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 . . .