Weekly Running Report.

Hey there! I’m here to recap some miles from last week! Things are going great so far as I ramp my mileage back up for my 3rd 100 miler…December will be here before you know it! I am feeling good post the Habanero 50k and ready to really build my endurance and get stronger! Let’s recap last week and see how all went down!

Monday- Much needed rest day after the long weekend. Gotta love Labor Day weekend shenanigans. Great way to ease back into the work week. I’ve been trying to focus on doing more yoga stretching at home when I am not cross training or teaching classes at the gym. Yoga with Adriene is so perfect for that.

Tuesday- Run after teaching spin class. 4.12 sunset miles while listening to a podcast. Great way to cool down after a super busy day.

Wednesday- Sunset miles after work. 7.21 miles doing one of my favorite routes. I’ve been enjoying switching things up lately and running during different times of the day. I’ve gotta practice more night running too since the HUNDO will be an all day and into the night (and into the NEXT DAY haha) affair.

Thursday AM- Back to early morning miles with the breakfast run club! 10.21 miles with some rolling hills thrown in for good measure.

Thursday PM- Taught a spin class also in the evening. Then 2.03 cool down miles for double run day. And triple workout day.

Friday AM- 3.02 lunch miles breaking up the work day. Much needed time to get away and get some fresh air. There’s a gym next door so super easy also to pop in to wash off before heading back to work.

Friday PM- 4.12 miles watching the sunset. It was pretty hot even in the evening time so I got some heat training in.

Saturday- 20.11 miles all smiles! This run was especially challenging since it was one of the hottest days of the year and I think the temperature shot up earlier than expected. Pretty sure we hit triple digits this day right around lunchtime. But hey, got it done and felt great when it was over.

Sunday- Taught a class at the gym in the morning, so woke the legs up with some Sunday funday runday miles. 5.32 miles done and picked up the pace a bit at the end.

Then got to catch up with a good friend at Hop and Sting brewery! Check them out if you are local. That IPA definitely hit the spot.

And there you have it!

How was your weekend? What did you do?

Habanero 50k Race Recap.

Hey there! I am BACK from a long race weekend!! And of course here to recap some of the fun in the HOT Texas sun. I ran the Habanero 50k down in the Houston area!! Yes, it was as hot and as humid as it sounds. Let me take you along for the journey and see how it all went down…

Many of you know I haven’t really been racing much, especially after a long recovery from the Hachie 50 miler. For the most part all summer I’ve just been training with friends. But it has been a super fun season of keeping the miles up. I’ve also been teaching my usual classes at the gym which helps with cross training. For the most part, running has always been so therapeutic for me. I think I’m not like most distance runners in the sense that I really mostly run for lifestyle purposes. Sure, I enjoy the competitive part of racing- but there are moments in life where I want to train and run just for the sake of self. And enjoying nature. And for me I think that is where trail running plays a beneficial role.

I learned about this race through my trail running club, the Dallas Dirt Runners. There was a huge group going down to 7IL Ranch to do this race, and a few actually going to tackle the 100 mile distance! There were many distances for the race to choose from- from 10k all the way up to 100 miles. Something for everyone! I knew I wanted to do the 50k especially as I get my mileage back up to train for my next 100 miler in December.

I arrived to the ranch right before 11 AM since the runners were scheduled to take off at HIGH NOON! This was so different for me as I’m used to most races (especially ultras) starting super early in the morning. So essentially I had the entire morning to get my race prep together, thoroughly hydrate and eat a nice breakfast. The waffle breakfast at my hotel was pure perfection.

The 100k and 100 mile runners took off right at noon – and the other distances (including 50k) started at 12:15. I didn’t know much about the course honestly aside from the fact that it was just over a 6 mile loop that I would do a total of 5 times. We took off onto the course and the first part was DEEP LOOSE sand. The heat was blazing and the sand proved to be quite the challenge! I was not excited about this sand being so loose. I’ve run a race on sand before, the 50 miler at the Orion Ultra last year- but, that race had packed wet sand that you could drive on. This was much different AND tough on the ankles. Honestly I had to catch myself a few times from rolling an ankle and hurting myself. I knew I needed to tread carefully here if I wanted to last a full day of running.

Towards the back half of the course the sand evens out a bit and it is mostly single track dirt trail. This was much easier to run on but running over and over in loose sand made my legs and ankles SO very tired! Enduring the distance on tired legs (and of course not dying out there with heat and extreme humid conditions) became the name of this game. It ended up being a whole lot of spurts of running/ power hiking to get through it. I was so excited through because I got to see a lot of my local blog friends out there rocking the course- bigguyhiking and then of course my homegirl Paula! I loved getting to talk to runners at the aid stations and catching up.

I will say the aid stations were fully packed and the volunteers took amazing care of us. Without them I honestly don’t know what the outcome of this race would’ve been. They had plenty of water on tap, loads of ice, and GATOR(ade)RITAS! Crushed ice blended with electrolyte drink may be my new fave. Also, watermelon. Hello happiness.

When it was all said and done – after literally thinking it’s a possibility I MAY NOT FINISH this hell-ish race 1 lap in (No lie- I was super over it after 6 miles) I ended up finishing 31+ miles feeling quite alright. Quite alright, quite full of sand and dirt, ready for a shower. What made this race so incredible after being out there all day? Sharing it with amazing runner friends, the amazing trail running community, and knowing that I am capable of any and everything I set my little heart upon. One more 50k down. Many more miles to go.

Habanero, I hated and loved every minute of you. I may or may not be back for you. It just depends on the amount of peer pressure from my trail run buds. What can I say, I’m easy to persuade at times.

I will say this – there is something about trail ultras that keeps me coming back for more. I’m not sure if it is because of the beauty of the trails or the fact that I can be quite sadistic. Maybe both.

Thanks, Trail Racing Over Texas. Until next time.

Results can be found here.

How was your weekend? What do you love about trail running?

Weekly Running Report.

Hey there and happy Monday! I’m here to recap some miles and smiles from last week! It was a strong week of training and I was able to get in a total of 70.5 miles of running last week. Habanero 50k training is definitely going great! Let’s recap and see how it all went down!

Monday AM- 5.22 early morning miles, more or less recovery after putting in long miles over the weekend. Just getting it in and enjoying the moving meditation before a busy day.

Monday PM- 3.06 sunset miles, unwinding from the day. We’ve been off the charts with the heat and humidity…but just getting in the double run day miles is really helping me to acclimate.

Tuesday AM- 8.11 miles, back with the breakfast run club crew. Hill repeat Tuesday. Never easy but it is getting better the more I do it. Finally getting back in the groove of things with doing the harder work is nice.

Tuesday PM- 2.23 miles after teaching spin to get in some more double run day miles. More or less a cool down run than anything else.

Wednesday AM- 7.21 miles, legs were pretty tired on this day…usually are after doing the Tuesday hill repeats so just keeping the legs going and getting it done. This run was probably the MOST humid of the week. Honestly I can handle the heat (as I actually love drier heat the best) but the humidity is the true beast. Sweat everywhere. Good detox though. Plus chocolate milk recovery after. And the loveliest of sunrises.

Wednesday PM- Sunset miles of double run day. 3.02 miles done.

Thursday- 6.32 miles after working sort of late the night before. Thankful to squeeze in these miles as morning runs have been SO NEEDED lately. For training and sanity purposes.

Friday- 10.11 miles with a good friend on a Friday. Always the best. Love starting my Fridays with double digits.

Saturday- SUPER HOT and HUMID day! 18.01 miles completed with WRRC. I had to start pretty early to knock this one out. It wasn’t that enjoyable honestly especially towards the end. But I was so proud to have gotten this one in. I super needed that boost of confidence for sure.

Sunday- 7.22 miles on a Sunday. FELT SO MUCH BETTER. Honestly probably because I was motivated by mimosas and breakfast tacos.

Plus, National Ice Cream Day was Sunday! So I went to TCBY and got some rainbow sprinkles on top. Oh happy day.

And there you have it!

How was your weekend? How dd you beat the heat?!
Everything on ice. Even my mimosas.

Traits of Ultrarunners.

Runners- we all have a reason. Am I right?! But when it comes to going BEYOND the 26.2 distance, what is it that makes an ultrarunner want to stay in the game? Are there certain personality traits that perhaps they possess that your otherwise “just for fitness” runners don’t? I thought today we would explore that. And, as an ultrarunner myself I thought I would share a few things about me…and why I enjoy pushing the limits time and time again.

It’s real MENTAL, bro. I think for me what brings me back to ultrarunning again and again is the fact that running for me is a super personal, super mental thing. More so than physical. I mean truly running and life for me go absolutely hand in hand. Runner’s World kind of said it best here.

(source)

We are just kind of weird and quirky in general. I mean truly I have to tell you I’ve never met a more eclectic group of people than my ultrarunner friends. We truly are unicorns of sorts. We sign up for 50 and 100 milers on a whim, just to run with our friends or just to have an adventure. We will also do weird things like run our AGE on our birthday…and ish like that. Solo. Not even for a medal or anything? Just cuz, you know. It’s our idea of fun. And stuff like that.

We tend to have more addictive personalities. I know personally this is something that is in my genetic makeup. But…running has probably saved me from having some more unhealthy addictions for sure. There are a lot of ultrarunners in fact, that say that running is more of a healthy addiction from them. I mean, we are talking serious…like former drug addicts and such that found running and got off of things that nearly ended their life. Thankfully I can say I’ve never been addicted to things that dangerous. But I do have that kind of personality. And I am oh so thankful for ultrarunning and for being able to channel that kind of energy in a very different way.

We are probably more TYPE B than your usual type A runner. Sure, doing loads of speedwork…having a super strict training schedule may work for some runners. But I think ultrarunners think of running as more of a lifestyle, a lifelong sport we can just do forever as opposed to for a temporary PR or running to fit into a cocktail dress. We love running for the friends, for the adventure. For the sake of running. We will run a 50k and then maybe a marathon the following weekend (or next day, whatevs haha) just to hang out with our buds and knock down a few cold ones. You know what I mean. It’s more about the lifelong journey than anything else. And that…is such a beautiful thing.

Ultrarunners…yeah…we are crazy like that. But we are madly in love with pounding it out for miles and miles…just cuz we are strong. Just cuz we can.

And that- I never ever take for granted.

What are some more traits of ultrarunners…or just runners in general?!

Random Thoughts Thursday.

It has been raining and storming here off and on pretty much ALL.WEEK.LONG. Then the high humidity has made me feel super sluggish for running but still getting it in. I’ve still just been enjoying this whole “not training for anything” thing. You know. It has been so good for me mentally.

The storms are gone today though! And no rain for the next couple of days. Saturday is looking like pool day PERFECTION. 90 degrees…oh yes freaking bring it on. I just got a new bikini too.

I do have some more races I have my eye on. Oh…and the STARS ABOVE ULTRA is coming up in June, yay! But…I don’t really consider that a race since it is free. I am running the 6 hour one. Like last year. Should be a good time. I keep forgetting it is on my calendar actually. Oops. Good thing I’ve still been running like a mad woman. 

I just signed up for a 100 miler in December! YES…most of you knew I had my eye on another hundo. Brazos Bend 100 and RR100 were a blast. Well…I have decided to leave Texas and head straight for the bayou! Should be a good one and I hear it is a well supported race out in Louisiana. And they have whiskey on the course and stuff. I mean…whiskey while running? Can you go wrong!? Maybe…ha. Or maybe it would be a good little boost when I am feeling tired at mile 70 something.

Has anyone been watching DEAD TO ME on Netflix? I can’t remember if we’ve talked about this or not. I am not far in the series yet but I pretty much love all things Christina Applegate. Also I got both my mom and dad hooked on this show last week. We were all sitting there watching it at the dinner table on Sunday when I visited them. As I do (try to do) every Sunday. I’m a good daughter like that you know. And then my mom signed up for Netflix too. It was a great bonding experience. Haha.

I also realize that I was just talking about the fact that I canceled Netflix not too long ago but I saw the trailer for that show and literally re-joined. Just to see the show. I know. Such a sucker.

Share some random thoughts with me about your week!

Weekly Running Report.

Hi there! Hope you all had a marvelous weekend. I am here recappin’ some miles from last week! Last week was a great week of running with a grand total of 72.2 miles! Let’s recap and see how things went down.

Monday AM- 5.32 miles to get the work week started. Seriously I am always in a better mood on Monday if I can squeeze a morning run in. It’s always so hard to get out the door (especially if I participate in any kind of Sunday funday debauchery but oh so worth it)

Monday PM- 5.02 miles to hit the double run day miles. Beautiful evening getting some people watching in.

Tuesday AM- 7.21 early miles, a bit of a progression run with a climb and fast finish thrown in there. Very good run. Ventured away from my usual route.

Tuesday PM- Run after teaching spin. 3.2 miles done. Watching the sunset.

Wednesday- 6.32 miles, pretty quiet solo a.m. miles listening to a podcast. My fellow Bravo fans am telling you if you have Spotify go binge listen to Watch What Happens Live on the run. Guaranteed entertainment.

Thursday AM- 5.22 miles after a bit of a Wine Wednesday fun night. I am surprised I even woke up for this run. Keeping it real.

Thursday PM- Double run day miles. 3.32 miles at lunch with some faster miles thrown in there.

Friday- LONG RUN FRIDAYS are my favorite. 20.12 miles with good company. It is funny how with ultra training 20 miles feels like just another day.

Saturday- I had to work on Saturday. Boohoo. But still got to squeeze in a run. Shaking things out from Friday. 6.35 miles done.

Sunday- 10.13 miles, amazing weather. Rain came in Saturday that brought in a baby cold front so it was in the 40s/50s that morning. Then sunshine. Just perfection.

Delicious brunch was also had. Blackened chicken with grits, eggs over easy and cajun hollandaise. YAAAAS. This place has HIP HOP brunch and will be my new Sunday hangout.

And there you have it! Hachie 50 miler I am so coming for you.

How was your weekend? Did you partake in any brunch delights?

Ways to Feed Your Wild (Running) Side.

So, runners. We tend to be TYPE A people. Always chasing after those PRs, that BQ. Trying to be your best. Be the fastest. Top the Strava leaderboards. Chasing the next challenge. And those goals are amazing to have. Sometimes, I do feel like I’ve done it all. 100 miler? Check. Sub 4 marathon? Check. Sub 3:50 marathon?? Check check check. BQ? (Getting there. Still a few minutes off. So sue me. I’m young and have time.)

But…have you ever thought that there was SO MUCH more to running? So much more than doing every race, than posting every Instastory with some brag worthy post about how you got another medal on #medalMonday. If I can be honest, my medals (I have too many of them) from 10 years of marathon running are all collecting dust in a massive box. My ultrarunning buckles too are in the drawer as we speak. And since the last time I’ve moved, I haven’t taken the time to put anything back up. But really, what or who would I be putting them up for? Probably to post something on social media about how many medals or 100 mile buckles I have. Lately, I’ve taken a step back from constant racing…and guess what?! I’m really enjoying it. I am doing races that I love, and that I really want to do. I am really loving where I’m at with my running right now. Anyway, so if you are that runner that is a chronic road racer. And perhaps. Craving some adventure? Then this may be the post just for ya…

Here are some ways you can feed that wild side and start really revving up…and LOVING your running again.

Take a RUN on the wild side, literally. I’ve been getting back into running through the trees and the trails. And after stepping away from trails for a bit, I feel like I’m ready to get back off the beaten path. It is incredible what a little deep woods therapy can do. Don’t know where to start with trail running? Check out this post if you are beginner.

Go out for a run with absolutely NO DIRECTION, route wise, at all. Literally go run and make up a route on the fly. I cannot tell you how many awesome runs I’ve had where I’ve had no clue what my route was going to be that day. The other day actually I discovered some rolling hills in my ‘hood that were super hidden. And now I feel like Dora the Explorer or some ish.

Sign up for a mountain race! I know that may sound a little outlandish if you are used to a humdrum 5k 10k in your neighborhood. But expand your horizons! It doesn’t have to be an ultramarathon race. Believe it or not they have 5k 10k mountain races as well! Soak in the amazing views. I signed up for a 25k in the mountains in September and hey, it’s West Texas mountains but still! Some uncharted territory. Can’t wait.

Go nocturnal. I absolutely LOVE night races, especially because it is something different from the norm. Read my Fossil Valley race recap if you want some inspiration. This is especially great in the summer, when it’s just so blazing hot and you’re seeking some cooler air. A relay with friends could be even better.

What are some other ways to feed your wild (running) side?

Random Ways to Successfully Train for (and Finish) a 100 Mile Race.

As someone who has run a handful of 50 milers, a 100k and 2 100 milers I thought we would chat about some random ways I keep my training up leading into a successful 100 mile race! This post is not for everyone because I know plenty of you have no desire to even run a distance of that magnitude (YET – evil laughter) but just in case here are a few things I do that are very random leading up to race day to arrive to the start and the finish feeling like a rockstar…

-Don’t pay attention to anyone else’s training advice. I know – wait, don’t take advice? Why would you say such a thing?! Because honestly 100 mile training is oh so different – and looks different often times – with everyone. Not everyone runs high mileage. Most don’t. Most will tell you that running 100 miles is not a good idea. Guess what? They are not doing it. You are. So put your head down and work your ass off and forget the rest. 

Be stubborn. About your goals. About yourself. Have that GRIT. Develop that stubborn ability to stick to what you say you are going to do. Your word. Commit to yourself. That one trait alone- I promise you- often times is what WILL GET YOU TO THE FINISH of a 100 miler. 

-If you don’t believe you can do it? Guess what. You won’t. Visualize yourself finishing this race. It is going to take guts. Power hiking. Running. Shuffling. Crying. Blood. All of the gross things affiliated with an endurance event WILL happen. Bet on it. Bet on high highs and LOW lows. Emotions, physical pain. All of it. 

Run ALL THE TIME. All day, all night. In the dark. Alone. When you are burned out. When you hate it. When you love it. Eff your feelings. Nuff said.

Eat the rainbow. Eat carbs. Fuel your body. Ladies. Ultrarunning is not for supermodels. Take calories in so you can use that energy. Don’t eat garbage. It will make you feel like garbage. But eat a balanced diet. I cannot tell you exactly what your diet should look like but mostly avoid the processed crap. Eat plants. Good fats, lean protein. Ok? Great. 

Find an ultra training plan that works for you. Whether its online, or a coach. There are plans out there. Here is one. And another one. Tweak them to your lifestyle if you must. But do the work. 

-Enjoy the ride. 

Any more ultrarunners out there? Let’s share battle stories. I’m always looking for my next hundo adventure. 

Race Day, Pace Day! Cowtown Ultra 50k Recap.

Hey there! I thought I would do a quick RECAP from one of my favorite races!! The Cowtown ULTRAmarathon! This is the 3rd year in a row that I’ve been an official pacer for this race. See the last two here and here. And honestly I love it SO much that I want to forever be a pacer for this race. Being a pacer is a job I take uber serious and I am oh so passionate about! It is all about helping people reach their goals and having fun while doing it! So allow me to share my experience with you.

For this race, I didn’t do a full taper mostly because I am keeping my mileage up in preparation for the Hachie 50 miler, which is in May. So this race was more or less for training, to get some strong miles in and enjoy pacing all at the same time. I have been happy with the way my training has gone lately. The legs are feeling back to their full strength post Brazos Bend 100 miler and I am ready to get some faster running in. So, when the opportunity presented itself to pace the 5 hour ultra, I definitely was excited and jumped at the offer. Some of you know that I paced the 5:30 ultra last year and had an absolute blast. So this was a great role to be in…I was actually the LEADER of the ultra pack as you can see here from the Cowtown website. That was definitely something to be proud of.

I got my things ready the night before, went over my pacing strategy and was good to go. Those pacer bands definitely come in handy.

My pace buddy and I linked up on Sunday morning bright and early! Amy is an accomplished ultrarunner as well. So it was cool to share battle stories with her. We had a couple of peeps that stayed with us along for the ride and since Amy is a local running coach/celebrity she knew EVERYONE on the course. It was quite funny to see but I loved it because we felt a little like celebrity pacers. Local celebs, of course.

7 a.m. rolled around and we were ready to get going! We took off into the beautiful sunrise and I felt super good that morning. Honestly the weather was IDEAL for a P.R.!! We went off into the rolling hills that Cowtown is known for. I’ve done this race so many times that I know the route like the back of my hand. So I knew where to expect each climb and utilized this in my pacing strategy. We banked a little time to use in the back half of this race, especially where the marathoners turn off and finish their race. Their turn is where we continue going and finish up the ultra, which is a little tough to see people finishing and you have to keep going. Also the last 5 miles is in the straight up SUN with no shade. And the sun was certainly shining that day. But we had a nice cool breeze that kept us feeling good. We hit the turn around and Amy and I grabbed a snack at the aid station and made our way back. And YES…they had a beer out there for me. And I had a sip. It was a nice carb boost that I needed…at mile 27. HA

Overall this race was absolutely fantastic and we finished in perfect time, just under 5 hours which was awesome. I took on this pacing gig with the intent to help others but also to help myself – the pace coordinator had a ton of faith in me and let me go ahead and lead the pack for this one. This actually ended up being a 50K P.R. for me! My previous 50k time was 5:12 so I was ecstatic to beat my previous time. So race day PACE day was a huge success on all fronts.

And of course we had a photoshoot and more celebrating and all was well in the world. Go team.

Can’t wait to do it all again next year.

How was your weekend?! Did anyone run COWTOWN (half, marathon, ULTRA?!) You are all rockstars to me! Congrats to all who raced.

Ways to Prepare for Back to Back Ultras.

So I know some of you haven’t quite taken the leap into ultrarunning land but for those of us that enjoy the pain train BEYOND the 26.2 distance, this one is for you! As someone who has done many ultras over the last few years I thought we would discuss a few ways you can mentally and physically prepare for some back to back races! Here are a few ways I like to get my body and mind ready.

It helps if your ultra races are spread at least a month or two apart. One of the most important things is recovery time when it comes to back to back racing. And even more so when the mileage is greater. So let your body recover and charge your batteries before jumping into the next one.

Training wise, make sure you include back to back long runs in your schedule. There are a lot of training plans online that are free that will include this as well. So find one that is tailored to your lifestyle. But the back to back long runs will make you such an efficient runner…a powerhouse of sorts. Time on your feet is crucial.

You may want to decide which race you want to be more of a harder effort. For instance you have a 50k and then a 50 miler 2-3 weeks later, perhaps focus on racing the 50k harder and then running the 50 miler at an easier effort. Or, you could utilize the 50k as more of a training run and then race the 50 miler. It all depends on what your goals are. But it is a fun way to play around with the distances and then lessens your likelihood of injury. Win win.

Stay on top of your stretching/massage work. I’ve said this in many other posts over the years but massage therapy has literally saved my running life and prevented me from injury in such a major way. I really want to say it is one of the things that keeps me healthy and strong. I use my flex spending account benefits with work and helps with being able to pay for it on a monthly basis. But if you can’t afford consistent sports massages make sure you stay diligent with foam rolling. And also yoga. It should become a staple in your fitness routine. Strength training is just as crucial. I would say include that as well as cross training at least 2-3 times a week. You don’t have to be an olympic lifter either. Even bodyweight exercises like planks/pushups/core work are beneficial.

Where my ultrarunners at?! What are some other ways you can prep for back to back ultras? Or back to back races in general…all runners feel free to chime in!