Barefoot Mama

"I started running barefoot in March 2008. I started one step at a time, one day at a time. I decided to start keeping a journal of sorts. Sharing my history, my journey and my adventures."

I have taken some new paths in relation to my running over the last year. This blog will still include my running adventures but I have to move on with more stories of my family and the journey we have taken together over the last year. This blog was started as a way to help me record my barefoot journey but now needs to become more than that. Please be patient as I explore ways to stay connected with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My quest for my first 50 miler. (written ages ago and never posted)

I attended the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival May 27-28. It was a BIG weekend. They have everything from 5K's to 50 miles. I entered the 5K Canicross with my dog Zeke and I ran the Barefoot 5K about 1 hour later on Saturday. And my youngest daughter  ran the 5K, her second trail run of the season. Then on Sunday morning we got an early start on the 50 miler. I finished in 9:43:28. This was a trail that ran through logging roads and fields. Unrelenting rolling hills. I  hit the wall around mile 33. I had to sit down, put on some Traumeel, and vaseline and eat some food. The aid stations were AWESOME. It was the most unbelievable experience to come out of the woods and see a buffet set up on tables in the middle of a field. I didn't carry anything on my because I knew there would be so much support on the course. I wore my Merrell trail gloves for the whole distance. Although later I would regret this choice at the time it seemed appropriate. I ended up hurting my foot from wearing the shoes for so long. It took a couple of months for it to work itself out. In those months after I went barefoot as much as I possibly could, which helped. I think I will follow some expert advise and switch up my footwear during my next 50 miler. I hope that will help. I also was able to run through the wall I hit and after about 30 minutes I came out on the other side and felt great! I started to run faster and I felt lighter. It may have all been in my head of course but that is what it felt like. I kept thinking to myself  and probably talking to myself too, that how could I feel this good after running over 40 miles? A great weekend! Was able to meet up with some fellow barefoot runners from the New England Barefoot Runners group too.
Myself, Heather and Jason R. getting ready for the start.
hot and tired

Our Humble Abode and a new winter adventure

Here is a picture of where we are spending our winter. And so far it is working out. We had to put up the tarp to prevent leaking. And the hay bales are helping to insulate. We are warm(heat with propane) and we have water. Not hot water but who needs that right? :) We have plumbing but are using the outdoor plumbing too. The kids have defined their own space by calling their bunk beds their "rooms" and they seem to be enjoying their minimalist experience. We are looking forward to skating on the pond and I am excited to break out the snowshoes and get on the trails in those 50 acres of woods. Bring on the snow and let the good times roll!
Outdoor plumbing
the kitchen
the backyard
the view from the window

Maine2DC Run:

This is an event one of my friends and Crow Teammates is doing. Just thought I would pass on. He needs all the support we can give

Another Great Adventure (and the JFK50 miler)

My adventure started out on Thursday, Novemver 15th at 7am with my friend Paula. I had to leave the family at home this time. We struck out on the road following Route 1 south. We weren't alone though. I was very excited to be traveling with our mascot, Emmett the cat! You may think that taking a cat on the road is ridiculous, ok it kinda is, but he loves the car. I think he thinks he is a dog! He actually growls! If he could have stuck his head out the window and let his ears flap in the wind he would have.
He spent a lot of time curled up in "his" seat or sitting on my lap.

So lately I've been trying to find a way to write about my 50 miler without sounding like a brat. I make most of these posts for my my friends and family who live far away who want to read about my running adventures and to check in once in awhile to see what my family is doing. So when I tried to write about this trip it turns out to it was about the fun I had and the 50 miler was secondary. Don't get me wrong I trained for this event and it was a tough one but the days leading up to the event were great and the adventure continued after the event. I was happy to finish the 50 miles but my trip was all about going somewhere with my friend and getting to see and do things we don't usually get to do. This is one of many adventures I've had with Paula.  This year alone we have been to events in Florida, Kentucky, Quebec  and of course Maine. First, it is the longest amount of time I have been away from my family, they usually go with me. And everything I did I kept thinking about all the fun they would have if they were with me. (Except for being part of a crew that had to wait around all day for me to finish the 50 mile run. My girls would have hated that. Not because they were bored because they would worry about me.) 

Our first destination was a 10 hour drive to friends house in Manheim, PA. We had a great day which included counting the deer on the highway. A wonderful game and completely entertaining. I believe we counted 12 dead on the road, 3 dead in the back of pickup trucks and 4 that walked out in front of us!  We had had a nice hot supper waiting for us at the end of the day. We camped out on a couple of air mattress in their office and it was wonderful. (Of course I am comparing it to our sleeping conditions on our last adventure where we spent 1 night sleeping in the back of the car on an old logging road in northern Maine and another night in a tent.) The next day we spent exploring their town, going to Hersey, PA and the Chocolate factory, paddling in a canoe for 6.5 miles, exploring the Amish countryside, visiting with friends and traveling another 2.5 hours to the packet pick-up for the JFK 50. My journey would have been complete with just that group of experiences. And I stated so at our Chocolate Factory tour. I said "This is the best! My trip is already complete and we have just begun!" 

Once we got settle into our hotel room and Emmett was all comfy on the bed I took a nice hot shower and called it a day. I had the beginnings of what could have been a terrible migraine earlier in the day but thanks to some Tylenol and caffeine I was able to escape most of the pain and was left with just a dull ache. I didn't let it ruin my day and I was hoping a good nights sleep would cure me and it did.

Well, here comes the brat part. I finished my 2nd 50 miler. The JFK 50 50th Anniversary. November 17, 2012. But, I don't have any great wisdom to share. My journey through that distance was MY journey and everyone has their own journey when you are running that far for that long. I can share the statistics: It took me 10 hours 43 minutes. And big deal. I had my goals for this event set and being the competitive person I am, "just finishing" was not one of them. I knew I would finish. That time was not one I expected to get, yes, I wanted to do better. And I can't explain it enough to people that keep saying to me, " I can't believe you ran 50 miles! Aren't you excited that you "just finished"? How can I say, "no I'm not excited that I "just finished" the distance". And why can't you believe I ran that far? I've been training for this for months!  But my chiropractor told me that I have to understand that what I think are normal runs and weekly training session most people don't. Most people don't go out and run 10 miles for fun. So in their mind I am doing something they would never even think of doing. He had to put it in perspective for me. I had a plan and I followed through with it. I wore my minimalist trail shoes through the single track Appalachian Trail section, I wore my VFF on the C&O tow path for over 26 miles and I ran barefoot for the last 8.5 miles on newly paved asphalt. I ate and drank when I needed to. My plan was to walk the hills and jog/run/walk the downs and the flats. Great plan. Glad I did it. What did I learn: Running on a straight tow path for a marathon distance with no hills was REALLY tough for me. It actually was a slow uphill grade the whole way but just seemed flat. The next ultra I train for will include more walking in the training program. Having a crew there just when you need them is awesome! I hope to be able to crew for someone someday and do as great a job as our friends did for us. And sharing the running experience with a friend was something I will never forget. I knew I would finish the run and I did. I always knew that if it came to a battle between my body and my mind my mind would win, I was right. I've taken the last 2 weeks off with ocassional trips to the gym for biking and swimming. Taking a much needed break from running. Planning more ultras in the future. Deciding which 100 miler to do before they all fill up. But need to put those 50K and 50 milers on the calendar as training runs before they all fill up as well. 

The adventure didn't stop with the 50 mile run. We stayed it the hotel one more night and got up, had breakfast and were on the road again. We traveled south to Florida with a stop to visit a friend in South Carolina and a short nap at a rest stop in Florida arriving at our destination about 6 am on Monday morning. My friend is a snow bird and we drove to her winter dwelling. While in Florida I helped her settle in. We went for walks and bike rides. I drank fresh OJ made from the oranges that grew in the backyard. We sat on her deck and celebrated our adventure with wine and cheese. We had our own little Thanksgiving dinner with some friends.  This adventure came to an end when my feet touched the ground in Maine at 7:30pm on Wednesday after I flew home. My friend continues her winter adventure in Florida and I got to be home in time to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Gone almost a week. It was good to be home. I can't wait for the next running adventure/trip but I hope it will include my family next time.
Biking past the orange groves
At the end of the JFK 50

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A rainy Sunday afternoon here so I'm going to catch up on some blogging before the football game.
I took a 5 month break from the blogging world. Other than Facebook it seemed I had no time or no will to write. I was going through a stressful time in my life and instead of reaching out to my friends I withdrew into my own world. I'm like that. I would survive very well being a hermit.

I don't write about person issues very often but here goes. The first thing I have been dealing with is my "hormonal" issues. I have a chiropractor who I see about 1xmonth. More if I am doing more endurance racing than my body can handle. First some background; I had my tubes tied in 2003. I knew I would not have anymore children and it seemed the right choice for me. I don't know if that is what helped lead my body into early menopause, or like a handful of woman, it was just meant to be. I was only 39 years old when I stopped having a menstrual cycle. I was feeling very tired and worn out. So at a physical I had my blood tested. ( I also have had a history of anemia) The conclusion was that I was post-menopausal! WOW! So where were all the hot flashes and mood swings? Really? I guess my husband got off lucky! Anyway, now I have a 45 year old body whose insides think it is about 5-10 years older. I am taking a handful of herbal supplements to help and a natural hormone replacement. But when I compete or train hard it takes me longer to recover and my body needs more adjustments from my chiropractor and if I am training and not handling my stress levels well my whole body kinda goes to hell and says"hello, what r u doing?" That is what happened after my 50 miler. I thought I recovered nicely until about the end of May when I sort of fell apart physically and emotionally.

Now I'm back on the right track and headed in a better direction. I have took about 3 weeks of rest and many adjustments at the chiropractors office. I feel like I can now manage my stress. I also meditate when I can, but not as often as I want. I need to build in "me" time for just sitting and reflecting, and I actual need to keep a regular routine of physical activity. It doesn't need to be running. It can just be outside playing with the kids, biking, swimming, etc. Here are some nice pictures of me having both relaxing time and fun time.

Went to FunTown and rode the roller coaster!

Fishing at the Pond

Just laying in the hammock at the edge of the pond.

The stressful events of the last few months include but are not limited to: an 18 year old who was going to prom, graduating from high school and is now off to college (and I miss her very much and she is only 2 hours drive away; I have also learned how to Skype). I also was involved in my family's Relay for Life Team, for our 4th year. This year we raised over $1,000 for the American Cancer Society. And this year just prior to relay my aunt passed away. She had a long, hard fought battle with ovarian cancer. Other things that I will write about later are about our "move" from a 3000 sq ft. home to a 215 sq ft camper trailer. While still maintaining some kind of hold on a normal routine with 3 kids.  Kids adjust well to change and as my youngest stated a few days ago, "I liked living in the other house but I love living here,(in the camper), I feel like I'm home". All the tears I cried in private because I thought I was being a bad mom, because what am I doing to my kids? pity party... was all me and my worries. The kids are fine and they are loving our new digs and their new school. As my brother stated, "This will be another adventure for them. They will look back on this and say, remember the time when we lived in the camper?" Now we just have to start making some new memories and mamas gotta keep running and taking care of herself  :)

Barefoot Angie Bee: Toe yoga and stretching exercises for strong feet

Barefoot Angie Bee: Toe yoga and stretching exercises for strong feet

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recordings of my events since April. (according to Athlinks)

Sixth Annual Lone Gull 10K Road Race: MA  9/16   7:09       44:30
Bradbury Bruiser: ME                                        9/9     9:48    1:57:45
Maine Lobster Festival 10K:  ME                      8/5     7:17      45:16
Peaks Island 5 Mile: ME                                    7/28   7:21      36:45
Bradbury Scuffle:  ME                                       7/15   8:43      52:21
Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50, 10K: MA       7/3     7:30      46:38
Bands on the Run - Half Marathon: ME            6/24   7:59    1:44:37
Peter Ott's 10K: ME                                           6/3     7:21       45:44 (COLD and Pouring Rain)
Pineland Farms Trail Canicross 5K: ME            5/27   8:56       27:47 (with my dog Zeke)
Pineland Farms Trail Barefoot 5K: ME              5/27   8:06       25:11
Pineland Farms Trail 50 Mile: ME                     5/27   11:40    9:43:28

I will write a bit about some of them later. A short review:  My first 50 Miler was pretty epic. A long weekend and lots of fun. Bradbury Bruiser and Bradbury Scuffle were trail runs hosted by the Trail Monster running group. Harvard Pilgram 10K, Lobster Fest 10K and the Lone Gull 10K were all New England Barefoot Runner meetups. Peter Ott's, Peaks Island and Bands on the Run were for the Crow Athletic team. The Trail runs I did with either my Merrell Pace gloves or VFF (including the 50 miler) and everything else was barefoot.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The rest of April....

I went to Kentucky to run the Kentucky Derby Marathon with a friend. My sister lives in Kentucky so it was a destination race of sorts. I was able to visit my family for a few days and run the marathon. It's hard to write all the details now. We went across the Ohio River and had lunch in Indiana. We also got to attend a hot air balloon festival. The balloons were HUGE!

I ran 13.1 miles of the marathon barefoot and then ran the last half with my VFF.  I got a marathon PR of 3:36:57! It was a flat course until about mile 11 and then it was a gradual uphill for 2 miles. We got to run through the grounds of Churchill Downs too. (at around mile 7?) There was another uphill 2 mile climb from mile 22-mile 25 or so. I remember that the asphalt was old  and what I call "pokey tar". I used this marathon as a training run. I needed to run a longer distance on my way to finishing my first 50 miler in May. 

Looking at Kentucky from Indiana
Hot Air Balloon Festival

Been away from my blog for awhile. Been going through some personal stuff that needed to be sorted out before I had energy to Blog. Alot has happened in 5  months. Stay tuned....more to follow, but I have to go for a swim and a run first. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Photos of the Boston Barefoot Running Festival

                                                      Barefoot Ken Bob

  Meeting Jon! He ran the Boston Marathon this year Barefoot.

                                                      Socializing on Sat. night.

                                                      Nice to see Irene Davis again

                                                  The start of the Boston Barefoot 5K

                                                                  Go Colin Go!

Boston Barefoot Running Festival

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Running: Segment Two - Video - WCVB Boston

David Brown finished the Boston marathon and then went to work to report on it. Here is the link to some of what he talked about on WCVB Boston's Chronicle. 

 Running: Segment Two - Video - WCVB Boston

Please go to the link and watch all the segments. Segment number Four is very inspiring. THe references I made in Segment Two were about the  Boston Marathon 2011. I was just a spectator this year. We had a blast cheering everyone on. It really is amazing to be on the other side of the rope. Congratulations to everyone who made this years journey with the Boston Marathon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

100 Day Crow Running Streak

Yesterday I finished the 100 day running streak! Since January first I logged in 491.5 barefoot/minimalist miles. Was happy to have some motivation to keep training through the winter. :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

40 miles. My longest and farthest run!

Here's the course.

Untitled by kawimae at Garmin Connect - Details

Well, I did it. Why? Because I can and I have a 50 mile event in 8 weeks.

I woke on Sunday morning 4/1/12 and knew I was about to face a long day. Several things happened before I hit the road. First I had my coffee and my oatmeal (standard long run recipe made with raisins, nuts, applesauce and almond milk) then I logged on to my Facebook page. It was a sad morning because I found out that Micah True,"Caballo Blanco", had indeed been found. My heart goes out to all his friends and family. I did not know him personally, but like many others, I was inspired by the stories of his running. Following his passion through others pictures and their stories of what a great person he was. I wish I had known him.

When I run on trails through the woods I can't help but to feel free. The true meaning of run free for me lies in the ability to let it all go out in the woods and run down the paths of single track as though there is not a care in the world. Running through the forest and imagine that I am an animal. Getting to the point on the mountain where the view is just breath taking, stopping for a moment to take it all in, making it a memory. I realize my interpretation of "RUN FREE" may not be the same as others, but it's mine.

My 40 mile journey was on a double track woods road from one end of the park to another. climbing a little over 700 feet and back down again. And repeating this course 4 times. It is hilly and a challenge. I was surprised to find snow on the trail which was crunchy at the start and very mushy at the end. I had a wonderful group of friends that all took turns running parts of this with me. I was grateful to have the company. I learned that I am stronger than I think, that I can run/walk and jog for 8+ hours, that I still love bacon, and the ocean it a beautiful thing. (I could see the ocean from the top of the trail through the trees) I learned that if I can run 40 miles I will be able to go the 50 miles on pure will if my body fails me. I was really concerned with how my body would deal with this run on the days to follow, but I am fine. I didn't run fast enough to build up lactic acid so my muscles were just tired not sore. I wore my Trail Gloves. I am hoping to run some if not most of my 50 miler barefoot, but I couldn't seem to do this run barefoot. I'm still a wimp when it comes to running in less than 30F and snow on the mountain.

And when the day was done I stopped at a big tree at the beginning of the trail head, posed for a picture, walked around and stretched for a few minutes, got in my car and sat there for a few minutes warming up. I had tears of joy in my eyes as I headed home. I did it. Nothing is impossible. Believe in the run. Believe in yourself.

Monday, March 12, 2012

1/2 marathon PR!

So I decided to run a local 1/2 Marathon; The Midcoast 13.1 on 3/11/12 in Lincolnville, Maine. It was hosted by the Cellardoor Winery and sponsored by some terrific local businesses.

When you run the roads in the Midcoast area you know you will encounter a few hills. This Half marathon was no different. There was one biggish hill around mile 5 and the last 2 miles were up hill to the finish!

I had no expectations. I am in a very competitive age group and I knew I would be going up against some fast women. I didn't want to start out too fast and then burn out at the end so my plan was to start off at a conservative and slowly pick it up and save some energy for the 2 mile uphill finish. I usually run around a 1:50-1:54 half and I hoped I could come close to that.

It was a cool, windy start. Probably about 36 degrees. I was hoping to try this completely barefoot but tested the asphalt the day before and it was REALLY cold. I decided to play it safe and wear my VFF. I didn't want to injure myself by running on the roads and not being able to feel what I was doing. I do think the temps warmed up by the finish so that they were around 40F but I didn't know how long it would take for my feet to warm up and with all the training I have to do to get ready for my 50 miler I just didn't want to chance an injury. ( This is a pic of my very first barefoot half marathon in 2008, 6 months after starting barefoot running, on a cold October morning, when the roads were wet and cold)

This pain was all I could think of happening to me again, so going for a little protection seemed ok. I am also into my 5th season of barefoot running so my style and technique have changed but I still can't get that picture out of my mind when I question the weather conditions in relation to my training.

Anyway, it was a cold walk to the start (about 1/2 mile from the venue) and then we were off. I did start out on the conservative side but I felt really good. By the 5 mile mark I had passed about 10-12 people and felt like I was getting stronger as I went. I kept thinking: "Am I going too fast?" I still have 8 miles to go. I just felt good. I continued to monitor my technique, running loose, relaxing, keeping my breathing at a nice steady pace. I caught up with some friends around mile 8 and tried to give them some encouragement hoping they would go with me to the finish and we caught up with another friend who was indeed barefoot. He was looking great and we ran together for a mile or so. Near the end with about 2 miles to go I just felt wonderful. I again monitored my form and tried to relax and get ready for the 400 ft. climb to the finish line. I kept a steady pace and tried to run through the head wind without slowing down. With a 1/2 mile to go I could see and hear the people cheering at the finish line. I was going to finish strong and I felt wonderful.

I saw my time as I crossed the finish line. "WHOO HOO" I yelled! "That's a PR!" 1:38:51! Who says determination, hard work, training and practicing good form doesn't pay off? I am so excited! This is a good place for my training to be right now.

(with friends at the finish)

I am excited to run again today. It's warmer (about 50F) and I can stretch my toes and give them the barefoot run they wanted yesterday. The asphalt will be a great and wonderful experience today after being warmed by the sun all day.

Onward...a new day and 3 cheers for more training...:)
The Barefoot Running Revolution

Monday, March 5, 2012

My 6 hour ultra: The Vista View 360

While I was on vacation in Florida I made a last minute decision to run for 6 hours while I was there. It meant staying 2 extra days but I thought it would be worth it. I'm training for at least two 50 milers this year and this was just another training day. I knew I had to do a long run and I was in a nice warm place to do it. It was cold and wet back in Maine and it only made sense to run for 6 hours in the warmth. When I registered I thought this was the longest amount of time I had ever run but looking back through my training log I realized I had run nearly 6 hours 25 min. trying to complete a 50K last year! I had forgotten that horrible day. Anyway, I have also completed a 50K in less than 5 hours 30 min. so I was kinda aiming for at least completing a 50k distance in that 6 hours. A lot depended on how hot it got, because I do not run well in the heat.

This adventure started with trying to get together my clothes and food the afternoon before. I wanted to wear something comfortable and needed a couple of changes of clothes in case I got too hot or wet. The only thing I brought to Florida to wear on my feet were a pair of flip-flops and my VFF. Decisions on whether or not to wear a hat? or which bra should I wear or should I just wear a sport bra? Wear a skort or shorts? I have also learned that when you run in an event and they say "we'll have plenty of food at the aid station" well, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't and I go prepared. If I don't end up needing my food, at least the kids have something to eat! :) This particular event did have a decent aid station. They had Gu's , banana's, chips, soda, oranges, water and some kind of fluid drink but I don't think it was Gatorade. I packed, banana's, strawberries, sliced oranges, water, chocolates wrapped in bacon, chicken,peanuts, salt and vinegar chips and N2.
I brought other things for the kids to munch on and juice boxes too. This is way more than I would eat, but again wanted to be prepared. The other thing that kept going through my mind was what would I be in the mood for? Every event and distance is different. I knew I would want bacon because I always do. But would I want chips or a banana or oranges? This is why this was going to prove to be an excellent training run. I needed to see what would work or not work; food and clothing both.

The night before I couldn't sleep. My kids were sleeping with me in a full sized bed and I was stuck in the middle. It was hot, so I had to turn on the fan, then I got cold, hot, cold, etc...finally I got up and finished sleeping on the couch. But I had to get up at 4:15am. So of course my internal clock kept thinking it was time to get up and I finally gave up and got up at 4am. I got the car packed and loaded the night before so all I had to do was put the ice packs and the cold food in the coolers, put in my contacts, get the coffee going, make my oatmeal and get the kids in the car. We were on the road by 4:45. I knew it would take at least 30 min. to get there and I needed to allow for extra time in case I got lost. Lucky I left extra time because of course I got lost! Even with a GPS! Really! And it started to rain! Made it with 15 minutes to spare. It was still drizzling when we pulled up at 5:45am. Had to get out and check in and listen for instructions and find out where we started, where to best put the kids, and set up our chairs and food, etc.

From where we parked the van I couldn't see where the start was and I had no idea what the trail was like. This would bother some people but I like it. It makes me feel more relaxed not knowing what I have gotten myself into. :) It was still raining. I HATE to wear my VFF in the rain! They fit like a glove and I don't wear socks with them so the create blisters where the name VIBRAM is embroidered on them. I thought I would be safe to wear them in sunny, hot, dry Florida. What are the chances that it was gonna rain! WOW! I took my daughter, Liana, who didn't want to sit in the dry van, to where the aid station and timing mat were, set her up in a chair with an umbrella, found my headlamp and the RD said to go to the starting line. Another great thing about showing up 15 min. before a start is that there is no time to think about things, you just go!
We all had our headlamps on, standing in the rain and he gives a small speech and says okay "Go"

Well, each lap is 1.24 miles...and the first few laps go by quickly in the rain. It was warm and more of a drizzle not a pouring down rain. We were still running in small packs after we settled into our paces. I was hoping to start out slow and save my energy for when I needed it in the later miles. I think I did that. My first few miles were ave. between 10 and 11 min. miles. I don't wear a watch so I only knew this because I asked the guy (Thanks Tom)I had been running with off and on for 2 hours. I don't remember much of the first hour except it was dark and my headlamp is VERY bright (300 lumens bright!). Some of the other runners were joking with me that mine was so bright they didn't need theirs! ;) I remember stopping and taking off my headlamp and having a Gu after about an hour. I always loose track of how many loops I've done when I'm doing a looped course. I was thankful that they had an electronic timer and lap counter so I didn't have to worry about it. I remember being confused after 2 hours and not knowing if I ran 2 or 3 hours, even though I was passing the clock at every lap I would forget halfway through the next lap. I was just running on how I was feeling and after 2 hours I was feeling tired but not exhausted. My daughter gave up and went to the car. So I missed seeing her at every lap. I was glad she went to get dry though. Hours 2-3 brought more rain, stopping to grab a banana and some sport drink(have no idea what it was) and stopping to pee.The bathroom was probably 200 yards from the start, which was a bummer and I am all for going beside the trail normally, but this was wide open space with no trees or bushes. In Maine I at least have some trees!

The sun came out somewhere in the 3rd hour. It stayed long enough for me to take some pictures. The sun would come and go all morning which was a relief. Every time it started to shine I would secretly hope it would get cloudy and start to rain. With the sun out, it got humid and hot and no shade on this course. When the sun was behind the clouds it wasn't so bad.Between hour 3 and 4 the VFF were starting to hurt my feet. They were wet and I could tell they were causing a blister on the inside under my ankle bone where they were rubbing. The kids were back in their chairs beside the course and cheering me on at every lap. I stopped for a banana and some more water and they helped me find a couple band-aids. This helped for about 2 laps and then the band-aids started coming off. I asked Farin to find me some more band-aids while I did another lap. When I came back she had a handful. She said she went to the first aid tent and asked for some. I was so proud of her. They were both so good to me and I was so happy they were there.

When I made it to hour 4 I decided I had enough of the VFF. I stopped again to go pee, ate some of my chocolate covered with bacon, had some water, put on some Traumeel and took off the Five Fingers.
I don't know if I felt so good after that because I finally didn't have anything on my feet or the chocolate and bacon had given me some energy. I felt great! It was so nice to feel all the different parts of the ground as I ran. The course was made up of sand, grass, rocks (sharp ones that looked like coral) and wood chips. I had been around the loop so many times that it was a relief to run it for two hours with no shoes. Everything seemed different. All my senses seemed to be awakened. I started to be more aware of everything. How warm it was, the sounds, the light even the strawberries I ate later seemed to taste better. I knew I could probably run the loop 5 times in an hour so I asked the girls to start counting each lap I did. As they counted down I knew I could handle just one more lap and that's how I made it through the last 2 hours. When Farin said "three" I knew I only had to run the loop about 7 more times.

Near the end when I knew I only had a couple more laps I began to run as though I was desperate. I had to get one more, now another, etc. I saw the clock at 5:46 something and told the kids as I went by that I had time for 1 more lap. I had to stop and walk up one hill but I knew I could do it. I came up over the hill and down the other side and I saw the clock in the distance. It hit 5:48 and I started to sprint. ( I think it was more like a fast hobble, jog, but it felt like a sprint). I crossed the finish line with a few seconds to spare 5:59:19! In the end; 17 laps=33.4 miles. a little more than a 50K. I knew I could do it. Another training run complete! YAY!
I was tired but not exhausted. My legs felt like rubber and I didn't dare to sit down because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get back up. I finally gave in to the urge and I sat down.It felt sooooooo good. I was able to stand for a few pictures and say thanks to the RD and the few friends I had made that morning. We packed up our stuff and headed to my mother-in-laws. My feet were fine. Not a bruise, cut, splinter or blister, just dirty. I feel like this was a great training run. I learned lots and this run gave me confidence. I know I can mentally do it and I still have 3 months to get my body in shape to handle what my mind can't.

When we got home I had a nice warm bath, a couple of beers and played card games with the kids. It was an early evening and I did sleep well.
As I sat here this afternoon writing this my prize check arrived in the mail. Yes, I won money for coming in second female. Bonus!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Another Drive to Florida

Well, it's school vacation week again.

I decided to drive south with the 2 younger kids. Dad will stay home with the dogs and oldest daughter will stay home too, and work. I stopped to visit my friend Paula in Sebring, Fl. We did the Flatwoods Ramble 10M trail run, on Sunday (2/18), in Tampa. Was a VERY Flat course through the Florida Pines. Hot, around 70+ degrees at the start. I was worried about the heat so I ran a conservative first half and then feeling good I ran a faster second half. I was able to pass two girls at the finish to place 2nd Female overall. I got the trophy fr 1st Master F. I love being an old Fart! :) Spent a lovely afternoon with our friend and helped her celebrate her birthday with a birthday dinner and cake. The next day we went hiking in the highland Hammocks State Park, lunch by the lake and a drive to southern FL. to stay with grammy Hazel.

We have had a great week here in FL. went to the beach 3 times. Shopping once(because I hate shopping) and played a little tourist around town to see the sites one day as well. We went and had a great dinner with Uncle Bill, Dulce and Erica, spent the day with Uncle Bill at Hazel's and tomorrow I will try to run as many miles as I can in 6 hours in the Vista View 360, 6 hour ultra. I love being where it is warm! I've ben able to be barefoot ALL Day everyday and logged in over 30 miles of running this week. I can't wait to see if the trail is barefoot friendly at the Ultra.
Stay tuned for an update from my first 6 hour run! :)