Tag Archive: ultrarunning

10 Ways to Distract Yourself From Lotteries

With my running plans for the year set to be decided by the Western States 100 and Hardrock 100 lotteries which are both happening simultaneously this Saturday, my anxiety and stress levels have been rising as lottery day approaches. With 4 years of unsuccessful lottery entries for WS100, my odds of being selected have risen to 32.2%.  I was getting excited when I saw those odds, until Adam interjected with his sly smile- “so you like your odds for Rock, Paper, Scissors?” Thanks, Adam, bringing me back down to reality. The odds are in favor of not making it into any big races out West for next summer. I am ok with that, but I just want to know for sure so I can start making plans!  

With all of this looming, I have been working hard on strategies to direct my energy (and distract myself!) and thought I might share some of them here. Also, while I love to cook (and bake) I am instituting a strict no baking rule for this weekend since the odds that I will eat 100 cookies is too high. 


  1. Go for a run
Photo credit Daniel Bedell

Photo by Daniel Bedell

This one is easy.  It is part of why I run in the first place, to let the world and daily life drift away as the miles fly by. It is incredibly effective and one of my favorites.

  1. Head out of town
Ahhh, the mountains

Ahhh, the mountains

Adam and I are headed out to run in Shenandoah on Friday to ensure a weekend running on trails, being outside and enjoying the quiet bliss of no cell phone service! Out of cell phone service, out of mind?

  1. Catch up on the National Book Awards Short Listnational bookI decided I was done with trashy fiction for a while, but felt lost for reading recommendations. In my search for guidance I decided to depend on someone else’s recommendations. Enter the National Book Awards Short List. So far, I can tell you that All the Light we Cannot See and An Unnecessary Woman are fabulous, and I can’t wait to spend some time this weekend curled up with my Kindle.
  1. Organize
Yup, that is exactly what my closet looks like...

Yup, that is exactly what my closet looks like…

It isn’t always fun while you are doing it, (and they are never going to look like this picture) but man it feels good to be organized! We cleaned out two closets the weekend before Thanksgiving and I feel so liberated getting rid of all of the “stuff.” Sorting through all of the things you have packed away in the dark reaches of the closet can be emotionally draining but a great distraction.

  1. Get lost in the Serial Subreddit 

141023_CBOX_SerialPodcast.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeIt is the most downloaded podcast ever. It is seriously something and seriously addicting, like heading down the reddit rabbit hole.

  1. Start (and possibly finish) Breaking Bad

BB-explore-S1-980x551-cleanI know, I know. I am a pop culture decade behind, I saw one episode of Breaking Bad when it came out, but I never got hooked. Maybe this weekend is the perfect opportunity for a NetFlix binge. I remember when I found LOST and literally could not stop watching, staying up until 4am on a work night to finish an episode.

  1. https://www.stumbleupon.com/

It is a dangerous place if you actually have something to do, but totally entertaining and a great distraction!

  1. Practice patience and staying up for 48hrs in case I do make the Hardrock lottery
I used to live at this stop, Wheaton Metro- the longest set of single-span escalators in the Western Hemisphere

I used to live at this stop, Wheaton Metro- the longest set of single-span escalators in the Western Hemisphere

Stair repeats anyone? The patience that finishing a 100miler takes practice and what a better way to practice than to work on forcing yourself to stay up all night (or two!).

  1. Calculate Bacon Number

baconYup, this is a “real” Google feature and one that I have spent too much time using to honestly admit to.

10. Cider Ride 

cider-animated2This is what we used last year to distract from the lottery day. It was a great day of biking, that started and ended in DC, where we finished at the bar, had brunch (and a few drinks to calm my nerves!). It was a perfect even without a lottery “win”.

This year I am looking forward to my get away weekend of mountain running, some great beer, wine and curling up with my next book. It is going to be a great weekend no matter what. Good luck to everyone who is also waiting for this weekend to make your race plans for next year! I hope to see you on the starting line!