Thursday, July 31, 2014

CRAZY!!

26.25 on a treadmill
Yes, insanity!
So its in the 70's outside in the summer and this crazy chick runs a marathon on the treadmill, WHAT?????
Well, I've got some kind of bug, I feel fine, but can't get too far from the bathroom (TMI) I have felt kind of like a super wimp since breaking my arm/shoulder. I can't seem to move past 15 miles without wanting to rip my arm off and throw it in the ditch. It hurts so stinking bad. It takes me over 4 hours to migrate 15 miles, having a hard time calling myself a "runner".
Well, running a marathon on a treadmill is kind of badass. So maybe I can get my mojo back after doing something a bit on the insane side.
So.... done.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Outback In The Ozarks


This year has been a year of profound running experiences with Outback in the Ozarks being a large part.

Outback in the Ozarks is a 200 mile long relay race in Northwest Arkansas, starting in Eureka Springs, AR going through numerous state parks and through the Ozark Mountains.  Most teams consist of twelve members in two vans.  Only one van is active at a time as those six members take turns running their legs of the race.  Then there is a handoff to the other van, the other members as the first van members rest, recover, eat and get to the next van exchange zone.  This relay takes place the first weekend in May.  2014 is the second year of this relay.

In March Jennifer Pannell mentioned putting a team together.  I know I'm a slow runner so I suggested that maybe I would make a great support person unless they couldn't find enough runners.
Lucky me, the team decided that this slow runner was a-ok to join in the adventure.  So multi-workout days, multi-run days, and hill training became the normal routine around here.

On April 25th, 2014, one week before Outback in the Ozarks 2014, and one day before Ouachita Trail 50K, on a wee lil slow bike ride I took a fall.  Slick mud, a novice rider, and a curve in the bike path just didn't mix well together and it sure didn't end well.  I went down, superman pose style, fracturing the ball of the humerus on the left arm in two places.   X-rays determined that everything was tight together and a sling was going to be the stabilization method.  With one little slip summer plans changed in a second.

Jennifer was one of the first phone calls I made.  She had to know I was probably out.  I told her that as the slowest runner of the team, I now may have to walk every step, but was willing as long as the team was okay with that idea.  I didn't want to go there and have everyone frustrated with me.  Jennifer assured me all would be well.  It turned out to be a good thing that I didn't drop as another team member had to due to a family emergency.
Our team consisted of:
Van 1:




Van 2:
Me (Lisa Gunnoe)
Valerie Hunt
Julie Miles
Andrea Williams
Jennifer Pannell

We had challenges right from the start with the breakdown of a van.  Thanks to the nice guys at a parts store, who replaced the alternator without charging for labor, things were back on track.  This was all before we ever even got to Eureka Springs.  #idontquit turned out to be a theme of the weekend.

Early Saturday morning Van 1 was off to the start.  We just waited, ate breakfast, and waited some more till our turn.  Its kind of challenging just waiting because you don't know what is going on with the other team members.

I was first runner in our van.  My turn came soon enough with a beautiful trail section, with lots of hills, starting at Hobbs Nature Center. I found a back brace type wrap to wrap around my whole body, broken arm to give it stability.  It still hurt but no more than sitting home on the couch.  The lack of mobility made running much harder.  I did walk more than I wanted to walk.  My leg was just under five very hilly miles.
Waiting for my first run

Oh the beautiful trail

Almost done with my trail run
I love running, but I was glad to have my section over with, hand off the arm band, get some ice water and have a faster runner make up time.

Jennifer handing off to Andrea
 The idea was to just keep moving, just keep moving, #idontquit

Van 1's last leg, Andrea, come in to the exchange location just as it was getting dark.  We than had hours to shower, nap, eat and wait till it was our turn again.

About 2is AM Saturday morning it was time for Van 1 to rock and roll once again.  I was up first.
My leg started with a brutal 6 miles uphill in the dark.  The dark never did bother me, the constant uphill is what was a killer.  I thought I was doing well, making good time and moving forward when along came the race officials telling the team to pick me up and head for the next exchange point.  I only had 1/2 mile left in my leg, but we were behind the cut off.  So we drove to the exchange point and Valarie started her leg.

There are no pictures from the night portion of the run because, well, it was dark.

We were glad to be done with our legs and hand things off to Van 1.

Early Saturday afternoon we were getting ready to become active again, waiting at Devils Den State Park.  We were discussing strategy, we were behind on expected times chasing cutoffs.  I mentioned to the team that my next leg was more than six miles and most of it was steep uphills.  Valerie offered to swap legs with me.  What a hero!  She knew it would be hot, hard and uphill in the dust, but she really came through.  Thank you Valerie.  I took her up on the offer.  She saved us a lot of time.  It would have taken me two hours to get in that mileage.

Then came my turn to run.  Its funny, day one we were all cheering, taking pictures and such, day two we were quiet, encouraging but quiet.

Once again the cut off caught up to us on my leg.  This was twice I got taking off the road.  I did have a bit of a mental melt down over this.  The ladies, in their kindness and wisdom, just let me melt down and cry.  Its hard to be the weakest link.

Just keep moving

The migration continues


Jennifer waiting for gum 

Julie and Andrea handing off

Valerie and Jennifer

Andrea getting to know the foam roller!  OUCH!

Julie showing us how its done late in the race

We won the women's division.  

We finished the race dead last, but we finished.  We were the only all woman team.  Most of the teams used men for the toughest climbs, we used what we had, just us women.  One team even bothered to cheat, but that is another story.

I'm very humbled, grateful, and overwhelmed by this experience.  It is very close to my heart.  I started it not knowing what to expect having never participated in a relay before.
I learned about love, grace, leadership and true self-sacrifice during this amazing weekend.  Every woman adder her flavor of strong to the experience.  I learned about true leadership when I was melting down over my slowness and they just let me, talked me off the cliff and loved me anyway without judgement and negativity.  What a great example of being accepted for who, what, where and in the condition one finds themselves.  I owe much gratitude to these amazing ladies for their example of sportsmanship and pure guts.

Do I want to do it again, WHY YES I DO!!!
Next week, no, once a year is enough :)

P. S.
I left much out.  Its not my place to tell other people's stories.

My Legs:
Leg 7:
Starts at Hobbs Nature Center, 4.9 miles ends at Horse Trailer Parking Lot on Piney Road
This leg is all trail, it has some serious uphills.  One section just keeps going up and up back and forth over the top of a ridge.  It is runnable for a strong runner.  Use of gaiters is recommended, a waterbottle is fine.  There is one water stop on the trail.

Leg 19:
Starts at Pig Trail Cafe in Crosses Community, 5.36 miles ending at Brannon Mountain Cemetary
This leg is run in the dark, on pavement, up up and up, winding roads up.  Lots of hill training is required to get prepared for any leg in this race, but Leg 19 definitely.  Using a 30 step run/walk strategy is helpful to just move a little bit faster.

Leg 31:
Valery swapped me legs so she took Leg 30, dusty dirty uphill out of Devils Den State Park for 6.5 miles.
Leg 31 starts at Liberty 86 Church for 4.63 miles ending at Zinnamon Chruch.  This is rollers, mixed between dirt roads and paved.  Some uphills but not a lung buster.  On a good day I could have run the whole thing.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon

My last post was about the disrepair I felt about having messed up our travel plans thus facing the possibility of not making it to the race. 

Chris saved the day!  He found more work to do in New Mexico during the week after the race.  The plan became a two week adventure.  We took Wally with us.

Team Red White & Blue was making a big event of this race.  Team RWB members from all over the nation gathered for the race.

Our schedule didn't allow us to spend time at the expo nor with other Team RWB members.  We went to packet pickup then to El Paso to the hotel for the night.

The day started early with a 3 am alarm.  We wanted to be at White Sands Missile Range by 4:30am.  It was a matter of hurry up and wait as I got there and froze waiting hours for the race to start.  I found some Arkansas folks to share the day with, that was grand!

 Jonathan YoungLeigha JonesCody JonesChris Hall and Jayme Butts-Hall at Bataan Memorial Death March.

After a touching opening ceremony we were off.  Those packing "heavy" took off first with civilian light near the end of the start.

Dust, dirt, dirt and dust.  

I have a hard time describing this race.  It was hard, very hard, 26.2 is always hard.  Because of the atmosphere of this race, America's warriors packing heavy, wounded warriors and such, it was impossible for the mind to go to that dark pace where one goes when the miles get long and everything sucks.  



It has been a very long time since I have had the pleasure of doing most of the miles of a race with friends.  Normally, even with thousands of people out there, a race is a lonely event.  With company this race was so enjoyable!!

Thank you all for the most excellent experience!!

Talking, laughing, cursing sand, is so much greater when shared with friends.   Don't do this race for a PR.  Forget that, throw it out the window and just enjoy the whole experience of being involved for so many hours with the heroes that keep us free.  I definitely want to go back, hopefully with a whole bunch of Team RWB members from AR.  It would be grand!!







Dirt, dirt, and more dirt.

Found these ROTC from WY, had to have my picture taken with them.

Boarder patrol keeping everyone safe on the isolated parts of the course.


We were blessed with a non-windy year!  The temperature wasn't that bad either.  Be prepared for dirt and dust.  I would recommend something to cover your nose and mouth, gaiters for your shoes, sunscreen (no shade for 26.2).

A special thank you to Jonathan Young, Leigha Jones, Cody Jones, Chris Hall and Jayme Hall for the company through the miles.  You all are priceless and you really added to the experience.  A humble thank you.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Frustraited to Tears!

March 23, 2014 is the 25th annual Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon at White Sands Missile Range, NM. 

I don't have an income right now.  Chris has work in NM.  So he made arrangements to do some work that needs to be done in NM.  He worked around the dates I gave him, March 29, 2014.  Now that arraignments are made I realize what I have done!  Its too late, he can't go back to his clients to change the dates.  We don't have the money for me to go it alone. 

I'm asking around to see if anyone is driving though AR, or anyone from AR (in the running family of course) is going, so I can hitch a ride, help defer gas and hotel costs.  So the door isn't completely closed yet, but its most likely a no go..... until the next week when Chris has his work scheduled. 

I don't understand how I made this mistake.  Oh my am I feeling foolish! and very disappointed. 


EPIC! Little Rock Marathon 2014

Arriving at Fike's Bikes at 5AM to be on time for the early start, this is the view that greeted me.  Its very peaceful at 5AM.



I'm going to write this race report using the format discussed in With Winning In Mind by Lanny Bassham. 
Ask: What was the best parts of your race?
         What did you learn?
         What are you going to do about it?

I'm a member of Team Red White & Blue
Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity


The evening before the race we had a meet and greet with Team RWB members from across the country at a Little Rock pizza joint.  During this gathering we talked about who was going to carry a flag while running and the impact we could have by  doing so. 
Upon returning home I decided that I would carry Old Glory for 26.2.  26.2 is very hard in and of itself, doing it in the wet, cold, rain, wind with a flag would be a new challenge. 
I read Blayne Smith - A Soldier, In Parts to prepare myself mentally for the challenge.  My marathon challenge may be hard, but what our warriors go through redefines "hard". 

That is my flag from the USS Richard B Russell (SSN 687) and the flag pole is the extra Eagle Scout walking stick from and signed by an Eagle Scout, our son Daniel, who is now a CTN3, US Navy. - Chris Gunnoe

Dinner at Damgoode Pies in Little Rock, Team RWB from across the country

The Best Parts of The Race:

Carrying the flag:  Talk about the support.  People were very supportive, cheering, both runners and spectators.  A few runners asked if they could have a turn carrying the flag, of course I was happy to let them.  Every part of me seemed extra sore from the effort, but no regrets about carrying the flag for 26.2

We were told the race was cancelled at about mile 22-23.  We were told we could continue on at our own risk, due to extreme weather.  I continued on to cross the finish line.  It was my slowest marathon ever, but I don't think I have ever worked harder.

I can finish 26.2 when my stomach is in full on revolt!  I had a few chips, 3 tater tots, orange wedges, everything else upset my tummy bad.

Epic weather makes for epic stories!

What I learned:

I have been maintaining some semblance of training and mileage, but not enough of it has been actually running.  Walking miles don't do me much good - run more.

Asthma management needs some tweaking.  It was not fun.  For 26.2 I could never catch my breath.  Every breath was a struggle.

Having a reason to be running gives meaning to the suffering and strength to the mind to keep going.
Never used stuff I haven't trained with!!!  I was concerned about having enough calories for the migration so I strapped on a fanny pack.  I have used it before for many races, but I haven't used it or trained with it lately. 

What I'm going to do about it:

Run more, stop with the walking crap.

I am making a doctor's appointment today.  I'm starting training with a Power Lung.

Keep doing what I'm doing.  I will read warrior's stories before a race, to keep the new definition of "hard" in mind.  My marathon isn't hard compared to what they go through.  

Train with it just in case I might decide to use it.

Slowest but most EPIC! 26.2 ever!


It was very grand having Team RWB members from across the country here for the Little Rock Marathon.  Its regrettable that the weather kept people from sticking around after the marathon and visiting/cheering.  All were concerned about getting warmed back up!  I'm very much looking forward to my next big event Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon   It will be a major event for Team RWB. 





Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sylamore Trail 50.... er 25K


The night before, Friday Feb 14 2014, reports started hitting FaceBook about the condition of the trail.  Fields and pastures were still covered with snow from the recent, or winter long deep freeze with which AR has been blessed.

We were told during the pre-race brief that due to trail conditions we would have the option of turning around at the 25K turn around point, doing the 25K and still getting an official finish instead of a 50K DNF.  I had been very stressed about the idea of a 50K because of my winter of improper training, so this was welcome news.  

The course starts at The Angler Cafe/gas station in Allison, AR.  We run a mile on pavement, then cross the Sylamore Creek to get to the single track trail.  With the trail conditions as they were there was a very long line of people waiting to get on the trail. 

  
Creek Crossing, water level was low this year. 
The trail was slippery, sloppy and ice covered.  Many of the places along the path there was a traffic jam because the ice was challenging to navigate.

One of many challenging sections of the trail.
 After getting past the slickest, most icy spots I thought I could go on and do the 50K.  That thinking changed after passing the aid station at Blanchard Springs.  After climbing the trail out of Blanchard Springs the trail was snow covered.  That is no problem if one is out there alone.   I have run it many times snowy.  But with hundreds of people on the trail it gets all churned up.  With every step forward there is slippage back, kind of like running on sand.  The snow was slick off the trail so when we would move over to let people pass there was a risk of falling.
With all of this I was very happy to listen to wisdom of those more experienced to turn around at the 25K turn around.  

Almost done with the race, please don't fall!
The sun came out, things warmed up and the frozen parts of the trail became muddy, suck your shoes off muddy.  The mud seemed to be just as slippery as the ice.  

Finish line, slowest 25K ever, but an epic adventure!
This race was an epic adventure.  I was very happy to see the finish line though.  Wow, this 25K was a grinder, two days later I feel like I did do a 50K. 

Its 12 days from the Little Rock Marathon.  I'm not ready, but will choose to enjoy the experience.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

not doing

runner not running

blogger not blogging

cook not cooking

photographer not photographing

hurting and not praying

Its time to build a routine, just start doing.  Let autopilot run till my heart gets back into it.

Counting blessings:
Just visited with Kim and Daniel & Samantha, it was a grand time.  I love my children.  My heart hurts for Kevin.

My running family is solid, they are the greatest.  They give me a sense of family and belonging.

I can move, I can run, I can smile, I can enjoy the sunshine.

My husband comes home at night.

Time to focus on the blessings