Monthly Archives: June 2013

6/27/2013 Finally a camp recap.

Thursday.  By hook or by crook I will update the blog tonight.  Every training day that passes I think of things I want to record and the day just slips by.  Made the mistake of taking on a two new clients and there is just no time.

So to finish up on training camp.  I arrived Tuesday.  Did not do the nighttime run.  Wednesday we went up and over the Teton pass (twice for some, once barely for me).  We went on the road with the cars. It was hhaaaard, cough, cough.  [That’s me trying to demonstrate my exhale.]  To put it mildly I had a hard time breathing.  We started out at ~6,000 feet which really didn’t seem too bad to me.  10% incline up 3 miles, 10% incline down 5.5 miles into Wilson.  Obviously the up was harder than the down.  Then we  turned around and came back up.  That was where my hell began.  Top elevation was ~10,000+ feet.   I was dying toward the top.  I’d take five steps, pause, take an inventory decide nothing was wrong and take five more steps.  Some park ranger drove by and asked if I was okay because she had received a call about some gal in a pink skirt sitting on the side of the road on the Pass.  I said “that was just me taking a break,  I’m old and out of shape.”  She laughed and wished me well.  I looked fondly after the van that I just let drive away.  I finally finished as Grant the Crusher came down for his second time up and over.  Whatever.  He’s doing Badwater in a couple of weeks and came in 5th in the Florida Keys 100 the week before.  He SHOULD lap me.  Then we had a yoga class.  I went to the saltwater pool instead.  I felt old and out of shape and wondering what the heck makes me think I can do this?

Thursday we went out to snake canyon.  Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.  It was trail run, the annoying kind where they have a single track for mountain bikers and then I am supposed to squeeze my wide shoes into the single track.  I found it better to just run in the grass on the side.  Hilly again.  Every part of my body was hurting from the previous day. My breathing overnight was bad.  I couldn’t run very much at all.  (Of course I tried to keep up with Lisa for the first couple of miles as she was walking but she’s too fast for me.)   I was very close to packing it in but everyone was very nice.  I did not bring enough calories.  I didn’t take any salt.  I was a mess.  You’d think I had never done any kind of long distance run before.  I got in a little over 8 and called it a day.  But these were not easy miles at all.  Rocky and climbing.  The big kids got in 17 miles but only a few of them did the whole distance.  Everyone thought it was hard. Another stretching session and everyone went out for pizza.  By the time I got back to my room it was time for lights out and more annoying coughing.  Now I knew I was old and out of shape and thank God I had brought two inhalers, I might need them both before the week was out.

Friday was finally a good day for me, kind of.  My legs were killing me and I texted Lisa to tell her that although I would attend the core class my legs were out of commission and I made a joke that at least my arms felt okay.  Her response was “great, we’ll work your arms.”  Phhht.  One of the hardest core classes I have ever been to.  Ever in my life.  It was not stop for 30 minutes, you name the pushup, burpee, arm exercise we were doing it, sliding thingies under our hands and basically wiping the floor, kettle bells everything.  After 30 minutes we got a two minute breather and then more stuff with situps on steps and I can’t even remember what other nonsense.  For the last fifteen minutes Lisa ran us through a sit up routine that was ridiculous.  Maybe in a year…  I had no business being in that class with these athletes.

Then we got to go gear shopping which was fun and I got my first pair of Hokas.  They have changed my world.  I love them they are like running on pillows.   After lunch we headed out to run up to Grand Targhee ski resort.

We ran 8 1/2 miles up to the lodge at Grand Targhee.  The big kids went from there and summited the mountain in the snow.  I was happy to make it up the 8 1/2 miles with a smile on my face and then I ran a very good pace all the way to the bottom.  Finally!  Some success.  Lisa was happy.  A solid 17 miles feeling good and feeling happy with good nutrition, good salt and good water.  (It might have helped just a little that on the way up I passed a black bear and on the way down there had been reports of a Grizzly so I wanted to get down as quickly as possible).  Lisa asked what happened to my tired legs.  I hated to admit that the core class might have worked out a kink or two.  I went to bed happy that night, hopeful that maybe all was not lost.  It just takes a little glimpse of progress to make me think that maybe I really can do it.

Saturday we got up and we all did the Jackson Hole Half Marathon.  I decided I was going to walk it so I started it an hour earlier than the rest of our group with another guy who was doing Badwater.  (We had to walk a mile just to get to the start!)  It was super flat and had I not been so tired I think that would be a great race to try to PR.   But with over 40 miles in the previous 3 days on my legs I was a little wiped out.  I finished it by doing a power walk.  I do the best I can with what I have on any given day.

In the afternoon we had an awesome bbq at Julie’s house (the core class teacher who happens to be a competitive ultra runner winning races like the North Face Endurance Challenge).  It was beautiful and amazing.  Pictures can’t capture it.  But I was ready to call it a complete camp.  My mileage was over 55 miles for the previous four days.  Uncle.

Sunday morning we were supposed to do another trail run but I just couldn’t do it and get to the airport.  Okay I could have but I didn’t want to.  The hardcores did it.  I think Grant and Rebecca, who just did the Death Race and is doing a quint Ironman (not a quad as I previously reported), put in almost 100 miles to my 55.   These people blow my mind.  But then I have to remind myself of my task coming up in September… a mere 80 sumnt days away.

I’ve been back a couple of weeks, I’m working hard on my diet.  Kind of settling with the common threads from the CLEAN program and John Douillard’s Aryuvedic advice with a twist of Dr. Fuhrman for good luck.  I’m trying to stick to as many whole, unprocessed foods as I can.  Eating three meals a day with little or no snacking.  (I think no snacking is key for me, the lots of little meals don’t work for me.)  I’m also focusing on smaller breakfast and dinner and making my main meal lunch.  A minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.  There is more refinement to do but that’s the gist of it.  Oh yeah, no alcohol until after the race.  Groan, yes, I’m on the wagon AGAIN.  It all seems to be working so I’m just going to keep on doing it.

Workouts are getting harder.  I’m back to wearing my backpack again as of two weeks ago.  Yes, Bubba is back.  (Bubba Jr.)   This is my third weekend and I’m up to carrying seven pounds already. 3 hours on sat and 4 hours on Sunday.  Other changes are I’m getting distance assignments during the week where I used to get just time.  Yesterday I had to do 9 miles in the heat and humidity (run/walk) which was  a lot for me on a Tuesday morning.  I guess she knows if she says 90 minutes I could just do 3 miles….  This coming week starts my double workouts (on Tuesday I have to do a 10k in the morning and 10k at night..  WITH my backpack.)  Ugh, that will be hard.  Plus all the other stuff she throws at me.  I don’t know.  I guess it was this hard last time.  I was younger then.  I was a different person.

Oh and my new best friend is my TOTAL GYM.  I bought this in 2010 when I started coming up to CT to take care of my folks.  I never used it.  Finally got on it last week and I love it.  Such a great tool.  Kind of like a pilates reformer in many ways but has incline added to it as well.

Make no mistake about it.  I am absolutely petrified of my race.  Only 115 people have signed up.   There is nowhere to hide.  (MDS had over 1,000 competitors). g2g 167 miles in 6 days and 22,000 feet of climbing (over the course highest elevation is still in the upper 10,000 which is my huff/puff zone).  A lot of sand.  I’m really scared but I don’t want to waste any unnecessary energy on being afraid because I know it doesn’t do any good.  I have so much work to do it doesn’t quite seem possible but what the hey, I’ll give it my best shot.  There are no penalties for trying.


A few pics from my camp runs

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6/5/2013 Inspiration

Wednesday. Yes it has been a long time since the blog. I’ve actually written several posts but just never clicked post because frankly I felt there was nothing new. Blah, blah, blah, I hate doing core, I run a lot in the woods with my dog. Who cares? I really couldn’t summon up any energy to write about My Journey of Fitness because I felt like it was nothing more than doing wheelies in the parking lot, a lot of fun at first but ultimately I was getting nauseous.

Until last night. Yesterday I flew from NYC to Denver to Jackson Hole (a long trip with changing planes) to arrive at Teton Springs Resort where I am attending a training camp for the week. Just driving from the airport in Jackson Hole up and over the Teton Pass (which I knew was on the running agenda for the week) I felt a decompression happen. I felt my shoulders start to lower and I found myself letting out a deep exhale. Until that moment I had not realized how tense I had been. A lot of work woes (blah, blah, blah, who cares about those?) and trying to maintain and update two homes (with a lot of guilt about having too much stuff and what single person needs an apartment AND a house but not able to give up either quite yet). I guess I hadn’t really been able to step back and look at what was going on from an outside point of view. (To which my memory shouts out says “Bourgeois Problems” these are not real problems of life.) I know but they are my Bourgeois Problems.

I checked in to the most beautiful room (sharing with another camper who would arrive later). The air amazing, the mountains everywhere and beautiful quiet surrounding me. So of course I dumped my stuff and went shopping.

Around 6:30 the campers all assembled for dinner and my reality slowly started to change. I remembered those picture puzzles from when I was a kid “What’s Wrong with this picture?” You had to stare hard at the picture to find the guy had two left hands or a parrot on a bicycle. I stared around the room and I quickly realized that I was the parrot in this picture. These were all the most fit people I had ever seen in my life and I was aware of how much my backside was spreading out on the chair. Oh man, what no scale or mirror could do in the last six months this one gathering of people in the room managed to do in five seconds. I am horribly fat and out of shape.

Of course I have to make the first faux pas as we all kind of introduced ourselves on the porch before going in a women came up and started shaking everyone’s hand. Everyone gave their name and she smiled and nodded at each person. She put out her hand to me and I smiled and told her my name and I asked hers. It seemed weird she didn’t offer it as everyone else had. She said “I’m Pam.” I said “Oh nice to meet you Pam.” Then I paused and said “OMG, Pam Reed, you’re Pam Reed, I’m sorry.” (For some reason I thought she was a brunette). She smiled and nodded and proceeded to go on to shake more hands.

The camp I am at is a running camp being put on by Pam Reed and my coach Lisa Smith-Batchen. The charge for the camp is zero but we pay all of our own expenses — meals, hotel etc. Then we show up each morning and workout with Pam and Lisa both of whom are doing the Badwater. Lisa is doing the Badwater quad 500+ miles (yes running) to raise money for water for kids in Africa. Pam is running Badwater to try to get to 10 completes. (She has won it several times but has 8 completes and 2 dnfs).

Then Lisa walked in. I’ve met Lisa several times now, I feel like I would recognize her if I ran into on the street. But man, I have never know her to not be in shape but I have also never seen her at her peak of fitness. She looks amazing. Tall, lean, uber fit, wearing health like a halo. Right then and there I had an epiphany. Time is up. Whatever moping, mourning, sorry crap you have been carrying around with you stops now. I was in a room surrounded by top of their field athletes. There was no corner for me to go hide in. Here it is in black and white. I have got to get serious. No more putzing around pretending to train. This kind of fitness doesn’t just happen, you have to work hard at it. And for the first time since I can remember (maybe as far back as 2007?) I wanted it. I want this. I am going to do this.

One by one everyone introduced themselves and gave brief resumes. These were all ultra runners. Most had done Ironman multiple times. One gal is training for an Ironman quad in Florida. She looked like any ole person and she is going to do 4 ironmans over 5 days. Several people doing Badwater, one gal training for Trans Rocky but has a broken toe. Several multi-hundred mile runners. One guy was funny — he explained he is 63 and had tried to do 100 miles several time unsuccessfully until he start training with Lisa and now he’s done several of them successfully and wants to see how many he can do before he is too old. He said he was 63 but he looked about 25.

My roommate is someone who ran MDS with me but has done so many other ultras that MDS is just a little blip on her ultra marathon resume. We sat up talking and I found out she is a lawyer with a PhD in Psychology and defends insane people on criminal charges. She is doing Al Adulas 135 mile trail run in Spain. She has travelled all around the world doing ultras (and she is fast). She also has a husband and two kids and a busy career. I decided I needed to wear my t-shirt with the word slacker printed down the arm.

Last night they did a 2 hour run pulling tires. Lisa told me not do it and go rest up for today’s adventure. We’ll be doing 30 miles up and over Teton Pass and then yoga. Tomorrow we are doing 30 miles on trails after a core class. Friday we are doing 28 miles. Saturday Jackson Hole Half Marathon and then either white water rafting or Yellowstone (i’m going to Yellowstone). Then Sunday morning early, early 14 miles and off to the airport. Of course I will only do the mileage I can get in while everyone else does their workout.

No time to edit this entry, gotta run. I’ll take pictures and post again tomorrow.


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