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Three Things Thursday

I rarely write a Three Things Thursday post, because I usually can't think of three things of interest to report, but I have a few newsworthy items for you today!

1. The Maffetone Method. I've been running a lot lately. I'm 12 weeks into my heart rate training. I'm using The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing, inspired by this rock star who went from hilariously painful looking 5K race photos to kicking ass and taking names at Ironman/triathlons. Thank you Katie for being amazing and for all the reading recommendations. I am learning so much!

My running has been going well despite (because of?) the limitations put on my speed by my sworn obedience to my heart rate monitor. 

Three weeks ago I decided I should run the Appalachian Trail across the entire state of Maryland. It was a nice little run in which I spent 12 hours on my feet (and a couple of minutes flat on the trail). Speaking of the trail, there are trails with rocks and then there are trails that are rocks. And they say the AT in Pennsylvania is bad.

More rocks ahead ...
Photo style also borrowed from/inspired by Katie at This Amazing Day.
2. The Great Bear Staredown. Two weeks ago, I went running in George Washington National Forest with my friend Brian. Brian is a front of the pack runner who regularly wins ultramarathons. He had pulled ahead of me a few miles into our run so I was very surprised when I rounded a bend to see him standing in the trail. 

A big black bear stood watching us about 50 yards away, her cub in a nearby tree. As a midpack runner, I was very excited about seeing a bear, especially one that was more than just a flash of black disappearing into the woods. 

But this bear didn't hurry off. In fact, she had been staring at Brian for about 15 minutes. 

We decided to bushwhack straight up the hill to the left to give her a wide berth. We hadn't taken more than three steps before mama bear started up the hill as well. We beat a quick retreat back to the trail, fearing a charge was imminent. She climbed further up the hill, but didn't head our way.

After a few minutes of nervous discussion we decided it was likely her cub had gone or she wouldn't have moved that far away.  We started tentatively down the trail. She stayed put, her gaze affixed on us the entire time. We walked until we were out of sight.

We ran together for a mile or so and then Brian pulled ahead. As he ran out of sight, I checked over my shoulder to be sure the bear wasn't following me. That old joke occurred to me: You don't have to be fast enough to outrun the bear, you just have to be faster than the slowest person with you. Crap, that's ME!

3. Vermont 100 Miler. Speaking of um, running, my second 100 mile race (ever) will happen in nine days. I'm running the Vermont 100. 

I've been reticent about the subject as I crammed to come back from my 5-month foot injury. Thanks to a really skilled sports acupuncturist, I think I have been able to put enough hay in the barn. I may be a little short on training mileage, I may not have done a night run or raced anything long in over a year but I am ready to tackle this challenge. Vermont, here I come! 

If you want to read my race report from my last 100 miler (also at Vermont) 8 years ago, it's here: 102 Miles of Vermont: Reflections of a Babe in the Woods. It's the story of a young, impressionable girl who fell under the spell of a powerful man in the woods.

Diagnosis: Insanity!
The incomparable Bob Gaylord and me at mile 89 in 2006

Wish me luck!


  1. Wishing you LUCK!!! I need that Maffetone method, but I got no patience, and since I run so short...well, right now since I am out of running shape and it's hot, I kind am running low HR. Anyway. Larisa Dannis also trained by it, and look where it got her! All the best! You can do it!

  2. Hey Special K
    great post-i'm intrigued by the Heart Rate method and will now look into it. Good luck with your second 100 miler. 9 days to declaring your BAMFosity. :) can't wait to hear how it goes!

  3. Love, love, love the idea of running the length of the AT through Maryland! What a fun adventure! Not that 100 miles through VT isn't an adventure ... can't wait to hear your success stories from the race. Have an absolute blast, and run a mile for me!

  4. That AT crossing sounds awesome! I'm so jealous! Dying to do the AT someday.

    Scary about the bear - one of my biggest fears in trail running. Glad y'all are okay.

    Sending good vibes to you for Vermont! Woo woo!


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