Feb 19-March 25 — The Ball is Still Rollin’

Wooo, it’s been busy! Here is a rundown of my last 5 weeks of training, fun announcements, and the abridged versions of Land Between The Lakes 23k, Buzzard Day 25k, & Paleozoic 25k.

I am happy to say that I’ll be running for inov-8 for another season. So look for some bright shoes out on the trails this year! I will also be running as a Sword Elite in 2018! I love using liquid calories in training and racing, and Sword hits the spot!

Woooo, inov-8!

2/19-2/25 * 87.1 miles * 6 runs
Beer of the Week: Tangled Roots — 2nd Year Celebration (Russian Imperial Stout)

Once again, coming back from a minor injury. We cut the long run last weekend, and replaced it with two shorter runs. Nothing hurt, but it just didn’t feel right. This week, everything felt normal and ready to go. Sometimes a little recovery goes a long way. The Wednesday workout went great, and then the I had a solid Saturday long run. I was also happy we had already pulled out of Way Too Cool 50k.

Can you actually pack too many shoes for a weekend?!?

2/26-3/4 * 80 miles * 6 runs
Beer of the Week: Ballast Point — Peanut Butter Victory at Sea (Imperial Porter)

This was the first week that I really felt good in a while. After my Wednesday Workout, coach had to remind me to slow down some of my easy days. So I made sure to “chill” on Thursday and Friday, and had a great Saturday Long Run with Brad (a fellow Cornfield Cowboy). I had 25 miles with the last 5 hard, and actually really enjoyed it.

#CornfieldCowboys are at it again!

3/5-3/11 * 83.1 miles * 6 runs
Weekend Beer: Taxman — Qualified (Belgian Quad)

Tune-up Week 1 of 3. We decided to run a series of 23-25k races as a tuneup for American River 50 Mile. I rarely get a chance to do “short” trail races, so I was excited when coach said I could run 3 weekends in a row. This week contained Land Between the Lakes 23k. We drove to Kentucky Thursday & ran 1 loop of the LBL Canal Loop. We explored the Grand Rivers area on Friday, and I got in 9 miles on the canal loop. Saturday • Wake up 3:30am for breakfast. 5:55am started warmup jog from the condo with Jeff. 6:30am Race starts. I knew that to go after the course record, I would need to take the first 2 miles out sub 6:00. The trails had been drying out all week and I thought they would run pretty quick. Unfortunately there was a short storm at 4am that made things a little soft and pretty wet. I hit the trail section and was moving well, but not well enough. I was 20 seconds down by the time I hit the North Aid Station. From there I knew it would be hard to make up time going into the climbing section, but I kept pushing. I felt I moved well through the hills, but lost a little more time. When I hit the final road section, I looked at my watch and knew the chance of the CR would be hard. I had 7:30 to get to the finish, and knew it was probably going to take me 8:30. I had a great final stretch and finished in 1:31:20…the 2nd fastest time ever run at LBL23k. I’ll take it. It was fun to then drive around to different aid station on the course and see some friends and teammates out on the course. That was followed up by a 21 mile trail run on Sunday 🙂

Jeff running a big PR @ LBL 50 Mile!
Crystal finishing the LBL 60k!

3/12-3/18 * 86.3 miles * 6 runs
Beer of the Week: Fat Head’s Brewing — Bumble Berry (Honey Blonde Ale)

We arrived back home from Kentucky on Sunday night. Having Monday as an off day is always glorious in situations like this. The Tuesday run/Wednesday workout went well, and then I was on the road to Ohio for Buzzard Day 25k. Friends from Boulder had recently moved back to Ohio, so I was excited to visit them and run one of my favorite races. I tired to do a course preview on Thursday, but couldn’t quite remember the first half of the course. Somehow I sill ended up at the correct midway point, and was able to run the correct route the 2nd half…well, the correct route from 2016 anyway.

One of my favorite sections of Buzzard Day!

Buzzard Day 25k on Sat went off pretty much without any issue. Race Director Roy, marks the course in a way that you probably won’t get lost it you have run the course before. Disclaimer — the course always changes. Some years it is an out and back, while others years it is a giant loop. I took the lead from the start and never looked back…except for the 0.4 mile detour I made coming off the bike path and onto the lake loop. Flag markings were supposed to always be on the right…except when you have to make the left hand turn to get on to the loop. Oh well, it only added a little extra distance, and some “free” training miles. I was very happy with being able to run all of the climbs this year, compared to 2016, when I had to power hike and walk some of the inclines. We followed the Saturday effort with a 25 mile road run Sunday. Wooooo.

Buzzard Day 25k Champ! Woot!

3/19-3/25 * 78.8 miles * 6 runs
Beer of the Week: Cidergeist (Rhinegeist) — Bubbles (Rosé Ale)

The “On The Run” Tour continued with one last bigger week. The week was pretty uneventful, until Friday when everybody claimed Illinois was going to get 9-12 inches of snow Friday into Saturday…just in time for the Paleozoic 25k. Ugh. I was determined to still run hard and have a good run, but was dreading the thought of doing my Sunday long run on the treadmill. Luckily, I woke up at 5am Saturday and no snow. The course was going to be in perfect conditions. Sure enough, it turned out to be a great morning for running, as I ran my trail 25k PR (1:32:08), the course record, and nailed the race nutrition. No snow on Sunday also — yay for outdoor long runs!

Our weather has been so-so, but hey, it’s not snow!

So, why 3 shorter trail races in a row? I don’t run enough short trail stuff. I like running. I like running a lot. I had to miss some stuff earlier this year, due to injury, so it was nice to build into American River 50 Mile. It was also great to go back to some favorites, and experience new stuff. We are now a little less than 2 weeks out from American River, and I feel fit, healthy, and pretty excited to run 50 miles.

To quote Katy Perry, “Toned, tan, fit, and ready.”

What is next for you? Any fun races coming up?

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