Random Thoughts Thursday.

It’s truly been feeling like straight up springtime around these parts with the weather! That’s right, I’ve been busting back out the shorts and tank tops. I know this won’t last for long but I definitely am enjoying it while it lasts.

Yep, 70 degrees in November. I can get down with that.

I’ve been listening to a lot of country music lately. I get into moods like that where I want to listen to it more than other times. What can I say, I have super eclectic taste in jams. It’s my happy/working music.

And then other times I want to listen to hip hop on FULL blast. Or just high energy stuff especially when I teach spin class.

I am telling you I feel so good after making my 100 mile decision like a weight was lifted. I can literally enjoy the rest of my year and the holidays with friends and family without fretting about a looming race. Granted I am running the Jingle Bell Run the week before Christmas but even that one will be untimed. NO STRESS. ALL FUN.

I think I’ve developed a little reputation in my running community of being the ultra runner that always does THE MOST. Haha I am trying to change that. I want to be the ‘laid back’ runner.

Literally people will ask me during a social run, ‘oh, you running 30 miles today huh?’ And I guess it should be a flattering thing that people think I’m such a hard worker but…everyone’s gotta rest every now and again.

I never do ultra runs to impress other people, or to even do some impressive blog post. It’s always FOR ME. And I love it that way and always will. End rant.

-I really am looking forward to pressing the refresh / reset button on running though going on into the new year. I want to run more marathons, do some destination races, and of course some of my favorite ultras. I already feel it in my bones that 2020 will be a phenomenal year. Plus ending 2019 on a strong note with my 100k PR was icing on the cake.

Share your thoughts with me today! Any more ultra runners out there?

Random Thoughts Thursday.

YOU GUYS it was 30 DEGREES during my run this morning! Chilly weather is my absolute fave for running!! I got up all bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to run at 5 AM. Real psycho like. Haha. But I loved it.

P.S. the selfie pic above is not reflective of me standing outside in 30 degree weather. haha. It was more like 70 that day. But hey, Texas weather is bipolar.

So glad I’m recovering so quickly after my 100k trail race. Yep, what can I say I’m a (humble) BOSS, a veteran rather at this stuff. Been doing this for years now. Hate to toot my own horn but you know, toot toot.

One thing that helps me with recovery after running ULTRAS for sure is getting on the bike. So thankful I teach spin class as a side hustle. Teaching a class after a race is actually one of my favorite things. I taught on Tuesday and felt sooo good to be back in the saddle.

Tonight I’m going to do some Halloween celebrating and I’ve decided to dress in 80s attire? I need to find me some pink leggings though. To go with my fishnet top and lace bow haha. Headed to track them down on my lunch break, let the church pray I find something.

Another thing this week that has helped me RECOVER? Sushi and vino. Dinner of champions.

Share your random thoughts with me this week!

El Taco Loco 100k Race Recap.

Well what weekend it was! I am back to give you all the deets on my ULTRA race weekend – running El Taco Loco 100k. This race for me was quite the test as well as a benchmark for my upcoming 100 miler, the Loup Garou trail run. Let’s see how everything went down!!

Can I just say how thankful I am to finally have an ultra with phenomenal weather? After Brazos Bend 100 splashing through endless mud puddles- I was sure this one would be quite similar. From start to finish we were so thankful for pleasant temps for this race. We started bright and early at 5:30 AM, in the straight up darkness. My friend and I drove down to San Antonio (a 4.5 ish hour drive) the night prior and stayed in a hotel so Saturday morning I woke up fairly fresh and ready to roll. The gun went off right at 5:30 AM and off we went into the woods. Headlamps dancing in the darkness is kind of my favorite thing.

The course itself was fairly flat with a few rolling hills, but single track dirt trail and very runnable. There was rain the night prior so we had some muddy spots but overall, a dry and lovely trail with some beautiful shade. The loops were fairly longer, around 15.5 miles long that we completed a total of 4 times. Which was fine as I really enjoy the looped courses so I can do the whole countdown in my head. And instead of, OH I have over 30+ some odd miles to go (HA) I can just say “2 loops left”! Then 1 loop and so on. Makes things much more manageable when you are covering 62 freaking miles.

I met a few folks as we ran and we had a little pack of folks where we were sticking together a while. Towards the back half of loop 1 we all spread out a bit. It was so super dark for the first couple of hours and I was trying to adjust and get into a groove but had a bit of a hard time doing that during the first loop for some reason.

Maybe I was still waking up? Or not enough caffeine. Not sure. But…because of this I took not 1, but 2 FALLS on the first loop in the dark. Just tripping over roots along the trail and such. The dirt was soft so I bounced back up pretty quickly and kept on trucking. Both times I went down there were folks around that were sweet to check on me and make sure I was alright. That’s one thing I love about the trail community!! Everyone always has your back, always encouraging. And always groovy good vibes. I will forever love that.

Because of those not 1, but 2 falls on LAP 1, I will say I went into loop 2 feeling a tad discouraged. Still in the game, but not feeling super confident. I hadn’t done a ton of trail training this go ’round- although my weekly mileage was rock solid and consistent. But…..would my lack of dirt running affect my ability to stay in the game? Am I going to fall FOR REAL and really jack myself up?? Only time would tell. So, I continued to just keep trucking. Relentless forward motion. Knowing that I have successfully completed a distance of this magnitude (and THEN SOME) certainly helps.

Lap 2 went by like a breeze. Once the light came out and the sun was in the sky that was all I needed to get that boost of confidence back. My ULTRA trail runner muscle memory came back with a vengeance. I was rocking and rolling on that trail like no other. PLUS…I got to see my trail friends, who were out volunteering on the trail providing aid for all of the runners. That was honestly the boost I needed to keep moving forward.

I made it to the last (VICTORY) loop and the legs were starting to get heavy but I was in great spirits. I cranked up my tunes and the sun started setting as I hit mile 50 something. I knew the hardest part of this race was coming. Dealing with the darkness. And dealing with it, alone.

I went into this race with the knowledge that I would have NO pacer. This was the first time doing 62+ miles without one. But I knew as long as I could endure running alone in the woods at night for a short time I could make it. I kept trucking. It kept getting darker.

I entered a certain part of the woods and there were NO runners around. No headlamps, no noises of voices in the horizon. All of the 100kers were spread out all over the trail and I was alone. Just me and my thoughts and my tired body. Keep moving, don’t miss a trail marker. Don’t get lost. So tired. Can’t see. Headlamp is dim. Then, for a split second, what was that noise? A pack of coyotes in the near distance. Howling because they can and its at night.

Sheer adrenaline and fear rushed though my body. I decided it would be time to make a phone call. I call my friend because I needed someone to talk to. Getting close to mile 60. My friend tells me his shift is almost over and to hang in there, a lot of runners have stopped at his aid station for food. He has to go. I’m terrified. Then…in the darkness…what do I see?

A light. A lone one, a lady’s voice. I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I see her light. She runs up to me and we both squeal with delight that we’ve found one another and how spooked we both were that we may have missed a mile marker or something. We start moving together and chatting the night away.

That finish line…I almost cry when I see it.

After turning things around with such a rocky start…I was not sure I would be able to pull this one off and keep my head in the game. But I made it happen. And I proved to myself once again that I am more than capable of doing the hard things. Overcoming adversity both on the trails and in my head and fighting towards the finish.

Falling in the darkness. It’s kind of like dark moments in your life. You can’t see it sometimes when you’re in it. But being on the other side, and perhaps seeing that glimmer of light along the way…that’s when you realize you can bounce back. And be stronger than ever before.

El Taco Loco, you showed me a lot and especially showed me…15 hours and some change later…that I’ve still got it. Plus hey, a shiny 100K PR doesn’t hurt, either.

Plus, yeah we got our tacos. And of course a shiny new buckle to add to the growing collection.

Official results will be found here.

How was your weekend? Anyone run a rockstar trail (or road) race lately??

Random Thoughts Thursday.

So this weekend is the El Taco Loco ULTRA race! I am definitely looking forward to the mini road trip to San Antonio (a 4+ hour drive) and just to get away a bit. Definitely much needed.

I love that my early morning run group is not even phased by the fact that I’m doing a 100k (62 miles). This morning they were all like “that is a SHORT one for you” HAHA. It’s okay, you can’t win ‘em all.

Granted it is more like training for my upcoming 100 miler. It will be a good way to gage if I’ve still got it, so to speak.

Forgive me for missing so many blog posts this week. I had a huge work load and just really didn’t care to post minutiae. Not gonna lie.

I still love y’all, though.

You know what I honestly need!? Just to be around good vibes and good people. So this race/road trip could not have come at a better time.

Can you believe we are THISCLOSE to Thanksgiving? 5 weeks away. I just want to skip it and fast forward straight to Christmas. Don’t hate if I put my pink Christmas tree up next week.

Share your random thoughts with me today!

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?