Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30, 2009

12 miles for me today in the heat of the day again. I did better than last Monday when I had a slight dizzy spell. I started out at 11am today and finished right before 2pm. My total time includes a total of 13 minutes over the 4 times I stopped for fluid or food. I didn't feel like using the fuel belt of a hand held bottle, so I walked a 2.3 mile loop around my neighborhood, stopping at my house each round to drink/eat something. Average pace including stops was 14:54, average actual walking pace was 13:48.

This is more than fast enough to get me through 100 miles in less than 30 hours.

21 days to go.

Friday, May 29, 2009

just some training stuff

So, I guess I need to post a little update on how I am feeling leading up to the Mohican 100 mile trail race on June 29 in Loudonville Ohio. I am totally freaked out. I guess everyone goes through a little craziness before their first attempt at 100 miles. I know I have trained well enough. I have lost a few pounds and am going to do my best not to graze aimlessly during the taper.

Monday, May 25
got a walk in this afternoon. 13.61 miles starting at 1:40 pm. It was about 90 degrees and I had a rough time of it. average pace was 14:59, including about 17 minutes stopped. If I subtract out the stopped time, my actual walking pace was 14:11. I had a little dizzy spell in what was supposed to be next to last loop, so I drank some extra electrolyte and water, walked the rest of the way back to mom's house and decided not to do the last loop.

I have not walked the rest of this week, because my left shin to the outside right below the knee has been a little sore off and on since Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon. I really pressed for a pr there and the whole race was on concrete. I got the pr, and a sore leg. I know I am trained well endurance wise, and don't want to risk injury, so I felt like resting the leg was the smart thing to do this week.

I plan to do a long walk on Saturday, then a short one on Sunday.

On to other races. Preparations for the ET Midnight marathon are going well. My friends and I are going to have a blast.

Since ATY has been cancelled this year, I have been looking at every day, looking for a suitable replacement. I found today when I looked today. I am really excited as I emailed the RD and he said ultrawalkers such as myself would certainly be welcome, because a lot of the ultrarunners walk during some stages of their races anyway. The best thing about NorthCoast 24 is that the course is guaranteed to be totally flat and will give ultra athletes a great chance to see how far they can go in 24 hours under optimal conditions. Also, the race is located in Cleveland Ohio, near the Lake Erie shore. Oh, boy, I have family in the area... and would only incur travel expenses, not hotel.

Check out the website if you are interested in this type of race.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday, May 22

I had a good walk this evening. I was planning on starting a little later, but I have to work tomorrow. So, I set out at a little before 8pm for 15 miles. It ended up being a very good, fast LSD. I even got in a little racewalking, and got to practice getting used to the tunnel vision caused by the headlamp. 15 miles 3:35:06, average pace 14:20, HR monitor cut in and out this walk, so I am going to change the battery tomorrow. I didn't seem to get hungry at all while walking after dark. I hope this isn't a problem at Mohican.

Funny thing... my friends and I are going to do the ET Midnight Marathon put on by Calico Racing in August. We have been having fun with the idea about spotting aliens because the marathon route is on the Extraterrestrial Highway that borders Area 51... I was doing the last 6 miles on the track and some of the back lights were on. The stars were out, and I was looking up at the sky, it was a nice night. There were some lights moving around really fast and erratic above the school building. I stopped in my tracks and watched them for a few minutes. Then I heard the birds screaching.. The lights must have been reflecting off the bottom of the birds that were flying around eating the bugs that were attracted to the lights. To tired eyes and from the other end of the track, they looked like UFO's.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday, May 20

Now I have a funny to tell. I am eating a grilled chicken flat bread wrap with some baked beans for dinner. When I finish, I am going to change and go out for 8 miles. I still need to see if any kinds of food are going to make me sick at the ultra. I have seen I do well with pbj, cookies, Frito's, crackers, etc... but you will find pizza, quesadillas and assorted other goodies at some races. I want to make sure heavy duty stuff won't make me sick either. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Well, I guess nothin' makes me sick. Even Blue Cheese Dressing. Although I did get a little nauseous at about 4 miles, but it passed. So, 8 miles; 1:53:55; average pace 14:11; average HR 124 64%. Seems kind of low, especially right after eating dinner, but that is what the monitor said. Night walking with a headlamp in interesting at best.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday - May 19

I walked over to the little league park after I got home from work. It is a little over a mile from my house. Then I walked around the excavation site where the city is expanding the retention pond that is there to help control flash flooding. There were some city workers present, and when I walked over to where they were, I asked them if anyone was going to run my out of the area. They said I should just be very careful. When I told them I am training for a 100 mile trail race, they said I should have fun and walk wherever I wanted to. LOL

Anyhow, the total walk after arriving back home was 6.2 miles or 10k, however you wish to look at it. My average pace was 13:53, and my average HR was exactly 70%. Not too shabby for someone who just walked 50k on Saturday!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hog’s Hunt 50k Trail Race, Huntsville Texas, 5/16/09

So, when I decided I would do this race as a training walk, I was sure I could walk the 50k within the 8 hour time limit because I had done so at Sunmart last fall. What I did not take into consideration was the fact that I had already walked 30 miles this week. So, my total mileage this week was 61, and I try to target 100 a month.

Now I will give a recap of race day. I woke up at 3am and got dressed except for my trail shoes and got in the pre-packed car and went to Jack in the Box to get a breakfast jack sandwich. I asked them to make it with sausage instead of ham and ordered a carton of orange juice to go with it. I drove to Huntsville (118 miles to the park from my house), picked up my race packet and went back to the car to body glide my feet, put on my trail shoes and gaiters, pin on the number, ready the headlamp, fill the fuel belt bottles and carry my cooler, drop bag and folding chair to the start area. That was a lot to remember in a few minutes. Of course the race clock was not set up in time and the race started a few minutes late. Oh well, I am not one to bemoan the little details.

I quickly settled into last place, as I was the only walker there. Everyone else was either running or run/walking. It was extremely warm and muggy from the start. I was having a good walk until about the 5th mile, and then my left hip started hurting. I walked up to the second aid station and asked a strange question of the volunteers. "Could one of you do me a huge favor and pull my leg when I lie down on the tailgate of that truck over there?" They kind of looked at me funny and I explained that I have loose ligaments in my left hip and it pops out of place all the time. It was starting to hurt and I was only 8 miles in... They volunteered a nice young (teenager) fellow and he said he didn't want to hurt me. I told him it wasn't possible to make it any worse, only better. So, he walked out from behind the table, said a little prayer, "Please God, don't let me hurt her." and proceeds to pull my leg. It only took one try, and the hip popped right back in. Later on when I passed the aid station a second time, I thanked him for making sure I was able to continue on in the race... without his help, I would have had to quit early.

Back to the race, it was so hot, that as I entered each aid station, I poured a cup of water over my head to try and stay cool. I guess the new motto for hot day races or training will be water in, water on. I made sure to drink plenty of water and electrolyte supplement and partake of the usual aid station fare in trail races: cookies, chips, crackers, peanut butter sandwiches, orange slices, bananas, chocolate and coca cola or mountain dew. I also had a Clif bar in my pocket along with the Clif shot blocks, margarita extra salt variety, a couple of GU with caffeine and a couple of Hammer gels. I used most of the stuff I had in my pockets, and when I got to the halfway point at the start finish area, I drank some espresso with skim milk that was stashed in my cooler. It was a difficult thing, walking away from that clock showing 3:57:?? into the race, at that time, I knew I would probably not make the 8 hour time limit for 50k. I asked at my second trip through the first aid station if they had cutoff times for their specific aid station. They told me that anyone who chooses to walk, run, or whatever, 31 miles in this heat and humidity was going to get a finishers award, so just keep going. They like quitters less than late finishers.
When I arrived at the last aid station, 2.9 miles to the finish, I was talking to the volunteers there about how many miles I had walked this week. One of the guys asked me if I had ever heard of tapering. I kind of laughed and told him I was sorry but this was not a goal race for me and that I was 4 weeks out from my first attempt at 100 miles. I could see the start/finish area from this aid station and you all know how hard it was to turn back into the woods at that point. I really wanted to quit, knowing I was keeping everyone past the cutoff time. Something gave me a final wind to get that last little bit done, and probably faster than I had walked all day. Of course when I crossed the finish, I apologized to everyone for keeping them, and they were awesome about it. The clock said 8:04:?? or 8:05:??, and I never dreamed I would finish in less than about 8:20:??.

The finisher’s award is an awesome piece of granite with the race logo and the date on it. I went to sit for a minute, eat the yogurt I had stashed in the cooler and take off my shoes. All that water I had poured on my head and the sweat that was dripping off my shorts ended up in my shoes. My feet were soaked as if I had done several water crossings. I only had 1 small blister which was a surprise as I had not taped any of my toes the night before like I usually do. All I did was grease up my feet really well with Body Glide before I put my socks on.

This is a really nice park for a race. There are free public showers and nice indoor restrooms near the finish, so I was able to take a shower and put on dry clothes for the drive home. I mixed up another iced latte, and some watered down electrolyte, and found the rest of the uneaten Clif bar from the race for the trip. I left the park just in time to drive into a Texas downpour. It seemed as if there was a huge bucket pouring out as much water as I had ever seen. I was driving about 45mph and idiots were passing me.

Ok, I am that person you read about in the ultra quote lists that does a 50k race and has to drive home in a stick shift. The last time I drove 120 miles after a 50k race, I stopped 3 times to get out of the car on the way home. I must be getting numb to the aches and pains because I drove +/- 100 miles to my mom’s house before I ever got out of the car. We had a nice dinner together and I filled her in on the details of the race. Of course, I had to get back in the car and drive the rest of the way home, unpack the car, wash the race gear, unpack the cooler put everything else away. I finally went to bed at about 10.

It was a great day, and a great race. Thanks to Paul Stone for putting on a fantastic race and thanks to all the volunteers, especially the folks from the Seven Hills running club, one of them pulled my leg.

Maryann Ramirez
Sealy Texas.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday, May 14

I decided to cook dinner when I got home from work today. I think Raymond was surprised. I fooled around on the computer for a little while, then decided I still needed to go out for my 8 mile walk. I didn't change into any workout clothes, just went out in the cotton t-shirt and shorts I was wearing. I wanted to make sure I didn't get carried away and try to walk too fast, because I am doing a 50k trail race on Saturday. I didn't leave the house until almost 7pm, so it was really dark out when I got home. I don't like to go to the high school track when I don't need to do speed work, so I just walked around the neighborhood for 4 miles ending up at the little league park. I walked the path around the park until I had a little over a mile to make 8, then I headed for home.
8 miles 1:55:49, average pace 14:38, average HR 121 or 62%. Overall, I will say this was an awesome workout!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday, May 12

I won't call it taper madness, but I registered online for Hog's Hunt 50k at Huntsville State Park this Saturday. I am beginning to really like that park, I only wish it was closer than 100 miles from me. It kind of sucks having to leave home at 4am to go and walk 50k... btw... Monday was a day off of training. I will get my usual Tuesday workout today. 6 miles. I may do a little speed work at the track.

So, I did get to the track and do some speed work, 2 miles warm up, then 6 x 400m at somewhere between 5k and 10k pace with 400 meter rests, 1 mile cool down.

Funny thing. Some people (most people) who come to the track to walk (I won't call it working out) have no idea about track etiquette. They bring their children and their bicycles. The children play chicken on their bicycles. Then they aim these bicycles straight at you. I had to leave before I had finished my cool down laps and cool down on the walk home, or I might have knocked these sweet little children off of their bicycles. Gosh, then the fight would have been on, and there were lots more of them; of course, I could probably walk faster than they could run and I would have made a clean break.

I absolutely don't begrudge anyone the use of the track for working out, walking, running, whatever they choose to do. Some of the children were doing 50 meter sprinting races. That is fun to watch and it does my heart good to see children out there running rather than sitting home playing the dreaded video game console of their choice.

OK, now I will step down off the soapbox.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Training Update

Friday, May 8 (Happy Birthday, Mom!)
So, summer has arrived in southeast Texas. It was 88 at lunchtime. It feels like the humidity is at least 80%. I am predicting my walk now so that I would feel really guilty for lying if I didn't get it done. I WILL walk 8 miles when I get home from work this evening.
edited to add... the actual temp was 88, humidity 55% when I started. Now that I am finished walking, it is 82 with 66% humidity. Anyhow I walked 8 miles in 1:50:45, with an average pace of 13:50mpm and an average HR of 71%.

Saturday, May 9
Spent the whole day with my Mom. We had a great day! We met my sister, Cathy, for coffee first thing in the morning, and solved the problems of the world with conversation over coffee. Then Mom and I shopped around at Hobby Lobby and Joanne's Fabrics. We had a fantastic lunch at Johnny Carino's, then went to look for a place to get the oil changed in my car. When the young man brought my car around to tell me they were finished, he said, "I'll be you have a lot of fun driving THAT!" I told him I sure do, it's a rocket ship! I drive a Honda Accord 2dr Coupe with sport package... 3.0L v6 VTEC, with 6-spd manual transmission and it really is fun to drive. Then the drive back to mom's house... we had pizza for supper and I gave her a hair cut. It is very difficult to find a beautician that you really like. I seem to be able to cut mom's hair the way she likes it cut...

Sunday, May 10
I had planned to walk 25 miles today, and I am now thinking it was a good thing I crapped out at mile 16 due to heat and humidity. I am still trying to figure out what to wear in this heat to avoid the dreaded thigh chafing. I can't wear compression shorts... because I had a vein blow out on the outside of my thigh once after a hard workout. So, I have been wearing long (heat gear) tights with my pocketed shorts over them. I just get too hot. The alternative is to just wear shorts or a running skirt, and then keep reapplying body glide to the inner thighs once every 10 miles or so. Anyhow, it was a good thing I crapped out. I really thought that Hogs Hunt 50k trail race was two weeks from now, it is actually this coming Saturday, the 16th. So, 16 miles was enough today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I chose to take Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off from working out. So, it looks like the walking schedule is working out to look like this: 3 pretty hard weeks/1 pretty easy week.

I was able to get in 6 miles this evening on some pretty uneven terrain. The town I live in is working on a new drainage/retention pond at our little league park. So, I walked a mile to the park, 4 miles around the excavation site, then a mile home.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

So, I walked a marathon last Sunday, 6 miles on Tuesday, and 8 miles on Thursday. In order to keep building mileage for Mohican, I scheduled a 20 mile hill walk for today, which would bring my 7 day mileage total to 60. I knew I could get it done, no matter how slowly. I got off to a late start, even though I had gathered my stuff for the walk the night before. I finally loaded up my car and left for the 15 minute drive to Bellville at around 8:30. The Garmin shows I started my walk at 9:01 am. It was 77 degrees with overcast skies and high humidity.

Every year, the city of Bellville has a celebration called Heritage Days. Folks dress up in period costumes; there is an open air market, tours of the old jail house, gunfighters in the streets and an honest to goodness longhorn cattle drive right through town and around the Austin County courthouse to start off the usual small town parade.

The parade was lining up along my hill walking loop. The walk was interesting because I was never alone. One of the American Legion veterans asked me just how long I was planning to walk because I had already passed him 3 times. I told him I would pass this spot 3 more times because I walk the loop in one direction then reverse directions in order to get to 20 miles. He said 20 MILES??? He didn’t have much more to say when I explained I was walking up and down these hills in training for a 100 mile race. At that point, I looked down the street and there came the herd of longhorn cattle. I was really glad to be getting the heck down the street in the opposite direction.

It was high noon by then and the temperature was getting higher. The clouds were starting to dissipate and the sun was coming out. I still had over 2 hours to go. I was following my hydration and nutrition plan, so I wasn’t having any ill effects from the heat; I was just tired from a full week. I was carrying some Fritos, a few GU energy gels, some homemade chocolate chip cookies, and some Clif Shot Blocks (margarita flavor with extra salt). Every 6.5 miles, I passed my mom’s house and ate some peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bite of banana and a bite or two of chocolate. I also refilled my fuel belt.

Alright, I got to about 15 miles and the heat started getting to me. I used a little of my water to wet my head, and drank some extra electrolyte. I never got nauseated, so I guess I did the right thing. By the way, I was wearing a pair of not too tight compression shorts with some looser shorts that had pockets; a long sports bra and a long sleeve UA heat gear top. That helped to keep me cool, as it was a little breezy even though the temp and humidity was oppressive. At that point, I still had to pass by my mom’s house one more time in order to get the whole 20 miles done. It was difficult, but I have a goal and I won’t let a little heat interfere with getting there. Not this time. Once before I let the Texas heat defeat my plan to walk the Akron marathon. That would have been my first sub 6 hour walking marathon, had I done it. Sorry I digress. That was water under an old bridge. I continued on for the last loop and when I turned up my mom’s street for the finish, I was thinking it was about 85 degrees. And, I was right on the number.

I went in the house to drink my recovery drink, Carnation Instant Breakfast today, and pace back and forth until I could get down to the floor and stretch. I went to take a shower and I would love to show you my sunburned hands. UA UV… It works. I will now date myself for you… seeing my dark hands at the end of light arms made me think of the Dick Van Dyke show. If you don’t remember Dick Van Dyke, then you are younger than me.

My sister and my mom are very artistic and were part of a featured artist showing at a local antique show along with several other local artists. So, the rest of the afternoon was spent hanging around the antique shop, eating homemade crackers (my mom is an awesome cook), chocolate chip cookies and brownies, while meeting some interesting people. Here is one of the websites my sister’s rubber art stamps can be purchased through

That is all for now.

Friday, May 1, 2009

still walking

I walked another 8 miles yesterday after work with no problems, bringing my total miles walked in April to 134.5.

That is pretty high mileage for me. Something usually happens where I don't get in all my planned short walks. This month should be a little higher, then the taper for Mohican will start the first week in June. My mileage in June should be over 100 too...