Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

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January 5th, 2016



<knock knock> HELLLOOO?  Anyone here?

Yeah, so clearly I’ve gotten lax on the ol’ blogging front.  Can’t even blame it on the cancer, as thankfully I’ve been cancer-free for over a year.  Rather, I’ve suffered a lack of motivation on the running front, which has lasted far longer than I anticipated.


Eager to have a goal race to look forward to after having to bail out of the IMTUF 100, Waldo 100K and White River 50, I signed up for the Umstead 100, held in Raleigh, NC at the end of March.  I heard great things about the race, and since it was very close to my sister in Chapel Hill, I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone.

With the lumpectomy and radiation therapy, my mileage was pretty low July-September, but I figured I’d amp it up come October.  I did increase it somewhat, but my motivation was still at an all-time low.  Ditto for November, and December, and… well let’s just say by the time I toed the line at the end of March I was just hoping to finish within the 30-hour cutoff.  The result?  I PRd by over an hour, finishing in 25:54.  WHUT?  Buoyed by this I entered the Lumberjack 100 two weeks later.  It was rough, but I squeaked in under cutoff.  This was the confidence boost I needed for my next big adventure: the Bigfoot 200.


I knew I’d have to step things up considerably for Bigfoot, a 200-mile jaunt around Mt. St. Helens, but my performance at Umstead left me cocky.  “I just have to maintain a fast hike,” I told myself.  While I got out on several long runs around Mt. Rainier, my weekly mileage averaged only 35-45 miles in May, June and July.  When I toed the line at that race start I was scared shitless — for good reason.  Within the first few miles it was clear this would be FAR harder than I anticipated, as I gingerly made my way through a mile-long boulder field.  I actually thought I’d get cut at the first aid station at mile 12!  Fortunately I made it with time to spare, but I was fighting cutoffs for the rest of the way.  (I was joined by the sweepers starting at mile 75).  I eventually made it to mile 110, where I had hoped to pick up a friend to pace me, as well as get some much-needed sleep.  However, the volunteers said that the cutoff at the next aid station — 19 miles away — was in 8 hours.  Normally this wouldn’t faze me, but the section had the steepest and longest climb of the race.  I just didn’t think I’d make it without sleep or a pacer.  Defeated, I chose to DNF.


After licking my DNF wounds and having my pity party, I set my sights on the Rio del Lago 100 in November.  My darling and two of my friends were also running it, and I was looking forward to the party.  However, it wasn’t enough to get my butt out the door to train; my average weekly mileage was a dismal 25 miles in September and October.  Once again I hoped my endurance base would get me to the finish line, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Between taking a couple of hard falls and having to huff it to make a few cutoffs, my body and spirit were broken.  I actually was grateful to not make the mile 84 cutoff, as it meant I could stop running (although by then I could only muster up a fast hobble).

In the three weeks after RDL I only ran once a week.  I felt my joy for running had disappeared; I was far happier with my other hobby: sewing.  However, since that doesn’t do much to keep my weight at bay, I knew I’d have to come up with a plan to kickstart my running.

Enter REDFAM — Run Every Day for a Month.

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July 2nd, 2014

Independence Day



This coming 4th of July, I will celebrate the independence of a small tumor from my left breast.  Talk about life’s curveballs!  Not something I ever expected — colon cancer runs in the family, not breast cancer.

Although the guidelines have now changed, I’ve been getting regular mammograms every year for at least five years.  A couple of years ago I was called back for an ultrasound as they found an abnormality; I was totally freaked out, but fortunately it was for naught.  So when I got called back after my May 16 mammogram, I wasn’t concerned.  (My breast tissue is dense, so it can be hard to read with just a mammogram).

During the ultrasound the doc was a tad concerned about one area (appeared as shading), but not particularly so.  He said it very well could be how the breast tissue was formed, but he recommended getting a biopsy “just in case.”  Again, I wasn’t concerned.  Hell, I even scheduled the biopsy three days before a 50-mile race!  (My über expensive yet highly supportive bra earned its keep: I ran a 30-minute personal best.)

They said I would likely get my biopsy results two days later.  Friday came and went with no call, but I wasn’t worried.  Monday came and went, and I decided if I didn’t hear by Tuesday afternoon, I’d call.  My darling and I were sitting on the couch Facebooking Tuesday morning when the phone rang; my heart jumped into my throat when I heard my doctor’s voice.  (Typically if it’s good news then a nurse calls).  Once I heard the word “cancer” come out of her mouth I pretty much became oblivious to anything else she said.  (It was like the adults in a “Charlie Brown” cartoon: “WAH WAH WAH WAAH, WAH WAH WAH WAAH.”)

I had to have her repeat what I had; she used the terms “infiltrating lobular, low-grade” and “in-situ.”  She had made an appointment for me to meet with a breast cancer surgeon that coming Friday (the 13th, no less.)  I hung up the phone and burst into tears.  As I dialed my sister to inform her, my darling turned to Dr. Google with the information we had.  As I blubbered to my sister about having cancer, he’s saying, “It’s not cancer!”  Rather, it was “lobular carcinoma in-situ (LCIS),” which is not considered a “true” cancer.  However, it means you’re at a greater risk for developing cancer in the future, so regular screenings and hormone therapy are recommended.

This information helped relieve me a bit, and I decided to hold off on telling my other siblings and my mom until after I met with the surgeon.  But the waiting was the worst part (patience is not one of my virtues).  It also gave me time to turn to Dr. Google myself.  I kept coming back to the word “infiltrating;” while “in-situ” means “in place, “infiltrating,” well, means the exact opposite.  My worries returned but all I could do was wait to meet with the surgeon.

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December 18th, 2013

C-C-C-Cajun C-C-C-Coyote 100


Buckle and age group award.

I never expected this race would take more mental fortitude to finish than Cascade Crest.  In reviewing the elevation profile, it make Rocky Raccoon look hilly.  Fortunately I had heard the course has some steep upsie downsies, albeit short.  I knew I couldn’t take the course for granted.

Cascade Crest really wiped me out, and with my father’s death and getting sick a couple of times, my training wasn’t ideal.  However, I did get my long runs in.  (My 50th birthday run was a huge confidence boost).  I figured it’d be best to show up rested and sans injury, and that I had enough endurance where I could at least finish.

We stayed in Opelousas (which we dubbed OompaLoompas), which is about 40 miles from the start/finish.  (The Best Western in Ville Platte, the closer town, was sold out).  Got in late on Thursday, but slept in, grabbed some breakfast, and headed to the S/F to meet up with friends Kelly, his wife Jo, and Burke for a shakeout run on Friday.  We of course had been monitoring the weather; winter storm Cleon swept through north Texas resulting in treacherous icy conditions.  While things were fine in the south we did get colder than normal temps.  It was in the low 40s on Friday; on Wednesday it had been close to 80!

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November 13th, 2013

Cascade Crest part 2: Show Time

I dedicate this report to my Dad, A. Raymond Rogers, who gracefully bowed out of this world on August 27 at age 87. I am grateful I had the chance to tell him about my latest adventure before he passed. I now share it with you.

We last left our intrepid heroine trying her best not to drive her darling bat shit crazy. (He would argue that happened long ago).

Due to client vacations, I was fortunate to have a light work week leading up to the race. Not the best thing for my wallet, but it gave me time to order, and pack, and reorder, and repack (and, um, reorder and repack) my drop bags. I heard horror stories of food running out at Leadville this year, so I packed enough gels and other nummies to feed an army. The aid stations are well stocked with “real” food, but I wanted to be prepared lest something didn’t sound appealing. My goal was to eat at least 100 calories every half an hour, and increase my caffeine intake as the day wore on. (I even packed some Starbucks DoubleShots in my drop bags at mile 33, 53 and 80). I would be running alone in the dark for several hours and did NOT want a repeat of my Rocky Raccoon sleepies. I met my friend Tracy — who was also running the race — for cupcakes the day before, then ate a hearty, yet healthy lunch and dinner. By 8:30 p.m. it was lights out.

While Cascade Crest can arguably be one of the tougher 100s out there, it has a very civilized start time: 10 a.m. Granted, most runners probably don’t get a heck of a lot of sleep the night before, but at least there’s no running around at Oh God Thirty gathering one’s things. Since they serve breakfast before the race, I just had some coffee and a banana at home. We were on the road by 7:30 a.m. for the hour+ drive to Easton.

Despite my trepidation over making cutoffs, I felt really good about the race. Sure, I knew I could have done more training wise, but at least I was showing up to the race healthy and injury-free. After grabbing some fruit, pancakes and sausages I milled about with the the other runners, catching up with people I hadn’t seen for a bit. (I figured the “home court advantage” would serve me well; not only did I know at least a third of the field, I also knew at least 1 person at every aid station. It would be a welcome sight to see familiar faces who would provide me with encouragement and motivation along the way).

At 9 a.m. we gathered for the race briefing where Charlie Crissman formally handed the reigns over to the new race director, Rich White. He provided an update on the course, as well as explained what we could expect in terms of markings (heavily marked at intersections with a few confidence markers thrown in). However, given a major portion of the course would run along the PCT, he said that section wouldn’t be as heavily marked. (This would come in to play for me). We lined up at the start with about 15 minutes to go, and after both the U.S. and Canadian national anthems were sung we were off!

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November 13th, 2013

Cascade Crest 100: The Build-up


Cascade Crest is the big leagues, and even though I’ve run a few gnarly trail races (Yakima Skyline, Beacon Rock, White River, Waldo), I knew I’d have to step things up.  I gave myself ample time to recover from Rocky Raccoon, and didn’t start my “formal” training until the beginning of May, although I worked in a few races in March and April.  The first was the Chuckanut 50K; pumped up on antibiotics and steroids to fight a lung infection I managed a cold, wet slog, barely beating last year’s time.  Next up was the American River 50 where I ran a PR in 11:22.  However, things went downhill after that.

While my lung infection had cleared, I still had a persistent cough — something that had plagued me for almost two years.  Thinking it might be acid reflux, a year ago my doctor put me on Prilosec; while the cough diminished it never went away.  We were both eager to fully eliminate it, so in mid April I started a 30-day grain elimination diet, thinking it could possibly be caused by an allergy to wheat and/or grain.  Knowing it could affect my races I waited to start it the day after running the Yakima Skyline 25K.

Last year I swore I’d never return to that race.  While the scenery is gorgeous, I don’t do well on steep, rocky descents — something this race is known for.  But with Cascade Crest coming up, I hiked up my big girl pants and gave it another go.  I was a good half hour ahead of last year’s time when disaster struck: after a particularly gnarly climb I decided to push the pace once I hit level ground.  My foot clipped a rock and I went down… HARD.  Both knees sustained deep gashes, enough to require a tetanus shot.

A week later I toed the line for the Capitol Peak 50-miler.  Between my trepidation over falling and my lack of energy due to my diet restrictions, it was a personal worst.  My only consolation was receiving a handmade mug for coming in DFL.  Two weeks later I once again earned that distinction — sans mug — at the Lost Lake 50K.  My 10-hour finish demoralized me and I questioned whether I was capable of — or deserved to be — running Cascade Crest.  There were more than 100 people on the wait list at that point, and I figured they were far more prepared than me.


The diet experiment left me lethargic and irritable, and although my cough had indeed quieted down, I didn’t think an allergy was to blame.  I started reintroducing grains back into my diet and my energy soon returned.  The fear of falling, however?  THAT stayed with me.  (Didn’t help that I took a couple more tumbles).

Then came my Bighorn 50 disaster.

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February 12th, 2013

Rocky Raccoon 100, part deux: Shock the Monkey

Badass runner. Copyright 2013, Matt Hagen Photography.

Karl Meltzer is wrong — running 100 miles IS far.

My last attempt at Rocky Raccoon didn’t go so well.  I left Hunstville hobbled, dejected and cringing at my rookie mistakes.  I vowed to get the DNF monkey off my back.

So resolute was I to return I managed to register for the 2013 race even before the link went live on the Tejas Trails website (don’t mess with a woman on a mission).  As a result I was third on the list!  The race sold out within a couple of months, but not before several friends also signed up.  It was shaping up to be quite the vengeance party.

Unlike in past race reports, I won’t bore you with the minutiae of my training.  In short, I’d give it a B+.  Didn’t run as many miles as planned, especially during the week, but I committed to my long runs.  (Between Oct. 1 and Jan. 12 I ran five 50Ks, two trail marathons and a 50-mile training run).  Most of my runs were on trails, and I also worked in a couple of multi-loop runs to simulate the Rocky course.

My training almost got sidelined a couple of times due to a cold, but fortunately it wasn’t too severe.  The second time it hit was during my 3-week taper, and since there wasn’t much I could do to improve my fitness, I focused on rest and recovery (and obsessing about my race pacing, the weather, my gear choices, etc.)  By race week my cold was basically gone, save for a pesky cough.  But the burning in my chest was gone and my breathing had returned.  I was pretty confident I could waddle my way to the finish line within the 30-hour cutoff.

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November 30th, 2012

Seattle Quadzuki 2012

As a member of both the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics, I’ve gotten a bit addicted to running races.  Now that I’m running ultras my addiction has lessened somewhat (I now try to limit to those races that will be good training runs for my goal races), but I decided I’d go for six “moons” for the Half Fanatics by running the Seattle “Quadzuki” — four halves in four days.  (I ran the full version — the Quadzilla — two years ago).

My darling and I put on the first race: the Wattle Waddle & Wittle Waddle.  While we intended it to be a low-key “fat ass” type of race — it’s on Thanksgiving Day, after all — unfortunately our maniacal and fanatical friends keep begging us to increase registration numbers.  In 2010 we limited it to 102 runners (the number of people who came over on the Mayflower); despite selling out only 78 people showed up due to a snowstorm.  We upped the number in 2011 to 150, and we had 148 finishers.  This year we capped it again at 150, but upped it to 200 due to popular demand.  While we had several no-shows, we also had people trying to get in day-of-race (for $50 cash we gave ’em a bib).

Day 1 — Wittle Waddle

Since we were still trying to find volunteers to man a couple of aid stations the week of the race, I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to start my race.  (I was either going to start super early, then man a station myself, or run afterward).  But fortunately we got the needed volunteers and I could start pretty much on time.  However, just as I was about to go we got a call from the far aid station — he took off with just one jug of Gatorade and no water.  I hopped in my car, delivered the goods and got back to start about 40 minutes late.  However, it worked in my favor as I was able to cheer on the runners on the out & back.  (I also tried to disqualify them for several violations, but for some reason they didn’t take me seriously).

When I got to the mile 6.5 aid station, I found out our volunteers had a verbal altercation with some residents of the neighborhood.  Apparently they always hold a community turkey trot starting right where our station is located (it’s on a public paved trail).  The kids started swarming the table, grabbing at the chips and candy we had out for the runners.  The volunteer politely asked them to stop, but then one of the mothers started saying how it wasn’t fair that we’re not sharing. “It’s Thanksgiving!” she said.  Are you fucking kidding me?  These are people who live in a very affluent neighborhood, yet they’re encouraging their kids to take food they haven’t paid for?  Unbelievable.  Fortunately one of our more gruff runners came up just then and read the moms the riot act.  And if they try that shit next year, we’ll just have to remind them that WE have a permit to be there 🙂

This race was run just for fun; I didn’t care about my time (although I made sure my results are listed under “Empress Turkeytush”).  I walked and chatted with several runners and picked up trash along the way.  I also made a port-o-potty stop, but with about 3 miles to go nature called again.  I figured I could hold it until the finish, but running simply got things moving through my system more quickly.  I hate getting to that point — the faster I run the quicker I can get to a toilet, but the faster I run the more I run the risk of pooping myself before I get there.  Finally the finish came in to sight and I headed directly to the port-o-potty rather than check in to get my time recorded.  (I figured I could always get Weegee to change it any way!)  Finished in 2:28:47.

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September 11th, 2012

Waldo 100K: It’s all about the hat


When it became clear I’d be running my 100th race of marathon distance or further in 2012 I started thinking about the perfect race to commemorate said feet, er, feat.  I wanted to challenge myself, so I considered the Cascade Crest 100.  I liked the thought of running 100 for my 100th, plus the timing was right for hitting #100 without having to cram in a bunch of races.  Problem was, the race scared the bejeezus out of me.  While I had become much more confident on the trails, this was varsity-level stuff.  Even with year-long preparation, I wasn’t sure I’d be up for it.

When a friend of mine suggested the Waldo 100K, I knew I found my race.  I’d still be running 100 for my 100th, it too was perfect timing (it’s a week before Cascade Crest), plus it would provide the challenge I sought without chewing me up (at least I hoped).  In order to earn the coveted Waldo hat, runners had to finish within 16 hours of the regular start, or 18 from the early start.  I knew from the get-go I’d not only need the extra time, I was concerned about making the 18-hour cutoff.

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February 8th, 2012

Rocky Raccoon 100: shoulda stuck with the 50

I had it too easy at Javelina. All the pain and suffering I’ve heard about in 100-mile races? I came through virtually unscathed. Sure, I had some low points, but overall it was an incredible experience.

Leave it to the Raccoon to bring me back down to earth.

When some good friends mentioned they’d be signing up for Rocky Raccoon, my husband immediately jumped on board for the 100. I, however, was torn. Take my chances and sign up for the 100 despite not having run one yet, or stick with the 50-mile? I knew the 50 tended to sell out, so I didn’t want to wait until after Javelina in November. I emailed Joe Prusaitis, the RD, to see if I could upgrade if all things went well and he confirmed I could.

Six days after Javelina I sent him a check to cover the extra cost.

Eleven days after that I pulled my right hamstring — in yoga, no less.

Between that and some major overindulgence during the holidays my training was not ideal. In the nine weeks prior to Rocky I logged just over 320 miles; 100 miles less than what I logged for Javelina during the same timeframe. I also didn’t run anything further than a marathon, although I did get in two. I figured rest & recovery would better serve me and hoped the endurance I’d built up would pull me through.

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December 1st, 2011

2011 Javelina Jundred: If You Can Hold On, Hold On

Best. Finish. Ever!

My 27 hours, 42 minutes and 30 seconds in the Arizona desert were some of the most challenging, yet rewarding moments in my life.  My mood ranged from sheer elation to fatiguing funk – sometimes just minutes apart – but my journey to that point fully prepared me for any obstacle that presented itself.  When the low points started descending upon me, I conjured up the sage advice I received from my fellow ultrarunners, dismissing the doldrums with ease (or at least stuffing them far down into the pain cave).  Failure was not an option; I would continue on until no longer possible.

When there’s no where else to run
Despite racking up several marathons and ultras, I didn’t think a 100-miler was in my future.  But less than 2 hours after expressing that sentiment to a couple of my ultrarunner friends during a 12-hour race last year I was coveting the JJ buckle another friend had just earned.  She raved about the race, saying it was great for first-timers.  Because it was held around Halloween (or “Jalloween”), costumes are encouraged.  Given costumes were de rigeur for my first marathon, the Marathon du Medoc, this was particularly apt. The fact one could earn a buckle for finishing at least 100K was another plus (severe knee problems had forced my friend to drop to the “wuss out” option, but she still proudly wore her 100K buckle).

Since the 2011 date hadn’t yet been set, the next day I was Googling “2011 full moon schedule” knowing the race would be held on the full moon weekend closest to Halloween.  The first option – Oct. 15-16 – wasn’t ideal as I knew the temps could still be quite toasty (I’m not a fan of heat).  But I was ecstatic to see the second option – Nov. 12-13 – as it not only might mean cooler weather, the race would start on my birthday.  I checked the race website religiously over the next couple of weeks, waiting for the date announcement.  Impatient, I emailed the race director.  I jumped for joy when he confirmed it would be in November.  I must have been one of the first to sign up once registration opened.

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