Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Dixie Dog and I ran 7 miles today along the Rillito Wash path. For the most part, I can run on dirt the whole way. I felt like I could run forever.

I wore my 'Scream' socks because of Halloween. Edvard Munch is the famous artist of the work, 'The Scream'.

Dixie and I had a great time, of course, just running until the sun went down. She chased some rabbits and I chased her!
It feels good to not have a race coming up this weekend. I'm just getting back into my normal mileage, and enjoying my running. I also did a weight workout tonight, of which I have skipped the leg portion of the last two weeks because of my races. I feel strong and stu
rdy! I ran 5.5 miles on Monday, 6+ miles yesterday (speed workout at the Workout Group) and 7 miles today. I'll probably get about 40 miles this week. I'll be doing a 12 mile run on Saturday. I miss my long run - it has been almost 3 weeks since I have run long because of the races. I also miss running with my Chiclets!

What a great day! Life is excellent! I'm thankful that I have so much goodness in my life!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Oracle 10k Run - DONE!

I ran and finished the Oracle 10k run (6.2 miles for all you non-runners out there) today - what a hard race! The town of Oracle is a little north of Tucson, and is really pretty. The course is VERY hilly with RELENTLESS uphill sections throughout the whole course. After mile 3, the race is downhill for about a mile. Psychologically that tricked me, because after that, the crazy uphill sections started again and stayed that way until the end of the race and I didn't expect it! I finished the race pretty spent. Also, I think I was still recovering from last week's Bisbee 1000. Two races two weekends in a row is tough - especially with all the steps (last week) and hills (last week and this week). However, I placed 2nd in my age group! The winner of my age group was actually the Women's Master's winner, so I got moved up and received the 1st place prize! My race time was 57:22. It was a very small race, with only 95 finishers. I finished 38th overall. Actually, there were only 8 people in my age group, but I still feel great about my victory. Turning 40 is excellent!
This race has great schwag! It is so close to Halloween, so everything is a 'skeleton' motif. The t-shirts are super awesome, they give lots of really great general prizes away and the age group winner prizes are fantastic. I think I'll hang mine on the wall (it is a handmade tile) - here it is:

The start line of the race is made up all the t-shirts from the past races. This was their 25th annual race. I think I'll do this one again. I'm stuggling lately with a little nausea, cramps and dehydration during races, so I'll have to figure out what is going on with that. Otherwise, what a great time I had! I love running!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ed Viesturs in Tucson!

He was here! Ed Viesturs came with Micah Dash (an amazing big wall climber) to Tucson for the Mountain Hard Wear Sharp End Tour. They showed slides of their recent adventures, including Ed's journey to summit the world's 14 highest peaks (greater than 8,000 meters) without supplemental oxygen. Awesome! He finished in 2005. Congratulations, Ed!
I got my picture taken with Ed and got him to sign my copy of his book "No Shortcuts to the Top". If you haven't read it, it is an excellent book. He just looks like a regular guy, doesn't he?

His motto is "Getting to the top is optional; getting down is mandatory". He is a safe climber and a nice guy who will stop to help someone on the mountain at the expense of reaching his own summit goal. Ed was up on Everest during the Spring of 1996, when the horrible storm hit. This storm killed accomplished mountaineers, including Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, and severely injured others, including Beck Weathers and Makalu Gau. 8 people died. Ed and the rest of David Brashears Everest IMAX movie crew were instrumental in the rescue attempt. If you haven't read about this disaster, read "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakaer. One of the best books I have ever read.

What does this have to do with running? Well, I love reading all sorts of survival, mountaineering and adventure books, because I want to see what people have in them that helps them do the things they do. I want to know where they find the strength to perservere in the face of disaster and despair. If I adopt some of those attitudes and actions, my running (and my life!) can go to a new level!

Also, Ed trains for his mountain climbing by running 4 days on, 1 day off, 7-8 miles a day of hilly terrain.
Running is the best sport and builds excellent cardiovascular ability. Just ask Ed!

Thank you Ed for coming to Tucson!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bisbee 1000 - Done!

Today, I ran and finished the Bisbee 1000, a stair climb race in Bisbee, AZ, which is a little over 1.5 hours from Tucson. It is about 5,000 foot elevation there. It is my birthday today, (okay, I'm 40!!!!!) so I wanted to do something fun to celebrate. The race consists of 9 sets of stairs (Bisbee is very hilly, therefore, lots of stairs) totalling 1,034, with stretches of running in between. The race distance isn't disclosed (not measured), but word is that it is around 5 miles, including stairs. My finish time was 49:09, which I was thrilled about, because it was 4th place in my age group (4/30)! I am in a new age group now since I turned 40. I also came in 181 overall out of 797. Turning 40 is great!

It was extremely hard; it is a combination of very steep uphill and downhill running with intermittent sets of steps, which I just couldn't run very much. I only ran one set in the middle of the race - I think I got a burst of energy, but that didn't last long! It was a fun time and I was proud of myself. I'm so glad that I'm active at 40 years old, and I hope to be for a long time to come! I was super happy that Kenny came along to celebrate with me - he was great, running around the course, snapping pictures and offering encouragement. I feel very blessed.

Kenny and I drove to Bisbee last night and spent the night at the Sleepy Dog Guest House, which was awesome! It is owned by local artist, Tad Cheyenne Schutt, who does amazing watercolor paintings that look just like photographs. She decorated this place so wonderfully! There are so many things to look at - I could have stayed there for weeks! It sits up on the hillside, with a beautiful view of downtown Bisbee, and was so quiet. I actually got sleep before the race! The bed was super comfy with nice linens and she even had complete fixin's for breakfast in the fridge (seriously - toast, cereal, grits, cream of wheat, oatmeal, eggs). We'll definitely be back. It is a getaway for sure. One of the best places I have ever stayed.

Parting thought for the day: There is no point in not trying! I borrowed that from Sarah's running blog.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dixie Dog is back!!!

My faithful running companion has returned from vacation in Colorado with my wonderful husband Kenny and so we went running today! We ran 5 miles along the Rillito River (wash, no water running!) We had a grand time and I wore her out. The weather is finally a little cooler here, but she is used to Silverton, CO weather, which is about 30-40 degrees cooler than Tucson.

I ran 38 miles this week. I have been averaging from 35-42 miles per week since May. Next year when I train for both the Bataan Memorial Death March marathon (26.2 miles) and the PCT Forest Park 50k (31 miles), it won't be so hard - I'll just increase my long runs in both length and intensity (elevation gain and hills). I hope to become a better trail runner over the next year and gain more strength in my legs and ankles.
Funny - I can't seem to remember what I did with all my time when I wasn't running all the time.
Must not have been anything important.... :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday Chiclet Run!

Today, Lisa, Nancy, Sue and I ran about 13 miles around Tucson. We started at the Rillito River (at Campbell), went South through the University of Arizona and Sam Hughes neighborhoods and then back to the Rillito through town and via a small section of trail that I just love!

It was great to have Lisa (in the picture on the right) and Nancy back; they went to the Chicago marathon last weekend, and for all the insanity reported there, they made the best of it! These women are amazing! I'm proud to call them my friends. Nancy is getting married this week. Congratulations Nancy - isn't love grand?
I was a little sore today during my run. Yesterday, I used the Stairclimber for 45 minutes. Whew! I'm hoping the Bisbee stair climb race (Bisbee 1000) is easier than that! At any rate, I'm turning 40 years old on the day of the race - October 20th - so I will be proud of myself either way! I can think of no better thing to do to celebrate a major birthday than by getting our there and being a part of life. So many people I know sit on the couch and watch other people have a life on television. I'm thankful that God has given me such a rich and full life.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Phoneline Trail - Sabino Canyon

Today, Laurie and I ran the Phoneline trail in Sabino Canyon. It was my first time running it and it was steep-very rocky. We ran from the Visitor's Center to the Phoneline trail, took it to the end, and then ran the Sabino Canyon 'tram road' back to the parking lot, which was about 10 miles total. She said it would be great training for the Bisbee Stair Climb race and it was! This morning was cold for this time of year (for Tucson), about 50 degrees at the start, so I wore a jacket. Total elevation gain - 1,348 and total elevation loss - 601 for a net gain of 748. It was definitely challenging.We had a great time - Laurie is so much fun and we just talked the whole time (when we weren't breathing hard!). Definitely have to do this trail again.

Laurie is going to be my new trail running partner from time to time - I'm so happy to find someone who loves trails in Tucson and is about my pace. She is training for the half Ironman, which is October 28th in Tempe, AZ. One tough gal. She also cooks, does gardening, sews, you name it. I look forward to lots of fun trail runs with her.

Any day when I do a trail run is a good day. It is going to be a good day!

Friday, October 5, 2007

One of my favorite quotes

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~ Harold Whitman