Mother Nature Was Showing Off and Ultrarunner Staples.

Hey there! My morning started out a bit rainy and stormy but it quickly cleared and gave way to absolutely beautiful sunshine. Mother nature was just showing off today! 10.02 miles done.

So here are a few foods I absolutely love and think are great ultrarunner staples! When I was training for my 100 miler I made sure to include many of these in my diet! So if you are contemplating running an ultra (and staying healthy while doing it), take notes.

Avocados/nuts/etc. Healthy fats are the way to go. I love almonds (and almond milk!!), pistachios and generally could just eat avocados straight. Sprinkle a little sea salt/lime on there and boy you are good to go.

Lean protein. Grilled chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon etc are generally my go tos. They just keep me satisfied and full. Generally dinner will be chicken with a veggie and a complex carb.

Leafy greens- Spinach and kale are my two faves. Typically I’ll throw ‘em in a smoothie or will have a huge salad for lunch with cherry tomatoes and raw broccoli thrown in.

Greek yogurt. Typically I go for the nonfat kind and will throw on a bunch of fruit/maybe a few nuts or some granola. I love having this especially after a run. For some reason I crave things like yogurt/acai bowls and cold things post workout.

Sweet potatoes and butternut squash. I love everything spiralized and having these handy really helped me to not go crazy on the pasta and white refined carbs. I will throw on on some ground turkey and avocado, maybe some goat cheese and go to town.

Kombucha- I think it’s something about the probiotics I’m really digging with kombucha. As you know probiotics are fantastic for your digestive system. Plus it just gives me a ton of energy and makes me feel good. I drink kombucha probably twice a week…it can be pricey!

What are some of your go to runner superfoods?

5 Ways to Bounce Back from a 100 Mile Race.

I have to tell you, I could probably write multiple blog posts just on Q & A alone since so many folks have had questions regarding my 100 mile race not too long ago. It was an incredible (and long) journey, but I am so glad to say I have survived to talk to you about it! Someone said it perfectly when they said that to run 100 miles is to live a lifetime in a day. (and then some). It is truly something I will remember for the rest of my life. Here are a few ways I have bounced back from this crazy awesome race distance and some ways to recover and get back out on those roads (or on the dirt path).

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1. Motion is lotion! This is kind of my favorite saying right now. Honestly, the movement shouldn’t stop once you cross that finish line. I know, you will want to find the nearest chair or stretcher…haha possible but to keep the blood flow going you must move that body. I could barely walk to the car but I made sure to make my legs move around a bit right after I got finished. The more you are able to at least walk a bit the better your body will feel.

2. Hydration is still important. Sure you have been eating and consuming liquids throughout the race. So much so that you actually get TIRED of it. But make sure you replenish your body post race. Especially with electrolytes. Honestly I would consume wine, beer etc in extreme moderation for at least a day or so. 100 miles can really beat you up and deplete you and the last thing really I wanted was alcohol. I thought that would be quite the opposite (I was craving wine actually when I finished my 50 miler). But yes, water…NUUN or Gatorade, all of these things will help you recover faster.

3. It will be hard to get comfortable when you go to bed that night. My body was shaking, my feet were swollen and so fatigued, it was unlike any type of post race feeling I’ve ever felt before. I personally did not do an ice bath, etc I just let my body recover naturally and the muscles just rest on their own. Compression may help but elevate your feet and just let things rinse themselves out. After that first night post 100 miler, my body pretty much slowly got back to normal. Sore but the same ole same. So…get through the rough 1st night and you will be good.

4. Don’t feel bad about eating ALL of the foods. Chances are it will be crazy hard to replenish all of the ridiculous amount of calories you burned during the 100 miler. But if you’re hungry (RUNger…the struggle is real) eat whatever it is you are craving. I don’t like sweets as much as I used to when I was younger but I crave all of the salty foods. A burger (my meal of choice post race), sushi, a loaded salad with a ton of pickles…haha YUM. Try to get some wholesome foods back in you though but some that are satisfying and will fill you up. Protein, veggies, avocado etc.

5. And remember, recovery looks different for everyone. If you are a seasoned marathoner that also has a few ultras under your belt like myself, recovery will be a lot easier for you. It all depends on the person’s body and ability to bounce back. Just be sure to listen to your body and what it is telling you. I’ve gotten really good at knowing when to push and when to pull back. But this is from years of patience, experience and training. It’s all a balancing act.

Ultrarunners, what are some ways you have recovered from a 100 mile race?

100 Thoughts During a 100 Mile Race.

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1. Ahh, early morning. So peaceful…look at all of the headlamps dancing in the dark.

2. Roots, roots and more roots. Make sure not to trip and fall.

3. Some of these runners make trail running look so easy. Gliding across rocks and roots without a care in the world. Hashtag goals.

4. Nice and easy, start slow. You have all day.

5. Understatement of the year.

6. Let some of these ‘fast’ people pass you. I bet you’ll be passing some of them later.

7. Ahh, a little daylight! What a beautiful trail. I couldn’t see it before but now it’s so pretty.

8. Hydrate hydrate hydrate.

9. Oh, look at this dirt road, a little easier to run on than that rooty rocky part. Let’s pick up the pace a bit. Feels awesome.

10. Don’t get too confident now. Reign it in a bit.

11. Oh. Huge uphill climb. I’ve done so much hill training I just want to run up every hill.

12. But everyone is walking. Hmm. Should I walk up the hills too?

13. Save energy? Yes, good plan.

14. Aid station goodies. Let me grab this oreo. Sugar rush. Looks good at the moment.

15. Hydrate hydrate hydrate.

16. Relentless forward progress. Oh so inspirational.

17. Man, good thing I really like running.

18. I kind of love looped courses. A little redundant but I love seeing peeps while I go.

19. Good job, old dude, you are rocking it. You are also going way faster than me. Hashtag goals.

20. Boy, this stretch is long and there are no aid stations out here. At least there’s a lot to look at.

21. I sure do love bridges on trails. I just want to sprint every single bridge.

22. I have to use the ladies room.

23. Pull over and just go for it.

24. I feel about 5 pounds lighter. Okay, keep trucking.

25. I feel like me and this girl are drafting each other. I just passed her and now she’s passing me.

26. I wonder if she’s ever run a hundred miler before.

27. Most of my friends have never done this.

28. Most of my friends probably think I’m insane.

29. That’s okay because I am sometimes.

30. Finally back to another aid station! They are playing disco music. Can I stay and dance? Have a glass of wine and sit down? Probably not such a good idea.

31. Okay, don’t linger at the aid station. Let’s get up and go.

32. Wow, I still have a GPS signal out in these woods. Incredible.

33. Oh, I just got a text. Busy right now sorry running a 100 miler. Kthxbye.

34. Back to the runnable dirt road again. Sprint sprint sprint.

35. Yeah, so sprinting on a trail is more like my easy pace on the road. HA. Such an athlete.

36. The sound of birds chirping…so glorious.

37. They say there are alligators out on this trail. I kind of want to see one.

38. Or a coyote or some wildlife or something.

39. Is that a snake??? No, just a stick.

40. Better yet a root. Don’t trip. Don’t fall. No injuries.

41. Hey crew! Dallas Dirt Runners are rocking this aid station. Ricky Bobby theme. Shake and bake, baby.

42. Check out that sign. It says if you’re not first, you’re last.

43. I’ll definitely be last then. I’m okay with that as long as I finish.

44. A porta potty! Finally a place to take a whizz in peace.

45. Porta potties are ridiculously disgusting.

46. Alright, let’s go.

47. Legs are getting a bit heavy. Let’s do some power walking up this hill.

48. Mmm. Caffeine would be good right about now. Time for a GU.

49. Gu is really a gross product. I mean, it goes down easy I guess.

50. I feel like I have texture issues with GU.

51. Whoops, almost tripped over that root. I said almost. But I’m a gangsta.

52. I’ve got this.

53. Just got a text from someone saying ‘Go Chelsea, Go!’ I don’t recognize the number. So thanks, absolute stranger.

54. I don’t think anyone should ever do something like this for instagram likes. Way too much work. Just run a marathon. You’ll get just as many likes for that. Maybe more.

55. Some of these people are running with friends who are also running the hundred miler. Nice! Killing it.

56. I need more crazy friends.

57. Uh oh, that girl just DNF’d. Did not freaking finish.

58. Eff that, ain’t gonna be me. I’m a gangsta.

59. It’s getting dark. Time to bust out the headlamp.

60. Headlamp is a bit dim. And my batteries are at the next aid station. 7 miles to batteries! Awesome.

61. Nice girl is lending me her batteries. Thanks, nice girl.

62. Ultrarunners. They are nice.

63. I need more crazy friends!

64. I am crazy. A little too crazy for my own good.

65. 7 pm. some of my friends are probably getting ready for a fun wild night out.

66. And I am in the forest, running alone. Gotta love that.

67. I’m kind of bored. Definitely ready for my pacer.

68. Almost time to pick up my pacer.

69. Loop 4, here we go. The Dallas Dirt Runners selected my pacer for me because I don’t have enough crazy friends. Hi, Kevin.

70. We’ve met, once. Running with basically strangers, so fun.

71. He’s kind of cute too. I’m just saying.

72. Running with cute boys is fun. I enjoy it.

73. Sweet, another bridge. Let’s sprint again.

74. Another uphill. Time to walk.

75. My feet are numb.

76. Glad I changed into these shoes but I don’t think much is going to help at this point.

77. They are cooking hot food now at the aid stations. Ramen noodle soup? No, I can’t do it. Mashed potatoes?

78. HELL YES. YUM.

79. I love me some carbs. How do some women not eat carbs? Beyond me.

80. Carbs are heavenly runners food.

81. Wow, I have never run this far ever in life. Pretty incredible.

82. GPS signal is still going strong! But the phone is about to die.

83. Thanks, wonderful pacer boy for lending me your portable phone charger. You are my guardian angel.

84. Back to the aid station. Hydrate. Eat. Repeat.

85. Ugh, kind of tired of eating.

86. Hey, there’s a park bench. Could I just lie down and forget that I’m doing this for a little while?

87. Why am I doing this again?

88. Getting emotional. So many emotions. Tears. Not sure why I’m even crying.

89. There are people that probably don’t think you can do this. Do it to prove them wrong.

90. I’m really good at proving bitches wrong. Yes, do it for them and for you.

91. Alright, stop crying. Man up, or woman up.

92. You’ve so got this.

93. Ahh, daylight again.

94. Am I really still awake?

95. I cannot feel my legs.

96. It’s kind of awesome.

97. Keep moving or you are not going to finish.

98. All of the expletives and bad words.

99. I am SO FINISHING THIS.

100. Done and done!! That buckle! I’ve never seen a more beautiful piece of hardware in my life.

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What are some thoughts during a run/ultrarun/race?

Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Recap.

I am back from a long, wild and adventurous weekend. A 100 mile weekend to be exact! Yes, I ran my first 100 mile race and have lived to tell you about it. Let’s recap, shall we?

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So lots of you have been asking me what was next on my race roster and what I had been training for these last few months. I registered for Rocky Raccoon 100 last year as an item to cross off the bucket list. I had completed 2 50ks and a 50 miler so I felt like I was ready to step things up in the distance department. I trained for months on end, often logging back to back long run weekends, peaking my mileage to 85 miles a week and 324.4 miles in a single month. It was an exhilarating feeling and honestly I’ve never felt more on top of my training game. It was finally time to put my body to the ultimate test.

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I made it to Huntsville State Park on Friday afternoon for the briefing and to pick up my race packet and etc. There were hundreds of folks signed up for this race, from total 100 mile virgins to trail veterans. Actually the USA 100 Mile Trail National Championships were being held here so there were some super fast runners present as well. I’m always so super inspired by crazy fast trail runners because they just seem to glide across rocks and roots without a care in the world. Perhaps that will be me one day. I am a bit of a moving liability since I teach classes at the gym so I try to do more of a relaxed pace. Which I actually love. Some days you just need to get off the roads and immerse yourself into nature.

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Anyway, I got my race number…headed off to my hotel and got my goodies ready for race day.

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Saturday morning I was up bright and early for the 6 AM start.

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The course itself is 5 20 mile loops which honestly is perfect for someone running their first 100 miler. It breaks things up perfectly and allows you to have a couple of pacers assist you if you so desire. We were not allowed pacers until mile 60. I was so SUPER thankful for my Dallas Dirt Runner friends who actually had their own aid station and were out there being amazing volunteers. They had a few folks who jumped in and helped runners out when we were struggling.

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The first couple of loops seemed to literally fly by. They had aid stations along the course and one where you could drop off a bag with all of your essentials and etc. I always LOVE the trail aid stations.

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I mean, where else can you indulge in fruit, random candies, mashed taters and yes, quesadillas? I cannot tell you how amazing a quesadilla and/or sausage tastes at mile 30 or 60 something. Absolutely incredible. I actually thought the hardest thing about ultrarunning would be keeping up with my eating. I didn’t have too hard of a time with that. I kind of just ate little bites of what looked good at the time, and that worked for me. They also had V Fuel energy gels which I loved, way better than GU in terms of texture.

I didn’t reach a low point really up until it got dark outside. My headlamp got dim and I left my batteries at the very last aid station before the next loop started, so I ran a lot of the end of loop 3 solo, in the straight up darkness. Doubt started creeping in around this time and my legs got real tired past mile 55 or so. This was without a doubt the longest I had EVER run in life. There was a long 7 mile stretch with no aid station and it was kind of a lonely feeling being out there on my own. I said a lot of prayers around that time and just tried to keep one foot in front of the other. I SO BADLY wanted to finish this race. Feeling good, without injury. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted something so badly in my life. And just honestly where I’m at physically and mentally in my life, this was something that I just needed. To channel some emotions and fight some issues I’ve currently been dealing with in my personal life. I actually wanted this race to break me down a little bit. And THAT, it did. The third & fourth loops consisted of a lot of kind of hiking/running. But I got it done.

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You see that guy? During loop 4 I picked up an amazing guardian angel pacer by the name of Kevin. Kevin is a member of the Dallas Dirt Runners who I had met before and another guy Augustin thought he would be the perfect candidate to get me though 60-80. He jumped right on in like a trooper, being so super encouraging the entire way. I tell you, I was at such a low point mentally during this time when it was like 2 in the morning and I was simply exhausted from running literally all day long. I just wanted to find a chair and put my feet up. He kept me going, playing music from his phone, making me laugh. I have never seen someone with such an amazing heart that wanted to help another runner the way he did. I am forever thankful for him for getting me through a point where I probably would have thrown in the towel.

Morning hit once again around loop 5 and the start of another day gave me some fresh energy. Kevin wanted to get me through some of loop 5 as well so he kept going with me a bit. We got a bit of light rain that started up as the sun came up over the horizon which was kind of relaxing! It felt like I was running through a rainforest or something. I also admittedly kind of like slightly muddy trails because the ground is nice and soft. I got through the last loop and crossed that finish line feeling like a champion. 29 hours and 33 minutes of laughter, tears, extreme highs and lows. I freaking did it.

I have to tell you, you cannot run a distance of this magnitude without being changed from the inside on out. I did not run this race for pomp and circumstance. Didn’t run it to prove something to my running club buddies or for likes on Instagram. I did this to prove to myself that I was strong. That I could look adversity in the face and conquer it head on. I did this for my family. I want to be strong for my family, friends and just in my everyday life. I proved to myself that I can overcome challenges and dig deep when all hope seems to be lost. I am excited to face more challenges in 2017 and so excited to have started off the year doing something incredible.

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Snagged that damn buckle. I’m up for more.

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How was your weekend? Any other HUNDO finishers out there?

50 Thoughts During a 50 Mile Race.

First off I just wanted to say thanks to all of you for the well wishes regarding my ultra this past weekend! It was definitely a great race and I honestly could not have asked for a better experience for my first 50. As you alll can imagine running around a park for around 10 hours gives you a lot of time to THINK. Just me and my thoughts…it was actually awesome because I did a lot of brainstorming and even a little soul searching. Here are some of my random thoughts in no particular order. And yes, I do mean random.

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1. Wow, it’s pretty dark out here. So glad for the invention of headlamps.

2. Headlamps really are not fashionable at all but hey…I guess that doesn’t matter.

3. Ok…gun just went off…start out slooowwww…you will be passing these folks in front of you sooner or later.

4. Hmm…maybe I can keep up with this gal for a little bit. She looks nice.

5. Wait, is that girl pregnant? And she’s running the 50 MILER?! Good gracious. I guess that is inspiring.

6. Yes, she is. And she said her doctor cleared her to run this. I guess that is pretty cool. Geez, talk about beast mode.

7. Okay, finding my groove. Yep, it is still pretty dark. Let me hold a convo with this other girl for a bit.

8. Yay, finally a little bit of daylight…loop 1 is done! Time to drop the headlamp light and keep trucking.

9. I’m not hungry…like at all…but I need to eat. Eat eat eat. Drink drink drink.

10. Ugh…GU…at least the salted caramel doesn’t taste so bad.

11. I can’t imagine eating GU all day…barf.

12. Oh, my friends are texting me…shoot them a thumbs up emoji to let them know you’re okay.

13. Am I going the right way on this trail?? YES? Okay…just making sure I did not make a wrong turn.

14. Grab some powerade/water mix at this next aid station…actually liquids are the only thing that sound good right now.

15. Eat. Drink. Repeat.

16. This banana tastes pretty good though. I could probably eat bananas all day.

17. And waffles. And bacon. Too bad they don’t have that on the course.

18. I heard they were bringing out tacos today. Where are the tacos?? I don’t see them anywhere.

19. Loop 2 is done…mile 20 something…on to the next.

20. But first…let me take a selfie.

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21. This stretch of the trail is sooooo lonnnngggg…where is the heck is the next aid station?

22. But at least it’s nice and shaded.

23. High five your friends on the trail. They are probably not running the 50.

24. It must be nice to ‘just be running the marathon’ today. 26.2 miles sounds like a breeze at the moment.

25. Alright! Loop 3 baby. 1 more loop to go! Oops. I mean 2 more. I’m getting my math all wrong.

26. 50k mark baby! Oh boy…it’s getting hot.

27. Okay…this part of the route is definitely not shaded. We need to plant some trees over here.

28. 32 mile mark! I just ran my age…haha awesomeness.

29. I could go for another banana right now.

30. I still don’t see any tacos.

31. My legs kind of feel like bricks at the moment…okay…pick up your feet.

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32. This hydration pack on my back definitely comes in handy. Time to take a sip of water from my crazy straw.

33. I could go for a nap. I wonder if I closed my eyes and took a nap while running…would anyone notice?

34. Time to high five another runner friend. Are we having fun yet?

35. Mile 40. Good gracious. The number 40 never looked so good.

36. Except there’s 10 miles to go. Haha, yeah love that.

37. Mmm…yeah look at that park swing. I could stop right here and be perfectly okay with life.

38. Eat. Drink. Repeat.

39. I would like a huge glass of wine right now.

40. And a stretcher for when this is over. Yeah, just wheel me to my car. I’ll be fine, thanks.

41. Time for the lonnnnggg stretch through the woods again.

42. Did I just hear a bobcat in the woods?

43. Nah, I’m trippin. Definitely trippin.

44. Speaking of ‘trippin’. The trees kind of look like they are floating right now. That’s actually pretty cool.

45. It’s so quiet and peaceful out here. Look at the horses. They are clearly having fun.

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46. Ohhh the sun again. At least my tan is going to be pretty awesome after this.

47. Looks like we are getting close to the finish. Time to pick up the pace a bit. No more of this shuffling mess.

48. It’s amazing how tired I was at mile 45 and now my legs want to seem to work now that there is a finish line.

49. Ahhh!!! Finish line! I do love you. Sweet success.

50. Now, where’s the wine? I need a hot guy with muscles to pick me up and bring me to my car. I’m just saying.

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What are some of your thoughts on the run? Or during a race?

Hachie 50, Mama’s Day and Wknd Recap.

Happy Monday to you…hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I am back from my 50 mile adventure and thought I’d recap it a bit today. Honestly I’m not even sure one blog post is going to even do it justice…but I’ll try the best I can.

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I’m still a tad sore but thankfully this morning I was able to get out for an early stroll…we are back to off and on rain the entire week but it’s nice because it cools things off just a bit.

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Alright! So on to the recap. The Hachie 50 started pretty freakin’ early Saturday morning. It was basically pitch black outside so I had my headlamp light on for good measure.

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We lined up and were ready for the gun to go off at 5 a.m.! I actually kind of love the super early starts…I wish more races would do this. This race has a 50 mile option, relay, a 50k and a 26.2 option. The 50 milers and relay folks started off at 5, 50k/26.2 started later, at 7:30 a.m.

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The course was mostly paved, with a little bit of a rocky trail right at the beginning leading out into the park. It was a 10 mile loop that the 50 milers had to complete a total of 5 times. I am a fan of the looped course for sure because you know what to expect and can count down as you go. I also loved that the course was pretty woodsy with lots of trees and shade…that definitely helped us out later on in the day when it got warmer. Temps were close to 85 that day so we really needed all of the shade we could get!

I started off running with a couple of gals, one of them had done the race last year and was back to beat her finish time of 12 hours. Another lady was training for a 100 mile ultra and just using the 50 as a training run. It was cool to chat with them a bit and pick their brain about ultra running and such. After a while we all kind of got split up and ran our own races. As daylight came I was mostly running solo, passing by aid stations, grabbing a banana and sipping on my water/powerade as I kept trucking.

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While I was running a few of my buddies from the Irving Running Club were sending me sweet notes and text messages. I truly appreciated the love.

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Some of them even went on their long runs that same morning and took a shoe pic for me in my honor. We all know I love me some shoe pics. It’s my trademark.

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Anyway, I went on to my 4th loop and here it started getting pretty warm. It was pretty cool to see 40 something miles on my GPS though. Something I’d never seen EVER in my life before! One of the folks on the race caught me feeling good and getting a bit of a second wind despite the heat and humidity.

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I probably ate about 3 honey stinger waffles, some bananas, and GU the entire way. The thing that went down the best were definitely the bananas. It truly is difficult to remember to keep eating/drinking on the run when you are out there running that long but the thing you have to remember to do the most. Every time I got tired or was feeling like I could stop, I just made sure to take another sip of water. I also kept telling myself ‘relentless forward motion’…and tried not to focus too much on my pace or where I was with time. My running slowed down to a shuffle I’d say at about mile 42 or so but I was getting pretty close to the finish so running on nothing but adrenaline. I picked up the pace a bit after the last aid station because I knew I was close to finishing. And well under the 13 hour mark…3 hours early! Finish time 10:16. I can’t begin to express how good it felt to see that finish line. Crazy good! I cried a bit at the end and chatted with the race director who also ran the 50 that day. It was an emotional moment but I did what I came out there to do. I pushed way past my limits and then some. It was an exhilarating feeling. Praying, singing, and fighting my way through it. I did it.

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The true icing on the 50 mile cake…winning 2nd place overall female. I think I will have to put this award in a case with glitter and sparkles in it. Happy happy joy.

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Overall it was a LONG but fun day and I can’t wait to run this one again. Today I can call myself a TRUE ultrarunner. I’ve run 2 ULTRAS before, 50ks. But honestly it doesn’t quite feel real until you run a 50 miler. On to the next!

The rest of Saturday was mostly restful and relaxing…since Sunday was mama’s day I spent the day enjoying some mother/daughter time and we had Pappadeaux for brunch. Frozen drinks and seafood for the win.

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Food never tasted so good! I am just saying.

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Oh yeah, and sleep. Yeah, sleep is pretty amazing too. 

How was your weekend? Did you celebrate your mama on Mama’s Day?

TGIFriday Faves.

Happiest of Fri-YAYs to you! I am looking forward to a fun filled weekend of running (of course) and celebrating mama on Sunday! Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mamas out there. Enjoy your special day!

I am all prepped and ready to go for my weekend adventure! Cooler is set and ready to go with all of my snacks and goodies for this weekend’s 50.

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Hachie 50, I am coming for ya! As most of you know (who have been reading for a while) spending a day of doing nothing but running is so up my alley. This has also been on my bucket list for quite some time so I’m more than ready to check it off the list. I am like a caged bird ready to go out and play. Excited, anxious and all of the feelings right now. Woo-sah!

Ish is about to get real.

Let’s get to this week’s faves!

-Eating all of the sushi this week. I am back on my sushi kick. For some reason I crave sushi when the weather is warmer? I am a sucker for some fresh salmon.

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-Lately I’ve been wearing my Pro Compression socks around the house like they are house shoes/slippers. I even slept in them last night! Felt so good…they are like a big hug for your legs and feet. And also doing all of the foam rolling. Happy muscles. #keepittight

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-Off the shoulder dresses…loving this one. A must have for summer. I basically live in dresses at all times so this belongs in my closet.

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-What is your dominant emotion? I got SASSY. Are you surprised? Probably not.

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Honest company slogans. Hilariousness…the Starbucks one is oh so true.

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That’s all for this week! See you on the other side of my crazy running adventures.

What are you up to this weekend? Doing anything fun/wild/adventurous?

8 Ways to Survive Ultramarathon Training.

It was a 10k Tuesday around here…just enjoying some ridiculously awesome running temps. 51 degrees in Texas in May?! I will take it. Give me more cool cloudy mornings for sure. The hot coffee went down perfectly after those miles.

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So as my ultra marathon training is wrapping up and my 50 is near, I thought I would share 8 things that have been keeping me afloat! I have actually loved this season of building up the miles and it has shown me that I am definitely of capable of more than I ever thought possible. So if you are contemplating training for an ULTRA in the near future, here are some things I have learned.

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1. Learn to accept the roller coaster that is running. You will have bad days, crappy runs, days where you are on fire and loving training, and days where you want to sit on the couch with pizza and forget that you are a runner while watching The Real Housewives of Whatever. Been there done that. But at the end of the day you are out there, you are doing the work, and you should be proud of yourself. Every damn day.

2. Running buddies make these long runs go by a heck of a lot faster. The thing I love the MOST about being in a running group again is they have helped me to get my fire back. They are so awesome, so supportive and encouraging. Just like a running community is supposed to be. They have also given me a kick in the pants and helped me to power through when I’m just not feeling it. So very grateful for them.

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3. DO the back to back long runs. This is the single most thing that has helped to build my endurance. It has made me a stronger runner for sure. Slowly build those miles up and you will soon be doing the back to backs like it ain’t no thing.

4. Find a (realistic) training plan. There are so many ultra plans out there…I have used this one for my 50k and this as a guide for my 50. Notice I said, guide. I also used my recent 50k and my marathon in April as part of my training for the 50 miler. You don’t always have to follow the plans to a T. But they are a great way to stay accountable and on track.

5. Be patient with yourself and listen to your body. Do the work but make sure you are doing your easy runs. They count just as much as speedwork, intervals, hills and all of the other things you include in your training. Easy running, time on your feet and consistency is the best way to stay injury free, not burn out, and eventually work your way up to ultra status.

6. Nutrition is just as important as your training. Eat your complex carbs (I love qunioa and sweet potatoes), include your lean proteins and fruits/veggies. Cut out the processed junk as much as possible. Your body will appreciate you for it.

7. Get the right shoes/socks/gear/etc that works for you, not what works for someone else. Stick with the shoes that you know your feet love. I have been in Asics and my Newtons for years and I don’t plan on changing that much anytime soon.

8. Make sure your hydration system is on point. I am loving my pink Camelbak for long runs and I plan on wearing it for my 50 on Saturday. Throw some ice in there to keep the water cold and fill it up often while on the run.

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What are some things you have learned during ULTRA (or even marathon) training that has helped you in the long run? Pun intended.

7 Before 7 and Bucket List Races.

My favorite morning run hands down lately has been 7 before 7. We got it in this morning while watching a beautiful RUNrise on the lake.

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You truly cannot beat this view. My legs were feeling pretty good too especially after an amazing sauna/hot tub session…I spent 3 straight hours in Spa Castle last night. Pure heaven.

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So I was thinking about some races that I’ve got on my bucket list…I definitely want to run these in the near future. I know some of you have done these already so you’ll have to give me some pointers! Hopefully I’ll be able to check them off one by one.

Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon – San Diego, CA: I’ve actually run the half but I am looking forward to running the FULL this June! SD is one of my favorite cities hands down so looking forward to exploring it 26.2 miles at a time.

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Hachie 50 – Waxahachie, TX: This one is 5 loops of 10 miles on a partly trail, mostly paved route. A little repetitive but I do love me some looped courses. Plus it’s out in the country. Love me some country running.

Wineglass Marathon – Corning, NY: This one is in NY and I’ve heard great things about it…plus it sounds like a cool destination with wine tasting and such.

Sevilla Marathon – Seville, Spain: I am a sucker for scenic courses and I hear this one does not disappoint. Plus Spain in general has been on my bucket list for travel so this would be a neat opportunity to run an international race.

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Kauai Marathon – Kauai, HI: This one has a small town feel (which I love) and of course it’s in Hawaii which is pretty much my most favorite place in the universe. Plus I have never been to this particular island before. Win win situation.

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Le Marathon du Medoc – Pauillac, France: From what I hear folks dress up in costume, try different French wines ALONG the course (yeah, crazy), and overall just have a good time. Right up my alley. Sounds like I will have to pace myself though. HA. Check out more about this crazy race here.

Big Sur Marathon – Big Sur, CA: Again I love me a scenic race and this one has been on the list for a long time. One day hopefully I will qualify for Boston and then I’ll have to do the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge.

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Boston Marathon- Boston, MA: Yes, the ‘SUPER BOWL of running’…it’s on the list. I’d like to qualify for it before I die…but first…I’ve got some more ultras to get out of the way.

Salt Flats 100- Wendover, UT: Speaking of ULTRAS…I have my eye on this one because of the cool looking terrain. Thanks to this girl for sharing her photos! I have never been to Utah either so it would be a good one to check off the list and also get some trail type running in. They have both a 50 and 100 miler to choose from.

Leadville 100- Leadville, CO: Some of my ultra friends have run this race and have good things to say about it. It sounds like some pretty tough terrain too so it would be a good challenge for me. I think I’ve reached that point in my running where I really want to push past the typical marathon mileage and really see what I’m made of with distance. Cray cray I know.

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What races are on your marathon/ultra bucket list?

Cowtown Ultra Marathon Recap.

Happy Leap Day to you! I hope you are having a great Monday so far. This past weekend was full of running, relaxing and fun! I ran the Cowtown 50k on Sunday out in Funkytown…that’s Texas slang for Ft. Worth. Ultra marathon, baby! I am back in the ultra running game and it feels so good.

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Saturday morning I was up early for a quick shake out run with my Irving Running Club buddies. Most of us that were racing the next day did a nice and easy 5k while chatting and catching up on life.

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I also went to the expo to get my runner swag…love how they printed my name on my bib all festive and fancy.

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I am an absolute fan of when races have health and fitness expos because I can stock up on all of the runner goodies. This one was no different…I purchased some energy gels, got my shirt and even purchased some cryotherapy for later on this week. I have heard it is like a glorified ice bath…I will let you know how it goes.

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Race day! Sunday I got into my corral and we took off. This race was pretty massive so it took what seemed like forever before I crossed the start. I took a quick pic to pass the time.

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I saw a bunch of my running buddies along the course, ran with some folks I have not seen in forever, and even met some Marathon Maniac friends since I was wearing my shirt. A lot of folks this year were rocking the ultra which was so cool to see. I started off at a solid pace and was proud of myself for maintaining it for a majority of the race. The course is mostly rolling hills with a nice juicy incline at mile 9. I kind of always look forward to it and also look forward to running through the Ft. Worth Stockyards…it really is true to Texas/cowboy culture.

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The half marathoners split off from the full and ultra runners at mile 10 and then we go through some beautiful neighborhoods where lots of folks post up outside, play music and drink their mimosas while cheering us on. I love this course because the community really comes together to cheer on the runners.

After galavanting through neighborhoods, we go into Trinity Park which is really nice and usually this is where the sun comes out to play around mile 23 or so. Things were starting to warm up and I started feeling a little tired here. I took some more GU and (yes) a little shot of beer that someone was passing out. For some reason that mini shot gave me a boost of energy! I don’t know if it was the carbs or what…haha I picked up the pace a bit and kept it going. Close to mile 25 the marathoners split off and then the ULTRA crazies keep going and do a little out and back further down the trail. This is where it got real!

The little out and back part was pretty quiet but all of the ultra runners got to see each other heading back so we were all cheering each other on…we all knew we were fighting through the heat and humidity! At the turn around to head home they had a really neat aid station where someone had set out an RV and had sprite, pretzels, and all kinds of fun snacks for us to grab to get us through. I basically kept hydrating the entire day and sipped at all water stops so I grabbed some powerade here and kept it going.

We winded back around and I saw the awesome Irving Running Club crew cheering me on at the finish! A lot of them that were not running came out to volunteer which was so awesome. I really loved having all of that support on the course…something I have not had in a while since coaching with Luke’s Locker a few years ago.

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I finished the 31 miles in 5:12…a PR for me from last year’s 50k. I was thrilled with that time considering the heat and humidity at the end!

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I had so much fun at this race and I’d definitely recommend anyone who is looking for challenge and to push their limits a bit to put this race on your bucket list. You will not regret it! I am looking forward to running some more ultras this year. And of course…MORE 26.2s and such! Stay tuned.

How was your weekend? Did anyone rock a long run or race? Tell me about it!