11. Get Over the Fear. They’re Back. Excitement.

Thank you thank you for all of your help yesterday in the comments.  I bought a few of the things you recommended (and will be getting more soon), subscribed to many podcasts/websites that you told me about and I’ll be referring back to all of your tips often.  I think the key to staying motivated with running races is doing the distance/races that excite YOU at each stage of life.  Ultras excite me right now and that excitement is what will get me out of bed in the mornings to train when I’m exhausted and it is dark and cold this winter.

Also—>  Pringles, pb & j, fries, candy, flat coke all eaten while running… I was made for trail races;)  My coach frowned upon me eating those things as my fuel during my long runs in marathon training but now they are suggested wahoo!  Learning how to eat these things while running is going to be interesting though.

Somehow Skye knew that I was ‘sleeping in’ yesterday and not leaving early for a run because she woke up much earlier than usual ready to party.

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We got Brooke off to school..

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Played and ate before she was ready for a nap.

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Nano cheers.  Caffeine is necessary for me when running later on in the day.  I don’t take it early in the mornings but running after kid stuff = caffeine need.

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We put Skye down and headed out (my mom was with Skye while she was napping).  I took Andrew on some trails that I get lost on each and every time I go (but always find a way to get down the mountain again;).  It was my first time ever not getting lost on them because Andrew has a crazy sense of direction.  Another excellent skill for our training together.

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First snow we’ve seen! I’m sure during a few weeks of training when it is snowing like crazy we will be doing a lot more on the roads and treadmill and get into the mountains as much as we can.

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900 feet of elevation gain over the 11 miles along with a few breathing breaks where I stopped my watch.

Time to get back on the recovery train with my BCAAs and R8 roller.

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This is what the course elevation looks like for the 50 miler.  The majority of climbing is in the first 20 miles so we are planning on a lot of walking during the uphill portions.  The red dots are the aid stations along the way and our time goal for this is to finish before the cut-off time of 12.5 hours:)  We will be happy with whatever time we get if we can come in under that.

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My mom also reminded me that I need to get over my buffalo fear for this race because I’m sure we will see plenty of them over the 50 miles.

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PS at night we’ve been watching a bunch of youtube videos about trail running and that has gotten us even more excited.

Skye woke up and joined me in stretching and prolonging a shower from happening;)

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Fast forward many hours and we went to grab some Christmas lights at Costco that were on sale and the pizza sounded so good.  The idea of not having to clean up the kitchen after dinner sounded even better so we went for it.  PS our food bill is going to probably go up big time over the next few months with both Andrew and me in ultra training.

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THEY ARE BACK.  These for dessert.  Oreos by themselves aren’t really a favorite of mine but if they are covered in dark chocolate then they are a favorite.

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Later on Brookester wasn’t feeling good so we kept things pretty laid back and watched a movie.  Hopefully it is a little bug and she is back to herself this morning!

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Some good news… every box is officially unpacked as of yesterday.  Skye thoroughly enjoyed climbing in and out of this one.

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Random question—>  With strength training, do you have one side that is stronger than the other?

-I was doing side planks and the planks with my right arm on the ground felt so much easier than on my left side.

When was the last time you were sick?  What did you have?

Oreos… delicious or pass? 

Weirdest/best/non-gel thing you’ve ever eaten WHILE running?

-I used to take little Halloween packs of Swedish Fish with me during my long runs and I think I need to bring that back.

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71 comments

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I don’t know if one side is stronger than the other, but I’ve been doing some PT lately, and I learned how weak my hips are. :/ Apparently I don’t use them very much when I run.

I’ve used gummy bears as fuel for runs, and they are perfect.

Hope Brooke feels better soon! And hope that you have a great day, my friend!

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Oh thank you Natalie, she woke up feeling much better. I agree, gummy bears are perfect fuel for the run. I don’t use mine very much either… time to work on it with you. Have a great Thursday!

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My headphones soapbox: When you and Andrew are running together what do you wear the airbuds? Earlier this year I went on a group run while traveling and every single person (but me) was wearing headphones. I understand wearing them while alone, but I like to talk to my hubby when we run together. That, and the last time I ran trails with headphones a cougar surprised me crossing my path. They are so stealth I probably wouldn’t have heard it anyway, but I like to be extra cautious in the trails now just the same. – off the soapbox

No strength training here. Maybe one day…

I had the flu in early January. Even with the flu shot! But too Tamiflu and recovered quickly after that.

Oreos… delicious if they are the double stuff. Triple stuff would be perfect. I cannot buy them because I will eat them (I mean ALL of them).

While running I sometimes use raisins instead of energy gels. When I first started doing half marathons (2001) I used gummy bears. When I first started doing marathons (2003) I used PB&J sandwiches.

Stock up on your fish Halloween packs now before they’re gone (if they’re not gone already)!

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I love that soapbox! We wore them for a few of the miles that were really hard with ups and talking wasn’t possible… I was also up ahead of Andrew for a little while and would come back to him. Andrew needed some tunes to keep him going so I put mine in too. When we were together and not climbing we were talking:) Hahah I totally agree that triple stuff would be the best version of oreos! Great idea on the gummy bears. Thanks so much Tonya and I hope you are having a great day!

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My right side is definitely stronger than my other, but for some reason, it’s also my right side hip that is always tighter when running. Weird, isn’t it?

Knock on wood, I haven’t been sick for a while but my kiddos have had a lingering upper respiratory virus for a little while now. I can’t wait for a night not filled with coughing! On the topic of sick kids, mine are still young so we haven’t yet really had to battle the stomach bug, it’s weird but that is like my biggest anxiety is them getting the stomach bug. As an experienced mom, how do you handle something so gross??? Tips please!

I LOVE oreos and need to go to Trader Joe’s to stock up. I also need to pick up some hot chocolate cereal, which was my biggest pregnancy craving this time last year.

Have a great day Janae!

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That is really weird… We’ve got to figure this out! I am right there with you on the stomach bug… I have been lucky. When I was a single mama Brooke never threw up except for ONCE into a bowl! Now with Andrew he completely takes over the cleanup because it doesn’t even phase him (he says it is nothing compared to what he see’s in the hospital). I have zero advice because it is disgusting haha. The problem is going to come when it happens while he is at work. I FORGOT ABOUT THAT CEREAL. I need it too. Thanks, you too!

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Hey there, not related to today’s questions, but I highly recommend the both of you volunteer at an Ultra…it’s such an amazing experience and will only fuel your fire…it’s also a great way to get more involved in your ultra community and see first hand what “40 miles, you only have 10 more to go” really looks like! (Spoiler, it doesn’t look pretty). I literally am so excited for you guys!!!!!

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Kayce, I did not even think about that. That is a fabulous idea and would be so inspiring and helpful. Thank you for this idea, texting Andrew right now about it!

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There’s definitely a bug going around. I’ve, by some miracle, haven’t gotten it but I hope it stays that way! I hope she feels better soon and no one else gets it!!

I’m not a fan of most Oreos unless they are in a milkshake, but I do like mint and chocolate together so that would probably be one I’d like more

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Oh thank you Jenny! She woke up feeling much better! I’m with you… Oreos belong in milkshakes:) Have a wonderful day!

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Whoa! That elevation change! But you’ll rock it, anyway. Think of the buffalo as big dogs??? :) And now I have a pizza craving.

I think I’ve been transplanted to Utah today…we’re getting snow (along with other wintry junk) in Maryland today! In November!

I definitely feel imbalances with strength training. I think it’s uncommon to be completely balanced, but unilateral work to build it can be fun…sorta.

Oreos=meh, unless they’re mixed into something like ice cream or a crust of some type. I’m going to have to try the concrete dessert you posted!

In my PR/BQ marathon, another runner gave me his “spare” flat Coke, and it sure did the trick! My best friend is scheming to bring candy corn to our upcoming half–she says I get kinda cranky in the last 2-3 miles, LOL!

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Oh that is a good idea… I’ll just picture them as big brown Beretta’s:) You are getting snow today… stay warm and drink a lot of hot chocolate. Hahaha I get cranky in those last few miles too… candy is the best solution:) Have a wonderful day and I’ll have to try the flat coke in a marathon too. Thanks Corey!

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Trail running is the best! The atmosphere is so chill and it is all about the conditions that day – there is so much less focus on a sub-whatever.

I am part of an upper-midwest trail runner group on Facebook that is a great resource for trails/races/advice in my area. My husband and I have met several people though that group and they organize fairly regular group runs. I bet there is a similar group near you!

I was part of a bigger, more national, group once but thought some of the members had poor attitudes and were missing out on the true spirit of trail running – so I left it.

Trail Runner Nation Podcast and Ultra Runner Podcast are fun to listen to. I also follow some ultra runners on Instagram and YouTube.

Something that was a mental shift for me was learning that hiking some sections is so much smarter than running them. Sometimes the tiny speed gain isn’t worth the energy expenditure, especially as distances get longer.

Enjoy the adventure!

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I’m going to have to find a group like that for my area… that sounds amazing. Thank you for the Podcast recommendations, I can’t wait. This is definitely something I’m going to have to learn if I want to finish. Thank you so much Lori and keep me updated with what trail races you are doing!

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Oreos are delicious. I will eat them in basically anything.
My right side is definitely stronger than my left. I think it’s interesting that your right side is stronger since you’re left handed.
I was sick at the beginning of the year with the flu. It was terrible and I hope not to repeat it for some time.

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Yes exactly… that’s what I”m trying to figure out too! The flu is the worst. I hope that you get a pack of Oreos asap! Have a wonderful day:)

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I’m to lazy to do strength training. No oreos for me!
I had sinus in September, did not last very long. We take jelly babies and bananas with us on long runs and ultras and rehydrate. I mix the rehydrate with my sports drink. I am very excited for your ultra!!

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Thanks Almarie! I wish we could do one together. I’m hoping your ankle heals up asap… the trails need you!

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I am so glad you decided to go for an Ultra! I will happily follow along with your training, although I will probably avoid that adventure myself.

Sadly – health wise – the past 9 months have been sick (3 cases of pneumonia) more than well. I got my last bout at the end of May-early June and, despite a few “freakouts due to thinking I had a cold but I was ok after a day or two,” I am healthy. If I have learned anything, it is take to it easy, when I think that I might be getting sick, and to minimize stress wherever I can. This translates into lots of exercise and sometimes delaying workouts, but it keeps me smiling and moving forward with things.

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Margaret. I am so so incredibly sorry. 2018 has not been your year but the lessons you’ve learned are so valuable. Keep me updated with your health and you are amazing!

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I eat pickles during long trail runs.

I am going to tell you something that I use during all of my trail runs… I use a Salomon hydration vest, It holds everything. I can pack so much stuff into it and the soft bottles are great to drink from. The bottles can be a bit tricky to refill and repack during the trail races but I prefer the soft bottles to the hard plastic bottles. The pack doesn’t get in my way at all and is incredibly comfortable to wear while running. It doesn’t move up and down. I have never had it cause me to chafe. At the beginning of my race, my pack will weigh 3-4 lbs, that took me a little bit to get used to. Road races don’t require the extra bulk.

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Ditto to the Salomon pack! It is a little spendy but my husband and I both use and love them.

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I LOVE PICKLES… thank you for that idea Megan! Thank you guys both so much for the Salomon suggestion… that is so good to know. This will definitely be something I’ll need to get used to (I hate carrying my phone with me during a road race let alone all of the food/water). Looking up these packs now. Have a great day!

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I have the 5-liter vest and wish I had the 12-liter vest. I have done many 4 hour runs and I have finished with zero water.

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AWESOME thanks for the help… I’ll go for the 12-liter then!

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For another option to consider, I use the Nathan VaporHowe 4L vest (they make a 12L version too with more storage). It’s also super comfortable and never chafed me either, including a 20 mile long run in scorching heat! The 4L comes with 2 – 12oz soft flasks, and has space for a 1.5L bladder in the back (which I bought for longer runs); the 12L comes with a 1.8L bladder in the back. I’d probably get the 12L version if I was training for a 50 miler – the 4L was great for marathon training!

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and yes that is the exact vest. I, truly, love it.

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Are you and Andrew going to run the race together? Are you going to continue with a coach for the ultra? (I actually don’t understand the need for a coach for an ultra but just wondering :) )

Oreos were always my favorite! Oreo ice cream. Also, when I would make a frappe (milkshake for anyone not living in Massachusetts, ha!) I would add 1-3 oreos. So good!

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We are going to run it together! We just both want to complete it so it will be cool to do the whole thing together:) Yes, Mary is still coaching me:) And I’ll need her to get me some speed back after the ultra too haha! Delicious! Have a great day Amanda!

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All of your trail running pictures are making me excited for moving to our new house (it is super close to a big park reserve – though the trails may be covered in snow soon..).
I get colds more frequently with a two year old in daycare – I don’t get every one, but I get them more than I used to. For some reason, adding apple cider vinegar to my water (just a little bit) helps kick the colds more quickly. Hope Brooke feels better soon – feeling under the weather is the worst.
I am indifferent to Oreos – my husband loves them. I’d rather have chewy cookies.
Back in college when I started getting into long distance running, I totally used candy corn. Pure sugar = instant energy. I’ve also used jelly beans for springtime long-runs (near Easter..). That’s a good idea to get the halloween candy packs – pre-portioned! I stuck mine in baggies after learning that sweat melts candy in your pockets… I like gels too, but candy is so much cheaper!

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No way… oh that makes me so happy that your new house is going to be right by the trails. The best. Thank you so much… she woke up feeling much better! Much cheaper and much more delicious;) Have a wonderful day and good luck on the move!

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Not an oreo’s fan though maybe if dipped in coffee or hot chocolate. They always seem stale to me?!?! I think the Tj’s Oreos could change my mind though. Sort of like thin mints.

Salt is important during trail running at higher elevations…I used Sodium Chloride tablets when I didn’t feel up to eating. Flat Coke….blecccchhhh!

I can’t imagine training in the cold and snow so more power to y’all. It’s snowing in DC today but it’s wet and sleety more than anything which makes it miserable for my dog walking business.

Is that pizza from Costco? I was already craving it and now I’m semi-drooling. Not sure if it’s the change of weather but I’ve been craving weird things like a McD’s hamburger and I am a vegetarian! Trying to find alternatives but I have a feeling I’ll cave in especially with the miserable weather today. Or maybe a good tomato soup and a toasty warm baguette (:

Which trail running doc has been your favourite so far? Bonus if it’s on Netflix. I am looking for some hiking inspiration/motivation.

Congrats on the emptying of boxes. My cat would be in heaven!

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I need to send you the TJs ones because I agree about the normal ones tasting a bit stale. Good call on the sodium chloride tablets, I’ll have to get those. YES YES YES it is the pizza from Costco. It is so crazy good. Go get the pizza or the soup with a warm baguette… both sound great:) Have you watched the one on Netflix–The Barkley Marathon? IT IS SO SO GOOD. Thanks Koyla!

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I’ve taken cheezits on a long run before because it sounded good and I always need salt. My mouth felt so dry after eating a few though, lol, even though I had a ton of water!!

I did love the aid stations at the ultra I’ve done. The best thing was hands down the flat coke. Nothing ever tasted so good when it’s hot and you’re 20 miles into a trail race!

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Okay, I can’t imagine doing an ultra in the HEAT (part of why we wanted to do this one was because it will be in march)! You are strong. I can’t wait for the aid stations and good to know about the cheezits/thirst problem! Have a wonderful day Laura.

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Last time we moved, my husband connected a bunch of the boxes and made tunnels throughout the house. The kids LOVED it! Those box tunnels kept the kids entertained for hours.

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That is brilliant… I’ll have to do that this afternoon. THANKS ANN! Have a wonderful day!

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I love Oreos. I haven’t had them for awhile but I remember eating them as a kid. I would always pull the two cookies apart and lick the cream out from the middle.

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Hahah that’s how I ate them as a kid too… I hope you get some soon:) Have a wonderful day Fiona!

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I have eaten Snickers on long bike rides. . Freeze them, and when you are ready to eat, they aren’t melted. Since Snickers work great on the bike, I have also eat the bite sized snickers on long runs. Tailwind for hydration is a must for me. Also, Swedish Fish.

Good luck on your training!

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DIANE… I didn’t think about Snickers. That sounds perfect (Andrew will love this too and this is going to make him love our long training runs even more to have a Snickers to eat). Thank you and I’m excited to use Tailwind too. Have a wonderful day.

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On which side do you tend to hold Skye? Maybe that’s why you’re stronger on one side? :)

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On the left… but maybe holding her on that side is making my right side stronger?! I don’t know haha. It probably changes each day which side feels stronger too;) Have a great day Marilyn!

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Ahh prayers Brooke feels better soon!

That elevation oh my!

I need those cookies! Heading to TJs soon.

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Get them and let me know what you think! Thank you! She woke up feeling much better this morning and ready to go to school:)

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The eating while running thing is honestly one of the things about an ultra that sounds hardest to me! I’m so bad at running after eating, even 1-2 hours later. I don’t even use fuel for long runs generally… my first marathon I ate some Skittles but my second and third I didn’t have anything (except Gatorade) and I felt fine.
I remember reading Scott Jurek talk about eating burritos while running 7-minute miles in his ultras… I get cramps just thinking about it.

I haven’t been really sick in about 5 years! I’ve had a couple instant of a sore throat or congestion for a few days but nothing bad! (knocking on wood right now)

The only way I get excited about Oreos is if they’re in something better, like ice cream or cheesecake haha. Other than that I really don’t care for them!

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Hahah yeah… I can’t even imagine eating burritos at that pace (or any pace really:)! That is awesome that you haven’t been sick for such a long time! I forgot about oreos in cheesecake… also very delicious!

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Not a fan of oreos.

Best thing eaten running is Bacon during trail ultras. It’s the best. Especially after all the sugar and carbs.

Just remember that ultras are not about who is the fastest, but about who slows down the least!

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Oh I love that Jennifer! That is exactly what my brain needs! That’s what is so exciting to me about this… it is SO different than anything I’ve done and it will test me in a way that is going to be crazy hard. I can’t wait. Bacon during a trail ultra… you just made Andrew’s day!

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I’m so excited that you are trying the ultra route. It seems to be such a different culture than the marathon. Good luck!

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Thank you Courtney so so much. I’m so excited!

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Ummmm, that Buffalo pictures is terrifying!!! My family went on vacation to Yellowstone a few years ago and the buffalos freaked me out!!

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Hahaha they are so so scary!!! I hope you are doing well Lauren… YOU ARE SO SO CLOSE!

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Hi Janae. I have done over 20 races of 100 or further miles (one 200 miler), so I would be happy to help if you want to reach out. There is WAY more than what can be shared in a comment to your blog. Ultras are completely life changing and require so much more mental fortitude than a marathon. Feel free to reach out if you would like.

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WOW WOW WOW WOW!! You are my hero… a 200 miler?!? I will definitely be emailing you! I have all of the questions!!!

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Swedish Fish are a definite must for long runs! Where did you get Brook’s little sleeves hoodie vest thing? Its adorable. I enjoy an Oreo but I really love them mixed in my ice cream. My right side is definitely stronger than my left.

I woke up to 3 inches of snow today here in Illinois. I sure hope it warms up and melts before my trail Turkey Trot race next weekend or I might have to find some different shoes.

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HEY!! Here is the link for Brooke’s hoodie… it’s so cute: https://shopstyle.it/l/U93X
THREE INCHES!! Oh I hope it melts too. Keep me updated!

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Can you do a post about your training for the ultra? How long your training runs will end up being? Will you do all training on trails, even in the winter? Will you continue to strength train to have enough muscle to power through those hills? I’m super interested!

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Oreos are okay but I would not choose them over a chocolate chip cookie. BUT, I love cookies and cream ice cream/milkshake. I make a chocolate chip cookie pie that has an oreo crust and it’s a fan favorite.

When I do long runs (long in distance or long in time) I really like taking toasted PB sandwiches, Skout bars, and various chews. I’ll also add something with chocolate because of the sugar/caffeine boost. A friend of mine once brought a baggie of mac and cheese to eat and a really good looking turkey sandwich he made. I thought he was a genius.

Ultra training is so fun because pace isn’t as important as time and power (hills, all the hills!).

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I hope Brooke is on the mend! SHe looks super tired out in that first picture before school. Poor girl!!

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The snacks have for sure been one of the biggest draws for me in ultra running! WHOLE PIZZAS while running?! I’m there.

http://www.areweadultsyet.com

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That elevation profile looked insane! Until I looked at the scale they were using for the Y axis (data nerd here ;)), taking that into account it doesn’t look so bad (relatively speaking). At least you’ve got aid stations after a couple of the monster climbs!

Oreos = YES. They’re one of my favorite junk foods.

The best non-gel I’ve eaten while/just after running is ORANGE SLICES. I ran a half in August and they had them at the finish (and Oreos, woo hoo!!), and it hit the spot more than anything else I’ve ever eaten after a race. The supported 20 miler I did a few weeks later, when it was 80+ degrees out, also had them at aid stations – and I packed my own in a cooler for afterwards, since I remembered how good they were after a hot run! The aid stations also had peanut butter filled pretzels, which were super tasty midrun (and helped with salt intake!).

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For another option to consider, I use the Nathan VaporHowe 4L vest (they make a 12L version too with more storage). It’s also super comfortable and never chafed me either, including a 20 mile long run in scorching heat! The 4L comes with 2 – 12oz soft flasks, and has space for a 1.5L bladder in the back (which I bought for longer runs); the 12L comes with a 1.8L bladder in the back. I’d probably get the 12L version if I was training for a 50 miler – the 4L was great for marathon training!

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I cried a little at the end of that video. Thank you for posting. Training for my very first marathon right now and that hit me right where I needed it.

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so I just watched that entire video of the two guys running the 100 miler. so inspirational. like i almost want to crawl out of bed and go do a long run right now. almost. :) CANNOT WAIT TO FOLLOW YOUR JOURNEY FOR THIS

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Longtime follower here who is so excited to see your journey of completing an ultra! Speed is not my jam
While running, so I’m very excited to tag along as your focus a little more on endurance rather than speed. The REI video you shared had me in tears! And wondering if I can talk my BFF into a long distance trail run ;)

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Since you’re left handed I’m guessing you carry the baby on your right side to leave your dominant hand free to cook/clean/shop etc. Carrying a baby all the time results in what I call “mom strength”. I’m a personal trainer and have noticed this with my female clients that have young kids ( them being stronger on non dominant side).

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Hi Janae! I have been reading your blog for a long time, and I am so excited that you are doing an ultra! I did a 50 mile trail race two years ago (my sister actually sent it in as an accomplishment to your page!) and it was SO much fun. I have to recommend oreos and oranges as fuel. It sounds weird, but the aid stations during my race had both, and I would take a bite of oreo followed by a bite of orange. It was amazing. For training I would often take crackers with peanut butter sandwiched in them, which I found worked well for my stomach and gave me a good amount of fuel. I’m so excited to keep up with your and Andrew’s training!

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What a truly amazing post!! thank you for sharing this with us, I thought I might to share a very inspiring story I found with you all https://bit.ly/2PGIQKE

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hey! not sure if you will see this since this is an older post. but where did you get that “bike” for Skye? wanting to get something similar for my baby!

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