Race Schedule

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

And plenty more!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Knock, knock. Who's There? Leadville Trail 100!


Order Complete!
Thank you from the Leadville Trail 100!


It's done. I registered for LT100, on August 21-22. Ho-ly shnikes!!

*deep cleansing breath in...aaaaaaand exhale*

It's gonna be awesome :) Geof and I will be tackling the mountains of Colorado for a whole new kind of challenge, all at altitude of over 10,000 feet, up to 12,500 feet. Do you think maybe I should start doing a little hill work? First I would like to finish Rocky Raccoon 100 :) Then I'll start the hill work.

Stepping it up in 2010!

Crash, out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

One Last Gasp

We are now officially less than two weeks out from Rocky Raccoon 100. Where does the time go?

I like that we've picked an early-season 100 mile race so that we can still properly recover and rejuvenate without feeling like we're missing out on anything before starting to ramp up again for the spring/summer/rest of the season :)

Saturday, Geof and I milled around the apartment in the early morning, and then forced ourselves out the door around 11:30 for our long run. Neither of us were in the best of spirits due to the cruddy, utterly depressing weather we were having...low 40's, but unbelievably dreary and nasty out. The entire city was shrouded in dense fog and blah. You couldn't see the tops of most of the highrises even. Plus, it was windy as a mutha. We decided to go north for a change, and instead of gambling with the Oak Street Beach ice-capade, we stuck to inner Lake Shore Drive until the underpass near Michigan Avenue, thus bypassing all the ice that still hung out on The Curve. From there, we ran.

We were both in shorts, but by the end we wouldn't have minded long tights :) It was a little misty out, so I was glad to have on my waterproof jacket. I was trying out my new Nathan Intensity hydration pack and while I liked it a lot, I did not love it. Since I can be lazy at times, I didn't want to put anything but water in the pack (too much work to clean it out!), so I still carried a bottle with my Perpetuem in it. Maybe it just takes some getting used to, having something strapped to your back. Then again, I've never lamented my Nathan Vest (non-hydration) before so perhaps I'm just out of practice with having something there. The plus? there was almost zero bounce going on, and what little there was was negligible. I'm still planning on using it for a loop or two at Rocky, though :-)

More than a few people felt compelled to comment on our shorts attire. C'mon, it's not like it was freezing temps, it was just gross out. Anywho, we ran and ran and ran. Neither of us were sure (quietly) about how far we'd go, but we pushed it and made it 10 miles out, so that meant we were getting in our much desired 20 miles. Not gonna lie, it was tough. While my legs felt tons better than they did during last week's 20-miler, and I felt more..spritely...this time it was a mental battle of sorts. Once I realized I had mis-calculated how far we'd gone (checked against Geof's GPS) I wanted to stomp my feet and whine like a 2-year old right there. "Only 9.1 miles, are you kidding me?! We still have another mile to go?!!" While I did in fact still whine about it like a 2-year old, we kept moving forward. It took me the rest of that mile to get over it :)

After a pit stop in the Starbuck's on Sheridan, we put our heads down and cranked it out. Once back on the actual Lakefront Path, the miles passed by slightly more easily. It took all we had not to hop on the redline at Hollywood and call it a day :) The wind had picked up and chilled us both to the bone. But we kept at it. I could tell we were moving a little faster than the week before, and despite the mental challenge of it, I was feeling physically good.

And then we bought bananas. Pulling off the path at Michigan again, we stopped at a new convenience store around the corner from us and bought bananas for our protein smoothies. Twenty miles = done and done! We finished this week's run in 3:27 (last week's was 3:31) and that even included the 5 or so minutes at Starbucks for our bathroom break. Bam! I'll take it.

Sunday, we got in a quick 5.5 miles to shake out the long run stiffness. It felt good and I had a lot more spring in my step than a week ago. My ankles flared up once we got home and it's still bothering me some today, but now it's TAPER TIME so that means lots of rest, more ice, ibuprofen as needed, and lots of foam rolling to prep the legs for the ultimate. Can't wait!

Now, what to eat? :)

Crash, out.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sporty Cats

Look how pretty they are. I can smell the new shoe smell through the computer screen! Like a newborn wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, so are my La Sportiva Wildcats nestled all cozy in their tissue wrap. Last night, I got the little slip in my mailbox saying I had a package, but it was too late to pick them up. So at 7:00 this morning, I headed down to the receiving room to pick up my goods. Hello, love, meet your new home: my feet!

*sigh*

I was nervous about the fit since I've never even tried La Sportivas on before, but Wilderness Running's Stacy Young counseled me on sizing and assured me they would be the right size. So after removing the commercial insert, putting in my custom orthotics, and slipping these puppies on my anxious feetsies, I suddenly realized what I'd been missing out on. The right fit! The orthotics fit in like a freakin' glove, no curling up on the sides for being too narrow, no rolling in on the toes for being too short. Oh glory of glorys!

Now I just hope they hold up well for a run :) Hopefully I'll get out this weekend for a test run in these. I'd love to run some/a lot of Rocky Raccoon 100 in them, but gotta test 'em out first.

Onward!

Crash, out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby Got Back(-to-Back)

Shazam.

Geof and I had a nice little weekend :) Saturday morning, we woke up earrrly and Jim picked us up to drive out to Libertyville to test out one of our fellow CHUGs, Ed Kelly's, favorite trails, the Des Plaines River Trail. It was a good 45-50 minute drive up, but the company made the drive fly by. The morning decided to start out cold, low 20s, and windy, much to our dismay. The weather forecast called for warming temps and sun. We got neither of those things. I felt a little off when I woke up and kind of dragged ass around the apartment. Just one of those days.

We met Ed and Brian (both of which will be running RR100 with us!) at the Independence Grove lot, shivering as we all stepped out of our heated vehicles. Holy eff, it was a chill fest! We ran down a stretch of pavement and then jumped onto the trail, which is normally crushed limestone, but on this day it was covered in a layer of heavily churned snow atop a thick layer of ice. The footing was terrible and I was so not in the mood to twist my ankles. So after a 1/2 hour, I decided I was going to turn around and just run loops around the Grove while the guys ran the trail.

I grabbed Jim's car key from Geof and let them know what direction I'd be running the 2.7 mile loops so we could meet up again once they finished. Super duper! I eventually made it back to the paved loop we started from and looking to my right I saw the car that held all things warm and delightful, but instead chose to go left and run a loop before grabbing a gel and warming up. Oh my it was windy out in the open, but the area was very nice. I bet it's a real gem in the spring and summer...the Grove is bursting at the seams with ponds and rolling hills, trees and lots of other stuff to distract you. I ran the first loop, hopped in Jim's car to warm up and down a gel, contemplated a nap, then got back out before I could be lured any further into laziness. I knew I could squeeze in another loop before the guys reappeared from the woods. Just as I finished up my second loop, the guys were finishing up and decided to join me on a couple more loops around the Grove. Good times! I ended up with just over 13 miles, and after our run we headed into town and had an awesome chowdown breakfast at Townee Square Restaurant.

After a lovely visit with Geof's dad, Larry, and Andrea, on Sunday afternoon Geof and I headed out for our f'real long run, and hopped on the lakefront path. The weather was downright sinfully gorgeous. The sun was out, the sky was clear, the temps were in the upper 20s, perhaps even into the 30s and just a touch of wind here and there. We ran south until we hit 10 miles, turned around and headed home. It was tough on my joints doing that on the pavement, and now my right knee is giving me the silent treatment, but it was a very good run. Just getting through the miles and working out the kinks. We were both pretty spent before too long, but it still flew by. We got 'er done in 3h:30m, under our anticipated 4 hour finish. Bam!

Back-to-back long runs remind the legs who's boss.

We've got one more long run weekend coming up and then a nice two-week taper for Rocky Raccoon 100. Oh boy, it's coming up fast! Just found out today that Tony will be joining us down in Texas for the 100M as well...a veritable CHUGfest!

Now it's time to gather up my brain cells and my patience as tomorrow starts a new semester...yikes!!

Crash, out.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wilderness Running Company Has A Serious Case of the Runs...

Have you had a chance to check these guys out?

What? No?!

Well head on over to Wilderness Running Company for your fix of both top notch trail running gear, but also to catch a glimpse of The Life...that's the name of their new blog which highlights various destination trails around the country, City Guides for trail runners, and of course gear reviews of some of the items they sell on their website. Good stuff. Plus, one of the owners, Stacy Young, is one pretty cool dude.

Anywho, I'm excited because I have officially been published! Yeehaw! How fun :)

But seriously, I stumbled upon WRC back in some month last year that I can't recall at the moment while reading Trail Runner Magazine. The ad left much to the imagination so I went to the website and couldn't stop playing around on it. I had emailed Stacy to compliment him on the site and after some back-and-forth, I mentioned that I was going to be visiting Acadia National Park pretty soon, and he suggested that maybe perhaps I could take some pictures and maybe perhaps do a trail review. Saaa-weet! My Acadia visit was back in May 2009. You could say I dragged my feet, but I had so much going on that I hadn't gotten around to writing up my review until just a couple weeks ago when I had some downtime and it occurred to me that I still hadn't submitted it...!

BAM! It's posted! It looks pretty, too :) Check it out, if you've got some time and want to learn a little about one of my favorite places to visit and kick around. Here's the link:

Paige's Acadia Trail Review

So that's the good word. I just wanted to share that with my bloggy peeps. It's fun to see your writing somewhere other than your own blog :) Thanks, Stacy!!

My apologies for the "hey everybody, come see how good I look" post, but I'm just a little stoked.

Looking forward to a night run tonight with Geof. Rocky Raccoon 100...just three weeks and one day away!

Crash, out.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Windburn Six in the Stix , and BIG News!

Yesterday was the first running of Windburn Six in the Stix, the winter "fat ass" version of Sunburn Six in the Stix. It's a 6 hour free event run on a 2.28 mile crushed gravel loop at the James Pate "Phillips" State Park, in Bartlett, IL. The CHUGs' very own Brian Gaines once again took the reigns and got it all set up and on Saturday, January 9, about 20-25 very brave souls showed up to toe the line. While I'm not sure on the exact number, it was definitely far less than the 49 people who signed up. Not that I can blame them...it was downright COLD! By the time we started, around 8:15 a.m., the temperature was 0 degrees. By the end of the run, it had risen to a whooping 15 degrees. Thank goodness the sun was out all day, it was the only saving grace!
And we're off!
Front of the pack, but not for long :)
This is Jim O. He used Windburn as another training run for the Arrowhead 135 in February (hence the sled). Good luck, Jim!!!

The park is pretty underused, but very well kept. Due to the lack of use, the trails were almost entirely untouched. This meant postholing through foot deep powder much of the first loop. Good thing I decided to wear my waterproof Sugoi Resistor socks :) Since it was so flippin' cold, the snow never really packed down enough to create a good running surface, so that meant a LOT of ankle rolling, twisting and general debauchery was in store for the runners. Some portions of the trail packed down, but it never lasted long. So basically, the trail was perfect for snowshoeing!

Geof and I went into the day looking to just keep moving the full six hours. We didn't really have a mileage goal in mind as we knew what the weather held for us. And, at this point, six hours on our feet was going to be a very good thing :) I was not looking forward to running that long in such cold temps, but needed to do it for myself. It surprises me every time I run in the cold (which is quite often now) that as long as you wear the right clothing you will be just fine. I invested in a good pair of fleece lined Pearl Izumi running tights and some Powerstretch zip tops this winter and I've already used them enough to justify the cost of the items! It's amazing how much of a difference it makes wearing the right stuff, and layering. I've also taken to wearing my tricked out ski mittens...wind and waterproof mittens that have a cozy fleece liner glove inside. I wore those babies all day yesterday, and my hands were sweaty! Geof and I overpacked big time (I threw almost my entire winter running wardrobe into a suitcase!), but we never made a single clothing change! Clearly, we picked the right clothes from the start and I'm really happy with how things turned out. I never even changed my socks, and I love changing my socks :)


So, as for the run, I was a little worried about how my ankles would hold up given their current tendinitis diagnosis that I've been getting some PT for (and clearly yielding significant results), and given how bad the footing was going to be. But, in the end, my ankles did a dazzling job out there and held up brilliantly! I felt one single twinge in the first minute or so, but I quickly found my groove and it stayed that way the rest of the run. I could not believe how good I felt! Geof and I ran together, more or less, the whole time, and just ticked off the miles. The hours went really fast and I was really enjoying myself. It wasn't until about the second to last loop that I started to feel a little tired and felt it in my hips and glutes.

Almost done :)

5 hours and 43 minutes later, we came to the start/finish area with 9 full laps done, which is 20.4 miles. Hello! All things considered, the effort and time on our feet far exceeded the distance we covered, and the final mileage count far exceeded my expectations. Bam!! What a day. I should mention that my appetite was very different than the usual in the cold weather. I did not run with a bottle since the laps were short (around 30-40 minutes each), and took some swigs of Perpetuem and ate a gel after each lap. Brandon from Indiana brought homemade chicken noodle soup in a giant jug so I partook in that, Brian handed me a sausage McMuffin around 11 a.m., and I was enjoying some hot coffee after each loop. This was enough to keep me going the whole time. It was so much fun to hang out with my fellow CHUGs and cover some miles. While the vast majority of the field left quite a bit before the six hours were up, those who stuck around and just gutted it out seemed to have a pretty good time. It was just too dang cold to hang around if you weren't running! Afterward, a group of us headed over to Nest Cafe, in Bartlett, to enjoy some hot food and rehash the day.


Geof and I were using the run to determine whether or not we would run Rocky Raccoon 100 in February. After a little more discussion later on over some pasta and garlic bread at Brian and Kelly's house (Brian is running RR100, too), we ended up signing up for RR100!! Watch out! Geof and I will be running the race together, and I am so excited about it! We've got a little (!) more training to squeeze in for the February 6th race, and lots o' planning to do, but it is just going to be so much fun. We'll be sharing the experience with Brian and Kelly, of course, as well as a number of other CHUGs making the journey down for the race. Can't. Wait!

*All photos are courtesy of the lovely Kelly Roe (soon-to-be Kelly Gaines)

Crash, out.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

One for the Books

It's 2010. Doesn't that sound so futuristic?

To start things off, I am going to put in writing that this year is going to be deliciously epic. A year of many exciting things. I get all giddy thinking about it! I tallied up my year end mileage for 2009 and was pleasantly surprised: 1,316 miles total, 527 of which were race miles. Hmmm, you could say, perhaps, I raced a little much :) But this is the impetus for change in the coming year. I've learned some things, unlearned some things, and just plain ol' gained a new perspective on my running in general.

I usually like to set some goals for each new year, not resolutions, but actual attainable goals. Resolutions are meant to be...left unresolved :-) I don't get it when people do things like "no more sugar" (I don't know how others do that willingly) or "no coffee" (that's just INSANE). And, I really only like to set running goals, those are the most fun :) Since I had such a personally monumental running year in 2009, I'm not sure where to start for 2010. I got my first 50M and 100M done, got some PRs for myself and just generally had a blast of a year running around. So what's a gal to do? Some thoughts on my goals for the year...

1) Well, I've started by going electronic. Since high school, I've kept a hard copy of a daily planner and kept track of everything from school stuff, appointments, work stuff and of course all my runs and workouts. Looking through old planners is hilarious. I must say I've been quite thorough with keeping track of my runs! But, alas, it is time to move into the 21st century...now that we are a full decade into it :)

I exclaimed sometime back in October or so that I would start an online running log on January 1st. So I opened my shiny new log on December 31st...I couldn't wait a day longer! I went with RunningAHEAD as my log of choice. No real reason other than that Geof has been using it for some time and really likes what it has and all the options available. Plus, it's free :) I've already logged two runs on it, and I'm pretty excited to watch as my charts and graphs and stats move around throughout the year. You get stats for anything you want regarding your runs, it's insane! I can find out how many runs I've done on sunny days or rainy days, or how many hours I ran for in a given week, month, year, etc. I like those kinds of stats, those are fun to play with.

So that was one goal, to go paperless. Check.

2) Next goal? To run and train and race more...smartly. 2009 was a year of learning the hard way. Geof, my chiropractor and now my PT tell me I hear my body a little too well...I'm a little "too" in tune with what's up. Guilty :) I'm always worried about the slightest of twinges or aches, and this has its downsides (it's annoying!), but it's also got its upsides (I can catch things before they become problems). But, I plan to be a little more careful and more thoughtful with my training this year so perhaps I can rest my neuroses a little bit. I don't need to race every ultra in a 500 mile radius...even though that's very tempting :) I want to be healthy and strong and the best way to do that is to put in the miles and the rest. So, that said, I plan to up my base mileage by about 10 miles per week and then keep it there. Easier said than done (especially when it's 2 degrees and windy!), but I know it's what I need to do to keep pace with my goals.

3) Leadville Trail 100. This will be my goal race this year. Wow, what a concept for me...a 'goal' race, and not just a whim ;) I want to run this and finish it. That's all. Less talk, more do.

4) Buy a bike. Ride it. Don't let it get stolen like the last one :)

5) 2,010 miles in 2010. Perfectly doable. I think.

Well I think those are some good things to work on and towards, namely goal #2 & 3.

This will be a great year and I'm excited to watch it unfold and develop through the year. Lots to do, lots to see! It'll be one for the books.

Happy New Year everyone!

Crash, out.

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