Saturday, July 31, 2010


Last night the Peanut and I drove out to Granite Bay to surprise Vans. It was his last Total Body Fitness mountain biking race of the season. We fooled him big time. I picked up the Peanut from daycare and we drove up to Granite Bay (thank you Captain Kirk!) realizing Vans had not yet arrived. When I called him, he was just pulling into the parking lot and had not seen my car.

He sounded tired and glum and the Peanut and I wished him good luck. As he was walking to the registration tent, the Peanut and I jumped out and surprised him. The smile on his face was priceless. He was visibly happy to see us there.

The Peanut loves to play in Van's truck

Vans did very well in his race. It was the first time all season he has beaten his friend (who is in an different age bracket) and he told the Peanut she was his good luck charm.

Father Daughter Team

Vans & his friend Sarcasm

It was a long night for the Peanut and I. After leaving Vans and Sarcasm we headed home, showered and were in bed. Luckily the Peanut fell asleep quickly whereas I was wide awake all night long. I am already negative hours in my sleep lately due to the Peanut's recent night wakings. Now she was finally sleeping and here I was wide eyed. Ugh.

5:30 am came all too quickly.  My alarm went off and I literally rolled out of bed and got ready to meet Pigeon at Cavitt Stallman for our scheduled run. I knew instantly something was not right. My legs just felt dead and my body felt like I was close to being on empty. I figured it was just some sleep deprivation and grogginess. 

I quickly put on my pre-poison oak treatment and then crawled into a ball in the back of my truck waiting for Pigeon to arrive. I was freezing to boot.  Pigeon arrived not much later and took her time getting out of her car. Little did I know, her back was still bothering her and she was easing herself out of her seat. 

We greeted each other and both basically shrugged off our aches and pains as "no big deal" and started our run. Two pig headed, stubborn trail runners at best. 

When we hit the single tracks and rounded a corner, the Pigeon let out a big yelp! When I got near, I saw the biggest deer I have ever seen with antlers that reached towards the sky!

 You can barely see him in the above photo because Pigeon's yelp scared him away. We knew instantly this would be a run involving lots of wildlife. I had already had a coyote jump in front of my truck on my drive in. 

We made it to the overlook spot and took a few photos. I think mainly we enjoyed the moment to stop, or at least I did. I was struggling.

 The view


I don't think Pigeon was intending to do a JCPenny pose however, that is how it appeared to me. I think we are starting to do these kinds of poses subconsciously. Probably not ideal huh? 

P-Fresh for Coach Nikon

After goofing off for a few minutes we decided that we needed to make a choice: Are we going to finish our plan, 6 miles out and 6 miles back or call it quits right here and now? Pigeon confided that if she keeps moving, her back is fine but the minute we stop, she seizes up a bit. I, on the other, needed the breaks to rest my exhausted legs and queasy stomach.

Of course we had a glimpse of a moment where we both felt "great" and decided to continue forward to the 6 mile turn around. I don't know about Pigeon, but about half way in I thought "crap, should have called it quits back there."

Still, it was nice to reach the distance and turn around. Turning around for me is always like a "new run" or at least that is how my brain processes it. I break my runs up into sections and the way back is always part 2. 

I took the lead for a brief while but realized that I would just slow us down. I let Pigeon go ahead and diligently tried to keep her in my sights. 

We were less than 3 miles from the finish when I saw Pigeon stop, turn around and grab me by my shoulders. She said, "You do not want to go this way. Turn around now." Of course curiosity got the better of me and I peeked over her shoulder. I saw about 10 huge turkeys scattered all over the trail. One momma turkey and about 9 babies standing in the middle of the trail, blocking us.

Just a few of the turkeys

Me, hyperventilating because of the above turkeys!

Pigeon told me to "stay here, I am going to take a picture" and off she went . . . with me on her heals. I wasn't going to be left alone so the turkeys could get me! As she approached the turkeys, the mother turkey turned and looked as if she was about to charge my friend . . . I think I screamed which caused the bird to fly which I think caused Pigeon to scream! Oh what sight we must have been. 

I realize my fear is probably silly to some and hilarious to others, heck, it is hilarious to me but I still can't get past it. All I kept thinking was, "thank goodness Pigeon was here otherwise I'd be camped out far down the trail all by myself waiting for the turkeys to move on their own."

After a few laughs, we continued on our way. It seems a few trees have fallen since last weekend.

Pigeon's fake action shot

The rest of the run was fairly uneventful. I have to say this was a somber 12 mile run for us as there was barely any talking or joking. I think we're both battling some issues and were within ourselves today more than we were communicating to each other. Still, another great run with a friend. I enjoy my time out on the trails with Pigeon despite the wild and crazy turkeys. 

I am learning to enjoy the Cavitt dirt road too. I have come to terms with it. I realized today that I do not like racing on that road but I do like training on it however, you have to be feeling pretty good otherwise that hilly road will kick you while you're down and leave you there to fry in the sun. Today, I feel like it kicked me pretty hard. 


Friday, July 30, 2010


I ran yesterday during my lunch hour. It was only 3 miles but it was darn hot out and so I sweat like I really ran 20. Good enough. It was a tempo-like run and those always make you feel better.

What doesn't make you feel better? Walking around the state fair for hours and hours and hours carrying a 32 lb toddler! Ugh, the old legs today are TIRED . . . but my biceps are slowly gaining some definition thanks to that 32lb loveable Peanut!

Tomorrow I am supposed to meet Pigeon for a nice 12 mile trail run at our usual spot near Cavitt Junior High. She's been having some back pain lately so the chances of her joining me are up in the air. If I was her, I'd rest because it sounds like she has some pinched nerve issues going on in there. Send good recovery vibes her way please.

I will leave you with some fun fair Peanut photos . . .

Baby REI & the Peanut rockin their sunglasses

Not quite tall enough yet


I wonder why she is afraid of birds? :-)

Monster the turtle, her friend

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Last night Pigeon and I met up at Rio for our usual Tuesday night run. Six miles is our usual distance these days and that was fine by me. I had done 3 miles at 5:30 am yesterday morning and my stomach, for some reason or another, was not really feeling it Tuesday night, I couldn't miss out on this run however because Thursday I am not running at all. The trailmomma family is headed to the California State Fair. We're taking advantage of the cooler temperatures this week. Last year was brutal for the Peanut.

Back to our run . . . I arrived just slightly past 5:30 pm as the Peanut had another "don't run momma" moment. Ugh, it's hard, so hard. I  am only gone an hour at best but still, just breaks my heart. I am looking forward to tonight, I am not running and the Peanut and I will have some mother daughter bonding!

So after Vans arrived home, I grabbed my camera, water and hopped in my car. Pigeon was half asleep waiting for me. She's been putting in some crazy overnight hours at work lately. I honestly don't know how she does it.

We hit the dirt and she told me about her day. Her job is very physical too and she's barely been getting enough sleep and working like a mad woman and yet, she still was running strong. . . without her garmin I might add. She's taking some advice and just running without worrying about time or distance or pace. Good girl.

I, on the other hand, had to tell her about MY day . . . which was my stomach and how unsettled it has been all day. I warned her that a pit stop will be in our very near future. Sure enough, at our turn around spot I tossed my camera and water to Pigeon and hit the porta potty. While I was taking care of business, she decided to hijack my camera.

This is a road.

This is where trailmomma is.

This is my pointer finger!

I had a pretty good feeling she was doing all the above while I was "busy." It cracks me up every time though. I also told her I had "new plans" for our JCPenny photo shoots. I had decided "a purpose" was needed behind the poses instead of just weird random (hilarious) poses. Watch out Tyra we're working it!

Fresh outta the potty workin' a pose for my watch!

At the turn around I was going to practice my new plan but instead of listening to me, Pigeon decided to take matters into her own hands.

Look at the birds up in the tree! Hey, we're not birds!
(FYI that's a movie quote, 10 points for those who can guess it)

The fun ended there as I realized we needed to start our return because Vans and the Peanut were going to bike to Rio and meet us so Vans could deposit the Peanut with me and continue on for a solo bike ride. So back down the trail Pigeon and I went. 

We did make one pit stop though, at our normal watering hole (aka photo studio). Here, I finally explained to Pigeon my new idea about posing with a purpose . . . so very America's Next Top Model of me huh? 

Here is the outcome of that disaster adventure: 

Object: The Water Bottle

Object: The hat

My personal favorite...
Object: The shoes

What do you think? Does she sell it? Would you vote her off? Does Tyra need her number? Of course Pigeon would not let me get away without posing too.

Object: The Watch

Object: The Shorts (harder than you think, try it)

Object: The Sunglasses
(consequently, I also look like I am letting out gas, I am not, trust me)

Obviously I would not make round one of America's Next Top Model but perhaps I could be a Pennysaver model? 

In an effort to do a double pose, which seems to be a hit with many, we decided to set the camera on a bench and use the self timer. The angle was not exactly stellar but I think we managed the "fake laughing" pose quite well. 

Now we both look like we need a porta potty

Keep in mind, the real laughs started after the above photograph was taken. I can only imagine what the other people out running and biking thought of us. 

We rounded out our run with 6 miles total. I was happy to be done. Even though the weather was in the mid 80s (the best day ever) I was sweating like it was 105 outside. I realized, after I got home, that I had very little water today and a lot of caffeine. Doh, smooth move there trailmomma! 

When I got back to the car, Vans had texted me that he had only made it to the nearby park when the Peanut spotted the slide and swings and wanted out of the bike trailer immediately. They never made it to Rio. I can't say I blame her, playing at the park is so much more fun. She's a tomboy at heart (like her momma) but recently, we did have to "dress her up" and even though she refuses to wear dresses I was able to get a "dress like" top on her . . . with shorts underneath . . . ironically I pulled that same stunt on the first day of first grade . . . gotta love it.

So pretty!

Mmm, frozen yogurt
(she's so my child)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Mondays are always tough (duh, they're Mondays). What I mean is, on Mondays Vans plays soccer. Depending on his game time is whether or not I can run after work. I did wake up at 5:30 am yesterday morning with good intentions of running but realized after Saturday's 14 and Sunday's 8, my legs were T-I-R-E-D. I crawled back into bed and decided I'd do an easy run later that day.

After work I picked up the Peanut and headed home. She was inbetween a moody cranky yet adorable phase which often comes around 5 pm. She took one look at me in my running clothes and said "You no run! Mommy no run" and the proceeded to give me a hug. Ugh, how do you compete with that!?

Luckily her mood changed by the time Vans got home. While he was changing out of his work clothes, I expressed to the Peanut that I was only going for a short run and that I would actually meet her at the park with Daddy! She seemed to understand and was okay with that.

I grabbed my camera with the intention of taking some self JCPenny poses on my run (how? I don't know) but then the Peanut crawled into my lap and wanted to pose with me. Perfect. Although she doesn't quite understand "JCPENNY POSE" talk, she does listen when I tell her what to do in each photo! 

 Look at the camera! Cheese!

Tongues out! Blaaaaah

Kiss the camera. Okay, kiss me instead!

It was here that the Peanut grabbed the camera and tried to do her own self portrait. She still needs to work on this!

Giant Peanut! :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010


Yesterday was a first for so many in the trailmomma family!

First, I went and did an 8 mile run in the morning which is usually unheard of for me on a Sunday due to Van's mountain biking and often my long runs on Saturday. I usually take Sundays easy but I had the time and I felt good and so I ventured out my door and did 8 in a fairly decent amount of time.

I forgot my camera and therefore do not have any JCPenny photos to show you. Next time, I promise.

After my run and a shower Vans and I headed out to our local Borders. There was going to be a book signing by a real Hollywood celebrity! I've been to many book signings but usually for authors that are just ho-hum amazing authors but not with your "oh my gosh its her!" kind of atmosphere. Yesterday was definitely an "OH MY GOSH!" kind of day for all those standing in the hot sun outside Borders Sacramento. FYI, there were about 700 people standing outside waiting for this celebrity author to arrive.

I have actually read the author's second of three books (as a gift from my hubby for mother's day) and I have watched her reality show a few times and I even watched the show that was her "claim to fame" back in the day. However, I think I could have gone through life not standing in line for 4 hours to "meet" her. I stood there however for Vans (yes, I am an awesome wife). As odd as this may sound to some, this celebrity was/is Van's old high school crush. Depending on your opinions, this is either an insult or a compliment to me as his "reality" wife but whatever. I am all for supporting my hubby see the crush of his dreams (like he ever had a chance anyway!).

The Peanut did not stand with us the entire time but eventually after her nap, Vans brought her to Borders and she stood in line with us. Everyone was smitten with her INCLUDING the celebrity signing the books. If Vans had played his cards right, he could have just had the Peanut and himself in a photo and really impressed the celebrity! Too late.

Security was tight and the celebrity was running behind (she had a plane to catch) and therefore by the time we reached her it was a quick "hello" and "OH MY she's cute" (celebrity referring to the Peanut) and then her and I had a brief chat about gluten free foods (she and her husband eat gluten free . . . take THAT Extra! and!) and poof the time was over.

Vans had wanted a solo photo op with the celebrity but unfortunately time did not allow. She signed one book to myself and the Peanut and her newest book was made out to Vans (not that he even cares about the book).

Instead he's stuck with the following photo which I happen to think is pretty darn nice. He should be looking at this thinking "here are all my dream women in one photo!" Right honey!?

For the celebrity hounds out there, Tori was really really nice. She spent a TON of time with the people in line signing, chatting and taking photographs. She was super sweet. Unfortuantely, she had a plane to catch but she refused to leave until every authograph was signed. That's pretty darn cool. Rumor has (via Twitter) that she barely made her plane in Sacramento.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Today Pigeon, Garmin and myself met up at Cavitt Junior High around 6:30 am for what we agreed on was going to be a 14 mile trail run. I pulled into a pretty empty parking lot. The only other car in the lot was Garmin's. Wow, this was early. I felt like I had a night of partying behind me but sadly, I didn't, I was just plain old tired. Garmin also looked like he was a bit groggy himself.

We both hopped out of our cars and immediately started applying the "pre" poison oak cream. Basically this stuff is supposed to help us ward off any poison oak that we may brush while we're out there running. Oddly, this cream also turns my legs white, as in "someone forgot to rub in the lotion" white. It's a funny sight but it is still way better than having poison oak!

Pigeon showed up not much later and soon we were ready to run. I am still impressed and amazed Pigeon was ready to hit the trails after her 50K in Tahoe last weekend. She was going to take it mile by mile today and see how her body was doing. She's one tough cookie. If I had run a 50K last weekend, I'd still be on the couch with my chips, salsa and margarita!

Off we went with Garmin leading the way, myself in the middle and Pigeon pulling up the caboose. We heard a lot of "scurrying" in the woods but nothing to show for it. Garmin was picturing rattlesnakes, I was picturing wild angry birds and I think Pigeon might have been thinking they were vicious coyotes or something. None of us were right. Squirrels. Had to be squirrels.

We played hopscotch with a couple of guy runners for a bit. They would stop and let us take the lead and then eventually pass us and then repeat all over again. Other than that, the trail was pretty empty minus 5 billion piles of horse poop all over the place!

We finally came to the clearing with the "amazing" view I had spoken about a few weeks ago. Not surprisingly, the two guys that we had been jockeying position with earlier had stopped here and were taking in the views as well. I immediately pulled out my camera and called to Garmin "JC Penny pose GO!"

Then a quick turn to Pigeon "Give me JC Penny now!"

Pigeon of course grabbed my camera from me and told ME to pose. Little did she know I've been perfecting my catalog poses!

Of course the three of us are doing this impromptu modeling session in front of the male runners we had caught up to at the overlook. I decided to see if they had "the skills" and told them to pose:

 Not too shabby for beginners no?

They may have thought we were nuts but they were still pretty nice. The one on the left is doing the Rio Del Lago 100 in September and the guy on the right is doing the Sierra Nevada Double late September. 

After our little session and some chit chat we were on our way. The guys turned around and headed back and we kept going deciding that it definitely felt like a 14 mile kind of day. When the 6 mile mark came we did a brief check in with each other "all good?" "yup" "should we go one more" "yup" and off we went. 

I have not ventured past the 6 mile mark since AR50 in April. I had forgotten about the vertical climbs and the weird footing that was ahead. I felt fine though and just kept running. Garmin and I were deep in conversation about babies, housing and all that boring adult stuff. The weather was great as it was not that warm just yet.

When we hit 7 miles, our turn around spot, and waited for Pigeon to catch up. She was fighting some inner battles today and was occasionally lagging behind us. I decided that our group needs a "calling signal" to indicate to each other that someone is "okay" just behind taking their time. 

I started doing my "ca-caw ca-caw" sound . . . which is more like a sick bird noise and all I hear is laughter coming from some where back in the woods. Pigeon was obviously doing just fine. I however, am still trying to find that perfect calling signal.

At the turn out we had another photo shoot. This time, I made them pose as doubles. 

My inner director of photography persona came flying out and I declared that the above picture was "pathetic" and that we needed to do it again. Sometimes it pays to really work your models!

Now THAT is a classic catalog pose. I swear these two have a whole other career waiting for them out there!

After the photos we turned around and headed back towards the cars. Seven miles running in always feels so much better than seven miles running back. Still, I felt pretty good and had no real complaints. Garmin and I continued our discussion on the housing market and the economy (heavy stuff). 

About 2.5 miles from the finish we decided to stop since we had not seen or heard from Pigeon in a while. I tried my calling signal "ca-caw ca-caw" and instead summoned a wild turkey. Not good. 

Eventually Pigeon came trotting up the trail with a smile and a "you don't have to wait for me" comment but she knows we will anyways. Together again we took off. 

The two miles back down towards Cavitt on that fire road used to be the bane of my existence. I detested it more than anything. Now a days, I am finding it isn't so bad. I like the rolling hills because it really gives me much more of a workout than just running on the bike trail. 

Garmin and I made it back to the cars and immediately put on our "after" poison oak cream. I swear, we're a walking/running advertisement for the stuff. Not soon after Pigeon came in. We were done. 14 miles total on a beautiful Saturday morning. 

When I arrived home the Peanut and Vans were just chilling outside. Their morning had been pretty uneventful. The Peanut was rather cranky as she had had a night of fun at her friend Baby REI's house the night before. Complete with slip and slide, a wading pool and a play structure for her and her friends!
Special thanks to Scrapbook for the pirated photo!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Back in the day, before Vans and before the Peanut, I used to wake up early, as in pitch-black outside early, and run anywhere from 3 to 5 miles before work. Some days, I would even wake up and do hot yoga at a studio downtown. I was in bed early and up early and I loved it. Then, I got married to a Dave Letterman watching late night dinner eating man and gave birth to a nocturnal child. Oh how things have changed.

Yesterday was the first day in my experiment to become pre-work runner yet again. Monday's attempt was a failure as I curled back under the covers. Yesterday however, I woke up at 5:30 (which I realize to some/many is not THAT early) and hit the streets for a 3 mile run. It was the perfect temperature outside and I had the streets to myself. I ran through the very expensive and beautiful Sierra Oaks neighborhood and oogled at all the mansions still with their shades drawn and sprinklers blasting.

My stomach however has not adjusted. My miles were slow and painful which was likely a result of my 9 pm dinner the night before. Salad before a 5:30 am run is not a good idea (in case you were wondering).

Then, later that day I got an email from Pigeon stating she was up for a run. The girl just ran a 50K trail race on Saturday and she was emailing me that she's thinking about doing 6 miles tonight! Yowzers! I was game since Tuesday evening is typically "my day" to run in the trailmomma household.

I met her at Rio Americano again and we were off and running. Immediately I had to pee. I swear I had just gone before I left the house. I guess my effort to drink more water throughout the day is actually paying off. Luckily, the route we take passes at least 3 bathrooms (how convenient right?). So at the first one I stopped and I handed Pigeon my camera (I am trying to run with it as often as possible to increase the entertainment value of my blog).

I tossed it to her and turned to the bathroom when she yelled "quick! give me a pose!"

Cheese! err Cheesey?

The standing joke between myself, Pigeon and Coach Nikon is the forever classic (and hilarious) JC Penny Catalog pose. Does anyone remember those super thick catalogs? Anyway, Coach Nikon and Pigeon have perfected their poses. I, on the other hand, have a lot of work cut out for me.

As I was taking care of "business" in the restroom, Pigeon was having a little fun with my camera. I had commented to her earlier that her race report for Tahoe Rim cracked me up because she had all these self portrait shots of herself pointing at signs. I remarked that whenever I do a self portrait I end up giving myself 5 chins but she has mastered the pointing self portrait. As seen here:

This is a description of the area

This is a little fishy

Of course I had not discovered this until AFTER the run. Classic. As I walked out of the restroom, Pigeon gave me a second chance at redeeming my JC PENNY pose:

Yes I am posing and not just looking at a bird

What was even funnier is that a cyclist had stopped to use the water fountain and she had overheard our conversation and laughed and asked if JC Penny was even still in business! HA Yes, I believe so but the catalog unfortunately is not.

Once I had my camera back I turned it towards the expert and had her show me how it is done:

"Aaaah, I see" says the young grasshopper

After some quality laughs (at our own expense) we were on our way. Pigeon, I could tell was struggling although it was hard to tell whether it was the fact she ran a 50K on Satuday or the fact she had dropped some crazy machinery on her big toe earlier that day or maybe it was the fact she had a crink in her neck and could barely turn her head. That woman is a powerhouse.

When we turned around to head back towards the high school we ran into a peloton. Something you have to remember is that every July, the American River Bike Trail transforms into the Tour de France. While Lance and Levi are cycling their hearts out over seas, all the "wanna be Lances" out there hit the local bike trail, dress up in full on cycle gear and ride in large packs (aka pelotons) at ridiculously fast speeds. It's annoying to say the least as they don't move over if you're running on the shoulder. I tried to take a photo of the pack of Lances but this was all I got:

You can see the last dude's back side to the right of the photo. Obviously they should sign up for the tour they are too fast.

The rest of miles consisted of a little walking and a little running. When I saw the road leading back up to the levee I was overcome with the desire to sprint. I am battling some anger issues and this run and the sprint to the finish seemed like something I needed.

I told Pigeon I'd see her at the top and I just took off. It felt good and when I got to the top, there was Pigeon making her way up.

Overall a decent run, putting me at 9 miles for the day although a combination of walking and running. My experiment continued this morning as I woke up at 5:30 and was out the door. It is getting easier and I really enjoy the morning quiet time out on the street and the way I feel energized when I get to work. I still need to work on eating dinner earlier though.

Vans is finally getting around to editing and working with his photos. The photos from our trip to Crater Lake and Sunriver Oregon are finally done as well as our trip to Napa Valley two weeks ago. The Peanut really enjoyed Napa . . . that's momma's girl!

 The Peanut and her momma

She had collected these toy horses and
made a little pile at one of the wineries

These shadows totally intrigued her

The Peanut and Vans

 All smiles!

Pure love.