Race Schedule

2018 Races…TBD!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Xterra National Trail Champs 21k: Finding the Fire

I'm trying something new and attempting a post from my phone.  I feel so tech-forward.  Or am I way behind the times and bloggers have already been doing this for some time?  Probably that.

In any event, I ran my first race in over a year last month!  It was the Xterra National Trail Championship 21k (half marathon) at Snowbasin Ski Resort outside of Ogden, UT.  And, it was fantastic!  My goal was to finish somewhere between 2.5-3 hours, accounting for technical trail bits and the 2,200 ft of elevation gain.  Oh, and accounting for a serious lack of training :) I figured three hours would be more like it.  So when I rolled into the finish chute after 2h:34m I was more than thrilled with the outcome!

Muscle memory is real!

The race was so much fun!  Geof, E, Cadence and I drove up race morning and met up with our friends also running the race, Beth, Betsy, and Tom.  I was a little nervous about how things would feel above the waist and had very little concern for the legs.  Being a nursing mama, and this being my first athletic endeavor since E arrived, AND being that I would be away from the babe for an extended period of time I wasn't sure what to expect.  I tried nursing her one more time before the start but she was far more interested in everything else going on around us and went on a meal strike :) Oh well, glad I pumped before we left!

The race was smaller than I imagined it would be, less than 200 I think, so as we began the initial climb up the first ski hill there wasn't too much uncomfortable jockeying.  My legs felt amazing and my lungs were already burning :) My goodness, how I've missed this!

I felt so out of practice that the night before I wasn't sure how to carry hydration, and if I even needed to.  I definitely wanted to avoid dehydration (which can wreak havoc on milk supply).  After consulting with my fellow comrades, I decided on carrying a handheld.  I felt so dorky, like a total novice, and that was sort of fun :) So, handheld in hand, I broke into a power hike up the first climb.  It felt goooooood.

I'll spare you the blow-by-blow, but I will say that this was a terribly beautiful run through some gorgeous fall foliage, delicious single track with sweeping views, technical footing, a few good climbs, and several miles of absolutely joyful downhilling.  I would definitely run this one again.  I was feeling the effects of my undertraining by the halfway point, but then came 4-5 miles of downhill at the most perfect time.  I relaxed the legs and the mind and let gravity bring me down the mountain.  I was actually running the descent hard enough that my quads began to fatigue.  I haven't done that in ages!  I made up a lot of time on this stretch and passed a lot of folks, which is always a nice little energy boost.

I sipped from my bottle frequently and refilled only once, near the end.  The weather was so amazing (sunny and cool) and the terrain was exactly what I needed.  There was one final stretch of uphill before descending a ski hill into the finish chute.  It felt so good!  Geof was wearing E, who had completely passed out for the duration of the event.  Cadence the pup was very excited to see her mama, though! :)

After some stretching and some chatting we said our goodbyes and sought out a shaded grassy area so I could nurse E.  I was ready!  I never really felt uncomfortable, but it was good to relieve some pressure post-race.  All my nursing mamas know what I mean ;)

I love that post-race glow; it's something I have really missed.  And I love that post-long run ache.  I felt like I hadn't done a thing the next day so I'll take that as a sign that I'm on my way back :)

The following weekend we went up to Logan to help crew at the Bear 100 and I would be lying if I said it didn't light a fire in my belly...  The thought of returning to that race makes me downright giddy :) I am staying away from 100s until I wean from nursing, but I could totally be ready for a good race by next fall.  I just don't know what my training could look like in reality now that it's no longer just Geof and I these days, and I'm not going back just to finish...I want to do it faster next time :) So, we'll see!

In any event, it's good to be back and really good to know I haven't lost the fire!

Paige, out.

Friday, August 28, 2015

I'm Back, Baby! Well...-ish

As of tomorrow it would be two months since my last post...I just couldn't let that happen :)  Good thing I have some news to share...I JUST SIGNED UP FOR MY FIRST POST-BABY RACE!  

A good idea?  Probably not.

Will I be ready?  I think so.

Am I excited?  Of course!

Am I nervous?  I walked away from the computer twice to give myself time to think it through some more, because, somehow, the last three weeks wasn't enough time to stew over it.

So, it's not like the old days, running ultras all willy nilly.  While I will be biting off slightly more than I can chew, it's much more low key than in the past.  I will be running the Xterra Trail Run 21k (half marathon) in Ogden, UT on September 20th.  It'll be a birthday present to myself :)  I did a bunch of Xterra races back when I lived in Chicago and always enjoyed the low key nature of their events.  I'm not sure how this event will stack up, especially since it's the national championship race ;)  No, I'm not competing, and anyone can sign up and run.  I just want to run trails and be surrounded by other super excited runners.  It has been TOO LONG.  And these will be all new-to-me trails.  Yay.  My friends Beth, Betsy, and Tom are also running, so that was really the main selling point :)  

I've been doing a fair bit of road running with E in the jogging stroller and hiking whilst wearing said baby, but I've also done a fair bit of not running...easy to do with a four month old babe and fully renovated priority list.  Speaking of, how cute is this?!

Really stinking cute, that's how cute

Yesterday, I took Cadence up Millcreek Canyon and we ran to Dog Lake for the first time this year (and Cadence's first time ever).  It was a glorious, glorious 6.2 mile trail run and it felt AMAZING.  That's when I decided to put on my big girl pants and just sign up for the race already.  It's sort of incredible what the body remembers and while I make no claims to having near the fitness I had pre-pregnancy, my legs have done a darn good job remembering how to run.  And Cadence is a really awesome off-leash running partner.  Come to think of it, this was our first time running together!

I start back to work part-time next week and I'm both excited and nervous.  Nervous because it's going to be weird not having a tiny human attached to my person all day long, and because new things always make me nervous :)  Such is life. 

I have big dreams of a 100 mile run next fall, but we shall see.  Best laid plans...  For now, half marathon in the mountains it is!

Paige, out.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rolling With My Homies

I was on the floor doing my morning planks this morning when I suddenly remembered...I have a blog!  There has been a lot of life happening since my last post in February.  It's a little bit crazy to consider where I was physically and emotionally when I last wrote here, and where I am now, almost five months later.  

Well, let's get up to speed, shall we?

I continued to walk at least two miles/day, sometimes venturing onto the trails as my growing belly allowed me.  Then I began working in March.  I was LOVING my work.  It felt so good to finally do my thing.  I was bouncing around to multiple outpatient clinics for the company I work for, waiting for my "home clinic" to get things ready for me to join them for good.  It was a lot of fun to meet so many different therapists and staff around the valley and to learn something different from each one.  I met so many awesome patients and was hitting my stride.  

My belly was growing beautifully, and I was also LOVING that!  Baby Dunmore was getting more and more active and prepping for his/her arrival quite vigorously.  We ventured over to Healdsburg for the Lake Sonoma 50 (Geof was running, not me :)) and stayed with friends, John and Lisa for a long weekend.  It was fantastic.  Events transpired at this point that led my midwife to believe that Baby Dunmore was likely to make an early appearance.  She wasn't 100% confident in that statement, but she wanted us to be ready, just in case.  So we set about finalizing things and finishing up the nursery. I had a sneaking suspicion that she was right, but didn't fully believe it either. 

I left work one Saturday in April, books strewn about my desk, open to specific pages to remind me to research a new technique for a patient when I was back in the clinic the coming Tuesday.

Sunday, we spent the ENTIRE day nesting...without realizing that was what we were doing.  I mean seriously intense nesting...cleaning, organizing, purging, more cleaning, more organizing.  It was so awesome.  How did we not see it coming?

Monday early afternoon I was standing in line at Target, waiting to purchase some last minute items for myself in prep for baby's arrival.  And I felt a trickle.  'Oh my.  That's unfortunate.  Did I just wet my pants a little?'  This happened several more times that afternoon.  I never thought twice about it.  I just chalked it up to a little bit of late pregnancy incontinence.  I was only barely more than 35 weeks along.

I finished up errands for the day, and then we were sitting down to dinner.  About 15 minutes into our meal, I started to describe what happened that day when I suddenly felt a gush that stopped me mid-sentence.  I ran to the bathroom, unsuccessfully.  'WHOA, what was that?!'  I gathered myself and returned to the table to pick up where I left off.  And then WUSH!  Just like the freaking movies!  And of course I couldn't sit still and let it happen, I had to pee-pee dance my way back to the bathroom, spreading the love, as it were, the entire way!  Sorry, TMI, but it's true.  I shouted to Geof that I think perhaps my water just broke.   Uh, ya think?!

So, anyway, here we are a full month before my due date and we are rushing off to the hospital after a call to the midwife where she urged me to get to the hospital in the next three hours.  

I guess I wouldn't be heading into work the next day after all :)

Long story short, it was an amazing birth experience.  I mean amazing.  Sure, it was scary because the little tike was showing up 4 weeks early, but it was obviously time.  Baby Dunmore was ready to come and meet us!  We were waiting to find out what our little bundle of joy was, and I highly recommend it.  Talk about a sweet surprise!  We got a girl!!  It was even more of a surprise as I was completely convinced we were having a boy, ha!

Everything went without a hitch and I was lucky enough to be able to have the unmedicated birth that I had hoped for.  I wouldn't say that anything about it felt good, but it was a challenge I was most definitely up for and I'm really glad I was able to follow through.  From check-in to delivery it was about 13 hours total, but thankfully the uncomfortable phase was very short lived, just a few of those hours.  

After just a couple of days we all headed home.  We felt enormously grateful and very lucky to have had the experience we had.  

Presenting Miss Ellery!  This was a month or so after she was born, but I just love this photo :)

Life was taking a whole new direction much earlier than expected, but the only option was to roll with it.  To be honest, I was sad to miss out on that last month of pregnancy as I had enjoyed it so much; sad to miss out on that last month of prep, nesting, and enjoying our final days of just us two.  Strangely, I had trouble adjusting to my rapidly flattening belly.  I loved that big pregnant belly! :) But then I got over it and am now back in runner mode :) 

Yes, I can run again!!  Once the Chariot arrived from Geof's mom and step-dad we were excited to get out for our first spin.  Ellery LOVES her new ride!  She only fusses when I stop or slow down.  I may have to start calling her Coach ;)  

Check out those rims!  Rolling with my homies...Geof and Ellery :)

Adjusting to life as parents is a trip and definitely not for the faint of heart.  We are just two months in and life is completely different, barely resembling any part of what it once was.  But it's a pretty darn good trade.  Ellery is our tiny little dreamboat :)

It's good to be back running.  I feel like I've got a blank slate, which is kind of cool.  I'm keeping my runs short and sweet, and including plenty of walk breaks as dictated by our 100 degree weather, in addition to my decreased fitness.  I'm thinking I'll sign up for something fun, like a 1/2 marathon, this fall, to keep me honest.  Why not?

Paige, out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

It's All About That...Journey

I don't know where I'm going with this post, but while I lay foam rolling on the office floor just moments ago I suddenly was motivated to log-in here and type something.

Over dinner last night, Geof was recounting an interview he heard on NPR with Bradley Cooper, from American Sniper.  Cooper talked about how he completely transformed his body in order to become the roll and how strange it was for him.  At the end of the day, he couldn't go home and take off his 'suit' and relax.  His 'work clothes' were now a part of him; he was living in someone else's body, within his own body.

What a strange experience to have.  And yet, in my mind I immediately compared it to being pregnant.  I am wearing another body atop my own.  Even though it's all me, it's this transformed version of me that I walk around in.  I can still see the remnants of my previous self: my runners' legs that are surprisingly still very runner-ish, gangly arms that are slightly less gangly, the uppermost portion of my rectus abdominis is still very much ab-like when I flex, and my feet remain tendinous and flexy.  That's not a word, but it is right now.

Early on, this was a difficult reality...so much change and more to come, 'how will I ever get my running body back?', everyday something new and totally unpredictable.

But, thankfully, that phase passed very quickly.  I feel extremely fortunate because I LOVE EVERY MOMENT OF THIS.  I wake up each day excited to see if my belly has expanded further or to see if my clothes fit a little tighter.  I admire my new shape constantly...borderline obsessively? :)  While there is a little extra cushion appearing in a few key places, enough to ban me from certain pre-pregnancy jeans at this point, 23 1/2 weeks in, I hardly notice these things.  It's the belly I marvel at.  And what a marvelous thing it is!  When is it ever exciting to hear your husband proclaim, 'You're huge!' or 'You're really pregnant!'

Those words are music to my ears.  I smile every time he remarks on my bump :)

Once the belly really began to pop, the excitement compounded.  It's such an amazing thing.  We're growing a human in here!  And when the kicks began to occur consistently and predictably, that took things up a notch.  This is one heck of an active baby.  Being able to not only feel but also see their antics from the outside is pretty amazing.  I love it so much.  I laid on the couch for an hour yesterday and just watched my abdomen bounce about, smiling and laughing like a nutcase.  Cadence even walked over at one point to see what all the fuss was.  She didn't quite get it and went back to her bed.

While I still step into my running shoes daily, I have downgraded the pace a bit...from a runners' pace to that of a walker's.  And while that was difficult at first, I feel like I've really grown into my new mode of exercise.  I like to do at least 2 miles a day, and my bladder won't let me go much beyond 4-5 miles.  I log my walks, just as I did when I was running.  That small act makes me feel surprisingly happy.  I heart my log.  And I live vicariously through Geof's running.  I feel really good.  It's going to be hard to ease back into running after the baby arrives, but such is life.  It will be good to get back to it, but I'm in no rush.  I'm working on something a lot more important right now :)

*Insert Awkward Segue*

With all the academic excitement of late...graduating, sitting for my boards, passing said boards, acquiring three job offers in the span of one week, receiving my license to practice...there were some brief periods of quiet contemplation.

There's a blog that I've followed for a number of years now, titled It's Not the Destination, It's the Journey.  I've always loved the name of it.  But, I never really thought much about why I love the name.

We recently spent a long weekend in Santa Barbara and on a long walk with Cadence up the canyon it suddenly came to me.  My most recent extended journey being school and becoming a PTA, I was thinking in terms of this, but it applies to becoming a parent as well.

A goal is set, the groundwork is laid, you take the steps to begin, and then you're off.  It's hard; it's exciting; it's pure joy; it's intense, however short-lived, let downs; roller coaster ride after roller coaster ride.  But the end goal is always in sight.  You never lose sight of that.  Keeping your eyes on the prize.  Each day is another day closer to achieving that goal.  The goal is concrete, tangible, definite; just enough out of reach that you need to work for it.  You're becoming stronger and stronger with each passing day, slowly morphing into this new version of you.  And then one day, on a set date that you knew was coming all along, it happens.  You achieve your goal.  You have reached your destination.  You did the work, you survived the gauntlet, and now you emerge victorious.  And holy moly, what a victory it is!

But...now what?

It's not to say that the destination was a letdown.  It was anything but that.  I am now a PTA!  I get to do the thing I've been dreaming about doing for more than seven years now.  I freaking did it!  It's a strange thing to workandworkandwork towards something for so darn long and then suddenly it all happens, exactly as you imagined it.  But is that the end of the line?

No, it's just the beginning.

I reminded myself not to look at the destination I had reached.  Instead I reflected on the journey I took to get there.  It was an incredible journey, people!  I marvel at it.  I marvel at myself, at my fellow classmates (my second family, really).  Every single day was worth it.  It's a badge of honor having survived everything we did in order to be where we are now.  I am thankful for the journey I had.  Reaching this destination is merely one stopover in the longer journey.  And now I stand on the cusp looking ahead and I get goosebumps considering all the possibilities.

Goals are good.  They're great.  Destinations are necessary.  They get us on the road; they get us to begin and sustain the journey, even when it sucks at times.  Especially when it sucks.  And then one day we get to look back and marvel, then look ahead and get goosebump-y with excitement.  Can you imagine setting out on a course having no idea what the end goal is, what you're heading towards?  A destination allows for primitive structure, and that structure grows and morphs as you pick your way along the course.  It's sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure book :)

So I guess I'm just writing all of this as a reminder to never forget where you've come from.  Appreciate the journey and look forward to the next.

Parenthood is going to be one heck of a journey.  Pregnancy has been a journey already!  It's terrifying, exhilarating, and I have no idea what to expect.  And I couldn't imagine it being any other way, or experiencing it with anyone else.  Geof is going to be an amazing dad.  People happily share their experiences, but let's be real here.  Those are their journeys, not ours.  I don't want to internalize others' journeys.  I want to live and experience ours.  Whatever it may be.

A 21 week beach bum-p

I'm now realizing the irony of this post.  I set out composing it having no idea what my destination was.  And, yet, I managed to arrive at one :)

Paige, out.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014, The Year of Exchange

I remember writing my wrap-up post for 2013 and thinking in my head, 'I'm going to publish this goal, but I also have a super secret whisper goal.'  

Make a baby :)

Turns out the kind of running I love to do is not conducive to baby-making.  So, as a result, my numbers suffered a little bit in 2014, but my body flourished!  Here we go:

I ran 1,120.8 miles in 185 hours and198 runs averaging 5.6 miles per run in 2014...slightly more than half my mileage of 2013, half the number of runs, but 1/10th longer per run.  Numbers are sometimes fun :)

My midwife asked me to back off the running a smidge, up my weight a tad, and decrease stress.  Thus, after July and the Speedgoat 50k+, I seriously cut back on my mileage, declined signing up for a hundred miler, and began drinking whole milk and upping my red meat intake (two things I have no issues with).

I was able to pack on a whole 3 lbs in about two months :)  But, it worked!

More than two years ago, when we first decided we wanted to expand our family, I really struggled internally with exchanging who I've been (a feathery ultra runner) for who I will be (a less feathery short distance runner).  Even though it's not a forever change, it still took me a year and a half to feel really, really good about that.  Best decision ever.  I LOVE BEING PREGNANT!  Though my running is almost non-existent (it is so uncomfortable right now!) I am thrilled with all of the amazing changes that are happening.  Building a human is so cool!  At 19 weeks I can feel our little babe dancing around gingerly in my abdomen and it makes my heart sing.

Hikes in the mountains with the pup have more or less replaced my runs, and I'm good with that.  I graduated from my program three weeks ago and it's been so amazing to have some downtime, nap whenever I like, play with Cadence, and study for my licensing exam.  All good things for a growing babe.  I feel a heavy guilt over barely running but that guilt is balanced out by a true enjoyment of other things right now.  Prenatal yoga is on the agenda, and lots more mountain hikes, so it's not like I'm a total bump on a log :)

Speaking of 'bump', I also love my bump.  Never have I ever outwardly relished watching my weight slowly climb upward.

The year 2014 was a very good year to me.  Lots of great things: getting a puppy, little bit of travel, great runs early on, getting pregnant, graduating, spending time with family, great friends.  However, 2015 is going to be tough to beat...we are going to be parents this year!  And, I'll get to begin my PTA career, finally!  I'm not going to lay out any goals here now, but I do wish for all of you a happy, healthy 2015!

Paige, out.

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