Race Schedule

2014 Races…Still TBD :)
Bike MS 100M ride (UT - June)
Speedgoat 50k (UT - July 19)

And plenty more!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Can't Beat That!

Now for a little more running-related updates...this weekend was a great running weekend for me, among other things. I finally felt good, and not just a little good, but a lot good! Geof said, "I think you're ready." Meaning ready to get back into it. I think he's right :) Saturday, Geof headed out for his long run, and I headed out to my mom's to tend to some stuff out there, then headed back into the city where Geof and I set out to participate in the third semi-annual Chicago Beer Runners Pub Run!

The full route ended up being 6.25 miles, with five pub stops along the way, but since we just left from the apartment, we got in a little over 5 miles total, bringing Geof's day to 32 miles, wowza! The pub run was a great time, got to catch up with some of my original Beer Runners that I hadn't seen since before McNaughton, back in April! Enjoyed some delicious new refreshments and got in some fun miles. The Pub Run ran around the Loop this time so it was fun to check out places I hadn't been to yet, and it's always fun to try out new brews :)

Sunday, Geof and I set out to do 10 miles so he could round out his 100 mile week, and a 30 mile week for me...I was only planning on 25, so the extra five miles were a little bonus :) It was a beautiful day yesterday with cooler temps (in the 60s), a solid wind, the sun out in full effect, and everyone and their mother was out enjoying the day and either participating or spectating the Chicago Triathlon along the lakefront. I've never seen a triathlon before, it's not really my thing, but it was really neat to witness the tail end of the event and run through the madness that was Monroe Harbor. Wow, was it busy and crammed with people! It's nice to see so many people out, enjoying the day, doing something good for themselves. It was even nicer to negotiate the crowd and get past it all :) We did a couple loops around Northerly Island, taking in the great scenery and wildflowers, making up stories about the people we encountered along the way, talking about how hungry we were and how much we did not want to do work/study later on. I was enjoying myself so much I didn't even notice how good I felt until we were about done! Best I've felt in awhile, and worlds better than I felt last Thursday during the rainy, evening 10-miler.

Another great weekend of running. You just can't beat that! Hopefully I can replicate yesterday's run and continue to build on that from here on out :)

Less than two weeks now until Geof and I head out to Utah to crew and pace our friend and fellow CHUG, Gary, through the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run. This will be his first 100-mile race and I'm really looking forward to helping get him across the finish line a happy runner :) It's going to be a ridiculously awesome experience and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I can hardly imagine what it's going to be like, Wasatch is no joke my friends!

Crash, out.

Chicago Trash Runners in the News!

Untitled from Kat McCullough on Vimeo.

Crash, out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Smile and Wave

Chicago has been getting a lot of rain the last few days. A lot. But I guess we were kind of due for some saturation. I got in my five miles Tuesday morning, then shirked my running duties on Wednesday since I had class and it was going to be a really long day if I didn't get my sleep, so that meant I had to 'pay up' yesterday...in the form of 10 miles. Really, I only planned on 5-10, and however much I fell short of 10 I would add onto my weekend run. Whatevs, I wasn't set on anything beyond 5 :) I didn't run in the morning, so now this meant it was going to be an evening run, and luckily Geof wanted to join me for some extra miles. G had a work thing after work, so I did some studying after a quick 10-minute rejuvenation nap. I learned that there are three parts to the large intestine (of which I never knew 'colon' was synonymous with 'large intestine'...wow) and all about body planes. It's freakin' cool, not gonna lie.

Around 8:00ish, Geof walked in and we quickly suited up to head out in the rain for some much-needed runnin'. It was dark already, so we opted to run north where it's a little more lit along the path. The path was essentially deserted. More run for us! The city lights lit up the path nicely and it was fun to hop over the puddles forming in the cracks along the path. It was a medium drizzle, enough to let you know it's raining, but not enough to soak through. We had a pretty good headwind heading north, but once we hit the turnaround it really picked up. Geof commented on how that wind will feel in 20 degree weather in a few months, yipes! It was chilly last night, low 60's, but perfect for our run.

At the four mile mark I started to turn around, but Geof encouraged us to go one more for the full 10 miles...okay! He'd already done eight in the morning, so I was thinking he would tap out before 10, but he was all in! Sweet. My body was aching everywhere, hams, glutes, right soleus, left knee, lower back. Working out the kinks again, I guess. It's exactly how I felt post-Pineland Farms 50M, and we were only doing 10 miles! Oy vey. But, I kept on keeping on, listening to Geof's pleasant chatter about winter running on the path, the AVP set-up on Oak Street Beach, work and whatnot. He did a great job of keeping my mind off how good I did not feel. Until the last mile, then it's all I could think about, lol. That, and dinner.

We passed a few peeps that were also braving the elements...quick glance, smile, wave, continue. The waves along the path were building up, churning, receding, pushing, splashing, but even moreso on our way headed back south. They were huge! When they hit the retaining wall they splashed up way over our heads and crashed down on the path. We had pretty good timing and avoided getting splashed on until Fullerton Ave. when we got dumped on...it was exhilarating! There were some kids standing on the boulders along the wall, shirts off, waiting for the next wave; ah, to be a kid again. It would be interesting to see what the lake dug up and pushed up on the shoreline in all that wavey action :)

Another good run, tough, but good. It was a good reminder that I need to put in a little more time on my feet. Last night's 10-miler is officially my longest run since Vermont. Booya. I need to get crackin' and quit slackin'!

One more 10-miler this weekend (or two 5-mile runs) and I'll be set for the week. The Chicago Triathlon is this weekend so maybe we'll get to spend some time down there checking it out... :) Who knows!

Crash, out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Greenwashing

So, I generally steer away from regurgitating others' blog posts, but this one really struck a chord. It's timely and it's something we all need to be aware of and more conscious of. I think that Jeremy did a great job on this post and I'm sure he would love to hear what some of you think on this topic. I was far more opinionated on it that I thought I would be, then I started typing my comment and couldn't stop!

Check it out:

http://thestoryofaredshirt.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/jumping-on-the-bandwagon/

I'm not trying to push anything on anyone, I just thought it was a very interesting post and wanted to share it with you all :) Plus, "greenwashing" sounds funny, and, unfortunately, is everywhere. I'm going to try and fit that one into conversation today :)

Back to business as usual now!

Crash, out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Working Out the Kinks

I am happy to report I had a fantastic 25-mile week last week, squeezed into four runs. My highest mileage week since Vermont :) And, that was with a supremely stiff neck and upper back. I woke up last Monday physically unable to push myself up out of bed, so I had to roll out of it and onto the floor on my knees before I could raise myself up. Hmm, that's uncomfortable. As the day progressed, it loosened up and I could turn my head a couple inches to the sides, and by evening it was better, but still stiff. Tuesday morning, back at square one. So, I called Dr. H at Active Body Chiropractic and got some ART and some chiro magic on my neck and back that evening. Wednesday better, Thursday worse, Friday WORST. I took a late lunch break and hopped on the bus to Dr. H where I got some delicious e-stim, followed by a long ART session and topped off with an application of BioFreeze, and a physiology vocabulary lesson from Doc H. All better! I woke up Saturday and was able to sit up in bed without much trouble. And the rest of the weekend was great! More on this (with pictures!) later. But the weekend included attending a beautiful wedding up in Door County, WI, visiting with old friends, lots of dancing, kayaking, ping pong, a great run on some gorgeous plush trails, homemade frozen custard, great food, meeting new peeps, and just plain relaxing in a beautiful place.

Shock of shocks, you know when I felt my absolute best, and as if my neck never bothered me before? When I was running. Active rest does it best :) Workin' out the kinks...

Now, back in reality, it's back to the work grind, taking a couple of courses in my 'spare' time (anatomy/physiology and a medical terminology class)...you know, for fun :), getting ready to move once more in October (woohoo!), and kicking my training up a notch so I'm ready to pace amongst those little bumps in the Utah horizon known as the Wasatch Front, oh and so I'm ready for my upcoming 50-miler :)

I can't believe it's almost Fall, and that we've barely had a summer so I'm not quite ready for the official start of Fall (even though this 'summer' has felt like Fall since May). So much to look forward to, and so much I'm excited about. This morning's five miles along the water were lovely, and I'm super glad I got it done this morning so I have time to do some class reading and then relax for a little bit. I printed out a 13-month calendar today so that I can start to 'schedule' my running better and see when I have assignments due and other stuff that is non-relaxing related. We'll see how that goes :)

Crash, out.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Double Rainbow Run

Last night, Geof and I headed out for a run after work along the lakefront. It was a double for Geof, but my first run of the day. I said aloud that I wanted to do six miles, but quietly knew I wanted to do more :) We extended it a bit and got in a little more than seven groovy miles on a relatively quiet lakefront. It was pretty warm out, but the light rain kept me cool and added to the fun of the run. I love running in the rain :) And I love running on Northerly Island amongst the wildflowers and prairie grass. It makes it easy to extend your run.

On the way back in, as we reached Monroe Harbor, Geof pointed out that there was a rainbow. I turned to the right and saw the most perfect rainbow in the sky. And not just any rainbow, it was a double rainbow (like in the picture above), and it was a complete arc, not just a wussy half rainbow! It was gorgeous! I can't recall ever seeing anything like that before. I couldn't look away, it was so cool!

You just don't get to see that kind of thing if you're cooped up inside. As runners, we are constantly treated to such surprises on the run. I highly recommend getting outside and enjoying the scenery; you just never know what you'll stumble upon!

Crash, out.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The North (In Your) Face

Yay, I did it! I registered for another race!! I figured that since it's been almost four weeks since Vermont (tomorrow, to be precise) it was time to officially register for the next race on my to do list :)

The North Face Endurance Challenge - Madison, Wisconsin...but it's actually 60 miles south of there and really much closer to Milwaukee than Madison. I can't wait! And, what's better? A bunch of us CHUGs will be racing together!

I signed up for the 50-mile version...better swag, more miles of delight, more quality time with the course. And, as Gary (aka Bison) put it recently, "I'll never sign up for the underdog distance in a race again." Obviously, 50k is a perfectly respectable distance. I just really, really love the 50 mile distance even more :) Just enough of a challenge, but not so much that it leaves you trashed for a week and you finish before it gets dark. Love it.

October 24th is the big day. Then, a week later, I'll be flying out to Phoenix with Geof and a bunch of our beloved CHUGs for the Javelina Jundred, where I will crew and pace for Geof. I'll also double as an official race volunteer from 5am-1pm at the main aid station, and be a cheerleader for all the other CHUGs racing, and Michael Hanes (running his first 100M!). Fantabulous!! Gotta love the CHUG.

And now, it's time for the weekend! The Chicago Air & Water Show is this weekend, as well as some Dunmore fun, some lounging, some great weather, and maybe even some runnin' if my legs agree with me :)

Happy Friday!

Crash, out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pick Your Poison

It is the year of the Rite. The Rite of Passage that is. Lots of milestones being reached, and this weekend was no exception. To what do I refer? I earned myself my very first outbreak from...poison ivy...! Boy does it itch like a mother! I think I got away pretty lucky though, considering. My lower legs are spotty little specimens of...gross. They actually do look a lot like mosquito bites, so the untrained, non-outdoorsy eye wouldn't know any better.

Ah well, it's totally worth it (since it's a pretty mild case). It was a fun weekend of running and camping, and I'd do it again. Except next time I'll slather on the Ivy Block first! I'm not that hardcore :-)

Meantime, I hopped over to the pharmacy and got some Caladryl (the clear kind), and the effect was immediate. What poison ivy?

Oh the joys of trail running!

Crash, out.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tango in Marengo

It all began with a simple suggestion by one of the CHUGs to get some night run training in before Leadville 100...

Sarah and Ben took that and ran with it, literally. They picked the venue, reserved the campsites, created the formal event on the forum, and made reservations for brunch. Brian made a spreadsheet (naturally) where everyone signed up to bring food and drink; and so it went. Sweet and simple, that's how we do! CHUGs sure know how to come together for some good ol' fashioned running and hanging out!

Marengo Ridge is about an hour and a half from Chicago, and on Saturday afternoon Geof and I packed up the truck with all the camping gear, the cooler still fully stocked with beer from the CHUG social two nights prior, our running gear, headlamps and some fresh legs and we were off. After a stop at the grocery store for some last minutes vittles, we hit the road and managed to find the campsite without any problems. Everyone else had been there for a couple of hours, so we immediately hopped to it and got the tent pitched, air mattress set up and then walked back to the fire pit where the burgers and corn were being grilled. Brian and Kelly brought a fancy shmancy shelter with a mosquito surround that was pretty nifty. The mosquitos at this place were not of this world, I was practically eaten alive! Must be because I'm so dang sweet ;)

There were more coolers per capita at our campsite than there are at a Bears Superbowl tailgate, wowza! Beer, Gatorade, Starbucks Doubleshot, water, more beer, other drink stuff, some homebrew that Bill makes (delish!), hotdogs, burgers, fruit salad, veggie salad, watermelon, s'mores, chips, salsa, cookies, it was a veritable feast! And we hadn't even started running yet :) Dinner first, then run. Ultrarunners know how to run on full stomachs anyhow :)

After some eats and some drinks, Ben and Sarah set out on the 4.5 mile loop to mark it with glow sticks. The loop was an even distribution of grassy horse trails and gnarly, technical singletrack. Thank goodness for the glow sticks as some of the single track was so overgrown you couldn't see the trail very well, especially in the dark! Once Sarah got back we snapped a quick group photo, then headed out...

Oh yea, and I of course needed to lube up the feet since it was nasty humid out. We're talkin' 90+ degrees and what felt like 100% humidity. It was a tad warm.

We had a big crowd, 13 in all, and it was a blast heading out on that first loop in one big clump. Sarah said it was going to be tough, but not hilly, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

It was tough. And not hilly. The singletrack really kept us on our toes (and some of us on our faces...but I won't name names ;)). This was a whole new side to night running for me; totally different than the night running I got during VT100 a few weeks back. Vermont isn't technical, Marengo Ridge Conservation Area got technical! I tripped up a few times, but somehow managed to avoid 'crash'ing at any point; wow, you'd think I was coordinated or something.

After one loop, we were all panting due to the humidity, but ready for more. I haven't covered more than 4 miles since Vermont, but this day I was ready for more, bring it! We hung around the "start/finish" area for a few minutes waiting for others to join in, while still others decided to hang back. Brian and Kelly had their pups, Britton and Mia, along for the first loop but let them rest after that. It was their first doggie trail night run!
Hangin' at camp after the first loop
Kelly and Mia (on the left) and me, on the first loop out

On the second loop, my legs were feeling happy so I kept up with Atacama Jim O'Brien. Dude is fast and I was working hard to stay with him, but he was 'taking it easy'. He had done 20 miles earlier in the day so these miles were just bonus miles :) Oh, to be in peak training again! Geof and Kelly were just behind us, and Torey and Leslie were just in front of us. Jim and I discussed the "bullfrogs and ducks" that were rampant on the trail that night (especially surrounding him), Mont Blanc, his 140 mile weeks, and falling on the trail. He caught himself on some near falls. I almost had to hand over my nickname to him. Almost.

Once back at camp, Geof popped a squat...
But not for long! He wanted to do two more loops, after having done 30 miles that morning (for a total of 48 miles for the day, yowza man!). Sweet! I was spent after my 9 miles, and my hip/glute pain was back, as well as the pain on the tops of my feet, so I decided it was time to try one of Bill's homebrews, get cleaned up and into dry clothes, and kick back at camp with the other CHUGs while Geof and Tony went for more trail. Deb had rigged up a sort of sponge bath so I felt pretty fresh after that, thanks Deb!!

Around 3:00 a.m., Geof, Tony, Brian, Kelly, Bill, JimEJo and I were still standing and we finally decided it was time to hit the hay.

Sometime around 5:00 a.m. I awoke to some rather loud snoring emanating from the tent next door. I won't name names, but it was loud ;) Hehehe

After everyone rolled out of their tents, cleaned up the campsite, packed up cars, walked the garbage down to the dumpster and sat around with that familiar post-run/late night ultrarunner vacant look...

Tony, Torey, JimEJo, and Atacama Jim

...we headed into town, to Cafe 20, for some well-earned brunch and more good times.

What a fun weekend! Some very quality night running on some tough trail, super fun camping, hanging with my CHUGs, s'mores and even top notch homebrew thanks to Bill J.! What more could a girl ask for!

Round II will be in September, when the CHUGs descend on the Kettle Moraine, mu hahahaha!

Crash, out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Everything's Coming Up Roses

I have sunshine coming out of my a** :) It's pretty great!

Tuesday, I ran 2.2 miles in the morning along the lakefront. It was lovely out, a little humid, but lovely. I felt okay, better than last Friday for sure. I could still feel my hip/glute problem, which brought me to a walk a couple of times, but it's worlds better than last week. Phew!

This morning, I really upped the anty and ran 2.7 miles on the same route. I know, I know, I'm pushing it ;) It was a much better run! I even had some speed in the ol' legs...I glanced at my Garmin a few times and I was cranking out sub-8:30 (hey, that's good for me these days!). I even had my heartrate up! To quote Krissy from a recent blog post of hers, "I felt human." And that is good. Still could feel the same hip/glute thingy, but it didn't reduce me to a walk. I'm thinking this Saturday's CHUG camping/night running outing at Marengo Ridge is going to be a "high mileage" night for me...maybe 10 miles??? Who knows, but I do know that I will be indulging in some s'mores, some good old smack talk around a campfire with some of my favorite peeps, and plenty of laughs and good times. I enjoy night running, so this will be a treat!

Speaking of treats, I got my new running jacket in the mail today! I ordered the ladies' North Face Venture Jacket:

It's water and windproof, super thin and can fit over layers...perfect for cold/wet runs! I got this sweet little number from Backcountry...which if you've never used them before, use them. Or use Steep and Cheap. S&C is somehow tied to Backcountry and it has ridiculously low prices on outdoor gear; every 20 minutes is a new item, so I just keep it up in my browser throughout the day when I'm trolling for something specific...like my new jacket! Not to sound like an advertisement or anything (and there's no financial interest, just a happy customer).

That's my story morning glory. Just having a great week, and really looking forward to the weekend. I am also really looking forward to this whole 'post-100 recovery' thing to be over. I wanna run far again! I'm thinking I might wear these for the camping/running trip:

Chili-peppin' it before VT100

Oh, how I miss that race!! I've got an itch for another 100-miler...

Crash, out.

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