Monday, November 30, 2009


Thanksgiving - a time of sharing & of course, trail running. Many hours of trail runnning.

While the other women cooked (I am on clean up duty with the men), I took to the trails. I ran for hours, and then would hike later that day or in the evening.

More description to come. Western North Carolina - I thank you for your high mountains and opportunity for lots of climbing...
Posted by Picasa

Signed up for the Red top Rumble

Whoo hoo! Signed up for the Red Top Rumble. Sounds fun!!!

Please give feedback on Trail - really hilly?? What other tidbits can yall tell me

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Contemplating an ultra

I am contemplating a local ultra (preferably in GA) - any suggestions? What about sweetH2O 50k

I love very hilly trail runs with scenic views...


Really (and repeat)

Really - another unfortunate plug for the book Born to Run - since reading the aforementioned book, my enjoyment of running has increased; my relaxation while running, I know, is evident.

My run last night provides anecdotal evidence of the success of applying lessons from Born to Run. Sunday night I had a difficult time falling asleep (i blame a later than usual consumption of caffeine). I woke up on Monday morning dreading work and tired. Somehow I struggled through the day and really wanted a run despite my tiredness. I left work and went to the town of Demorest, GA for some small town loops. Applying the tricks of the Book (although I did have a pair of trail running shoes - i am not to the barefoot stage yet), I piled on some layers of clothing and started running. Usually, when I run after work, I am tired, stressed, and ready to be done with the run. Last night was different. My shoulders were relaxed; my breathing was consistent and my eyes were open and clear. On hills, I tried keeping my back straighter and moving forward on the balls of my feet as compared to letting my posture fall and just plodding up. I tried smiling more and envisioning the tarahumara running Leadville and laughing and enjoying themselves - this image also helped (even when the little Dachshund tried to bite me). Really, not to repeat myself too often - it was a great run. I finished over 5 miles, and then went and taught yoga, and then to the gym with the Husband.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Next time - pay the registration fee

After a hard week - an hour on any surface is welcoming and has become my custom. Usually, Friday, I leave work and race home to put on my tennis shoes and grab my anxious dog, Grendel for an hour anywhere.

Then, usually, on Saturday, I rest. But, this Saturday, my good friend convinced me to lace up and race a 5k with her. Since I have limited income, I am choosy about what races to run, so I decided not to pay the registration fee and just run. My thoughts were: I have not raced in a while, I won't do well - the usual self-defeatist labels. However, this Saturday I won for women overall. Whooops - I forgot to calculate my recent reading of Born to Run - which had caused me not to replace my lost watch; my new desire to run faster than usual when I am feeling good; training at altitude (including the treacherous 18 mile Shut-in race); and lots of caffeine that morning. Pre-race my mind did incorrect calculations, and I had forgotten that I can race well, sometimes.

With this background, an outsider would have assumed I would not performed well; however, my body and mind were in parallel that after the first mile when my lungs were breathing well, ie,I could still talk, and my legs had the ideal turnover, and I took off. I left my friend and several men and ran; I ran like I had no time to beat and every time to beat; I ran as though this was the most fun I had had in a while; my breathing kept smooth - my legs did start screaming towards the end - from the lack of training for this type of torture, and then I had to drop out before the very end, but I knew I had run fast and well. I enjoyed the feeling at the end of a good race regardless of a trophy or verbal recognition. But, next time, I may register... Or, not... Have to save my money for the good races - Red top Rumble?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quick week runs

Again - another plug for Born to Run; I really don't want to read it too quickly; each chapter is inspiring. When I read it at night, I become so excited to lace up my shoes (although there is all this research about how better it is for you to not run with shoes) and pound any surface - pavement, trail - anywhere - just to be outside (preferably) and moving. As I blog before, with each step - the stress of work seems farther away. Reading this book, really, has reinforced my love to run. Run - anywhere and anytime.

So, with those thoughts in mind - last night, I only had a moment before the in-laws were coming, so I grabbed Grendel, and we pounded down the leafy driveway until the paved trail and around the neighborhoods. The misty rain kept us cool, and Grendel's energy kept the pace high.

Today, I will pound more pavement, unfortunately without Grendel, but it will be a stress reliever and a focus exercise before I teach yoga tonight.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Yeah man!" - the long legged blonde

Climbed to the highest point in Georgia (well - ran) with my favorite running partner - a long legged blonde - ha! My favorite running partner has a higher tolerance for pain. After racing 16 miles on tough trails in western North Carolina on Saturday, she called me and invited herself down to Georgia on Sunday, so we could run up Brasstown Bald.

Having quasi-rested legs, my desire to run was high. And, the 68 degree weather and sun fueled this desire. We ran the Jack (name?) knob trail going up one side of the road, then we re-fueled and tackled Brasstown Bald, which was on the other side. Knowing that she was pushing me, I tried my new method of tackling hills with switchbacks. I ran hard on the straight and would walk the curves up; this worked pretty well! I kept up a solid pace and felt strong. But, then when we reached the paved area to the tower, she took off. Those long legs galloped up to the tower with me huffing and puffing behind her wondering what happened to her earlier statement - "oh we will walk this part." Reaching the top gave me a chance to catch my breath (notwithstanding the altitude) and drink in the panorama view - assisted by the loss of trees and clear blue skies.

Then, we went back down the trail towards the car only to repeat the other part of Jack's knob again. Eventually, my legs gave out (and hers did too), and we retreated down towards Hiawassee for some coke & pizza.

Really an unforgettable 14.5 (or so) miles!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Born to Run

To try and not start a stereotypical plug for a book -but Born to Run really has exceeded my expectations.

For example, last night, I got in bed early and was reading and reading this book, and I felt as though I was on the Leadville 100 course witnessing all that was happening (must admit here - my dream is to one day do this race; I LOVE this type of running, but it also frightens me - as my friend Hayley can attest; (I get bad nerves before races)). And, this morning I got out of bed easily before the alarm and kept thinking about how I could just get the day's work done and then - I could run; it did not matter where; it only mattered that there was a place to run and an hour to do it. I really just want to feel each step this afternoon as a thank you for the ability to run -

Really everyone who loves to run & who appreciates the long distance - should read this book.

So, this afternoon, as I often repeat, I will lace up my shoes and head out of the government building towards a rural road where some silence will fill my mind as I clear of the day's stress and burdens.

Ode to running!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sleep, sleep and more sleep

Sleep. Unfortunately, on weekends where I have big runs, I don't sleep well on Friday or Saturday night. Friday night - I have nerves; Saturday night - after a saturday morning race- my body is too worn out, yet too full of adrenaline (still?) to sleep.

When I returned Monday, I still had not crashed from the weekend. Monday night: ran over 3 miles; taught a 1 hr + yoga class; and lifted weights with the husband. Then, I crashed around 10pm. On Tuesday, work was difficult. Each word I typed on the keyboard was the result of much effort and many thoughts of "keep typing don't stop; keep typing." Then there was the hunger. Packing my lunch Tuesday morning, I did not anticipate the hunger that would grab me and pull at my stomach ALL day; the hunger would not let go. not after lunch or after the subsequent snacks. I went home Tuesday after work, and I was still starving. I proceeded to relax on the couch with an oversized bowl of chili & crackers, and I ate and ate until I had to set the bowl down. Then, the tiredness followed the full stomach. Not the tiredness I was used to after eating a large meal; this tired was different; it was debilitating; my head and upper body fell over on the couch to a horizontal position. There I stayed for an hour until I picked up my exhausted limbs and moved slowly to the bed where I proceeded to stay until 7am Wednesday morning. This morning, I am still tired. My mind and body feel rested, yet there is still this slowness to my starting projects (hence my updating my blog) and moving from destination to destination.

I can only hope that this feeling will subside before another double digit run this weekend (though not in Chattanooga - good luck david!!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Recovery is nice

Last night was a nice recovery. Pavement abounds, but with good slow hills to loosen up the tight muscles. 35 minutes on this loop provided a good release from the stress at work & a return to sanity before making the drive back to Gainesville.

On Mondays & Wednesdays I teach yoga, which again provides more release for the tightness.

Trying to figure out the next "race" to run - preferably under 20 miles - not at the ultrarunners level yet... Maybe the Paris Mountain Road Race... Or, the double header in Madison, GA...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wow - long time no post

Avoidance is my excuse; avoidance of training for the recent 18 mile 4000+ feet of elevation run I just ran (11/7); avoidance of posting. Something crawled in my system successfully prevented me from properly training and typing.

Quick overview - pictures to come - weather was beautiful; we had great car support; and I finished it under 3 hrs 47 minutes with little training - one of those lucky days! I am tired, but more excited to run now!!!

Today will be quick & short... Posting will be more frequent, and I am going to add my name to more races -