Sunday, April 30, 2006

Olga takes 4th overall at Zane Grey!

 Great story from one of my coaching clients!
Nice job Olga!!!!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Arizona dream.

You can say what you want about me
Wanna do what you want to me
But you can not stop me…
Ain't nothing in the world that you keep
me from doing what I wanna do

'Cause I'm too proud, I'm too strong
Life by the code that you gotta move on
Feel excited for yourself
and got nobody no way

so I...Held my head high
Knew I survive
Well I made it
I don't hate it
That's just the way it goes
I done made it through
Stand on my own two

Took so long to get me here
But I won't live in fear
…I paid my dues


Well, boys and girls…what can I do, spill it right away or hold it till the end of the story? No, you can’t peek. I’ll just start by saying I had an “a.k.a.” race (see below for Zane Grey goals). Another hint: there are two negative things about this race – altitude and crazy rocks, and two positive – gorgeous and tough (see negative). I loved it all the way…

I flew to Phoenix on Friday, picked up a rental car, and right away managed to get lost 5 times on the way to Payson. Very nice beginning. Lucky for me, Angie and Johnny, who already got there and checked in to our room, were trying to guide me and eventually I made it to Hwy 87. The first thing that struck me – I was thirsty. It was certainly hot, dry and high. Second – cacti forests! Not a cactus, but lots, huge, arranged just like normal trees in normal PNW! Beautiful! I arrived and finally met the cutest couple alive in person. Blog land is the best! It was so easy to talk, like we knew each other many years. Later Catra Corbett and her friend Julia drove in, and five of us went to dinner/packet pick up thing. I didn’t eat there – good call. I boiled some water in a room and made my mashed potatoes. But the dinner was great, and the meeting, although a bit long to my taste, was nice. We got back and chatted for a couple more hours before tuning in to sleep around 10 pm. Johnny was getting sick, and the whole night he was coughing and sneezing and walking. But in the morning he was ready no matter what. It was quite interesting to see 5 of us getting ready all in the same room. I am pretty gloomy on the race morning and not talkative, rather whiny and trying to express something like “can I stay?” and “why am I here?”. It is normal to me, but I had to explain it to Angie as she was worried.

We drove in, all in one car, checked in at registration and set in a car to stay warm. It was about 30F at the start…brrr! With 5 min to go we got out, Angie took a couple of pictures, and off we went. Up. From the start at 5400 feet it shoots almost a thousand more in 2 miles. Trails are rocky. No, this is understatement. Big boulders about 5 inc across lay scattered around loose, everywhere, there is no trail in normal definition, but a washout/animal track/side of the rim. Here is a piece from the website: The route is in and out of canyons, along a "high line" on the Mogollon Rim where the climb to the top of the Rim becomes vertical. Hence the name of the trail - Highline. The trail is very rocky in long stretches. There are several water crossings, and A LOT of downed trees to climb over. However, the rewards are magnificent views, cool canyons and fulfillment of your masochistic needs.

For the first time in my life I am wearing a HRM. It proved to be the smartest idea that saved my race. From the first steps I can’t breathe. Me and my altitude-induced asthma-like symptoms. But that’s not all. I look at the watch and see my HR at 185. Slow down – 183. One running step – 185. It stays there for the first 3 miles and scares the hell out of me. Johnny stays behind and tries to talk, but I am so occupied with “what’s wrong with me”, I don’t respond. Then I fall…3 times in a row, once my right leg slides down the drop-off into sage-bushes below. Yep, how could I forget – the sage-bushes. I think, Capitol Peak 50 mile race in 2005 found its competitor in splashing runner’s bodies. They are thick. And in-grown. And sharp. And on top of making you bleed, the catch on my I-Pod wires, and it annoys me. So finally I stop, tell Johnny to go (or rather he said he saw it on my face), let another 25 people go, then another 10, and start shuffling on my own. Now I can concentrate on my body and what’s up with it…

I slowly walk and my HR finally comes down to 175. That’s good; I try to keep it there as I move forward. The sun is breaking out and lights up the mountains. I manage to sneak on some views – magnificent! Downhills are plain dangerous, and at first I do try and run them full blown speed, but later decide that my main goal is to finish no matter time, and if I break my leg, I can’t finish, thus times becomes irrelevant.

I love being alone on a run! Me, myself and my music. We are a pretty awesome threesome. I am glad I let more than half the field go and have no pressure. I get to the first aid station 1 min behind, thinking of Rob’s warning to Angie to give me a hard time for being late.

Little step back for my splits. I already talked about it in my Miwok-2204 report, but here how it goes (since it freaks out many people how I hit it right without ever been on course beforehand). I go to the race website and search its data for finisher’s time. I find runners (preferably girls – because guys are known to be testosterone driven and go out fast, then die out) who run approximately my pace in other races. I get a few of them and average their time (because you never know who had a good day and who didn’t). From that proposed finishing time I begin looking at the race profile (and description if supplied). Knowing where my stronger points are and where the weaker, I predict AS arriving times…so far I hit it 90% of the time. And you can’t say I push for them, because first of all, there are no mile markers on trails, so I don’t know when the AS is coming. Second, once I make a “pace chart” and paste it on a bottle, I never study it again. This chart has 2 meaningful functions: for my crew to be ready, and for me to judge how to sustain with the water I am carrying. Like if I know I have another hour to go, I better have a full bottle left and conserve if necessary.

OK, back to that first AS, mile 8, Geronimo camp. Angie is there all ready with my bottles (one water, one pro-carb) and 2 gels. I get rid of long sleeve shirt and gloves and ask for my inhaler. Thank you Nikki Kimball for advice and actual sharing of Albuterol inhaler! 10 min after I leave, my breathing stops being erratic and my HR comes down to 165! Oh, yeah, I did have to take care of some personal business a few times too, because with my luck I managed to have a period at its worse day (sorry, boys, I hope you’re over 15 and heard the lecture from the nurse in your high school about “that time of the month”). Second section repeats the first one – 9 miles, up and down, mostly up. But I am feeling good. Like really solid good. I begin picking up people, even though it’s a bit too early for me in a race. I play this game where I am a hunting dog, and there is a prey ahead. No, I don’t speed up. But I look at that person’s back, and figure when I would reel in, and exactly 20 min later (or 10, or 15) I’ll be passing. I am not mean, it just keeps my mind occupied. Besides, I didn’t tell them to go fast from the start, did I?

I enter second AS, Washington Park, 17 miles, right on the spot of pace chart. I smile and say “Am I good or what?” Angie switches my bottles, from now including ice in each of them. It’s getting hot. In fact, I ran out of water 20 min before the aid station here and next one.

Next stretch goes through burnt forest, and the smell stays very strong, like it just happened yesterday. The site of black trees is sad. The trail marking is perfect, with silver diamonds on trees and yellow ribbons on intersections and for confidence as well. I do manage to step off a number of times, but for a very short (no more than 5 steps) time and by my own fault – looking under my feet prevents watching the markings. Here a large elk dashes 20 feet in front of me across the trails and scares the life out of me. I late saw lots of them on mountain side.

Finally I climb to AS 3, Hell’s gate, mile 23 (it bills as 25, but by many people’s Garmin it’s 23), 10 min ahead of schedule. This is one aid station where crew is not allowed. I had a drop bag with a backpack and extra bottle in it, fill my bottles, gulp a cup of coke, and make it out with 5 min to spare.

Next section is the gnarly 10 miles in a heat of the day. The sun is beating down on you, and even though I don’t think it’s ever gone much above 70F, with no shade and altitude it is noticeable. Even 3 bottles is not enough. But I feel strong and push on. Nothing interesting happened here beside at the end, when first there were 2 ranger patrol men were sitting and I thought the AS is near – wrong, then there were photographers – and again, no AS, and the third time were just a couple of cheering people – and it took me another 15 min to come to AS 4, Fish Hatchery, 33 miles. Angie was there, but Johnny didn’t come through, what surprised me. Later I learned that his sickness developed and the fever shot up, and he was pulled at mile 25 for uncontrollable shivering. I tell Angie I need to change socks – the rubber bands on my socks died, and they crumbled under my feet with a few blisters looming. Ang – Pink Fuzzy supplied my fuel and some ice in my hat and off I went.

That was the worst section of the trail. 11 miles to the next AS, I began to feel tired. I wasn’t bonking per se, but was just lazy to put an effort. I was actually at peace with myself. Happy with how things went so far and proud of myself, I lost focus for an hour or so and slowed down. A girl passed me, and I encouraged her to go, recognizing the tattoo on her calf from last year’s WS100. She didn’t say much and soon pulled away. I was contempt with whatever time I was making and just happy to be out there. Eventually I re-concentrated and started to push again and came upon her. She looked back, and despite my friendly chit-chat quietly put an effort to get away. Whatever. My stomach felt somewhat slushy from all the water and just before the AS I had a bit of a puke. I was planning to have some solid food like chips and coke to make stomach feel better.

I come to final AS 5, Christofer Creek, and suddenly instead of Angie see Johnny with my bottles there. It threw me off, so without stop I dropped my backpack and moved on. My excitement hit it’s all-high. I was 15 min ahead of predicted time, and now, even if I crawled on my hands and knees, I had 2:15 to break 13 hrs. Heck, I could still make 12:40! This knowledge, and some ice-water to sooth my stomach and a gel to get energy had me pumped enough to start running. On top of it, this section was the “easiest”, shady, and with lots of runnable trail (even though still going up and down a lot). I started finally running. A few times tears would start rolling, and I had to shut the emotions down. It was amazing! I was making it to the finish of the most difficult 50 miler in a country! On time! Strong! And enjoying it! Half-way in I toyed with idea of breaking 12:30. I couldn’t believe I am thinking about it. I didn’t care what place I’d be in, just an elation of finishing. How far had I come, to be out here, all by myself, and pushing it, and loving it all the way! A hiker greets me and says – 0.5 miles to the finish. I look at the watch and – 12:15? Is it possible? I can not explain all that was going on inside of me at this moment. I finally saw Johnny with a camera and a finishing banner, and didn’t notice the time. I stopped and burst crying. Johnny and an RD run to me asking what hurts, and I say – I am so happy! Just very, very happy! I walk around, crying, for a few more minutes, with salt of tears mixing up with dirt and salt of sweat on my face, and then hear that I placed 4th female, 1st in my AG, and the finishing time of 12:15:15!!! And they give a nice buckle, a cup for placing, and lots of other goodies.

After changing, we drove to a hotel took a shower and a quick meal and returned to wait for sweeping Angie. She came in absolutely happy with her day, all smiles, longest run since her 50k (17 miles), best crewing support and just a lovely girl all around. Finally we retired to sleep.

Nothing hurts. Nothing. Amazing. May be because I hiked some 70% of the course? I didn’t even need a cold bath – besides, with scratched legs I don’t think I could stand it.

My splits:

predicted real
Gerenima 8 6:40 6:41
Wash park 17 8:50 8:50
Hell's gate 23 10:30 10:20
Fish hatch 33 12:50 12:40
Chris Creek 44 4:00 3:45
Finish 50 5:40 5:15

Angie said – you warned us you’re a second half runner, but by so much!

What I did right:
No pasta the night before, Immodium at night and in the morning – no diarrhea!!
Fueling and hydration by the clock.
Monitoring my HR.
Concentarting on my own race – I can only control how I run and not how anybody else is doing.
Sticking with the plan and believing it will turn out to be just fine.

What I did wrong…nada. Perfect race day. I have no complains at all.I hit even splits in a 51 mile race on a horrific course!!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Question for you all

So many of us run with Ipods.
What is the ONE song that no matter how tired you are during a run, totally gets you pumped and going?
It would be great to have a long list of answers to get some new music!
Hope you had a great weekend
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Friday, April 28, 2006

Sat. training

 Hi everyone!
We are going to do a long run and walk Sat. morning. Meet at 4:45 am at the Victor Valley Grocery Store. We will be out about 5:30 total time walking and running up and down the Teton Pass. The pass is 10% grade in some spots which is perfect for BW training.
Anyone interested in coming we have 2 extra bedrooms and lots of floor space for you to sleep on.:)
Sat. afternoon we are then going to do a 1 hour cross core training class right in my driveway!.
Have a great day
ps..for those of you wanting to run the Mali race the dates are Dec. 3rd-10th. We only have 20 spots. Those wanting to run the 2007 Marathon des Sables we only have 10 spots left!!!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Thursday, April 27, 2006

another day

I had a great workout today with my friend Erik who will be on my BW crew. Erik is doing the Neera Cleanse to kick his system and gear so I had to take it easy on him. We power walked up 10% for 1.1 miles and then ran down, did it 2 times. It might not seem like much but you have to see this hill.:) Then I took my kids to the park and did my cross training on the jungle gym! Many secrets to teach you.
Another great quote below.
And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bishop 50 mile!

Great race! They also have a 20 miler.
Got my 2 hours into and then 30 min. of core work in the sunshine!!!
 Entries are still being accepted for the BISHOP HIGH SIERRA ULTRA-MARATHONS, but
hurry, spots are filling up quickly.  Why wait to register on race day and stand
in line?

The Bishop High Sierra Ultramarathons are now in their 13th year, and have
raised over $44,500 for the Northern Inyo Hospital Association.  The NIHA uses
this money to buy extra items for the Emergency Room, Outpatients Department and
the Operating Room.  The event consists of three simultaneous races - 50 Miles,
50K, and 20 Miles. Elevations range from 4200' to 9400'.  

To register securely on-line, click on the following link:

Happy Running!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Book suggestion

I'm going to get this book and read it, so thought I would pass along this note to all of you.
I have yet to start any training this week. Monday we all stayed in our PJs and the Tue. I ended up getting the stomach flu that I think many had at the MDS. I feel a bit better today so I will just go for a walk. Finally it is sunny and beautiful here and all the snow is melted.
Many Blessings
 Hi Coach,
Just wanted to let you know I finished what I considered the best book on running I've come across; Gerry Lindgren's Book on Running.
The writing style is quirky and would probably turn some people off but I liked that aspect and I think you would appreciate his approach to running/coaching.
In case you don't know, he was a great middle distance runner in the 60's and 70's and held many NCAA and U.S. records.
Just thought I'd pass along the recommendation in case you're interested.
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

another great quote!

The two things I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavor is taking the first step, making the first decision.
Robyn Davidson
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Franks MDS race update

 Frank is one of my coaching clients! Frank was sick for 3 days before the race even started and he stuck it out with great courage!
I just returned from what proved to be the most difficult Marathon des Sables in its 21 year history. Of the 731 starters, 146 dropped out due to the incredibly harsh weather, where temps over 110 degrees, high winds, brutal sand storms, and unusually high humidity levels, created conditions that were down right dangerous. Over 60 athletes required IV fluids. I witnessed runners not just quitting, but dropping unconscious right in there tracks, emergency flares that I never thought would be used were being shot up like the 4th of July, and people being rescued by helicopters and flown to hospitals....2 of which were in comas. The medical tents looked like a war zone...people sprawled out everywhere, on the ground, on cots, cured up in balls.... the authorities almost running out of IVs, with one of my tent mates getting 9 bags at once!!!....incredible!! It was no longer a race, but a quest to simply survive...EPIC!!!
The one thing about this experience that I still can't believe, and will never forget, is the comradory amongst the competitors. All the pain and struggle, and the doubt and despair, only seemed to strengthen our bonds. No matter how incredibly miserable we were, we always had each other and seemed to find a way to laugh at ourselves each night in our tents.  Knowing we were all in this together, served to only make us grow closer. I feel like I made friends for a lifetime.
On the fourth and longest day, since it took me over 15 hours to complete, I was fortunate enough to witness one of those moments when I say "yes, this is why I do this!" As the sun began to set, the temperature lowered, and a cool breeze began to blow. I looked around and just couldn't believe that I was actually the middle of the Sahara Desert, amongst these incredibly huge and beautiful sand dunes. The sun set, and I felt like I was living inside a movie I'd seen, or a book I'd read. All the things I'd imagined before coming here, all the plans I'd made, training hours logged, things I'd sacrificed, the things I'd hope to see.... it had all come true....and it was all worth it....all the pain and was worth it....even for this one small moment of clarity. Here I was, so happy to have made it this far...and actually getting stronger now, and for the first time the miracle of my surroundings was allowing me to feel the first glimmers of hope and optimism. Even if I didn't make it, I was witnessing what so few people ever get to see. A few years ago, I probably never would have guessed I'd be in the middle of the desert in Africa, let alone in a 140 mile race in the middle of the desert!!!  I'll never forget it...the things I felt, the things I witnessed, and the friends I'd worth it!!!
Well I sure didn't set any records, and I have swollen and blistered feet to show for it, but a few days later, I sure as hell made it across the finish line, and completed the race!!!!!!! The last stage, I ran hard and finished strong, placing 199 out of 585 remaining runners. I finished just over 400 overall in a starting field of over 700, with many of the 146 dropped runners leaving the course on stretchers. Many of the runners in my group had incredible times a placed much better than I did, and I'm amazed at their heart and hat off to all of them!!!
I recommend that if anyone ever gets the chance to see this place, don't pass it up....but trust me, do it in a Land Rover, not on your feet....they get many more miles to the gallon, and no blisters!!!!
PS. Attached is a video clip of a sand storm the day before the race.
Frank Fumich
Express Catering Inc.
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen


Hi everyone!
Mark your calendar to watch this show!
Happy day,
Frank McKinney to be featured on ABC's 20/20 program May 5th, 2006 at 10:00pm EST. 
ABC's 20/20 and "Nightline" anchor and award-winning journalist Martin Bashir (best known for making landmark documentaries including "Living with Michael Jackson," and for his exclusive interview with the late Princess Diana) will chronicle Mr. McKinney's unique 20-year market making career, including being shown a sneak preview of his planned $125+ million mansion.
20/20 and Martin Bashir are taken on a tour of one of Mr. McKinney's recently sold $20 million mansions, spend time with him in his lavish oceanfront treehouse office, showcase Mr. McKinney's recent $85 Million Dollar Property Tour & Book Launch Party, follow him while on his nation wide 23 city tour supporting his new best seller, are shown Mr. McKinney's new Caring House Project Foundation undertaking in Cap Hatien, Haiti and much more.
The remainder of the hour-long program focuses on how hot real estate continues to be.
Please mark your calendar for next Friday, May 5th, 10:00pm EST (check local listings) and forward this to others who might be interested!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Monday, April 24, 2006


This is the site to go to for the June Desert Rats, multi day run in June.
This would be great for anyone who was able to complete the MDS, or even if you did complete it. Also great heat and hill training for Badwater.
Hope to see you there!!!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

another great quote

Greatness is not where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it but sail we must, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendall Holmes  
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen


 Today will be my first day back to training since the MDS. 3 months until Badwater, I will be ready:)
The snow is almost gone but now it looks like rain and high winds.
My plan is to try and do 1-2 all night runs up to about 5-6 hours on the Teton pass, which is 10% grade!!! I feel like the night time in any race is the hard part for me. From 1am-5am I seem to want to be in bed sleeping. Doing my runs at this time really helps and besides this way I never miss any time with my kids!
Today will be 1:30 easy run going 4/1 and then row for 15 min.
If anyone wants to come and do some back to back long runs with me on the weekends we have 2 extra bedrooms! Would love to have you.
Have a great day
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Desert Springs

 What a beautiful race and course!
It started out at about 38 degrees and then it went up to close to 90 degrees by mid afternoon.
This made is very hard for some to continue on and do the 50 mile, most decided to just stick with the 25 mile.
The course is right on the multi day stage race course which is in June!
I think I might do this one, it would be great training for Badwater. They feed you meal and transport all your gear to the finish line each day.
I will tell you more about this race soon. We have an 8 hour drive home.
So wonderful to see so many friends and coaching clients this weekend!
Hope your weekend is going wonderful
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Friday, April 21, 2006

amazing quote

 This is one of the most amazing quotes that I have ever read and was sent to me today!
Have a great weekend.
We are here in Fruita Co.for the Desert Springs races and I will do a talk to the runner's on Sat. night.
I am really thinking about doing there 7 days stage race in June called the Desert Rats. It is set up much like the MDS and would be amazing training. Anyone care to join me?? If you were not able to complete the MDS this would be perfect!
Many Blessings
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
(Roosevelt 1910)
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Yukon Arctic Story!!! Great read


Yukon Arctic Ultra - race report


Thought this may be the best place to put my race report from the Yukon Arctic Ultra 2006.

After not managing to complete the 320 mile race in 2005 (due to stomach problems) there was only ever really one decision which had to be made when the race roster opened for the 2006 race. Sure enough, at the beginning of February I was on my way to the Yukon. Most of my concerns were around the condition of the trail as the Yukon had had a very mild winter and not a lot of snow.

The trail was passable all the way (and was quite good in some places) so the race got underway with most people in good spirirts. The first 26 miles is mainly down the river and I thoroughly enjoyed this section. the race reporter seemed a little peeved that I was enjoying myself so much!!

Theres a mandatory 4 hour stop and gear check at SIR North (the first CP) so I ate some food and did my kitcheck (including almost setting fire to my sled) and then headed down to get some sleep.

4 hours (to the minute) later I was back out on the trail. I love being out on the trail alone during the night when I'm feeling strong. Just after I came off the river and joined the Dawson Overland Trail I was feeling very tired (and was falling asleep on my feet). I hadn't planned to have a break this early on during the section but this race is a very long haul and therefore I did the sensible thing (for once) and bivvied down for an hour.

After that I went on (and on and on - this stage felt much longer than it should). When daylight came it did start to get very warm - to the point that I was wearing a t-shirt while moving (very odd when you've prepared for arctic conditions). The weather was very strange and one minute it was warm and sunny, the next it was cold and raining followed by the more normal weather of just cold! Just before halfway on this section I came across a skidoo with Diane (the medic) sitting on the back. She gave me 2 options, either swim across the thawed river or wait for them to find a diversion. I did query how deep the water was and was told it was at least chest height so I decided to wait for the diversion. Mike (one of the marshalls) sorted a new route very quickly and we were all back on our way.

The next CP was Dog Grave Lake and I arrived there feeling quite strong although I was getting a bit worried that I was finding it difficult to move quickly. I came to the conclusion a brief rest here, some food and some company would sort me out before I headed back onto the trail alone. While I was there the post arrived (emails from friends which had been printed out in Braeburn and sent back alongthe course by skidoo - guys who sent emails - you know who you are - thank you so much for these - it was really wonderful to receive your kind words and best wishes).

After an hour and 5 minutes I headed back out on the trail. At this point I feel I need to apologise to anyone else who was out on the course as I spent the night singing at the top of my voice whilst running along the trail. You can't beat a bit of "Here I go Again on my Own" when out on the trail. By the time morning came I had lost my voice (which was probably a good thing) and was just humming along. I started to have a bad spell at around 10am but I wasn't going to worry about this as it happens in long races - its just a time you need to get your head down and press through it. I didn't enjoy the last half of this course and was very relieved to cross Braeburn lake and then arrive at the 100 mile CP for an enormous burger (which I thought was well earned).

There are beds at Braeburn and rather than bivi down elsewhere I thought it best to get some proper sleep at the CP before heading out again. I did this but it meant I was now at the back of the field (or would be when the remaining athletes who were behind me on the 320 mile course scratched at Braeburn). Not to worry - I was feeling okay again (although my feet were a bit of a mess) and soon caught up other runners who had bivvied down on the trail. I arrived at the half way marker in what seemed like record time (I should have realised that it was in the wrong place) and plowed on. I started to get worried when it was getting dark and I still hadn't arrived at the Ken Lake CP but I knew that I couldn't be far away so pressed on even though I kept falling asleep on my feet.

BIG MISTAKE - if I hadn't been asleep on my feet I would have seen the barely covered hole in the ice on one of the chain lakes. As it was, I didn't recognise it for what it was and the next thing I knew I was in freezing water. The way I fell, one leg went through first and the other leg didn't follow until I had done the splits with my right leg up around my ears. I haven't done the splits for years and now was not an appropriate time to try. After a few attempts I managed to get myself out of the water and got changed into dry gear very quickly. I was told later it was minus 28 degrees C on the lakes at the time. I pressed on as quickly as I could to the end of the lake (not far) and stopped on the bank and tried to bivvi down. I wasn't thinking things through properly as I had no body heat to heat the sleeping bag so I was just getting colder and colder. Eventually I realised I had to get up and generate some heat by moving. When I got up I realised I had some bad cuts around the tops of my legs and every time I tried to walk I was in agony. I was 6 kilometres from the CP and it would take me 9 and a half hours to reach this CP. These have to be the grimest hours I can ever remember. I knew I was out of the race and at the time this really didn't bother me (which is not like me).

Finally I could see the CP and then Thomas on his Skidoo came out to meet me.

After eventually managing to get home, the cuts healed without getting any infection. I have injured my back quite badly and so have been out of training for a couple of months but I am sure that this will heal given time and that I will be running again sooner rather than later.

A few words of thanks to people who helped me - Thomas, for getting on his skidoo and coming to meet me with a big hug, Ken - for being an absolute star and helping me get all of my luggage home, Anna - for being great when I was in Vancouver on the way home, Shelley, for turning out after a full days work to get a few people (including me) back from Carmacks to Whitehorse and finally Lisa, my coach, without your support I wouldn't find it easy to get myself back on the horse!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


 If you could live anywhere in the World where would it be and why?
Love to know your answers.
I will start back to training today. My next race will be the Bishop 50 mile on May 20th.
My good friends are the Race Directors of this race and they do a great job!
June, I was going to do Ironman Idaho but I have not been able to train on the bike or the swim so I will continue to train for Badwater and find a long race in June.
The sun is out today but it was 32 degrees this morning!!! Yikes.
Have a great day
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


We got back at 1am! Jet lag will be hard to deal with. So happy to be home, we missed our kids more than ever.
Will be doing training schedules for the next 2 days:)
I hope you are all doing well and I look forward to hearing from you or seeing you this weekend at Desert Springs Ultras!
Great quote below:
Ability is what you're capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do. 
Attitude determines how well you do it.
Lou Holtz
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Monday, April 17, 2006


Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Friday, April 14, 2006


 Hi everyone,
I have just been able to get on line. I have 500 emails in my in box. It was very difficult to send any emails from the race site and camp. The line to get to a computer was about 2 hour wait each day. Sorry I was not willing to stand in the heat to do it.
Thank you for the emails you all sent to us. The race organization had and has there hands full with many very sick people this year. I am not sick and either is Jay.
Here is what has happened.
Jay had a very good first day but on the 2nd day he fell and really hurt his shoulder which is so swollen that it was impossible to carry his back pack any longer due to the pain. He spent a good part of the 2nd day in pain but also helping another runner who was in very bad shape on the course. Jay had to put the flare up of this runner (mark) and the flare back fired and it burned Jays hand and shorts! Needless to say on the morning of the third day Jay was not able to even pick up his back pack so he had to withdraw from the race.
Day 1-3 for me were picture perfect. i did my own thing, sang songs and just ran and walked at about 75-80% effort. I did not look at what place I was in each day, this did not mean anything to me. I just wanted to run my own race. The heat was not that much of a factor for me, I felt better than ever physically and mentally.
On the 3rd day I ran with Greg another American, we had a blast until the last 2 check points. It was VERY hot and I ran out of water both times near the end. I know how to sip and conserve my water but I was very worried about all the others behind me. I walked more than I had ever walked and still on the 3rd day I was told your in 5th place overall. You see if you are in the top 50 men and top 5 women you have to start 3 hours after the others, meaning 12 noon! I did not want to have to wait until noon, I went very slow on day 3 to try and make sure many women were in front on me but at the end of the day I was in 5th. Again, I felt great. my legs did not hurt at all and only a few blisters. The one pain I did have was a thorn that broke off in the ball of my foot and the Doctors could not get it out. Each step was very painful but once you get going it seems to be ok.
Day 4: I felt great when I woke and really thought that I was going to have another great day. God had a different plan for me on this day!
Kira who was on my team was not feeling well at the start. She had been throwing up and had stomach issues that were very bad. At about 5k into my run I passed a medical truck and there was kira on the ground getting an IV!
At this point I was the last runner in my group, meaning he last one on the course.
I asked the Doctors about Kira and they said she would be ready to go in 10 minutes and Kira was really looking great at this point. I told her I would go ahead and that I felt bad to, thinking that this would be a good motivation for her to think that Lisa feels bad to so I can keep going. I moved forward and my heart sank to the ground thinking...oh shit this means that Kira is in last place and she will be all alone moving forward. I started to walk very slow and my heart and mind told me the only thing that I was to do at this point was walk slow and wait for Kira to catch up to me and we finish the day together. I was not going to leave her out there by herself, the mother in me came out. At this time I was not even thinking about my own race.
In my mind I thought it would take about 30 min. for Kira to catch up to me, I was walking so slow and she can walk over 5 mph.
1 hour went by and no Kira but I ran into Bernnie who was 21st overall at the start of the morning and the first Brit!
I came up behind him and he was not looking good at all, walking about 1 mph at the most. We started talking and his words did not make any sense to me, he was in trouble!
At this point I took him by the hand and we walked holding hands so that I could keep him standing up, next I was pushing him from the back. He did not want to sit down and he did not want to stop.
Bernnie was getting worse, still no Kira!
Bernnie started falling over as he walked and I told him that he was going to sit down and I would run ahead to get help. I put water over his head and we took his space blanket out to cover him up. I went out 1//4 mile ahead and saw no truck so I went back to Berrnie. He looked worse, I ran up again and we blew the whistle to try to get help. The 2nd time I ran back to Bernnie I told him we had to set his flare off and that he was in very bad shape. We set the flare off and waited for 30 minutes. Nobody came! The sand was blowing really hard so I dont think they saw it. Bernnie was very worried about my staying with him and told me to go...I said what are you crazy! I told him that I felt really sick to so it was ok. Bernnie had been up all night with the same thing Kira had and the same thing that haf the camp seemed to have, a VIRUS!!! ok..Bernnies pulse was now 180 and he was getting worse, I took out my flare and shot it off. At this point another runner came from out of nowhere and said he would get help at the next check point. He looked right though me and said "it is your duty to stay with him", I agreed! 1:30 went by and finally the medical help came to help. Still no Kira!
During this time I did not think about my own race, I thought about what the heck I was going to do if medical help did not come soon! I used all my water to try and help keep Berrnie cool and even put HEED over his head, I dont think he even knows this.
Once the medical people came I knew all would be ok with Bernnie and I had to think about what I was going to do. Where was Kira? The reason for the medical team taking so long was that they were back with Kira who needed 9 bags of IV anf got worse once she went back into the heat with throwing up. I had no idea...
The medical car asked me what I was going to do, I told them I did not feel well. It had been 4 hours since the start of our race and we were only 8 miles into the day. They told me I would get a 1 hour penalty for using my flare and a 1 hour penalty for having to take a bottle of water from them. This put me 5 hours behind my group and way out of the race in the way my race was going, top 5 women and to place in the top 5.
I looked at Bernnie, I took off my race number gave it to the medical crew and got in the car with Berrnie.
My race was over in my mind, my place was not to be in the top 5 it was to be with Berrnie.
Did I have a DNF? Did not finish.
No, I feel like I had a DTRT: Did the right thing.
It was my duty to help someone in need it was not my duty to get to the finish line of the 2006 MDS.
I just did not have the mental part that I may have needed to be so, so far behind. As much as I felt great and wanted to continue I knew that if I started out again I would dig myself in a hole workiing to hard to catch up to the rest of the runners.
I did not even cry, I felt at peace. I felt that I a great race, I was able to hand with the top women in the world and that my new way of training had worked.
Back here at the hotel the marathon is going on right now. We have lost many runners due to a virus that went around the camp but also due to extreme conditions that have not happened in 21 years!
The medical staff and the race organization are doing an amazing job with all they have going on right now.
So..there you have it in a nutshell!
As I walked away from the race the organization thought it was due to illness, it was do to my mind being in a different place but not being able to speak french made it difficult to explain what I have to you right now.
Thank you for your love and support!
PS...Kira is here with me and she is doing fine now. She is one  tough, fine young women who ended up getting very sick and has dealt with her having to withdraw like a real champ!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Thursday, April 06, 2006

set to go

 Hi All;
Most of the 700 runners are here now: the bus to the desert leaves at 9:30 on Friday morning
they say it is about 5 hours on the bus
it is much hotter so far this year than last year; just the way i like it
we have a great group from the USA here; many good laughs
we all did a 40 min. easy run today
have gone through our back packs about 10 times and it will probably happen 10 more times
the excitement of everyone is such a joy to watch; the energy is contagious; you feel the love
have a great day
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


 Here we are in Casablanca waiting for the last flight! All the Americans who were to come with us made the flights, all are happy to be starting the journey!
It has been a very long day, I look forward to some sunshile and getting some sleep. I miss my babies!
I hope you all have a great day!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Badwater and the Slam

 Hi everyone,
So I guess for me to make this clear so there are no miss understandings. I had NO idea that Joe Decker did the Grand Slam and Badwater in the same year. I was not trying to take this away from him and yes  it looks as if he was the first to do it, we just did it differently. He did the Old Dominion/Badwater Grand Slam and I did the Vermont/Badwater Grand Slam. Regardless, I think they are both incredible accomplishments!:)
It looks like he was the first male and I was the first female.
Thank you!
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

RW article and...

 It has been brought to my attention  more than a few times now to read a letter sent to the editor of Runners World, May issue.
The letter says this:
I enjoyed Christopher McDougall's story about Lisa Smith-Batchen, but I believe that I was the first person to complete the "Badwater Grand Slam," in 2000. It's ironic that I also dealt with depression after completing this event.
Joe Decker
Gaithersburg, Maryland
When I set out to do the Grand Slam of Ultra running and Badwater in the same season a few of us did some research to see if anyone else had done it before. The races that were looked at were the races that I was going to do in my Grand Slam. These are the races I did and my race results.
Western States 100 on 6-29/30-03 Time:26:30:54
Vermont Trail 100 on 7-19/20-03    Time:24:15:15
Badwater 135 on 7-22/24-03          Time:52:11:39
Leadville Trail 100 on 8-16/17-03    Time:29:05:22
Wasatch Front 100 on 9-6/7-03     Time:30:39:43   TOTAL TIME: 161 HOURS @ 105 MIN.
These are the races that Joe Decker did for his Grand Slam and Badwater were:
Old Dominion 100 on 6-3/4-2000     Time:26:07:36
Western States 100 on 6-24/25-2000 Time:27:49:37
Badwater 135   on 7-27/29-2000      Time:45:12:25
Leadville Trail 100 on 8-19/20-2000 Time:29:43:11
Wasatch Front 100 on 9-9/10-2000 Time:34:14:41  TOTAL TIME: 161 HOURS @ 125 MIN.
So you can see that I did Vermont 100 and Joe did Old Dominion 100, so we did not do the "same Grand Slam and Badwater". The same to me would mean doing the same races during the same time period. The races we checked into were the races that were going to be on the Grand Slam I was running, we did not even look at Old Dominion. Perhaps this was a mistake but hey we both did it!:)
Sorry Joe, it was never meant to over look your amazing accomplishment or take anything away from what you did. You were the first to do it your way and I was the first to do it my way. To be honest the real challenge for me was to finish Vermont 100, then drive 5 hours to an airport, sleep on the plane and then go to the race meeting for the Badwater race and be standing at the starting line the next morning. The money we raised for the kids was the purpose of the journey, not to be the first or only one to do this. I'm sure there will be many more who will join us on the Grand Slam/Badwater journey.
Happy Feet
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen


I have been asked by many what I am doing to taper for the MDS race.
If you don't know what taper means this is tapering down the amount of time you train for the event.
I have done very little this week, 3 runs that have been about 1:30 total time and with walking. Only 1 run with my pack on. Today was a beautiful spring day here, I ran for 1:30 pulling the tire. The birds were singing in my ears, the sun was out, no wind. It was perfect. I felt very strong and found myself smiling most of the way.
I have so much to be thankful for today having my in-laws here to stay with the kids while I get to go do what I love to do.
Monday will be a travel day. We get to Morocco on Tue. around lunch time. I will go for 30-40 min. easy run and then swim for 20-30 min. There is a pool at the hotel that I love to swim in, but the water is VERY cold! the cold water will help with my taper and help repair my legs and allow them to start to feel fresh again.
Wed. 30-40 min. easy run and swim again
Thursday and Friday :I will swim for 20-30 min. only
Sat. We will be in the desert and I will run about 20 min. with my pack just to get the feel for being in the heat!
Sun. Show time, let the fun begin.
I have to tell you the thing I am most looking forward to about going to the MDS.
I met my husband Jay at this race, we are both running this year. We have sleeping bags that zip together! In our family we can it "snuggle buggle"! I can't wait to get to snuggle buggle with Jay in the Sahara desert under one of the most beautiful star filled skies and share running the race together. We won't run together, I can't keep up with him any longer but at the end of the day we can come together in the place we first met and fell in love.:)
I wish you all a great Sunday. Look for updates before, during and after the race.
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

Saturday, April 01, 2006

All my bags are packed

 All my bags are packed I'm ready to go, but are they!
Ok I have to admit it, what I did to pack this year for the MDS was got everything together and then put in all in one large duffel bag. I have not packed my back pack, food or counting out the supplies are even mandatory gear. I know, I know I have told you all to do it and to carry it all with you on the plane!
It's hard to believe that the day to leave is here. I will have 2 full days to sort out all my food and gear and I promise you I will be ready when the gun goes off on day one.
More important things have gotten in the way of my weighing every once that goes in my pack or really caring if my pack is 5 pounds to heavy!
I run with a different mind set, I run with a different determination than before. To stop and smell the roses and enjoy the true beauty that is before me.
Today we are having my daughter Annabellas 3rd Birthday party, my in-laws arrive to stay here for 2 weeks while we travel to the MDS and I feel this very weak part of me that is coming as I think about not seeing my kids for 2 weeks. This will be only the 2nd time I have left them and the other times have only been for a few days.
Times like this make packing seem like its 10th on the list, times like this make me realize how much my parents love me. The love for a child, you just cant explain it until you have one!
So today, no training! It will be Birthday cake and pizza. I don't know who is more excited, Annabella or me.
God Bless
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

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Have a great day
2006 Training Camps Schedule
May 3-7
Sierra Desert Mountain Ultra Training Camp: Camp directors,
Lisa Smith-Batchen and Marshall Ulrich. Focus is on Road and Desert Heat Racing as well as Multi-day stage races and adventure!
Aug. 23-27
Grand Teton Adventure Training camp:Teton Ultra Running Camp. Focus on trail and mountain ultras. Camp Directors: Lisa Smith-Batchen and Marshall Ulrich.
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen