Saturday, December 29, 2012

My excitement is a bird

Nov. 2012

The Landing

I'm stepping out of my rental car
my feet touching the hard asphalt
of a 7-11

My excitement is a bird
soaring on a strong gust
knowing that touching him
will land me safely

And then I'm looking blindly
out the plane's window
For a moment,

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Training Journal 12/17-12/23

Monday, December 17- Sunday, December 23, 2012: This week has been a bit like today: sleep until some ungodly hour (meaning late!), work on the computer on my race directing stuff, go on a run (and feel really good), then go out for some beer and a damn good dinner (me: stuffed trout with fingerling potatoes), then return home to bike indoors.  I took most of the week off and biked instead to rest my feet.  They have been hurting and the rest helped.  If nothing else, it has been making my recent runs feel easy!  Being rested is such a great feeling!  I have been biking indoors like a crazy woman.  I got a trainer for my road bike and I'm enjoying sweating in 70-75 F room doing intervals watching Dexter and The Walking Dead.  I needed to catch up on the shows and this is the perfect way because I can't normally sit still for an hour to watch a show, I'm too antsy or tired.  This way I can move and watch.
Just before heading out on a snowy, rainy bike ride.
Monday: 2.5 hours total exercise---30 min test run. Bike on the indoor trainer for 1.5 hrs. 30 minutes core work.
Tuesday: 2 hrs of cross training including a 1 hr interval workout on the bike, 30 minutes easy biking and 30 min of core/arm work.
Wednesday: 2 biking workouts, 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour in the evening. Plus 30 minutes of kettle bell and core work (plank, situps work). 
Thursday: 2 biking workouts, 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour in the evening. Both were interval work. Hard 2 minutes, easy 3 minutes.  Lots of sweating! Love it!
Friday: 1 hour 15 minutes on the bike (outside this time), 17 miles.  Samish/Chuckanut area.  Plus a 6 mile run at Lake Padden with the BTRC.  1 hr, 1,100 feet climbing.
Saturday: 7 mile run with James on Galbraith, 820 feet of climbing. 1.5 hr. 1 hour on the bike in the PM (trainer with some interval work).
Sunday: 11 miles of hilly trails. 2 pine and cedar repeats (1,600 feet each) Then ran back to Old Fairhaven parkway with James.  2hr. 15min. 3,500 feet of climbing.

Running Miles: 26 miles
Running Elevation gain: 5,670 feet of climbing
Cross Training: 10hrs on the bike
Total hours exercising: 16.75 hours

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Let it snow

Let it Snow 12/20/12

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Training Journal 12/10-12/16

Monday, December 10-Sunday, December 16, 2012: Week of trying to deny some post TNF injuries and over training issues.  AS I write this post I have decided to take part of the week off running completely to let my feet recover from the past month.  This is because I didn't take the time off when I should have back in early November when I first noticed foot pain!  Lesson learned, I hope.  Here is the TJ for this week without further ado.
Does Runway walking count as a workout?!
Monday: 24 miles of the Deception Pass 50k course, 4,000 feet of climbing in 4.5hrs.  Moderate pace.  No food taken, 16 oz water.
Tuesday: 6 mile fartlek on Interurban.  1 min fast running per mile.  1hr, 600 feet climbing.
Wednesday: 7 miles easy with James (Sehome-Inteurban Trail) Feeeling very tired metally, legs ok. Want to nap while running.  WT-heck? 600 feet climbing.
Thursday: 10 mile Farlek on Orcas Island.  Moutain Lake and Twin Lakes double loops.  Tired feeling in brain, but not in legs.  1,000 feet climbing. 2hr.
Friday: 25k course at Orcas.  15 miles, 4,100 feet climbing. 3.5 hours.  Easy pace.  Leg (clot leg) hurt, but only moderately.
Saturday: 12 mile progression speed run. Legs felt fine but had that same fatigued and sleepy feeling even with enough sleep?? 800 feet climbing. 1.75hr
Sunday: Day off. Too much too do to run and feet were painful.  More on this later...

Running Miles: 74 miles, 119km
Running elevation gain: 11,000 feet, 3353 meters
Cross training: does walking the runway Friday night, making gingerbread cookies Sunday and doing a shit load of dishes count?!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Training Journal 12/3-12/9

Monday, December 3-Sunday, December 9, 2012:  This week ended up being a recovery week due to pain from before TNF50 miler (worse after the race, of course) and recovery from that race as well as my lack of time to run due to helping race direct the Deception Pass 25/50k.  Busy and stressful week, that doesn't seem to be getting any less stressful.  Between injury issues, my coach insisting I see a doctor before we proceed with our training schedule, too much work that needs to get done and beaucoup financial obligations I have been stretched thin.  Being a running bum is hard work folks!  Hold on a minute, I think a big scream might help relieve some tension AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Out checking course markings during the race
Monday:day off (overrated)
Tuesday: day off (overrated)
Wednesday: East 5 miles.  Legs became very sore after the 5 miles. Sehome loop, 45 minutes, 600 feet climbing.
Thursday: 11 miles of course marking for the Deception Pass 25/50k, meaning slow!  3 hours, 1700 feet climbing.  Still having pain in my thigh/knee area from inflammed vein.
Friday: too busy working on the race to get more than 3 miles.  Sehome Hill. 700 feet of climbing, 40 minutes.
Saturday: 3 miles checking course markings, 45 minutes, 1000 feet of climbing.  co-race directing day.
Sunday: 14 mile hilly trail run with James on Chuckanut 50k course, ridge trail, frag lake, chinscraper, lost lake.  (3hrs, 3,500 feet of climbing)

Running miles: 36 miles (~56k), it's been a while since I have done this few!
Running elevation gain: 7,500 feet, 2286 meters
Time Running: 8.25 hours

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Training Journal 11/26--12/2

Monday, November 26, 2012- Sunday, December 2, 2012: This was week of the North Face Endurance Challenge in San Francisco!  What a roller coaster of an adventure!  Riding highs of being in a cool, new city and sharing many exciting moments with the Salomon Team and getting to hang out with Mr. James Varner in Mill Valley.  I am afraid that to fully express this experience I need a handful  more exclamation points!!!  I didn't know if I would run the race until the morning of the race.  I know, Ian, you said don't decide the morning of....but I was only very sure that morning.  I decided to do the race the night before really by default (got everything ready just in case).  When I woke up, I knew I would run as far as I could, even if that meant dropping.  To give you a little history, I was in the ER 8 days before the race with blood clot issues (luckily not life threatening as far as the hospital could tell).  It meant that I was dealing with pain with every movement of my leg, including calf pain and swelling and pain in my thigh.  For more on the race and my injury, see my TNF50 race report.
Photo by Greg Vollet. Thursday's run in the Marin Headlands.
Monday: 7 miles mapping with James in the Marin Headlands, about 1,600 feet of climbing. Easy pace: 1 1/2 hr

Tuesday: day off ( I was instructed NOT to run until the pain was gone in my leg)
Wednesday: day off
Thursday: 7 mile run with the team on the TNF course. About 1,600 feet of climbing. 1.25hr
Friday: 3 mile run. Leg still really hurt. 25min
Saturday: Finished the race!  Despite a crazy week!  46 miles, 10,400 feet of climbing.  (Course was modified due to weather, shortened a bit). 8:01:00
Sunday: day off.  My calves were very, very sore for several days. Could barely walk.

Running miles:  64 miles, 103km
Running Elevation Gain: 13,600 feet climbing.  4,145 meters
Cross training:  freaking rest. Overrated.
Total Time Running: ~11hr
Leg Pain!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis 12/8/12

Friday, December 7, 2012

50 miles with Salomon: TNF50m race report

Photo by Brett Rivers of San Francisco Running Co.
Despite getting a blood clot a week before the race (in my inner adductor/quad area) I was able to run the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler this past weekend in San Francisco for Salomon.  I was in the ER just 8 days before the race.  Luckily, recovery time was faster than expected.  I had a good deal of inflammation in the week leading up to the race including swelling, pain, calf cramps and pain/reduced ROM with bending my knee and landing while running (running downhill especially). My coach, Ian Sharman, suggested that I rest as much as possible because even with no running the week before the race, I would be okay for race day if the pain would subside.

In the end, the pain disappeared because of a skillful taping job by a magician of a Physio by the name of Arnaud.  Arnaud travels with the Salomon running team and I had the pleasure of getting treated 3 times by him.  As far as I could tell by his Franglaisures (French/English/hand gestures) he practices acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy, osteopathy, and a few other -pathy's.  Like Tape-athletopathy. He taped my knee and thigh for the race like an artist surveying his clay then molding it to his vision.  My leg was taped so well that I felt no pain for 35 miles!  35!  Do you realize the accomplishment here?  I could feel the pain sitting without even moving. It became more severe with any knee bending. Araund taped my leg, added some magnetic ceramic pieces and voila!  Magician. Thank you Arnaud!

Race morning came fast as i was up at 3am. I had to meet the team at 4:15 at the race course.  Rain was steadily drizzling down and fog had settled in the  valleys.  It would be dark for the first 2 hours of the race and I wished I had brought my good headlamp.  No point in worrying about that now though.  The race began like a sweeping breeze and we blew down a paved road to a wide dirt road that wound up the Marin Headlands.  The course proved to be either uphill or down hill and it was a fun challenge to run up the hills, gritting through the muscle burn, grinding up, up, up then flowing down into the valley again.  I attacked the downhills with new found pleasure. 

Just two days before I had gotten a short, but incredible lesson from Salomon team manager Greg Vollet on downhill running and how to fix a little "kick out" that I do with my left foot because my hips are a little turned to the right. Using the downhill methods Greg gave me I was able to really roll down the hills with stability and speed despite the slickest, muddiest conditions I have ever raced in.  I would pass my competition on most every downhill and then they would gain a little on me on the uphill. Here is some of the crazy mud:
Photo by Rick Gaston. Can you say mud??!
Here's another one of Rick's gems:
Photo by Rick Gaston
I ran a solid 4:10 for the first 26 miles.  5 hours for the first 50k.  8:01 for 46 miles (the course was shortened a bit due to weather conditions), a time I am happy with after such a stressful week of injury and not enough sleep!  I would love to do this race again and I really enjoyed spending time with Team Salomon!  What an amazing opportunity and adventure.  Here are some pictures from the trip. I've included some information about the new Salomon gear I got to try out. 

Salomon House- the team plans for the race the next day.
Photo by Greg Vollet. Running with the team on one last run in the Headlands before the race. L to R: Emelie Forsberg (finished 1st at TNF), Miguel Herras (1st overall finish), me, and Francoise D'Haene (2nd overall)
All decked out in my new gear. Thanks Salomon! The gear was amazing for the race. I loved the waist pack it is very light and flexible.  I barely noticed it.  It never chaffed or rode up on my waist.  I plan to use it for HURT 100 in January.  I used little soft s-lab hydrapak 8 oz. water bottles for it. 
A closer view of the new waist pack:

Salomon Advanced Skin S-LAB Belt

It will be out in March 2013.

Here are the water bottles

I also loved the S-Lab shoes.  I was afraid they would not have enough grip on the downhills but I was happily surprised that I rarely slipped in all that crazy mud.  No blisters or hot spots despite never having worn them before the race!
S-Lab Sense shoes
Start of the race, about to get going
James paced me for 23 miles! He is a great pacer.
James and I got to hang out with our favorite musicians, Joe Cappocia of the Pine Hearts and Kendl Winter in San Fran where they  played a a series of shows.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Salomon Gear for TNF50

Some of the new gear. 

Salomon red nail polish

Crossing the bridge.  Hmmm, there seems to be a lot of red around here...

This is one piece of gear I am really excited about, the 2013 hydration belt.  The belt is very flexible, minimal and it even looks good. The blue bottles are really lightweight water bottles that compress when they are empty.  They appear to be the same material as a hydration bladder.
S-Lab Sense, if it's not too muddy I'll wear these shoes for the race.  Super comfortable.
S-Lab shoes

compression tights

Lightweight rain jacket.  I mean really freakishly light for being waterproof.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Training Journal 11/19-11/25

Monday, November 19-Sunday November 25, 2012: CRAZY WEEK!!!  This week marked a pretty serious short term setback for me.  I did all my usual training runs on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and woke up Thursday morning with severe pain in my calf and in my inner thigh.  It seemed really strange since I couldn't recall doing anything to cause such severe pain.  Even the most gentle feather touch to the calf was painful and the spot on my thigh was a hard lump. I limped through Thanksgiving dinner and skipped a recovery run that day, instead I biked.  I didn't feel any better the next day, in fact, it felt worse and getting out of bed was difficult.  My friends encouraged me to go to the doctor, but I resisted.  By the end of the day, I too had to agree that I should get it looked at as it could be something serious like  blood clot.  I ended up in the ER with a diagnosis of blood clot in my thigh.  Apparently this can happen to perfectly healthy people (of which category I classify myself).  So this is what I am currently dealing with and I am still hoping to race at the NF50 this Saturday Dec. 1, but there is a good chance that I will not be able to. 
Flying to San Francisco!
Monday: 7 mile recovery run, 800 feet of climbing (1 hr)
Tuesday: 12 mile run, faster on hills (2,500 feet of climbing, 2hr)
Wednesday: 7 mile recovery run (600 feet of climbing, 1hr)
Thursday: 12 mile bike ride (45min)
Sunday: 4 mile walk, (1hr 15, 500 feet of climbing)

Totals: does it matter?!  Not so good this wee in recovery mode from leg issues
Run Miles: 30 miles
Run Elevation Gain: 4,400 feet of climbing
Other Exercise: 12 mile bike
Total Exercise Time:  6 hours

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Landing

The Landing 11/26/12

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Curry it

I said I could add Curry to anything.  Meet Curry Popcorn: mix popcorn with olive oil & Udo's oil and sprinkle with generous amounts of curry powder, and a smaller sprinkle of cayenne and salt.

Spinach and roasted garlic salad with balsamic-orange dressing

Spicy Mustard & Garlic Chicken: run chicken with German mustard, sprinkle dried hot peppers, paparika, pepper, and salt.  Douse with olive oil.

Roasted Curry Potatoes and Baked Head of Garlic

Nautilus Lovers

Nautilus Lovers 11/24/12

These fascinating seashells are spiral in shape and consist of a series of ever-larger chambers in each of which the sea creature lives for a season until it outgrows that particular space. The Nautilus then enlarges its shell by the addition of a new chamber suitable for the next stage of its life...The spiral shape of the Nautilus shell suggests that it can keep growing forever. There is no design for a "final" chamber. The creature must keep building new chambers as long as it lives. It cannot go back to the previous ones; they no longer fit. It cannot stay in its present space or it will die. It has no choice but to move on. And on.

Thanksgiving Photojournal

 Thanksgiving at Grandpa's.  He's 99 years old!

I brought the salad

My salad dressing: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pomegranate juice, orange juice, garlic, salt

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Death by Butter Knife

I like riding my bike on Thanksgiving
Cars all parked in driveways
The road could be a river
And my bike, a boat.

The girl was stacked high
with bags and a stroller
Sobbing at the bus stop
A baby smiling at me
From its covers, oblivious

Are you ok?
I asked the girl
The baby smiling at my voice,
The girl’s anger filling the street,
As a flood might in early Spring
The baby nestled in the stroller,
As though it were on a boat,

Enjoying the sunshine.

My fucking Step Dad
Hitting me and my son
I bought those groceries
I'm going fucking stab him
With a butter knife

I left reluctantly with a
Happy Thanksgiving
Have a good bike ride
she replied.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Training Journal 11/12-11/18

Monday, November 12 -Sunday, November 18, 2012: Two big wins this week: I'll be running for Salomon at the North Face Championships 50 miler on Dec. 1 and I hit 104 miles this week! The first thingy, it's REALLY AWESOME!  I am looking forward to a fun week in San Francisco at TNF50 with some amazing runners.  As for the latter, I finally broke through that 100 mile wall.  Not that I have really been trying.  I have been trying not to be uptight about hitting certain miles.  This has been my biggest mileage week I think since doing the Wonderland trail in 31 hours (93 miles) in September.  It didn't feel that much harder than other weeks, other than I had a few aches and a few cramps a night (calves, ouch!).   The ball of my left foot has been sore and I had some fatigue on both my runs Friday after I did double runs on Thursday (including a 20 miler).  No wonder!  It was only a little more than the past 3 week's mileage: 90.5 miles, 85 miles, 92 miles.
To get in 100+miles you gotta run in the dark sometimes! Heading out for an early morning run.
Monday: 15.5 mile Progression run.  (2,100 feet climbing, 2hr 25min)
Tuesday: Two run day.  10 mile speed session in AM (1/2 mile and 3/4 mile repeats with no rest including a 3 mile warm up and 3 mile cool down). 7 mile recovery run in PM. (1hr45/1hr20/1,300 total ft. gain)
Wednesday: 8 mile recovery run. (1hr10, 500 feet climbing)
Thursday: Two run day: 20 mile run in the AM (3hr30min, 3,700 feet climbing), 7 mile recovery in the PM (1hr, 550 feet climbing)
Friday: 9 mile fartlek AM (1hr. 20, 1,300 feet climbing), 6 mile recovery PM (1hr, 600 feet climbing)
Saturday: 7 mile recovery on treadmill (1hr)
Sunday: 15 mile run on Blanchard Mountain, focusing on technical downhills. (3hr20min, 4,500 feet of climbing)

Running miles: 104.5 miles or 168km
Running elevation gain: 14,550 feet or 4,435 meters
Crosstraining: Situps and plank exercises 3 days
Total time running: 17.85hours

And my illustration of upcoming TNF50 San Francisco!

Warming up my Spleen

Per the acupucturist's directions, I have been adding warming herbs to my food.  I tend to eat a lot of raw foods all times of the year.  According to the Eastern medicine point of view, eating a lot of raw foods in the fall and winter months can strain your body.  Such was my case, and apparently I am showing signs of a damp spleen.  Yes, a damp spleen.  I have been remedying it with cinnamon, curry, ginger, garlic, cayenne, and red peppers.  Today, I balanced out my raw carrot/lemon/celery/beet juice by adding cayenne to my drink.  It was really good and had the added benefit of adding a little kick to the drink!

I've included some pictures of the foods I have added warming herbs to:
Cayenne Infused Red Root vegetable Juice (Carrot, Beet, Celery, ginger, apple, lemons)

Rosemary Curried Fingerlings

Cayenne Infused Red Root vegetable Juice (Carrot, Beet, Celery, ginger, apple, lemons)

Curried Wild Cod, Fingerling, and Avocado Salad.  Sprinkle with Udo's Oil, salt and curry powder.

Warming Spices: Ginger, Cayenne (as many IU's as you can get!) and curry powder.