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Showing posts from May, 2013

10 Reasons I Can Run 100 Miles: Reason #10

Well I'm already on my way to Bryce (writing this from my phone) so it's too late to back out now. Not sure I really need a reason 10. Not to say that I'm not nervous, I've been using a lot of essential oils today to help with that.


Reason #10: True Colors

You know, that bad sappy song that Glee covered and they all wore plain colored shirts and sat on stools like they were a boy band like 98 degrees or Boyz to Men or something cool. Yes, I'm a gleek. But so is my husband. Deal with it.

Running a 100 has been a goal of mine since before I even knew ultras existed. I biked the white rim and thought, wow, it'd be incredible to be physically able to run this. Well, now I'm physically able. I've got the most stellar crew team and a fantastic venue. Lets do this!

Oh, and speaking of true colors... This is how I run when no one is looking:
(See vid. This trumps Piderman or Julian Smith or Rollerblades for Xmas):

10 Reasons I Can Run 100 Miles: Reason #9

Reason #9: Memories
There's a trail in Glenwood Springs, CO that I used to run on. The trailhead started in our backyard, and each day as I started running (post 1 year of injury) I'd go just a little further. Views, trees, mud, forests... everything. Then I started going further. About 7 miles in the trail turns to a perfect soft dirt single track that winds through a grassy forest, right on a cliffside out towards No-Name Canyon, easily the most gorgeous canyon in the area. Through the tall pines winding around you could just catch glimpses of the craggy remote canyon through the trees.

Whenever I need to force relaxation I go there, mentally. For years it was the only place of that kind of peace and tranquility.
Now I have many more memories of trails, trash-talking with friends (we all know I do plenty of that), playing music, being a fool or enjoying solitude for hours in the mountains.
So, on this 18,500 vertical gain, or when the pain of 100 is hard to bear, I'll go…

10 Reasons I Can Run 100 Miles: Reason #8

She said to me, "you're carrying around a lot of burdens with this race. What are your goals?" 
"What would happen if you did really well?" 
"What would happen if you didn't do well?" 
"If everything went wrong, what would happen then?"

I thought and chatted and realized the true weight of the burdens and concerns I had, and their realistic consequences. Then I let them go.

"They're rocks. Extra weight you don't need going into a race that length. So put all those rocks in a backpack, and leave them in your drop bag at the starting line. They'll be shuttled right to the finish line, and you can pick them back up if you choose. But just let go for now."

Reason #8: Letting Go

I'm ready and willing to let go. At a barbecue tonight I was asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how nervous I am. A week ago I would've answered 11.

Now I'm probably down to a 2... Or 3 ;)

But I'm ready to just let it be, and let the race just…

10 Reasons I Can Run 100 Miles: Reason #7

the controversy of how applicable this is to running is as debatable as the controversy on whether or not Ryan Gosling is gay and how that could effect the "Hey runner girl" memes. But here it goes anyways:
Reason #7: Sufferfests
A friend recently called me a ring-leader of circus freaks because of my recent experiences putting together fantastic ideas for runs. Ideas like starting a 50k at 9pm, running up a canyon at 4am in negative 5 degree weather (plus wind!), post-holing to my hips for HOURS on end, running the twins and using pepto for the stomach flu to get me thru the run, spending three hours coming down the front face of Lone Peak with scrub oak to the armpits- every step reopening more scratches... Even the "innocent" runs that I've been in charge of have usually involved hail, running out of water, or getting lost.

haha. And see, I think it's funny! Sure I whine as much as the next person, but I think I laugh about how ridiculous it is even more…

10 Reasons I Can Run 100 Miles: Reason #6

Reason #6: I've Trained

No doubt- I put in the work.

While I never hit that "golden" miles-per-week I initially wanted, I did well at my ultimate goal during training-- bringing myself as close to the breaking point as possible, so that I grow from it, without going over the edge.

I did some time on feet runs (10 hours of Lone Peak, 15 at Zion) some mileage based runs (an almost 50k PR at the end of a 108 mile week, twins+little black+ city creek) training on my weaknesses (low blood sugar runs, steep uphills) and a bit of training on my strengths (downhill). Night runs, pacing runs, back to backs... a little bit of everything. No method to this madness!

All my training info is here:

Now I just need to trust the training. From a Wednesday to a Wednesday (so 7 1/4 days) I did 108 miles. Given that I couldn't build my base as much as a I wanted earlier in the spring due to injury, I'll take it. The work is there...

10 Reasons I Can Run 100 Miles: Reason #5

Ehm.... Drumroll.... (this one is rather inspiring)

Reason #5: It's All Downhill

And when it's not downhill, it's because it will be downhill once I get to the top.

Yep, I'm just that good at lying to myself. The ability to convince myself of something I know is a lie is a talent; something perfected through years of running misery, passed down from generation to generation of ultra-runners, who have lovingly shared the sacred art of lying.

The people who say they've never regretted a run, they're lying to themselves. Or maybe they're practicing their talents. Who's to say? The next aid station is always a mile away.... They won't let me drop at this aid station better get to the next one.... That was fast! It must've been an 8 min mile, I bet my garmin has it wrong and it was 8 minutes not 24...

They're only lies once I realize they're not true.
So, I'll promise myself repeatedly I only need to run 6 more miles, …

100 Reasons I Can Run 100 Miles: Reason #4

Short & simple today.

Reason #4: Joy

Even when I don't have joy running (slowly slogging up something steep) the latter joy always overrides it (getting to go back down.) Suffering is a part of running too sometimes, but laughing with friends about how miserable awful it is more than counteracts it. In order to feel a level 10 joy, I think you have to know what a 0 is too.

If I could take the time to explain how all consuming, goofy-happy running makes me, I would.  But instead, here's a video. You can just see how happy she is...

So, Bryce has 18,000 vert gain. But what goes up must come down, and those happy times will keep me moving.

10 Reasons I Can Run 100 Miles- Reason #3

I'm still doing this? Wha..? C'mon people I'm an ultra runner, which basically means I'm as stubborn as a goat or git or donkey or whatever you feel like implying is also stubborn.

Reason #3: Support
(my support is better than yours.) (oh wait, I shouldn't say that. But really, a lot of awesome people have gone out on a limb to help support/crew/pace/encourage/inspire me)

I'm fortunate to go into this race with fantastic support.

So, most of my crew has never paced/crewed/raced a 100 before. Cool. Then all of us have no real idea what we're in for!

Seriously though- I have a very supportive spouse who is as excited for race day as I am, primarily because then all the drama will be over. Oh, and he wants to see me accomplish my dreams too I guess.
He's endlessly listened to running stats and reports of runs, even if we both know he's going over climbing moves in his head. Lately he's even used some of his climbing time to run, just in …

10 Reasons I Can 100 Miles: Reason #2

Reason #2: Gratitude and God

A few months ago I had a slip and fall injury. During my massage and treatment, I was told I was still clinging to the bitterness. This was true. I was bitter and a bit angry that I was, by all means, out of the training game for a couple months. To encourage faster healing, my massage therapist was working with me on letting go of the bitterness and pain and instead focusing on the gratitude and joy trail running gives me.

So on my longer training runs, the times I've pushed the hardest and/or felt the worst, I've changed my thoughts-- this isn't punishment, training, or pain. It's a gift. The entire trip is a gift and I needed to be grateful my body could do what it was doing, grateful for the places I could go, and grateful for all the living I've managed to do in my 26 years of life. I thought about this a lot on my run this morning, especially after reading Zion 100 reports on how the RD (he's RD for Bryce 100 too) had the run…

10 Reasons I Can Run 100 Miles- Reason #1

So, I've got a bit of an issue with self-confidence.... the issue being that I entirely lack it. Thankfully I can hide behind words. And that I'm a good faker-- but I don't think I can fake believing in myself for 100 miles. So as I'm getting my legs and life back, enjoying some free time (what do you do with all this time when you're not running?! I'm starting to fall in love with TV and sleep.) my thoughts are naturally turning from fear to terror as I taper for my first 100 mile race.

Terror isn't good for a hundo. I've done the physical training, I've got the pain tolerance, now I just need to trust it all, and start thinking the good thoughts.

Everyday for the next 10 days I'm going to post a positive affirmation. Or a reason why I know I can run 100 miles. Perhaps if I brainwash myself, and really focus in on one each reason each day til race day, then when the doubts fly in I'll have reasons to push them out.

As always, I have stella…

Zion Traverse

If trailrunners were birds... Nope.
My gangster name is J-Lyn... Nope.
Alright, I have nothing cool to say. BUT I did run the Zion Traverse. While that fails to enrich my coolness, it was pretty fun. Point illustrated below:

We started at Lee Pass (west) and went to East Pass (east) (I added those directions just in case you're a complete idiot. If you are, at least you can read. +10 points for you.) I would suggest that the biggest issues of vert, lack of water, and wet feet would all be solved doing the route the opposite direction. Due to some logistical issues, we did the route in the less appealing manner. 

At first our group was going for the SKT, (slowest known time), because we were all "Asian tourists" (which is ironic, because THE Asian Tourist, aka "Cocoa Ku," took this photo.)

Alas, we bailed on the SKT. Too much time on feet, really. I was the first to bail on this idea, I started a habit of darting ahead of the group for a couple of miles and then layi…