Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Team Swiss Miss Badwater Dance

If you've ever wondered what my amazing Badwater crew is doing while they have to wait for me ...

... they are having so much fun! You guys ROCK! I have the best crew in the world!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

For my family I'm always a winner even when I don't win... 

Thank you Ayana, Yorik, Manuela and Bruno

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Badwater Ultramarathon 2013

Team Swiss Miss did it again! Badwater belt buckle #4 in the books! It was indeed "the world's toughest foot race" and we had to fight very hard for it but crossing the finish line (36:42) was absolutely amazing again.

Team Swiss Miss at the finish line (missing Monica Scholz)

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my amazing crew. I could not have done it without you! John, Jeff, Adam and Monica you are the best!

Peronin High Tech Food

Last year while I was training for the Irontrail 201K I did some online research of what kind of sports nutrition food is available in Switzerland since I didn't want to have to take everything with me from Toronto. 

While browsing online I discovered the website of a product called Peronin It sounded very interesting and I contacted the company asking if I could get some samples to try before my race. They were very helpful and offered to mail samples to my sister in Switzerland since they don't ship to Canada.

I arrived in Switzerland a few days before the race and had some time to test the product on shorter runs. Peronin is an all in one food powder with added vitamins and minerals that you simply mix with water. Its taste is very neutral and it is very easy on the stomach which is important for high performance in long endurance events. It comes in three different flavors: orange, vanilla and chocolate. Peronin has been used successfully for years by extreme sportspeople on mountain and desert marathons, Ironman, expeditions and in many other ultra sport and long distance events.

Peronin High-Tech Food

Since last year I have been using Peronin on my long training runs and in long ultra running races, like Sulphur Springs 100 and this year's Badwater Ultramarathon. It works great for me as I prefer to stay on liquid fuel for as long as possible because it is easier to digest and it doesn't stress the stomach at all. I'm very glad I discovered Peronin and I can recommend it to all athletes.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Badwater Ultramarathon Charms

I got my first lucky charm for the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2009. Since then I got a lucky charm for every Badwater Ultramarathon. From left to right on the picture below:

Badwater 2009: Dragon - Symbol for Strength
Badwater 2010: The Sword of the Amazon
Badwater 2011: The Wing (I would actually have 2 wings, if the second one did not get lost in the mail from Switzerland)
Badwater 2013: The Hand of Fatima and the "Swiss Heart".

Thank you so much my best friend Susanne and my little sister Annette! You will be in Badwater with me all the way to the finish line.

Niagara 50K, Cramps and a Cold

The last 10 days have been very challenging in my Badwater training. 

The Niagara 50K did not go as well as I had hoped for. My plan was to run a sub 4:30. It was a hot day - the way I like it. I felt great for the first 25k and it felt like I was running effortlessly. My time at the turnaround was 2:18. Perfect, I thought, with a negative split I should be able to run the time I wanted. 

But unfortunately it wasn't my day. Shortly after the turnaround my legs started cramping really badly and I had to slow down a lot. I tried everything to get rid of the cramps, even walked some sections, and took one Aleeve but nothing really helped. I finished in 4:57, the slowest time in the past three years. Very disappointing! I knew I took enough Saltsticks and drank enough water, so that could not have been the problem for the cramps. After some online research I figured it was probably due to muscle fatique. I ran a lot of miles leading up to the race in preparation for Badwater. 

Feeling great on the first half...

It took a few days till the soreness in my calves was finally gone and I was back on track with my training. But just when I thought everything is going great - BOOM another setback - I got a nasty cold last Thursday which knocked me out completely for a couple days. It looks like my body has its very own way to tell me it's time to taper. Only 12 days left till Badwater. I'm doing everything I can to get better and most important - stay positive!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sulphur Springs 100 Mile Race Report

I've done the Sulphur Springs 100 mile for the past 5 years and this year was the first time that I was a bit nervous before the race. Since the cancellation of Irontrail 201 last July I haven't done any races and this was the first race in a year - a true test how well the tear in my meniscus has healed since December and a status quo about the level of shape I'm in for this year's Badwater Ultramarathon race in July.

The temperatures for race weekend were much cooler than I prefer. Like every year we camped the night before at the start/finish line. Wow, it was a very chilly night and I got so cold that I woke up at 1:30am and could not get back to sleep. I was freezing and my feet were completely numb when I put on my Hoka running shoes in the morning. 

Race start at 6:00pm
On the first two loops I was just trying to warm up. My feet were still feeling numb. I even sat down twice to take off my left shoe and sock because it felt like I had some small stones in my shoe. Wearing my colourful Dirty Girl gaiters I knew it was almost impossible but I didn't want to take any chances this early in the race.
Running through the Start/Finish area
After the second loop I started to get cramps in both my calves. Wow, this was way too early to get any kind of problems! I tried to figure out what could have caused the cramping when I caught up to my friend Monica. She suggested that I probably didn't take enough salt pills. Since I didn't sweat I've only taken a couple salt pills since the start. 

After taking a little more salt and getting a couple calf massages by my husband Jeff using his secret "poison" at the end of loop 3 and 4 my legs felt finally ok. 

Worked wonders for my leg cramps

Flying downhill in my Hokas

Usually I'm using liquid fuel (Peronin and Perpetuem as long as possible in long races because it is easier on my stomach. But since the temperatures were much cooler this year I found it very difficult to get enough calories in from liquids only and I started using solid food after my second loop. I'm not a fan of Mac & Cheese but as "ultra food" it worked great for me.

Chef Boyartdee's ultrarunner food

Wish it would be a lot warmer
Before heading out for the 5. loop I changed into some warmer clothes. All in all I felt pretty good and I tried to keep an even pace. The good thing about running on home turf is that I know the course inside and out and didn't have to worry about getting lost. I can just enjoy the run and relax. On the 6th loop it got dark. It was beautiful when the moon came out. I love running in the dark. It's very peaceful. 

Thinking of Badwater heat!
The 7. loop I always find the least enjoyable one and I was very happy my friend and amazing Badwater crew member Adam came out to pace me for one loop. We had a great time out there on the trails and Adam somehow always can make me run a little bit faster. We were just flying down on the downhill section in the lollipop loop when we suddenly stepped on a branch in the middle of the trail. The branch somehow got stuck between our legs and bam - I went down like someone tripped me with a hockey stick. Luckily I didn't hurt myself. Adam helped me to get up but it took me a while to get back into the running rhythm.

On the 8. loop the adrenaline kicked in and I even could pick up the pace a bit more. I didn't want to waste any time at the aid stations and went in and out as quick as possible. Walking up the last steep uphill on Martins Road I felt pretty good. I crossed the finish line very happy in a time of 20:35, more than one hour faster than last year, 4. woman and 15. overall. 
Since this race was a training run for Badwater, my plan was to run each of the 8 loops in less than 3 hours. It worked out great. My splits were pretty even:
Loop 1 - 2:15
Loop 2 - 2:28
Loop 3 - 2:32
Loop 4 - 2:32
Loop 5 - 2:42
Loop 6 - 2:47
Loop 7 - 2:40
Loop 8 - 2:36

Mission accomplished! Sulphur buckle #6 in the books

I want to thank my husband Jeff for crewing for me during the whole race. Thanks so much Adam for driving all the way from Thornhill to pace me for a loop. Thanks to all my friends and fans who cheered me on every time I came into the start/finish area. I heard from some of them that I would have won for cutest outfit :)

And a big thanks to my sponsors Hoka One One and Drymax socks Knowing that I won't have any problems with my feet gives me huge confidence going into every race and on all my runs.