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Happy New Year

ImageIt is the last day of 2013. My dogs are asleep and I am lounging on the sofa after a nice little run along the Bronx River. I am house sitting for a friend in Yonkers, 21 miles north of my apartment. While 21 miles is not much distance, about a 3 hour run, it is like night and day. My dogs are getting 1-2 day wild runs in Bronxville at Scout Field, and i am running along the Bronx River Pathway, which is a great path along the river with ample space to run in the dirt along the side.  I am also very close to trails, so the next 17 days here I will be hitting the trails and relaxing in this great house.
Tonight, I have no grand New Year Eve plans beyond working on my linoleum prints. I am almost done with a 24″ x 30″ block. It is my plan to get 6 done while here so that I can go right into printing when the new semester starts.
So Happy New Year to you and I wish you lots of great adventures in the New Year!

Wrapping up the year.

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Christmas is just two days away and it is hard to believe the warm weather in New York City. This weekend on solstice I had a great run from my home across the Manhattan Bridge through Brooklyn and back over the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan. It got so warm I had to take off my shirt. I had to admit it does feel pretty good to be running shirtless in December, but I do miss the snow.
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I am planning my 2014 running calendar side by side with the exhibition schedule. I decided to head out to Boulder to see my friend Mardi and run the USATF Cross Country Championships in February. In March I go to California to see my friends Audra and Loren and run the 50k Canyon Meadow Trail Run with Coastal Trail Runs. It is just outside of San Fran in the Redwood Regional Park. April I have the Boston Marathon, then nothing until Sept. I will run the 5th Avenue Mile and then go back to Utah for the Big Cottonwood and repeat the JFK50 in November. That should pretty much do it, but I am sure I will do a few small races in between those. I would really like to run more cross country.
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I have two solo exhibitions in October, one at Wave Hill in New York which I am preparing for now and one in Kansas at the Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs, Matfield Green. I will most likely head to New Mexico in May sublet my Lower East Side Apartment. Do a load of artwork and climbing in CO, then head to Kansas and work my way up to NYC for two months. If all works as I have planned I will be on sabbatical from June 2014 until August 2015. In 2015 I am going to Australia for a bit, and hopefully have an exhibition and run the Overland Track Trail Race. I am about to send out a few applications for exhibitions around the US and I am pretty excited about that.

Over the last few years at work I have been taking courses in the graduate program of Exercise Physiology and realized I just about finished my M.S. degree, so next semester I will take my remaining courses and complete it. I also just completed my NASM-CES class and will take my certification this week along with my NSCA-CSCS certification and next semester my NASM-PES certification. I will be a super certified M.S. Exercise Physiologist with stength/conditioning and nutrition concentrations. That is pretty exciting, so who knows if I get tired of teaching, actually tired of all the administration paperwork is more accurate, I am explore new options.
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Wednesday I begin house sitting for a friend and I am very excited about it. It gives me much close access to trails, plus a lot more room to move around in. She has a real house. The dogs are going to love and so am I. I will have three weeks to focus on craving blocks for new artwork. It is going to be a great time.

JFK50, My first ultra

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I  looked back over my FB messages to see when Zander Ross messaged  me to sign up for the JFK50 even though I never run an ultra, it was April 23rd.  I am extremely susceptible to suggestion and signed up. I spend the summer running in New Mexico, nothing crazy but making sure I did a medium run, 1.5 hours give or take on  a rolling dirt bike path Saturday and 3 hours or so on Sunday in the mountains. I hit up every ultra friend I had for advice because until then I mostly only heard about vomiting, diarrhea, bonking or falling and inflicting some terrible injury. I did not want any of that to happen to me. I continued my training through the fall, getting help from Coach Owen Anderson for the final eight weeks. I  only ran one race in the Fall, the Big Cottonwood half marathon in Salt Lake City with a personal best of 1:34.

I rode to Maryland with four of my Front Runner buddies catching up on all the gossip as I had not seen any of them in over a year, since I changed clubs to run with the Dashing Whippets Racing Team.  They had all run JFK50 and knew the course telling me what to expect. Tim who was not running this year crewed which was a huge mental boost. I had no idea what shoes to wear, I was told the first 15 miles on the trail had big, sharp pointed rocks covered by leaves. Since I always have foot pain and did not want to break any bones I played it safe with my La Sportiva Helios which  have excellent grip but are still light.   I quickly fell in with a group of runner as we negotiated the single track. It was slow and I wished I had done training on quick footing and agility, it would have made a huge difference on this terrain. Toward the last 4 miles of the trail section I fell in with 5 women and we grooved through the last stretch. It was a rarity to be in a pack of women at a race and it made it extra fun.

I emerged from the trail and saw Tim right. He had my bag with my Saucony Fastwitch shoes and Injinj socks. It felt so good to change my shoes and socks and get rid of my hat. Tim helping me with my chip, giving me a big hug and sending me on my way. I found after the trail my cadence was high but my stride length was dismal. I played around with trying to get my knees up to doing a fast shuffle as I entered the flat tow path section. I alternated jog / walk which I saw everyone else doing. At a certain point around mile 23 I though what if I just run faster and see how I feel. I felt so much better, fast is all relative because it was only around a 9:00 pace. As I got closer to mile 30 I had a stabbing pain in the outside of my right knee and the walking became longer and jogging shorter. (the pain had started developing much earlier, perhaps around mile 20 but did not affect me too much yet).  I had not planned for mechanical error and wished I had brought duct or KT tape to plaster my patella down and stretch my IT band. I asked for tape at the aid station and there just happen to be an ambulance that had stopped to chat. The did a super job of wrapping me all up with a nice hot pink band and I was back on my way.

A little something about the aid stations.There are 14 in total and they have everything you need. There is no need to carry supplies except for maybe a handheld water bottle. I carried and ate dates and papaya and grabbed a couple handfuls of potato chips and three cups of hot soup broth. I also took Hammer Electrolytes. One aid station was all decked out like Santa’s village filled with Christmas cookies, lights, and Santa himself. Every station had water, Gatorade, oranges, bananas, potato chips, PV&J sandwiches, many had boiled potatoes, soup, hot chocolate, gummy bears, m&m’s, cookies, coke, power bars, electrolytes and more. Because of my slow pace and wanting to finish as fast as possible I never stopped at aid stations, I grabbed what I needed, usually water, thanked them and kept going.

By the last tow path aid station, mile 41 I was power walking 100%, not because I was tired but because my knee hurt so bad if I ran, no pain with walking.  A group of volunteers where there to put orange reflective vest on us before we hit the open road for the final stretch.  I tried to run  the road  but it was not going to happen, my knee wanted none of it.  I passed a young really strong looking man with a very painful looking walk, he told me he wore the wrong shoes and his feet were a bloody blistery mess. I soon passed two more young guys crawling up the hill who were in total exhaustion. I came to the 8 mile sign. The road was rolling hills and would have been a beautiful run. I was full of energy and a bit frustrated that I could only power walk. I was calculating my time and figured I could easily finish in about 70 minutes if I could run slow, but after trying a couple times I knew I could only power walk so I did it with a vengeance. It was remarkable how many people I passed. We would pass each other back and forth as they run / walked. I thought of the tortoise and the hare, clearly I was a tortoise but more often than not, I would be the one who continued as they stopped.  I huge reward was catching up to a man I met the night before, it was his 32nd  time running the JFK50. What a hero, he said he planned on running 35 and that would be it. There were a large number of runners in the 70′s and talk about inspiring! At mile 5 I passes a woman maybe in her early 20′s. A friend came out to run her in, she seemed really down. Her friend was talking her back up, saying you just have to finish the last four miles in an hour, and I was thinking good god an hour to finish 4 miles, I need to step up my power walk and get this done. I was trying to keep it as close to 12:00 pace as possible.  I stayed optimistic the whole race, I never had a doubt, I never went to a bad place, nor did I vomit, dry heave, poop my pants or have any other ugly stuff. From the first day I signed up I said, no matter what it would be like a long day of hiking and I just wanted to finish within the cut off. But in those last couple of miles I thought that this is so stupid, I am only a couple miles away and I am walking. I am walking as fast as I can but I want to run, I did not come out to walk this, couldn’t anyone do that? Well probably not and it was not to beat myself up, but all my muscles felt good, my energy stayed even, I was happy, but my right knee / IT was not cooperating and that was frustrating.

At the four mile mark we came to an intersection. There were loads of people cheering in the 35 degree cold. People were saying, “thank you for running our race,” “thank you for running through our town,” “Hilary you have just 4 miles, 4 and your are done, you got it.” At several points along the way, I would hear “Hilary you look great” “Hilary great job.” The spectators would bring out the printed race program, quick look up our number so they could learn our name and call it out. Talk about dedicated support! At every step of the race I felt as if I was wrapped in a blanket of love.

In the last half mile as I entered the town  emerging from the dark was my friend Tim. What a sight at this 10+ hour mark. He talked to me as I power walked my last bits. I chatted as I felt my hip flexors start asking, “are we done yet?” We turned the corner and Tim dropped to the side telling me to, “go get your glory.” At the top of the little hill there were huge bright lights and I hear, “Hilary Lorenz from New York City, congratulations” over the loud speaker. Suddenly my face contorts all up as I try not to cry. I look to the ground because I know it is being televised and I did not want to break down sobbing before I hit the mat. I did not expect that to happen. I had no strong emotions during my time out out there, I just thought it was fun.  I crossed the mat and a man said, “you can stop now.” My power walk was in stuck gear and I had I had to be told to stop. A women pulled off my orange vest, another gave me a medal. I started walking away and Tim was there to see that I returned my chip from my shoe. I had not, I did not see where to do it. He took it off me, laced my shoe back up and we went into the warm gym.

There Zander and Richard were, the arrived about 30 minutes ahead of me. We ate pizza and hot chocolate. I was shaking uncontrollably from the cold. I had shorts on and while the day was perfect from about 38 to 46 it was now down to about 35 degrees, dark and very windy. I had a terrible time trying to stir my hot chocolate because I was shaking too hard. After some food, and smiles all around, big laughs and congratulations to each other and to those we came in with it was time to walk the 3/4 mile to the car. Oh dear god it hurt. My hip flexors stopped working and I could not pick up my feet, my entire body was convulsing from the cold. I hung on Richard’s arm like a 115 year old woman.  People coming to pick up friend and family were saying, “congratulations” and I could not even respond I was so mentally focused and getting to the parking lot which I could not even see it was so far away. But once in the car with the heat on and the 30 minute drive back to the hotel my legs relaxed and I was able to walk again. I took a really hot bath, put on sweats, made hot miso soup and climbed into bed. Finally I was warmed up, walking fine and feeling good. The boys, seven in total from our group went out to drink margarita’s which I took a pass on to watch HBO and enjoy the kindsize bed without my two Labradors taking up all the space.

I slept great that night waking up Sunday feeling good. The right side of my knee still aches. I taped it up which made all the difference. I met the all the guys at breakfast and heard their great stories, everyone was successful.  One friend, Steven will be running Lookout Mountain 50 miler in three weeks, he did awesome at JFK running it under 7.5 hours. 

I certainly hit my goal of finishing. I also hit my goal of qualifying the the Overland Track 82k Race in Tasmania and Western States 100 for 2014 lottery, now over.  However the JFK50 will no longer be a qualifier in 2015 and at this point I do no want to run 100 miles. It is just nice to know that I can qualify. I still have a weird conflict about the amount of walking, but it is what it is.

Will I do this again? Absolutely. It is really fun, I know that is hard to believe but it is. I can easily take one hour off my time as long as I can avoid mechanical errors and I plan to do this by working my posterior chain for the next year, taking the stress of my hip flexors and IT band and doing agility work. But I am so thankful to the many many people that helped me, this was a very rewarding day and now I am going to convince other friends to join me next year. Monday as I get ready to go to work, I will feel as if I was wrapped in that blanket of love.

JFK50 Here I Come

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After months of training the weekend finally arrived that I will run my first 50 mile race on Saturday November 23rd. I had three great months of running in New Mexico with the Santa Fe Striders over the summer, nice trails, great mountains, heat and altitude all rolled into one. I have been in NYC for the past three months, putting in plenty of 20 miles runs, a few 25′s and a 30, tonight I just had a handful of 400m intervals, but almost all on pavement.   The picture above is from the Blue Line Run done a couple weeks before the  NYC marathon and along the same course.

I signed up for the the JFK50 back in April through the urging of my friends Zander and Richard, at least that is how I remembered it, and together we will run it. Zander has run loads of 50s and both Zander and Richard have run over 100 marathons each! Despite their vastly superior experience I think we will be a good match physiologically to run this whole thing together.

I called on many ultra runner experienced friends, Joe, Michelle, Gabrielle,  Hideki, Tim and in the final 8 weeks Coach Owen Anderson. I had used Coach Anderson’s 30 days to a marathon finish plan for both a marathon and a half and PR’d both like crazy so I thought he could be me to the starting line fit and quick footed. Joe, Michelle, Gabrielle, Hideki and Tim provided me with a huge amount of information on eating and their GPS data, this was really crucial. I am not afraid to cover 50 miles, my only concern is making myself eat which is a constant problem. My pack is filled with dates, figs, bars and a couple emergency gels. But the best weapon I have in my back of tricks is my new beard hat!

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This awesome baby was hand crochet by my student Ruth. Yes it is warm, but it also makes me feel all fuzzy and happy inside and that happiness is what is going to carry me across the finish line with a smile!

Top 10 men last year came in between 5:34 and 6:12 and top 10 women 6:12 to 7:32. Many of these are professional sponsored athletes. People have up to 12 hours to complete the race which begins on the
Appalachian Trail and runs for 14 miles, then a gravel/dirt tow path for just over 26 and finally a road. The trail is technical and rocky and of course be slower, but I think they is a good way to start. I want to finish until 10 hours but honestly I have no clue what to expect, I just ran a 1:34 half marathon on September at altitude, but it was also a lot of downhill and on road. So here is to new adventures. Wish me luck!

PrintSocialThis is a special for the Santa Fe Striders and any of my hiking buddies, August 3rd and 4th.

I began PrintSocial in NYC as is an exchange between two or three people during the process of making an editioned linoleum print. It is an idea I dreamed up after having to move my studio to my home. It served many purposed but the two primary ones are: I always wanted to have a printshop and invite people to come and make a print – thus I play the role of a print publisher on a tiny scale. Now I have a phat studio in the high desert of Abiquiu, New Mexico and I can invite a whole group of folks to  print.

StoneTrigger Press
DETAILS – Print
No experience necessary. You do not need to be an artist. In fact not being an artist is a plus.
It is free. I will provide all materials.
It will take 3-6 hours to draw, carve and print your image.
You must like dogs and you are welcome to bring your’s.
Of course kids, spouses are also welcome. Let me know if your children are
under 10 so that I can get the appropriate carving tools for them.

PRINT DETAILS
You will carve a 4″ x 6″ block and print it on 9″ x 12″ cotton paper, one color. You can make an edition of 5 and I ask you to leave one at the studio for archive purposes.

You can draw directly onto your  linoleum plate or you can bring a photo, drawing, any image and transfer it to your plate. The only real planning you need to do is know what you want your image to be and that you will make is 4″ x 6″ and print onto 9″ x 12″  paper. I will teach you the rest. No, you do not need to know how to draw – trust me!

DETAILS – Run
On Sunday we will do long run in and around  Ghost Ranch along the Continental Divide.  Eric, your long run coordinator will provide these details.

Swim
How about a swim in Abiquiu Lake after our run on Sunday? Depending on when you come Saturday you could also go then.

LOGISTICS
Sleeping
This is a two day event so everyone is welcome and encouraged to camp out. My house is small, but there is a loft  and floor space for those who want to be inside, especially those with young children. The flat ground level roof offers a great spot to sleep under the starts. I can offer up my tent and there are 2 acres of land to pitch a tent. Abiquiu Lake is just a few miles away if you want to camp at the lake. I am rural but I do have running water, electricity and DSL. Bodes is 6 miles away, but it is best to bring everything you want.

Food
Please bring food and drink to share. I will make a number of quiches for Sunday morning.

Art Supplies
All art supplies are provided but if you have materials you would like to try out, please bring them.

Entertainment
Outdoor movie screening with fresh popcorn after dark and any entertainment you wish to share.

Important Notice
Don’t feel you have to run a ton of miles or any miles; hikers, walkers, bikers, swimming, or relaxers are all welcome. But please let me know you are coming so that I buy enough art supplies. You do not have to stay overnight, if you want to come for just one of the two days, you are more than welcome.

RSVP to hilary@hilarylorenz.com

Questions – just ask
Hilarys Underground House

My hike for this week was in Taos. I met my ABQ friend Tom in Espanola at 7:00am for the drive up to the Ski Basin. We began at the Gavilan trail #60, it is about 1.5 miles before the ski basin, it is short, only 2.43 miles, but you gain 2,000 ft in those 2 miles from 8,881 feet of elevation to 11,205 feet of elevation. From there we went to Columbine Trail over to Gold Hill, wandered around on top the mountains before coming back down over the Long Trail. My last hike with Tom was a fast 20 milers, this one I am not sure how long it was, but we walked for 8 solid hours which equals about 16 to 17 miles.

After coming back to Abiquiu we ate at the famous El Farolitos in El Rito. I ran into four other friends  and we decided to take a night hike in Plaza Blanca, the Badlands of New Mexico. Walking around Plaza Blanca with only the moonlight was really cool. We took no lights  and wandered around  until about 11:00pm.

The next day I went to Santa Fe to meet up with the running group. I ran on my own Saturday morning extra early because I was helping time a race in town. It was pretty awesome, 217 people showed up, it was free with lots of great prizes. It made me want to race. I met my friend Joan who is in from NYC and we spend the days at galleries.

This morning the gang was running up Santa Fe Baldy, (12,622 ft) a 14 mile out and back run beginning at the Ski Basin. I hiked this last weekend. When I woke up Sunday morning, I felt kind of sad for no particular reason. But perhaps because I only have 26 days left, or because I hardly saw my dogs yesterday or maybe because I really just wanted to do laundry, I did not go. I took the dogs to the park at 6am until 7:30 met a really nice woman there and made a plans for her to bring her dog up to Abiquiu Lake, so it was a nice morning.

Now I feel sad that I missed the run, I just want to do everything. I love being outside and while I miss NYC, I will miss the mountains even more.

warning: gross road rash wipe out photos at the end

The Dale Ball Trails are probably the most popular trails in Santa Fe. Less than 3 miles from downtown, the high altitude trail system covers over 40 miles. On Sunday I went with a group of friends on a 5 hour training run in preparation to run the Grand Canyon R2R2R in October.  I will not be joining them in AZ because it is the same weekend at the Abiquiu Studio Tour . I am excited to participate in open  studio again.

The plan was 20 miles at an average of 15:00 per mile which sounds very slow, but with 2,000 ft climbs and running between 7,000 and 9,000ft of altitude it is far harder than you think. Also this pace would more closely mimic what it would be like running  48 miles in the Grand Canyon. Since I am running the JFK50 in November it was a great training run for me.

I slept poorly the night before because I was worried about how it would go. Last Sunday I ended up in Urgent Care on a 12 mile run, but this week I overhauled my diet and planned my nutrition. I would be taking in about 200 calories per hour with papaya, honey gels, raisins and Gadorade.  I ate every three – four miles and it made all the difference. I learned from one of my SFStrider Buddies, how to alternate power walk  with running  on the steep uphills so as to not over fatigue running muscles and to keep walking muscles fast and strong.  I also learned when and why one should powerwalk vs.  run  even when the strides are tiny. This was a great bunch of very experienced trail runners to go with.

With 3.5 miles to go, we refueled at the cars and I already felt  satisfied. I could have quit or kept going, but I decided to finish it out. The last bit felt really good, we got to a nice downhill stretch and I bombed down the hill stretching my legs out to run as fast as I could, until, BAM, I hit a rock, went flying headfirst down the hill, tucking my head so I did not knock myself out, jackknifed my body and rolled into a ball. Two guys came running down behind me, and it occurred to me that I need to say, “I am OK, I just need to lay here a minute, it burns.” My whole left side took the hit.

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My arm from elbow to wrist was filled with gravel and scratched all the way down.

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My left hip, has a dinner plate sized mess of bruises and cuts, my should is all gashed up, and my hand has a small hole in the palm.

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There was just under 2 miles to go and though I could bail or finish. I got to the bail point and was doing just fine so I finished it out and felt great. We all whooped it up at the end and I think everyone was really happy.

I quickly showered and got ready  to go the Folk Art Market.  As I walked to the entrance of the market, I noticed a woman watching me, she made her way over, with an opening line about my trail rash. Turns out some good abrasions are great for picking up women.

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