Let our own light shine to light up the world!

The beginning- That time when I started running in high school and I decided to go out and see how long I could run until I felt tired!

The beginning- That time in high school when I decided to go out and see how long I could run until I felt tired! I didn’t have a watch yet, but it was approx. 9-10 miles judging by the clock in the kitchen (the furthest I’d previously run was about 4 miles). Mom was proud and snapped this shot when I finally came home. :)

The past few weeks, I’ve continued to digest the weight and significance of my first 100K and only my second ultra to complete. It’s really opened my eyes to what I’m capable of in the ultra world.

I was a bit scared when I hit 50K under American Record pace on such a challenging course. I intentionally backed off, thinking that was too ambitious on the first try and not knowing “what lies ahead” and how I’d begin to feel. I wanted to finish and not be completely knocked out, as happened when I knocked myself out running ill at Comrades last year [edit: ironically, I read last night that ultra great, Ann Trason, DNFed her first Comrades due to a stomach virus- she went on to win it twice, http://www.comrades.com/1996!]. Having gotten through the 100K now, I have a lot more confidence in what I’m capable of and knowing I can push myself all out for the full distance.

Knowing I have the potential to do some remarkable feats in the ultra world the next 10-20 yrs, I have to remind myself of the following quote by Marianne Williamson: [Read more…]

3rd win at OKC Memorial Marathon- toughest, but most memorable!

Thanks to a few Cokes, I was able to finally leave the Medical Tent and do a post-race interview!

Thanks to a few Cokes, I was able to finally leave the Medical Tent and do a post-race interview!

This past weekend I won my 3rd OKC Memorial Marathon- my hometown race and became the first three time winner! Of course, none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for the inspiration of watching Conor win it twice 11-12 years ago and then guiding me on this crazy marathoning path! This one was the toughest but most memorable marathon!

While I’ve done marathons on back-to-back weekends, this was my first time to attempt a marathon after an ultra. To describe how it felt: Doing marathons on back-to-back weekends is like running with a bear on your back the second half. Major props to my Marathonguide.com teammates who do fast marathons on back-to-back DAYS! However, doing 100K plus a marathon within 2 weeks … is like running with a bear on your back PLUS a 50 lb backpackThat was the most extreme challenge I’ve ever attempted for sure. There is nothing I love more, though, than pushing the mental and physical limits, testing the human will… and most importantly inspiring people along the way! How do we know what’s possible, until we try?!

I also set a new personal best for racing miles in a month, 114.55 miles (and 153.85 racing miles the past eight weeks!). Omg!!! [Read more…]

Road Race Management article: Take an anti-doping stance

A few months ago, I learned there was a “working group” with Road Race Management for discussing anti-doping measures. We brained stormed with back and forth emails. Finally, they suggested I write an article for their monthly newsletter with my thoughts, coming from an elite runner and what I’ve seen/experienced. I had wanted to reach out to race directors as well, so this was a way of “speaking to the masses”.

I’m thankful they have given me permission to share the article. Road Race Management is one of the most comprehensive resources on what’s happening in the sport. If anyone is interested in getting a membership (which includes getting the monthly newsletter), I highly recommend it (their newsletter is ‘awesome’- lots of great articles and insight!).

http://www.rrm.com/rrmnewsletter/membership.htm

Also, I’m sharing this, in light of what happened in Boston– Master’s runner/doper, Liza Hunter-Galvan, was [accidentally?] let into the elite women’s start and ended up being 1st Master’s and picking up $10,000. I was under the impression that Boston, being a World Marathon Major and having an anti-doping policy, wouldn’t allow a doper into their elite field or to compete for prize money. It’s a shame this happened, especially since I just wrote about Liza in my article and how races shouldn’t allow dopers into the elite start!

Here’s the article (shared with permission by RRM):  Road Race Management article- Take an anti-doping stance

Here’s RRM’s new database to look up whether athletes have been sanctioned for doping within the last 10 yrs– RDs/elite coordinators should do their research on athletes! It creates bad publicity if you let a doper (or two or more!) into your field! http://www.dopingsanctions.com/

[Edit: The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon has adopted an anti-doping policy! Brilliant- check it out: http://www.monumentalmarathon.com/press-releases/2015-04-16-IMM-Takes-Stand-Against-Doping.php ]

Debut at the 100K- 2015 National Champion!

Me with the Mad City Race Director, Timo Y.!

Me with the Mad City Race Director, Timo Y.!

This weekend I went to Madison, WI for my first domestic ultra- the Mad City 100K/US National Championship. This was my 3rd attempt at an ultra, and I hoped it would go a lot better than my first two attempts in South Africa! Mind you, it took me five tries to really figure out and nail a good marathon. I think I’m getting better and more confident with the longer distances!

It was like night and day between how ill I felt trying to race with a fever/virus at Comrades last year (and collapsing at 83K)… vs running the 100K with no illness and finishing mostly unscathed (only 2 lost toenails; edit: I’ve now lost 3 toenails!)! I’m blessed to have won the 100K at Mad City and run a decent time (?) for my first 100K, 7:26:24!

Of note– the RD, Timo, called and said I broke Ann Trason’s 26 y.o. US Championship record (see here)! To break any record by the great Ann Trason is a true honor. We believe it may be the 3rd (?) fastest American performance ever (edit: it IS the 3rd fastest American performance and 17th best performance ever! http://www.arrs.net/AllTime/AllTime.htm), making me the 2nd best American 100K runner ever! I ran the fastest 100K ever on American soil! I also broke the Course Record by 20+ min, previously set by my fleet-footed friend, Devon Yanko (nee Crosby-Helms). Most importantly, I qualified for the US 100K Team and will get another shot at the American Record in September, at the “fast” World Championship in The Netherlands!

[Read more…]

Knoxville Marathon- 17th win, back for more punishment!

This past weekend I ventured back to Knoxville, TN to run the Knoxville Marathon— only this time I drove instead of fly! In a 53 hr period, I set two new personal bests: 1)Furthest I’ve ever driven myself to a race (12:30 hrs of driving time, not including stops/traffic- 25 hrs driving round-trip), and 2) Most tacos I’ve eaten within 24 hrs (8)! Inspired by my Marathonguide.com/Skechers teammate, Bryan Morseman, who drove 22 hrs with his family to run at Cowtown… only to have the race cancelled (!)… I thought I’d test my own driving endurance. Thanks to my Marathonguide.com sponsor for getting me in (and sponsoring Knoxville) and for my MG.com teammates for continuing to inspire me to push the mental/physical limits!

The hilly, twisty Knoxville course.

The hilly, twisty Knoxville course.

Why Knoxville again? THE HILLS! This is the hardest course I’ve run, but it’s great prep for Comrades, which is an “up year” this year. I blogged about Knoxville last year– with 3,120 ft. of elevation change, nearly the whole course is up or down, with several long, steep climbs and lots and lots of turns. So yeah… I drove 12 1/2 hrs to punish myself!

I also thought it would be a good race to do again to see where my fitness stands and how I feel on the hills. If I could get within a few minutes of the 2:44+ I ran here last year, while feeling strong on the climbs, I’d be on target for Comrades. [Read more…]