I went back to full-time work 2 1/2 yrs ago as a Research Assistant at the Univ. of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. I had spent the prior four years as a full-time runner. I knew that going back to work would be a learning process of trying strike a balance between my day job and my vocation as a runner. I needed to take everything I had learned about myself that made me thrive as a runner and fit it around my job....Read More
Getting into ultrarunning the past year has introduced me to a whole new subset of the running community and learning how others fuel and hydrate to run longer. This morning I've had some great discussion with my UK friends about what appears to be, as Tom T. stated it best, a "clear link between endurance sports and compulsive attitudes to body and food- easily masked under 'clean eating' labels".
I've noticed since I've gotten into ultrarunning a preponderant number of athletes on extreme and quirky diets and a fixation on 'clean eating'. There's also been quite a bit of talk about "overtraining syndrome". Is there a link?! Who knows! My theory is there's definitely a link between having an energy imbalance creating a cascade of hormonal imbalances (both men and women)....Read More
2 yrs ago when I ran Comrades ill, while the outcome was unfortunate... I actually learned one valuable thing while in the ER in Durban! After getting bloodwork done, I found out that my potassium level was really low. This totally made sense, as I had experienced the "diarrhea from hell" due to being ill/having a fever, got woozy, and passed out at 83K. Bodily fluid losses can exacerbate potassium depletion caused by dehydration. Even though I was hydrating quite a bit, my body wasn't getting exactly what it needed, being potassium....Read More
It's been a month since I posted an update- a lot has happened since Lake Sonoma! As I announced last week on social media, I went ahead and got an MRI for my nagging hammy. Unfortunately, it turned out to be more severe than expected! I have a partially torn hamstring tendon-- it has a lot of edema and inflammation, meaning it's in the early stages of healing. This is the same hammy I hurt in 2012 at Grandma's, so I know how to heal it and make a successful comeback....Read More
While traveling home and trying to work on a blog post about the Lake Sonoma 50 Miler, I realized... I need to start over. It's easy to write when it comes from the heart.
What was most important about my trail debut?
It made me smile.
Not just any smile... but the smile of a kid doing something new and challenging for the first time... and having fun with it. It was the most I've ever smiled in a race! Did I lack my usual zen-like focus to do something extraordinary? Maybe, but it doesn't matter. The whole experience made me remember why I fell in love with running and cross country in the first place: my love for nature, the grit, the hills, and learning how to push myself full-throttle from start to finish.
I knew from my first cross country race this was where I was meant to be. So it went with my first trail race: coming full circle and realizing... this is where I'm meant to be! It made me feel alive... and most importantly it made me smile. :)
While my 4th place finish may sound like a disappointment for all the talent I'm blessed with... I gained so much more from my trail debut that far outweighs any missed podium. I have to think there's a greater purpose to it. I fought really really hard the entire way to get to the finish... looking like something from Braveheart! It means the world to me that I made it and somehow finished in a respectable time (7:30+)!
This is just the beginning. It was humbling, beautiful, muddy, gritty, memorable, and I'm excited to keep working at it and get better!
I can't thank everyone enough who shared in my journey, my crew (Jack and friends, Ethan), the volunteers, RD Tropical John M and wife Lisa, the medical staff and volunteers who took care of me at the finish, and everyone who captured moments of my first trail race (including Billy Y. who ran beside me a few times to get video/pics! What a trooper!)....