ran/walked another 5. I headed off to my church, Laurie and Mom went to Lauries'. I went to the gym for a lift of shoulder/bicep and tricep with cardio inbetween: 1:40.

After dinner tonight (salmon steak, asparugus, yams, pecan pie) we all went for a 40 minute walk. This time Tyler, Troy and Lukas ( my nephew) joined us on their bikes.

Family..what a great way to spend the weekend :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

3 - A - Day

Yesterday was reminiscent of my summer vacation workouts. I had the day off for various appointments and was able to get in plenty of workouts during the day.

1) Running with Topaz on the trail. My favorite! We hit the trail at 8 AM and must have been the first ones on the trail as we saw LOTS of wildlife. I saw my first owl out there, a big feathery creature and it was huge, making a loud racket and the flying over my head. Awesome. I also saw 11 deer; now I don't know if they were the same deer over and over as I looped around the course but I did count 11 of them. They can hear the shotguns go off from the bird hunters near by and they all come into the Wildlife Refuge where they much know it is safe for them. 5 miles. :55

2) Gym workout: Abs Abs and more Abs with burst of cardio: stair stepper,eliptical and treadmill. I was soaked and exhausted. 1:30

3) Run Club: I haven't made it to Run Club in 3 weeks. Thankfully, they didn't give me my walking papers. I was tired so hooked up with the back of the pack and ran with Gene and Kay, from St. Cloud River Runners. We had a great conversation and fun run. Gene is turning 70, yeah 70 today! I would have guessed last 50's, maybe 60, but never 70 for his age. I want to be running like Gene when I'm 70!! :42

It was an awesome day. Today: full body weights with cardio interval training and trail run with Topaz. Yippee!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ooooodles of Noooodles

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Chicken and Noodles

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Dinner

Every two weeks I ask Tyler to pick out what he'd like for dinner. Troy gets to choose each week, but he picks out 'junk' things like pizza, tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches; things I don't normally cook for dinner. Tyler, on the other hand, chooses things like manicotti, stuffed pasta shells, crab legs, etc.

Well, today he chose my chicken and noodles. Tons of noodles. I boil up three whole organic chickens, then cool. While cooling mix up the whole grain flour, salt and organic eggs. A dozen of the them. Roll out and cut.

Debone and defat the chicken, place back into pot of fatty water, add organic carrots and dried flour strips. Whala. A three hour stay in the kitchen.

This is why Tyler only gets to pick dinner every two weeks. Next time it will probably be pasties or something else time consuming!

Ah, very tasty though!

My sister wanted directions and pictures so since I was taking them for her I figured I'd post them here for your next dinner delight!

Exhausted

I have been nothing but exhausted this week. Completely and totally, physically and mentally. Exhausted and plain old wore out.

I have never really felt this tired while training; I always love training and running long distance. This week though, man, the miles caught up to me!

Wednesday I was going to go to run club. I cooked dinner, ate, cleaned up the kitched and sat on the couch to watch the news, dressed in running clothes. I woke up at 610 when run club begins at 6. Oops. Exhausted. Totally and completely!

Thursday I managed to make it to a new gym in town. I wanted to check it out, see how busy it is. It is only 6 minutes from home vs the 25 it takes me to get to Gold's. But there is less equipment, but, they are open 24 hours. It's cheaper. I obtained a 2 week pass; I'll use it for a while but continue my membership at Gold's just incase I end up waiting for weights. I couldn't tolerate that. I ended up doing full body; 65 minutes and ran with Topaz on the trail for 5 miles; well, walking and running.

Friday a few friends that I have met along the way arrived into town for a body building competion. They looked fabulous! We had dinner, caught up and they went off with their nervous selves to get some rest. It reminded me up the night before a 100 miles..all the nerves and wondering what will transpire the next day. It was incredible. Wow, the muscles these girls have developed, incredible!

Yesterday they had pre judging in the AM and the final judging in the PM; it was awesome to watch the women body builders. The show was a natural; no drug enhanced physiques here, all drug tested. Many families of the competitors came to watch and cheer.

I found myself wondering what their employers/co workers/friends must think a few days prior and after the competion, the contestants color their skin very very dark to show each muscle with definition. On stage they look great all oily and dark, but in real life, it looks freaky. I suppose their employers and the people in their life just get used to it and think "oh yeah, she's competing again..." just as when I come hobbling into work post long race my co workers say "oh yeah, she raced long again and can't walk and probably is full of blisters and no toenails" ...

K took first Overall Champion in Body Building (she was in the heavyweight class at 141) and S took 2nd Overall in Figure (tall class) Pretty darn awesome!

This afternoon I and Topaz will hit the trail for 10 miles. I feel like I have some energy to burn!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pierre

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Alicia: Crew and Cheerleader :)

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Strrrreetttcchhhh out the back of the knees

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Scott

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Gee, I'm happy and its sunny!

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Alicia and Cheri - Awesome Crew

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Kevin, Julie and Scott

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John passing Kevin, Julie and Scott

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Kevin, Scott and Julie

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Winner In Progress..John Storkamp

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Ed Fitz 100K Race Report

Another fantastic weekend with friends! You know, it is not only the races that are fun..but spending a weekend with a bunch of friends, with like minded interests is really a cool way to spend a few days.

I arrived Duluth Friday afternoon and met up with John and Cheri Storkamp at the DECC. We then had an early dinner at Pizza Luce'. I, of course, had my pre race staple of spaghetti. They do a superb spaghetti and meatball with a ceaser salad and breadsticks. I had the same meal at Luce' the night before Voyageur.

We then visited quite a few shops in Canal Park. We stopped by a Chocolatier. I purchased Troy a caramel apple covered in Oreo cookie and gummy worms (dirt and worms) and bought Tyler a caramel apple covered in peanut butter and chocolate chips (peanut butter cup). John purchased 4 decadent chocolates that I and Cheri helped him to consume as we walked back to the DECC for our race packets.

There was a 30 mile an hour wind and SNOW! It was horrible. We stopped at Caribou for a hot coffee to take off the chill. There was even snow accumulating on the ground.

At the DECC we were able to pick up the race packets for Scott and Kevin, as they would be arriving later with Alicia, who was crewing for us. Pierre would meet us at Kathy's a bit later as well.

Back to Kathy's to unload everything, set up camp, meet up with the others and go to bed. We all slept together in a separate little guest house that Kathy has. It was very nice and cozy, although, by the time we left this morning, the little guest house and taken on an order of garlic and sweaty tired runners. I and Alicia were very priveliged, as we were able to sleep together in the pull out bed. The others had the floor and mats.

Our alarms went on at 245 AM. Oh lord, what in the world were we thinking? The wind was howling-howling, and the snow flakes were falling. Brrrrr. Who wants to do this? I, Pierre, Scott, Alicia and Kevin headed out at 315; John and Cheri were able to sleep in a bit later as John was taking the 7 AM start. If you think it will take you over 10 hours, you are encouraged to take a 5 AM start. John is fast. It wouldn't take him that long to cover the distance.

We drove to Finland and arrived with 15 minutes to spare. We checked in with the race director and headed back to the car to sit with Alicia until the start. It was SO cold. 25F and windy with snow flakes. Ick. Finally, we got out of the car and noticed that people were already running down the street. I asked a woman if the race had begun. Infact, it had. We missed the "START". Oh well. We began to run, only catching one person during the next 50 miles! We caught one other soloist at about 55 miles. Unbelievable.

The race is for soloists, running the 100K, and there is also a team relay taking place, as well as a 50K solo/relay. The soloists are allowed a crew vehicle to follow, and you can take aid from the vehicle at each 5K aid station. Alicia followed I, Scott and Kevin during the whole race. At each 5K checkpoint she would pull over and ask us what we needed. It was such a treat! I had a cooler of sandwiches, HEED and Ensure to pick from. There were cookies and snicker candy bars at each aid station. No sandwiches, potatoes, bananas or the usual ultra food. Having Alicia is the best. She would take my gloves, get me my sunglasses, get my food and drink; she is awesome. She is always positive and smiling, just what we needed. She even went to get hot coffee for Kevin and Scott.

The relay teams could begin between 5 and 7 AM. Each person does a "leg" of the race, carries a baton to hand off to the next team member, the vehicle driving along, following them.

What's so much fun is that the relayers really think that the ultra runners are rockstars. They cheer for us, bow to us, tell us we are an inspiration, crazy, etc. It's amazing. You have cheerleaders all along the course.

Before we left John and Cheri at Kathy's, I told John to make us proud. I thought he was going to go for the win and knew he could win the race. He told me that if all worked out he'd see us at 40 miles. Last year he passed Scott and I at 40 miles.

Yesterday he passed us at 21 miles!! All of a sudden, here comes Cheri, driving along...I damn near died. Here comes John, yelling and screaming "run until they are bloody stumps!" He was flying. Flying I say! Man, what a sight. Flying up the road, nobody anywhere near him, running fast. We were all in awe and wished him well. He flew on and Cheri told us that the nearest competion was a mile back. Go John. Kick ass and take names.

Pretty soon the Big Lake Run Club team came by. My friends that I run Wednesday night Run Club with. It was so great to see them out on the course. I look forward to it every year. We came up to a 5K check point and they all piled out, hugged and wished me well. They were having a fun time, Kevin was running the next leg so I high fived him and off he went. We didn't see them again.

I tried something new. I've never tried Ensure before but figured I'd give it a whirl. I purchased some Vanilla Ensure with High Protein. It was on ice and went down quickly and easily. I drank one container every 10K and didn't feel sick to the stomach or anything from it. Each container had 230 calories, a good fast way to get energy down. I packed sandwiches but didn't want the heavy full feeling they provide. I ate one sandwich at the beginning and carried one with me for 6 hours until I finally pitched it.

I, Kevin and Scott ran the whole 100K together. It was Kevin's first 100K. He ran his first 50K at Afton this July, his first 50 Mile at Voyaguer in July and his first 100K yesterday. That is so awesome! This was Scott's 6th Ed Fitz; my 4th. We had so much fun. I was one of the guys for the day. I burped, farted and swore with them. We sang songs and had great conversation. Scott knows every tree, sign and landmark along the course. He was our tour guide. He would say "we'll run up to the No Passing Zone." We would run up to the sign, take a walk break "we'll run to the far end of the guard rail" and we would. We took many walk breaks, did a lot of hard running. We were so damn tired.

At 50K Scott looked at his watch and couldn't believe we were over 6 hours. He was in shock. How can we be over 6 hours? It's never taken me 6 hours to get over 50K he said. We're running hard. The effort is tough. What the hell? I and Kevin were like, yeah, whatever, who cares about the time? I really didn't. I was EXHAUSTED. I was doing great mentally, which is where I usually check out, but I was tired physically. I have many miles on my legs this year and I didn't taper at all. I ran 60 last week and Twin Cities Marathon the week before. I knew I'd be tired. Scott ran Twin Cities and just came back from hiking the Grand Canyon for the better part of a week. He was tired too. Kevin ran Twin Cities too and just wanted to finish the 100K. Me too.

As we ran on, Scott was still perplexed at the time. Eventually he said he wasn't going to look at his watch any more. He'd look at the sun as a sundial as it was more our pace. It was too, we were slow, but felt like we were going as fast as we could. I could not push it one bit faster. No way no how and I was fine with that.

I had to take 4 Advil during the first 10K, the back of my damn knees were stiff and sore. I didn't feel any more pain until the last 5K, so that was good. I was just tired.

The last 20K was a grind. We knew we would finish, but when the hell were we going to finish? We all felt like walking but that would have taken forever so we kept grinding out the running sections, walking every now and again.

Alicia told us John's nearest competion was over 30 minutes behind him and Pierre was a few miles ahead of us.

We kept on grinding out the miles.

Finally, the finish was in sight. Another mile and we'd be there. Alicia had parked the car at the finish and walked back out to us. We all ran into the finish together. We had Kevin first, me second and Scott third. I think we finished 13:10 or so. I don't recall a clock and looked at my watch a bit later at 13:30, so I'm guessing. We did it. Thank God it was over. The wind, oh my gosh, it was an extremely tough day!

Pierre finished in 11:50.

JOHN WON THE RACE! HE WON THE RACE IN 8:08. Can you imagine??? He held that blistering pace where he blew by us the whole freaking way? He won the race and the second place finisher was AN HOUR behind him. Oh yeah.

We all went back to Kathy's for showers and then went to the DECC for the finishing ceremony. They call up each soloist, introduce us one at a time, we ring the bell, get our jar of taconite and take a place on stage. John, as the winner, had to give a speech. He thanked Cheri for crewing him the past three years at the race, all of the relayers for cheering him on, and his group of friends that make it all so much fun.

We were so damn tired. And hungry. We went back to Pizza Luce' where I had a huge ceasar salad with chicken and almost fell asleep at the table. At 1100 we had been awake for 20 hours, we climbed into our sleeping bags and were instantly asleep.

What an awesome weekend. Thanks for the memories you guys!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Last Long One

I wanted to get in one last long asphalt run prior to Ed Fitz 100K next week. Now that I think about it, it probably wasn't even necessary. I just ran TCM last Sunday, that was probably plenty. Oh well.

Today's run began at 4 AM as I wanted to be back home before the boys awoke. Steve's out of town and I wanted to make them a pancake, eggs and bacon breakfast that I usually do on Sunday mornings. We attended service at 1045 so I needed to be home in time for that as well.

I didn't want to get out of bed! This has been a high mileage week and I ran 15 on the trail yesterday. I felt tired. And grumpy.

Out of bed, into run clothes, feel bad for Topaz because he is giving me a dejected look. Promise to take him on the trail this afternoon.

Then I forgot my iPod. Oh good grief, I can't run for 4 hours on asphalt without something to listen to. And I should have my vest with reflective tape which I haven't worn since last winter. Oh, and a flashlight.

Finally out the door. I was so bored. I didn't take a very exciting route. Just up and down a county road by home, into Big Lake, around the lake and gee, nobody is up walking their dog or riding their bike or anything at this hour..lonely. Maybe I should have brought Topaz?

I forgot my blister potion too. I could feel one begin on the arch of my foot but it never fully developed. Lucky.

THEN the sun began to rise..oh, spectacular! Now it was better than sleeping, and then I saw the trumpeter swans, oh yeah, beautiful, now I'm feeling better, enjoying time to myself, just running and thinking and enjoying this process.

Before I knew it I was back into our neighborhood, lights were on, people starting their day..and mine began 4 hours ago. I like that.

Breakfast was good, too :)

Now I taper. Again.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Too Busy to Blog?

It's unlike me to let 6 days pass without blogging! I've been swamped.

This week at work has been crazy; homecoming week and all of the festivities. Both boys are playing football..every day for Tyler and every evening for Troy. It's crazy! Township meetings and County meetings this week. The Township meeting was in the way of my weekly run club run. No fair I say!

So yeah, here is the weekend and I have a few minutes before Troy and I leave for his football game. I was able to run 15 miles on trail before we leave. Topaz was kind of skittish in the dark, in the woods. It was funny to watch him walk apprehensively up to a pile of shadows, sniff, and then decide it was ok to pass on by. Funny!

The sunrise this morning was spectacular. Too bad my camera was home charging for the game. All pinks and oranges and beauty.

Today is supposed to be 78F! I think this may be the last beautiful weekend before winter begins to dawn upon us.

OK, so the Twins sure didn't make it very far in the playoffs, did they? Yikes. Just didn't have what it took. Guess I won't be going to the game on Sunday! Ha. Well, not funny, really.

Next Saturday is the Ed Fitz 100K. The Big Lake Run Club has formed a team again so they will be up there, I'll be running it solo. Alicia is going to crew for both Scott and I, yippee! She is an awesome crew, not to mention an awesome friend, so we'll have a great weekend. A bunch of us are staying at Kathy's in Duluth so we'll have fun all around. I know I, Scott and John are running; I think Eve, Duke and Cheri and crewing for John. I'm looking to beat last years time of 1153. Anything less is good for me. Hell, a finish is always good!

The following weekend a few friends of mine are competing in a body building/figure competition in Elk River. Two years ago I attended and was going to be on stage in two years. I didn't make that a priority, did I. I love lifting. I love a muscular body. I love the way it makes me look and feel. I think I'm going to get back into it, seriously. Now that the running season is closing here in MN, that's where I may be..back in the gym, pumping iron. Of course, I would still run..there just aren't any races to train for, I need something out there to progress toward!

Have an awesome Saturday! I need to get to a football game.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Twin Cities Marathon

Yesterday after Troy's football game I traveled to St. Paul to meet up with Marie and Bonnie, both of whom were running Twin Cities. We headed off to the Expo to do all of the shopping and wandering. All I kept thinking is that there are WAY too many people. Too many people in St. Paul, too many people at the Expo; I realized how much I love living in Rural Minnesota! I'm actually glad that I no longer work downtown, too. The people, the noise, the smell..it all drove me insane. Or am I just PMSing?

After we picked up our packets we headed over to Cosetta's for a lunch lunch. It was fantastic. I had chicken and pasta. Yeah, pasta. Haven't had that since Superior 100! Yummy.

By 1000 last night I was in bed, read for an hour and drifted off. Back up at 4 AM to get ready for the marathon.

Curt, from my Run Club offered to pick me up today so I didn't have to drive and park and bus or anything. At 545 I realized I had given Curt incorrect directions. I told him to take a Left when he should take a Right into my neighborhood. I grabbed my running flashlight and ran out and up the road, carrying my race bag. I saw a van take a turn into the darkness and thought it was probably he. It was. A few more blocks to run and eventually I caught up with them! Thank goodness!

After we picked up Steve we were on our way to the Dome. My knee hurt. It felt stiff, it has been stiff since Superior. I tried not to think about it.

Peg, Curt's wife, dropped us off at the Dome. It was chilly, 50F and windy, but a high of 84 was forecast. Much warmer than we had anticipated.

I had picked up a 350 pace band at the Expo, but really didn't think I could run a 350. I wanted to get in under 430 though. I figured if I could catch the 450 or 4 pace group I'd hang with them and see how I felt. My nagging knee was making me nervous.

10500 of us began the race. Again, I was thinking about too many people, too crowded, too loud, too many bad smells. I was thinking I LOVE TRAILS! I love woods, I love peace and quiet and room to run. My god, it was CROWDED. The guy in back of me kept on running on the back of my shoes. It sucked!

I got over the resentment of 10500 others and tried to navigate myself through the throngs of people. We were backed up and congested. Running the parkways around the lakes was damn near impossible. Miraculously I found the 430 pace group, then the 400 pace group and the 350 group. I hung with the 350's for 16 miles. I had NO knee pain. I couldn't even believe it. The route unclogged and I was able to enjoy myself. So much so, that I decided I hang back a bit. I ran a bit slower and watched the 400 team come along. This was a fun group. I ran with them over the next 10 miles.

Some odd things: I only stopped to pee one time. Usually I make 3-4 stops. I drank at each aid station, I took one E Cap since it was warm, but I didn't begin to swell until AFTER I took the E Cap. Maybe I didn't need it? I didn't take anymore. I consumed 4 Espresso Hammergels and wasn't hungry or headachy or tired or anything.

I had a very enjoyable time. I took in the crowds of spectators, the beautiful landscape. The trees are turning, there was a nice breeze, it was sunny..just beautiful. Once I got past the crowds, I really enjoyed the race.

The last miles along Summit Avenue are fantastic. It runs downhill, you are almost near the end, there are huge mansions with big oaks and maples, turning brilliant orange and red.

Yeah, I loved it.

I was able to get a PR for this course. I've run TCM 6 times; my fastest was 4:09, my PR for a marathon was at Grandmas last year at 359. I finished today in 4:00 right on! I ran like hell the last mile, trying to get a 359, but didn't. And I'm fine with 4:00! More than fine. Exuberant. No knee pain! I wasn't sure what I would be able to do today. I promised myself I'd walk off the course if my knee hurt. It didn't!

Now I feel ready for Ed Fitz 100K. Definitely :) A few more back to back long ones and I'll be there.

THE TWINS WON TODAY AND DETROIT LOST SO YEAH BABY WE WON THE DIVISION!! WOOHOO WHAT A GREAT DAY!