06 June 2013

Life Exaggerated

“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” 
- A.A. Milne

Ahh, the taper. The descent into insanity that lasts for a week or two from which you finally emerge at the start line, or in my case, at the Jaws TH, 48 miles into Bighorn 100. I’m realizing that not only do I need to practice smarter recovery, but I need to work on smarter tapering. While I’m not overdoing the mileage by any means, I’m feeling like a fat lump, struggling with my eating and spending too much time on the computer while stressing about everything I have coming up in the next 5 weeks: 

June 13 – 16          Bighorn 100
June 17                  Closing on our new house
June 18                  MOVING!!
June 19 – 21          Cleaning old house, unpacking/setting up new one
June 24 – 25          Telluride - Silverton training run
June 29 – July 8     Alaska trip
July 11 – 14           Hardrock 100

I hate schedules like this. I’m a routine-loving kind of gal who deliberately keeps life low-stress as much as possible. Right now, I have way too much life on my plate. Since pacing is new to me and I don’t know either of the courses, I’m spending a lot more time obsessing over them. 

I'm a stress eater, so I've been craving my favorite cookies lately. Someday, if you find me fat and broke, sitting on the side of the road, it will likely be due to my addiction to these:

Australia's National Cookie
If you've had them, you understand. If you haven't, you've missed this little bit of heaven in chocolate-coated malted biscuits with chocolate cream filling. Fortunately, Pepperidge Farm got the rights to distribute them between October and March so I don't have to pay $25 for an imported pack. But I neglected to stock up this past Spring, which is probably better as to avoid increasing the junk in my trunk.

I’m excited about Bighorn, but aware that there will be a learning curve. There’s a lot to think about as a pacer! I hope to channel my inner Sam Gamgee to bring Sheila safely to the finish. I'm glad that she's done this before and can articulate what she needs from me. I'm glad that she's tough and determined, so no need for inspirational speeches about what's worth fighting for. I'm glad that we've been running together for three months and our personalities are well suited for this sort of thing. 
My job will be easier than his, thank God
As J-man has been packing up the house, I’ve been busy picking up the last of the items needed for the upcoming races. Found most of them on sale too! Got myself a pair of Salomon Speedcross 3 and Montrail Bajadas as well as a Black Diamond Icon headlamp so those overnight runs will be well illuminated.

When it comes to my gear, I’m pretty much a faithless whore, however Mountain Hardware has the corner on my jackets. I wore the Ghost Whisperer Anorak throughout the winter with two thin layers underneath and used the Effusion when it was below 10 degrees or so. This week, I added a waterproof Epic jacket that will round out my collection.

The other thing I did in the past week was run an aid station for a 50k/50M charity race held in Roxborough State Park. It was my first time ever doing that and I had a blast taking care of the 40+ runners as they came around 3-5 times, depending on the race distance. The RD, Claire Dorotik, gave me everything I needed to keep them supplied with ice cold water, Heed, electrolytes and yummy snacks. Met some awesome runners too, such as Letitia Dusich (50k winner), Rick Scott (50 M winner) and Elizabeth Gold (50 M runner up), some of which I hope to see again at Leadville, such as Chris Boyack. I love ultrarunners! I also discovered that I love M&M Pretzels and my recent weight gain can be attributed in part to finishing off the rest of the 30 oz bag after the race. Holy crap, those were addicting.

Sweet and salty in one delicious bite
I only had one runner that I wanted to smack on the side of the head. Why, you ask? He wanted to drop half-way through the 50 miler for NO GOOD REASON. He wasn’t injured, dehydrated, nauseous or bonking (the latter three which are fixable); he just didn’t feel like running anymore. And he’s training for Leadville! I tried to remind him that he would likely regret it later and that if he trains himself to quit now, he’ll never finish a longer race. He just shrugged his shoulders. 

When he left, Emily and I turned to each other and said in unison, “He’ll never make it to Winfield”. At first, I couldn't figure out why it ticked me off, when I have nothing personally invested in his race. I think it bugged me because there are injured trail runners who would give anything to be in his place, racing in beautiful park and in near ideal weather conditions. While there are legitimate reasons to DNF, I think we owe it to them at least to try our damndest to finish.

 "You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky

Nevertheless, it was an awesome day and so much fun and I’ll totally do it again when I get a chance. It's great to give back to the trail running community this way.
Me and my fab helper, Emily
The backdrop wasn't too shabby
Like Red Rocks, without the crowds
We were missing the knife, so I improvised.
I just came across this in the past week and I'm totally saying these things to Sheila next week to keep things light until she goes loopy on me:

Happy Trails,



  1. Best of luck at Bighorn and see you in Silverton...have to talk without about all that junk food ;-)

    1. Ha! I didn't even mention my new love affair with Lays Limón potato chips I've been having! See you & Deb in Silverton!