Margot W's Blog (21)

Madagascar Stage Race Report 2014

I boarded a plane on Tuesday August 26th to travel across the world to race for 7 days in Madagascar.  It took 2 days to get there.  Over 25 hours sitting on planes!!!  Once I arrived I began to meet and bond with other racers.  Traveling in a developing country adds to the challenge.  Transportation, food, language .... are very different in Madagascar.  There is no organization, it is basically a free for all.  Many racers had to pay a bribe to get their race gear on the plane.…


Added by Margot W on September 15, 2014 at 9:50am — 3 Comments

Training for Madagascar Stage Race

I have been away for awhile because of family stuff.  It looks like a lot of great things are happening here.

 I thought I would give an update on my training for Madagascar.  This is a self supported 6 stage 7 day race in northern Madagascar.  The 1st 4 stages are 25 mile days, the 5th stage is 50 miles, and the last stage is 6 miles.  I carry everything I need for 7 days (toilet paper, food, sleeping bag, extra cloths, emergency stuff...). I have gotten my pack down to about 15 lbs.…


Added by Margot W on August 7, 2014 at 7:23pm — 4 Comments


The Big Horn 50k was more then just a race.  We set up camp in the high mountain meadows about 20 minutes from the race start.  Here there are meadows full of wildflowers and a ton of wildlife. We saw a bear, herds of elk, deer, moose and pronghorns.  There is also incredible fly fishing for the fishermen in my family.  The race starts with a 2 mile climb and wraps around a…


Added by Margot W on June 23, 2014 at 12:00pm — 3 Comments


Running with my 2 year old lab, Muddy, this past Saturday reminded me of the importance of not going out to fast.  When we hit the trail, Muddy took off.  He was so excited to be on the trails that he would run ahead then run back then run ahead and come back all at full speed.  This was the day after my 1/2 marathon and I was out for an easy run so I was steady and slow on the 1st hill.  20 minutes into the run I reached the top of the hill and found Muddy in a bush with his tongue hanging…


Added by Margot W on June 16, 2014 at 5:00pm — 4 Comments

High and Low Priority Races

Every season I have races that are high priority races with a few lower priority races. As an athlete, I go into every race with a race plan ready to give it my all.  Sometimes I might go into a lower priority race a little tired but that doesn't mean I can't have good results. Lower priority races are a great place to gain race experience, practice race strategies or use as…


Added by Margot W on June 12, 2014 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

Race Report- Finding a New Gear & Level of Pain

After a few months off this winter to recharge and a few good blocks of training, I was ready for my 1st race. I was really excited to get on dirt and test my legs. I didn't have a time goal. My race plan was simple, don't go out too hard, ease up a little on the hills, and put it into another gear for the last 5k. Here is what I emailed to Eric.

I had a really good race. I learned how to push myself to another level

of pain. I will explain in a second.

I was 2nd in my age…


Added by Margot W on March 23, 2014 at 8:16am — 4 Comments

Rock 'n Zone 2

Eric has been my coach for many years.  In the beginning, I was not a big fan of HR monitors.  It took some getting used to.  Now, it has become a great tool and gives me information about myself during my runs.  It has just been in the last few years that I have begun to appreciate my zone 2 runs.  

At first, I didn't pay much attention to them, they were just slow…


Added by Margot W on March 14, 2014 at 12:00pm — 7 Comments


After reading The Cool Impossible, I have realized that there are many similarities between reading and running. For those who have not read The Cool Impossible, Eric brings his readers to Jackson Hole where you visualize running in the mountains while you dream about your next adventure.  The difference between his book and others is that he gives you the tools to accomplish your cool impossible.  

Reading allows me to unplug and loose myself into the readers world.  Many of the…


Added by Margot W on December 31, 2013 at 6:30am — No Comments

5 Things to STOP caring about

1. Old regrets. 

2. The excuses you've been telling yourself

3. What you don't have (like time..)

4. Always feeling safe and comfortable

5. Fear of Failure

Added by Margot W on November 17, 2013 at 9:56am — 1 Comment

Why We Explore On Foot

"The more you do it, the more you want to do it, and thus the more motivated and capable you are to do it. It’s not always easy if you are somewhere that you’ve been dozens of times previously, but you can always slow things down, look around, look for something new, and go explore it. As soon as you do this, you will find yourself wanting more. The satisfaction of doing this will make you want to look for more, and no matter how many times you have been down the same trail, you will begin…


Added by Margot W on October 23, 2013 at 9:12am — 3 Comments

Grand to Grand Ultra Stage Race - Race Report

The G2G is a 6 day self supported stage race (they supply tent and water).  I could write a book on this experience, instead I want to focus on the last advice that Eric gave me before I headed into the desert.  My velcro on my shoe that was to secure my gaiters was coming off and I started to panic.  People were talking about how important it is to have the right gaiters and how you should attach them to save your feet from blisters.  I had done it completely wrong according to some people…


Added by Margot W on October 2, 2013 at 11:00am — 4 Comments

Final Prep for G2G Ultra

The G2G is less then 3 weeks away.  It is time to get serious about figuring out the logistics of packing and working out my race strategy for a 6 day self-supported stage race.  I have been dealing with a hurt achilles and although it is getting stronger and feeling better, it has set me back in my training a bit.  This last month, I have focused on cross training and hiking with my pack.  I may not be as competitive as I would like in the race but feel good about my endurance.  During my…


Added by Margot W on September 4, 2013 at 12:33pm — 1 Comment

Big Horn 50 Miler Race Report

A quick race report.   My plan was to start slow.  So slow that if I felt like I was working, slow down.  This is hard for me because I am used to being up front.  I was at the back of the pack for almost 18 miles.  I came to the aid station, fueled and relaxed.  I reloaded my vest and continued to a long section of climbing and rolling hills.  I was feeling good and was able to run the sections that I needed to.  At about 30 miles, I had passed a lot of the people that were flying in the…


Added by Margot W on June 18, 2013 at 3:29pm — 5 Comments

Running in the Tetons in the Winter = Be Prepared

I love winter running. I try and only use the treadmill for speed work. The trick is to be prepared. It has taken me a few years to perfect my layering system. Some of the tricks that I have learned is to start with a wool base layer. I also use hand warmers in my gloves and a mask or buff on my face. When I finish I have a thermos of hot tea and a change of cloths and shoes. I have found that these workouts have helped me mentally and physically during racing. So bring on the weather.

Added by Margot W on January 11, 2013 at 2:18pm — 1 Comment

Training with Eric on the off season

There has been some interest to know what it is like to train with Eric on a regular basis. 9 years ago my husband and myself moved with our 5 kids and 2 dogs to a farm in Teton Valley Idaho. We now have lambs, horses, chickens, cats and another dog. We have a green house and a big garden. I love to cook and trying new recipes. Our town is very small with no big chain retail stores. Our grocery store still closes on Sunday ! I live 40 min away from Eric and have been working with him for 8… Continue

Added by Margot W on December 19, 2012 at 1:40pm — 1 Comment


A week from friday I will be running the R2R2R.  There will be 5 of us heading to the Grand Canyon to run what most of us consider a" bucket list" run.  For me this will be the longest distance that I have run, around 45 miles.  I have been hitting the trails hard these last few months and have been lucky to have Eric on many of them.  Coming from a triathlon background I am used to faster training runs.  Eric has really helped change my mental approach to slowing things down on trails.  We…


Added by Margot W on November 8, 2012 at 2:51pm — 1 Comment

Great Pre-Race Tips

1.  Know were your fitness level is for that particular race and don't let success or failure of one particular race define who you are as an athlete.

2.  Visualization.  In my case I right a story of how I want the race to go.  Work through your anxiety triggers before the race and how you will deal with them.

3.  Don't worry about the outcome.  Stay focus on the present and do the things that you know you can control.

4. Have fun.

Added by Margot W on August 22, 2012 at 10:53am — No Comments

Visualization for IM St. George

A few weeks ago I completed my 6th Ironman and had my best finish, 5th place in my age group! I have used visualization for other races but I struggle using it with Ironman. Visualizing the race would make me nervous. Eric had a solution. As we talked about what I wanted to happen he had me write it down. I was telling my story on how I saw myself racing. My story started a few days before the race and didn't end until I crossed the finish line. I read my story over and over the week before the… Continue

Added by Margot W on May 20, 2012 at 5:31pm — 1 Comment

To Let Go

Yesterday I was strength training with Eric and was reminded of the importance of letting go and "just doing".  It was the end of the session and he had me do one arm presses.  Normally Eric gives me an exercise and I ask "how many reps" and then do them.  This time when I finished Eric said, "8 more," then "3 more," then "5 more".  He kept going.  At first I was surprised, then angry, and then I stopped thinking and just did them.  This exercise took my focus away from "how many" to "just… Continue

Added by Margot W on May 25, 2011 at 8:00am — 3 Comments

Pre Race Tips that I"ve learned from Eric

Race season is beginning or has begun for a lot of us.  I am 1 week out from my first endurance race of the year- IM St. George.  I like to use this time to prepare mentally for the race, especially now that I am beginning to tapper.  I would like to share a few tips from Eric.

1st- Trust your training.

        You have trained hard, so relax and trust all that you have done.

2nd- Visualization

        This is the time I start to  visualize my race.  Even if you…


Added by Margot W on April 27, 2011 at 12:53pm — No Comments

Train With Eric

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The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton

The Cool Impossible: Run Beyond Limits

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