Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week 4 Heartland 50 training

It's official, I caught round number 2 of the colds that are circulating in our little town.  Fortunately (or unfortunately ), Melly had this one first, so she has guided me on how to deal with it.  Lots of head congestion, lots of pressure, and coughing for her, but not yet for me.  Here is how the week played out.

Monday:  Rest day and grocery shopping.

Tuesday: Negative ladder again.  LOVE this work out.  I decided I needed the three extra hours of sleep I loose when I get up at 4 am, so we moved this work out to after work when the temps were in the 50s.  This is such a great work out for confidence, because I sure can go balls to the wall for 1 minute :) .

Wednesday:  Strength training.  Slept in again this morning because I needed those hours.  Still kind of worried about my knee and hip.  For sure everything is getting better but still bothering me.  Had my yearly biometric screening so had to fast till 10:15, YIKES!  Cholesterol is up again, back up to 200, but all other levels were good.  Damn genetics and of course eating out doesn't help.

Ended up coming home from work early because I felt so bad, so decided to make it a rest day instead.  Little red and I did finger paint art when he got home from school.  This is the coolest book ever!  Each page has a different theme so you can make little dogs, cats, bugs, candy, people and more.  Usborne books are the coolest!

Thursday:  5-6 miles with 5 x30 second strides mixed in post mile 3.  While I didn't get much sleep, thanks to the sudafed making me wake up every hour on the hour, I did feel like running and so we did.  Kind of cool to see the snow flurries come down.  Almost had a heart attack though out on our rural road we run on.  There is a gentleman who runs out on our route, well, I say that, this is the second time we have encountered him.  The first time he had NO reflective gear on at all, and scared the crap out of both of us because we thought he was some kind of animal running straight at us FAST.  This time, he had on reflective gear, so we knew it was a runner, but deuce was loose and went straight for him.  There isn't a mean bone in deuce's little wiggly body, but I can imagine what this guy thought with deuce coming at him full force.  We managed to call deuce off (yeah for good recalls), but I am sure he might have made the poor guy a little nervous and or caused a little shart:)  Took stella for a quick 10 minute walk post run.  We may or may not have done a tiny little running.  Just a block, but she was SO happy.  Let's hope for no issues post run.

Post wrestling.  We are dropping back to once a week practices, versus twice a week to ensure he doesn't burn out.  We have one more month of practices, and we are letting him pick if he wants to go Tuesday or Thursday.  

Friday:  Strength.  Didn't happen.  I have been feeling really good in the morning, and then as the day goes on, I feel worse and worse.  I came home feeling really bad, and actually had to dose my self with sudafed and head to bed early.  I really wish this stupid cold would just exit and NOW!

Saturday:  12 miles.  I had a great night's sleep, well other than waking up a few times and staring at the clock, which I totally blame on sudafed.  I woke up with a tight hip, so while I was fueling and drinking coffee, I was also rolling like crazy with my stick, and stretching as much as possible.  I would have to say this was a really good run for me.  I only walked twice when fueling, and a couple of times to put deuce on his leash or take him off.  I didn't feel the need.  The wind was kind of blustery at times out of the west and north, but I was comfortable in my gear and wasn't bothered other than a little bit slower pace.  I ran in silence for the first hour and just thought about a lot of things going on in my life.  I needed it for sure.

Sunday:  We were given a range of 4-6 miles.  We chose 5 miles, as that was where we were at by the time we hit mel's house on our loop.  We ran a nice hilly route, which isn't really a recovery run, but it was nice to do some hill work and not worry about pace.

Overall, a nice week, even with this cold still hanging on.  27 miles total and still a tight hip, but I feel like it is getting slightly better.  Looking forward to another week of some speed and some nice weather!  Hoping to get back to strength training since this cold is finally loosening it's grip on me.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 23, 2017

How to survive a wrestling tournament from newbie wrestling mom

Okay so I know some of y'all are laughing about this blog post, because you have been doing this for years.  You could probably add to this post, and I would gladly let you!  I know I still have a lot more to learn, and I seriously hope this isn't andrew's last year as he seems to truly love wrestling.  SO, I was really wishing we had a meeting for us newbies to kind of give us a head's up.  We didn't, but luckily me and another mom pulled one of the more seasoned mom's aside, and she basically gave us the low down.  I still was not ready for the craziness that is a big wrestling tournament, and I am told that ours was small compared to some of the bigger ones (YIKES).  There are huge parallels to dog shows, so even thought I was a little overwhelmed at first, I settled it and got right to it.  Here are some of the things I learned today that might help a newbie in the future:

Stake your claim somewhere.  Sometimes it is actually nice to be in the in hallway away from 24/7 screaming.  Bring things to claim your stake like chairs, blankets, and electronic devices that need to be near plugs:) . (Just like dog shows).

Bring things to keep you kiddos busy, as they will be waiting most of the day for sometimes a 10 second match :) . The wamego tournament had a round robin style for the littles, so they had multiple matches, but sometimes it was hours between the matches, so keep them busy!  We brought coloring books, a portable DVD player and DVDs, and some headphones.  I now know why I saw so many 31 Bags coming in the door.  MUST.GET.ONE.NOW.

Take out a small loan for the concession stand.  Not kidding.  This is a huge draw and our tournament had one of the BEST.

Take out a loan for the vendors.  Not sure if all places had vendors, but there were lots of trinkets and shiny things that caught my kiddos eye according to my hubby.  I worked a table all day, so I didn't get to be part of the delight that is telling him no a thousand times.

Courtesy of the Wamego Wrestling club FB page.  This was early in the morning and only half of the kiddos
Get there early even if it means sitting around and waiting.  You may need to do skin and nails check if you club was not allowed to do it the week before. I am unsure on the rules of how this works.  You want to stake your claim and all of the good claims get staked quickly.  Again, some like being in the gym and some like being out, it's your preference.   My ears are still ringing from being in the gym from start time at 9 am till almost 2.

Get ready for tears.  Tears of joy, frustration, and just plain I don't want to do this flow readily.  There was a ton of emotion.  Melly warned me, so this didn't surprise me, but it could others.  What did surprise me was the amount of parents yelling at their kiddos when they did cry.  I know they need to be tough, but what happened to compassion? I am okay with crying because you lost, because you know what, it shows you care!!!!  It shows you had a ton of emotional investment in that outcome, and I think that is super!  If you lost and didn't care, should you be in the sport?  We saw lots of hugs and cuddles and it's okay, but for every good action we saw, we saw equally bad actions.  In our ring, we only had one kiddo that absolutely did not want to wrestle at all.  They got her out on floor, she shook hands, and then she scratched.  I would be okay with that, and her parent was as well.   Honestly, I am a shocked we didn't see that more, as I had the 6 and under table/mat.  My biggest fear for andrew was that he would get huge stage fright and do the same.  That leads me to my next point.

Get ready for a supercharged crazy atmosphere.  Lots of YELLING, SCREAMING, and movement.  I was totally unprepared that the mats would be sectioned off and would be full of wrestling areas for the kiddos, so there were refs and kids and parents and coaches crammed everywhere.  I learned that you have to have a coach from the team present at each match.  You can be down on the mat, screaming with your coach, and yes I joined in.  You know me, I can't be quiet and yep, I love to use my big old voice, so in the video, you can hear my screaming :) .   I have never seen a sport where parents can get right down into the action, and be right there inches away from the kiddos while they perform!

Now onto how Andrew did.  Here are the positives:

He walked un assisted onto the mats, got his leg bands on, and shook hands enthusiastically every match.  I was really worried when I saw how intense it was, that his stage fright would overcome his desire to wrestle.  Nope.  We had to hold him back till his match time every single time.

Even though he kind of looked like he wanted to run, he attempted to wrestle each time, or should I say took the fall, and kind of tried to get out.  He got pinned three times, but got up with a smile on his face each time, and wanted to go back out each time and do it again.

I think he handled the waiting okay.  I was working at the table, so I didn't get to have to entertain him all day, so maybe I will let my hubby chime in on this one.  We had coloring books and a DVD player for him to watch.  Do know that with that many people WIFI will be sketchy so don't just rely on netflix or internet on your phone.  I am super glad we brought the portable DVD player.

We honestly didn't care how he placed, as long as he went out and tried, or just went out and had FUN!  This tournament had a round robin style format, so Andrew got a medal for last place.  I know, I know, we give medals for everything, but at this age,  he needs the reinforcement for trying.  It this little medal is what keeps him going and keeps him in the game, so be it.  I reinforce my dogs 100% when learning a new behavior so the same goes for my kiddo.

Overall, we had a great experience with our first tournament and I am super proud of andrew.  We may do one more tournament this year and then rest till next year or we may end on a good note.  We will let Andrew decide closer till time for entry.  He came away from the tournament with a great experience and I am so happy he did.  Our expectations were met, and he actually tried to get out of the pin in one of the matches!!!!

If you are a wrestling mom, feel free to add some points for what to do and what to bring!  I am still learning!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week 3 Training for the Heartland 50

I am so glad my mojo for strength training is back! Now to get rid of some this soreness.  OUCH!  I am so rusty and so sore right now.

Monday:  Rest day.  Since we feared the ice storm that didn't really totally happen, we didn't get our usual shopping done, so headed out to grocery shop.

Tuesday:  Negative ladder.  Okay, so I am letting coach add back one day a week of speed work.  Had hoped to do this outside, but the rain all day monday and the overnight freezing temps and prospect of ice forced us to our mills.  I am going to admit, I really, really liked this workout.  Basically each timed interval were an increase in pace till the final interval, which was the shortest, and it was an all out sprint.  Honestly, I am always scared of doing speed work on the mill, but this one worked, as the interval times were very doable.  I do feel like I could have run a bit faster in the end, but I didn't know that going in.  I have lost a ton of speed not doing speed work at all, so I had no clue what I was capable of.  I started out in the 12 minute/mile range and worked down to almost a 9 minute mile, but of course the overall speed posted on map my run was my easy speed.  I look forward to doing this work out on the road when I can really push it and not fear falling off!

Wednesday:  Strength.  Well, that was suppose to be done, more strength work. Instead, we had 50 degree temperatures calling my name.  Decided to run post work since the weather was so nice!  Glad I did because there was even some daylight left when I headed out.  My running partner melly is down with a cold, so it was nice to run in the light on a week day, even if it was fleeting.

Thursday:  5-6 miles with 5x 30 second strides, 1 minute recovery.  Since I switched out Wed for Thursday's work out, I was suppose to get up early and do strength.  I kind of forgot, slept in, and didn't get my work out in early.  Thursday nights are practice nights for wrestling, so I didn't get to work out till late.  I got er done, but only 2 rounds and didn't get to do any pistol squats on my right leg.  My right hip has been hateful lately and now I think even though I am foam rolling like a boss, that my knee is joining the pity party.  Oh well, got everything else done including pistol squats on my left leg.

Friday:  I had strength planned or at least cross training.  Instead I ended up working the tournament set up till late and then going to bed early.  My knee felt off all day, so I figured a little rest won't be the end of the world.

Saturday:  Andrew's first tournament and recovery miles.  Yeah, this one was suppose to be for sunday, but i had to flip flop days again. I think I will do a separate post about andrew's first tournament, because I learned and saw so much, but the overall gist of it is, he went out on the mat, by himself, attempted to sort of wrestle, and had a big grin on his face the whole day.  I call that a win!  Post working the table all day and helping where I could, I ended up running post tournament while andrew and hubby were decompressing.  Just did four to see how my knee would tolerate running.  While it didn't hurt per se, it still felt off.  Post running I iced it for 20 minutes and then took a nice hot bath.  Will have to see how it feels during my long run.

Sunday:  13 miles.  This run sucked from the start and never ceased sucking.  First, my watch informed me it was dying.  Okay, got it stopped and got my mapmyrun phone app started.  Then my phone died, even though I had a hot hands on it and it was not that cold.  It was muddy from start to finish so bad that in some places, I had to walk.  I walked a lot because I did not feel good at all.  All in all, it sucked, it's done and I am glad.  The only good part was it wasn't that cold out and the wind wasn't too bad.

27.5 miles.  My hip and right knee still aren't happy and I need to get this figured out. I went ahead and got new shoes, but I don't want to wear them yet till it is a bit less muddy.  My coach asked if the strength training itself did this or something else.  My hip has been tight, not sore, so I don't know if doing the pistol squats irritated it or what.  I may be off of strength training this week till I either get in a Body First or with Dr. F at Joint Fit.

Have a great weekend and rest of the week!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Training Week 2: Heartland 50 here we come!

Here's to a better week!  This cold isn't letting go gently though, still got some major congestion and I am the queen of snot rockets, but a lot less fatigue.  Here is how the week played out.

Monday:  Rest day.  I was a voracious reader before my kiddo came along.  The boxes and boxes of books in our junk room and our very full book cases are testament to that.  Now that he is getting older and likes to do independent play/coloring/videos, I can get back to my habit.  Last night I finished the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  AMAZING!  I want to go hike the PCT now!  I also want to watch the movie.  I had previously started it and just couldn't get into it.  Now I need to see if the places I made up in my head match the actual scenes.

Tuesday:  5 miles easy.  When we got up, it was 52 degrees out.  WHAT?  Is this winter?  Don't get me wrong, I will take it, but it was weird to be over dressed in January.  I knew I would be, but I am in the habit of wearing my winter gear and I did.  Luckily, I always wear light layers and I could take things off.  I also took Stella out post run for a 15 minute walk.  I am glad to say she pulled the entire 15 minutes and wanted to keep going.  I hope we are on a good road and can start the wean off of the pred AND beat this mess and get her back to running!

Wednesday:  Strength training.  I have mentioned several times I had no motivation to do any type of strength training.  I love the way I feel when I do it and after I do it,  I just can't get in the groove to get it done.  I just don't have the addiction to the feeling.  That is why BRFs are the best.  Melly offered to open up her basement and her eyes to help me get back in the groove.  Even though she had to go to the gym and lift before I got there, she went through 2 reps of exercises with me and made sure my form was correct.  We could have done three reps of the exercises, but she stopped me at 2, as my form was starting to get a little iffy.  As I type this, I feel like jello, so I know it was a good decision.

Thursday:  6 miles.  Wow, what a cold run.  The wind chill was above 0, but the wind was just one of those super cold, cutting winds.  We decided to run in town versus our country route to try and stay sheltered and that plan sort of worked.  We ended up doing a big loop around town that got us 6 miles, all while staying pretty much tucked into houses.  I tried to take miss stella ella on a walk post run, but I just too cold and had to go back.  We got 10 minutes in and I caught a Clefairy so it was worth it. Yes, I still play Pokemon go:) .

Friday:   Long run.  We had in impending ice storm barring down on us, so since I had to the day off to take stella to KSU vet med, I decided to go ahead and move my long run pre ice storm and stay off of the treadmill.  It was cold but no wind, so not too bad at all.  Melly went with us and we just talked the entire 2 hours.  Major therapy session.  We ended up a mile out when we were done, so we enjoyed a nice long cool down walk .

Saturday:  Woke up to no ice yet, so instead of doing my strength training and potentially either doing a treadmill run sunday or no run at all due to no power, I decided to head out and get 5 miles.  Again, no wind, so the 20s felt great.  I have great gear and can tolerate some pretty cold conditions.  Am thinking I should do a VLOG to show you my favorite winter gear!

Sunday:  While the ice storm hasn't been quite as bad as they predicted, today was definitely a stay in kind of day.  We played board games, colored, did some strength training, and  watched some movies.   I am hoping by publishing this early in the day that I don't jinx myself and it gets worse, but at this time, we still have power and heat, and I am very happy that the weather predictions of  a crippling ice storm seem to be wrong.   I don't think we got the overnight ice that we possibly could have gotten, which helped immensely.  I feel bad for those that canceled events yesterday, since we got little to nothing in the way of ice, but i would rather be warned and prepared and them wrong, than not prepared at all.

I finally feel like I am getting back in the groove and dare I say, wanting some speed work???   Who am I?  I have been super sore from the strength training and yes, I am having to start back at square one when I was on square 100, but oh well, I am getting back to it and that is what counts. I keep saying in my head, that is what all the good ultra runners do and I want to be the best ultra runner I can be. 28 miles in and two sets of strength training work outs!  BOOM!

Have a great week!!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week 1 Official Training for the Heartland 50

The cold I talked about last week in my posts is still lingering.  I have pretty much been in bed or lazing around since last Friday, and have not run at all, hoping that would help me get better quicker.   Here is how the first official week of training went, which of course was not according to plan, but that is life.

Monday:  official rest day.  I slept almost 12 hours and woke up feeling a bit better.  No fever, but still extreme fatigue any time I tried to do anything productive.  Also, the coughing started.  Mostly upper chest and only when I get hot, but still coughing scares the hell out of me.  I have coughed my way through training and landed myself with Pneumonia in the past. I don't have time to be off sick, with all the time I have had to take off taking Stella for her appointments.  Well, I have the time, I just don't want to let my new boss down, as he is expecting a lot of research out of me in the new year.  Plus, my original lab has suddenly picked up, so I have more than enough work in both labs.

Tuesday:  Coach gave me some lee way this week, since I was still actively sick/recovering.  I decided to not get up at 4 am and get as much sleep as possible, and possibly run post Stella's appointment.  That meant abandoning my running partner to run on her own, but I had to recover as much as possible.  Unfortunately,  just the act of taking Stella in to town and waiting for her exam wore me out.  This is the gift that just keeps on giving.  Thanks stupid cold.

The exam was routine, so not much to report.  I am still as I type this waiting on the CBC report.  We are staying the course as of now, and not changing anything medication wise.  Just to show us she was feeling better, she grabbed a bag of apples off of the counter and partook in at least one, while sharing the other three with her brother.  I found one that had just been chewed on, one partially eaten, and a whole pile that had just been thrown up.  AH the life of a dog mom!  

Wednesday:  Another rest day thanks to this cold.  I finally had to head back to work, and while the day went pretty well as I was super busy, when I got home, I was seriously beat.  Andrew had wrestling again since their schedule was dictated by the high school tournament happening this week.

We got our wrestling pictures back.  WOW!  They did such an awesome job!  I have asked the company that did the shots for digital rights so I can post on FB.  I just LOVE this picture!

A little update on stella's CBC.  I am still confused.  Her WBC was elevated but minimally.  KSU wants to do a recheck, but they can't say really why.  The elevation was not bad and with her being on immunosupressors, it should be much much lower so there is that.  I am still trying to process the why, and just go with the fact that they have some reasoning.  At least the recheck and blood work is pretty cheap.  

Thursday:  Decided I would try and run today on the mill.  While I felt fine during the run, well other than a leaky nose, when I got off the mill, I felt like a bus had hit me full on.  I just sat in my computer chair for a while and stared at the computer, not even doing anything.  I have never had fatigue like this with a simple cold.  I guess I will have to take it easy the rest of the week, and not get back to training like I had hoped.  Life.  Oh well.  

Friday:  Took another rest day.  I am starting to feel a little better, and got through work without wanting to collapse in a heap.  I did get to bed early, but didn't feel like a horrible mess.

Saturday:  a longish run with Melly.  I really honestly didn't know how long I could go for.  We planned for 6-8 and we managed 8.  It was feels like -5 when we started, but no wind.  I will take a snowy cold day minus wind any day over a windy day!  The snow was pretty light on the roads, so didn't really need our icespikes or yaktraxs.  I felt okay during the run, a little draggy at the end, but not too bad.  I took fuel and when we walked at the 4 mile turn around, I went ahead and took it, whether i needed it or not.  

Overall, it was good to be outside with Melly and Deuce.  This is Deuce's first winter training, since stella is still down and out for running.  I made sure he had Musher's Secret on his feet, and even put his fleece coat on him.  I am contemplating getting him a performance coat from Hurrta but it is 80 bucks so will have to wait till next paycheck.

I may or may not have spent most of the rest of the day in my pjs, post shower.  

More pics from the frozen tundra:)

Sunday:  Again, I wasn't really sure exactly what I was going to do.  On one hand, I kind of felt like a 10 or 12 miler would be nice, but on the other hand, I kind of felt like 8 was probably good for a long run for the way this week had gone.  Slept in with little red, did some work at work and took it easy till later.  

We lunch at Arrow Coffee shop and it was yummy.  I am pretty sure I could eat their grown up grilled cheese every day! Finally got on the road early afternoon and got in 6.  Called it good for the week.  I guess you could call it a cut back week?

Not the way I wanted the first week of training to start but 18 total miles for the week.  Looking forward to getting better mileage next week!  Have a great week!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Guest Post-Coach Jenny on Running her First Ultra

I have been so blessed to have three amazing running coaches in my life.  I am currently coached by Jenny Clayton Clayton Performance.  I have had her on my blog a few times once here to introduce herself and here to talk about Boston 2015.  I just love picking her brain about just about anything related to running, so I knew I had to have her on again to talk about her first 50K!  We both attempted a new distance this fall and I can't wait to see what she conquers next.  Without further ado, I give you coach Jenny!

Tell us which ultra you ran and the distance.  How did you select this particular Ultra?

I ran Stump Jump 50K on October 1st, 2016.  This race is in Chattanooga, TN.  There was very little complicated thought behind choosing this particular race.  It was the right distance (I wanted a 50K for my first ultra experience), it was close to home (only about a 2 hour drive), and the date of the race worked well with other things I had on my calendar.  Also, I have several friends who have done this one before and spoke very highly of how beautiful the course scenery is.  Plus I'd heard the race itself is well-organized. Those reasons were enough for me to be all in!

How did you train differently for this ultra, versus a road marathon?  More miles? Back to back long runs? More trail time?

I definitely spent a lot more time on the trails while training for this one.  Beginning in early August, every single long run was on the trails.  Typically I did one other medium-length run during the week on the trails as well.  I continued with my Tuesday track workouts, hopeful that it would preserve some of the speed I'd built over the last year or so.  Unfortunately, that didn't exactly happen.  But I did enjoy the constant change of scenery and pace that this training cycle brought.  I know it seems completely backwards, but I actually ran fewer miles training for this race than I had recently.  I was coming off of Boston in April of 2016, where I had done pretty significant mileage to train (peak was 80 miles/week).  I intentionally cut back a little bit just to give my mind/body a little bit of a rest.  I truly was doing this ultra for the fun of it and the experience.  I didn't feel as driven to put in weeks and weeks of high mileage.  I think my peak week for Stump Jump was 62 miles.  I did several weekends of back to back long runs.  That meant maybe 20-22 miles on Saturday, and another 12-14 on Sunday.  That was HARD!  Honestly, it was more mentally difficult than physically though.  By the time Sunday would roll around, I'd feel like all I ever do anymore is run.  And I just wanted to sit around with the family and be lazy.  But more often than not, I'd manage to make it out the door for another long one.      

Did you buy any new gear or incorporate any new gear?

New shoes, of course!  I had one pair of New Balance trail shoes already, but they hadn't gotten too much use.  Turns out I didn't really like them.  I settled on a pair of Pearl Izumi that were great.  I have about 300 miles on them now and they still look and perform like new.

I also bought a hydration vest by Camelbak.  This was an absolute lifesaver.  I could not have survived summer training without a way to consume a significant amount of fluid while on the run.  It has a removable bladder that's easy to clean.  The vest itself has tons of great storage too.  Plenty of pockets for food, phone, keys, salt tabs, whatever! I also feel like it really made me look the part of an experienced trail runner- ha!  

What did you do for nutrition?  Find something new or just use an old standby?

I incorporated some new things into the mix this time.  I found it's much easier (and necessary!) to eat actual real food while training such a long distance.  I still did a fair amount of my usual stuff- gu and shot bloks, but I also changed it up from time to time with peanut butter crackers and pretzels, some different types of candy, and on race day salt and vinegar Pringles.  YUM!

Describe the course.  Terrain, sights and sounds.  Aid stations.  Finish and start line.

The course was breathtaking.  We climbed 11,000 feet up onto a ridge in the mountains of East Tennessee.  The view from up there was simply beautiful.  Lush green trees and mountains as far as you could see.  I thought the terrain was brutal!  I know it's all relative, and there are certainly much harder courses out there, but it was a lot more technical than what I had trained on.  There was never really ever a very long stretch that was run-able.  I was constantly stopping or slowing down to brace myself for a very, very steep descent, a very, very, steep incline, or to jump from one boulder to the next.  There is actually about a 2 mile section of the race they call "the rock garden" that had the biggest, most impressive boulders I've ever seen.  It was gorgeous, but a little difficult for me mentally because there was zero running happening during that stretch.  The aid stations at this race were fantastic.  Every two miles, you could count on a fully stocked table.  Most every one also had volunteers there to help with whatever you need.  The aid station at mile 20 had a drop bag station.  I had prepared a drop I bag, but ended up not really using much out of it.  I think only grabbed my Pringles and some cinnamon candies.  The start and finish lines were very low-key.  I'm used to big road marathons, so it was a whole different experience.  But in some strange way, it felt just right.  A huge, screaming finish would have felt so odd after all those hours in the relative quiet of the woods.  I felt great at the finish line, just SO ready to be done.

Nerves before the race or felt fine?  Travel to day of or stay overnight the night before?  Family come with or stay home?

I really wasn't nervous at all.  My training had gone really well and I had no injuries to speak of, so I felt super confident that I could finish.  I had put absolutely no pressure on myself regarding a time goal, so maybe for the first time in my life, I REALLY was just out there for fun.

I stayed in a local hotel the night before.  I actually had tossed around driving over to Chattanooga the morning of the race, but decided against it.  That would have made for a VERY long day.  I didn't have any family at this race.  My husband would have normally come along to support me, but he was in Guatemala on a medical missions trip on this particular weekend.  My parents came to my house to stay with my two young boys, so I was on a solo adventure!  It was actually really nice to have a night to myself in a hotel and some "me time" before the race.

Did the race execute as you had planned or hoped for? Running wise/nutrition wise/hydration wise.

Well...I completely underestimated the technicality and difficulty of the course.  So given those unknowns, I ended up with a finishing time that was quite a lot slower than what I had thought was reasonable.  I thought I'd finish somewhere between 6:45-7:00.  My actual time was 7:44.  Even so, I felt really, really good throughout the race.  Yes, certainly, I was tired by the final miles.  I was really starting to feel all those feet I had climbed.  My feet and ankles were pretty beat up from boulder hopping and the rockiness of the course.  But my nutrition was right on.  Hydration was right on.  I never had any GI or energy issues.  For that I was very, very grateful.

How did it feel to finish this race?

AMAZING!!  I ran most of the race with a young lady, Alexis, that I met on the course.  She was instrumental in my enjoyment of the race.  We chatted and kept each other going for well over 6 hours that day.  We crossed the finish line together and that made it even more special.

How much recovery time did you take off post-race and what are some of the things you did?

I didn't run at all for a little over a week, and then started back very, very gradually with some very short easy runs.  I spent a good amount of time during that first month afterwards on the bike and in the pool.  I also got a massage!

Plans for another Ultra any time soon?

I'm considering another one for next summer/early fall.  But the next big thing on my brain right now is Boston, which is all-consuming.  I definitely want to do another at some point.  I think the 50 miler is up next!

Thanks Coach Jenny for giving us a recap!  I think we may need another Boston recap after Boston this year:).

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Year in Andrew Part Two

Blogger was giving me trouble so I had to split this post into two.  I give you August-December in a Year of Andrew!

Our Grandmas would be proud

First kid's race in the books

First day of Pre-K

First day of Soccer 
Stealing my Konquer the Konza 25K medal

Bubbles at Sue's house 

Pokemon crazy

Superman costume

First time bowling

Waiting for mommy to finish her first 50K

Grammy makes the best costumes!

First soccer season done!

First real steamie!

Zoo time

Trick or treating in downtown Wamego

Baby's first popeyes

Helping in my new lab

First wedding

Celebrating mommy's birthday at Umi Japanese Steakhouse

First wrestling clinic

Cake pops and hot chocolate

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi Santa, I am still shy

And so it begins

Angry Bird's hat and mittens

Doughnut day at our favorite Doughnut shop in Wamego

Last Christmas Program at Little Love Bugs

Grandma comes for Christmas

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Carriage ride in downtown Wamego with Santa

A little bit of snow = sledding

Our little Cowboy
Thanks for joining me and my little two legged red for 2016! 2017 means the last year of preschool and the first year of big boy school!  Please slow down time!