Thursday, December 31, 2009


Happy New Years Eve . . . hope all of you childless folk are out living it up tonight as I'll be home with the Peanut and Vans eating pizza and sipping champagne! All fine by moi!
Last night my trail group met up and we did 6 miles with six 30 second strides built in the middle. I LOVE THOSE! I am usually not a huge fan of tempo runs because although I like to incorporate speed, I generally do not like to do that for long periods of time or miles aka what a tempo run really is. I love to race a good fast 5K but that is only because I know I will only be out there for 3.1 miles. Strides however, rock.
Coach K sent us a blurb about strides that I'll copyright post here: Strides, AKA as ‘stride outs’ or pick-up's are simply a gradual acceleration in pace. Think of being 50-100 meters out from a finish line. It is the initial start to your surge that is considered a "stride." The ending as you get closer and closer to the finish line is called a fartlek, which is a short speed burst and this focuses on more of the anaerobic threshold system. Strides are a great mental tactic during a race especially when the body and mind are fatiguing. Something as simple as a stride for 10 seconds or a section of trail can spur and awaken the body and mind. Additionally, strides help with "speed" and mixing it up, especially on the trails is necessary so the runner doesn't fall in to a shuffle.
I particularly like the blurbage about strides being a great mental tactic during a race. I will have to remember that when I am dragging mentally out on the trail.
Last night's run was fun. It wasn't too cold and I was a sweaty mess when I was done which is always a good sign. I also tried for the very first time one of the GU Holiday Flavors: Gingerbread. Shall I do a "product review?" Why yes, yes, I shall. If you remember from this post, Donald over at Rumbling and Rambling mailed to me some wonderful goodies this week that I had won on his blog. Last night I decided to try the Gingerbread Gu before the workout since I did not have any time to eat anything since lunch time. Bad, I know but tis the crazy season. So 15 minutes before the run I took a Gu. The flavor was "meh" in my opinion. Gingerbread "like" for sure but more like the icing that is on a gingerbread cookie as opposed to the cookie itself. Next up is the Chocolate Mint Gu which I hear is crazy good. The Hammer Apple Cinnamon gel is still my top favorite for guey gel substances which still kind of creep me out but are sometimes a necessary evil.
I hope all of you lurkers out there (and now I know I actually HAVE lurkers) have a wonderful wonderful New Years. Be safe. Be merry. Don't get too drunk that you can't run tomorrow! HA! :-)

"are you seriously in my face with that thing again?"

PS: Jersey Dad would like me to clarify that the race bibs on his garage wall (see this post) are not "whimpy" 5Ks but also some 10Ks and a 10 miler. JD, I never said "whimpy" and you still rock in my book! Love you!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Well the Christmas weekend is slowly coming to an end. Despite the Peanut's fevers (and ahem, sleepless nights) we had a semi-decent weekend. We celebrated Christmas, I got to run on some awesome trails for 2+ hours and then today we celebrated a dear friend's 91st birthday in style with a spin workout and a pancake breakfast. How can you celebrate turning 91 any better right?
I had eluded in my last post that my dad had given me something "extra special" for Christmas. Besides a brand new Mr. Coffee that has the "auto pause feature" (yes!) my wonderful New Jersey Dad . . . who I will call Jersey Dad sent me a card and in that card was a check and a note. The note said "to replace your hydration vest." If you don't remember please review Black Cloud #4 of this post. Oy. What a sad day that was. I was almost in tears reading Jersey Dad's card. Partially due to the enormous generosity he showed by sending me such a thing but mostly by the fact he acknowledged my running AND may read my blog to understand my sadness in losing that wonderful hydration vest. You see, I run because of my father.
Let me take you back in time to New Jersey circa the 1980s when I was a little girl and my dad would pull the car into the garage. On the garage wall would hang his race bibs. I used to oogle at them and think "wow my dad ran races!" I vowed to myself as a child that I too would run races and hang my race bibs on my garage wall some day. Well fast forward many (many) years later and my garage wall is so full that I now have resorted to placing my bibs on a binder ring. I keep every single one of them and I detail the race specifics on the back.
I don't remember when exactly, perhaps after my first ever marathon (CIM 2004) when I called my dad to tell him "I survived" and how much fun I had during the race that I had revealed to him that I was running because of him! Well, he said to me, "if you read those race bibs I hung in the garage, you'd notice they were only 5Ks!" ha! Whoops. Here I thought my dad was running marathons and he was running 5Ks! I chuckle at that now, especially as I am training for my first ever 50K trail race but regardless, I run because of him. I was inspired BY him and now . . . I will be hydrated again because of him! :-) Thanks Jersey Dad! I love you!
PS: I have to add, my dad has beaten me in every single sprint race "to the car" in every parking lot race we've ever attempted. He showed no mercy to a 12 year by letting me win . . . and if he had not recently broken his knee in an ATV ride (yes, you read that right), I am sure he'd STILL beat me!

Half of my race wall . . .

My new method

Me & the peanut

Saturday, December 26, 2009


A little late posting from trailmomma here. It seems Santa brought the Peanut a high fever for Christmas which resulted in a very long day for all of us. The Peanut seems to be on the mend but we are not out of the woods yet. Fingers crossed.

Santa though was wonderful to all of us. The peanut has a new toy kitchen set and has been making me wonderful meals that involve fake hot dogs and cheese. Vans got me a kitchen appliance I have always wanted and my dad got me a coffee maker AND another great gift that deserves its own separate post.
The New Year is on its way. Enjoy the weekend.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Last night was my Wednesday running group meet up. We met at our usual location in Folsom and when I stepped out of my car I swear my nose hair froze. It was THAT cold. My nose hair has not frozen like that since I was living back in Jersey or when I was attempting to snowboard in Tahoe during a blizzard. Yup. Cold.
Normally I am not a big layering person. I used to be until I figured out the science behind running in cold weather. You should dress for a 20 degree difference. For example, if it is 30 degrees outside (this is what I felt last night was like) then dress as if it was 50 degrees. In 50 degree weather I don't normally wear two layers of long sleeves, a fleece beanie cap, gloves AND capri tights (heck I normally don't wear tights period unless it involves night time running - can't stand to be seen in tights). However the above attire is what I wore last night and by the time I finished I was drenched in sweat. Which quickly turned to cold shivering sweat because my running group always stands around stretches after a run. Brrrrr.
The run was good though. We started off with a warm up of 15 minutes, then ran a tempo pace for 25 minutes (12.5 minutes out, turned around for 12.5 minutes back) and then 15 minutes of cool down. The total ended up being 6.25 miles roughly. I like running where we run because there actual "hills" . . . really bumps but they get the glutes working which I don't normally experience running by my house. My bum really appreciates a good workout once in a while.
Last night I finished the run with Kirk, one of the coaches behind the program. He is super nice and easy going and really loves what he does. We had a nice talk about coaching and running and how my elipitcalizing isn't really a cross training workout but I don't have any other options right now. Oddly it felt like I've met him before and we've been friends for a while instead of just having met for the first time a week or so ago. I like everyone in my running group. I may not talk to everyone yet, or know all their names but so far I like what we've done and enjoy the conversations and stories.
My Peanut also has a few friends that she has made recently at daycare aka school as we call it at home. She has her partners in crime, one little girl in particular who she's been "friends" with since they both were 3 months old. I must say, it is adorable to watch a friendship blossom at such an early age. There is nothing like a really good friend to keep you smiling! Happy Holidays!

double trouble

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Shut Up and Run is holding a "giveaway" and I have thrown my name? comment? into the hat. I've had the good graces shining upon me this week lottery wise so why not? Plus, this woman is an awesome writer AND runner. She's been bitten by the running bug big time and I love it. I love seeing people so inspired and excited to run. She's also got talent. I have no doubts you'll see her name in the Boston line up in 2011.

Go check out her blog. I can guarantee that she will make you laugh out loud. And if she doesn't, the picture of her abs will inspire you!

Monday, December 21, 2009


"Ho Ho Ho" as my Peanut says! Boy did Santa come early in my house! I guess the best news of all was that I got chosen in the Way Too Cool 50K Lottery which means I am running my first 50K in March!!! I am so overly excited it is ridiculous. Vans thinks I am nuts as I was literally jumping on the bed when I got my email late last night. Yes. I was sort of waiting to see if I got notified . . . the drawing was supposed to be held at midnight but I got my notice at 11:00 pm (score!).

THEN I got to work today to discover that I won a Gu giveaway from Running and Rambling which is one of my FAVORITE blogs to read. He always has great product reviews too. Thank you Donald!!

In addition to all that greatness that is running related . . . I also ran 10 miles on the trails this weekend with my group and had an absolute blast! I can definitely feel that my ankle is weak but I am way more aware of it now and try hard not to do things that may roll it. Probably not ideal if I was trying to WIN a race but if I am just trying to run it and have fun . . . it isn't so bad. I still ran quickly and stayed with the front of the group. It was foggy but not rainy and the trails were muddy but not sticky. It was just FUN! Looking forward to next Saturday even though that means Christmas will officially be over. :(

On a not so happy note . . . I am going to the dentist today (I hate the dentist) AND my head cold is trying hard to get into my chest which is not exactly what I want happening right now.  However, I think the excitement that is the Cool lottery is over powering everything today and I seriously am wearing a perma-grin. Bring it Way Too Cool. Bring it!

                                            Two polar opposites joining together in a moment of peace.
                                                             Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Last night my running group met for our first night workout. This awesome training group actually gave us headlamps on our first meeting last weekend so I got to wear it last night for our interval training run. The workout called for 4 to 5 miles with 1 minute at 90% then 1 minute at 60% and then 2 minutes at 90% and then 2 minutes at 60% three or four times until you cover the distance. The entire group, including our coaches were so excited to meet and run that we actually went OVER the required mileage and busted out 6 miles total. It was cold when we finished and boy was it dark when we were running but when you're running with about 10 people who are all wearing headlamps it looks like we were a bunch of fire flies running down the trail. It was exhilerating!

The training plan they provided us called for an easy 3 to 4 miles today. I normally never run back to back since I am generally taking care of the Peanut on my non-running days. Vans and I alternate the days in the week so we can fit in our runs or workouts while the other looks after the Peanut. However, considering this is a 50K and not just a marathon I have decided it may require more effort and more training. So I woke myself up at 5:15 this morning and threw on some tights and my trusty new headlamp and hit the dark streets around my house. Surprisingly I was not the only headlamp runner at that hour. I saw a total of 3 other runners!

I ran 3.5 miles and although my heart rate didn't register as "easy" it felt great to get in a run before my day started. It was even nicer when I returned home to find that the Peanut was STILL asleep (score!).

Friday calls for a rest day from running but I have some nice holiday festivities to plan for so I will be pretty busy. I just have to be careful about what I eat and drink on Friday night because Saturday is our next long trail run. The group has scheduled a 10 miler up to Beale's Point . . . which is a trail I have yet to run on so I am VERY excited!!

These posts can get pretty boring . . . I better start taking some picture huh?

Monday, December 14, 2009


Saturday was my first time back on the trails after training for CIM and boy, was it awesome! Oh how I missed the rocks and trees and mud! :-)
Fleet Feet Fair-Oak's official Way Too Cool 50K trail running program kicked off on Saturday morning. Luckily the rain stayed away most of the morning. I drove out to Old Folsom to meet the group while the Peanut and Vans were dressing for their own 5K race that morning. They were the first stroller to cross the finish at a very respectable time and pace. Go honey!
The FF group was SUPER nice and the running swag they had waiting for us when we arrived was just impressive AND nice. It was a small group on Saturday but we're expecting about 40 people total. Still, I think that is the perfect size for a running group especially one that is going to run 3 hour runs up in the canyons on weekends . . . .oooohhh I just cannot wait!!
Saturday's run was fairly easy to me. My muscles still feel good. The ankle, although feeling weak didn't give me any problems. The knee was even feeling okay. The only thing I noticed was my heart rate was SKY high. I was running in the high 160s for this "easy" trail run compared to CIM where my heart rate was only 155 throughout 26.2 miles. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact I am still recovering from CIM, I am also fighting off a cold and well, I was quite the chatter bug on the run on Saturday.
We finished and stretched as a group while the rain was starting to make an appearance. I was chilled to the bone but so excited to be back running on the trails that I didn't really care! I am looking forward to Wednesday's run now. I am going to take tonight off so I can try and really kick this cold once and for all and then I am making it a point to wake up and do my runs BEFORE work so that Vans can incorporate some workouts in the evening. He has been very kind in letting me mess up change our usual routine since my running day has now changed from a Tuesday evening to a Wednesday evening.
OH and the BIGGEST NEWS . . . I officially threw my name into the Way Too Cool 50K lottery on Sunday. . . I will find out if I will be one of the crazy people running Way Too Cool in March on December 21, 2009!

Vans and the Peanut after their 5K!

Friday, December 11, 2009


My day has not been ideal . . . it started with a 2 am wake up call from the Peanut and has continued on with more bouts of tantrums, clinginess and well just too many tears. (Sigh) How can I love this age so much and detest it at the same time? She isn't even TWO yet. Oh yea and it is pouring outside AND I have a sore throat. Lovely.

Ah well, today is my birthday. I am officially 33. That does not however move me up in any race brackets that I am aware of although I think I am hitting the tailend of the 30 to 34 range now. Still, doesn't mean much when you're not super fast.

Last night I broke my own rule (aka a full week of rest) and jumped on the elliptical for only 30 minutes. I felt like I was climbing Mt. Everest. Man! The last 3 minutes of the workout my ankle actually started hurting. This is a first as it never hurts on the elliptical. I also broke my Doctor's orders by exercising with some swelling (ssssh don't tell him!). It was minimal and I think I might now have a permanently swollen ankle. At least it doesn't look like a cankle!

Tomorrow is my first run outside on the trails. It starts the beginning of my Way Too Cool 50K training plan through Fleet Feet Fair Oaks. Technically my birthdy present from Vans is the training program AND my tickets to see Bon Jovi in March. Can't really complain about that I suppose. Just wish the rain would stop, my sore throat would go away, my ankle would heal and my little Peanut would understand the concept of reasoning . . . is that too much to ask from a 19 month old? :-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I have none! WOOT WOOT!

Okay, I don't mean to brag and yes, my ankle is still swollen but that was a pre-existing injury and caused my complete klutziness. But muscle wise my body is.not.sore!! I was stiff on Monday and yes, I did walk down the stairs backwards once or twice but I woke up Tuesday morning feeling FANTASTIC!

Last year I wasn't sore after CIM either. I wonder if it is my wonderful training plan or the fact that I now consume some SILK chocolate soy milk after most of my hard races . . . either way I am thrilled.

Saturday is my next run and the first time I will be running post CIM. My 50K trail training program starts on Saturday. Many people are calling me nuts but we're only supposed to run an easy 8 miles on Saturday and well it is my birthday weekend (yes, the entire weekend) and I can do what I want to do. So neener neerer! No, I am not turning 10 I just act like it sometimes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

California International Marathon 2009

Yesterday was the California International Marathon. It runs from Folsom, CA to downtown Sacramento and finishes right in front of the State Capital. Pretty damn cool.

I would be lying if I didn't say I was going into this race nervous. Extremely nervous. With my ankle the way it has been the past two months with this high ankle sprain and my various digestive troubles . . . I was not too sure CIM would go so well.

The temperatures at race start were 28 degrees. That is freaking COLD around these parts. It was the coldest start in CIM history. So cold, it SNOWED here last night!

I took the bus to the start and never moved except to pee. The bus was warm and cozy and very close to the starting area. When I was finally forced to leave my little cave I went to find the 4 hour pace group. I ran into a friend of mine. We stood in front of the 4 hour group but not quite in the 3:50 pace group. We sort of became our own 3:55 if you will. When the gun went off we had to walk in the crowd until we crossed the chip mats and then we were off and running. Personally, I felt like we went out too fast. The pace was comfortable and my usual pace but we were just starting 26.2 miles and I know myself better than that. Ah well.

I ran with my friend from mile 0 to mile 17 when the dreaded 4 hour pace group finally caught up to us. Prior to that we had been doing some really nice sub 9 minute miles and a few low 9s. I was feeling great. At mile 8.5 my ankle started to say "hello" to me and get annoying but it wasn't unbearable and it actually disappeared by mile 12. Sweet! Those middle miles were quiet miles between my friend and I. I think we both started realizing we were slowing down. Mile 15 was about 9:26. Our slowest yet.

We got to mile 17, the 4 hour group caught up to us and my friend and I got separated. I was solo and struggling to say ahead of the pacer. I heard her comment that she was actually a minute faster than 4 hours and I had hoped that my starting time would put me even farther ahead of her. I prayed at least.

Mile 18 my knee gave out. What the hell? I don't have knee problems. Ever! I almost went stumbling to the ground twice. I hobbled my way along still fighting to stay ahead of the pacer but was probably running about even with her. I just needed to get to 22/23 so I could see my dear Vans and my adorable Peanut. They were the boost I needed.

When I got to them, the knee pain had disappeared although still aching occasionally. But seeing their smiling faces was the happiest I had been all day. The boost that a runner gets from seeing her family AND ALL OF HER FRIENDS is just beyond words. Scrapbook was out there with her kids and all my other wonderful wonderful friends. I have the best group of friends ever.

I tossed my gloves and water bottle to them and decided I was finishing this race and I was finishing it under 4 hours no matter what! Mile 24 I decided to push it. Last year at mile 24 I had so much energy in the bank that I was running 7s and 8s to the finish. Yesterday at mile 24 I could barely get myself sub 9. I didn't care. I was going to do it! Mile 24 was 8:50 and mile 25 . . . no idea as I was trying to make my legs move! I actually yelled at some guy to "get the hell out of my way" as I was making the left turn towards the finish line. That's the jersey in me AND the exhaustion!

I finished! I crossed. Final chip time was 3:58 a 9:11 minute mile. Last year I finished 3:56. I can't say I am disappointed as I have been battling this ankle issue forever and really thought the outcome would be MUCH worse. So whew, I am happy.

Today I am sore. The muscles do not feel all that bad actually. The knee and ankle however? Ouch. I wish I could amputate them. It isn't pretty.

This was my fourth full CIM. I've run the relay twice. I've been participating in CIM in some form the last 6 years. I know I should branch out but it is so nice to run locally and then come home to my nice hot shower. I am already planning on CIM #5 . . . fingers crossed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Last night was my usual speed workout with my usual Tuesday night running group. The workout was geared towards CIM'ers . . . 4(1200) with a 2 minute rest inbetween. I did 3(1200) as I felt 4 might have been pushing things. I felt good, no ankle problems and no throat problems. Afterwards I felt exhausted and curled up on the couch to watch 4 of The Biggest Loser contestants try and run their first marathon. That was not something I should have watched days before running CIM. The pain on their faces reminded me of my 2005 marathon . . . it was not pretty and still gives me nightmares.

Tonight I see my magician for a pre CIM tune up and tomorrow morning I am going for my final run before the big day. I agreed to run with my friend Sally who is amazing and who has always supported anything I have ever done. We are however, meeting at 5:30 in the morning (yikes). I guess this will be a nice test to see how cold it will be on Sunday when we're at the start. They are STILL predicting some sort of rain on Sunday.

Still counting down . . .

Monday, November 30, 2009

Home and Fighting

We are home from our wonderful splendid week in Tahoe. Weather was gorgeous and we even got some snow! The Peanut has never seen snow before and watching a 20 month old's eyes bug out of their heads watching the flakes fall and then inevitebly sticking their tongue out to "catch" said flakes is heart warming. Who cares that it was 10 degrees out!

I was able to workout while on vacation though. Luckily the place we stay has a new state of the art gym. Sorry no pics. I was able to run my three days a week and was also inspired by their little weight lifting machine thiny. Oh boy! Who knew that doing lateral pulls would eliminate that little bulge of fat between your boob and arm pit! Honey I think we're going to have buy one of those fancy machines! Or I guess I could google how to simulate a lateral pull w/o the use of ginormous bulky machine.

One day I did manage a nice 5 mile run outside that included high elevation and some hills! Sweet. I felt fantastic on this run which gives me hope that Sunday's 26.2 miles of The California International Marathon won't be so grueling. My ankle ached occasionally while in Tahoe but oddly not while running. Go figure.

My latest "issue" if you will is fighting a sore throat. It is that pre marathon freak out phase and I am doing all I can to remain positive and not convince myself that I have H1N1. Sigh. Seriously all I have is a sore throat but my mind will concoct something heinous and I don't want to even go there.

My second "issue" is deciding which pace group to run on Sunday. Intially I was going to stick with my 4 hour pace group from last year. This would be a conservative run for me and would probably leave me feeling perfectly fine post race. Yet, I am competitive and last year I dreamed of running sub 4 hour. I did that. 7 months post baby. My second dream is to run a marathon at a sub 9 minute mile. The 3:50 pace group is exactly my pace. Exactly. No wiggle room. Do I WANT wiggle room? Do I NEED wiggle room? I am thinking I should just go for it and see how things turn out. . . . stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vacation. Running and posting.




Thursday, November 19, 2009

Life happens and sometimes it sucks

What is that saying? When it rains it pours? Well I guess you can say it is shooting buckets at us over here. Sigh. I have been battling some tummy troubles lately. I thought it was something I had eaten or perhaps I had been glutened by something but alas, there seems to be no end in sight and now Vans is complaining of some tummy troubles as well. The Peanut always seems to be battling something lately too but for her I usually suspect teething as a culprit. I think I am too old to blame teething huh? Ah well. Praying for relief before the California International Marathon. Right now rice, ginger tea and some egg whites are my friends.

To add to my already exciting depressing post (if you're still reading I am impressed), I think I am in a rut. A life rut. I will be the first to say that I am thankful to have a job in this economy and not only a job that is close to my home and to the Peanut's daycare but I have a boss that I genuinely like. He is "child friendly" if you will meaning when the Peanut is sick blowing snot bubbles or daycare is having an event, I am generally "allowed" to go. However, I do not like my job. I don't. I do not enjoy what I do and I don't think I ever really have.

I still hold fast to my very first 'adult' job working for PBS and nothing, nothing I have done since then has ever compared. I work in the legal field. I have worked in the legal field since 2004. I hate it. I am not an attorney nor do I ever want to become an attorney. I hate sitting at a desk all day long and I hate taking the blame for every mistake because attorneys "don't make mistakes. staff makes mistakes" which is the mentality every attorney I have ever worked for has. That is the job of a paralegal. Take the blame and don't bother trying to defend yourself.

So many times each day I wish I had either A. stayed in the television/media field despite the horrid employment rate in that field or B. chosen another area that involves some sort of physical fitness. I had lofty dreams at times of becoming a Personal Trainer or something along those lines. I have dabbled in the area of training various groups to complete triathlons or half marathons. I enjoyed it immensely just not while simultaneously working a full time job. Sigh. I need to suck it up I know. There are hundreds of people out there who would kill to have my job. I know this. I do.

I also know nothing is going to land in my lap. I have never been that lucky and I never will. I have always had to work for what I wanted and I worked hard. Such is life.

Sometimes life happens and sometimes it just sucks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mind games

Marathon neurosis starts now. Normally it is the week OF the marathon that I start to feel those phantom aches and pains imagining that all my training has gone out the window because what? My big toe hurts?

Here we are at least 2+ weeks out from the California International Marathon and I am feeling every twinge and ache in my body. My mind is just going insane with thoughts of "oh no! X hurts. I can't run CIM" but who am I kidding? I will run it. No matter what. I am also surprised at the way my mind is currently working because I convinced myself all throughout my training that CIM was not the "goal" but merely a training run to get me to the Way Too Cool 50K in March.

So why am I so upset? I am seriously having thoughts of not finishing CIM and bonking like I did back in 2005 (a memory I had hoped was erased from my brain). I will not go there just like I will NOT get sick. No way jose. Not me despite the fact when I go to pick up my Peanut every other little peanut comes running to me with snot oozing out of their little noses! Sigh. Daycare. Gotta love it right?

CIM is an important race for me. I enjoy it and I want to be able to run it with ease. I am not racing on December 6th. I am purely out for a stroll to get some decent mileage. I was telling myself before that if I finished in over 4 hours so be it. I didn't care. Who am I kidding? I DO care and I WANT to finish faster than last year but some how I think last year I was in better shape. I swear nursing and marathon training combined really has extra benefits that no one is telling me. :-)

Ah well. The countdown begins I suppose.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Memory Lane

Yesterday because of the Veteran's Day Holiday I was home from work and the Peanut was home from daycare. It was basically a "Mommy & Daughter" day and I couldn't have been more excited about it. Spending the day home with my little Peanut brought back all kinds of memories from when I was on Maternity Leave with her about a 1.5 years ago. I remember being over joyed by this little person in my life and just starring at her for hours and hours (and also praying for nap time on occasion - for both of us).

Yesterday my little Peanut who is in the "repeat what you say" stage accompanied me to Dr. Lau's office to get quick ankle check up. The status? No running when it is swollen. Buy compression socks (ick? really?) and basically take it easy just a few more days. My swelling has reduced considerably and I was actually able to jump on the dreaded elliptical machine for 30 minutes last night. Saturday I will run but until then, I have been enjoying any and all free time with my Peanut.

The above picture was from my very first race post Peanut birth. She was 6 weeks old and I apparently won my age group in the 5K (ssh, there really were not a lot of women in that race). I was proud none the less and thus began the weekend ritual of Vans and the Peanut coming out to cheer me on at various races. I am a lucky lucky woman. I have the best family (and friend) support group a girl could ever ask for. Truly.

So yesterday the Peanut and I "ran" around the neighborhood. She of course has to verabalize it "run run run run" while she motors her little legs down the street. It's heart warming to watch her enjoy running. The smile on her face is almost as big as mine. I heart my little Peanut.

The Peanut at 6 weeks old

Monday, November 9, 2009

Clarksburg 30K and a bum ankle

This past Sunday was the Clarksburg 30K. It marks the final race of my month long racing extravaganza. Whew. I am exhausted! I am also possibly injured. It was inevitable right? I mean a person runs a race every single weekend and they are bound to get hurt right? I tried so hard to just run these races as training runs and yesterday I did manage that fairly well but I guess in hind sight I probably should not have waited for the final race of the month to do that. I probably should have incorporated that somewhere in the middle eh? NIKE and Portland were not run with full steam but I did run them back to back on courses with extreme up hills and down hills. The Apple Hill Harvest run was the same thing. It was a short nice 3.5 miler but with some intense hills. Oh yeah and I was pushing a jogging stroller complete with full size Peanut inside.

Yesterday’s goal was to run race pace or slightly slower. I did not exactly manage that but I did end up that way. I started out mile 1 at 8:10, mile 2 at 8:20, mile 3 at 8:30, mile 4 at 8:40 which I held steady for a long while or at least until the pain arrived and then I went from 8:40 to 9:15. I was able to speed up a bit but only because I wanted to finish.

What bothers me most is my body felt fine, minus the intense pain shooting through my right ankle. I have finally dialed in my pre race ritual situation so that my digestion and fueling are down to a perfect science. Unfortunately no matter how much Gluten Freeda Banana Maple with Flax Oatmeal I eat it can’t really help a sprained ankle. Thanks for trying Gluten Freeda!

Yes. You read that correctly. Sprained Ankle. My favorite sports doctor, Dr. Lau was at the race as well and he was generous enough to tell me that he wanted to see me after the race to assess the pain I’ve been having lately. Before I get to the injury specifics I have to share that this ankle pain is so bizarre. There was never swelling or pain any other time except when I was running more than 10 miles. Weird right? But the pain that would come was excruciating and lasted for probably 30 minutes post race and then disappeared. That is until yesterday of course. Right on cue at mile 10-ish the ankle started hurting and the unevenness of the Clarksburg country roads made it that much worse. By the time I finished the pain was off and on unbearable. Mind you, I can still run but it isn’t pretty. I crossed the finish line and jumped hobbled right into Dr. Lau’s line. I was in so much pain I could not even stretch my horribly tight muscles. Race wise, I finished with a pace of 8:40 which is my marathon goal (har har) and I was 12th in my age group but the CIM marathon looks like it might be slipping from my sights each race I run.

Dr. Lau worked tirelessly on me even with a long line of people behind me. I adore him. But he finally stopped and had a really sad look on his face. He said he thinks I might possibly have a high ankle sprain sustained most likely from one of my trail runs. It hurts so late into a run because of the pressure and pounding finally setting in. It swelled too for the first time ever. Not sure if that was race related or if it was from Dr. Lau poking and pulling. Right now he suggests that I not run all week. Cross train he said . . . what is that? Ha! I am running junkie. My cross training usually entails the elliptical which isn’t really much different from running. It is too dark at night to ride a bike.

I am listening though. I am heating and icing and not running until Sunday. I am however doing what you’re not supposed to do and that is google everything there is to google about a High Ankle Sprain and from what I have read, it isn’t a good thing. I am stepping away from Google before I talk myself into a depression about this whole thing.

CIM is still possible. I am not losing hope (or the money I shelled out) just yet.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The family that runs together . . .

This weekend I had a plethora of running activities to keep my family busy. So get ready for a fairly lengthy entry.

Part 1: Helen Klein Ultra Classic (30K, 50K, 50 miler) - Saturday

I chose to do the 30K which technically is not really an “ultra” per se but whatever. A 30K distance should be 18.1 miles right? Notice I said “should be” . . . well, according to my Garmin I ran 20 miles on Saturday. But let’s start at the beginning shall we?

I started off my morning with my new ritual of ¼ cup of coffee, Gluten Freeda’s Banana Maple with Flax Oatmeal and coconut water. The race required 30+ minutes of driving and unfortunately I did not leave myself enough time. I ended up drinking my coconut water in the car which brought me to the race with a few only a few minutes to spare. I had to park, get my packet information and then head to the starting line. No time to stop and find a bathroom at all. Whoops. The Helen Klein Ultra Classic is a pretty well known race here in Sacramento. Norm Klein is the race director and Helen Klein is his wife who still runs and I believe is in her 70s. She is fantastic and Norm is a spitfire. This was my first ever Helen Klein race and I loved every minute.

It was still dark when we started. Norm, who is also in his 70s, had us all walk as a group through the woods to the “starting line” which consisted of a chalk drawn line in the dirt. No chips. No fancy timing mechanisms. No bull horn! Just Norm saying ‘ready set go’ after counting down. Gotta love it.

My goal was initially to take this as a training run for the marathon. From the start I had pee from all that coconut water I consumed and decided that on the turn-around I’d find a restroom. The race started with 2 miles of hilly trails and then dumps you out on the bike trail for what is basically an out and back run only to have you finish on the same hilly 2 miles of trails at the end. The big fancy turn-around really was an old man sitting in a lawn chair on the bike path reading a newspaper with a paper plate sign that said “30K turn-around.” I kid you not. I actually passed the guy not realizing he was the marker. Luckily I only made it about 10 feet before I realized that. Whew!

Well when I turned around someone running in the opposite direction informed me that I was the 3rd female overall. What? How? Ugh. Of course with that in my brain now, I couldn’t stop to use a restroom. I would lose my place! My “easy training run” immediately turned into a “race” and I just motored. I wanted 3rd female (or better) and if my memory was correct, I would be first in my age group.

Needless to say I ran hard but I ran well. I felt fantastic stomach wise. I had a little ankle pain but overall felt fantastic. I thought I would dread the hilly trail run at the finish but it was actually so nice to get off the pavement and back onto some trails and the weather was fantastic so I had nothing to complain about. I crossed the finish line and Norm immediately asked me how old I was. He presented me with a “trophy” for being first in my age group and as it turns out I was third female overall. It was a fun race and I felt great. Norm Klein was such a nice man with a great sarcastic sense of humor. I might have to consider this race again next year!

Part 2: Apple Hill Harvest Run 3.5 miles – Sunday

This is the first year Vans and I have ever done the Apple Hill Harvest Run. It takes place well over an hour from our house and therefore we’ve never been inclined to drive that far only to race and fight the parking/traffic madness that is Apple Hill.

Something changed this year though as I ended up signing Vans up to run the 3.5 mile race (timed) and myself and the Peanut for the 3.5 mile race (untimed). I figured it would give Vans a chance to race since he is always pushing the jogging stroller while I am racing and I thought the Peanut and I would have a great time walking and it would be a great recovery from the previous day’s 20 miler.

The madness was apparent on Sunday morning. Hundreds of cars trying to park and get to the race but the weather was glorious. Apple Hill is in Camino which is higher elevation than Sacramento and way more hilly than Sacramento. The hills were the first thing Vans noticed as we were driving in. The second was that we had to park so far away and walk up and down a big hill just to get to the starting area!

While Vans went to the front of the pack to get good positioning, I decided to be politically correct and go to the back of the pack where the stroller people are supposed to go. Big mistake. The walkers were even too slow for me! The competitive side of me took over and I started bobbing and weaving myself through the crowd until I was running and running fairly well. My goal was not to walk much and to keep running. The Peanut was kicking back having a blast in the jogger while “momma” was dodging and weaving various runners who were either 1. Giving me looks of disgust because I was passing them with a jogger or 2. Shouting “way to go momma!” as I passed. Ah well. I was having fun and I felt great so I just kept running.

As it turns out, the Peanut and I finished first stroller over-all and our time was not too shabby! We only finished about 5 minutes after Vans who by the way, finished 4th in his age group! Way to go honey! The Peanut enjoyed an afternoon of climbing and running at the playground near the race finish. What a perfect weekend all around. I love my running family.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Also, check out Gluten Free Fitness. Wow. Just wow. I feel very honored.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Portland Run Like Hell Half Marathon & Gluten Freeda's Oatmeal

We’re back. We survived!! Portland was gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. The fall color was spectacular (as you can see). It reminded me very much of my old life back on the east coast.

The weather was not as bad as expected. It rained but not for the race (thank you!) and it seemed to clear up whenever we stopped to get out of the car (again, thank you!).

We arrived on Thursday evening. The Peanut LOVED the plane ride and promptly started saying “again again” after we landed. She really liked Southwest's landing!

We wine tasted, shopped, walked, saw a Warren Miller film (the Peanut’s first ever movie) and went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

Sunday was the Portland Run Like Hell Half Marathon (for me) and 5K (for Vans and the Peanut). After the NIKE's San Francisco Half the weekend before, I was very cautious about my stomach situation and quite nervous for this race. Also, since NIKE was slow in terms of pace, race and over all time, I really wanted to run this race well.

I know “they” say never try anything “new” on race day or race morning. Well I broke that rule completely. On race morning (about 90 minutes before race start) I had Gluten Freeda’s Banana Maple with Flax Oatmeal. Delicious!!! It actually fueled me quite nicely for the race without ANY troubles! (YEA!) The flavor was perfect, not too banana-y and also quite filling. It is going to be my new pre-race fuel! Also for first time I had some Coconut Water. I have heard so many positive things about it. It has about 60 calories in a serving but I figured those were race calories and necessary. The flavor was SWEET. Almost too sweet but I got used to it and well, it says it has six times the electrolytes than regular electrolyte enhanced beverages and although the weather was quite cool (about 43 degrees) for the race, I find I really am not drinking as much water as I should be especially before races (not to mention when traveling). Both the oatmeal and the coconut water sat well in my belly and I started the race confident.

First mile I took off fast caught up in the crowd. My pace was 7:30. I was a little concerned I was starting out too fast but EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE was flying by me like I was crawling!! I couldn’t believe it. Didn’t these people realize they had to run about 12 more miles? I never really saw the people who passed me so they can either run a half marathon pretty damn fast OR most of them were doing the 10K but I pretty sure most of them were not. I tried not to let it get to me and to just continue on with my own race. I was racing myself and no one else.

This course really made NIKE’s San Francisco race look easy. The gradual hill that went from mile 5 to about mile 10 was tough and unrelenting. But then came the downhill and I booked it hard from mile 11 to the finish. I finished less than 1 minute after Vans and the Peanut finished their 5K! I have to say with the exception of the Lake Tahoe Half Marathon, this was one of the most beautiful courses I have had the pleasure to run! The fall color was just gorgeous.

My time was about 10 minutes FASTER than NIKE which goes to show you that a less crowded race, A BETTER BREAKFAST (thank you Gluten Freeda) and zero tummy troubles can really help. I finished in about 1:46 (Garmin time, official results are not in yet) which is not quite a PR but definitely a PR for me on a hilly course.

This weekend is the Helen Klein 30K and I am looking forward to doing the same routine of Gluten Freeda’s Banana Maple with Flax Oatmeal with a coconut water pre-race. Here are some pictures from the weekend!

   My cheering section!

                                    Post Race Craziness                                  

5K Runners! Yea!!

My Peanut

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Portland bound

Today Vans, the Peanut and myself leave for Portland. I am very excited. I have never been and Oregon is the home of Prefontaine!! Okay, there other reasons I am excited to go to Portland but that, I admit, is one of the major ones.

While we're in Portland I am going to run the Portland Run Like Hell Half Marathon Yes, another half marathon. Just like the NIKE Womens half however, I am going to start this race and just see how I feel to determine if I even want to try and "race" or if I will just run with the crowd and use it as a chance to see parts of the city. I am very excited despite the predicted weather forcast for Portland this weekend.
Which is
with a chance of

Ah well. It IS the Pacific North West right? What did I expect traveling to Portland at the end of October.

I am ALSO very excited to visit New Cascadia Traditional Gluten Free Bakery in downtown Portland. Rumor has it they sell Gluten Free HOT PRETZELS!!! Of all the gluteny items that I have given up in life, the hot pretzel is the one I miss the most. Yankee Stadium has the worlds best hot pretzels cooked on coals on a grill outside the stadium. Nothing can compare. However, I will do my due diligence and check this place out and do a taste comparision. I mean, it is the least I can do right?

So hopefully I'll have a great race report to post when we return to California next week. We don't get back until late Monday and most likely I'll be spending all day Tuesday trying to catch up at work. But until then, Portland here we come!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Holy moly this is a first! Two posts in ONE day but I had to share my all time new favorite thing!!!

This was handed to me as I crossed the finish line yesterday and OH.MY.GOD I love it! Because of my Celiac I cannot really eat Luna Bars anymore but when I did I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE the Chocolate Peppermint Stick bar the most. It seriously is so delicious.
When I put this awesome chapstick on I swear to you it smells EXACTLY like the bar. It is wonderful! It's also no guilt! HA HA
Oh Luna people please please sell these little tubes of heaven so I can have a crate full!

NIKE Women's Half Marathon

This past weekend was the NIKE Women’s Marathon and Half Marathon. I finally got picked in the lottery and was able to run this highly popular event. Why is this event SO popular that it requires a random lottery you ask? Because every person that crosses the finish line is handed a nice blue box which contains a Tiffany necklace inside. Oh yeah, and you are handed that box by a big hunking firefighter wearing a tuxedo!

I tried last year to get in and was unsuccessful. This year I was picked and jumped at the chance to stay in San Francisco solo for one whole night sans Peanut and sans Vans! Granted the entry fee for this race was an arm and leg but at least it wasn’t my first born child!

So I left Saturday morning with a big hug and a “good luck” from Vans. He was a bit concerned about my ankle status for the race but more so on how he and the Peanut would survive without Momma. For the record, he did a fantastic job and I have never been so proud of my family. Momma is now “chopped liver” in the eyes of the Peanut and Vans is “almighty.” I know by tomorrow that may change so I am letting Vans bask in it for a bit. 

I arrived in San Francisco and found my hotel pretty easily. Parked, checked in and then realized “mmm, what on Earth shall I do?” I immediately headed to the race expo to get my race packet and check things out. As it turns out a girlfriend of mine, who I will call Scrapbook, ended up getting a last minute FREE entry into the race and would be arriving in the city later and spending the night in my room. Ladies night!! Woot woot!

The race expo was insane. I am all for women and women power but good god 30,000 women in one tent is a bit much for me. I picked up all that I needed and then headed out to do some shopping around Union Square. The weather was hot. It is never hot in the city but I was boiling and my hotel room was without air conditioning. My solo shopping excursion was boring so I went back to my hotel and decided to do something I rarely get a chance to do and that was relax and read a book. It was heaven. By 3 pm Scrapbook arrived and we went back to the expo to get her race stuff and then more shopping. This time wandering much further than I had wandered before. We picked up some take out – Cheesecake Factory for Scrapbook and some Sushi like food for moi. Back in our hotel room we ate and shared a beer and a glass of wine and just talked and watched the Yankees play the Angels on television (I am the Yankee fan, not Scrapbook. Thank you Scrapbook for letting me be the tv hog). So what do two moms who are away from the kids for an entire night talk about? Their kids of course. Proud Mommas.

We woke up bright and early on Sunday, about 5:45 am. The race started at 7 am and we were only 2 blocks from the starting area. Perfect. When I first woke up I realized I felt fantastic. No tummy troubles. Then, I ate a banana and some almond butter and almost immediately my stomach started gurgling. It was not happy. I am notorious for my tummy troubles and the past few weeks have been no exception. I’ve been battling tummy troubles on all of my training runs leading up to the NIKE race. I took care of “business” before leaving the hotel but I could tell things were not settling down.

The starting area of the race was mayhem. It was cold but not unbearable. The crowds were so huddled together it was almost warming. Scrapbook said goodbye and got into her corral. The corral I was supposed to be in filled up so I had to start in a slower corral which was probably better.

Joan Benoit Samuelson and Kara Goucher were there as she was running the half. I wish I could have seen them. The gun went off and we all stood there for about 7 minutes before we were able to even start walking towards the official starting line. I started my Garmin when I crossed the start mat and was off. I had to bob and weave my way through the crowd for quite some time. I warmed up quickly too and took off my long sleeve and just tied it around my waist as I knew I would want it at the finish line.

Mile 2 I saw porta potties but refused to stop. My stomach was quite unhappy but I am too stubborn. I’ve never stopped at a porta potty in a race before and the lines were long! I figured if I had to stop, I’d do so later on when the lines would be smaller. Well, the pressure in my tummy was so much that combined with the crowded streets my pace was reduced quite a bit. But since I wasn’t planning on “racing” I went with it. Miles 6 through 9.5 were up hill. And not just a little hill, we’re talking MAJOR hills but I like hills and it woke up my legs a little bit and I didn’t mind. My stomach on the other hand, was not so happy.

Finally mile 10.2 I saw a set or porta potties without a line. I said “screw it” and headed over. I had to wait a little bit but was able to get in and take care of “business” and probably lost about 9 minutes total. You know that bugged me. BUT! I felt FANTASTIC. I really should have stopped way earlier but I now felt so much better I started really racing the last 2 miles or so. I was running sub 8s for miles 11 and 12 and it was wonderful. I crossed the finish and was handed my little blue box by a nice looking fire fighter wearing a tuxedo.

My time was definitely not a half marathon PR. Actually it might be the same time as my very first half marathon. The official results are not up yet. Guess it is hard to tabulate 30,000+ people! Ha

Scrapbook finished not long after I did and it took us an hour to find each other in the mess that was the finish area. We jumped on a charter bus which took us back to Union Square near out hotel. Hot coffee and a hot shower (in that order) followed.

Overall it was a great day. I enjoyed the event but have learned that I need to rethink my fueling issues when I have an upset tummy. Vans and the Peanut want to come next year if I get in again. He wants to stay in a nice hotel and for two nights not one. I am okay with that. I did miss my Vans and Peanut and had a wonderful welcome when I finally did get home on Sunday afternoon. They are really my best fans and I missed their cheers at the finish. Hopefully next year.

Friday, October 16, 2009

UNcomfortably Numb . . . and tingly

That is how my ankle feels right now. Two days before the NIKE Womens Half Marathon. The title is take on a run that my friend and fellow mommy & runner & blogger Mommy on the Run wrote about last June. Comfortably Numb is an awesome trail run in Whistler Canada . . . UNcomfortably Numb is what my ankle is right now. I am so not happy. I am down right depressed.

I ran on Tuesday evening. On the road but it might have well been on trails considering how covered the roads were in fallen trees due to the day's storm. I did not twist my ankle in any way shape or form but I did experience a shooting pain that lingered most of the night and into Wednesday. Then. Enter Thursday and I now have a numb and tingling left foot. Lovely. I ran last night (6 miles) but it was a struggle.

Dusting off my Google MD license I went searching for what might be causing my pain and numbness. I discovered something called Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Again, not good.

My plan is to run this weekend and do something I have learned you're not supposed to do and that is take Advil before my run. I need to get the swelling down in the ankle to hopefully loosen up that nerve that is most likely being pinched. That is what it feels like at least.

There go my plans for racing this race this weekend. I'll be doing all I can to just finish. Again, not happy. Adding insult to injury I think I may have been accidentally Glutened recently and perhaps that is the cause of my recent tummy distress. Man, October is turning in a month from hell.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Boring boring boring

This weekend was pretty uneventful running wise. Due to my ankle twisting accident from a few weeks ago, I was forced to run road and not trails. I am pretty bummed as my old Summer 7 group met up this past weekend on the Quarry Road for a nice 11 miler. Ah well.
So instead I took off on Saturday morning, okay . . . LATE Saturday morning (damn you Sangiovese!) for a 12 mile run up and down the local bike trail (6 up and 6 down). I knew from the moment I stepped out my front door that this was going to be a tough run. My GI system has not been my friend lately in fact, I think it has been slowly trying to sabotoge my training.
One interesting thing to note is there was a helicopter flying over head my entire run. It was searching for the missing suspect from Friday's stabbing/robbery that occurred less than a .5 mile from my house. Nice huh? Apparently one of the perps escaped and has been on foot ever since hence the flying helicopter all weekend. Still no word if he was caught. Not sure what I would have done had he approached me while running but don't worry VANS . . . there were 100s of people out on the trail with  me while I was running so I never really was "alone" much. If that perp was "smart" he'd just get out and start running to blend in with all the other joggers!
Back to my run. I ran 12. Stopped at 5.5 to use some park facilities and then continued on for another .5 and then turned around and ran home.
This weekend is the San Francisco NIKE Women's Marathon and Half Marathon. I am running the half but this is not the kind of run you want tummy troubles on. You run from one end of the city to another and then you're stuck until you can find yourself a bus (or a cab) that can navigate all the closed streets to get you back to your hotel. Still. I am excited. I am leaving town on Saturday morning and will be spending the day in the city with a girlfriend visiting the race expo and the NIKE Running store. Yes. It is a WHOLE store devoted to running attire! I can hardly wait!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


This is a picture of the bruise left on my leg by Dr. Justin Lau of Elite Spinal & Sports Care. I love this man, I truly do. He is the reason I am able to keep running after so many running injuries have ocurred.

I saw Dr. Lau yesterday for my ankle. It had still been bothering me especially when walking or running. I could tell it was not a sprain and he had indicated to me that I may be looking at some ligament issues. I made an appointment asap to see him. I cannot have ligament issues as I have signed up for AND PAID FOR way too many races. If you have not taken a look at my side bar of up coming races you will see I have sort of "over booked" myself with some back to back races. I do not plan on racing ALL of them. They will be training runs more or less but well, they are paid for and therefore I cannot afford any injuries at this point.

Which leads me to my next problem. Dr. Lau suggested no more trail running until I can stablize my ankle. It is apparently jell-o right now as I can barely stand on one foot. No ligament tears although he did say if I twisted it one more time I probably would have ruptured a ligament or tendon. Nice right? So I have the "OK" to run on the roads but this trailmomma must refrain from trails until the ankle can stablize. At this point, I am thinking my return to trails will be after CIM in December and when I start training for Way To Cool in January. We'll see though. I am generally not known for following doctor's orders. :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gold Country Trail Run 25K and Black Clouds

All week long I was waiting for Saturday to arrive. I was looking forward to my big 25K Trail Race that was being held in Auburn Saturday morning. From the moment I had heard about it (um, on Wednesday) to the Friday before I was just totally excited that I’d be running on the Western States Trail in Auburn with my friend Big D. Big D and I have been friends since the Summer 7 Trail Running Series. She’s in her mid fifties and she kicks my butt running trails but she is awesome and I adore her AND she is up for anything. So when I emailed her about this run this is what she said “Sounds great! I’ve had the flu all week but I’ll be fine by Saturday.” Yes, the FLU but ready to run 15.5 miles on some really tough trails. Gotta love her.

So the race started at 7 am but I was meeting Big D at 6:15 to register which means I had to leave my home at 5:30 am which meant waking up at 5:00 am. Ouch. The waking up was not too bad as I had barely slept at all that night. I was packing my awesome Nathan Hydration Vest that I love so much with water and all the wonderful Cliff Shot Blocks and gels I had just recently purchased and was excited to try.

I arrived at the Auburn Dam Overlook ready and excited despite the cold dark weather. I went to the back of my car to find my Nathan pack only to realize I had left it at home. Black Cloud #1. After about 10 minutes of freaking out and spouting curse words I realized I cannot do anything about it and luckily I had my handheld in my car. This was a race and therefore there would be aid stations so I will have to make do with filling my bottle up at each aid station and using their gels and fuel. Not ideal but doable.

The race was small. It was the Gold County Trail run with a 50K, 20 miler, 25K and 8 mile option. Big D and I were doing the 25K which should be 15.5 miles. Notice I said should be. There were about 8 people doing the 25K including Big D and myself.

Within the first 2 miles Big D takes a header and slices up her elbow and knee. As she is laying in pile of dirt she yells at me “Don’t you DARE stop!” That’s Big D for ya! About a mile after that I take a half spill twisting my left ankle into a position that I don’t really think it should be in at all. Black Cloud #2. The pain was pretty excruciating but there was no way I as stopping. I could still function so that was good enough for me. We trudged on. The aid stations were about 4 miles apart so that worked out. I only needed to fill my bottle once and I used their gel which didn’t sit well in my stomach but when I ate a banana later it seemed to ease things a bit. Love trail race aid stations. Better than sliced gluten free bread.

The course was partially on some of the trails we’ve run with Summer 7 and quite a bit we have not. We climbed the infamous K2 hill. This is more than just a hill. It is a freaking mountain that is 1 mile completely uphill without a break and it eats you alive. Your legs (and butt) will feel the burn on this one. It was brutal and I believe Big D and I were cursing the entire time up this hill. We just kept telling ourselves that means the way back will be down hill . . . or should be. Again, there is that “should be” phrase again.

Apparently Big D and I were the first females and actually the second and third runners overall in the 25K. Wow. Really? That was a nice boost to our exhausted egos. Bring it! The course really was gorgeous. So gorgeous that I was wishing for my camera but it probably was a good thing I didn’t have it . . . read on for more Black Clouds.

Most of the middle miles were uneventful. At mile 14 though a thought entered my head and caused me to stop dead in my tracks. Big D bumped right into me. “What?” She asks. “Um, I lost my car key. Somewhere between miles 4 and 5.” Yes. Black Cloud #3. I had taken my car key out of my shorts and put it into my water bottle pouch which I was going into often to take SCaps and gels. Yes. I was a complete moron apparently on Saturday.

One great thing about trail runners though is that they are the nicest people you will ever meet. They truly are. I was planning on leaving my name and address with the race director thinking that someone might find my key and they can mail it to me. Well, turns out someone DID and that key traveled the entire course and went to every aid station and made its way to the finish before I did! THANK YOU KEY GODS!! I had already figured out that I’d have to use Big D’s phone to call AAA and have them jimmy open the car because I was not about to tell Vans that I had also lost the key. That should subtract a cloud but for drama’s sake I am leaving it in.

As it turns out Big D and I finished and tied for second place in the race. We were ahead of the next runner by over 20 minutes. It was a tough run and we basically spent the last 5 miles in complete silence (except for that key losing talk). According to my Garmin we ran 17.3 miles and not the alleged 15.5. Also, that K2 hill took us from 29 feet to 739 feet in a mile. Sometimes knowing the details is not necessarily a good thing.

Black Cloud #4. My wonderful Nathan Hydration Vest that I love so dearly was not at home where I had left it. Apparently I had put it on the roof of my car while loading my running gear only to drive out of my garage and onto the freeway with it perched precariously on the roof of my car. When I realized this I wanted to cry. Luckily I found this out after I finished the race .

The rest of my weekend continued be shrouded in black clouds. I was excited to try Steve’s Pizza’s new Gluten Free pizza they have advertised only to discover that 1. It costs you an extra SIX BUCKS and 2. They apparently do not know how to take an order because they screwed up my entire pizza that I had been dying to have all day long. Vans was a sweet heart though and marched into Steve’s Pizza and demanded they “fix” the pizza while he ate the other one. Thank you Vans!! So that was my Black Cloud #5.

My Black Cloud #6 happened on Sunday when I sliced my finger tip pretty severely while cutting something in my kitchen.

I, for one, am so happy it is Monday. Black Clouds be gone!

PS: I did eventually find my Nathan Hydration Vest. Shredded and stuck to the side of the road about two miles from my house. I will pray that the Nathan Vest fairies are reading my blog (highly unlikely since no one reads my blog, not even Vans) and they will feel pity for me and a Nathan Hydration Vest aka my trail running buddy will appear at my door step! Hey. A girl can dream right?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gluten Free

It is not a secret but it probably is not something most people know unless you know me pretty well. I have Celiac Disease and was diagnosed with it in my mid-twenties. It is also not unknown to those who know me well how much I have struggled with the gluten free diet. I have been on and off the diet more times than I can count all the while hoping and praying I was "different" and secretly did not have Celiac despite my diagnosis via biopsy (sigh) and the resulting affects of consuming gluten while maintaining my intense fitness levels.

The birth of my daughter in 2008 and ultimately my pregnancy leading up to her birth made the diet hit home with me. I wanted my growing child to be 100% healthy both inside my belly and out. That is why I maintained a strict gluten free diet while being pregnant, again while breastfeeding and also her entire first year of life.

She has since had gluten and so far has tested "normal" but we are keeping a close eye on her. Often times, she prefers mom's gluten free foods over the "regular" stuff . . . much to my delight. 

I know most of my entries are race or running related but fuel is a big part of running. If you don't fuel properly you can't run well. Lessons I have learned the hard way unfortunately.

I am constantly on the hunt for new gluten free foods that will aid my running and I am always reading labels of various "athlete" foods yadda yadda. I can't run up to any aid station on a trail run and grab what I want with out having to view the selection and determine what is safe for me. Most times I have to do my due diligence which can include contacting a race director to see what will be provided and if I will need to carry my own nutrition (FYI I often carry it anyway just in case. You never know what may happen especially when trail running).

So today I discovered this site: Gluten Free Fitness
I am excited to read about more athletes who are handling their fitness (and ultimately their lives) while training and living on a gluten free diet.

Some day I hope my Peanut will run along side me and if running is not her "thing" that is okay too as long as she knows that fuel is important for a working active body. Lord knows she's active enough for me now! :-)

                                                                     Mmmm food!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hello, My name is trailmomma and I am a blog-aholic

Yes. It is time. I am finally admitting that I am a blog-aholic. My friend Jersey Girl has been telling me this for a while now and although I have never denied it . . . I admit I am obsessed. Just look at my blog roll! What started out as links to bloggers who blogged about trail running has morphed into an eclectic array of trail runners, foodies and gluten free maddness! I love it!! Lately I am very much into finding new and wonderful ways to cook healthy, artificially sweetened FREE foods that are gluten free and bloggers are coming to my rescue (little do they realize). For example, I cannot wait to try THIS from The Confessions of a SAHM!! THANK YOU!!! That brown basmati rice looks amazing right?

So yes, I am a blog-aholic who is also a mom, a trail runner, a celiac and you know what? I am okay with that. My family has eaten a wonderful array of fantabulous foods lately because of it. I discovered the Green Monster smoothie and am completely hooked. I have honestly never felt better in my life because I have been inspired by all of these wonderful bloggers that I have never met but read daily.

It has been weeks since I have had a diet soda, artificial sweetener or candy (minus the yummy dark chocolate I must have daily). Thank you bloggers!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tough As Granite 10K

Today was the Tough As Granite 10K trail race. Actually, it was a 5K, 10K and a half marathon. I first ran this race series last year (its innaugural year) and apparently won my age group which allotted me a free entry into another Scar Sports Race (there are only 3 . . . the Tough As Granite, an ultra and one in Napa so it is pretty easy to tell which one I'd pick).
Since this year I didn't have to pay and since trail running has taken off with newbies, I did not have my heart set on winning anything this year.
Vans informed me that his friend and wife were running the 5K and also the Vice President of the company he works for . . . um no pressure there I suppose. Sheesh. He talks a lot about this VP guy who runs and runs and runs. Great. I am running the same race as this dude and he employs my husband . . . guess I better not set out to beat him huh? :-)
Vans said he wanted to come cheer me on with the Peanut. That was fine. I however, like to get to races EARLY, unwind, stretch, use the facilities whatever. Vans? Nah, 10 minutes is plenty of time for him! Needless to say we arrived about 20 minutes before my race was to start leaving me enough time to check in, get my shirt, have some water but not pee. Lovely. :-)
Oh and I must point out that my darling Peanut decided to wake up at 5 am this morning and NOT go back to bed . . . again lovely. In perfect Peanut fashion though she was asleep by the time we arrived to the race AND when the race started so Vans missed the start because the Peanut was asleep in the car. Actually. I take that back. He drove the car from one end of the parking lot to the other taking pictures while the Peanut was fast asleep in the car. That's my Vans! He's my personal race photographer and I love him for it!
Anyway, back to the race. Not sure how many people actually ran the 10K besides me and Mr. Vice President. But it seemed to be about 40? Maybe? Official results are not in yet.
This race was very low key. No signage (except for hand written signs on card stock) and no gun. They did have chip timing but only on the finish. Race started with a "three two one go" bang! We were off. I noticed that I was oddly the only woman running with the front pack of dudes (including Mr. VP). I sort of shuffled that to the back of my head so I could focus on not tripping or getting lost. I have to give the Scar Sports peeps credit. Their race signage may suck but their course markings are fantastic! No way you can get lost!
I realized at some point during the race that there was one, perhaps two men who were on my heals A LOT. I'd shift to the side to let them pass and they wouldn't. I could hear them breathing for Pete's Sake!
Well long story short (too late I know) I finished. Turns out I was the first female to finish the 10K! The guy who was on my heals thanked me profusely for setting a "great pace" for him. Why that always happens to me I will never know. Old men follow me in races and then thank me at the finish for setting their pace! Never are they young hot men just old men. Ah well. Glad I could help a fellow runner out. Turns out Mr. VP won his age group. Van's coworker won the overall 5K for men and his wife took 2nd female over all in the 5K. We were all winners! My prize? Another free entry into next year's race . . . gotta hand it to those Scar Sport people, hook, line and sinker! I also won a pair of socks and a pair of too short shorts. Nice.
The Peanut also greeted me with a giant hug, apparently awake from her nap and in a daze. That hug though was the best prize a girl could ask for. Enjoy the race photos.


Monday, September 14, 2009

A bike, run, bike kind of weekend

This past weekend included all sorts of sporting events and/or exercise! Friday started off with Vans, the Peanut and myself at a sports bar waiting for Derek Jeter to surpass Lou Gehrig’s hit record. He did. I jumped up and screamed. I was the only one. Ah well. I would also like to add that I think my Derek Jeter shirt helped as well.
Saturday turned out to be one of my favorite days this weekend. We actually woke up to gray skies and THUNDER! That is completely unheard of for September in Sacramento. I can’t remember the last time it rained in September here. Our plans were to ride bikes with the REI family to Bella Bru for breakfast. The REI family consists of Mr. REI, Mrs. REI and baby REI. Baby REI is a smidge more than a month younger than the Peanut and we hope they grow up to be the best of friends. They are a riot when they get together and I love watching them grow, play and explore together.
So the REI’s arrived. We had to load all babies, baby gear and anything else we deemed necessary into the bike carriers (which can turn out to be a lot) and then we were off. Mr. REI pulled baby REI and Vans pulled the Peanut. The Peanut weighs more than baby REI but baby REI was in a double bike trailer AND Mr. REI weighs less than Vans so it was a tossup who was working harder! :) Oh yeah and it was a bit windy! Whoops.
We finally arrived at Bella Bru. Scored a great outside table and had coffee, breakfast and mimosas while chatting, watching the kids eat and then play and then it was back on the bikes to ride home. Overall Saturday was one of my most favorite Saturday mornings in a long time.
Sunday involved a mini triathlon on my part. It was the annual Buffalo Chips Stampede 10 mile race. I woke up, rode my bike to the start which was (according to Garmin) 3.5 miles from the house. I tried to warm up a bit since it was still chilly AND windy. Ran the 10 mile race which was harder than I remember but was totally worth it when I hit mile 4 and saw the Peanut who was sitting on a curb stand up, smile and then come running towards me calling “momma” for a big bear hug! I actually heard the runners behind me go “awweee!!” The Peanut totally made my race and day 100 times better. I finished strong running a 8:16 per mile pace. I almost ran out of steam at the end but those wonderful SCaps gave me some added energy for a final mile sprint to the finish.
Vans and peanut hopped on the bike after seeing me at mile 4 and met me at the finish line! We chatted with other runners for a bit and then hopped on our bikes and biked to Peet’s Coffee for some yummy post race coffee and muffins (for the hard working Vans and Peanut of course). Add Sunday to Saturday and you have my ideal weekend. A perfect fall weekend that includes biking, running, baseball and coffee with the people I love. PS: Sunday afternoon included watching football!! Icing on the gluten free cake if you ask me!