Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gobie Water Bottle

I would like to preface this post with an important disclaimer - I did not pay for this bottle, I actually won it at a Girls on the Run Coaches Appreciation Event.  But I wanted to share about it because I love it!

Here's the bottle.  Very simple looking.  One downside - it only holds 22 ounces of water, which means you have to refill it on a frequent basis.  The neat thing about this bottle is that it has a filter!  When I won the bottle, it actually came with three replacement filters.  The company recommends that you swap out the filter every 3 months or every 100 gallons.  Since I'm not OCD about water drinking, and have no idea how much water I really drink everyday, I think I'll stick to the every three month replacement schedule.  

Here's why I love it: I work at Camp Pendleton and the water there is iffy at best.  They keep coming out with studies about the water on base and warning us not to drink it...but they don't provide anyone with filtered water, so we have to pay for it.  This means that now I can feel safe about drinking water right out of the faucet!  The water tastes great from the Gobie bottle!  

If anyone is looking to buy a new bottle, I'd definitely recommend this one!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

So Many Medals...What to do?

If you are anything like us, you love to participate in race events!  You get that shiny medal when you cross the finish line and then come home and toss it in the drawer.  If you are really fancy (like Jen) and you have an awesome husband (like Jen), maybe you have a really cool plaque with hooks to display all of your hardware!  However, if you're like me...they just end up in the drawer.

Some of the medals are really neat though, and I want to be able to display them in a neat way.  I LOVE arts and crafts, so I hit up the wonderful worldwide web to find some ideas and I stumbled across an idea to make magnets!  It was a really neat (and super easy) way to display race medals in a USEFUL way!  Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Find some magnetic sheets that preferably has one side with adhesive.  I found these at Joann Fabrics.

Step 2: Remove the ribbon used to hang it around your neck - you won't need this.

Step 3: Peel off the adhesive protector sheet.

Step 4: Place medal carefully onto the magnetic sheet - if the medal is really heavy, I recommend using extra glue to reinforce the adhesive.

Step 5: Trim off excess magnetic sheet around the medal.  If the medal is a standard circle or square, this can be done with scissors.  If not, then you might need a crafting blade and a firm surface to cut on.

Step 6: Proudly display your medals on the fridge!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

San Diego 50 Mile Trail Run

So, we've been taking a long break from the blogging world, but what better way to come back than to do a race recap of the San Diego 50-Miler!  Warning...there will be a ton of pictures!

About a month ago, I got an e-mail from Paul Jesse, the race director for Off Road Pursuits, telling me about the upcoming San Diego 50-mile trail run.  I sent a quick e-mail to my tri coach, Mike Plumb (from TriPower) and asked whether he thought it was a good idea to sign up.  I've run a few ultras in the past and I knew what to expect and he told me to go for it!  I went ahead and registered for the 19 January run.

Unfortunately I did not get in nearly the amount of training that I needed to, but I thought, "What the heck, I can do this!"  At 0315 on Saturday, I woke up, packed up my stuff and my friend Scott and I hit the road down to San Diego, about a 40-minute drive away.  It was cold and dark and I had opted for the early start.  The race actually started at 0630, but the race director was awesome and offered a 0530 start for anyone that was interested!  It was a great idea for anyone who might risk not making the 14-hour cutoff time (which happened to be me!).

The race crew did a phenomenal job of marking the course and stocking the aid stations every five miles.  I only got lost once!  Luckily that only added an extra half mile to the run!  The volunteers were FANTASTIC and their motivation and high spirits (as well as delicious treats) made the run possible.  But without a doubt, there's absolutely no way I would have finished without my friend Scott, who was there to meet me at every aid station and give me the motivation I needed to make it through to the end!

Early in the race at mile 10 I had to dump out the sand in my shoes...next time I'm getting some of those things that cover your shoes and keep the junk out!
Heading up to the 15-mile aid station (off to the far right is another runner, Paul.  We kept each other company periodically throughout the race.
The weather warmed up and it was time to strip off some extra layers!
Heading up to the 20-mile aid station and feeling great!
Miles 20-30 were by far the toughest terrain I had to cover.  It was nice to get back to the 30 mile aid station and head out to an "easier" part of the course!  Or so I thought...
This is me coming up to the 35-mile aid station...feeling mighty broken and downtrodden.  This is when my severe lack of training really hit me!  
A quick refuel and I was feeling much better!
Between miles 35 and 40 I had an opportunity to chat with another runner, John, which helped make the time go by a lot faster!
This would be the last aid station I'd get to see Scott before heading out, so I spent a lot of time getting a pep talk and eating!!!
The snacks were fantastic!  This aid station even had "sushi" made of rice crispy treats, fruit roll-ups, and gummies!
A mouthful of food!!!
The pep talk really motivated me and got a smile on my face - only 10 miles to go!
My "victory" pose!
Heading out on the last 10 mile stretch.  I knew it was going to get dark, so I picked up my long-sleeved shirt and my headlamp.
So happy to be closing in on the end of the race!!!
And it's all over!!!  I made it in the cutoff time (just barely), finishing in 13 hours and 39 minutes!  

Overall, the race was fantastic, from the crew to the race course to the volunteers to the near-perfect weather, I had a wonderful time.  The majority of the credit goes to Scott though, having someone there  at every aid station to motivate me made a huge difference.  There are very few people in this world that will spend an entire day supporting an ultra, and I'm so grateful that he was there to help me out.  Unfortunately, I was too tired at the end to get a picture with him!  

So, 48 hours post race, I'm feeling pretty good overall.  I did have to head to the ER last night because my right foot is really bothering me.  It started at mile 35 and it was a gradual onset, not because I lost my footing, so I was worried it might be something serious.  No obvious fracture on the x-rays, but they put me on some crutches for a few days and I'm just icing it up and resting.  

On another positive note, I only fell ONCE during the entire race.  For anyone that's followed us for very long, you know that I can be fairly clumsy.  I tripped and ate dirt right before the 10-mile aid station, but that was my one and only face plant!  Go me!  

Off Road Pursuits puts on some fantastic events and Paul Jesse is an awesome race director.  I will most definitely head back out on one of their races before I have to leave San Diego!