Lisa Runs on Ramen

— running 26.2 and having foodie adventures too!


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Countdown to 20in24 Lone Ranger Run, winning prizes and local races

I have the Back on My Feet 20in24 Lone Ranger race this week, on 7/20! I am running for 12 of the 24 hours due to work the next day, but I am grateful for this chance to still run with my friends. I am humbled and thankful for all my supporters who have generously donated to my cause, and as of this week I have raised $530 for Back on My Feet. Over the past two years, I have raised over $2000 for Back on My Feet as as FundRacer! It is an amazing organization that uses running as a vehicle to help the homeless regain self-sufficiency. If their residential members (individuals experiencing homelessness) attend 90% of practices, they are connected with housing assistance and job placement assistance.

I have run this race for the past two years, and it is one of my favorite races because it was the first time I had ever run 76 miles in 24 hours back in 2011. It was a transformative and unforgettable experience. Below is one of my favorite photos from the 2012 edition, with my friends Otto and Michelle. My goal is to run 50 miles in under 11 hours, then work the next day!

lonerangers

I feel like I trained well for this race, and it will be a great stepping stone for my Bear 100 preparations. In the past few weeks, I have completed the Oakley New York Mini 10K (time was 53:46), the Portugal Day run 5-miler (43:48), the Front Runners Gay Pride Run 5-miler (44:21), the Governor’s Island Get Outside 10K (new PR of 49:55), and I paced my friend Juergen for 26 miles of his first 100-miler (The Greater NY 100). I had so much fun seeing my Dashing Whippets male teammates dressing up to cheer on us ladies for the Mini 10K, and I loved running with my friends Shamz, Leong, Peter and Carol on Governor’s Island.  I know I am ready!

I am a bit worried about the hot weather (NYC is experiencing a heat wave right now), but I just need to hydrate properly and adjust my pace according to how my body is feeling.

I also had some amazing luck with contests lately, and I just wanted to thank Elizabeth at Running and the City, Enlightened Ice Cream, and Skechers Performance for giving me some amazing prizes!

I won a Twitter contest through Running and the City, where I said that if I won the prize of a month’s supply of Enlightened ice cream, I would use it as motivation to train for the Bear 100. Out of dozens of tweets submitted, mine was chosen as the winner and two weeks later, 8 boxes of healthy Enlightened ice cream (in flavors of Fudge, orange cream, and coffee, yum!) showed up on my doorstep! Thank you thank you!

I also entered a Facebook contest for a Skechers Performance/ Meb Keflezighi (elite marathoner) prize pack worth $650. I entered it without much thought, and I received an email a week later saying that I won! The prize pack included a Garmin Forerunner 10, Oakley Flak Jacket sunglasses, a Sony Walkman Meb mp3 player, UCAN product, a box of Krave turkey jerky, Powerbar product, CEP compression socks, Meb’s book “Run to Overcome” and Skechers running shoes!  It was the best raffle prize I ever received. Thanks so much, Skechers and the raffle gods! Now I have even more motivation to train my best.

Dashing Whippets at the Oakley Mini 10K

Dashing Whippets at the Oakley Mini 10K

Get Outside Governor's Island 10K
Get Outside Governor’s Island 10K

Front Runners Pride Run 5-miler

Front Runners Pride Run 5-miler


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Hot weather running: North Face DC 50K

June was one of my busiest racing months, and also turned out to be a very gratifying month as I got to volunteer and see many of my running friends.

I ended up running the New York Mini 10K the second week of June, then the Portugal Day 5-miler on Father’s Day, and volunteering at the Back on My Feet Birthday Bash, all of which I’ll write about soon! Before all of that, I ran my 2nd ultra in two weeks, the North Face DC 50K.

On May 31, I made a quick trip to Burke, VA to see my friend Diane and run the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K with Shane. In the days before the race, the forecasts indicated temperatures of 90F and higher. Ouch! I don’t do well running in the heat, but that took some of the pressure off because I had just run a 50-miler (and PR’ed) the week before! I knew the heat would force me to run slower, which was fine by me.

Diane was doing the team relay, and kindly hosted us before our 5am wake up call for the 7am start on Saturday, June 1. Diane had already picked up our bibs so we didn’t have to worry about that. Thanks, Diane! I was a bit tired at the start, but once we started lining up I got excited about running on trails again. I ran the 50-miler and loved it last year.

waiting for the bus to Algonkian National Park

waiting for the bus to Algonkian State Park

Me and Shane at the start

Me and Shane at the start

This year, they were screenprinting North Face tech shirts again, and SmartWool was a sponsor so we all got SmartWool running socks in our race packets. I love their socks–I run in them a lot during marathons and ultras.

Thanks once again to Team Refuel and Got Chocolate Milk? for sponsoring me for this race!

At 7am, the race started, and I was already sweating at the very beginning. It was mostly singletrack trail, and the course was very packed with about 450 starters for the 50K. My friends who were running the 50-miler already started at 5am! I was looking forward to seeing them at the turnaround points. Shane ran with me for about 2.5 hours, and I was glad for the company because I actually ran out of water between the Frazier and Great Falls stations (between miles 7-13), and he gave me some! I drink a ton of water regardless but it was even more apparent on this hot day. I carried a handheld bottle, and while it was more comfortable than a Camelbak, it didn’t carry enough fluids.

I felt pretty good for the first portion of the race, and it was really cool seeing Charlie Engel (of “Running the Sahara” documentary fame) volunteering at one of the aid stations.

Here were the pros and cons running through my head during the race:

Pros:

-fantastic course, not too technical but with just enough hills to keep it interesting.

-a bunch of my friends were running!

– good race schwag and nice medal

Cons:

–Extremely hot weather–temperatures reached 95F

– Aid station staples have changed since last year–they switched over from Nuun (good) to Clif Shot electrolyte brew (tastes like medicine), and potatoes were uncooked! They were just dipped in water! They also didn’t have as much fruit as in previous years (I remembered nectarines and oranges but I just recall bananas this year). Most upsetting for me was that only one aid station had PB&J sandwiches, which I depend on. They did have Clif bars, but those are too heavy for my stomach.

Back to the course–my favorite part is a rocky climb up Great Falls, which offers a spectacular view of the Potomac River. It is a hard section–50K people do it once, but 50-milers have to do this section 3 times.

As the sun got higher in the mid-afternoon, I started to feel more and more fatigued. Thankfully, about 75% of the course was shaded so I was grateful for that.

Representing Team Refuel!

Representing Team Refuel

View of the Potomac River during the 50K

View of the Potomac River during the 50K

I saw Jessica, Paul, Mary, Hideki, Keila, Joe and Stephen all running the 50-miler. It was great cheering them on.

The last 10 miles were really tough–my glycogen stores were depleted at this point and it was the hottest part of the day. I rationed my water (which was unfortunate, you should be able to drink as much as you want) because Shane was no longer running with me and I had no back-up plan if I ran out of water. I saw a bunch of people stopped by the side of the trail, dehydrated. I asked if they were ok and they just waved me on.

The funniest thing I heard during the race was a comment from a fellow park-goer: “Wow, these people look like they’re in the Hunger Games!” Haha…we did look pretty haggard.

I also saw fellow Team Refuel member Evy Gonzales doing the 26.2! It was great seeing a familiar face.

The last 5 miles I pushed hard and barely stopped. I just wanted to reach the finish line as soon as possible, and even though I was sweating I felt like I was ok in terms of energy stores. I also had to rush back and catch the 6pm bus back to NYC.

As I approached the finish line,

I thought about Diane, Shane, and all my friends back home who thought I was crazy for running in this heat. I had to agree with them. I was SO close to earning a sub-7:00 finish, a personal best for a trail 50K (previous best was 8:45 for the Bear Mountain 50K).

I crossed the finish in a time of 6:59:37!

Overall, I was 195/430 finishers, 10/32 in the F20-29 age group, and 50/166 out of all females. I was really happy with my performance in the wilting heat.

As soon as I finished, Shane found me at the finish line, and I congratulated Keila, who had just finished an amazing 3rd place in the 50-miler. Shane made me lie down in the shade and helped me with my shoes and socks so my feet could breathe. I try to never lie down after a race, and I’ve only done it twice before, after a VERY hot Mad Marathon in Vermont in July (temps in the 80s) and the Chicago Marathon in 2007 (88F temps). My body was just spent.

After I recuperated, I found Diane and friends with their team in the shade. I also enjoyed some free coconut milk ice cream by one of the sponsors, So Delicious ice cream. It was pretty good! They were also giving out a free Klean Kanteen metal water bottle, which made my day. Best of all, there was Hawaiian-style shaved ice for sale at the finish, and I forked over the $4 for my big heaping cup of ice. It was just what I needed!

Lisa post-finish

Lisa post-finish

Lisa with her DC/VA friends

Lisa with her DC/VA friends

So Delicious Coconut Milk  ice cream post-race, yum!

So Delicious Coconut Milk ice cream post-race, yum!

Lisa and a cold post-race treat

Lisa and a cold post-race treat

I have to thank Diane’s dad for helping me and Shane get back safely to Union Station post-race to catch the bus back to NYC. He was a life saver. Shane and I got some Thai food on the way back and brought it onto the bus. Most importantly, we got ice-cold Thai iced teas, which I had been craving the entire race! I was just thankful that all my friends raced safely in the heat. Hot weather running is no joke!