Category Archives: trail running

Run the Rock 50K

Southern Pines Ultra Running ClubMy first 50K and my first race with Southern Pines Ultra Running Club. Jessica, the club manager, hosted a preview run a couple of weeks prior. It was good and bad to know what was coming on race day. Only an hour away from Raleigh, Raven Rock State Park is a great place to run trails, explore the Cape Fear River and the woods.

The race is two 5ish mile loops of single track trail.  It was a sweet set up with bathrooms, an aid station and picnic shelter in between the two loops.


There were 55 runners in the 50K so the crowd spread out pretty quickly. My plan was to run the first 10 non stop and then re-fuel after each 5. On mile 11 I fell. Full on, Superman slide down the trail. That hurt. Luckily, the damage wasn’t enough to end my day but wow I had 20 more miles to go. That hurt.

It 10303290_10206376467872287_8514845750771393118_nwas a tough run. With one more loop to go, I never wanted to quit a race so bad but I carried on. I like the ultra events and the runners. They’re laid back and in to the pure joy of the run and the people.

I got to hang a little while with Aaron who I met through Triangle Runners on Google+

I learned a few things:

If you’re breaking spider webs, you’re going the wrong way.

If you want to run trails, you need to run trails.

Anjanette WileyIMG_3455

trail photos courtesy of Ray the K

I finished 22 overall with time of 7:04:58

2015 Spring Training Races Report

The Spring race season kicked off at Myrtle Beach Marathon in February. I have to admit, it was nice not to be racing. My friend Tara and I had the pleasure of volunteering on Friday night and walking out the condo door to cheer on the runners. We had the opportunity to see Bill fly by at mile 15 looking like he had just started running.

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As Bill sped past us and Fred PR’d his half and I knew it was time to fill out my spring race schedule. Too much FOMO going on!

nOg St. Paddy’s Run Green 8K kilt run in March has become a tradition in Raleigh. I needed a few more miles that day so I had run 7 prior to the nOg thinking I would have a “fun” 8k to reach my goal but Kelly of River Run Club was after an 8K PR and needed company.IMG_3037IMG_3025

Isnagged a bib for the sold out Tobacco Road Half -perfect training run towards my 50K. This was my 3rd Tobacco race and I reluctantly have run some long training runs on the trail but it’s not my favorite. Love surface, but the tree lined, straight, flat trail gets mundane. It attracted Runner’s World attention this year as a great Boston Qualifier option. The race atmosphere improved this year offering a better beer garden tent and band. The tent was great pre-race for warmth. I finally broke through my half to PR of 1:51  and finished at 1:50.

Next up was All American Marathon with a few River Run Club folks and IMG_3236Ambassadors: Todd Griffin and Paul Laviska. This is a great race I highly recommend. It was easy to park close to starting line, well organized and a great course. I had never been on a military base before so it was cool running through it with Todd as my tour guide. This was the most inspired race I’ve ever ran. #thanksTodd. The bonus of running with Todd is his fan base cheering us on and the fans he picked up along the way. Todd holds the record for running with me longerIMG_3238 than anyone. You learn a lot about someone running 26.2 miles and he’s a good one. Todd didn’t beat Oprah but he will in Sir Walter Raleigh at RnR2015.

Last training race before Run the Rock 50k was Rock and Roll Raleigh. In it’s second year, Competitor Group changed the course and reportedly had fewer runners. But I had a good time and I love running downtown, hills and all. My run buddy was Julie who beat cancer finishing her last chemo merely weeks before race day. This was her last training run before her 3rd trip to Boston. We began in wave 2 at the rope-ahead of where we needed to be and resulted in starting out faster than we planned. Once the 1:50 pacers caught up to us, we stayed with them. The plan was to help me run at my race pace and to keep Julie from going too fast and seeing if she could maintain the pace. I almost immediately had to go to music because the costume clad pacing girls weren’t just pacing, they were coaching; loudly and enthusiastically. Most people hanging with the 1:50 group don’t need and didn’t sign up for coaching. After the 7-8 mile climb, music wasn’t enough to drown them out so I took off. Julie kept me in sights and we finished together. A PR for me at 1:48. I love running downtown- hills work for me! The party afterwards with Smashing Mouth is not worth writing about-they sucked in the 90’s and still do. Also Michelob Ultra sucks. Runners in these parts prefer craft beer, local even better.

IMG_3410IMG_3405 (1)Red Hat Ampitheater

Two bites of beef

IMG_2781Went to a working lunch today at a burger joint; I was excited because I had heard their veggie burgers were good.

We all sat with our burgers and I guess I was distracted and began eating. And you know what’s coming next… I took two bites and decided that either it was a great imitation or not a veggie burger. Not veggie and didn’t freak out. I only took two bites; I wasn’t worried about it.

Now, 7 hours later, I hurt so bad I feel like my stomach needs to be pumped. Could it be the two bites of beef?

I’ll never know but I learned that I don’t miss meat as much as I thought I did. Before every race, I imagine how good a juicy cheeseburger reward would taste. I never give in to it but now I know: It sounds better than it tastes and feels.

Run Something That Scares You

IMG_1421I’ve been talking about my “2015 working race calendar” for about two months now. I have finally signed up for my first race; it scares the hell out of me. It actually makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

My big scary race is Run the Rock Ultra & Mini. It’s a 50K and described as: fairly challenging due to the technicality of it. Also psyching me out is all the pictures are of dudes, no chicks. There is a limit of 75 runners; I will surely finish last.

This will be my second ultra and fourth trail race. I will follow a training plan, have a race day strategy with the goals of finishing in the allotted time and not dead last.  I’m scared and excited and alive.

October 2014 Medoc Trail Marathon

Medoc Trail Races are legendary and they didn’t disappoint. This was set to be my last long run before Richmond Marathon. One week too early but I thought I would be ok. I always feel really strong in subsequent runs so I thought this would be perfect; and it was.

The 8+ course around Medoc Mountain was really wet and pretty challenging with wet leaves, roots, sticks etc. I loved the course besides the wet parts that I had to walk through. I ran very cautiously not wanting to fall, break or twist anything. I did twist my ankle but was able to run it off once I got to dry land so those sections made it difficult.

On the last lap, 5+ hours in, I became dazed and confused. I was alone,  passing landmarks I didn’t remember, thinking I had made a wrong turn. I became scared of being lost or eaten by Medoc Man and turned back. The first runner I encountered assured me I was going the right way and on I went to finish.

Best part was meeting twitter friend, @pstarlings IRL, and going to the nOg Okotberfest for beers and friends. Best long training run ever!

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Medoc Trail Marathon 26.2: 5:25:02, 12:24 average pace, AG 7th

May 2014 Black Mountain Monster

Black Mountain Monster 12 Hour Race of Awesome

The 12 hours of running a 3.1 mile loop that I looked forward to and feared. Just look at the logo!


With a fun group of local running friends, we set out to Black Mountain on Friday. Our group arrived pretty early and were able to set up camp near each other. Did I mention I’m not a camper and have a diagnosed aversion to cold and wet weather?
Mattresses go camping
Black Mountain Monster had all of that and more. I knew sleeping would not be the best but I was sleeping on mattresses in a tent the size of a small bedroom but none of us were prepared for what came through around midnight.


photo courtesy of Race of Awesome

And 2 am. And 4 am? It turned out to be a cruddy, wet, cold sleepless night. The race began at 10 am and my goal was to get to 31 miles or 10 pm whichever came first.

The day turned out to be fabulous, sunny and cool temperatures. I immediately noticed that as soon as we began to ascend, everyone around me walked up hill. Every hill, no matter how small. Ok, do like ultra runners do! I was not one to buck the system, and followed along. Every 3 miles, I was back at camp eating and drinking with friends. The atmosphere was relaxed and festive.

I began to tire around 30 miles. Most of my friends were now eating and drinking; it made running by them every 3 miles very difficult to keep going. FOMO! One friend was till running but we were on opposite sides of the loop and I couldn’t find him. Until I did. At mile 37. Found at the campsite eating the biggest, juiciest looking cheeseburger I had ever seen. I had to go for an even number so around I went again for a 40. My Garmin died at the 24 mile mark. I quit close to 8pm just before it got really dark.

The rest of the night was spent eating, drinking and cheering on the 24 hour runners who we simply inspiring!


I will run Black Mountain Monster in 2015 and my goal will be 50 miles. 
Medoc Mountain Ultra: 40 miles, 10:15,

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