Monday, December 31, 2007

Final day of Christmas Camp and 07!

Say goodbye to 2007 and ring in 2008! Today was the end of Christmas Camp and we celebrated by putzing around Forest Park for a little over 7 miles. We talked about 08 and reminisced about 07 and the all the years before that. During our final Christmas Camp journey in which all of us felt surprising good after yesterdays "Race the Wildwood" adventure we saw a few Purge and Splurgers come by. As we putzed along we laughed at how sloppy the trail was and patted ourselves on the back for navigating it with ease yesterday. I didn't remember it being so sloppy but when your focused you miss those little details. :). Push ups, sit ups and planks are all done and I have to say this has by far been the easiest year for those. The runs this year seemed harder than past Christmas Camps but I not sure if that's because of the 50K the weekend prior or that the workouts were in fact more difficult. Even though they seemed more difficult they were definitely much faster.

Well on to another year! I wish you all a wonderful night and be sure to think about all the great times 07 brought, hug your family and share moments with friends....that is what I intend to do tonight. 07 has been a banner year for me in so many ways, runs, growth, understanding, clarity and a sense of groundedness that is indescribable. I just know 08 will bring more of the same and I have Bill, Alex and my wonderfully honest and giving friends to thank for all the joy I get to have everyday......cheers to all of you!

I sure hope I can squeeze my calf's in my boots tonight....if not I might be wearing slippers with my dress. ;).

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hey Mr. Postman.......

Not rain, sleet, hail, thunder, lightening or snow will slow this group. Just like the Postman we deliver under all conditions....when it comes to trail running that is. Here in the PNW it rarely snows and about once every other year we hear thunder and see lightening but today we had it all. Most people say the sun rarely shines but in the midst of the weather moods it peaked out just enough to warm us up and cause us to forget about our frozen hands and feet. 8 Brave Campers took on the full length of Wildwood trail today and knock out 30 miles. The trail conditions were some of the worst I have seen in many years for this run. The recent cold weather which brought lots of rain and some snow made for some seriously cold mud puddles that just couldn't be avoided....not like we would want to avoid them anyway.

My goal was to beat 5:15 since my previous fastest time was 5:25 I felt this would be a doable stretch. For me 5:15 would mean head down, focus, no walking and take the down hills fast. With Micheal joining me and really pacing me the entire way I felt confident we would stick to the overall plan and leave no mud unturned. It was so cold today that my feet were completely numb by mile 5 and as I sit here now my toes are just now tingling. My hands were pretty cold too but the feet were stumps! My body was fatigued going into the run but I know that's the name of the game for an ultra runner......can you run on tired legs. Dawning a shirt the reads, "NO EXCUSES.....GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT"!, I pretty much had to shut out the fatigue and force my body to run. All the running I have done in last couple of weeks didn't help the fatigue but the real culprit was the lifting. Note to self......"don't try a new killer leg workout on a peak week". We made really good time to the 21 mile mark....10 minute miles exactly. After a relatively quick refuel we were off for the last 9 miles which are the hardest section on this trail climbing up and over Pitock just to treated to another good climb up to the zoo. We had to do this 9 miles under 12 minute per to make my 5:15 goal. Micheal really became a task master as he easily galloped up the hills and I used all my arm strength to drag my dead hind quarters along. It seemed the more I forced the pace the better I felt so I kept that lovely motto going in my head. So far I had done a pretty good job fueling but didn't take any salt so at mile 25 I decided I should pop a salt tab and chase it with another Red Bull. With Pitock hill in front of us and Micheal's stern verbiage, "we need to work it sister" we scrambled up the rocky trail. This hill is less than one mile long but at mile 25 it seems like Chinscraper at Wasatch. Funny but the weather we were experiencing today made me think we were in the Wasatch Front. :) With the crest of Pitock in sight and the glorious downhill on the backside I felt pretty confident we would make our goal. Confidence did not however mean that there would be any slacking so task master Micheal kept up his furious but relaxed pace as he drug me behind him like a wet dog on a leash, tongue hanging out and all. I might even have smelled like a wet dog with all this hair! 2 miles to go and one hill left to climb. We pushed and grunted our way to the top then blasted down to the finish in 5:06:22....30.16 miles.

Just behind us was Caroline and Dave coasting in for a great finish and they didn't look like a sad wet dog! :). We all changed and waited for the rest of the gang to finish. Everyone ran a fast day and all seemed to enjoy the every changing conditions. Even Zoe (Kris's dog) ran a solid 25 miles and probably 30 with all her side adventures. The best part of the day was seeing Trisha finish her first Ultra and her first seriously long run on trail. She finished strong and didn't even look dirty! Way to go are amazing and ready for Chuckanut!

This marks the end of my 3rd 4 week cycle and next week is recovery which I intend to milk for all it's worth. These last two weeks of training have really given me confidence I will survive my challenge in February and I feel like I will have a good race. With another month of serious training to come and more crazy runs on the docket if nothing else I will be prepared.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Camp Day 5 - Tempo!

Dogpile!!!!!! We have got to stop having so much fun! Whew! The biggie is done......well the mini biggie, we still have the 30 mile Wildwood Race on Sunday but this was not easy. Even though the workout was challenging for me it wasn't hard because the group was exceptionally on task today and the Campers made it so fun. I felt my leg workout on Wednesday but it wasn't bad enough to slow me down but more like a mild reminder that my butt is very tired. Most of the group is speedier than I so chasing all these fit runners around is a great motivator for me. Pushing and running in the big group trying to keep step was super fun.....I want to do every tempo run!!!!! Micheal and Kris stuck with me the whole run and I worked hard to keep them by my side as they held a perfect pace. We were faster than goal on the first six miles then came in perfectly for the next three but were 4 seconds to slow on the last one....darn 4 seconds. These are Micheal, Kris and I stats.

After the run Kris and I rushed to the gym for our session with the Ultimate Fighter. He had us work together by creating sets where we needed to keep working until the other failed. For example, I would do bench presses while Kris would be doing incline pull ups. She had to keep going until I failed then we would switch with no rest. This was a blast and since we were both wiped out from the run it made all that much harder. By the end we were both sort of washed out and nauseous......the sign of a good workout. :). Then it was food, food, and more food! Awesome day Campers! Tomorrow is my day off as I prep the trail with supplies for Sunday's race.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Camp Day 4!

The threat of snow remains but we couldn't resist a run on the Wildwood despite the hazardous driving conditions. Heading to 53rd Ave. was just fine until we got in the high hills then the roads were sketching leaving this group weary of staying out to long. The snow went from rain to sleet and then back to snow while we did our 5.5 mile recovery run today. Ultra and Zoe have made peace and determined which grey beast is in charge putting aside their earlier spats and playing like best friends on the trail. Emma just hung back and watched as the two taunted and dared one another to be first to the next hill. Zoe definitely has the making of good acrobat dog as she scales the walls of the trail and disappears in the thick ferns. Ultra being one year older seems to be more mature and just waits for Zoe to reappear onto the trail so they can race again.

I tried to show Tom my strategy for lapping him at Tetons....a one two punch and he looked threatened. As he continues to tell me there is no way it's possible for me to lap him in Late August it seems to just motivate me more. I know it can be done but it won't be easy, in fact it might be one of my hardest race goals ever. Kris has jumped on the Tetons band wagon and it opting for the 50M race which will be her first 50 mile event! It's going to be another Ultra Family Vacation with Tom, Steve, Micheal, Kris and myself. That's just who we know for sure is running but there could be others like Stacey, Darin, Bushwhacker......who knows but it will be a blast.

I haven't done my push ups or abs yet but the day is young!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Camp Day 3 - Track!

No more snow on the valley floor but there are threats on 3 inches for tomorrow. Don't they know Portlanders can't drive in any kind of frozen precipitation???? A little bit of fluffy stuff won't be able to stall this crowd. Tomorrow is 5-7 miles easy before the whopper Tempo workout on Friday....teee heeeeeee.

As you can see from the picture Campers were well represented at the track but I think I was the only one that wore track shoes. Darin was afraid his would get wet. :). Not one person sand bagged today, weeeelllllll I have to re-phrase that. Everyone worked hard but Micheal could be labeled a sandbagger. He ran behind me and at the end of oh I don't which 400 he pretended to breath hard but sounded more like Darth Vader so he quit pretending. Dave was again being an over achiever by doing mile repeats in the neighborhood of 6:10. Ohhhhhhhh!......Sean......Dave did mention he might be doing both 30 mile days.......the competition for over achiever is heating up. I can't wait to see who takes it. It was a blast watching Tom and Steve race around the track while Trisha came powering behind us but didn't yell, "track". I got in Dave's way not realizing a speed demon was buzzing down the inside lane. I followed Darin's pacing while Micheal goofed off behind me. ;) Lynn did her workout and then treated us all with homemade cookies! Awesome day Campers, thanks!

My 400's were perfectly consistent and right on the mark at 1:36 per. They were definitely not the easy breezy 1:33's I was doing last week because my 50K must still be swimming around in my muscles. Today's push ups were done in one set but they were hard. The sit ups.....I definitely over achieved here with 100 v-ups, 50 hanging knee-in's and 3X90 second planks. I did this during my leg workout with the Ultimate Fighter today. All the ab stuff was the rest portion.......yeah right....that is not rest! I am taking Kris with me on Friday after the tempo workout to meet the Ultimate Fighter and see if he can break her.........teeeee heeeeeee.

Onward Campers! Another day done and done nicely!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Camp Day 2!

Day 2 is complete with a run in the snow! Yes, we have a white Christmas here in Portland, OR! After a fun morning with Alex waking us up at 5 am Bill, Bandit (wearing his jingle bells) and I went to Terrwilliger Blvd. for a fun 6 mile run while the snow still fell. Alex was at home busy with his Grandparents and his new WII. BTW....we boxed on the new toy and he knocked me out in the second round. I was sweating and he hardly seemed phased. I will take him on again soon but he also beat me in tennis.

Once back home I did my push ups and sit ups. The sit ups were easy but I couldn't crank out the 30 push ups in one go after yesterday workout with the Ultimate Fighter.....what was I thinking. I had to break the push ups into 2 sets.

Bill and his elves made me this collage for Christmas. He is so sneaky. I would have never guessed this is what he was creating. I LOVE IT! He captured all the wonderful moments of the SLAM including maps, topos, pace charts and bib numbers. It is going to be so fun hanging it up and remembering all the fun times.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day and we will see you tomorrow at the track! Bring on the punishment.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Round and round they go did she meet her goal!

Before dawn on Saturday with the temperature reading 35 degrees and the rain gently hitting my windshield I made my way out to Champoeg Park. Micheal, Bill, Steve and I all drove out in a convoy and when we got there we found Bushwhacker and Susan parked by the locked gate. It was 6:58 in the morning and the sign at the gate read, "open from 7am to 8pm". Okay.....where's that ranger? Doesn't he know it's time to open the park? Of course I know I am among like minded folk when immediately we begin trouble shooting the problem and come up with plan B. The time is now 7:05 as we all began driving to another area of park when another set of car lights appeared. Could it be the ranger? Sure enough it was and he was exactly 5 minutes late! I got a kick out of 6 type A personalities who think everything is and should be on time! The funny thing about this part of the story is that I have been running with this gang for over 7 years and we will never change, don't want to change but can serious laugh at our freakish ways....ahhhhhh how comforting.

Last weekend I drug my family out to Champoeg to measure the route. Yes, I wheeled my 6.2 mile loop, marked it every quarter mile and I had a starting line. Once Micheal took care of the questioning/concerned ranger we all made our way to starting line. Bill was planning on running one loop with Bandit, Susan a couple of hours, Trisha 3 hours, Micheal, Steve, Bushwhacker and I were in for the full 50K!. I had to run 25-27 miles at an 8:25-8:30 pace after a good 30 minute warm up. The plan was to run from the start to the other end (3.1 miles) for the warm up then begin the pace running. That would mean we would run 5 full loops giving us 31 miles total and 27.9 at pace.....I know that's more than the max but it just made sense. :). Every 6.2 miles we would use our cars for aid which meant we could run with just one handheld and gels each loop picking up a new bottle each time. It was dark when we started and with a devilish look in my eye I was ready for the day. Off we all went for the warm up and chatter was thick as we made our way down the dark path in the cold rain. On our way out we scouted for markers and found most but I made small disguised marks so we had to search......nice job Ronda.....making the markers so small I can't even find them myself. :).

At the turn we took a gel and away we went! Micheal was using his watch for pacing every quarter mile and making sure we hit 2:07 or under. Immediately we were to fast and for the first 3.1 miles we worked on finding a groove, trying to feel the pace and getting comfortable. The cold rain continued to fall and it wasn't warming up but we were all prepared with extra clothes and gloves if we got soaked. While Micheal kept track of quarter mile splits I kept track of 3.1 mile splits and I was shooting for 26:15 per 3.1 miles. The first three loops were easy and non eventful with comfortable breathing and splits that were better than 2:07. My heart rate would hover between 157-162 which is top of 3A and just slipping in to 3B which starts at 161. I was shocked at how fast I could run in my 100M race zone of 3A. Of course this was flat course on pavement but I wasn't expecting it to be this comfortable. As we continued coming in under 26:15 we worked hard to slow down but the fear of being too slow must have been a bigger concern driving our stride. Micheal kept calling out numbers between 2:02 and 2:06 which doesn't seem far off but the seconds add up. After the 3rd loop we lost Steve. He had enough of hard surface and he had worked hard. It was just Micheal, Bushwhacker and I for the last two loops with Trisha out there finishing up her 3 hour run. Bushwhacker decided to pull ahead and Micheal I continued our work. The lack of pace degradation was nice and surprising, being able to hold the pace with no heart rate creep was sweet! Near end of loop 4 my body began to give me signs I have been right quad twitched for a minute, my butt was getting fatigued, my feet were frozen and a bit numb. At this point I realized my 100K race in February will not be cardio challenge. The real challenge will be how well my body holds up after 40 miles and what kind of pace will I be able to maintain after that point. Since all of our loops were fast Micheal proposed that we really focus on hitting 2:07 per quarter so we pulled back and made some them but in the end we were still speedy, in fact is was one of our fasted loops. Bushwhacker maintained his lead all the way to the finish. Micheal and I came in smiling and proud of our 4:19 50K....I am pretty sure that is fasted time at that distance for me. I was stoked to be able to do this first big run in this phase of training. At the start 5 loops seemed like so many but they just flew by because the company was so great. I think I could have done another 2 more at that pace....not that they wouldn't have been painful but I could have done it. Here is the results of our work! I could not have done this without one of my A-1 pacers, Micheal!

Back when I got my December schedule I remember reading through it and this run stuck out like a crazy. I thought.....are you kidding.....25-27 miles at that pace......that's like a marathon! Now its a done deal and I made all the paces pretty effortlessly. I thought I would be hammered up today and the 2:15 run on trail would be like the tin man without his oil. When we arrived at 53rd ave. Tom was already out on the trail warming up but apparently forgetting it was still dark at 7am so he took a fall. Now he was a muddy mess. Another treat for the 2+ hour run today was a Beast sighting! He came to join us, yeah! My friends love me so much.....Steve brought me a Christmas present which was a calendar with pictures on sweet....but then he gave it to's a calendar full of pictures of him and's so I can keep track of their races and travel arrangements for them! Love the gift guys......always looking out for me.....wanting to make sure they made my life easier.....what a crack up! Now that Tom was dirty, Steve gave me such a thoughtful gift we were off for 2+hours of Z3 running. Once we got going it was doable, some fatigue in my legs but I wasn't sore a bit. I am pumped because I know my fitness is coming around nicely and I have shot at a good road run in Feb.! This run marks the end of a Build 1 week and my miles are up there. I am scared to see what they are at this time next month. Oh Mommy................

Other happenings: Christmas Camp starts tomorrow with our first group run.....yeah!!!! My abs and arms are sore thinking about it.:). Alex is out visiting his Grandparents and does not seem to miss us one bit.......doesn't he know we are his parents???? Bill and his elves (the dogs) have been busy, busy, busy down in the shop area with the door locked and a note banning me from the premises. I can smell paint and occasionally hear a power tool working.....he making me something for Christmas! I can't wait to see what it is! He knows I will try to sneak a peak so he has the dogs down there to notify him if anyone comes near. When he hears me approaching he screams, "get out of're rotten"!

I got pinched on Friday and didn't get good news. I gained .56% body fat and micro speck of muscle. Why.....Mark suspects a couple of things. One, I screwed up on my food the last couple of weeks. I didn't eat all the calories, I was off on my timing waited sometimes up to 4 hours before eating then cramming to get the calories in. 3 pounds of See's candy arrived on Monday just to be followed by 5 pounds of Godiva chocolates. I ate a total of 3 chocolates and when I confessed to Mark as if that's the reason he laughed and said, "sorry it's not that simple, 3 chocolates are not going to do anything." The second reason he believes I gained fat is because the training load is ramping and my body needs to make another adjustment. It needs to be sure I will feed it or it will store. Of course I was bummed but then I saw it as a good reminder that I need to feed my body if I am going to make it work hard. My first reaction to the news was your standard girl reaction.....let's cut the calories. When I said that Mark he said If it keeps happening then we will up the calories but certainly we will NOT drop them. I was thinking.....okay I promise to be a good girl and eat all the food and spread the meals better....please don't make me eat more food. ha, ha, ha, ha......That is just weird but that was my thought! I won't see him again for 3 weeks because of a planned vacation. Bill and Alex have taken the chocolates out of sight and hid them well so I won't be tempted. I love them!!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A year in review!

I was tagged by Carilyn so here it goes.

1. Most memorable moment: Definitely crossing the finish line at Wasatch completing the Grand Slam. For 2007 that was just a cool time that will last in my mind forever!

2. Best new trail discovered: Hands down the Timpenogas trail in Utah. It has the most awesome wildflowers and travels to the top of Mt. Timpenogas. Simply a lovely trail through some beautiful country.

3. My best performance of the year: I would have to say Vermont 100M because I really putzed around and felt like I was holding myself back all day but finished in 21:36. The next day it was as if I barely had stressed myself. Who knows why this happened but it was really sweet.

4. Don't know how I previously lived without: Ziploc steam and serves!!!! Nice invention for a vegetable junkie! Even though I am not a vegetable junkie I need to eat them and these bags can steam tons of veggies at one time.

5. The person I would most like to meet on the trail: I would have to go with Olga on this one. Ann Trason. She is just such an awesome athlete it would be a pleasure to get the chance to talk to her.

6. The race I am most nervous/scared for in 08: Tetons 100M because Tom has challenged me to lap him and like I said before I am total sucker for challenges. It will probably be the fasted race I ever run because I really want to make him work. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Let there be light!

This is Bill and Alex working on Alex's science project for his Science Fair. He chose to use wind to create electricity so they have been diligently trying to get the small light bulb to shine. For the last couple of weeks the parts have been arriving, magnets, propeller, rods, small lights and all sorts of different wire. They put it together with a milk of course, and nothing! Unwinding the long wire without the cat getting involved was a challenge and quite funny to watch as the wire was very delicate and Storm (cat) just couldn't let it be. I left to go running while they went at it again this time with a homemade cardboard contraption. They pulled the old one apart and started again just to find that another one of our animals.....who knows which one, snacked on the propeller blades but not bad enough to ruin the whole thing. Bill said, "well Alex, now you can honestly say the dog ate my homework". When I arrived home they had proudly assembled the windmill and Alex announced, "Let there be light"!

Workouts this week were light. The only intensity I had was track on Tuesday, Tempo on Thursday and KPR on Saturday. The track workout was surprisingly the same amount of repeats. I assume that's because they are still short and the length of time I am anywhere near AT (threshold) is small. Thursday was the standard Tempo workout but only 3.5 miles at AT and a sub 7:30 pace. I easy pulled the paces and they ranged from 7:16 to 7:26. The 7:26 is fine and within a good range but the 7:16 is too fast and I have to learn how to better control my pacing. Funny but I honestly have such a hard time "feeling" pace. Without my heart rate monitor to guide me I am lost with pacing. Seems like most good fast runners can identify their pace mostly by feel and I have been working on it but am not making a lot of progress. Maybe I am wrong about my assumption that most good runners can feel their pace. Maybe it's more of personality trait. Since I am rarely satisfied and never think it's fast enough....I just push more instead of focusing on how it feels. I should leave my HR monitor at home once in while and see if I can make the paces by feel. Boy that would be hard for me to do, where would all my data come from, police attached to my chest, no information to load in my highly detailed training log. I could make this a New Years resolution but then I would have to do it and I am not sure I want to give up that much control. In an effort to get in touch with my less anal side and find my "Zen Zone" it would be a good exercise. But.......change is hard and if you want to make changes you have be honest and ready and I am just not there yet with this......maybe next year. For now I will just stick to my highly regiment freakish ways:)

Today was a KPR run and we did about 14+ miles getting progressively faster with the last 5 being at M-Pace which is 8:05 for me. Again my pacing stunk! I was slow on the first one by exactly 12 seconds and the rest ranged from 7:52 to 7:46 all too fast but I felt in control and my heart rate topped out in mid 3B. The group was funny as normal with all sorts of challenges being thrown around, encouraging words and just fun company. Everyone is getting faster and stronger. Brother Tom and Brother Steve are even goading each other on about road races.......who would have ever thought these two would race each other on the road!!!! Next Saturday will be an insane running challenge for me. I have to do 25-27 miles at an 8:25-8:30 pace sustained. I think this will be hard but I have a good route planned and some friends game to run it too so we will see. If I can do this workout as prescribed I will feel really good as I step into more intense training for my Feb. road 100K.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Camp!

Stacey and I have had the pleasure of putting on a non-event event called Christmas Camp. This all started when Stacey's company gave her the week of Christmas off which was the perfect time to crank up the workouts and because we had (and I emphasize HAD) a problem racking up the pounds between October through January. We needed the extra PUSH to get our plump selves moving so we created Christmas Camp. The few extra pounds were no big deal for many years, they would just come off when we started back up with our training but after about the age 38 they got more stubborn or we just ate more. :) As it stands today Christmas Camp has grown and more folks have jumped on board. Saying goodbye to end of a wonderful year and ringing in a new one has always been part of Christmas Camp because of all the group runs and camaraderie as we hash out all the fun we had and egg each other on for new adventures and challenges.

This year will be the 5th Annual Christmas Camp and below is the email that went out to potential Campers. This year we will have 16 Campers challenge themselves and share a week of cheer with not only their families but friends too.

Maybe there a few of you that want to join in a challenge of your own.

It’s that time of year again to say goodbye to another great season and ring in another year. This will be the 5th annual Christmas Camp, Welcome!!!!

Of course Christmas Camp is not just about running but more like an overall body and mind makeover….necessary for all the great food we consume during this time of year.

For the 5th Annual Christmas Camp we have the running plan, sit ups, push ups and the rules of engagement. This is meant to be a challenge where like minds come together run and celebrate. It’s not meant to be easy or an “in the bag” event but more like a nice gentle nudge to spark the flame for the New Year. Because the Purge and Splurge falls on a Monday campers will get the luxury of not just 7 days of running but 8, yippppeeeeeee.

Let’s start with the rules of engagement! To be a camper and receive the lovely bag of camper goodies you need to:

1. Do all the workouts to the best of your ability and were talking running ability not mental ability. :) That means NO SKIPPED WORKOUTS. You can juggle the workouts and do more but the plan needs to be done! You don’t have to do the group runs they are just designated so everyone can come together if they want.
2. All Campers must report via email to the whole Camper community about their results and observations. This rule is designed to keep Campers motivated, create group run events and oh yeah to police your work.
3. New this year!! All Campers must contribute one item to the camper goodie bag. This can be a gel, a magnet, a written note, hand warmers, candy, whatever big or small. Why???? Because everyone brings their own personality to group and most want to contribute.
4. You only get one day off so choose wisely………… :)

That’s all the rules…..see not too many!

On your mark, get set……here’s the schedule:

Monday Dec. 24th – 5-7 miles easy pace – Group Run time and place will be designated later.
Tuesday Dec. 25th (yes Christmas Day) – 5-7 miles easy pace
Wednesday Dec. 26th – Track Day!!!!! Warm up for 30 minutes then do 7-10 400 meters at your desired pace but make it work baby…….Group Run- Time will be designated later.
Thursday Dec. 27th – OFF or swap for Monday or Tuesday.
Friday December 28th – Tempo Run!!!!! Warm up for 30 minutes the do 2-3 miles at your Marathon Pace then do 3-4 miles very hard then finish with another 5 miles at Marathon Pace. Ouch…….this is a whopper!!!! Group Run on Lief – Time TBD.
Saturday December 29th – 5-7 miles easy – Group run on WW, Time TBD
Sunday December 30th - Optional: Race the Wildwood!!!! How fast can you run the 30 miles on Wildwood???? We will be out doing our version of the P&G on this day but it’s an all out effort, heads down, running trail like a cheetah! 7:00 am start at Newberry. OR 7-9 miles easy.
Monday – December 31st – P&G….full length of Wildwood. 7:00 am start at Newberry! Or if you ran on the 30th then it’s 7-9 miles easy.

So Campers this adds up to about to 73 miles if you take the low numbers and 83 miles if you take the high numbers. This is totally doable for anyone who receives this email. All the runs are “go at your own pace”! Now if you’re a freak like Sean and you do both the Wildwood Race and the P&G then your looking at 100 miles…..any takers???????? Remember….you can juggle the workouts but only 1 day off in 8 days and you have to do all the workouts to the best of your running ability!

Now for the other stuff:

1. 100 sit ups, crunches, v-ups, hanging knee-ins a day! Pick your poison just work those abs!
2. 30 push ups a day! Not the sissy kind, on your toes! You can do them in sets of 2 if you want just do 30 each day.
3. Plank – Hold plank on Monday for 30 seconds 2 times, Wednesday for 45 seconds 2 times and Friday 1 minute 2 times. If you don’t know what plank is let me know.

Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant oh come ye oh come ye to Christmas Camp!!!!!!!

Stacey and Ronda

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Another peak week in the bag

Today was the end of another peak week....yeah I survived! Next week will be recovery and that will end 2 solid 4 week cycles so 8 weeks of training. I definitely feel progress and the paces are getting faster. I was/am still wondering how long it will take for me to reach the fitness level I left in June but my leg speed is ramping faster than before.....I guess that muscle memory stuff has some merit. :) I started this training at a VDOT of 43 seven weeks ago and am now my paces are lining up with more like a 45 VDOT. I am still throttling back to the 43-44 VDOT paces for all M-Pace, T-Pace and track workouts but the speeds are much more comfortable and attainable so I know Scott will be moving me soon. Generally he says it takes about 6-8 weeks to see a change and bingo!'s been 2 weeks.

This last week was full of a lot of good runs. After Tuesday's awesome track workout I was excited to do the tempo run on Thursday and see if I felt stronger and more in control than the prior week. I did 10.5 miles on Thursday with some M-Pace miles and finished with 5.5 miles at T-Pace. The M-Pace at 8:05 was relatively easy and the T-Pace at 7:33 was hard but I was still showing up at the marker too fast and pacing myself within the mile was key. I do all my Tempo runs on Lief so it's not flat and not road but certainly easier than trail. Prior to Thursday's tempo I ran my recovery run at the gym on the treadmill and boy what a difference that is. If I ever use the treadmill I run the hill program for variety but Wednesday I wanted to keep it easy and only put the incline at 1%. I was easily able to run 8:25 min. mile with my HR below 140 and that's the top of Z1 for me! Maybe I should run my tempo runs on the road. :). Naaaaaa......Forest Park is so much better for my mental state and I can take Ultra (dog).

Saturday I had a "Pace Progression Run" which is a new workout for me. The plan was to start out at a 9 min. mile and ramp it up to 8:30 in 3 miles so essentially a warm-up. After the 3 miles I had to hold an 8:30 pace for 8 miles then hold 6 miles at 8:05. A big group of us met at 53rd Ave., Susan, Kris, Tom, Steve, Micheal and Darin all headed down the Wildwood Trail then took a side trail down to Lief where we did the quality portion of the run. We all had our own speeds so we spread out quickly. With Darin long gone and Micheal and Kris in front of me, Steve , Tom and Susan just behind we worked the trail and it's terrain to pull our individual goal paces. I felt good running the 8:30's but when we would approach a small climb I had to work hard to be sure I arrived at the marker on pace. Fortunately what goes up goes down so I would use all the gravity I needed to get 8:30's. When it was time to put on the gas and run 8:05's I wasn't sure my body was going to make the grade but with my headphones on I was darn determine to give it my best effort. With Micheal and Darin in my sights and Steve on my butt I was motivated and we all cranked it out. Kris and Tom hung together for awhile until Tom broke off Lief and headed up a fire lane. During the 6 miles at 8:05's there are some good hills and I off pace by about 10 seconds. After we cleared all major hills the remainder of my 8:05 miles came easily and 4 out of 6 were around the 7:48 range. I actually shocked myself because my body felt all the hard workouts from the week. We covered close to 18 miles in under 2.5 hours and did climb about 1000 feet for the total workout. For me, that's a good day! Unfortunately no photos of today's group, my new camera is broken! :(. I have no idea what happened to it and I hope they will take it back or I will have to send it in for repair, bummer.......)

Today's workout called for a 2:45 hour run all in Z3. Nice steady pace but no hard stuff, whewwwwww. Another big group met up for the run in 27 degree weather! It was so darn cold, we are just not used to temperatures that low. Right now it's snowing at my house.....really cool.

Nutrition update: Friday I met with Mark for more pinching and weighing. It has been 6 weeks on the nutrition plan and so far I have made some amazing changes, FOR ME. I started with a NBW of 112 and now I have NBW of 108.5. That's 3.5 pounds lost. I started the process with Mark measuring my body fat at 18.56% and Marlin measuring it 16.5% on the same day. Yesterday Mark has me at 15.1% and Marlin at 12.6%. I figured since their numbers were so different I would have them both measure me since it's free....why not? I did gain 1.3 pounds of muscle in the process so that's really cool because I never grow muscle since historically I consume it. :). The nutritional plan I had for the last 6 weeks is now modified. I only get 3 days at 1965 calories, 2 days at 2645 calories and 2 days at 2965 and none of those days include calories consumed while exercising. The breakdown on easy days which include 70 minutes of easy running and upper body workouts I eat 1965 which is M,W,F. On T and TH when I do track and tempo runs with legs on both days I eat 2645. Of course Sat. and Sun. are long days with no weights so I eat the 2965. The macro nutrient breakdown is 59% carbs, 24% fat and the rest protein for M-F but on the Sat. and Sun. the macro nutrient breakdown changes. I actually lower the carbs to 51% and fats increase to 30% and 19% proteins. This is due to the large amount of carbs I consume while running but I will have to test this out for a couple of months so see if it's enough carbs. This new nutrition is a huge breakthrough for me and I am learning a ton about how to fuel my body like an athlete. First I never lose weight. I have weighed in at WS100M for 4 years the same! My NBW for WS100M this year was 114.5 so I am now 6 pounds lighter......hard to believe I could do this by eating so much more. I had so many mental blocks when it came to consuming more food. I have definitely changed my metabolism and it's cookin! Even when I had resting metabolic tests showing I burn 33% protein at rest I couldn't make my mind get around it. At 40 years old my metabolism is probably better than in my 20's and 30's. I don't want to burn protein as fuel any more even though I was really good at it and I don't want to feel sluggish for workouts and fatigued for lifting. I am looking forward to seeing the results in my training and racing. I won't have any good data on this until Spring when to tough training is in full swing. Bring on the fork!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's never JUST a track workout.

Yesterday I get a call from Kris and she says, "Are you running tomorrow"? Assuming she will have no interest I sheepishly say, "Yes, but I am on the track tomorrow". She cheerfully pipes back, "Can I go, it's just what I need"? Shocked I of course said, "Yes, please come"! So it's was a party at the track this morning. After yesterday's flooding rains in the Portland metro area it was great to wake up to 57 degrees and no rain. Perfect for the track! That meant tank tops, no gloves and no gale force winds, yeeeee hawwwww. These are hard enough for a girl who lacks leg speed and winds would just make my times slower. Not only did I have great company it was Tom's 49th birthday.....Happy Birthday Tom! We headed up Terrwilliger for the standard 30 minute warm-up then hit the track for 10X200 meters. I knew Kris would be a speed demon because I have run a stride workout with her before but she is out of control on the flat track.....load that girl down....stop the speeding car.....we were yelling all sorts of "slow down" phrases but she never let up. I think she actually tried to go slower but you can't take the natural speed out of a speedster, right! :). Tom and I keep trying to sign her up for 50K's and 50M races so she will be as slow as us and the blazing tri-athlete is nibbling hard on the entry forms. It was fun chasing her around the track but honestly there was no way I was going to be able to keep up with her for more than three at this distance. Between me yelling at Kris and Tom yelling at me to stop trying to keep up with Kris it was talkative group. All the 200's went perfect and all were consistent within 2 seconds so I call that good.

After the run we headed over to the pull-up bar for the usual session with Kris game for all of it and Tom was there to do two things. First to hoist me up to the bar then stand there and yell......oops I mean motivate us to pull for our lives. Both of us did as many as we could with a wide arm grip then as many as we could with a narrow bicep grip. I was able to get 6 wide grip and 10 narrow grip. A small improvement every week so I was happy. The picture on the right shows Tom's method of motivating....(I am not going to look until it's worthwhile so not until you give me at least 8)! I can't remember how many Kris whipped out but it was enough. She tried to get Tom to show us his pull-ups but that's just second nature for him and boring. He can do them with one arm so he wouldn't even show off! Then it was push-ups. First I needed to show Tom how well I am doing on my one-armed push-up and he was horrified. He said, "who showed how it's done"? I said, "no body, I saw it on TV and then U-Tube". He shook his head and then showed me proper form. I gave it another whirl and all he said, "keep working on it Ronda". What he was really trying to say was, "wow, there's a lot more work that needs to be done". But Kris was not off the hook. She had to get down and whip out push-ups and made the grade, off to the gym for a leg workout, I am glad Tom's not there to watch that. :)

So, today was a stellar day because my friends are so willing to indulge my training plan and join in. They push me and motivate me and I do the same for them, it's really special. With this 100K training and none of it being very "trail ultra type" I feel really fortunate to have such an amazing support group. Susan even offered to keep me company on her bike while I run like a freak in a circle for 27 miles! With all this support I need to make them proud. BTW, I have absolutely no idea how fast I can run a flat 100K???? Anybody got any good ideas on how to set a goal time here? I ran that flat 50M race 4-5 years ago at I all ears for any ideas.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Get on the bus....the Bighorn bus!

Not so lucky last WS100M for me this year. back-up plan was always Bighorn 100M and since most of my training partners are running that race it's an exciting back-up race. On Saturday I had a KPR run with more miles at M-Pace and Micheal came along with his Blackberry and just as we were wrapping up the hard portion and heading up Alder trail for the cool down he checked to see if there were any results. Sure enough the lottery had begun and a few names were picked. The drawing itself was sort like an exciting race....seeing who gets can see the jar and all the slips of paper and almost find yours in the mix......hear it screaming, "pick me, pick me"! the hand reaches in and almost grabs your ticket but NOPE....sorry sucker! At least that's how I was seeing it :). By the time we were done with our run the list of names grew and we recognized a few from Oregon and were jazzed they got in. Lots of good Oregon representation so it shall be fun race to watch from my computer.

My heart rate monitor twin (Tom) was jumping up for joy as the process continued and my name was still not on the list because that means I join the Bighorn Bus. Tom, Micheal, Steve and I will all be heading to Wyoming in June to cheer each other on. There are others who are planning to join the Bighorn Bus, Mike Burke, Olga, maybe Caroline, Dave Stevenson and I am sure the list go on so it will be a blast. And.......Black Saturday's are going to be rich with enthusiasm and a lot of hard work....I can't wait. Are any of you going to be at Bighorn?????

Since my first big adventure of the year will be the Orange Curtain 100K in February, a flat fast road run my preparations are in full swing. The only thing I have done close to this would be Champoeg 50M 4 or 5 years ago so this should be a whopper of an experience. Something completely different, a new challenge for my mind and my body. Since this will be a big effort and require a lot of running the name of the game from here on out will be leg speed. I have been getting prepped for upcoming training by doing some M-Pace, T-Pace and track work and now the training plans get more specific. I received my December schedule on Saturday and thought I might need a good stiff drink just wrap my mind around it but fortunately I am getting pinched this Friday so I was saved by the calipers. :) If you have been reading this blog long or know me you might have figured out that I love to make things a game, create a theme, I might even create a shirt or call it some sort of "______ challenge". On my schedule I got some new workouts, things called "hyper pace runs", "pace progression run", "modified trail pace run". Now I have all sorts of fun games to play to prepare me for Orange Curtain and Bighorn 100M. Here's my list: Black Saturday's, Dog on Bone, KPR, HPR, PPR and the "run like hell on trail". All of these may sound hard and daunting and right down "not fun" to many but we actually have a blast doing them all. Training runs filled with a lot of quality work but also a lot of laughs are the best prescription for me. So given my December schedule is growing hair as I sit I will playing a lot of games out in the woods.

My second KPR run of this training season was Saturday and a big group of us headed to the Wildwood where we were treated by snow! None of it was sticking but the flakes were large and dreamlike. Stacey showed up with a big ugly boo boo on her knee. She fell down on the sidewalk in her neighborhood while running. Didn't anyone tell her the streets were dangerous?? We all ran hard and worked our own M-Paces for that portion of the run. Unfortunately when we were done we found Susan's car had been broken into on 53rd ave. She was the only smart one and had her money, phone, and ID with her while all the rest of us left those items in our cars. Micheal, Tom, Kris, Stacey and I all had stuff visible in our vehicles but none of us got broken into, the thieves were probably spooked by the millions of cars and runners that use that area. But, a good lesson for us all.

Today was 2.5 hours in Z3 and there was no beautiful snow but a lot of cold rain instead. Tom, Stacey, Steve, Micheal, Trisha and I headed up and over Pittock Mansion in the sloppy mud. It was a good run and these second day efforts are getting easier and the pace is picking up. Tom got a cramp at the top of Pittock and Stacey helped him stretch and release the pain which helped him get back to the car but he was sore when we finished. The look of pain on his face was a Kodak moment so I couldn't resist :). What are friends for???

Monday, November 26, 2007

Beeping in the woods....

Saturday's 90 min. stride run was a surprise. Why? Because Tom showed up with a new heart rate monitor! So what's the big deal? It's been 3 years since I started training diligently with a heart rate monitor and while I love the process and the numbers there are others who don't beat to the same drum. Tom has been one of my training partners for years now and he is just a free flowing runner and enjoys long and I mean long hours out in the gorge exploring trails and terrain. He doesn't follow any plan for training and has run so many 100 milers it's just no big deal. My friends have been very supportive and indulged my need to be a rigid freak with my training. They even come out and help me work harder but not without a lot of ribbing and I am not talking about a joke here and there but full blown ribbing. All of it in full support but if your skin is thin.....well ouch! Fortunately when it comes to this stuff I have super thick skin and can dish it right back with a smile on my face. But....when Tom showed up on Friday with a new heart rate monitor I was thrown for a loop. I mean, are you kidding, Tom is wearing a heart rate monitor???? I was so shocked I didn't know what to say, I was speechless. Kris, Tom and I begin our run and of course he can't get the monitor to connect so he is back behind me mumbling and complaining so I stop, turn and squirt water down his shirt and it was only 31 degrees. After a few choice words at me and a some jumping around he settled down and his heart rate monitor made connection. He asks me a million questions about the zones I am training in and what kinds of workouts go with which zones. Of course everyone's zones are different and I explain this to him as he follows us down the Wildwood. Then it's non-stop, "Ronda, what's your heart rate?". I tell him and he says mine too. This conversation went on the entire run and the scary part is his heart rate was so similar to mine that Kris named us "heart rate twins". They are both coded models so interference should not be an issue but can this really be true? Am I going to have to listen to my heart rate monitor twin all Spring???? Oh my! Now for those of you who know Tom also know that this new toy could be chucked into the woods at any given moment. One false move and that new heart rate monitor could be toast. So if you're running along the Wildwood and you hear, 'beep, beep, beep" in the woods it might be worth checking out because you might find a brand new toy! All fun and games on the trails as usual.

I dropped my camera in the toilet on Friday! No, I hadn't yet gone to the bathroom so fishing it out was not a problem. I had it in the back pocket of my running tights and when I went to go....well, plop it went. I quickly turned just in time to see it sink to the bottom and watch the bubbles rise to the top as it filled with toilet water. Darn it! I took it apart and Bill tried to blow it dry but no luck, it's dead. I have had this little camera for 5 years and I loved it. We went to Fry's on Saturday so I could get a new one. I picked them all up and measured them but none were as small as my Canon Elph. Bill thought my method of choosing a camera was interesting. I have absolutely no idea about the technology I just know I need it be small and lightweight. Those were my two important features. I got a new one and it's nice but I will miss my elph.

Sunday's 2.5 hour Z3 run took me down. I was beat! I felt like I was going so slow and the gang moved farther in the distance but actually we did pretty well. The accumulation of a this Build 1 week was enough for this girl. I bowed out of the Gorge Monday's with girls to take a rest day because I am going to need it for the weeks workouts. Just when we were finishing we see Liz, Kamm and Caroline coming around the bend. Liz is an automatic in WS100M this year and Kamm and Caroline will be pacing and crewing (if Caroline doesn't get picked on Sat.). They all looked strong and fresh.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Most years we head to Utah to spend this holiday in Park City and instead of the big family get together it's just Bill, Alex and I. Bill's parents spend their holiday in Mexico every year and my family is so tiny they don't even bother doing anything. This Thanksgiving we decided to stay home and celebrate the day with our friends and their families. The idea came while having dinner with the McCarthy's and when they said they were just staying home we thought it would be fun to join together with our other friends and celebrate.

There's no better way to start off the day than with a Turkey Trot. Bill, Tom and I did the 4 mile ORRC Turkey Trot that starts at the Portland Zoo and takes you 2 miles downhill then a sharp turn around a cone and 2 miles back up hill ending at the zoo. This is a fun run with over 2000 people including walkers but this was not going to be trot for us, it was a race. I planned on giving this a big effort running as fast as I could. After a good 30 minute warm-up on the trails near the zoo we lined up near the front of the pack. Knowing most folks were just out for a cruise it was best to get up with fast runners. Bill and Tom said they were going after an average of a 9 minute mile while I was going for and average of an 8 minute mile. Off we go and after a quick uphill we headed down hill like rockets giving me a 6:12 min. pace for the first 2 miles. I was working hard pushing my heart rate near threshold on the downhill! At the turn I looked for Tom and Bill but saw only Bill....hmmmm must of missed Tom in the crowd. The climb begins and my legs feel like they are filling with lactic acid and I have to back off as my lungs can't push any harder. I am getting passed and I don't like it! I thought I would have the advantage on the uphill but nope!......I pushed and then I hear, "Good job Ronda" I turn and it's Tom! could this be....I work, I push, I use my arms and he just gets farther away as he runs uphill which appears to be effortless for him. Mile 3 goes by and the road begins to flatten, I take advantage of the short lived flat reeling Tom in but then the second hill comes. My legs are working but they feel tired, my heart rate is reading 174-178 and I know I am riding a fine line. We finally crest the last hill for the .5 miles remaining. I am gaining on Tom and I use every amount of gravity I could find to close the gap, I think I have him but I am going to wait to pass until I know I can hold the lead. I put it into gear and run by him like the wind, he sees me and sprints so I sprint and we cross the line but he was 3 seconds faster! I feel sick, I look at my HR and it reads 181, Tom is bent over and looks like he's going to be sick, both of us so spent we can't even say good job until the puking feeling subsides. We start to laugh in delerium and I think about kicking him but refrain, there was a lot of banter back and forth but I was pleased and shocked that he took me down. He was pretty happy with himself for doing sub 7:30's! We make our way back to finish banner and Bill comes blazing in at sub 9 minute miles. He is happy and swears by his training method.....DON'T TRAIN! :).

We rush back home to begin party preparations! Friends came, cooked, drank, ate, laughed and talked all day yesterday. It was one of the best Thanksgiving we have had. I have never cooked a turkey so thankfully Lisa came over at 10:00 a.m. and she got the bird prepared and made wonderful stuffing to pack inside. By the mid day I was promoted to Sui Chef! Once the bird was in the oven Lisa rushed home and left me turkey care instructions but soon the bird was rescued by Lisa M.! Micheal, Lisa and the kids came over early to cook the potatoes, hang out and mostly make sure I didn't set the bird on fire. Jim arrived just in time for the first Champagne toast. It was so good to see him and quite a shock to see the beard he grew... wow! Soon the rest of the gang arrived, the Maurer's, the Swanson's, Kris, the Gifford's and Steve stopped by. The turkey was taking so much longer than expected but no one seemed to care as they munched on all the wonderful appetizers, tasted wines and just got caught up. Everyone brought something to contribute to the dinner so the food was yummy! What a great day! We talked about the bismal odds of the lottery next weekend and traditionally we have all gone for a run then catch the results at the end, we called this the WS100 run but this year Micheal re-named it to the Bighorn run! :)
The rest of this week is filled with workouts. Today was a nice 90min. recovery run on the Wildwood with Darin and Tom. Of course Tom and I hashed out our Trot and decided we both ran much faster because Tom turned it into a challenge. He was really satisfied with his effort and how strong he felt. Tomorrow is a 90 min. run with strides. Kris, Tom and I will hit the trails for a nice loop. Sunday is 2.5 hour Z3 run. The miles are creeping up and it feels good.

Mark was sick last Friday for my "pinch-in" so I was pinched, measured and weighed on Wednesday. I lost nearly 1 pound and 1 % loss in body fat with a tiny gain in lean muscle. I was stoked and he said it's almost textbook fat reduction so the plan is working. He is implementing phase 2 and about mid-December we will do away with the 1965 cal days and the base will be 2645 for 4 day's a week and higher for the other 3. The food choices will include more stuff but fruits will be controlled and eaten purposely to promote nutrient absorption. I am excited about the fat loss but even more pleased with the additional strength and quicker recovery.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tagged, OK I will play.

Kendra tagged me so I need to give 5 random facts about myself:

1. I am an only child in a family where all my Aunts and Uncles produced only one child, married to an only child who's Aunts and Uncles produced only children and we have only one child. So of course only children rule! :).

2. I don't like nuts mixed in with any of my food. I like nuts but don't like them added to a salad, pasta, ice cream or anything. If I order something and it didn't list nuts as an ingredient and it comes with nuts I freak out. Don't know why but makes me mad! I eat nuts alone and love them. What a nut!

3. I make my bed every morning, always have, always will, don't leave my house without my bed made. Have done so since I can remember even when my mom could have cared less.

4. I am super emotional. I can seriously cry over a mayonnaise commercial and have done so.

5. For years I had a driver's license that allowed me to drive construction equipment like a rubber tired roller, paver, steel wheeled roller and I drove them all.

I will tag Darin and Kris!

On the running front we found snow at below 1500 feet on Monday. I was quite shocked to see the small amount of snow/ice on the low trail. We had a great Monday Gorge run and Zoe wore a very nice coat for the occasion. Ultra must get one of these, maybe for Christmas. Felt really strong on my upper body workout yesterday and I am getting much closer to producing a one armed push-up. The progress is fun and so far I can come up just fine but lowering myself more than about 4 inches is not happening yet. According to Marlin it should be the opposite but I guess my mid-section is much stronger than my shoulder girdle meaning I can support myself coming up but not strong enough to go down. Track workout today was spectacular (I love to huge exaggerating words)! I was hitting my mark 2 seconds faster than last week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rained on but not rained out!

Yeah....Bills plane has landed after 2 weeks of travel I am glad he is home safe and sound.

I saw all the emails talking about the odds of getting into WS100 and it is a dismal 16% or something like that. I tend to be the unluckiest person when it comes to lotteries so I am assuming I will be heading to Bighorn 100M. I have a lot of friends going to Bighorn so it will be super fun and a new challenge. Since the race is one week before WS100M the training cycle would be pretty much the same so between WS100M and Bighorn I should have plenty of friends to tag along with or drag to Black Saturday's :).

I got to do a new workout on Saturday. The run was 90 minutes long but after the 20 minute warm-up I did 7-10 25 sec strides with 2 minute recovery down to Z3A then went right into 2 miles at M-Pace. It sounds easy but the strides coupled with the M-pace after Thursday's T-Pace workout made it a bit taxing. My legs felt the work but pulled the paces easy and I wasn't having to drag myself by the ear. All part of the process of building a good base for the real training that's to come. We got Darin to join us for the Saturday run and he is just so much faster than any of us it was sort of like he was running in place while we were all working hard. It's fun and motivating to have a carrot to chase around. That reminds me of Sunday runs after Black Saturday's where I run for 7+ hours and the last half needs to be faster than the first half. Since Tom knows the Gorge like the back of his hand including every cutoff and side trail that exists and......he knows exactly how long it will take to run from any particular spot to another...he will challenge me. We will be on a stretch and he will say "GO, see if you can make to Gorton Cutoff trail in 22 minutes"! I am like a dog chasing it's stick trying to beat his time. He will do this for the entire run! I love this game and can't wait to play it again. I am a total sucker for a dare or any kind of challenge so I am all for it, waging my tail.....where's my next bone. I think I will call this game "Dog on Bone". Normally we are all dressed in red for "Red Hot Sunday's" but after last years attire I think the red outfits will be retired. They were just plain WRONG! Sorry for the digress down memory lane but those runs will come sometime in March and I am already looking forward to them planning routes so Tom can get his times down.

Sunday was a typical PNW treat, very wet and a bit cold. This was the first run in the rain for me but hey it wouldn't be Portland without rain and muddy trails. It was so foggy the picture looks like were standing in the middle smoke! We did a 2 hour loop in Forest Park starting at Satzman Road, a nice change from our other Forest Park runs. We are all getting stronger already and Z3A is beginning to feel more easy and comfortable for me to maintain. Micheal showed up this morning! It has been a long time without my pal so it was nice to have him come along. He has been away way to long because he has forgotten how much slower we are as he drug us around the park today. We got caught up on the latest happening with family, work, vacations, birthdays and 2008 running plans.

Next week is a Build 1 so more running.....Yeah!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Filling a week.

It's already Thursday and it's been a wild ride this week. With Bill in the Middle East for business and me stressing about that, workouts, storms, dogs, cats, salt water tank, turtles, carpet cleaning, school and all Alex's activities, box elder beetles it's been go, go, go! All just normal life but when you do it alone it's exhausting. Long business trips don't come often but when they do I am reminded how fortunate I am to have such a great marriage and life. Easy to just take all that for granted when it's part of the norm. Okay enough whining.

Bill has been all over the Middle East for the last two weeks and has gotten quite the education and experience. He emailed me a few pictures of him doing business and traveling between areas on camel, yes this is real and not a joke. He didn't see a female for 3 straight days because where he was they are not allowed to drive, eat with the men or leave their home without being in a full berka (sp?). When he was telling me about it over the phone it was so weird to think about a life like that. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like and probably would have been in jail or whatever by now because I am such a rebel when it comes to stuff like that.

On the home front we had a bad wind storm on Monday which took down power lines at the bottom of our road. The power was off for over 16 hours and since we get our water from a well and the pump requires electricity we were out of water too. My car was in the garage and the garage door needs electricity to work so I had to pull the emergency cord and lift the door. Now this is all just fine but we have a wood door and it was so heavy it took both Alex and I to get it up. The PGE guys actually drove up to my house to let me know the status....who says there's no customer service anymore. Since we live out in the boonies I had no phone because of course the phones need electricity and my cell only has 1 sketchy bar so the PGE people kept me informed. There were only 16 homes effected by the downed line but since it was over a quarter mile long it took awhile to restore. When it did pop back on at around 2 a.m. it scared me to death!

Rattled the next morning Alex left for school without his belt. Now I know the school has a uniform policy but come on.....he forgets his belt and they call me to bring it. I was already all the way downtown when he called, "hi mom, I forgot my belt again". Argggggggg....that darn belt, it's the 4th time he has forgot it. So I decided I would scatter belts all over. I stopped at Target and bought 3 black boys belts which brings his black belt collection to 4! I dropped one off at the school, put one is his locker and one in his backpack. Now.....if he forgets his belt I won't be driving back home and then to the school to deliver the not so necessary black belt. When I showed up at the office with 3 belts the office lady said, "that's just enabling him" and I said, "no, it's teaching him to be prepared"! If I was in charge I would have another way of handling the forgotten belt problem. :) Oh well, rules are rules......

On the workout front all is good. I think I have successful destroyed every muscle in my body from the waist up. My great idea of mastering the one armed push-up has sent my upper body into a full blown mess. All the pain is healthy but I am not sure if this much healthy pain is healthy if that makes any sense.:). My mid section hurts so bad I have to brace myself to laugh and if you know me at all I am constantly cracking myself up so I am getting efficient at the pre-laugh brace technique. I had to bend over to wash my hair this morning because I can't get my arms above my head and they are certainly not going to perform any massaging motion. I developed a great method for getting my shirt on. I lay it on the bed, then bend over, scoot my head inside the body of the garmet then in mummy form wiggle it down until my hands can reach the bottom then stretch it as far as I can without ripping the fabric and slide my arms in the holes. Since my lower body is not effected by the one armed push-up workout it was good to go for both my hard workouts. Tuesday I met Tom at the track and we did the workout together. It was much better than last week and my body seems to be remembering how it's done. Today was tempo with some M-Pace and T-Pace running so Susan joined me. We each have our own paces so after our 30 minute warm-up we began our quality portion on our own. I felt a ton more in control compared to last weeks effort. I actually had to throttle back quite a bit as my first T-Pace mile was a 7:10, way to fast and not necessary now. I got into a good groove for my 7:40 pace. My upper body protested and my arms soaked up the warm-up but I might even be more sore now.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Peak week 1

The end of my first peak week of training was today and tomorrow will be the start of my recovery week from this cycle. I am following a 4 week cycle and it goes like this, Build 1, Build 2, Peak then recovery. I am looking forward to a nice recovery week but there is still some quality workouts to get done, one track workout, one tempo workout and the weekend will have some strides mixed with M-Pace running. All of it is less than the other weeks and I will have 2 solid days OFF from running. The last three weeks have been fun and less challenging than I would have thought. I believe the additional energy from solid fueling has been a key factor in feeling so darn good on my runs and not feeling fatigued and worked afterwards. Jury is still out and I am not banking on anything yet but time will tell if I have dialed in a better system for fueling my body for the workload. My friends took this picture because they keep seeing me eat the same thing after our runs together and they think it's really running watching me shove a cold yam in my mouth, ha, ha.

I think the hardest run I did this last week was the tempo run on Thursday. Physically it was of course challenging but mentally it was a shock to be so much slower than where I left off after last seasons training. I wasn't as much discouraged as I was curious. Wondering what it will be like to go through the process and see if I can achieve the same results or better. With one solid year of data there will be no question if I am as fit as I was. This is more exciting because I know the road I will be traveling and am familiar with the territory but I will be viewing it with more confidence and understanding. Sometimes that's all you need; with more confidence and a better understanding you can get where your going a lot faster. Generally the unknown is a big road block for a control freak like me but since this process is not new I can leave the confusion and fear behind. Sort of freeing when I think about it!:)

The KPR run is one of my favorite workouts. Scott calls these Kenyan-Style Progression Runs and Stacey and I shortened it to KPR. The idea is to start off very slow and slowly build your speed throughout the run with the final miles being at M-Pace. The goal is to not go out too fast and not push beyond M-Pace even if you feel like a machine. The ultimate purpose of the run is to take yourself through all your running gears, feel the paces and work all the zones appropriately. I find this type of run extremely rewarding because it unveils all my weak areas. As the run progresses I can feel the areas that I am efficient and comfortable running and the ones I am not....some of my weak areas are in my slower zones and some are in the faster zones and this means I have not built those zones well. This also means I leaving a perfectly good gear unattended to and therefore not available in training or racing. The KPR forces me to work in the uncomfortable inefficient zones as I build to M-Pace. These runs are hard physically too because they are done on a road or Lief Erickson type of terrain where you can measure your miles and paces in addition to fact your getting faster and faster. I love how I feel during and after these runs so the more I get to do the merrier. They are really fun with a crowd. Everyone going their own pace but all trying to do the same type of run whatever level. Saturday Tom, Stacey, Susan, Darin and I all went after it. Darin missed us as we parked at a different trail head but he was out there tearing it up just one week after his win at the Autumn Leaves 50K.

Sunday was another solid 2 hour Z3 run and we covered and additional .5 miles in the same time as last week so progress already! My glute medias was a little angry after the run so I am icing and stretching but not pushing the stretch too much. My physical therapist said I was cured but after today I know I still need to keep working on it's strength. Tomorrow is an OFF day so I will make sure I keep icing and do some mild strength exercises just so it knows I am not slacking off and that I have expectations. :)

A little over 3 weeks on Marks food plan and I feel like he could be my new best friend! The results are clearly evident so it's been easy and fun. I have successfully eaten all the food every day since I saw him last. There have been a couple of days where it was difficult but I just forced myself to eat it all and payoff has been good. I don't know if I have lost anymore weight but I have lost inches so if I am maintaining or gaining muscle and losing fat then my goals are being met. The "Pinch In" will be Friday. :). On another note I have a goal to master the one armed push-up! Why???? Because I saw Jillian do it on the Biggest Loser and got inspired then to top it off there was a "how to" article in my favorite magazine. Believe it or not there is a process to mastering it. I started doing the work this last week so I think by Christmas I might be able to whip one out. :). Here are the steps to mastering the one armed push-up:

Step 1 - Be able to do 8-10 real push-ups (I can do this no problem)
Step 2 - Incline push-up with one arm using the bar on the Smith Machine, as you get stronger you position the bar lower and lower. (this is the step I am on and I have to have the bar set just above my waist and no lower!). Eventually you move the bar to it's lowest position.
Step 3 - Uneven push-ups. Using a step do the push-ups with one arm on the step and one on the floor, as you get stronger build upon the step making it bigger and bigger then using only your fingertips to help. As you master this you won't need your fingertips
Step 4 - Plank exercised for a strong midsection. (I have achieved this part)
Step 5 - Alternating plank where you hold in plank, stretch out one arm off the floor while the opposite toe lifts off the floor (I can do these but not well)

There is actually a routine which takes you through a series of these exercises 3 times a week until you can master the one arm push-up. This will be a good Christmas present!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Trip, Twist and Fall!

With last week being a build II schedule I was pretty tired on Sunday night and was wondering how I would feel on our Monday Gorge run. I made sure I ate all the prescribed food on my plan every day since I saw Mark. That meant I had 1 day of 1965 calories and 3 days of 2645 calories. I payed close attention to the timing of my meals to ensure I would be able to eat them all. I have to say it was hard the first two days but after that I was ready to eat every meal and the energy I had on Monday was significant. My mind continues to battle with amount of calories and especially the amount of complex carbs I need to eat but I feel like I am slowly trusting the process.

Trisha, Susan I did the same loop as last week but about 20 minutes faster. With all the lovely fall leaves on the ground you never know what's underneath. This mystery led to many twists, trips and one fall. I did all the twisting, Trisha did the tripping and Susan performed the not so graceful fall. Fortunately no one got hurt but Susan did call me the next day to say she felt bruised up in the shoulder area. Trisha is really taking her training seriously and from what I can tell is not the least bit uncomfortable pushing herself to new limits. It's really fun to watch someone make so much progress and have fun doing it. There really is no better recipe than that. She powered up the hills running most of them making me work hard to get a picture! We stopped at the big intersection to refuel and take a picture. Ultra could not resist giving Susan a kiss, she just wouldn't stop! :). Next week there will be no Gorge Monday because all are kids are out of school for a holiday. Good timing because next week is recovery and after all the workouts this week I am going to need it.

I am loving all the energy, it's honestly so much more than I had before. I keeping waiting for the big crash to come but so far everything surrounding my workouts is powerful, time will tell. Yesterday was my first track workout so I got put on my lightening fast red shoes and when I arrived at the track I saw that it had been resurfaced since my last visit! It was almost like seeing a long lost friend, strange because I would have never said that 2 years ago. My description would have been more like, "yikes I see a ghost"! Tom came down to make sure I didn't slack off but I think his real motivation was to do a bit of speed work himself and see if I could do a pull up. I ran a good 3 mile warm up on Terrwilliger than came back down and did 10X100-150 meter sprints with 2-3 minutes slow running in between. Tom didn't do the sprints but he wasn't very far behind me. My sprints felt awkward for the first 5 but once I got in the groove they felt better but not easy. Once I was done we headed over to the pull up bar and of course I gave Tom all the usual excuses....I haven't done any pull ups, I was out of the weight room for 8 weeks, pull ups are hard......there were more but I can't remember them. He simply said what he always says, "shut up and get up there". So I go for the easy kind first, narrow grip palms facing forward and boom!....I easily knocked out 5!. I shocked myself but then got motivated. Next, the wide grip, palms facing away from the face, boom!....easily knock out 3. Needless to say I left the track pretty happy and even more motivated.
The rest of the week is 2 recovery runs, 1 tempo run, 1 KPR run and one moderate long run. This week I reintroduced "Time in Tension" leg workouts but started light and will build up slowely. I have two leg workouts a week and only do the TinT one time and the other is endurance based one legged workout, Scott's prescribed leg workout. Yesterday Scott set my VDOT at 43 which means my T-Pace will be 7:42, M-Pace will be 8:15 and E pace will be 9:27. At the end of my training for WS100M my VDOT was 51 so I am stoked to see the number climb as I do the work.