Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for November, 2013

Published 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!


Published 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.