Category Archives: New PR

Marathon Finisher!

I made it!

Wildwood Trail Marathon complete! …and I am still alive 😉

(Pre-race, trying to stay warm)

The race was a rough one. The elevation gains and loses, gains and loses…more gains and loses really gave it to me. I trucked up that first thousand feet gain pretty good (thank you adrenaline). I drank some sports drink at the first station around 6 miles in and started the down hill to the uphill to the halfway point (with all the ups and downs between the uphill and downhill, you get the point). Along that second quarter of the race I was running in time with two other women -both of whom had ties to New Mexico. Both of them took a fall and I had a strong feeling with all the rocks, roots, holes and bumps in the trail that my own fall was bound to happen sooner or later. One of the women was also doing her very first marathon, like me. The other woman was on her 19th…yes, 19th marathon!!!What a glutton for punishment! Though, she thought us first timers were the gluttons, doing what she dubbed as the most difficult marathon she had done to date as our first one. I had caught up to them on the downhill section and was thinking I should go on around when we got into the main part of the uphill to the halfway point and they began to pull away again. I really should have done more hill training, I knew that though.

When I got to the halfway point, everyone at the aid station was cheering my name…I was half delirious from pushing up the hill and was thinking “how do they know my name”… when I spotted E, somehow volunteering (no big surprise there) and making several new friends. It was so nice to see a familiar face at the halfway, putting smiles on everyone else’s faces too.

The third leg was the hardest for me. Fatigue setting in a bit and another long climb back to the first station. I set off down from that aid station at a good pace and caught back up to everyone who had pulled away on the way up to the station. Then a few miles later the uphills started getting more frequent again until they were fairly steady and some of the runners kept on pace while I began to falter. Everything started hurting and it was getting harder and harder to tell myself to just keep moving. For once, my strong mind could no longer will my body past the pain and fatigue. The last mile or so before the third (and last) aid station my run up the steepest stretches began to get so slow that it was actually faster and less effort to speed walk it. I felt a bit like a failure for doing this, as I had wanted to complete the race without walking any of it, but since it was actually faster and gave some of my pain spots a rest I let myself. Getting to that last aid station was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

It was nearly literally all down hill from there. With just over six miles to go, when most people hit “the wall” in a marathon, I was looking forward to the last quarter of the race. The well intentioned aid station volunteer asked if I would like my camelbak refilled as I ran over to the rent-a-john and I said that would be sweet of her. I took it off, handed it over while apologizing for its soaked-in-sweat state and continued on, half listening as she offered ICE water. I muttered “sure” over my shoulder, walking into the relief station. When I came out, I put on the cold camelbak pack and started off. It hit me… ICE WATER and a hot body do not mix well when still trying to perform. Your body has to warm it up to use it. I was getting thirsty though and didn’t want to finish feeling dehydrated so I drank some anyways. Immediately my abdominal muscles were cramping and stayed that way for the next three miles or so. THAT was painful and I soon forgot about anything else that had been hurting. It also made breathing more difficult, as things did not want to expand correctly below my ribs. Never will I make that mistake again!

The last mile was really fun, knowing I was so close and somehow finding those reserves that you never knew you had- that always come at the end of a race somehow- and kicking my way past a few guys. I never did catch up the those two women from earlier in the race, though at the end I discovered the one that was also doing her first marathon was only 2 minutes ahead of me! She was also in my age group.

(Post-race with my finishers metal)

After finishing, I ate some oranges and collapsed in the grass to stretch. After that I walked up to see my final time and placement. As I was walking up they called my name for third place in my age group!!! What a surprise! And then I saw I was two minutes from taking 2nd place. A good race overall. I loved how absolutely secluded and beautiful the Forest Hills Park felt in the middle of big ol’ Portland, OR. A highly recommended race to all.

Overall:

38

Amy Jones Albuquerque NM

1436

28

3 F 20-29

4:55:26

11:14/M

And to dissect this, since not everyone speaks runner, this bar taken from the Wildwood Trail Run site states…

  • I came in 38 out of 81 runners.
  • My bib number was 1436.
  • Age 28.
  • I finished third female in the 20-29 group.
  • My overall time was 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 26 seconds.
  • My average pace was 11 minute 14 seconds per mile.

So I definitely missed the four hour mark that I had wanted to meet originally but I am pleased with how well I did over all after seeing the course first hand. The fastest it has ever been ran by a woman was 3:59:42 in 2010. That’s only an hour faster than my finish time and most marathon first placers are well over an hour faster than that usually. It really shows the difficulty of this course. All in all, I FINISHED it and that fall I had expected never came. I would love to do it again… but maybe the, ummm, HALF marathon next time on this course.

🙂

“Running is real and relatively simple…but it ain’t easy.” – Mark Will-Weber

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Sweet accomplishment!

20 miles run under my belt!

20.8 mi to be more exact. And though it took me four hours due to various reasons, I am feeling MUCH better about being ready for my marathon now.

It was in the nineties by the middle of my run and I also ran out of water at around mile 14 but I still (deliriously) made it through and back to my house with a few short stints of walking it the hottest areas. Talk about extreme training.  With that in mind and a steady four hour training run accomplished and the elevation in Portland being four thou lower than here at the highest point of the marathon I am not as worried about that mystery 5.2 miles I will be doing in 11 days.

Not that I am not nervous still… cause my stomach tightens every time I visit my marathon’s page!

BUT, yay I accomplished a 20 miler non the less!

21 Miles later...

Now I am super stoked for some shorter and hopefully faster runs over the next few weeks as well as the upcoming road trip home.

I will be doing more training runs in:

  • Las Vegas (or perhaps at a stop somewhere in So Cal on way to SF)
  • Bay area in San Fran
  • North Umpqua National Forest (right near my birth city)
  • Along the Oregon coast in Coos Bay

And then recovery (post race to prevent muscle ache) runs in:

  • Portland area
  • Seattle area
  • Bend, OR area
  • Moab/Arches area

Much to look forward to!!


Celebrating 17 miles.

I made it to that elusive seventeen miles mark that I just missed when I was sick at my last attempt.

17.2 miles to be exact 😉

And to celebrate the PR (personal record) and getting over being sick and my training going really well I cooked myself some lamb from a local farm that I bought on Saturday morning.

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Roasted veggies in truffle oil with the lamb dripping down as it cooked sitting on top of the potatoes…

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YUM!!!!!

It was a SLOW 17.2 miles but I was just happy to finish it. The weather was nearing the 90’s by the time I finished so taking that into account, my time wasn’t too terrible. Parker came along and we found LOTS of new trails in all that mileage, this time heading north along the Bosque instead of south.

I sure am blessed to be so near such beautiful trails right in the downtown of a city.

Love this desert.

Love my life.


The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment.

Slow it down a notch. What’s important to you? Do you live each day? I mean REALLY live every day.

Do you go to bed at night feeling satisfied?

There are so many simple small things that each and every one of of can do to accomplish this, and not only for ourselves but also aid each other in accomplishing this. That feeling at the end of the day of satisfaction is different for everyone and the path is as well. Do you check in with yourself and make sure that you are living fulfilling days? Do you check in with others to make sure they are as well?

I am pretty good at providing this feeling for myself and get better and better every year as I grow in age but perhaps I could be better at checking in with others.

I am notorious for being that long distance friend and relative that only phones every three months to a year! My father likes to leave messages reminding me of his phone number and to let him know I am still alive from time to time. My friends back home can count on a yearly contact near the time that I am about to roll into town for my yearly visit but rarely hear from me the rest of the time. I should check in more often to see how others are doing!

(Well, now I am making myself feel like a terrible friend, daughter, sister, etc. And that wasn’t the point of this blog. I will have to resolve to call upon a loved one on the reg so I can feel better about that.)

For now, lets go back to what works.

What I do that makes me feel fulfilled at the end of the day:

    • Smiling, laughter, humor. Every day. Several times a day. It’s a must. I have mastered the art of laughing at myself. And I smile at strangers…usually they smile back and then smile at the next person they pass too!
    • Good food, whole food, cooking, and growing food. My garden makes me happy. Eating healthy and clean foods makes me feel good, tastes good, and makes me feel more connected to my community.
    • Running, training for races. Feeling the wind, sun, and other weather first hand. Feeling my body work and feeling strong. Having a release from daily stress. And of course, that great runner’s high lasting through my run days.
    • Getting outside! Hiking, biking, swimming, camping, backpacking. All of this allows me to connect with my surrounding environment and rewards me in countless ways.
    • Learning new things. Expanding my knowledge. School. Fun books, films, conversations, community events, art.
    • Caring and sharing with those I love. Doing things with friends and for friends. Writing my grandpa and sisters. Texting my nephew. Talking on the phone with my brother. Cooking dinner for friends.
    • Enjoying Parker Jade. She makes me smile and laugh every day. Cray cray mutt. So much energy and attitude. It’s my karma for being such a spitfire myself, and I am enjoying every moment with her.
    • Looking ahead to future goals, travels, endeavors, concerts, plans, career paths, places to live. I love a good ol’ daydream and planning session. I spend ridiculous amounts of time playing with my Google calender.
    • Networking in my field of choice. Volunteering on farms. Going to films, meetings and gatherings food related. Participating in Farmer’s markets. Starting conversations about food and community planning. Learning as much as I can about foodsheds in any fashion.
    • Enjoying my community. Shoping the co-op. Supporting local shops, restaurants, artists and food systems. Creating new networks. And getting involved in Big Brother Big Sister.
    • Music! My banjo(which I need to play more often). New music, local music. Old favorites. Sharing music with others. Going to shows and concerts. Listening to Bluegrass on NPR on the weekends.

That is my list and I could probably add more to it. I thought about this topic on my lovely run this morning after a great night with a friend and a lil’ reminder on my evening Kava tea pictured below. And I wanted to share it with you and to hear from you too!

Laughter makes everything better!

Arugula and leek dumplings with a mushroom cream sauce that I made last night for my friend, E.

Delicious recipe if you have the leisurely time to hang out and chat while you prepare. It's a great one for an evening of entertaining.

These photos are from my early morning run. I got up at just after five am today, while the moon was still high and the mountains were silhouettes.

Negative splits on the run, improving my overall time each half mile for all but one half mile of my eight mile run. Also covered a trail I haven’t for nearly a year.

To the moon!!!!!!!

AND….

New PR: 89 miles so far for the month of May!

So what makes to tick? What makes you sleep well at night and gets you up in the mornings?


Did not quite make the 17 goal, but how many people can run 16.3 miles!

You get to see a lot in 16.3 miles…

I took several pictures to share what my runs look like with you.

I began my run after work late, at about 5:30 pm and it takes me hours to run this far so I was concerned about still being on the trails in the dark.

On the return I opted to stay on the higher, more open service road rather than the trail along the Rio Grande because it was already dark under all the trees and this ended up cutting out nearly a mile.

None the less, I have never ran this far so I still set a new PR!!

It was a warm (75 degree) evening and the sky was beautiful with a little breeze.

And I had my wonderful little side-kick to try to keep up with…Parker is a real motivator, let me tell you.

She never stops.

When we get home from the long runs that I let her come on occasionally, she doesn’t even rest…she starts tearing around the yard with her toys while I am the one laying on the cool cement patio panting!

So, after about six miles down the Rio from where I usually start at the Hispanic Cultural Center, you begin to run along next to fields and farms.

Its quite picturesque.

But what will always get me about this desert when I am long gone is the sunsets and the giant skeletal cottonwoods.

The sunsets here are unlike any I have seen anywhere in the U.S.

And I have heard from others who have traveled abroad a lot that they are also unlike any they have seen outside the U.S. as well.

And the way that the sunsets light up the Sandia Mountains, our watermelon mountains, and set them on fire will take your breath away every time.

So, due to the new PR and cooking for my guest… I made mussels as soon as I got home.

Cooked up a storm still covered in salt from sweating.

They were delish, of course, cause you can’t really ever go wrong with mussels but I shall definitely be tweaking the recipe I used from the food blog I subscribe to.

I like my food to be sensational and even after running 16.3, the sauce was lacking in flavor to me and too hot from the peppers it called for.

I still ate over a pound of these fabulous little ocean treats though.

Good protein for sure at least!

My favorite rosemary bread with lots of butter left me feeling full and satiated.

Besides, I needed that pound of mussels because I burned over 1500 calories!

Run stats:

  • Miles: 16.3

  • Duration: 2:49:07 h/m/s

  • Ave Pace: 10.23 min/mi

  • Ave Speed:5.78 mph

  • Calories burned: 1,557

  • Elevation climb: 774 ft


I ran the farthest EVER in my life this morning!

I set my alarm for five thirty, knowing how hot it was going to be and how long I might take to run the fifteen mile goal for today.

BUT alas, I did not start til about sevenish. Yup, I still suck at the early morning run. I have no idea what I did for an hour and a half.

(Hit snooze, drank some coffee, put on running clothes, juiced some grapefruits, drank that, filled water bottles, read an article in the bathroom, oops-TMI, drove to Academy to run…oh, that’s where it went!)

The route around Academy is about three point three miles so I concentrated on doing my five loops, less if my GPS worked correctly on my phone program. Then at about three miles into my run I noticed people putting up sponsorship banners all around the trail fence. Shit balls. Yup, the one day I drive up to Academy to train they are holding an event. I get up the hill and see that it is the March of Dimes.

Ummmm, its May.

Okay, well whatever. It’s a good cause even if its being held late in the year. Perhaps I can finish my run before they start…

My son was a premie and died of SIDS at nearly five months old. I remember driving my ex to the bank two days after our son died and him coming out of the bank bawling. It was the March of Dimes, in that month of March. He had gone in to cash his paycheck and the bank teller had asked if he wanted to donate a dollar to help save the lives of babies that needed special care. He could only shake his head yes, tears were rolling down his face and his throat had closed up. We held each other in the car after he came out.

I think of that memory and that month of March when my own baby died every time I see something for the March of Dimes.

After my son died I pretty much got a hold back on myself by running and running and running some more. It was my way of healing. It was time to remember, time for myself, time to meditate.

I had been a sprinter in High school and had always hated running any kind of “distance”. After my son died I turned to drugs for a time, to forget, to get lost, to medicate my troubled mind and soul. Of course this does not work, your pain is always still there when you come back down and sometimes no amount of drugs can make you forget. About a year after he died someone asked me to run a 10k with them.

Ha! Yeah right!

But I said I would run with them and see how it went. I ran the race. I got third in my age.

I haven’t stopped running since.

Except the occasional cold winter and the asthma set back after fighting fires.

Time helps wounds not sting so sharply but running may have saved my life.

So I ran around and around and around those Marchers today, I set a new personal record at 15.26 miles (ironically Christian also died on the 26th…) and I remembered my son and all the miles in between of healing and growth that landed me where I am today.

I am going to rock that damn marathon.

What a winding road life takes us on…

Stats:

  • Miles: 15.26
  • Time 2:31:46 h/m/s
  • Pace: 9:57 min per mi
  • Speed 6.03 mph
  • Calories burned: 1475
  • Total elevation climb: 1071 ft