Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sh*t Happens

Well, the time has come to except the fact that I need surgery. I've mentioned before that my feet just KILL me. I run long races and then suffer greatly with toes that just ache and hurt sooo bad, but I just suck it up because that is how I do it.

During TRT 50 mile, my 4th toe was degloved. Look up the word and be prepared to be grossed out. It hurt like heck and I have been cursing my feet ever since. Yesterday I went to the Doctor who took one look at my feet and said, rather rudely, OMG, those are some painful looking toes! Yeah, I was really embarrassed and I made it perfectly clear that surgery would have to wait until hell freezes over. After an extensive checkup, I felt quite convinced that surgery would definitely help me in the long run. Four of my toes need major work. Four out of five toes really suck, huh? What? I've got races to run, places to see. But then I think, you know what? I need surgery so I can run the races I want and see the places I seek. So there you have it, surgery it is. I don't know when, but it's looking like sooner than later. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Running on the Tahoe Rim Trail

Last Saturday, I toed the starting line of the TRT 50 mile. TRT 50 mile is a tough race. With heat and elevation, it always kicks my butt. Saturday was no exception. My training leading up to TRT was sucky. A 38 mile run at Western States ( I was pacing), and a 25 mile slow, time on my feet, kind of run at Lake Sonoma. That was it and it was not ideal. I was in 50k shape, but certainly not 50 mile shape. Especially this race.

My personal best time there was 10:31 and I struggle to repeat that time. I finished this year in 10:43. Ugh. Miles of bad stomach and mental torture were on the menu for me this year. It must be the altitude that makes running this race so hard for me. Oh, well. I am so happy that I am healthy and able to run at all. Fifty miles is a HELL of a long way no matter how you cut it. I'll take 10:43, no problem!

I am excited and motivated as I write this. I have 3 races that I am looking at that get my heart pumping. I need that. There is something about having a goal to run towards. I will let you know what they are as they become a reality. Two are 100 milers and one is a stage race. Woohoo!

On Friday, my son and I are going on a 3 day backpacking trip. We are going to have so much fun! We are both rookies at this, so I am keeping my toes and fingers crossed that everything will go smoothly. Whatever happens out there, I feel privileged to be able to spend time with a wonderful 23 year old!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Adventure of life

In the adventure of life, there are those who live it vicariously and enjoy the ride in the safety of an arm chair. And that's good. There are those who have a few choices to realize an incredible and life changing experience, and though they don't repeat them, they carry with them a growth in personal philosophy for the rest of their lives. And there are those whom a taste is never enough. For whom the lust of adventure is nearly insatiable. The end of one adventure only signifies the beginning of another. Survivor Man

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dreaming of the extreme

I have been so consumed with Hardrock lately, that I haven't really been very interested in blogging. Watching this video makes me want to sign up ASAP! Pacing there two years ago was one of the most incredible things I have done. Maybe if I sign up I will be picked in the lottery. Fingers and toes crossed:)

My training has been consistent, but without any real long runs. I am going to run TRT 50 miler this Saturday and I don't feel real confident about it. I wish I had gotten in a few more long runs. Oh well, I struggle there regardless if I am very trained or hardly trained. I shoulda, coulda, woulda. I am just going to show up and do my best! What else can I say? One thing that is know for sure is that I will be sporting my favorite running socks. Drymax. Anything else is not worth my time. Try them, you will LOVE them.

My son Caleb and I are going on a 3 day backpacking trip to the Emigrant Wilderness area in two weeks. We are both excited at the thought of spending some quality time together. Two days after we get back he is headed for a 25 day trip in Europe! Then he is strapped for four more years of Graduate School. This is a perfect time for him to travel.

My twisted sis, Suzanna, just got back from pacing at Badwater. She paced Kermit Cuff and she summed up her experience there as only, EPIC! Gotta love those extreme adventures!

Have a great weekend and get out and move.

Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable, and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. Eckhart Tolle

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pacing at Western States

Pacing the last 38 miles of Western States last Saturday was simply.....perfect. I met my runner and now good friend, Leonardo Soresi in Costa Rica in Feb. when we both competed in The Coastal Challenge. He lives and works as a Journalist in Italy. We had a few brief encounters and he helped me put up my tent one afternoon, but other than that we were strangers.

When I heard that he might need a pacer, I immediately was interested. I did let myself get a little nervous when I thought that the possibility of him out running me was high. After several weeks and emails, I felt confidant that I could run fast enough for 38 miles to bring him home to Auburn.

Leonardo wasn't sure if he could finish Western States. He had had a bad flu virus that had forced him to taper before he was ready. His training going into Western States was questionable. Don't we always feel that way before a big race? His confidence was wavering.

I picked him up at Foresthill which is the 62 mile aid station. He came into there later than expected, as he had taken about an hour rest at Michigan Bluff. He almost DNF'd there with low blood pressure and fatigue. After his rest, he left Michigan and began the climb out of Volcano Canyon. Leo looked good coming into Foresthill and it was great to finally see him. We headed down California street with Michael Jackson's song Beat it, playing loud from someones yard. Our run to the river was smooth and steady. At Fords Bar, Leonardo took a 10 minute rest and then felt renewed. The rest of the race was strong. We ran all the flats and downhills and power walked the ups. It was exciting to watch his confidence and his mental strength growing. Quitting was not an option. We passed lot's of runners. I loved that part. Picking off people ahead of us. Passing runners on the uphills. My competitive nature was in full swing. I felt great, heck, I was only running 38 miles! I am sure that Leo was swearing at me under his breath, but he never wavered. The run onto the track and across the finish line in Auburn was fantastic. It was an honor to pace Leo, and I was so happy for him. He finished in 26:52:12! He is the first native Italian to finish in the history of the race. I am so happy for him!

Out of 399 starters, 238 runners finished. It was a hot day out there and anyone who stood at the start line deserves a "hell ya". As always, this race picks me up. It renews my spirit. Until next year.......