Friday, April 30, 2010


Last night was the second Folsom Lake Trail Runner race. I did the long course again which was supposed to be 6 miles but according to my garmin it was 5.7ish miles. It felt like 9 miles though. Overall I thought the course was definitely "easier" than last week but that is only because I despise the gravel road sections near Cavitt school. Last night at Negro Bar was a mix of over grown single track, rocky single track, mud infested single track and pavement.

Upon arriving I found the usual suspects like Captain Kirk, Wonder Woman, Miss P (her first race yeah!), Scrapbook, Big D and a few other friends that I know in the trail racing world. It is amazing how many friends you can make just through trail running alone. Just a great atmosphere I love it.

The evening started with Captain Kirk having me and Miss P sign up to be on the Fleet Feet Team in this race series. I am not sure what that means other than scoring points for Fleet Feet in the overall competition and having Captain Kirk "order" me to join him on a warm up run. Warm up? Um, what's that? In all the years I have been running I have never in my life done a pre-race warm up! Crazy, I know. It felt good I admit and maybe it helped my time just a smidge who knows.

I started the race as usual with Big D but as usual she turned on her mysterious motor and poof was gone. The first few miles had us climbing up the bluffs over near Negro Bar. I had a girl in a bright yellow shirt and green shorts in my eye sight the entire time. I don't know what it is about me but the competitve side just comes blazing out during races like this. I saw her and immediately tried to assess her age. I concluded that yes, she's probably in my age bracket and that she should not be in front of me. Eventually on a flatter section I passed her but I constantly heard her on my heels or at least I thought I did.

Overall I felt pretty good. More engery than last week and I ran all the ups (except on the way back, I did walk one section boo). The trails were totally overgrown and flashes of Garmin's massive poison oaked legs were running through my mind. I even jumped over all the puddles instead of running through them.

On the way back to the finish I found myself behind a father and son. The son was probably 6 or 7 years old I would guess. You could tell he did not want to be there and did not like running down a rocky hill. The dad you could tell was very into it and was strongly encouraging his son to run. Instead of letting me pass the dad told his son to run faster. Sigh. I bit my tongue and told the kid he was doing a great job and to not worry about me being behind him. Unfortunately he rolled his little ankle and went down and his dad eventually stopped. I later saw that boy running with his dad across the finish line. He was okay and I told him he did a great job.

Team Fleet Feet did a great job. I finished second in my age group for the second week in a row with an 8 something pace. The girl who took first in my age group has taken first place female overall at both races and was ahead of me by 9 to 10 minutes. I doubt I will ever catch her . . . especially since I don't even see her when we start! The girl in the yellow shirt and green shorts was third in my age group and not too far behind me. Yikes. I realize my turnover is gone and I am hoping some speedwork next week will help bring that back.

While I was off racing, Vans and the Peanut were home doing father daughter stuff. The Peanut is coming down with a cold but still enjoys her time with Daddy.

Who needs toys when a stick is so much fun?

One of mom's pet peeves.
Going up the slide instead of down.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


With Jersey Dad back in Jersey and our lives slowly going back to our old routine, I decided I am letting my hard earned fitness go by the wayside. Less than 3 weeks ago I ran 50 miles and now it seems that running 7 miles is daunting. It's all a mental game and my plan is to conquer it.

Without my Wednesday night Fleet Feet Training Group, I am left with finding my own time to squeeze in runs whenever I can. Vans has mountain biking on Wednesdays so that day is out and better spent with the Peanut. However, I have been able to squeeze in 3.5 mile runs during my lunch hour. Yesterday I ran 3.5 inbetween rain storms and it felt great. I'd say these runs are a faster pace and only because I am rushing to be done, home and cleaned up before heading back to the office. Why haven't I done this before? I am hoping that even in our 105 degree summers that I will be able to fit in a few of these during the week. It is nice to get my workout done early. Pre-Peanut I used to be an early morning runner . . . now I cherish any sleep I can get.

I am also planning to also reconnect with my Buffalo Chips group for their Tuesday night speed workouts. I've been doing this for years but when I started training for Way Too Cool and AR50 I was forced to quit Tuesday nights in order to give Vans a night to himself. Now, I am thinking I'll return. I have such a love/hate relationship with speed work. I can't deny its benefits in my training but it generally is a painful process, at least in the beginning.

Thursdays are my Folsom Lake Trail Series races which I look forward to usually. It seems the 6/7 mile race is a lot harder than the 3 mile ones I did last year. Still, it's a great workout. It kind of feels like a tempo run because everyone is just blazing and no one wants to be left behind. Tonight will be interesting since I haven't been running much and my energy is way down. The entire trailmomma household seems to be on low energy these days although the Peanut is bouncing back faster than her parents.

And finally, I did it. I officially signed up for the Western States Training run on Memorial Day weekend. I signed up for day one, the longest day, with a scheduled 32 mile run on some of the toughest parts of the Western States course. I have never run these sections before, although I have been to Devil's Thumb and hiked down it. Brutal.

With that training run on my schedule now, it means I need to actually do some quality running between now and then. I am hooking up with Pigeon again this weekend and heading out to Brown's Bar with some of the Folsom Lake Trail Runners. I have never run these trails before and we're planning to do about 16 miles total. I learned my lesson last weekend and will definitely eat and sleep better Friday night. I figure with all these little afternoon runs, tempo and speed runs and long runs on the weekends, that my goal to shed a few of the pounds I haved gained post AR50 (ahem, I call it my ultra-celebration gain) will be a bit easier. Let's just say I've been celebrating and replenishing longer than I should have after that ulta.

I'd like to blame it on Chef Peanut but really, I can never find anything but joy in that smile.

Ironically, she doesn't eat fruits OR veggies.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Today is Jersey Dad's last day in Sacramento. Tomorrow morning, bright and early I will take him to the airport and he'll hop on a plane back to Jersey. It will be such a sad time for all I think. He has really fallen head over heels for the Peanut and vice versa. She'll miss her playground friend.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


My Peanut is two years old today! I cannot imagine my world without her in it.

9 months of pregnancy is the biggest test of one's patience.

Labor was the biggest endurance event you will ever encounter.

Caring for an infant will test your nerves.

Colic will test your insanity.

The first non-gas related smile will rock your world.

The first crawl will give you gray hairs.

The first step will give you immediate joy followed by an immediate heart attack.

Hearing "momma" will forever change your life.

Hearing "i love you momma" will be the happiest day in your life.

Having someone so amazingly special in your life that smiles and giggles with ease is priceless.

I love you Peanut!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Actually, it is more like ducks, coyotes and turkeys . . . OH NO! I am getting ahead of myself, so let me back up.

Today I met Pigeon out at the Fish Hatchery for a nice run. I asked if we could meet early at 7 am instead of 8 am (our normal group time) to ensure I was home soon after the Peanut woke up. I arrived to an almost empty parking lot and Pigeon showed up not much later.

We decided that 10 miles sounded good so we agreed to run around Lake Natoma. I admitted that I was still feeling the affects of AR and from Thursday's trail race. Just tired with stiff legs. She admitted she was also still aching from AR and from a 10 miler last weekend. Perfect. Two 30 somethings feeling like . . . well I can't even say another age because I was passed by a 75 year old at AR . . . basically, we felt "off" and out of shape despite our accomplishment weeks ago.

We climbed the bluffs and hit the trails for the first few miles. I don't know how far in we were but a coyote jumped about 10 feet in front me across the path scaring the living daylights out of us. Then we heard the "gobble gobble" sounds from above us. One must assume that same coyote was visiting the turkeys caged in the house above the trails. Did I just say turkey? Foreshadowing here. Stay with me.

I knew it was going to be a rough day for me. With Jersey Dad in town, we've been having nice family dinners that include wine. Normally I watch what I eat the day before a long run and I especially don't partake in any alcohol (my tummy just can't handle it). Well, needless to say, the first bathroom I saw I made Pigeon stop. She stretched while I ran across a big wet field complete with a duck right in the middle of it. I screamed yelled "DUCK!" and quickly skirted about 20 feet out of its way. Something I don't think I have ever mentioned on this blog, is my absolute fear of anything fowl. Birds, ducks, geese you name it and I cringe and run in the opposite direction.

Upon exiting the toilet-paper-less bathroom my hair tie broke. Sigh. Only women can really relate to the feeling you get when a hair tie breaks and you are miles from anywhere. Oh well, what are you going to do?

We continued on pretty much without any other excitement on that side of the trail. We crossed the bridge and headed back towards the Hatchery. One more potty stop for trailmomma (so sorry Pigeon!) and again, on our way. Seriously, I need to remember not to have wine the night before.

Soon we were approaching the Aquatic Center and it involved dipping onto some trails. Pigeon in a very nervous voice tells me "hey, let's go THIS way" . . . I was already planning on it but when I looked down the path in front us I saw two very large gigantic turkeys with their feathers all fluffed out.
photo not taken by trailmomma . . . 
(no way in hell would I get that close)

Okay, so I admit that is not my photo but that is the image in my mind when I saw the turkeys today. I immediately screamed which then of course caused the "killer" turkeys to start gobbling very loudly and actually fluff their feathers even more. I swear they were gunning for me. So I do what every good friend does, I throw Pigeon between me and the crazy turkeys. I think she was laughing too darn hard to even protest. I quickly yelled "RUN!" and hopped on her heels until I saw yet another turkey inside woods near the trail. "GO!!" I screamed. Poor Pigeon. She must be exhausted from my random turkey sprints today.

Over all we did a little over 11.5 today. 11.5 very exciting miles if you ask me. We've already set a date for next week! Hopefully those turkeys have learned their lesson and stay home.

I have no problems with caged birds mind you. In fact, we were at the zoo yesterday and the Peanut is quite fond of the feathered kind. Of course right?

However, she prefers animals that I hope I never encounter out on the trails.

She calls lions "Alex" as that is the character in Madagascar

The "tiger" was also a hit.

The ape who put on a t-shirt was also amusing to all.

And the captured "momma" was her favorite of all. 

Tomorrow is the Peanut's second birthday. Gosh how 2 years have flown by so quickly. I cannot imagine my life without her and cannot wait to celebrate tomorrow with her!

Friday, April 23, 2010


It has been a wild week in the trailmomma house with Jersey Dad's visit. Since he has been out he's been enjoy copious amounts of time with the Peanut. She's been very receptive to him and I think has successfully wrapped Jersey Dad around her little finger.

Last night the entire family made it out to the Folsom Lake Trail Runner's first series race at Beal's Point. I did this series last year and it was so much fun. You have the option of doing a 3 mile course or a 7 mile course. Last year I did the 3 mile but this year I am signed up to do the 7 mile one.
Setting up my garmin . . . 
which I forgot to hit "start" on when the horn blew.

It was a great evening. I saw Garmin, Captain Kirk, Wonder Woman, Scrapbook, the Trail Turtles and Big D out there last night. The Peanut was enjoying herself as well.

Even the little ones needs some rest. 

There were quite a few people at the race and not knowing what to expect I lined up with Garmin and Big D near the race start line.

Ready. Set. Go. 

Immediately the first mile I thought "oh crap, I should have done the 3 miler" but eventually I fell into a rhythm. The 7 mile course unfortunately was on the AR50 course or at least large portions of it. I was having flashbacks of that day thinking I had 19 miles to run. It is also on part of a gravel road that is just the bane of my existence. I detest this gravel road more than I can write and so it will now be my mission to conquer this road since we'll probably be running on it every other Thursday night when the race series is here. Sigh.

While I was off running, Jersey Dad, the Peanut and Vans were busy doing other things. 
Like having dinner and snacks in the back of mom's car. 

Rearranging the finish shoot (sorry Diane!)

Climbing the hill to see where all those runners had gone.

While all that fun was going on, I was fighting to save my lungs while simultaneously climbing the water tower hill and just then realizing my garmin was not started. Once you reach the top of that climb, you have a pretty long descent. I saw Garmin's cheddar shirt throughout parts of the course and Big D blew by me like a bat-outta-hell around mile 2. Darn she is so fast!

I decided to run the hills as much as I could. In training we normally walk big hills but I decided since I wasn't running 50 miles, I should try running all the hills to get a little stronger. Luckily, my knee held up both on the ups and the downs. It was tough and considering I did not have much to eat all day (wrong I know) I now think next week might be a bit easier if I have a little more fuel in me. 

Cheering at the finish line.

Overall it was a good race. I don't think I was too slow but since I forgot to start my garmin I don't have any times to post and the results are not up yet online. That's okay. This race was all about Jersey Dad seeing me do a trail run for the first time. He saw me do a road race last summer when I went home to NJ. You know, back when I had speed. 

Jersey Dad, myself, the Peanut and Vans

Another first also occurred for Jersey Dad yesterday . . . after years of wanting one, he finally agreed to let me take him for his first ever tattoo! I got my first tattoo while on college break when I was 19. My dad knew at the time, or rather, he knew AFTER I got it but mentioned even back then, he wanted one but didn't know where to go. So yesterday afternoon before the race, I drove us out to Wild Bill's Tattoo in Roseville. Wild Bill is the tattoo place all the Sacramento Kings get their tattoos so that was my "selling point" to Jersey Dad, that they were legit and safe. 

Nervously pacing the waiting area. 

Getting inked.

The final product. 

It is called the Eye of Horus and is egyptian and means protection . . . or something like that. My dad was VERY excited and was running on adrenaline after this. It was very cute. 

Father Daughter post Tattoo.
Yes, I do wear other jackets from time to time. 

Overall it was an exciting day for all. I am looking forward to next week's FLTR's race which will be held at Negro Bar. My awesome support staff though won't be present. I am extremely happy though my dad got to see me run a trail race and hang out with the Peanut at the same time. 

3 generations

Monday, April 19, 2010


Yesterday when Vans got home from his spin workout, I dusted off my bike, pulled out my bike shoes/shorts and hopped on my bike for a ride. The weather was absolutely glorious so it was very motivating.

The River City Marathon was also happening while I was riding. Finally these runners know which side of the bike trail to run on . . . because last year they did not. Maybe next year they will know not to run in packs of 5 across and throw their trash on the ground. I swear if I could cash in all the empty Gu packets I saw yesterday, I'd be a millionaire. Sad.

My ride was nice though. I tried to keep up a pretty steady speed. I rode all the way to this bridge:

Fair Oaks Foot Bridge

That bridge is just past Sunrise which is about 12 miles from my house. I was riding against the wind too and also fighting for position with the roller derby chicks who were out skating on the bike path wearing shirts that said "Lipstick Librarian" . . . I didn't want to mess with them. They looked like they could crush me.

Nothing could ruin my mood. The day was gorgeous. I rode a little over 24 miles in about 90 minutes. I wasn't dripping with sweat the way I do when I run but my quad and joints appreciated the break from the pavement/trail pounding. However today my butt is feeling the effects of a 90 minute ride. Ouch.

When I finished my ride I met up with some girlfriends for a day downtown on "Broadway." Really it was Sacramento's version of Broadway (a little cleaner than NY if you will).

Mrs. Rei, Jersey Girl and Scrapbook

We saw Little House on the Prairie. Go ahead and laugh, but if you're close to my age you know you wanted to be Laura Ingalls and probably wore your hair in braids at some point. The real Melissa Gilbert was in the show too playing the role of "Ma." I will say the play was only "ok" in my book. Maybe 2.5/3 stars out of 4. I am extremely picky however when it comes to anything Little House.

This is an exciting week in the trailmomma house. Jersey Dad is flying out to visit for a week and to celebrate the Peanut's 2nd birthday this weekend. Vans is mountain biking on Wednesday and the whole family will go and watch. Thursday starts the FLTR Spring Series and I am signed up and can't wait to get back on the trails!

Spring is definitely in the air and even the Peanut is loving it!

Too cool for school.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Today Vans, the Peanut and I headed up to Apple Hill for the Apple Blossom Trail Run. Vans was signed up (thanks to me) for the 3 mile course.

Here he is warming up. 

The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Vans does little to no running in preparation for these runs. He usually falls victim to his lovely wife signing up for events and then telling him about a week in advance that I have done so. Hey, at least I tell him a week in advance!

The Peanut however was not so happy to be dragged out of the house the second Saturday in a row to be at a race. Yet, as always she was quite the trooper.

She especially got excited when her daddy came flying through the finish shoot!

Vans was 4th male overall and first in his age group!

Considering we live in "flat country" and he has run zero miles this week, I'd say that was pretty impressive. 
His first awards ceremony shared with the Peanut!

After the race it was all about the Peanut. If you have ever been up to Apple Hill you know how pretty it is and how much there is to do. The Peanut particularly loved the choo choo train ride we did after the race. 
I, on the other hand, was terrified of the ducks behind me. 

After the train ride we stayed for a bit and talked with friends who live in the area. The Peanut really enjoys the post race festivities. 

Knuckles for Dad the winner!

A birds eye view for the Peanut.

Once we hit the car however, the Peanut quickly fell asleep and we wandered ourselves over to a friend's winery for some wine tasting. It was all around a very perfect Saturday.

A perfect Saturday compared to a not so perfect Friday. I made the silly mistake of thinking I felt good enough for a quick run during my lunch hour yesterday afternoon. The last mile of my run I felt something "go" in my left quad. I've been limping ever since. Needless to say, I have called off my 10 mile run with Pigeon for tomorrow. I am really upset about it but I know I need to rest. It has been a week to the day since AR50 and I need to let myself heal. I guess I am not as hardcore as I thought I was! :-)

So instead, tomorrow morning I have a date with my bike for a nice solo ride. I am looking forward to it.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Yesterday evening Vans, the Peanut and I decided to go for a family bike ride. I must say, it has been a VERY long time since I have actually been on my bike. I used to do triathlons (a lot) and so I have a fairly nice bike that wasn't cheap but sadly has been sitting unused for quite some time.

                 Vineman/Barb's Race 2006 (Half Iron-Man)

Actually that picture was probably the last time I seriously road my bike. That was a great race. Perhaps some day I'll do it again.

Last night we rode as a family on the bike trail by our house. We road in the opposite direction that the American River 50 Mile course goes. We road towards Old Sacramento (although not quite that far). It was a great evening, cool weather and not too buggy. However, I will say the area in which we were in is not exactly "safe" nor is it very "pretty." Sure you ride by a golf course and the river is near by but basically, it is sort of sketchy terrirtory which is okay when you are with someone. Which is why I was so completely surprised to see quite a few women running ALONE with earbuds in!!! Ladies, c'mon!! Really? So not safe. You couldn't pay me to run that section alone let alone with earbuds in listening to music. Sheesh!

The Peanut had a blast though. She likes when Vans goes fast although she doesn't like the bumps in the bike trail. I can't say I blame her, my bum was definitely feeling those too. But I did some speed drills to get the legs churning.

I am trying to encourage myself to get motiviated again. It's been too easy this week to do absolutely nothing and eat everything in sight! So last night's ride was followed by a nice ellipticaling this morning. Whenever I attempt any sort of morning exercise however, it never fails, the Peanut wakes up earlier than usual. She must sense that I am leaving the house!

I know I blogged that I wasn't going to run until next Thursday but Coach Nikon & Captain Kirk sent out a final email a few days ago telling us that we can "run when we feel ready" and I have to say, I do feel ready. I don't want to lose any of the fitness I have built these past 6 months (especially if I want to run the Western States Training Run next month). So, with that, I am meeting a fellow teammate on Sunday for a nice 10-12 mile run or whatever we feel like doing. Nothing too fast or hard but just something to get us moving. I won't be gone too long from the Peanut since we'll be local. I am very excited to get back out there. My knee feels great still. If it hurts, I'll rest. Life must continue. You can only bask in the glory of a 50 miler for so long before your husband tells you to "go get it yourself." HA

But in the meantime, I will definitely schedule more bike rides with my girl. As long as she enjoys it, so will I!


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Our group met up last night for one final get together involving wine, beer and pizza. It was fun. Coach Nikon gave us a dvd full of photos from our training program. Since I have not run since Saturday and have no other material to blog about . . .I figure I'll just post some pictures (compliments of Coach Nikon and Lily). Enjoy!

Captain Kirk leading the way!

A smilin Garmin!

A serious Partner Jim!

Miss P running strong!

Trailmomma with tunes!

Pigeon bringing it in!

Hawaii Mark looking good!

Here comes Molasses!

Jessica's Mom & Poison Oak getting some aid-station grub.

Billy Idol is all smiles!

Thighs throwing out a wave!

Unfortunately, not everyone on our team was captured. That is pretty understandable considering everyone's pace and the fact this was a 50 mile race. Looking through Coach Nikon's dvd though, I have noticed that smiles were definitely present on almost everyone's face. Smiles and funky poses!