Race Schedule

2018 Races…TBD!

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Happening Again...

I knew it would. 

Even in the midst of a moment of "clarity" during my most recent race, where I boldly announced to my pacer, Gretchen, "Fifty miles may be my favorite distance afterall...I think I'm done with 100 milers after this!"  I'm pretty sure I followed it up with, "...sure, that's what I say now, but give me a couple of days...." 

In the sport of ultrarunning, always remember to do this: know thyself.

I know myself.  Well, in fact.  And I knew that it wouldn't take long before I would be trolling the UltraList for new races, digging through Run100s.com feverishly in search of number four, and perusing the hardware available for viewing on the new 100 Miler Buckles site that Brian put together.  I love buckles :)  And, I love spending a day or two running in a new place.

I'm not sure what I want to focus on just yet, but I do know I'm going to throw my name into the Western States 100 lottery next month...ya' know, for good measure.  I'll be quietly hoping I don't get in, but I want to go ahead and get my name in the hat for upcoming years.  Geof is entering the lottery as well, and it would be way cooler for him to get in so I can crew and pace and get a taste of o' the West' :)  Plus, I'm pretty sure Geof was made for the mountain races.  Speaking of my leading man, he is considering Tahoe Rim Trail 100 as his back-up race just in case he doesn't get into WS100.  Now that would be sweet!  I would crew and then pace him the final 50 miles, thus getting in a delicious 50 miler for gits and shiggles, and a nice run in the mountains with my man. 

Ice Age 50M is enticing for the mere fact that it's so convenient, so why not?  I wouldn't mind a couple other 50s for the heck of it, and perhaps fine tune my 50 form before my next hundred.  There will be a couple of CHUG hosted fat asses (free events) in the spring so I'm looking to do those as well. 

Wow, I was hoping I'd have a list here, but it's turning into a serious case of stream-of-consciousness typing...

In all honestly, I'd love to run Rio Del Lago 100 again.  I freakin' loved that race.  Really.  It was so pretty, so runnable, so crew-friendly...so...wonderful.  Or has time really chipped away at the pain and left behind only the good stuff?  Nah, that doesn't ever happen ;)  The only issue with Rio is its late-season timing in 2011...  That said, Geof and I want to run another race together and the end-of-summer timing, and ease of going crewless, of the Leanhorse 100 may end up making it our choice for 2011.  I also like that you can wait to register until pretty close to the race.  It's tough to register for races way far in advance...you have no idea what may come up.  I like to procrastinate registering as much as possible :)

Eventually, I'll have a schedule figured out.  In the meantime, you know what?  I'm really enjoying running for the sake of...running!

Crash, out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


There she is!

I am pleased to introduce you all to the newest addition to the Serious Case of the Runs home...the lovely Stiletto :)  Check out some more pics HERE.

Remember THIS?  Well, I somehow ended up winning (I still can't believe I won something this kickass) and just last night I received the final product...wow!  Chris Dornbach of Dornbox Bikes is the man behind the machine and after a few phone calls to discuss what I was looking for in a bike, swapping measurements, and lots o' e-mail, he set about creating the most beautiful work of two-wheeled genius that I've ever seen.  Seriously, it's pretty amazing :)

Since Stiletto arrived in a couple pieces, I just oooo'd and ahhhh'd at the box until Geof got home from work, so it was slightly delayed gratification.  But if ultrarunners have one trait in common, I think it's the ability to handle this sort of delay.  Instead, I cooked some chicken with cilantro and lime for tacos :) (The chicken turned out pretty good, btw!)

Geof set about getting Stiletto put together and after putting her up on the trainer to test out the chain and shifting gears, and one final adjustment to the derailleur, she was all set!  It was easy to watch him work, but I think it's a tad more complicated to do than it appeared :)  Thanks, Geof!

Hopefully we get a chance to test her out tonight after work, woohoo!  It was dark by the time all was said and done last night and I'm kind of a whussy about things like riding in the dark, so that didn't happen.  Again, a little delayed gratification.

Anywho, I'm pretty excited about Stiletto and look forward to many long rides and happy times with her!  A huge, delicious THANK YOU to Atayne and Dornbox Bikes for making this possible for me.  And, if you're ever in the market for a completely customized, handcrafted performance bike, I highly, highly recommend working with Dornbox Bikes to make that happen.  The service, the quality, the craftsmenship, it's all top notch.

Annnnnnd...end scene.

Back to running, I promise!!

Crash, out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Glacial Trail 50M: Crew n' View

Geof, heading into the early dawn for another 50 mile adventure in the woods

Those who can't, crew :)  Since I'm still working on recovery and earning back a decent base in the wake of Rio Del Lago 100 last month, I sadly opted to sit out this year's Glacial Trail run.  I was hoping to make this one a bit of a ritual since it's such a fan-flippin-tastic race, run by the fan-flippin-tastic Robert Wehner.  It's a gorgeous course with a heaping helping of technical and challenging terrain.  It starts up in Greenbush, WI and follows the Ice Age Trail south to New Fane and then turns around and brings you back to where you started.  The 50k race does a modified version of the 50M course.  I ran the 50k last year and loved every ounce of it.  As the 50M and 50k runners took off at 6am and 7am, respectively, I observed with a hint of trail envy :)

Geof took on the 50M course again this year and while the day started out typically enough, with Geof moving well, smiling, and optimistic for a solid finish, it turned out to be a very different experience in the end.  I took on the roll of crew and after taking a long-cut (the opposite of a short-cut?  Honestly, I wasn't lost...too much :)) down the winding and breath-taking Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive, I hunkered down at Butler Lake with Bill and Sarah as we awaited our respective other halves to arrive at the 13.5 mile aid station.  Geof arrived, game face on, and was out.  Ben came in a little before Geof and it was clear he was going to smoke the course and grab the PR he'd been looking for (he wound up 3rd overall, in 8:11...holy eff!).  Leslie and Deanna showed up a bit after Geof, and it appeared they would spend most of the day together.  Leslie was hoping to shake the demons of an early season DNF at the Kettle Moraine 100, and shake them she did!  In fact, I would call it a knock-down drag-out pummeling of that monkey! :)  Yay, Les!
The Newlyweds, Bill and Leslie, at Butler Lake I (mile 13.5)

While I would have loved to have been racing, I can't say I was totally bummed to be sitting this one out, on this day.  It turned out to be an absolutely marvelous day (for crewing)!  The sun came up and warmed up the trail to a lovely 80+ degrees (perfect for crewing, not so much for running) and I soaked up more than my fair share of warm autumnal rays of sunshine. 

But, have no fear, I did manage to squeeze in my own little run while I waited for Geof to return to Mauthe Lake AS from the turn-around point (~mile 30.5).  I put my iPhone into a plastic baggy to save it from my sweat, tightened the laces on my Vasque Transistors and headed north on the trail so that I could greet runners heading out.  (Note: this was my first f'real run in my Transistors and while I was nervous to give them a go on such a technical trail for the first time, I ended up really enjoying these puppies!  Of course, they will not be replacing my Sporty Cats anytime soon!)  It was a measly 4 miles I enjoyed on that thar' trail, but boy was it fun.  I saw Leslie and Deanna on their way out, soaked in the superior beauty of central Wisconsin in the fall, sang along to my tunes, darted my eyes around the trail to watch for biting rocks and roots and then caught glimpses of the front runners heading back north on my way back to Mauthe Lake.  Just what I needed, some lovely miles on a lovely trail and a really solid sweat :)
Sure is pretty up there!

After my run, I lounged in the sun and chatted it up with Christine Crawford (super-speedster Wisconsin chick, and super sweet to boot).  After what seemed like an inordinate amount of time (and after I contemplated heading out on the trail to look for him), Geof arrived at Mauthe Lake II even worse for the wear and it was clear he wasn't really enjoying the day as he had intended to.  A mix of the heat and some issues with nutrition and hydration was costing him a fast day.  But, true to his ways, he refused to stop and kept on trucking despite his discomfort.  It was a little weird to see him the way he was (and I knew all too well what he was feeling!), but I reminded myself it was just a part of the fun and he would surely shake it.

He didn't shake it.  In fact, I think it got worse for him.  At Butler Lake II he pounded a bottle of ice water, and then another, but he wasn't taking in calories from what I saw.  It seemed to have gotten even hotter out, so Bill suggested I intersect the trail and get him more water before the next aid station (a good 7ish miles away).  After leaving Butler Lake, I followed the map towards the next stop, but veered off-route and parked along Highway U, where the trail crossed the road.  I was the only person there at first, and I had a front row seat to catch Geof as he approached.  You're not supposed to administer aid anywhere but an official aid station, but it was just a little too hot for my liking so I figured it wouldn't hurt anyone, especially since he was far enough back in the pack.  Well, before too long, everyone and their mother showed up at the same intersection and stood at the trail head waiting to catch a glimpse of their runners.  Great.  So much for that.  Geof arrived awhile later and I didn't offer anything up since we were surrounded, but I would have gladly helped if he had asked for water.  He was privy to my plan, but didn't ask for anything so I figured he was okay.

Geof arriving at the Highway U intersection

The next crew stop was the Hwy. 67 AS, leaving the runner with ~7 miles to go.  I hung with Bill, and Leslie's dad there, and caught up with Dominic G. a bit (he was volunteering).  There was a runner laying down underneath one of the aid tables, in the shade.  He sat up and was talking to Dom about what to do.  Clearly, he wasn't feeling all that great.  He asked if the station had any hard candy, and I immediately offered up some Lifesavers I had.  The look on his face was perfect and made me smile.  He got up and went on his way.  Geof arrived, and after slamming some Gatorade he moved out.  That was my cue to move it to the finish line. 

The finish area was still shakin' with 50k runners and 50 milers.  I could still smell the chili warming inside the Community Center, and, what's that?  Homemade chocolate chip cookies?  Yes, please!  I grabbed a chair from the truck, threw on my puffy jacket (it got chilly once the sun fell below the tree tops) and popped a squat on the front lawn near the finish line.  One by one, CHUGs rolled in.  Kathy Rytman finished with an age group award, wondering aloud, "why was that so HARD?!"  Deanna crossed the line and immediately declared, "that was f**kin' hard!"  Robert, the RD, asked if he could quote her on that :-)  Soon Leslie rounded the final corner, with Bill in tow, and crossed the line.  See, I knew you could do it, Les :)  And very soon after, Geof appeared up the road, finally closing it out.  Moral of the story? the GT50M ain't no joke.

Whew, what a day!  While he wasn't thrilled with the day (especially since he eyed six snakes on the trail!!), Geof was thrilled to be done.  We headed inside to fill up on chili and cookies and catch up with Leslie and Deanna.  After Bill and Leslie's 'lost' car keys scare, Geof and I hit the road.  It was a looooooong day, and a loooooong ride back home.  But, I'd be lying if I said I didn't fully enjoy myself throughout the day :)  And my little jaunt on the trail totally kicked butt! 

I love this sport.

Check out Geof's account of his race HERE.

Crash, out.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Purple Piglets

You asked for it...well, actually, you can thank JojaJogger for this one, 'cuz he asked for it!

Here is a fancy shmancy (no, not really) picture of my toes, three weeks post RDL...

The lighting isn't so great, but not too bad, eh?  Well, this is what you get when you let your mind wander too much on the trail and your feet get lazy.  I must have been doing that road runner zone-out thing I used to be so good at.  Obviously, I haven't lost that talent :)  You can see on the left toe where I've managed to kill it down to the nail bed.  Now that takes talent.  Once it finally does fall off, I'm not really sure if that one will grow back, but that's what nail polish is for, right :)  The right toe will be fine, I'll still lose it, but I'm not questioning its return.

These tootsies of mine are actually feeling even better now that I've gotten a couple of runs in.  Weird, huh?  I can only tell I have dead toenails when I point my toes all the way, then it's a funky 'stuck' sensation I get but totally painless. 

Oh, and I got new shoes yesterday!  I told myself I had to wait until I was running again before I would try on new shoes.  Geof and I headed over to Running Away Multisport in Bucktown since they seem to have the biggest selection of road shoes in town, and I decided on the Asics Gel Nimbus 12s.  They are a cushion lover's dream :)  I've been looking for something with a little more room in the toe box, and while I'm not sure these are any wider, I definitely am digging the fit so far.  My foot feels locked in place and the shoe feels very sock-like, it's that comfortable.  The cushioning is beyond awesome...and I thought my Brooks Glycerins were the Queen of Cushion.  Move over Glycerin, there's a new queen in town!

Now, I just need to get re-acclimated to my morning running...I am sufficiently beat after a spritely 3 mile run this morning!  You'd think I did a long run with the way I've been zombie-ing around the office today :)

Crash, out.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray!


There, I needed to get that out :)

A bunch of us CHUGs and some MUDDs met up at Deer Grove Forest Preserve in Palatine today for some solid trail running.  (Sidenote: Deer Grove is where I ran my very first trail/trail race ever, back in August 2008, so it was fun to relive the memories!)  I decided it was time to stop being a sissy-pants and try out a little run.  I kindly asked my sad toenails to cooperate and they were more than happy to oblige.  I showed off my gnarled big toenails to those interested in seeing what they look like (I finally took my nail polish off), and was regaled with many an "ooo" and "ahhh" ;)  They actually look like I've just painted them purple.  Brian thinks they'll fall off in about 4-6 months...

One loop on the yellow trail is ~5.4 miles and I decided I'd try on one loop for size and see how things felt.  I also brought Geof's mountain/commuter bike along so I could still join in on the fun after my loop. 

It was great!  I ran alongside new member Helen and my favorite f-bombin' dude, Ed Kelly and we caught up on all things running, donuts, Badwater and generalness.  Great to see you Ed!  We were truckin' along at a very nice pace for my out-of-practice legs and everything was jivin'.  My hamstrings decided to speak up about a mile or so from the end of the loop, and my knees were achey as well (both were things I expected) so I let Helen and Ed go ahead and I walked in the last 1/4 mile.  My lungs were so happy to be breathing in so much fresh air!  My heart rate felt as though I barely lifted a finger, so everything was very relaxed.  It seems that the first run back after a break is usually pretty effortless feeling, and that's when you have to be careful and make sure not to get ahead of yourself. 

After everyone made it back to the parking lot, we chatted briefly before the runners headed back out for another loop.  This was Brian's first run back since Rio Del Lago 100M as well, so we both called it a day after the first loop, very pleased with our efforts.  We then pulled our bikes out of our cars and geared up to meet everyone back out on the trail.  Of course, before we headed back out, Brian needed to check out his healing feet (and I wanted to see them, gross right?!), and he proceeded to yank off another toenail he noticed dangling...I was squirming watching the madness!!  The things we endure to be runners...!

What fun it was to bike on a trail again!  I haven't done that since college!  We managed to putter around the parking lot long enough that we didn't catch up to the runners until just about the end of the loop, woops :) 

Super fun day, great chilly fall weather, great people.  I'm very happy with how the day went and I'm looking forward to some more short runs next week.  Meantime, I need to get some work done on these hamstrings, yowza, they are tight!

Crash, out.

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