Saturday, September 26, 2009


I still can't run.

I limp when I walk.

This sucks!

Less than a week until the move! I'm freaking out here!

And this stupid chapter isn't done yet!

Because this post is otherwise boring and/or depressing, I leave you with this:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My butt is rebelling.

So I'm moving to Seattle in approximately two weeks.

I found a roommate in Fremont. That's near this here dude:

My roommate is also a civil engineer/hydrologist, but who apparently runs like 6 minute miles, based upon my internet stalking of her.

I found her on Craig's List, but because the world is way too small, it turns out she knows a friend of mine from the Peace Corps.

She has a kitty. His name is Beast.

I'll miss Lucky though:


In the meantime, I spend approximately 16 hours a day in my windowless office trying to get as much done of the diss as I can.

I was managing to get out to run or do weights 6/7 days a week.

All was good.

I was doing 11 and 12 mile long runs and my last 12 miler was a smidge under 10 minute pace.

Kori is doing the Fox Cities Marathon in Wisconsin this weekend, so a couple weeks ago, I signed up for the half. I have been running decently fast for me, so I totally had my eye on a PR for this race.

I was tapering.

All was good.

Then my long run on Saturday.

Eight miles. Easy peasy.

At Mile 6 I thought "Hmm, my pirioformus is sore."

At Mile 7 I thought "I don't know if I can run anymore."

I stopped and stretched and made it a quarter mile more before I started getting shooting pains all down my leg.

I decided to walk in the last 3/4 of a mile.

I got back to the car and could barely walk. I couldn't put any weight on my right leg. The rest of Saturday, I was immobile.

Sunday, it was a little better. A little better yet on Monday and Today.

But it is still a dull ache in my pirioformus. I'm afraid that if I try to run on it, the same thing will happen. The pirioformus gets inflamed and irritates the sciatic nerve, which causes the shooting pains.

Yeah, so apparently? Sitting at a computer for 16 hours a day is a mighty fine way to make your body rebel against you.

I hold out a small hope that by Friday, if I don't run, that it will stop hurting.

But seriously, how sucky of a friend would I be to go to WI to support Kori and two others running the marathon and then after the race THEY need to take care of ME because I can't walk because of ths stupid sciatica.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

What next?

So four years of relaying under our belt. Next year is going to be tricky. I'm not really sure people comprehend what goes into getting a full 12 person relay team. Seriously - I'm shameless. I ask people I barely know. I send e-mails to running clubs to recruit strangers (I managed to pick up our ringers, Al and Shaun, that way). I have failed to get 12 2 out of 4 times.

So I'm a little worried to be leaving my running base here in Ames. I'm sure I'll meet runners in Seattle, but tapping into a large group will depend on finding a running group I like. So I really have no clue what relays might be potential next year... Do I do the Pacific Northwest? Do I come back to the Midwest? I seem to be able to get a full team in Colorado, so that state works. How about near other places where I have multiple running friends?

Serena, the team captain of Girls Heart Rockets, who are a bunch of scientist ladies that run faster than anyone on our team besides Al and Shaun, have challenged us to the Canadian Death Race:
I'm actually totally game. This is only a five person relay, so theoretically it should be easier to recruit for. But it is in the middle of nowhere in Alberta, so that might be a challenge. It is only a 12 hour drive from Seattle though...

In typical Danielle style, I totally made a spreadsheet with potential relays for next year. In January-ish I'll send out an e-mail and people can vote on which one they would most likely do. Here are the ones on my list now. If anyone has any additions or comments on any of them, let me know!

Cape Relay Quincy to Provincetown MA May
Madison WI to Chicago IL June
Green Mountain Relay Jefferson to Bennington VT June
Portland to Eugene OR July
Ragnar Northwest Passage Blaine to Langley WA July
Canadian Death Race Grand Cache Alberta August
Wild West Relay Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs CO August
Spokane to Sandpoint Spokane WA to Sandpoint ID August
Hood to Coast Mt. Hood OR to Seaside OR August
Ragnar Great River La Crosse WI to Minneapolis MN August
Colorado Relay Georgetown to Carbondale CO September
Ragnar New England New Haven CT to Boston MA September
Ragnar DC Cumberland MD to Washington DC September

Saturday, September 05, 2009

An unusual race report from Meeteetse, WY

Usually when I post a race report it's all about how much ass I kicked, the awesome schwag (sic?) I won, my pace average between 5 and 6 minutes per mile, and how I was close to the leader most of the way but couldn't hold on (I have finished second or third in an absurd number of races, and I think I've only won once). Not so this time. In the 15k race at the Meeteetse-Absaroka Challenge I ran 1:57:54. That's about 13 minutes per mile. And I finished about 25 minutes from the prizes.

I can say I was close to the leader for the first few miles. We were together through the 5k turnoff and I was close behind at the 10k turn-around. A young boy, probably in middle school, led the field for almost a mile -- he was really motoring up the hills and wound up winning the 5k. But that was merely the prologue. The road up to the 5k turnoff was pretty steep, and it leveled off a bit up to the 10k turnaround. Beyond that it got crazy. Too steep to run crazy (and I ran up 4.4 miles at a consistent 10% grade in training). The leader had a bit more legs than I did at this point and pulled away (though he wasn't running much either, at least up the initial ascent).

Then I had trouble seeing the course markers. They were the standard orange ribbons tied to trees, but the combination of exhaustion and mild color-blindness led me off the course several times. I never got too far off, but each time was costly. Pretty much every time I did I got passed by someone, that being one of the major ways I found my way back to the course. So after the long, steep climb we ran along a ridge for a while. A couple more short climbs, then a downhill section that occasionally got scary. For much of this time I was talking with a guy that had just passed me while I was lost, and we helped eachother find the course. And then, as the website put it, "one of the most RADICAL FINISHES around". I climbed, at times on all fours, up a rocky slope, ran on another ridge for a while, and then charged up a steep grassy hill (it was the last real climb of the race, so I showed some life) and headed for the big descent.

I don't really know how long the descent was other than "really long". Way too steep to run down, and I couldn't get enough traction half the time to stop from sliding and falling. My knees and ankles were on fire. I got the hang of it more the farther I got down, though I still looked like an idiot for the photographers. Yeah, that's where the photographers set up. I hope they had an easier time getting down with their equipment than I did. By the time I was at the bottom of the really steep part my knees, ankles, and small stabilizing muscles were so tired and sore I could hardly stumble around the trail without tripping. And I was so short of glucose and so terrified from sliding down the mountain I could hardly think. After getting lost twice around what was probably a really simple creek crossing I followed an older guy that looked like he had some idea what he was doing through the rest of the narrow trail. Then we spilled out onto the dirt road we started on for the last half-mile or so and I brought out my amazing kick. Have to show off the speed somewhere.

After the race everyone hung around, ate, and talked. Lots of nice people. As I told the race director, I had gone out to the area a few weeks before and run some of the trails before deciding on the hardcore 15k race, but since I didn't know exactly where the race was going to be I just picked random ones. I picked much, much easier ones than what we ran. If I'd known I would have either run the 10k or invested in some trail running shoes for more lateral support and better traction, and maybe some of those things that keep pine needles and rocks from getting in the shoes. Next year that's what I'll do. And I'll eat a bigger breakfast to avoid bonking. At least I brought gloves (not everyone did, they were useful when I was falling on my ass).

Overall: hell of a race they put on there out west of Meeteetse. The starting elevation is around 7000 feet, and I think it climbs up to about 8500 before the final drop. I could be wrong, though, as I have only a very faint idea where anything but the starting line is on a map. For anyone curious, Meeteetse is this town, which is very small but full of good people. And the race start is around here.

WWR: I should probably finish this race report up

So it's only been a month since the race and I'm still not done. I'm blaming the diss. It sucks all the will to write out of you. Except for now, when I am trying to procrastinate. But I'm going to keep this short, since... well... I can't remember much anymore.

When we last left our heroes, they had taken a shower and slept three hours.

We got up earlyish, and drove to Exchange 30 to wait for Van 1. We passed Van 1 on Ryan's last leg - Lauren had a keen eye for the stars tattooed on his calf. After wildly speculating as to whether each star had any significance, we continued on our way.

Kelsey had a rough leg, but ran it in to Shaun. Shaun climbed again to the top of Rabbit Ears. He was pretty beat at the top and handed off to me for an "easy" leg. Easy my ass. The leg started at about 9,500 feet above sea level and had like a 200 foot climb. I admit it was mostly rolling, but I was still beat. I passed off to Jamie, who at this point was still hooting and hollering. He had a great leg and then passed off Brady, who had to descend like 2000 feet in five miles. At 23, Brady wasn't the youngest on the team, but he had the youngest knees in our van. He passed off to Dede as the weather started getting pretty warm. Lauren was anchor and ran us in and we crossed the finish as one big happy family in about 33 hours.

Needless to say, we didn't hang around for the awards ceremony. The other three Flatlander teams were all men's teams. One was sponsored by Garmin. Yeah, team BOMIAS wasn't bringing home any bling this year...

We headed back the hotel where I was sad to learn that the bar no longer accepted the 50% off coupon that I get because my sister works there. Booo! Jamie bet The Worn Soles that we would beat them (we yoyoed with them the whole way, but they started a half hour after us). We got ahead in the last set of legs, but not a half hour ahead. So we enjoyed happy hour with their team at the hotel. They were fun people.

Then we went out for Mexican and I may or may not have had two margaritas and may or may not have molested Benjamin Franklin.

Friday, September 04, 2009

It's time to Rock'n'Roll

I'm a little nervous about this one; I'm doing the Rock'n'Roll half this weekend in VA Beach with some friends. It's the first solo race I've run since I pulled my hammy in spring 2005. Not sure how this one is gonna turn out. I've put in some solid training runs, though, and the weather is supposed to be beautiful, so we'll see what happens. Here's hopin'.