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sadly we are reminded every time we want to take a photo to remember the event, that the only cameras we have are our outdated iPhones which I guess is better than nothing at all.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....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I have not been feeling like blogging lately. There is just a lot going on and very little time to post it seems. Yet, I know I have a few loyal readers (hello Debbie the Great Aunt & Pam's Aunt!!!) that really look forward to my posts ... or maybe they look forward to the photos .... either way, I do not want to disappoint.

This weekend was really busy but busy in a good way. On Friday after my office closed, I went on a nice two hour run on the FLAT bike trail near our old house. It was glorious. The weather was perfect, I felt great and I was happy to get my long run out of the way because we had a very big weekend ahead of us.

Saturday morning the family woke up and went out for a family breakfast. Our weeks are generally slam packed with racing here and racing there (mainly to daycare and work) that when evening time comes, I am totally spent and Squeaker is pretty done too. Last week was her first full week at daycare so having a little breakfast celebration was perfect.

Family breakfast at The Purple Place

You cannot really tell in that photo but the Peanut's pancake is ginormous AND delivered with a "happy face" of whip cream on top. Way to start the day with lots of sugar.

After breakfast the Peanut and I had to get ready as we had a mother daughter date planned. A few months ago, I saw a flyer for Beauty and the Beast showing at the Three Stages El Dorado Musical Theater in Folsom. The Peanut is in quite the "princess phase" lately and really enjoys the movie Beauty and the Beast (we had a boot leg copy and have since lost it - oh the drama in our house right now). She was very excited to get dressed up to see her very first play!

Pretty in Pink

Sporting Pink Vans too.
We arrived at the theater a little bit early because I thought they'd have something for the kids to do. They didn't, other than a few photo stills hanging in the lobby ... which was great because I think the Peanut had no idea what to expect. When I said "theater" I believe she thought she was seeing a movie even though we tried to tell to her that was not the case.

When the lights dimmed and the play began, the Peanut was quiet. She preferred to sit in the chair verses on my lap even though her vision was slightly blocked by a woman wearing a hat (please people, do not wear hats to plays geared toward children). She would gasp and smile and clap at the end of each of the scenes. She was so happy.

Intermission came (finally) and she wanted "snacks" and the like. Luckily mom brought a stash from home because theater snacks will cost you an arm and a leg these days. She could not wait however, to get back into the theater!

When the show was over she was eager to leave. I think sitting that long was a lot to ask of a three and a half year old. The second half she fidgeted a lot more and her voice was no longer a whisper when she would ask me questions ... like "Mommy, why isn't Belle's dress orange?" and "Mommy, that Beast is different from the "other" Beast."

But when we walked out into the lobby and saw this ....

Photo ops with Belle and the Beast!?

The Peanut nudged her way as close to Belle as she could. She was bumped and pushed and hit in the head with purses yet she would not leave until she had her photo taken with Belle.

She was happy despite her face.

 I love that she needed to put on her fairy wings too in order to take the above photo. Precious. She also said she enjoyed the musical and that she would go and see more with me. Vans is finally off the hook ... Trailmomma loves musicals.

Sunday was an equally busy day. Daylight savings means nothing to a four month old. Nothing. They wake and sleep whenever they feel like but the extra hour did help with getting Vans and the Peanut ready and out the door.

Vans was running the 3.5 mile Apple Hill Harvest Run and we needed to get moving. The drive up was very ominous...

Down pour

Luckily, by the time we arrived and parked the rain had settled down. Vans had to sprint off to get his race packet and race bib while I was left unloading two very cold little girls and getting them over to the race starting area (which was not close by mind you).

This is how we roll in the rain.

I would have gladly traded places with the Peanut but she wasn't having it. That little BOB cocoon was super warm.

Vans and I alternate this race every year. Last year I ran it and was pregnant. This year it was his turn to run. He has not been running very much lately at all so he was very nervous about running on this hilly course.

While he was off running, I was trying to entertain the girls and keep everyone warm.

Snug as a bug ....

I was also secretly hoping that Vans would run fast ... not only so that he would do well but so that he could get back and help me.

Go Vans Go

Yet in typical Vans style he finished ... first in his age group! He was exhausted but extremely proud.

Sporting his Dylan Flinchum shirt too!

He was even MORE excited to learn that the prize for first place in your age group is not a medal. No, not when you are running the Apple Hill Harvest Run!!!

Nope, first place in THAT race is a fresh home-made Apple Pie!!

Yum! And not Gluten Free!

The rest of our weekend consisted of drying off and going to crazy indoor amusement parks with friends. The Peanut rode her first indoor roller coaster on Sunday and loved it (Vans did not). She is so much like me I have to smile. Maybe that means Squeaker will be more like Vans when she grows up ... but I doubt it. The girl is already rolling all across the room.

Squeaker rolling about

Thursday, November 3, 2011


***This is a first ... a guest post from Vans!***

First Steve Jobs ...  Al Davis it gets worse.   Always in 3’s…. here is your 3rd tragedy.
Today is a day that will be forever remembered. Mark it on your calendars, slip-on the checkerboards, ride a skateboard. Do it for Van.
I need some time.
Maybe I should run my Apple Hill 5k on Sunday in VANS! 

- From Vans


Vans shoes co-founder James Van Doren dies at 72

The Associated Press

Published Thursday, Nov. 03, 2011

FULLERTON, California -- Vans shoes co-founder James Van Doren has died in Southern California at 72.
The Van Doren Rubber Co.'s canvas deck shoes became favorites of the burgeoning skateboard culture because of sticky rubber soles that helped skaters grip their boards.
They got national exposure when Sean Penn wore Vans in the 1982 movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
Van Doren's wife, Char, tells the Los Angeles Times that her husband died at his Fullerton home on Oct. 12 after a lengthy illness. A memorial Mass is planned Friday at Fullerton's St. Juliana Falconieri Church.
Van Doren and his older brother Paul began selling shoes in 1966.
James Van Doren guided the Cypress, California, company through the checkerboard era of the deck shoes. He ran Vans from 1976 to 1984.

Peanut in her first pair of Vans

Dad skating in his Vans with the Peanut

Mom in Vans and Peanut in her second pair of Vans

Squeaker will be sporting her first set of Vans very shortly.