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!

My Year of Running 2018.

Oh yes, you are getting not one but TWO posts from me in a day!! So I figured we would do a quick recap of a fabulous running year since I always like to do these posts. It’s always great to take a look back and see all of the fun racing, running and training experiences! So herrrre we go…

Best race experience?
Oh wow, that is a tough one. But I am going to have to say my most recent one, which was my PR at the Brazos Bend 100 miler. My 2nd 100 mile trail race to date! I fought super hard dealing with such a muddy, tough terrain and I was just really in the GAME mentally and physically. I definitely plan on going back to this race soon and hopefully when the trail is dry to run a killer fast time. Yes, it is fun being a ultrarunner unicorn.

Best run?
I would have to say my most favorite run would be any of the runs I did in the summer with my running group! This was my first year to do the “Run My Hood” series with my club, the White Rock Running Co-Op. I have to say out of all of the running clubs I’ve been involved in, this one is my absolute favorite. Simply because we all work hard AND like to have a good time! The best of both worlds. Anyway, for RMH we did a route in a running buddy’s neighborhood, then that said running buddy would usually host a post run brunch/pool party in their backyard. And yes we basically did this EVERY Saturday in the summer. It was SO much fun! I can’t wait to do it all again in 2019.

Best new piece of running swag?
Probably my BCG hydration pack I bought from Academy. It is just so functional and comfortable to wear. I’ve worn it during a FEW ultras (including my 100 miler) and it just worked out so well. I definitely recommend it especially if you run trails!

Best piece of running advice you’ve received?
This. Actually I just LOVE all of John Muir’s quotes. It sums up very much how I feel about running and what makes me happy about this sport.

Most inspirational runner?
I have to say any badass woman that runs ultras and absolutely crushes it is my ultimate inspiration. I’ve been listening to the Ultrarunner Podcast and think Ailsa MacDonald is a beast. She WON her first 100 miler, at Sinister 7. And, she actually kills it in road races too!
Plus she’s jacked and from what I see on her IG is a wine lover (like myself) check out the podcast here.

If you could sum up your year of running in a few words, what would they be?
Exploratory
Wide Open
Reflective
Introspective
Unshakeable
Boundless

How was your year of running? Answer any or all of the questions!

Weekly Running Report.

Hi, hey and hello there! Hope your week is off to a smashing start. I am here to share some of last week’s running workouts with you! Brazos Bend 100 is right around the corner and I could not be more pumped up. Let’s recap and see how last week went down.

Monday- 7.20 miles watching the sunrise. Great way to start Monday, on my favorite lake enjoying the view.
Tuesday- 10.03 miles with my early run crew, again starting at the track with them and then ending the run solo. A lot of them are training for different races but I love being able to find a group that runs early and knowing they are out there and we are all getting it done. Miles for breakfast.
Wednesday- 8.12 miles of hills in the ‘hood. I kinda forgot how my neighborhood has some hills hidden in it. It was so nice mixing up my usual neighborhood route and doing some exploring.
Thursday- 10.21 miles, again with a beautiful morning RUNrise. RUNrises equal a happy Chelsea.
Friday- 7.32 miles. Running on my rest day, always fun. Actually I’ve been playing around with which rest day that I like better. I think Friday still wins because it gets me ready for a weekend of long running. But sometimes Sunday can be a nice rest day option too. Anyways, I just felt like running through the entire week. LOL. This week leading up to my race I will take Friday off.
Saturday- Back with the WRRC run club. 16.01 miles done and we changed up the route a bit again which I always like. Our run club is pretty big on Saturdays so I always like running with different people and learning about them and what makes them tick. Fun fun.

Post run obsession. Tuna poke bowl with all of the good stuff. I could eat this every day. But especially awesome after a long run.

Sunday- 3.21 nice and easy miles. Actually this definitely felt like a rest day. The weekend was absolutely beautiful. This time of year down in Texas is my favorite. Highs were in the 70s. Patio weather at its finest.

And there you have it!

Plus, we ended the month of November last week with a whopping 330 monthly miles. It has been a great few months of training as you can see. Keeping those miles high and legs fired up for what is to come.

How was your running week last week? Any races coming up?
BB100 – my 2nd 100 miler and I am super stoked.

Random Thoughts Tuesday.

Are you tired of hearing from me twice a day yet?! Honestly I don’t know how some folks blog consistently twice a day. That is definitely tough to commit to when you have work and such on the agenda! But this week is not as hectic (next week will be) so I’m here with some random thoughts today!!

I will be off work the next few days (hello again extra long weekend) so thought I’d check in before I go on a bit of a hiatus. Let’s do some rants/confessions/randomness #onaTuesday!

Lately I’ve really been loving Brazilian lounge music as background music when I’m working. Am I the only one that has to have music while getting work done? I am in an office with 2 other office mates so it feels awkward to not make noise every once in a while. I have to have some noise going while I type. I mean, nothing too jarring…just some jazz or something.

Is it just me or are you tired of people making “Cardi B noises”? I hope that made sense. If not…look it up (hahaha) If you are a Cardi B fan you know exactly what I mean. I’ve also noticed in particular most (women- okay female millennials) tend to do this after a few drinks. It is actually pretty annoying. I love Cardi but come on…we all want to put duct tape over your mouth with the unnecessary bird sounds.

One day, I just want to get up and make myself a full fledged fancy breakfast. Like bacon, eggs, toast…fruit salad, the works. I want my kitchen to smell like breakfast. Since I run early in the morning, I NEVER do this. And usually my busy girl breakfasts consist of a protein bar, boiled egg, banana…coffee. Always coffee. Maybe since I have the next few days off…I will make myself a breakfast. We shall see.

So I just signed up for an invitation only, psychotic HOT race in August…this one is actually at a friend’s place (girl that takes my spin class) she is a crazy awesome ULTRA runner and is a race director for some ultra runs in the area. This one is actually on her property (!) and it is a 2 mile loop (!!) for as long as you can do it. I’ve done loops like that before and actually like them. So I’d like to run 20+ miles out there and see how it goes. But supposedly people stay out there ALL weekend (yes that would be for 48 hours) and run. I would imagine you can take a nap…she said people chill, take a break, eat…come back and keep going. All. Dang. Weekend. And you thought me running for 100 miles in a day was nuts. Anyway, we shall see how this goes.

Having said that…I am looking forward to being lazy on my days off the next few days. I have a few plans, but the thought of pool time, running…and then sleeping. Sounds absolutely incredible.

What are some of your thoughts this week? Any other crazy ultra runners out there like me!? All of my regular runner friends think I’m insane so I’ve accepted that but I want to be able to relate to my fellow crazies every now and again.

Possums Revenge 56k Trail Race Recap.

Hi, hey and hello! What a marvelous weekend it was. I am here to recap some ULTRA trail racing!! Saturday I ran the Possums Revenge 56k (roughly 34.8 miles- I know right, odd distance but I love it!!) at Possum Kingdom Lake. Let’s review and see how it all went down!

First of all, I was all too excited to do this race because this was the first time I’d ever been to this particular trail. The trail system sits on a gorgeous lake with a ton of rocky climbs and scenic overlook. Honestly it was probably one of the most scenic races I’d ever done! PK Lake is a good 2 hours from where I live. Going out there kind of felt like I wasn’t even in Texas! We don’t have many beautiful lakes out here in North Texas so when you do find one, you know it is a real gem. A lot of folks even camped out the night before. I stayed at a hotel with some trail buds and we got up and got out there quite early.

The race had a 52 miler, 56k, 17 miler and then an 8 miler. The course was quite HILLY and very rocky, with a few stretches of trail that had all SAND! So a lovely mix of terrain that kept things exciting. I really was not sure going into this race how I would perform, especially seeing as I ran a 50 mile race 2 short weeks ago! So really I went out there to check out the trail, and also run with this particular race company that is putting on my 2nd 100 miler in December.

(source)

The 56k’ers took off at 7 am. Temps that day also soared well into the 90s, which made for an interesting late morning & afternoon. Actually due to the heat quite a few folks dropped out of the race completely. The heat actually made me wish a few times that I was running the 17 mile race but I toughed it out to finish the ultra. Mostly because I’m stubborn and I really wanted to get another ultra checked off the list. So I really took my time out there with the climbs and all of the loops that we had to do.

Just one of the gorgeous overlooks from the TOP…seriously heaven.

Often during this race I found myself alone in the woods again, with my thoughts. This part really is one of the reasons I truly LOVE trail ultrarunning. I’d see the occasional runner as it got hotter and later in the day, and we all gave each other thumbs up, good job etc. It is always fun too getting to know folks out on the trails. I always love meeting people from ALL walks of life. The volunteers at the aid stations were all top notch as well, making sure we had plenty of ice and water, as well as yummy snacks and pickles/electrolytes to keep us going in that heat.

When it was all said and done, this race was not quite as runnable as I thought it was, and I resorted to a lot of power hiking and of course tried to get some pics of the amazing scenic overlooks from the top.

Being alone with my thoughts out there was quite wonderful as well. Peaceful and really helped me to deal with facing the tough terrain and how that translates to dealing with adversity in my life as a whole. Running trails helps me realize how dang tough I am and how I am able to power though with determination. Also what I found interesting is all of the random thoughts and words that were floating around in my head as I made my way through the course. One word that kept popping up surprisingly was Kujichagulia– I swear I know to some of you that are at all familiar with Kwanzaa that this sounds strange as all get out- I mean really we are not even anywhere near Christmas?! I went home when the race was over to look it up because I don’t really celebrate that holiday but also because I couldn’t stop thinking about that word as I made my way up and down rocks and roots in the heat. The word actually means self-determination in Swahili which really was spot on with my mood that entire race. It took a ton of determination to get me through, and battle with my thoughts when things got hard.

At the end of the day I finished, I wasn’t the fastest out there, wasn’t the slowest. But I crossed that finish line with a smile on my face and feeling like I had won a lot of battles in my head that day.

Some days are days you just need to let go of the expectations, hold on and see where the day takes you. Relentless forward progress and self determination will get you far. Always.

Overall results here.

How was your weekend?! Run any awesome trails lately?

Weekly Running Report.

Hello there and happy Monday! It is a beautiful day in the ‘hood and I’m here to recap some of last week’s running workouts with you! I was able to get in over 77 miles total last week. Which included a massive ultra race on Saturday!!! Recap for that to follow. Let’s review!

Monday AM- 5.12 miles at lunch time. Much needed break from the busy hectic work day.

Monday PM- 3.22 miles after teaching spin. I love getting some miles in as the sun sets and just rocking out to my jams.

Tuesday- 8.25 miles early with a run bud before coffee. Love when all of that happens before 7 AM. I cut back on some of the double days last week due to the Hachie 50.

Wednesday- 7.03 miles before a 7 AM dentist appointment. Also another extremely productive morning. I also love how close I live to the dentist’s office so I can get it all done!

Thursday- 4.15 miles at lunch. Kind of uneventful but it was the last run before my race on Saturday.

Friday- REST DAY

Saturday- Hachie 50 mile RACE!! It was a HOT day with temps soaring past 80 degrees but what a FUN day it was!! I managed to place top female overall finisher (3rd) for the 3rd year in a dang row. So praise Jesus for that.

Sunday- Rest day part 2. Sunday fun day sun kissed and curly hair poppin. Love.

And there you have it!

How was your weekend?! Training for any upcoming races?
Up next for me – Possum’s Revenge 56k trail ultra.