Sunday, November 28, 2010

TTR AZ Trail 50k

This TTR event was an out and back on the Arizona trail southeast of Tucson - 15.5 miles each way, with an aid station at the 'out' point. A lot of the trails on this run are the ones we run during the Old Pueblo 50 miler. I got lost on this run 2 years ago. :(

It was Wayne's birthday and he briefed us on the course.

I've stopped blogging for a while because of this run. I just had a blogger's block. Reason: I Did Not Finish (DNF).

1. It was freezing at the start and mentally, I was not in the mood to run.
2. Even though Dallas was with me, we were quickly left in the dust by the group. We stopped to go to the bathroom and then later to strip off warmer clothes and lost everyone.
3. We missed a turn and added 3 miles onto our run.
4. My hamstring/glute pain became excruciating during this run. I had a difficult time power hiking the hills, which continued to add more time to our run.

5. At about mile 15, I fell bad. I had a big lump on my left knee which completely freaked Dallas out (a hematoma?)
No, it didn't look good at first.
I laid on the ground for a minute, unable to get up. Dallas tried to determine if I was badly hurt or not, and then he helped me up.
The decision was clear - we would stop running at the aid station. However, since we had gotten off track earlier, we had to go 3 more miles. I had a mini meltdown (I bawled) at some point, but managed to start running again a bit, mixed in with a lot of hiking.
6. Then, the wind picked up. It was cold. I was ready to be done.

Dallas agreed he would return with me. Gosh, I love this man. Thank you Dallas!!!
We saw all of our TTR friends on their return, which was great, but also made me realize how far behind everyone we were. I was really down on myself about my performance.

After 18 miles of slow hiking and even slower running (mostly hiking), we arrived at the aid station (4 hours and 17 minutes later!) Patricia was glad to see us. She drove us back to the start. Many of the runners had not returned yet from the 50k, so we went on home. Blah.

Others fell and got lost, too. One guy in our group got so lost that he did 40 miles instead of 31!!

Trail runs are a lot like life. Sometimes they can be tough. You can fall down, you can mentally and emotionally breakdown, and you can lose your way. I know that, just like life, trail running can also be awesome, so I'll keep doing it!!!

'This world ain't fair
It can knock you on your butt
You can just lie there or you can get back up
You gotta get back up...
There are times in life when you gotta crawl,
Lose your grip, trip and fall
When you can't lean on no one else,
That's when you find yourself...'
~ Lonestar

Friday, November 26, 2010

Me and Julie on Phoneline trail

Julie's 'deep in thought' pose
This is Dallas' picture on his desktop right now.
My friend Julie came in from CO and we did our usual 9 mile Phoneline loop trail run. It was cold in the canyon, but fun. She always gets me talking a lot on the uphills. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic 5k

First year ever doing the Turkey Trot! Dallas talked me into it, of course. I probably would have slept in otherwise... :)

Finish time: 25:32 - not my fastest, but it was a little harder running on grass and some hills...

We got to run over hay bales and water troughs, too! Lots of TTR's out today - here is my friend Joel (the one that was with me when I broke my wrist 2 years ago) with a splendid jump over the water. Wow!

I had fun! That's what really matters. The fun.

I got to see my running friends Shari, Steve x2, Tom, Chase, Joel, Sion, Chris x2, Denise, Wayne and Patricia. Cool! It is a family event, so I got to meet some of their kids, too, which was neat.
Dallas got a video of me coming into the finish (I'm in the mustard yellow top):

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A little run to Hutch's Pools

TTR had the Mt. Lemmon Ascent scheduled today, but I couldn't do it, as I had somewhere to be early in the afternoon. So, I joined up with them at the start at Sabino Canyon and just ran to Hutch's Pools and back.

My new friend Jason joined me for the out and back. Jason is a triathlete who has completed an Ironman and I met him through my blog. He loves to hike and is ready to really get into some longer trail runs. He'll fit in with TTR nicely!

Dallas hung back with us until Hutch's Pools and then did the ascent (and I might add, he ran back down from the mountain, too, for a total of 38 miles! You are an animal Dallas!) It was hard to watch him go as the skies were darkening and the weather was looking pretty ominous. He and other TTR's ended up getting into some snow and ice showers near the top, but in the end, they all said it was just a winter wonderland. Bummed I had to miss that!

Jason at the turnaround point-he was happy to be outside.
I had a little fall through the rocky section near Hutch's Pools, but just got a minor flesh wound and banged up my knee a bit.

Autumn is evident finally.
We came back via Phoneline trail for a total time of 3:41 and about 16.3 miles. Thank you Jason for running back with me!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Everyone Runs Half Marathon

Half Mary PR!!!

Total time: 1:51:17

My best finish time prior to today for a half marathon was in 2005 when I ran a 1:52:19. It was nice to know that 5 years later, I was faster! Must be all of that mountain running...

Dallas and I started out bright and early doing bib pickup. It was crazy! To all of you runners who wait until the morning of the race to pick your bibs up - don't come 5 minutes before the race!!!! Jeez!!! We still had fun and it was good to be of service. Plus, working with Dallas is awesome! We make a great team.

Ready to go!

I felt really good today, even though it was only one week since the 50k. I determined I was iron deficient again (which is why I felt so sluggish in Sedona), so I decided to start upping the iron. Usually, the running picks up within a few days. It takes about a month to really get back to feeling good, but I notice the extra oxygen almost immediately!!
Flying! Both feet off of the ground... :)
Mike and Kristi were out on the course taking pictures. So awesome to see them!
Waving to Mike and Kristi with my mitten hands (the shirt sleeve folds into a mitten!)
Steve's races are the best. Tech finisher shirt (and a long sleeve cotton one this time, too!) real breakfast, Robek's smoothies, excellent goodie bags, awesome course and volunteers.
Uh, could someone take my timing chip off of me? I can't bend over. :)
I was 4th in my age group out of 28, and missed 3rd place by 10 seconds! Not too shabby Pinkcorker - especially after running 33 miles last week! I came in 95th out of 313 overall. Dallas was 2nd in his age group with a time of 1:33 - he is fast and I am always proud of him!

What a great day. We stayed until the end, and watched my new friend Jason Adler walk/run his Mom into the finish!
I hope I'm still moving like that at 61. She's awesome.

"What matters is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog."

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sedona 50k Endurance Run

Should have been 31 miles, but we ended up with 32.83 miles. I'll get to that shortly.

Love my camo drop bag!
Dallas and I drove up for the 1st Annual 50k Endurance Run in the beautiful red rock town of Sedona. We got up there Friday night to get things ready and get some good sleep before the run the next day.

Dallas planned on running the whole race with me. :)
A lot of TTR's went up there, too, which was awesome!
Chris, Tom, David and Dallas. I'll have to ask Tom what that look on his face means.

Tom, Alli, Tonja, Pete, Tom and Dallas
The race started on the town high school track at 7am as the sun was rising above the rock formations. As we took off on the track, Chris said, "I have to go to the bathroom!" We all laughed as we weren't more than 1 minute into the race! He was telling us about a co-worker that asked if there were restrooms on the course. Chris laughed and replied, "The course is a restroom!"
Right away, we realized that the views were going to be spectacular.

Dallas running towards Cathedral Rock-love the outdoor church!
It all went well for a while, and then we all started getting lost. It looked like the course was marked poorly at first, but then it became clear that the course ribbons had been vandalized. Coming up to trail intersections with multiple trail options was really frustrating without ribbons. We had a map, but it was so small, it was practically illegible. We got lost about 3 times in the first 12 miles. We were running a lot of this first part with Tonja and she wasn't feeling too well or moving too fast, so we stayed with her until the 2nd aid station (around mile 13.5 for us, since we already had added almost 2 extra miles onto the race from being lost).

Our new friend on the right doesn't look very happy about this.
We finally had to ask the local Jeep tour people for directions! Needless to say, the combination of slower traveling during this part and getting lost really put us way behind where we wanted to be. But, I was happy with our decision to hang with one of our fellow trail runner friends and make sure she was okay. Integrity and love wins every time.
A pink Jeep - how cool is that?!?
The good thing is this - after the 2nd aid station (around mile 13.5) we never got lost again. And between the views and running with Dallas, I didn't care if we got lost again!!

This course had it all. Great water crossings:
Yes, Dallas' method resulted in falling in. :)

Yes, it was fruuueeezing!!! My legs were numb for quite a while. I used the 'plow right through' method.

Cool bridge views:

And some of the most spectacular landscape scenery I have ever seen:

I was in complete awe.
Dallas and I run really well together. He is very kind to me on the trail, always concerned with how I am doing, and always encouraging me to do more. He'll stop and look back at me and say, "Come on, girl!" Here we are at the last aid station:

We came into the finish hearing Bob Bachani yelling, "That's what I'm talking 'bout! Get 'er done!" That was a welcome thing to hear as we rounded around the track. Thank you Bob for that.

Another 50k finished together!!!

Total time: 8:13
Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 6,495/(6,389) feet

I wasn't thrilled with my finish time, but with the slowdown earlier in the race to make sure that Tonja was okay and then getting lost multiple times, it was what it was. We took a ton of pictures, which also added to our time, too (but, I wouldn't have it any other way - the pictures were fabulous!)

We passed a bunch of people late in the race - that is my 'modus operandi'. I always finish my races and I usually run a smart race, even if I am slow at times. I rarely 'walk in' or 'limp in' to the finish line. I have come to the conclusion that my strength is in the endurance, not the speed.

Jane Larkindale from TTR, at 5 months pregnant, was the 1st woman to finish! Most of the TTR's did awesome and had fast finishes.

We got a shiny belt buckle for finishing:
(The red is just a reflection, but boy, it was pretty!!!
Another successful day in my life as an ultrarunner. I always have to remember my first rule about long distance races and runs - the goal is to have fun!!!