Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Free State 100K

Saturday, April 23rd, was the annual Free State 100K trail race. This is my fourth consecutive year to participate. I have always loved this race and the course, despite the humidity and usual incredibly awful mud. However, this year was just perfect. The temperature started and ended in the upper 40s with a north breeze and never got too much above 60 with a good north breeze. Low humidity, dry air, cloud cover most of the day. A couple of sprinkles in the afternoon but not enough to make things slick. My shoes were actually cleaner at the end of the race than the beginning! It was honestly just a perfect day to run and the most ideal conditions possible and was the kind of day that makes ultra-running "fun". Well…kinda!

The first loop I finished in about 3:45, intentionally taking it slow to save energy for the second two loops. Second loop was only about 20 minutes longer than the first which was pretty much right where I wanted to be. Honestly miles 22-28ish were my lowest point of the day – maybe the warmest part of the day. I never felt terrible but I could've felt better during those miles and I kept groaning how it was going to be a long day but I was soon to snap out of it and I played great mental tricks to go from section to section to the end. I left the aid station in 8:10 to start the third loop realizing that if I really hurried I could break 13 hours, which was my goal for the day.

I really felt like I ran very well my third loop. I never had prolonged period of walking. I always ran the flats and downhills. I maintained a consistent pace and never spent too much time at any aidstation. I had gels and electrolytes every 30 minutes or so and towards the end of the day more grazing from the food on the table. I never fell, only tripped up a couple of times actually and only rolled my ankle once (like mile 3 which is ridiculous) but the pain went away within a mile or so. I hated the shoreline section exponentially more each loop and loved some of the course alterations they had made which, to me, made things go by so much faster. I loved the quarter mile of pavement for some awesome downhill running. No complaints from me!

I made lots of new friends on the course. The funny thing is I still feel new to ultra-running but people are now asking me all sorts of advice. So, I share what I know and what's worked for me and I enjoy encouraging others along the way. I met up running with Zach Adams from SE KS just a few miles in and we ran all the way together until about 4 miles left. At that point something clicked inside me and I just couldn't hold back any longer. I flew to the finish, arriving before dark, never having to use my light. I did the last 3.5 miles in about 35 minutes which meant I was holding a 10 min per mile pace on miles 60-62. I was pretty happy with that!

After it was over I got cold fast, ate some soup, and fell asleep in the car! Sore the next day but no pain or limping. I've trained really, really hard this winter and spring so I'm thrilled with the 13:01 finish. Next year I'll knock off the minute and hopefully an hour.

Free State Trail Run is a very classy event with awesome organization, awesome aid-stations, and just an incredible atmosphere. You couldn't ask for better? If you get lost or run out of water on this course, there is really no excuse. 2011 100K Results.

2010 Free State 100K Report
2009 Free State 40-mile Report
2008 Free State 100K Report

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

EntreLeadership Seminar with Dave Ramsey

Over the last several years I have become a very big fan of Dave Ramsey and especially his "Financial Peace University" 16-week course for personal/family financial planning. Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert, a popular radio personality (I enjoy his show when I get a chance to listen) and author of several books you may have heard of: The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace, and More Than Enough. Dave Ramsey is very outspoken (read: "loud-mouthed" and obnoxious!) on a lot of things like politics and elections and the government and pretty much just says whatever comes to his mind. I don't always agree with everything he ever says and teaches but I really respect most of his core teachings and fundamental principles. I even subscribe to text message notifications of his Tweets!

On April 1st, Crossroads Friends Church Lead Pastor David Norman and I attended his "EntreLeadership" 1-day simulcast seminar. The basic premise is that we don't need just leaders anymore but entrepreneurial leaders, or entreleaders as Ramsey calls them. The concepts and material covered in the seminar will be similar to his new book that he'll be releasing in September. Anyway, it was all really good stuff and some of it was very challenging.

I just wanted to include a few highlight of his quotes and concepts:

  • organizations are never limited by their opportunity or their team; they are limited by their leader.
  • dreams only become reality when they become your vision. Vision that is ready to go to work is called a goal. Goals convert into energy. Goals that work must be specific, measurable, yours, have a time limit and be in writing.
  • "to ever accomplish anything in life you will need to be temporarily out of balance. Think over the scope of 1-2 years when you think of balance, not necessarily every day. Think "ebb and flow". The myth of the perfectly balanced day is a bunch of crap."
  • the borrower is always slave to the lender. Even in business! Borrowed money drastically increases risks. Borrowed money magnifies mistakes. Borrowed money hurts or even destroys cash flow.
  • the three most important traits in a leader are 1. Integrity, 2. Work ethic, and 3. Coachable
  • Ramsey says to his employees: "your raise is effective when you are".
  • a good reprimand is short, uncomfortable for everyone, where the problem is being attacked – not the person, private, and gentle.
  • "Sanctioned incompetence demoralizes." –John Maxwell
  • indecision is caused by one thing: fear.
  • take time (to make decision) proportionate to the impact of the decision; the larger the impact of the decision, the more time you take.
  • Options give you power!
  • 90% of making the correct decision is gathering information.
  • don't let your principles change, but frequently change your processes. If not then you become a bureaucrat! Shoot the blasted sacred cow!
  • an expert is someone who has done it lately, not someone who has an opinion!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oz Marathon 2011

I ran the Oz Marathon this morning in Olathe, KS. This was my first time ever to serve as a co-pace group leader at a marathon. We were assigned the 3:50 team and we brought it home. My watch said 3:49:18 when I crossed the finish line. Only about 40 seconds too fast! It really was a blast getting to serve as a pacer. Encouraging others to meet their goals was very fulfilling and pretty exciting. We had a pretty big group in behind us the first 10 miles or so and then they just started to fade (not without prodding and encouragement though) although some actually went on ahead of us, which was great. We helped a woman qualify for Boston for the first time by just a few seconds and coached several first timers into their excellent marathon finish. I actually had to carry a two foot light-weighted stick with a 3:50 banner on top the whole way. It was way easier to do that than I thought it would be.

It was a cold and windy start with temps at like 37 and winds out of the north at least 20mph or more. A couple hours later it did warm up a bit and the wind did back off a bit but it was still really cool for mid-April and a very welcome chance to wear long sleeve shirt and gloves through the whole marathon. And that's after three races in the last month that were so, so hot - even up to 90!

I had run Olathe once before in 2008 and I really loved the course this year so much more than the old course. It really was pretty fun with a mixture of just about everything from suburbia, to residential neighborhoods, to a paved trail for the last half of the race.

My co-pacer was Marla from Topeka, a veteran marathoner and very accomplished runner. We had a really fun time getting acquainted. 

Sarah ran the half marathon in Olathe as well. It was called the Wickedly Fast Half Marathon. She finished in 2 hours and 22 minutes. She was really excited to run the entire distance without walking a step and was very pleased with her finish time. She thinks this Kansas weather is crazy, though.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Marathon/Ultra Archive 2011 Update

Just like to keep my list up-to-date once a year. Still shooting for 100 Marathons & Ultras before age 31 and all 50 states perhaps sometime before 40.
  1. Wichita Marathon October 2003
  2. Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon April 2004
  3. Dallas White Rock Marathon December 2004
  4. Chicago Marathon October 2005
  5. New York City Marathon November 2006
  6. Oklahoma Marathon (Tulsa) November 2006
  7. Salt Lake City Marathon April 2007
  8. Andy Payne Memorial Marathon (OKC) May 2007
  9. Heart of America Marathon (Columbia, Missouri) September 2007
  10. Marine Corps Marathon (Washington D.C.) October 2007
  11. St. Jude Marathon (Memphis, Tennessee) December 2007
  12. Olathe Marathon (KS) March 2008
  13. Mountain Home Marathon (Arkansas) November 2008
  14. Thunder Road Marathon (Charlotte, NC) December 2008
  15. Rockin' K Marathon April 2009
  16. Salt Lake City Marathon April 2009
  17. Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon April 2009
  18. Los Angeles Marathon May 2009
  19. Kansas City Marathon October 2009
  20. Eisenhower (Abilene, KS) Marathon April 2010
  21. Fargo Marathon May 2010
  22. Rock Creek Night Marathon July 2010 Trail Marathon PR of 5:10
  23. Kansas City Marathon PR 3:27 October 2010
  24. Eisenhower Marathon April 2011
  25. Oz Marathon (Olathe, KS) April 2011
  26. Lincoln (NE) Marathon May 2011
  27. Hawk Marathon (trails, Clinton Lake, Lawnrence, KS) May 2011
  28. Grizzly Marathon (Choteau, MT) July 2011
  29. Kansas City Marathon October 2011
  30. Des Moines, IA Marathon October 2011 (back-to-back)
  31. Eisenhower Marathon April 2012
  32. Garmin Marathon (Olathe) April 2012
         32 marathons in 16 states as of 4/21/12


  1. Flatrock September 50K 2007
  2. Psycho-Wyco Ice-Version 50K Februrary 2008
  3. Cross Timbers 50-Mile (Texas) February 2008
  4. Rockin' K 50-Mile April 2008
  5. Free State 100K April 2008
  6. Psycho-Wyco Fire-Version 50K July 2008
  7. Lunar Trek 40 Mile July 2008
    Leadville Trail 100 (DNF at 50 Mile) August 2008
  8. Flatrock 50K September 2008
  9. Heartland 100 Mile October 2008
  10. Rock Creek 50K October 2008
  11. Run for Missions 103.9 miles November 2008
  12. One Hill at a Time 50K December 2008
  13. Kansas Ultrarunners Society Members Only Flint Hills 50 mile March 2009
  14. Free State 40 Mile April 2009
  15. Lunar Trek 100K July 2009
    Leadville Trail 100 (DNF at 50Kish) August 2009
  16. Flatrock 50K September 2009
  17. Heartland 100 Mile October 2009
  18. Rock Creek 50K October 2009
  19. Run for Missions 104.2 miles November 2009
  20. One Hill at a Time 50K November 2009
  21. Rockin' K 50 mile April 2010
  22. Free State 100K April 2010
  23. Moonlight Madness 50 Miler July 2010
  24. Patriots' Run (53 miles) September 2010
  25. Flatrock 50K September 2010
  26. Heartland 100 October 2010 (PR 22:22)
  27. Run for Missions 104.2 miles November 2010
  28. Grasslands 50 mile (trail PR of 10:52) March 2011
  29. Rockin' K 50 mile April 2011
  30. Free State 100K (13:01) April 2011
  31. Lunar Trek 40 Miles July 2011
    Canadian Death Race 125K (DNF at about 45 miles) July 2011
  32. Flatrock 50K September 2011
  33. Heartland 100 October 2011
  34. Run for Missions 104.2 October 2011
  35. Cross Timbers Trail 50 (Lake Texoma, TX) February 2012
  36. Brew to Brew 44 miles (KC to Lawrence) April 2012
  37. Rockin' K 50 Mile Trail April 2012
  38. Lake Perry Rocks 50K, May 2012

    38 ultramarathons as of 5/14/1270 Marathons & Ultramarathons as of 5/14/12

Eisenhower Marathon 2011

In 2010 I entered into the Eisenhower Marathon the afternoon before the race at the last possible second and went up there and PR'd on a beautifully cool and crisp morning. This year, I was hoping to do the same, registering for the race on Tuesday of the week of. But you gotta love Kansas weather! This year it was 80+ degrees, humid, extremely windy, and intensely hot all by 10 am on race morning. It hit 90 by afternoon. It really did feel like summer instead of early Spring.

I had hopes of setting another PR but after about 9 miles into the race I just couldn't quite hit my splits and I knew that the heat was only going to get worse so I backed off and tried to just have fun and coast into the finish. I drank at every aid station (just about every mile!) and filled my water bottle 5 times and drained it every time. It's a simple course, mostly on a highway, exposed to all of the elements of sun and wind.

A couple guys I know ran their first marathon there as well so after kind of recovering a bit in the shade and eating some pancakes I went back out on the course and ran with them back in the last little stretch.

The finish line and last mile looked more like a triage area with people collapsing and passing out due to the heat and dehydration. The ambulance went up and down the street staying real busy with marathon customers! I told a race official to call an ambulance for one lady at mile 25.5 because there was no way she could finish (vomiting and couldn't stand on her own two feet). Yikes!

My overall finish place in the Marathon was 37 (of 193) and my age group (males 25-29) finish place was 10 (of 18) and my official time was 3:51:34, which was 8:49/mile. This was my 6th fastest marathon ever but one of the more miserable weather conditions I can remember.

After drinking water and cooling off and eating more food I was just fine with minimal soreness. I ran 8 miles Sunday morning and felt just fine.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Early Morning Good-bye

Kissing Adam good-bye before the beginning of the 50-mile run! I would see him later since I volunteered at the Gate 6 aid station where Adam passed through four times!

Rockin' K 2011

I finished the Rockin' K 50 mile trail run yesterday. It started out at really cold and I could barely grip my water bottles because my hands were freezing for the first 30 minutes. It didn't take long for that to change. When the sun came up I took off my long sleeve shirt and it just got warmer from there...

On the Bluff loop (somewhere around mile 16) I was running with three other people and we went off trail. Way off trail! I think we were at least a half mile off trail running along a fence line when suddenly the fence ended and so did our little trail. I knew the scenery didn't look familiar but it took a long time for it to register. We retraced our steps and got back on trail and it took me a really long time to catch up with the people that I was ahead of before that. Strangely enough, I went off trail 3 or 4 times this year and I don't ever remember dong that in the past.

Everyone always says that the Rockin' K course is "deceivingly tough". Now more than ever, I agree. It was a hard, hot, windy day. I struggled to stay hydrated and keep my stomach balanced enough to continue to process water and calories. The second loop I was joined again this year by my good running friend, Andy, as a pacer. He was very, very helpful and very encouraging and motivating. 

Overall, I gave it my best. I didn't finish my "best" or even my "second" goal time but instead I just finished (which is always my third goal at any race)! Two weeks prior I ran a 50 mile trail race in an hour and 23 minutes faster in even hotter conditions. I never had any really long stretches of walking or wimping out too much, I just pushed ahead running as much as I possibly could and could only come up with a 12 hour and 15 minute finish. Of course, I was just happy to finish and consider myself ready for the next adventure! This is my third Rockin' K 50 mile finish (one DNF halfway through the second loop in 2009). 

The End of A Long Haul

Don't we all just need encouragement at the end of a long haul? I thought this clip captures the cheering that we all need whether we've run 50-miles or are just plain exhausted when the day is done. (By the way, I was pretty proud of my husband running uphill to the finish!)

Little Tent on the Prairie

We got to use our new tent this weekend for the first time! We spent two nights at Kanopolis State Park in Kanopolis, KS this weekend - the first night was pretty frigid, but the second night was just absolutely perfect other than the 40 mph sustained winds! It was truly the type of night where you wake up in the morning so refreshed by the spring air and wonder why people ever buy houses.