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???