All posts filed under: Featured

A North Face 50K Birthday Present

Spending my birthday getting dirty running the trails through Golden Gate National Recreation Area, John Muir Woods, Muir Beach, and over the Golden Gate Bridge with a bunch of runners and, my family at the finish line, is my kind of celebration. This is exactly how I will be celebrating not only my birthday but, the fact that I get to be at the The North Face 50K in the first place. Not only do things have to be good in life to run, things also have to fall in place to get fit enough to run! One of the most challenging parts of training  is carrying on with all the other responsibilities liking working, parenting, dog-owning, home-owning, teacher conference-ing, doctor appointments, stomach flu (the whole family), volunteering, home-work helping, and traveling two-hundred miles between home and office twice a week (in temporary transition – ask me later). To me, all of this is actually part of endurance training (or is running training for all of that?). I am doing all those things and yet still …

We Run in Good Times

We get to run when all is well. Right now all is not well in the communities where I work and play. Waking each morning this week to the smoke-filled air has been too eerie. The smoke represents devastating amounts of loss happening in the North Bay communities where friends and families live. Ash is falling from the sky and it is hard to think of anything but what that ash is from and what we can do to help. We wear facemasks, stay in doors if we can, and try to breath softly. We mobilize our networks, remind ourselves what important work really is, and try to do something, anything truly meaningful when feeling helpless in light of yet another tradegy, this time much closer to the place we call home. Running and recreation are luxuries to be grateful for doing. When things are good again remember, no matter how ” bad” it feels, it is good. In gratitude for running times.

Practice Discipline in these Three Areas to Support Athletic Performance

Speaking on a panel at the Spartan World Championships in Squaw Valley, California may be one of the most interesting angles I have come at nutrition from yet. The panel topic is discipline. Learning to eat in a way that supports what you set out to achieve – in this case completing thirty plus obstacles, over thirteen or more miles while running up and down mountain peaks at elevation – requires discipline to change from eating behaviors that do not support what you hope to achieve. For many non-competitive athletes who want to improve and achieve in sport as a hobby they first have to shift in mindset from exercising to burn calories to then be rewarded with food  to that of an athlete who exercises to train and who eats to train for the reward of achieving something more than the calorie credit to eat lots of pizza after a race. How does someone begin to change the mindset? Well, in my experience as an athlete and working with the pros I have found applying discipline  …

Ultra Running to Ultra Moving

Communities exist that are centered around being active outdoors, in nature, everyday.  I have longed to move our family away from the increasing congestion of the urban home to one that values and embraces the outdoors as a way of life. This summer  we did it. We didn’t plan on it being this summer. It just happened. More serendipitous activity fell into place than didn’t and we now find ourselves living the mountain life in Truckee, California, where there are mountains, elevation, and trails for days. In June, I was in Tahoe supporting the super bowl of the ultra-running world, The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race. It is a spectacular feat. While not a one-hundred mile endurance run through the mountains, I did just accomplish what feels like a massive ultra-endurance feat of strength, relocating. Relocating a family while still taking care of the emotional and physical well-being during such a time of change is a huge feat.  This was done while also holding down a full-time job, pivoting a career, emptying a house, …

Third in a Four Part Series on Getting High: Nutrition Considerations at Altitude

Planning to spend fourteen to twenty one days at altitude before competing is not directly a nutrition consideration. It is however, worth mentioning because adjustment time can indirectly impact nutrition by altering appetite and, how the body feels overall. Unfortunately, before some of my biggest mountain races I haven’t had the extra time to hang out high up. So I searched for clean short cuts of which I learned, are limited. In short,  there are not short cuts for adapting your body at altitude. It takes the time it takes. How much time it takes specifically will vary because, as with nutrition, how the body responds is individualized.  Everything I have read says get to your altitude twenty-one days ahead of your race. With work, kids, and other obligations it just isn’t realistic to get that kind of time at elevation (unless I move there!).  So here are some the strategies that helped when time at elevation is limited: Go up the night before if you can’t do two-three weeks! So save the PTO and …

Selfies in London Day One

Rise and shined from my morning nap to hit the streets to see what I could see. It has been a long time since I explored a new city and, even longer since exploring an international city. I contemplated running my sleepy self around. Then I thought I again. Why hurry through? This is time for meandering. My Mom has a fascination with the stories of Henry the VIII and his wives.I am embarrassed to say that thanks to the HBO series, The Tudors, so do I. Who needs history class when you have dramatized fiction based on history? So Mom, you will be happy to know The Tower of London was first on my list of attractions this afternoon. I crossed the Millennium Bridge, breezed by the free version of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and footed it over to The Tower. Much to my surprise The Tower is actually a compound of structures and tours with history and exhibits worth multiple visits. I got my money’s worth today though and covered broad ground with a …

Just a Normal Week

First of all my Ridge Run training is in the pooper this month. Second of all, I can’t afford the time or money to run it this year as much as I want to. My Mom says I have to make choices. Admittedly, when I was young choices were not my forte but, I have improved. So the choice was made. Why can’t I take our family on our annual summer pilgrimage back to my Montana homeland? Well, because I am learning what it means to buy a new house, move completely out of our home of the past nine years, fix it up to bay area standards , and list it all while continuing to work and parent my very active and emotionally-in-transition boys all in the span of one month plus an international work trip! My training goal at this point is to just maintain fitness to salvage some of the fall running fun. And if that wasn’t enough, I am traveling to London for work. What could a dietitian working for CLIF, …

The Organized Circus

The “organized circus” is a phrase I recently used with a friend inquiring about how things were going.  This means  that there are many moving parts of the collective adventures in being a mother, writer, runner, wife, and employee right now that are loosely planned. Last Thursday night, in a very late night and organized fashion, I packed up the car t for a weekend in Tahoe with my kids while my husband was out of town. This was an ambitious adventure in its own right but, the plan also included spending Friday at my office with kids and puppy in tow on our way to the mountains. There is no denying this was highly ambitious  but, it seemed worth a try.  We had also just spent the week packing up of our entire house so it could be painted.  It was probably the lack of sleep that lead to my inevitable tears of defeat a few short hours after attempting to manage at an office that is also an organized circus of dogs and …

First of Four Part Series on Getting High: Nutrition Considerations at Altitude.

Anyone attempting to train at sea level and, also loves mountain running has probably experienced the challenges of  a high-elevation race. What is the challenge? Well, let me put it this way, my first attempt at climbing mountains in a race felt like being pregnant while also having a big pile of bricks on my chest.  In was difficult. But, as challenges are, also a great opportunity to learn. Mountain running used to just be me going on a run in the mountains. That however, was when I lived IN the mountains adapted to elevation. Now a seasoned sea level dweller,  mountain running requires more attention to nutrition to feel good and have fun. Why? Consider the dry climate, potentially abrupt temperature swings, and the exposed climbs.  In conditions like these, even the most fit and altitude adapted athletes suffer many of the same effects of altitude. There are four key nutrition considerations that I take into account to help me ascend new heights above tree line. Here is the first consideration I will be …