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.

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!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

2013 Western States 100 Mile - Lining Up For the Unknown

Less than one year before the start of the 2013 Western States 100 Mile, I had never done an ultra, was playing with the idea, but distinctly told some friends that even if I did do an ultra, it would be a long time before I’d be signing up for a 100 miler.  And how wrong I was!

When I lined up at JFK 50 Mile this past November, I was so focused on racing my first ultra successfully that I didn’t even realize the top 2 finishers earned an entry into Western States.  Needless to say, I would never have overlooked something so pertinent in a road marathon, but this was unfamiliar territory, so immediately after the race when people asked if I’d take my Montrail spot at Western, I was a little speechless. 

While I was still trying to let the reality of JFK settle in, I had to make a decision about committing to WS.  Next thing I knew, I was setting up an account with ultrasignup and clicking on the button to register. 

For many, every step they take is to prepare for the big dance.  At that time, I had (and still do) big road marathon goals, so I really had to shift gears in March after a stint of marathon-specific work and start hitting the trails hard.  Ian Torrence did a great job of preparing me and at no time during the race did I feel that my fitness or training was lacking to get me to the finish line.  I will be the first to admit that the training was challenging for me.  I wasn’t used to running on fatigued legs and getting dropped on runs.  Welcome to a crash course in ultra training!  I had several internal battles with myself, but ultimately on race day I was prepared both mentally and physically for what would come my way.

Race day!  I knew I was prepared, but I’m still a rookie.  Did I have nutrition dialed in?  Drop bags?  How is this going to feel?  Will I be able to handle the heat?  Oh, how about running in the dark?  So many much time.

Goal 1: Get to the finish line
Goal 2: Top 10

Super Bee is listening intently to the
mandatory pre-race meeting (or maybe to the kids with sticks!).
Photo by Cheryl Harrison.

The calm before the storm.  The start line of WS.
Photo by Erin Strout.

Overall, I’m happy with my race.  I went out very conservative and never saw the top women as soon as we crested the first climb, but I wanted to play it safe instead of blowing up halfway through.  My goal was to focus on running my own race and to take care of myself early on.  This seemed to pay off, as I handled the heat well (2nd hottest year on record), a surprise to me, and I feel a lot of this was because I was smart early on and didn't run out of my comfort zone. 

Moving along.
Photo by Gary Wang.

One of the tricks of Western is all the downhill running to be had.  This happens to be my weakest aspect, whether it be on a road course or a trail, so I was most nervous about this.  Leaving Robinson Flat my quads were already in trouble.  I welcomed climbs and flats with open arms all the way to the finish. 

Crews had great views at Robinson Flat.
Photo by Cheryl Harrison.

My support crew of Ian Torrence and my Mom really got me through.  My Mom, Cheryl Harrison, was key to making the whole operation work.  Once Ian met me at Forest Hill, she continued on to meet us and to take care of the pups (I’m pretty sure they know the course better than I do!)  Ian was essential to getting me to the finish line, especially in the later miles when running downhill was almost a joke. 

Ian Torrence meeting me at Forest Hill, ready to pace me to the finish.  

Crossing the river.
Photo by Luis Escobar.

Still eating solid food at Highway 49.
Photo by irunfar.

I met my goals for the race, and I’m sure I will be finding myself clicking on that register button once again and lining up for the 2014 WS100 Mile.

Ian and I are both still smiling.  A good sign!
Photo by Larry Gassan.

A big thank you to my Mom, Ian Torrence, adidas, injinji, and Brent Hallowell of Nathan Sports for all of their support.

Next up, Transrockies Run with Ian…another new experience for me!

Bee had a long day, too.  She's too tired to eat oatmeal!
Photo by Cheryl Harrison.