12 Months of Racing

On this, the 5th day of Christmas, a 2014 recap of sorts. Go ahead: sing out loud. You know you want to.

The Happy Finishers!

xo Colby and Tina

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
A lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
2 marathons
And a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
And a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
4 centuries for cancer
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
Yes, a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
103 blog posts (so far)
4 centuries for cancer
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
Yes, a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
12 miles in Central Park
103 blog posts (so far)
4 centuries for cancer
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
Yes, a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
A freaking trail Ultra (Colby)
12 miles in Central Park
103 blog posts (so far)
4 centuries for cancer
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
Yes, a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
A new 5K PR (Tina)
A freaking trail Ultra (Colby)
12 miles in Central Park
103 blog posts (so far)
4 centuries for cancer
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
And a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
Obstacles at Fenway
A new 5K PR (Tina)
A freaking trail Ultra (Colby)
12 miles in Central Park
103 blog posts (so far)
4 centuries for cancer
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
Yes, a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
A single-digit snowshoe race (brrr!)
Obstacles at Fenway
A new 5K PR (Tina)
A freaking trail Ultra (Colby)
12 miles in Central Park
103 blog posts (so far)
4 centuries for cancer
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
And a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
Races in 4 states,
A single-digit snowshoe race (brrr!)
Obstacles at Fenway
A new 5K PR (Tina)
A freaking trail Ultra (Colby)
12 miles in Central Park
103 blog posts (so far)
4 centuries for cancer
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
Yes, a lot of stuff between us two

In the year 2014, Colby and I did do:
Raise $15K for the PMC
Races in 4 states,
A single-digit snowshoe race (brrr!)
Obstacles at Fenway
A new 5K PR (Tina)
A freaking trail Ultra (Colby)
12 miles in Central Park
103 blog posts (so far)
4 centuries for cancer
3 hilly half’s
2 marathons
PHEW! That’s a lot of stuff between us two!!

CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT 2015 BRINGS!!

Taper Tips!!

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Yep – I’m in taper mode, and thought I’d jot down a few tips for dealing with this critical – yet oh, so difficult – period.

No, not for the runner. What the hell do I know? This is only my second taper. There are plenty of articles by experts on how to use your taper period for maximum performance. All I know is that my house is a lot cleaner than it has been in months and I’m officially obsessed with Homeland, now that I have the time to watch it.

What I have for you are some tips for the people who have to live with you, or deal with you every day, during your taper. Because I’m no expert on marathoning, but I’m well-versed in the crazy. And I think that the taper may be harder on your loved ones than on you. So let’s help them out a bit, shall we?

Without further ado, here are some “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for loved ones of Crazy Taperers:

1. DON’T tell them they’re crazy to worry. Don’t tell them they’re crazy at all. They know they’re crazy. Broaching the subject is just poking the bear. And even sane people tend to worry about things that mean a lot to them. The upcoming marathon is worth running 18 miles in a windstorm with the remnants of a shiner from the previous week’s long run. It is worth getting up in the dark to “squeeze” in a 17-miler before a full day of work and other commitments. It is worth staying in on weekend nights to be fresh for a super-long run the next morning. Suffice it to say, the race is worth A LOT to them. The Crazy Taperer might be crazy, but the worry isn’t a sign of it – it is just a sign of how much the race means to them. And yes, even if they have knocked off 7 prior marathons, there is a part of them that worries that they might not finish. Yes, Really. So don’t look at them like they’re crazy for thinking that. Maybe don’t look at them at all.

2. DON’T ask them to do anything. Not the time to trot out the “Honey Do” list. Or ask if they’ve paid the mortgage, gone grocery shopping or picked up the kids from school. Or whether they can go to dinner with your boss, mother or friend from summer camp. Or whether they can hand you the remote. Leave them alone. Don’t poke the bear.

3. DON’T touch their food. You might see weird food in your house. If you see gels, goos, chews, algae bits, bars, powders, weird fruits, vegetables or juices, don’t touch ‘em. If you see something that was not regularly stocked in your parents’ home when you were growing up, don’t touch it. And if it was something your parents bought, but only because they were hippies, don’t touch that either. If you see any carb-heavy foods in your kitchen, back slowly away and DO NOT TOUCH them unless your beloved Crazy Taperer has told you that there are enough pancakes for both of you. Better to lose out on a bagel than lose a finger.

4. DON’T touch their gear. Maybe it is freezing and you want to run out and get the paper so the Crazy Taperer can get the New York Times and coffee delivered bedside. Don’t put on the Crazy Taperer’s running jacket or hat to do so. Crazy Taperer will notice if they have been touched and will freak. Maybe it’s Halloweeen and you want to throw on your Crazy Taperer Mom’s LED flashers to avoid being hit by cars in your black ninja costume. DON’T. Take your chances with the cars – you have better odds of survival.

5. DON’T wake them up. Ever. Whether it is morning, noon or night. Just…don’t. They’re tired. Very, very tired. And while they are sleeping, you’ll get a break from the crazy.

6. DON’T ask them if it is really a good idea to do a Spartan followed by a night out with their drinking buddies the week before their marathon. Or a Warrior Dash that ends at a Shock Top tent the week before their first Ultra. We all know the answers and the questions need not be asked. They signed up, they don’t skip races, and they’re doing it even though it is stupid. There is nothing to discuss. Don’t poke the bear.

7. DO start weather stalking. Check the weather for the race location starting about 2 weeks out. No, it won’t be accurate. That’s not the point. The point is that the Crazy Taperer will also be checking and it will prepare you to deal with an even worse mood or, perhaps, a few moments of calm and happiness. Maybe even a ray of hope. Don’t discuss your findings, though. Just consider it useful reconnaissance. A weather-related conversation prior to race day will rarely go well. Trust me.

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8. DON’T ask if they have PMS. Or whether they think they might be going through “The Change” or “Manopause.” Unless you want to die a slow and painful death.

9. DO give them a lot of space. Like, a whole house full of space. Lots and lots of space. A business trip is not a bad idea. Nor is serving on a jury that requires sequestration.

10. DO tell them that you know they will do great. Tell them that you are so proud of how hard they have trained and what you know that they will accomplish on race day. Even though they will yell at you for saying it and tell you that you just don’t understand. They will argue, but they will hear you and appreciate it. They really will.

Most importantly DO keep in mind that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and after the race, you will get to enjoy time with your loved one while they are on a runner’s high of EPIC proportions. Well worth the crazy of the Taper. Be sure to enjoy it while it lasts.

Taper on!

The Vermont 50. An Ultra Adventure.

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I’m sitting here with my tired paws up, staring at a soon to be black toe nail with an ice pack on a very swollen and bruised Achilles’ tendon. And, I am smiling.

Yes.

Goddamn SMILING!

I DID IT!!!

I ran my first Ultra Marathon at the Vermont 50 at Ascutney Mountain Resort in Brownsville, Vermont. I ran the 50K or, as in Vermont Speak 32.5 miles. I heard this new bonus mile and a half distance at the very calm and relaxed pre-race meeting. If this were Another Period In My Life, I would have thrown myself into a running tailspin, then dry heaved. But when a nice, friendly, soft spoken man tells you you’ll be running 32.5 miles in 20 minutes time, you really have no choice but to nod, gulp and embrace the “Meh. What’s another 1.5 miles? It’s all good, People” vibe.

Milling around at the start. Calm, cool, collected.
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Relaxed. That is one word I would have never thought synonymous with an Ultra Marathon. Such a relaxed, chill atmosphere. Far more chill than any marathon I’ve ever run. By a long shot. From packet pick-up to the start. And it was contagious. I loved it. And embraced it fully. Garmin? What Garmin? I didn’t even wear it. For me, this was a race I wanted to finish. I had zero expectations with regard to time. I wanted to run. Farther than I ever had. Farther than I have ever though I could.

And I did.

I am ready! Obligatory pre-50K Selfie.
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The Start. Honestly I think someone just yelled, “Go!” I didn’t really hear it because My Fierce Ultra Runner Friend Carly and I were talking and laughing about something non-running related. That’s how chill I was. Every marathon I have ever run I’m usually in a panic. Adjusting earbuds. Resetting my Garmin. Thinking I should have peed again. Fidgeting. This time? No earbuds. They aren’t allowed. And rightfully so. You wind up sharing the trail with Mountain Bikers and YOU NEED YOUR EARS. Three if you have ’em. I didn’t miss them. No fidgeting either. Just calm. Next thing I knew we were running. I forgot to be nervous. I just ran. Within minutes we we climbing. And I’m going to just cut directly to the chase here: I climbed for hours. It was like 7 hours of hill repeats. And no, I’m not trying to be funny. This shit is REAL. And HARD. And BEAUTIFUL. 20140929-210355-75835648.jpg

That’s about all the photos you’re going to get out of me. I had everything to do to keep moving forward. Selfie snapping and Instagramming was completely out of the question. I was unplugged. And it was glorious. You’ll have to trust me when I tell you that I ran thru some of the most beautiful trails I have ever seen. And across the most beautiful private properties. Those Vermonters are awfully nice letting 100s upon 100s of mountain bikers and runners traipse through their land. #ILOVERMONT
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The first half of the race is really a mix of dirt packed roads and trail. Other than several hairy climbs and a false flat that went on for miles, it wasn’t all that awful. Mostly because it was still cool out. In fact, if it had stayed 60ish it would have been perfect. Instead, it was a perfect, cloudless, 82 goddamn degrees. On September 28th. In Vermont. Yeah. I know. Insane. I have done 4 races in Vermont: a Half-Marathon, a Snowshoe 10K, a Marathon and an Ultra Marathon. Every damn one was in extreme conditions. From -6 degrees to mid-90s. No. Joke. My point is this: If you sign up for an event expecting ideal conditions you are all but assured to have Mother Nature lift her leg and piss directly on your dreams. Then laugh throatily in your frost bitten and/or hypothermic face. Just sayin’.

Now where was I? Oh. The VT50… 20140929-210404-75844506.jpg

Thankfully, aid stations were abundant and staffed with the most kind, compassionate volunteers with S-Caps and bowls of salted potatoes. Best. Snack. Ever. There were 7 aid stations on the 50K route which saw you merge with both the 50 mile runners and Mountain Bikers. I wondered how we would all “get along” and other than having to jump off of the trail several times on tired legs to let bikers pass, everyone couldn’t have been more polite and considerate. I was impressed. Considering the amount of Suffering going on, they were awfully chatty. And encouraging. I never found myself alone. Or lost. And lets be honest, I had no goddamn idea what I was doing. I just ran. Like I would thru the woods when I was little. With a big ole’ toothy grin. I loved it.

Fallon’s Aid Station. Mile 18. Here’s where everything took a turn. For a while there I was, running wildly. It was great. I envisioned myself running swiftly, like one of those leggy chicks in the magnificent trail running pictures in magazines. Effortless. Graceful. Until…

I fell. (Hard.)
And yelped. (Loud.)

I tripped over one of the few rocks protruding directly into the middle of the trail. How I didn’t see it is beyond me. It was massive. This sucker had been there since the Ice Age. I am quite certain it was anchored directly to the core of the earth. That rock didn’t budge. And I kicked it like David Beckham. Hard and just perfect. I honestly thought I broke my toe. In the process I wrenched my ankle. Seized my calf. My Achilles twinged. And I promptly fell flat on my face.

I was momentarily stunned. And helped to my feet foot by a very kind runner. She was met by Colby the Sailor Pirate.

Me: FUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKAAARRRGH.
Kind Runner: Oh my god! Are you ok? The aid station is right behind us. Want me to take you?
Me: Fucking no. Fucking toe. {Yelps.} I’m finishing this fucking race. I DONT CARE IF IT FALLS OFF. I. WILL. FINISH.
Kind Runner: {Giggles nervously. Darts off.}

The string of profanities continued each and every time I wailed that same busted up foot on every rock, stone, root and patch of grass for the next 14.5 technical, off-camber, brutally steep miles. Which translates to roughly 14.5 more times. I started to think I had a neurological issue. Or minimally, Tourette’s. Come to find out, I was just exhausted. And clumsy. I was in pain and I was limping. Yet it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t finish. Ever. I started this race knowing I would finish. Even after the tough terrain, crazy heat, horrible stomach issues (I won’t even go there. Because I was there. And it was horrible.) and now busted paw and wonky Achilles- I never considered stopping. Not once.

Where does that come from? I still don’t know exactly. Somewhere from deep within, I found it. I found The Drive. It was so strong. So clear. So confident. I have never felt more certain of anything my entire life. I was hurting. Yet, The Drive trumped The Pain. There it was. That’s what I’ve read Ultra Runners experience. I had it. And I couldn’t believe it myself.

1.5 Miles to go.
20140929-210400-75840629.jpgThis was one of two signs I saw during the VT50. It wasn’t being held by a sea of screaming spectators, it was tacked to a small tree in a gorgeous, quiet section of trails. Yet it couldn’t have screamed louder. I managed to snap a picture of it. I also teared up. And started running. Really running. As fast as my busted paw could carry me. Then I heard the cheers. 20140929-210356-75836866.jpg

And emerged from the trails into a series of switch backs that wove across and down the mountain. If you ask me 40 years from now, what the hardest thing I had ever done was, I will tell you with the utmost certainty the 2014 Vermont 50. No question.

It is only when you push yourself farther than you ever thought possible that you really see just how far you can go. I pushed. I saw. And it was amazing.

Oh what a run I had.

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One Sleep

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This time tomorrow I’ll be running my face off. I’ll admit. I’ve been freaking out. Big time. But now, with one sleep until the Vermont 50?

It’s on like Donkey Kong!

Tapered. Rested. Dried out. Massaged. I am goddamn ready.

I just got back from an easy 3 mile shake out run and I’m feeling good. Really good. I love running in the morning. Even though I rarely drag my ass out of bed during the week to do so. Today was beautiful. Quiet. Crisp. Calm.

zen

Just Me and My Legs. We had a zen moment. I visualized the race. The climbs. The finish. And the feeling of accomplishment that will come with pushing myself well beyond my comfort zone. I will finish. We had a nice chat, My Legs and I. I told them how proud I was of them. How strong they’ve become. How sorry I am for beating the snot out of them. I promised them it would be worth it. And that I’d pamper them afterwards. We just need to finish. They’ve come a long way, these Little Legs.

And they’d better get ready…

‘Cuz they’re gonna go longer. 🙂

Ultra Freak Out.

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There it is.

That’s the countdown until the VT50. At least it was when I started writing this blogpost. By now it’s whittled away further.

Otherwise known as the Vermont 50.
Otherwise known as Colby’s First 50k.
Otherwise known as What the fuck was I thinking when I signed up for an Ultra Marathon in the Green Mountain State?!?!

I think I just blacked out.

This taper has been faaaar more emotional than any other taper for me. And I’ve done 7 of them. I’m not quite sure why I’ve been on the verge of mental collapse the past week and a half, but there it is. I have been.

I’m a goddamn mess.

Perhaps it’s tapering + life stress? Perhaps it’s because I made the critical mistake of reading some bullshit “You don’t have to be crazy to run an ultra marathon, just prepared!” article which listed Tips To A Successful Ultra when I should have read it 4 months ago? The first tip was: Stay flat. Yeah. I pretty much blew that one right out of the box. Perhaps it’s because I’m a “Roadie” who segued into a “Trail Runner” which is totally unchartered territory for me? Or perhaps it was the teeny tiny voice of a Little One the other day?

Yeah maybe that was it.

So on Sunday, My Other Half, His Two Quarters and I went for a walk with The Beagle. Just the 5 of us. We always take the kids to the beautiful trails near our house, where I have learned to love trail running. There is an estuary there and there are always all sorts of amazing birds fishing for supper. I was feeling blue on Sunday. Life stress. Work stress. 50K Stress. Taper stress. Running stress. Achy body stress. All at once I felt overwhelmed. Really overwhelmed. So there we all are watching this beautiful bird, a green heron, fish away. She was teetering on the edge of a thin branch, patiently waiting, dangling 2 inches from the surface. Still. Calm. So focused. So controlled. So determined. So confident in herself. She was on the precipice of disaster on a very weak branch. But she kept at it. I envied her. And her wings.

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Little One: She must really be hungry. She really wants that fish.
She sure does.
Little One: Have you seen her here?
No Sweetheart. Never.
Little One: {Surprised.} You explore a lot.
I do Sweetheart. A whole bunch.

She pauses. I can see her thinking. Really thinking. A slow smile creeps across her face.

Little One: You are a Runner.

I feel myself well up. And actually choke back tears. Out of the blue. There it was out of the mouths of babes. It was just what I needed to hear myself say. Out loud. Clearly. With conviction.

I am sweetheart. I am a Runner.

Let the countdown roll on.

Tapering Out Loud

I’m officially Tapering.

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How in the name of The Tarahumara did THAT happen?

Good grief. Did I even train for a 50k? I can’t remember. It’s all a goddamn blur. My legs are exhausted, so something happened. I feel stronger, so I’m guessing the hill repeats worked. I have a case of The Nerves already, so the VT50 has got to be close. It’s kinda like being in college. You know when you wake up hung over, in last night’s clothes, on your buddy’s futon with a mustache drawn on your face in Sharpie?

Kind of like this…

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Me, muttering: I guess I had a good time?

{Staggers to mirror.}

Me, bellowing: Oh yeah I did!

It’s kind of just like that actually. A big old: WHAT. THE. HELL. Why didn’t someone stop me before it was too late?? So over the next two weeks I solemnly swear I will make a valiant attempt to keep my shit together. Here is the plan: The way I see it, it’s going to go one of two ways.

1. Lighter, quality runs. Some hill repeats. Core work. Paws up. Lotsa sleep. And an increase in carbs.

Or.

2. Several anxiety attacks. Self doubt. Phantom aches. A hysterical breakdown. Insomnia. And an increase in carbs.

Either way, I’m ready. 🙂

How do you combat The Taper Crazies? What is the one Taper Ritual you do every time? Have you ever woken up with a mustache drawn on your face? {Fact: I have not. And here you thought I had. Silly Rabbit.}

NEWSFLASH! Tina and I are on Twitter!!! I know. Welcome to 2014 Girls. Follow us on Twitter! Here we are!

Gear, Glorious Gear!

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It’s Christmas up in here!

There are few things greater than receiving all of the items you’ve recently purchased online on the SAME day. What are the odds, right? Ok. Maybe getting all the items you’ve ordered for free would be better, but alas, I am still like a 6 year-old on Christmas Morning who dances with glee on the fireplace hearth when she sees the UPS guy walk up the driveway. With the VT50 slowly creeping up on me (like an itchy, irritating rash), I needed some new gear. More specifically new socks, new visor, new hydration vest, and new legs a new pair of trail running shoes. The new kicks weren’t a part of the recent order. I got them weeks ago and LOVE running in them.

IMG_1184.JPG The Product: Injinji Performance 2.0 RUN Light Weight toe sock. After the Great Toenail Revolt of 2014 at the VermontCity Marathon, I decided to look into Injinji toe socks. I had heard wondrous things about them. The fit. The comfort. The lack of issues associated with wearing them. People seem to love them. Seeing as how I only had 7 toenails left, I figured I had not much left to lose. I decided to give them a go.

The Verdict: I really dig them! I am going to be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to love them at first. I put them on and they felt weird. And I looked like a Hobbit. Or Jack Johnson. After several runs, I am really liking them! You lose the- there’s something between my toes- feeling pretty quickly. They are super comfortable and had zero issues with rubbing or blisters. They feel snug and supportive without being tight and restrictive. I bought the lowest profile sock. And they didn’t budge or bunch up during any of the 5 trail runs I went on. Thumbs Toes up!

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The Product: Nathan Zeal Women’s (2L) Hydration Vest Pack. If there is one thing I am paranoid about during long runs it’s running out of water. Camel, I am not. I usually wear a hydration belt, drop water bottles along my route or use a hand held bottle. While all of them are perfectly reasonable, I figure tackling a 50K with longer stretches between aid stations might require something more substantial. And more comfortable. Enter the Hydration Vest.

The Verdict: I love it. Really love it. It fits. It doesn’t bounce or chafe AT ALL and I used it all oppressively humid week. I was impressed. There are plenty of straps to fine tune adjustments and also plenty of zipper pouches to stash Gu, keys, your iPhone, real food, whatevs. It has a 2L bladder which I found plenty huge. It’s also really easy to clean and invert. I’m not all that big (a GIANT 5″2) and the Women’s Zeal fit just right. The other nice thing is the strap across your Lady Bits adjusts (it slides up and down) so you don’t wind up feeling like you’re wearing a push-up bra and running in the Lady Marmalade video. Again. I was impressed. Add another 18oz SpeedGrab bottle in the front for your performance drink and you’re golden. The bottle also does not hinder your movement. I had no issues whatsoever. Oh. And another thing. She’s got a whistle attached. Of course I blew it wildly.

IMG_1186.PNG The Product: Betty Designs Signature Visor. I’ve never been a visor girl- always a full on hat. But sometimes full on hats can get hot, so I figured I would try a visor and let my head breathe and my ponytail flip freely.

20140904-215031-78631932.jpgThe Verdict: In the interest of full disclosure I will admit I bought this visor because IT’S FREAKING BADASS. I love Betty Designs, their logo, their whole philosophy. They make fantastic cycling kits which I have, love and recommend. See? That’s me being a Badass Betty in my rad kit which fits like a glove. They’ve got great designs—not super girly girl. Just super badass. The visor is made by Headsweats and embroidered with the Betty Designs logo. It has this awesome elastic band which is super comfortable and FITS without cutting off the circulation to your brain. There is also a terry band near the brim that keeps the sweat out of you eyes. I may have purchased this initially because it was beyond cute, but I found it’s super functional. LOVES IT.

IMG_1189.JPGThe Product: Pearl Izumi Women’s EM Trail M2. I wasn’t happy with the trail shoe I had been running in and I expressed my disgust with my Blogger Friend Carly @ The Next Finish Line who suggested I take a gander at the Pearl Izumi’s. Happy Feet! Happy Feet!

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If I had to sum up how I feel about this trail shoe I would have to say: Smooth, smooth like a buttermilk biscuit. They also feel extremely secure. Like I’m not going to roll an ankle or slip and fall on my ass, secure. They grip without feeling like your stuck in a glue trap. I know- I am SUPER technical. They have a wide toe box, allowing you to freely wiggle your toes which I desperately need to do at all times. I also think there is a pretty good chance my feet will be swollen like sausages during this 50k, so I figured the more room I have, the better chance of retaining my 7 remaining toenails. Let’s hope I’m right. They are really well cushioned, not quite pillowy, but definitely cushioned.

20140904-214001-78001399.jpgStep on a rock and it doesn’t feel like it’s slicing your paw open. They also have a toe guard to ward off stubbing. I am flat-footed and the stability they provide is more than adequate for me. Shock of all shocks, they’re light. They also have these super cool shoe laces which stay tied. I feel much more sure footed in these babies. And they’re purple. I swear they make me run faster. Leon James loved them too. Thus the Happy Dog Photobomb.

What is one piece of running gear you can’t possibly live without? How much cash are you willing to drop on running sneakers? And while I’m on the topic, how often do you replace them?

All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I purchased the items with my own cash. If I didn’t like them, believe me, you would know. 🙂

Sweatember

big ang sweating gif

Was I being Punked this past weekend? Did I miss a Pre-DeMila (See what I just did right there? Demi + Mila = DeMila. 🙂 ) Ashton Kutcher lurking in the woods somewhere ready to jump out and Punk my ass?!?!

No.

I ran 3 runs this weekend.
And they all sucked.

Every hot, oppressively humid mile of them- AWFUL. 89 degrees and 95% humidity. Every damn day. NINETY-FIVE PERCENT. What kind of nonsense is that?  Shouldn’t it just be raining at that point? Oh it was Labor Day alright. More like- My heart is in a severe arrhythmia and might just leap out of my chest and cannonball into the goddamn Long Island Sound ‘cuz I’m breathing Be-Labored Day.  I haven’t had 3 Consecutive Awful Runs EVER. Usually you have one. Maybe two. But 3?

Such. Shit.

This Humid Sufferfest ruined my confidence. The VT50 is in less than a month and I am in full on freak out mode. I had to cut my long run short. Heart rate way too high, breathing way to gaspy. Bad stuff. I recovered (on the couch in the Meat Locker that is my house) but I was still disappointed. Way disappointed. I felt like I quit. It’s definitely not what I needed this close to the 50k. But, I listened to my body which flashed a “Tilt'” sign and I knew it was time to stop. Humidity, 1. Colby, -3.

On the bright side, I did run on beautiful trails and used my new Nathan Zeal 2L Hydration Vest! A full review to follow! In short: I LOVE it.
No bounce.
No bite.
It fits.
Just right.

WHAT THE?!?! Where the hell did THAT come from? Who am I? I’ll tell you who I am…

A dehydrated, disgruntled, delirious runner. Who’s on a goddamn mission.
That’s who.

How far did you get this weekend? Did the humidity kick you in the teeth? Have you run with a hydration vest?

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A Dose of Reality with a Side of Lies.

I realized two things today.

1. The VT50 is exactly one month away.

chris farley scared

And…

2. Hello Kitty is a goddamn fraud. Really?!?! She’s a little girl?!?! A little HUMAN girl. How is that possible? Who the hell are her parents? Jocelyn Wildenstein and Roy Horn?!?! Well Girlfriend better get a good pair of tweezers to pluck those whiskers of hers. We’ve essentially been fed a bowl of fortified Sanrio lies for over 20 years. I am outraged. Simply outraged.

hello kitty

Now back to that 50K I’m running in 30 days…

I’m not quite sure why I feel as if it’s sneaking up on me seeing as how I’ve been obsessing about it since I Pulled the Trigger in a moment of Post-Marathon Euphoria. Christ. My 3 lost toenails haven’t even grown back yet. 

I can do anything! Weeeee!

Uh.
Yeah.

Right now I’m not even sure I can walk in the kitchen to pour myself another glass of White Bordeaux, let alone run 30 or so miles on trails, up a mountain and back down again.  My First Ultra Marathon. And it’s in The Green Mountain State. I’m exhausted. And nervous.

Honestly? I’m feeling pretty decent about my training. How I’ll feel on race day is another issue entirely. I’m tired and my legs feel like ambrosia, so I must be doing something right. I did get a new pair of kicks which I am really loving. Purple Pearl Izumi’s. So damn snazzy! I have run a bunch of trail runs in them so far. However, I am holding off giving then “Colby’s Seal of Approval” until after this weekend. My 7 toe-nailed paws are crossed for a good long run. I think I’ll feel better after that. In fact, I am sure I will.

Come on Confidence!

I mean after Champagne and Hill Repeats this week and then the Bomb that was Hello Liar Hello Kitty, there is no place to go but up!

Do you have a favorite trail running sneaker? Will you ever look at Hello Kitty the same way again? White, Red or Rosé? Go!

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I Pulled The Trigger.

And said, “Marathon. Schmarathon. I want something meaner.”

So I did the unthinkable.

And promptly registered for the VT50.
That would be a 50k.
An Ultra-Fucking-Marathon.

panic

Did I just black out? Mother?!?

It was simply a matter of time. I knew the day would come that I would finally commit, and try to run this sucker. I actually registered for it last year, but won The Lottery and didn’t get stoned to death and got into the 2013 New York Marathon. Holy Dilemma! I opted to run New York with Team Fox (Fantastic!) and in a very un-Colby move, decided to bag on the VT50. You can read all about running New York with 50,000 friends and stealing a spectator’s breakfast like a hypoglycemic maniac, here, if you’re so inclined.

Bailing on the VT50 haunted me.

try

I felt like I quit. Before I even gave it a chance. I took the route I was more comfortable with and bailed on the scary unknown. And that’s not me. So here I am fresh off of the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon, in the throes of PMWS (Post-Marathon Withdrawal Syndrome), forming a Fall Plan. Why I can’t seem to just sit my ass down for 5 minutes is beyond me. But alas, I’m just not static. I’ve never been. I’m also not sure why at age 42 I have decided to run My First Ultra Marathon either. I should have done it in my 20s. However, I was too busy shot gunning beers and eating Cap’n Crunch- like it was my job– to care about distance running. In fact, I would have the Cap’n Crunch DELIVERED because I was too LAZY to walk ACROSS THE STREET and buy it. Dairy Mart Delivered. Pathetic. True story, Folks. True story.

But look at me now!

All registered for an Ultra! My how things have changed! And oh, how I have grown! What drives you in your 20s (Beer and Cap’n Crunch) is not the same thing that drives you in your 30s (A Happily Ever After that goes Sadly No More) which is not the same thing that drives you in your 40s (Ultra Marathon? Why, yes please!). I am finding that my 40s are all about becoming a better version of myself. Selfish? Quite possibly. But in becoming the best you, you also happily by accident become a better friend, partner, daughter, sister, aunt, listener, runner, lover…The list goes on. Simply stated: I want to evolve. I want to grow as a person. I want to live a life that is full. Extraordinary even.

So why not take a risk and do something that challenges you?
That forces you to dig deeper than you ever thought possible.
That scares you silly.
That makes you so uncomfortable you’ll wish Dairy Mart still goddamn delivered. To your door. At 11:30pm.

Sign. Me. Up. 🙂

What’s the most frightening thing you’ve ever done? Have you ever run an Ultra Marathon? WOULD you ever run an Ultra Marathon? List your Top 3 Sugar Cereals- GO!

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