Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I went for a 6 mile run yesterday. Nothing too exciting. I found some flat bike trail surface and just went. The knee held up well and after the run I quickly applied some ice. Today however, it is screaming at me.

I began thinking about how my life has changed since I've been running trails and more specifically longer ultra distances and/or training runs geared for an ultra distance. I was and am a tomboy growing up and always had my hands (feet?) in sports. I grew up in a neighborhood of 10 older boys and zero girls. If I wanted to stay I had to play and play hard. I am proud that I don't know what the most popular nail polish color is (I pick a color dark enough to cover my damaged running toe nails, enough said) or what trendy shoe is all the rage (my closet has road shoes, trail shoes and recovery shoes that's it). Instead, I am known as the "running friend" or in some blog circles "runner girl" (quickly changed to trailmomma) and I am okay with that. My little Peanut looks at my race medals and says "momma run!" That makes me proud and sometimes a little sad.

Of course training for such distances requires time. Lots of time. Never before did I think I would be spending 7+ hours (like last weekend) out on a trail away from my family. Even more importantly, never before did I think I would be spending 7+ hours away from my family and have my family still support me, love me and encourage me. I am truly lucky.

Never before did I imagine that on Friday nights I would be packing ziploc baggies and tissues just in case "nature calls" while I am out in nature the following day. I get paranoid if I don't do this. Last weekend, Pigeon noticed that my "tissues" are in fact little Kleenex packages with honey bees on them. I am superstitious. They have been my lucky tissue package since day one.

Never before did I think I would be avoiding my Friday night glass of red wine! Don't worry, I only moved it to Saturday evening and switched it from a glass to a bottle.

Never before did I think I would meet so many wonderfully inspiring teammates! This team has been training together since the middle of December. We have seen each others ups and downs, highs and lows. We have lost some, as in physically, lost some members out on the trail. Don't worry, we eventually find them (thanks to our awesome coahes). We joke and laugh with each other (usually about being lost) and I think some really good friendships have blossomed among the group.

Never before did I think I would actually see a mountain lion. To be clear, I have not technically seen one but to have been within 10 minutes of another runner seeing one . . . that is about as close to one as I would like to get thank you very much.

Never before did I think I would be watching as many JayZ videos on youtube . . . thank you Coach Nikon.

Never before did I know the correct definition of manscaping . . . again, thank you Coach Nikon.

Never before did I think I would be slathering on poison oak preventative cream before every run and following it with poison oak post run cream after every run . . . only to actually end up getting poison oak in various locations one of which I have learned today is my right eye. Lovely.

Never before did I think I would be running in giant monsoons of rain and through puddles that reach my knees.

Never before did I think I would enjoy the above so much.

Never before did I think my little blog would be read by people with so many different backgrounds, hobbies and interests. I started this for my family and now it is my family. The comments on my last post really lifted my spirits and my attitude. I can't thank everyone enough for that.

And finally, never before did I think I would be training for the American River 50 miler. I am looking forward to the race, the aid-stations, the finish and the adrenaline.

What did you think you would "never do" before you started trail running or just running in general?

My Peanut. My biggest fan.


  1. 50 miler!!! good for you!
    I never before thought I would run barefoot.
    I never before thought I would be so "Meh" about not making it to the bushes in time and then blogging about it later.
    I never before thought I would stick with something only to have my interest and love grow instead of dwindle.
    Great Post, I love your list!

  2. TM,

    Excellent post TM you hit it right on the head.

    Speaking of nail polish, don't forget its purple toes for AR50.

    Check out the color list some WS guys have for 2010: http://ix.cs.uoregon.edu/~thornley/2010/03/30/ask-an-ultrarunner-2/

    Coach Nikon

  3. Such a great post, Pam! I actually got alittle teary eyed :) Ultrarunning is such an amazing journey and you summed it up so well. I would have to say my biggest 'never before' would be saying, 'oh, I only have to run 12 miles today'. I still will never get used to running in monsoons though :<

  4. Wow, this post really hit home for me. Having been a former smoker & club frequenter, my "never before" list is long. My most notable is: Never before would I "stake out" bushes, trees, and boulders for that inevitable pit stop! I LOVE IT.
    Miss P

  5. just found your blog -- looking fwd to following your journey -- keep up the great work!!!!

  6. I've been out of the blogging world this past week because I was pouting after last week's lousy run, and I'm glad to come back and have this post be my first read!

    You hit all of my "never befores" right on the head. Although I will add I thought I would never be packing wet wipes before a run for the inevitable messy pit stop nor did I ever thing I would be blogging about the inevitable messy pit stop.

    Also, I'm with my fellow trail turtle when I thought I would never say I'm only running 16 today - what?

    As painful as these runs can be, they are ultimately all awe inspiring. I love to be able to say I did 20 miles today and to have people ask me WHY? My favorite response is "because I CAN!'

    Thanks for the awsesome post!!

  7. Congratulations on earning your well deserved jacket, Pamela. Be careful running all those miles and watch out for the critters. I can tell you from personal experience you don't want to come face to face with one. Someday, when I'm all grown up and tired of trying to speed over little distances of 13 miles or less, I might even get out there with you and Dee for a long one. Until then I'll be backpacking! I'll never forget the bouncing pony tail in the first FTR series! Until I see you again, treat your body like the sanctuary it is!