Thursday, December 9, 2010

How He loves us
This song has been stuck in my head today. It has never been a favorite of mine, but someday's it just hits home harder then others.
"I don't have time to maintain my regrets, when I think about the way He loves us."
Today, that made me laugh. The pure truth of God's love forcing me to bend in His storm. I guess that's a good thing.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I went to Borders tonight and bought some new staff paper. While I am emotionally attached to my first music journal (A high school present from a close friend, now my husband) and don't want to fill it up, I emotionally avoid my loose staff paper (transposing and ear training relived), and really have no clue where it all ended up when we moved in July. I decided I'd looked hard enough and bought new staff paper.
Walking through the store and smelling all those books brought back strong memories of this time last year. So much has happened over the past 12 months, it is a bit over whelming. I feel like the same me who lived last year only completely different. Last December I had no plans to run any shorter ultras or try to get on the 100k USA Track and Field Team. By April, I had placed 3erd in the National Championship and was only an announcement away from being on the USATF 100k team for 2010. So crazy. I wanted to achieve this goal. I never imagined it before February and never expected it so fast. I also never imagined I would be injured for as long as I have been. So close and yet so far. All the things that 2010 held ready for me to put on have been hard blessings. Mental training. Character building. And completely unexpected.
I remember browsing Barnes and Nobles last December feeling lost, even hopeless. I picked up a book, flipped through, and something inside me said, "Don't waist your time. Its hopeless." So much of me believed that little voice. And I gave up. But I still ran. I trained, cleaned, cooked, smiled and I was least that's what I told myself. I have such a good life. So much to be thankful for. So many things I love are tangible and feel-able. Why waste thoughts on things I know are out of my control? Just live. I lived. Only God is bigger and more beautiful then the mountains I love so much. And His love is fierce.
I'd have to say I entered 2010 broken. As I sat broken I saw so much. I changed so much, moved so much and did nothing. As I am leaving 2010, I don't think I'm still broken. Maybe I'm in a fire. Maybe I'm just hot and malleable from having been in a fire. As hard as it is for me to feel soft and weak and unformed, I wouldn't trade the gift of this year anything. I get to start 2011 filled with Hope. More love, more joy, more peace.
There is such freedom in Hope.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Babies

Almost 5 months ago I injured my foot and have been unable to run. When I first had to stop all running, I thought I might go crazy. But something had been nagging on my mind even before my injury. I realized that where my spirit was and what my body did were not matching up. As much as I love running, it truly isn't what gives my the most joy and satisfaction in life. Yet I spent hours daily on improving my athletic ability and hours monthly on something that means so much more to me. Music. I decided to stop this inconstancy and spend more time on my music. The results have been thrilling. Doors are opening up in places I never expected. And I am growing tremendously as a result. Below is a link to a little video I did of me playing a song on the guitar for my kids. I know I am bad at the guitar. But I only first picked it up in September and I can play! Maybe in a few more months I will be up to ok, which is thrilling to me. This song I wrote for my babies I wrote as an exercise in song writing. I want to be a good writer, so I figure what better way to write well then to practice, right? I set my timer for 7minutes and came out with this. When my guitar skills are better, I have more songs that took more effort to write that I want to play. For now, a lot of those songs have too many chords for this newbie. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wow! 10 years!!

I haven't posted on here in awhile. Partly because I started a new blog here. The new blog is meant to be more running focused while this one is going to be more family focused. Of course I can't do that 100%, but for the most part that is my plan. Other reasons for no posts are a recent move across town and summer break. Having all 3 kids 24-7 keeps me busy!

Ten years ago today I married my wonderful husband. Well, actually, 10 years ago yesterday. Legally, our anniversary is August 4th, but our wedding was the 5th. Long story. When I was thinking of what to do for Daniel for our 10 year celebration, Dan reminded me of a song I started writing the night we decided to try dating (we had been close friends for around 6 years at that time). At that point in life I wrote nightly in a journal. Sorta a pray/thoughts/wishes journal. I have tried many times over the years to finish that song. But I never could. Maybe because it is such a country-ish song and my voice and style is not country. But what ever the reasons, this time I was determined to over come. Surprisingly, it only took about a week to finish it.

I wish I knew how to play the guitar. This song needs the guitar, bad. But in honor of my husband I recorded our song, just me singing at the computer. When I learn the guitar I'll finish it for real.
Here is what I have: His Girl

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trail Shoes, Mountain Dew and Hero's

I'm not one to follow trends. If I like it I wear it. Be that make-up, cloths, shoes or socks. In middle school I put blush on my eyelids and dressed monochromatically. No it wasn't a cool thing to do. And no one thought that I was cool. But I liked the look, so I wore it. In college I chopped all my hair off and found that my new hair style didn't mix well with running. If I left my hair down, I got poked in the eyes by hair blowing in the wind. But I couldn't fit my short hair into a ponytail. Much to my roommate's chagrin, I began wearing what I thought of as pigtails to run laps around campus. It looked like I wanted to be a short-haired Pippi Longstocking. Or maybe like I wanted to have dragon horns. But it kept my hair out of my face. To add a little style to my new look, I would put 3 colored rubber-bands on each pigtail, and match the rubber-bands to my running outfit. I liked it. Sure I got grins from fellow students out running, but whats wrong with making people smile? Only Kristin (my roommate) actually expressed dislike for them. And I know she loved me anyway, even though she would never join me on on a run. And, actually, my pigtails are still with me. Though my hair is longer now and doesn't usually stand straight up pulled into pigtails.

As an athlete my "who cares about the masses, do you like it?" attitude  translates into "if it works for me I use it." Be that Hammer gel, Mountain Dew, no solids on long runs or even trail shoes on the road. Yes. Trail shoes on the road. I wore the New Balance MT 100's in a recent road race.  Early on, some of the other ladies made disapproving comments about my footwear choice. But I knew that the shoe I had on would work for me. Even on the road. I have spent a lot of money in the last few years trying shoes that end up not working. My all time favorite running shoe (Brooks T5- a road racing flat that I wore for ultras on all but the gnarliest trails) was tweaked last year and the new version sucks. Funny, because Brooks supposedly made the upper better. Only the better version leaves major blisters on the top of my foot. The old one never gave me even one blister.
I have come to realize that I have the worst foot to fit in a shoe of any type ever. Sad, but being my feet love to run I work hard to find what will work. In fact, the NB 100s didn't work on try #1. I had to go up a 1/2 size and cut the heel cup down to prevent popping my bursae sack (long story and older post). Then I tried blister pads instead of cutting down the heel. The blister pads work great.  Yay for me! A trail shoe that I love. Only I have been training on roads for the last few months. Oh what I would give for a pair of T5's! I tried 2 different road shoes during training for Mad City 100k. But both pairs are only good for under 18miles. Being I had trained on the roads in my NB 100s (over 50miles at once), I knew that I could run a road race in them. The NB 100s are actually lighter then almost all road shoes, and being I like a minimal shoe, I didn't have anything to really gain from a road shoe. The NB 100's rock. Not my perfect shoe by a lot, but the best on the current market by even more. 

Which brings me to Mountain Dew. Before mad City, I had never drunk Mountain Dew on the run. I had been having some tummy problems and hadn't t had luck with any of my long run nutrition experiments. When I saw Mountain Dew on the list of aid-station foods, I figured I had nothing to lose in giving it a go, as I know a few athletes who like it on the run and nothing I tried had worked well enough for me to want to use it again. I also knew that I like sugar and caffeine during long runs as long as I take in water with them. So I gave the Dew a go at Mad City. And it worked for me! My tummy felt great all race long. When I met with my friend Meredith Terranova the week after the race, she said keep with the Dew for races. I really did a good job at Mad City. Next race will be more of the same. Literally. More gels per hour, more electrolytes per hour, more water per hour. Other then being short on calories and overall intake, Mad City worked for me. Yippy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And a giant YIPPY to Meredith. For anyone who doesn't know, Meredith Terranova is one of the best nutritionist there is. And an amazing athlete as well. I've been think a lot about my "running hero's" lately.  There are a lot of amazing athletes in America. But when it comes down to it fast times and course records just aren't something that leave me thinking "Wow. She rocks" by themselves. Meredith is one of my hero's because of her incredible knowledge and willingness to use what she has learned to help other athletes grow. Meredith is also one of the most genuine people around.
Another lady hero of mine is Elizabeth Howard. Liza is not only super fun and sweet, but the most competitive person I know. Before knowing Liza, I had no idea how to really go for it in a race and not feel mean, cocky, or foolish. Liza, while a super sport, knows how to go for it. Seeing her race- really race- and do it without putting down other runners or giving off an, "I'm better then you" air has taught me how to race, too. And racing rocks. Regardless of who wins.
Next are Annette Bednosky and Jamie Donaldson. Both of these ladies are really only acquaintances. But being they have been running ultras for many years and are both top notch at it, I know a bit about them. That and they both have blogs.
Before meeting Annette, I must admit to having been already star struck. She is pure awesomeness, in my book. Not afraid of a challenge and incredible at over coming obstacles. Annette seems to come out of everything stronger. I want to be like that.
Jamie might be the most humble world class athlete there is. Both the times I saw Jamie race, she seemed to be truly focused in on her race and not out there just to win. Seeing Jamie approach racing from such an individual place has helped me gain mental toughness. The only thing I have any control over in a race is my mind. Nothing else. So I better do all I can to have my mind on my side.

Well, I re-titled this post. Maybe I should just call this 'random'. Oh well. Time for bed. Happy running to all!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A mountain run

No rules. Speed doesn't matter and miles don't count. Or maybe they count double. It's almost 4pm. Diner is in 2 hrs when I write my name in the book. Two hours to get up and down Guadalupe Peak. Can I make it in two hours? Normally I'd think yes. But today? Today was a challenge I like.

This morning I ran 8 miles on the Permian Reef Trail. Over 2100 feet of climbing up single track, rocky trails in 3.1 miles. Then around and down a bit before getting to stand, arms open wide, at a look out point and just shout down over the amazing view of my campsite in the distance. Wow. Going down Permian was equally great. I was just fighting back giggles that I'm sure had hikers thinking I might be crazy. But this place was like Bandera on steroids. Bliss.

The day before was a 30 mile Joe run. Anyone who knows Joe knows what this means. How this man manages to find ass-kicking trails and string them together in a way that will have even then nicest runner cussing is a gift beyond measure. Oh how I love doing a Joe run.

My quads are sore, my hands are cold, and my back is dripping sweat under my fleece and Nathan pack. It's time for up. I feel like I'm running, in a way. My arms are swinging and my turn over is quick. But moving is slow. Still, the feeling is, again, bliss. 18 minute mile bliss.

After 1.4 miles two hikers pass me on their way down. "There are 2 guys ahead of you. You have a long way to go," one says.
"Less the 3 miles," I reply with a smile.

More up. I was breathing hard from the get go, but the climbing never got harder. 2 miles up. Three. Getting close to four. By this time I'm surrounded by cloud. A mile back the wind blew pieces of cloud over me as I climbed, drawing out more laughs. Now the fog is almost thick. Wisps of cloud cover the rocky trail and the smell in the air is sweet and ethereal. I've been climbing for over an hour, taken two wrong turns, but I know I'm close to the peak. This climb is billed as a tourist trail, but a few of the turns are hard to see. At least in the fog. Still, I know I'm close to the top. Hugging a turn I hike the last bit of trail up, climb a few rocks, write my name in the book and give a happy whoop into the thick clouds. This mountain offered me no view from Its top. But the 77 minute climb was reward enough. I slapped the monument, climbed off the slippery peak rocks, filled my lungs with the cloudy air and started the run down.

My GPS died after just over 8 miles in 2:01, about .5 miles from the trail head. But I don't care. On the mountain speed and time really don't matter to me. I made the climb.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mad City 100k 2010

When I registered for Mad City, I had decided to run this year's race as a practice run for next year's race. The goal: to get on the USATF 100k team in 2011. This is a BIG goal. Especially being I had never raced a road ultra before today. My training for the last 2 months has been much different then what I am use to. Faster stuff on pavement vs. slower stuff on trails. But I've LOVED training like this. I love running hard and I've loved feeling like I'm getting faster while improving my endurance with crazy tempo runs and track work. My time goal for this race this year was to run close to eight minute miles...8 minute miles are slower then pretty much all of my training has been. But being this was a 62 mile race, eight minute miles would be good.

Mad City 100k was the USATF 100k Championship race for 2010. Meaning it draws fast runners and offers prize money to the top 5 male and female USATF finishers, along with a chance for the winner to get on the USATF 100k team. This race is a rolling hills 100k made up of 10 10k loops. I actually expected the course to be flatter then it was. I would call the whole thing rolling, with a nice flat run way coming into the starting/loop/finish area.

At 6:30am the race began. I ran the first 30K with 3 great running women (Kristin Moehl, Angie Radosevich, and Jenny Capel). It was fun getting to meet some awesome runners and talk while running along for those first loops. But after 30K I was ready to pick it up a bit. So I did. Truthfully I am a bit of a loner when I run, and I was ready to just zone out and run. No more talking. Lap 4 was my fastest loop of the day, with lap 5 taking 2end for a "clocked" 3:58:10 50k. I say clocked because the aid station was just before the time mats. Meaning I stopped for maybe 1 minute to eat, drink and take an S!Cap before running over the time mats.

By the end of lap 6 my legs were starting to cramp. I did a mental check list of the possible whys and decided these cramps were racing cramps. Nothing to be done but push on. Also on this lap, I caught the 2end place lady, Annette Bednosky. We hit the aid stations with in seconds of each other for a couple laps before my legs decided I was going to slow down.

The clock said 7:25 when I left for my last lap, in 3erd place. My legs still felt bad, but I pushed them anyway. I kept telling myself "8:20 or less. 8:20 or less", as I did my best to run up those long (though not steep) hills. At 8:02 I hit the 3.8 mile (of 6.2miles) aid station, downed some water and Mt. Dew, and pushed in to finish in 8:18:24. 3erd female, 10th person. Talk about thrilling! The website says I averaged 8:01.3 minutes for every mile. Woo-hoo! Not only that, but I now have a chance of getting selected this year to run in the USATF 100k World Championship, because I ran under 8:40. Exciting Craziness!

I still want to train for this race over the next year. I feel like I have a great shot at running quite a bit faster, if I put in the miles right. A GIANT THANK YOU to Joe, for helping train for this. I would have never done those workouts w/o someone having put them on my training plan. And I can tell they helped me out a lot. :)

Oh, I am sure some of my running peeps are just dying to know what I was eating and drinking today. Well, I tried something new. In a race. I drunk like 10 cups of Mt. Dew today, a lot of water, about 2 cups of Heed, took 10 S!Caps and 10 gels. Nothing more, nothing less.