On the 8th Day of Christmas, Running Gave to Me: The Great Outdoors

I didn’t start running expecting to have any sort of epiphany about my place in this universe, or even to learn lessons about resilience, confidence or ego. I started running to be a little more healthy, and because I thought running a marathon sounded cool. True, my life needed a little shaking up, but I didn’t realize it at the time. What I realize now, seven years after my first more » Read more

On the 7th Day of Christmas, Running Gave to Me: Overtraining Syndrome

I still can’t pinpoint the exact moment it happened. I don’t remember a specific day or run where it hit me. There was no voice in my head, no doctor or coach or friend telling me what was happening. It just happened. I was burnt out, overtrained and sick of running. It all happened gradually, a slippery slope. I had come off an amazing 2014, when I had several podium more » Read more

5 Reasons I Will Never Run a F*ing 100-Miler

At the ripe old age of 37, I seem about as capable of resisting peer pressure as I was as a 20-year-old. Luckily, now I choose my friends more wisely so the things that I agree to do are at least legal, although often totally outside my comfort zone. When my friend began talking about her need for a 100-mile belt buckle on run after run, without hesitation I told more » Read more

Raspberry’s First 50: Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Mile Race Report

Since joining the Salty team last spring, I have been training for my first 50-mile race, the Dick Collins Firetrails 50, using Krissy Moehl’s Running Your First Ultra training plan. I had just completed Boston-to-Big Sur, and knew I had the foundation for a strong training cycle. During summer vacation, I armed myself with a new book, Trail Runner’s Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area and adopted an adventurer’s mindset. That, combined with mild weather more » Read more

To Race Well, You Need to Get Real: My Stanky Creek 25k Race Report

The story behind my Stanky Creek 25k race is much longer and, frankly, more important than the actual race itself. For the most part, the hardest part of a race isn’t the actual race: it’s the months or years of training that lead up to it. But since I started running, and possibly with the exception of my very first marathon and 50 miler, I have struggled with meeting my more » Read more

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