Monday, July 13, 2020

Kogalla Video of me in my natural environment

Thank you Kogalla for this cool little peek into my Race Director life. Some video of me running when my hair was shoulder length too ha! Kogalla makes the best lights for night time hands down!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Unsupported FKT on the Tahoe Rim Trail

Hi there! I submitted my FKT today for the 170.8 mile Tahoe Rim Trail. I wanted to share my trip report (brief version) as I submitted the the FKT site. I'll post a longer version soon, but for now here are the basic details. Note: My first attempt on the TRT was in 2012 and supported.  I quit about 110 miles in. I made two other attempts, both unsupported. One one attempt I quit 70 miles in and on the more recent I finished in 72hrs and 21 minutes but due to intense hallucinations just 10 miles from finishing I made a call for help to a friend. This call - even though I went on to finish negated my "unsupported" attempt. I was ok with this because I was convinced I was too slow anyway. Here's my successful unsupported bid:

I started the Tahoe Rim Trail on July 4 at 10:23am from Tahoe City going clockwise with the goal of sub 60 hours, ended up just missing that and finished in 60:47:34. I ran completely unsupported and unaccompanied. I carried all my own gear, food and even returned with all my trash! 

I only refilled water from streams. The longest sections with no water resupply was from Mt Rose to Kingsbury where the trail crosses the river I think about 2.5-3 miles before the turn off to Heavenly Stagecoach lodge area - did that section with just 3L of water because I didn't want to trek down to Spooner lake and add the extra time. It was about 38 miles. Got kinda thirsty. 

I tried to sleep briefly three times but was unable to fall asleep. I propped my legs up and tried to relax knowing that just a bit of time would be helpful in resetting my eyes and body. Ultimately just laid there for 15-30 mins each time and resumed my run actually feeling better and being able to increase my speed each time so I think the laying down was very helpful even without sleep. All in all I slept zero in those 60hr 47min 34sec and it really began affecting my mental state making it more difficult, especially at night, to navigate with all the hallucinations. 

I would constantly question whether I was just running in circles and at Echo Summit almost got really turned around thinking I'd already passed the summit when I still had not arrived. I had to pay very close attention and remind myself that what I was seeing was not real. At night everything became something else and inanimate objects moved and became alive. Having dealt with hallucinations on 200s milers and last time I ran the TRT unsupported (in Nov 2019) I knew to not focus too much on these fantastical, scary and disorienting visions. 

I carried about 11,500 calories and only consumed 7,000. I got blisters from pretty early on that became pretty horrible just 40 miles from the finish. I took off my socks and that helped the pain a bit on the bottoms of my feet but caused more to form around the sides of my feet. I never get blisters and so I did not bring anything to cover them with. Won't make that mistake again! 

I ran the last 16 miles the fastest of the entire route really hoping to get just under 60 hours but even with running almost every step I missed the 60 hours in large part because it got dark and I began having some trouble navigating. All said and done, I moved almost non stop for all those 60:47 hours finishing at 11:10:34 pm in Tahoe City on July 6th to many hallucinations, my car, and went to sleep without any fanfare- typical unsupported run! I tracked on my coros watch, strava and with my spot beacon. 

I shared my SPOT tracking link with my family (kids), a few of my friends: Garrett Froelich ad Mike Tebbutt (locals) who tracked me during those 2.5 days.


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Someone Somewhere


Right now you can break the law by running on some trails.
Everything is closed, but I'm trying to keep my heart open.
People can report each other for going to work,
there's an online site you can do that from in my town.

Yesterday I went on a run and the touchscreen on my phone stopped working
but just the top 1/3 of it. The bottom 2/3 works just fine.
It's surprising how hard it is to use your phone when you can't go back
on any screen because the back button is in the top 1/3.
I wish we could go back to when we didn't hate each other.
But we are frozen like my screen.

Someone somewhere decides what is right and what is wrong.
"You don't need to think, just listen" they say.
Yesterday you were my friend, today you are my enemy I'm told.
You just want to know what side I am on so you can hate me.
You're like my phone, part of you is stuck and isn't working right and you know it.

I understand you because I, too, wanted to believe that someone somewhere
 is doing what is right for me. I stopped believing there was someone
that would protect me when I was 8 years old. It was a hard choice,
but I decided to think, not just listen.

I cannot see my enemy, I'm told it's too small.
I'm checking out groceries at the store and all the clerks have masks.
My clerk has her mask over her mouth, but her nose is out.
She holds the side of the mask as she talks to me,
pulling down the side enough that I can see her lips.

We talk about anything but the enemy we cannot see.
Everything I do causes some anxiety:
touching the counter, oh shit.
Touching my phone, oh shit.
Standing at the counter I feel out of my body,
like the top 1/3 isn't working right.
Am I getting sick?

My daddy is gone, but he's not dead.
I gave up believing I could be protected way before he left.
It was a hard choice, but I decided to think not just listen.

Your clothes, beliefs, and hate make you feel protected
So you can forget that you are naked under all these layers
You can forget that you are human behind a glowing screen
Forget that you will die

You're like my phone,
part of you is stuck and isn't working right and you know it.



Saturday, April 18, 2020

Using Love to Fight Fear


I woke up this morning glad that the nightmare was a dream— the fear and emotions still so real that I knew my body didn’t know the difference between dream and reality, at least during those moments of sleep.

I’d been curled in a corner with a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex looming over me like a scene in Jurassic Park. No matter how fantastical it sounds, in the dream I was being pursued by a very real and threatening dinosaur.

My family, friends and I had scattered just moments before this monstrous reptile arrived, hoping to hide. We were told, in the mysterious way we learn things in dreams but can’t remember once we are awake, that the only way that the T-Rex wouldn’t see (and eat) us was if we were able to successfully visualize love.

It wasn’t explained how this worked exactly, but I knew from my visualization work that it must be FELT to be a successful visualization. Felt in a way that our body recognizes the visualization as something we are currently experiencing.

So with all my might and mental power I threw myself into that feeling of love: the compassion, the empathy, the feeling of being warm no matter the weather or temperature. The fierce love, the gentle and kind love. A mother’s love, a partner’s love, the love of someone who recognizes that we are all interconnected.

All the while knowing that fear, a giant capital letter FEAR — embodied by the nightmarish T-Rex, was looming just outside my visual orbit of love ready to eat me if I faltered.

In my dream I KNEW that love was the only way to survive this scary creature. Waking up, there was no T-Rex smashing its teeth and ferociously hovering above me, but the metaphor wasn’t lost on me.
💖> 🦖

You want too much


You want too much.

You want beauty and grit.
You want flaws with perfection.
You want to love me and hate me.
You want me without having all of me.

Give me a moment while I find the right face to put on today. 
Fumbling through my cabinet for my makeup, 
the fake wood peeling at the corner of the mirror frowns at me.

I shake the bottle of foundation, its purpose to even skin tone, 
but it’s only skin deep. My bare fingers spread it over freckles 
and lines and follow the path of tears. A little under the eyes. 
Dab, dab dab, smooth.

I’m thinking about how someone told me to “just be positive” 
in response to a difficult story I shared. Just be positive. 
We don’t need anything negative. Take your stories and cover them up with paint. 
Don't you know that too much paint ruins a picture? 
Dab, dab dab. Smooth.

Your troubles, judgements, opinions, stories, 
your difficult, dirty, sad, messed up life doesn’t belong here. 
Make us happy. 
Dab, dab dab. Smooth.

It’s time for bed but instead of sleeping 
I’m lying on my jungle comforter, 
reading my unfinished poem not sure how it will end. 
Do people understand the power of metaphors? 
Do they understand you can’t have it all without it all?

The creek outside babbles to the rocks
 as it flows through my backyard. 
The frogs chime in and it reminds me of nights 
sleeping under the stars as a child.

I get out of bed and follow the sound of the creek, mesmerized. 
The path is full of rocks and the climbs are so steep I must crawl: 
head down, hands and feet pressing into the earth, 
heart pumping into the darkness. 
I should’ve brought a light.

With my head down I don’t realize I’m at the top 
until I come to a sudden stop, toes hanging over a cliff. 
The stars poke holes in the night’s blanket of darkness 
like a million leaks sprung and flowing onto the earth. 
Was the universe flowing to the earth the sound of the creek I heard from bed?

My breath catches in my chest, 
not from fear of falling but from the awe-struck moment: 
the vast expanse in front of me, 
limitless but for my body — 
a body that obeys the laws of physics and gravity.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Live Tracking for my 800mile Arizona Trail Speed Attempt

UPDATE: second update!! We ARE starting on March 15 after all! All gear, crew organized and we will be beginning Sunday morning. Previously posted that we are starting on the 16 but we’re able to get prepared for storm/mud/etc so we are starting on 15 after all. You can follow updates on social media by going to: @runcandicerun (link below in bullet points)

Live tracking of my Arizona Trail Speed attempt beginning March 15!

A few notes about my record attempt:
  • I begin on March 15 at the Mexico/AZ border
  • I am going South to North
  • I plan to do over 60 miles a day
  • I am running supported with a crew
  • I aim to finish in under 14 days to best all current records on the trail male or female
  • You can view current records here
  • I am fundraising for Girls on the Run in AZ. You can donate here for Girls on the Run. Also consider donating to the Arizona Trail Association! You can donate to the trails here
  • Follow updates and posts on my IG page here.


Monday, February 24, 2020

Take 2: Running the Arizona Trail for Girls on the Run


It's on! It's been a year since an injury sidelined me and kept me from running the Arizona Trail speed attempt I had painstakingly planned out. Looking back I can see how difficult it was to shelf my goal for so long, but in the grand scheme of life, waiting a year is nothing.

Take 2: Arizona Trail 2020

I will begin my speed attempt on the Arizona Trail beginning March 15. My  aim will be to finish in fewer than 14 days.

Route: 800 mile Arizona Trail
The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a National Scenic Trail from Mexico to Utah that traverses the whole
north–south length of the U.S. state of Arizona. The trail begins at the Coronado National Memorial near
the US–Mexico border and moves north through parts of the Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Rincon Mountains.


Crew/Pacers 
Crew Chief, Social Media Wiz: Catra Corbett
Photography Crew: Dave Wiskoski, Adam Eckberg
Videography Crew: Adam Eckberg, GoPro
Additional Pacing/Crew: Harald Zundel
Pacing: All Crew members


Goal: 12-14 days (58+ miles per day, goal: 62+). Goal is to run the route faster than any of the
supported or unsupported records, men or women which would be anything under 14 days, 12 hours.


Current FKT records (overall fastest times):  
Supported, Men: Michael Versteeg 15 days, 22hrs, 39 minutes
Supported, Women: Helen Galerakis 17days, 11 hours, 3 min
Self Supported, Men: Josh Perry 14 days, 12 hours, 21 minutes


Start Date: March 15 2020
Goal Finish Date (12-13days): March 26-27, 2020
Live Tracking via Trackleaders/SPOT tracking: Link coming


Charity: This speed attempt will be an effort to raise money for Girls on the Run in Arizona, a
program that gives young girls after school running opportunities including coaching and working
toward a 5k. Our donations will help cover the charities costs and provide scholarships for girls
that cannot afford the program. It is our hope that this FKT attempt can bring more attention and
support to Girls on the Run programs! 

Official Charity FKT Page/Donations can be made here:
https://www.gotrmc.org/Fundraiser/800-Mile-Arizona-Trail-Fastest-Known-Time
**Link to donate is not active, we are working on it sorry for the delay, please check back!

Sponsor Opportunities:
Interested in becoming a sponsor to help cover our costs and get some exposure for your business? Please contact Candice at: runcandicerun@gmail.com and THANK YOU!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Running between Dark and Light

Photo by Paul Smith

Let me lead the way because I understand the dark:
How light and dark enhance each other, how they need each other to exist. How easy it is to lose your footing, how quickly the ground will pull you down. I’ll show you how to get back up fast before it buries you. Let me lead the way.

I’m breathing the mountain: hands on quads, pressing my legs hard into Hogs Back, the rough, rocky and steep ascent leading up the first climb of this 100 mile race. The climb is so steep and rugged that runners weave in and out of paths merging and blending. In the night you can’t see where I begin and the dark ends, or where the dark starts and I end.

Energy is high right now, but give it another 12 hours & this climb will break runners, it’s armor too tough for their minds to get through, turning them around in their tracks, back to the aid station to turn in a bib. But that’s not an option for me, that girl doesn’t exist anymore. The inky dark highlights cheekbones, deltoids, quads and bones that were broken and will never be the same. Once you break you can’t go back. You only know this when you experience the trauma.

Sometimes I think my night lasts longer than others.
The longest moments are between the roosters call when the night is so dark that two lights barely cut through it, one light on my waist, one on my head. The moment draws slowly toward a light glow on the horizon when dark and light are still one, both exist simultaneously. ⠀

Under the surface of my skin a fire burns so hot that sweat flows even in the dark night. Strong wind clanks bamboo fiercely, like a sword battle & I’m running through a tunnel of these swords, protected amidst the storm and violence. The wind howls so loud I pull my headphones off & they grip my neck.

I’m not a runner in a race anymore, I’m an animal in the forest and my arms instinctively spread out, palms up and open to the night sky, chin up, mouth open and howling with the wind, just a little bit of glowing skin highlighted by stars & a lifting night, glistening sweat, a world amidst a world.

Photo: Paul Smith
HURT 100 1/18/20
5th finish