Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Holding a Golden Ticket? Part 2

...(Part 1)... The official cut line for the 2014 Boston Marathon was released today.  Those who beat their qualifying time by 1:38 all got in.  So my 3:08:13 would have gotten me in by 9 seconds! Crazy.  Good luck to everyone who got in. Train hard and enjoy it.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

The task ahead...

This was the Runner's World Daily Kick in the Butt quote today.  It seemed to speak to me.  

I had a good run this morning with Derek and Christie that reminded me a of a few race day keys
  • 4 minutes faster than 100 mile race pace feels easy at mile 1
  • Not drinking enough fluids results in lower blood volume and as a result my heart rate increases
  • Dressing light in cold temperatures can be just the kick in the butt I need to keep moving (but have backup in case conditions worsen)
  • Strategic walk breaks will increase my overall pace.  Run comfortable => power hike like a beast
That is all. Keep calm and be awesome!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Holding a Golden Ticket? Part 1

About two years ago, I was ecstatic to have just qualified for the Boston Marathon in St. George and even more excited to get INTO the Boston Marathon.  Little did I know that the race would fill up in 8 hours that day. Lucky for me I was on top of things that morning.

This spring I was 'forced' (laugh) to run the Great Potato Marathon by my friend Christie.  She was hoping to qualify and we were running together regularly to prepare.  We had both recently finished the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 miler in Utah and she wrote on the marathon registration that her team name was Boston and a Belt Buckle.  Believe it or not, running 100 miles is probably the easier of the two goals because 100 miles is about finishing whether it's walking jogging, or running.  Boston qualifying, on the other hand, is about speed and maintaining that speed when your body and brain beg for mercy.

The reason I said 'forced' to run is because I didn't know if I had it in me to stay focused for 26.2 miles for a really tough goal.  I was content on helping Christie get the elusive BQ she had come close to on several occasions.  I told her I just didn't think I had the drive or desire. SO SHE SIGNED ME UP...paid for the entry as a birthday present since my birthday was a few days later.....and put me on the now two person Boston and a Belt Buckle team.

OK, time to get serious.  I can run 26.2 for free anytime (which I have done a time or two).  But when the money goes down for registration I get real serious, real fast.  I had no idea how I would do that day, to be honest, since I have been focusing most of my running on the trails.  Preparing for Antelope Island was a huge help because we did a lot of flat fast miles over the winter to avoid breaking our necks in the snow and ice of the foothills.

We did a few speedwork sessions and a Run 'Til You Puke half marathon beforehand.  No long runs at marathon pace.  Guess I figured my training would take me so far and experience would get me to the finish. The RTYP run was 13.1 miles and felt like max effort the whole way which left me nervous because there is no way I could have held on much longer.  The crazy thing was I held this pace for 19 miles on race day until the turnaround and we headed slightly uphill to the finish.

Long story short...I qualified and was happy Christie pushed me to run the race for myself.  So here I sit with the proverbial Golden Ticket that many runners try many many times to get.  I had the time of my life in 2011 at Boston in spite of being sick and dealing with injury issues over the winter.  I would love to go back but just can't afford it.  It is still a 'definite maybe' at this point that I would even get in anyway.  There are 5,000 spots available and 7,500 new names in the hat with the rest of the week to go for registration.  I will be content to sit this one out and let someone else have a shot at the once in a lifetime opportunity that I had.  I'll keep practicing and hopefully make it back someday!

Christie and I joked the other day that I may have to settle for a Belt Buckle BQ sandwich.  That is...if I can finish the Bear 100 in 10 days!

Update...Part 2

Update...(Bear 100)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lucky Peak

 Last Friday I had big plans to run long in the hills above Boise.  Derek and I had planned to run Lucky Peak 3 times and add some greenbelt at the end to round it out.  We did one lap (11 miles and 3200 feet of gain) and then Christie joined us.  On the second lap Derek said he was spent and two would be his max.  I quickly agreed and the three of us had a nice comfortable run to finish out the second lap.

It was now past midnight and officially Derek's birthday.  We celebrated with chocolate milk and all three of us sat on the tailgate chatting while looking at the stars.  Good fun.

The pace felt rather slow but when it was all said and done we were below 24 hour pace even with sitting and relaxing along the way.


Today I retired, officially, the first trail shoes I ever wore at an ultra.  These are Brooks Cascadia 6's that I got just before the Boston Marathon back in 2011.  I wore them for the Pocatello 50 miler in May of that year.

I haven't used them on the trail in a long time but have instead kept them around as 'yard' shoes forever.  As much as I run I have a lot of 'yard' shoes so today they officially made it to the trash can.

Getting rid of a pair of shoes is not a big deal, but what really got me thinking was that I ran my first ultra just over 2 years ago?  I have had the opportunity to do some really cool races in such a short time.  Happy Trails!
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