Sunday, July 15, 2012

Yesterday, I ran my 3rd ultra of the year so far. You would think it would get easier this was my hardest by far! A multitude of factors maybe contributed, such as I didn't get a good night sleep in my tent the night before, it was already in the 70s with high humidity at the start which was 5:30 am, or the course is the toughest by far that I have ever run. They are all excuses!!!! It just wasn't my day, which in my eyes is more valuable than anything when looking forward to Leadville and Cozumel-it could easily not be my day those days, however I do know that I have the strength and perseverance to get through and be happy with what I accomplish (the goal at hand). I ended up finishing 4th in my age group and 6th woman overall. They recognized the top 5 places so I won a flashlight-Yay!
Earlier this week an Aquaphor teammate of mine posted a link on facebook where news caster Brian Gamble did a story about ultrarunners. I found the story interesting especially since he and the other interviewer, whom I can't remember, made assumptions about people that run longer distances (I say longer because a lot of the story was interviewing a man who runs the same 8 mile course every single day and has been for years) but doesn't do ultramarathons. They went on to talk about how ultrarunners run long distances because they are running from something else in their life and they are unbalanced people. First of all this story boils my blood a bit considering it's making the assumption that all of us "problemed people" only run and are not out running to improve our health, love to be out in nature, are goal oriented, love the challenge of running through varied terrain, and like to meet new people. I don't we are unbalanced-ARE WE?

Monday, June 4, 2012

It has been a tough spring for me. My previous post talks a little about me being injured and having to sit out of Zumbro. Well the injury took a little longer than expected to heal-a total of 10 weeks! I'm pretty sure at this point that I did have a stress fracture in my left tibia, but I never officially had it checked out. I figured a specialist would have just told me to stay off of it-I ended up doing that anyway. Since the recovery was so long, I ended up missing out on running Ice Age 50 milers as well:( But GOOD NEWS........I'm healed and back to running some distance! Yay! The picture above shows me the night before my second ultra that took place this past weekend. Knowing that I'm jumping back into the running and distance game, I was a bit nervous to see how my legs would hold up to trail running and distance running. Two weekends ago, I trialed a shorter distance run of 12 miles with Aj and my leg felt great! Then over the week I continued to run putting in close to 50 miles! And still NO LEG PAIN! Then this past weekend was the true test........I ran the Kettle Moraine 38 mile Fun Run (a distance PR for me) that took place at night and I felt fantastic!!!!!! No leg pain-other than the typical leg achiness you get from running long distances. It was hard to judge where I was at in comparison to the other runners on the course since we started in waves, but I could tell that I was holding my own. I ended up finishing 3rd woman and 19th overall-super proud of my accomplishment!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lot's to report!

I have one the biggest changes happening! Back in January-actually on my birthday I accepted a nurse practitioner position at Sister Kenny Rehab Institute at Abbott Northwestern. I am to start on Monday! This is both exciting and scary at the same time! I have been at Gillette for the past 10 years and I had always thought it was going to be a place that I stay, however after a lot of hard thought I know SKRI will allow me to continue to work with a population that serves people with disability and allow me to maximize my professional growth. Gillette will always hold a special place in my heart, but I know that this is the right move for me! I will be working with a group of nurse practitioners and physicians (all that seem AWESOME) focusing on Oncology rehabilitation. I'm super excited!

Next.............What is going on with my training
Over the past three (yes, I said 3 weeks) I have had to back off from the running significantly. I have a spot on my lower left leg that has been extremely painful and has me worried that I may have another stress fracture. So bummed! I ended up skipping out on my 50 miler in Zumbro last weekend, which was a really hard decision! I haven't ever taken myself out of a big race like this in the past but I know if I had pushed it there was a good chance it will would have taken me out for the remainder of my season. I feel that pain and swelling have gotten better but its not 100%. I did head down to Zumbro to cheer my training peeps on and MAN it was an exciting weekend, which has gotten me even more pumped to run!!!!!!!!

I plan to race trail mix relay this weekend, which is a short 7 mile loop. I have been resting, stretching, icing, ibuprofening, rolling, and doing rehab exercises to try to speed the recovery. I just ordered some skin supports that I am hopeful will help as well. The one thing that I have learned through this recovery period is that I HATE the cross-trainer!

Until next time!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Add Ultramarathoner to the resume!

My training for Leadville has picked up over the past couple of weeks, but there were a couple of things that that were eating away at me and making me still really uneasy about this whole Leadville 100 race. I hadn't completed any runs recent runs over 20 miles and I hadn't done a ultramarathon. I have been consistent in completing the miles suggested on the training plan, but I keep wondering if its enough.

Yesterday, I accomplished a big hurdle by completing my first ultramarathon and a run longer than 30 miles. Although a few ultramarathoners have poo-poo'd my 50k as not being a significant race in training for a 100 miler, but I disagree! This race gave me the confidence to know that I can accomplish my next ultra-distance race (Zumbro 50 miler).

The Hawkeye 50K course was a mix of single track, crushed rock, and roads. At the time I signed up for the race I was just looking for a 50k sort of close to home but my options were pretty limited. I also was looking for a ultra that located in a little further south than the Twin Cities with hopes that the temps would be a bit warmer and less snow would be on the ground. With the warm, dry winter that we had these factors were definitely not a problem with the weather forecasted to be 80 and sunny.

The race started running through a small portion of single lasting a couple of miles before shooting you out onto a fairly busy road. Already at 8:30 the road was hot in the direct sun. I felt great! I love the heat and at one point I peeked down at my garmin and noticed that I was running 8 minute miles. Knowing that I probably couldn't keep up that pace and I didn't want to burn up so I made myself slow down. We then ducked into another trail system that was pretty lengthy in distance that was crushed rocks. This trail would be a nice trail to run if the ground was slightly moist, but with the heat and the direct sunlight the ground was hard and uneven with the baked in ruts from bicycle tires. The path led us through a house-lined grassy area along a lake to a peninsula that was covered with rocks which brought us to the water crossing. The water was about mid calve deep and felt so good (I even had the thought at one point that on the second loop I was going to lay down in the river). After water crossing and a little climbing (boulders-thigh high) we hiked up the single track trails. This part of the course was extremely hilly with some really good sized and steep ascents and descents.

The course consisted of two loops equalling a little over 15 miles each. For me I like the two loop courses as I find them easy to break up mentally. I did hit a couple spots of lows but overall felt great the entire race and easily could have gone out and did a 3rd loop.

My time was unofficially (officially) 6:04.32 but couldn't be recorded on the website because the DNR shut the course down due to the heat with me having 3 miles left. I ended up running the last 3 miles of the course at my own risk and my time cannot be posted on the website since the DNR will be checking the results. I couldn't stomach the fact that I drove 6 hours to a race and made it that far within out finishing the race. I was feeling awesome, so I finished the last 3 miles. After crossing the finish the race director apologized for not being able to post my time but was going to record it as an official time. I ended up 5th in AG. There were a ton of DNF's and many more that switched to the 25K.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Week 6

I am well into week 6 of my Leadville 100 training. This past week was a rough one for me. I fought a lack of motivation to run all week. I have asked questions why now. Am I overtraining? Is it my other life stressors? Or is it related to all the overtime at work with extra meetings and electronic medical record training on top of my work current work status contributing to this feeling?

Anyways back to training........I have to admit that I miss being out on my bike. I know that its early in the season, but since winter didn't really exist this year, I feel that I should be out on the bike-maybe I just need more crosstraining in my work out routine during my weeks. I definitely need to work on organizating my schedule so that I can fit everything in- this should be easy at this point in my life since I'm not in school anymore-but its not.

My runs over the past week haven't been stellar by any means, but last Saturday's run was by far one of the worse runs I have had in a really long time. Mentally my brain was tired and my body was physically tired as well, I did manage to somehow achieve my goal miles for the week. Saturday's run however was the biggest pity party for myself throughout the run. Since then my lack of motivation has increased. What can I do to break out of this rut?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Leadville Training has begun!

Today I'm mid-week of the second week of my Leadville training plan. At this point, I have already increased my running miles significantly and I can already start to feel the difference in my legs. A few years ago (before ironman training), I was running a lot more miles and legs felt so strong not to mention the ease in running longer distances. I'm getting back to that point, which makes me happy.

My biggest challenge at this point is that I'm feeling a lack of motivation. This lack of motivation, I'm hoping will disappear once it warms up a little more and I'm working regular day hours. I also need to figure out how to not feel the guilt by taking a day or two off from running each week and doing some cross training.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I'm pictured!

Being a previous participant in the Lifetime Tri, I received the electronic newsletters via email. I was looking at the news letter and realized that I'm pictured in my Erik's uni! Check it out!

Since I was pictured on the tri website, it was only necessary that I sign up for the race-RIGHT:) I'm kind of tossing around the idea of doing Ironman Cozumel in November-I'm thinking that if it's still open at the end of April, I will sign up for it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting the race schedule all squared away

I have spent the past couple of months thinking about how I'm planning on preparing for my new adventure this year-Leadville 100 mile run. This morning I bit the bullet and signed up for a few more ultra races, not really to race them but to: 1. Build my confidence in running longer distances, 2. Build ultramarathon racing experience. Hopefully this weekend, I will meet will meet with my other foolish teammates and we can get our plan all sketched out through this journey.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

According to my horoscope outlook for 2012 (see below), it looks like its going to be an interesting year! As I read through my outlook for 2012, I kept thinking that it may not be too far off. It talks about how I have become a different person since 2008-in that aspect, I would have to agree! My priorities have changed since training for ironman (my first being in 2008) and having many family changes with having two awesome nephews enter my life, but having many health problems changes your everyday perspective.

During 2011, I finished school (at least for a little bit) and been looking to change jobs. Over the past six months, I have had the chance to write a good portion of the Magnet Document for the organization and continue to work on the floor for some of my hours. This split assignment gave me the chance to really explore what I want to do with my career. I had always thought that Gillette is the place that I want to be and in fact feel that a lot of my education decisions were based off the needs of the hospital. During the past six months, I have had the opportunity to interview for a couple of nurse practitioner positions, which was a completely eye opening experience! Going into the interviews, I would have done anything for this organization whether it was an interest of mine of there was boundaries place on my professional development.

I recently met with a person that is certified in career counseling and she provided some really good advice about interviewing and professional growth. There is one important message that this woman taught me-it was that an interview is not just about the company picking and choosing whether you are a good match for a position but it is more important you as the interview candidate to interview the interviewer. I had always thought that the interviewer has all the power in a interview situation. Last week realized how true her massage was. I interviewed for a NP position at Gillette by a manager of the clinic and walked away feeling bullied and not valued. I thought here is a person making a decision over my practice who doesn't understand the rigor of the advance practice programs,has a lack understanding of my experience, and an advance practice nurse's role, and doesn't value my dedication to the organization. I felt horrible! Later, in the week, I interviewed with an outside organization. I went to the interview already feeling a bit defeated from my experience earlier in the week but willing to the interview a solid try. The interview turned out to be one of the most positive interview experiences I have ever had! I learned so much about the organization and the vision of the new program and the interviewers were so interested in learning about my philosophy of being a provider. I felt valued and super excited about the position. I haven't been offered the position but definitely am crossing my fingers.

I wouldn't ever bash Gillette as an organization, since this organization has played such a special role in my professional development. I credit my co-workers, providers, and other specialty staff in playing an important role in me developing as a professional and being a better caregiver.

As you can see professionally, my horoscope is right on! In the other aspects of my life, I would have to agree to some extent. I have taken on the challenge of doing the Leadville 100 run and Leadman triathlon. As far love-who knows, maybe I will meet someone who I will be compatible with. Someone who can understand/support my training and want to be actively involved! Someone who is not intimidated by a strong, educated, and caring woman.

Capricorn Outlook for 2012
12/22 – 1/19
Year 2012 Overview

The confusion of 2011 is about to lift as clarity returns in 2012. You've no doubt been through a series of powerful metamorphoses since 2008, when Pluto took possession of your stars for the long haul. You're not even a quarter of the way through the 18-year shedding process that Pluto requires ... and yet you're not the same person you were just a few years ago by any stretch of the imagination. In some ways, you can expect this year to be a long, dramatic pause. You'll be questioning many aspects of your existence, especially your professional life. Mars, the planet of work and action, will be retrograde for the first quarter of the year in your house of higher learning and travel, putting you in a deeply introspective and philosophical mode. During this time, you'll be less inclined to hit the road than you will be to hit the books.

When the eclipse patterns stir up the winds of change for you again in spring and summer, you'll experience some major epiphanies about the new direction you need to take. The new Moon solar eclipse in your work sector brings a fresh approach to the way you go about your daily routine. And then, the full Moon lunar eclipse of June in your dream sector will bring the muse and vision to inspire you to go beyond the known. The total solar eclipse and new Moon in your goal sector in November is the final push to plant radically new seeds. There's no question that you're leaving your old life behind; it's now just a matter of faithfully emerging into the new.

Love is in the air with generous Jupiter in sister Earth sign Taurus, showering your romantic sector until June. The planet of fortune will provide ample opportunities for you to fall in love with someone new - or simply love the one you're with. Pleasure becomes a key theme for the first half of the year, providing a nice balance to your normal dutiful life.