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Black Hills 100: Relentless

“Relentless” is a word that gets tossed around a lot by folks who have run Black Hills, and the Centennial trail certainly fits the description. Is the Centennial more relentless than you?

Back-to-Back Long Training Runs: Friend or Foe?

Gearing up for a longer ultra, such as a 100k or a 100-miler requires a dedicated training plan with particular focus on getting more miles and more time on feet. One way to accomplish this is with back-to-back long runs. Back-to-back long runs refers to doing long runs on two consecutive days, typically Saturday and Sunday for those with full-time jobs. Back-to-back long runs are a common practice in ultra training, but are they really necessary for success? That’s up for debate in this month’s column!

Walking With Laz – #Lazcon2018

Rolling up to Laz, he appeared as though he could have been part of a survey crew, or some form of civic organization in his neon yellow reflective vest. But Gary Cantrell, more commonly known as Lazarus Lake (Laz for short), is far from being associated with any government entity. He’s on a mission to walk across the United States, and he’s almost finished.

Running 50 Miles at 36 Weeks Pregnant

I was 36 weeks pregnant when I ran the North Country Trail 50 Mile last year. Even though I knew it would be a challenge, I was cleared by my doctors so I was up for the challenge to prove you can do anything you set your mind to.

Stride Frequency and Running Economy

Most of us can’t escape the ultra-shuffle as we reach the later stages of races. As we fatigue our biomechanics change in many ways, including changes in stride length and frequency. In this article I will shy away from the nitty gritty details of biomechanics and focus on the relationship between stride length and frequency and how they impact running economy.

Fall Is Here

For most ultrarunners winter and spring was all about training and preparing for a big summer race. The first half of the year had so much focus and promise. And now… it is fall. Fall. Even the name of the season implies pain and loss.

Titletown Ultra Series: The Ring of Fire

On a toasty morning, I toed the line for my first crack at the Titletown Ultra Series 15.5-hour event on June 30. There are three time lengths to choose from: six hours, eight hours, and the solstice run challenge where you run 15.5 hours from sun up to sun down.

Seven Sisters – A Special Trail

There’s a joke between me and Brian about his training habits. If it’s a Saturday, he’s probably running the Seven Sisters. If it’s a Sunday, he’s probably running the Seven Sisters. If it’s a holiday, day off from work or even one of his every-other Fridays off, he’s probably running the Seven Sisters.

In Search of Motivation

Low spots. Speed bumps. Ruts. We’ve all had them. Suddenly you find yourself in the midst of training without any mojo and weeks to go. How do you get back those butterflies you initially felt after registering on  Here are a few ideas to conquer what you’ll eventually see as a minor blip on your way to the finish line.

Conococheague 50K Trail Run

After a very rainy week, runners saw clouds lifting and blue skies for the 6th edition of the HARRC’s Conococheague 50K Trail Run. The event is held on rock-covered single track and forest service roads in the wilds of western Perry County, Pennsylvania, in the Tuscarora State Forest. The course has five major climbs totaling more than 6,100 feet of ascent.

Ask Ann: The Post-Race Blues

You had so many great races and big wins in your career, and although I’ll never win an ultra, after a big race that goes well, I sometimes hit a real low because the training and excitement of the event is gone. How did you deal with that sort of let down and what advice do you have on this?

Adversity in Perspective

There are few real adversities to contend with when running trails. Running the trails and racing with others presents challenges and setbacks, but it’s what we do for fun. But life outside of running can be fraught with all sorts of real adversities.

When Race Day Gets Canceled

Wildfire season has arrived, right in the midst of summer training. Due to some of the most hazardous air quality conditions in the country caused by smoke, this year’s Siskiyou Out Back (SOB) Trail Run in Ashland, Oregon was canceled last weekend.

Is a Team Sport

Transporting your body on foot for 100 miles in one go seems like an intensely personal and individual experience. And in many ways it is – only you can cover the miles, one step at a time. The physical pain and mental anguish experienced along the way taps you into your inner stuff unlike anything else.

But ironically it is during such a deep dive inside that I have felt more connected to others than at any other time in life.

What DNF Means to Me

Gradually my obsession about the meaning of DNF took on a less emotional and more abstract quality. I began to play with alternative and perhaps more useful meanings for DNF. Maybe I could make it a positive, motivational or even inspirational phrase…

Your Inner Voice Deserves Some Attention

Lately, my inner voice has been talking and I’m proud to say I’ve been listening. It tells me to push through summer’s intense heat when I’ve got no other options. Other times I hear a faint whisper throughout a long run telling me that things are not going as planned, and just to let it go.

The Case for “Walking”

We’re off to the races for July and that means many in the ultrarunning tribe will soon be tackling long training runs and races in the mountains. One strategy that’s often overlooked and misunderstood in mountain running is walking up hills.

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