Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ultra Conservative, Ultra Type “A”, Ultra Runner!!!

That’s me in a nutshell. . . conservative, type A, Ultra Runner! I just celebrated my 42nd birthday in December, and I wanted to reflect on the year 2013 and what I did in racing, what I learned about myself, what I learned about my running and where I want to go in 2014.

In 2013, I raced more than I have raced before. Here is what that looked like for me.

March 16th, 2013-Savage Gulf (Trail) Marathon DNF at mile 17.5. I made the cutoff time. I sprained my ankle pretty bad at mile 3, ran to mile 17.5.

April 6th, 2013 Oak Barrel 1/2 Marathon 2:02 finish, 14th in my age group. I was really hoping to break 2 hours in this race, but stomach trouble kept me to a little over 2 hours. I think my favorite part of this race was that each woman in my running group finished under 2:02 and one of our runners placed first in her age group. That makes me happy.

May 11, 2013 Dances with Dirt GNAW BONE 7:36 finish, 16th/48 women, 3rd in my age group. This was a crazy, unexpected race. Some fun experiences, during the second half of this race included a wall of mud to climb up, a large stair case around mile 19 or 21 and a river to traverse at mile 30.5, treading water up to my thighs.

June 2, 2013 Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon 4:41 finish, 3570th/6542 people. Probably one of the best times I have had running a marathon. I walked through every aid station. I did not wear a watch or a fuel belt. I signed up the day before.

October 12, 2013 Ruffner Mountain High Crusher Ridge 63K 7:33 finish in the marathon. I did not complete the 63K, really tough race. I finished after 26.2. I placed second in the ladies. I was very happy to place second after a tear filled struggle to finish the first 13 miles!! Best part of this race? Scaling down a mountain, next to a mine shaft at about mile 10.5 and mile 21.

October 25, 2013 Ragnar Relay!  Such a fun time. I was runner 7 for the third time. I finally conquered Mont Eagle Mountain!! I’m passing the torch on. Best feeling in the world to run 4 miles uphill without having to stop!

Looking ahead to 2014. . . Click on the links and check these out. I have not had a chance to look at either course, either elevation chart, or either aid station mileage. Just signed up. I will study soon. 🙂

Black Warrior 50K trail race February 15, 2014 (Happy Valentine’s Day to me. 🙂 )

Lake Martin 50 mile trail race March 29, 2014

I learned, confirmed a few things about myself as a runner, as I reflect on 2013. I am the type of runner who is most comfortable with a ‘negative split’. A negative split is when you run the second half of your race faster than the first half, even if it is only by 30 seconds. I have learned that on the road, I reach a comfortable place at about mile 3 or 4. On the trail, I reach a comfortable place at about mile 7 or 10. I have learned that in a 50K race, the “race” does not begin until about mile 19. So, get to mile 19, with a happy face, happy pace and happy stomach. I have learned that I really LOVE running on the trail. I have learned that I really LOVE ultra running.

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Where’s My Burning Bush?

If you recall, It was God who spoke to Moses through the burning bush. Moses was in the desert, taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep, when he noticed a bush on fire. The bush was burning  but not being consumed by the fire. He chose to investigate, and he met with God. God gave him an important ‘direction’, ‘oversight’, ‘charge’. He was going to send Moses to Pharaoh to free the Israelites. Moses grumbled and challenged God. God sent him with a helper, Aaron. God sent him with miraculous signs. God foretold of certain deliverance and riches in the form of silver and gold that the Israelites would receive. (Exodus 3:1-4:16)

Did I mention that God spoke to Moses through a burning bush? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all received a clear charge/direction sent in the mail ? Displayed in the sky via fireworks?  “Follow this course of action. . . ” “Do these three things for the next four months. . . ” “Run/walk this amount during your race and . . ..” AND, sometimes, it’s something deeper like the following.  “What is my purpose?” “When will this change?” or “Why?” It seems to me that CLEARLY a burning bush would get my attention. It seems to me, like, CLEARLY if God spoke to me through a burning bush I would believe him. Moses was not only arguing with a burning bush. He was arguing with God. I read this story and think, “come on Moses!! God is talking to you so that you can audibly hear Him. Why are you arguing? He’s telling you what to do and where to go!”

God does give us guidance and direction today. He could speak to us in a burning bush tomorrow, but most likely He won’t. Instead, He may send a friend to help you process where you are or where you are going or where you should go. He will use His word to give you the global picture of who He says you are and what He says he made you for. He will use a book or a song.  It is the day-to-day decisions that get me. I still want to know or even be told how it is going to look next week, next month, next year. I still want to make the BEST decision.

The truth is that we are equipped to make the best decision. It is the “heartbreaks and hiccups” of life that have brought us to where we are today. It is okay to glory in these,  and by that I mean thank God that he brought us down the path He chose to. I believe that with God, there is no plan B. According to Him, I am living plan A. He will redeem even my worst decisions, big or small.

God knew that Moses needed the burning bush. I think Moses needed the fire. I think Moses needed to know, “I AM”.