Posts Tagged ‘Tasmania’


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.

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sea_pods_ptownI am laying in bed, two dogs stretched out around me and I am coughing like crazy. My brain is in overdrive with teaching too many classes, taking too many classes, my exhibition opening and obsessing about running. So one at a time.

Exhibition. On Saturday I am showing at a new gallery in Brooklyn New York, Shop Art Gallery. It is very exciting, the gallery just opening in December. I delivered the show today, brand new 2009 etchings some combined with digital photographs plus watercolor drawings.Shadow Bird 2 Delivering the exhibition is a huge relief as I have been printing and cutting and framing like crazy, sleeping less than 5 hours a night. The opening reception is Saturday February 7, 2009 from 4-7pm. Come on by.

I was fighting a cold but I lost. I began getting sick on Friday and thought I would be fine to race on Sunday in Central Park the Gridiron Classic 4 miler. Five thousand, two hundred and sixy eight people came out in the nice 30 degree weather. Yes that is 5,268 runners. It was a tough and crowded race, I did not do as well as I wished but I did place 13th in my age group, not bad but I want to be in the single digitsl. I have been working out twice a week with Front Runners. I have not been doing much mileage mostly under 30 per week,  a far cry from the 50-65 I was doing last year at this time. I also hired the expertise of runner and coach Lowell Ladd an NCAA All-American (10,000m), one of the top ten Americans at Boston Marathon twice (2002 & 2003)  runner-up finish at 2005 Steamtown Marathon. and first place in the 36th Annual Harrisburg Marathon, 2009, to help me out with my training. Right now I am trying out a four week plan to get started so that we can see how each other works. My current training was a mix of my most excellent FR coach Kelsey Louie, an amazing  short distance runner,  workouts from  Pfitzinger ‘s marathon schedule and strength training from my favorite PT’s at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy. Pete and John fix me up and help me to work on all my weak points. They are responsible for putting some muscles into my skinny distance runner legs. I am at a point that I need to have someone put everything together, look at what I am doing and validate or rewrite it.  I speak to Lowell once a week on the phone and plan my running, right now the focus is tempo runs.

School. Oh. Yes I am working too much, don’t most people. I will not go into the details but I have way too many independent students who are not  independent. In the classes that I am taking I have an annotated bibliography to write – something we never did in art school and a whole lot of catching up since I missed yesterday and today because I was sick.

So until next time, happy running, go see some art and hire experts to make your life better.

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As promised yesterday I am posting  some photos of my “Made in Tasmania” Book. Right after I posted four people bought books, sight unseen! Thanks! I am expanding the theme into a suite of prints that will be completed at the end of the year. The Tasmania book has 8 page spreads and 3 pop-ups. It was made by cut stencils and running the paper through the press 8 times. This simple little 4″ x 5″ (approx) book took over 120 hours to make, cutting, printing, printing more, folding, cutting, screen printing and more folding. The edition is 15 and the price is $75 plus shipping.

Here a a few photos:

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Hilary Drawing

Hilary Drawing

It is amazing how fast some weeks go and week 5 was certainly one of them. I had a full week of drawing, running, reading, and hiking. It was also a very cold week with lots of snow followed by even more rain. Yesterday I woke up to a frozen water pump in 19ªF. As the sun came up the pipes thawed and I had water by 1pm. Last night Ranger Barry thoughtfully brought me 5 gallons of water just in case it freezes again.

One new exciting addition to my cabin is a space heater. After some extremely miserable cold sleepless nights, sleepless because I would have to get up several times and put wood on the fire, I asked Ranger Trevor if they had any available heaters. Sure enough there were two brand new ones still in their boxes sitting under the table. They were bought for the rangers who work in the tool shop but apparently didn’t need them. All I have to say is the first night I used mine was the first night in 5 weeks that I slept all night. I felt great. I now stay warm all day and I am able to stay up much later drawing. And my disposition is far superior than it had been.

New Adventures: I went with Barry on the rangers boat up Lake St. Clair to Narcissus hut to delivery a large artwork that was to be helicopter to Windy Ridge Hut for installation. It was fun to be able to go on the rangers boat. I wish I could have gone on the helicopter but it is forbidden. Volunteers and some parks staff used to be taken from hut to hut to work in the park via helicopter but a few years ago one went down and everyone was killed. As you can imagine lawsuits ensured and now only head rangers and some track workers and the tools go by helicopter. While Barry was up at Windy Ridge I did a day hike around Narcissus, chatted with a few other hikers and came back to our boat to meet Barry and the helicopter a few hours later. It was a beautiful clear day, but cold and our socks were wet from stepping off the boat onto our heliport island. We were not able to park on the dock and the heliport was underwater because of all the rain so we docked on what is usually the bay but 80% was underwater leaving a small island to park on. We filled out boots with water getting off the boat and spend the day in soggy feet. I was happy to have on my wood injinji toe socks because my feet stayed warm and blister free even though it was 30º F. I have great photos of the mountains covered in snow.

Boat with Helicoptert

Boat with Helicoptert

Running: Wow I feel happy about running. Since my overuse hip flexor and illiopsoas strain I am very happy to report I am on an upwardly mobile running schedule. I have moved from 4 days a week running to 5 and from 25 miles to 40 miler per week. I am trying to be careful and only adding 10% more mileage each week. Four more weeks and I will be back up o 55 miles a week. I will be ready to run the August 16th 10k, in New York though I expect my times to be a bit shower than usual with all the winter running and uh winter eating. All this rice, oatmeal, potatoes is great carbs for fueling glycogen levels but I am ready for some of the New York City summer heat to sweat off the extra energy I stored while living in the mountains.

Drawing: I am still working on my large pencil drawing and have begun drawing small watercolors of rocks in detail. I find the rock drawings engaging in my attempts to represent all the lines and color deviations on the rock. It is about illustration more than art but I can see working this kind of method into greater works. I feel pretty satisfied with the amount of work I am getting done – especially now that I am warm.



Final Weeks Plans: I gave up any plans of camping. I struggled with my thoughts about camping but I can honestly say now that I do not like camping alone. I am sure of that. Especially in the winter when you have 10-12 hours of darkness and you are sitting all alone in the dark, it is 15º or less in the higher elevations, and it is just not fun. The more I read about deaths in the park brochure, experienced my own acquaintance’s death I just found it too stressful to do alone. I am glad I am finally at peace with that decision. My partner Lisa arrives Tuesday. It is her 40th birthday. I have organized something very special. I chartered a private plane and a boat to take us on a full days tour of Southwest Tasmania. The southwest is World Heritage designated, it has no roads, no civilization and pure 4500 sq. km of wilderness. 1,111,974 acres. The plane will land on the water to meet a boat that will take us to a marine researve of Bathurst harbour. We have a good change of seeing whales and seals.

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The wireless is down in the cafe so all the carefully thought out posts that I wrote lay dormant on my computer as do the photos of the snow, new drawings, and more animals.

We got a great snow storm two nights ago but since then it has been raining non-stop. I did my runs anyway, it has been a long time since I ran in a blizzard, it was quite fun. I checked my calendar today and it turns out I was only off from running 5 weeks but it sure makes a difference. Finally I am up to 30 miles a week with one day of quality training, plus 5 of strength training. But every time I run I wish it was summer.

Last night I went to Maren and Barry’s house. They have a very cool very big house and greeting me at the door was Brucey the bushy-tailed possum and when I got in the living room sprawled out in front of the fireplace was Harry the wallaby. Oh I like Harry, I pet him most of the night, at least when Brucey was not trying to take a bit out of my toes, he liked my Injinji toe socks.

Tonight Bech is having a dinner party. It am very happy to go to social events, plus it prompts me to take showers. Oh, I am taking showers, especially after I run, I am not too nasty out here, just a bit of mud as it is really muddy. And do you know what that means? Not just mud but there are land leeches.  Fortunately I have not gotten any but they live in the mud and fall out of the trees and suck on to you – yuck! I forgot to buy salt last weekend, that is what you put on them to get them off.

Hopefully I will be able to post some more photos tomorrow, but also make sure and check the flicker link as I have posted over 200 now.

Lastly I am very sad to miss the Pride Race this weekend in NYC. A very specail shout-out to all my Front Runner teammates, have a great race and Happy Pride!


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Hilary Lorenz on little hugelI had the perfect ending to this week with a walk to Little Hugel elevation 1,274 meters, a 18k return, with a nice 440 meter boulder scramble to the summit. It was cold this morning -2.5C but totally clear a perfect day for walking. I did not see any animals but I did see plenty of pandani, myrtle and deciduous beech and snow gums which you can see in my photos. The rock scramble was up giant snow covered boulders, it is absolutely magnificent.

Topping out the news this week is I completed my first week of marathon training for the fall marathon. This is good because my hip/groin injury after the Boston marathon was quite debilitating. I had a total of 7 weeks of no running, just biking and swimming, with two sessions of 5 minute treadmill runs at physical therapy before I left. I am happy to say I completed a 25-mile week with the only real discomfort being my quickly lost fitness level. How in just a few shorts weeks of not running an 8 mile run can seem harder than a 22 miler. I still feel a twinge at my front lower hipbone point when I step down on it hard while hiking but other than that I am just trying to get my fitness back. By the time I leave Tassy in August I hope double my mileage to 50.

For drawings, I have completed one large one, two small, and I am working on a second large one. Both are about the same size 55” x 80”. I will include a working shot of it on my photos.

And lastly I received a request to see more of my cabin so I have included more photos of my cabin. The cabin has two bedrooms and when you enter there is the kitchen on the left and bedroom on the right. If you pass through the door near the fireplace it takes you into a small hallway where a slop sink and refrigerator sit. The bathroom and a second bedroom are accessed through this hallway. I use the second bedroom to store my junk because it is freezing in there (that is not an exaggeration it is freezing, there is no heat). You can see I am a minimal housekeeper. I like to have all my junk around me so that I don’t have to search for it.

That ends it for my first two weeks here. I am still in search of a platypus and a devil. I think I will find a platypus but perhaps I will have to go to an animal rescue center to see devils. Happy Father’s Day, Pop and good luck to all the Front Runners Racing in Central Park today.

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Injinji socks, shirt and gloves.

Today, with only four days to go before I leave for Tasmania, I am excited to tell you about my newest sponsor, Injinji performance socks. Last year while training for the New York Marathon I began wearing Injinji socks after seeing them on the Badwater website. For those of you that do not know Badwater, it is a 135-mile ultramarathon foot race starting in California’s Death Valley. It takes place in July, when the weather conditions are most extreme and temperatures over 120 F in the shade are not uncommon. To say that the runner’s feet get beaten up is a gross understatement. I thought if the Badwater athletes wear Injinji, then they would be great for a mere 26.2 miles and the 800 miles of training prior to the marathon.

Since the first day of trying the performance series of running socks my feet have never been happier. I never get blisters because these cool little socks have toes! I liked the socks so much I introduced them to my teammates at Front Runners who are now becoming Injinji toe socks converts.

After running with these socks at the New York Marathon in 2007 and the Boston Marathon in 2008, I liked the socks so much I began to wear them every day when I found the comfort line which is made just for this purpose.

In preparing to go to Tasmania I made a decision that the only socks I wanted to bring were Injinji’s. I know that may sound strange but as a runner and hiker one of my biggest concerns is the well-being of my feet. I emailed the folks at Injinji to see if they would be interested in sponsoring my Tasmanian drawing, hiking, and running project. On May 12 I got an email from Christine Battenfield, the Chief Financial Officer at Injinji saying yes to my request. Wow, was I excited.

A couple of days ago I got a box from Injinji better than any Christmas box, it was overflowing with performance, outdoor, eco bamboo socks plus Injinji performance gloves, t-shirt, patches and stickers! My friends were jealous and hinted how they wanted to come over and try on the toe socks. Everyone who tried them loved them and of course had to laugh as their toes resembled little fingers, but very comfortable little fingers. So thank you Injini for sending me into the Tasmanian mountains with a stockpile of comfort and support for all my adventure activities.

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Hilary Lorenz carving a woodblock in her Brooklyn StudioToday is one week since I ran the Boston Marathon. In that week I came cross a quote from Frank Shorter two times, saying “you are ready for your next marathon after forgetting about the last one.”  One week is certainly no time to forget, nor will I forget the honor of running in such a prestige’s marathon as Boston, but I am thinking about the next and the next.

With the pressure of Chicago marathon filling up I rushed to signed up.  I am not 100% committed to it yet as I also want to run with my teammate Audra in the Steamtown Marathon and they are on the same day.  Why is it such a hard decision? Steamtown is downhill, a net elevation drop of 955 feet. While downhill can sound fun and fast, as I learned from Boston is can also tear up your legs.  So right now I am signed up for Chicago and will consider Steamtown. I plan to race Chicago and three weeks later run New York for fun, if there is such a thing.  It will be my first time with such a short turnaround.

In my most immediate adventure I am getting ready to leave for Tasmania. I am putting my gear in order, making lists of what I need to bring especially since I am leaving the New York Summer and going into Australia Winter.  It is a busy month.  I have an exhibition luncheon at Pfizer Corp. where my show is up until July 15; I am also moving my artist studio.  It will be in the same building in Brooklyn but a different space so that I can set up my new printmaking equipment and Epson printers. My final project before I leave will be a design Front Runners, my running team,  sponsored New York Road Runners race T-shirt for the June Pride 5 mile run.

I received my Tasmanian ticket. I will spend two weeks in Hobart at the Art College where I will give a talk then head to the Cradle Mountains for six weeks. I will be in relative isolation making drawings, going backpacking, and marathon training. I have sponsors for the trip and I am working on getting a few more to help support this wintertime trip.

I look forward to blogging from my satellite terminal on a mountaintop.

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Tasmanian Devil

You may notice that my tag line, “Art, Athletics, and Life from a winter C-scape Beach Shack” has changed to “Art, Athletics, and Life from a winter Tasmanian Rangers Hut.” That’s right, I am thrilled to say I have been selected for one of two 2008 International Natural and Cultural Residencies from Arts Tasmania. I leave the end of May for my 30 + hour flight to Melbourne then Hobart where I will take a bus to Lake St. Clair,  and spend 6 weeks living alone and working from nature. I have a great number of plans including hiking the 6 day Overland Track,  that I will share with you later. I will spend an additional 3-4 weeks exploring the island.

In the meantime, it is April 1 and all my attention is on the Boston Marathon in 20 days. I feel like all I have been doing is running and thinking about running. After my last long run, 23 miles, on Saturday, I am now in my official taper mode. After that I can bring my attention back to my exhibition still going on at Pfizer and working on a new edition of prints in my studio.

I decided to keep updating my blog in preparation for my trip, so you will be hearing from me on a regular basis now. I will keep you updated on running, new artworks, trip preparations, and daily happenings in NYC. Once I get to Australia, one of my sponsors Galaxy 1 will keep me in communication with the loan of a satellite terminal. the big difference on this trip vs. the 6 winter weeks on Cape Cod is I will have electricity. So no more dead batteries!

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