A Long 24 Hours

A Long 24 Hours

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Stephanie's Blog |

My summer schedule is coming to an end so like any crazy endurance athlete I am busy sneaking in some last minute fun sessions before I transition to my fall schedule Monday. As I sit here and write this I am zoning in and out – taking long pauses to watch the women’s volleyball match (which is really just a blank stare at the wall behind the TV). I am tired and as usual I have no one to blame but myself. The last 24 hours have been jammed packed full of fun but not with traditional activities that “normal” people might partake such as concerts in the park or a picnic day at the lake. I am talking about sweat, dirt, and suffering – all components I deem necessary for a good time. Sometimes I think what is wrong with me; why don’t you just get an ice cream and relax for change but that’s just not who I am. And besides life is too short to just pick one sport… So here is a glimpse of the last 24 hours. (Tuesday to Wednesday) 9:30am Accept an invitation to run at 5:30am on Wednesday morning. 10:00am Tennis Lessons. 3:00pm Drive to Truckee-Donner to mountain bike. 4:45pm Arrive early. Yes!! With 30 minutes to spare I could grab a soda in the lounge, mill around the shop, sit on the patio and enjoy nature….the options were endless. So what did I choose? An uphill trail run in bike shorts at altitude. Why? Still wondering that myself! 5:20pm Finish my run, grab my helmet and jersey and head over to meet the women from Tahoe Mountain Bike Like a Girl group. 5:30pm Hit the trails to ride. 7:15pm Return to the lodge. Awesome dusty and dirty ride with some amazing ladies! 7:30pm Accept an invitation for a road ride at 9am Wednesday morning then jump in the car to jam home. Luckily I had a nice long drive home to question my sanity! With Women’s Team Gymnastics Finals and Michael Phelps 200 Butterfly on the night’s schedule I was looking to waste no time getting home. So that meant no stops for refreshments. While driving I missed women’s vault and uneven bars but was looking good to make swimming finals and the second half of gymnastics but panic was starting to set in. 9:00pm Home! I jetted upstairs and settled in. Shower? No time…the Olympics are on! Luckily Sean had dinner ready so I was set. I was able to sit with my dirt covered sweaty legs for hours. 12:00am Shower time…finally. 12:30am Off to bed. Quick math indicated I was going to get a “solid” 4.5 hours of sleep before my morning run. Setting myself up my success is something I have yet to master. But maybe I will pick it up sometime in the next 40 years. 😉...

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The Second Half of the Season

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Stephanie's Blog |

At the start of the season things looked promising. I check off race after race on my schedule like clockwork. I almost began to think I might actually accomplish everything I planned back in January for the first time ever. But just like that everything came to a screeching halt. Suffice to say my race schedule from mid-June to December has had a makeover. The original schedule was built around a summer of paddle boarding culminating with the Tahoe Fall Classic (a 22 mile SUP race across Lake Tahoe), a fall of Spartan racing and a second shot at the 50k distance in December to end the 2016 race season just before Christmas. Ambitious? Yes. But it all seemed doable until it didn’t. My “long” workouts have just now reached 45 minutes after 8 weeks of 3 times a week at 30 minutes max. Far cry from 50k training I was doing and the time needed to knock out all the events I had planned. But on the bright side I have had plenty of time to dedicate to other fun endeavors: tennis, mountain biking, strength training… So what is the new plan? If everything continues to progress accordingly I plan on getting in some early cross country races (3-4 mile events) while building enough mileage to hit some late fall Spartan events (up to 13 miles with obstacles). My hope is with the combination of extra rest, more recovery and less training volume I will be able to get a few more races under my belt this year and be healthy enough to tackle my postponed goals come 2017. A full list of my “tentative” races is available...

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Santa Monica “Rough Water” Swim

Santa Monica “Rough Water” Swim

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Stephanie's Blog |

We headed to Santa Monica last weekend for the the elite paddle board races at the Santa Monica Pier Paddle – we have some upcoming women’s SUP pieces we needed to work on for Freeplay. The Santa Monica Pier Paddle is an amazing event with races and entertainment for everyone (more on this in an upcoming blog on www.freeplaymagazine.com). I figured if I am already there why not jump in the one mile ocean swim and the run-swim-run a few hours after that. It would be a great way to get a workout or two in before getting to “work”. Since I don’t have a wetsuit I chose the non-wetsuit divison afterall it is almost officially summer and we are in SoCal. I will be fine I thought. And I was…after I defrosted, chattered for 20 minutes, changed and took a hot shower just to turn around and jump back in for race #2. Despite the cold and rough water (and whining) I am excited to return to this event next year but am hoping it will be with a board in tow! Here are a few thoughts that crossed my mind as I navigated around the course for the one mile open water swim....

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Gold Rush 50k!

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Stephanie's Blog |

I knew going in that it was going to be a long day but since I have done numerous half Ironmans and a full Ironman suffering for hours on end is something that I am well accustomed to. The first 16 miles were relatively uneventful. I started off easy as planned and just ticked the miles away one by one. I was lucky to be able to spend most of first 8 miles – the Darrington Loop – running behind a fellow Folsom Bike athlete and friend Karyn Hoffman. Definitely helped make the time go by faster (and more fun)! About two hours in things were looking solid and I felt decent until – BAM! I face planted it on the ground. And just like that there went goal #1 – stay upright! Shortly after this fall was the next aid station which so happened to also be the relay exchange. As soon as I crested the hill I spotted teammate and friend, Erin Wachter who quickly became Nurse Erin. She nicely cleaned my face up a bit and shared a few laughs with me before sending me back on my way. From here to mile 20 I plugged along but with definitely with less spring in my step. By mile 20 even less pep and by mile 23 no pep – the suffering increased 10-fold! Although I never really entertained the thought of dropping out I did throw occasional pity party for myself, especially across the long, flat levy. Eventually the levy ended and I reached Folsom Crossing and trudged over what I used to think was a small climb. Upon reaching the top I quickly spotted a runner down the hill which helped me regain some focus especially since I had been running solo for a good hour or more. I reached the bottom of the hill just as I caught up to the runner who turned out to be Scott Williams (Karyn Hoffman’s partner in crime). We arrived at the aid station about the same time but I left slightly before. It was the last aid station and 2.3 miles to the finish. I want to take a moment to point out that this was the longest 2.3 miles of my life! I ran (hobbled) down the bike trail wondering if someone had lengthened the bike trail over the course of the night. I finally made it down the last hill and with about a mile was mentally done. How does one run 30 miles and fall apart with one mile to go?! I don’t know but ended up lucking out. Scott was right behind me and started shouting at me. This was a huge help at just the right time! We ran almost all the way to the finish together but he had just a bit more to give than I did and pulled away...

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A 35k Debacle

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Stephanie's Blog |

About a mile and a half into the Woodside Crossover 35k endurance run I had already begun brainstorming titles for my race report – “Crazy Blonde Takes on Huddart Park”, “If It Could…It Did”, “One for the Books”, or a personal favorite…”I’m Glad Sean Missed This One.” There are days in everyone’s life where a little exaggeration sneaks into your stories, perhaps to make it a bit more fun, or to get a better reaction out of people, but today is not one of those days. What follows is exactly what happened, and while some of these things seem like small and inconsequential annoyances they definitely set the stage for the day. Here is the timeline, start to finish, of getting to, and racing the Woodside Crossover 35k, and while these are not my finest moments, they are the truth, hand on heart. 5:10am – Woke up and got dressed. I went to the dryer to get the socks I planned to race in that I intentionally washed and dried the night before to realize that I dried Sean’s instead and mine were still in the washer soaking wet.  It’s not like I only have a single pair of socks, but you know, you have that perfect pair that stay in place and just feel right… so just grabbing another pair was not an option. Then genius struck: I could wear my wet socks on my hands during the drive to Woodside and hold them in front of the heater vents to dry them. It was going to be a two hour drive to the start…  That’ll totally work. Disaster averted. 5:30 – Left the house! One of the many things I love about running races, versus triathlon, is they are so much easier to pack for. I mean… grab your running shoes (wear your socks on your hands to dry them out on the drive down) and go, simple as can be!  Saturday, however, that was easier said than done. I forgot my shoes and had to double back!  Luckily I didn’t get too far… On the road again and now pressed for time! With about 40 minutes to the race destination I determined that it was going to be tight but I should get there by 8:00, race start was at 8:30. Not a huge time cushion but I was relieved to know I was going to make it…That was until I  realized I missed my Bay Area exit and was stuck taking the long way or doubling back.  So, back to panic mode I go, yelling at other drivers to myself with my windows rolled up… because that definitely helps. Estimated arrival time 8:10. Luckily it is a long race so I can get by without a warm-up. 8:10 – Arrive at the park entrance to see the longest line of non-moving cars ever! There is...

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Knickerbocker 35k

Knickerbocker 35k

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Stephanie's Blog |

With the Chanoko 30k behind me I was now ready to step it up and tackle the Knickerbocker 35k. Seemed like a great progression towards my goal of the Gold Rush 50k May 14. Before signing up I loosely studied the course map. Although I have not run these Auburn trails before, racing in Auburn is essentially like racing in my backyard so I was familiar with the area. Heading into this race I was more concerned about the race distance than the climbing but I can tell you once I got out there it was a different story. I had NO idea what it meant to climb 5000 feet in 21 miles; let alone 1000 feet in less than a mile. Walking/hiking up these steep climbs was far more painful than running 21 miles. My calves and glutes burned – from walking! I don’t think I felt anything like it before. Halfway up the climb I lifted my head and uttered “You’ve got to be kidding me.” The runner next to me advised me not to look up and keep plugging along. Perhaps the best advice I received all day! When the top finally arrived it felt so good to be running again. With limited trail experience I am not used to having to walk because of the terrain and it was mentally hard to wrap my head around it- especially since there were 3 of these steep beauties in this race! The race was a challenge to say the least. Despite the suffering I kept pressing on. With 4 miles to go I was told I was in the top 3 for the women so the pressure was on to make sure I didn’t get passed before the finish as I wanted to secure that top 3 finish! And I did. As far as courses go this was definitely the hardest I have ever done and the longest outside of triathlon-ing! One step closer to that 50k in May!...

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