I Raced up a Mountain and I Liked It

Last year Steve Taylor, founder of the Collegiate Running Association and head coach of the Richmond Spiders track and cross-country team, invited me to race a 10k that his organization was helping to put on. Sounds simple enough, right? Six point two miles ain’t no thang. Then he told me the important part: the 10k is a mountain 10k, which means you have to run that six point two miles straight up more » Read more

Oregano’s Mt. Hood 50K Race Report

If you’ve been following my training logs, you know that I have been training for the Mt. Hood 50k since I recovered from the Chuckanut 50k in the early spring. I used Krissy Moehl’s book, Running Your First Ultra, to train for Chuckanut, even though it wasn’t my first ultra. And after Chuckanut, I contacted Krissy and she coached me individually for this race. Thanks Krissy! My goals going into this race: more » Read more

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

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 more » Read more

Western States and the Female Pioneers of Ultrarunning

One might wonder how exciting watching a 100 mile race could be, but Western States Endurance Run proved itself once again to be the holy grail of ultra running this past weekend with spectacular and gut-wrenching performances by so many. This year’s women’s elite field was deeply stacked, with seven of last year’s top 10 returning, including champion and Olympian Magdalena Boulet, as well as 55-year old Meghan Arbogast, who accomplished her more » Read more

The Very Real Running Trails of Cleveland, Ohio

I was still rehabbing an injury and had just finished my personal worst 50K. Humbled by the mountains outside of Malibu and still nursing an injured hip, I was sharing beers with friends of a friend when a tanned, blonde Californian said this to me. It was one of the most offensive things anyone has ever said to me after a race: “So this was your first trail race.” “No,” I responded, more » Read more

Choosing the CrossFit Endurance Ultra Training Plan

It all started one fateful day last December. I was watching a rerun of the CrossFit Games and told the Saltines, mostly in jest, that I was going to try CrossFit. As usual, there were many jokes, but they were supportive in spite of seeming unsure if I was serious or not. As I pursued my CrossFit dreams, my real-life running friends had some things to say: “I hate CrossFit because my old running more » Read more

Why Do Ultra-Runners Walk the Hills?

It was a long time ago now, when I trained for my first 50K. One of my first group trail runs was 10-miles run mostly on a two-loop trail. A pretty decently-sized group showed up for that run, maybe 25 or so people, and we started out on that crisp fall morning at a comfortable jog. We left the parking lot, ran under a covered bridge, onto a trail next to the road, then more » Read more

13 Trail Racing Tips for Road Runners

Flickr Commons Image by the Knocksville Track Club. After a summer and fall of trail running, the road 5K I was scheduled to race last weekend didn’t seem quite right. Looking for a break for my body and mind, I found a small trail race in a neighboring town with a 5.3-mile option. Perfect! During the race, however, there were many times I thought to myself: “Huh, this is really more » Read more

I Am a Trail Running Atheist

I might be unfriended by several of my best running friends by posting this one and maybe even Salty herself, but I’m going to just come out and say it: I am a trail running atheist. Don’t get me wrong. I love nature; natural beauty inspires me and makes me feel wonderfully insignificant, yet totally a part of something bigger than myself.  But trails? They just don’t do it for me.  Read more

Nutrimatix Badwater 135: Coming out of the Dark

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 more » Read more

Nutrimatix Badwater 135, Part I: Under A Pink Sky

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 more » Read more

Crewing Badwater: The Toughest Race You’ve Never Run

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 more » Read more

Clove’s Badwater Training Log: 6.27.2015

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 more » Read more

How to Train for Badwater: Extra Everything

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 more » Read more

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

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, more » Read more