The Remix 50k Race Recap.

It was a tough but beautiful weekend out on the ranch! I’m pretty much hurting this morning after 33+ miles on the trails (+ a near 60 mile running week) but here to recap my comeback race – the REMIX 50k! Yes, a trail race that was the real deal!! I was so excited to actually be racing something that was not virtual. So let’s get straight to the nitty gritty of it all…

I made my way down to 7IL Ranch late Friday evening just in time to shower and lay my head down. There was definitely an opportunity to camp but I decided to go ahead and grab a hotel spot nearby. Having a cozy bed and little luxury before a run is my version of ‘glamping’…

Saturday morning I made it to the ranch and we lined up and the gun went right off promptly at 7AM. The loops were over 16.5 miles each, and mostly comprised of ranch trails with an abundance of deep loose sand. Not only sand but those sticky burr things that stick to your shoes! There were quite a few on a certain part of the course – so much that at one point they were all over my pants and shoes! So that ended up being quite challenging. After a while I just got used to the pain and kept it pushing.

Aside from the rough terrain, we were dealing with lots of humidity due to the passing Hurricane Delta. And temps pushed towards 90 degrees in the afternoon. The trail did not have much shade so it turned into a mission of sheer survival! The Trail Racing Over Texas peeps always do a phenomenal job of taking care of the folks on the course so the aid stations were on point. We also had to keep our masks on us at all times when going through the main loop and start/finish. During the race we were allowed to remove them to breathe which was lovely. They took our temps and made us sign waivers as well. I was really pleased with how they did things in that manner.

Overall I felt like my comeback race went well! It just felt so dang GOOD to be back racing again!! You could tell everyone was just so happy to be back in that element. My legs and feet got tired of the sand by about mile 20 and I was ready to call it quits. But my heart and spirit were flying high and feeling good. So I think the sheer adrenaline was what made me make that finish line. Especially with minimal training during this trying time. Not super fast, not winning any number 1 female awards. But just enjoying every mile and back to enjoying the incredible trail family community that I know and love.

Some days, that is all it is about. Just being out there, being present. Relentless forward motion.

Another 50k is done. AND THEN SOME.

I placed among top ten for females so I will take it. 

And a sweet freaking medal I will cherish forever.

Share how your weekend went with me! Have you done any trail running lately??

Random Thoughts Thursday.

Y’all…(and yes I said that with the most Texan of accents, can’t help it) the SUN is back after some gloomy days! We are back to roller coaster temps this week in Texas. Even though the sun came out to play for this morning’s run temps were in the 30s! That is downright chilly to us. Good run but I need spring to make its way here soon.

My first hundo (100 miler) anniversary as I’d like to call it was this week…and got me to feeling all nostalgic and stuff. Ya know, popping your 100 mile race cherry is pretty dang special. I think that is kind one of one of the things I do appreciate about having a blog and somewhere to store the memories. It is like going back to the vault, so to speak. I also love to read my stream of consciousness after a race like that. Good stuff.

Hmm…I may need somewhere to store my ULTRA buckles besides the drawer collecting dust since I now also have 50 miler, 100k, 100 miler buckles. It’s amazing what you can find on etsy. Maybe something like this?

(source)

I think I may need therapy— and not run therapy, actual real therapy —specifically for when people are too much into my personal space. I guess I don’t mind it if I like you but if you’re a stranger and you are walking or standing too close to me, behind me, I get the heebie jeebies?! Anyone else? Maybe I am not alone.

Anyone else super into the CHEER series on Netflix?! I binge watched it after my long run last weekend and just fell in love. Plus hello Corsicana is like an hour away from me. Maybe I will go be all touristy and track them down. They do have some great bakeries and such down there. I love me some little Texas country towns.

Share your random thoughts with me today!

My Bada$$ Training Story.

So admittedly I am borrowing this topic from Reddit running (thanks Reddit) but I thought it would be a great day to tell (and maybe share!) some badass training stories! There are a lot of days I’m sure where we don’t all feel like we are really all that awesome but you know what?! We deserve to give ourselves a little pat (or high five, fist bump whatevs) on the back every once in a while. And then maybe toot our own horn. So, toot freakin’ toot.

My training story is actually from when I was truly in amazing ultra (and marathon) run shape. I mean really, both of my ultra and marathon training mojos collided and I was like a freaking machine. I was, consistently, clocking in 80-100 mile weeks *without getting injured* and this lasted for months and months. Yep, I was kind of the envy of all of my local Strava leaderboards.

And to be absolutely brutally honest, I never (and still don’t really) look at who I’m beating on there. I could see how that is motivating to some folks, sure. But I was really…and I mean really. In my own lane. And absolutely loving it. I mean I was eating miles and dreaming about them like this was some kind of hot love affair. I would get up and just be hungry to get miles in. I would crave that soreness feeling, that runner’s high feeling. I would be running double digits (and double run days) on the daily. Rest days were glorious…but I didn’t want them. I definitely did them though. But then I would get back freaking to it. I ended up wrapping up 2017 with a grand total of 4,194 miles. YEP. MILE HIGH CLUB for sure.

Probably the most badass story of that particular year (aside from running my very first 100 miler) was actually doing my local ‘run across town’ rouge run, mostly SOLO. The solo part actually ended up being a bit of a surprise since we started the 33.5 (!) mile trek with a pretty solid group.

Then I found out that most of the runners that I was running with ALL wanted to run less than 20 miles. HA! We ended up halfway there…when I found out…so I could have quit with all of them because, hey why not?! There was no real reason to go the full gusto since I was not racing. Sure I was training for a few upcoming races. But…yep, then my stubborn ultra runner self took completely over. It started raining…and HARD. Plus it was COLD. I grabbed a map that took me all the way back to Dallas and did more than half of the rest of that run, alone.

Across town on beat up roads and industrial streets. Cars pissed off I’m in the middle of the damn road. Hey dude in the 18 wheeler…be nice! I’m just trying to make it home and do what I said I was going to do.

No one to cheer me on or kiss my ass or tell me how awesome I am. I don’t like words of affirmation anyways. (My love language is physical touch, I think. Or maybe it’s quality time…)

Running on the service road, almost getting hit by cars, with just me and my trusty map. It was a CRAZY run but I did it. And I did it alone. Freaking mental training at its absolute finest. But those kinds of days are days you will remember forever and days that will surely make you stronger.

“Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes
no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances
on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the
approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted
from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense.
The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that
is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that
the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running
such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of
their being — a call that asks who they are …”
– David Blaikie

Share your badass training story with me!

My Year of Running 2019.

It is that time of year again! Time to recap some of the highlights of this year of running, racing and training! It has been quite the year for me I must say. Both in running and in LIFE – in general. But you know what – I would not have it any other way. Let’s get to the miles and smiles!

Best race experience?
This year I mostly focused on ULTRAS. It was a phenomenal year for all distances BEYOND the 26.2! Probably my best experience this year would be the one that recently occurred –my PR at El Taco Loco 100k! Not only did I set a personal record for this race (by literally finishing HOURS faster than my 1st 100k) but it was just all around a dang good time. The people around me made it even that more special. I’m thankful for awesome running buds along with me for the journey. PLUS I proved to myself that I could run pacer-less (while absolutely terrified) in the woods in the dark to the tune of a pack of coyotes. So woohoo for that.

Best run?
My 35 mile birthday run. Running your AGE is never easy but always something I look forward to. And a great way to reflect on the year and the many blessings to come. I always enjoy doing this run solo (I had a friend that ran the first few miles with me, then I was on my own after that) as a way to really feel each mile. Plus it was great ultra training and time on my feet.

Best new piece of running swag?
Probably all of my sweet BUFFS. I now have a collection of em all. Mostly I get them at trail races but I tell you what I am a buff fanatic now. They’ve replaced my trucker hats. Who am I even?! Just a buff wearin’ ultra runner, I guess.

Best piece of running advice you’ve received?
Trust the process. Respect the distance. That rest and recovery is just as important as putting in the work. And to do epic sh*t. Scare the living daylights out of yourself and do the crazy thing!! You’ll be glad you did.

Most inspirational runner?
Can I just put my entire running club here? I mean, my running friends are pretty dang inspirational. And fun! Each and every one of them. Our group is so awesome, so diverse. From different backgrounds and all. It is just a talented group of athletes I am proud to call friends. I’m thankful to have found MY PEOPLE that I love running with, every Saturday morning. Miles, breakfast tacos and mimosas for the win.

Hey girl hey Jenna Runs! Special shout out. Run buds for life. 

If you could sum up your year of running in a few words, what would they be?
No limits
Liberating
Adventure-filled
Sometimes dirty, sometimes paved
Merrymaking (I was looking for a synonym for FUN!! This one fits the bill.)

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

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?

Random Thoughts Thursday.

So I’ve been practicing running during different times of the day (starting to get back into super ultra mode as I ramp up for Loup Garou 100) and to be honest probably one of my favorite times of day to run is when it is 100+ degrees out. I know that sounds totally insane but it is true. I felt so good running through the drier heat the other day. And it made me want push harder.

I also like living on the edge sometimes. Doing things you’re not supposed to do like running when it is 100+ degrees out. haha.

Maybe I’m becoming one of those people who enjoys HOT WEATHER running as opposed to cooler weather? Nah, couldn’t be.

One of my running friends the other day (although he has a few screws loose) told me he thinks my ultra-running tendencies have to do with the fact that I have Kenyan in my genetics. He was dead serious too. I mean, he may not be too far off.

I need to do one of those 23 and me things. Have you done it?? I think I may be surprised at what I might find.

I mean. I know I have German ancestry (grandparents on my mom’s side) then Native American, Black. Some creole. Hmm. Wander what else.

Oh, on Sunday I am going to KITTEN YOGA. Ohmygoodness you guys. I am so very excited. Of course, it is all chicks going. And I’m sure very little yoga will get done that day. Haha. Just saying.

Share some of your random thoughts with me this week!

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?!

Hachie 50 Miler 2019 Recap.

Well the Hachie 50 has come and gone and once again I have lived to tell you all about my experience! Running 50 miles is surely no small feat, and requires lots of training to arrive to the starting line healthy and ready to go. This year the challenge was quite tough, as we dealt with all of the elements- heat, humidity, rain, and jumping over deep muddy puddles. So let me share my adventure with you and take you on a 50 mile journey.

I arrived to Waxahachie race morning feeling a little worn out from the work week but excited about taking on the day. It had been a challenging week for me work wise- quite draining actually. The one thing I’ve gotten pretty good at though through this journey of running ultras is handling adversity and smiling through the pressure, stress, and the pain. I mean it had truly been the kind of week where you are just so mentally drained that you want to spend the entire weekend on the couch with a beverage in hand. But I knew that I had trained my tail off for this race, so I needed to keep my eye on the prize which was that finish line. I truly kind of went into this race with the intent just to finish in roughly 10+ hours. This was the 4th time I’ve done Hachie, and my 5th 50 miler! So I went into it with a strategy of course and it is always fun to see who shows up to this race. It is so well organized, and the Waxahachie Running Club truly spoils us every year with terrific swag. I mean how many races do you run where they give you your own outdoor chair (with drink holder), 50 mile belt buckle, and bag of goodies (and TX local honey yum yum)? I was overjoyed at all of the goodies and they really do step it up and exceed my expectations every year.

This year we had a bit of a storm roll through in the morning (welcome to spring time in Texas where storms pop up just about every second). So with that the race ended up being delayed 30 minutes – which was no big, it allowed me time to use the potty, collect my thoughts, and take my time before go time. So at 5:30 AM we were off into the darkness! The course itself is a 10 mile loop though the park that we run a total of 5 times. I personally love looped courses because I am able to have easy access to my runner fuel and things and mentally it helps me to count down how many loops I have left. The morning rain eventually tapered off and gave way to some extreme humidity and heat. The park is mostly shaded but starts with this section of the course that is ALL SUN. They put a sign out there too and called this part of the course the DEATH MARCH which I thought was funny. Especially towards the end it truly does feel that way.

The first couple of laps went by pretty smooth, I made sure to drink a mix of water and electrolytes often, stopping at pretty much every aid station. One of my amazing friends who was running the 50 mile relay, Blanca had a HUGE bowl of pineapples. She saw me looking a little tired once I hit loop 3 and gave me some pineapples as fuel to help me stay hydrated. Can I just tell you that pineapples may be my MOST FAVORITE FUEL ever now? Who knew…they were just what I needed at the time when I was feeling overheated.

I really enjoyed chatting with a few friends on the course, and one of my fellow blog readers (HEY FRITZ!) was out there running her very first 50 miler! We ran together for a couple of loops before I had to let her go…she was picking up the pace and looking damn strong. The heat was really starting to take a toll on me and the heaviness of the work week was weighing on me, mentally. I just wanted to be done. I rode out the highs and lows though, this entire race. From feeling good and high energy to just feeling like I wanted to walk. My legs felt heavy and close to about mile 40 I really started shuffling. My music really helped me stay in the game even though I wanted to quit and found myself just kind of running solo. At a certain point I realized that it may be possible that I may be a top female finisher so I tried to just keep moving. Relentless forward motion! Towards the last stretch, I saw another 50 mile girl who was not far behind me and she still looked pretty strong. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt that if I slowed down any more…she was going to take that podium spot from me.

So…I dropped the hammer and bit and my determined will just kind of took over my body. I started feeling good and saw that finish line calling my name. My legs got a bit of a burst of energy and I went on in fishing strong and feeling so proud of myself. That 3rd place female award was staring me in the face. I DID IT. I PLACED. For the 4th dang year. IN A DANG ROW. I couldn’t believe it. I could have really given up many times during this race because of how I was feeling In general. But I didn’t. I went there and did what I had been training so hard for and didn’t let LIFE get in the way. And for that, I was so proud.

Hachie 50, you teach me something every single time that I show up to tackle you. The main thing…KEEP SHOWING UP. No matter how you feel. You may just surprise yourself.

Finisher results here.

Did anyone else out there run the Hachie 50 or any other fun race this weekend? Tell me all about it!