Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races.

June 2010
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First Leadville runner encounter

LizaLiza

I first became cognizant of the Leadville 100 trail race when I worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School some years ago. I was leading a group of fourteen year-olds up Mount Massive. Summiting Massive was the culmination of our two-week course and I think the plan was to reach the summit after a two or three-day approach. We were carrying huge backpacks. I’m sure mine was well over half my body weight. I remember it towered over my head. As we made our approach in our leather hiking boots and knee-high gaiters, we were passed by a runner wearing only small black shorts (and shoes) and carrying a water bottle. He floated past us. I remember being struck by two thoughts simultaneously: One, defensively, “Well, won’t he be sorry if we’re struck by a freak blizzard!” And, two, “I want to do that!” Before I left Leadville that summer, I bought a map of the course. That same map is hanging on my refrigerator now. It feels good to be able to fulfill this decade-old desire in two months. I feel like I’m going to have a good race in Leadville despite my lingering PF. Honestly, though, I’ll be content just to be up there running. I’ll hike the course if my foot won’t let me finish running it.
Diet soda: 0
Fried friends:0
Sleep:8
Core workout: After this post. I need some motivation here. Anyone?

Comments 6
  • Sara G.
    Posted on

    Sara G. Sara G.

    Reply Author

    Hi Liza! Kat passed along the link to your blog. I like your term “fried frieds” and have adopted it. I need to ban fried friends from my life too. I am having more trouble giving up diet soda though. If you can give up diet soda and fried friends, you can also do your core workouts :)


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Thanks Sara! I will admit my club soda and coffee consumption has increased tenfold in the last week.


  • Thomas
    Posted on

    Thomas Thomas

    Reply Author

    I’m glad I found your blog. I’ll be sure to keep up with it. You’re a great runner and sorry the PF has got you.

    I’ve been struggling staying with my core workouts properly, and now my lower back is paying the price. If I can just get over this bout of lower back pains, I promise I’ll be good and better with my core workouts. :)

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with these. Would you mind sharing what sort of exercises you do and feel is key?


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Thanks Thomas. Doing core workouts is challenging for me because I rarely notice the results of my efforts. I’ve only once run up a hill and thought, “Hey, that was easier because of my core strength.” Of course, that probably speaks more to my lack of dedication than the importance of a strong core. It’d also be easier if I were forced to wear a half shirt at all times and if my son didn’t prefer my core to be pillow-like.
      Right now I’m trying to do 20 minutes a day concentrating on the plank position, with and without leg raises. I also do crunches on a balance ball and side bends (Arms extended above my head, standing on one foot, and bending to the left then right, concentrating on pulling back to midline.). Definitely very open to suggestions.


      • Thomas
        Posted on

        Thomas Thomas

        Reply Author

        Thanks for the info. I agree totally with your analogy of why core workouts can be challenging. However, I guess I’m lucky enough, if you can call it that, to have my lower back scream in pain from time to time when I don’t keep up with my core and lower back workouts. I pretty much do what you do, but I also mix in some some bridges, and back extensions on a ball.