Saturday, March 23, 2013

2013 Running (and beyond)

We've been filling up our 2013 race calendar during the last couple months. I didn't realize how time consuming it could be deciding what race and what distance to run. And how expensive it can quickly get.

The idea was to keep it at a race a month but have cheated a couple times and registered for a couple in the same month. 

We even made a wall calendar to write down the races, but this proved to be not such a good idea. Why? Well, now, we see an empty month and immediately start searching for races that we might be able to do. 

March - Nueces 50 miler
            - The Maze 30k
April - Hell's Hills 25k
May - Pandora's Box of Rox Marathon
June - Substituting a music fest for a run (but may be a cheat month)
July - Mule Shoe Bend 60k
August - Colorado Bend 60k
             - Reveille Ranch 30 or 60k
September - searching
October - Cactus Rose Relay, 50 or (maybe even ) 100 (again)
November - searching
December - searching

We stopped at 2013 because we already know what we are running Jan/Feb/March 2014, and think this calendar planning thing could go on forever...and, really, that is not a bad thing.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Challenge Accepted

It's apparent that when we don't have a race coming up the upcoming weekend, we have too much time on our hands. We do things...desperate things. A couple days ago, my running machine of a partner & I decided to try a little experiment: to see if we could go the entire day without talking (to each other) about running. Full disclosure: we could talk to others about running, but we just couldn't talk to each other about it.

Let me give you a little background: we both love running. We can spend hours talking about the hydration vest we must must have, the handheld we like, our running bucket list races, watching informercial videos of handhelds. Yes, videos of handhelds (if you run, this is probably not that strange). We're totally ok with just lounging around the sofa talking about...'it'.

I was a little worried almost immediately as the day began. We had a couple do overs and/or had to remind each other that we were on the verge of talking running. We tried (at least I did) being sneaky about know, referring to it as "it". Sami was a bit sneaky also - saying something (that made no sense to me) and then 'wink wink'. "Oh, I get mean 'it'".

Plus, sending links to each other about the best running dog breeds or the newest altra shoe doesn't really count as cheating. The link (about running) was sent...'it' wasn't talked about. Attorney mode: ON.

It wasn't as difficult as we thought it'd be. Overall, we proved it could be done. We graded ourselves/each other yesterday. I gave us a 95 and Sami gave us a 90. An 'A' is still good, right?

The best part of this experiment? It was only a 1 day challenge. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nueces 50 Mile Race Report...sort of.

The game plan for the Nueces 50 miler was simple: I was going to run the 50 miler and my g/f, Sami, was going to run the 10k. Once she was done w/ her 10k, she’d pace me the last 16.7 of my 50. I was really looking forward to running w/ her...maybe more so than the actual run. Just sayin'.

We left for Camp Eagle around 6:30pm Friday evening. To make a long story short: we got lost and had no phone signal. We ended up arriving at the room at about 2:30am. We took a 1.5 hour nap and then were ready to run.

We got up at 4am and were ready to run…well...1st thing's 1st ~ coffee 1st.

Loop 1: I started quite fast because I felt good. I started w/ a group of about 4 runners for a big chunk of the loop. Several of them commented that they were probably starting a little faster than they should. I agreed, but it felt too good. Besides, I didn’t remember this course being as runnable as it was. The total time for the 1st loop was 2:5.

Loop 2: The result of starting out too fast seemed to take its toll on me. I struggled for the majority of the loop but still managed to finish in 3:30. I felt a lack of energy during this loop eventhough I was eating at the aid stations and drinking as much as I could. The few monster climbs started taking its toll on my quads. The thought of my pacer waiting for me kept me going. “I just have to finish this loop and then I’m running with Sami” I kept telling myself.

As I finished the loop, I immediately saw Sami and she had a baked potato for me. I knew I had banked a lot of time (and had time to spare) so I decided to take my time and eat. I took about 30 minutes before we started the final loop, and it turned out to be a life saver.

Loop 3: The highlight of my run (for obvious reasons). We enjoyed the pain/rocks/sights of the last loop. We’d told ourselves that we wanted to: finish, finish before the cafeteria closed (Sami told me that the dinner special was enchiladas - I kept thinking of 'em) and finish before it got dark. Mission accomplished.


I got to run w/ my brand new Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set Hydration Pack (which was gifted to me by...well, you probably know who). It felt like it was a part of me. No bouncing, no shifting, no nothing. I only had a little difficulty in making sure there was no air in the hydration bladder. It was a little tricky. I had to figure it out - the sloshing of the water was too annoying/loud.


Sami surprised me with water with lemon and ginger shavings in it. I drank it during the entire run - not counting the obligatory (craving for) coke here and there. The last several ultras, (crystalized) ginger (snaps) has been very good to me. It's kept me from having stomach issues or nausea. I only felt sick on 1 occassion, but it quickly passed. The streak continues...

1.      I think everybody, other than me, tends to fall gracefully. I saw Sami fall twice – wait…actually, I didn’t see her fall. I should say I heard a (very) light thud and when I turned around, she was on the floor. My falls? I tend to trip, stumble wildly for at least 10 feet and then I hit the floor. On a positive note, I didn’t fall at all during the 50 miler, but (I must admit) I was a little jealous of her falling style.

2.        I think my hokas finally met their match: after about 30 miles, my feet were very achy. They were definitely feeling the rocks they were crushing. Nevertheless, they will continue to be my shoe of choice – I can’t quit them.

3.     I think I run better on almost no sleep. We arrived at Camp Eagle at 2:30a on Saturday. Our plan was to get up at 4am to get ready to run at 6am. After a 90 minute siesta, we were up and ready to go. Of course, we hit the sack hard immediately after dinner after the race. Hard.

4.     I PR’d by over 30 minutes.

5.  When your car gets sprayed by a skunk, the odor lasts for days. We almost ran over a skunk, but, instead, scared it and it sprayed my car. The odor penetrated through the inside of my car. Now, my car and garage smells like skunk.

5.     …and to the couple negative nancies we came across, isn’t running supposed to make you happy? It does us.

Overall, it was an awesome experience. I got a 50 miler in and Sami got in almost a 23 miler in total. We spent alot of time together...running, talking & planning our runs together. We’ve got tons of plans to pace each other, race each other, crew for each other, etc.

Run happy. We did.