Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a long-time is a longtime ultrarunner who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, coaches, directs the non-profit Band of Runners, and drives her kids around in a minivan.

August 2012
« Jul   Sep »


Leadville 2012: I don’t even like to drive 100 miles and Vomit


SCHEDULE                   August 18,19, 20

3am                                  Get Up

4am – 9pm                     Run

9 pm – 12:40am             Run, Hike, Walk and Vomit

12:40am – 2am             Vomit

2am – 6am                      Sleep

6am – 9am                      Eat breakfast and Vomit

9am -11am                       Pack, Vomit, Awards Ceremony

3pm – 6pm                       Drive from Leadville to Colorado Springs

6pm – 9am                       Eat, Sleep

9am – 2am                       Drive to San Antonio, kill one large armadillo, get questioned about black eye by concerned gas station attendant, eat pound of jelly bellies, Vomit (Asa this time)

2am –                                 Be zombie

Asa and I left San Antonio and drove up to Leadville in one good, vomit-filled push.  (Well, there was a brief overnight in Colorado Springs to see a dear friend and get the car detailed.)  Take away the stop in Colorado Springs and the car detailing and you pretty much have my race report: One good push and then lots of vomit.

Of course there were all sorts of highlights – like when I forgot my handheld in my jacket at the race start and ran 13.5 miles to the first aid station without water.

And seeing my old Outward Bound supervisor at the Fish Hatchery aid station.  (She did not remember me despite my sweaty hug.  Me: “I worked for you!  It’s Liza!”  Important mentor: Polite smile.)

Having at least 40 people including Anna Frost tell me Aliza LaPierre was 5 minutes ahead of  me for over two hours.  (“Yes, I know.  5 minutes.  I’m not catching up.”)

Catching up with Aliza LaPierre going up Hope Pass.  Sure, she was having severe breathing difficulties during the race, but I caught someone going Uphill!

Watching Tina Lewis pass me before Treeline looking like she was out for a morning tempo run – in a very cute outfit.

Hiking next to Krissy Moehl as she tried to motivate me to run and catch up with Tina.  (She was doing this great slow jog-in-place jog trying to get me to pick up the pace.  I gave her that same polite smile my OB mentor gave me and continued my hike up the road.)

Introducing my friend Lalo to the notion of false summits on the Power Line section.  (“Oh yeah, sorry about that.  There is one more hill.)

Sharing all that vomit-filled time with Brian around Turquoise Lake.  (He was a rock star.   “You must feel better after all that.”  “Take your time.”  “No, no, stop as much as you need.”)

Stealing my dear friend Kris’ coat, hat, and gloves during the last five miles.  (“I’m cold.  Give me your hat.”  “Uh, you’re going to need to wash this jacket later.”)  I’ve harped on the vomit enough, but really, I’m not sure what exactly was fueling me the last 20 miles of the race.  I’d sip on flat Coke out of handheld and vomit it up a few minutes later.  Chalk it up to the altitude?)

Listening to Kris’ prayer for help towards the finish.  (Well, crap, how am I supposed to hike slowly when “eagles’ wings” and Team RWB are mentioned?)

“Running” the last mile with my entire crew.  I’ll never forget that.  I wanted to share all sorts of emotional thoughts with everybody as we moved along, but I was afraid I’d just vomit again.  Sitting in the medical tent after the race with Ashley Nordell telling vomit stories. Hugging the New Balance crew.

I ran faster than I did two years ago and the course was about three miles longer.  Getting better with age is very nice even without an ore cart prize.  🙂  (PS. Tina in 2010, they gave wine and whiskey with the ore cart.  Contact Lifetime.)

I cannot thank Brian, Amanda, Lalo, Kris, Sandy and Rich enough – and the kids.  You made that day perfect for me.  I can’t wait to return the wonderfulness.  (Rich and Sandy, prepare yourselves for the pressure to run the 100 now.)

Thank you to New Balance for the MT110s.  They were stellar – and sloughed the vomit nicely.

Drymax socks for well over 20 hours and not a single blister or hot spot.  Again.

Thank you to GU for the Rocktanes.  They were tasty as always until the altitude and my stomach conspired.  If I never drink another flat Coke…

And thank you to UltrAspire for the wonderful pack and handheld – sized just right for the smaller person.

The race volunteers are amazing.  You should all go and run this race.  (Watch your step around Turquoise Lake and up the Boulevard though.)



Comments 18
  • Awake My Sole
    Posted on

    Awake My Sole Awake My Sole

    Reply Author

    yes. title of this blog post made me chuckle.

  • Olga King
    Posted on

    Olga King Olga King

    Reply Author

    Way to suck it up (no pun). I heard some guys vomit without breaking a stride. I still need to stop briefly and bend over. We need new skills, sista!

    • Liza Howard
      Posted on

      Liza Howard Liza Howard

      Reply Author

      So true. I saw a guy pee while running during the race. He was running ahead of me and then he was running and peeing ahead of me. Must have been a triathlete.

      • emily
        Posted on

        emily emily

        Reply Author

        how the heck is that possible?? I’m trying to imagine and just can’t…I mean was he basically just peeing on himself?

        • Liza Howard
          Posted on

          Liza Howard Liza Howard

          Reply Author

          It was amazing. I wanted to ask his name. I’m not exactly sure why he didn’t stop. I mean, it’s an ultra. I will say he was well hydrated.

  • Tim Smith
    Posted on

    Tim Smith Tim Smith

    Reply Author

    It was VERY nice of you to do all that vomiting to make Asa feel okay about his incident. Quite Billy Madison of you!

  • Tony
    Posted on

    Tony Tony

    Reply Author

    You’re too good to your pacers. To hear them tell the stories shows how much they enjoy the experience of running with you.
    Great to have you back on the local trails and thanks for not vomiting yesterday, but about that “watch your step” comment………

    • Liza Howard
      Posted on

      Liza Howard Liza Howard

      Reply Author

      How your memory fades, Tony. 🙂
      So good to be back home.

  • Domingo
    Posted on

    Domingo Domingo

    Reply Author

    Awesome report! Glad your better. Welcome home.

  • Erin Earle
    Posted on

    Erin Earle Erin Earle

    Reply Author

    bravo Liza!! i will never feel sorry for myself again for a little vomit or dry-heaving here & there — you are hard core! proud of you!! 🙂

  • Lalo
    Posted on

    Lalo Lalo

    Reply Author