Trail and adventure enthusiast. Girl who swears like a sailor but not when she's teaching Sunday School. Survived infertility without a successful pregnancy. Self-employed, primarily working for Clif Bar and Company. Thirteen 100-mile race finishes with seven top 3 placements. An original Saltine.

On Death and Dying: My Unexpected Journey to the Western States 100

Clove flanked by two men at the ginish line the day before the start of her 2016 Western States
It’s all fun and games until the running starts. And what fun these two guys made it.

When I went to Florida a month ago, I packed running clothes and a dress. She had pneumonia (again), but something didn’t sound right when I talked to her the day before. It was a Wednesday morning.

I said that Thursday night I was going to let her be scared and vulnerable and small, and then on Friday I was going to talk to her doctors first and then have one last “come to Jesus” talk with her about the weight and her health.

I thought I was going to go for an early morning run on Friday and wear a DRESS. I thought I was going to walk into the room with the juice and the root beer she had been asking for for a week, and she was going to look up and say, “Oh Starrie, you look so pretty.”

Forty hours later, I would be on the floor of the ICU in my pajamas, still holding my dead mother’s hand. Read more >>

Nutrimatix Badwater 135: Coming out of the Dark

Stalled in Darwin.
Stalled in Darwin.

There is a moment, however infinitesimal, right before water boils, and right before water freezes. A point at which a cataclysmic change is about to take place, yet still lies just below the surface. A point at which we have one last chance to change the direction of things, for better or for worse.

There was no soup, so they forced me to eat a cracker. Technically, they enacted the “Lexi Doctrine,” a throwback to when Darris wouldn’t eat two years ago. He was forced to eat crackers with peanut butter, and we forced our niece Lexi to make him do it, because we knew he wouldn’t be mean to her. So they made me eat a cracker. Even though I begged them not to, told them it wouldn’t go down. And it didn’t. And I was pissed. And like a baby, I made sure they saw all the dry-heaving that came with it. Was I dry-heaving? Yes. Did I make a huge dramatic big deal of it? Yes. It’s embarrassing to admit, and it’s embarrassing to write. But I was pissed that they weren’t listening to me. I was pissed that I had already been in the van and they were threatening to put me back in if the lightning storm got closer. I mean, hadn’t they seen “Running on the Sun?” And if the lightening was so bad, why hadn’t anyone thought to confiscate my iPod? I mean, don’t they conduct electricity or something? Then one of my favorite remixes came on. It starts with a thunderstorm. And I was marching and I was PISSED, but I was also coming up on the DVNP sign. I was officially leaving Death Valley. And damn it, I was running out. So I ran. I was moving faster, but my mood was unchanged.


Nutrimatix Badwater 135, Part I: Under A Pink Sky

Ready for action at crew and racer check-in.
Ready for action at crew and racer check-in.  Photo credit to AdventureCORPS.

There is a moment, however infinitesimal, right before water boils, and right before water freezes. A point at which a cataclysmic change is about to take place, yet still lies just below the surface. A point at which we have one last chance to change the direction of things, for better or for worse.

Or, to quote the lyrics of an Indigo Girls song: “how long ‘til my soul gets it right?”

I sang that song to myself running from Furnace Creek to Stovepipe Wells. Not because my soul wasn’t right, but because my soul was right. I sang “Flashlight” to my crew even though I forgot to tell them. And even though Chris Kostman, the RD (understatement), said that music is a crutch (“IMHO”), I would have to argue that the 25th Anniversary recording of “Phantom of the Opera” with Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo is art. Especially underneath a blanket of stars.

But I digress already. Ah, Badwater. Land of digressions.


Crewing Badwater: The Toughest Race You’ve Never Run

DB's 2013 crew at the Badwater Basin.
DB’s 2013 crew at the Badwater Basin.

There’s a common acronym for the word “crew” in the ultrarunning world:  Cranky Runner, Endless Waiting.  Well, I’m going to be doing my very best not to be cranky (it’s quite rude to the person who’s literally serving you), but the waiting can indeed be endless, especially at Badwater.  So what exactly does a Badwater crew do, and how is it different from “regular” crewing?  All the answers here for our Salty Readers today!

First up, some quick notes on the event itself:  while Badwater and AdventureCORPS, the company that puts on the event, have a top-of-the-line medical staff, a live webcast and social media team, roving race officials, seven timing checkpoints, and photographers and videographers, there is no official aid in the form of food and water offered on the course. This is because of the immense distance of the race, the vast spread between runners, and because, quite simply, volunteers running traditional “aid stations” every few miles would keel over and die from the heat.

Therefore, all of your foods, fluids, do-it-yourself medical and special needs are YOUR responsibility.  Except they’re really your crew’s responsibility, and your crew is your lifeline.  As stated in one of my previous posts:  without your crew, you DNF or die.  Your crew – along with your stuff – travels the entire course with you in a van, leapfrogging you every two or more miles.  Each Badwater entrant is required to have two crew members, and allowed up to four.  Think you can just divide and conquer?  Think again.  Here’s what life is really like for a Badwater crew member. Read more >>

Clove’s Badwater Training Log: 6.27.2015

There's way more to running Badwater than just running.  Part of the agenda for the second of four crew meetings.
There’s way more to running Badwater than just running. Part of the agenda for the second of four crew meetings.

As I write this post, I am a mere five working days from taper, with only two key workouts left.  It’s true.  I can’t believe I’m this close to the taper (and race day) – but then again, it’s been such a long, hot road that I believe every bit of it.  And then some.  The idea that I’m going to get up on Saturday morning and have nothing more required than an easy 5 seems the most luxurious thought imaginable.  But until then, there has been and will be lots more work! Read more >>

How to Train for Badwater: Extra Everything

How to train for Badwater.
How to train for Badwater.

It’s been no surprise to me that people are curious about Badwater – and even more curious about how one even begins to train for it.  There’s certainly not the wealth of “couch to Badwater” training programs that there are for the 5K, 10K, and half marathon distances; even my non-runner friends who are able to get their heads around 100-milers have been stymied anew by this latest adventure of mine.  Extra miles, extra hills, extra heat – well, extra everything.  Which, it turns out, is a pretty accurate description of my training – extra everything.

The elephant in the room:  how much time is this taking?  Two to five hours on weekdays, longer on the weekends.  I break it up between early morning and evening sessions.  I am lucky and grateful to have two fantastic employers and a flexible work schedule.  I am blessed beyond measure to have a husband who supports me, puts up with this, and above all else, inspired me with his own Badwater completion in 2013 – on his 50th birthday, no less.

To my mind, there are four critical components of training:  distance, hills, heat and mental acuity/sleep deprivation.  A focus on those disciplines alone is immensely time-consuming and still omits two very real wild cards:  wind and altitude.  Here’s an insider’s look at what I’ve been doing – and why. Read more >>

Badwater and Cystic Fibrosis: Why I’m Breaking my Rule and Running for Charity

It's about more than "Running Badwater."
It’s about more than “Running Badwater.”

I’m running Badwater for charity, and it’s not an entirely easy decision.  I’ve long struggled with fundraising and running for charities, and here’s why:

A number of years ago, DB and I asked my mother to stop getting us “things” for birthdays and Christmas.  In truth, being that we are in that reversed financial position where we are better off than our respective parents, we didn’t want gifts at all, but we also didn’t want to hurt feelings or pride.  The point being, my mother’s very thoughtful solution was to begin donating to charities on our behalf – but they weren’t necessarily charities that were meaningful to us, or that we would typically support.

Because charities, causes and fundraising are very individual matters, and our own lives bring each of us to those that we are individually and inextricably linked to.  DB and I have a very personal connection with the Mid-Ohio Marine Foundation as well as Lima Company, an incredible group of local Marines who suffered tremendous and heartbreaking loss in Iraq ten years ago.  We are animal rights supporters and in particular support no-kill shelters and animal rescue/adoption services.  We have also found our lives touched time and time again by Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system.

Which is not to say that we haven’t donated to a variety of other causes.  That we don’t support a number of charities benefiting cancer research and cures, or high school boosters, or community programs.  It’s simply to say that these are the causes most important to us – individually.

And therein lies the rub.

Clove’s Badwater Training Log – 6.26.2015

This is how I'm currently going to two-hour spinning classes, as well as doing some runs.  Five weeks out when this photo was taken last Monday!
This is how I’m currently going to two-hour spinning classes, as well as doing some runs. Five weeks out when this photo was taken last Monday!

It is strange, a bit, to post training logs in arrears.  Since I am feeling the present (rainy, again) day, I will start by speaking of today.  I am exhausted.  Just completely worn out.  Still not overtraining, which is almost disappointing, because then I’d get to back off before the taper.  But I’ve come this far, and with only 12 working days before the taper starts, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  My morning resting heart rate remains in the low 40’s; consistently between 41 – 43, with lows of 39 and 40 the past week.  While I have specific aches and tweaks on certain days, I don’t have lingering, chronic or all-over soreness.  I do have a lingering, chronic sense of boredom sometimes, but we’ll get through that.  That’s today, after big workouts this weekend not covered in this specific log.

Here’s last week:

Clove’s Badwater Training Log – 6.19.2015

The sauna that wasn't.  Meow.
The sauna that wasn’t. Meow.

There were six weeks to go at the start of this one; my heaviest four-week build followed by a severe taper.  Coming off of my rest week did nothing good for me, but I wasn’t surprised.  Much like DOMS, I often find that it’s your workout from two days prior that affects your performance on a long run; in a similar fashion, I usually struggle the week immediately after a rest week, and don’t hit my stride again until the second week.  The work was done; the a$$ was kicked; reality was continually checked.  And onward!

Saturday, June 13:  30 ridiculously hot, even more ridiculously humid miles.  I started with my long-run group, planning to run the first 6.5 miles with them out to a very steep hill for some repeats.  Attire was shorts (because it was a long run), a tank and a long-sleeve half-zip.  While I had a full 50-ounce Camelbak and planned re-fill stops, the drenching humidity had me concerned.  After 6.5 miles, I stopped at an outdoor café and begged for water so I could conserve the Camelbak fluids.  I then began five miles worth of up/downhill repeats, running the quarter mile 10% grade on repeats 1, 3 and 5 and practicing my uphill hiking on repeats 2 and 4.  Stopped at a Subway to ask for ice for my Camelbak, then took the long way home (to prevent cutting the run short).  Stopped to chug a Coke and eat a popsicle at mile 22, and then began the last eight mile loop.  My pace had been dropping earlier in the run, but recovered nicely to 9:15-ish for the last lap, keeping the average pace for the 30 miles at 9:19.  Bonus:  DB returned from his trip to Florida that morning, and managed to meet me for the last 2 miles.

Sunday, June 14: 12 miles of uphill circuits on the treadmill; recall that I do this workout on a treadmill because I don’t have long enough/steep enough hills here in Ohio.  Attire was shorts, winter running pants, tank, long sleeve shirt and orange fleece jacket.  Here’s the run-down; note that the entire workout, including cool-down, is still on a minimum 7% grade.

  • .5 mile warmup at 11:30 pace, gradually increasing uphill grade to 7%
  • 1 mile at 11:30 pace, 7% grade
  • .5 mile at 11:30 pace, 7.5% grade
  • .5 mile at 11:30 pace, 8% grade
  • 1 mile at 7% grade, alternating 2 minutes running at 11:30 pace with 1 minute walking at 18:10 pace
  • 1 mile (walking) at 18:10 pace, 10% grade
  • Repeat 4-mile cycle above
  • Take off pants, which are now flinging sweat-water all over the treadmill and starting to make me cold
  • 1 mile at 11:30 pace, 7% grade
  • .5 mile at 11:30 pace, 7.5% grade
  • .5 mile at 11:30 pace, 8% grade
  • 1 mile at 8% grade, alternating 2 minutes running at 11:30 pace with 1 minute walking at 18:10 pace
  • .5 mile cooldown, gradually decreasing grade

Followed this with a 50-minute sauna session.  It felt extremely difficult very early on; the heat was not bothering me, but I simply couldn’t drink enough and was worried I’d run out of fluids.  Had to go to the (slightly) cooler lower bench for the last 15 minutes, but got it done.  Went to bed early and was thoroughly trashed.

Monday, June 15: Easy five miles of half-mile hill repeats.  Monday is normally my no-running day, but due to work travel I needed to front-load a few miles.  Followed this with two hours of heat spinning.  Tired during final hour.

Tuesday, June 16:  Eight morning miles with the morning run group in long pants and long-sleeve, immediately followed by a 50-minute sauna session.  Big sauna news; this was the day I decreased my drinking intervals to three minutes from four; I am now able to process two liters of fluids in 50 minutes without getting bloated or having to run to the bathroom.  Go regulatory system!

Later in the day, an evil 5-mile downhill run on the treadmill.  Warmed up on the treadmill at the standard 1.0, then dropped it to 0 for a mile, -1% for a mile, -2% for a mile, -3% for a mile and then a half-mile cool-down.  Once shredded, began my hour of uphill walking.  Up, down.  Down, up.  So it goes …

Wednesday, June 17: 12 miles of one-mile hill repeats, staying relaxed on the uphills and pushing the downs.  While I was not sore on this run, my legs felt tired and trashed.  In other news, I simply got bored.  Bored with the whole, hot production.  Followed later in the afternoon with a 50-minute sauna session and one hour of uphill walking, plus packing and preparation for work event/travel.

This is how we dress for the treadmill.  And this is only the top layer.
This is how we dress for the treadmill. And this is only the top layer.

Thursday, June 18:  I only had to get in 5 easy miles, but a two-hour travel delay (with poor airport internet) crunched my whole day up.  Got in the easy 5 and one mile of outdoor walking on a nice grade, but had to kill the hour of walking to catch up on work matters.  Still felt tired and trashed, plus stressed out by work.

Friday, June 19:  Easy three miles in the morning; a simple shakeout with a 50-mile day planned for Saturday.  Managed to get in my hour of uphill walking later in the day; I had also been beyond enthused to find that a little old over-priced Radisson in Duluth, MN actually had a sauna.  A SAUNA!!!  Enthusiastically turned it on midway through my walk, and returned to find it at all of … hmmmm.  Maybe 90 degrees?  Compared to my normal exertions,  I would call this a “kitten sauna.”  In fact, my drinks only went from ice-cold to chilled.  Nevertheless, figured something was better than nothing, so left my hooded sweatshirt on, stretched out on a bench, and almost fell asleep in the sweet beachy heat.  I finally started sweating after about 35 minutes.  Didn’t bother with heart rate data.  Another week down, three hard ones, five total to go.

Weekly totals:  80 running miles, 9 miles uphill walking, 2 hours of heat spinning, three 50-minute sauna sessions, one rest session in the “kitten sauna”.

Clove’s Training Log – 6.12.2015

This is about four days worth of fluids, not including lemonade with dinner.  Lifeblood for Badwater training.
This is about four days worth of fluids, not including lemonade with dinner. Lifeblood for Badwater training.

Badwater.  Where even the rest weeks are brutal.

Admittedly, I spent less total time training; at the same time, when you realize you spent three hours training on a single day of a “rest” week, you get a little overwhelmed.  The temperatures finally got into the high 80’s as well, adding a special challenge.  Read on to learn how Clove’s been “resting” lately.

Saturday, June 6:  The North Face Whistler Half Marathon in B.C.  Gorgeous, hilly and hot.  Paced the 2:30 group for Clif Bar, so the pace itself was no concern.  I stopped immediately at 13.1 miles and didn’t run another step.  Then I drank a mimosa.  And ate gelato.  The end.

Sunday, June 7:  Flew home from Whistler, which took the better part of a day.  Unpacked.  Prepared for the work and training weeks.  Complete rest day.

Monday, June 8:  Double heat spin in the capri/spin shorts/long sleeve half-zip/winter jacket get-up.  In other notice, I notice something bizarre.  When I get out of bed in the morning, my legs work properly immediately.  I don’t have to “break them in” or figure out which parts of my legs or feet to “work around” for my first few steps.  Rest!  It works!

Tuesday, June 9:  Back at it.  Eight morning miles with the neighborhood group in long pants and a long-sleeve, immediately followed by a 50-minute sauna sessions.  They are definitely getting easier.  I’m still ridiculously uncomfortable the last 15 – 20 minutes, but I’m completely lucid.  (Definition:  instead of thinking “am I doing okay, am I in any kind of trouble, should I consider getting out of here?” I’m merely thinking “holy cr@p this sucks, man I am so flippin’ hot, please is it time for the ice-water face towel yet?”)  In the afternoon, five miles of hill repeats on the Glenmont hill in long pants and a cotton hooded sweatshirt, followed by 2.5 miles of uphill walking on the treadmill.  Second run was not my best showing; I wasn’t careful enough about re-hydrating after the sauna and was a little under-fueled.

Wednesday, June 10:  The day that Badwater training b*tch-slapped me.  I was due for “only” ten miles of hill repeats, not my normal 13.  I waited to go later in the day because it was going to be 88(!) degrees.  And humid, but nevertheless.  So DB and I did our 50-minute sauna session early in the morning, and then I waited about seven hours to run.  I suited up as usual: tights, a tank, and a long sleeve half-zip over that.  I grabbed my water bottle and I felt fierce.  The first five miles were soooo easy.  Yes, I was hot.  Freaking HOT.  But I felt strong and was actually running too quickly, trying to slow my pace more and more on the uphills.

And then it happened.

BOOM.  My body was done with that.  Most of us know that your body registers a temperature 10 – 15 degrees warmer than the air temperature when you’re running; in addition to that, I was pretty overdressed for the conditions.  Somewhere between miles 5 and 6, I became very aware of the fact that my body was not happy.  My pace remained consistent, but I didn’t have enough to drink and my effort level was steadily increasing.  No mind!  I began guzzling the fluid I had left, realizing that I could refill at the water fountain at the library just a bit after mile 8.

Except that we’re having issues with high nitrate levels in the water here in Columbus … so nope.  No water.

I was in bad shape when I got home.  Light-headed and overheated.  It did not abate quickly; in fact, I actually had to cancel the hour of uphill walking I had planned following the run so I could eat kalamata olives and drink massive amounts of water instead.

Reality check complete.

88 degrees with high humidity?  This is how we run.  (Disclaimer:  that is not a duckface, it's a DETERMINED face).
88 degrees with high humidity? This is how we run. (Disclaimer: that is not a duckface, it’s a DETERMINED face).

Thursday, June 11:  Slept in since I was still drained from my experiment the day before.  8 miles of hills with DB in the early afternoon, followed by a single heat spin and an hour of uphill walking.  It was still in the high 80’s and I was dressed the same, but we kept the pace conservative and carried much more water.  Felt light years better (and considerably relieved) than the previous workout.

Friday, June 12:  Easy five miles in just shorts and a t-shirt as I had a 30-miler on tap for Saturday.  The exciting news was a *breakthrough* sauna session!  My heartrate coming out was the lowest it’s ever been at 90 bpm’s, but even more exciting was the fact that I felt awesome the entire time.  Yes, it was hot, but it felt easy.  Almost too easy.  The time flew by, I never got overwhelmed, I felt perfectly comfortable the entire time.  Honestly, it was awesome.

Ended the day with an outdoor uphill walk to test the pacing on a real road instead of a forced-pace treadmill.   And with that, “rest” week was over!

Weekly totals:  49 miles running, 8 miles uphill walking, three hours of heat spinning, three 50-minute sauna sessions.

Badwater 135 Primer: Everything You Always Wanted to Know (or Maybe Not)

DB, Badwater and Me!

So, Clove I’ve been reading your crazy training logs and I’ve seen you drop Badwater like a hot potato over and over and over again, but there’s just one thing … Uh, what exactly is this Badwater thing, anyway?

With a broad swath of readers here on Salty Running, I’m guessing that some of you know what it is; some of you have heard of it; and some of you, unexposed to the ultrarunning world, don’t know much about it at all.  Today we bring you the Badwater 135 primer: some history, a bit of course description, and a little more insight into why I’m training like there’s no tomorrow. Read more >>

Clove’s Badwater Training Log: 6.5.2015

Beautiful British Columbia was a real treat to finish out the training week!
Beautiful British Columbia was a real treat to finish out the training week!

Back to the nitty-gritty of the training posts, so Salty figured we should put this on the front page and catch everyone up on my shenanigans. And yes when I say nitty-gritty, I mean it: things are most definitely getting gritty.  This was week three of a heavy push, but I knew I just had to make it through this third week to get to my step-back week.  Continuing to feel strong but exhausted; the exhausted, however, isn’t one of overtraining.  It’s a heavy workload to be sure, but so far, I seem to be fueling it well. Read more >>

Clove’s Badwater Training Log: The Catch Up Post!

It's 17 mile climb from sea level to get here.  That knowledge sure forces you out the door when you're tired!
It’s a 17 mile climb from sea level to get here. That knowledge sure forces you out the door when you’re tired!

I’m here!  I’m here!

I’ve already referenced a few times in my training posts what a time-consuming undertaking this is, and while it’s so exciting, it’s also exhausting.  Keeping work-life-training (and laundry!) balance in check, in addition to work travel, really caught up to me in May.  I’m going to keep the catch up post brief so you know that I got the work done, and return to giving more of the nitty-gritty details in the last five weeks of training plus two of taper.

Week of 5.2.2015 – 5.8.2015:  Still a “base-building” week (for me), with the Flying Pig Marathon thrown in for an over-distance heat run (I wore shorts but had to endure a long sleeve shirt over a tank in temperatures in the 70’s).

Weekly totals:  70 miles running, 9 miles uphill walking, three 45-minute sauna sessions

Week of 5.9.2015 – 5.15.2015:  Another base-building week, with some major travel delays thrown in to make it especially challenging.  Ten mile reduction in weekly mileage as I was in CA for work and had limited time on Saturday, plus paced (only) a half-marathon on Sunday, limiting the big mileage, because I had to rush to the airport for the flight that got cancelled.  Also a somewhat snotty spa manager wouldn’t let me use the sauna at Disneyland because day passes aren’t allowed when they’re sold out.  It was the attitude that upset me, not the rule!

Weekly totals:  60 miles running, 9 miles uphill walking, two 45-minute sauna sessions

***Now things start to get very serious.  Beginning on 5.16.2015, I entered the final ten (10) weeks leading up to Badwater.  This means eight high mileage, heavy workload weeks with a single stepback week mid-way through, followed by an aggressive two week taper.  Read on, friends!

Week of 5.16.2015 – 5.22.2015:  I begin to morph into a zombie!

Saturday:  Ogden Marathon, 26.2 miles.  Just under 40 degrees and pouring rain.  Was lucky to have a great and spirited group (I was pacing), because this was sheer misery otherwise.  Somehow, this amazing group of people made miserable conditions a beautiful day.

Sunday:  OFF.  I had taken an unexpected beating at Ogden (the five-pound shoes soaked with rain were probably part of it), and decided to shift my recovery run to ensure I went into the week fresh.

Monday:  5 easy miles, followed by a 2-hour heat spin.  This was the week that the jacket was added to the mix, so I am now attending spin classes in capris with spin shorts on top of them (for the padding, kids), a tank, a long sleeve shirt, and a heavy winter running jacket.  No one told me the toughest part of Badwater training is the laundry.

Tuesday:  8 mid-morning miles with DB, followed by a sauna session, followed by one hour of uphill walking.  Four hours of recovery followed by 5 miles of half-mile hill repeats.

Wednesday:  13 miles on what I call the “double noodle” loop.  We have an eight mile neighborhood route that has six solid hills, ranging in distance from half a mile to a full mile.  So for “double noodle,” I go up them, turn around, run back down them, and run up them a second time.  A good time is had by all.  45-minute sauna session followed by one hour of uphill walking.  “Real work” (i.e., professional work) from 2 pm – 8 pm.

Thursday:  13 mile loop of moderate difficulty in the morning.  Regular workday.  One hour of uphill walking followed by single heat spin in the evening.

Friday:  Ten relaxed miles with DB in the am, followed by a 45-minute sauna session.  Relaxed uphill walk later in the day, stuck to 19 minute pace due to long run on Saturday.

Weekly totals:  80 miles running, 12 miles uphill walking, three 45-minute sauna sessions

Week of 5.23.2015 – 5.29.2015:  I start feeling incredibly strong, yet incredibly exhausted at the same time.

Saturday:  30 miles running.  I run out about 6.5 with my regular group, then dial back to 9’s with my friend and crew member George.  We continue on a longer loop, ending at his house where he has 21 for the day.  I run a downhill mile home, chug an icy coke and candy, and head back out.  In spite of being hot as he*l due to the sleeves, I only have to complete my “morning loop” of eight miles now, which seems approachable.  9:07 average pace.

Sunday:  5.5 miles on varying grades (7, 7.5, 8 and 10) on the treadmill.  I had an eight mile workout scheduled, but time constraints overruled it.  45-minute sauna session followed by a cookout – yay!

I took advantage of the holiday weekend to indulge in a non-training hobby: baking pina colada cupcakes!
I took advantage of the holiday weekend to indulge in a non-training hobby: baking pina colada cupcakes!

Monday:  It was the holiday weekend so I had Monday off to put in some miles.  20.5 miles on a hot and hilly route; outfit included shorts, knee-high socks, tank and long-sleeve shirt.  So at least my knees were cool.  I was not recovered from Saturday which was precisely the goal; managed just under 10’s but got in plenty of those hills.

Tuesday:  Single 8 mile loop in the morning; still not recovered so had to drop back from the 8:15 average pace.  My running cronies were kind and noted that if I weren’t wearing long pants and long sleeves I’d probably be fine.  Probably not, but the gesture was kind.  45-minute sauna session, work for two hours followed by an hour of uphill walking.  Late day working until 8 pm.

Wednesday:  13 miles of early morning hill repeats with George, followed by 45-minute sauna session.  After 3 hours of work, one hour of uphill walking followed by a return to the “office.”

Thursday:  13 early morning miles on a slightly less hilly route, followed by a completely normal work day!  In the evening, one hour of uphill walking followed by a single heat spin.

Friday:  OFF from running!!!  Hallelujah!  One hour of uphill walking at the crack of dawn, followed by a massage, followed by a 45-minute sauna session.  That was a nice day.

Weekly totals:  90 miles running, 12 miles uphill walking, four 45-minute sauna sessions.

Clove’s Badwater Training Log: 4.18.2015 – 5.1.2015

No, I didn’t pass out in the sauna during the last two weeks.  I was traveling for work and getting my arse kicked by the beast that is Badwater!

My mileage is still relatively low, and I don’t hit my first 80 – 90 mile weeks until mid-May.  Time management, however, is already becoming an issue, and it’s something I’m continuing to work on every day.  I’m so incredibly blessed to have such a flexible work schedule, but training in all the necessary areas (mileage, sauna and hill walking) reminds me a bit of that one summer that I tried to train for Ironman … it’s just incredibly time-consuming.  Add that to the amount of laundry I’m doing (sorry environment!) and it’s quite enough to overwhelm me.

Saturday, April 18:  17 solo miles with four steep half mile hill repeats in the center (the Worthington hill for you locals).  Surprised with an 8:52 average pace.  For a solo long run, three weeks off of a 100, with multiple hill repeats, it was good.  I was expecting somewhere around 9:20.

Sunday, April 19:  First long-form heat/hill workout on the treadmill to grind the quads/hamstrings and play with run:walk ratios.  Two major points of this workout:  always go uphill and always be hot.  Wore a tank with a thick jacket and long pants with buns underneath and ran straight uphill for 8 miles.  Here’s what this one looked like:

  • 1 mile @ 11-minute pace at 7% grade
  • .5 mile @ 11-minute pace at 7.5% grade
  • .5 mile @ 11-minute pace at 8% grade
  • 1 mile @ 19-minute pace at 10% grade (walk)
  • Repeat above cycle
  • Followed by a pyramid (increasing grade, then decreasing grade) for 2 final miles with run:walk breaks of 2:1 and 3:2.

Then I went to the sauna for 45 minutes too.  And then I drank wine which I flushed out with water.  I drink a lot of water these days …

Monday, April 20:  7 mile run with hills, followed by a double heat spin.  Props to instructor and friend Kim for leaving a surprise bag of gummy bears on my bike, which I ate immediately, in class, with little shame.

Tuesday, April 21:  13 total miles for the day, 45 minutes in the sauna, and one hour of hill walking.  Never-ending workout day.

Wednesday, April 22:  Early morning 10 miles, followed by 45 minutes in the sauna, one hour of hill walking, and not being properly ready to leave the house on time for our flight to CA.  Very overwhelmed.

Thursday, April 23:  OFF-ish!!!  I had front-loaded my miles because I knew I would be in meetings with Clif Bar for much of the day (work), and then driving from San Francisco to Big Sur with DB.  We got to SF in time for me to do my hour of hill-walking before dinner, and I even found a questionably uploaded episode of Days to watch on my phone!

Friday, April 24:  Totally awesome, absolutely gorgeous 5 miles along the Pacific Ocean with DB, including a major hill.  One hour of hill-walking, and reduced to watching Jessa and Ben’s honeymoon on my phone …

Weekly totals:  60 miles running, 12 miles walking, three 45-minute sauna sessions, one work trip.
Saturday, April 25:  What should have been a very easy 3-mile shakeout felt very difficult.

Sunday, April 26:  Big Sur Marathon, pacing.  26.2.  Headwinds from hell.

Monday, April 27:  Double heat spin.  Exhausted from flight that landed at 1:20 am.  This would last all week.

Tuesday, April 28:  5 exhausted miles, 45-minute sauna session, one-hour hill walk.

Wednesday, April 29:  10 miles, split between two workouts:  an easy five and five with the half-mile uphill repeats.  45-minute sauna session, one-hour hill walk.

Thursday, April 30:  7 terrible, awful miles.  I had tried a new veggie burger from a local market the night before, and it did not go well.  It did not come up or out, but merely caused horrific stomach cramps.  Add to this that my hip and my usually minor plantar fasciitis was acting up, and I was out.  So far out that I skipped spinning and walking, repeating over and over again:  “It’s only April.  It’s only April.  It’s only April …”

Friday, May 1:  9 miles:  an easy four with DB, followed by five miles of hill repeats.  (I live in a very hilly neighborhood, where the base of the streets to the top is just under .5 miles, and uphill.)  Massage day!!!  Followed by my best sauna session yet; I was able to take in 1.5 liters of fluid without any of it “sitting” in my gut, and felt calm and lucid the whole time.  Early evening, one-hour hill walk.

Weekly totals:  60 running miles, 9 walking miles, three 45-minute sauna sessions, one late flight and one bad veggie burger.

And finally … Dalliances on Days:  Melanie, Brady, Theresa and Marlena all end up at Kristen’s castle in Italy.  Kristen wanted to get back at Brady, so when she found out that Theresa was pregnant (with Brady’s baby) she had one of the DiMera’s shadily-licensed doctors remove the embryo from Theresa, implant it in her, and tell Theresa she wasn’t pregnant after all.  Kristen absconded, finally carrying Brady’s spawn, and all was well until the baby needed a bone-marrow transplant for an auto-immune disorder.  Plausible, right?  Anyhow, after way too many days of fist-fights, injections and shootings, Theresa and Brady were reunited with their son, Melanie was moping because she must have forgotten that this would bring Theresa and Brady closer, and Marlena was cleared in Kristen’s death (she fell out of a window).  Kristen is not dead and I would put $ on an EJ/Abby embryo out there as well.  Especially since Stefano has that creepy folder labeled “Abigail Deveraux.”

Paige and JJ continued to make sweet virginal love while Eve freaked out and Jennifer actually tried to be compassionate.  Will whined … and whined … and lied … about Paul and Sonny. John went to San Francisco to try to rectify some things with Paul.  Adrienne and Justin continued to look like horny 40-year-olds trying to have soap opera sex like hot 20-year-olds.  I’m almost 40.  There is a lot to be said for 40-year-old sex.  But EJ and Abigail they are not.

Nicole, Serena, Xander and the elephants continued to bore everyone to tears.

Clove’s Badwater Training Log: 4.11.2015 – 4.17.2015

If you look above the navel ring, you can see ("C") my little problem.  The other weird stuff are buttons and the zipper on my cords - the x-ray was done with my cords on.
If you look above the navel ring, you can see (“C”) my little problem – as well as what it does to my hips. The other weird stuff is buttons and the zipper on my cords – the x-ray was done with my cords on.

This entry shall otherwise be titled “My Twisted Spine.”

My twisted spine put a dent in things this week.  Some people would say, “Star.  It was the very low mileage first week of a 15-week training plan, coming off of the training that got you to a PR 100-miler.”  Those people would be correct, but I would remind them that I am a super Type-A perfectionist, and that even though I know I made the best long-term choices for my body, I feel like I’m wearing a scratchy wool sweater when I don’t properly ace the week’s appointed workouts.  It just bothers me. Read more >>