Category Archives: Becoming Badass

Daring Greatly vs. DNF. And Goggins Got me Again With His MOAB 240 Results…

Daring Greatly.  Much better classification than DNF.  Trying something you are afraid of.  Showing Up.

So Goggins had to “recertify as a fucking savage” and signed up for MOAB 240.  Besides going off trail for ~14 miles and then moving back up to the top 10, he had to go to the hospital around course mile 200 because of a heart issue where he was told to rest and not go back up to altitude.  He went out the next day and finished the race (although unofficially).  He does things that make me crazy.

There Was No Plan for Not Finishing

I meticulously planned my nutrition, my clothes, my strategy and pace, detailed timeline for the day of the race, etc but never made a plan for how to meet up if I did not finish the race.

Not finishing wasn’t a consideration.  Realizing this months before actually took a lot of stress away and made priorities clear.  You can work now or you can have a tougher time during the race – easy choice.  Deciding you are doing the race no matter what is an important strategy.  When I left GE and was totally stressed about starting a business (which ultimately didn’t work) and paying for my condo I loved, the night I decided losing the condo wasn’t an option and I worked around that plan, everything was easier.  Related to this record, a guy posted in StrongerU about inspirational quotes and someone put this:

“Anytime my brain says “I don’t really want to…..” I immediately shut it down and say “fuck you, you’re doing it just for thinking that.”  Move forward with no fear!

As I wrote up my lessons learned in the former Ultra AAR, I am torn to say if you should have a plan for not finishing or not.

I was pretty lucky that somehow Kenny figured out where the timeout point was and that I hadn’t passed it yet else I would have been wandering around trying to find him after the Killington ultra.  I also then forgot to stay and root the others on because it never occured to me I would be done before them 🙂

Laura vs. The Dark, AAR Hollis Trail Run 10/5/19

My hips hurt.  This is what I felt like after 20 miles at Killington but am only at mile 10.  I can barely see the trail.  Should I flag someone down at the next road?  Maybe I’ll pass someone on the trail who has a car at a trailhead.  Why didn’t I bring that headlamp?  Why did my phone die so quickly?  I have 1% battery left – better shut down the screen. Why is this run so hard?  Am I not recovered yet or is it the electrolytes I forgot to bring?  Have an hour left.  Better pay attention to the trail or I will fall. Man am I hungry.  What will I do if I get stuck out here in the dark and cold? Listen for traffic.  I have no way to call for help. I can’t believe my phone is still working…take a left here…

And about an hour later, I finally saw the yurt and trailhead where my car was.  What a relief!



This was my first long run since the Killington Ultra (race + 3 weeks).  Today I did 17.1 miles over 4:21 hours.  This was a busy day with a late running start:

  • Had a bee in my pants.  Picked dahlias and brought one inside my pajamas
  • I accidentally jammed my toothbrush up my nose (and it hurt)


  • Kenny left at 3:15am to go on a diving vacation in Roatan, Honduras without me on our anniversary (darn work!)
  • I got my new Suburu Crosstrek
  • Had to do 4.5 hours on flatter trails to simulate more the Stone Cat 50k I’m training for on Nov 2. I wanted to run the Beaver Brook trails and see if I could connect them with the conservation land trails to get up to Silver Lake area.  Alltrails app rocks!

Lessons Learned:

  • Always bring a headlamp.  Always also take it from the car and put in hydration pack.  and backup batteries and light stick.
  • Always bring an extra phone charger.  Phone went from 95% to 0% over 4 hours even in airplane mode just using screen with Alltrails.
  • don’t forget electrolytes.  I could barely move later.  I forgot salt stix tabs so figured this was a good day to experiment with 50% less than planned…. NOT!
  • Listen to my coach.  I went way faster than he asked me to and was mostly in Z3 vs. Z2 despite good intentions.

As always, love the variety of environments you run through on the trails.  Not many people out today despite heading into peak foliage season.  Started out at Beaver Brook crossing Proctor Hill Rd to get to the Beaver Brook Pond:



I took a lesser trail to get north, which was at times a little hard to find.  Came back on a larger parallel one starting from the more west trailhead (two are very close together on Rocky Pond Rd – one has more space to park) that I would recommend.

Then ran past Rocky Pond Rd to get to the Big Hill and Silver Lake area – this started out with a debris strewn path before turning into a soft pine trail – also had some very narrow single track trail:




Then you came out into the big farmfields and the Noreaster trails – all the pumpkins had been harvested earlier in the week and the fields mowed which had a ton of tall weeds (similar to Killington) lying on ground to run through:


And the beautiful 2.5 mile Silver lake trail (2 miles without the run to the primary sign from the parking lot):



I was pretty crippled at the end and could literally barely walk later on.  Good thing I had my handy vibrator and my neighbor Marguery/Richard to feed me dinner and give me a warm blanket!



Shared Experiences…Books 2019

It’s getting late in the season – picture is from the TARC Fall Classic 10k I completed yesterday beating my coach, Gary  Lombardo (who was running with me, went ahead, got stung, ran with me…), for what may be the only time!

I’ve become engrossed in reading about other peoples’ journeys and day to day stories about training, about why they do it, about problems and problems solved and have enjoyed the comaraderie from these writers!


This one is better with a face to face summary given first:




Not recommended – can’t finish:


2019 Killington Plan Details

killington 2019 bucket planning

Note:  This has been updated with lessons learned…..

2019 Killington Ultra Plan & Transition – Laura Kozel

Leave bucket night before/drop warm soup in morning along with foot gel and chafing stick.

OVERALL RACE STRATEGY:  26:30-27:00 AVG entire race, 1st lap 26”/mi, 2nd 28”/mi

  • Start time: 6:45, cutoff 2:30 in transition ~15 miles must be faster than 30”/mile, 6pm pipe lair, 7pm beater, 9pm course shut down (28”/mile)
  • Finish 26:00/mi=13 hours (7:45pm), 26:30/mi = 13.25h, 27:00/mi = 13.5 h, 28:00/mi = 14 h (8:45)
  • Ok to get assists on some obstacles (tall walls)
  • Burpee out of jungle gyms and ropes in middle of swing
  • Conserve on first lap – step up burpees


  • Eat 4:45  (oatmeal, milk, blueberries, 2 egg whites, 1c coffee)
  • Turnoff phone Bluetooth
  • Get to course ~ 6:00
  • Eat fuel for fire 6:15
  • Warmup 6:30


  • Changeout water bottles and bladder
  • Refill food and electrolytes
  • Eat chicken soup! Bring PB&J to eat


  • Critical spares bag – bring before race:
    • Contacts and solution
    • Fuel for fire for before race
    • Chargers for garmin watch, phone, headlamp, big battery recharge
    • Chafing cream
    • Foot lube
    • First aid in baggie –blister bandaid and moleskin, regular bandaid, antiseptic wipes, Scissors
    • Recoverite post race
    • Sunblock
    • Spare jacket
  • For hydration pack
    • First aid in baggie – liquid bandaid, blister bandaid and moleskin, regular bandaid, antiseptic wipes, Tylenol, TP
    • Water/tailwind
    • Spare jacket in baggie
    • Plastic cup
    • 4 gels (2 w/caffeine) + 2 cliff blocks (expect 8 hrs/leg worst case + 2 extra).  If decrease water during race, make sure compensate tailwind with food
    • 8×2+ spares Salt Stix condensed tabs
    • Three spare tailwinds in bags


  • Spare clothes: pants, shirt, long sleeve shirt, spare socks/shoes (altra lone peaks)
  • Critical spares bag:
    • Spare contacts & mirror
    • Hand sanitizer wipes
    • First aid – liquid bandaid, blister bandaid and moleskin, regular bandaid, antiseptic wipes
    • Toilet paper
    • Washrag in bag
  • Lap 1 bag (empty – dump whatever in it after)
  • Lap 2 bag
    • 4 gels, (2 w/caffeine) + 2 cliff block
    • 16+spares Salt Stix condensed tabs
    • Headlamp, Glow sticks
  • Spare food: Electrolytes, crackers, gels, RXbar,  PB&J (WHITE BREAD, honey, thin almond butter, banana) chicken soup & thermos, waffles
  • Garbage bag

Pacing – Not all Courses are Equal! & Stats

There are a lot of factors that influence your pace with the major ones being:

  • Road vs. Trail
  • Rocky/technical trail or easy trail
  • Hills or no hills
  • Obstacles
  • You’re better with training!!

I developed a simple way of comparing longer runs I’ve done to understand my pace in different situations.  One major factor is the elevation gain so I have calculated an elevation gain factor for each run which is:

elevation factor = total gain in feet/distance in miles

2019 History (arranged from flattest to most elevation gain/mile, T = technical rocky trail, O = included obstacles, pace is moving pace)

Pacing stat tracker pdf Page 001