To breathe deeply, to see the horizon clearly, to talk to old friends, to move your legs up and down a mountain—how marvelous and precious this life on earth is, the more imperiled it becomes.
No, our dog is not part of this gear/gift guide, but something in that photo is! This time of year, I like to share recommendations for worthwhile running- and outdoor-related stuff I discovered over the past 12 months.
I wanna run and feel like I did in that photo from 2015. I can’t recall a time I felt this degree of ambivalence about running, which is supposed to be my passion. Perhaps I’m fitting the profile of burnout, but burnout usually follows overtraining, and since September I’ve been undertraining.
Because I face the move back to California and some big decisions about our home, I am mulling, “What next? What will I do after I turn 50?” To plan ahead, first I look back and reflect. I reminisce about life one decade ago…
As soon as I saw Morgan and Clare, I said wild-eyed, “I may blow up, but those were the best 27 miles of my life.”
I decided to turn my sour grapes into fortified grape juice and attempt an upstart, scrappy race the weekend after Hardrock 100, on the same mountain range, that’s arguably even more difficult—a race so miserable in its first year on the current route that the RD admits, “I don’t think it was a good experience […]
“For these three days,” I told the group gathered for our inaugural San Juan Mountain Running Camp, “I want you to encounter and experience challenges on the trail that you don’t expect, and that perhaps intimidate you, because you’ll discover that you can get through and handle more than you think you can. And you’ll […]
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To me, an ideal getaway is not an island resort or a spa weekend. It’s a running camp in a mountain environment. These totally worthwhile experiences at trail-running camps heighten my excitement to launch a new mountain-running camp just one month from now.
I’m writing this partly as a reminder never to take exultant, elevated, healthy highs for granted, because you just may fall on your ass.
I need to sort out thoughts about the coming year and beyond, and that’s another reason I’m looking forward to this 24-hour hamster-wheel ultra on new year’s eve—it’ll be a retreat of sorts.
Like the “super moon,” the course seemed unusually brilliant and exaggerated in its beauty. Little did I know on that blissful, escapist day that disaster would strike 36 hours later.
I wrote this post four years ago, in the fall of 2013, and am updating it since I revisited this cool urban run last week. Now that the entrance to Yerba Buena Island is open and links to Treasure Island, you can loop around there for a longer run!
A roundup of nifty products I discovered and used this year to better enjoy running and the outdoors.
I need to let go of longing for a supposedly better version of myself from years ago. Remember and celebrate all the things that this 2017 version of me did that the 2007 person couldn’t fathom.
The summer, I read about the West to deepen my understanding of Colorado, California and states in between—their history, culture, politics and myriad pressures. Rest assured, these books are good reads.
I spent ten months coaching two clients for the Grand to Grand Ultra and the Atacama Crossing. Here’s the outline of their training plans, and their stories of what the events were like, to show how to meet the myriad challenges of an ultra-long stage race—and, perhaps, to inspire your new year’s goals.
I hated the logic that I wanted to cover 100 miles so I could be done with 100 miles because I didn’t actually want to do the full 100 miles. Ugh, none of it made any sense.
The person who trained assiduously, whose every workout had a purpose and goal attained, who meticulously planned every piece of gear—that seems like another person, and she’s not here now.
A tribute to a trio of relatives—my grandmother, grandfather and great-uncle—who challenged themselves in the San Juan Mountains in mind-blowing ways that inspire me as a mountain runner.
I can’t recall how or why we started the new year with the “see ya Tuesday at 9 at the lake”—two ultra-distance trail runners meeting midweek for a paved, flat, easy loop. I needed a friend, a counselor, a reminder of the best, most humorous and resilient sides of the human spirit. Each Tuesday, we […]
Perhaps my fondest memory of the Mauna to Mauna Ultra was the experience of the oxymoronic “friendly competition” in the best, truest sense.
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It’s taper time, so I reflect on peak training for the Mauna to Mauna Ultra and share an exciting update about Free to Run.
“In this sport, there’s so much seriousness, so to see some fun is awesome.” I talked with Jamil Coury, Schuyler Hall and Michael Carson about how they blend comedy and ultrarunning for their YouTube channel.
Peak training involves increasing your training load and preparing very specifically for the conditions of your race. For multi-day, self-supported stage races, the preparation becomes more complex.
The book explores the “why” as well as the “how” of becoming a trail runner and graduating to ultras. It goes beyond showing how to achieve better trail-running performance. The chapters also convey the culture and ethos of the sport, and spotlight many notable characters in it.
Please learn about and support my campaign for Free to Run. Let’s help change parts of the world where women sorely need not just athletics, but basic rights and education, by using the power of running and recreational sports to bridge divides.
At the starting line, do you say it’s “just a training run”? Here’s how to use a race as an effective, deliberate training run to help fulfill a longer-term race goal.
Having spent the past two weeks developing several long-range training plans for clients, which span 16 to 24 weeks in preparation for a top-goal ultra, I thought I’d share the process and use my own training horizon for the Mauna to Mauna Ultra as an example.
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Some of you may have expected a UROY post in which I geek out about my Ultrarunner of the Year ballot picks like many esteemed blogging peers. I decided to write a middle-aged-mom diary entry instead with some real-life, empirically untested self-help tips.
During the last few weeks, people involved in this sport pulled me out of a funk and motivated me to run hard and with joy. I needed it.
My intention is not to advocate any strict nutritional plan, but rather, to share the process that worked for me, because I gave myself a nutritional tuneup and am happy to report it worked (for the most part … )
Could I successfully race for three days straight? Could the organizers pull off their idea for a trail-running “festival”? How the heck would they shuttle hundreds of runners for hours each day to trailheads on the edges of the national parks? Turns out, the transportation became a part of the adventure.
The pain numbed out. But suddenly something replaced the pain: a bright red, shiny wet spot seeping through my sock.
In spite of never running close to 100 miles before, and in spite of having his longest prior race nearly break his desire to run ultras, Tim ran such a strong and positive UTMB that he came from behind to place third overall. What can we learn from his performance?
You could call it “extreme fast trekking.” It’s hard to articulate how ridiculously slow and tough this mountain “running” is, but I’ll try.
I put off writing a race report because I felt the kind of turned-inside-out fatigue and brain fog that a new mother feels the week after giving birth.
I’m excited, but fear sneaks up on me. … Something unreal yet way too real happened that partially explains why I savor the purpose, focus, escapism and sense of control that preparing for the Western States 100 offers.
This post highlights key take-aways from the book—several of which I appreciate because they articulate and support my views on some topics that have generated controversy in our sport.
From my perspective as a child growing up in Ojai, the mountains that make up the Nordhoff Ridge always looked so big and far away. I could only reach them on horseback. On my last visit, I decided to step out of my comfort zone of running familiar streets and go up and along the […]
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I was nervous, not so much about the competition—which was out of my league, attracting the country’s top ultrarunners—but about how I’d do compared to my younger self.