Monthly Archives: February 2016

Run the Year Motto:  Run, Crawl, Walk, Conquer, Dominate 2,016 miles in 2016


Feb 2016 updateBIG month – started Spring season a month early, marathoned last 3 weekends of February.  No break in my race schedule ‘til 4th of July.  FAAANNTASTIC challenge!  Do the math – that’s 20 consecutive race weekends.  Building CONSISTENCY & ENDURANCE in 2016.  Last Fall, folded after 11 weeks.  Big difference? only 4 East Coast races this trek.


Race ReCap:  Moab, Vegas & Tulsa: two ultras, one marathon, one Half.  Never previously run trail nor an ultra distance (even in training) – now have 3 trail races, a 50K & a 55K under my belt.  Next month’s focus: NUTRITION  Bonked during both ultra runs.  Gotta learn how to eat & what to eat, when running > 6 hours.  Another DOUBLE CHALLENGE planned in late March: Saturday-Sunday road marathons in Lamar CO & Clayton NM, part of Mainly Marathon’s Dust Bowl Series.


Mileage ReCap:  Still on track, ended February at 341.07 miles (5 miles ahead of goal).



I get by with a little help from my friends” — the Beatles

2 weeks ago my first ultra, last Saturday marathon #53 – this weekend, BOTH.  Before Moab, had never run trail nor finished an ultra distance (even in training).  Big disconnect [in my head] between trying one & signing up for 5 this year, huh?

Maniac running buddy, Stacy hooked us up with a few of her running friends, Andrew & Elizabeth…and BAM, new friends for life.  Easy hour-half flight to Tulsa, 6 hours of zzz’s, morning alarm confirmed wake-time for Saturday’s 50K.

Double-shirted early, cool start – however expecting day temps to top out near 80; gonna be a warm one.  Tulsa-native Andrew forewarned today’s 4-loop course would be a tough one…finish estimate, 8 hours.

Day Highlights: ‘the Hill from Hell’ and Holmes Peak – climbing these two giants not once but FOUR times.  Yikes!

circle of friends: awesome weekend of run & sun

circle of friends: awesome weekend of run & sun

Elected to take the early start – award ineligible, but outta day temps an hour early.  No regrets, good decision.  Started quick, held that pace for 14 miles.  Well marked course, green-ribbons every 20-30 feet.  Expended lotta energy; lapped by elites beginning of lap 3.  Dropped to a single shirt & flushed fluids.  Paced slower, started walking hills.

FAVE Aid Station – Oklahoma Oktoberfest (costumes, music, upbeat volunteers) – both sweet & salty snack-equipped.  Sounds disgusting but…pickle juice, day’s best mate.

Haven’t ever been a marathon eater, so struggling running even longer distances with little/no fuel.  Generally bonk after 5-5 ½ hours.  Colder temps help extend the window — but 6 hours in, mental succumbs to physical & all falls apart.  Pace, breathing, posture fail.  Yeah, I become a hot mess.

3rd go at ‘the Hill from Hell’, 1.7 kilometers further: lap 4 start.  More pickle juice.

Snapped shots of an armadillo (don’t see THAT everyday) & pushed down a handful of salty Fritos at the Oktoberfest station.  15-year old elite runner, Brandon Plate, lagged just behind – struggling, just wasn’t his day (remember, he’s running a 50K [31+ miles] at just age 15).  Asked if he wanted to jog the next hill…he wasn’t talking.  Told him I was running up, expected he would pass me on the downhill – that’s just the way it happened. Kid came alive with conversation.  Walked lotta the last 4 miles – at a good clip, but still walking.  Only goal this weekend was to complete my first Double – 50K Saturday, marathon Sunday.  Energy level UP, paced strong from Heaven’s Gate to the Finish.

2nd ultra FINISH in 3 weeks!  

Half-bowl of chili & a banana.  Sink-washed salt caked ‘round my eyes, sides of my face.  Met up with Stacy, Andrew & Elizabeth – shared the Tulsa skyline in our host’s rooftop hot tub.  FAAANNNTASTIC!  Fun sharing war stories & later, pasta (thanks Elizabeth).

Groundhog Day — all starts again Sunday morn.

No breakfast.  Tired, wonky from prior day’s run in noon day sun, can’t eat.  Today – 26.2 miles of trail.  Again, 4 laps…flattened from yesterday, no Holmes Peak – but ‘Hill from Hell’ four times more.

Didn’t lead the pack this go-around but paced faster than expected, settled into fourth.  In-n-out the tree-trail maze, stopped for Oktoberfest.  Smell of pickle juice & Fritos turned my stomach (too much of a good thing I suppose).  Sip of water, kept plugging along.

Long downhill stretch.  Bounced, trail jarred – stopped, puked.  Ugh.  Gotta take in fluids, hold something down.  Small cup of Powerade before ‘the Hill from Hell’, spewed blue near Heaven’s Gate.  New plan: Run faster.  Not hydrating, need to Finish sooner.  Wooded oak section, stop: orange Powerade – puke.  Ran steady with a group of Halfers – held pace uphill, briefly gapped on the downs.

2nd time up ‘the Hill from Hell’.  Dry heaving, struggling mentally (no food, no liquid, no fuel).

Started Lap 3.

First Aid Station, stopped.  Legs ok but dizzy, spinning, oddly emotional.  What to do?  Radioed the Race Director, asked ’bout my options. I could downgrade to the Half, still complete the Double Challenge – not take a DNF.  Ok, done.

Dehydrated, received an IV of fluids: virtual insta-fix.  Nausea near gone, met up with Andrew & Elizabeth (who also ran downgraded distances) & finished a half-bowl of chili.  Much better now.

Messaged an Oklahoma-based friend I hoped to see at the Finish.  There she is – hadn’t seen Lory in 25 years.  WOW!  Same face, same laugh, same great sense of humour.  Worked together a lifetime ago.  She a 22-year-old bartender; I an underage waiter.  Soooo instead of slogging 13 miles more trail, got to share time with a gal I hadn’t seen in light years.  Everything happens for a reason 🙂

AND 3 of us picked up Post Oak plaques – DOUBLE SUCCESS!

Celebrated with Mexican [food] at a neighborhood restaurant, then airport returned to Denver.  Awesome weekend of friends – both old & new!  Wouldn’t have been the same without any of them.







Place Name       City/State     50k Time  Ha Time   Net time  Bib#

===== ========== =============  ========  ========

5 K R Haga   Louisville CO  8:05:45   2:59:30   11:05:15   97



Sharing birthdays with my girl never gets old.

One thing that’s NEVER changed over the years, has been her love of animals & sense of adventure.

Happy 26th Ash 🙂


UPDATE (Thurs March 10th):

Back at the Post in Lafayette for Tommy W’s happy 31 — bucket o chicken, it’s tradition 🙂

The Post, Lafayette

The Post, Lafayette





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