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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Crew Time

This past weekend I went to Arizona to help crew a friend that was running The Coldwater 100 miler. This was my first experience helping out like this during a race. The Race started Saturday morning at 6am. We woke up at 4:30 and made sure that we had everything we needed. You need a-lot more stuff for 100 miler than any other distance I have experienced . Luckily my friend had everything well organized in ziploc bags so all I needed to do was set everything out in the tent . 
This race consist of 5  20 mile loops. The course was hard and very rocky. I was a pacer for 1 loop and I found it difficult to run in this terrain. I think it was more of short runs and fast hikes. I did what I could but it took us almost 6 hours to go 20 miles. The night running part was very cool . I loved how bright the stars looked but once again I could do with out the freezing cold. So two guys from my running group ran in this race. Sal and Richard and I was crewing Richard. To me the craziest thing about being a spectator was how every time the runners finished a loop they looked so tired and just done. This race had a huge amount of runners that did not finish. They just couldn't go anymore. 100 miles seems to be another type of animal. This is not for the faint of heart.
This is Sal coming in after his first loop. He looked really strong and he was in top 10. It is so exciting when your friends start running in. All I  could do was scream and jump in excitement. 
This is Richard. I can't imagine how happy you must feel to be done with every loop. It must be like heaven only to have to go back out to run again .
There was a-lot of down time so here I am.. Selfie time in the tent. Yes this is my cool shirt I got from Richard for being part of his crew. The best thing about pacing and helping out someone like this guy is he was such a great listener. He let us help him. When we ran together he took his GU every hour and drank water and ate at every aid station. He looked strong but looking strong during running 100 miles comes with ups and downs. 
This is him leaving for his last loop. I can't imagine what you think about when your at mile 80 going to 100 but he did it. The other thing I feel you need is a bad as pacer. He had a friend pace him for 40 miles and she was amazing. Super positive and smart and so strong. I was very impressed by this lady. She is the real deal. 
Here we are Richards crew. He ran a good race and he had a good time doing it. It was really great to be able to help someone outside of my family. I feel like I made a difference. Next thing I want to do is volunteer for a race soon.
30 hours and 30 minutes later he crossed the finish line and got his very first belt buckle. It was really inspiring to be there and to watch the whole thing happen and to be part of something so crazy special. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The San Diego 50 miler

The night before the San Diego 50 miler  did not go as planned. My little boy was teething and he was miserable. Unfortunately I did not get to much sleep but staying up with him helped me feel less guilty about leaving him in the morning to go run.He finally settled down and went to sleep and shortly after  my alarm went of and I was up at 4am. I got ready  drank coffee did what I had to do and was out the door by 5:15. As soon as I stepped outside I thought to myself this is going to be a good day. The weather felt perfect. You know when your outside at 5am and the weather is just amazing and I knew that  this would be a good day to run. The race director Paul Jesse sent us an email everyday telling us what we might need and I knew the trail I was going to run on  so I felt prepared.  I also felt good knowing there was people I knew at the start line. I got to the start line checked in and said hi to The Trail Crashers. The super cool group of people I run with. I felt excited because I knew everyone in our group had put the miles in and worked really hard . 

The start was really pretty the sun was coming out over the mountains and there are different patches of green grass and brown dirt fields. Ahead is Raptor Ridge and its early enough that your starting to make all this out because the sun is starting to shed light all over. I always have to remind myself to take it all in. We started on a single track for about 4 miles than we ran or walked up Raptor Ridge and then came back down. First of all you know how you always read that with out the volunteers races like this could not be possible  its true. SDtrail50.com had a great group of volunteers they smiled at me when I came in and checked my pack. They made me feel like at every aid station some one was there looking out for me. I felt great for the first half. I felt strong I only had one GU and the Trail Wind and I just kept saying hi to people and feeling really grateful. I walked up the hills and ran the rest of the way and when I didn't want to run I made myself run anyway. My knee was bothering me but besides that I was great.

 This is the map of the marathon that took place during the race. It is the same trail only ours was longer. I text ed a friend at mile 15 and asked if I could barrow his knee brace and if he could bring it to me because my right leg was really tight and it just hurt and he met me at like 30 (thank you ) . Its always nice to see people you know during this races even if they are out there to bring you stuff.   Mile 30 to 40 were not my favorite. I felt tired and like I wanted to go home and lay on the couch with a smoothie in my hand. I think its the first  time during a race I really wanted to be done. I think its because it was hot at this point and I lost my focus. I kept repeating Mikes mantra strong mind strong body. Then I told myself that if I just kept running at mile 38 I could turn on my music. This is mile 38. I turned on Pandora and I chose the Michael Jackson station. First song totally reminded me of my sister and I growing up and watching her sing this to me when we were little in our bed room. The sugar hill gang rappers delight. I know how could anything go bad at this point. I love this song so much I could cry because my sister was always my hero growing up. So there I am so happy because I felt good and I had music and I am out here running this rad race.

 I got to the aid station at mile 40 and the volunteers made me feel like I had this. The lady made me a large very fancy paper cup with ice and ginger ale. The guy there told me I only had 10 miles and that I could do that in my sleep. I smiled and then he said You know you can do this in under 10 hours if you just keep running at this same pace. Suddenly I felt amazing in my head. Yes my legs still hurt and a bunch of other stuff bothered me but for me an under 10 hour 50 miler was not something I thought I could do. I got up and gave it everything I had and danced and I even cried. I just kept thinking how fortunate am I to be healthy enough to do this. My little sister has been in a wheel chair her whole life and I ran with her in my heart.That's the thing about these longer distances they take me a place that's not about any wordily belongings its just about appreciating what is in front of me. I am able to let go of any stuff I have been holding on to that does not serve me and I feel like its God and me saying thank you.  I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that's the word. 
I am almost at the finish when I see my kids sitting on a bench and they get up and run in with me to the finish line Then I see my friends cheering for me. My dad my Nina, Mike and Jack and Courtney. I felt so happy and exhausted at the same time. OK so my time was 9:55. 9 hours and 55 minutes. I am so happy with that time. I did better than I ever thought I would.

SO yes it was a great race I highly recommend running any             Off Road Pursuits race. Paul Jesse the director  offers all sorts of distances so you can run whatever distance you want. 
Until next time I am going to go roll my legs now :)


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 18th . A 50 mile review

I am happy to report yesterdays race was everything I had hoped for it was the fun, hard. I had highs and lows but it all made me stronger. I am putting my post together about the entire race. I just wanted to write this here because I do not want to forget this feeling. I have been a mother for half my life and I had such a proud moment  having two of my kids run in with me. My son and daughter are sitting on a bench 2 minutes from the finish line and my son sees me running toward him and he gets up and says "mom you are doing it and I am so proud of you " I felt so loved and then both Isabella and Christopher ran with me to the finish. I felt all happy and loved and proud. I ran a 9:55  50 mile race yesterday and It was a day I won't forget any time soon.  I am so excited to share my entire experience here. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 13

I am sitting here thinking about Saturday. My second 50 miler. There is so much to be excited and nervous about. I had dinner with some friends the other day and we talked about the journey. The question was what do you prefer finishing a race  or the journey ( the race itself ) ? I love finishing when I am almost finished but one of the best things for me is getting to the finish line. All those hours when all that matters is you running. I love that huge feeling of gratitude you get when your starting to get tired but you know you still have a long way to go so you tell yourself wait its not time yet and your body listens. Then your like Thank you Universe for listening to me. That is one of the benefits of not being fast you get more time out there on the course. I am really excited. I read this quote that totally made me smile. 
Set your pace. Choose your route. Breathe as you please and do as you want. Run to be free..