Age and Family: 47, single and mother to my 12 year old rescue mutt and former running partner, Earhart (retired from trail running now) – – yes, she has her own FB page. I’m one of those people…
Homebase: Bloomington, Indiana – hometown of The Chris Vargo, Matt “The Stache” Flaherty, and “Mountainless Midwest Boy” Scott Breeden!
Favorite shoe: Salomon Speedcross 3, hands down
1. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done on the trails:
During a training run for the Tecumseh marathon last November, I tripped over a well-marked gate cable on an access road that led onto the trails because I was gazing up and admiring the beautiful blue sky that day. I planted my right knee directly on the gravel road. To add to the stupidity, I figured I should just go ahead and keep running because I figured the bleeding would stop eventually and I didn’t really want to wait to get a ride back to the start. I was amazed at the bright red blood that was literally bubbling out of my knee (later learned that’s what happens with arterial bleeding…) The injury took me down for over a month and still gives me fits once in a while, but I consider myself lucky. I still look at the sky when on the trails… but only when standing still.
2. How long have you been running? Ultras?
I ran when I was a kid in middle school and high school but didn’t run distance. My coach gave me the option to run distance or learn hurdles and when I saw how hard the distance runners worked, I immediately opted for hurdles! The longest I ran back then was at the age of 12 when I entered the 5K local Turkey Trot and got second in my age group (there were three of us). The next race I entered was 30 years later at the Land Between the Lakes where I ran a 23K.
The first Ultra (and first marathon) I ran was two years later, in March 2011, at the age of 44 where I ran the 60K at LBL. My best friend (and UGo Bars founder), Tracy Gates, introduced me to trail running a few years earlier, and after running the 23K two years in a row, I wanted to stretch my goal. I knew the marathon was doable, but the 60K would be a goal I wasn’t sure I could reach so I found a training plan online, adapted it a bit and just went out and did the work. It was a pretty amazing feeling to complete that first one.
3. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started running ultras?
Circumstance is what you make of it. Snow and ice? Run slower or get on the roads/access roads instead of trails. Rain? An opportunity to play in the mud. Sick to your stomach? Walk a bit and enjoy the scenery. Can’t run/train as expected? Do some other cross training, reset goals, brew beer, spend more time with your former running partner/aging dog…
4. What’s been your best race?
That had to be my 50 miler at LBL last year. It was truly the only one I “raced” and was the hardest thing physically and mentally I’ve ever done. I misread the directions and thought I had to finish under 11 hours in order for it to be considered valid when the actual rules were that you had to be on pace for 11 hours at the end of 3 of 4 loops. It took every ounce of effort to complete it in the time I did and was an incredible group effort of friends who trained with me as well as Tracy, who helped me believe in myself and still likes me after seeing the worst of me come out in the last few miles. Full report here.
5. Who’s you like to hear on URP?
Well, of course, Chris Vargo and Matt Flaherty, but also would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Scott Breeden on URP. Scott owns records at Lovin the Hills and LBL and won Mountain Mist and placed 20th at TNF this year, amongst many other accomplishments. He edged out Vargo in 2009 to take 3rd place at the Tecumseh marathon when he was just 18 yrs old (I didn’t know Scott then so I was actually there cheering for Vargo). He is one bright kid (trying get into med school and study something to do with altitude medicine…). Anyone who meets him will tell you he is truly one of the nicest guys on this earth. I just want to snuggle him!
Bonus Question: Favorite beer?
Okay, a little shameless self-promotion here, but I’d have to say it’s my own homebrew of Moomi’s Milk Stout. (Tracy named Moomi who is featured on the label.)
I also like my SNPA clone, Pate Hollow Pale Ale (Pate Hollow is my favorite running trail in the Hoosier National Forest about 20 min from my house) –
If I had to pick a true brewery beer, I’d go with one of our many great local craft breweries and pick Bloomington Brewing Co’s seasonal Java Porter.