Thursday, December 29, 2011


Christmas came and went in our house rather quickly but it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

He came!

This was the first time the Peanut "really" understood and was excited for Santa. We did the Elf on the Shelf thing starting December 1st and that really REALLY made Christmas seem to drag on last forever.

Fortunately for us she slept in until about 7 am (her usual time) and we heard her squeal from the living room with excitement. Unfortunately for her, we made her wait until Squeaker woke up (on her own) which was not until 8 am. Torture!

Squeaker and I had a nice trip to Kaiser on Christmas Eve Day ... never doubt a mother's intuition. I knew something was not right with her despite being fever-less ... sure enough, she had an ear infection and is now on antibiotics. Luckily, the antibiotics kicked in really quickly.

Christmas morning was wonderful. The Peanut enjoyed opening her AND Squeaker's presents. We Skyped with my family on the east coast and opened more gifts and then had our California family over for dinner and opened even more presents.

The Peanut and I made cookies for the family & of course for Santa.

I hope he isn't diabetic

We made one for Dad.

I also made dinner for the entire family. It was great having Saturday free to prep everything and then just tossing it all in the oven on Christmas morning.

Regular & Gluten Free/Vegan Baked Ziti

Santa was good to all of us. Vans got a new Garmin watch for his training (which, ahem, still sits unopened in its packaging on his night stand) and I got a few nice things as well including a work out bench!

I have been wanting one of those for a while. I have been using my stability ball for most of my dumbbell moves but this bench is nice and compact and convenient. Santa also got me something I have wanted forever ... well, to be honest, I got myself this but Santa needs to attach it to the ceiling to make it work better.

Since I have had limited time to run due to my long commute and just having to be a mom in the evenings, having these tools in our garage gym have been a life saver. Of course I still miss running. I haven't abandoned running all together mind you ... I just don't do it has often as I would like.

Right now I am running two nights a week with a friend which has been great. She is super flexible in her schedule and is patient with me and my commute and my evening mommy duties. Last night we ran for 4 miles in the dark decked out in our headlamps and reflective gear. Once school is back in session we plan to maybe hit the high school track once a week and do some speed work.

On the nights I don't run I try and spend at least 45 minutes in the garage doing some TRX moves as well as some moves with my dumbbell set (purchased on craigslist) and squats. I did the TRX on Tuesday evening and my bum is still a bit sore but in a good way. I am looking forward to using it tonight.

Work lately has been very very stressful and without these outlets I don't think I would be handling it all very well. I also don't think without my wonderful girls in my life would I be as sane as I am.

The Peanut in SF

Having Monday off was great as well. Vans took the Peanut to San Francisco to see The Grinch play and she was in heaven. Vans was exhausted. While those two were off playing in the city, Squeaker and I were playing around at home.

Always smiling!

Squeaker and I went on a nice 5 mile run too with the jogging stroller. She loves it (lucky for me) and I needed a good run.

The Trailmomma family is hoping that the New Year brings us some better mojo. We had a rough 2011. Oddly, it is starting out with me working New Years Eve and Vans getting oral surgery the first few weeks of the New Year but beyond that ... bring on the happy, healthy vibes!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I am still here. I just haven't been running much more than one day a week so I really haven't had that much to blog about.

However, I realize it is the holidays and I do have two adorable little girls and that a lot of my audience tunes in just to see what THEY are up to and not just what I have been doing running wise lately. Which is good because the running is almost zero but the girls are keeping me busy.

Surrounded by friends

Earlier last week the Peanut gathered all her favorite stuffed friends on the couch so that they could all enjoy Frosty Returns. Much to my delight, the Peanut is very into Frosty the Snowman and anything Rudolph lately. Love. The holidays are so much fun with her this year.

I was contacted by Tigger T via email asking me if I wanted to go running sometime. She's read my blog posts and my posts about not finding time to run and/or lack of motivation. She's great. She knows that if someone is out there waiting for you, you won't bail on a run. She also was anxious to show me some neat trails around the neighborhood. So after a few quick texts on Friday, we agreed to meet at the almost half way point between our homes and she'd show me some trails.

We met at 8 am on Saturday morning. It was chilly but it felt great to be out there with some fresh air. We jumped onto the NY Creek Trail and then up towards a fire-road that lead us towards Serrano. I had no idea this fire road trail was even there. It was great. We'd run, we'd walk, we'd talk. It was exactly what I needed to get my motivation back. I miss running so much.

When I arrived home, Vans informed me that the Peanut was being a bit fussy which is unlike her. Friday was her 6 month check up complete with three shots. She did great but I think was starting to feel the affects of those shots.

Doesn't she look like she's fussing? ha

The girl is still pretty darn cute even when she isn't feeling 100%. However, this little episode of fussiness would eventually come to blows on Sunday when Vans left for a 3 hour mountain bike ride.

Squeaker got her first real fever ... until now, she's never really had much more than a bad cold sans fever but come Sunday ... her temperature rose to 102.7. Poor girl. She still was okay and smiling some what but she would not let you put her down period. She napped on my lap.

Vans took the Peanut to visit the REI Family because she's been asking daily to see Little REI.

I think she just wanted to ride her bike.

This was good though because it allowed the Peanut some time away from a sick Squeaker and hopefully avoid passing the cold onto each other. Instead, I am now the lucky recipient of said cold. Ugh.

By evening time though, Squeaker was dosed up with some Tylenol and feeling a bit better. She allowed me to put her down but I had to stay close by ... so I had to get creative so that I could cook dinner for Vans and the Peanut.

My little helper

She was content playing with those measuring spoons and cup for a good 20 minutes allowing me time to chop, toss and bake whatever I needed to in order to get dinner started before the family came home.

Monday however, she and I were home. I officially have her cold and she officially no longer has a fever but remained quite clingy. It was a long day on Monday complete with more naps in my lap and lots of snuggles.

Before bed I gave her a bath and discovered that she is in fact part baby and part fish. The minute I put her into the water she flipped onto her belly and literally swam her way to the rubber ducky in the tub. She swallowed a big gulp of water in the process but was completely un-phased. This summer is going to be fun!

Steaming it out in the bathroom post bath.

Today we're all back to the normal routine ... daycare, work, commuting. Blah. The Peanut is anxiously counting the days until Santa comes .... and I am anxiously counting the days until cold and flu season is over!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Saturday was the Rancho Cordova PAL Holiday Run 5k/10k. Vans's work is one of the major sponsors for this race and Vans himself was in charge of organizing and encouraging his work staff to participate. He actually made a wager with his staff that if anyone could beat him in the 5k, he would do their job for one hour. He works with a lot of 20 something college kids so this was a big gamble. He was potentially looking a 35 to 40 hours of extra work if they all beat him. He was nervous and battling a cold.

Vans also signed the Peanut up for the kids quarter mile chase Santa race and he signed me up for the 5k as well.

However, Squeaker is once again very sick with a terrible head and chest cold and was up all night long the night before the race. I was up with her from 11:30 pm to 1:00 am and then slept with her in my lap in a recliner from 1 am to 6 am when we had to get up and get ready to head to the race. Brutal.

The REI family was kind enough to let us borrow their double jogger so that I could run with both girls and participate as well. It was really chilly Saturday morning.

Squeaker was bundled up nice and warm!

Peanut getting ready for her race!

The race was fairly small. Not a lot of people heading out to Rancho Cordova but it makes for an easy race logistically especially for families.

Racing Family

The Peanut's race was cute. Santa and Mrs. Claus were in a golf cart and all the kids had to chase after them. They had a quarter mile and half mile option. Since the Peanut has not been "training" we had her run the quarter mile distance.

Lining up to chase Santa!

Running with Dad!

On her way to the finish!

All done. Loving her medal.

After the Peanut's race it was time to head to line for the 5k/10k start. Vans made his way to the front so he did not have to fight the crowd. I took the double jogger and just found a spot that was not too far back but was not going to bump into people.

The race course is pretty boring but definitely flat. I was able to jump to the side with my beast of a jogger so that I didn't have to run into too many runners. I just kept pushing and running and realized I was passing a lot of people. They were not too happy to be passed by a girl pushing a double stroller.

Vans ended up PR'ing and only one employee beat him! His time was 21:17 which is a 6:52 minute mile. Go Vans!

Considering this was my first ever double jogger race, I guess you can say I PR'd too!

Heading to the finish.

My time was 26:07 which is an 8:25 minute mile ... pushing a 35 lb three year old and a 17 lb six month old, PLUS the weight of the stroller ... yup, that thing is heavy!

Vans was happy. He had a good race and a nice work turnout and he doesn't have to do 40 hours of someone else's job.

Sunday was a lot lower key than Saturday. It was also my birthday. We basically did what we do every other Sunday ... head to Costco and drive down to Sacramento to visit with my inlaws. Whatever. Just add that on to the craptastic year I have had thus far. No real surprise it was over looked.

However, being a year old I am now entering a new age bracket when it comes to races. I am now the young old person in my age group. If I can ever get back into running and racing I might stand a chance to actually do well in a few races.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Yesterday was the California International Marathon (CIM). As I said on Friday, I was headed downtown to packet pick-up and was going to turn in my chip....and I did.

I could not ignore the signs that were being thrown at me. I started coughing like crazy and when I arrived home on Friday evening I lost my voice completely. Saturday I was worse. Bronchitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis ... you name it and I probably have it.

Oddly enough, I was okay with the decision. At the expo I ran into some of my Fleet Feet Running friends who were rather shocked and sad I was turning in my chip. I never really teared up but I was glad I was feeling as crappy as I was because the energy at the expo would have surely convinced me otherwise had I not been so sick.

I went home Friday evening and after the kid were asleep, I had a large glass of wine. I don't recommend doing that when your throat is raw and on fire but ... it helped in other ways.

Saturday we spent the day with some friends who were in town. They had arrived to do the marathon but unfortunately one of them fell injured and she too had to turn in her chip at the expo. Misery loves company right?

The two DNS runners

Ironically enough, after having dinner with this couple the Peanut fell asleep on the 5 minute ride home. At 6:45 pm!!! She did not wake up until 7:30 the next morning! In all of her 3.5 years of life, that has never ever happened!

Sunday we all woke up and got dressed in our Rock On Dylan shirts and headed downtown to cheer on all the marathoners. I saw Garmin out running and sporting his Dylan shirt! It actually made me tear up when I saw him. Not because I was jealous of him being able to run the marathon but because he was running for Dylan and he looked awesome. I also saw Miss P out there who I had also run into at the expo and who was very sympathetic to my having to turn in my chip. Miss P you looked great!!

I saw a bunch of my Buffalo Chip buddies just killing it out there. The weather conditions were fantastic! I probably stood out on the street near 15th and L for hours. The Peanut and Vans and company were inside a local bar having breakfast but not me. Squeaker and I just stood out there yelling and clapping (well, I clapped, she drooled on my shirt).

Go runners go!

I saw a large amount of runners wearing Nike Frees and other light weight minimalist shoes. My knees ached just watching them but they were flying.

Everyone looked great but also ready to be done. That stretch down L street can be painful both physically and mentally. You start to count down the blocks because they are numbered but you forget how long each block is downtown.

We saw friends doing the relay too including The Pinkhouse Gym Relay Team whose fourth runner was our dear friend Sally Edwards.

The average age for this relay team was 71. Just.plain.awesome.

A lot of friends called or texted me to make sure I was doing okay on Sunday. They know how much this race means to me. CIM 2012 unfortunately will not happen because I'll be at my brother's wedding in New Jersey. As I said on Friday, I have my sights on a June marathon and hope to do well. Fingers crossed.

The rest of the weekend was spent resting. Vans unfortunately now has the same horrid cold that I have ... which is still hanging on. I do have my voice back but the coughing is terrible and I wish I could just cut out my throat entirely.

This weekend we have 5K/10K race that Van's is helping put on with his work. He has a big bet on his performance with his work staff .... not so sure how that will work out with his cold. The Peanut, Squeaker and I are hoping to borrow a double jogger from the REI family so that we can also compete. The Peanut might also participate in a kids fun run .... we may be down but we're not out.

The family that runs together...

Tis the holiday season for running no? Oh and for also torturing your baby sister .... I left the room for a few minutes on Saturday and returned to find this ....

Ho Ho Ho Mom

Despite being dressed with funny reindeer bobbly heads,
Squeaker still idolizes her sister.

Who has a very devilish smile ...

Friday, December 2, 2011


Today is CIM packet pick up. At 3:00 pm today I will have to finally decide whether or not I am running CIM on Sunday. Will I turn my chip in and have my first official Did Not Start?

So many of you have emailed me with your thoughts, opinions and concerns. This girl really laid it out for me. "Would you give up running completely for one race?" Heck no. Yet this girl commented and emailed me telling me how much faith she has in me and my ability.

I know that I could run CIM with lack of quality training (pathetic at best). I have endurance. I can handle pain and I could probably make it the whole 26.2 miles whether it took four or five hours. The question is: Do I WANT to do that? Do I want to potentially injure myself preventing me from running future races/marathons? In 2005 I ran CIM thinking I was perfectly trained only to bonk hard at mile 20 and be injured for many months afterwards. Trailmomma not running at all does not make a happy Trailmomma house hold.

I have been battling a cold. Squeaker has been sick since November 11th and as a mom, I have become her human tissue at times (it comes with the job). It was inevitable that I also got sick. It has taken its time though. A runny nose here. A sore throat there. Yesterday however I was hit with a fever and a progressing cough. I can pretty much bet that I now officially have bronchitis and probably a sinus infection to boot.

Running CIM with half of my lung capacity is not something I want to try. Not to mention I would be that horrible coughing runner you see out there and pass thinking "What are they doing!? Go home and rest already!?"

This is a hard thing for me to do. I have never not started a race but I do believe that is what I need to do. Does this make me a chicken? Maybe. Does this make me a more mature runner? Perhaps. One will never know I guess and the only person beating me up about this decision is ME. Vans is supportive either way but he wants me to be smart AND healthy. Is it worth risking pneumonia?  Yes I am wasting money but luckily I signed up for the race the day it opened and paid the lowest fee possible. I will not be running CIM in 2012 because I will be attending my dear brother's wedding in New Jersey that weekend. I did not run last year because I was pregnant. This will be the longest break from CIM I have ever taken.

I have my sights set on a marathon in late June. I am not committing to it yet (lesson learned) but I am excited to kick this cold and put away my Garmin and just run for ME. Ideally I would like to run the marathon in June well ... I would love to find someone who could help me train .... keep me accountable and push me so that I can perhaps PR and (gasp) maybe even qualify for Boston. Any takers out there?

First I need to get past today's CIM Expo. I love race Expos and I need the strength and support to not get sucked up into the race day excitement and not turn my chip into the officials. There is a possibility that I could arrive at the expo, see some running buddies who will convince me that I can do the race. Please give me the strength to say "no" ... maybe the coughing fit I am bound to have will be proof enough? They might not even let me inside to pick up my bib if I am coughing. There is nothing marathoners hate more than to be around someone who is sick.

Children aside of course. I could never not be around my two beautiful girls. Who, by the way, just had their Fall photos taken at school .... (again sorry for the crappy quality).

Peanut (3.5 yrs old)

Squeaker (now 5 months old)

Monday, November 28, 2011


Well if you read my last post, things are not exactly "happy" around the Trailmomma household but things are not sad either. Vans and I are trying to keep things up beat for the girls especially since it is getting to be that festive time of year. I admit, Vans is doing a better job than I as I really have no desires to celebrate or buy anything "new" since at any moment, it can be stolen or taken away. However, when it comes to the Peanut and Squeaker, I don't mind shopping for fun stuff especially for the holidays.

The Thanksgiving holiday was pretty busy for us which was a very nice distraction. We did a lot of new things with the girls which was nice but sadly we are reminded every time we want to take a photo to remember the event, that the only cameras we have are our outdated iPhones which I guess is better than nothing at all.

So please excuse the fuzzy phone pictures that follow ... our Thanksgiving weekend ....

It started with the Run to Feed the Hungry 10K ... in the pouring freezing rain. Vans and I started at my in laws house which is 1.5 miles to the start. So overall, we ran about 9 miles that day pushing the girls in strollers. They were toasty and warm ... Vans and I were not.

Starting area ...

Ready to run was cold!

We ran the entire way and were faster than some of the other 10K runners who were not pushing strollers. They have changed the 10K course which was a nice surprise and there were a lot more people running the 10K than I have ever remembered.

The best part was the Mimosa Station at mile 6!


It would not be a Run to Feed the Hungry with out Mimosas!

Crossing the finish line!

 We crossed the finish line and made our way to the post race area which was nice but wet, cold and crowded. We ran the 1.5 miles back to my in laws to dry off and warm up. Squeaker was thrilled to be celebrating her first Run to Feed the Hungry race!


 The rest of Thanksgiving was spent visiting family. We saw Pam's Aunt and we saw my in laws. Lots of driving made for a very long day for the girls but they were troopers.

On Friday Biceps and Sarcasm invited us to Apple Hill to go Christmas Tree picking with them. I was hesitant at first to go just because I had not found my holiday mojo yet but it turned out to be a terrific day.
Nope. Not that tree.

How about this one Daddy?

After picking out our tree we were treated to a train ride! Unfortunately the train was being driven by a grumpy smelly Santa who was not in the festive mood and left a scarring impression the Peanut. She's been very receptive to the phrase "Santa is watching" lately and I have to say it is quite effective especially when you tell her that you have Santa on speed dial on your phone and can call him at a moment's notice. Yet when she is picturing the Santa we saw on Friday .... it was not a good thing.

Choo Choo!

After our train ride we stopped and filled up on all the goodies that Apple Hill has to offer. Then we visited our friends at our favorite Camino winery and just enjoyed the afternoon.

Saturday morning I went for a run to test my legs. Last week CIM was still very much on the table but now I am not so sure. I have some how thrown my back out of whack to the point that I can barely pick up the girls. It does not hurt to run but after I run (although it spasms) I am in pain. I am also battling a chest cold. Tomorrow I am getting a massage from the ever amazing Lily in hopes that she can work out whatever is going on with my back. My body is saying "don't run" but my mind is saying "run, you need this" ... however, our 2011 has been crap-tastic thus far so perhaps ending it with CIM is not the best idea? Stay tuned on this one.

Our Saturday was spent doing a few shopping errands and then Vans and the Peanut headed out to the El Dorado Hell's (not a typo - it is my new name for the town) annual Tree Lighting and for Santa's arrival. Once again, the Peanut was going to meet Santa and I had high hopes that it would be a better experience. Unfortunately there were so many kids that Santa shunned the Peanut and her friends which once again just deflated her. Poor girl. I have big hopes that when Santa visits our neighborhood in a few weeks, that he will give her the time of day.

Sunday came and the girls and I headed to Foresthill to deliver a casserole to a friend who had just had back surgery. The Peanut is in love with them and their dogs ... but especially with their horse. She had a blast and it was a beautiful day. We could not stay too long because Vans was waiting for us.

In an effort to continue to keep things festive ... we decorated our house for Christmas which is way earlier than we normally do and we put up our Christmas lights to show those thieves and the neighbors that we are still going to celebrate the holiday season (again, thank Vans for this one).

The Peanut refuses to give up our pumpkins though.

See Squeaker ... this is a pumpkin!

We'll just continue to try making this the best holiday we can for the sake of the girls.

Vans - we need to replace that strand! :-)

Friday, November 18, 2011


It is with a very heavy heart that I must share that the Trailmomma blog will be taking a break.

We have been the victim of a robbery. Thieves have invaded our home and have stolen all of our electronic devices (minus our phones). These computers, cameras and other items contained personal information as well as all of the baby photos for the Peanut and Squeaker. All of our memories are gone.

They also have stolen jewelry given to me by my mother that is irreplaceable. Items Vans has given to me over the years are also gone.

We have our health and we have amazing friends but we have a long road ahead of us involving identity theft companies, credit companies and insurance companies.

The girls are safe and so far clueless (we hope). These horrid thieves used the Peanut's new flannel pillow case to remove the loot.

I hope karma works and that they get what is coming to them. Today I ran 12 miles in the rain. It was more of a stress reliever than a training run but it was well needed.

CIM is going to be the toughest 26.2 I have ever run. My head and heart are so far out of a marathon mindset it is just silly.

But somehow, I feel the need to try. This year needs to end on a positive note. We are taking any and all prayers.

Sincerely - Trailmomma and Family

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 14, 2011


It was the best of times .... it was the worst of times ... yesterday was definitely the worst. Ever.

I've bonked in a race before. CIM 2005 actually. It was at mile 20 and it was awful. Yesterday, I would not necessarily say I was bonking ... whatever it was though it beat me up physically and mentally.

The weekend started out happy enough. The girls and I were off on Friday for Veteran's Day. We ran a lot of errands together which was nice. Both Squeaker and the Peanut started showing signs of runny noses, hoarse voices and fussiness. I also was starting to feel the twinges of a sore throat and just overall tiredness.

Still smiling even though she is not feeling well.

I tried keeping things low key on Friday which means letting the Peanut watch a little more tv than usual. She did not watch tv all day though. Thursday was Crazy Hat day at school and she spent all day Friday wearing her "crazy hat" that she made which is really just a sparkly "crown."

She put "jewels" on it.

Vans had a soccer game on Friday evening so it was just us girls well into the evening. Talk about an exhausting day but these two were just laughing it up ....


Too funny.

Saturday morning I attempted to go out for a short run to shake the legs out. Due to work issues and a terrible commute ... I basically had 3 treadmill miles on my legs all week long. Not a good thing when you are training for a marathon AND have a 20 miler that weekend. My run on Saturday was okay. Things were achy but it felt good to get outside.

Later that day we went and watched Biceps run the Folsom Point 50K at a spot over near our house. The course ran into the Salmon Falls area which I have never run but looked quite pretty. I might have to go explore that area some time. Regardless it was a mile plus hike in the woods with a 3.5 year old and a 5 month old, both who were sick. That's a recipe for disaster and tears if I ever heard one. Biceps did great though and finished second in her age group!

Vans then took the Peanut to see Grandma while I tried to get Squeaker to take something that resembled a nap. Poor kid cannot breathe out her nose to even settle herself. While she napped however, I also napped. I needed it. I've been burning the candle at both ends and with a sore throat looming I just wanted to rest.

I cannot imagine how Sunday's race would have gone had I not had two naps on Saturday (yes, two mini naps but they were heaven).

I bailed on my plans to stay at a friend's house in Elk Grove because Squeaker was sick and needed me. I ended up waking up quite a bit that night (3 times total) but when I left the house at 7 am I felt okay. Fairly rested and anxious to just get to Clarksburg which is about 45 minutes from the house.

I arrived, parked in a great spot and ventured into the high school to get my race stuff. The porta potty lines were already getting long so I jumped in line. Then I went back to my car to take care of my mommy stuff, change out of my compression socks and into my shoes and basically get focused.

It has been a few years since I have done the Clarksburg Country Run. It is a great race that has a 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon and a 20 Mile (and relay) option. The race falls 3 weeks before CIM which is great because almost everyone doing the 20 miler you can bet is running CIM in three weeks. It is a great training run. If it wasn't for the 20 miles in Clarksburg I probably would not manage a 20 miler before running CIM. It forces me to run at least 20 miles and that is why every time I run CIM, I run Clarksburg.

They changed the starting location from when I ran it last but I didn't mind. It was actually easier. The first few miles I spent shaking out some twinges in my legs but I felt okay. My garmin froze on me before leaving the car and I realized that it had been frozen the entire time it sat in its charger so it started beeping at me at mile 4 that the battery was dying. Somewhere between miles 8 and 9 it died completely which in hind sight, was probably a good thing otherwise I might have died watching how slow my miles were getting as the race moved on.

Yet, miles 1 through 8 were between an 8:30 and 8:40 pace and I felt okay. I even felt okay at mile 10 where you essentially "turn around" and head back. The only downer at that point however was the fact that we (it seemed) were running straight into a head wind. If it wasn't hitting us straight on, it was hitting us from the side. This run is on old country roads that are not evenly paved and very concave making it quite the problem for people who suffer from knee and ankle issues. It also is like a wind tunnel in some areas with the wind just blowing straight across. Brutal.

Around mile 10 though you pass a lot of runners as it is a loop and I saw Miss P and a few Buffalo Chippers out there and that made me smile. Miss P looked super strong.

I, however, was starting to fade. I had taken a gel at mile 8 and then again at mile 13 and was planning on taking my third at mile 18. I also at mile 12 took a salt tab as I started to feel some twinges in my calves and quads. It felt as if at any moment, they would seize up into massive cramps. I have never had this happen in a race but I have seen it happen to many. It does not look pretty. The salt seemed to help a little or maybe it was mental, who knows.

However when I hit mile 14 things started to fall apart. I had taken a gel at 13 and then I also took another salt tab around mile 14 because again, my legs started to cramp ever so slightly. The weather was glorious but it also started getting a tad warm. I had Smart Water in my water bottle that I had been drinking all race. Not sure if that "electrolyte water" is a hoax or not but I figured why not, water is water at least.

I told myself I could have another gel at mile 16 instead of 18 just to play with my head. Mentally I was starting to lose steam. A few girls that I had passed, passed me on this stretch and that deflated me. I was not out there racing anyone, including myself but just being passed no matter what the situation, is rough. Physically, I was shot. Tigger T passed me too some where in this horrible stretch and bless her heart, she yelled "C'mon Trailmomma!" but I was too far gone at that point. I wanted to run fast with her. She looked strong.

Mile 16 I took my gel and walked. I tried so hard not to walk but I did when taking my final gel. Just as I had suspected, it was hard to start again but it was also too painful to walk. I kept going. I just kept telling myself "you can do this, you can do this" and I trudged on. Mile 18 I walked again. I actually took some Gatorade from an aid-station because I was grasping at straws even though I know it was just too late. My legs were d-o-n-e. Mile 19 I took the earphones out of my ears afraid that my play list would repeat one more time. I also thought that if I could hear the crowd, the announcer, anything that it would help propel me to the finish line.

I crossed the finish line at 3:08 with a 9:26 average pace. Ironically, that is the pace my training plan said I should run ... if I was still following my training plan. I have never thrown up from a race before but I was very very close at the end of this race. My legs seized and I just kept moving. I knew if I stopped or sat down, it was bad news. Tigger T found me post race and reminded me that there are going to be many CIM's down the road.

She is right. After yesterday's race I had pretty much decided that I might not run CIM in three weeks. As painful as yesterday was, there was no way I could manage another 6.2 miles without walking most if not all of that. However, I also remember saying this the last time I ran this race ... but my pace was way better in 2009 despite a real injury.

I am sort of in a holding pattern right now. I came home to an unhappy family. The cranky sick kids and the stress of dealing with that was a bit much for Vans. I don't feel like I have much of a support system right now and that my running is not only causing family stress, I am stressed. Running is not fun right now. I have a few big decisions to make about my running future in the next few weeks but I am putting off making anything final until after December 4, 2011 ... the California International Marathon. I realize now that even though I have three weeks until CIM, I need to spend it running even if I am in taper mode.

After the race I stood in our ice cold pool for quite a while to ease off any pending aches and pains. It seemed to help as I am not that sore today. I will probably take today off from running and then try and resume my training hopefully doing a better job than I have this past month. My scratchy throat seems to have returned although it could be because I am constantly surrounded by sick kids....

with lots of snot....