Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Miler

Most people stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to ring in the new year. Apparently we’re not most people because David and I stayed up to register for the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler, registration opening at the stroke of midnight and sure to sell out by daybreak. Word is it was sold out in just a few hours, so our efforts were sound. This was to be our first 50 miler so we didn’t want to mess around.

 

TRT 50 is a beautiful course, on and near the Tahoe Rim Trail on the NE side of Lake Tahoe. Top to bottom, it is incredibly well put together. For me, it was a fantastic choice for a first 50 miler.

 
Unlike most races I’ve run, I didn’t get to preview the course beforehand. In fact, I had never even been to Lake Tahoe before. Normally, I would have considered this a disadvantage, but I think on this day it served me well. It was a very hot day, up to 95 degrees, so keeping mental focus and staying away from negative thoughts was critical. Not being able to anticipate what was coming ahead, other than a general sense of “the next part is up, followed by some down”, kept me on point with a zen-like flow to my day. I had studied the map and elevation profile and listened to verbal walk-throughs, but otherwise the actual course only revealed itself to me as I went. As a result, the day just seemed to fly right by. Looking back, I have no idea what I actually thought about all day long, I just know that I was fully present, enjoying the beautiful, doesn’t-happen-every-day state of flow.

Marlette Peak, around mile 9

Marlette Peak, around mile 9. Photo credit: Keith Facchino

My plan for the day was simple. Chunk it down, keep it easy until after the climb at miles 30-32ish, and then go for it with whatever I have. David and I also agreed to try and run together all day, but that we would also be ok with separating at any point. We ran together through about mile 18-19ish and then I just never saw him again until his incredible finish. Please read his blog to fully appreciate the day he had. He is my hero all over again!

 
After we separated, I ran from aid station to aid station, taking time to cool off with icy sponge baths and fill my sports bra with cups of ice. A fabulous volunteer at the Diamond Peak aid station taught me that trick and now I am forever grateful! I sounded like a human ice chest running through the woods the rest of the day, kachunk kachunk kachunking along, but I was so much cooler and comfortable. I also used my Ice Cold Towel, wearing it like a little magic super hero cape. Surely I looked and sounded silly, but I really don’t care because I was running well and passing others that were melting in the heat. I also have a new best friend in the volunteer at Diamond Peak that was hosing everyone off. PERFECT! My legs felt fantastic all the way to the end, giving me a finishing time of 11:18:32, earning me 9th female and 29th overall.

TRT 50 Course Profile

TRT 50 Course Profile

Mile 50+. Total mileage was 50.32 according to my watch.

Mile 50+. Total mileage was 50.32 according to my watch. Photo credit: Joe Azze

After a shower and a pathetic attempt at eating a burrito, I sat in the bleachers to wait for David. Nobody knew if/where he was on the course, so all I could do was sit and wait. In the meantime, I met some fantastic people and cheered in other runners. Incredibly, he finished nearly two hours after me, with a very respectable time of 13:06:43, especially considering the adversity he faced. Seeing him finish was the highlight of my entire day.

 

 

After some food, showers, and fitful sleep, we went back the next morning to watch our coach, Ian Torrence, finish the 100-miler. The drop out rate for his race was nearly 50% so to finish at all is worth a standing ovation. We learned a lot by running with the 100-milers and watching the day unfold for friends. Read his race report here.
 

That evening, 7 of us gathered for dinner. It was remarkable to sit and reflect on the wildly different days we each had, yet know that we were all on the same course on the same hot day. We had everything from my zen-flow day to lightning fast running, quad cramps and a drop at mile 80, bee stings, crashes with mountain bikers resulting in broken bones (the biker, not the runner), bee stings and epi pens, police and EMS, dry heaves, fantastic pacers, naps in sleeping bags, purple superhero capes, and a collective 80% finish rate. It really illustrates that so many other variables come into play and you can never plan for everything. Above all, this sport is incredibly humbling and just begs you to come back for more.

 
GIGANTIC thank yous go to: David for always being supportive and running with me, Ian Torrence for coaching us, Melanie Haskell for helping with the family, Dr. Jason Steinle and Health and Harmony Chiropractic, Jessica Wilson and Cindy Stone of Evergreen Center for Therapeutic Massage, TRT for the incredible event, and all our friends for the constant support.

 
Next up, David and I will run the Gore-Tex Trans-Alpine Run – 8 days through the Alps, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. Stay tuned for the adventure!

TransAlpine-Run 2013

Gore-Tex® TransAlpine-Run 2013

Happy New Year to you! I’m a couple of weeks late with my wish, but I truly do hope this is your best year yet. As with the beginning of every new year, it is a time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the new year. I always look back to recognize and celebrate everything that was accomplished, acknowledge what was learned, and recognize what needs to change moving forward and what new goals to set. Then, with all of that in mind, I can start to look forward in planning my best year ever. In coming posts I’ll break down for you all the areas I consider when planning my year, but a big category for me is planning my athletic endeavors. Taking care of my health and challenging myself physically are a huge part of who I am!

We sat down with our coach, Ian Torrence, recently to plan out our race year. The title of this blog post gives it away a bit, but we’ve got a number of events planned for the year, with the TransAlpine-Run being a focal point. We ran the TransRockies Run last summer, so why not compete in the sister event in the Alps? And, what better way to see the Alps??

What is the Gore-Tex® TransAlpine-Run?

I am so glad you asked! Each year is slightly different, but this year it is an 8-day pairs stage race through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. The distance is about 250km and there is about 50,000 ft. of climbing. While the elevation range is lower than we are used to here in Colorado, the terrain and elevation gain will be tremendous and insanely challenging.

As we did last year with the TransRockies Run, we are creating a video log of our journey with our training and sharing it at therunningmartins.com. Please subscribe and share it everywhere – we need all the support we can get this year! In addition to this, we will also be doing our first ever 50-mile race as well as several other 50km and shorter races.

One of the best things to come from getting involved in ultrarunning has by far been the connections we’ve gotten with other people. It is really interesting because ultrarunning is very much a solitary sport – the race fields are typically very small, the distances so long that you might not see another soul for a few hours, and the training usually includes countless hours with just yourself. YET, when we do meet others, the connections run deep and friendships are forever.

TransAlpine-Run Folks ROCK!

Check out what the kind people at TransAlpine-Run posted about us? This made my week to find!

 

Needless to say, we are SUPER excited to not only participate in, but to take the journey in training for the TransAlpine-Run this year! Looking back at what we accomplished last year showed us that we are ready to up our game and take on bigger challenges. My hope is that we will be able to say the same thing at the end of 2013!

Please follow our TransAlpine-Run journey and subscribe to therunningmartins.com. Also, stay tuned for more posts from me on setting goals!

Training Day 1.

Please visit the TransAlpine-Run website here.

How Much Do You Workout?

OK, it’s no secret. I love to workout! For me it is fun, a stress reliever, and a time to be creative. However, without very specific goals, I can get bored. I’m a huge fan of setting goals of all sorts, especially shooting for events where you can apply your fitness and put it to the test.

“How much do you workout, Carey? It must be hours every day, right?” NO! I used to overdo it and ended up burnt out and injured, needing to take long periods to heal and/or simply recover. This should be a lifestyle, so that simply won’t do! I’m a huge supporter of moderation. Remember, your body makes its real gains during the recovery, so if you’re constantly working, working, working, you’re not allowing your body the time it needs to make the real gains you’re asking of it. My workouts are about an hour a day on average. Some days are longer (long run days for example). I incorporate lots of stretching and rolling and will do that on my 1-2 rest days each week. Interestingly, the more moderate I’ve been, the better my results! Combine this with what’ going on in the kitchen and it’s a recipe for success!

AMAZING and FUN events

I shared that I like to put my fitness to the test by entering fun events. These are my mile markers – a chance to see how I’m doing. This coming year we’ve chosen some AMAZING and FUN events to train for that will take us all over the country. How fun is that? Follow along on our travels! Keep an eye on the videos because you better believe we’ll have some fun ones to share! Everything from southern Mexico to central California coast to Georgia to the Rockies. Oh, and the Grand Canyon, too!

The cool thing about traveling? We can take our workouts on the road! Want to learn how? Stay tuned and I’ll show you!

About Food and Diet

I get SOOOO many questions about food and diet! I LOVE IT! I have a lot of thoughts about food and diet and want to share it all with you. I’m not a nutritionist, but I am happy to share what I’ve learned and what I do.

First, without proper nutrition, your workouts can be fruitless. Garbage in = garbage out. You may get some decent results with less than stellar nutrition, but you won’t be as efficient in getting those results. I love to workout, but I certainly don’t want to be wasting any time! How about you?

My approach to nutrition is pretty simple. I’m a busy mom of two picky boys and I don’t love to cook. I don’t even like to do the grocery shopping. Despite this, it is possible to eat well and still enjoy food! Let me show you how.

Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 – Back and 6-Pack

Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 – Back and 6-Pack

What a breath of fresh air! Another day with weather uncooperative for running so it was definitely a sign to stay indoors and attack some core work. As you know, I love core work, but I love having lots of variety and staying away from the same ol’ same ol’ that can be found with endless crunches, etc. There is not a ONE in this Asylum volume 2 workout! You will not spend one minute lying on your back, are rarely will you get to sit down. YES!

For this workout you need a surprising amount of equipment – yoga mat, jumprope, medium weight dumbbells, a few lightweight dumbbells, strength bands, and optionally a pull-up bar. For this first go-around, I opted to not use the pull-up bar, but I can see how tremendous it will be when added! The workout was plenty the way I did it, so don’t hesitate to ease into it – your copy of Asylum Volume 2 isn’t going anywhere!

FAQs about Asylum Volume 2

Here are some new questions that have come my way:

1. Which volume do you prefer? This is a tough question! I am approaching them very differently so it is difficult to say. I also have a few more workouts to preview before putting it together and going for some REAL RESULTS. I definitely think they will go together as a whole very beautifully and that I absolutely recommend that everyone tackle Asylum Volume 1 before taking on Asylum Volume 2.

2. Can I modify for my abilities? Yes! Absolutely! As crazy as these workouts are, they can be modified for a lot of levels. In the videos you will see several different levels of modifying going on as examples for you. Also, if you can only do a few seconds of each exercise to start, then just do that! Just keep going and you will improve. You are doing more than everyone else that is doing nothing!

3. I’m super sore. What should I do? Definitely feel free to throw in an extra stretch day. Get friendly with your foam roller and learn some self myofascial release. Take an epsom salt bath. Get a massage. Do some sort of lighter movement. Drink lots of water. Eat well. Asylum Volume 2 is a bear, but make the schedule work for YOUR body – don’t get married to the schedule.

What types of workouts are in The Asylum Volume 2?

Here’s the breakdown. I am working my way through each so please come back to see reviews and videos for each:

  • AGILITY TUTORIAL – 25 mins. of agility ladder tutorials
  • X TRAINER – 50 mins. of speed, strength, power, and agility
  • UPPER ELITE – 60 mins. of dynamic work for shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, and back
  • POWER LEGS – 55 mins. of burning work for quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves
  • AB SHREDDER – 20 mins. of ab work with NO sit-ups or crunches
  • BACK & 6-PACK – 40 mins of 360-degree core work that shreds fat while building the core
  • CHAMPIONSHIP – 60 mins. of Game Day Take 2
  • OFF-DAY STRETCH – 30 mins. of stretching and refocusing

What comes with The Asylum Volume 2?

Great question! At the time I’m writing this, the only kit available is the Base Kit which comes with the workout discs, schedules (30 days plus an additional 8 week Asylum 1/Asylum 2 hybrid schedule), quick start guide, and nutrition guide. You will need to have your own agility ladder, speedrope, weights, and floor mat. If you already own The Asylum Volume 1, you should have everything you need. If you don’t, I suggest getting it and starting with that program before taking on The Asylum Volume 2!

Watch me do my best with today’s workout!

Purchase The Asylum Volume 1 here:

Purchase The Asylum Volume 2 here:

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  • Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 – Power Legs Review

    Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 - Power Legs Review

    Oh, boy! November was probably the busiest month I have ever had and as a result, it took me until now to get to this workout. I did plenty of running, just no Shaun T. Let me tell you what - taking time away like this has me paying today! This is an incredibly fun workout, but also killer on the legs. Power Legs is NO JOKE! Shaun T declares at one point in this video that he is going to "kill you today"; he is true to his word!

    For this workout you need your ladder, a heavier dumbbell, and bands. There are plenty of plyo moves, but also some agility ladder work, slower focused work (beware of the final Burn Out!), and all sorts of fun with the bands. Just like all the people in the video, you will be pushing to your max. I definitely suggest starting with a lighter band (yellow or green) and not red like I did. My yellow and green bands have all broken so I thought I'd give it a try. It was doable, but not the smartest way to start. If you'd like to take a peek at some of the moves, scroll down to my review video and leave a review if you like!

    FAQs about Asylum Volume 2

    I have had some GREAT questions about Asylum Volume 2. Here are some new ones I've gotten recently. Please keep sending them my way.

    1. Do I need to do Asylum 1 first? I think it helps because Shaun T builds upon what happened in Volume 1, but it isn't 100% necessary. However, the currently available version of Asylum Volume 2 does not include the sildenafil or speedrope. (You can provide your own or click the links in the previous sentence to buy them separately.) Another reason to have Asylum 1 is to do the hybrid at the end. Can you imagine 8 weeks of Asylum Volume 1 AND Asylum Volume 2 together? YAHH!

    2. Is this good to do as a hybrid? YES! I think these workouts are excellent as planned in the Asylum 2 program, but I also think they are great used in conjunction with other programs or other types of workouts. Get creative with your hybrid planning, always looking first at what your goals are.

    3. Can I just do these workouts sometimes? This goes along with number two. If you use these along with other types of training, I think it can be an excellent blend. Adding these to my ultrarunning would be really smart, stimulating more work in all energy systems. These would be great to add in with football, soccer, tennis, etc. Take a look at the Agility Tutorial and X Trainer, both of which were very focused on the agility ladder. Give it a shot!

    What types of workouts are in The Asylum Volume 2?

    Here's the breakdown. I am working my way through each so please come back to see reviews and videos for each:

    • AGILITY TUTORIAL - 25 mins. of agility ladder tutorials
    • X TRAINER - 50 mins. of speed, strength, power, and agility
    • UPPER ELITE - 60 mins. of dynamic work for shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, and back
    • POWER LEGS - 55 mins. of burning work for quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves
    • AB SHREDDER - 20 mins. of ab work with NO sit-ups or crunches
    • BACK & 6-PACK - 40 mins of 360-degree core work that shreds fat while building the core
    • CHAMPIONSHIP - 60 mins. of Game Day Take 2
    • OFF-DAY STRETCH - 30 mins. of stretching and refocusing

    What comes with The Asylum Volume 2?

    Great question! At the time I'm writing this, the only kit available is the Base Kit which comes with the workout discs, schedules (30 days plus an additional 8 week Asylum 1/Asylum 2 hybrid schedule), quick start guide, and nutrition guide. You will need to have your own agility ladder, speedrope, weights, and floor mat. If you already own The Asylum Volume 1, you should have everything you need. If you don't, I suggest getting it and starting with that program before taking on The Asylum Volume 2!

    Watch me do my best with today's workout!

    Purchase The Asylum Volume 1 here:

    Purchase The Asylum Volume 2 here:

    Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 – Upper Elite Review

    Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 – Upper Elite Review

    Shaun T meant it when he said he was taking it up a notch! We all asked for more weights work from Shaun – Insanity had none, Asylum Volume 1 had some, but Insanity the Asylum Volume 2 has it GOING ON! This is just the third workout in the series that I have reviewed, but he has gone bananas with the upper body work and included plenty of weights in Upper Elite.

    I am an ultrarunner. I don’t spend much time with upper body weights – I don’t want to carry a lot of weight on top. In doing today’s workout I decided to use lighter weights, copying what the girls in the video were using. It was plenty for me, especially the first time through so I could learn the workout and the pacing. It is a full hour long and has just a few breaks – get ready to go when you put this one in! Upper Elite focuses on biceps, triceps, deltoids (all three areas), pecs, abs (all areas), and he throws in some agility work in the ladder just for fun. That is my favorite part!

    FAQs about Asylum Volume 2

    I have had some GREAT questions about Asylum Volume 2. Please keep sending them my way.

    1. Do I need to do Asylum 1 first? I think it helps because Shaun T builds upon what happened in Volume 1, but it isn’t 100% necessary. However, the currently available version of Asylum Volume 2 does not include the agility ladder or speedrope. (You can provide your own or click the links in the last sentence to buy them separately.) Another reason to have Asylum 1 is to do the hybrid at the end. Can you imagine 8 weeks of Asylum Volume 1 AND Asylum Volume 2 together? YAHH!

    2. It looks way too hard, forget it. OK, it isn’t easy and it isn’t for beginners, but it isn’t as crazy as it looks. Until this review, the only videos you may have seen me do are the Agility Tutorial and X Trainer, both of which were very focused on the agility ladder. I am a trail runner so this comes easily to me. My trails are rocky, rooty, mountain trails so running for me is basically constant 3-D agility ladder work with forward momentum. I am not an expert, and the sequences are taught in a really straightforward fashion. Give it a shot!

    3. How much space do I need to do Asylum Volume 2? Ideally about 10′x15′ if you want to set everything up and not shuffle things around. Otherwise, just enough room to set up your agility ladder and have space to work on all sides of it. The ladder is about the same length as the plyo pad, or a yoga mat. Also, you will want to have enough height to use the speed rope. In a pinch, move furniture around a bit to add a little extra space.

    What types of workouts are in The Asylum Volume 2?

    Here’s the breakdown. I am working my way through each so please come back to see reviews and videos for each:

    • AGILITY TUTORIAL – 25 mins. of agility ladder tutorials
    • X TRAINER – 50 mins. of speed, strength, power, and agility
    • UPPER ELITE – 60 mins. of dynamic work for shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, and back
    • POWER LEGS – 55 mins. of burning work for quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves
    • AB SHREDDER – 20 mins. of ab work with NO sit-ups or crunches
    • BACK & 6-PACK – 40 mins of 360-degree core work that shreds fat while building the core
    • CHAMPIONSHIP – 60 mins. of Game Day Take 2
    • OFF-DAY STRETCH – 30 mins. of stretching and refocusing

    What comes with The Asylum Volume 2?

    Great question! At the time I’m writing this, the only kit available is the Base Kit which comes with the workout discs, schedules (30 days plus an additional 8 week Asylum 1/Asylum 2 hybrid schedule), quick start guide, and nutrition guide. You will need to have your own agility ladder, speedrope, weights, and floor mat. If you already own The Asylum Volume 1, you should have everything you need. If you don’t, I suggest getting it and starting with that program before taking on The Asylum Volume 2!

    Watch me do my best with today’s workout!
    Purchase The Asylum Volume 1 here:

    Purchase The Asylum Volume 2 here:

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    Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 – X Trainer Review

    Insanity The Asylum Volume 2 – X Trainer Review

    Here we go, the first full workout in The Asylum Volume 2! I am SO HAPPY I took the time to do the Agility Tutorial yesterday because it paid off big time today! I know it is so tempting to skip tutorials, especially if you have been doing other difficult workouts, but this one is a MUST DO! It saved me so much time and frustration.

    X Trainer is a 50 minute workout that is similar in design to Speed & Agility from The Asylum Volume 1. The main difference is that X Trainer has much more complex footwork patterns in the ladder. There are fun and challenging new variations to the rest of the work that help keep things fresh and interesting, pushing you to grow with new challenges. There are lots of crazy new pushup sequences that will challenge the best, and can be modified for all levels. Shaun T’s Athletic Matrix came into full effect with this workout! This is his pro-athlete training model that uses dynamic multi-directional movements to activate multiple muscle groups at the same time. This is a super efficient way to work out that has so many levels to challenge yourself with. The Asylum Volume 2 is delivering on its promise to take you to the next level!

    What types of workouts are in The Asylum Volume 2?

    Here’s the breakdown. I am working my way through each so please come back to see reviews and videos for each:

    • AGILITY TUTORIAL – 25 mins. of agility ladder tutorials
    • X TRAINER – 50 mins. of speed, strength, power, and agility
    • UPPER ELITE – 60 mins. of dynamic work for shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, and back
    • POWER LEGS – 55 mins. of burning work for quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves
    • AB SHREDDER – 20 mins. of ab work with NO sit-ups or crunches
    • BACK & 6-PACK – 40 mins of 360-degree core work that shreds fat while building the core
    • CHAMPIONSHIP – 60 mins. of Game Day Take 2
    • OFF-DAY STRETCH – 30 mins. of stretching and refocusing

    What comes with The Asylum Volume 2?

    Great question! At the time I’m writing this, the only kit available is the Base Kit which comes with the workout discs, schedules (30 days plus an additional 8 week Asylum 1/Asylum 2 hybrid schedule), quick start guide, and nutrition guide. You will need to have your own agility ladder, speedrope, weights, and floor mat. If you already own The Asylum Volume 1, you should have everything you need. If you don’t, I suggest getting it and starting with that program before taking on The Asylum Volume 2!

    Watch me do my best with today’s workout!

    Purchase The Asylum Volume 1 here:

    Purchase The Asylum Volume 2 here: