Friday, October 17, 2014

5 Things Friday

1. This
true.  all true.
2. During the 50k last weekend my left knee got a sharp pain that of course cleared up during recovery. As soon as I felt it, I checked the garmin and found that the pain started at 26.66 miles exactly. So now that will be known as the demonic knee.

3. This week has been all recovery with a slight hint of mania. Lots of yoga and I got to swim last night. 2100 yards nearly made my arms fall off. I can't wait to get my swim volume back up. It felt great last night. Give me moar!

4. I'm not signed up for any more races right now. How long do you think that will last?

5. Evil Genius broke my lotus yesterday after finishing my yoga practice. Really, we are both wearing shorts here.

Kids really do watch everything we do

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Stuff Wednesday

I made an incredible new salsa the other day, I'm calling it the One-of-everything salsa. The garden tomatoes have dried up, so I had to use the last of them plus a couple of store bought tomatoes and an onion. Everything else came straight from the garden.

All the hot peppers

Everything else

Finished product
I started with 1 of each of the following hot peppers - ghost, Carib red, habanero, jalepeno - all fresh from the garden (top pic). Then I threw in half an onion, a few small tomatoes, a banana pepper from a friend's garden, and some lime juice (middle picture). Then I took the stick blender to it, and everything liquified nicely.  Pretty amazing, actually. Most of my salsas get hot, but not really "make you cry" hot. This time I had tears.  it was so good. Wouldn't be a bad idea to throw some herbs in there too.

Actually smiling for a picture!

New Skirt
Kelley really got her handy on this weekend and churned out 3 skirts, including this maxi skirt for the Evil Genius. Sewing with knit is not easy, and sewing horizontal stripes isn't easy either but this really turned out to be adorable.  Now Kelley wants to make an adult-sized one!

New Hoka's!
A new pair of Hoka One-One's came in today! I found these Stinson Tarmac's on sale at LeftLane for under a hundred bucks, and they actually ended up cheaper than the other pair of Mizuno's I was thinking about buying.  These might actually be more comfortable than the Mafate's I just used for the 50k.  These are road shoes, and the Mafate's are trail shoes. Since you can put about 700 miles on these things, and I've got 2 pairs now I should be good for about another 1300 miles, or another year. Kind of comforting knowing I won't have to buy new running shoes until next fall.

Monday, October 13, 2014

New River Trail 50k Done!

Virginia ended up being state #7 on my 50 state list, and a trail ultra seemed like a good way to go here. Turns out I was right, this race was a blast! I found the New River Trail 50k online, the race site was about 3 hours outside of Raleigh so it looked like an easy drive, and the time of year and course description seemed perfect.  Go for it. I got nothing else going on October 11.

Friday night I headed up to Galax Va, hit some pretty bad traffic around Winston, so it took almost 4 hours to get there. Still the crappy cheap hotel I found turned out to be pretty decent for the price. Saturday I got up about 6:30, got some breakfast and headed out to the race site. Both friday night and saturday morning it was pouring down rain.  And driving up there, you had no doubts about being in the Virginia mountains! Suddenly I was doubting the course description of "flat".

Saturday morning at the Rodeway Inn in Galax. Pouring rain.
Pouring rain is perfect marathon weather right? The trails should be nice and muddy. The race start was at 8 am, and since the course was a rail-to-trail conversion route it was actually really flat. But that rain meant that I wasn't going to carry my phone on the course, so I have very few pictures for the recap.

Trail races are very low key. I opted to register without paying for the shirt, so the only swag was a sponsors water bottle. I got that and my bib and that was it.  No finishers medal or other finishers gear either. I showed up with some Hoka One-One's, and I left with dirty Hoka's and a water bottle.  I did see my fried Tammie Massey at the start, and there was plenty of other friendly people to talk to as well. The regional trail ultra community is small and tight-knit, so you are always going to find a friendly face at these races.

The New River is actually very old

Registration tents behind the parking lot

Trail beard is starting to show up

totally skeptical face about the conditions for the day
Found out that the rain was supposed to stop about 8 am, which was also the race start time. Sure enough, there was a downpour during the pre-race instructions and it stopped just in time for the countdown to the race start.  10 seconds of dry was all it took and we were off and running!

I don't have all of my mile splits pulled off of the Garmin yet, but I knocked out that first mile in only 8:06.  My plan was to keep around a 9 minute to 9:30 pace for as long as I could, so I knew I was going to pay for that one later. I tried to slow down, but the course was absolutely beautiful, and I was just casually going along and talking with other runners, and kept losing track of the pace.  The first 5 miles were all under 9 minutes. One guy was doing this as his first ultra after doing 4 road marathons recently, and I told him to plan on taking 1 minute per mile slower than his road pace. So here I was breaking my own rules. Eventually we did hit that first aide station (they were every 5 miles) and I got down to a more comfortable pace after that.

Does a bear shit in the woods? I had to step off of the trail for a bit at mile 12, and every trail runner knows exactly what that means.  Small trail races mean you can look around and see nobody running in front of you, and nobody behind you, and you've got the entire trail to yourself.  So of course, while I was "off the trail", 3 runners came by without spotting me but as soon as I emerged onto the trail again there was a very attractive girl running by. Totally busted. She had a good laugh at my expense.  Hey, it happens.  We ended up talking a while later and she was really nice.

I hit the 13.1 split at almost exactly 2 hours, right on pace. At 16.3 miles there was an aide station at the turnaround point, then we just had to get back to the start/finish line. (there was a spur after the mile 5 aide station so the main turnaround point was more than halfway through the total race distance. No spur on the way back). Around mile 18 I had some nipple chafing issues that were starting to get painful, so I took off my shirt.  Since the bib was pinned to my shirt I tucked it into the bottle holder belt I was also wearing and kept on going. Mind you, it was only about 60* and sometimes kind of raining, so that was barely more comfortable than bleeding nipples.

I hit the 4 hour mark at exactly the 24 mile marker. Then put my marathon split at 4:27:22, almost exactly 1 minute per mile slower than the 4 hour marathon speed I felt trained for, which was perfect. And at this point most of the miles were around 11 to 13 minutes each, so it was kind of a shuffle for up to a quarter mile between walks. I felt as good as I expected to feel (which was pretty rough), and still holding my own. Those last 5 miles were really tough though.

Hitting the finish line was very special. It started raining in earnest again while I was in mile 30. I was ready to collapse by the time I hit the finish line.  It was quite a beautiful sight.

The course was amazingly beautiful. Fall has come to the mountains of Virginia. The changing leaves, the big New River, there was even about a 10' waterfall in sight. It was a flat and very fast course, but the rains left it really muddy. Most of it was double track with packed screenings, making for a very soft surface.  Almost too soft, like running in black packed sand. I tend to not repeat destination races, but this is one that I would certainly consider doing again. It was truly well organized and just beautiful. Hats off to the race directors and all of the volunteers and other racers.

Dirt on the one leg

31.13 miles in 5:28:19. pretty sweet.

Rep'd the AAA team

how I hit the finish: shirtless and cold

That river water was a nice ice bath

had to wash off my legs and let the feet heal

The other leg - black sandy dirty

Selfie in a river

Beautiful day, beautiful river!
If you're in the mood for some mountain trail running, put this race on your list. It was a big hit from this end.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Will Travel for Yoga

Good news! I have been selected as an ambassador for Yoga Travel Tree! This is an amazing site where you can book international yoga retreats. And if you are interested in going on a yoga retreat, use the discount code "jflynn" to get $100 off! I'm going to add a graphic to the sidebar with the code.  Hopefully I'll be able to do some other nice giveaways too.

I first found Yoga Travel Tree on twitter, and I've been drooling over the retreats ever since. They are going on everywhere, and include accommodations & food as well. I've got my eye on Costa Rica for a week.  sometime. eventually.

The best part about these might be the food. Some of them include all you can eat healthy foods too. Local fruits and veggies in abundance. bring it on!

The site also has plenty of other tips about yoga, from the pose of the week to teacher training. I'm going to write some for the site as well if I can ever get something down on paper. But this has certainly helped my practice. I've been on the mat a lot since Rev3 CP. It has helped me regain focus and feel balanced as I walk away from ironman triathlons.  A whole new appreciation for my Ashtanga practice and my regular time on the mat.  So check out the site and drool over the retreats. Then sign up if you want!

My crow pose is coming along nicely!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Werdless Wednesday

Selfie on a beautiful fall day in NC!

Kelley has been sewing again. She made this super cute headband.  Notice Evil Genius' photobomb.

Kelley also made this skirt. It's seriously adorable.

Totes adorbs!

There's a ghost on my ghost pepper plant!

Ghosts in the garden! The kids are decorating the yard for Halloween already and loving it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Immediate Contradiction

Last night it was our turn to host the tribe meeting for Evil Genius's Indian Princess tribe. This year instead of doing a regular meeting most of them are being held somewhere else.

Ella put on my vest.  goofball!

Not coincidentally, I finally replaced the battery in the bathroom scale over the weekend. This meant that my first MMNW (monday morning naked weight) since the spring was going to be terrifying anyway.

Since I haven't done a MMNW in a while, I think that around Rev3 CP race day I was sitting around 175. I know how those pants should fit. Real racing weight should be closer to 170, though I'll take 175 whenever I can get it. The comfort zone is 175 to 180, and anything over 185 is cause to start a weight loss phase. 

Typically I put on about 20 lbs right after an Ironman. This MMNW came in at 185.8 lbs and 22.1% bodyfat, so let's start counting those calories and cut out the meat, k?

Naturally, then, we hosted the Indian Princess meeting at our local Krispy Kreme. Each dad/daughter pair got 4 doughnuts to decorate, and Kelley wanted me to pick up another box while I was there just to have some to bring home.  This is not too bad.

Good turnout!

The kids all loved watching the doughnuts on the line

EG loved the decorating
I think we pulled off a pretty successful meeting! Everybody had fun and we didn't drive the doughnut makers crazy. And they got a special "doughnut decorator" patch for the vests!

And I only ate 1 doughnut. The rest of the day was really healthy portions of really healthy food, so I feel ok about it. Back under 180 in no time! 'nuts and all.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Camping with EG

What happens when you put an Evil Genius in the woods? Mayhem will surely ensue. We might burn down a state park - you never know exactly what is going to happen, but there will be tears.  Last weekend was the annual camping trip for EG's Indian Princess tribe. Last year was her first time camping with the tribe, and she had a blast.  However, after getting stung by a bee a few months ago, she's been pretty shy around nature.

That's putting it mildly. She's terrified to go outside at all now. So the thought of sleeping outside was out of the question.  We had to bring the veggies for Saturday night's dinner, and she negotiated it down to only 2 hours of being at the campsite on Saturday. We're trying this new "guilt" thing now that she's old enough to understand reasoning. So that meant I was going to hold her to the deal that she had set.  We got there and I didn't setup the tent or anything. We just unpacked the food and started having fun.

She grocery shops in footy pajamas and giant sunglasses

Fanning the flames off camping fun

hanging with my little girl
After the campfire got rolling, we started cooking.  I make up potatoes, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and hot peppers in foil packets, and there had to be enough to feed 20 people. Took a lot of time over that campfire, but soon enough they were stacking burgers and dogs on there too.  Everybody had enough to eat and I think it all turned out great! Soon enough it was dark and we were making s'mores.  I think EG liked roasting the marshmallows more than eating them.

Of course, after s'mores it was time for us to head back home.  And once she got out playing with her friends and having fun by the campfire, she didn't want to go home! Imagine that. But we had a deal and she had to stick with what we had agreed to, so she cried the whole way home. :(

Sunday morning led to more guilt. With the EG, we tell her to do something, she says no, it ends in crying and sometimes that gets her out of it sometimes she cries during it. Apparently with this whole guilt thing when she chose to take 2 hours to brush her teeth and eat breakfast, it still led to crying. This time it was because we got back to the campsite just as everyone else was packing up. Fortunately a few people were still going to the local beach, so we got in on that action even though we missed building and decorating the torches for the Fall Outing in a few weeks.

Seriously, everything you can ever do with that child ends in crying.  it's like having a 7 year old newborn.

We did not bring a change of clothes.  didn't anticipate the beach.

I think I know where this is heading

yep, there it is.

The lifejackets really helped her feel more safe
Overall there wasn't much actual camping. But there was a lot of fun. We had a good time getting together with everyone and spending some time in nature. I got to tell a few ironman stories and some yoga preaching. EG got to