Sufferfest

This weekend (Sunday, June 10th at 9 a.m.) I am going to be running at the First Annual “Sufferfest.”  Sufferfest is a mountain adventure race put on by Littleton Bike and Fitness and sponsored by our family farm Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs.

Host of the first ever “Sufferfest”
Refuel with Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs

The race begins in Franconia, NH at the Franconia Inn and ends at the top of Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch.  You can pick your “poison” for the race, run it or ride it (mountain bike).  The race will be a grueling 6 mile climb with an elevation gain of 3,150 feet.  For trail enthusiasts and mountain runners this will be an exciting challenge and may even be referred to as “fun.”  I’ll let you know how much “fun” I had post-race if I am still able to stand on my own two legs which are still in recovery mode post Vermont City Marathon.  I am hoping some of the other Pete & Gerry’s Organic Chicks will join me on the mountain!

This race definitely has some cool features not to be missed:

  • It is primarily a trail race (albeit a trail race that only goes up!?!?)
  • If you are running perhaps one of the mountain bikers might let you hitch a ride?
  • When you EVENTUALLY arrive at the finish you will be rewarded with sweeping views of Franconia Notch and beyond.
  • It will NOT be snowing! (and if it is I think I may need to move somewhere tropical)
  • If you actually make it to the summit you can officially call yourself a bada$$ for rocking this awesome challenge.
  • You might win some egg-cellent raffle prizes that include some EXTREME PROTEIN to refuel your body post race!

    EXTREME Protein

You do not have to run or ride back down! The Trams often referred to by locals as “ketchup & mustard” will be there to bring you back to earth the base of the mountain.

Ketchup
Mustard

***DISCLAIMER: If you do not like condiments then you are all out of luck and will have to run or ride back down.

SO who’s in? Are you up for the challenge? If so please register here on active.com and I’ll see you at the top!

Are you ready to “suffer?”

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Be Proud

Be Proud

I am proud of myself for all of my hard work and for not giving up at the Vermont City Marathon on Sunday. I know after running this race that I have extreme mental toughness and also the physical strength and aerobic capacity to run a marathon. My finish time at the marathon was 3:45.28. For me this was a 10 minute PR which is a tremendous accomplishment. I was 26th in my age group (35-39) out of 160 women, 153rd female out of 1,085, and 626th out of 2,418 runners.

Ready to Race (hanging out by Lake Champlain)
Most awesome training partner! Love ya Bridget!

I did not achieve my goal of qualifying for Boston (at least not yet that is).  For me it was not meant to be at this race. For me this race was a learning experience which we must all go through in order to achieve success. I am proud of myself because even though I did not reach my ultimate goal I know that I left everything out on the pavement on Sunday.

I made it! (3:45.28)

My training this fall, winter, and spring was incredible. I trained my a$$ off! I was focused, I was driven, I stayed positive and overall I learned a lot about myself.  Training for this race gave me confidence and inner-strength to be able to reach for my dreams. We all need goals and to reach for the stars.

On race day I wanted to go for it and did not feel stressed about the actual race but found myself lacking focus that morning and consumed by outside thoughts. I need to remember to run my own race

Fast chicks in skirts. Thanks @skirtsports

. Rather than sticking to a solid race plan of going out with a nice even pace of 8:10-8:20 and then working towards negative splits during the second half of the race I went out way too. I allowed the energy of the other runners, the crowds and the easy feeling of my gait to sweep me down the race course at a pace that would not be easy to maintain during the crucial last 6.2 miles. I made the rookie mistake of “fly and die.” I knew I went out too fast but for some reason could not slow myself down. I did not allow my friend Bridget who was pacing me to do her job of reminding me not to go too fast at the beginning.

My body was challenged on race day also due to nutrition and hydration issues.  I took in plenty of GU along the course, along with bananas, watermelon, oranges, and water ices however I did not eat the “real food” that I needed and I did not eat early enough. My metabolism races so fast that I could have used an entire peanut butter and jelly sandwich at around  mile 5 and then every 4 or 5 miles after that. Around mile 19-20 the race course weaves through neighborhoods that have excellent crowd support but also are in direct sunlight and by that time the temperatures had climbed somewhere into the 80’s with no breeze. I had been alternating between water and gatorade at each aid station however the loss of electrolytes was too great and by mile 21 I felt myself bonking. My legs were wobbly and I began to zig zag. Thankfully Bridget was by my side to keep me focused. At the next aid station I was made to drink about 6-7 cups of gatorade (next race I will drink gatorade/NUUN at each station). My legs were cramping and then we had to walk for a while. Seeing the pace group leaders come by I knew my goal was passing but I still wanted to finish. At this point I had to focus on the finish line and on Bridget. I needed to focus on her energy and the energy of the other runners on the course. I had to find my “om,” to keep my emotions calm and just listen. I listened. I listened to my breathing, to my foot strikes. I listened to Bridget’s voice. I listened and I believed what she was saying and somehow found the last ounces of strength in my muscles and made my legs go. Crossing the finish line was not pretty and the end of the race experience required an extended stay at the lovely Medical tent in order to get my fluids back in balance.

Listen (Photo credit @Oiselle)

Not the way I wanted to finish and not the final outcome that I had hoped for but I am PROUD. I have been able to stay positive and have done a lot of reflecting and revisiting the experience and know that in the end this race has made me a much stronger person and mentally tough runner. There will be other races and I am going to go after my dreams.

be Proud. (ribbonworthy.com)

What dreams are you chasing?

You’ve been chicked!

Next race on my schedule: “Sufferfest“run by The Littleton Bike Shop in Littleton NH and sponsored by Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs our family farm.  The race starts in Franconia,  NH and ends at the top of Cannon Mountain. The course is 6 miles with 3150 feet of climbing. Who wants to join in the fun????

Looks like fun, right? Are you up for the adventure?

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It’s the final countdown . . .

I am feeling super amped about the marathon now that my stomach is no longer doing triple backflips. This week is totally focused on super nutrition, rest, and getting myself and my kids back to 100% health. As an athlete it is hard being sick but I have been good and listened to my body this time and allowed for plenty of rest while trying to load in the calories to nurse myself back to health. Thankfully it seems to have paid off and I have bounced back.

So now with fresh energy I decided tonight I would try my first real video log. So here we go . . .

Time to get motivated . . .I mean healthy!

So with less than a week to go until marathon Sunday I am desperately trying to get healthy. I have avoided getting sick throughout all of the miles and many different child and husband illnesses . . .colds, pneumonia, ear infections, tummy bugs (which including being thrown up on) and now here I am one week away from the Vermont City Marathon with some sort of stomach funk that started yesterday morning.

This painting by my 3 year old depicts how I am feeling right now . . .Green!

I haven’t actually felt too sick other than the horrible ominous rumbling in my stomach but now I am at the end of day 2 and wishing this would GO AWAY! I am working hard to fuel my body with enough nutrients to build my glycogen stores during this final week of tapering and to stay well hydrated with my trusty Nalgene full of NUUN by my side.

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

I have been enjoying a delicious diet of bland foods in hopes that my tummy will turn from topsy turvy to right-side up by tomorrow morning. My diet over the past two days has included plain noodles, oatmeal with Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts sprinkled on top in an attempt to get some extra protein,  bananas, toast, and Stonyfield yogurt (come on pro-biotics do your magic!), and scrambled Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs (again for some protein of course!).

Fueling to be well

I am going to bed now in hopes to feel like a new energized me in the morning. Think positive thoughts and please share your tips if you have any!!!!

My mantra this week

M is for. . .

M is for. . .

Mom

Happy belated Mother’s Day!My Mother’s Day weekend was filled with sniffly, snuffly, snuggles and sad tears from my two kiddos. Both sick and Daddy too. A nasty cold for Daddy, a double ear infection for Brock, and pneumonia for Piper. The weekend entailed two trips to the walk-in clinic at the hospital. A chest x-ray, throat cultures, several trips to the drugstore and a lot of naps.

Mommy and Buggy
Mommy and Brocky Bear

M is for . . .
Medicine
We might need to buy stock in the pink stuff (amoxicillin). Hopefully I will NOT be needing any medicine before the marathon. Fingers are crossed!

Anyone else have bad memories of “the pink sutff” from when you were little? Piper says it tastes like bananas.

M is for . . .
Monster
My kids become monsters when they are about to get sick. Thankfully we have a furry blue monster named Grover and a snuggly Zebra blankie (affectionately know as ZEE-Dah) for Brock who help us feel better!

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Brave Patient after getting her first x-ray. Thankfully Grover did not have pneumonia too!

M is for . . .
Motivate
Get out there and run to get those miles in. 12 super miles to be exact on beautiful back roads with mountain views. Running at marathon pace, testing out my race day speed. I know I can do this! I executed a great solo training run and my legs actually didn’t feel that great (perhaps fighting hard to not get sick?!?!)

Don’t over think

M is for . . .
Marathon
Less than two weeks to go until The Vermont City Marathon. I am trying not to get nervous and now I hope to stay away from all of the wicked germs that have invaded our home. I am ready for this! The countdown is on!

See you at the starting line.

M is for . . .
Mountain Pose
I went to a very much-needed yoga class tonight at my beautiful friend Carolyn Smith’s yoga studio Rising Spirit Yoga in Wells river Vermont. In the weeks leading up to the marathon after all of the long miles, my body is craving the deep stretching that yoga brings as well as the calm meditation and focused, quiet that will help guide me to the finish on race day.

Om

PR!

PR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This weekend was the Half Marathon Unplugged, a race that starts in Colchester, VT and ends in Burlington, VT. My coach Denise Goode from The Sustainable Athlete and I decided that this would be a perfect race for me to add to my training calendar for the Vermont City Marathon as a warm-up race for the big day.

The weather on race day was incredible. Beautiful, clear blue skies, temps in the 50’s-60’s. My friend Bridget and I were signed up to run in the second wave of racers with race time being 11 o’clock. It was a bit difficult knowing we had a lot of time in the morning before the race to allow the nerves to take over. However on the plus side I had extra time to get enough fuel for my body.

Fueling my body to have enough energy stores during the race has been a big focus for me during my training. I made sure to get enough calories in the days leading up to the race. The night before the race I ate a hearty breakfast of banana pancakes with hemp protein powder, two fried eggs and some fresh fruit and then before bed a giant bowl of granola. On race day I started off with an enormous bowl of oatmeal with whole milk and strawberries, sipped on water with NUUN U Natural Tangerine Ginger. 

NUUN U Natural Tangerine Ginger-Yum!

We arrived at the start early enough to grab bagels and for Bridget an English muffin (a craving for nooks and crannies???). We had plenty of time to warm-up and stretch and also time for some rocket fuel . . .I mean GU ROCTANE to add in the extra energy punch at the starting line.  It is amazing how much thought goes into pre-race fueling!

Fast Pete & Gerry's Organic Chicks (Thanks EARTHTEC and Skirt Sports for the awesome gear!)

At the starting line I was feeling nervous. This race was going to be a good test of my speed for the actual marathon. I have definitely been feeling strong but surprised myself at this race.  During the fall I ran quite a few half-marathons but took a different approach to the race-I wanted to enjoy the race, run hard, feel good, and trust my training.  Before this half I was very focused on hitting my split times. When the race started I was able to let myself go and just race rather than to over-think. I knew that my training has been intense, lots of hills, mountain races, tempo runs, and running with some super fast training partners. I reminded myself that this race was “short” in comparison to the longer training runs. Also, starting this fall I decided to not even focus on the first half of the race but to only really think about the actual race with 6 miles to go because I know I am a strong 10K runner. I have been working hard to keep my thoughts positive. Instead of thinking 3 miles to go, I would think to myself, “3 miles is easy, just a 5k, time to kick up the pace.”  I also thought of people who inspire me, who I know are strong. I have also learned from running relay events to use the energy of the runners in front of me and imagine their energy pulling you closer.  How do you inspire yourself in the middle of a hard race?

Quiet your mind

I went out fast. Perhaps a bit too fast but I was feeling supercharged. My pace the first 2 miles averaged 7:11 minutes per mile. I have definitely never run that fast at this distance before! I knew I had to slow it down and eased into a 7:23 min/mile pace. I felt strong as I ran the course (which by the way runs right along scenic Lake Champlain and also along much of the VT City Marathon course). There were many strong women runners on the course including my friend Bridget who finished first in our age group (30-39) running a super fast 1:32.23. Seeing strong women on the course reminded me that I could run like that too and knowing that Bridget was up ahead made me want to run faster. The toughest half mile was the second to last where my first 2 miles definitely caught up with me. With a half mile to go however I decided I needed to pick up the pace and finish the race strong.

Racing to the finish.

During the race I never looked to see how long I had been running. I only checked my pace and to see how many miles I had run. When I approached the finish line I knew I was coming in faster than I had before but was surprised to see that I had crushed my previous PR by almost 8 minutes! I ran a time of 1:37.48 which put me 5/52 in my age group (30-39) and 35 overall out of 317 runners.

Post-race happy!

I am totally psyched and can’t wait for marathon day! I can start to see the possibility of qualifying for Boston coming within reach. I am going to train my a$$ off for the last month and a half of training.

I am going to reach for my dream!

 

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Motivation

I completed 17.35 miles yesterday in 3:04:26 with 2,177 feet of elevation gain as a part of my marathon training for the VT City Marathon. The run was extra challenging due to the fact that we ran mostly on trails and had some serious climbing to do along the way. I am working on fueling for race day and found that I definitely need more calories during the run. At around 14 miles in I started feeling “bonky” which is probably equivalent to crashing into the wall somewhere between 18 and 20 miles at the marathon.  I hope to get my fueling plan all figured out pre-race day to help me “climb” over the wall.  During the run I had to push through it since we began a serious ascent at mile 14 as we ran/power hiked up to the top of Bear Claw.  The climb and the push to the top was worth it though and I felt re-energized by the accomplishment of powering through a tough moment during the run.  This was a moment of digging deep.  We all put our heads down and the run became silent except for the sounds of breathing and the crunching of leaves underfoot.

Run Stats
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View from the Top of Bear Claw

The views of Franconia Notch and the valleys below were amazing! The morning was crisp and clear and the energy of our group was high. I ran with my friends who motivate and inspire me with their enthusiasm and desire to just get out there and run and not question a challenge. My friend Bridget constantly buzzes with energy and seems to have endless power and speed. My friend Jenny taking a break from adventure racing to be a mom has strength within and drive to push hard. 4 months post-baby she is back at it and her running seems effortless. Today we were also accompanied by Gabe my friend Joanna’s husband and now proud father of two wonderful kids. Gabe has a quiet energy and positivity and fit perfectly with our group.I feel lucky to be able to run with this group and aspire to run like they do. The one common trait of these amazing athletes is the ability to not over think and to just run.

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Gabe and his babes
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More of Gabe and his babes!

Accomplishing this 17 mile run with these strong and intense athletes gives me the motivation to work harder. Plus running with my friends always has moments of laughter which keep things light along the way!

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A moment of laughter on our run as Nanook needed to be carried across this bridge.
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Giggles