Friday, March 31, 2006

How to make your feet tough!

 I asked my good friend Denise Jones some suggestions and her thoughts on how to make feet tougher for the long haul. Below is her response! I'm thrilled she uses hydropel, we love the stuff and also sell it.
Have a great weekend
If this has to do with desert races, I do not really think anything can toughen the feet adequately except miles and miles in training and racing. Getting feet used to miles and miles on end. As well, learning the areas of one's own feet so that one is aware of what "might" blister or where blisters have occured before....that is *key*
These are theories used also -
1) Some runners say they toughen their feet to prevent blisters. It has been thought that tough skin (i.e., callus) will prevent blisters.
 It has been my experience and especially true in desert/pavement events, that if blister develops underneath callus, it's nearly    
impossible to treat. Then the blister grows and often involves blood. Then, infection is a huge danger. You , Lisa, have experienced this.
2) Tom Crawford used a preparation of tea and betadine skin toughner prior to DV 300's. The mixture is 10 tea bags to 1 cup Betadine into a half-gallon of water.  
    a. week one Tom would dip his feet into this mixture maybe 20 times and let them air dry
    b. week two Tom would add 1 cup of salt to the mixture and do the same thing
    c. week three soak feet for 20 minutes at a time several times daily.
3) Rich Benyo recalled he used Tom's method but put the soles and toes in the solution for placed in a plastic tub with it being shallow enough to just cover the soles and toes for 15 minutes, then raise one foot out for 3 min and allow it to dry, then the other foot the same 3 min, allow it to dry - he would do this altogether for 1/2 hour before bed. He went to bed with orange feet. 
However, he adds******* even using this foot prep, he found it was not foolproof to blisters and the reason why Rhonda learned to tape. But in those days - they used duct tape. Lisa, you remember how bad duct tape is in a desert/pavement event. When you put it on, it shifts and when you try to remove it, it takes the skin with it, then you have raw skin to contend with. Infection is likely, and the tenderness of the foot is tantamount to a possible drop out.
All of this is covered in our book - and it is complete with good photos of how to tape, step by step, when to tape, what to tape and what tapes to use, and how to prepare feet prior.
I tried Tom and Rich's above treatment to toughen skin along with taping for my first crossing. I only got two small blisters and no black toenails.
My second crossing, I got no blisters (and didn't use the skin toughening method) by pre-taping.
My third crossing, I only got three small blisters, very manageable and did not use any skin toughening method.  After three crossings, I can truly say...I have it down pretty well.
Now I use Hydropel and Injinji's on the runners feet first. I pre-tape any areas that have blistered before putting those items on. The Injinji's act as toe tape. But they have to be covered with Hydropel first and carefully. As well, I sometimes use powder. Additionally, some runners do not like Injinji's and have worse problems with toes. Then, I have to tape toes if they have blistered before....100 milers. Usually by the time a runner is seasoned enough, they know where their problem areas are, and they can tell me. I ask that any runner have a back up plan for desert ultras too.
While these methods can be tried and there is no harm in trying it, I found that my method which is outlined in our book is far more foolproof and effective. Callus should be *reduced*, filed off with a pedicure file gradually, over time, so that if a blister develops it can be treated.
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Thursday, March 30, 2006

check it out!

Greetings, fellow ultrarunner, adventure racer, mountaineer or aspiring mountaineer:
Marshall Ulrich from Stray Dogs, here. I am pleased to announce two privately guided mountain climbing opportunities for YOU!!!
Back by popular demand:

Get your feet wet with:
The Mexican Volcanoes October 21-29, 2006! Climb Toluca (16,000 ft.), Ixta (17,000 ft.), and Orizaba (18,500 ft) for ONLY $1,350.
And, by popular request:

Aconcagua (22,800+ft.) via the Polish Glacier Traverse January 10-27, 2007! Climb one of the Seven Summits for ONLY $2,600!
See the attached flyer for more information. 
For detailed information and applications, go to   Space is limited!
There are also a few spots available for the:
Kilimanjaro (19,000+ft.)/Safari Benefit Expedition June 12-June 27, 2006. Only $4,000.00.  For more information on how YOU can make a difference while also having the experience of a lifetime, see
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Good morning!

 Good morning!
4 days until we depart for the MDS! Amazing how it just shows up:)
I feel really good about this race and look forward to some real heat. Guess what? It snowed again here on Wed. and looks like it might do it again today. Some real heat training we have had here. It will feel very strange to be in the desert in shorts in a jog bra when I have been running with 10 extra pounds of clothes on just to stay warm!!! Ha! This should make me go faster.
My workout today will be to push my 6 month old in her baby jogger, wearing my back pack that I will run in for the MDS and do 2 hill repeats. The hill is called shooting star or better known as Barbs hill. The hill is 1.9 miles up and about a 9% grade most of the way.
PW (power walk) up and then run down.
You might wonder why it's called Barbs hill. Barb Lindquist who used to be the #1 Tri. girl in the world and went to the Olympics for us lives on the way to the hill and runs it all the time. I have yet to run it with her but Jay does. They are both way to fast for me! The only sport I can keep up with Barb is walking!!!
Have a great day
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

check it all out!

Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

great quote

Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Mark Twain
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

some great news!

 Here's some great news: The Desert Cup is on again for 2006!!
This year's event is scheduled for December 10-17, 2006 and will once again
take place in the Dogon region of Mali!  The Desert Cup is a non-stop,
self-sufficient race of around 120 miles.  Runners will pass through tiny
villages, steep cliff dwellings and beautiful savanna in this virtually
undiscovered African country.  More details will be released in late April...and
the event will be limited to 200 people!  Stay tuned for details on!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Monday, March 27, 2006

Great Success Story!

The World Championship 24 Hour race ? Taiwan   Here is my account of the hardest race I have ever run!  It all started on the eve of Monday the 20th of February.  My husband, Ben and I boarded the plane for the long haul to Taipei, Taiwan. After over 24 hours in and out of airports and flying we were so glad to be landing!  I don?t mind flying but staying in a confined area for so long is tough for me. It is Wednesday morning and we are welcomed by the 85 degree weather ? we had just left below 30 degree weather, cold/snowy so this was a big change.  One that would come to haunt me in the upcoming race!
We checked into our hotel, took a walk and then went on a sight seeing tour that afternoon/evening.  We did not want to sleep because we wanted to make sure we slept that night!  On Thursday we went to see the course and we rested most of the afternoon.  I think the 13-hour time difference finally hit us ? we were exhausted!  On Friday, met up with some of my teammates and one of my dearest friends, Sue Olsen.  We (the whole team) met at the city government building.  We had the introduction of the teams and we went on the bus to the course.  On the way over to the racecourse our bus was in an accident ? no one hurt but it was time consuming. We went back to our hotel, had dinner and went to sleep.  For Ben and I, the last night in a bed until we got home Monday. Home for us is in Virginia.   The big day had finally arrived!  Race day ? for me it was going to be the fourth time I went to the world championship starting line. It is such a wonderful feeling in the heart to be representing the USA and I thought this race was going to be no different and boy was I wrong!  I was going into this race probably in the best fitness shape I had even been and was excited again about the challenge and wanting to place in the top 10 again.  I talked with Lisa before and she as always gave me great advice!  Run your race do your best and the race will take care of itself.  So, the gun went off and I settled in for the next 24 hours and ready to set the world on fire or so I thought!  Ben has everything ready each and every lap ? he never misses a beat!  He is my lifeline and I say we are a team ?without him at my races I would not be where I am today! The course was just a little over a half-mile loop and mostly all concrete and some marble.  It had 9 right angle turns and had a hill.  To me the hill became a mountain at about hour 20. So needless to say this was tough course  - but we all faced the same challenge.  The weather was hot/humid and the last 12 hours it rained not the best conditions.  The first hour or so I ran fine or so I thought ? then I noticed that I was sweating a lot more than usual. I just thought that was due to the fact that I was not acclimated to the weather but I know that was not the only reason.  Over the next few hours I started swelling (hands) and I knew something was not like all my other races.  I could not even pee and that really bothered me.  I told Ben to talk with Dr. Andy, US team doctor.  He advised me what to do and gave me a pill to take and monitored me the next several hours.  Around hour 10-11 I went to the bathroom.  RELIEF!!!!! Things started to improve and I felt better so back to my race!! Throughout all of this I passed Pam Reed a few times and she was running at a good pace.  She went out really fast and I knew that I could not go that fast  - I had to run my own race and that is what I did! After a while I came up beside Pam and she was in trouble.  She said she had wanted to stop but I know having run with Pam, that  she was not a quitter!  So, I said just keep running and we could help each other as we had a lot of time left!  So, Pam and I ran together the rest of the race. We shared many stories about our lives, family and running ventures.  We really helped each other in tough times.  I kept Pam going and she made me believe in myself more than I could ever know! We sure had our ups and downs but we made the 24 hours! Another race finished and we were ready to sit down and just let our minds rest that this race was over!  For me, I struggled more than I have ever struggled and now I know that I have to be realistic about what can happen to my body and me.  I just know that I also found our what the real meaning of teamwork meant!  That is why we go as a team!  Some may say why didn?t you just go on and run your own race but that was not supposed to be the case this race.  Lisa and I had talked before I left and we knew what I needed to do and overcome.  I just remember her telling me you can do it ? be strong!  I did that and I found out that I have a whole lot more in my heart/soul than I ever thought I could ever have.  So, as this race fades into the past I can only look into the future and know that I have a lot more to give and achieve.  Together, Lisa and I will work and more success will come. Even being half way around the world, all of my family, friends and Lisa were praying for me and God certainly answered their prays! I returned home winner in so many ways!  Love to all who read this and know you to can find something inside yourself you never thought possible when it comes down to it!  I did and am so grateful!
God Bless, Sandy Powell
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Happy Monday

 Hello everyone!
What a great weekend I had!
Flew to Dallas Texas on Thursday and stayed with a coaching client and his family. What beautiful people:) It was colder in Dallas than it was in Jackson Hole Wy. The forecast for the race on Sat. was sunny and a high of 62 degrees. The Grasslands 50 mile trail race.
Start of the race was 7am and it was about 38 degrees but to me it felt colder.
The sun came out and I think it go close to 78 degrees which was so much warmer than they thought it was going to be. All in all "perfect" training for the Marathon des Sables.
I'm not sure how the race gets its name, Grasslands, should be called Sandlands!
Its a wonderful event put on the by the Texas trail runners. Half marathon, marathon and the 50 mile. It had been some time since I had seen the finish line of a race since my heart scare last May. All I wanted to do was run and walk the race and feel the joy of being part of the gift that we all feel when we run. I had 3 other coaching clients running and one of my very dear friends from NJ running to. The gun went off, the sun on my face and we started to run. I started to cry at the same time, just thankful so very thankful to God to be able to be doing what I love to do most next to being with my family. I ran the first 5-6 miles all at 80% and then went right into a run walk plan of 8/2 and then 7/3. As much as I wanted to run harder I really had to hold myself back, but like anyone who really wants to listen to the race plan I stuck to the plan.
It started to get warm, the sand on the course was perfect training and it was a perfect day. My stomach was not to happy for about 3 hours of this race and I have no idea why I could not get it to feel better. 5 hours into the race I felt great!:)
8:40 was my total time, good enough for 1st place overall girl! The last mile I cried again, I looked up and gave thanks for allowing me to cross the finish line and to be able to do what I love to do. My husband gave me an Ipod as a gift with 9 hours of new music on it, this made my day! I crossed the finish line and felt great, it had been a long time coming.
Finlay, Will, Todd and Paula all did well. Nice job team Dreamchasers!
Sunday morning sitting at the airport, my legs are not even sore just my toes! I was 2 hours delayed coming into Jackson Hole due to guess what? Another snow storm!
Have a great day
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Friday, March 24, 2006


Be exceptional.  Make tremendous efforts to be extraordinary.  What a privilege to be here on the planet to contribute your unique donation to humankind.  Just make sure you do so... --Shelby Lynne---Musician.
Guess what? The Mali Africa desert race is back! Dates are set for Dec. 2005. 125 miles straight though. Only 200 spots available.
If you are interested please contact Jay through our Dreamchaser web site.
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Grasslands 50 mile

 Good morning to all of you!
I will be off line for a few days. This weekend I will be in Dallas Texas running the Grasslands 50 mile race. Looks like the weather is going to be perfect, NO SNOW!!!:)
I can't wait to see green grass and trees!
I will be with some clients who will be having a first Ultra:)
Have a great weekend
God Bless
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My First Ultra!

1995 my first Badwater.
I met Marshall Ulrich in the first ECO challenge adventure race. My team fell apart as so did his so we ended up forming a new team. This later became "Team Stray Dogs", where I was the first women on the team. This adventure race was very hard for it was so darn hot and through the desert. So many people were lost and ran out of water, we had to walk for miles with no water. One night during the race we had a blinding wind, sand storm and once we got to the transition area Marshall says to me, Gee Lisa, your pretty good in that kind of stuff you should run Badwater. I said, what is a BadwaterMarshall explained to me that it was 135 foot race through DV, it was hot and had a few hills but nothing to worry about. I had only run marathons, 26.2 miles. It was inconceivable that someone could run 135 miles, I had never heard of such a thing. My mind was very intrigued. Here was Super man, Marshall Ulrich telling me I could run 135 miles, I was more than flattered.
The RD of Badwater just happened to work for Hi Tec which was one of the sponsors for the Eco Challenge. Marshall took me over to meet him and told him that he really should consider letting me run this Badwater race. You had to be invited!
3 months later I was lined up at the starting line of the 1995 BW 135 mile race through Death Valley. I had called Marshall a few times before the race to ask him what I should be doing in order to prepare for this race. He told me to run with a few extra clothes on for heat training, run for 4-5 hours a few times. Hmm this seemed simple!
I got to Stovepipe Wells in DV 3 days before the race started with my crew. We had more supplies than 30 runners would have needed! The heat was something you could not explain to anyone. Put your head in an oven and just know that you are not going to be able to get out for a very long time. What was I getting myself into?
6pm was the start time of the race in 1995. The gun went off and I felt so at peace. I loved this place the minute my foot hit the ground. The smell filled my my, body and soul and I was sure that I had traveled this course before, but I just did not know when.
This was my first ultra marathon. I had never run more than 26.2 miles why did I think I could run 135 miles?????
Well, because Marshall told me I could:)
I remember so much about this race this year. Every turn every climb seemed to last a lifetime. I had never done any walking before, I was a runner. I was forced to walk up all these MOUNTAINS that consumed this race. I had no idea. They got bigger, longer and harder. I cried so many times, wondering what the heck was up and over the next hill. You see, I had never driven the course so I did not know. I did not read about the course I just listened to what the other told me about it.
Needless to say my crew and I made it to the finish line! I was never so happy to sit down, never do over the top with Joy that I did it. The feeling was something that I just wanted to savior. As we drive back to Las Vegas and back over the race course, I could NOT believe that I had just covered this course on foot. When you do something so unknown to yourself and then you go back to see what you did the reward in your heart will last a lifetime. I sit here and write and can still feel that feeling and still smell the smell of the desert that draws me back time and time again. BW 135, 1995 was my first ultra. I was hooked.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

update sent to my coaching clients


 Hello everyone!
We will be leaving for the Marathon Des Sables on very early Monday April 3rd. I will not be able to return email on Monday. I will be able to check my email Tue. April 4th through Thursday April 6th. Then I will be off line until I can check again after the race sat. April 15th. During the time I am not able to answer questions you may email coaching client, friend and coach Ray Zahab with any emergency questions about your training. Ray will be able to give you the best possible answer in my place. Ray's email is
During the MDS I will be sending an update to my blog each day. If you want to follow the race check out my blog and also go to the race web (click on the little British flag to bring up the English text) for important race updates.
You can send us emails while we are in the race as well! To sign up for my blog go to
The applications for the Grand Teton Races are now being accepted.
Trail marathon, 50 and 100 mile!
The course is beautiful. Race dates are Sept. 2rd and 3rd.
Go to to sign up. We are sure to sell out this year.
Make sure you make your reservation at Grand Targhee Resort now to make sure you have a great spot to sleep and rest. The start finish line is right at the resort.
Great place to bring your family and friends. Spectators can ride the chair lift to watch you run up the hill!
Many new and exciting things are happening with Dreamchasers and I will do much better at keeping you posted. Soon you will be able to pay for your coaching fee on-line through active!
We have many new products that we will be selling that we will introduce to you when we return from the MDS. If you are in need of any products at this time please let us know by end of the week to ensure you get them before we leave.
Please visit the web site about the exciting camps that we are putting on. The May and Aug. camp with Marshall Ulrich are filling up so make sure you get a spot. All details about the camps are on the web site.
Jay and I will both be speaking at the Desert Spring Ultras on Sat. April 22nd. We will be showing the Outdoor Life Network film of the Marathon des Sables and then talking about multi day stage races and gear. Love to see you all. The Race Director of these events is also the RD of the Desert Rats multi day stage race set up very much like the MDS.
The race is in June. They are now offering to all of you a free race entry if you get 5 other runners to sign up! This is a great. I will run the Desert Rats next year, very happy to have this race here in the USA!
Below are several success stories and races from Dreamchaser clients. If you are not on this list that just means you will be on the next one update!:)
Heath: PR marathon 3:30:30
Olga: Hagg Lake 50k, 3rd girl
Nattu: 100k in Florida, 12:14:45! Had a PR for even the 50 mile in this race and ran 3.5
          min. walked 2.5 min. the entire way:)
Bob: Land Between Lakes 60K 7:53, PR by 20 min.
Jim: Has lost 3 belt notches and had exercised 5-6 days a week for the last 2 months!
Mark: 9 trails, PR by 26 min.
Frank: Sarasota marathon 3:53
Sandy: Frozen Ass 50k 4:47..New PR
Aran: Miami marathon: 3:32 and then Ft. Lauderdale marathon 3:28!
Angie: Has lost 30 pounds since the first of the year and is going to curves 6 days a week!
Steve: RR 50 mile 9:19!
Mel:54 mile race with pack 13:37
Beth: first marathon 4:47
Katy:RR 50 5th girl!
Farida: going to cardio rehab 3 days a week and loving it!
Ray: Won the Libya Desert Race!!!
Sandy: 24 hour World Championships in Tawaiin, went head to head with Pam Reed!
Michelle: Marathon PR 3:26 and then 1st Ultra was RR 50 mile, 1st women overall 8:10!!!!
Spring is here! Great time to do the Super Neera Cleanse! For more details just ask!
Have a great day
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Great story!

 Great story from a new client of mine!

In Gear I Trust:
Record Female Unsupported Solo Hike of the John Muir Trail, 2005
Even urban mothers of two have dreams. Mine was of danger walking in the Sierra's. In the dream this mother no longer bossed, corralled, cajoled, instructed, vacuumed, or laundered. She just enjoyed miles of mountains, sky, rocks, trees, flowers, and water. Sitting in the comfort of home, I refined my strategy. Owing to my chronic under training, I thoroughly invested in my new motto, "In gear I trust." I reviewed the latest gear specs. Then scrutinized every ounce. I ruthlessly cut straps and tags. To remove the water bladder pouch on my brand new backpack I don my high-powered reading glasses. Rummaging through the long unused big wall climbing gear, I retrieve my toothbrush. Its handle already shortened and drilled for lightness. Yes, I even weighed everything using a postal scale. I packed and repacked. The final outcome? A total pack-weight of twenty-three pounds. That included trail shoes, clothes and ten pounds of food. If I could repress my conservative nature and avoid carrying too much water between sources, I'd only have twenty-five pounds at most on my body. My husband witnessed this dance of planning and belief in gear over actual training and declared, "Just do it!" That's easy for a super freak to do. For this average Jill, I needed a secret weapon, the ipod shuffle! Oh! And an external battery pack, extra headphones, and batteries.
Starting in the dark of a new moon, I checked my watch at the sign for Happy Isles trailhead. It was 6:14am on August 27, 2005. Thanks to being married to "Hollywood" Hans Florine, I was a sponsored housewife. This meant I could lay claim to his Nike ACG Alti-Compass watch. Like other members of the over forty club, my eyes needed large type and bright light to make sense of watch faces and maps. That meant I also "borrowed" his Petzl Myolite 3 headlamp. There would be no excuses for getting lost. The blame would lie solely upon my feeble navigation attempts.
I began hiking on the Mist trail, which enjoys two extraordinary waterfalls, Vernal and Nevada. This certainly made the start even more beautiful and steep. After Cathedral Pass, I stayed south of Tioga Road. All of the stream crossings were casual. The mosquitoes even behaved themselves. I slept two nights high on mountain passes. Given the light pollution that exists in the cities, it was a real treat to experience the Milky Way in all its glory every night. The stars were incredible! In Evolution Valley, I discovered wild strawberries! Yum! Coming down off of Glen Pass, a northbound hiker warned me of a recent bear attack in Vidette Meadow. He also tells me that a hunter has been asked to destroy the animal. Yikes! Then I became preoccupied with bears. Of course, I've seen their "calling cards" all over the place. Particularly alarming are the trees sporting claw marks high on their trunks. I was already avoiding camping in the meadows. This just reinforced my preference for high and dry bivys.
Each day, I was averaging roughly thirty-four miles a day. The John Muir Trail surmounts eleven mountain passes ranging in altitude from 9700' to 13,484'. It culminates on Mt. Whitney's 14,4991' summit. That adds up to some strenuous hiking. To fuel my adventure, I packed nine Power Gels, two Protein Plus bars, six Snickers bars, one roll of Lifesavers, crackers, Indian Nan bread, seven ginger cookies, two Pria bars, seven packets of Uptime, three cups of grits, two packages of mashed potatoes, three packages of bean soup, jerky, nine cheese sticks, ½ cup of oatmeal, one package of chicken noodle soup, 12 slices of salami, three organic raw food bars, ½ cup of raw almonds, and ½ cup of dried fruit. I had considered leaving my beloved Jetboil at home, for about three seconds. The thing is amazing! In less than a minute you can be chowing down on mashed potatoes. Pop some beef jerky in there with the wild onions you picked on the trail and you've gone gourmet. Because it is so fuel efficient, I only needed to take one canister of fuel. Never underestimate the power of a hot meal!
For a solo unsupported effort, one of the most daunting concerns is food weight. Add the weight of food protection and you already feel like staying home. The current approved bear resistant canisters weigh almost three pounds! Ursack offers a responsible alternative. My older model weighs just eight-ounces. The soft bag of bulletproof fabric offers light weight, pack ability, and security.
Last year, I hiked the JMT for the first time. During the eight days it took I encountered snow, hail, rain, lightening and blisters! The blisters were a surprise since I usually have very stable feet. My mistake was in getting my trail running shoes in too stingy a size. I obsessed over the problem for a year. The solution was simple, go big. I mean really big. For the first twenty miles in my Nike ACG Cascades I tripped all over the place. I was hiking in clown shoes! There was another element to the shoe strategy, toe socks. The fashions of the seventies really are back. Even in sportswear.  Apparently, many ultra distance runners are using them. I can tell you that toe socks are the way and the light. No kidding! My Cascades were wonderfully agile and the socks cuddled each little toe protectively. Slide in some Superfeet insoles and you're in bliss.
Experience is a great teacher. Last year, I got thoroughly schooled in the inadequacy of my sleeping bag. The end of every day brought with it the certainty of another cold night of stoic contemplation. I figured I had done enough of that. On this trip I took a twenty-degree bag. Thanks to Mountain Hardwear warm oblivion was mine. To handle any inclement weather I relied on my old faithful 'suffer' sack, also know as a bivy sack. The weather turned out to be classic California. Beautiful bluebird skies, sunshine, and warm breezes graced each day. To counter the UV exposure, I used two Kinesys products, fragrance free sun protection stick & spray. This small family owned company makes sunscreens for people who don't like to wear sunscreens. I like their products because you can apply them without having to get your hands greasy and because my skin doesn't react to the ingredients. No matter how fast you go, you can't outrun the sun!
When I was planning my hike of the JMT I wanted to treat it as if it was a big wall climb. To do this, I would need to take everything I needed with me. There would be no re-supplies, food drops, pacers, telephones, GPS or masseuses. The only difference would the availability of water along the way. I read several books on the subject of lightweight backpacking. The most informative book I found was "Beyond Backpacking" by Ray Jardine. Another was "A Step Beyond: A Definitive Guide to Ultrarunning" edited by Don Allison. Without these resources I would have actually had to know something about hiking and backpacking. Other sources of information on moving fast were my husband Hans Florine, Russ McBride, Patty Haskins, and Jim Ficke. Thanks everyone!
I reached the traditional southern terminus of the JMT, the summit of Mt. Whitney at 1:07pm, September 2, 2005. That sets the women's solo-unsupported record at six days, six hours and fifty-three minutes! I was feeling pretty sassy about all this and decided to descend via the fourth class Mountaineers Route. Yikes! The route was really loose and uncertain. Here I had decided to go for a proper finish to a super aesthetic hike only to wish I'd opted for the mind numbing switchbacks that the day hikers were enjoying. At 6:41pm, September 2, 2005, I stopped the chronograph on my watch. "Good! Just enough time to get to the Whitney Portal Store." Then I ordered the meal I had been looking forward to all day, a cheeseburger and a beer. Doug Thompson Sr., the owner, asked me the same question he has asked thousands of other hikers, "How was your hike today?"
And then he listened with a huge smile on his face.
While waiting in town for my friend Mike Ayon to pick me up for a weekend of celebrating and climbing, I called home. It was then that I found out about Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster our country has ever endured. Considering the enormous losses suffered, I am especially grateful for the simple joys of walking alone in the wilderness, hot showers, family and friends.
Happy Isles sign to Mt. Whitney Summit; 6 days, 6 hours, 53 minutes.
Total time; trail head to trailhead, 6 days, 12 hours, 27 minutes.
Mountain Hardwear
Nike ACG
August 27, 2005
Happy Isles Trailhead
September 2, 2005
Summit of Mt. Whitney
September 2, 2005
Trailhead at Whitney Portal via Mountaineers Route

Monday, March 20, 2006

Our Grand Teton Races!

 I guys and gals!
The applications for the Grand Teton Races are now being accepted.
Trail marathon, 50 and 100 mile!
The course is beautiful. Race dates are Sept. 2rd and 3rd.
Go to to sign up. We are sure to sell out this year.
Make sure you make your reservation at Grand Targhee Resort now to make sure you have a great spot to sleep and rest. The start finish line is right at the resort.
Great place to bring your family and friends. Spectators can ride the chair lift to watch you run up the hill!
See you soon
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Sunday, March 19, 2006

training program!

 Hi gang!
Below is from a good friend of ours who's Dream is to qualify for the Olympic Trials and Olympic marathon! He is is law school full time and has a job on top of all of this.
Amazing, just amazing.
Back here in MN things are going pretty well I guess.  I was trying Indurox as a recovery fuel for a couple months and then a few weeks ago ordered some HEED and Recoverite to compare.  I'm still finishing off the Indurox but I have used the HEED for a couple workouts as well as a race this morning and have been real happy with it.  I've been much more attention to recovery over the last couple months and I think it's starting to pay off.  Today was the first race of the local team circuit and I ended up running about a minute faster than I deserved to for 8k.  This week was only 100 miles, but the previous three weeks went 125, 135, 140.  Between that and running two ten-milers yesterday, I'm okay with a 25:33 8k.  It turns out I was a bit conservative at the start though as I was expecting my legs to be totally dead.  So my splits went 5:28, 5:02, 5:10, 5:09, 4:44.  But that's how it goes some days. 
I've taken a page out of the ultra runners book and started doing back-to-back hard/high volume days on the weekends.  Saturday mornings tend to be hill springing and bounding with a recovery run in the afternoon.  Then Sunday morning 22 miles, increasing the tempo over the last half and trying to run the last couple miles pretty close to 5 minutes with another recovery run in the afternoon.  Then I just do one repeat workout on Wednesday and the rest of the week is mostly recovery running.  Though, I'm still running to school and back every day witha backpack--I finally started weighing it and it comes out to between 22 and 35 pounds, depending on which classes I have that day.  Luckily it's only four miles each way! 
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Great Story

Great story to share from one of my coaching clients!
Happy Sunday
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Saturday, March 18, 2006


 Good morning to you all!
Today is a cross training day for me. Spin bike for 45 min. good pace, rowing machine for 20 min. good pace and then versa climber for 20 min. good pace. 15 min. core work!
I have been asked several times over the past few weeks about my health and my ability to train, run and race.
My push the VO2 max and my body to the limit days are over. Last May and June I was having some very serious health problems that led me to professional cardiology Doctor's.
I do have some permanent damage that side lined me for several months. The end result is that I can still do everything that I love to do, I just can't do it at over 80-85% heart rate.
This means that I can now stop and smell the roses, look at the beauty around me and know that it is Doctor's orders that I don't push my body to the limits any longer.
To be honest, I am more than ok with this. Everything for me is different knowing that I can still be part of all the events I love to do, be out there with all of you but not even think about who is is front of me to chase down!
I am thankful, more than thankful each time I complete a workout. I gives thanks to God for my ability to still be able to what I love to do with all the people I love to do it with!
A very close friend of my husband Jay, a women who is in her 60's gave me some of the BEST advice I have ever gotten. She said, "Lisa, the buffet is full, you have to make some choices."
Have a great day!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Thursday, March 16, 2006


How difficult can it be to run for 2 hours going 4/1 pulling a tire across snow.  I would think that it would only glide across the snow!  Also, what do you do when you have to go down hill!!  16 pound pack, you can do better than that!  Come on Lisa where is your sense of training, stop clowning around and get serious!!  You know I am only teasing you....good job!
But, here is what I did yesterday for my workout.  I ran 4 hours going 8/2 pulling a tractor tire that was attached to the tractor!  Plus, I had 10 pound weights tied to my ankles and it was 110 degree's in the shade and the wind was blowing 45mph.  And, it was all up hill....I did not wear a pack but I carried Avery Grace in my arms the whole way plus her Elmo doll....I am really tired this morning.
Reading your workout schedules makes me tired and hungry!!  You go girl....
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Read about an amazing person

Hello everyone!
Click on the link below and read about my good friend and coaching client Aran Gordon.
Aran will be going back to the MDS with us this year, his 2nd time. This time to put his head down and race:)
Aran is one of my heroes for all he has done and does with his life and to help others have a better life. Never once have I heard this man complain about anything, his only focus is on what is good, kind and peaceful. This is the kind of energy he spreads to all of you, even a perfect stranger!
God Bless!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Great Quote!

 " Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; the point is who you become as you get past the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals. That's what gives you a true and long-lasting sense of fulfillment."
Anthony Robins
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Wed. workout!

 Today is going to be a real challenge with the new snow.
I'm going to do a 2 hour run going 4/1 pulling the tire and wear my 16 pound back pack. Then 30 min. on the Versa Climber. Should be good and beat up after this.
Looks like the sun is trying to come out so I just might get to work on my tan.
You see, my heat training is wearing about 10 layers of clothes!:)
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

snowing again!

 Can someone please send some warm sunshine our way!
It is snowing again and they say it is going to snow until Sunday. Yikes!
So how do we get in shape for hot desert races?
I will start to tell you in the next few blogs. Running in the snow is about the same as running in the sand!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Hi everyone,
I hope you are having a great day and that life is treating you well.
I have frequently been asked and was asked today what race is harder the MDS or Badwater 135.
My answer is:
In my opinion you can't in anyway compare the races. The only similar features these races have is that they are both in a desert and they are both hot!
MDS is a stage race where you carry all your own supplies for 7 days. You are given 9 liters of water each day at various check points. The distance is close to 150 miles over several different types of terrain, such as sands dunes, dried up river beds,rocks and gravel. There is little if any road running. This race you sleep out in the middle of the Sahara desert under the most amazing star filled sky with amazing people from all over the world, all with a story to tell! The bounding that goes on during this race between perfect strangers is like nothing I have ever experienced before and will last you a lifetime.
MDS is a journey of self and not one you are able to explain to someone unless you experience it first hand. The real test of MDS comes in your ability to make sure you have all the "right stuff" in your back pack. You can't have someone run off to the store to pick you up anything you must have it with you. Your ability to recover from day to day is also a very large part of this race. People think its only hot in the Sahara, it is very cool at night this is why you must have a very warm sleeping bag with you. You can visit our web site to learn more about the MDS.
Badwater: is 135 on the road. The race is straight through, you only sleep if you wish. You have a crew to give you all the supplies you will need along the way. You need to enjoy running on the road to really love this race. The course is beautiful in so many ways, it is forever changing with each passing mile. The RD had 3 different starts for the race which makes it fun. The course is very difficult with the heat you experience. It always seems so hot due to the heat coming off the black top road. Badwater is a real test of survival with how your mind, body and spirit will hold up for 135 miles in a furnace that you can't get out of! This race is one of my favorite because of the course, the event itself and what you learn about yourself as a person along the way. I have completed BW 7 times and will be back this year. Each time I run the race I learn so much more about the deepness of my being that I have yet to explore. I always tell people that at BW the race does not start until 100 miles!
Why do I go back to both races: I have done many races that I never have the desire to go back to again. These 2 races have a place on my heart that I just cant explain to you.
The love for the heat, the desert, the ultimate challenge, the bonding with people and the universe. My thought it that you find a way to try both of these events yourself sometime in your life. If not to race them, you can be part of these events in other ways. Volunteer or be on someone's crew.
Both races are equal in the awesome experience but very different in most ways.
Have a great day

Monday, March 13, 2006

4 hour run

On my way out the door for a 4 hour run going 8/2 at 80% with 16 pound back pack on. My 3rd back pack workout.
Its cold and SNOWING again, visibility is very low.
Send me some good energy!
Happy Feet

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Deep snow workout

Wed. we had 40-50 mph winds and blowing snow that was just like being in a sand storm.

My daughter Annabella wanted to go outside and thank goodness because I did to.

We of course have all the right clothes and gear.

For 2 hours this almost 3 year old and her mommy were out on snowshoes walking through snow up to our waist. Annabella kept

saying, mush mommy mush!

I could not move any faster than I was, my legs felt like

they had iron boots on them.

After 30 min. Annabella fell asleep. As much as I wanted

to go back into the warm house, I kept going being thankful that I had a kid that will

sit in a back pack for 2 hours, be supportive, encouraging and let mommy get kick

butt workout! At the end of the day Annabella says, we did good mommy!

Hope you enjoy the photos.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

My first Marathon: last part

My brother Perry found Stephen wandering a side Street about 2 miles from the finish line.
He had gone into a McDonald's to get some orange juice and then got off course.
His eyes were rolling into the back of his head and he said he had blood in his pee. Not good!
My brother Perry begged Stephen to get on the back of his motor cycle and stop running. Stephen refused to do so, said he wanted the $500 bucks and was not going to stop until he got to the end. He got to the end ok and  we later found out he had gone an extra 3 miles when he got off the course. For 3 days after this practice marathon Stephen could not get out of bed, I had to help him in and out of bed and get all his meals for him. I felt GREAT! Poor guy! My brothers gave Stephen the $500 and I thought he wad going to split it with me. Not a chance he said, I ran further that you did and look at the shoes I had on and did not even train for 1 day! Remember he had Converse flat top basketball shoes on.
The official marathon was 2 weeks away. I knew I could make the distance and I was really thrilled about this. My parents were at the finish line. I ran the entire course and loved having some people along the way yelling for all of us. As I was running up the finish line I can still see my father leaning over the rope on the left side of the road. He looked shocked that it was really me running up the finish. People were yelling out to me,"your going to Boston, your going to Boston." I had no idea if they were talking to me or what a Boston was! 3:13 was my official time. I qualified for the Boston marathon for which I had no idea at the time that this was the marathon everyone wanted to run.
The most rewarding part of all of this as I look back is having my parents at the finish line, sharing this with my brother who still to this day loves to tell the story of how he beat the pants off of me and that with no watch I qualified for Boston.
Keeping it all simple is the fun way to train in my opinion. Time, effort, energy and the belief in yourself that you can do anything you set out to do. This is really what it is all about?
Having 3 older brother's as you can see must have had an effect on me:)
Happy Feet

From and 8th grade young girl

Below is an email I sent to an 8th grade girl that I am not coaching on line.
You are amazing to.:)
Now you need to decide if you want to be average, good or great in this life and at everything you do in life.
Anyone can be average, it takes some work to be good but it takes time, effort and much dedication to achieve greatness.
Which one do you want? 
I don't want any of them.  I want to be extraordinary at life, and every little thing I do.
I have been wanting to change my whole image of myself for months but never got around to doing it.  I really want to be happy with my appirance but more important the way I feel about myself.

People in your life!

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid
emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ray Zahab wins the Libyan Challenge!

"The Libyan Challenge was truely a unique event for
Lisa and I to prepare for. Basically, we were heading
into unchartered territory ! A race of
self-sufficiency in the desert, 190 kms non-stop ! The
concept was to carry everything you would need to
survive for 4 days in the desert in the possibility it
would take that long to complete. You also had to
navigate your way with a gps along an unmarked course
through huge dunes, near vertical mountain passes and
long stretches of soft sand to the water cp's which
were approx. 25-30 kms apart ! Yikes ! The scenery was
incredible, and the experience unforgettable. It took
me a little over 31 hours of almost non-stop running
to finish, and with Lisa's ever present spot on my
shoulder yelling in my ear- keep going, don't stop !!!
, I was able to win ! Thanks Lisa !"

Worth staying happy!

This is sooooo true !!!!!

                    Beautifully stated:

                    As we grow up, we learn that even the one person
                    that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably
                    will. You will have your heart broken probably more
                    than once and it's harder every time. You'll break
                    hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was
                    broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll
                    blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll
                    cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll
                    eventually lose someone you love. So take too many
                    pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never
                    been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend
                    upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get

My first marathon part 2

I have no idea how far or how much time we had been running when I did not feel very well. I told my brother Stephen that I wanted to stop. He about had a fit. You are not going to stop, you are not going to stop until we get to the end and then maybe you will just need to run home from the finish line to! He knew all to well to tick me off, get me mad and I would shut up and get going.
I grew up with 3 older brothers and 1 younger sister, all of us less than 2 years apart. Having 3 older brothers that were all good athletes made me feel the need to be tough.
2 of my brothers were great ice hockey players, Stephen was one of the best to come out of our High School, one brother was a foot ball player and body builder.
My younger sister was into softball and basket ball.
Not having a watch during this marathon test or knowing how far we had run is just the way I still love to run. On effort!
A little over half way into this marathon test my brother starts to look bad, I mean really bad. His eyes were red and he was starting to stumble but would not stop.
He told me to go on ahead and wait for him at the finish, he was just going to start walking. I told him, No way! Leave no man behind. He yelled at me to get my A-- going or else, so I did. I waited, waited and then waited at the end. I could not believe that I did it, I ran all the way, 26.2 miles. Where was Stephen????
More to come
Happy Feet