Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Me walk funny...

Pretty much since the end of the race on Saturday, I've had a 'hitch in my getalong', as Troy would say. I've had some pretty intense calf pain and a slight limp on the left side. The left side has been worse than the right, most likely because of the cambered road at the race. Almost everything on me was sore after the race - neck, shoulders, biceps (that always cracks me up that my upper body would be sore after running, but I guess it gets involved, too) stomach, quads, hamstrings, and my oh so tender calf muscles. Shins are fine! The downhill really took its toll on my calves, though.

So, I got massage today. A very gentle one. Perfect. Love my massage therapist. Feel much better now.
And, I got some new shoes to wear to work today. My slightly high heels were killing me and I was concerned that they were exacerbating my calf problem. Much better. Aren't they cute? They are Naot brand from Israel. Very comfy. I'm finally walking normal now with just some calf soreness. All other aches and pains are gone. I think they helped. The stitching is PINK. How cool is that.
Even hobbling around, I've been planning my next marathons/ultramarathons. Crazy? Am I a marathon maniac? Not yet, but I'll be putting in my credentials this week.
I'll be in Colorado the last week of August (visiting my wonderful artist husband), so I was thinking of dropping down into Albuquerque for a little New Mexico Marathon on my way back home to Tucson (it is on Sunday, August 31st, and I would be able to travel back to Tucson on Labor Day). I was also thinking of the American Discovery Trail Marathon in Colorado Springs, but that one is Monday, September 1st, and although I have that day off, I would need to be back to work on Tuesday. I would love to meet Kathleen and Steve from Colorado Springs in person and run with them on some of the lovely Colorado trails I see on their blog.
You know what I think? I think these endorphins are addictive.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Zion National Park hike - more beautiful Utah!

Just got some pictures from Sarah since my camera stopped taking pictures during my Utah race (turns out the resolution had kicked over to high sometime during my run, so my camera filled up), so I thought I would post a delayed report on my after race trip adventures.

Even though I was really sore from the Red Mountain 50k race the day before, my friend Sarah and I took a trip over to Zion National Park in Utah on Sunday, May 25th, and planned a short hike. We did the Lower, Middle and Upper Emerald Pools trails and part of the Grotto trail for a total of about 3.5-4 miles. Lots of red dirt, a few small waterfalls, and sweeping, landscape views made it a great hike. Sarah was great to hike with and we had a wonderful time!
I hobbled a little for the first part of the hike. We took it slow, but there were some rocky step-ups and downs that I had to navigate with care. I'm hoping that it helped me from stiffening up too much.

Zion National Park is amazing, and we really enjoyed driving through it on the way home. It was my second time there and I loved it. Highly recommend it. Utah is utterly breathtaking.
We headed on down into Arizona, going back home a different way. We passed Lake Powell (I want to rent a houseboat up there for a week sometime!) and went through Flagstaff, Arizona. Humphrey's Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet, was snow capped as were the adjacent mountains.

I got home late, but it was good to be back home.

Arizona is really a lovely state. I'm glad I live here.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Red Mountain 50k race report

My friend Sarah and I traveled to St. George, Utah on Friday so I could run the Red Mountain 50k on Saturday. On our way, we went over the Hoover Dam, which was pretty interesting but travel was slow moving with all the tourists.
Driving over the Hoover Dam
We arrived, picked up my race bib, technical t-shirt, and race packet (which included so many goodies!), ate dinner and were in the hotel and asleep by 10pm. I had to leave the hotel at around 4am to arrive at the race shuttle pickup, so I knew I would be fairly short on sleep. After a fitful night's sleep, I awoke before my alarm at 2:50am, after tossing and turning for an hour or more prior to that, and decided to go ahead and get up and get ready. We had lost an hour due to the time change driving into Utah, so it really was 1:50am my time! I arrived at Unity Park in Ivins early enough to chat with some of the other ultrarunners on the bus and at 4:30am were were off to the start line.

When we arrived, it was fairly cold (around 40 degrees) and still pretty dark at Central, Utah, the start of the race. It had been raining all night in Southern Utah, but the weather Gods saw fit to stop the rain shortly befor the start of the race. Many runners were clad in warm caps, tights and jackets, but I chose my usual running skirt, tank and arm warmers, knowing how quick I heat up. There were about 50 runners at the start line. After getting off the shuttle bus, I finally located Troy, also from Tucson, who I had yet to meet until race day (boy is he tall - 6'4''!) The countdown started and at 5:30am, we were off!
Some people had headlamps, but I didn't, so I just made sure that I picked my feet up well for the first few miles to avoid tripping in the dark on the uneven, slightly rocky jeep road (dirt). This road would last for 12 miles before turning to pavement for the last 19 miles. The scenery was amazing!! Everything was so full and green. My camera was acting up and taking blurry pictures (I'm getting the idea that I have dropped it a few too many times) so I don't have very many pictures of this part of the race.

Troy and I ran together and got to know each other a little bit, which was fun. He did the Zane Grey 50 mile race, so I was worried about my ability to keep up with him for too long. Although this is a downhill race, there were quite a few hills that we were reluctant to charge so early on in the race by full out running. Troy had us doing 50/50 steps going uphill. Of course, his steps were larger than mine (I'm 5'2''!), so I was doing a few more than him on each set. We would do 50 steps running/50 steps walking to tackle hills. We were having a great time!

Me and Troy at the 6 mile aid station

The scenery on this part of the race was truly spectacular and the 'oohs and aahs' from all the runners on this section were many. We did cross a creek and there were a handful of muddy sections from the rain, but nothing too technical. I could feel the mud caking on my shoes at times, but it would slough it off in the drier sections. The sun was not in sight and the clouds hung heavy over the surrounding mountains giving the area a misty, eery look. The sun didn't really peek out much until the end of the race, which allowed it to stay cool enough to feel comfortable running. It truly was a blessed day for weather.
I had met a fellow runner Mike on the shuttle bus, a super nice highly seasoned 61 year old ultrarunner (72 ultras!) from Franklin, TN, which is near Nashville. I have 2 siblings that live there, so he talked me into going to visit and doing some trail ultras up in that area (I could visit my brother and sister and run a trail ultra, too - how great is that!). He said there are so many - quite a few in Chattanooga, which is close to Nashville. Anyway, Troy and I caught up with Mike early on and we all ran together until about mile 17, sharing different race stories with each other. Ultrarunners are the nicest people. I located a port-o-potty at mile 17 and unfortunately, I never caught up with them after that. I could see them ahead for about 5-7 miles, and then I lost them.Here Mike (he doesn't look 61, does he?), Troy and I are tackling an uphill portion with a little walking Feeling good around mile 15 - halfway through!

After mile 17, I was really having some issues. I'm not sure if the lack of sleep over the last week or two got to me or what, but my legs felt horrible! I finally took some Perpetuem, which helped immensely, I was drinking plenty of water/Heed, eating lots of Clif blocks, I ate an Odwalla 'superfood' bar, which usually gives me tons of energy - I'm just not sure what was going on. I had lost Troy and Mike; I was alone from mile 17 to final mile 31; I was passed after mile 23 or so by 1 man and 3 women (for some reason I thought I must be in last place at this point!); I was struggling with extreme calf muscle pain (the downhills were fun but intense); I was weary of the pavement (which started after mile 12, the end of the jeep road); I was just plain tired. The aid stations were frequent and I would stop for at least a moment at each. I'm wondering if I really was eating enough or drinking enough. I truly suspect that I was just tired from this last month of low sleep and too much other activity and stress.

But the views! Wow! We went through a few beautiful ranch areas, lots of farmland, the rural town of Gunlock, Gunlock reservoir, and saw many amazing mountain views. My camera cut out on me around mile 20 and did not allow me to take any more pictures! I was so bummed! So, I just decided to enjoy what I was seeing and focus on positive thoughts. I was finishing this race! I would run when I could and walk when I hit small hills to save my legs. I did feel pretty good around mile 26 or so (hey, I had just finished a marathon!) and that energy lasted for a few miles.

The last 2-3 miles were really a struggle. I could hear the party at the finish line now. Only a 1/2 hour left. Only 10 minutes left. Only 3 minutes left. Yes, there is the finish line! I came in at 5:31:13. That is a 10:39 minute per mile average, which was great considering all of the walking I did throughout. I was the 7th place woman, out of 18 women finishers and 20th place overall out of 42 overall finishers. I got my heavy metal medallion placed around my neck and found Troy, who finished about 10 minutes ahead of me. What an accomplishment! I was proud of myself and surprised that I came in earlier than I had predicted. It was a PR (personal record)!

This race was so well run. They had a great deal of food at the aid stations and the finish, even a take-home goody bag of snacks and drinks for each runner on top of that. All of the volunteers were friendly and helpful; there were lots of families with cheery and upbeat kids and cute dogs at the aid stations. I would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a fast, beautiful, highly organized race, with lots of goodies!

I was already feeling sore and was walking pretty funny by the time I got back to the hotel room, so I anticipate taking a while to recover. If you can believe it, I spent a little bit of time looking up other ultramarathons online that evening!

Red Mountain 50k short report

I finished the race today in 5:31!!!!!! 31 miles!!!

I will have a full race report with pictures on Monday when I get back to Arizona. Utah is beautiful!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Road trip to Utah!!!!

Tapering for the upcoming race in Utah! I haven't run much this week - about 5 miles yesterday, and I walked the dogs this morning for a little bit. I'm having some tweaky pain in my left shin the last 2 weeks. The old familiar shin pain always rears around when I run on concrete for a little bit, which I did several weeks ago with the gals on a road run. I've been icing and resting, so I'm hoping it won't bother me during the race. I've also got some sort of pain right below my kneecap on my shin, but it is very light and intermittent.

I'll be leaving tomorrow to drive up to St. George, Utah for the Red Mountain 50k. I'm super excited. My friend Sarah (a non-runner) and I will be traveling about 8 hours or so in my 4-runner to St. George. It will be the first time I've traveled in that area of the country. We'll go over the Hoover Dam, which is supposed to be really cool, and then skip by Las Vegas (never been) and give it a wave, and then into Utah. Since the Grand Canyon is in the way, we have to travel from Arizona into Nevada, back into Arizona and then into Utah. I can't wait; I absolutely love road trips.

Race day weather - scattered thunderstorms (30% chance) and a morning low of about 41 degrees in Central, Utah, which is where the race starts (a little North of St. George). Should be warming up to about 68 degrees in Ivins, the end of the race (near St. George). I'll probably wear my arm warmers to start and then pull them off as I warm up. I'm really hoping there is no rain. I'm going to wear the same clothes I wore for Zane Grey; I had no chafing and was super comfy.

I'll be up early on race day! The race shuttle starts loading at 4:20am and leaves at 4:30am from Ivins; runners will be shuttled up to the race start in Central. Ivins is about 20 minutes from the hotel where we are staying in St. George, so I'll be getting up around 3:15am to get ready. I'm hoping to get some rest tonight, because I'm not expecting much sleep on Friday night. The race starts at 5:30am.

The course is 12 miles on jeep road (see picture above), following by 19 miles on pavement. I'm hoping the 19 miles on pavement will not injure me! It is supposed to be very pretty. Here is the elevation profile:

Lots of downhill action, so I'm hoping for a fairly fast race (well, for me). Goals:

1. Finish without injury
2. Finish in under 7 hours
3. Finish in under 6 hours. Given all the downhill and my marathon finish of 4:35, I think this goal is doable. What's 5 more miles? Ask me that on race day!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A long overdue trail run on the Yetman Trail

This morning, I went out to the Tucson Mountains (my favorite place!) and ran the Yetman Trail (Camino de Oeste trailhead) over to the Starr Pass trail and looped back. I only ran about an hour and a half because it was already heating up and I felt a little tired. I had the opportunity to run road runs with others today, but my spirit was seriously craving a trail run, so I indulged. I wasn't able to find anyone to go with me, so I enjoyed my own company (I don't even own an Ipod!) and just thought about my life, which is what I do sometimes on my trail runs. I think having to pay attention to what is right in front of me for a while (like Yoga) gets me back in the present, which is where all of the gifts of life are.
It had been 3 weeks since I did a trail run (since the Zane Grey race!) and it felt great to be out there.
Tucson Mountain Park was really beautiful today. I love the Stone House. The windows make good 'frames' for pictures. I only saw about 3 people on the trail today which was great! One guy I saw was a mountain biker who I had talked to back in February out there - he asked how my marathon (Bataan) went! What a good memory. Another female mountain biker said she loved all my pink!
The city is starting to add more trail signs and has a comprehensive plan for Tucson Mountain Park, which is great. However, that also brings more people in. I like the quiet out there.

I saw a Gila Monster on the way back to the trailhead. They are very cool looking, but poisonous. They are similar to lizards, but very large and colorful (this one was orange and black). He was about a foot or so long and wasn't interested in me at all. It was only the second Gila Monster I've ever seen out in the wild.

I ran about 25 miles for the week. I have just felt pretty wiped out, with work being full tilt right now and the rental house renovation requiring a lot of thought and attention. I figured I was tapering anyway, so it was all good! I went over to the rental house afterwards and did more raking, shoveling, and cleaning for about 5 hours. It feels never-ending over there, but it is coming along.
I'm excited about the upcoming Red Mountain 50k in Utah. Unfortunately, there is supposed to be a pretty good chance of rain in the area that day, which would be not so good in my book (born and raised in Louisiana - I'm not a lover of rain!). So, I'll hope for a shift in the weather and then just accept whatever happens!

I just love Tucson Mountain Park. Any of you Tucson trail runners want to join me out there, just email me and let me know.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Dixie and Cracker Dog early morning walk/run

No running today. I'm tired from the weekend activities and decided to take the dogs for a little 2 mile walk/run along the Rillito River path. Apparently, Dixie and Cracker are not aware that you are supposed to look at the camera when getting your picture taken!

Dixie will be going up to Silverton, Colorado with Kenny in June for the summer. I'll have Cracker to keep me company (and Yentyl, our 14+ year old blue heeler). Cracker enjoyed running a little bit, so I may take her on some smaller walk/runs in the future.
I've been eating non-stop since the Zane Grey race! Starting today (isn't it always 'starting today'?) I'm going to try and watch what I eat (and how much!) to stay healthy until the Red Mountain 50k. I don't think nutrition is everything where running is concerned, but it is important. I love sugar, and that is my downfall! I work in an office where someone is always bringing in something super sugary and fattening. I'll be focusing on eating more fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, lean meat, soy products and yoghurt. Of course, I'll never give up my dark chocolate-covered edamame!
Sweet isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes I can't believe I have such a sweet life.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Have to go back to work to rest up

After doing about 5 hours of yardwork at the rental house yesterday (on top of running 12 miles!) and about 4 hours today, I concluded that 34 miles run for the week was plenty. Lots of raking, weed pulling, rock and brick hauling, sweeping, digging up roots, rocks, and old plants (aloe vera taking over the yard) has worn me out. I did wear sunscreen 70 though, so I didn't get too much sun! It was almost 100 degrees today in Tucson.
Now I have to go back to work and sit at my desk to rest up. :)
We are coming along, though. Kenny almost has the front and back fence finished, and the wood floors are almost fully sanded. The new ceilings have been installed and all walls have been repaired and primed for painting. We have some guys helping us, of course, with the wood floors and most other jobs. The house was treated for termites today.
Although Kenny has been there full-time (putting much of his own business work aside for now) I'm only able to be there a few evenings during the week and on the weekends. I spend my lunch hours securing materials and running various errands so that I can have the weekends free.
Left to do on the rental house (I'm a to-do list person):
1. Finish yardword (my next weekend project - lots of cleaning up still)
2. Finish metal fencing, gates and carport (Kenny)
3. Put wood laminate flooring in rear bedroom - it was an addition to the house, so it did not have the original wood flooring. Using Wilsonart - high quality, 20 year warranty.
4. Do the entire bathroom (it is currently gutted) - i.e. install toilet, tub, sink, fixtures and lay tile around tub.
5. Install kitchen sink, disposal, and tile on kitchen countertops
6. Stain and seal all wood floors
7. Install laminate flooring in laundry room
8. Buy refrigerator
9. Set up washer and dryer (thanks to Nancy who donated them to us!)
10. Clean, touch-up stain and seal all window, door and floor mouldings (all dark wood; I love old houses)
11. Finish repairing, sanding and painting kitchen cabinets. I can't do any more sanding, as I have developed a cough that is either allergy related or house related, I'm not sure. At any rate, I'm not sick, so I decided that maybe the sanding was aggravating it. The guys will have to finish. I'll be cleaning and buying latches for the cabinets.
12. Paint all walls (they have already been sanded, repaired and primed).
13. Clean entire house.
14. Other miscellaneous that I'm missing. We've determined that miscellaneous is costing us about $3 to $4 thousand overall and will be one of the prime reasons we are overbudget. It really is the 'little things' in life that are costly!
15. Get a tenant. I think I'm going to want to live here when we are done! I think it will be beautiful.
Next week I'll do about the same mileage - 35 miles. Then, a one-week taper for the Red Mountain 50k! I've talked with Troy, and we might run part of the race together, which I'm excited about. I think it will be a fun, beautiful race!
I love my life. It is busy, but I love it that way! Never a dull moment.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chiclet Run!

Ran about 12 miles with the fabulous Chiclets - Lisa, Sheryl, Sue and Nancy. We ran around Tucson Country Club and over to Udall Park. It was our first run with all 5 of us in months! Since the beginning of January, I've run 5 local trail races, including 2 training runs for 2 of those, and with doing a lot of trail running for training for both the Bataan marathon and Zane Grey 50k races, we just haven't been able to hook up much! I'm not thrilled about all the concrete on our runs sometimes, but I tell you, these are some great gals and I always enjoy running with them. That is Sheryl in the picture with me.
One cool thing about road running - we checked out a garage sale! Didn't find anything I couldn't live without, though.

After our run, we went to 'Beyond Bread', where I had a strange breakfast - gazpacho soup, whole grain bread, and roasted potatoes. It was perfect! I've been craving gazpacho since the weather started heating up. I treated the gals to a chocolate tart with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries on top. Yum!
Trying to nail someone down for a trail run next weekend. I thought of my friend Andrea that I met at the Blue Pants Racing Winter Trail Series races back in January; maybe she might be interested? We ran together a week before Zane Grey, which was great. I really look forward to my trail runs. Connecting with the wild outdoors really centers me and helps me fill my cup so that when I return, I feel better able to give to the people around me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Morning running (the no picture post) and running plans in general

Well, I've returned to morning running for the summer to beat the heat. I go into work an hour later and get up and out at the crack of dawn, looking less than fabulous. Thus, the no picture post. I pretty much just get out of bed, brush my teeth, throw on my running clothes and shoes and out the door I go! I do love running in the morning - it is nice and quiet and I see a lot of bunny rabbits where I run which is fun. It also frees up my evenings a little, so I'll probably throw in an extra weight workout and a yoga class every week during the summer.
The downside is that I pretty much only have time to do about 6-7 miles, and I leave from my house and take a route around some neighborhoods and sometimes up to the Rillito River path. I vary my route to avoid too much routine. I do try to minimize the pavement factor; one of the neighborhoods I run in is all dirt, and I run down streets that have dirt easements instead of concrete sidewalks. trails during the week for the summer. Big bummer. The upside is that sometimes, I have found some good 'vintage' stuff while out running around the neighborhoods; during the summer large item pickup, people leave their 'junk' at the curb; I have to run home and get the truck and load up!
So far this week, I have run 6 miles yesterday and only 5 today. I just felt a little tired today, so I cut it short. I'll be hoping to get in about 40 miles this week, then down to about 30 next week, and then taper for another 50k Memorial Day weekend!
My plan is to run with my road running girlfriends every other Saturday through the summer, and then do a long trail run every other Saturday. Not sure who I'll round up for that - my girlfriend Laurie is still babying her knee and my other friend Shari is racing every weekend for a while. The other option is to run a shorter trail run on Sundays when I run road on Saturdays.
Unfortunately, right now, we are up to our neck in a house remodel, so I won't have a lot of time to trail run on the weekends for a few weeks (takes a little more time). After Memorial Day, we should be done. Dear God, I hope we are done by then! No, we won't even be living in the house - it will be for rent. It will be wonderful when it is done, though. Refinished wood floors, crown moulding, completely gutted and remodeled kitchen and bathroom, new ceilings, and 3 iron security doors and an amazing iron fence surrounding the entire property (my husband, the artist, did all the ironwork). We are even putting in subway tile in the bathroom, which is so cool. Don't think we'll have trouble renting it, but of course, that is in the back of our minds...
That's one of the many reasons I love to run - to forget about all my worries!
Upcoming races I'm doing and/or thinking about:
5/24/08 Red Mountain 50k - St. George, Utah (well, it actually starts in Central and ends in Ivins). Officially registered and can't wait to do the distance again. This is the first year of this race.
6/7/08 Meet me Downtown 5k - Tucson. They show a movie at the historic Fox theater afterwards; this year will be 'Spirit of the Marathon'. I won't be racing - as a matter of fact, I'll probably do a long run that morning, go home and take a nap and head out for the race, which starts around 6:30pm. If it weren't for the movie and good food afterwards, I probably wouldn't have registered for this race (too short!)
6/21/08 Gaspin' in the Aspen 15k - Flagstaff, Arizona (cooler!) Not sure about this one. I'd like to see how I do at altitude, but we'll have to see how cash flow looks. I'll probably be pretty broke after the trip to Utah.
8/2/08, 8/9/08, and 8/16/08 Blue Pants Racing Summer Trail Series - Tucson. Not sure when I'll sign up, but probably soon, when cash flow improves. I think it might be a repeat of the Winter Series trails, but I'm not sure yet. Laszlo did a great job as RD for the Winter Trail Series, so I'll be there.
Far off:
1/18/09 The Ghost Town 38.5 - Hillsboro, NM. My husband laughed when I told him I was considering this for 2010. I'll be doing the Tucson Marathon in December of this year and the Pemberton 50k in February 2009, so I guess I could squeeze it in, but with the jump in distance, I'm not so sure. It looks like a interesting race. Like I said, probably 2010. Unless I get talked into it. Seems like a more manageable transition from 50k to 50 mile.
Other news: still waiting for the RD to fix the Zane Grey 50k race results and put me in the right spot. I won't hold my breath at this point. They finally cashed my check yesterday!
Something to think about today:
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?" ~ Kobi Yamada from "Ever Wonder"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

First run since Zane Grey and thoughts on ultras...

I ran 4 miles today for the first time since the Zane Grey race. I decided I would wait until I felt fully rested, knowing that a prime injury time for long-distance runners is not DURING the race, but often the WEEK AFTER the race, when some runners jump too quickly back into their routine. I caught up on my sleep the last two days, which was great! I took Dixie Dog on my run this morning, but she really had a rough time with the heat, so we took lots of breaks. We got out a little late this morning, because I snoozed in, and it was already smoking hot by 9am.

See my 'Pinkcorker' visor? I had it embroidered before the race last week and wore it at Zane Grey. Jeff, Angie's pacer for the second half of the Zane Grey race, noticed my visor at the 17 mile aid station (while he was waiting for Angie to come in). He said, "Hey, you're Pinkcorker!" I had never met him before, but it made me smile when he said that. That is him in the picture on the right, taken at the finish line at ZG. Pinkcorker is a funny name, but it seems to describe how I feel about myself!

My run this morning went well; no aches or pains. Felt great! So, I'm looking forward to ramping up the running this week. I'm switching to morning runs before work and going to work later because of the heat.

That being said, I signed up for the Red Mountain 50k held near St. George, Utah on Saturday, May 24th. Troy from Tucson signed up, also! I think it will be a fast race and I'm looking forward to getting out there and seeing what it is actually like to RUN 31 miles. I know, I just did a 33 mile race, but as soon as I would get running during that race, a steep, rocky or non-runnable section would present itself and I would be forced to hike. I would guess I hiked about half of the 33 miles. So, I think the Red Mountain 50k will be fun. The race director I talked to on the phone was excited that some folks from Tucson were coming to his race!

I want to thank Sarah for her running blog, which gave me the confidence to believe that I, too, could do an ultra. What an inspiration! I hope she heals from her injury soon and joins me someday in an Arizona ultra! Sarah lives in Portland, OR, and I was going up there for the Forest Park 50k on Memorial Day weekend; however, the cost of airfare caused me to change plans. I hope to make it up there someday and get to meet her. Thanks Sarah!

The results from the Zane Grey race are (finally!) up; however, they appeared to have messed them up. I came in 11:03:21, which was 41st out of 64 people (yay!). Quite a few of those 64 people were 50 milers that chose to end their race at the 50k finish line instead. Anyway, I am listed as finisher #49 instead of #41. I was told at race check-in on Friday night that my number was #480. On race day, though, I was given #481. I was worried, but assumed they had things straight. Well, they didn't. I emailed the RD, who assured me they would straighten it out.

Between that and the sorry aid stations at ZG (no boiled potatoes?) I was a little disappointed. It was my first ultra, and I know a lot goes into any race, so I'll hold back too much judgement. Overall, it was a great experience. I met some really amazing people, and have already exchanged emails with 2 people I met at the race, Connie and David. What a wonderful community to be a part of.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

How I am Recovering from my Ultra

Hey, I'm not just lying around!
Here I am sanding cabinet doors for our fixer-upper rental house...

I seem to be recovering quickly from Zane Grey. I haven't run since the race, but I feel pretty good! Most of the soreness is abating, but I generally feel very tired. I am also babying the one blister that I got at Zane Grey that seemed to get a little infected afterward, but I think it is on the mend, too. The scratches on my legs are healing (wore a skirt to work today!) My allergies are the worst they've been in years (wildflowers!! wind!!!) so some of the tiredness is coming from that I'm sure.

I really do want to go for a run, but my job workload has been insane this week and we have been so busy working on our rental house, so I really have not had much time for running anyway. I'm looking forward to catching up on sleep over the weekend and I'm planning my first run since the race on Sunday. I did do a weight workout the other day, but kept it light on the legs.

I am craving another ultra, so I'm pretty sure I'm signing up for the inaugural Red Mountain 50k on Saturday, May 24th held near St. George, Utah. I feel like getting out of town for the Memorial Day weekend (only an 8 hour drive) and the endorphins are calling. AND, if I do it, I'll qualify for Marathon Maniacs (bronze level, of which one of the criteria is 3 marathons (or greater) in 3 months. The 3 would be:

1. Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon (26.2) - March 30th - DONE!

2. Zane Grey 50k (33) - April 26th - DONE!

3. Red Mountain 50k - May 24th

So, I would satisfy the criteria.

Red Mountain 50k should be a lot easier than Zane Grey, though - it is a net downhill race (2,200 feet drop in elevation, I believe), with 12 miles on trail (dirt road, mostly, not technical) and 19 miles on pavement through some pretty country in Utah.

I'll make the decision after I run on Sunday. Just want to make sure my legs will be ready to go at it again.

I have felt amazing on the inside this week. I feel strong and tough and able to handle more than I ever thought I could. Something happened to me during that race - something good - and I think I'll hold onto it.