2013 Races

Races for 2013

February 22-23 - Ragnar Del Sol Ultra
March 2 - Old Pueblo 50 Miler
April 20 Cottonwood Marathon
May 27 - Sage Burner Trail 50k
September 7 - Imogene Pass Run


Year in Review

What a crazy year.  Last October I decided I really wanted to be an Ultra runner.  I had already done one, but it was only 51k and on the road.  I decided the point of ultra running, for me anyway is to really test yourself, test your limits, see what the old body can do.
You all know if you have read previous posts that running isn't something I have always done.  I am not fast and I used to be so out of shape I had to run/walk a 5k when I started.
So here I go on this journey.  I signed up for Old Pueblo 50 which was March 2, 2013 and I trained my butt off!  (In reality, my butt got tighter, but I didn't lose a single pound)  I accomplished the feat with a  bunch of awesome friends who thought it would be fun to spend the day and watch me suffer.
I had also applied to be an Altra Ambassador for my favorite shoes.  Altra Zero Drop for the Ultra Runner! Yay!  Believe it or not they chose me!!!  And best of all, throughout all of my adventures this year they are still my favorite shoe!
The week before OP50 we did Ragnar as an Ultra team. As good teammates they forbade me to take the long legs, so I think I only did 28-30 miles.  I was bummed, but I got to cross the finish line for our team. That was pretty spectacular.
It has been a fun year.
This shoe is my best traveling companion.

25 miles in I felt great.

Yeah, we do logos for everything.

My first belt buckle

This is me as a border patrol agent while I ran OP50
My first DNF.  It was a night run.  I fell and lost my nerve. It happens.

Hanging out in the trees having fun while the real me was trying to finish OP50

This has been an amazing year!  The beginning of my journey as an Ultra Runner and mentor.  It has been difficult and fun. I have fallen so many times.  Sometimes it just takes a minute and a few breathes before you can pick yourself up and dust yourself off and keep moving.
I never in a million years thought I would be here today.  I am so happy and proud of who I have become and how I inspire others.  Along with the rest of the Cholla Chicks I expect so much from myself.  That "so much" means, successes and failures all bundled up to be an amazing adventure called life.
I am excited to see what next year brings.  My goals for the next 2 years are to qualify for Boston, complete OP50 in under 12 hours.  Do Zane Grey and figure out which terrifying 100 miler to do.


It's been a while since I have written here.  I have been busy with my new job which I really love but it takes me away from training and writing.  The Cholla Chicks running group is becoming more and more successful every day. 
A fantastic group of people have become part of it so it is chugging along beautifully and I always have someone to run with. :)
I LOVE that.
I have been wearing Altra Running shoes exclusively for the 8 months and I LOVE THEM!!
I run trails in the Lone Peaks.  I have gone through 2 pairs already.  For my long road runs I wear Torins which have a bit more cushion than the Instinct (the most popular shoe they make).  I have worn out 3 pairs of those.
I even started wearing the Torins to work.  They work great for all of the miles I put on my feet while waiting tables.
All in all things are pretty good.  I have nothing really exciting to report other than life is great, I love running, I love my Altra Running shoes and I love being part of the Cholla Chicks.
I am a pretty lucky girl.
Signing off,


I did it! I ran 50 miles!

My awesome Altra Lone Peaks
I did it.  I finished my first 50 mile running race.  Yes, that does mean on my feet, self propelled and no, I am not crazy. I don't think I am anyway.
Here it is.  A fun and zany weekend. In a nutshell:
-I ran for 50 miles
- I had the most awesome crew/cheersquad ever!!
-We slept under the stars--2 girls and a glock
-Mandi got her first ticket
-the girls had several run ins with border patrol
-we went wine tasting
-We met new besties
-the car broke down
-Michelle's car got a flat tire
Yes, as you can see, the 50 mile running race was not the highlight of the weekend, but rather one of several important details of a fun and interesting trip.
I did it for the belt buckle
My girls, the Cholla Chicks are the absolute best.
Who drives 3 hours to cheer on a friend??  These cray-cray girls
The run was awesome!  It took 15 hours (way too long--next year will be better (yes, that means I will be doing it again)).
I got one blister.  It was a big one; but come on, 50 miles what do you expect?

Post race blister surgery
I finished the race with a new friend.  We had a blast throughout the day talking and running.  When we finally finished we were DONE!  It was a great event! If you decide to do a 50 miler in AZ OP50 is a fun but difficult one. http://www.oldpueblo50.com/

 I have so much more to say about this race, and the adventures that went with it. Before I do all of that I want to say, in all seriousness, if you want to do anything that seems to difficult to do run a 50miler, do a triathlon, take up mountain biking.  Just do it, try.  The hardest part is putting yourself out there.  That is scary.  If I can do it, you can do it.  Remember, just a few years ago I had to run/walk in order to finish a 5k and now I finished my first 50 miler and I had a blast!!!
25 miles in


No run for me

I have my first really long race this weekend.  I know it is a taper week, but I thought I would get out and stretch my legs before work tonight. Instead, I have my feet up with a cat on my chest, a dog curled next to me and another cat curled up on a chair. It is so peaceful here with the sun streaming through the window that I can't bring myself to disturb everyone.
Looking through the blinds it looks like yesterday's wind has let up and it might be warming up finally.  A great day for a run, but a better day for snuggles it seems.


Cholla Chicks finished #Ragnards. Yes we rock!!

Last night at about 6:45pm Cholla Chicks finished their second all girl ultra!
Can I just say, we were amazing!!   The race was relatively stress free.  We did have issues, but man are these girls good at overcoming obstacles.  One team member cracked her head open 3 weeks ago, another raced on a foot with a stress fracture, 2 of them are mid iron man training and I have my first 50 mile ultra trail race next weekend.  We just don't let life get in the way of fun stuff. 

Cholla Chicks
 This is a really high energy bunch of girls!  We were either being crazy or sound asleep.  (you need to sleep to retain energy). 
This was a tough race.  Sleep deprivation aside, we had some issues to overcome.  Nerves and cold weather brought nausea and GI issues.  That is pretty much par for many races.  You never know what your body is going to do when it reacts to stress.  It was worth it though.  Amazing fun.  I smiled through ever leg of the race.  My first leg I busted out amazing PR's. I am not a fast runner usually, I have endurance, NOT speed. Competitiveness overcame me; I made every person who passed me really work for it!  In the end, only one guy passed me on that leg and he earned the right.  He blew past me without even breathing hard.  Nobody else could catch me.  Yay!!!  (That is a first!!)

MandiwithanI and I--that's me with the upside down headband

Chollas in the cholla
I should have taken pictures of all of the food I ate.  I am surprised I didn't get sick.  I ate bacon rice cakes, a bag of cookies, quinoa cakes, pickles, cashews, a sausage egg McMuffin, candy, beef jerky, peanut M&M's, moon pie, coffee,  2 sandwiches and other random stuff, all before my first leg of the race!!  I think I have an iron gut.
Can you imagine being in a van with 7 other people (we had 2 drivers)  for 35 hours and not fighting at all?  That was us!! Pure awesomeness. 
Our awesome ride!!  Thanks Kwazadilla!

Cholla Chick founders Amy, Mandi and Sue

We finished!!  Yay!!
Like I said! Awesome trip, awesome race, awesome volunteers, awesome support.  I couldn't have asked for better!!


Being a runner

In 2009 I decided to start running with a local running group.  I have never been a runner or really an athlete.  I grew up skinny, some say too skinny. I graduated high school at 101 lbs and that was only because a friend and I had a bet to see who could put on the most weight by graduation day. I know, I know many people say it isn't a big deal and they had the other problem; but I will say it sucks when people say you have an eating disorder or you don't get hired for a job because someone thinks you are too little to handle it.  Remember folks, everyones body is different.  Back to my point, I was active, but not an athlete. I was very clumsy.  I was good at falling and embarrassing myself, not being athletic. (Terry Johnston, you can tell stories all day I am sure.)
So here I am in my, cough, cough, 40's (early 40's...) and I decide to start running.  No big deal, right?  Haha.  I couldn't run a 5k (3. something miles) without stopping to walk.  I walked A LOT. I did it almost every week.  I wanted to be strong and fit. Not much happened. Guess what?  You have to run/walk more than 3 miles once a week....
Ok. So I decide I want to run 10 miles.  A challenge.  I had this friend and she signed up for a race, Iron Girl.  It sounded cool.  All girls 10 miles.  I can do this.  So I trained.  I ran 3 miles (5k) 3 times a week. I was able to run 5k without stopping to walk, but OMG I was exhausted!  How do people work out so much???  Those runners, they are lunatics!!  Anyway, I did this race, 10 miles.  I was hot and sweaty. I had my period and it sucked.  But it was fun.  Really fun!!  I was tired.  I ate a lot afterwards. I was exhausted and I napped. How do these "runners" manage?  It is so tiring to train and workout and race and go to work every day and make dinner etc, etc.  How do those people manage their lives?
After the race I was hooked.  I decided I could do it too.  I wanted to become a runner.  Now, HOW??
It is magical. A pill,  a secret.... Want to know what it is? Doing it.  That's it.  All you have to do is get out there. Once a week, twice or 3 times is better.  It will suck.  Sometimes it will suck tons.  Just go.  Find a friend.  Join an online group for accountability. Tell people what you are doing.
I have gone from not running a full 3 miles at once to easily running 10+ a day. 
You don't have to do that.  Do what you want. Find your goal, your rush. Walk, run, swim, bike, whatever you want to do. Whatever makes you feel good, alive and energized.
If I could do it I know anyone can.


My First Super Long Trail Run

This weekend was the test.  I have been training for my first 50 mile trail run. http://www.oldpueblo50.com/
This was my chance to test myself.  I had the opportunity to do a trail marathon "fun run" with a bunch of Ultra runners.  (I was allowed in!!  Yeah!!)  They even made sure I finished and someone even kept me company.  I made him tell me stories of his adventures all day while I huffed and puffed along...
Ok, let's start from the beginning:
I woke up at 5 and left my house at 5:45 to drive an hour to a trail head in the desert.  Spur Cross in Cave Creek, AZ.  It is beautiful desert out there.

I woke up and it was drizzling. Usually my wimp alert goes off.  This time I had to prove myself.  I drove out to the desert and parked my car, got out and met a bunch of new people. 
We started the run just after 7am. 26 miles of desert running, YAY!!  Usually, in our area this means loose rock with lots of climbing and descending.  This time it meant river crossings as well.  There were a few places with boards to cross the water.  There were several places where I actually had to GET IN THE WATER!! It was fantastic!!
The whole day was like that; water, mud, fog, rain, rocks, climbing and descending. It was truly a wonderful experience.  At the end of it all (8 hours later--I know, I know, I am not fast.) I proved to myself that I WILL be able to do a 50 miler.  I wasn't terribly sore.  I was tired and hungry, but I did it.
If I can do it, anyone can.  It is true. It takes time, patience and training but you can do it too.
I would love to hear your stories.  GO!

Robert promoting

Look at the FOG!!

Travis our aid station- he was great!

Me with my new friend Robert