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Sarah Mueller
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Mar 15, 2010
I will not succumb! I will not succumb!
Toggle Commented Nov 20, 2009 on Reality Check, Please at UltraNormal
The past two days, I've gotten up early and got on the treadmill, hoping to get in an 18- to 20-miler. The first day, I stopped at 12. The second, at 10. I wasn't in serious pain, I was just...done. My legs were heavy and uncooperative. My mental reserves were shot. As I drug my sorry butt up the stairs this morning, my husband asked me if I was OK. "Just frustrated," I replied. I was counting up my weekly miles in my head, trying to figure out how I could fit a second try into the rest of my... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2009 at UltraNormal
It is worth it! Ive been getting in two sessions a week. How often do you strength train? Whats your 30-minute routine? Ive been doing three sets each of three different squats, push-ups, bicep curls (sometimes with a military press added), tricep dips or kick-backs, some kind of shoulder lift, and calf raises. Then ab-work. I can tell my body is getting stronger after only a couple weeks. Just need to stick with it!
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2009 on This is good for me, right? at UltraNormal
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Coleen Voeks is a staple of the local running scene. You can count on her for good advice, big smiles, and some serious trail toughness. Coleen crewed for me during my first 50-miler; I'm not sure I would have finished without her help! UltraNormal: Why, in the name of all that’s holy and good, did you decide to run a 100-mile race?Coleen Voeks: My dad is an ultrarunner, so, honestly, after having so much fun after my first marathon, it just seemed like the natural progression of things. That and a bit of competitiveness with dear old dad... If he... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2009 at UltraNormal
If you've ever run a trail race around these parts, chances are you've met Gary Henry. He's the runner with the camera, whipping around mid-stride to snap pics of his fellow runners. Follow local trail adventures at his site, Ultrastory.com and learn from his 100-mile wisdom below. UltraNormal: Why, in the name of all that’s holy and good, did you decide to run a 100-mile race? Gary Henry: I wanted to see if I could. UN: What 100(s) have you done? GH: I’ve finished the Heartland 100 three times, the Leadville Trail 100 twice, Rocky Raccoon 100 and Ozark Trail... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2009 at UltraNormal
Nick is not only a relentless runner but a great crew-member as well. You can keep up with (well, you can try to keep up with) this founding member of the Lawrence Trail Hawks at his blog, www.skooshmagoo.com. UltraNormal: Why, in the name of all that’s holy and good, did you decide to run a 100-mile race? Nick Lang: I would say this is the most commonly asked question, and, to be honest, the answer is really simple to see if I could do it. My dad did Leadville one time, I went out to pace him. I had no... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2009 at UltraNormal
I'm doing a little interview project on the blog over the next month. If you've run a 100-mile race, I want to hear from you! I want to compile a collection of 100-mile wisdom as I try to decide whether to not to run a 100-mile race sometime in the future. Join a growing list of interview subjects from the Lawrence Trail Hawks and send me your answers to the following questions. Be sure to include links to your race reports or running blog and any pictures of yourself you're willing to share! 1. Why, in the name of all... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2009 at UltraNormal
Thanks, Dave! I was checking out your blog this morning, too, and got some much-needed inspiration to keep on doing strength training! Thanks! Hoping Ill start seeing muscles someday...
OUCH. Remember last week when I said I was welcoming strength training back into my life? Well, it's been a nasty house-guest so far. As part of my workout on Friday, I did a couple sets of these (literally) kick-butt one-legged squats my friend Kim taught me. (If you're in the Albuquerque area, give her a call; she's an incredible trainer.) I felt strong and tough and a little cocky when I finished. I should have remembered squats always get their revenge the next day. On Saturday, my glutes were screaming for mercy. (I'm sure all the dancing we did... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2009 at UltraNormal
Monday, Oct. 26: The day after my 1st 50-miler. Pain. Stairs are the devil, 50 circles deep down in Hades. Note to self: Never run an ultra then try to go to work the next morning. You will go to work; you will pretend everything is fine. You will find yourself on the floor in the middle of your booth contorting yourself in strange positions to stretch muscles you've never met before. Those muscles know you, however, and they're madattcha. Tuesday, Oct. 27: Stairs are demons, but not the devil himself. Still hanging on to strains of euphoria. Weaseling out... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2009 at UltraNormal
Thanks, Mark! It makes me tired just remembering it, too ; )
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I promised a full report on my first 50-miler, and here it is in all its over-wordy not-quite-glory! Pre-Race I was up by 4:00 a.m. to finish my pre-race preparations: lots of water, lots of non-chaffing stick along all the seams of my running clothes, lots of nervous jitters. My very kind husband and sleepy golden retriever rolled out of bed to drive me to the course. We were at the trail shelter parking lot by 5:40 a.m. or so. It was very dark, but the shelter lights were blazing and racers' headlamps bobbed as everyone made their last trips... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2009 at UltraNormal
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Posted Oct 25, 2009 at UltraNormal
Got my first 50-miler done. 10:00:22. There were high points, there were low points. There was rain. There was an incredible crew (Laurie, Nick, Colleen -- you are amazing), a trouper of a pacer (Laurie! 17+ miles! Much of it in the rain!), and fabulous volunteers. More details soon. Warming up by the Mr. Heater now. Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2009 at UltraNormal
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So...what does one do the day before an ultra? Everybody's different, but here's my plan for today: 1. Go to bed early the 2 nights before the race--that was last night (check). Especially important if you're likely to be too excited to get a really good night of sleep the night before the race. (I'm likely.) 2. Stay in bed as long as possible. I'm actually typing this on my iPhone while still under the covers right now. 3. Stay hydrated. Gonna carry a water bottle around with me today as I run errands. This also means continuing the caffeine... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2009 at UltraNormal
A pacer is a selfless, angel of a person who runs alongside a racer, usually for the last part of a really long race, to make sure the racer, now dead tired and slightly delirious, doesn't do anything stupid, like forget to eat, drink, or keep moving forward. The pacers' priority is to get that racer across the finish line. Pacers are awesome. I had three pacers join me for the end of the Brew-to-Brew race (43+ miles from Kansas City to Lawrence, KS) three years ago. It was wonderful. They blocked the wind, they kept me from crawling too... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2009 at UltraNormal
Definition time! A "taper" is the last part of an endurance race training plan. For the last several weeks before your race (usually one to four, depending on your plan and the length of your race), you run less. You've done the hard work of building up to a big training run (or big back-to-back runs), and now you need to give your body time to heal before the race. You don't stop running, you just run less. For example, two weekends ago, I ran a 31-miler on Saturday and a 9-miler on Sunday. Now, I'm keeping my mileage down... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2009 at UltraNormal
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An evening realization: Hey, it might be a good idea to get some new shoes before you go prancing through a 50-mile race. I've noticed that my shoes are feeling a little flat. I shudder to think how many miles I've probably put on them. Hundreds more than you're "supposed" to put on a pair. I don't keep track. I don't want to know. I'm desperately cheap and hate shoe shopping. Plus, the last thing I want to do is take a chance on a new shoe model three weeks out from my race. My feet are used to this... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2009 at UltraNormal
...I meant it hurts a little. I re-read yesterday's blog post, and I wanted to make a distinction between OK Hurt and Bad Hurt. I'm no sports doc, but here's my common sense list: OK Hurt: I've been running for 30 miles (or 15 miles or 8 miles or whatever is long for you), and my legs/back/arms ache. Bad Hurt: Something just popped/twanged/tore/ripped. STOP! OK Hurt: I did a really long run yesterday, and I'm feeling it in my quads as I'm going down stairs today. Bad Hurt: I did a really long run yesterday, and I'm having trouble walking/moving/crawling... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2009 at UltraNormal
I realized I have never tried to run the day after running 31 miles. I've run after 20, but I've always taken off the days after 50Ks. Now that I'm gunning for a 50-miler, the rules have changed. And I've learned two things: 1. I can run the day after slogging through 31 miles. 2. It hurts. I slept in this morning, had a big bowl of oatmeal, got some chores done, then limped up to the treadmill. It took me a couple minutes to get up to anything resembling running speed. But when I did, the soreness started to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2009 at UltraNormal
It sounds obvious, but there's nothing like a really long run to remind yourself you CAN do really long runs. Thanks to some two-tired encouragement from my friend Kristin during the middle nine miles, I got through a full practice 50K this morning. It was cloudy and cool (in the 40s). I hate being cold, so I wore two quick-drying long sleeved shirts, layered, and running pants over shorts for the first 23 miles. The last eight miles I let my bright red, goose-bumped legs go free. I went back and forth between gloves and no gloves and was pretty... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2009 at UltraNormal
Ok. So it's been a few days. I was running, not writing. And recording, not writing. (When I'm not running, working, or writing, I'm in a band. Tell you more about that sometime.) And writing (other projects), not writing. The big news is I'm fully recovered! I did two ten-milers back-to-back this weekend to test the ol' legs and lungs. All systems go. So I'm gearing up for a final long training run this weekend. I'm going attempt a practice 50K on the same trail I'll be doing my first 50-miler on in less than a month. My lovely friend... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2009 at UltraNormal
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It's Stephen Colbert! Well, kind of. Backing up: I'm a morning runner. When I'm on schedule, I'm running sometime between 5 and 7am. Normally, it's dang dark then. (See that blackness out the window, pocked by city lights? That's called 6:30am in late September.) Unfortunately for my running life, I'm also a city-dwelling runner. I love living in the city. I walk to work. I'm steps away from restaurants, art galleries and music venues. I just don't love running in the city. There's all that concrete. And, in the morning, all that dark. I used to have a group of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2009 at UltraNormal
I did a short two-mile practice jog this morning to get the kinks out and make sure my cold-ravaged body could stand to start training again. It could. With the help of news stories from All Things Considered (I am appropriately addicted to the iPhone app "NPR Addict"), I made short work of the two-mile jog with no ill effects other than a runny nose. And that nose is running no matter if I do or not, lately. All that to say this: I'll be easing back into my normal training schedule and will be writing about running instead of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2009 at UltraNormal