05 August 2013

Monday Miscellany

“Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.” 
- Flannery O'Connor
Wildflowers smothering the single track at Limbaugh Canyon
Things are finally settling down into a routine in our house after two months of house hunting, packing, pacing, moving, vacationing & settling in. School starts up in a couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to the fall race events coming up in a few short weeks.

The past couple of weeks I have been bringing my training back up to the levels where it was at prior to the Bighorn taper. It's been pretty inconsistent since mid-June and now it seems to be back on track. 


Lots of changes going on, starting with my eating habits. I took the kids off cows milk and we now drink almond milk. I tried my first coconut milk yogurt today and really liked that. Just plain, greek style, with a few drops of agave on top to sweeten it up. I love mixed berries with greek yogurt so this way I can still keep it on the menu. 
Kale sauteed in avocado oil
I'm eating more veggies and am researching a wheat-free, dairy-free and sugar-free diet in order to see how it impacts my weight and my training. Feel free to comment on what you know about this -- I want to be ever-so-careful not to lose muscle mass as I hope to lose the weight that I acquired decades ago. There seems to be a lot of "-free" diets that work for endurance athletes. I hope to keep as many whole foods in my daily menu, but keep it simple so I'm not having to cook too terribly much. I'm keeping lean meats as I can't live without a bit of that each day.


With Leadville and Wasatch coming up in the next 5 weeks, I've been kicking around the idea of running The Bear 100 with Sheila at the end of September. Not just pacing her, but joining her for the whole thing. My pal Steve thinks that with my 50 mile pacings over the summer that I'd be ready for it. He also thought that Sheila would enjoy the company all the way through. Prez told me that it would be a good first mountain 100 and that after pacing 50 over the summer, I'd be wanting to run my own race by September. Yep.

Meghan was the voice of moderation asking me why I felt I needed to do it this year when these races will be around for years to come. Good question to ask. I feel that this is the opportune time to do it as I have the time to train that I won't have when I start working again and I'm already getting the training runs in with pacing Sheila. This has been the year of taking advantage of opportunities that come my way and taking risks I never have before. Made sense from that perspective. But I totally get where she's coming from, as it's a common problem to overdue things in in this sport.

I continued to chew on it, not making any real commitment as the race hasn't filled up. Last week, I shot off an email to ultra-running coach Ian Torrence, gave him my running resume and asked what he thought. (The dude's done over 150 ultras in the past 20 years, so he knows plenty.) He said with my pacing duties and benefit of personal coaching over the next 8 weeks, I'd have the tools needed to support my goal of finishing The Bear. So, I signed up with McMillan Running for two months to ensure my training is dialed for attempting my first hundo.

I'm working specifically with Emily Harrison, who is an elite marathoner that has burst onto the ultra scene in the past year and had three solid performances at JFK 50 mile (2nd place), Moab Red Hot 55k (1st place, CR) and Western States 100 (7th place). She is coaching ultrarunners along with Ian, who reviews training plans and is also available to me as a resource. Ready to get my arse kicked around a bit between now and Sept 27th.


A couple of weeks ago, I found out that one of my tweeps (Twitter pal) was going to be in Denver for the week and we enjoyed a fun 13 miler at Mt. Falcon. He totally smoked me on the climbs, but I was able to get a little redemption on the descents. Say what you want about social media, it's been a great way to meet and get to know runners to share trails & stories with. Thanks, Slang!
Tweep run
Red Rocks
With Leadville less than two weeks away, Sheila and I headed over to Twin Lakes to go up and over Hope Pass and back again. 7 hours, 20 miles and 6,200 ft of climb later, I was done. I. was. done. Get it? I am glad to only be going over that pass once on race day, tho' climbing the steep side may still have me cursing between hyperventilation spasms. Leadville may be easy to get in to, but it averages about a 50% finisher rate... clearly, its climbs and elevation are tough. I got a taste of it this weekend.

Crossing Lake Creek
Sheila heading up
Mt Hope
Looking back at Leadville
Leaping for joy with Belford & friends looking on
Talus is tolerable with stellar views
My Bajadas wanted a break. I complied.
Sheila and her Masochists had to go and show us up, dangit.
Saw our friend Samantha as she was headed up
Pretty Aspens
Looking at the saddle and the end of the steep climb
Rushing water for nature sounds on the way down
7 hours later, the winner is... Mountain Masochists
Besides Samantha, we saw two other familiar faces on the trail -- Adam, who I met at Hardrock where he was pacing 11th place finisher Jonathan Robinson and nano-celeb-turned-micro-celeb Nick Pedatella. I'm sure he totally recognized me as the chick who introduced herself at the sole aid station during January's Fat Ass run in the Springs... Though he seems to fly under the radar with no blog to promote himself, Nick is a solid performer out on the trails and if you follow this sport, you know who he is 'cause he's been at the big races and gets on the podium. He won The Bear, for cryin' out loud. Even on a Friday afternoon, you just never know who you'll run in to. This world of ultrarunners is really quite small.

The Civil Wars' second album releases tomorrow. This new album, written and recorded after their public separation last year and admission of internal discord, only increases the intensity and deepens the textures of their music together. As Joy has said, "If you want to know what happened to the band, listen to the album". Here's a start:

Happy Trails,



  1. I keep going back and forth between, wow, this is amazing and wow, shelby's kinda crazy! Congrats on signing up for your first 100! I cannot imagine having the time to train and do all these runs. Although I can live vicariously through you... and admire all your pictures.

    1. Cat, I doubt I could do it with a full-time job and kids... it's my "treat" while unemployed.

      I hope you're training for that half-marathon you were telling me about -- you can do more than you think!

  2. Shelby,

    Did you sign up for The Bear? That was the first 100 i did. It sounds like you have some of the same reservations about it that I did. In the end, I ran it with only one goal in mind, to finish within the time limit so I could qualify for Hardrock. Prior to that I had only run a couple of 50K's, and a 50 mile. No 'real' 100 mile training. Set your mind to it, be patient, and remember that when it starts to hurt it will get better. The Bear was a lot of fun, I would love to got back and attempt it again.

    1. Doug, haven't signed up yet as there's still plenty of spots available. I think the main thing for me to decide is if I want to suffer for 30+ hours. I enjoy the distances that end the pain at 7-12 hours the best. Now that I'm recovering from a 12 hour pacing at LV100 (blog post coming!) is probably not the best time to decide!

      Thanks for the encouragement and congrats again on your stellar run at Hardrock this year.