Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Tough Run

Today I attempted my final really long run before TRT50 miler. Attempt, because I didn't do all the miles I set out to do. Mentally I felt a bit fried from the time I woke. But I headed out the door anyways as this is my weekend to work and there wouldn't be any other time besides today to get this run in. Off I went to the Overlook.

I headed down to No hand bridge and up to Cool. On this 7.5 mile trip I actually felt really good. Really strong on the climbs, I was working on my power hike and everything felt right. Mentally at this time I was more focused then I had been when I woke up. At the Cool fire station I turned around and headed back down to No Hands Bridge where once there I immediately turned around and headed back to Cool.

I was maybe a mile up the climb when my stomach started turning and I even got some goose bumps. My stomach was not feeling good, and I knew that I wouldn't make it to the port-a-potty across the 49 crossing not far up a head. This is not good, so I did what any trial runner would do; I went. And you know what, my stomach felt better, which meant I physically felt better. I hurried on my way now able to run once again. No more stomach pain!

I kept power hiking and making my way to Cool, I would hike small sections and then run. I knew with each step I was getting closer. But my quads were not happy with me. Maybe I wasn't as recovered as I thought, or maybe it had something to do with the hill repeats on Monday and also the mile hill repeats on Tuesday where I covered 10 miles total that day. Working the legs I was!

I arrived at Cool, took in a gel and started back down. I let the flow of the trail take me and slowly settled into a nice pace. I was actually really focused. I breathing wasn't labored, my effort felt right, but my legs felt like they had no power. I arrived back at No Hands and made my way to the Overlook.

Here I was feeling the combined effects of the hills earlier in the week and also today's hills. My legs would not respond. On top of my legs not wanting to respond I ran out of water 2 miles from the Overlook. Now if you have never been in this area, this is not a good thing as the canyon is very hot and just sucks everything out of you. I still had a bit of climbing to do. I just put one foot in front of the other, always moving forward. I ran some of this section, but honestly not much. I was running on empty. I arrived back at the Overlook and immediately soaked my legs in the nice cool canal.

In the end I logged 22 miles for the day. Not bad considering I already had 22 miles in my legs with a good deal of quality in them as well. I think that I didn't fuel properly which ultimately lead me to feeling the way I felt. I needed to eat more which would have helped the situation. But like the saying goes "It is the tough runs that make us stronger!"

This was a tough run; I won’t beat myself over it as I know if I had fueled different things would have ended differently. I just hope not to make this same mistake at Tahoe.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back at It

This week I am back at it, hill repeat Monday was in full effect. Now I am not saying I didn't do anything last week because I did. I actually needed a down week. My recovery from the She Rocks The Trail 50K was actually taking some time both physically and mentally. My body was slow in getting back to "normal" or back to running form. It was probably a good thing that I didn't push it last week to hard. Mentally I was just completely spent. I had no motivation what's so ever, that was mostly due to the fact that I felt like crap and I felt really blotted. I did manage to do hill repeats last week on Thursday and that actually felt really good, and when I went to put on my belt I actually dropped another belt notch (blotted probably due to the salt I took I am guessing). That was the sign I needed that all was right once again.

With everything being right again, I came home today and changed and headed out the door for some hill repeats. I didn't head up the hill to El Dorado like I usually do, but instead did a nice 2 mile warm up towards Beals and hit the hill where this all started a few months ago.

One my first repeat, I noticed that my quads were a bit sore and I was achy. But that was just do to not running much last week, that or the bad shoes I wore to work today. I did 5 hill repeats and all were very evenly spilt going up with a good effort. I actually have missed my hill repeat Monday, I didn't do them the week before the race, nor the week of so that was 2 weeks without hills. Hill repeats can be difficult, but I enjoy seeing how much stronger I have become each week because of it. In fact my clothes are fitting a bit differently now. A bit smaller in the waist.

Another thing that sparked my motivation again was being apart of Anthony's crew while he ran Western States 100 on Saturday. It was a incredible journey for all who toed the line. Anthony looked strong all day, he was mentally focused each time we saw him. He was very consistent all day. It was incredible to see him run as strong as he did. He finished in 21:38:22. A smoking time!

Ant's Crew

Anthony focused coming up Bath Road on his way Foresthill

Kuni "the Beast", Anthony and Eric both of his pacers.

It was a great experience to see him run. His focus and determination were on point all day long. Thank you Anthony for allowing me to be apart of this journey with you! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

She Rocks The Trail 50k Race Report 2012

I made my way into No Hands Aid Station the second time, I was 27 miles into the 50k. I gave my bottle to Jenny to refill with coke while Kirk and Dustin soaked me down in the shade. I felt like a race horse at the starting gate. I was focused on the runner in the distance. I can catch her was all I was thinking. I wasn't talking I was thinking "Ok, get my bottle and go. 4 miles from here to the finish I can do this. Just keep her in my sights." Then Jenny handed me my bottle Kirk and Dustin soaked me one more time I took off with the cheers of Fleet Feet Aid Station. I was now on a mission, catch the runner in front me and don't get caught by the runner behind me. Focus, keep moving I can do this is all I said to myself......

The inaguaral race of She Rocks The Trail 50k was probably held on one of the hottest days that the Auburn area has ever seen. Temperatures reached well over the 100 degree mark and in the canyons the sun just sucked the energy from you like a vampire sucking your blood. It would happen so quickly that I didn't know what was going on. Julie Fingar and her team put on the best races I have ever seen. The support of the aid stations and volunteers is unlike anything I have ever seen. Without the volunteers and my team mates shuttle water out to us runners on the Olmestead loop and the water stashed about 2.5 miles from the finish this day would have been completely different for me.

Lining up at the starting line I was feeling calm and focused. I had my plan though I did adjust it after talking to Anthony. I had been hydrating more so all week as I knew the temperatures were going to be record breaking. In no time it was time to go and down the Damn hill I went along with about 200 other runners. I kept my pace comfortable and relaxed as I made my way to the base of Cardiac knowing that I still had a lot of racing to do. At the first aid station I grabbed 2 PB&J's and started the climb. I wont lie, cardiac and I have never gotten along, but today we were. I quickly found my rythem and put my head down and climbed. I even ran the sections that leveled out. Switch back after switch back, up and up I go. I was focused on what I needed to do and that was all.

As I crested the top I took a second to shake out my legs and then I transitioned into my run. It was along the canal that I took in 2 salts and Gel as I was feeling the effects of cardiac and the sun. Paula and I ended up running this section together and it was nice to have the company. We rolled into the start and finish line together and at the second aid station I refilled my water bottle and grabbed 2 more PB&J's and made my way to the single track that would take me No Hands Bridge.

This area of trail was shaded and it was nice to be out of the sun for a bit. I enjoyed the downhill and just let the hill take me. I was on point with my splits and I was feeling good. My legs were moving, my mind was focused. I had with me all my splits and the miles in between the aid stations. This way I could easily break down my goals and make it more attainable reather than look at the bigger picture of 31.1 miles. Instead it was aid station to aid staion, 4 miles here, 3 miles there and it kept me focused.

I came into No Hands Bridge aid station with a plan. But when I got there it was utter chaos as there was a ton of 25k's there and I quickly forgot what I wanted. I did refill my bottle, get soaked grabbed 2 PB&J's, 2 salts, and I started up the hill to K2. But before I went 5 feet I hear Dustin say "Melisa, your CANDY!" You see I had asked him to make sure I grabbed a piece of candy to suck on while I climbed K2, but with the chaos at the aid station I had completly forgotten to get one. Thank you Dustin for remembering!

Coming into No Hands #1; photo by Dustin Burgess

As I started the climb up K2 I could feel my energy levels plummiting. The sun was sucking me dry. I knew now that I was bit behind on fuel and I quickly sucked down a Gel and took in 2 salts. It was going to take some time for the fuel to hit me. This was going to hurt and hurt it did. How I came behind on my fueling I am not sure, but I knew that I needed to keep the fuel coming in as I had a lot of racing left to do. I climbed and climbed then I had to pause as my heart rate was so elevated I couldn't catch my breath, the sun and the heat was getting to me. I could feel the heat bouncing off of the ground and just attacking me. It attacked from the ground and from above. I started drinking my water from my pack and using my bottle to keep me cool. I kept climbing and climbing and then I hit the top and to my surprise there was a specator/volunteer there. He asked me how I was and I told hime "I am having a moment." I was in a low place and overheating. He told me I was in the top ten and that lifted my spirits, though I was rather surprised. I have never been in the top ten this early in a race and racing from this position also changed my mentallity and startegy.

Knowing this I kept my focus on fuel and fluids in and salt. I taking salt like it was candy, but it was working. I took in another gel and slowly transitioned into a run, but then as I hit the exposed section the sun just baked me again and my bottle of water felt like boiling water when I put it on me. I slowed to a hike as I was overheating again. I kept the fluids coming in though, I knew this was going to help cool me down and help keep me going. It was during this tiny 1.5 mile stretch that I was passed and now I was in 11th place. But I didn't let it deflate me, I let it fuel me. I also didn't push the pace here as I knew if I did I was going to really implode. I stayed nice and steady, with my strategy. Fluids in, fuel in, and salt.

I arrived at Cool aid station #1, and the volunteers quickly went to work. I had them refill my pack with ice and water and refill my bottle. I told them I think I am overheating, and Allyson quickly cooled me down and I felt the effects of the cool water immediatly. I wasn't so foggy. I explained that I hit a low on the climb up K2 but I had been working on my fuel to get me back. She told me I knew what I needed to do and to keep it up. She also put some ice in my sports bra and wow what a relief that was. I grabbed some PB&J and left with a lighter step then when I arrived. Thank you Cool Aid Station, you guys knew what I needed, cooled me down very quickly and got me on my way in mintues!

Now I was on the haul road and I had 2.4 miles of asphalt and the heat of the asphalt to deal with. I kept a steady pace and just focused on the next aid, a light aid station with fluids only right before I hti the single track. But before I could hit the single track I had to do a small out and back on the asphalt, which I dropped a few choice words when I heard that. The volunteer here though offered to hold my bottle for me and I said "how about  my pack, it is only .5 there and .5 back right?" He said yes, so I quickly dumped my pack and put it in the shade and continued on the hot asphalt. I hit the turnaround, which was  sign and a few cones and headed back. On my way back I saw that there were a few runners in behind me and that I needed to stay focused if I was going to stay in the top 10.

I arrived back at the light duty and I picked up my packed, soaked myself and refilled my bottle and started on the single track. But before I completly left the volunteer told me I was top 10. Again I found this hard to believe, but just took the information in and let it give that high. Now my focus and determination were on point.

The Olmstead loop is about 6 miles, but this was a long 6 miles. The heat was almost unbearable and completly zapped my energy levels dry. My pace slowed considerable and I was doing everything I could to keep myself together. I started uping the salt intake and my fuel. I was probably taking a salt sometime 2 every 15-20 mintues. I was fueling about every 20 minutes and I was constatnly drinking water and using my bottle to keep me cool. During this stretch I was passed and was now in 11th place. But instead of pushing the pace, I backed off just slightly. I kept the runner in my sights and continued my focus on fuel and fluids and salt.

Then a beatiful thing happen, I slowly felt a transformation from inside of me. It was like a light bulb came on and everything was clear. My focus was sharp, I was thinking more clearly, my pace increased and it didn't feel like my effort did. My brain was working and slowly making a plan on how to attack. Up to this point I was always running defensively and now I was going to attack. I was slowly catching the runner in front of me. I only had 3 miles to aid station, and I knew I wanted to pass her before we reached that aid. I slowly inched my way towards, 2 miles to go and my energy levels were at an all time high. 1 mile to go, and getting closer to her. I was still focused on fluids and I ended up draining the entire pack of my water and the water in my bottle was again boiling. Almost to the aid station. Then I see a bright neon green shirt and I notice it is one my team mates and another volunteer. They were running the loop in reverse and they had a water jug with them. A life line I so desperatly needed and the quick pick me up have seeing someone else and their energy level really helped increased my focus. I quickly emptied the little bit of boiling water I had and had them refill my bottle a little. I didn't need the entire bottle full as I was near the aid station. This is also when I was able to pass the runner I had been stalking. With the pass I quickly increased my pace and arrived at the aid station.

I knew what I needed, I needed water and ice in my pack and coke in my bottle. The volunteers here were awesome and again went to work to cool me down. This second trip though I was more mentally aware and my energy was high. I was cooled down with sponges and I even took a popscily. I was off and running in a few minutes and I managed to pass another runner who there. Now I think I am in 9 place. Allyson reminded me that Kirk and Fleet Feet crew were at No Hands and I knew what needed to get done. I was really excited to be on my way. I was feeling mentally strong.

I started my descent to No Hands, I was on the W.S trail single track right before the fire road when I went to drink some coke and instead of coke I ended up shooting carbonation into my throat which casued me to gag and stop dead in my tracks. I knew that if I got sick here it would be costly, I gaged and coughed and spit up, but thankfully I didn't get sick. But it was close. I continued on my way and hit the downhill single track. By now my legs were feeling the effects of all the climbing and downhills. I didn't bomb it but I did let it take me. I kept up with my fuel, and my fluids and salt and down I went.

As I neared No Hands I let out a shout and rounded the final turn and hit the bridge and almost ran right into Jenny. I quickly handed her my bottle and she refilled it with coke while Dusin and Kirk worked on getting me in the shade and cooled. I felt like a race horse at the starting gate. I was focused on the runner off in the distance. I can catch her was all I was thinking. I wasn't talking I was thinking "Ok, get my bottle and go. 4 miles from here to the finish I can do this. Just keep her in my sights." Then Jenny handed me my bottle Kirk and Dustin soaked me one more time and I took off with the cheers of Fleet Feet Aid Station. I was now on a mission, catch the runner in front me and don't get caught by the runner behind me. Focus, keep moving I can do this is all I said to myself.

I charged out of there like a raging bull, I was on a mission. I crossed the bridge and started the run up the fire road when all of sudden the sun and heat quickly sucked the life out of me. I took in a gel and a few salts and the coke. I transtioned into a power hike, just keep moving forward. Don't stop, keep moving. The wheels were slowly coming off. My energy plumeted so quickly from the scroching heat. I was baking in the canyon, every step I took was like a ton of bricks. I was no longer racing I was just surviving. My goal now was to not get passed behind, but I also did everything I could to keep the runner in front in my sights.

I was in bad shape and it happened so quickly. I kept the fluids going in and the salt and fuel. I arrived at the first climb and it felt good to be climbing, but it was  long climb. I mustered up some energy to run the runnable sections. My heartrate was so elevated that I could feel it pounding through my chest. I needed to stop for a second to bring my heart rate back down. I hit the top of the climb and kept on moving. 2.5 miles to go, just keep it together until I get to finish line, just keep it together is all I kept telling myself. I was at the fire road that would take me around Robie and here is where I saw the jugs of water. I filled a pitcher and dumped it on my head. The fogginess went away and a new life was reborn with that pitcher of cool water. I was on the brink of heat exhaustion I think.

I kept moving and running where I could, but I was drained. I had only one more mile to go, I can do this, just keep moving what ever I do don't stop, I so desperatly just wanted to sit down and rest but I knew that would be the end. I had to keep moving. .5 to go almost there. I hit the final climb and see Lily. She is at the top and she starts clapping and motivating me to run and finish strong. I give her my pack and bottle and I muster up the last of my energy and start running. I hit the pavement and am showered with water, it shocked me but felt good. I see Dustin and all I want to do is lay down, I am so close. I keep on running knowing I am yards away from the finish. I cross the finish line and I am so relived to be done. I made it.

Finish is near; photo by Dustin Burgess

I am spent, I am overheated and not really understanding much of anything. I am handed a water bottle and some ice, which I ended up dropping the water bottle and I gave the ice to Lily who is by my side along with Dustin. I tell her I need to lay down, I need to lay down right now. She gets me to the massage table and I lay down. I am spent, I am exhausted, I am covered in salt and I really don't feel right. She goes to work on getting my core temperature down as I am burning up all over. My head is on fire and everything at this point hurts. I am cramping in my hamstrings and calves but all I can do is lay there. She works on me for a bit and then again has to cool me down as I am still very hot. She puts ice in my sports bran and then slowly pours cool water on my back when all of a sudden the biggest cramp of all happens and takes my breath away. I shout out "My back, my back!" my back is cramping. Lily works her magic and slowly I am coming back to my senses. It is the weirdest feeling being that disoriented and exhausted and overheated. But the best feeling of all was when I slowly came back. I could feel the fog being lifted from me and my focus came back. It took awhile for the fog to be lifted. I am able to coherently answer questions and I even manage to eat some salty foods.

Done! Photo By Dustin Burgess

Then it all hits me, I just placed most likely in the top ten and then everything comes back to me. Not only did I just place in the top ten, but I also came in third in my age group! I actually placed 7th overall and 3rd in my age group. Out of the 49 that registered ultimately 19 of us finished.

Completely Spent; photo by Dustin Burgess

Remember I said I had some high goals for this race, well I achieved them. I wanted to place in the top ten overall because I knew that with a smaller field I was capable of this and this would probably be my only chance to experience racing from the front. Which is a completely different mind set.

This was a epic race, I battled through the scorching heat, overcame the lows and battled on all day. I managed to race for the entire day at the front of the pack and gained a few positions along the way. I learned a lot during this and I learned that more often then not it is about heart. Having the heart and will power to dig deep to achieve the ultimate goal!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pre Race Thoughts

My taper this week has me feeling really good, which it should. Originally I hadn't planned on tapering and just training through this race, but when I looked over my previous weeks training I noticed something. I hadn't had a down week since AR50. You know what? I really needed a down week.

My training last week I put in 33 miles I think. Today I am feeling really good. My legs feel fresh, my mind is clear and focused and I can't wait to see how I do tomorrow. I am really using this race as a long training run to test myself and see where my training is at. The one thing about tomorrow is, it is suppose to be really warm, and I am not talking 90's I am talking well over the 100s.

Of course once I found out that it is going to be really warm I immediately set to work on changing up my strategy. At first I was going to do a bottle, but now with the heat I am most likely going to have to do my pack and possible pick up a bottle and use that to keep cool. I also readjusted my splits. I added a bit more time knowing the heat would suck a lot of energy out of me and slow me down. The good news is during training I have been running in the heat as I run around noon or a bit after so I have done a lot of runs in the heat, I even have done hill repeats in the sun.

For me it is about preparation and understanding that it is still doable I just needed to make some changes to account for the heat. I know I will be soaking myself at the aid stations to try and remain as cool as possible and I have been hydrating not just all week but that is a part of my normal every day life routine.

I am excited about tomorrow, but I am also very calm. The course will challenge me and being in a race will help keep me focused on the task at hand. My ultimate goal is when I finish this race to not be so destroyed that I can't immediately get back into training, because before I know it Tahoe 50 will be here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Final Look

Yesterday I went out running with Dustin and I took on final look at K2. That was the plan to see K2 one more time before Saturday's She Rocks The Trail 50k. On the way down to No Hands Bridge we were running around 8:30/9:00 minute miles. Of course it is down hill and felt really good to just go with it. It was also great to be running with a friend again as most of my previous runs have been solo or with Traildog.

At the base of K2 Dustin and tried something new, something he learned from a fellow ultra runner. Before we started climbing we both started sucking on a hard piece of candy, jolly ranchers was the choice that day. The theory behind this is to help distract our minds as we climb up the ever so steep K2. And you know what it worked. It was a welcome distraction and I even asked him if he could make sure to have some at the aid station next Saturday.

On K2 I remained calm and focused and took it all in studying the climb one last time. We didn't climb all the way up but instead explored the Pig Farm trail that would connect us with the Western States Trail and eventually back to No Hands.

Pig Farm trail was really steep going down, but it was pretty cool to run it. Made me feel like I was in the middle of no where with all the green foliage. We connected back with the W.S. trail and continued the descent to No Hands. I took it rather easy on the descent just enjoying the return trip as my main focus was actually K2 and to keep it nice and relaxed on the return.

I know that this descent will allow me to make up some time come race day, but it can also cause me to blow up my quads. It will be a fine balance come race day how fast I take this, but I would really like to make up some time here as I know the final 4 miles will be a test of my mental power and readiness.

The last 4 miles as I ran them I tried picturing myself on race day and how this section would look like. There could be many different situations, I could be feeling really strong, or really low, or just trying to get by. I would like to feel really strong, but I know that no matter what is going on I can finish strong as I have run this section a lot and each time I have felt differently. I even ran this section on a major bonk so I know what that feels like and guess what, I finished it running strong. So it can and it will be done.

I know where the final mile marker is and I know that I will just need to remain focused, taking one section of trail at a time and not getting ahead of myself. I will be breaking it up into small manageable/attainable goals. I will be challenging myself, pushing the limits at times to see where my fitness and mental game are.

Running is not just about my physical capabilities it is also about the mental game. How strong am I mentally? That is the true question. I have been practicing on my runs keeping the negative thinking out of my head, to remain positive and calm. To run the way I am capable of running. To believe in myself and to believe in my own greatness. To keep pushing and moving forward. I know that in July when I run the Tahoe 50 I will be testing myself physically and mentally there so now is the time to practice. Seeing myself doing it before actually doing it. I also have to remember to enjoy the moment, because it should be fun. To go with the lows as I know there will be another high! It is going to be a Great day on the trails next Saturday and I can't wait to test myself.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Family Time

This week is a down week for me and it came at a really good time. I really needed a down week with lower mileage as I have been building and building and I was feeling the effects of that build. I took three days off earlier in the week and I even managed to squeeze in a massage from the best, Lily. Anytime I see her she works magic and knows just where to go without me saying a word. My legs were tore up and hurting especially my left calf. My quads were in no better condition either. But that just means I have been training hard.

On Thursday I took Traildog out for a run and I felt a lot better. My body wasn't so stiff and my mind was clear and open. It is amazing how a few days off can really recharge my body and my mind.

Today I plan to head up to Overlook and get one more look at K2. I want to know this monster of a hill. I want to be able to get up it without hesitation and the only way I know how to own something like this is by going up it during training. This way I will know where it is runnable, the steepest sections, and where I am going to place my feet.

Every time without fail when I go up K2 I end up getting very frustrated with this hill and I need to learn to calm myself and just go with it. Because getting frustrated at something I have no control over will only use up my energy and put me in a negative state. I have to remain calm and positive and always moving forward. Calm and positive!

Traildog giving love to my niece!

With a down week I have also been spending a bit more time with Lil Man. In fact one day he called and asked me to come over. So I did what any good auntie would do. I dropped everything, well I wasn't do much and packed up Traildog and headed over to spend the afternoon with him. I want him to know that just because I don't live there anymore doesn't mean I wont spend time with him.

She is getting so big, and she looks like me when I was a baby

I have also been spending the past 5 Thursday with him. I typically get in my long run early so that I can be over there to walk to his pre school and pick him up, with Traildog of course and my sister. Then we spend the afternoon together playing "Star Wars" (A new game I made up which makes him giggle until he is red in the face) and sometimes we just talk and hang out in the backyard eating our pre-soccer snack and focusing on hydrating. He even tells me "Meme I hydrated at pre-school."

Not sure who is walking who?

Then we all pile in the car and head to soccer practice, I of course am asked every time to sit in the back seat with him. This means I have to squeeze between his booster seat and my nieces car seat and sit in the middle. My niece just smiles at me and Lil Man also has a grin from ear to ear whenever I sit with them. My sister I am sure feels like a chauffeur with everyone in the back seat and front seat available. I am not sure what everyone thinks when I squeeze myself out of the back seat once we arrive at soccer!

Lil Man has a blast at soccer practice and is learning so much from his coaches. Things like, no hands, no stinky toe (which means don't hit the ball with your big toe, but instead the inside of your foot.) And there are a few other rules but I can't remember them. It's great to watch and hear him laugh and see his improvement each week.

 The sticking of the tongue out seems to run the family!

It has been great to watch Lil Man play soccer and I only hope he continues with it or at least another sport.

My niece is growing so fast and each time I see her she is bigger. Her new thing right now is sticking out her tongue or putting her entire fist in her mouth. A talent not many of us me included can do. She is very adorable and also very talkative, I told my sister it will be interesting to see both of them on road trips just talking away. I enjoy having those conversations with her and she just talks and smiles at me. I can't believe she is almost 5 months. I remember when she was born and so tiny.

So far it has been a very good down week for me. Recharging and spending some much needed family time with the ones I love.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


After my long run on Thursday I have been fatigued mentally and physically. I am so looking forward to a down week next week. I know I need one because one I have been building and building every since my last race in April; AR50. Two, because I have been feeling uninspired to write anything nor did I have the energy to try and write something. Three, it is time. It is always important to incorporate a down week into one's training program. My down week happens to be a taper week as I have a race in two weeks. She Rocks The Trail 50k.

I will running this race to see where my fitness is for my next target race in July; The Tahoe Rim 50 miler. I would like to think that I am fitter than when I ran Way Too Cool 50k and American River 50 miler this year. I have been very disciplined with my training program and I was able to keep my weekly mileage around 60 when I am off on the weekend and around 45-50 when I work weekends. So pretty much I have been focused on my training and work and eating properly and hydrating.

Like I said I have changed my diet, and no that does not mean I don't enjoy a cookie or a nice cold beer every now and than. I have incorporated more fruits and protein. I mean if I am eating a granola bar I might as well eat one with more protein seeing how I have been destroying my legs with my crazy running schedule. Go up that hill and back down, up and down.

I have also decided that at dinner I will limit the amount of carbs I eat or cut them out completely. I don't really need that piece of bread or a roll or rice so I don't. Basically I eat carbs for breakfast and lunch. I know I can't cut them out completely because I know that my body needs them. I eat protein and vegetables, again destroying my body with the hills.

In the morning I enjoy waffles or a bagel with a nice portion of blueberries and raspberries and blackberries. Really good! And I am bringing a nice size lunch to work. That consist of 3 bottles of water, a sandwich usually turkey, apple slices (convenient for the on go job I have) cheez-its (my favorite) granola bar (with protein), and a banana!

I also drink at least 2 cups of water when I wake up and throughout the day I am constantly drinking water. I don't drink soda; I can't remember the last time I had a soda (when I wasn't in a race) and I don't drink juice (too much sugar) Seems to be working for me as I feel like I have more energy.

So with all those changes I have big plans for both my upcoming races. I have been training hard, I have been focused, I have been dedicated and now to enjoy the down week next week and recovery both mentally and physically. I need to be mentally fresh so that I can execute my plan and physically fresh so that I don't feel so run down.

Focus+Determination+believing+discipline will= success!