Bull of the Woods Trail Marathon

26.2 Miles Total time 7:47:54 (7.04:19 moving time)

This is a tough one!

I signed up last minute after the Taos up & Over 10k, having seen how beautiful it is in the Taos Ski Valley. The views on this trail marathon course did not disappoint but you really need to earn them!

I drove up the day before to get a campsite prior to packet pick up. Taos is beautiful as you approach and my eternal traveling companions thought so too.

IMG_5923IMG_5922IMG_5925

It was a rough and I mean ROUGH climb to the first peak. I think I was a little dizzy but it might have been lack of oxygen.

IMG_5942

Kachina Peak was our first ascent bringing us to 12,488′ within 5 miles of ‘running’.

Then is was back down to base where we started another long wander up to Mount Frasier at about 12,200′.

My last pictures are from Frasier Peak. After that I was too tired and concentrating on keeping moving.

It was a really beautiful marathon, but not one to be underestimated. All that climbing (over 8000′) adds up. I’ve got time to train before next year. Until then…

IMG_5957

Taos Up & Over 10k

 

Strava Link

6.17 miles 1:18:37 total time 12:44/mile pace 2012′ gain

Well it was my first time doing this one. I had signed up once before but did not go as I had gotten into the La Luz Trail Run, which is always the next day. So I was very excited to give this one a shot. I had always heard it was tough (it is) and that it was beautiful (it is).

I left work at 12pm to make the 3.5 hr drive to Taos Ski Valley for packet pick up and more importantly to claim a campsite in the Carson National Forest. It took a bit longer than planned but I made it.

The Taos Ski Valley is beautiful. I think I’ll have to come back more often.

IMG_5760
End of many ski runs.
IMG_5761
It is WAY steeper in person

 

After packet pick-up I headed back down to the camp-site I had claimed to eat dinner, and read before bed. I ended up having a pleasant chat with my neighbor who is very into something called ‘Stellar Nations’ which sounded very ‘hippie-out there’ which she acknowledged. But I said I’d look it up and I will. It was a cute, quiet little site just above an ice-cold stream.

 

Race day dawned bright and what few clouds were present quickly diminished (which in New Mexico means ‘hot’). Thanks to my Rabbit gear I was comfortable and (I later learned) one volunteers favorite runner due to my bright outfit.

**Seriously folks Rabbit doesn’t pay me a thing but go check out their line up. It’s comfortable, light and made for the long haul.**

IMG_5783

 

The race itself is only a 10 but it’s all up in that first 5k (approx 2600 ft according to the website. I ran what I could and power-hiked the rest. I tried hard but I did not try to over-exert myself. I tend to really bomb the downhills and I wanted to have some leg left to let go after the peak.

That being said, I took a few pictures on the way up (I had time) but not on the down hill. I was moving too quickly.

IMG_5784
One of the gentler switchbacks
IMG_5785
That’s a long ‘up’

IMG_5786

2600′ elevation gain in 5k is no joke. I averaged 18.3 minutes/mile on the first half and 7.3 minutes/mile on the downhill portion. So no, I didn’t stop for pictures.

I did have a spectacular fall though. Rounding the first big turn on the downhill my left foot hit loose gravel and slid wide. I went down, hitting my right knee hard. Leaning into my momentum I rolled left, scraping my shoulder and back and returning right to my feet. I continued running with barely a loss in movement. It might have been my most bad-ass-ninja move yet while running and I’m sure it went unseen. Until I got to the bottom.

With all the twists and turns, this run ends on a nice downhill stretch where you can kind of let it go if you want and it makes for a nice finish that you’ve earned after all that work.

IMG_5791

I few people noticed my leg, including a wandering medic. I politely declined offers of assistance. I told them I am a nurse and I have my own kit in the car to clean up. Once I did finally clean it up though I realized it was much bigger than I thought. I lost a good chunk of myself up there.

IMG_5792
Damage done
IMG_5794
Cleaned up.

Turned out it was a nasty abrasion with a 3cm long and 2mm deep laceration. It took my 30 minutes to clean it up and get all the grit out. Then I placed some Bacitracin over it and a gauze pad until I could get home. Then I cleaned it yet again and pinched it together abd placed steri-strips to hold it. I visited work today and gave myself a Td shot just to be safe. Biggest lesson: I need to learn to do sutures. I could have sewn myself up.

Seriously though, this was a very fun race with lots of great people. I ran into a couple of running friends, met a nice fella named Pablo from San Diego who’s bumming aroung NM for a few months and Rosa the founder of Rebel Workout in Albuquerque and her partner. They are super cool and I’m looking forward to working with them at their place. Check them out if you are in the area.

My total time was 1:18:36 which netted me 50th overall (of 307) and 15th in my age group. It was also only 22 minutes behind the overall winner. So that’s how tightly we were packed in there and I feel pretty good about it all.

It is a hard race, harder than La Luz but it’s over faster and half of it it a fun (scary at times) downhill. I’ll be back in Sept for Bull of the Woods and probably for the Up & Over next year.

IMG_5781

Cedro Peak 50k 2019 = Suffering Success

First race of the year!

https://www.strava.com/activities/2323903915/overview

Cedro Peak is a very fun and challenging local race put on by a very talented and kind race director Kim King. I ran this race four yrs ago when it was a 45 mile and two years ago when it was converted to a 50k. Last year I had a blast volunteering but I wanted a shot at the course again.

I was feeling pretty confident. I’ve been running consistently if not quite as long as traditional training would dictate. My longest run in recent months was twenty miles but it was solid.

My real concern was that two days prior I was in bed with a fever and chills. I rode it out and broke it in just that one night and returned to work normally the next day. Running 30 miles was probably too much stress just two days later though.

Race started well. It was cool and easy to just cruise a long. I kept a 9 min/mile pace for the first 8 miles without really feeling over-exerted. After that I slowed for the inclines. As always there were beautiful views even if they just showed me how much work I had yet to do.

I have to go over there.

My last food was at mile 13 AS, after that I couldn’t eat anymore. My stomach was mad. Though I tried to eat, I only succeeded in vomiting twice before deciding to stop. I focused then on hydration and Tailwind. I couldn’t even run without severe dyspepsia so I slowed to a hike between miles 16 and 24. Some intermittent running but not much.

It paid off. I was able to slowly munch on some ginger cookies and eventually down some oranges (still nothing substantial). But I was able to mostly run in the last 8 miles.

Hot and sweaty.

While I started on track for a 5.5 hr finish I ended with a 7hr 48 minute finish. The important thing is it was a finish. I was considering dropping at mile 19, when I was in the midst of the nausea and fatigue but I just kept moving. Even managed a (kind of) smile at the end!

 

AURORA RISING cover reveaaaaal!

Jay Kristoff - Literary Giant

Hello droogs!

Today’s the big day for the AURORA RISING cover reveal! We won’t waste much of your time, since we’re sure you want to get to the loot and AMAZING cover itself, but, we must say a special thanks to the incredible team at Allen and Unwin, our brilliant cover designer Debra Billson and our incrediballs illustrator, the one and only Charlie Bowater (squeeeeeee)!

So! We’ll do this in three stages.

1. Pre-orders

Pre-orders are the lifeblood of any book’s launch, and there’s no better way to support your fave authors than pre-ordering their next book. So, if you’re inclined, links are below.

If you do pre-order, thank you! And if you’re an ILLUMINAE fan, save your receipts, because we’ll be announcing a pre-order offer early next year that you will not want to miss out on. Trust us.

AUSTRALIA

Booktopia

Dymocks

Angus and Robertson

UNITED KINGDOM

Amazon…

View original post 553 more words

Deadman Peaks 53 Miles Triumph

I’ve not been here in a long time. I’ll just skip the recap and get right into the new stuff shall I?

This year I ran my 5th consecutive Deadman Peaks 53 mile Trailrun. As I’ve mentioned here, it is a Beautiful but difficult race that really has captured (and tortured my heart.

Total time: 13:49:55 Pace: 14:18 per mile

This year I not only ran the 53 mile but offered to volunteer as well. I had volunteered at a trail event earlier in the year and really enjoy the aspect of giving back.

I arrived mid-day the day before the race and was immediately swept up into placing directional signs and marking the start line for the Marathon start which is at the turn around point for the 53 miler. Then, back to the start/finish to set up my camp.

IMG_8939

This was the first year I was able to get out of town early and it was a joy to set up in the daylight. After making camp, I walked down the first two miles of the run which follows a dirt road linking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) and I placed reflective flags. The 53 miler starts (and often ends) in the dark.

IMG_3480I spent some time next to the campfire chatting with a couple other healthcare professionals I had just met about the state of our profession, then headed to bed before it got cold.  It got cold anyway and I work to frost on the tent exterior though I stayed plenty warm inside with many layers and a hell of a sleeping bag.

I did bring along Mr. Egg and Phil (who is also my pillow). They helped keep me warm and comfortable too.

6 am race start. 42º F and dark as usual. The day did not warm up much reaching 50º in the afternoon, but with winds gusting up to 31 mph all day it was cold! I wore the windbreaker all day and could have benefited from tights and gloves.

IMG_6377IMG_7899IMG_2802

I started feeling some right hamstring pain around 17 miles, an old nag back to bother me for a bit. I felt pretty good going into the turn around (26.2 miles. Yes we run a marathon then turn around and run it in reverse. Yes it is dumb).

IMG_0377IMG_8399IMG_1126

I was able to run pretty much constantly right up until 40 miles where I hit a big wall. Limped into the last Aid Station at 44 miles and was hypothermic and defeated.

IMG_2947
not happy. Also windy.

I was convinced I was done, but the AS workers wouldn’t let me. They threw some ramen and broth down my throat, pulled a pair of women’s tights onto me (I did not have mine in my drop bag) and shoved me out of the station.

I walked/ran the mile and a half to the base of Mesa Portales, which mean I had a 300 foot climb after running 45 miles. That’s just mean. Once at the top though I was able to run it in (read slowly jog). Plus I was able to catch the pink mountains (thanks feldspar) at sunset.

IMG_8153IMG_4354IMG_9944

I finished in the dark in almost the exact same time as last year. But I finished.

This is my third finish in five attempts. I am ahead in the count and I said when this happened I’d look at moving on. Time to start looking into 100K and maybe a 100 mile race.

I’m going to need a coach.

 

River of Lights 2017 Now with more Paula!

Just before Christmas we headed down to the ABQ Biopark to check out their annual River of Lights display. They fill the botanical gardens with festive lights, generally Christmas or winter related but always fun.

IMG_3026

IMG_7230
Sweetums enjoying her time with cousin Paula!

IMG_2132IMG_9497

It was cold enough to feel cold even though we dressed appropriately. Never mind that. Dinosaurs!

IMG_4947
The best dinosaur.

IMG_5030IMG_6650

 

Goofy family photos to follow….now: