Tamalpa Headlands 50K Race Report

On August 27, I ran the Tamalpa Headlands 50K as my goal race. This post has been in my head for a while and it's time to finally put it in writing; I think I struggled with this one because of how the training cycle ended.

Overall, my training cycle for this 50K didn't go very well. With each passing week, I continued to feel worse both physically and mentally. My body wasn't responding well to the training load laid out by my coach, and I was never, ever able to hit the speed work paces she gave me. With each of these 'failures' I became more discouraged about my ability to do well in the race or heck, to even run at all.

I tried very hard to act fine, but I wasn't. I decided to run the SF Marathon mostly because I didn't think I could muster a solo long run otherwise. This was a great decision and a big mental boost - I'm so glad I did it! Unfortunately, my discouraged state of mind returned quickly post-race. Even taking extra days off and skipping …

Bird Camp 2016 - California Edition

Bird Camp California was the second week of September at Monte Toyon, a camp in Aptos, CA. I loved spending a few days in the Redwood forest while connecting with both old and new friends. Oiselle started the 'Bird Camp' adventure in Bend, OR, in 2014, which I attended and absolutely loved. It was the first opportunity I had to meet many of the women, plus we had a chance to learn from the elite athletes and speakers knowledgeable in running, nutrition, and recovery. In 2015, I traveled to the Bird Camp in Leavenworth, WA, for a similar camp. The second year I knew many more people; it was awesome to see them again and to spend more time together.

This year, with the huge growth of the Volée and thousands of women across the country, the Bird Camps changed from one camp to a series of regional camps across the US. Volée regional leaders volunteered to organize these events, and it's enabled many more women to participate and to connect with runners in the community. It'…

SF Marathon 2016 Race Recap

On July 31, I ran the SF Marathon as a long training run for Tamalpa Headlands 50K. As you may know, I had not been planning to run SFM this year and changed my mind a little over a week before the race. This was basically the best decision ever - I had a fantastic day and ran really well! 
Leading up to the week of SFM, I was worried because my 50K training plan had burned me out pretty badly. I'd been feeling very low on energy and unmotivated on training runs. However, the idea of running SFM, which is my favorite marathon course, perked me up and I decided I should go for it. I mean, nothing else was making me excited to run anymore, what could it hurt?
This decision was made a little over a week before the marathon, enough time for Coach Sarah to change my schedule for the weekend before from a 24 mile trail run to an 18 mile trail run. This gave me a little bit of a taper into SFM while still getting me out on the trail for one more long run. Road and trail running are obvio…

Training Update & Race on Deck

Wow, the summer is flying by faster than I could have imagined. At this point I'm about 4.5 weeks out from my goal race, Tamalpa Headlands 50K, and I've been focused on this race goal since mid-May. The training cycle has been filled with epic trail runs, and I'm seriously enjoying the challenge, the views, and the training time with friends.

Tam Summit long run with Charity and Maili. (Photo credit: Maili)
The big difference this time around is that it's my first time working with a coach for any distance; I've been learning a lot and working harder toward a single goal race than I ever have in the past. Usually I struggle to focus on a goal and instead sign up for way too many races, therefore becoming overwhelmed with my schedule. Now that I've swung the opposite way, I miss the race energy and I'm feeling the pressure of one major 'goal' hanging over my head. My sweet spot is likely somewhere in between the two, which I will keep in mind going f…

Olympic Trials 2016 - What a Week!

The Olympic Track and Field Trials happened during the first week of July, and I was lucky enough to make the trip to Eugene, OR, to spectate and cheer for the athletes. It was fantastic! The energy in Eugene was high, and we constantly ran into Olympic-hopefuls (some now Olympians) while running in the area. 
I headed to Eugene on the evening of July 2, so I missed the first couple of racing days including events I wanted to watch, the Women's 10K and 800m prelims. That decision was due to wanting my 22 mile long run to be on home trails before flying out, and that really did make my life easier with regards to my 50K training plan. Marilyn picked me up from the airport when I landed, and we headed back to our house to meet up with the rest of the crew. I stayed with an awesome group of ladies I met via Oiselle: Marilyn, Tara, Kaleigh, Krysta, and Lynn. Marilyn's husband, Travis, joined us for a few days too.
This is a tough one to recap - at least in one post - but I'll …