Saturday, February 27, 2010


Today was our final long run before the Way Too Cool 50K on March 13th. I can honestly say I have never in my life run 21 miles (4 hours 15 minutes) one Saturday and then 24.3 miles (4 hrs 48 minutes) the very next Saturday. Today's run was supposed to be anywhere between 22 miles and 26 miles. I think the whole group was shooting for a total of 26 but I know the conditions made it hard to keep going.

We did this same run on January 23rd so I didn't really take many photos this time around because the trails were the same except for when we passed Avery's Pond and then I was in new territory.

As usual, Coach Nikon and Pigeon arrived super early to mark the trails for us. Coach N even trekked out there yesterday to hide an aid station for us! Thank you!!!! I'm telling you, this training group rocks.
What doesn't rock however,  is Mother Nature. Compared to last Saturday the weather today was pretty awful. Driving to the Auburn Damn Overlook was a challenge alone . . . my wipers were on full blast the entire way and for some reason every truck in the world decided to be driving on highway 80 at the same time.

Most of the group made it to the overlook. It seemed our numbers were down compared to prior Saturday runs. I think the group as a whole might be fighting off bugs, injuries and just all the things that flare up when your training is amped. I was feeling good however, and excited to run despite the rain.
We started our descent down Damn Hill and I quickly remembered how flying down the gravel road last Saturday totally destroyed my quads so I made sure to pull back just a little.

The run out to and past Avery's was wet, muddy but overall nothing exciting to report. It is amazing how much better I can run on these trails when I don't do a plyometric workout a few days prior. Lesson learned big time.

What I did encounter after I passed Avery's Pond, besides a lot of hikers and other ultra runners, was a lot more puddles.
Please do not feed the fish

That puddle covered the entire trail including up and around the corner . . . it was almost like swimming! However, running through something like that seems to cool my feet and ankles and gives my shoes a nice wash.
clean trailmomma shoes!

It didn't rain the entire time we were running. The rain cleared out for a couple of hours or at the very least it would sprinkle here and there. Our group today was very spread out so I never had a chance to check in with anyone else and see how they were doing but overall, I felt fine. I had quite a few pee stops on this run which is something very new to me and it seemed to keep me apart from most of the group which made running a little more mental when I was tired. Still, you could not deny some of the pretty views out there and I just kept counting down the miles until I knew our aid station would appear. 

Some signage out on the trail. Always a good.

Finally at mile 11.45 on my 405 I found the aid station. Partner Jim and Miss P were there fueling up. 

Thanks Coach!

At that point we had a choice, we could keep going down the trail to make 13 miles which would make it 26 total or turn around. Coach Nikon had run out of pink ribbons at this point and I was all alone. I decided to keep running until one of two things happened, I met up with Garmin and Super Woman OR I hit mile 13. Right at about mile 12.17 I ran into the group and decided to turn around. 

The trip back was fairly uneventful. I noticed the downhills were much kinder to me today compared to last Saturday but my IT band and ankle were really starting to bother me on some of the uphills. I took two Tylenol to try and ease the pain but I don't think they worked much. 

The sun was shining on the way back and it was definitely warming up so that was nice. All I could focus on though was reaching the bottom of Damn Hill. I knew once I made it there I was close. 

Doing the math (which is not my speciality), I hit the bottom of Damn Hill at my 21 mile marker and my time was 4 hours and 5 minutes which is 10 minutes faster than last weekend. Different terrain and no aid stations or conga lines makes for a faster trailmomma I guess. This was my second acquaintance with Damn Hill and I was ready for it. I walked the super steep parts and I shuffled ran on the paved portions. 

I saw this sign and started cracking up . . . a good thing I guess because running up that hill is tough physically but even tougher mentally if you're running it alone. 

No martinis on Damn Hill I guess

There is no way to describe Damn Hill other than tough. It is 3 miles total and goes up up up. Yes there are some pretty sights along the way but nothing can take away from all the climbing you're doing.

I finally made it back to the ADO parking lot to discover that Coach Nikon and a few others were taking a nice "ice bath" in the canal running next to the overlook. Sweet! I quickly hobbled over and joined in hoping to alleviate some of the aches and pains in my knees and ankles. 

Before I jumped in I did call home and checked in with Vans to tell him I had survived. He and the Peanut were having adventures of their own with our friends Mr. and Mrs. REI and their little baby REI. 
Double Trouble

The adventure also included a trip to Chick-fil-a

Once I got home, I quickly ate and showered and then the Peanut wanted to go on her OWN trail run. I couldn't deny that request now could I?

"I like puddle jumping too!"

An extra bonus today is that I discovered I won Shut Up and Run's blog give-away!! Sweet! I get a cool new pair of Yurbuds coming my way! Those should come in handy when I run AR in April! 

Thursday, February 25, 2010


     Last night was our Wednesday night group workout. It was the first time we had all seen each other since Saturday's big run. It seemed as if there was a mix of those who were still quite sore, battling colds/fatique and those who seemed "ok" for the most part but probably not enough to go out and run another 21 last night. I fell in the latter category. My muscle soreness is gone although if I sit for long periods I stiffen up a bit in my calves. My energy level seems okay. I don't (knock on wood) have a cold brewing so overall, I am feeling pretty darn good but am taking an extra day to rest before Saturday (aka skipping today's 3-5 miles). As much as my mind protests, my body seems to need an extra day before a long strenuous run.
     Last night's workout was supposed to be a 15 minute warm up, a 40 minute tempo run followed by a 15 minute cool down. The majority of the group voted on the 15 minute assessment "rule" . . . as in we'll run for 15 minutes and assess how we feel and then determine if a tempo run is in our future. I think the majority of the group, although I couldn't be sure, decided on not pushing the tempo pace. I stuck with Garmin who despite this trailmomma's advice to stay home and rest, came out to run with a cold. We ran almost 7.5 miles total and talked about our Saturday running experience. The legs felt good suprisingly, but when we hit a hill I noticed some struggling so I am glad I took it fairly easy.
     Our group talked a lot about Saturday's experience and also about this coming Saturday. This Saturday is "the big kahuna" . . . 26 miles with the last 3 being a climb up Damn Hill. I will not be making the same mistake the last time I met Damn Hill. However, I do think this Saturday may be tougher mentally because it isn't an organized run like last weekend, it is just our group but Coach (Blurry) Nikon is hooking us up with an aid station (can I pre-order PayDay bars please?) about half way before we're supposed to turn around. Still, it is an 'out and back' type of run which is one of my least favorites however the easiest to plan when you're short one coach . . . Captain Kirk will me M.I.A on Saturday. Boo.
     Speaking of being M.I.A. all this training has left me somewhat absent for certain family outings. Last night for example, Vans and the Peanut took Grandma out to celebrate her birthday. The Peanut had a blast.

"mmm what else can I order?"

"mmm yummy applesauce"

Although I missed last night's fun, I was able to make Tuesday night's big outing . . . the Peanut attended her first ever Sacramento KINGS game! She had a blast although I think she had more fun playing with the ThunderSticks than she did actually watching the game.

"awe mom, give me back my thunderstick!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Coach Nikon posted his photos (not blurry) from Saturday's run! You can find them on his blog or here.

Nice pics Coach!

I did make it out for my run last night for those who were wondering. However, 45 minutes was really only 30 minutes because that was all the Peanut would allow before she was done with the jogger, elmo and a box full of raisins. Apparently my time limit now is how much running can I get in before she downs a box of raisins. She doens't eat them one by one either as she has her mothers "shovel food in face" disease.

The Peanut has also caught on that the neighborhood park is on momma's running route and when we don't stop at the park first . . . the Peanut is not a happy camper.

Oooh I want to be up there!

Here I come squirrels!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Yesterday was an "off" day which was nice considering Saturday's running adventure. Yet, because I was gone all day on Saturday, I felt like I needed to spend some quality time with the family unit. If you know my little family unit, you know that we hardly sit still let alone hang around the house and do nothing. So, because the rain still had not arrived, Vans, the Peanut and myself loaded our bikes and the Peanut's bike carrier into the truck and drove to Lake Natoma for a nice 10+ mile ride.
Here, we met some friends who had their bikes and bike carrier and we loaded up and took off. Vans pulled the Peanut which was good considering any uphill movement and my calves would start screaming. It has been a very long time since I have been on my bike and I had forgotten how nice a bike ride could be especially around Lake Natoma.
The Peanut however was not enjoying the adventure. She loves going on bike rides but she refuses to nap inside the bike carrier and we unfortunately gambled on her normal nap routine yesterday only to have it blow up in our faces later that evening.
Today's workout is supposed to be a 45 minute run with 6 thirty second strides in the middle. Tonight is also "soccer night" in our house so I am not sure if I'll be able to squeeze that workout in. If I do, I am looking at a late night with the headlamp through the neighborhood. Which may be better than tomorrow's option of dark, neighborhood, headlamp AND rain. I could potentially run with the jogger tonight as well but that all depends on how the Peanut is this evening. She's quickly approaching that ripe old age of "2" and consequently becoming very feisty in her old age.
"what are you looking at?"

Sunday, February 21, 2010


     That was what the scene looked liked this morning at Placer High School. Today was the first Western States Training Run of the year. Am I doing Western States? Hells no, but that didn't stop my Fleet Feet Training Group from piggy backing and joining in on all the fun. To be honest, today I fulfilled one of my biggest dreams, (short of actually running Western States) and that was to do one of their training runs. To date, I have run the first 4 miles of WS and now after today, I can say I have run the last 21 miles of WS. Perhaps some day, I'll do the middle miles. Just not tomorrow . . .

     The day started early as we had to make it to Placer High in time to hop on the old yellow school buses to drive another hour to our "drop off" location. By drop off, I literally mean, they opened the bus doors and POOF people took off running. No stopping. No pre-run chit chat and absolutely no relieving yourself before the designated "pee spot" (more on that later). Garmin and I just thought everyone was just jogging to get to a certain spot. We had no idea this was "it" as in "game on get your bum moving!" I would later regret flying down the gravel road the way I did. Although I have to admit, I can't say I wasn't warned!
The sign says "Rough Road" . . . why thank you for that clever observation!

That sign says "Loose Gravel" . . . Really? I didn't notice.

     The days leading up to the run we had received a few emails from Greg Soderlund, Race Director for Western States informing us that there will be no bathroom stops upon exiting the bus. The locals don't like it and from the looks of some of the "lawn ornaments" I saw from the bus windows, I wasn't about to test them either. He did tell us that "we'll know" when it is safe to use mother nature as our pitt stop.

The almighty "P" marking indicating you may now go ahead and relieve yourselves.

     And boy did everyone. I refrained from taking photos of the hundreds of men and women lined up on either side of the "P" taking care of business. I, on the other hand, waited until I found a nice thick three to hide behind. 

     Besides the obvious, the "P" also meant our run had officially begun and so consequently, did the conga line of runners hitting the single tracks.

     Compared to last weekend, I felt absolutely, positively wonderful. I was on a high and grinning ear to ear the minute we stepped onto the school bus. I didn't mind being in a conga line because that meant I was conserving a little energy for later . . . and I got to take a few pictures along the way. We crossed a ton of streams soaking the shoes and socks once again but I admit, I am beginning to like the way that feels. The rains held off the entire run so the weather was picture perfect.

     One of the awesome benefits of doing this organized training run is that you get to partake in the aid stations set out for you. Today we'd find two, one at about mile 13 and another at about 17. So my mental mantra was "aid station to aid station." I knew I could make it easily to the first aid station, 13 miles is a walk in the park for our group now and beyond that, the aid stations were "just" four miles apart. 
     I am not sure exactly how many runners were out there this morning but I never really found myself too alone on the trail. I ran with a few from my group, I passed Diane Cressey and a few other of the Folsom Lake Trail Runners crew. Then, to my surprise, a runner passed me and then turned to ask "hey, are you trailmomma?" Oh how my little blog ego was elated! It was none other than Mike L. It was nice to "meet" you Mike, I hope you had a great run!
     About mile 5 or so, my old tummy started acting up again but there really wasn't anything I could do about it and there was absolutely no where I could stop. Mile 10 however, presented itself with a prime location to which I "took care of business" and then I was off and running again.

     Just following these yellow puppies all day until you reach an aid station. Actually, today was the first time our group has ever experienced an aid station out on a run. I approached that table like a ravenous dog kid in a candy store. What I really was hoping for was some boiled potatoes but unfortunately those were not on the menu today. I had to settle for some bananas, maybe a potato chip or two and then . . . I saw them. Innocently sitting on the corner of the table cut into small pieces but still within their wrappers . . . PayDay bars. Holy mother of all that is yummy, that was by far the best thing I ate today. I cannot even remember the last time I had a PayDay bar and trust me, its been a while since I rarely eat candy bars anymore. PayDay fo' sho!!!!
     I reconnected with Pigeon, Hawaii Mark, Miss P, Partner Jim and a few others from the group at this aid station and continued on to the next one with them. At this point we hit some familiar trails, crossing highway 49 and heading towards Cool before we turned. Then we hit the killer downhill section to which I said "bye bye guys" because they took off like their pants were on fire and I slowed down like someone was hacking at my knees and ankles! What the!? Downhills used to be so much fun! Today I found myself detesting them immensely. Still, I was smiling big time.

How can you not smile with views like that!?

     The second aid station was only 3 miles from the finish (those white specs at the end of the bridge). 

The infamous "no hands" bridge. 

Same drill, bananas and the almighty PayDay bar. Shortly after the aid station there were some flat sections which had me cursing my aching IT band. But then we came upon this . . .

Oh so pretty (this is for the group who kept asking me if I took a picture of the waterfall)

     Just when I thought I would have to amputate my left knee, we finally made it to the uphill section that would lead us out to the paved road (Robie) and eventually back to Placer High School. Here, I dominated. Somewhere inside me a whole load of energy surfaced and I just took off up the hills. I walked some but I ran more. I passed four men (who didn't seem to enjoy that) along the way.  

     Oh what a day!? Coach Nikon, Captain Kirk, Wonder Woman and Garmin were all standing near the finish and greeted me when I arrived. It was well after 1 pm when I finished. I ran 21 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes. A bit slower than I had planned but I had two pitt stops along the way not to mention some time at the aid stations. Still, overall I am thrilled with how I ran and how I felt today. It seems a week of pure rest does do a body good!

     Despite being gone for almost 8 hours today, the Peanut and Vans were able to entertain themselves. The rain held off enough for some time at the playground AND for Vans to get some errands done, much to the Peanut's disliking.
"Dad! I thought you said we were going to the park first?!"

Oh and I almost forgot . . . Boss today emailed our group the team photo taken before we boarded the bus . . . she apparently has Coach Nikon's blurry photo disease. Thanks Boss!!

What a good looking crew!

     And despite what I may have sounded like above, I hope I did not look like this . . .

while consuming my PayDay bars at the aid stations today.

Great run today everyone! I hope you all had fun!! 

Friday, February 19, 2010


No. Not of the 'illegal plant variety' more like the ones seen here on Shut Up and Run's Blog. With the American River 50 miler looming in front of me, I seriously need to revamp and reconsider my musical options for those 50 miles. Some new ear buds that actually fit and fit comfortably would be super nice! Puh-lease Beth sprinkle some magic random integer crap fairy dust on me!!! Send me some lurve!!!

I also have to add, this trailmomma will be "back in business" soon as Vans and I finally made the plunge and purchased a new home computer! Woot Woot. It took me two weeks to get him into the store, now it will probably take me two weeks into nagging him to actually hook it up.

Last night we received a very lengthy email regarding our Saturday (NOT) Western States Training Run. I reviewed this email with Vans and received raised eye brows and a bit of an evil eye (if men knew how to do evil eyes) when I told him it looks like we'll start running at 9 am which means in theory I am looking at being done at about 1:00 pm. If you add in a stop at Taco Tree with the group and the drive back to Sac from Auburn . . . I am potentially getting home close to 3:00 pm . . . (eye brows raised right about here).

I tried giving him a list of things he can do with the Peanut while I am gone to entertain her and pass the time but with the rain threatening above his options are fairly limited. I told him my secret rainy day trick, which she happens to love (as do I), is a trip to Borders . . . she LOVES books and the kids section of Borders is usually torn apart already so it doesn't look like your child did it (score).

I hope he takes me up on my suggestion because the last time I left Vans up to his own devices . . . the Peanut almost got her drivers license.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Well another trailmomma first has occurred . . . I skipped out on Wednesday night's group workout (gasp). Apparently this trailmomma has been running on "E" lately most likely as a result of the Peanut's sleep schedule. A quick trip to the doctor, a dehydration test (all clear) and a few blood tests (relatively clear) later it seems I am just in some need of some odd thing called rest? This "rest" thing is all new to me but I think I am beginning to like it. I've gone to bed at 8 pm (because Vans is a rockstar husband) the last few nights and feel mucho better.
So because of my absence last night, Garmin offerred to do a guest post detailing the workout. I am extremely bummed I missed out on the aparent "rave party" that my group had. Shoot.

Take it away Garmin . . .

So last night we found ourselves at Pennsylvania Avenue again, but without our Trailmomma, who was home eating bon-bons and catching up on old episodes of Friends. "One Pennsylvania Avenue hill, two Pennsylvania Avenue hill..." We ended up doing five hill repeats again, which leaves you wanting to one more (well, just Hawaii MikeMark). They didn't seem to be as hard as they were a few weeks ago, maybe this is because we are now all well-trained Mountain Goats, or maybe it's just the weather.

It's still impossible to pass Wonder Woman on a hill. You can pass her on the way down, but don't even pretend that you can do it going up. You just can't.

Last night was also the return of the glow stick! We learned that Target is the Official Sponsor of Group Lighting. We had purple at the bottom and green at the top, and Doc sported a glowing bendy bracelet on her wrist, which all together made the night feel like a rave party.

This Saturday, we have our 20 mile Western States run, where all finishers get an Official WS Belt Buckle... wait, I may have that wrong. This should be a great run, the weather looks warm and maybe a little rainy. Cap'n Kirk got the group really excited by talking about post-race strategy... that it, should we go to Taco Tree or Ikedas afterwards. He thinks the beef burrito will do the trick, but Wonder Woman countered that by reminding him that Ikedas has curly fries. Either way, it should be a good run.

I'm going to take this opportunity, where Trailmomma usually says things about her tummy, to talk about my aches and pains. I'm feeling pretty good, considering that this is by far the most running I have ever done. When we finish long runs with lots of hills, and runs like last night that are all hills, I really can feel the burn in my IT band. I've heard people complain about that, and I finally know what they mean. I've been hitting it later at night with my Trigger Point ball and wine, and that has really been helping. My heel also hurts in the morning, but after a short walk to the coffee pot to stretch it out it usually feels pretty good.
Am I abusing my guest blog by making this too long??

I also wanted to be like Coach Nikon and add some music. These two songs are by my favorite band, Cloud Cult. The lyrics are very motivational to me. "No one said this would be easy"... that's pretty self-explanitory. The other one says "Suck up and take your medicine". I dunno, I just love it.

And finally, since my Peanut is still in the cooker, I'll leave you with a photo of my baby taken this weekend at Half Moon Bay.

Thanks Garmin! Great post!! I owe ya one!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Well not really . . . a picture from Sunday's run. Scrapbook leading the way with myself following. Vans missed out on some really great weather and a nice easy trail.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Well, the sickies continued in the trailmomma household. Late Saturday night Vans started his round of the pukies. Granted, I never officially did the deed but I was nauseous enough to feel just as bad as he did. Apparently you don't feel better after . . . good to know.
Since Vans was unable to run the Folsom Lake Trail Runner's Winter race out at Folsom Point on Sunday, I took his place. It was only 3.5 miles or so and my Garmin died at the start which made it easier to run nice and slow. Actually, I ran and talked with my good friend Scrapbook the whole way. It was fun but I noticed I was/am still low in energy.
Not only am I down in energy, I am down almost four pounds since Friday. Mostly water weight I am sure. Not a diet I recommend though and I am trying my hardest to get some much needed fuel into this body. To be honest, the four lost pounds are probably because wine sounds so unappealing lately which is my usual Saturday night ritual. Wine + sushi + couch = bliss after a Saturday run.
I have been drinking lots of water and electrolyte like beverages to replenish and feel a bit better today which is good because rumor has it that our group is headed to Pennsylvania Avenue again this week. Eeek.
The good news is the Peanut is definitely feeling better and running her sick parents ragged.

On non running note, I want to send some love to the heavens. Particularly to my mom who passed 16 years ago today. She never got to meet the Peanut but I know she is keeping a close eye on all of us.

Miss ya mom!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Today marks a big day . . . . our recovery week is D-O-N-E!!!! Man this was a rough week. Yes it was great to have some "extra time" during the week but I think I spent most of it either feeling sick or taking care of a sick Peanut. I am done with the sickies. Sickies be gone I tell ya! Today was probably the hardest run for me yet and we only ran 12 easy miles from Cavitt to Twin Rocks . . . or close to. Let's back up shall we?

Today we had a special guest . . .

Meet Hank. Captain Kirk & Wonder Woman's beloved baby!

Hank was super excited to run with the group today even if his Valentine Jessica didn't show.

I think everyone was fairly excited to run 12 easy miles and the day was absolutely gorgeous to boot. I, on the other hand, am battling the same tummy bug the Peanut battled earlier this week. It isn't fun and it isn't pretty but I managed to make it out to the run. Like I said, sickies be gone. I am done with you.

How could I not make it out today! Just look at that!

Coach Nikon as usual arrived early with Pidgeon (hee hee) to mark the course. They ran out six miles with the usual pink ribbons and some flour to point us in the right direction. This was the first time I had been on this part of the trails, which is also part of the American River 50 miler. The single track was great. I only wished I had more juice in the legs and body to enjoy it.

I could not wait to see this!
6 mile marker aka the turn around! yes!

The 6 miles back was rough but I survived. I am on the mend. Unfortunately the same can not be said of poor Vans. Happy Valentine's Day honey .  . . you have the sickies now. Ugh. Even more unfortunate is the fact that I bought Vans an entry into the Folsom Lake Trail Runners race tomorrow out at Folsom Point as his Valentine's Day gift . . . at least he only has to run 3+ miles.

While I was out running, Vans and the Peanut were on a mission . . . the car wash!

The Peanut was practicing her balancing skills.

Goodbye recovery week . . . it wasn't fun. The next two weeks our group has some major mileage to conquer. I am very excited about next Saturday's run so stay tuned. All I keep thinking is that it was a good thing I felt sick today instead of next week .  .. that would have been really ugly.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Last night was our usual group night and we were a "group" in every sense of the word. We ran like a bunch of four year olds playing soccer . . . all clustered together just shooting the breeze while doing what was supposed to be an easy run. We totaled 6+ miles last night out by Karen's and even though we were taking it fairly easy, I have to say it was a tough 6 miles for me. Perhaps it has to do with all the talking I was doing.

The Peanut made it to daycare this morning where I learned that apparently the entire center has been hit by the same bug . . . including parents. Grrreeaaattttt! She was able to keep down her liquids this morning but is still refusing food. I can't say I blame her. When you're sick food is just unappealing. Perhaps she needs to train for a 50 miler to get her appetite back?! Lord knows I have one heck of an appetite lately.

Like I said yesterday, our home computer is down for the count and I had to blog from my iphone. Today I am illegally blogging from work. Sssshhh don't tell. Hopefully soon, trailmomma will be the proud new owner of a new computer!! Presidents weekend seems like an appropriate time to buy right? We should do our part to improve this economy. Vans, are you reading????

Anyway, obviously I am stretching for material today. Recovery weeks are great for the body and mind but not so good for the blog world. This weekend's long run is set to be an "easy" 12 miler. Wow. I am finally at the point where I can say that running 12 miles is the equivalent of an easy run. Once I finish run Way Too Cool and focus on AR50 I'll be able to say running 30 miles is just an "easy" run . . . oh man.

Despite having no one comment on yesterday's blog (and bruising my blogging ego) I did have quite a few interested in my giveaway! The "winners" of the 28 day supply of Align are Stacie and Vegannut! Congrats ladies. I will be mailing your supply of Align either tomorrow or Saturday!

Normally this time of year I am snowboarding instead of running in the muddy woods. Vans however, is continuing our family tradition and is rubbing it in nicely by sending me a picture of his fresh powder day. Thanks honey!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Due to a personal reason, I was able to leave work early yesterday. Vans offered to pick up the Peanut so I could do my four mile recovery run in daylight!!! What a joy this was as I usually do them after work in the dark and on my local surface streets instead of the bike trail.
I am lucky in that I live near the bike trail that has a perfect four mile loop.
Here is a picture from yesterday. It was such a beautiful day!

My run was okay although my legs felt as if they were detached from my body but I was grooving to some tunes and enjoying the weather.
I should have posted this earlier when I first noticed this but I did not have my phone/camera. Out on the stretch of bike trail where I run is a legend. It seems you can channel Prefontaine when you run.

If you look closely at the picture above you will see a partially worn image of Prefontaine on that smoke stack. It used to be 100% but the recent rains are wearing it away.
Pretty cool huh? Inspiring if anything.
Well this trailmomma is home today with a sick Peanut and a bad computer so this was posted from my iPhone. Please forgive all typos!!
Tonight is our Fleet Feet group night and I am looking forward to it.
Also go visit Shut Up And Run for a great giveaway offer. I will announce my giveaway on Thursday.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


When I started this blog I did so with the idea that my family, who live on the east coast and my friends, who live on the west coast, could keep up with my running adventures. Little did I know or realize, my little bitty blog would be read by so many people (okay, so not THAT many). People who do read are my awesome Fleet Feet Ultra Training Team and people I don’t know, like the amazing people at Procter & Gamble!!!!

A few days ago I received an email from someone at Procter & Gamble who had stumbled across my blog and read an entry that, um, detailed my tummy issues out on the trail. Who am I kidding? Almost all of my entries mention my sensitive tummy.

Everyone has tummy issues but not many people talk about it. But it happens no matter how old you are.

This is the Peanut’s classic “poop face” when she was an infant.
Ever wonder what face you make while pooping?

Sorry. Back to the “big news.”

Years ago, before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease I was seeing countless general practitioners who suggested I take a probiotic to help remove the bad flora (aka bacteria) from my intestinal tract and replace it with good flora. I tried them and was met with some positive results but unfortunately my intestines were too far damaged from Celiac Disease that no pill was going to help me. Fast forward to a diagnosis by a kind gastro doctor who finally listened to me and a diet of gluten free foods, my gut has finally healed. Obviously it isn’t perfect otherwise you would not be reading about my “issues” out in the woods.

Last week, the good people at Procter & Gamble read about my dilemma and emailed me. They wanted to know if I would be willing to try their new product and write a review.

What is Align you ask? According to the website: “Align is a patented, daily dietary supplement that comes in an easy-to-swallow capsule that you take just once a day, each day, to help restore your natural balance with ongoing probiotic protection. . . . Align contains Bifantis (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624), a patented pure-strain probiotic bacteria that helps naturally balance your digestive system.”
Align is the #1 gastroenterologist recommended probiotic. When taken daily, it works by providing an ongoing natural defense against occasional digestive upsets. As we all know, occasional digestive upsets are my middle name. Align is also gluten free so it is safe for me to take.

Today I received my package of Align.

So I will start my 28 day trial period tomorrow. Anyone want to join me? This is a trailmomma first!!!! I actually have my first ever blog giveaway! The people at Procter & Gamble gave me enough samples to give away to two of my readers (that's a 28 day supply each)! All you have to do is if you have a blog, just reference this blog on your blog with a link (leave me a comment telling me you’ve done so) and if you don’t have a blog, just leave me a comment below telling me why you want to try Align.
Then, come back in 28 to see a review of whether or not Align has helped improved my digestive system. The people at Procter & Gamble really stand behind their product. They offer a full money-back guarantee for Align (a 28 day supply costs $24.99 at Walmart). They want to offer people who have occasional stomach upset a chance to find digestive peace risk free. They told me that if you are not satisfied with Align that you can send it back and get a full refund (details regarding their refund policy can be found here).

Back to training . . . .

We are in the middle of a rest week training wise and true to my hypothesis in my last entry, my low heart rate during Saturday’s workout was only a warning of the cold I now have. Needless to say, I am taking it extra easy. I skipped last night’s 4 mile recovery run and may try and do it tonight if I have more energy. As Captain Kirk and Coach Nikon said “A recovery week is not just for the physical part of training, but the mental also. We have been spending a lot of time on our feet the past few weeks. Add this to an already busy life and you can get overloaded. Use this week to relax your mind and bring what you have done into perspective.”

*Procter & Gamble sent me these samples for free to review on my blog. I did not pay for them and do not work for them.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


This is how the trails looked today. MUD-DEEE!!!!

Today the group drove up to the Cool Fire Station for our long run. As I posted previously, Coach Nikon arrived before us and finished marking the trail with pretty pink ribbons while Western States Rob and Killer Kate met us at the Fire Station to get us started on our run.  Chilly? Check. Raining? Check. Muddy? Double Check. We knew there was no hope of staying dry as you'll see from the ton of photos.

The Pilot flying down the hill. He also saved me from going off on an umarked trail. Thank you Pilot!

The group numbers seemed smaller than normal today. Maybe it was the weather or maybe it was just the fact we were missing Captain Kirk, Wonder Woman and Coach Nikon at the start. Either way, our group split up and spread out. Coach Nikon had told us to run the first half semi-conservatively until he met us at one of the big hills and then after that hill, if we dared, we should get "froggy" and attack the miles leading us back to the car as if we were racing. My plan was to follow his advice, take some pretty pictures going out and then stow the camera and run run run.

puddling jumping . .  .

no option to puddle jump this!

I'll be honest, I took a lot of photos today. Despite the rain, which eventually stopped, it was absolutely beautiful out there. It reminded me very much at times of a rainforrest as opposed to a rainy forrest. There is a difference. Trust me.

The waterfalls were just flowing from all the rain we've had lately and the moss was almost an electric green. It was spectacular. I found myself stopping. A lot.

This one is for Coach Blurry Nikon. I changed a setting on my camera which consequently made all my photos rather blurry today.

Soon our group reconnected right at the bottom of the infamous Ball Bearing hill.

Coach Nikon actually met us here as we regrouped and fueled. He started telling us that at a certain point up Ball Bearing (which we will climb when we run Cool) we will be approximately 10 miles to the finish if we wanted to change our strategy and run harder. I have never run Ball Bearing but I have heard that it is steep and requires more of a spidey climbing technique.

Doc (in red) climbing ball bearing

Ball Bearing was as tough as I have heard and the slippery muddy terrain made it all the more interesting as we climbed but I noticed the whole group seemed in good spirits and were quite chatty. Love that. Everyone was covered in mud and we were soaking wet yet those near me were having the times of their lives. Like I said, today's run was probably the most beautiful run I have been on yet!

The group reconnected again a little before Goat Hill, another infamous hill. One thing I noticed today is that the trails were quite crowded with various groups but I like these mini breaks our group tends to do. It is nice to check in with everyone and see how they are doing or offer some extra fuel etc.

The trails leading back to our car were amazing. The sites we saw were just wonderful but I had promised myself to run "hard" and that meant keeping the camera in my pocket. However, at some point along the trail, Garmin and I reconnected (as he was a speed demon today) and I had to stop and take a picture of the trail we were about to run down.

Yes. That is the trail. No where to go but through it and actually once you get your feet wet, you realize it actually doesn't feel too bad! Besides, at this point my feet were already soaked so it didn't really matter.
This section of the trail really displayed some beautiful views. So much for my goal of "no photos" ah well, I still ran hard until my ankle started barking and then I shuffled hard.

All in all, today's run was my favorite thus far. I don't have much to report other than the pictures above showing how muddy and pretty the day was.

Some note worthy things: I had my new breakfast of a bottle of Ensure and an Immodium an hour before we started running along with some coconut water 30 minutes before and all was in check. Second weekend in a row my tummy troubles were almost nill. I only noticed some minor cramping towards the end.
My heart rate was significantly lower throughout this run. My average was about 4 beats lower than my CIM marathon average which is also my average for these weekend runs. Even going up Ball Bearing and Goat Hill my heart rate did not spike like it did doing Pennyslvania Avenue. Yes I was breathing hard but my heart rate remained steady. My thoughts regarding this are that I am either 1. getting in better shape or 2. coming down with a cold. I really really hope it is number 1.
I think I need to momentarily put aside my American River 50 miler thoughts and focus on running Way Too Cool first. AR scares me but Cool is not a walk in the park either. However, I can already tell that Cool is going to be a really fun race.

One muddy trailmomma!