Thursday, November 29, 2012

Be Patient and Tough

Today's motto stolen from Donna Braswell:

Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim
(Be patient and tough; some day this pain will be useful to you.)

Bear 100, September 2011, Mile 98.5 with Randy Thorn

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The firm resolve of a determined soul

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul. ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox  

April 19th, 2009

September 8th, 2012

I came across this quote today and it made me think of the top picture taken back in April of 2009.  I had been on my new exercise plan for exactly 19 days and was determined to do something that was over the top amazing!  I settled on riding my bike from Discovery Park to Hilltop Cafe in Boise, which is a steady uphill of just over 4 miles.  I was so proud of my accomplishment that I had to take a picture of myself with the Hilltop Cafe sign in the background (otherwise no one would believe me).  I weighed about 285 at the time and 4 miles of uphill took its toll on me.  Thank goodness it was 4 miles of downhill afterwards.

That picture reminds me of...the firm resolve of MY determined soul. 

The second picture is a reminder of how far I have come in a short time.  Nothing has gotten between me and my fitness, health, running, or weight loss goals over these last few years.  This picture is at the finish line of the Wasatch 100 mile run in September.  It was my third 100 mile race and it too, was a serious test of...the firm resolve of MY determined soul.  But it was important to me and I was going to find a way.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reminder of my FIRST Secret to Success

Today was my rest day but the weather was so nice I had to get out and run.  I met Derek at Polecat and did a nice easy loop in the 59 degree temperature at 6am!  It didn't feel super warm but I ran in just shorts for half of the six miles just so I could say I did.  It is Idaho AND November after all!!

At lunch I went to A2O Fitness for their Express Circuit class and the instructor Jenny reminded me of something that was key to my first weight loss success.  We normally do the full circuit twice and today at the halfway point she said something like, This is where your body wants to give up and you have to push through it!

After I graduated from high school I weighed 242 pounds and got into shape before joining the Navy.  I lost 60 pounds in just over 2 months, mostly by riding my bike in the Boise Foothills and around Boise State.  People would ask me what my secret to success was.  For me, I learned the secret during long mountain bike rides was to.....

Go until you can't go another inch....and then turn around and come back.

I learned through experience, even way back then, that we are capable of much more that we give ourselves credit for.  I know that mentality I learned back in 1993 served me well when I was losing weight in 2009 and it has been invaluable in training for and running 100 milers. 

Today's session also reminded me of a simple question that is posted on the wall that has inspired me over the last year and a half.

Make it a great day!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Easy Run

Today was my easy run day.  Easy according to the schedule is anywhere from 7:50 pace to 9:18 pace so I picked 8:30 in the middle. 

It seemed to be a good pace for me when I see the HR information after the fact.  145 is usually easy for me, 155 hard, and 165 is marathon pace right at my aerobic threshold.

We got a treadmill the first of the year and according to my Dailymile, where I post my daily activity I have run 2,275 miles this year.  This treadmill run brought my treadmill miles up to 23 I believe.  When I started running I used it a lot mostly because I didn't know how wonderful running outside was.  The other thing was it forced me to go faster when my body didn't necessarily want to go that fast which led to rapid improvement.

Today I sweat like a beast all over it and afterwards I realized I should have dusted the 9 months of neglect off before I coated it in liquid awesomeness.  :D Another thing I noticed, was that it forced me to land my forefoot flat on the belt.  Since running on the trails I think I have weak muscles in places because I compensate by rolling my foot on the uneven surface.  That fact was obvious today.  The last few ultras when I have gotten to the worn out stage it has always been my left forefoot.  Maybe a treadmill run here and there would strengthen and supplement the muscles that seem to get neglected.

It has been a good week!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fat Tire Loop PR

A series of fortunate events....

I have been on a roll the last couple of days, so I figured I would attempt another PR run this morning.  I decided on the Fat Tire Loop that I do fairly regularly with Derek and Christie.

The first fortunate thing that happened was the temperature was reasonable so I left the PI wind jacket in the car.  I got seriously hot later and it would have been a pain.

The second fortunate thing was seeing Trina Lund running by just as I was starting.  We chatted as I was getting going before her group went up the Military Connector trail and I continued up Three Bears trail.  This served as a proper warm-up without spiking my heart rate which I tend to do.

The third fortunate thing was the 20 MPH headwind all the way up the climb to Fat Tire and another half mile down the trail.  The headwind forced me to remain conservative so I wouldn't get my heart rate out of control from pushing too hard.  Unfortunately, mother nature wasn't as kind on the downhill.  I never felt like the wind was at my back when I started down.

After I checked the Garmin stuff I was surprised at the pace over the last few miles.  I was trying to remain loose and not push too hard.  The pace was 6:38, 6:40, and 6:07.  If I had kept going another 0.30 it would have been faster than my fastest ever 5K training run.

The fastest Garmin track I have of this route was 1:17 but I seem to remember doing it once by myself without the Garmin in 1:07 something.  I finished this one in 1:05:21 and believe it or not I never looked at the miles, time, or pace once.  I always have my watch set to show current HR and lap HR.  For some reason I run better when I am not TRYING to press because of what the watch is saying at the time.

I ended with an average HR of 150 which was great considering the pace and almost 1300 feet of elevation gain.  More impressive to me though, was the Max HR of 173 over the course of the whole run.  I usually suffer when I let the Max spike off the chart and then have a hard time recovering from it.

After I finished I rounded it out to a half marathon by running 5 more easy miles on Shane's Loop.  The half ended up 1:57:52 and 1900 feet of gain.

I may take tomorrow as a rest day!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cobb to Homestead PR

After posting yesterday I thought it would be fun to add what I am doing each day at least for a week or so.

So today I wanted to go to Homestead Trailhead which is next to Harris Ranch off of Warm Springs in Boise. My friend Randy Thorn took me on this once upon a time and I wasn't thrilled with starting out on the greenbelt for two miles. Now I actually enjoy the relatively easy terrain as a nice warm up before hitting the hills. All along the greenbelt I could smell skunks and was sure today was my day. Just as I turned off the greenbelt to cross Warm Springs I hear a commotion and the bushes rattling. Ok, here it comes Eau de Skunk...then three deer almost run over me and the dash off the trail ahead of me!

Didn't have the camera today. I took this last fall on Homestead Trail.
Once I started to climb it began snowing lightly for about 3 or 4 miles which was nice. I had stopped to get a thermal shirt at Wal-mart on the way down there, and in typical fashion, it wasn't as cold as the weather guessers predicted. So I had my pullover tied around my waist wearing only the long sleeve.

Cobb trail ultimately ends where it connects to Homestead trail which leads back to the starting point. I felt relaxed and smooth today. I would say it was a comfortably hard pace and I cut 13 minutes off of my previous time. It seems like I have done this route a number of times but I only had my garmin one other time apparently.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Polecat PR

It isn't too often that I write about daily activities.  Today I was thinking though, if I were to come across this blog what would I want to know about this guy?  Well the first thing that came to my mind is 'what is this guy doing every day to stay in shape'?

So, today I got up at 4am, got my clothes and lunch ready for work, and then headed to Polecat Trail off of Cartwright Road in Boise.  The weather was kind of chilly, 39 degrees, but perfect for running.  The colder it is, the less energy your body has to use to regulate your core temperature as you begin running.  I am not sure what temperature it is that your body actually uses energy to warm up in addition to the heat created from running.  When I was in McCall on Saturday it was 8 degrees and I was sweating, so who knows.

When I got to the trail the sky was clear, other than some thick fog banked up against the mountains near Bogus Basin.  A full lap around Polecat is just over 6 miles and I was able to finish it today in just over 48 minutes which was my fastest time ever.  The sun wasn't quite up yet so I decided to add a short 3.5 mile loop at recovery pace so I could catch the sunrise from the top of the highest point on the trail.  The sunrises and sunsets there are amazing. Go check it out!

This is the garmin link from the last time I did the full loop plus the half.  Zoom out on the map to see where it is located if you aren't familiar with the area.  Or look me up and we'll go run some morning!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I was reminded today while I was running with Christie and Derek by the Boise River of one of the great things about losing weight and getting in shape.

As I say in my blog title...set a goal and tell everyone who will listen.  When I started, the reason I did that is because I would always follow through on commitments to others and I never wanted to let them down.  I thought this extra motivation would be helpful.  AND IT WAS. 

The best part of the process however, was that after I began to lose the weight I felt better about myself.  I eventually got to a point where I didn't want to let myself down either. This was a huge turning point because ultimately I wasn't doing this for anyone else but myself.  I had never really valued my own opinion of how I felt about me.

When most people begin a weight loss program the ultimate goal is typically a number on the scale or a size of clothing, I was no exception.  But I can tell you from experience that the numbers aren't as meaningful as confidence, self worth, higher self esteem, and the feeling that anything is possible.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


We were in McCall over the weekend for a few lazy days with my parents, Russ and Leeann, and Rich's family.  I got out on Sunday morning to see if I could beat the sunrise to the top of Snowslide off of Lick Creek Road.  The creek was high at the Snowslide trail head so I had to 'settle' for the trail head to Box Lake which was just as breathtaking.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Accomplishment starts with.....

I saw this posted the other day and wanted to add it to my blog.  While I was out searching for the image I came accross another one that looks like it could have been taken straight from my blog title!  
I often tell people that I am nobody special, just someone who never gave up and never took no for an answer.  Set a goal, tell everyone who will listen, and stick to your plan. You can do it!

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