Around the World

From Virginia going east, I've roughly run one circumference around the globe plus a little more, ending in Portugal, since 1999.

Friday, April 25, 2014

2014 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile

After Caumsett 50k, the focus switched to Lake Sonoma 50 Mile.  With only six weeks between ultras, there was no set training plan for Sonoma.  The first priority was recovery from the 50k, then it was back to the trails for a month for a crash course in uphills and downhills.

Lake Sonoma was lining up to be one of the most competitive 50 mile races of the year for both the men and women.  I wanted to be ready to compete at the front, but in order to do that I knew I needed to improve my fueling.  Overall, I was very pleased to have finally been diligent about my nutrition and hydration.  It's amazing how much better my energy levels were in the final miles of the race.  Maybe now I'll stop being so hardheaded to my own detriment?

The day before, Ian and I met with Matt Trappe for a quick and dirty Nathan Hydration photo shoot.  Not a bad view!

Race day!

During the first couple miles on the road, Sally McRae, Stephanie Howe, Jodie Adams-Moore and I quickly found each other.  When we hit the trail, runners all around took advantage of the first major downhill and bombed down the trail.  The next several miles were comprised of several lead changes and chit chat with Stephanie.  She had run Sonoma before, so she shared some tips of the trade about the course.

Running with Nick Clark.  Stephanie and Jodie are also
close by.
Creek crossing!  The creeks were low this year, but still
had enough water to get your feet.

At the Wulfow aid station (about 17 miles in), the break from the pack happened.  It wasn't planned and at first I hoped it wasn't a fatal flaw.  I made the rookie mistakes at 2012 JFK of pushing too hard too early, combined with no caloric intake.  I did not want a repeat of that on a course I wasn't familiar with and with women waiting to pick up the pieces.  I quickly did a systems check, felt I was still running comfortable, plus I had found a rhythm which is when I run best.  I decided at this point I had to go with it.

Cruising on smooth trail.

The rough patch.  Not that it has to happen, but I'm not surprised it happened.  I was started to feel my quads going a little before halfway, but otherwise I was doing fine.  I saw Ian again at No Name Flat (25 mi) and we quickly did the bottle swap and got reloaded.  It was foggy which was awesome to run through.  The day before, this section of the course was sunny and warm.  I was thankful that the sun hadn't come through yet, making it much cooler.

There was a lot of activity around No Name Flat.  I could
also get a feel for where the other runners were on the 1.5 mile loop.

Then I left No Name Flat and things started to fall apart a bit.  For some reason, I struggled from No Name Flat to Madrone Point (30.9 mi).  Twenty miles is a long way to go!  After I saw Ian again at Madrone Point, I found my rhythm again and felt much better.  My quads weren't getting any better, but there was nothing I could do about that.

All in all, I wanted to keep running smooth and effortless for as long as possible.  If I had to respond, I wanted to be able to.  After Warm Springs Creek aid station, it's a long 12 miles without seeing your crew.  It was nice to see a familiar face in adiultra teammate Brian Tinder at the small out and back at 45.5 miles.  Joe Uhan was also hot on my heels and ended flying past me a couple miles from the finish.

More beautiful scenery of the course.

The day finished with a win and new course record of 7:26:15.  I was very happy with day!  Race Director John Medinger, his wife Lisa, and all of their volunteers provided outstanding accommodations for the weekend.  Thanks to Ian for crewing and making the whole process seamless.

Stephanie Howe and I post-race.

Hanging out with Mike (my Mom's HS swim coach) post-race.

Gear of the day:
adidas adios boost
Injinji medium-weight sock
Nathan Fire Catcher vest
Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated handheld

To top to it all off, I received the biggest bottle of wine I've ever seen!

Bee and Z really only care about the ball in my hand.

A bonus photo of an awesome sunset in Flagstaff on Earth Day.

Taken from the back deck.  

Photo credits: Chihping Fu, Ian Torrence, Joseph Condon, Matt Trappe, and Nate Dunn.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

USA 50km Road Championships (Caumsett 50k)

1st Place Female, 4th Overall.  My final time of 3:15 is the second-fastest 50k by a North American and was 69-seconds off Janis Klecker's American Record (3:13:51) from 1983.  

I don't really have any revelations for this blog since most of the race highlights and details have been covered in iRunFar's article and Ian Torrence's blog, covering the two months of training leading into the race.

Racy day!  While temperatures were brisk, we got lucky that the impending snow storm held off.  The heated tent at the start/finish line was a welcome sight!

Photo by GLIRC

And we're off!
Photo by GLIRC

The lead men wasted no time in settling into a quick pace.  Ethan Coffey would go on to set a new course record, while Michael Wardian finished a strong second with a sub-3 hour run.

Ethan Coffey, Michael Wardian and Joseph Gray.
Photo by GLIRC.

My family stationed themselves at the beginning of the out-and-back section of the loop, so I saw them twice on each 5k loop.  This worked perfectly for my nutrition plan...I'd grab my Nathan QuickShot Plus Insulated, carry it for the out and back, drop it, and take a gel for the rest of the loop.

Taking my bottle from Mema for the out-and-back.
Photo by Sandra Morris.

Heading out for another loop.  Other than passing through
other runners, I ran the race solo from the gun.
Photo by GLIRC.
Running relaxed.
Photo by Sandra Morris.

What Ian didn't say in his blog, is that Caumsett marked his 179th ultra finish!!  His marathon split was only a couple minutes off his 2013 Boston Marathon time, but this time he kept going to finish 50k in 3:38 for 11th place.   

Running with a pack in the early miles.
Photo by GLIRC.
Coming off the out-and-back section.

Receiving awards from Carl, the Race Director.
Photo by Cheryl & David Harrison.

Ian also receives his medal from the RD.
Photo by Cheryl & David Harrison.
Post-race.  Trust me, we're colder than we look!

The following day we joined New York Running Company's Ultra Sexy Pace for a run and Q&A.  Nathan and adidas were also in attendance, getting runners outfitted in Nathan reflective gear and adidas Boosts for our night run through Central Park. Thankfully I was able to squeak out 2.75 miles with the group even if I did almost get dropped.

Photo by Mary Arnold.
  A big thank you to Dr. AJ Gregg for keeping me healthy along the way.  To Ian for providing training and moral support to help me reach my goals.  To my family for driving 7+ hours to see me race.  And to all the sponsors who complete the package: adidas Ultra Team, Nathan PerformanceInjinjiTeam Run Flagstaff Pro, and New Belgium Brewing.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

5 Weeks - A Road Trip and Three Races

It all started back at Bootlegger 50k and ended just in time for Christmas.  Ian and I left Las Vegas and proceeded to cover 21 states from east coast to west coast (driving of course!) over 5 weeks.  We saw -23 degree temps, ice and snow.  Needless to say, there was no camping on this trip.  Oh, and there was some racing along the way!

Ian's Beer Mile at the cinder pit.  Everyone is all smiles beforehand.

Next....back to Vegas for the Rock 'N Roll Las Vegas Marathon Expo to help out adiultra teammate Josh Brimhall.

Helping out Red Rock Running Company at the 2xu
compression booth.  Lots of product to learn!

To the east coast!!

After Bootlegger 50k (race report here), it was off to the 51st Annual JFK 50 Mile.  While my time was off my PR from last year, I was very happy to come away with the win this year.  I wouldn't say race conditions were bad, but they were less than ideal with increasing winds and dropping temperatures as the day went on.

Thanks to my grandparents and parents for being there to crew for us.  It's always nice to see familiar faces along the lonely stretches of the C&O Canal and for being able to witness my Dad blowing by the traffic jam.  After all, he "had runners to meet!"

Navigating the Appalachian Trail.

Finish in 1st and 6:35.

Ian finishes his 19th JFK!

Congratulations from RD Mike Spinnler.

Top Ten Women.

A few days later, it was time to defend my title at the Pie and Glove 5k.  It's becoming tradition to be here, so hopefully we'll be back in 2014!

Bee and Z helping show off my pie.

We had to travel from New York to Oregon to hit up the next race of the trip.  Here were some of the sights along the way.

Who would have thought we'd get to see Uncle Eddie's RV from
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?

Driving by the Bonneville Salt Flats.  Maybe one day I can
witness a land speed record attempt here.

Last race of the trip....USATF National Club XC Championships in Bend, Oregon.  This was another location on the map that I got to see for the first time.  I was honored to race for Team Run Flagstaff with Amy Val Alstine (2nd place!), Kellyn Johnson (5th place), Trina Painter, Leah Rosenfeld, and Hillary Hayes.  We came away with a 6th place team finish.

On the starting line moments before the gun went off.

After a couple more says in Oregon, it was time to head back to Flagstaff.

Along the way, we went to the top of Black Butte near Mount Shasta.
Photo by John Soares

California sunset!

Thank you to all of our family and friends who let us stay with them on this trip!

At least through all of the travels, Bee was able
to get her beauty rest.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Last Minute Racing: Stagecoach Line 100 Mile and Bootlegger 50k

I had to take more time off than originally planned after Western States this summer, which put a kink in racing plans.  After weekly visits to Dr. AJ Gregg for Graston work and time off, I was finally able to  get out the door again.  I was worried about fitness not being there, but after a few weeks I was starting to feel like a runner again.

In October, I got to be part of the race management crew headed by Ian Torrence for the inaugural Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 100 Mile and Relay.  On Friday before the race I got a call from Vince, owner of Run Flagstaff, asking if I'd like to be on their relay team.  I couldn't pass up on the chance to race, so after my post-race duties were done I got ready to 9pm.

Photos by Kristin Wilson.

A tailgate pre-race briefing by Race Director Ian Torrence and
AZ Trail's Matt Nelson.

Early leaders running as a pack.

Night falls for solo and relay runners alike.

The Race Management Team

US 50k Trail Championships - Bootlegger 50k

On the Tuesday before the race, the question of running Bootlegger came up.  We had already decided not to race, so it was another last minute decision to ponder.  With JFK two weeks away, I wanted to make sure I made the correct decision.  While at packet pick-up on Friday, I went ahead and registered to run the next day.

I ended up 2nd place in 4:22 to Winner Michelle Yates (4:19).

Photos by Kristin Wilson.

In an early pack climbing the canyon.

I ran much of the race solo.

Finishing in 2nd place with a time of 4:22.

Champion Michelle Yates in 4:19.

Men's Champion Alex Varner.

Wearing our medals on the grandstand.

adiultra teammate Brian Tinder wins the 25k race.

adidas footwear making a presence in the desert!

Flagstaff runners hanging out post-race.

adiultra teammates Josh Brimhall and Ian Torrence celebrating
a successful day of RD duties.

Bootlegger mason jars!
JFK 50 Mile race report coming soon!!