Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I get to have a baby vicariously through Heather!
She had her baby last night... Ascher (I'm not 100% on the spelling yet!)
I am going to stop by the hospital and get the details and snap a few pictures.
I am so happy for you two!
You will be fantastic parents!
Visit her blog
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I made it! Here it is Sunday, the day after the race and I am winding down from a busy day, feeling great. My legs are understandibly tired, back a wee bit tweaked, my feet sore and an overall feeling of exhaustion, nothing out of the ordinary nor nothing to be expected. I actually feel quite good, all things considered.
Friday night I ventured over to Brandon's and tried to absorb some of his entusiasm and energy. We chowed down on roasted yams and sweet potatoes, pesto pasta, chicken and bread. He has been stoked on this product by Hammer products. He went on and on how I need to include a protien in my fuel. I usually (always) have water in my pack and suck on a GU about every hour. So I went home, felt uneasy about the whole idea but decided to add some "product" to my trusty hydration pack. MMMmmmmm.... don't ever....ever try anything new on race day...
Saturday, Brandon came and picked me up at 7AM, just as Dan (who finished in 4:40!!) the neighbor with incredibly long legs, knocked on the door to offer me a ride. Oh the buzz was about town! I was incredibly calm the day of the race, I had nothing riding on the race. I made up my mind that finishing was going to be a feat and focus on completing the course. It was just a long run in the woods, and what more do I love than that? I sat in the pavilion, killing the last 40 minutes before the race. People were stashing GUs in every crevasse that they could, lubing up, and even more talking it up. Spraying about all the races that they had completed this year. It was pretty comical actually. The next thing I know, all 350 of us were standing at the start line and off we went. The first 6.5 miles are flat and fast. This provided a great warm up and at aid station 1 I was right on time coming in just under an hour. We then climbed up to Fragrance Lake which ended up being a long hike trying to keep my heart in my chest.... Left around the lake and then down the old Two Dollar trail. This section of trail is usually the first of the mud fest. I thought this year that the mud would be overwhelming but the entire race was nice and tacky. This is when I first noticed my sideache. Odd, I never get side aches, this developed into a somache ache, a royal knot in the belly. Uh oh... When we hit the bottom of $2, we climb up Cleator, the entire road! This is the part of the race that is a total mind!@#$. This part of the race makes me question why I signed up to climb Cleator, why it is that I like my legs to feel like death... at the top of Cleator lies the reason why I signed up: the Ridge Trail, one of my favorites of all time. This was the only section of trail that I can actually pass people. I love the ridge! From the entire ridge, we venture back, deeper into the Chuckanuts and head toward Lost Lake, This is a grind, steadily uphill, muddy as all hell and 8.5 miles between aid stations. In this back section, I would take a swig of the milky water elixir in my pack and moments later, my stomach would be in knots, I would bend over to relieve the cramps. WHAT! Who ever tries new things on race day anyway... crazy fools! Once cresting "too many pigs" trail we fly down an old service road and to aid station 4 and the base of the CHINSCRAPER. The icing on the Chuckanut's cake. this section of trail is probably on three miles long but there are sections of it that are no give away, all fours type of affair. Once to the top it is a breeze down the Fragrance Lake service road, past the last aid station ( where I happily had a Dixie cup of water and so desperately wanted to drop my pack with someone so I wouldn't even tempt myself with the fluid that was contained in it) and back up the Interurban. This was the hardest part of the race for me. I felt every step. All I wanted to do was walk, walk, walk! "The faster you run the sooner you are done..." was on repeat in my head. I didn't want to walk because that means that it would be drawn out longer than I wanted to be doing it. I was alone, passing just a couple of people struggling, I had to just tip my hand and pass, I couldn't bear to look at them because I felt the same way. The last six miles are unreal, I know what it feels like to run six miles, it is casual, I fire off 8 before work. But the last six miles is insane. Then the last two miles are even more grueling. They just on and one, then before I knew it I made the last left hand turn into Fairhaven park, I can hear the PA system, then I hear them announce #238: Michelle Stiles. WOW I made it yet again! I see the crowd and get a 2Nd wind (I am actually probably on my 17Th wind by now) and cruise on into the finish line. John was the first person in the crowd I saw clapping, then noticed that he was surrounded by our friends: Andy, Az, Joe.... Ah how sweet. The finish light was the sweetest feeling of the day!
Ahhh... another year under my belt, another race chalked up and I am stronger because of it!
Thanks every one for the encouragement and support!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
We are getting close! I am looking forward to seeing all of you this weekend. We have an amazing list of Volunteers thanks to Cheryl Batty who has coordinated each and everyone. This race (any race) is not possible without the help of volunteers. Please be sure to thank them throughout the day!
WEATHER: The forecast is for rather wet and cold weather, quite normal for this race, but with no drop bags this year, please consider that showers are possible and it could be very cold up on the ridge. There very likely will still be snow for several miles on the course, maybe considerable new wet snow, and slushy icewater unavoidably right in the middle of the trail. With no drop bags, runners will need to take enough clothes to be OK for the duration.
With that in mind, we do not recommend that a runner bring expensive or favorite jackets or other clothing unless you plan on wearing/carrying it the whole time. Although race management tries their best to get everything back to the start, we stress that there is NO guarantee that runner's personal gear will be returned in a timely manner or at all, and therefore runners should be careful what they wear if they plan on leaving anything along the way. You leave it at your own risk. Thanks for understanding this point. There are 350 runners and a very small group of volunteers coordinating this event, please be responsible for your items.
I will live, I know. How many times have I been out running in the snow this winter. Every weekend in fact, probably almost every long run and even bike ride has been endured in the snow/rain chit. So I have it on all those people who trained solely on treadmills, I can handle the gunky trails.
To get me even more stoked, an old running buddy invited me to run on the peninsula this May with her.
Here is the plan:
"I also wanted to see if you would like to run out on the peninsula from
Whiskey Bend to the North Quinalt maybe in late May. I did it two summers
ago and it was fun and fast! Rolling hills with one climb over Whatcom Pass.
Its 42 miles and it took 9 hours last time. I'm running a bit slower these
days, so you might have to be patient with me. There are a few river
crossings toward the end. But by that time, you don't really care about wet
feet anymore. The first 26 miles is a gradual incline and the last 16 a fast
down down down plummet!
Let me know if your interested! I need some kind of long run to look forward
too. We could even do the Hannagen Pass to Diablo Damn. Its longer, a lot
harder, but there is still quiet a bit of snow up there till Aug.
Let me know if your somewhat interested!"
Okay, so maybe I could get excited to start running again, especially with that to look forward to!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I have not been sick in ages. The week of the race comes along and I am down for the count. I have been getting a couple massages a week my guess is that this worked some toxins, and the cold/flu bug out of my lymph nodes and into my system.
I have been trying to drink as much water as I can, sweating as much as I can, and resting. Hard to say what I am going to feel like when Saturday rolls around. Right now my bed and some hot luquid sounds comforting.
The forecast for the week is RAIN. Yes, RAIN in the biggest sense of the work. Lots of the wetness. The trails are going to be a disaster come Saturday, bordering unethical to run on.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
I gathered my shoes, gloves, and the one lonely ounce of motivation I had to run. It took me a while to warm up, as always, but once I did I always have the biggest grin that is hard to wipe off my face. Running trail, in the woods, fresh air, muddy conditions that just make you want to laugh... I wonder why I questioned my love of running. I feel at ease moving down trails and spending countless hours adventuring through the woods.
Brandon has been super excited to run the Chuckanut this year. He has been picking my brain for weeks now, I haven't had much to offer. I remember that feeling, such a clear goal that gave me purpose and a drive that is unstoppable. I don't know if I will ever be there again, and that is okay. I am growing and discovering what makes me whole. Brandon stopped by last night, after a track workout that I had suggested. He looked great and stoked.... that stoked look that people have when they are doing something that they love. When I got home this afternoon, I couldn't help but absorb some of his positive energy. With this I went on a run and I loved my two hours on the trail.
I am going to run next weekend. Run for the sake of being on the trail, some of my favorite trails in Whatcom County with a bunch of other people who also like to run trail. I bet there are a handful of others who feel the same way I do, under trained, lacking the mental toughness... all those excuses not to try. I remember having these same thoughts the first time I ran this race, Brie just reminded that it is just a long walk in the woods...
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Someone finally had some influence on me, the most unlikely of people. I have heard the argument a thousand times over that it is "unnatural" or "we are not built" for such distances. I had always disagreed. "Polish Bob," a fellow climber and my new massage therapist, of all people didn't make that argument. He put it in different terms. First, it takes my body at least two weeks to recover from such an effort. I usually don't rest for that long and wind up with injuries. Second, why put all one's eggs in a single basket. Really one can only run a couple ultras a year. What you get sick, injured, life just gets in the way. You have trained, basically eat, thought, slept, breathed with the intent of this race and now you can't compete. BLAH! Such is life I know but one is much more likely to suffer from major burn out with this type of training. Third, the likelihood of getting injured in these races is dramatically increased. Not the best...
Maybe I was just open enough today to finally listen to someone. I think that I just don't want to do it so I am open to any excuses I can find. I am not in very good shape nor do I have the confidence that once burned inside of me, pushing me to the limit. What ever the reason, I am admitting it, I just don't want to run that far right now.
***Ahhh*** It is a load off already. Who knows, I might still run it, I have to sleep on the decision because I tend to make hasty decisions.
As of now I am stoked on yoga, my floor bow is my favorite posture, I can do great back bends, I feel strong, and I have a great foundation for the coming climbing season. Distance running is another story. Is it a story of the past? Right now I think it is. I am not shutting the door on it completely, I will still get a couple runs in a week, I just don't want any pressure to run. Oh and biking is way cooler than running!
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
There are numerous local shops that have closed their doors, handed out pink slips, retooled their business plans, leaned up as much as possible. The future is unknown *nothing new there folks!*.
This shirt is an example that people will use anything/slogan in order to turn a profit.
John and I have our own plan: lots of bike rides in Whatcom County, bouldering in town and whatever else this lovely town has to offer.
I guess there is some shed of truth to the shirt. I will use yoga to keep me sane.