When I put my name in for the Cascade Crest 100 mile Endurance Run lottery last January I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I mean, I knew I was ready to attempt the 100 mile distance, but when my friends talked me into CC little did I know that it was in fact one of the hardest 100 mile races in the US. Cascade Crest has a well deserved reputation as one of the best 100 mile parties out there. Highlights include 22,000'+ of climbing, about 32 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, running through the 2.3 mile Snoqualmie Tunnel, lots of tall trees and tough trails!! The one thing I did know about the race was that it had the genuine old school ultra vibe and was not overly commercialized. So I knew I would dig the people putting on the event and the people running the race.
Here is the elevation chart:
I thought sure, I'll sign up for the lottery. There is not a chance in hell I will get in. Never in my life has my name been chosen when it comes to raffle drawings or anything of the sorts. I went onto ultrasignup.com and signed up in January of 2016 and went on with my life and running trails per usual. Then come February 13th, a Saturday morning. I was up at 5:30am drinking coffee and checking email before I head to our Santa Barbara Running and Racing Saturday group and I get an email from ultrasignup.com that I had in fact gotten into the race. Yes, it was an oh shit moment. I get to run group and quickly find my friends, Dave and DeAnna Odell and asked if they had also gotten in. Sigh, they were on the wait list. Really!!! Luckily, they both ended up getting in the race.
So I had a good 6 months of training to plan ahead of me. I won't bore you with all of the details that went into my training....let's just say it was interesting. I have 2 little boys, own two running stores (Santa Barbara Running) with my husband and rabbit had just launched at a pace that was incredibly fast. Needless to say, there was lots of life on the plate. But thankfully, my husband Joe is my biggest supporter and I was able to have a very solid summer of training. Fast forward to August 25th.
Race weekend arrives! We board the flight to Seattle from Santa Barbara with our friends, Dave and DeAnna. First stop, hit up Portage Bay Cafe in Seattle for breakfast. Their motto is "Eat Like You Give A Damn", which we all took to heart. The amount of food we consume over the next 2 days before the race is unreal.
Joe and I waiting for the first of many meals to arrive:
We then go visit Brian and Caroline at Fleet Feet Seattle. I showed Brian the rabbit holiday '16 and spring '17 product lines - he gave them both a thumbs up! I always make it a priority to visit the local running shops in every town I visit.
We then headed about 70 miles east of Seattle. The race would start in Easton, WA. I am so grateful for my friend Jen Brown's generosity. She let Joe and I stay at her condo at Suncadia Resort. It was so peaceful and beautiful. We check in and immediately go down the 1000 steps for a river soak. It was so lush and beautiful. For us Californians, to see flowing water and green trees is very special these days with our on-going drought.
DeAnna going in the for the soak:
On Friday we slept in and did a beautiful shakeout run on some trails around the property. I couldn't believe how fresh my legs felt. Usually the day before my races I feel terrible. So I wasn't sure if this was a good thing or not.
We then ate more and pretty much just tried to stay off our feet and relax the rest of the day. I was feeling pretty calm. I prepped my drop bags and got everything ready for the next morning. We went to dinner and went to bed early. The race did not start until 9am on Saturday morning. I wasn't sure how I felt about such a late start. I guess it was nice to be able to sleep in a little and take your time in the morning. We had to be at the Easton Fire Station by 8am for check-in and for the briefing from the race director.
The race website listed all of the entrants. So before the race you could see who would be there. One of my trail idols Krissy Moehl was there (she went on to win the race in 22:22). Joe snapped this pic of her at Mile 25.
The entire scene was surreal. I was getting a little antsy before the start. After the briefing meeting was over we still had over a half hour until start time. I used the bathroom for the millionth time and sat in the van to keep warm. We were so lucky with the weather. It had been very warm since we had been in Washington. We woke up Saturday and the high for the day called for low 70s. We could not have asked for more ideal temperatures. Finally, it's about 5 min until 9am and we head to the start.
As DeAnna and I make our way up to our starting position we look next to us and there is a girl head to toe in rabbit. I thought to myself, this is gonna be an epic day. 164 people racing and there is a rabbit fan standing right next to me out of everyone there. The girl's name was Jade Belzberg. And her fiancée is Nick Hollon. He is a pro-ultra runner. We ran with Jade about the first 15 miles of the race. She went on to get 9th female. Here is a pic Nick took at the start of the race. Jade is wearing the women's tee amo and legs.
The race starts exactly at 9am. We start flat for about 2 miles. I was so happy to finally be running. DeAnna and I started talking and laughing and just doing our thing. We start very slow and conservative.
Then the climbing starts. They say the first half of this race is "easier" than the second half. We power hike all the steep ups, conserving as much as possible. I will admit, I was already a little shocked at the intensity of the climbs so early on. I felt fine, but I knew this would get interesting very early in the race for my glutes and back. Around mile 9 we are able to finally run some. Then at mile 19 we get on the Pacific Crest Trail, where we will be for the next 30 miles. WOW. It was spectacular. DeAnna and I get in a great groove. The trails were just beautiful, so soft and lush.
So far throughout the race I have been sipping tailwind and eating a few skratch fruit drops. I'm looking forward to the next aid station at mile 25 (Tacoma Pass). This is the first aid station that allows crew access. Joe, my hubby, would be there waiting for us.
We arrive at the aid station in about 5.5 hours and the first person I see is the Ginger Runner (Ethan Newberry) wearing a rabbit trucker hat! I was beaming! Joe had met him at the aid station and offered a hat to Ethan and his wife, Kim. If you don't follow the Ginger Runner you are missing out. He is seriously just RAD. I truly enjoy his coverage on trail running and the trail running community in general. He ran CC last year and is so supportive of this race.
Because this aid station was the first station where you could have your crew available, it was full of energy. I grabbed a turkey and avocado wrap and a few chips, filled my water bottles and threw my rabbit visor and sunglasses to Joe (I didn't really need either all day, so I trimmed the accessories) and we headed up the climb. We felt really good and relaxed heading out of Tacoma Pass.
We continue on the PCT and we feel good just cruising...the miles start clicking and before you know it we are at Stampede Pass aid station (mile 36). The aid station had an 80s theme...it was rocking. We have our first drop bags here because you were required to grab your headlamp at this aid station. I had also packed a change of socks, a fresh tee amo, and a rabbit prototype long sleeve (sleevie wonder). I didn't need any of it. I just grabbed the sleevie wonder and stashed it in my pack in case it got cold once the sun went down. I also had some more tailwind packed away so I refilled my bottles. I grabbed some watermelon, chips and a turkey and cheese sandwich and DeAnna and I continued on.
We continue to feel good and just keep cruising along the PCT. The sun was starting to go down. We finally caved and stopped and put on our headlamps.
We arrive at mile 49 at Olallie Meadows and Scott McCoubry is there serving up perogies and soup. The Ginger Runner, Ethan, and his wife Kim are there too. I was able to introduce myself to them this time. Everyone at the aid stations were so incredibly nice and supportive. I ate some potato soup and had a few pretzels. We were anticipating the next section.....it has the infamous rope climb down and then through the 2.3 mile snoqualmie tunnel (an abandoned railroad tunnel). We run through 50 miles in about 11.5 hours. We were still feeling really controlled and smooth.
We head down the trail and we come to the rope. It was sooooo sketch! It was about 500-600 feet straight down. DeAnna goes first and immediately slides down the rocks and gets rope burn on her hands. It went forever! We step sideways and are probably being overly cautious...there was so much slack on the rope. I had to wait for DeAnna to finish a section before I could grab the next section of the rope, otherwise, I would slide down the side of the mountain. We finally get to the bottom. We run about a 1/4 mile flat and then we enter the tunnel.
I had been a little nervous about the tunnel. I tend to get clastrophobic. I also knew we would be running this section at night, which I was not totally thrilled about. We make it into the tunnel and start running. What the heck?! I thought this was going to be completely flat. It was totally a false flat. It was uphill the entire tunnel. Our headlamps would shine ahead and all we could see was the uphill grade. The tunnel was wet and the slope of the road was funky. There were also a lot of potholes so we had to continue to manuever left and right to avoid the holes and the puddles. It felt like we were in the tunnel forever. I knew when we were out we would get to the next aid station, Hyak, and Joe would be waiting there ready to pace us.
We finally arrive at Hyak, mile 53.8. It was decked out in Christmas decorations.
Joe finds us and I couldn't believe how bundled up he was. He said it was freezing outside. I was still in my bunny hop tank and was hot and sweaty when I got to the aid station. I was excited to get my drop bag. I had a fresh pair of HOKA speedgoats to change into and I also put on my long sleeve, sleevie wonder. I started to argue with Joe about bringing my jacket. I was adamant about leaving it there and he insisted I would need it. I couldn't fathom how I would need a jacket when I was so hot and sweaty. So I cave and take it (little did I know I would be shivering and freezing an hour later and needed it all through the night. I'm pretty sure if I had not listened to Joe and brought my jacket I would have been in big big trouble).
I get changed and walk to the food table. I try to eat some more soup. As Joe and I are standing there waiting for DeAnna, all the sudden said she feels like she going to puke. She walks behind the aid station tent and starts hurling. I couldn't believe it. She was fine 5 mins ago. After she finishes she says she feels much better and we make our way out of the aid station. At this point it's about 9:30pm.
We are on the road next to the highway for a while. We run the road and it did not feel very good after being on trail for the last 54 miles. We finally hit the gravel fire road and start climbing. This is the first big climb we have with Joe. We climb for about 5 to 6 miles. All of the sudden I can see my breathe and I start shivering. We stop so DeAnna and I can put on our jackets. There are a few flat sections so we jog when we can. All of the sudden DeAnna is barfing again. We stop and wait for her. She finishes and again says she feels ok so we keep moving on. I was having a little bit of a low point. I couldn't believe how cold it was and I was starting to get sleepy. We are power hiking as fast as we can up this dark fire road. Then all of a sudden DeAnna's light goes out. What?! Luckily, Joe had my extra headlamp in his pack so she could use that. We finally get to the aid station. We make DeAnna drink some ginger ale. I drink some coke and eat a little chocolate donut and some more chips. And we leave. The next 6.5 miles are down the fire road. We start running and then stop for DeAnna again...poor girl. I was starting to get worried for her. She couldn't hold a thing in. We couldn't figure out what went wrong, she didn't do anything differently than any other race or training, so it was very frustrating. We would wait, she would puke and then we would keep going. I think she was starting to get a little worried herself. We get passed by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie on the downhill. We make it to the Kachess Lake aid station where we would then start the Trail From Hell.
Mile 68-74 is infamously named the Trail From Hell. If you want to get a better understanding of it watch this video from The Ginger Runner here. For me, I couldn't agree more on its name. It is over 6 miles of roots, fallen trees, steep rollers. Just a bunch of ACK. We pretty much hiked this entire thing. I was tired and I completely sucked on this part. I was frustrated with the amount of fallen trees and climbing over and under tree trunks we had to do. These were massive tree trunks I might add. DeAnna continued to be sick. I was starting to really get worried about her getting dehydrated and then just her loss of energy. We made her stop and I gave her one of my Skratch electrolyte packs to put in her water. This section seemed like forever, it was never ending and I could not wait to get off of it. I think it had to have taken us 2.5-3 hours just for this section. We finally get to the aid station.
DeAnna is concerned if she should keep going and one of the guys at the aid station convinced her that she should. Joe kept reassuring her that in ultras you have 9 lives and she still had 7 left. We left the aid station and started up another 6.5 mile climb. Pretty soon after we leave the aid station Joe's freakin head lamp dies. You have to be kidding me. It's about 3am, so we still have a long time before it gets light.
As we are hiking up the hill, some guys pass us and I ask them if they have an extra headlamp. One of the guys gives us a handheld. It was so nice of him (thank you so much if you are reading this!). DeAnna is still having major issues. Joe and I feel so bad. We are not really sure what to do. She keeps telling us to go, but there was no way we were going to leave her, especially while it was still dark.
We keep power hiking up and I couldn't believe how tired I was. I was literally nodding off and hiking sideways. That was a first. I have nodded off plenty of times in my life sitting down, but never while in motion. This went on for a couple of hours. I knew we had really slowed. At this point we still have under 25 miles but some of the hardest sections were ahead. We keep moving and then all of a sudden my light flickers and goes out. Luckily, the sky was already starting to brighten up. We keep moving and then the sun is rising over the Cascades and it was one of the most gorgeous sights I have ever seen.
It finally gets light. DeAnna is still really struggling. Joe and I keep powering forward. We start climbing a ridge and could see DeAnna below...she was still moving. I felt really bad leaving her, but it was light and I knew we were close to the next aid station, No Name. We finally get there and they were making pancakes. I had a chocolate chip pancake and some coffee. I started to get some energy back.
We keep going and it really was a blur for me at this point. We get to the next aid station around mile 85 at Thorp Mtn. The guys say we have to go about 2/3 up the mountain to the park ranger hut, punch a hole in our bib and then come back to the aid station. What the hell!!!! It was so steep. But it was spectacular. You could see Mt. Rainer and the Cascade range in the distance.
We see Dave (DeAnna's husband) coming up when we were coming down... He looked amazing! He passed us on the way down and we never saw Dave again until the finish. He crushed the race in 26:48. Then I couldn't believe it, DeAnna was powering up the mountain. You could tell she wasn't feeling good and was weak, but at that point I knew she would finish the race.
We keep going and we hit the Cardiac Needles. For me this was probably the hardest part of the race. Intense technical ups and downs for over 6 miles. My back was so incredibly tight and my right glute was on fire. I just kept moving. Joe said we were moving at a good pace.
We finally hit the downhill section at mile 90. I was so frustrated with myself that I could not take advantage of all of this downhill and make up some time. My legs simply would not lift. I had to power hike so much. It seemed like an eternity to Silver Creek, which was the last aid station at mile 96. We passed a guy and I thought for sure the aid station would appear at any moment and he says we still have 2.5 miles. I almost started crying. At this point I was really ready to be finished. I needed to get my pack off my back. We keep going, I try to run and we finally make it to the last aid station. We just cruise thru the station. We had 4 miles left of flat! Joe said we could break 28 hours. I run as hard as I could for the last 4 miles. I was surprised with how much I had left in the tank. The last long stretch of road went on forever. It was gonna be sooooo close for me to break the 28 hours. Finally, I see the fire station and the finish line. I run as hard as a I could and I did it! I ran 27:59 with about 40 seconds to spare and was the 10th female finisher.
What a course! What a journey! I truly did love every minute of it. I'm so grateful for my friends and family for pushing me and for the gift of my body to conquer these adventures. It's really hard to put it all into words. The physical, emotional and spiritual journey I had during this race is something I will hold dear in my heart for a life time.
Thank you to all of you RADrabbitFANS for embracing this journey with me and for all of your positivity and support. I felt it out there for that 27 hours and 59 minutes. I also felt it big the days after the race.
If you are interested, you can see my strava here before my watch died: https://www.strava.com/activities/694518514
After my watch died: https://www.strava.com/activities/694543520
I wore my Santa Barbara Running Mountain Racing Team bunny hop tank, the hopper in black/ snorkel blue. I did not have one issue at all with chafing, rubbing, irritation. I wore the HOKA Challenger ATR 2 for the first 53 miles and then the HOKA Speedgoats for the second half. I wore injinji socks (I didn't get one blister). I tried out this new RunGoo for my feet and it was amazing! No blisters, no hot spots! I wore the Ultimate Direction Ultra Hydration Vest. I wore the Petzl REACTIK headlamp.
If you were wondering how my dear friend and running buddy DeAnna did, she went on to finish in 28:21 and was 11th female. It blows my mind what her mind and body overcame to finish this race. I am so grateful for her friendship on and off the trails.
Thank you to my hubby, Joe for the support and being the best pacer ever...especially after just running and crushing his 100 mile race at Angeles Crest three weeks earlier. PS- if you need more reading on 100 mile races you can read his blog here.
I also have so much gratitude for my mom, who flew to Santa Barbara from Oklahoma and took care of my two little munchkins so we could travel and race.
A big thanks to my coach, Mike Swan. What a blessing to have someone know your body so well and what you can and can't handle.
I don't have enough thanks for the race director and staff, the Easton fire dept. and all of the volunteers. The course was so well marked, the aid stations were stocked, the volunteers were so helpful. I loved this race so much. If you ever have the urge to experience the 100 mile journey I highly recommend spending it in the Cascades.
Ready? Let's run,
We can't get enough F U E L E D F R I D A Y recipes from our own Michelle Battista.
We love, love, love sharing blogs written by our RADrabbitPROs. This week on the blog, enjoy a race recap written by our RADrabbitPRO Rachel Sorna. Way to race Rachel!!
Race Recap: Bobby Doyle 5 Miler
Considering that I’ve been running now for over 8 years, you’d think I’d have developed the ability to judge where my fitness is at at any given point of a season, but this past Sunday proved otherwise. The Bobby Doyle 5 Miler, held in Narragansett, Rhode Island, was a first for me in a number of ways. It was my first time racing as a member of my new team, The Heartbreakers. It was my first time representing my new apparel sponsor, rabbit. And, to cap things off, it was not only my first race of the season, but my first workout too! (in an attempt to have my cake and eat it to, I’ve decided to incorporate running workouts in local road races as part of my training).
I went into the race with relatively low expectations, looking to do nothing more than see where I was at and have some fun. My race plan was simple: don’t do anything stupid. By that I meant don’t go out like a bullet, don’t get wrapped up in racing people instead of doing the workout as planned, and, most importantly, don’t be married to my watch. I figured if went out conservatively and picked it up a bit the second half, I’d have a solid first tempo effort somewhere in the 30:00 – 31:00 range.
The gun went off, and I stayed calm. Women I know I am capable of competing with when I’m at my best surged to the front, and I let them go. I was controlled. I was relaxed. I was just cruising along. And at the first mile marker, I was 20 seconds under pace .
Normally when I find myself in this situation, it’s because I have, in fact, done something stupid. For instance, this past March I decided to run the first mile of my season-opening 5k in 4 minutes and 58 seconds – 15:24 pace. I then proceeded to die a very slow and painful death and finish in 17:13. In that race, I put myself in a hole from which there was no escape. I saw the split at the mile and instantly knew I was toast.
But this past Sunday was different. Despite seeing a mile split that was significantly faster than what I had previously decided was a conservative opening pace, I knew I was OK. I felt good. I felt comfortable. I knew I was within myself. So as surprised as I was by how those first 1609 meters had played out, I kept on it. And it turned out great. I spent the entire racing working my way up through the field, passing by some who may have gone out a bit too hard, especially considering the 85 degree heat and high humidity. I struggled a little bit in the 4th mile, which was the only real uphill mile in the race, but I rallied for the final mile and finished strong. I ended up placing third overall for women with a time of 29:00 for 5 miles – 5:48 pace.
This race was a pleasant surprise. Not only was I proud of the overall time I produced, but I was proud too of my ability to stick to a my race plan. In the past, this has been something I have struggled with. To be able to execute a race plan – especially one that involved me being conservative and staying near the back early on – shows that I have grown a great deal in the last two years. It tells me that I am ready to take the next step in my running career, tells me that I am more than ready for what is to come.
-Rachel Sorna, RADrabbitPRO
This week we are stoked to have Sandi Nypaver contribute her edamame burger recipe for F U E L E D F R I D A Y. Sandi lives in Boulder, CO, is a coach and co-founder at Sage Running.
Sandi is a USATF and Lydiard certified coach who has won races ranging from a 5 mile road race to 100 mile trail ultras. She’s also a graduate of Cornell’s Plant Based Nutrition program and has had a passion for health, fitness, and helping others reach their goals since she was kid. You’ll often find her reading the latest research about health and running, as well as the books from all the legendary running coaches. Sandi also believes in having a holistic approach to running, having witnessed herself the performance enhancing affects of a healthy diet, lifestyle, and positive mindset. In her spare time Sandi also enjoys painting, yoga, rollerblading, snowshoeing, volunteering, following curiosity, and reading all kinds of books.
Thank you Sandi for sharing this amazing recipe!
Preheat oven to 375
-20oz (Two 10oz packages) edamame beans cooked
-½ cup white onion
-4 cloves garlic
-2 tsp dijon mustard
-About ¾ cup veggie broth
-2 tsp low sodium tamari sauce
-½ tsp cayenne pepper
-½ tsp smoked paprika
-1-2 tsp hot sauce
Put blended ingredients in mixing bowl and add:
-1 cup oats
-¼ to ½ cup cilantro
¼ cup nutritional yeast
Stir everything together and form about 8 patties. Cook for 15 minutes, flip, then cook another 10-15 minutes
Trail Running Essentials
- by Monique Bienvenue
After I ran my first half marathon, I was instantly hooked. The thrill of pushing your body past its limit, getting those endorphins and crossing that finish line is absolutely addicting! It wasn’t long before I found myself looking for other races to run, and gradually stepping up my mileage and training.
As the miles began to rack up, however, I found that I was starting to feel tired (both mentally and physically) so I made a promise to myself to keep running fun! Balancing a full time job, training, traveling, a social life and everything else that life entails can be exhausting, which is why I decided to run one “destination race” annually. (I mean, training for a race that is located in a place that you’ve never been to is not only fun, it's also super motivating.)
With that being said, earlier this year I made the decision to register for the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon in Colorado. Not only is this race located in Rocky Mountain National Park, it’s also a trail race that sees three miles worth of nothing but elevation gain. Sounds fun, right? Well, I thought so until I remembered that I live in Fresno, the heart of California’s Central Valley and the home to some very FLAT trails.
After countless days of research and numerous hours spent on the internet looking up, “Trail Running for Beginners” I decided to contact an old friend of mine, Dani Moreno.
Growing up in SoCal, I had the privilege of going to Warren High School, an awesome school with an amazing athletic program. Dani, an all-star athlete and prestigious runner, was one of my classmates and an all around cool person. After graduation, she went on to run for UC Santa Barbara and is now one of the faces of Rabbit, an up and coming brand of apparel for runners. She’s also a beast on the trails and has won some notable races.
After talking to Dani, it was clear that I couldn’t treat this race as any of the ones I’ve ran in the past. Trail running is its own entity, and training for it requires ample thought and preparation. One of the questions I asked Dani was, “What are some of the essentials of trail running?” and she had a lot to say. So instead of trying to sum up what she said, I’ve decided to share her insight with all of you in a neat and orderly Q&A format.
So here we go, "Trail Running Essentials" as told by pro-runner Dani Moreno!
Q: How long have you been trail running, and what inspired you to begin?
A: Trail running kind of happened by accident, but it’s the best accident that ever happened! I've always loved the outdoors and hilly runs but they never really fit into my regular workout regimen in college. After I graduated, I headed straight for my local front range and haven't looked back since.
Q: What about trail running appeals to you most, and why do you think that other outdoor enthusiasts would enjoy the sport?
A: Trail running is dirty; it requires you to think, to problem solve and to use different muscles. It requires a special kind of endurance. For me, I was always getting injured and I feel like trail running has made me and my paws (legs) a whole lot stronger!
Q: On average, how long are your trail runs and what do you eat to fuel your runs?
A: I honestly don’t keep count, I just make sure to get to the top of the mountain. I would say I run between 45 minutes to two hours depending on how I am feeling. As far as fuel is concerned, I’ve tried different food pouches but Noka is the best. Combine Noka with a Kombutcha and I’m a really happy camper.
Q: What advice do you have for people who have just started to hit the trails?
A: Have fun! Be wild and free; trample the ground like an animal and be okay with getting dirty. Also, be sure to invest in a pair of trail shoes; I didn’t realize that having shoes with tread made specifically for trails would make such a difference - but they have!
Q: Are there any key workouts that would help someone (like me) prepare for a trail race?
A: If you're just getting into trail running I wouldn't worry about specific workouts - just make sure get used to the new terrain and have fun! It's important to note, however, that if you are looking to improve your times, ankle strength and balance are key! For me, writing the alphabet with both feet at least two times a day has made a big difference in my ankles. As far as balance is concerned, you can attain it in many different ways, but I've found that climbing helps a lot, as well as a core work and one legged exercises.
Q: Has rabbit’s apparel made a difference in your training? Would you recommend the brand to other runners?
A: rabbit apparel is light, simple and gets the job done better than any other clothing brand I've worn. I can go on and on about their shorts... they’re honestly my favorite shorts out there. In addition, the band around your waist won’t bother you when you start to get sweaty because the fabric doesn’t stick to your skin. I also really like the simplicity of rabbit apparel because I can wear it with anything and it always matches! I would definitely recommend rabbit to everyone - readers can even use my code “DANIRUNSVERT” to get 20% off their purchase.
Q: What about shoes? Do you have a favorite brand?
A: Hoka Speed Instinct all the way; they’re the perfect training and racing shoe! For me, I love the stucco type grip for downhill running. I'm a dancer when I run downhill, meaning I stick my foot on all the rocks and/or all the in-betweens, and this shoe is perfect for that. The heel is also much thinner on the Instinct in comparison to their other shoes, so if you’re running downhill you should refrain from landing on your heel and focus more on landing mid-foot. If you're a first time trail runner I would actually recommend the Speed Goat, it provides more stability and a cushioned heel for easy descents.
Q: I’m huge on skin care; do you use anything specific since you’re always out in the sun?
A: Yes, I'm a huge advocate for sunscreen! I know many current and former athletes and coaches who have experienced skin cancer scares. With that being said, I recently discovered a brand of sunscreen that I absolutely love and adore: Avasol. A company based in Santa Barbara, Avasol is conscious about its ingredients and the impact it has on the environment, two things that are really important to me.
Q: Are you training for anything specific right now?
A: At the moment, I’ve got my eyes set on the USA half and full trail marathon. I’ve been training on and off since February, so my training is set to pick up again with those two races.
With my next race set to take place in approximately three weeks, Dani’s advice has been crucial to my training. Never in my life have I ever ran so many hills, and I’ve definitely put some serious mileage on my car so that I can run in Yosemite or Shaver Lake; the trails there are stunning! In addition, I’ve found that it’s absolutely imperative to have all the necessary equipment, and be properly fueled for any sort of trail run. See the links below to learn more about the items Dani mentioned earlier.
So do I feel ready for the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon? Absolutely. Only time will tell what my overall experience will be like, but the training process has been an absolute blast and I'm certain that I'll register for more trail races in the future! With that being said, I wish everyone luck on the trail(s) and should anyone have questions regarding trail running or the items noted in this post, feel free to reach out!
Note to the reader: Since I’ve talked to Dani about trail running, I’ve actually invested in rabbit’s apparel, and am now an ambassador for the brand! I cannot stress how amazing this brand is; I haven’t chafed while wearing it and the material is incredibly light, breathable and super cute! I’ve also tried out Avasol’s sunscreen and have nothing but good things to say. You can use it as a tinted moisturizer or alone; nonetheless, it works well and is good for you AND the environment.
Visit these websites for awesome running apparel and trail running suggestions!
Hoka One One: www.hokaoneone.com
Trail Run Project: http://www.trailrunproject.com/
Trail Runner Magazine: http://www.trailrunnermag.com/
Ultra Signup: http://ultrasignup.com/
Many of us at the rabbit hole have started to turn up the training a notch in preparation for our fall races. This means longer runs on the weekend. The weather is showing no time of Fall just yet here in Santa Barbara, CA. There is nothing better than a cold popsicle after knocking out those long hot and sweaty weekend miles.
This week for F U E L E D F R I D A Y we are stoked to collaborate with another RAD Santa Barbara local company called Kaibae. Kaibae is a lifestyle company based in Santa Barbara, CA founded by Dr. Luc Maes, a naturopathic doctor with a knowledge and passion for health and a really big goal to make the world a better place. The Kaibae vision was inspired by the Baobab Tree. It’s fruit has sustained African communities for centuries with its SUPERFOOD qualities.
To learn more about the health benefits of baobab click here.
These popsicles are incredibly quick and easy to make:
Our friends at Kaibae are offering you a discount from August 19-21.
My name is Joe DeVreese. I own 2 running shops in Santa Barbara, CA. I consider myself an ultra trail running junkie. I find trail running and racing to be so rewarding. It is not always about the time or splits you run. For me, it's more about the journey, the experience and what I take away from that. One year ago we formed our first Santa Barbara Mountain Racing Team and we are stoked to be running and racing in rabbit this year. Last weekend I had the opportunity to race in our rabbit kit in the Angeles Crest 100 mile trail race (sidenote: the most comfortable gear ever. No chafing, no rubbing. It really was perfect). I chose to race in the welcome to the gun show singlet and the daisy dukes (yeah, the shorty shorts).
The 2016 Angeles Crest 100 was my second time to run this race. I will not go into details about my 2015 AC100 experience, but let me just say I had some unfinished business to take care of. This picture from last year pretty much says it all…I am here with my friend and ultrarunner legend Billy Simpson sitting a deadman’s bench at mile 80 of the race saying at prayer to whatever God would listen to get me to the finish last year.
The route: the race starts in Wrightwood, California and finishes in Altadena, California via the San Gabriel Mountains all just above Los Angeles, California. It is 100 miles overtechnical terrain at an elevation gain of over 20,000 feet. Cut-off time is 33 hours.
My AC weekend started on Friday, Augst 5th with my crew and pacers Dave Odell and Mark Warren. We headed out of Santa Barbara in the Sprinter…coffee in hand (of course only Handlebar coffee). The van was loaded with the yeti cooler, gels (only had three during the race), bars, Renaud’s pastries (killer idea), coca cola, plenty of water to get us all through the day and night, head lamps, and a patio chair to sit in at the aid stations. As we are heading to Wrightwood, the three of us make our plans and strategies in how we will tackle the rugged mountain course. I’m excited and nervous, mainly because of what happened to me last year as I didn't want to experience that kind of suffering again. As we pull up to town, I see familiar faces which set me at ease for a bit. I do the check in, catch up with other runners, get my number, hit the pre-race meeting and then check into the cabin.
I was very wound up and having a hard time relaxing once we got to the cabin. We hit dinner a block away (Mile High Pizza). I spoke to my wife, Monica, and the boys before hitting the sack and the best advice from the day came from Monica “just relax and enjoy the day tomorrow”. That is just what I needed to hear before I went to bed. I set my alarm for a 4:00 am wake up, had a fine cup of coffee (thanks Dave), some oatmeal and a 500 calorie pastry from my favorite local pastry shop in Santa Barbara, Renauds. We walked to the start at 4:40 for the 5am start. I was feeling excited. We listened to Uncle Hal (the race director) do his prayer and then came the 10 second countdown.
It’s 5am and we were off. I took my time up the first climb. It is a 2000 foot climb up Acorn to Inspiration. It felt easier than last year, but my time was about the same. I roll into the first aid station at 9.3 miles, do a fast switch of bottles with Mark and Dave and start my climb up Baden Powell, a mountain full of switchback splendor which tops out around 9,600 feet. I’m feeling really relaxed and keep repeating what Monica had said the night before. It seems to be working. I cruise into mile 26.5 and meet my crew, take a seat, eat, fuel up on an almond croissant and my first coca cola, which tastes so refreshing on these kind of runs. My nephew, Nick, who lives in LA was out cheering for me as I made the climb up Baden Powell and snapped this photo.
I make my way down Highway 2 for a bit, the day is starting to really heat up and I never allow myself to push too hard. I think at that point I’m around 25th place. I enter the new section of the course with a climb up Mt. Pacifico, a 4.5 mile climb on a hot exposed rocky road, running with a guy from Denver, CO and we work together to the top. Once I hit the top, I eased into a nice pace all the way back down and found myself feeling rather good.
I hit the 50-mile marker, grabbed a few things off the table to eat and made my way to Chilao where Dave and Mark are waiting (mile 53). Mark is ready to pace me to mile 75. We keep moving pretty solid up to mile 60, the Shortcut Saddle aid station. This will be the last time we see Dave until he takes over pacing duties at mile 75. I slam some soup and eat some quesadillas.
From there, Mark and I have a 5.5 mile downhill section where we try to keep a 8:30 - 9:00 minute pace. The sun is still high, we are both cooking and we are looking forward to it setting, it was still hot. We make it to the next aid station at Newcomb, mile 68, and its still light out. Last year it was already pitch-dark at this point for me. I remember telling Mark there that I was tired. I grabbed my drop bag, took my headlamp out and threw on my long-sleeved rabbit top (I’m wear testing a new top coming out in the Fall) and we split. The next 7-miles were just beautiful! The sun was setting and we were catching glimpses of the LA lights below. I got a sense I was getting close to being done even though I had 30 more miles to go. We roll in to Chantry Flats, which is mile 75. Dave is there, waiting with a bag of burgers from the Habit. I wished so badly I could have stomached a burger, but I just couldn’t. I tried to have a few bites and then Dave and I were off for the last 25 miles. Right out of Chantry Flats we climb back up to 7000 feet. My goal was just make it to Dead Mans Bench, which is 1 mile from the top of Mt. Wilson…everyone stops there, it’s all lit up with x-mas lights and from the bench you have a killer view of LA… sparkling lights for miles and miles.
We hit the top of that climb and I know I have 19 miles to the finish and I am starting to smell it a touch. We have another decent and Dave is setting a great pace that I wish I could keep up with, I’m struggling, but we make it to the next aid station. I sip on some soup and ginger ale and off we go to the next and last big climb back up another 2000 feet or so…and I am just pooped. Dave makes a good plan to hike for .30 mile and rest for 30 seconds or so, all of a sudden I was only focusing on the .30 and not the entire climb. It freaking worked and we make it to the top to the Sam Merrill aid station. I’m sitting in the chair chatting with the wonderful volunteers and all of a sudden I have to puke. It all comes up…all of the food and cokes I have consumed during the race blanket the back of that aid station. I tell Dave I think its all blood (23 hours of running will make you think like that) and the poor guy comes over to inspect and there was no sign of blood. After that, I actually really started feeling better with 10 miles to go. I knew at this point I was not going to break the 24 hour mark and earn the sub-24 hour buckle, but there is the second sunrise buckle and I knew it was very doable to still make the cutoff time for that (it changes every year, but this year it was about 25:30). We refocus and set our sights on getting that buckle. The next 10 miles were rocky single track. Once again, Dave sets a blistering pace and this time I’m locked in staring at his HOKA Speedgoats in front of me. Picking our way through the rocks, big drops and switchbacks, we pass three runners and their pacers in the last 4 miles, which was more fuel for the fire. We make it down to the fire road with 2 miles to go. I savor those last 2 miles, it's so sweet to know you are going to make it and that all the hard trails are behind you. It about 5:30am and we run into the park where I see Monica, DeAnna and Mark and its a great reunion at the finish line.
Me at the finish with my crew and pacers, Dave and Mark - I can’t thank these guys enough.
What took me 31:44 last year took me 24:28 this year for 19th place overall. AC100 and I are now even. I’m so glad I had both experiences. I believe it’s the perfect combo to learn and grow from. Its all about the journey, the good, the bad, the ugly and making it through. That is ultra trail running life in 24 hours.
“The only way out is through” - Billy Simpson, Ultra Running Legend
We can't think of a more perfect way to start our F U E L E D F R I D A Y: watching the women's Olympic 10,000 meters final, eating double chocolate waffles + nutella cream and sipping on a freshly brewed cup of Handlebar coffee. We are stoked for the weekend!
This week our F U E L E D F R I D A Y feature is brought to you again by one of our dear friends, foodie and all around RAD creative chick, Michelle Battista. Michelle is a Creative Contributor to rabbit, Creator of Small Suppers, Owner of Stockpot Collective, 1/2 Owner of Ned Ludd, Proprietress of Elder Hall - - - Currently at home in sunny Portland, Oregon.
Every now and then, we all need a little BS in our lives. Heck, it’s good for you. Really good, in fact.
Yes, of course, we are talking about Brussels sprouts. This week our F U E L E D F R I D A Y recipe is a simple goodie – roasted Brussels sprouts.
You know, Brussels sprouts sometimes get a bad rap, for a myriad of reasons. Insert fart joke here. Yes, they can be quite notorious for causing gas. BUT, most people can eat these little vegetable treasures just fine. And if you can, you should. Brussels sprouts are one of the world’s healthiest foods. Packed with Vitamin C and K, Brussels sprouts can help lower the level of the “bad” cholesterol, as well as inhibit DNA damage that can lead to cancer. Plus, they have protein, iron, and potassium. I mean, #winning!
It is rather easy to make Brussels sprouts taste delicious. You just need a few basic ingredients and a hot oven, and voila! So, let’s get started.
First, when shopping for Brussels sprouts, pick the bright green ones that are firmly packed. Once you’ve selected your batch, wash and cut into halves.
Next, throw your sprouts on a baking pan and drizzle with some high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar (you can even use flavored balsamic). Add a little salt and pepper and you are done. It is really that easy.
Throw into a pre-heated oven at 400-450 degrees for 25-40 min (depending on how sweet/crunchy/charred you like them).
Generally, the longer the roast, the sweeter the sprout. We like to go with 450 degrees for 30 min or so (and we like them a little blackened with that crisp).
Once they have been roasted to your liking, take them out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes before you enjoy these delicious veggie nuggets. This recipe is just so super simple and your body will be thankful for the nutritious-deliciousness!
Veg / V / GF / Paleo
- the rabbit crew
Big super duper exciting news from one of our RADrabbitPROs!!! Read this great blog from our very own Sabrina Little and hear about how she will represent the United States at the 50-Mile World Championship in Portugal:
Big [Little] News:
One day in November, I came home from a weekend away and went for a run-lamenting a probable lack of fitness.
I’d missed a few days of training for a conference, after a period of relatively lower mileage. So that day, I trotted without expectation. After the first mile, my watched beeped: 6:10.
“Surely that’s not right,” I thought. I felt like I was moving too easily, and while I often hit 6:xx during training runs, it doesn’t happen accidentally and never feels very easy. I'm an ultrarunner. I go far more often than fast.
But as the miles clicked by, the pace stayed where it was. And when I ran the next day, the same thing happened. I wasn’t out of shape like I thought. For the first time in a long time, I was rested.
Rest. It’s not a new concept. But for a lot of runners (me included), it’s easy to fall into the trap of pushing hard every day. Fast is exciting. Slow means you have to admit to yourself your limitations as a finite entity. But when you push hard every day, you have to slow down because nothing is a special effort anymore. I know this. I teach this as a coach. Still, historically I have resisted rest.
Since November, I have been incorporating more rest and cross training days, and while the Texas summer is suppressing my speedwork, I’ve seen a lot of improvement from last summer to this one. Races have gone better as well.
Thus far, I have raced four times this year:
Rocky Raccoon 100 – 1st Place, 100-Mile National Trail Champion [2 hours, 11 minute improvement from my winning time in 2012]
Bearathon Half Marathon – 3rd Place – [Most significantly, I tied my husband. Contrary to popular opinion, this was not a planned outcome. I tried to drop him, and he tried to drop me. It turns out that when you do the same workouts, have the same sleep schedule, and eat the same foods, you become the same athlete. So, yes…We finished holding hands, but only because his hand was right next to mine for the entire race.]
Toughest in Texas 50K – 1st place overall – [I improved upon my course record by 15+ minutes, which was really encouraging.]
Cayuga 50-mile – 2nd Place, 50-Mile National Championship runner-up – This was significant because…I qualified for my second national team!
I guess it’s a weird time to announce I’m running for America. Vote for me. But don’t. It’s not that kind of running.
In late October, four other women and I will represent the United States at the 50-Mile World Championship in Portugal. You can read the press release here. Judging by my incredible teammates, I think we can do really well.
There are some experiences that are so surreal that it’s difficult to recall them as a non-fictional part of your personal history. For me, running for the US at the 2013 24-Hour World Championships was one of those. It is an honor to represent the United States, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.
In Other News:
If you know me well, you know that I have a history of questionable fashion choices.
Well, in the past two weeks, my outfits have suddenly become coherent and sensible. Miracle? No. I signed with clothing company, rabbit! I love them. rabbit is a California-based, running-specific clothing company. Their clothes fit well, handle heat beautifully, and look great. fabbit’s founders are runners (talented runners), and their excitement for the sport is contagious.
I am thrilled about the team aspect of being a RADrabbitPRO. I am always emboldened by the goals of other athletes, and I’ve already been inspired by my teammates’ training and racing successes. Most of rabbit’s pro team consists of elite athletes with day jobs—like me. The company embraces and encourages us as whole people—with jobs, messy lives, and big running dreams. It’s a joy to run for this team.
In races, even though you’re the only one on the starting line, it’s not really just you. You stand there with your head and heart full of conversations you’ve had recently, and with the support of family and friends. You stand there based on the generosity of people who believe in the beauty of your goals. fabbit stands on the starting line with me now, and I'm proud to wear their singlet. I’ve been on the team for two weeks, and I am already abundantly grateful for their support.
Secondly, I was recently involved in a documentary—Just One Step. It is about the mental side of running. The director came to Waco to interview me, and then interviewed the team I coach (and love).
He filmed track practice. Then he hid in the forest during the Toughest ‘n Texas 50K with a video camera, and when he couldn’t access me directly, his drone did.
Have you ever been filmed by a drone? It feels like being chased by a hairdryer in the woods. I recommend it. Somehow, every time I was having a weak moment, I would think, “Ah, good. I’m glad the director isn’t seeing this right now.” And then he’d pop out of a bush. So be on the lookout for this! It should be fun. --------
Shout out to David, for being the best husband ever and for showing me what excellence looks like in small things and big things. And as always, the glory goes to God. Colossians 3:17.
- Sabrina Little, RADrabbitPRO