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I seriously can’t believe it has been a week since I toed the start line for the Badwater Ultramarathon. What a crazy, crazy experience. I still have conflicting thoughts about the race. One part of me can’t believe that I actually did the race. Badwater is suppose to be “The race of Champions.” I’m just a 24 year old girl who really loves to run… to the point of complete exhaustion. But a champion? Nah. So it was very surreal for me to even be standing at the start line with so many world class ultra runners. However on the other hand… I very much remember almost every detail of the race… which means it definitely was not a dream (and I also have a pretty awesome belt buckle to prove it!). It has also been somewhat strange to walk by people during the last few days who are doing their normal, everyday thing. All I can think is, “I bet they have no idea what so ever what I just did.” lol. Its kind of an awesome feeling 🙂

So as you can clearly gather… I finished the Badwater Ultramarathon. My goal was sub 40 hours and I nailed it in 38 hours and 53 minutes. I seriously have never been so proud of myself. I fought really hard for that finish. Of course, I would not have been able to do it without the help of my crew. I got REALLY lucky with my crew. Badwater is definitely not a solo effort. So thank you to my crew… Traci, Jana, Nick, Derek, George and of course, my mommy… I will never forget the time I spent with you guys out in that desert. You guys managed to get me to the finish line in under my goal and also make me laugh my ass off while at it. I seriously have never had so much fun, while doing something so tough! And also… what happens in the moun-ains, stays in the moun-ains!

I also have to thank my coach, Lisa Smith-Batchen. She is the most incredible woman I have ever met. If any of you readers are looking for a coach, she is the woman to go to. Everything about her is awesome… she is knowledgeable, inspiring, kind, beautiful and one TOUGH lady! I know I have mentioned this before, but she has completed this race NINE times! After going though the race once, I gained even more respect for the lady, which I didn’t even think was possible! Without her help, I don’t know how I would have gotten through the race. I felt so confident going into the race because of her training program and because of it, there was never a second in the race where I didn’t think I would finish. Sure it got tough, but I was tougher, because of her. Love you Lisa!

Thank you as well to my boyfriend, who finished his second Badwater this year! He came in 5th in a time of 26 hours and 24 minutes. Mark, you are always an inspiration to me and make me want to push myself harder. Plus, you make for an awesome training partner. I love you.

And of course, thank you to Genr8 and Fein. Both of the products were hugely important to  my race. I drank a full serving of Vitargo about every 3-4 miles and had ZERO stomach issues and ZERO bloating… at Badwater… thats pretty freaking cool. Fein helped to keep me awake through the night and most of day two. Combine the two products and magic happens…

Here are some pretty awesome pictures that were shot by my twin sister, and photographer, Traci Phillips. We were separated at birth but found each other… like a Tia and Tamara kind of deal.



Things that happen during a taper

With a week to go until the big day, I am definitely in taper mode, which means I get to find other activities to do to replace the hours that I usually spend training each day. This past week these activities consisted of:

1. Flying up to Bend, Oregon to meet Mark’s dad and then driving a BMW convertible that he gave to Mark back down to Orange County. It took us 15 hours and some of us may have gotten a bit cranky. But at least it was a pretty drive.

2. Shopping! I cant even tell you the last time I went shopping for real girl clothes. Its been a long time. My drawers are stuffed with more Lululemon workout wear than actual clothes. So I got some dresses and a couple cute tops. Of course I got some new Lulu items for Badwater as well.

3. A pedicure! Again… I cant remember the last time I have had one of these.  Too bad my toes will only remain pretty for a week though. And please don’t make fun of my rather large big toes. I got enough teasing in high school.

4. Trying new recipes… Last night I decided to jazz up some salmon by topping it off with a peach/avocado salsa that I made and with roasted butternut squash on the side. It was pretty bomb. Recipe can be found below.

5. Watching movies.. This past week we watched Animal House, which is always funny. Then We Need to Talk About Kevin, which was not funny and quite depressing, but a good movie and on my list of books to read. Then to lighten the mood we watched Dazed and Confused.

5. Starting a new book. I love to read, especially adventure books. Sure, I read 50 Shades of Gray and I loved it (remember I am a girl), but usually I hate romance novels. They make me cringe. I much rather prefer novels based on true accounts that are related to running, hiking, cycling, etc. Or thrillers or books that are just far out there like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or almost anything by Stephen King. Yesterday, I started the book, Hell on Two Wheels, which is about the Race Across America (RAAM). Reading about others who push themselves to the limits gets me going and even more excited for an upcoming race. RAAM is freaking hardcore too. I basically feel like a giant pansy compared to those cyclists. I have a hard enough time staying up a full day and the top guys manage to cycle across the entire United States in about 9 days while only averaging about an hour of sleep a night. Nuts.

Other good reads I recommend to endurance athletes during a taper are:

The Long Walk, by Stephen King
Shattered Air, by Bob Madgic
A Few Degrees from Hell, by Scott Ludwig
The Hunger Games (but who hasn’t read that)
Last Breath, by Peter Stark

If anyone else has some good recommendations, please share!

So that is basically what goes on during a taper. There was also some running and cycling thrown in there. This weeks agenda is…. PACKING! I hope I don’t miss anything. I suck at packing. On our trip to Oregon I forgot a hair brush. When I went to Palm Springs I forgot shirts. But don’t worry, I made a list, sent it to coach Lisa, and will have mom double check everything!

Anyways, hope everyone else who is running Badwater is also having a splendid taper!

Oh! Also check out some interviews that I am in on the Ultra Chicks Unite website! One interview is on the 18 women who are running Badwater this year and the other is about Mark and I both competing in the race this year.This website rocks. It is all about inspiring female ultra runners and I am so happy that I got to be a part of it!

And here is the salmon recipe:
Serves 2
2 pieces Salmon
2 peaces, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 jalapaneo, seeds removed and diced
juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

1. Cook salmon over low heat in a covered pan for about 8-9 minutes
2. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl
3. When salmon is done, top it with mixture
4. EAT!


All my long runs for Badwater are now done. I can’t even explain how good it feels. I love to run and run far, but I am ready to taper. And after my last long run in the heat, I am  extremely happy with the shape I am in right now going into the race and am confident that I am going to have the best race that I can!

On Wednesday night after I got off coaching classes at Anaerobic, we did some quick packing and then Mark and I made the drive up to the Best Western in Indio. Now although, this hotel totally looks like the type of hotel you would go to to hide out like if you robbed a bank or something, its pretty great. They have an extensive movie collection to choose from, an olympic size swimming pool and a fairly decent breakfast. While we were there, Mark and I finally finished watching, The Raging Bull, which we failed to complete 2 or 3 times the last time we were there. Then Mark thought it was funny to pretend to be the Raging Bull and bark orders around. ha ha. NOT!

Onwards to the running portion… On Thursday morning, one of my friends and BW crew members, Nick Hollon, came up with his girlfriend, Lindsey. The two of them were kind enough to give up their day to crew Mark and I on a long run in over 110 degree heat… probably not most people’s ideal way to spend a summer day. The goal was to do around 3 hours or 20 miles. We ran on the same road we always run on when we go out there… Dillon Road, which is just long and rolling hills and hot as heck. Mark was pretty much self sufficient most of the time, but Nick and Lindsey stopped about every mile to give me aid. I was glad to hear Nick describe himself as a “needy” runner when he ran Badwater because I have a feeling I am going to be needy as well. I like having my water bottle full of ice and I know I will want to be sprayed down as much as possible. Mark will run for miles in the heat drinking hot water. Yuck.

During the run, Mark got a bit ahead of me. In just a tad over 3 hours he ran 20 miles and I ran 17. My legs were a bit tired from all of the miles I had put in over the past weekend, but I was pleased with my 17 miles. I was thrilled with Nick’s crewing expertise as well. He was on top of everything at each pit stop and his knowledge of ultrarunning and Badwater will be invaluable during my race.

After the run we made it back to the hotel just in time for a small radio interview that I was suppose to be on to talk about Badwater and the Dreamchaser’s Foundation. I literally stepped out of the car and they were calling me for the interview. Definitely cut that one close! The show is called The Diacos Radio Show. Fein, who is one of my sponsors, sponsors the show as well. The show has a mostly mens fan base and talks about sports, travel and other manly topics. I was a bit nervous before talking with them, but once things got going it was actually really fun! The guys were way cool and easy to talk to. They of course thought I was crazy for wanting to attempt Badwater, but so does everyone else pretty much.

After the interview it was time for the pool and then FOOD! Mexican food and margaritas. We had so much sharing stories about our sometimes not too brilliant runs or races we have done. Like what kind of hallucinations we see when we run more than a day straight,  passing out in the middle of trails and running into various forms of exotic wild life in while tromping through the jungle… that kind of stuff. Im pretty sure if an outsider heard the stories we were telling they would have thought we were making them up, but we weren’t.  Then Nick and Lindsey left to go camping at a microwave tower (which we were pretty sure they would not find according to the directions Nick received. They were something like “drive down a road, turn left at the cow and then make mostly lefts until you’re there.”).  Mark and I then spent the rest of the night on our 3rd attempt of finishing the Raging Bull in our 95 degree hotel room. What a perfect day 🙂

Friday Mark and I slept in (we are not the wake up at the crack of dawn type of runners), packed up and then headed out to the Palm Springs Tram to run the 3.8 mile hill. This time was definitely the hottest it has been going up it, but I actually made it up in my best time, which ended up being about 48 minutes. Ha, that sounds really slow, but I felt like I was MOVIN!

On Saturday we attended the Bangin Beach Body BBQ at my CF gym and had a fun CF workout which consisted of some log running, pullups, KBS and wall balls. It was a team WOD, which made it more fun since everyone was getting into it and competitive with each other. CF Anaerobic rocks and I am extremely proud to be a part of the team over there! And EXTREMELY lucky that they put up with all my traveling for training and racing lately.

Later that evening Mark and I went down to Laguna Beach and had a dinner at Mozambique. Very paleo friendly place and almost all of their menu items were gluten free. It was great to have a nice dinner together and actually relax. See.. we can do normal stuff too! I even wore a dress and put on makeup and looked like a real girl, which I was very proud of myself for because that definitely does not happen too much lately!

So that is that. Training is done. I am ready. Or as ready as I can be for running 135 miles through the desert… Time to recover, relax and eat and hydrate.

Thank you for everyone who has been supporting me along the way. By either offering encouragement, donating to my charity, fixing my aches and pains, training with me, covering work hours for me and everything else. Promise I will try my best for all of you!