Mile 30.99 of the Glacial Trail 50k

Mile 30.99 of the Glacial Trail 50k
Almost Done!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Adios 2010! A Year in Review

As 2010 comes to a close I have a ritual, I call it, “My Year in Review”. Typically I don’t write this review down, but this year I have a blog to update so I felt it might be an interesting topic. Although I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions, I do believe in reviewing one’s year, and committing to make changes based on that review. It might be the business person in me, but it works!  It’s not a resolution, and I don’t have to be disappointed with myself if by the end of January, I have chosen a different path! It might just be the lazy person’s way of making a resolution, but hey, call me lazy!
2010 has been an athletic year! I have been lucky enough to have a body that has held up to my first two 50 mile runs and another Ironman. 10 years ago, I would have laughed at you if you had told me that I would be completing my 9th Ironman by 2010. Ten years ago, I thought that running 2 miles was hard and now I am running 50.  Except for a minor setback in June, a broken elbow, I have been able to start and finish every race and training session that I began this year. I can tell you that running hill repeats in a splint up to your shoulder is very hot, and very uncomfortable!  My goal for 2011 is to not break another bone! Oh… and run 100 miles out in Leadville, CO!
2010 has also been good for my business. When I quit my job and set out on my own in 2008, I was scared! “Would I be able to do this”, I asked? I knew that most small businesses closed within the first couple of years. I tried my best to go into my business slowly and cautiously, and when the recession hit, I was ready! Sure, I lost a little business during that time, but my conservative planning paid off, and 2010 was a rebound. Thanks to the many amazing clients who have stuck with me, and sent their friends to me, I am happy to report that Stride MultiSport is stronger than ever! It is a lot of work, but I would not trade it for the world! 2011 will be even more amazing than 2010!
Finally, 2010 has proven to me that I am surrounded by the most amazing people in the world! I cannot say enough about my family, they are my pillar of strength! My parents follow me to all of my races, and my husband makes it possible for me to be gone for 18 hours a day! My friends are my constant inspiration, and their positive attitude makes it easier for me to do what I do every day!  If I could do one thing in 2011, it would be to show all of these people my extreme gratitude. They do so much more for me than I could ever do for them!
So as the ball drops into the New Year tomorrow, I will be looking back on my year. No resolutions will be made, but I hope that next year, I can write an even better review. I hope you can too!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blizzard Running for Dummies

It is winter in Wisconsin, the temperature has fallen to  negative numbers with the windchill, the wind is gusting to almost 50 miles per hour outside, and there is at least 2 feet of snow on the ground. Why not take up the new winter sport that is sweeping (although rather slowly) the frigid frozen north, Blizzard Running!

Blizzard Running requires some form of mental insanity! Not only is it ridiculous, but it is also rather dangerous! Any exposed skin can be frost bitten within a matter of minutes and the danger of being hit by a passing snow plow is all to real. The Blizzard Runner must sacrifice all dignity, as passing motorists will not only give them a dirty look, but also might stop and ask, "do you need some help?", to which the runner must reply, "no, I am just going out for a run."  Be prepared to get a response similar to, "you are crazy", or, "what is wrong with you?"

Proper attire is essential for the Blizzard Runner. First, make sure to wear a very tight and all to un-flattering set of long underwear. On top of that, wear two to three layers of un-matching polar fleece and polyester. Then, layer with a jacket that restricts all movement, a face mask to block your eyesight, and ski gloves.  Proper foot wear is also important. Goretex trail running shoes, gators to keep snow out of your socks, and last but not least, Yak Trax for extra traction, will have you waddling with ease!

Make sure to plan your route accordingly, as gusting winds can make vision nearly impossible. I recommend a 1/4 mile straight away in front of one's home. Pick two very large markers to sight between as mailboxes and road signs can be buried under ridiculous amounts of snow. Run back and forth between these two points until you have gone comatose with boredom, or until you can no longer feel your face!

Finally, make sure to recover properly after your run! Sure some athlete's prefer a fancy protein drink to help promote muscle recovery, but this is Wisconsin people! Instead of recovering after your run, grab a shovel and start to dig through 4 foot high snow drifts that have magically accumulated in front of your garage overnight! Shoveling is great cross training, it hurts your back, freezes your fingers, and with all of the obscenities you will be yelling it also helps improve your vocabulary!

So as you can see, Blizzard Running is about as much fun as running in a frickin' blizzard can be! Grab your worst enemy and get out there today!

Leadville Trail 100 Run 2009

Sunday, December 5, 2010

70 is the new 30!

“I am getting too old for this!” How many times do we hear this saying from our friends or feel like saying it ourselves? It seems that the older we get, the more the age excuse seems to slip out of our mouths. Sure, some of our parts begin to wear a little bit, and getting out of bed in the morning does not happen as fast as it used to, but does it mean that as we age we are condemned to a life of Depends and dentures?  I need to be careful when I talk about the aging subject because by most people’s standards I am still a kid, but I am convinced by what I have seen in the exercise world,  that getting older just makes us better.
Recently a long time client of mine celebrated his 77th birthday. In order to truly appreciate this guy, let me paint you a picture of him. He started training with me when he was 73 because he knew that he needed to push himself more than he already was. In our training sessions not only does he perform some already challenging exercises like squats, lunges and pushups, but recently we have been practicing a standing long jump and jumping rope. When he sees a person half of his age doing a new or challenging exercise that we currently don’t do, he says to me, “we need to try that!”  
At the JFK 50 miler there were two different starting options, one at 5am, and one at 7am. Although most of us chose the 7am start with the 12 hour cut-off, a few brave souls started in the darkness of 5am to give themselves 14 hours to finish. A few of these folks just wanted the extra time, some were struggling with an injury, but many of them were noticeably older than the rest of us! At mile 30, I started to come up upon some of the 5 am starters. I ran into two older gentlemen, 70+, who told me that they walk the race every year. “We finish in just under 14 hours”, one of them said, “but we finish.” I personally, could not imagine walking 50 miles, running 50 miles and being out there for 10+ hours is enough for me! Four more hours of movement sounded ridiculous, especially for someone more than twice my age, but here were two guys that were proving me wrong!
I hope that as I grow older, I can age gracefully like my 77 year old client, and the two gentlemen that I met on the trail that day. There is so much to do in this life, that we truly need all 100 years to experience it all!  Although I think we need to accept the fact that we are aging, we should not automatically hang up our running shoes. Just because we can’t run, doesn’t mean we can move! If you are blessed with good health push forward, and if not, adapt the best you can!  Strive to make 70 the new 30!