I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.
When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Shameless promotions on various topics
I liked how Shelley commented on Mt. Hood adventure that next time I am going downhill in a race and get agitated, I will remember that's nothing could be scarier than those few falls and slides I had at Mt. Hood adventure. Good call! After all, there is never a downhill that can endanger a runner at a race - well, come to think about it, Hardrock 100 looks like it might have a few "close fit" ridges and paths, and that is with the fact that I decided to submit my name for application lottery next year...lets hope I won't get in and have another year to train the fear.
To Eric - I am OK with after-fall bruising, finger is the only thing that hurts seriously yet getting better, and it's on the left hand (I am a righty), so the only downfall of that was on Sunday as I couldn't carry 2 bottles and had to switch more often from a pack. To Kendall and Steve - that trip WAS planned as an easy one with building confidence (by the way, everybody knows I have a fear of downclimbing, never hid it), and had we not gotten away from a route I would have been fine. Those ridges were far extra curriculum even for Oleg.
Speaking about Sunday's run on Maple loop - I didn't want to break the Mt. Hood story, but that lil' run had a great outcome in itself and made me very happy and proud.
Maple loop is 15M with over 11M of it on Wildwood trail (main in Forest Park) and whatever rest on Maple trail. For some reason I came to love this loop as a judging point of my fitness level at various points in my training during a year and between years. Back in 2005 it was taking me 2:50 regulary, while in 2006, what I thought of as my best shape year in ultrarunning, it was constantly below that with a PR in 2:42 at the end of January 2006. This year my speed sucked so much, I gave up on it completely, from track intervals times to any "past" loop times. I averaged 3 hrs on this loop this year with best time of 2:56 when Gail and I ran it at the beginning of February. So I was looking at another 3 hr run, considering I had heavy legs after 8 hrs spent on Mt. Hood.
I actually started a timer on my watch (imagine that!) but turned the view onto HRM right away. I kept it steady at 160-165 max, walking the hills and running relaxed down. At half-way I looked at the time and noticed 1:25. It took me another minute to calculate that if I keep going at like that I might come close to 2:50 (a dream) or at least this year's best time. I picked up my HR to 170 and began to move my leg's turn-over. I had drank 2 bottles of water and ate my 2 gels by then and only had left last water bottle for 7 miles. I pushed, thinking between Bob's post on promising to give my best, Rick's PR and awesome 50k race on Saturday and Sarah's long run on Saturday of 29M in 5:30, all alone and pushing. How can I not give this stinky Maple loop my best try?? The first 3 miles of it went great, as the trail here is mainly falt (by our local standards) with a few bumps. Last 4, however, tested my limits, as they do every time. At Firelane 2 you enter a small canyon zone, with first coming 3 not too bad dips and then last one, which takes over a mile to get out of. Yes, I power-walked my hills, but my HR never dropped below 180, and I wondered how long can it stay at this level and I would still be moving (remember, max is 185?). Last 1.75M are much better, taking a net decline with some flat and lil's uphills, but after those canyons I always find it hard to keep charging. Even before I entered the canyon section, I knew my best bet to get a good time was to fly downhills - and really, I don't remember working them so fast for a long time. My HR never dropped below 180 and I was really strained for a push, but I just kept the mantra - do I have what I need in me? I missed last quater mile sign and got upset, yet at the same time next thing I saw was it - and a turn to the car parking. I finally hit the stop button and saw the time. 1:39. Freakin' 1:39 and a all-time PR of 3 min, and a 17 min bettering of this year's time, and heck knows how I pulled this rabbit out of my hat, I don't know where I hid it, and I am positive I won't ever break this one - but oh, so sweet to have it!!!
My breathing took full 15 min to recover, what usually is back to normal within 2 min for sure, and my legs were dead to the point I couldn't push a gas pedal well. Next day I was tight and slow. But it was all worth it. I said somewhere before that I often train harder than I race - last time I felt I was pushing like this was final 8 miles of Zane Grey - and if I could only somehow transfer this will to kick into my racing...lazy, bad Olga!
At Bighorn 100 I met Don Lundell from Zombie Runner and ordered two different tapes for feet - after having finished 4th 100M race on blisters, it's time to figure things out, agree? My problem is that I don't get regular blisters with liquid fill and easily coming up off the next skin layer (well, I do sometimes, but can handle that kind of pain no rpoblem, and dealing with those is just common sense). I get mine on the balls of my feet right between 1st and 4th metatarsal, AND they are right away go a few layers deep, rarely pop up, can't be poked, I can see those layers sliding away but unable to work on it. They usually break only later, couple of weeks after forming, peeling away those 5 layesr and forming a hole in my foot right about time I am ready for another race:) Van looked at it while visitng and suggested I have a high arch and may be have way too much weight/pressure coming onto this spot (in fact, those blisters never fully recover between races, it's just I can go for 50M OK, but then it gets much worse). She actually recommended to put some type of raising platform lower towards middle of my foot. But the 2 kinds of tape I ordered from Zombie's were just to try and tape the area. First test was just to make sure tape doesn't slide and doesn't bulk up. Right foot had Elasticon and left - Kinesio. During my run, for me Elasticon sucked - it was thick, hurt my foot even more and even in new places. Kinesio stayed in place and felt fine. I'll take it further to the 50k race in 2 weeks.
I was checking into Shannon Farar-Griefer's updates and saw that she launched a new line of running sleeves, something I wanted to give a try for awhile (see Jurek and other at the early starts). I emaied Shannon asking details (the website is not fully up to date yet) - and she was insanely sweet offering to send me a pair for free! I can't wait to get them and give them a ride and I'll make sure to post a full report on their performance.
As my new baby PCT 50/50 nears with its race date, things are getting more and more exciting (and a bit disorganized in amount of emails we have to deal with). Our awesome sponsors are coming through with their packages full of goodies, I got "OK" on the medal order from my co-RD and ORRC supervisor - as we ARE commited to fulfill our promise to have enough money for Scott McQueeney bridge in Forest Park, so the medals have no special desing and are small (but for "bling" lovers - there will be a bling), we have only a handful of drop-outs and thus our wait list didn't move far for late registrants, we finally got permit from Forest Services (woohoo!)... suddenly out of nowhere I got an email from a Backcountry rep with an offer for more sponsorship and prizes! Wow, this rocks! I am overwhelmed with how well all the sponsorship gigs went, every one of them responded greatly and on time and had been very supportive. As the time comes to June 28, I'll post a list of them here so you guys can check them out too. In a meantime, you can take a pick at Adam Buchanan's (the rep) blog.
I have been greatly blessed with how things fall in place around my races - well, I do try to race where it is not only beautiful and challenging, but also accomodating family finaces. After I was not a lucky gal for Grand Teton 100 drawing and shed the registration fee, I found a cheap flight to Boise and my very good friend Theresa set me up with her friend driving from there to volunteer at the race and he gives me a ride. My another good friend Colleen (who is also a client of and a website manager for Lisa Smith-Batchen will host me for the night before the race, after which that same Boise Steve will drive me back.
That's not it. I had received an email from a complete stranger (to me) who apparently reads my blog - Adam - and he offered his help to crew for me at CCC100. This is on top of my little bro Robie pacing me and Hippo hinting he could come too.
Wait, there is more. I got into Montrail lottery for Bear 100M!!! My Team rocks! The way it works is that every race that is RD'ed or otherwise organised by Montrail or its members has a drawing for 2 free entry spots, and those interested submit their names for the lottery. I played 6 times and took advantage of "winning" 3 times by now. Oleg says I should play a real lottery now:) I plan my year around those races I get in and then add up in-between.
I am very excited that Scoot Jurek had launched a blog. I hope he continues posting after Hardrock 100!!! This weekend I will be following HR live progress on this crazy monster race and wishing everybody luck. There are favorites that had been accounted for in Karl's blog. I believe this is the most exciting year for HR100!
My friend Andy had posted a Podcast interview on Michelle Barton (have no idea how to link the talk, so go and have a listen) - Michelle is an upcoming super-elite and super-fast woman from SoCA, and it was great to hear her thoughts (not sure why we keep saying "upcoming", she is a well established one). Now if I can only hug this enthusiasm and bottle it up for myself to train harder, race better and stay positive no matter what...but at least for the half an hour I was day-dreaming about it:)
Now, you, guys, all inspire me and hold me accountable. Thanks for been great friends.