Saturday, June 30, 2012


Okay, I recaped the marathon. Now it is time to recap the vacation as well as the Peanut's half mile race and Van's Duathlon.
We left early on a Thursday morning. Van's had a mountain bike race on Wednesday night so I was left with the girls and loading the car because I wanted to be on the road by 6:00 am and Van's is NOT a morning person.

I think we officially left by 6:30 a.m. so not too shabby I guess. We stopped at a Starbucks on the way out to get some caffeine for the trip and the girls were dressed in their pajamas with hopes (har har) that they'd quickly fall back to sleep in the car. 

Because of the coffee, our first stop was within an hour but it was brief. I drove the first three or three and half hours or so while Vans tried to catch some sleep. The girls did fall back to sleep for a bit eventually.

Rest stops were always welcomed though as a chance to stretch our legs.

My traveling crew

Peanut loves to travel

I have to admit, the girls were great travelers. I packed lots of snacks and we had DVDs for the Peanut. Poor Squeaker had to stare outside the back window and watch Vans's bike blowing in the wind. She seemed content and slept well enough.
Group Hug!

We stopped for lunch and I have to say, I LOVE Oregon. Their Subway chains are a test company for some gluten free bread! On the drive up, with a marathon pending in two days, I didn't want to risk trying a sandwich BUT the workers at the Subway explained to me that they not only change gloves, they clean their work stations and use separate knives. They even did so when they made my veggie salad! I vowed to try a sandwich on the ride home.

We arrived in Sunriver a lot earlier than expected. We stopped at the local mart to buy a few things for dinner. I texted Mommy on the Run to see when they planned to arrive and what their dinner plans were. They were not even close and not planning to stop so I told them we'd have dinner waiting and ready for everyone.

Squeaker and Bundles meet for the first time
(photo compliments of Mommy on the Run)

These two are roughly 12+ months and 13+ months apart respectively. Both teething. Both food throwers and both pretty hilarious. Bundles could pummel Squeaker easily but Bundles is also a snuggler and a love. I fell for her instantly.

Friday we ventured into Bend Oregon, something we never did in 2010. We hit up a Trader Joes because they don't have those in Canada and Mommy on the Run was beside herself with giddy over it all. She could not believe the prices, the variety and the types of things they had. We loaded up since our condo fridge was empty. After Trader Joes we went to Costco where we were a bit more streamlined in our purchases ... diapers, wipes, fruit etc. Vans bought his "girlfriend" JD a remote control race car (as well as one for himself) so we knew trouble was ahead.

On the way home it started to rain. We stopped at the Athlete's Village to pick up our race packets only to be pelted by hail on our way to the car. Lovely. We were all seriously shaking in our boots, not only from the cold weather but from the possibility that we all might have to race in this weather. As you know from my race report, the weather held off for the marathon and half marathon.

So bored that me reading a book was entertainment

Saturday came and went. Marathon and Half Marathon run and finished and celebrated. The rest of Saturday however was spent with Vans and JD going over their game plan for their duathlon the next day. They had to figure out how to get their bikes to the transition area where the triathletes were actually swimming and figure out how they were getting to the starting area early Sunday morning.

Transition area

and fun for Peanut and Monkey

With all the logistics for the boys figured out, it was time to figure out the logistics for us moms. We had four kids, two of whom were racing as well on Sunday morning.

However, the boys were up bright and early (much to my surprise) on Sunday getting themselves ready for their race.

Racing boys

The boys drove themselves to the start and parked. We really had no clue as to when to expect them to hit the run transition but we were "thinking" 90 minutes was roughly a good estimate.

So, four kids = four car seats. Unfortunately at this point, Squeaker started developing a fever, stopped sleeping and was real clingy. We were able to fit four car seats and two BOB jogging strollers into my car as well as two adults, diaper bags, coolers etc. Mommy on the Run and I were out the door with literally two minutes to spare before Peanut and Monkey's half mile start.

Racing Peanut

Holding hands at the start.

They actually held hands the whole first quarter mile of the race. Then I think the altitude hit the Peanut and she had to stop and walk while Monkey just continued on. That girl is going to be an excellent athlete some day.

Monkey coming into the finish

The Peanut coming into the finish

(who hate posing for photos)

After some lunch, a few melt downs and whatever else comes along with four kids we made it back out to the course to watch JD and Vans finish their duathlon.

Here comes JD with Monkey waiting to run with him

Vans with the Peanut

Vans won second in his age group and JD won first!!
(Same age group ... you can imagine the competition)

But the "bro-mance" survives

With all the racing behind us, the rest of the vacation involved nothing but relaxing, eating good food, trying to find ways to lay out in the sun even though the temps were never quite that warm and breaking up the occasional "problem" between Monkey and the Peanut (they are both four, running on fumes and stuck indoors ... space is bound to be needed at some point).

We had some nice walks after dinner which also included walking and having some wine while the kids road their bikes along the bike trails ...

They road

while the adults talked ...

But then things got a little crazy. JD mentioned something about climbing a tree barefoot with just his belt buckle ... one thing led to another and ...

Watch out Bear Grylls, JD is the new Survivorman!

I also had to partake in the fun and test the waters of my marathon recovery ...

with a front hand spring

I won't go calling the Olympics just yet

The kids were highly amused if a little worried.

Other interesting parts of the week were when when Vans and JD decided to go for a "leisurely" bike ride and JD arrived home looking like this:

His whole left side was road rash, ouch.

Before we knew it, it was time to go home.

Squeaker volunteered to drive first

Despite some chilly and wet weather, the week was a success. I miss our friends already. The girls liked having someone their age to play with on a moment's notice (despite a few quarrels), the moms I think also liked having someone to "play" with or attempt to relax with and the dads also had some nice bonding time with a few bike rides and trips to the various pools etc.

The drive home was similar although it took quite a bit longer to get home. I do have to mention one funny thing though. We were barely on the road when Peanut says "Hey I want Ban Joey please!" Vans and I look at each other with that "What did she say?" look. Here is how the conversation played out:

Me: You want what?
Peanut: I want Ban Joey.
Me: Van what?
Peanut: No, Ban Joey. I want to hear the song - the one that goes ONE TWO THREE FOUR! (yelling) (I am looking at Vans and mouth "what is she talking about?")
Peanut: You know, your Ban Joey song momma!

Finally a light bulb goes off in both mine and Vans's head at the same time. She means BON JOVI!!! Not Ban Joey and she was requesting the song You Were Born to Be My Baby (because I sing this song in the car with them all the time) ... I am a Jersey Girl at heart after all and Bon Jovi is always in my CD player.

I put the song on and the Peanut and I belted out the lryics while Squeaker rocked out in her car seat to the music ... Vans just rolled his eyes and continued driving.

It was the perfect end to a successful vacation despite all four of us now having a cold and Squeaker having a double ear infection. Life isn't pretty at home right now but it is nice to be home. I've already gone on a short run and the legs feel great. I have a few goals in mind of what I want to accomplish the next few months and then I have two half marathons in October that I would like to do.

We have guests coming to stay in July and more guests coming to stay in August. The Trailmomma house is always busy and that is just the way I like it.

Mt Shasta



Friday, June 29, 2012


What a week! We have been in Oregon for a week with our Canadian friends. It was a great trip but I am also glad to be home.

We did this same trip in 2010 for the first time. I ran the half-marathon. This year, since I had a DNS with CIM, I wanted to run the marathon and have number five under my belt and what better way than in the beautiful state of Oregon with my friends and family who were all competing in some way or another.

The Pacific Crest Half-Marathon and Marathon are held during their Weekend Sports Festival. It is literally four days of racing in various forms. In 2010 the weather was sunny and warm. This year we were lucky to see the sun our last two days in Oregon.

We arrived in Sunriver on Thursday afternoon and met up with Mommy on the Run and her family at the condo we had rented for the week. Friday we all went to packet pick up ... in the pouring rain and cold. When we left packet pick up, it started hailing!

The weekend racing schedule looked like this:
  • Saturday: 7:30 am - my marathon start
  • Saturday: 8:00 am - Mommy on the Run's Half Marathon start
  • Sunday:   8:00 am - The Peanut and her friend Monkey's half-mile race start
  • Sunday:   9:00 am Vans and JD's Duathlon start (28 mile bike & a 10K run)
Also keep in mind that we have a 12 month old Squeaker and Mommy on the Run has a 13 month old named Bundles to look after ... exhausted much?

I will do another post with vacation photos and such (believe me, I have lots of stories to share including two bike crashes, 2 fevers, crazy front handsprings and a swollen eye).

The half marathon and marathon course looked like this:

The marathon essentially did two loops of the half marathon course. I have never in my life done a two loop marathon. In fact, I have never done any other marathon other than the California International Marathon.

The elevation in Sunriver is 4,200 ft above sea level. Sacramento is about 47 feet. Um, yup that's a huge difference. The course was essentially flat with a few rolling hills but those little rollers can feel quite large when you are tired and sucking wind from altitude issues. The course was also strictly on a bike path/golf course path the entire time which was nice in some ways and not nice in others which I will detail later.

The night before the race I woke up a few times because I heard the torrential down pour happening outside my window. Squeaker slept fairly decently but not through the night by any stretch. I also slept in some compression gear the night before hoping it would help. Overall though, I went to bed early, I fueled well the night before and I woke up rested. More rested than I have felt in a long time.

I had some last minute wardrobe changes though. I was planning on running in a tank top with arm sleeves if necessary because I assumed we would have warm weather. Nope. Then I thought that the less fabric I had on me the warmer I would be if it was to rain. I eventually changed into a t-shirt with arm sleeves, a hat instead of my visor and I wore my compression socks which I have never run more than 10 miles in before.

The racing mommies!!!

Mommy on the Run helping me with my Garmin

I ditched the bag before getting out of the car

Wet but not raining at least! Off we go!

JD was able to drop me off literally at the starting line. As in, I stepped out of the car, walked two feet to listen to the pre-race talk. Talk about convenient. As the race director was explaining the course to us, I looked around at my fellow racers. There were not many people there at all. In fact, the total number of marathoners was only 133!! 61 finishers were male and 72 were female. I have never run a race that tiny before! CIM is usually 5,000 plus so this was a whole new type of race which actually would affect me later on during the race.

When the race gun went off I just started jogging. I started near the back which I usually never do. I wanted to run this race without any pressure on myself. My recent ankle issues of late have really been plaguing me and I had no idea how I would perform.  

Well about mile 6 I had an "oh crap" moment. My lungs were burning from the altitude and my ankle started aching ... already! Shoot. I literally had thoughts in my head of DNF'ing already but I quickly pushed them aside.

I started to get frustrated because my garmin would beep for mileage but it was about three quarters of a mile off! So when I looked down to see mile 7 on my garmin, I was really only at mile 6. The mental games had started.

Now I admit, the Pacific Crest Race Directors do a wonderful job putting on these events. Every race runs seamlessly. There are aid stations almost every mile (along with porta potties). They have water, electrolytes and gels! The volunteers are sweet and very helpful. The packet pick up was a complete disaster this year but I guess as long as the races themselves are run well, that is minimal.

Since there were only 133 runners, it was COLD (although not raining) and in a tiny community, there were practically NO spectators out on the course. That meant NO cheering, NO clapping and NO motivation. When you are already down on yourself, not having that support can really get to you.

At one point around mile 8 or so, I passed a crowd of about 5 or 6 people who were standing along side the course sipping hot coffee watching us runners go by. No one clapped. No one said a thing. I turned to the runner beside me and said "Man, this has to be the quietest and lonliest marathon I have ever done!" She turned and said, "I was thinking the exact same thing!" Now keep in mind, with 133 runners, having someone next me was actually a fluke as no one had been near me for 8 miles.

So April from Seattle and I ran together chatting to kill the boredom for quite a while. She was nice. This was her fourth marathon and her first double loop course as well. Her pace was decent, probably slower than my 'normal' but I was okay with that because that was my goal, go slow.

When we ran past the finish line to start our second loop we tried to mentally convince ourselves that Race 1 was over and we were just starting Race 2 aka mile 1 vs mile 13 etc. We hit one of the larger rolling hills and April took off and I just lost steam. My ankle was hurting and my lungs were still not quite settled. I yelled "Go April Go!" and off she went.

At about mile 14 though, I saw the best thing in the world.

The Peanut

and Vans

hugs for mommy!

I told Vans that my ankle was slowly starting to ache but not nearly as bad as in the past. The cortisone must have been dulling the pain some what. However, I just could not manage any speed. Every time I tried to run faster the ankle hurt more so I just sort of ran at a pace that was comfortable trying to forget that I was probably going to run the slowest marathon yet.

After seeing me, Vans and the Peanut and the rest of the crew tried to kill some time before I would reach the finish.

with hot chocolate

and picking flowers

At about mile 16 I put in my ear phones and made a deal with myself. I told myself since the aid stations were a mile a part, that if I ran hard to each aid station that I could walk through the station sipping water. That seemed to work. For a while, I was running hard (as hard as I could) to each aid station passing quite a few people and then would walk through it drinking water. Eventually, the speed started to disappear and it became a mental challenge to just keep running between aid stations. I never walked though unless it was at an aid station.  

When I got to mile 20 I knew that I would finish and finish running. I felt "ok" considering but definitely tired and spent. I was consuming Hammer Gels (mmmm, Apple Cinnamon) along the way and water at every aid station. Mile 24 came and I got chills knowing that I was only two miles from the finish.

Mile 25 came and I actually did stop at that aid station and then managed a one mile gimpy sprint to the finish. I was running into the half marathon walkers at this point who were three and four across the bike trail. I'd yell "runner back" and they'd yell "which side" and I'd yell "I don't know and I don't care" and they'd laugh and move over for me.

Finally I heard the announcer and the people cheering at the finish!

coming into the finish

Running to the finish with Peanut and Monkey

As I was crossing the finish line the announcer said my name but apparently my last name was a little daunting for him because everyone heard "Here comes .... Pamela ... oh dear" and that was it. ha!!

Once I crossed the finish Mommy on the Run found me and lead me directly to the free massage tent she had found and then wisked the girls back to their dads. She had run the half and was well aware of what the finish area contained and she knew my ankle situation was probably not very good. She came back into the tent to hand me my recovery drink that we both have been loving and raving about lately (more on that later). She also took care of my odds and ends (iShuffle, arm warmer etc). She was awesome because as soon as the massage had ended I started shaking uncontrollably.

The weather for CIM and the weather for this race are very similar. CIM actually has a colder start and a warmer finish but regardless, I am usually quite cold after a long run like this. JD who is also nicknamed Arctic Man asked me if I was okay as I was literally shivering so hard my teeth were chattering.

But I finished!

The Peanut was happy I was home

While I was busy recovering Peanut and Monkey were enjoying the post race activities.

All aboard the choo choo train

So out of 16 women in my age group (which was the largest) I was 7th. I was 56th out of 133 total. My final time was 4 hours 19 minutes which is about a 9:55 pace. My first half was faster than my second half. Overall, that is not my worst marathon time. My worst was in 2006 when I bonked and finished injured. I am not entirely disappointed with my time/pace based on what I struggled through just to get to the starting line.

It doesn't however, sit well with me being my possible "last" marathon though. I know I need to take a break from long distance running for a while (I have two half marathons in October). I have to figure out if ankle surgery will be in my future or see about other ways to minimize the pain.

What bugs me the most is that a few hours after the race, I felt fine. This was the first marathon in history that I did not have a single sore muscle. No walking down stairs backwards the next day. Absolutely nothing bothered me after the race or even days after the race. My ankle pain was gone too. It only hurts while running which is the most frustrating thing ever.

Everyone was probably tired of hearing how NOT sore I was but I am just so shocked. I think my post race recovery drink which was consumed 10 minutes within finishing really helped. I think wearing compression socks the day before, the night of and quite possibly during the race really did help. I also purchased compression shorts that I wore after the race as well for added measure. Whatever it was ... it worked.

Our evening post race. Water, wine, chocolate chips & Puffins
(we did have an actual meal earlier)

I do have a cold now thanks to Squeaker. In fact, all four of us have colds. Like I mentioned earlier, I will do another whole post on the vacation itself. I will recap both Peanut's run and Van's Duathlon. It was definitely a weekend of activity for all and I love that our girls were a part of it and I love that we were able to do it with Mommy on the Run's family as well. She will post her race report as soon as she gets back home I am sure. She's run quite a few half marathons in a very short time and done well at all of them.

Go team!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I hope this works!

Sally Edwards and I were on Good Day Sacramento this morning (I had to wake up at 4 am)! It was fun but really quick. Hopefully this link works.

Good Day Sacramento - App of the Week

The reporter (Julissa Ortiz) is not a runner but she had some major energy. Luckily Sally did all the talking since she is the pro both iPhone App-wise and training-wise.

I am taking it easy the next few days really trying to rest my body. Actually I should go take a nap since I got all of about 20 minutes of sleep last night between Squeaker and my excitement of having to wake up at 4 am to be on Good Day Sacramento!

Monday, June 18, 2012


My marathon is on Saturday. I know taper usually messes with one's head but man ... my head and body are really freaking out here.

Last week I ran 13.5 on Friday as scheduled. I was limping the entire weekend with ankle pain. Normally my ankle only hurts while running (and not until about 10 miles in at that) but last weekend it was screaming all weekend long. I was also toast. I woke up the next day more sore than I have been in all of my training and just miserable.

It did dawn on me that I ran my miles, came home and quickly got busy with odds and ends and never refueled properly ... basically I didn't eat for HOURS after that run. Add to that, my less than stellar diet of late. I basically come home and quickly make the girls dinner and pick at what I made for them and then later in the evening (way too late actually) I am hungry but not for a real meal and then end up snacking on more junk. The cycle repeats itself daily.

I am reading Brendan Brazier's Thrive book (The Vegan Nutrition Guide) and a lot of what he says makes sense about nutritional stress on the body. I can honestly say I have been loading myself up with toxins because I am tired and lazy from chasing after two kids, being a chauffeur and trying to be supermom on top of all that. Oh and there is that little thing called a child who wakes 3 times a night!

This past Friday I was supposed to run 8 to 10 miles according to my plan but Squeaker had her one year check up along with FIVE shots (poor kid) and so I bailed on running to spend the day with her. That is one choice I don't regret. Saturday morning I tried to run and actually managed about 9 miles but it was painful, slow and involved a lot of walking. I am basically freaking out that I don't have the fitness, stamina or mental capability of running 26.2 miles on Saturday.

I know that I can bow down and do the half. I know that I don't HAVE to force myself to run but a part of me knows that if I bail on this marathon TOO that I won't be happy until I have completed one. I can let go of the PR and any hopes of BQing although I do not like doing that as I feel like I am basically giving up without even trying. Ugh. I just need someone to tell me what to do! Life was much easier when I didn't have to make decisions.

Here I am complaining about 26.2 miles when my good friend Coach Nikon is running 100 miles this weekend at Western States. This is the race of all races and I am bummed I won't be out there to support him and cheer him on. Maybe I will channel all those amazing athletes who will be running 100 miles on Saturday to help me finish 26.2. If you're local to the area, go out and volunteer at Western States. I guarantee you won't be disappointed and you will just be in awe with the determination, fitness and drive these runners have out there. Amazing.

Anyway, back to my marathon and taper week. I met up with the Massage Master Lily Brantley for a massage that was challenging because I brought along both the Peanut and Squeaker. Lily worked hard though. I also just received a cortisone shot today on my ankle (thank you Dr. Gilles) because I know I could not survive the miles without it. Vans scoffs at me saying only "pros" need Cortisone! ha Pro I am not but hey, if it works ... might as well and I promise, no more shots before races just to "get by" as I know that isn't healthy.

The girls are excited to race this weekend too. The Peanut has a half mile race and Squeaker is just going to go with the flow and be dragged to all the events and expos. I don't plan on making my decision until game time. I am hoping the expo excitement will really help and that the cortisone will kick in. I don't HAVE to run with my Garmin either which might reduce some stress but at the same time, I am a data girl and not knowing would kill me. Any words of advice out there?

Now on to the fun stuff .... Peanut and Squeaker!

The Peanut and her BFF at swim lessons

Squeaker getting into mischief

**The following photos is Squeaker POST shots ... girl is not phased**

What? Am I not supposed to be in here?

But it is so much fun!

nah-nah you can't catch me!