Endurance and Fight or Flight

Endurance training today for four hours and I have to talk about the dog owners around. Part of an endurance runner you have planned how to fuel and hydrate for the amount of calories you are using. I am a dog lover for sure but your little FiFi should be on a leash or behind a fence. That is the law after all. When I go out for a four hour run and know I have the rough winds to run against let me tell you what happens to my sympathetic nervous system when FiFi is biting at my ankles and you can’t run to catch her but your reassuring me that she is a sweet dog. Your sweet dog just waisted unnecessary energy from me. My heart rate rises which causes my fight or flight system to take over. The sympathetic nervous system uses nerve pathways to initiate reactions in the body, and the adrenal-cortical system uses the bloodstream. The combined effects of these two systems are the fight-or-flight response. When the hypothalamus tells the sympathetic nervous system to kick into gear, the overall effect is that the body speeds up, tenses up and becomes generally very alert. The combined effects of these two systems are the fight-or-flight response.The sympathetic nervous system sends out impulses to glands and smooth muscles and tells the adrenal medulla to release epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) into the bloodstream. These “stress hormones” cause several changes in the body, including an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. The sudden flood of epinephrine, norepinephrine and dozens of other hormones causes changes in the body that include:
heart rate and blood pressure increase
pupils dilate to take in as much light as possible
veins in skin constrict to send more blood to major muscle groups (responsible for the “chill” sometimes associated with fear — less blood in the skin to keep it warm)
blood-glucose level increases
muscles tense up, energized by adrenaline and glucose (responsible for goose bumps — when tiny muscles attached to each hair on surface of skin tense up, the hairs are forced upright, pulling skin with them)
smooth muscle relaxes in order to allow more oxygen into the lungs
nonessential systems (like digestion and immune system) shut down to allow more energy for emergency functions
trouble focusing on small tasks (brain is directed to focus only on big picture in order to determine where threat is coming from)
So please from all the runners I know…….keep FiFi away from me either leashed, chained or fenced! I now carry pepper spray and use it liberally. I truly appreciate your help on this!

Recovery Day Post 60 miles

My body tells me when to stop and take a deep breath.  I worked eight hours all day and was on my feet 99% of the time.  My workout was starting to catch up to me.  I left work and went to see Robin.  She is  a miracle worker who I was blessed to find one year ago.  She is a massage therapist and a pro in essential oils.  She works out all the lactic acid out of my body.  I feel liked a whipped noodle when I leave her.  I am a true believer in massage.  I see her weekly and she massages me differently every time.  Most grateful that she is in my life.  I have a busy schedule planned for the weekend so I will be up and ready for Fantastic Friday!  Remember, recovery is just as important as the workout!

“Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from you own actions.”  Dali Lama

Exercise Motivation

Motivation to work out comes from within.  You must realize that it is a healthy choice for your body.  It cleanses your spirit, revitalizes your mind, and shapes your muscles.  Exercise prepares you to commit to something good for yourself.  It is all for you and about you.  I ran today and completed a speed workout.  I then had a lesson with Dr. Thea and lifted heavy weights.  I took a bubble bath when I came home and I feel refreshed and successful.  Working out prepares you for the hard times in life.  It is something that takes effort but pays off in the end.  It is a gift to yourself with all the benefits!

“Ability is what you are capable of doing.  Motivation determines what you do.  Attitude determines how well you do it.”  Lou Hotly

Always be prepared for, “Plan B”

Ultra running mimics life in my eyes.  When race day comes you don’t know how the weather is going to be, how you slept the night before, or how your body feels about running 100 miles that day.  I have had many occurrences happen in life where the plan just was not going the way it was written!  You must deal with what is given to you.  My first 100 mile race in Florida it rained for 9 hours.  I had not been prepared for that and the things I learned from that race!  I still won my age group, and was in the top 15 woman finishers.  I now know to bring a rain coat, extra shoes, and a good hat to keep the water off my face.  Learn that if your plan doesn’t work for you  that day, learn from the lesson  and still challenge yourself  allowing  your instincts to lead you.  Go for it!!!

Running Shoes

Everyone asks me about the shoes I wear.  First, during the 100 mile race I change my shoes about 4 times.  Second, you need to train on the shoe you are racing in.  Everyone has a different foot and the feel in the shoe at the end of the training should be your best judgement of how well the shoe performed.  I started with Muzuno,  tried several Acics and ended in Brooks every time.  I have been running exclusively in brooks until I purchased a new shoe called Altra zero drop.  I have been running on this shoe for two weeks and love it!  The concept of this shoe is it is flat and a lot of room for the toes.  My body felt great during the run and the next day for my recovery run.  I am running large volume of miles right now so the shoe is a huge choice.  I am sold.  We will see how it holds out in my up coming race in 7 weeks!  I’m so excited!!!!


Endurance Fueling for Ultra runners

This has been the hardest quest I have encountered on my long runs.  Trying every possible drink, fluids, salts, and foods everyone has recognized.  What I have realized is it is different for everyone out there.  I know how many carbs I’m burning per hour with the weather regulating but what works best for me has been trial and error.  I have finally figured out what I need and when to ingest without the stomach upset.  I find high fats {avocado, olive oil, peanut butter} work well for me.  I stay away from bread, sugar and complex carbs.  I find that fat is my major fuel depending on ketones more than carbs.  I also throw protein every few hours in either by drink or after 60 miles I get hungry and tuna works wonders for me.   I am constantly drinking water with electrolytes.  Train with what works good for you….you’ll know.  Ultra athletes have many different ideas about what works best for them and my suggestion to you is to experiment yourself.  If your using high carbs in training then high carbs is good for racing!  Good Luck!!!!  Remember, you are who you are and so is your stomach!

Triple Play

I have a three day weekend!!!! Yeah!!!  Going for a two hour run tomorrow, three on Saturday, three on Sunday!  Looking forward to the  endurance challenge!  Many hills and vitamin D!  Just getting back to connecting with nature is so important to me.  It seems to bring life back to my soul.  A reconnection to the oneness of all life. Running outside in the sun seems to quiet me, and all other life in nature is intensified.  The Earth has a spirit that connects to our souls.  When I run, my spirit is no longer at the mercy of my body.  I am free…for a short time.

“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Roman 8:4


I had learned to surf at a surfing camp in Costa Rica four years ago.  I remember being pushed out on a wave that was way past my ability to ride.  I got up on it anyway, made the mistake of doubting my ride and looked up.  Suddenly, I was enclosed and taken by the wave and from there was carried what is called, “the washing machine” out to the deepest of the ocean.  Confused and needing air, I tried to push up but the bottom of the ocean was not there.  I instantly went threw all the graces I’d been given in my life.  I ‘d realized my girls were grown and did not need me anymore. I had made a promise to God when they were small to just let me live to be a mother to them until they are grown.  That time had come and gone.  I was needing to breath and didn’t know what was up or down, and I was probably going to die.  A warm feeling came over me of surrender.   I gave up my will and subjected my thoughts, ideas, and deeds to my higher power.  I was ok with surrendering. I felt grateful that I had the years I had prayed for and then some.   Just as that feeling rushed threw my body, I somehow found the leash on my leg and climbed the rope to my board…..My time had not come.  My path is still being made although I still have surrendered.  I am not in the lead.


I have just started working out with a, “heart rate monitor variability device.”  This gives me information on how rested my body is everyday.  It helps me realize how I will train on that day whether it is   high intensity or a lighter measurement.  I have 9 weeks running and I am entered in another one hundred mile marathon.  This puts stress on my thoughts for the need for more training.  We have to accept on a daily basis that we are not in control of our life.  We are lead everyday to make choices, some good, some not so good.  Ultimately, you must let go and allow the acceptance of your desires to be lead in a positive way.  I try and do this everyday but in reality it must be done every minute.  I will train moderate today, with a four hour easy run.  I will meditate and be grateful that today God has given me another day to learn my path.  I will allow my body to recover as long as it takes.  I will accept it has not recovered fully.

“Understanding is the first step to Acceptance. and Only with Acceptance there can be Recovery.”  Sandra Kathleen Rawling


I read all sorts of articles on training for endurance, speed, strength, and recovery.   It is said that with each year you age you loose one pound of muscle mass just from having another birthday.   Running is a natural sport although challenging in many ways.  The articles don’t tell you as an, “aging adult elite athlete”, you must spend extra time in maintaining your muscle mass that regular aging destroys if not challenged.  I figured this out after my first Ultra marathon three years ago. I love running but  weight lifting is so challenging to me.  The affects that I receive from weight lifting give me balance, muscle definition and strength, and it allows my gait to stay stable.   Then comes the mental alertness that follows after the strength training session.!  I lift weights five days a week.  I feel this is so important in prevention of injury.  I like the results that I see from the effort!  So it is not that I work so hard just  to run a distance.  I am working extra hard to prevent injury,  to slow the aging process in my muscles, and show that no matter your age, you have the strength to go on.