Rigged up and ready to roll

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Woohoo! My very smart and cool friend Josh Roberts finished the makeover on the stroller. The compartment to carry my gear is supported by light weight aluminum and built from rugged material similar to what they make dry bags from. I have 2 waterproof duffle bags that stack inside of the compartment. One for clothing & first Aid and another for camping gear. There is plenty of room left over for food and water. But it is possible to cinch it tight when it is not completely full. Soon there will be a solar panel that lays on the top so that I am able to charge my phone and devices when I can’t access electricity. We may also add some more pockets on the outside. The bar in the back is a special design to prevent my arm from having to be fixed on the handle bar all of the time. When I run I can swing my arms freely and hold the wooden dowel and every time my hand goes forward it gives it a slight push to keep it in motion.
The brain Injury Association of America is sending me 1000 business cards with my fundraising website to help me spread the word! By the end of the week my tracking device, GPS equipment and navigation software should all be here so I can start plugging in the route. My route in CA may need to be changed and I am waiting on the details. I did get 2 30 mile days of tempo runs in this week. I lost training time trying to sort out logistics and attend meetings and was pretty busy with work. Hopefully this week will be better! Upon request I will start adding in wish list items. If anyone has these items to donate please send me a message. Thanks everyone 🙂
1. Reflective tape
2. MP3 player and earbuds
3. Swiss Army knife
4. Camelback with insulated hose (my current one freezes)

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Juggling Act

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My life is very much like being in a circus act lately. I am doing my best to balance out my schedule. I have been trying to consolidate work and training into blocks. So on my days off I am maximizing my training by doing “ultravals ” (Thanks to Scott Rowe for that term and the training method) So I am doing several sets of tempo runs rather than one long slow run. This week I was able to get three 30 mile days in of this type. For those of you who didn’t get the news flash, I also sucked it up and got a membership at the gym. With these sub zero temps and constant snowstorms it is impossible to get enough miles outside. I am pleased to know that I can do 30 miles at an 8:34 pace without feeling sore or beat up. Just a few years back I was pushing myself to run a marathon at an 8:35 pace (That is Boston Marathon qualification standard for me)

I am still working on the mapping process, I picked up a pile of maps from AAA to work out some of the finer details and I have purchased the navigation system from Garmin and the Spot tracking device for live mapping is on the way. So much to do and so little time! And for whatever reason everyone and their uncle has decided that they want to book appointments with me this month so I am busy busy busy!

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How I really Feel

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This week, I will take a risk by opening up and telling you what is going on in my head lately. As my departure date gets closer I am feeling pretty overwhelmed and unprepared. It seems like no matter how hard I try, I can’t get everything done. I am not training as much as I would like. The mapping is not yet complete. I do not have enough funds to see me through the end of this journey. And I am struggling to keep up with all of the emails, phone calls and details pertaining to the fundraising and logistics. My work has also been suffering and I am going completely broke. I try to tell myself that in order to do something huge like this, a person has to make sacrifices. But what if I fail? I feel like in the public eye, the only thing that matters is the world record. I am aware that a million different things that are completely out of my control could make the record impossible. An injury, a big storm, detours etc. The brunt of my stress, expenses and preparation for this trip all revolve around the stupid record. I have to get expensive GPS trackers and equipment and pre-plan and program the route into a computer. I have 9 documents to sift through that tell me what my requirements are for documentation and collecting notarized signatures along the way. I feel like I am collapsing. I am telling this to the world in hope of getting some helpful feedback. I am doing my best and I fear that my best will not be good enough. Thank you for listening to me. Next week I will resume being positive, but just this once I needed to come clean and pour my heart out for a minute. I will update the training log later..I am up to 116. Miles for this week but I will be going out for a second run this afternoon.

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Jeremy Schaefer and other stuff

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I am just getting in from an 11 miler. Sub zero temps, gusting winds, the trees were creaking overhead and I was getting chased by empty milk jugs and recycling bins. Running through the section of Lee Hook that is all farms and fields was brutally cold. I was seriously wondering how cold in needed to be to freeze the human eyeball solid. My eyes were in so much pain I could barely keep them open. If I get out for a second run today I will chose something with more wind break.

I want to ask that you please take a moment to check out my friend,  at http://www.gofundme.com/5xhhys  He is running across the country right now. He is traveling the same way that I will be and pushing a cart full of camping gear. Although he is in the south, he is still being hit by this cold front. I am asking that anyone who is able please go to his page and make a small contribution to give him enough money to stay indoors and get hot meals through this weather. He surely didn’t plan on experiencing the coldest weather since the civil war!?  You should friend him on facebook and follow his journey. Surely you will also be touched by his open heart and determination. We can all learn something from him.

This weeks meeting has been postponed. I will let the usual suspects know when we are able to reschedule. I am off to wash 700 lbs. of disgusting wet athletic clothes. Peace.

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Cover Girl

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So The Brain Injury Association of America ran an article about my run. They put a picture of me on the cover as well as a full page story with another picture. People who make donations to the website receive the publication .

I am unable to post my training log..I think it is too long? So I will be starting a new one with 2014 data. last week despite taking the holidays off I snuck in a 31miler and a 40 miler on trail. It was tough going with the ice and slush. I am frustrated that we have another major storm coming in tomorrow. It is difficult to find places to safely run. I wish I was still in Barnstead with endless back roads that get plowed. I am currently seeking out people to stay with in that area for short stints to run high mile days.. so if you know anyone…

So I missed a few weeks but it looks like in 2013 I ran at  least 4,446 miles. Not bad considering all of the crazy things that have interrupted my training schedule this year. 2013 spanked me one more time when the lady upstairs left the faucet on and flooded out my food cupboards and water was pouring through my ceiling. But now it is 2014 and I will have no more bad luck or shenanigans!

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Send Your Complaints to my Supervisor

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Making some radical decisions this morning. I have been so overwhelmed with my training and trying to fit holiday stuff in and around my runs and work and other life responsibilities. I have been out in sleet and freezing rain, trying to get in 20 and 30 mile days. I feel an increasing amount of pressure to log in long runs and high miles. What has happened here? My running used to be deviant and the thing that I wanted to do. Now it feels like I am trying to meet the expectations of other people to prove something. So I am deciding to do something a little bit crazy this week. I am going to prioritize my family and friends over my running. I am going to hang out with my parents and watch movies and cook good food and slump around on the couch. I am going to let go of the pressure and just be a normal girl for a few days. At this stage in the game I feel like being with my loved ones might recharge me and give me more strength than a run would anyway. And these are the people who come to my planning meetings and help me with my mapping and research to pull this whole trip off in the first place. So if anyone is dissappointed in my decision,  you can take it up with my supervisor.(who by the way is me and I will be out of the office) Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Seriously?

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This week my poor car was given its death sentence. So most of my time has been dedicated to acquiring new transportation. Quite a crisis for a single girl who doesn’t believe in borrowing money. I pulled it off though. I bought a beat up old Volvo that will hopefully get me back and forth to work.. I went to grab my sneakers out of the trunk  just before they towed my Subaru off to the salvage yard only to discover that a mouse had climbed in there and eaten my shoelaces. Seriously!? Sometimes my luck is so bad I am sure it must be an episode of Candid Camera.

So the times I was able to get out and run this week were pretty challenging. We got over a foot of snow this week and have been having sub zero temps. I had to turn around after 15 miles the other day because I thought that my fingers were getting frost bit. We are expecting another 3-5 inches today. So as a reminder tomorrow is the planning meeting for my cross country run. I hope to have some new faces show up. It is in Dover at 6:30 p.m. Please let me know if you are interested in coming. It will be fun! I have so many updates and exciting topics to cover. Hope to see you there 🙂

 

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Time To Toughen Up

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This week I ramped up my miles, I added in hill repeats and elevation climb and now enters the  “wintry mix” For those of you who are not from this region or who do not fully experience the effects of the wintry mix I will do my best to explain.  During a single long run I may experience the following: sleet jabbing my eyeballs like tiny daggers, crusty ice underfoot that crunches so loudly it threatens my sanity, piles of slush that slowly seep into my shoes and turn my feet into icy prunes, black ice that makes me fall and tumble like a contestant from the laugh’olympics, snow that piles up on my hat and then slowly turns into a 3 inch thick ice helmet.

Times like these I really wished that I had a clothes dryer. I have long johns, gloves, hats and jackets strewn all over the place trying to dry them in time for my next run.

I am looking forward to the next planning meeting! (next Wednesday the 18th at 6:30 p.m.) I have some exciting news to reveal and hope to pick peoples brains about several issues. I have secured a bigger room down the hall from where the last meeting was. I expect more people and do not want to be crammed. If you are interested in attending please contact me for the details!

 

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GROSS

nose Everyone nose it snot polite to discuss bodily functions. And I am not famous for being polite. So the topic of this post is about my latest training hurdle. Now that the cold weather is here I spend an unacceptable amount of time with my nose running like a faucet. I constantly need to stop and blow my nose into a tissue. In order to save time and be more efficient it is time for me to buck up and learn how to do the farmers blow. That’s right, the notorious snot rocket technique. The tissue free projectile launch in motion method. Do not get me wrong, it is not a matter of being lady like that has prevented me from doing this before. I think I just have a serious case of booger-phobia. I can’t say that I am doing well yet, I have tried to master this in the last few days but it gives me the dry heaves. This is almost a shameful confession for an ultra-runner. Other things are on spot though; I put in 99 miles this week and also ran stairs and did hill repeats. The mapping of my route is also well under way. Don’t forget that the next planning meeting for the run is December 18 at 6:30 P.M. Let me know if you need directions!

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Flurry of Activity

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Snow is here! This week has been about adjusting to the winter weather. Piles of wet and soggy running clothes abound. Pulling out a Kleenex to blow my nose and realizing it has frozen into a solid lump. The winds have been strong enough to take down trees. The trail is an obstacle course of hurdles.
Last week’s meeting went very well. 10 people showed up to help me plan my run across America. We discussed mapping, GPS, funding and other logistics. Another meeting is planned for December 18th at 6:30 p.m. in Dover. Please contact me if you are interested in attending and I will give you directions.
Sorry this post is brief! Between the holidays, training and a busy work schedule I have been crazy busy!

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