#TheRunningWriter 31-mile adventure

Crown King was AMAZING. So very difficult, but so very rewarding. Below is a little video I made of the adventure. It’s quite obvious I’m not a great tech-type person, but just enough to make these little things for me to remember for always.

Below the video is my full race report in case you want more details….HUGE thanks to everyone who donated to my fundraiser. You guys just blew me away with your generosity, raising $2400.00!!

And I still have one more event to go for fundraising–> THE BOSTON MARATHON….in three short weeks.  🙂



I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Cool 50-ish degrees at the start down at Lake Pleasant (LP).

I started out the morning like I normally do on big run days. My coffee drink (coffee, honey, cream), and then got in the zone by doing my daily devotion and daily quote (#TheRunningWriterQOTD).

And…worked to keep my heart rate/race arousal down. I can easily hit 100+ beats per minute getting psyched up…so I for sure have to focus on that.

We made our way to LP and got there a bit earlier than planned, so we camped out in the car for 10-15 minutes up at a private little trailhead (Pipeline). Just listened to music and chilled. Once we got down to the start, Coach Charlie and I started seeing people we knew, and chatted it up a bit. Then I found my trailsisters, Tracy, Kristien, and Traci.

We touched base, encouraged each other, then got in line for the start. I took a GU gel about 10 minutes before the start and then got going. Once we started, I clicked on a timer that would go off every hour from that point forward.

I do that so when it goes off, I can think back, “Did I have about 150 or so calories that past hour?” And if I didn’t, I would either take a gel or take some serious gulps of Tailwind just so I stayed on course.

Over time and training, I learned that about 150-200 calories per hour works for me. Mostly from Tailwind (TW) and then a GU or PBJ along the way to enhance that.

I usually take a PBJ sandwich at about 2 hours and 20 or so minutes into the run. And that’s enough calories for about a full hour or so. Just sipping water for a little while after that. During this race, I took it at about 2 hours 45 minutes.

Now, I don’t RACE these races. I run them to enjoy them, so I take my time at each aid station, some more than others. The first one was about 8.5 miles in, so I didn’t stop too long other than to refill my TW and water bottles. I carried 2-16 ounce collapsable bottles in my pack versus a bladder to keep the water weight I was carrying down. I just had to be sure to fill up each aid station.

The half-way mark: Ft. Misery was an awesome stop. Loved that one the most. They had energy, dogs greeting us, drinks, and encouragement. I did take some ginger ale soda stuff at each stop, and that was nice. 🙂

The fun REALLY started after that. The climbing was insane:

Yeah….it was NO JOKE!

So, I did a lot of walking, hiking, shuffling, and tons of picture/video taking. The weather was starting to cool down, too, which was awesome. I think the heat affects me pretty significantly as demonstrated by my last ultra (October 2017) with my first ever DNF (Did Not Finish.)

I was determined to finish this one. Mostly for myself, but also for all the donors who helped me raise so much money for St. Jude in the name of The Mary Sue Seymour Foundation who is sponsoring me to run The Boston Marathon next month!

Anyway. I was trucking along, feeling quite tired. Funny thing…my jaw muscles started cramping up a bit. I must have been clamping my jaw!

That’s new.

But hey, I went with it. Really focused on relaxing my jaw. Rubbed the muscles a little, and kept on trucking.

My left hip (my problem child for sure) started acting up pretty good, so at about 4.5 or 5 hours into the run, I took ONE Advil. I didn’t want to chance any upset stomach, so I took it when I ate a PBJ and only took one.

It took the edge off. Still hurt, but I knew I wasn’t damaging anything. It was just hurting after so long on my feet.

And…I just looked down at the shoe that had all the names of my donors and kept on trucking. You were a great inspiration to me. And, I had a kicking playlist thanks to everyone who suggested songs to me via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!!!

Once I made it to that last aid station way up at 29 or so miles, it was all downhill. And believe it or not, my legs felt good enough to run down the hills. I thought for sure I’d be crawling down since they were tired and sore. But…my body had other plans.

Might have been the Advil and PBJ I’d had within the past couple hours, and then the Tailwind and Gel since then, but I had the energy, so I went with it.

It was such a rush.

Biggest surprise though….MY DAD! He was about 1/4 of a mile from the finish, cheering me on. I had NO IDEA! Total surprise. I thought I was hallucinating, actually. But then I heard, “HEY KID!”

I knew it was him.

He’s my hero. He’s run ultras before, Boston Marathon, climbed mountains….totally my inspiration. So…I had the two more important men in my life there to support me at my event:  My husband and my dad.

Talk about blessed.

So….as you can see by the video, there’s quick clip of me at the finish. I almost didn’t see Charlie, but he got me.

I was so happy to be finished. And I got to see Traci, Tracy, and Kristin, too. And they had amazing races, which made all our training together feel that much more special.

Overall, most important things for me….

  1. Doing the training that my coach puts on my calendar. You put the time in, trust your coach, and you’ll do just fine!
  2. Nutrition: running that first half of the 50k wisely so you don’t have a horrible second half…way important. Be smart about it and do what you need to do to remind yourself what and when to eat. The hourly alarm going off, HUGE for me. I get race stupid and forget EVERYTHING…so I find a method to help me prevent mistakes.
  3. I WANT TO QUIT:  Did the race get hard? Yep. Did I want to quit? Yep. So what made me keep going? Lots of things. It’s not unusual to get those feelings of wanting to quit. The pain is so much. Why am I doing this? I can’t finish. I suck. All those things run through my mind. I just don’t give into them.I fight back with positive self talk, telling myself I’ve trained for this. I’ve done the miles. I’m strong. It’s okay it hurts. Embrace the pain. It’s making me strong. I’m doing this for a cause. I’m healthy. Sometimes I just cranked up the tunes. Especially when Carrie Underwood’s Champion came on. And Overcomer (Mandisa). It’s amazing the timing of those songs. I’ve got about six to seven hours of music on, and when the hills got bad, three different times, inspiring songs came on. I couldn’t believe it. But I cranked it up and jammed up those hills. Slow…but sure.I’d stop and take pictures when I was feeling like I wanted to quit. Seeing the views, taking a breath, it put it all back into perspective. Gave me strength. I thought of my father in law I recently (and very unexpectedly) lost. The St. Jude peeps we were raising money for. Mary Sue. All those things inspired me. Just got to find your way to push through the pain.
  4. Have fun:  I’m not a person who RACES these, as I mentioned earlier, so another top thing for me is having fun. Encouraging people along the way. Saying hi. Taking pictures. And if we’re able to talk…hearing stories of the people I’m running with. If we’re working too hard to talk, that’s fine, too, just running side by side a bit is awesome for me. Love it. Love seeing people out, doing healthy things. And crazy things. It’s nice knowing I’m not the only crazy chick out there! LOL!

So, whether you’re doing crazy huge long events like this, or just getting off the couch to start walking everyday, it’s all good. Do it. Enjoy it. Embrace it!

Thanks for joining me on this crazy journey. Stay tuned for more as I run the Boston Marathon on Monday April 16th! Doing it in Mary Sue’s name again. Let’s see if we can’t raise that last $400 to hit our $3,000.00 goal!!

Special thanks to:
Coach Charlie- Cadence Performance Coaching
Tailwind Nutrition
New Balance
Tortoise and Hare Sports
Gu Energy Gels
Aravaipa Running

You guys make it all possible!!

#TBT 50-miler

Boy do I have a Throw Back.

December, 2016. 52 miles running.

11 hours 54 minutes.

I was reminded of this because last weekend I went on a hike at Lost Dog (picture on your right). And I saw the top of Thompson’s Peak…the one I climbed during this 50-miler. Yeah, it’s that massive mountain with the towers on it behind me in this top pictures.

It’s the one I have nightmares of…  😉 I’m kidding (mostly). They’re fond nightmares…er…memories.

After 32 miles of running, I faced off with that massive mountain, and I made it. It was an amazing experience, and I’m a different person after having done that.

So, here’s a throwback picture of that exciting time. And maybe a little video.