Liza Howard. Ultrarunning Mom.

Ultrarunning Mom

Hi there and Western States

Hello from San Antonio!  I’m sitting at my desk working my way through piles of paperwork and bills and e-mails that have been ignored since I left for Leadville.  So when we last spoke, I was in Lead-vegas teaching a Wilderness First Responder Course.  My friend Brian came to town and we ran up and down Mts. Elbert and Massive.  We ordered pizza on the way down from Elbert when we realized how pressed for time we were.  Karnazes moment.  No delivery on Mount Elbert, but we managed to make it down the mountain and into town just as the pizza was coming out of the oven.  And we got back to the HMI campus with a minute to spare — and then I made Brian look like he had an open fracture on his lower leg and sent him off into the woods with two pieces of pizza.

The course ended well  (except I forgot the course paperwork on the bench outside the school) and I headed to Boulder to meet with the New Balance folks for a photo shoot with the other members of the trail running team.  Have you ever seen one of those behind the scenes interviews with models when they complain about how hard it is to frolic all day on the beach in their bikinis while photographers move around them?  “The water’s cold!” and all that nonsense?  Well, I have to say I left Boulder with a bit of compassion for those scantily clad, hypothermic women.  Spending the day in Rocky Mountain National Park, running back and forth for 15 hours (actual time running = 32 minutes), in crazy 30 mph wind gusts with amazing and inspiring people was so much fun — but I can definitely see how one might have a hard time frolicking in circles day after day.  Hey, compassion should know no bounds, right?  Mine now extends to beach models.  Never thought I’d see the day.

Anyway, two particularly funny bits:

1. “Liza, we only have medium and small-sized clothing for the shoot, is that going to work okay?”

Cut to: “Liza, why don’t you run behind the other girls in all the pictures.”  Ouch.  Now my running form is pretty bad, so it might have been that as much as my droopy drawers that sent me to the back of the line.  Certainly it couldn’t have been my FACE… Right?!?

2.  I did, however, fit best into the sample size shoes and got to do a lot of the shoe shots.  My view.

The photographer was an awesome fellow and humored me by calling out “Work it!  Work it!” while I balanced the shoes on the rocks.  (Check out his work: Keith Ladzinski.)

They wanted me to raise my heels a quarter inch off the rocks for each shot to make it more dynamic.  Do you want to know how sore I was the next day from doing 90 million quarter inch heel raises?  Embarrassing, but true.  Anyway, I can’t wait to see if my ankles make it into a magazine.  I’ll add ankle model to the resume immediately if it happens.

Asa’s about to get up from his nap, so here are my thoughts heading into Western States this weekend.

1.  I’m not packed.

2.  From my friend Rachel Ballard Hi Liza, I will be imagining you out there so happily. Just think, a year ago you were stuck in the Alter G with horrible shorts strangling your you know’s. Now you will run like the wind in a beautiful place.

3.  I’m really looking forward to going out for a long run.

4.  I’m running for Team Red, White & Blue, so I’ll be working hard.

5. I’m thankful to be part of this running community.

6.  I love belt buckles.

Check out my totem animal on Endurance Buzz.  David has outdone himself.

  • Pommers

    Hey! Welcome back Liza. Been missing the commentary in general, but especially interested to know how the course finished – did you find the notes? Were they handed in? Did the students notice :-) I’m sure the pictures will be cool and looking forward to following your progress at WS – I’m sure you’ll enjoy yourself, but all the very best of luck.

    • Liza Howard

      My co-instructor found half the paperwork and the rest turned up packed in the gear back in Wyoming.  Whew!  The students left thinking I was amazingly organized and humorous– my co-instructor, maybe not so much.  Thanks so much for the good wishes!  I figure as long as I’m not threatened by any bears, it’ll be a good day.  My pacer (black belt karate instructor) is going to pretend to berate me at all the aid stations (“Does anyone have a runner who needs a pacer?!? — because what this one is doing couldn’t be called running!”  “I’m just going to jog here in place until you’re ready to leave so I can get some kind of a workout during this “run.”  “I thought you needed a pacer, not a nursemaid!”  — and we’re going to see how long it takes for someone to intervene.  It’s the small pleasures…. I’ll have lots of good info for you for when you and Liz eventually make it out to Western.

      • Pommers

        Ha-ha! He’ll need to be a black belt if he carries on like that :-) sounds like you’re up to enjoy it though which is fantastic, so I hope it all goes well for you and the bears stay out of your way (I thought the bears had all be scared off by the mountain lions anyway?) Will be good to get out there sometime. See you on the flip-side. R

        • Liza

          Talk on Sunday!

  • http://funwithgravity.blogspot.com/ mtnrunner2

    Funny as always. I think it’s way past time to declare you the Erma Bombeck of ultrarunning moms. 

    “Karnazes moment” – Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the middle of nowhere and wished I could order a pizza: “Large Supreme. Do you have a Jeep Rubicon?”

    The Ice Age squirrel rocks. A recent close second is Doug the dog from UP!, who is easily distracted by such squirrels.

    Have a great WS100.

    • Liza

      I’m totally going to do a Doug the Dog impression on the course today. :)

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3GO5GYILFXYQDBU7CKEDNKPGUU Erin

    did you get to frolic with Anton? then i don’t really feel very sorry for you….

    ahhhh! i am so excited for your WS!!! can’t wait to read the race report :)  you inspire!!
    (and your pacer sounds hilarious)
    go get ‘em.

  • Domingo

    Good luck Liza!

    • Liza

      Thanks!

  • lisa

    Liza, you are so funny. It’s ridiculous.  I wish you the very best at Western States! But most of all I hope you are healthy and safe. You can’t imagine how inspiring you are to me.  Know that I am rooting for you all the way!

    • Liza

      You are awesome Lisa! Thank you. :)

  • Jonathan Harrison

    Hey!  I realize it was you that I ran into at some ungodly hour of the morning on Mt Massive a couple of weeks ago.  Enjoy yourself tomorrow!
    Jon

    • Liza

      Wow! Tiny world. So neat. :). You were flying.

  • Caweber2001

    Have fun today! I will be thinking about you!