This past weekend I had plethora of trail running and other life lessons. Yes. At the age of 32 I am still having “life lessons” because apparently, I never know when to keep my mouth shut. It is a byproduct of being from New Jersey (or so I am told).
Let’s take this in chronological order shall we? Friday started out with Vans and I leaving town and heading to Tahoe with our little peanut for the annual Squaw Valley Mountain Run. This has sort of been a tradition with our family starting out a few years ago as a girls’ weekend trek with my fellow New Jersey transplant friend and mom to be. Once Vans heard how much “fun” it was we’ve been going as a family ever since.
The Squaw Valley Mountain run is a really a hike to us “normal” people and an insane run to the locals. It is 3.8 miles up hill to the top of Squaw Valley. With all 23 lbs of Peanut loaded in the backpack carrier, Vans and I were set to go. This year, since Jersey is very pregnant and unable to hike or go into high altitude we brought along another victim, I mean friend to do the hike with us. This friend also has a 1 year old loaded on her back.
Life Lesson #1: Do not consume 3 bottles of wine in high altitude the night before you are going to do 4 mile uphill hike in open sun. Yes, apparently, Vans, myself and our friend thought we were in college again because once the kids were asleep, we consumed what turned out to be 3 bottles of red wine. I actually think Vans was sweating Zinfandel while hiking on Saturday.
Over all the trip was a success. We made it to the top and had our free pints of beer. The kids were spectacular all around and enjoyed every moment of being outside.
Sunday was my usual Fleet Feet Summer 7 Trail Running day with Coach T and Coach M on the Quarry Road as I detailed last week. I woke up not feeling all that sore from Saturday’s hike and headed to Auburn early so I could score a parking spot in the Quarry Road parking lot because come on, I may run 9 or 10 miles on trails but do I really want to walk an extra 100 yards to get to my car? Thus, leaving early and scoring a spot right next to the Fleet Feet tent.
It seems all 185 of us turned out on Sunday as the parking lot was buzzing with activity. I was excited for this run as we were supposed to do a few miles on the Western States Trail again and not just run on the Quarry Road like last week. Coach T and M had expressed to us last week that this run was going to start out with a major uphill and finish with a beautiful downhill. That was the focus of our pre run meeting: proper hill running technique.
Now it is no surprise to my friends and even to Vans that I have what I affectionately call a “runner’s crush” on Coach T. He is a well known ultra runner. He was half the reason I signed up for this training program to begin with. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to run with Coach T and learn all there is to learn about trail running and ultra running. Not to mention, he is quite easy on the eyes. A few friends of mine refer to him as the “Silver Fox.”
Over the course of the training runs, I have made a friend who has never heard of Coach T before and was purely out there to run trails and meet other people. One day, I shared with her the story of Silver Fox and my runner’s crush on Coach T. Just like all my close friends, she has decided this is funny and likes to occasionally make fun of me.
During our pre run talk, Coach T was telling us that his son was down the road standing at the turning point so that we did not get lost. Coach T and Coach M were explaining to us that our run today would consist of at least 45 minutes of uphill in the beginning followed by a lot of “downhill badness” at the end. That was Coach T’s word “badness” and of course my friend and I giggled like school girls thinking that was funny (and of course, cute) and so we whispered to each other back and forth different uses of the word badness. But soon we were off, running down the Quarry as a giant cluster of runners.
Recently, Coach T ran the Tahoe Rim Trail 50K and I saw a picture of him running to the finish with his son, the one waiting for us, and the resemblance was clear. The son, just as cute as his father, is the spitting image of Coach T. I was thinking this as I was running and was about to mention to my friend that Coach T’s son was just as cute as Coach T himself but instead, refrained but I did say “Hey. I think that Coach T’s son is the spitting image of Coach T. So there will be a mini Coach T up there.” This was after we had been joking more about “badness” and a few other things that the Silver Fox/Coach T had said.
Waiting for my friend to respond to my comment about Coach T’s “mini me” at the trail head I instead hear from my left “Yeah. My other two sons look just like me.” Yes. That’s right. I was in fact running next to and with Mrs. Coach T or Mrs. Silver Fox! I hardly ever get embarrassed but I believe I might have turned a shade of red that is not sold by Crayola. I tried covering myself and pretending that yes I knew she was there the entire time but I think she saw through my façade and who knows how much she heard.
Open mouth. Enter foot.
Life Lesson #2: Always know who you’re running with or better yet, keep.mouth.shut.
The rest of the run was spectacular and not uneventful by any means. In fact, I probably have enough to write a whole new post but I will refrain as this post is quite lengthy as it is. Let’s just say, it involved: running, getting lost, running in circles (uphill), deciding as a group that we cannot agree which way to go, splitting up, adding 2 extra miles and consequently arriving back at the car with bloody feet. Aaah, the badness of trail running. I love it!