Finding my Tribe over 23 miles of trail running – Vermont Ragnar Aug 16-17 2019

This is our STFU Donny Teams’ grand finish – it was awesome having everyone join me for the final few meters of my last 7.2 mile run:


  • 23 miles (15 mandatory plus extra green and yellow loops) – Record for longest run and trail run within 30 hours!  Avg ~13:19 pace vs 12:45 goal 😦
  • All loop times below, I ran loops 8, 16 and 24
  • One fall that ripped open my hand
  • One awesome bunkmate – Anne L’Heureux
  • New inov8 X-talon 260 Ultra shoes ready to go!
  • One  blister to manage from Spartan Super
  • Still suffering from poison ivy from Spartan super

I ran loops 1,2,8,16,24  (8,16,24 were my official yellow, green, red loops)



At first I was planning on 30 miles.  Started out with first runner, Teresa, and then Donna and did ~7.5 miles right off the bat from around 7:15am-9:00am.

Had about 5 hours between runs so got a cowbell and cheered on the other runners as they passed by our tents – I was voted the best cheerer!


Then learned how much harder it is to run, stop and restart.  Gary reeled me back to plan of running less than 26 miles… Had my first actual run (yellow trail) around 2:30pm and maybe because it was harder, maybe it was the pressure of having my coach with me but I had calf cramps and a tough time!  What drives the cramping??!?!!  I drank plenty, ate plenty of electrolytes and fuel and did not have a ton of elevation (or mileage) for this run….frustrating!


Went to recovery tent after, found the huge vibrators and compression pants and got some sleep before my midnight green trail run (~3 miles).


I was afraid (extra afraid after the herd of daddy long legs on the trail at first all climbing over each other) but had a great run, gained confidence and loved running the trails at night!  Passed a bunch of dudes too.

I ended around 1:00am and got some sleep until 6am.  My stomach hurt really badly (hung out in the port-o-pottys a while) but recovered before my 9am 7.2 mile final run, which felt great!  Near the end, I was met with my bowling shirt and everyone ran in with me!


And our team photos:


Went well:

  • Did the miles and could have gone on longer
  • New INOV8 X talons held up well, although with a little less support than the Salomon Sense Ride2s.
  • Blister management:  band-aid protection/treatment, then tape, then moleskin around it.  New blister avoidance socks.  Although had a worse one after the first run (before extra protection), nothing got worse after.  Moleskin!!
  • Loved nighttime trail running
  • Practiced carrying bladder and nutrition/hydration but got calf cramps  Pre race nutrition of steel cut oats ~2 hrs before with fuel for fire hour before worked well – as usual.  Realized I was undereating the salt stix so ate 4x/hour

What didn’t go as well:

  • Lost gas on the hills during afternoon 4 mile run and could have done more hills on the 7.3 mile run, which weren’t even that bad
  • One fall on first run.  Generally, I felt better navigating although trails weren’t that technical.   Anne says to look 5 steps ahead (just like music) to where to step and I practiced that.  Not sure how to minimize this….will as, PT
  • Calf cramps at 11 miles after hot afternoon run – I had taken plenty of salt stix and water and food.  Switched to Hammer Endurolytes and had a better 3.2 and then 7 mile run in the morning.  Wasn’t as hot and not sure if pre eating about 4 is what partially made me sick but I didn’t cramp as bad.  Made schedule with PT to teach me how to use tape and will work on more mobility in advance of run.
  • Between runs got to the point where I really didn’t want to eat.  Want to look into Cliff nutrition/real food vs. gels during runs

This was a fantastic time and I was plenty scared a lot but hit no limits and held my own – I am proud of that 🙂

Part of my goal this year was to find new friends with common interests and it was just great to be a part of these teams – my tribe – my self abuse directors!

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