New Plans

I’m going to have to skip running Leadville this year.  My foot’s just not cooperating.  When I hike around without the boot, the fracture site aches.  It certainly loads better than it was and it does seem like it’s well on its way to being fully healed, but it’s obvious it’s not at a point to try to put a bunch of miles on it.  And, when it comes down to it, I’m not willing to aqua jog all those hours.  I love running.  It brings me joy and keeps me sane and lets me eat the occasional tub of ice cream without guilt.  None of that is true for aqua jogging.  It was a tolerable short-term measure, but I’m not up for 2 ½ months of circling the deep end.  I wailed and gnashed my teeth making this decision, but I’ve made my peace with it.  Being with old college friends in Ireland helps – along with some pints of Irish stout.  Still, next summer I think it’ll be more fun to just set a big pile of money on fire in the front yard and watch it burn rather than entering any races.  (Grumble.)

I’ve drawn up a training plan that gets me back on the trails at a very moderate pace, incorporating anti-gravity treadmill running and some evil aqua jogging.  I’ll be back up to 80-90 mile weeks by the very end of September.  So, of course, I started looking for races in October that could take the place of Leadville as soon as I got internet access today.  The Arkansas Traveler is October 1st. (Perfect!)  I was just about to type my credit card info in, when I remembered I’d accepted a teaching contract that weekend.  The following weekend?  Heartland 100 in Kansas.  Hmmm.  Male course record 14:26.  14:26!  So it’s a fast course – and I want to work on my speed… What do you think? Good timing.  No acclimatization. Easy to train for in San Antonio.  Easy travel.  Great belt buckle.  I lived in Kansas for a while growing up.   (Fort Leavenworth and Manhattan) Potential for a fast run. Yes?



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25 Responses to New Plans

  1. Sarah says:

    You’ve forgotten Javalina 100. I think it’s the beginning of Nov sometime. It’s a fast course and you can wear a costume. I think there is also Pinhotti 100 in Nov. I’ve run on the trail there and it’s beautiful, extremely technical, but beautiful.

    • lizahoward says:

      Thanks Sarah. I had forgotten about Javalina. I want to do something in October if I can, but maybe both? I just want something soon to shoot for — you know, to keep me on the straight and narrow. I’ll look at Pinhotti too. Thank you!

  2. olgav100 says:

    Sorry to hear it takes so long. Fast sounds like a plan. Grindstone in November, and Ozark, neither is particulary fast (esp. Grindstone). I actually like the idea of Heartland for you (not for me:)). You may get blown away by winds, all of your 90 pounds…figure out where to tie a rope:)

    • lizahoward says:

      Wind? Ooh. I’ll have to arrange for that to be at my back the entire time. I’ll have a talk with the fairies and leprechauns this morning. I don’t know, I think you should do Heartland too and we can take a roadtrip. 🙂

  3. Footfeathers says:

    First, I’m sorry about Leadville. You did win it last year, so there’s there’s really not an aching need to prove yourself (as opposed to dnfing and being internally pressured to return).
    My suggestion is the Bear 100. It is a beautiful course, tough course, and you would do well there. I’d be happy to share resources with you. I’ll have my car there and can shuttle you back from the finish and get you to the start and any errands before and afterthe race. It’s hands down more beautiful and challenging than ws and Leadville. You wouldn’t regret it, believe me.

    • lizahoward says:

      Thank you so much for that offer. Can I take you up on it in one year? I’m going to do a run with Team Red, White and Blue on 9/11 running from West Point to NYC and then 10 hours around Liberty Park off of Ellis Island. It’s not a race, but it’d too many miles on the legs to race the next weekend I think. I do want to do the Bear very much though.
      I wish I could just go up to Leadville to cheer and crew. I’m getting very good at it — especially now that I’ve added “Allez!” to my repertoire. I imagine Hope Pass is going to feel like a cake walk to you after Hardrock this year.

  4. Pommers says:

    That’s such a shame Liza – was looking forward to following you at Leadville this year. Looks like you are pretty comfortable with the decision though and I can understand your desire not to spend hours aqua jogging! Looks like you have some good plans in place for the following months though, so good for you.

    • lizahoward says:

      Yes, but now you have the opportunity to follow a more obscure race — in Kansas. 😉 So glad to hear your rehab is going well. Maybe we can both do Leadville next year?

      • Pommers says:

        Certainly planning on in! Will keep an eye on your ‘obscure’ races as I take it you haven’t finalised that decision yet, but it willl be Heartland or Javelina. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to have you on board.

      • lizahoward says:

        I almost had my parents convinced to come to Leadville. They haven’t been to a race yet. Kansas is going to be a much harder sell. I’ll make a decision in the next few weeks as I try to up the mileage. Running in costume would be pretty fun at Javelina.

  5. Ted says:

    Some quotations to help with the new planning:

  6. Lauren says:

    Building back up gradually sounds like a smart plan. What about Cactus in October?

    • lizahoward says:

      I thought a bunch about Cactus, but I’d like to do something as soon as I can to help me put my nose to the grindstone training-wise. Also, I’m a bit hesitant to jump into Bandera training so soon with the foot. I keep imagining stepping on a rock and hearing a big crack. I’ll do Bandera in January and crew for everybody instead.

  7. Julie says:

    I hate it for you that you can’t run Leadville this year but am sure you are making a wise decision. There us a 100 mile race in Tahlequah, OK on October 15-16. Its called Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd and this is the first year for the race. Its put on by the TATURS (Tulsa Area Trail & Ultra Runners) and they do a wonderful job with all of their races and I know this one will be top notch. I have heard the course will be fast and gorgeous too! Here is a link in case you are interested:
    Have a great time in Ireland, sounds heavenly!

    • lizahoward says:

      Thanks Julie! I’ll take a look at it this morning. I do like the name. I also hate making wise decisions. Ireland is pretty heavenly. All my pictures are a bit too picturesque — like bad art you hang in the bathroom.

  8. Yukun says:

    What about Stone Mill 50/56 miles?

    It is a new race, second time this year. Here is last year’s result –

  9. Paul Mastin says:

    Hi Liza! Ditto Julie; I’ve penciled in Pumpkin Holler (despite the unfortunate naming) as my first 100 attempt. I’ve heard good reports of Tatur races, and this looks to be a fast course. Of course, you’ll finish all 3 loops while I’m struggling to finish the second. . . .
    I have a non-running related question for you. A while back, you posted about caving with your kids. I’m planning on taking my kids to the Hill Country in a couple weeks, and we’ll probably go to Longhorn Caverns SP. I love the guided tour caves; even w/ cheesy guide narration, you can’t beat the experience of being underground. BUT I would love to explore some “wild” caves. I’ve never done so (not too many caves where I grew up in Corpus, unless you dig into a sand dune, and that’s ill-advised). Any tips on finding spots w/out trespassing or violating the law? Is there a good place to look online for accessible caving sites?
    I hope it’s OK to ask this kind of question. . . .I’ve been reading your blog for a few months, so you feel like an old friend by now! Have fun in Ireland, and I look forward to seeing you rack up some more wins in the coming months!

    • lizahoward says:

      Hi Paul! I have passed your cave question on to my friend Niki who works at Government Canyon SNA and runs their karst project and interpretive program. I will send you a note as soon as I hear back from her.
      I am going to take a look at Pumpkin Holler. You don’t like the name? I’m imagining a pretty great belt buckle. 🙂

  10. Domingo says:

    Good decision. Hope you heal up quickly. I am running but not so easily anymore.

  11. Lisa says:

    Well, it must be nice just to be off the fence and re-focused right? This trip to Ireland is just what the doctor ordered to get back on track! It sounds like you are having fun Liza- I hope to still meet you in San Fran in December but maybe that is out?
    Have fun and be safe!

    p.s. My husband and I have never taken a vacation away from our daughter and she is 7 in August! Has it been hard being away from Asa? We just haven’t had time or money for a real vacation but I am looking forward to one like, soon!

    • lizahoward says:

      We’re hanging out in San Fran in December Lord willing and the river don’t rise! 🙂
      It has been hard to be away from Asa these last few days. My mom and dad took him camping and sent pictures of him covered in a s’mores and I kept opening the computer to look at it yesterday. But my friend Joe has four boys ages 13, 11, 7, and 5 — so that’s kept me from romanticizing things too much — and appreciating the time alone with Eliot.

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