182 Days – Weekend Warriors

“SOS,” said Coach LeClair as 8 tough men and 5 just as fierce women gathered around him on a cold Saturday morning. “That is what we have traditionally called this class. It stands for ‘Suffering on Saturdays.”

A good teacher will teach you the hows, a great teacher will teach you the whys. Eric was a great teacher. He went on to explain to us why Saturday mornings were set up the way that they were. We would face challenges here to prepare us for anything that might happen. As he continued to talk to us, his words sounded oddly familiar. I remember Andy’s advice as I went into my first 100 mile race. “It’s not about how well you have trained or how much you prepared, but it’s about expecting the unexpected.” Every day, CrossFit seemed to be fitting in more and more with my ultra training.

Our goal that day was simple. 5 women (including myself) had to carry a 150 lb tire around the block twice (1600 meters total) and the 8 men had to carry a 300 lb tire the same distance without letting it touch the ground. We had a few minutes to strategize and then we were off. The women finished together in just over 30 minutes. Later that afternoon, I had to laugh a little as I flipped through my work out journel. Only a month ago the entries were ‘Bootcamp – Abs’ and now my entry was ‘Carried a 150 lb tire 1600 meters with 4 other girls.’ I wear the bruise on my right shoulder with pride.

On Sunday morning, Kellie, one of my new CrossFit friends, and I headed out to Encino Hills Drive for a 13 mile run. Kellie was training for the AC 100 in 2010 and this would be her longest run thus far. She was a good training buddy. I liked spending time with other strong women. I liked that as half of Hollywood was laying in bed, recovering from hangovers, the two of us were out here, conquering Mulholland. She possessed the strength and agility that I needed and I possessed the endurance that she needed. We both had a lot we could learn from each other.

Another great thing happened this weekend. My crew for KEYS 100 came out of the woodwork. So… without further adieu… meet the crew!

Crew Captain – Ko Ohka

Ko’s dream is to one day run Badwater and is now an accomplished crew member in that race. He spends his free time heat training, year round, and can be found running 50 miles, out and back to his parents house at any given day. There is no one you want on your side more than Ko when training fails and sickness or blisters set in. He knows how to cure it all. Ko crewed me at the Mt. Disappointment 50 miler this year and helped me come back from a DNF and beat the cut off by an hour and a half.

Crew Member – Dear Ol’ Dad!

My dad is my biggest fan. He comes to any race that I ask him to be at and stays up all night making sure I am ok without a single complaint. He has been at my first 50 miler, Leona Divide and also crewed and paced me at the American River 50 miler where I finally qualified for Western States. Most recently he flew all the way out from Atlanta to crew and encourage me through my first 100 mile run.

Crew Member – Joey Stafura

Joey has been one of my very best friends for a very long time. I know that if I ever need anything, he will always be there. Joey has never been a part of an ultra before so he is in for quite the surprise!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Maribel August 17, 2012 at 11:25 am

I’ve completed MMT 2x and Grindstone 1x. Elevation gain/loss is more for Gstone (23k) than MMT (16k), and the cbmils are longer 1-2 miles for MMT and a few that are 3 and 7 miles long for Gstone. You’re also dealing with running at night 2x for the mid and back of the pack runners. Both are pretty rocky, too. I didn’t do MMT this year when the course was changed slightly, but of the two, I’d have to give the edge to Gstone for being harder.

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