Monday, November 28, 2016

Race Recap: Blood Rock 50k

As you can already see from the picture above, they will be including a 100 miler in 2017! Wowzers!

Blood Rock was my first official 50k. If you remember, I ran R2R2R in the Grand Canyon, which was 50 miles, however, that was a self supported run versus an actual race, so technically, this was my first race over the marathon distance.

Our morning began at 5 am on race day as the start time was 6:30 am. We stayed in a cabin within the park w/ 2 bedrooms, adjoining bathroom, & living room / kitchen area. We had a beautiful view out the back that I took Sunday morning (see below our cabin & view).

We were about a 5 minute drive from the start line which was nice. Many of our friends stayed at hotels nearby, mainly the Fairfield Inn, in case you prefer a hotel if you're considering this race. We got to the race, pinned on our bibs, took a few pictures, and waited for the gun to go off.
Earlier in the week, the race director had sent an email that said the first 11 miles could take you FOUR hours. After reading that, I was a little defeated during the week & we all discussed it on our Thursday morning run and the feeling seemed mutual with others, but we were still determined to run the race! We also received an email that stated from miles 1.5 - 6.5 and 9 - 10.5 were unmaintained, backcountry trails with trees to crawl over, sections that were almost all rock, and climbs that were very steep with traverses across areas that were not "leveled." Needless to say, we were questioning how long this would actually take us? I guessed 10 hours for myself.

I had no idea what to expect when the race started. I had done road training for Chicago & one trail run in Chattanooga end of October, but other than that, was not really prepared for climbs / hills the way I was for Grand Canyon. At this point, there was no turning back while waiting for the start. The gun went off, & my friends Jen & Roy & I took off together.

The first 1.5 miles were on the road (slight rollers). Our first mile was clocked at 9:16 and after 1.5 we hit the trail & ended up with a 10:20 second mile. Then began the climbs up some steep terrain as you can see my mile times (below) got slower as we climbed. One portion of the climb even had ropes between the trees to help you get up as the footing was not easy. The climbing leveled out around mile 6 where there was a period of runable flats that I was able to pick up the pace for a portion of mile 6.
(View once we got to the ridge)

Mile 6-7 was another steep climb, with some more leveling out at Mile 8, but more climbing from 8.5 - 10. I was very determined that the first 11 miles would NOT take me 4 hours after receiving that e-mail, but also kind of scared it might, so I kept powering through & I rolled up to the first aid station in 2 hours and 40 minutes, which I was pleased with. I grabbed some coca cola, PB&J, and refilled my water. I also met some very nice runners from Mississippi & Alabama along the way.

Second portion was miles 11-21 & I thought, "Okay, 10 more miles until the next stop, I can do this" & kept moving. As I was running the second portion, my pack split open on the bottom of one of my waters on my chest and out it fell along with my phone, which cracked on the top. Could this be foreshadowing of me getting lost? We had a few easier / normal miles from 11-16. One I hit 16, there was another very huge, steep climb that I thought I was going to die. I had to take a break & eat some chews. Miles 17-21 were pretty average, few climbs, but also runable at times. I ran into my friend Shannon around 18 and walked w/ her a bit. I hit the second aid station at 4:40, also pleased with this time & was hoping for a 7:30 at this point for my finish time. After the second aid station, you had to walk back up a steep road hill and get back on the trail.
Shortly after being on the trail, I came to a spot that I wasn't sure where to go as I saw flags both ways. I waited for the girl behind me and asked her & we took one way, which ended up being the WRONG way. We ended up going about 1.5 miles down the 50 mile course, not 50k. We doubled back, but we could not find where we went wrong or the green trial we were supposed to be on, so we waited & waited for someone who knew the woods to come along. At last, someone came & told us where to go getting us back on green. As soon as we were there, I saw my friend Jen at the top of the mountain. I started screaming her name & knew we were back on the path, but at this point it had taken about an extra hour and I knew my time was gone. (You can see the lost portion around miles 25-27).  After that, I stayed with my friend Jen for a little bit before realizing I jsut wanted to finish the race & be done. I was pissed, sad, & annoyed this happened during my first 50k, but I have known others in my community it has happened to & that it is always a possibility in unfamiliar woods w/ trails. The next few miles, I walked more than I would have had I not gotten lost and was texting my friend Corrie at the finish line a play by play of where I was to make sure I was still going the right way (I didn't have a map). I told her to get a beer ready for me at the finish! I was OVER it. I stopped along a few parts & took the pictures below because they were stunning.

I finally finished & was happy it was done!! I thought about things I was happy with during this race & I came up with the following: I finished, I did not get injured, I ran better than I thought I could, I did not quit even though I wanted to give up / cry after getting lost, & I got to run in a beautiful, new area and visit a new state. I am looking forward to another one in the future!

(My friend Jen & I at the finish)

The course was challening, but so beautiful. The leaves were stunning & changing over and we had perfect weather with an average of about 50. The aid stations were full of plenty of good food: quesadillas, M&Ms, fried eggs, PB&J's, gatorade, coke, water, & lots more that I cannot remember. The volunteers were amazing & so kind. I am so thankful they were out there for us & even longer to help the 50 milers! I do wish the aid stations were a tad closer since the first one wasn't for about 3 hours in, but it broke it up into 3 sections in my mind for me while running. I had a lot of fun with my Nashville Fleet Feet Ultra Dirtbags. Many dirtbags finished their first 50k and the tears / relief / happiness they felt watching them finish was truly amazing. I am so proud of all of us for conquering this difficult course!!

Mile 1: 9:16
Mile 2: 10:20
Mile 3: 17:43
Mile 4: 16:30
Mile 5: 19:14
Mile 6: 12:11
Mile 7: 21:02
Mile 8: 11:17
Mile 9: 16:37
Mile 10: 13:56
Mile 11: 14:31
Mile 12: 10:00
Mile 13: 10:21
Mile 14: 12:39
Mile 15: 12:33
Mile 16: 11:08
Mile 17: 18:47
Mile 18: 11:55
Mile 19: 16:43
Mile 20: 15:49
Mile 21: 14:38
Mile 22: 14:04
Mile 23: 16:59
Mile 24: 12:33
Mile 25: 26:52
Mile 26: 20:26
Mile 27: 19:11
Mile 18: 15:24
Mile 29: 15:28
Mile 30: 18:26
Mile 31: 18:57
Mile 32: 15:42
Mile 33: 14:27
Mile .54: 6:43
Total: 8:32 (Avg Pace: 15:17)

Race Details:
Cadence: 148 spm
HR: Avg: 163, Max: 198
Calories Burned: 4,171
  • Tailwind (berry flavor) in one of my water pouches
  • Honey Stinger Waffle - taken at 1.5 hours in
  • Coke & PB&J at mile 11 (first aid station)
  • 1/2 bag skratch chews Mile 17
  • Coke & lots more PB&J at Mile 21 (second aid station)
  • 1/2 bag skratch chews at Mile 27

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Back for the Fall...a few updates!

It has been a very long time since I have blogged, but I have recently been inspired again by fellow blogger, milesperminute (check her out)! So what may you ask has been happening the past 3 months? Well....quite a bit, but I'm listing 5 main ones!

1. I found my wedding dress & we booked all of our big items for the big day! Still lots to do, but making progress! My mom & sister helped me find my dress at Lace on Bridal Row in Cincinnati!
2. Oliver turned 1 & I posted quite a few pics of him because he is the apple of my eye.
3. My brother got engaged in Italy over Labor Day! I will soon have another little sister (by little I mean younger than me)!
4. I trained for the Chicago Marathon and ran it on October 9th! It wasn't my best race, I finished around 4:10, but I am happy I finished. I had gotten perennial tendonitis the week leading up to the race & I'm still trying to heal it today. This marathon is amazing & we had such great support once again! Thank you to all those volunteers & spectators! They make this race for us runners.
5. I saw Adele in NYC! She was amazing as always and worth every penny! It was our first "girls" trip w/ my mom & sister!
We also had 2 weddings & are about to attend our third for the fall on Saturday!

As far as my running plan, I'm recovering this week and slowly starting to build back the mileage. My next race is Blood Rock 50k outside of Alabama w/ the Fleet Feet Ultra Dirtbags. I won't be racing it as I hope to just have fun in the woods with my friends!! Then I have no set races as of now, so we will see!

My next post will include two new recipes, so stay tuned......

Monday, July 25, 2016

A New & Easy Summer Dessert

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! We spent ours in Atlanta visiting friends and attending a baby shower! It was such a fun weekend! We came back on Sunday & I decided to make a new summer dessert, No Bake Strawberry Shortcake Dessert! (Recipe found here)

  • 1 box (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 25 Golden Oreos (or another vanilla flavored cookie/graham cracker)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 containers (8 ounces each) Cool Whip Topping (see note about using fresh whipped cream)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced and patted dry
  1. Whisk pudding, milk, and vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Let it sit while you prepare the crust.
  2. Crush the cookies in a large gallon sized ziploc bag using a rolling pin. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cookie crumbs. Place the 2 tablespoons melted butter in the bag and press with your hands to work the butter through the remaining cookie crumbs. Pour crumbs into a 9” square baking dish. The crust won’t be solid, it’ll stay crumbly.

  3. Fold 8 ounces of the whipped topping into the pudding.
    4. Place half the pudding mixture on top of the crust.
    5. Place the strawberries in a single layer over the pudding. 
      6. Spread remaining pudding mix over the top of the berries.
     7. Top with more whipped topping and sprinkle the remaining cookies over the top.

And Enjoy :)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday + A new wine

I'm pretty sure this speaks to many runners. Our Friday nights typically consist of staying in with a movie or show & pizza. I accept that this seems lame to many normal people who don't get up at 4 or 5 am on Saturdays, but my runner friends understand!

The 4th of July was pretty low key for us. We ran in the morning and hit up the pool during the day. That night our building ordered in BBQ in our clubroom where we met a new, cute puppy named Waffles! He was so soft & cuddly!
Track Tuesday was 8 x 400's with 1 minute rest in between. My goal was 1:40 for F pace and times were (1:40, 1:41, 1:40, 1:40, 1:41, 1:40, 1:45, 1:43). My first day back doing speed since before the Grand Canyon, so I was pleased with the times even though the wheels fell off at the end. Also, had a 1 mi warm up and .75 mile cool down for a total of 4.25 miles. Then it was off to Juice Bar where I tried a new smoothie, Coffee Janet!
BBC was cancelled due to storms, so I hit the treadmill for 4 miles @ 9:02 pace. I get bored on the treadmill very easily, so I can typically only last a few miles.
Then it was time for oatmeal w/ berries. A staple breakfast I eat often.
That night I got my hair done at Parlour & Juke in Nashville. The girl, Lara, who did my hair does a few celebrities as well (Ariana Grande to name one). She was really cool & I was pleased with my cut & color! (Warning: it isn't cheap)
Also, a new wine I had this weekend was one we had purchased two years ago in Napa from Buena Vista winery. They are typically known for their bubbles, but we had purchasd this Pinot Noir Rose and it did NOT disappoint. I really enjoyed this, it had more of a fruity flavor, but was not too dry nor too sweet & tasted refreshing on a hot summer day. I've been on a mission to find Rose's I like!
I'll leave you with a final picture of Oliver sleeping :)

Have an AMAZING weekend!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

New Zucchini Noodle Recipe & Gear!

Isn't that the truth?! Seems fitting for the long holiday weekend ahead full of food, fun, and booze (and of course running)!

Fleet Feet Nashville Speed Sessions began this week and it starts off with a mile time trial. I wasn't able to do it since I've been healing some foot issues, but hopefully I can complete the next one. Seth nailed it with a 5:38 mile! 
Took a 6 am Arms & Abs class at Shed! It was a circuit class this time and was very tough. I hadn't been in awhile and it kicked my butt!
6 am again with the BBC at First Watch. Completed 6 miles at an 8:59 pace!
Then I popped over to Fleet Feet for the Nike Sale!! On sale, I got two pair of their shorts (you can buy here) & the Nike Dri-Fit Knit Tank in Blue (you can buy here). I love the tank, it is so lightweight and comfortable. I also have these shorts in about 5 different colors and love the way they fit me with the thick waist band (I prefer looser around my waist). I also purchased the new Nike Wildhorse trail shoe and I LOVE the new color!
Another new recipe this week I found here on a blog called Eat Yourself Skinny. When I made this I used 4 normal size zucchini's versus two large and it still didn't seem like enough. I had a lot of sauce for not so many noodles, so next time I need to double the amount of noodles I had. If you like basil, you will like this sauce.

Zucchini Noodles with a creamy Avocado Pesto Sauce
  • 2 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
1.Spiralize your zucchini and set aside on paper towels so that any excess water is soaked up.

2. In a food processor, add avocados, basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and sea salt and pulse until finely chopped. Then with the motor still running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified and creamy.
3. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat then add zucchini noodles, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes until tender.
4. Add zucchini noodles to a large bowl and toss with avocado pesto. Season with cracked pepper and a little Parmesan, serve and enjoy!

Have a very HAPPY 4th of July!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Hope you're all having a great start to your week! Seth is home for two weeks, so I have picked out a few new recipes to try while he's home. First up, is Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers. I found the recipe on pinterest from THIS blog.

What you'll need:
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Spoon the filling into each bell pepper cavity. Placed on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filing is heated through (about 25-30 minutes)
4. Serve immediately.

This recipe was so easy & good. I would have added a bit more salt & pepper to mine next time & I think I'm going to add some cut up avocado to put on top!

My weekend wrap-up consisted of the following:

Hanging with these two cuties on Friday night & sharing pizza.
Saturday morning I met up with Run 4 Others & got in 8 miles!
Then it was time for a much needed massage at Franklin Massage. They give the BEST runners massages! My right glute hated me during this, but was much happier afterward!
The next morning we met up at Margot's for Corrie's birthday brunch. It was so delicious and this picture just oozes summertime!!! I love sundress weather!

Hope you all had a nice weekend!!