Thursday, September 22, 2016

Random Thursday Thoughts

Hey everyone, it's Thursday!  I'm linking up with Amanda over at Running with Spoons to set all the random crap in my brain free, read the original post for more details and join us.  

Lost Soul - I am writing a race report on the 54k (1 course loop) I completed but honestly just haven't felt like doing it so it'll be slower than usual.  A whole bunch of stuff went right and there's stuff to be learned from what went wrong. It was awesome, it was hellish. It was still a DNF at the end of the day and that's taking time to write about.

You know when you're unhappy with your weight yet can't seem to get your shit together?  That's where I'm at.  I can see it clearly around the midsection in my last race pics. If I shifted even a measly 5 lbs I believe it would make a HUGE difference and yet I can't seem to.  I've got races in Vancouver and Las Vegas coming up in Oct/Nov and I really don't want to be heavy for those.

We're going to see The Proclaimers on Thanksgiving weekend, this is exciting.  A little bit of home!  Sunshine on Leith is one of my faves, partly because I lived there for 5 years but mostly because it's just a beautiful song.

So far I've only committed to one race for 2017, I'm thinking of doing less races and really focusing on training.  2016 is looking like: 2 ultras, 3 marathons, 6 halfs, a 10k and 4 5ks.  I think 2017 needs to have a change of pace, plus I really want to focus on my 100k goal.

Or I could stay home watching 90 Day Fiance and eating Ben & Jerry's?  Seriously, I can't look away from that show.  Not to mention the re-runs of old seasons I just spotted on the guide next week.  YES!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Second Annual Grand Beakerhead Run

I haven't run since Lost Soul (was that only a week ago?) so I was dying to get my Brooks on and hit the streets this weekend.  Last year we incorporated Beakerhead into training for Las Vegas and this year we wanted to do it again!

We start at Eau Claire, heading east along the Riverwalk.  First point of interest: BASS ship.  It sorta matches Kev.  People inside are frenetically beaming messages into space.

Next: The Saturnian. I really need one of these for the yard.  It's an epic narwhal/whale/rainbow delight.

This my favourite, Tentacles have taken over a building in Inglewood and are trying to escape.  The wind is blowing them around, it's pretty cool.  More of this please!!

We follow the pathways around Stampede over to Central Memorial where we find the result of last year's show - Nibbles! You guys we have baby bunnies!  There are carrots and whatnot lying around so you can feed them.

There are also real bunnies, the Canadian Rabbit Hopping Club has brought some very cute little guys out.

We finish up 10 miles around Eau Claire, adding in a bit of Pokemon and two sets of Curling Club stairs for fun.  What a gorgeous fall day!  Today is the very essence of Run Happy.  With bonus bunnies.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I entered this race to finish 100 and it ended with a DNF at 54. I couldn't continue on my blisters. This pisses me off as I rarely if ever get blisters. I had none on my 10 hour training runs, none on my road runs. For the next go around I have to figure out how to recognize the issue early and shut it down. Climbing the last hill on leg 6 was agony. 

I am not happy at all with my first DNF, especially on something as trivial and basic as blisters.

LSU was an epic challenging course that took me well out of my comfort zone. I liked that a lot. 

No time on the tile, but isn't it a classy touch to give these to the DNF's anyway?

I am determined to complete 100k.  This isn't over.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Lost Soul Ultra 100k Pre-race Thoughts

11 legs, 101.4 km, 2280.6 metres.  September 9th.  Lethbridge.

Lolz, it doesn't seem feasible.  I get that people happily run extraordinary distances, sometimes even for fun, but 100k seems a rather large undertaking for me.  I am not a person to whom running comes naturally.  Trail running even less so.

*insert motivational bollocking scenic picture with fear/limits/some shit quote here*

As usual I will be relying on my sense of humour and enjoyment of the ridiculousness of the situation to carry me through.

What if I fuck it up?

I might fuck it up but I really don't want to fuck it up. 5 years ago I didn't think I could run 5k. Not starting this because of fuck-up fear would be a fail, I need to do this.

Things I'd like to do in this race:

Experience an all-singing all-dancing large scale legendary trail ultra.
Get my arse across the start line, despite immobilizing pants-shitting terror.
Check out the famous aid stations.
Watch the proper runners.
Keep moving past the point where I'm certain I can't do it anymore.
Maintain perspective, this isn't going to kill me I don't think?

Bib numbers are 244 for me and 243 for Kev, it's actually bloody happening.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ET Full Moon Midnight 51k Aug 20/21, 2016

Race packets have been collected and after some panic trying to get lights strung around our packs (and an alien attached to mine) we leave The Palazzo at 8:30pm.  It's crazy busy downstairs, a billion people everywhere all dressed up for a night out. They have all the drinks.

It's an easy drive out up I-15, but after we turn off onto 93 the weather goes insane and there's lightning across the entire sky. Is that rain?  Holy crap it's raining hard.  This is worrying, the forecast was clear for Rachel, I don't even have a long sleeve top.  Apocalypse!  Happily it stops by the time we join the ET Highway.  That was too close.

And we're here, there are cars pulling into the side road past the former mailbox site so we follow along and park.  It's 10:30pm.  The buses aren't here yet so there's plenty time for bathrooms and photos and general hanging around in the dark.  It's a lovely warm night.

Here they are, I think there's 7 buses and it's suddenly quite busy.  I don't really want to talk or think about the race, just get myself moving out onto the course.  Joyce (RD) is a frenzy of activity, organizing people back onto buses and getting the marathon and 51k started.

It feels awkward starting a run in the middle of the night so for the first few miles I focus on following a pair of legs.  After glancing at my Garmin I can see I'm pretty slow, so I stop looking (problem solved).  I've taken off my headlight as it was bothering my forehead and I'm running with it in my hand. That will work for the whole race. It's very warm and the occasional cool breeze is welcome.  At some points the wind is hot.  I love the desert, so different.

I focus on getting each mile done, for the first 13 they are all uphill.  Every time I pass a marker I shine my light on it and take a moment to be happy about how far I've come.  Little clusters of light signal aid stations at various intervals in the dark.  Those are the best, a runner's midnight oasis.

At mile 7 we pass the Half start and the uphill gets steeper.  I'm trying to have a Shot Blok every mile.  Miles 11 through 13 are much steeper but the scenery is changing as we climb which is interesting.  The moon is quite bright and it looks misty in some parts.  I manage to run most of this section, albeit slowly.

Coyote Summit marks the top!  Hurrah!  There's a magnificent aid station with PB&J sandwiches.  Brilliant.  The next 7 miles are downhill toward Rachel.  At 18 miles we see the little lights twinkling below.  I'm really enjoying this part.  I pass a runner with a radio, I wonder if he's trying to pick up broadcasts from Area 51?  I pass the halfway point (25.5km) at 3:45.

I head into the 20 mile aid station at Rachel with the back of the half marathon field, the finish line is right there but I'm going back out toward the 51 turnaround.  That's okay.  Around this point I realize I've really had enough of Bloks and Tailwind, I'm wishing I had water in my pack.

At mile 21 I pass Kevin who's on track for a good PR.  His goal is to finish the race before dawn. There's a hint of light now so I focus on getting to the marathon turnaround then my own turnaround before the sun appears.  I must have missed a couple of markers as 25 pops up to the side.  I didn't really notice the marathon turn point.

The one thing I do notice is how quiet it is.  Where is everyone?  After I get round the cone (before sunrise - victory) I only have to make my way straight back to Rachel.  The sun is rising off to the left.

I still feel good at 26.2.  Let's take a dawn selfie.

Okay, less good now.  I can't face any gummy synthetic food or sports drink so I ask the volunteer at the marathon turn to get my coke out of my pack.  Yes, it was worth carrying it all the way around for this.  I've been doing very crappy run/walk intervals for the last little while and the coke gives me energy and settles my stomach.  I've caught up with the marathoners and slowly pick a few off.

I turn around to get a shot of a mile marker, my constant companion through the night. I'm actually past 28 now.  My Garmin starts complaining about low battery.  Shut it!

Still making painful progress toward Rachel, aaaand there's the sign.

This one is my absolute favourite!  Morning light in the desert is so beautiful.

Here's the last little stretch before we turn sharp right and would you believe it I've remembered how to run.

Done!  7:31. I have to sit.  We have time to check out the Little A'le'inn, then I hear my name called for some reason.

I would like to thank the aliens for abducting the rest of my AG.

The last bus heading back to Las Vegas drops us at the black mailbox to collect the car.  It is already pretty damn toasty out.  This is the new 'shrine' (ie. mostly a heap of crap) at the mailbox site.  The original and famous mailbox was abducted in 2015.  You can see it in our 2014 race photos.

Friday, August 26, 2016

ET - Beam Me Up!

ET51k 2016 is complete. This race became all about the journey, as it should. Very helpful when you're out there for 7+ hours. The picture was taken shortly after the 51k turnaround when I basically had the entire road to myself. Last time I don't think I captured the feel of that magical post-dawn painful beautiful stretch.

A long race gives me a full mental recharge, it's awesome. Tough physically but so worth it.

3 outstanding years and 107km of ET Highway!

Race report will be happening soon!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Fat, the Cat and Some Other Stuff

Hey everyone, it's Thursday!  I'm linking up with Amanda over at Running with Spoons to set all the random crap in my brain free, read the original post for more details and join us.

Huge weight loss fail.  I've managed almost 2 of an initially hopeful 7 lbs before Vegas. I'm going to stop stressing over it and get on with the running and the training and get my races done.  No matter what I'm doing the weight isn't really shifting.  Meh.

Pic in case it never happens again

Our small fuzzy family addition is doing just great.  She's been free to roam the house since Friday and though there's still hissing she's doing okay with her new kitty friends.  She's decided to start sleeping in the cat tree and we haven't noticed her hiding under the bed much.  Fingers crossed it keeps going well.  Last week she clawed me in the head then the next day jumped into my lap and fell asleep.  Because she is a cats.

I'm watching Mad Men on Netflix, it's fascinating.  Smoking, everyone, 24/7.  I remember going into restaurants as a kid and seeing all the smoke.  We're lucky that's not a thing anymore.  How can that ever have been okay?  Do what you want by all means, but not in my face.  My face will tell you to fuck off.

Did you know we have had a ridiculous amount of rain and thunderstorms in July and now into August?  Every weekend in the mountains we've either been rained on or dodged storms.  This is not typical of our summers at all.  It keep things interesting though, we've descended off ridges really fast lately, good training?  That being said, if it could please stop now that would be great.

It occurred to me that we're heading to Vegas in November just a couple of days after the election.  WON'T THAT BE INTERESTING?

Here's a thing someone sent me.  You're welcome.