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!


Friday, September 11, 2009

No more NUUN

I understand that part of trail running or running in general is finding what works for you fuel wise. Since I've been running for over 10 years now one would think I would know what works and does not work.

Yet sometimes, my brain or my eyes latch onto something that *looks* good and yet that old semi crochety geriatric sensitive stomach of mine protests. Sigh, will I ever learn?

Prior to leaving the house, Vans came home and belted out "it is F@$*&ing hot out there!" What? Really? Perhaps since I work in a freezer of an office and use my car as a defroster, I didn't notice how hot it actually was outside. Apparently, according to Vans, it was in the 100s.

Last night I ran with a new trail running group in Folsom. We met, exchanged introductions and expressed what our desired distances were going to be. We all averaged on the 6 mile mark. Fine by me.

I had my water bottle with me as usual and before leaving the house I threw in a NUUN tablet. It is an electrolyte tablet that turns your plain old water into a lemony, semi-carbonated, no sugar electrolyte drink. I have used it in the past and it always upsets my stomach. Worse than Gatorade which I cannot do on a run. Yet, for some reason, I thought last night would be different. Why? I do not know. Perhaps I see that NUUN tablet container in my cupboard and don't want to waste it. Why I chose to use it on a night when I am running 6 miles instead of say 4 is beyond me.

Overall the run was nice. Beautiful location that I have run only once before. Nice group. The leader was Tattoo Brian. Nice guy. Apparently, at some point during the run however, I became "pace leader" no one wanting to pass me despite me not knowing the way. Brian would just call out "left" "right!" "stay straight!"

My stomach was fighting the NUUN and fighting the pace we were running yet somehow, I hung in there for the sake of the group . . . or for the sake of my own personal embarrassment.

Brian and the group thanked me for my "pacing" and after a few super quick stretches (sorry Jersey Girl! Some day I will learn) I hopped into my car to race home and deal with my turbulent tummy.

Lesson learned. No more NUUN and no more trying new stuff.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Race for Africa . . . in New Jersey!?

Well the blog has obviously taken a hiatus. Sorry about that. It seems lately these feet have not hit any trails lately and I guess I assumed since the blog is called trailmomma that well, I should be writing about trail running. I guess any running will have to suffice from here on out because the trails seem to sparse lately and that makes for a much too boring of a blog no?
The family (Vans, The Peanut and I) headed for the east coast last week. We flew to New Jersey, my home state. I cannot tell you how many people here in California expressed a “New Jersey?! What why?! I hope it is to visit family!” type of attitude when I shared with them my future travel plans. New Jersey IS called the Garden State people, despite what you see when you land in lovely Newark. Sheesh!
Anyway, the visit was great. The grandparents really enjoyed spoiling The Peanut who took the New Jersey attitude to heart and expressed it proudly at times.
I was able to squeeze in a four mile run through my old running neighborhood which brought me past my old High School and my old Middle School. I don’t think I looked that intimidating when I went to school. Those teenagers hanging outside are big and somewhat scary! I think I might have accomplished 4 miles roughly and was totally drenched in sweat from the humidity and my hair had that perfect humid curl to it! Aaahhh, I do miss some things from the east coast.
What I didn’t miss however, were the double takes and stares I received from various people either standing at a bus stop or getting into their cars. Does no one run in New Jersey? I can’t be the only one they’ve seen running through the neighborhood!
In addition to my neighborhood jog I also took the liberty of signing Vans and I up for a 5K race that was happening in Morristown New Jersey. I had never done an organized race in New Jersey before and this one started at 11:00 am which is perfect for Vans since he is not exactly a morning person. Grandma and Grandpa were going to join us too and take on the duty of watching The Peanut while we ran! What fun!
The race cost us $25 each and it gave us a T-shirt. Apparently the money was going towards the efforts to build wells in Africa. Hey, I didn’t really care what it was supporting, I was just happy to be running AND happy they were blasting Bon Jovi when I got to the race start followed by some Bruce Springsteen and some Rocky IV Eye of the Tiger Music (yes, I realize Rocky takes place in Philadelphia but the essence of big Italian men always reminds me of NJ. I am sure I am not alone in this).
At the race I met a rollerblading Elvis who was quite impressed I had come from California for the race (rriiiiight, I came for the race).
A 5K in New Jersey is unlike any 5K in Sacramento. The difference you ask? Well primarily, there are HILLS in New Jersey whereas Sacramento is as flat as a pan cake. Basically the race consisted of running up one hill and then running down another rinse wash repeat for 3.1 miles. I won’t lie, it was tough but Vans and I survived and with decent times I might add. I won’t say who beat who during that 5K because really, that’s not the point of the race OR this blog but I betcha you all can guess. 
Post race we enjoyed some live entertainment, lots of free food and sunshine and just some relaxation time on the Morristown Green. It was a wonderful day and one of my favorites of the trip. Looks like I will have to schedule MORE runs when we visit New Jersey!