Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...

WALT WEDNESDAY!

When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Workout Recap - Week 27

Sunday, June 26th – Rest Day

Monday, June 27th – 45 minutes on the stationary bike

Tuesday, June 28th – 90 minutes on the stationary bike

Wednesday, June 29th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike

Thursday, June 30th –  Rest Day

Friday, July 1st – 90 minutes on the stationary bike

Saturday, July 2nd – Rest Day

The good news is that the rib is no longer painful to the touch. The bad news is that I can still notice the dull pain when I do things like cough, sneeze, lay on my side, etc. I am still "taking it easy" as the urgent care doctor recommended and I biked my miles this week (I biked for approximately the amount of time it would have taken me to run the mileage I had on the calendar). Biking doesn't hurt (but then again, I am more just biking to keep the legs moving and a routine of still waking up for a workout before my day 'starts', it's not like I am really pushing the pedal to the medal ;)). Technically this week was the first week of taper, so I would have been cutting my miles back anyway. Here's to hoping and praying all of the work and training I put in starting since December-ish is enough to get me through to the finish line in two weeks... 

How were your workouts this past week?

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...

WALT WEDNESDAY!

When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Workout Recap - Week 26

Sunday, June 19th – Rest Day

Monday, June 20th – Rest Day

Tuesday, June 21st – Rest Day

Wednesday, June 22nd – Rest Day

Thursday, June 23rd –  Rest Day

Friday, June 24th – Rest Day

Saturday, June 25th – Rest Day

This was supposed to be my final BIG week of training before my 100-miler. I had SEVENTY-FIVE miles on the schedule for this week and I got in ZERO... In case you missed last week's workout recap, during my Saturday long run I coughed and actually BROKE A RIB! I didn't know that on Saturday, but on Sunday it was still beyond painful so I went to Urgent Care, got x-rays and found out I had fractured my ninth posterior rib. I was told it could take 4-6 weeks for the bone to recalcify (they don't do anything for a broken rib, especially this one because it's so close to the lung), so I just need to "take it easy" for a while. This first week it was still extremely painful so I actually drove to work instead of walking to cut down on some of the jarring/ pounding. I walked on my lunch breaks, but a lot slower and a shorter distance than I normally would. I'm hoping that next week I'll be able to start incorporating the stationary bike, but I'm letting my body dictate what I do. And, yes, in case you were wondering, I am freaking out a bit about the 100-miler I have in three weeks, but I'm telling myself I'd rather be undertrained than injured or overtrained. Technically next week was going to start my taper, so I guess I just added an extra week. Any prayers/ good vibes/ happy thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated! 

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, June 24, 2022

Eating Around the World - 2022 "Challenge" [June - Sandwiches]

I came up with a fun "challenge" for the hubby and I to tackle in 2022. You see, we try and limit our eating out to once a week (because I'm frugal like that ;)). With that said, we tend to stick to our tried-and-true favorites (you gotta make the most of those dining-out experiences, right?!). Well, that means we usually eat at the same two restaurants. Hear me out, I am NOT complaining, but I thought it might be a fun "challenge" for the year to try a new place once a month. To take the idea one step further, I thought we could try a different cuisine every month - that way we aren't just trying a new Mexican restaurant every month (because, let's be real, I can never turn down great chips and salsa ;)). Here's how it went:


[Originally this was going to be a single post, but blog readers said they preferred monthly, so ask and you shall receive.] 

January - Indian

February - Korean

March - Pizza

April - Vegan

May - Mexican


June - Sandwiches

The close of June really snuck up on us (we had visitors the first weekend of the month, the second weekend of the month we were out of town, the third weekend of the month I was still under quarantine due to COVID, so the fourth weekend was the weekend we needed to make sure we fit in a new-to-us restaurant), so we scrambled a bit this month. The hubby and I looked through Yelp and we decided on trying a totally vegan sandwich spot - The Green House.

Downtown Oceanside has changed so much in the past 16 years!

I had to work all day, so we decided to order some sandwiches after I got off and take them home to eat. (The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, but since I had worked from 9am-5pm, I wanted to eat and relax in our backyard.)

Yes, I know we did "Vegan" for April, but we are considering this "Sandwiches" for June ;)

There were so many yummy sounding sammies to pick from. Maybe it was because I was hungry but EVERYTHING looked delicious! The hubby and I both narrowed it down to our top two choices and stepped up to the counter to order. 

It wasn't a huge menu, but everything sounded like it would have been amazing!

Unfortunately the hubby's first choice (the Cheezesteak in Paradise) was sold out, so that technically made his decision for him. He went with the 53rd & 3rd on Rye (similar to a Ruben, but obviously VEGAN!), but was still stoked for it. 

Eating in your own backyard also meant you could drink your own beer ;)

I was teetering between the Victory Lap and Navigator, and decided on the Victory Lap (but no tomato and with pickles). 

The bread was scrum-didily-umptious (as were the rest of the ingredients!)!

We sat down while we waited for our sandwiches. The sweet employee told us it'd probably be about 20 minutes, but we were okay with that. (She was the only one working and we did see a "Help Wanted" sign in the window. There were three orders ahead of ours, so the wait made sense, but definitely not ideal for sure {especially at busy meal times}.)

The front is sparse, but they do also have a cooler of drinks and sides that you can purchase out of.

Once our food was ready we took it to the house to get our grub on. Let's just say it was DELISH! Sure, the sandwiches are pricey (I think it was about $35 for the two full sized sandwiches), but they were yummy. This won't be an every week sort of place, but say we were on the way to the beach and wanted to bring lunch with us, this could definitely be an option. And, shoot, we've gotta go back anyhow so we can try our back-up sandwiches that we didn't order this time. 

We loved the vibe. There were tons of awesome items for sale that we were able to scope out while waiting.

When was the last time you tried a new-to-you restaurant?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...

WALT WEDNESDAY!

When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Workout Recap - Week 25

Sunday, June 12th – Rest Day

Monday, June 13th – Rest Day

Tuesday, June 14th – 4 miles of jogging

Wednesday, June 15th – 15 miles (walked miles 13 and 15 because that's where the majority of the uphill was)

Thursday, June 16th –  6.2 miles of jogging with the hubby

Friday, June 17th – Rest Day

Saturday, June 18th – 26.3 miles

Well, it finally happened... After avoiding COVID for the past two and a half years I finally was hit with the virus. Thankfully all I really had to deal with was a nasty cough, but I definitely took it extra easy at the beginning of the week (I officially tested positive on Sunday, but that's only because I didn't have a test with us while we were out of town camping last weekend). Running seemed to be the only time that I wasn't coughing, so I was thankful to be able to still get out. As I'm sure you can guess from the mileage, Saturday's run did not go as planned. I was shoot for 30 miles and all was going great until I coughed two or three times around Mile 19 and apparently either knocked a rib out of place or broke one. Legit, every step I took from the point forward was painful. I would have called the run earlier but the hubby was asleep and didn't get my text to "please come pick me up" for another almost two hours after I originally sent it. I don't even know what to say right now except, here's to hoping I can get this rib issue healed before race day in less than 30 days... 

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, June 17, 2022

100-Miler Training : Update #4

Wow, I can't believe it's already been two and a half months since my last 100-Miler Training Update. And at this point we are LESS THAN 30 DAYS OUT from race day! {Cue MAJOR freak out HERE!} I feel like so much has happened (yet, at the same time, it seems like nothing much has changed), so let's get to it and jump into the post already, right?! 

Well, not too fast... If you're sitting there, scratching your head and asking yourself "ONE HUNDRED MILES?! WTH?!", then let's take a quick second so you can catch up. Take a few minutes and check out the previous posts - we'll wait!

Okay, now that everyone's on the same page, we can proceed ;) 

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Since my last post I've run four races (one trail marathon, one 50K, one 53K and one 12-hour event). I didn't race any of them, but was strictly using them as a way to get in my mileage without having to run my same home routes week after week. As I'm sure you can imaging, preparing for a 100-miler takes a lot of training miles. At the beginning of the process, when I got my training plan together, I went out onto UltraSignUp.com to see if there were any local-ish races that would fit into my calendar. My thought was, if I was having to do the mileage anyway, I might as well do it with the camaraderie of the running community (not to mention having fully stocked aid stations and a medal at the end weren't too shabby either ;)). Because these races all fit (almost) perfectly into my training plan, I didn't train or taper specifically for any of them. I simply approached them as my normal weekend miles (plus some extra logistics). I know that might not be what everyone would have done, but it worked for me. (Also, having races on the calendar made sure I was getting in time on the trails as opposed to just road miles, which is what I often have to do when I'm fitting in my runs before going to work.) 

1: Run with the Burros 26 Miler | 2: Leona Divide 50K | 3: Bishop High Sierra Ultras 53K | 4: Nanny Goat 12-Hour

Besides the races, I've also been going to physical therapy twice a week for a hamstring/ glute/ abductor issue I've been dealing with since November. I really lucked out with my PT and not only has she gotten me back into running shape, but she's also been super encouraging along the way - helping me to believe I might be able to tackle this HUGE endeavor. 

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[Side Note: I am still walking some of my mileage currently. When I meet with my PT I give her my schedule for the upcoming week and depending on how my body is doing, she gives me suggestions on how to tackle my mileage. For example, I may jog all of a 4-miler but on a 30-miler I may do intervals of jog 5 miles, walk 1 mile and repeat five times. I thought this might frustrate me, the fact that I'm not running 100% of my miles, but I have found it super helpful because I only have to focus on smaller chunks of mileage at a time. And, let's be real, in ultra running there's a lot of walking ;)]

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I think in the past few months I've only missed a handful of runs - and that's saying something when I'm scheduled to run five days a week. Sure, I've rearranged some of them to work better with our plans, but other than that I think I've maybe only not done three or so of my runs. And, don't hear that and think I'm running through injury or pushing myself beyond my limits (because THAT is NOT smart), but this is me listening to my body AND my body adapting to this training cycle. 

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Along with the seemingly "great" things that have been going on, I've also had to deal with getting COVID. Yep, after being able to successfully avoid it for the past two and a half years, it finally got me. I was extremely lucky in the fact that the only symptom I had was a nasty dry cough. And, surprisingly enough, running kept the cough away so I was still able to get in the mileage I had on my schedule during the quarantine! Obviously there is no "good" time to get the virus, but I would say that getting it over a month before my BIG race {hopefully} at least gives me adequate time to fully recover. 

Bummed to test positive but it definitely could have been worse.

Brian and I have also been able to solidify some of the logistics (like booking our flights, our lodging, our rental car, etc). We still have quite a bit of planning to do over the next month (working out our projected paces, drop bags, etc), but I'm feeling okay about where everything stands and hope we have "plenty of time" to tackle everything else left on the list.

(Sorry for snapping this photo {and then sharing it} without your consent, Pavey!)

I'll be honest, I don't know how many more updates I'll post before the race - maybe just one with an overall game plan or a wrap-up of how my training went. Sure, there are still a few weeks before we board the plane to Washington, but with work/ life/ the peak of training happening, I've gotta be realistic about what I can actually accomplish. With that said, here's to these next couple weeks being great and giving us our best shot at tackling this 100-miler come July 15th.

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Any great advice you want to pass along while I head into these last few weeks?

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Nanny Goat 12-Hour Race Recap

A couple weeks ago I did something I had never done before - I ran a timed event. Instead of running a race with a set distance, the format of this race was to run as far as you could (or you wanted) in a set amount of time. I decided on the 12-Hour option {with the help of my physical therapist} at the 14th annual running of the Nanny Goat 6H/12H/24H/100M

The options were 6-hours, 12-hours, 24-hours or 100-miles. 

Originally the hubby and I were going to be back in Michigan around this time and I had my eye on another timed event that was right near my sister-in-law's house, but we swapped our plans around (doing a Christmas trip with his family to Mexico instead of a summer Michigan trip to see them) so that event was no longer a go. Seeing as I had a 30-miler on the same day as this race, I tossed around the idea of registering for the 6-hour option. (Like I mentioned, I had never done a timed event before, not to mention this one was running ONE MILE LOOPS, so I wasn't sure if it would be my cup of tea.) Then, the next time I went to physical therapy I asked my PT if she thought I could register for the 12 hour instead. My thought was, I had 30 miles on the schedule for Saturday and another 20 miles on the calendar for Sunday, so why not do 50 during the race and then have a rest day on Sunday?! To my surprise (and delight) when I explained the set-up to her and my idea, her thought was that OF COURSE I SHOULD REGISTER FOR THE 12-HOUR!  #ShesMyKindOfGal

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With her seal of approval, I pulled the trigger and registered. Sure it may have only been a week after the Bishop 53K, but if I had the distance on my calendar I needed to get it in whether I was at a race or running around my neighborhood. (Note: I am not "racing" any of these events - I am using them as training runs, more to get in the mileage that I had on my schedule, so I'm not technically tapering for them. I know that might not be what everyone would do, but #YouDoYou.)

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When I was telling the hubby about the plan I realized how "silly" things had gotten in the midst of this 100-miler training... I mean, we had gone camping the weekend before where I ran a 33+ mile mountain race on Saturday, then came home, ran 15 miles on Sunday, worked Monday through Friday (along with tackling my midweek mileage), would have one day off (Saturday) before working Sunday through Thursday and I thought the best thing to do with that single day off would be to run for 12 hours?! Sounds perfect, right?! Like I said... "silly"! [Side note: when I realized how 'unavailable' I would be, I suggested the hubby hit up some friends and go camping over the Memorial Day Weekend since I'd either be working or running the entire time. He quickly changed his tune from a little flabbergasted to encouraging about my plans ;)]

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I'll be honest, I went into this race very underprepared. Not in the sense that I wasn't trained (remember, I was planning to simply use the event as a way to get in my weekend mileage), but I felt so ill-prepared mentally. Like I mentioned, a few days before I had an ultra marathon in Bishop where we camped for the weekend and then worked Monday through Friday so I didn't have time to think through the logistics. (Not to mention I added this to my schedule very late in the game compared to when I normally register for races.) I think it wasn't until I got home from work on Friday night (after 7pm) that I even looked to see how long it would take me to drive to the event Saturday morning so I could figure out what time to set my alarms. That is soooo NOT me - I'm a planner to the n'th degree - so not having a ton of the details figured out definitely had me feeling a bit out of sorts, but I tried to let those nerves go and get ready to the best of my ability.

I laid out my #FlatCarlee for the race in hopes that I wouldn't forget any of the really important things come race morning. 

Race morning came real quick (remember, the hubby went camping for the weekend, so that meant I'd have to walk and feed the pup before leaving for the day), especially when we you don't get to bed until almost midnight because you have a ton of stuff to take care. Thankfully I wasn't planning on "racing" this event because I knew I was definitely NOT on my A-game. I could tell it was going to be more of a 'show-up-and-get-it-done' sort of day. I got ready and hit the road. 

Let's do this thang!

With no traffic I was able to get to the ranch in plenty of time. My game plan was to check in, grab my bib, scope out a spot along the course to set up my stuff and maybe do a quick loop to check everything out. When I got up to the check-in table I heard the volunteers chatting about how they were running low on safety pins. Carlee to the rescue! I told them I had a nuun tube full of them that I could grab to refill their dwindling stash. (Let's be real, runners probably have a billion laying around, so I always keep some in the glove box in case people are in need - and loandbehold they came in handy!)

I knew these would come in clutch one day ;) 

When I was coming back to the check-in table with the pins I saw an awesome runner friend, Eric, who invited me to set up my stuff with the rest of his crew. He was so kind to welcome me in with open arms - RUNNERS REALLY ROCK! 

Note: I didn't get a picture of us PRE-race, so this is after I had already finished my running for the day... 


My setup wasn't too fancy, but it got the job done. (And of course I over packed, like on most trips ;))

Once I had "set up shop" I decided to get a lay of the land. I knew in my limited research that we'd be running one mile loops around the family horse ranch, but honestly that was about it. I meandered around a bit to see where the potties were (spoiler alert - I would be spending more time in them than I had originally expected/ anticipated), say good morning to some of the ponies that were boarding at the ranch, get a look at the aid station, check out the start/ finish line, etc. 

The aid station was fully stocked ALL DAY LONG! The volunteers there were AWESOME!

Eventually it was time to line up at the start for a little pre-race chat. The race director welcomed us to her family's ranch (how awesome is it that they do this?!), gave out some awards and wished us luck before it was time to get to going. 

Time to run!

I had three main focuses for the race. First, I wanted to be/ stay injury-free. Second, I wanted to make sure to listen to my body. Third, I wanted to focus on time on feet/ mental toughness. [I also had three mileage goals in the back of my mind, but those were secondary to my three main focuses. 1: 30 miles (since that's what I had on the calendar for the day), 2: 50 miles (that was the mileage I was supposed to tackle for Saturday + Sunday combined, meaning I could take a complete rest day on Sunday), 3: 62 miles (which is a 100K and would only be an option if it turned out to be a perfect day and I really was only pondering it because there were extra "awards" you could get if you hit it before the 12-hour mark).]

For the start of each lap you ran through the barn - a pretty unique experience!

My plan was to jog five laps and then walk a lap (and then repeat). I figured during my walking lap I could fuel (either taking my PROBAR BOLT chews or something from the aid station) and rehydrate. While I ran I carried a NATHAN handheld filled with water, but had some nuun electrolytes in my cooler that I figured I could grab on the walking lap.

Having something cold on my walking laps was very refreshing!

The first couple laps were all about figuring out the lay of the land. The first portion of the loop went through the aid station and where most people set up their personal crew areas. The next section was on pavement and was what I'd consider to be more of an alley for the ranch (this was my least favorite part of the loop). After that you ran through my favorite area, which was a tree covered stretch with soft dirt (soft that helped with impact absorption but not too soft that it sucked your momentum #IYKYK). Finally you were coming back onto the ranch grounds and getting ready to do it all over again. 

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I decided to wear my road shoes for this race since some of it was pavement and what wasn't definitely wasn't
rocky or technical. Some folks were wearing trail shoes, but I think I made the right decision for me.

The weather for the event was near perfect. Well, I mean, don't get me wrong, I would've much preferred less humidity, but for it being Memorial Day weekend, I don't think we could've ordered better temps. We had overcast skies (it even misted for some of the morning) for the majority of the day and temperatures in the 60s/70s. I heard folks who had run the event before talk with one another about how we truly lucked out with Mother Nature and I couldn't have agreed more. 

The weather app was pretty spot on. I would say we really only got two-ish hours of sunshine the whole day.

My game plan was working out nicely for the first few miles... until it didn't... I'm happy to report the issue that popped up was not my hamstring/ glute/ abductor (that I'm going to PT for) but was my stomach. Yep, I did my best to keep my gut in check, but by the fifth lap I knew I was going to have to pull over to a port-a-potty. I don't know if it was the fact that I took my vitamins before the event (I normally take them with my second breakfast ;)), that I hadn't been fueling great during the week, that I was on my period and my cramps were causing stomach issues too or that it just wasn't my day. No matter the cause, I felt as though I was running from port-o-potty to port-o-potty for a while during the middle of the race. #NoFun

My stomach was NOT having it... 

I have heard that the number one reason for DNF's (did not finish) in ultra races is due to fueling (I should probably fact-check that before I put it in my blog #Oops). I knew that if I was losing a lot of my calories in the port-o-potty every stop that I needed to start replenishing them or risk running into a wall due to the fact that my system was being depleted. This meant that every lap or so I was grabbing something from the aid station. This is NOT how I would normally fuel during a race, but I knew I needed to start taking in some calories or it would make for a VERY long (and probably painful) day. 

I think the popsicle stop was my favorite during the day. 

If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for a while, you probably know that for most races 50K or less I tend to get by with water, nuun and my PROBAR chews. Once I go over the 50K mark I tend to start adding in "real" food. The thought behind this is that I can usually finish 31(ish) miles before I go through too many meal times. I can "get by" with chews for a long morning/ afternoon of running, but once I start missing too many "meals" my body needs something a little more to satiate it. Throughout the day the aid station had some great options. At one point I grabbed a small portion of a bean and cheese burrito (my body was definitely looking for something salty and the green salsa I poured on hit the spot) and towards the end of the race I even grabbed a hotdog bun and put pickles and ketchup on it for something a little more filling than chews. I don't know that the "fuel" I added into the mix necessarily did anything to fix my tummy troubles (thankfully I didn't have to use the port-o-potties after around mile 25), but at least it kept me fueled enough to plod along.

You know it's an ultra when the aid station has a full buffet of food to eat, right?!

Originally the game plan was five miles of running, followed by the one mile of walking. Well, once the runner trots started making their way into my laps the 5/1 intervals sort of went out the window. It quickly became "run when you can, walk when you need to". I will be honest and say that I was pretty bummed. I know, I know, I'd much prefer to have stomach issues on a "training run" rather than during my 100-miler, but my hamstring wasn't giving me trouble, the weather was almost perfect and the course was as flat as you can get for an ultra - I should have KILLED it... But you gotta deal with whatever shows up that morning... and that morning was an upset tummy. I did my best not to let it affect me, but it did. 

Trying to keep a happy face... 
Photo Credit: Steve Heisler Photography

Remember earlier where I explained the loop we were constantly running? Well, the back alley portion (my least favorite part to run) had a little out and back portion on it, so it was a great place to cheer on fellow participants. When I'm having a rough go, it helps me to focus on others so I get out of my own head. I tried to cheer on as many people as possible. 

Making my way around the "cone of death" and you can see behind me the runners going in both directions.
Photo Credit: Steve Heisler Photography

Originally I was concerned about the one mile loops. Seeing as I had never done an event like this I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was worried it would be a temptation to want to sit down at your stuff every mile. I'm happy to report that it wasn't as mentally taxing as I was expecting (maybe because I was focused more on my tummy troubles than the repetitiveness of the laps). I would say, though, that if I could make a suggestion to the race director it would be to see if we could switch directions every maybe 3 or 6 hours. Being able to go the opposite direction might help "change it up" a bit both mentally and physically (rather than turning in the same direction lap after lap, hour after hour). 

It was nice to know that my stuff was never more than a mile away. I even was able to stop and
use my massage gun a couple times during the race when my body was feeling a little extra tight. 

I did really like the format of the race though. Once we got a lap or two in, it was pretty hard to tell who was on what lap. Don't get me wrong, you still knew who the speedy runners were, but I liked that we were all sort of on the same playing field. You couldn't really tell if someone was on lap 10 or lap 30, which somehow was comforting and encouraging ;) 

I had to chuckle when I saw this sign after you exited the barn... 

The only thing I was disappointed in was the fact that there didn't seem to be many goats at Nanny Goat... Okay, okay, so again, I might not have read the details very closely and assumed we would be running on a GOAT farm... WRONG! There were some fun animals on the ranch, but the goats were in limited supply. (Apparently the name of the race comes from the fact that the original race director was called "The Old Goat" and it had NOTHING to do with animals on a ranch.)

You always have to pull over for a character stop, #AmIRight?! 

I finally found some goats! I may have had to zoom in with my iPhone 8 camera and
still couldn't see them great, but I promise there were a couple out in this field... 

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who runs into this, but once I start walking more than I am originally planning on, I have a hard time getting back on track with my running. I definitely ran into this issue during the race. Once my stomach started giving me problems and I was walking more than expected it was like my mind gave up and I couldn't find the strength or motivation to keep running. Don't get me wrong, I was still running about 75% of the lap (walking the back stretch), but I couldn't get back onto my 'run 5 laps, walk 1 lap' groove. I'd say that it was more mental than physical, but it still sucks.  

You can totally tell I'm walking here...
Photo Credit: Steve Heisler Photography

I was still keeping a decent pace, but I knew my 100K goal was long gone about halfway through my run. Originally I was thinking I could run to the 50 mile mark and then walk until the 12 hour time limit expired to see how far I could go, but I knew I needed to be smart, listen to my body and "live to run another day". The 'smart' move would be to get in my 50 miles (however long that took) and call it a day... so that's what I did. (I also texted that decision to the hubby and a couple friends so that I wouldn't be tempted to do something silly and keep going {because I know myself too well ;)}.)

If you decide to stop prior to the end of the race you just tell the timing team and then go grab a medal from the RD.

#RealTalk - I did run an extra lap because my watch hadn't shown 50 miles when I hit 50 laps (the course is certified, but as we all know, our GPS watches aren't necessarily spot on the entire time and I'm a numbers nerd). When my watch "dinged" for 50 miles I was at 9 hours and 59 minutes (although my official stats show me finishing 51 laps in 10:06:22). 

I DID IT!

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I saw Shelli, the race director, once I finished so we snapped a picture and I thanked her for putting on such a fun event. 

Not only do they host the event, but they open their ranch and home 
up to runners for the weekend! They even let kids swim in the pool!

When I was talking about the event with the hubby (after I got home from work and he got back from camping), I was trying to describe it and the best I could come up with was that it had a Ragnar-like vibe. The atmosphere is fun and inviting for all, but there are still runners out there trying to race and win. It was cool to have a homebase to come back to whenever you needed it (some of the 24-hour runners actually had tents and RVs where they could nap during the event). There seemed to be people of all different ages and abilities on the course - which is always awesome to see. I was extremely appreciative to Eric and the Inland Empire Running Club for welcoming me with open arms, cheering me on when they saw me and offering to help in any way they could. With that said, I probably wouldn't do the event again "on my own". I think if I was to register again I'd want to have friends out there with me. I think the relay option is intriguing, although I'd want to be able to run with my friends so that'd be something we'd have to figure out because if we were on the same team we wouldn't be running together. It seemed like a large chunk of the runners were doing the 6-hour option, so maybe if I was doing it solo I'd do that one. It was definitely an awesome experience (and a great way to get in miles for my 100-miler), but only time will tell as to whether I add this on my race calendar for future years. 

I was finishing around the time the sun was setting, so it was nice to have a sweatshirt to throw on for the ride home.

PS Of course I have to give HUGE props to the photographers who were out on the course! Thanks for the free race photos, Steve Heisler! (Also, we were gifted a printed picture when we finished the race, how awesome is that?! I actually sent mine to one of my pen pals and forgot to take a picture of the picture - oops! But still an awesome souvineger!)

PRO TIP: When you see a photographer, tell them you plan to jump
and then count down so they are more likely to catch you in the act ;)

Oh yeah and you better believe I picked up at least three pieces of litter while running loops for my #3PieceChallenge!

Not as many pieces as my last couple races, but that's because I didn't have my vest to stuff everything in.

Have you ever run a timed event before?