Monday, July 30, 2012


We're back!!!

Jersey Dad and Jersey Mom have been out visiting for a week. It was a wonderful week and I miss them both. The girls also miss them a lot.

We had a great week of fun including a trip to the theater! Jersey Mom, Peanut and I went to the Music Circus in downtown Sacramento to see The Little Mermaid! It was the most amazing play ever. I think the adults were more impressed than the kids. We arranged to have the Peanut's two young buddies join us (their moms too) and it was just adorable watching them all giggle and hug each other.

Three Best Friends

Isn't that photo just adorable? They are all four years old but they treat each other like they have known each other for twenty years. It melts my heart.

While the grandparents were here there was lots of spoiling, playing and laughter. It was so nice having them here.

Jersey Mom (aka Gramie) helping Squeaker with her shoes

(poor quality photo but you get the point)
Squeaker decided to wear her sisters underwear!

Jersey Dad (aka Poppy) and Jersey Mom (aka Gramie) helped in so many ways. They entertained the girls so I could get workouts in. I was able to cook some nice vegan meals in peace while they all played together or watched tv. They even allowed Vans and I to take an over night in Lake Tahoe!!!

That's right, for the first time in four and a half YEARS Vans and I had a night away from the girls!! We decided to head to South Lake Tahoe just for a night and stay at the Embassy Suites. It was wonderful. We of course missed the girls but we were awe struck how FAST one can pack up and get out the door WITHOUT kids in tow! Wherever we went ... it took us five minutes to get out the door.

Our first stop was a beach in South Shore ...

We just relaxed, read, swam and talked. It was nice. We eventually packed up and headed to the Embassy Suites. We choose that hotel chain because they have FREE Happy Hour from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm in their lobbies ... can't beat that!

Cactus Bites! Yum

Vans and I had a nice time in Tahoe. We danced all night long and stayed up way too late but we were able to sleep in later then we have in a very long time. Thank you Poppy and Gramie! Thank you so very much.

Their visit was very short but so wonderful. We might be seeing them again soon in November IN New Jersey (I really hope so) ... the girls love them dearly.

Other than their visit, I have been running here and there but not a lot. I have been focusing on building muscle and core strength and I have to say it is really working! I am really seeing some results with my new routine and my modified diet.

In other news, Squeaker is finally done nursing. Bittersweet but my crewing at Tahoe Rim really was the nail that ended it all since I wasn't home much that weekend. She's doing okay, as am I. Actually, I stumbled across a few photos that Van's took while I was crewing in Tahoe.




Helping Dad clean the office ...

That last picture made me laugh out loud. Squeaker doesn't look so sure about sharing the box with her big sister.

We are having a great summer so far and we have more adventures to come and more company coming to stay with us next month.

Despite all the bad things that have happened to us over the last year or so ... I have to say I feel lucky, blessed and over joyed with what I have in my life. Family is everything and I love mine.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Yesterday was the Tahoe Rim Trail 50K, 50 Mile and 100 Mile race. Pigeon has been doing these races consecutively since I have known  her (even though each year she swears she won't run it again the following year).

The slogan for this race is "A Glimpse of Heaven .... A Taste of Hell" and even though I have never run this course (yet) ... every runner, no matter the distance, has said that slogan is pretty darn accurate.

Years past, Pigeon has run the 50K. This year she set her sights high and trained like a machine and wanted to do the 50 Miler. Originally I was going to pace her the last 25 miles but due to my ankle and my inferior athletic ability right now, she decided (and I agreed) that Coach Nikon was probably her best and ideal pacing partner.

She did however, ask me to crew her and I of course said yes! Instead of car camping with her, due to child care issues, I decided to drive up Saturday morning, the day of the race. I woke up at 3 am and left my house at 4 am to meet Coach Nikon where we would car pool to the Tunnel Creek Aid Station (11 miles into the race).

The race started at 6 am and we knew there was no way we were getting to the start. So we drove up highway 80 talking most of the way despite our lack of caffeine. Once we hit Truckee, I needed to use a bathroom and Coach Nikon needed an espresso and fast.

We hit the Safeway in town and walked in like we owned the joint ... at about 5:30 am .... we split up to do our necessary duties and I think we both realized the same exact thing at about the same time. On my way out of the bathroom (which is in the belly of the store) ... I caught Coach Nikon's eye across a few aisles and he mouthed "I think they are closed!" Yup, sure enough the whole store was closed (workers were furiously stocking shelves, no one saying a word). The doors had opened for us and we just went walking all around not realizing we were not supposed to be in there. It was pretty funny. We found a Starbucks that WAS open got our drinks and headed for the Tunnel Creek Aid Station.

We parked our car and started the 3.5 ish mile climb to the Tunnel Creek Aid Station. Hiking and talking the whole way. Now, Coach Nikon just ran 100 Miles at Western States a few weeks ago ... so it was pretty embarrassing that I was sucking wind just HIKING up this hill while he was just breathing like it was no big deal. That man is in some serious shape. Me? Not so much.

We did however stop to take a few photos for Pigeon ...

Long live the JC Penny Pose!


The hike to Tunnel Creek is a good climb and has the most beautiful views. Once we reached the top however, Coach Nikon was Mr. Popular. He knows everyone in the Ultra Running Community it seems.

Mr. Popular

It was fun being at Tunnel Creek because you get to see the runners at least twice if you stay there long enough for them to come back up from the Red House Loop. We really enjoyed helping everyone that was coming through. The day was getting hotter by the minute.

Soon Pigeon came through. She was very quiet which made Coach Nikon and I pause for a moment because she was not telling us how she was feeling but she looked pretty darn good.

Trying to get some clue as to what she needs

Taking the rocks out of her shoes


Pouring some cold water on her to cool her down

After Tunnel Creek, Coach Nikon and I hiked back down to the car and drove over to Diamond Peak where we would see Pigeon and friends again (those doing the 50 or 100 mile races only).

Of course like goof, I left my camera in the car and so I have no photos of Diamond Peak which is sad because a lot happened there. It is the half way point for the 50 Milers and the day was H.O.T. There were quite a few runners who dropped due to heat and elevation and others who were seriously struggling.

What I failed to get a photo of is the massive climb that Pigeon (and other runners) had to do in order to get out of Diamond Peak. If you have ever been to Diamond Peak to ski or snowboard, just picture trying to hike UP one of the biggest ski runs there. You can bend down and touch the dirt in front of you as you climb without bending at the waist. It is THAT steep.

It was here that Coach Nikon left me to pace Pigeon the last 25 miles of the race. Once they were on their way I bummed around Incline for a bit before trying to get a spot down at Spooner Lake where she would finish about 5 hours later.

Coach Nikon brought her back to life on the trail and she actually came strolling into the finish earlier that originally expected and looking strong!

Finishing 50 miles!!!

12 hours 23 minutes and still smiling!

Way to go Pigeon! She rocked and I am sure she will have a race report up very soon! As for me, just like I do every time I go and watch this race, I come home and tell Vans how bad I really want to try and to the 50K next year ... and maybe it will happen. I told him I want him there though to support and be part of my crew.

My Jersey family is out for a visit now so I'll be off having more adventures!

Monday, July 16, 2012


It was actually a fairly quiet weekend for us. I am not complaining at all because sometimes a nice quiet weekend is what a person needs.

Friday was great because I was able to get in a nice 7 mile run on what I call the Ridge Loop. It is a combination of both road and trails but it is mostly up hill for the first four miles. I have decided my goal is to get better and better at this run by running all the hills and trying to improve my time. I've also been working on my running form a bit as well trying to focus on NOT striking my heal.

Friday evening the Trailmomma household did our usual Concert in the Park and the weather was perfect. TiggerT came out to join us and the Peanut ran her ragged the entire evening.

Saturday was the start of my latest new adventure. In an effort to tone down all the pounding on my ankle I signed up for a three month fitness class that involves a lot of core work, strengthening, TRX and some general conditioning. This is totally outside my element and something I admit I am terrible at. I have poor form, poor core strength and practically no upper body strength. This is definitely going to be a challenge for me. There is also a diet component to it. I am already a gluten free vegan but this program is having me focus on paying attention to portion sizes and eating slowly so that I can tell when I am full which is something I totally stink at doing. It is in my genes. Stuff your face like you'll never have food again. Whole foods all the way.

The Peanut and Squeaker had a nice weekend as well. The Peanut stole the camera yet again and took a few photos ...

Self Portraits

Some feet shots

Squeaker is walking about 80% of the time. When she needs to get some where fast she'll still crawl though. She did great on Saturday morning when I had to escape to my early class.

She is also into "high-fiving" people

Saturday evening was a pool party for the Peanut and Squeaker's daycare. The Peanut was very excited to wear one of her new dresses and I must say, I am very proud of her hair ... she calls it her "princess hair."


Princess Hair

Sunday was a great day because we went to our local farmer's market. We have yet to go this year whereas last year we'd go every Sunday. Squeaker was just chillin taking it all in.

Too cool for school

Vans buying some fruit

The Peanut doesn't eat a single ounce of fruit. Nothing. There is not one fruit that exists on this planet that she will consume but she the loves the farmer's market because they sell "treats" and she always finds a way to get one.

I have a treat!


Squeaker eventually clued in to what the Peanut was eating and wanted some too. Like a great big sister, the Peanut shared.

Squeaker had some cupcake too

Sunday evening we had a nice dinner at TiggerT's house (love having gluten free friends!) and at the same time, Vans and I realized we've totally lost our pool skills. Eight years and two kids ago, he and I were quite the pool sharks ... now we're terrible. TiggerT we want a rematch some day!

Today I took my first strength and conditioning class and I had to modify it a bit as I hurt my knee on Saturday (read: old age? klutzy?). It was nice though to work on some other muscles. I learned very quickly how weak my hips and core are right now ... it is going to be a hard three months.

Looking forward to the weekend ahead as Jersey Dad and my step-mom are coming for a visit. I know the girls are super excited and I am always excited to have them visit. I miss my Jersey family so much some times.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


In my last post, I was going to take a four day break from running. I am happy to report that I actually followed my own rule (for once)!

I've been battling sinus issues for weeks now. Over the weekend we had some good friends over for a swim day! It was a blast.

We did actually swim.

However after they all left, I realized I had a fever and went downhill from there. Finally on Sunday evening I started to feel a little bit better which was good because I had a run date with the Queen of Hearts. When I run with her, I know we'll go at a nice steady pace and usually never more than four or five miles.

We started running our usual route through her neighborhood and then eventually up one of the levees towards the trails that parallel the river. We had not gone far when we started hearing popping sounds and smelling smoke.

All of a sudden the trail in front of us is totally covered in fire! Luckily I almost always carry my cell phone and we hiked up to the levee and called the fire department. They made it out in seven minutes (the Queen of Hearts timed them) and they had the fire out in no time. They thanked us because had it spread it could have jumped the levee and reached a lot of homes.

After my run I went home and was hit hard with a crippling head and sinus ache. I could barely see let alone look at a computer screen or light. I took what I could (which is only Tylenol since I am still nursing Squeaker) and waited patiently for the pain to subside. It eventually did.

That was the last time I ran and I have a run date tomorrow too. I am not sure how it will go. I find it funny that something in my FACE is inhibiting my running. I hate summer colds.

Luckily Squeaker and the Peanut are doing much better cold-wise. So much so ... that one evening Squeaker disappeared and usually I have "mom-ears" and can hear wherever she is and whatever she is doing. This evening, it was too quiet ... which is never good news.

Caught "white" handed ... it was apparently snowing tissues

Today I had the girls all to myself and I was not looking forward to figuring out what to do with them in this heat. So I packed some snacks and some hats and drove towards Tahoe.

I found a little hole in the wall spot that we basically had all to ourselves. The girls had a blast and we stayed cool. Can't beat that.

The Peanut had fun

Squeaker had fun ...

Squeaker really had fun!

It was a great day. A very muddy, sandy and wet day but everyone had fun. When we arrived home the three of us jumped into the pool to cool and wash ourselves off.

I love summer days.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Happy belated Independence Day everyone!

I started the day off with a run with TiggerT. We met at the park and decided on what we thought was the shadiest route ... it was 8 am and already quite warm outside. I was not feeling 100% (still am not) and wasn't sure what the run would bring. Up until yesterday I've only been doing 2 and 3 miles here and there just to get my legs back from the marathon.

It involved a lot of walking. I am battling what I think is a sinus infection and my legs just feel extra tired lately. I actually struggled and decided mid-run that there will be no more running for me until Monday. I will take four solid days off (well, as solid as I can get watching two kids). Friday while the girls are at school I plan on just doing stuff around the house and forcing myself to take a nap. I need to catch up on sleep both from before, during and after the trip. Now that Squeaker has some antibiotics in her for her ear infections, her sleep is a little bit better.

Our Fourth of July was fun. Once I got home from my run, we never left the house. Never got into a car and did nothing but a little cleaning, some moving of furniture and playing with the girls. Once Squeaker went down for a nap, Vans, the Peanut and I headed up to the pool and swam. When Squeaker woke up, she joined us and we all had a blast.

Loving the water

Look at me!

What? We're done already?

The Peanut at one point took our camera and was going to town for at least an hour. We later discovered what she had been taking pictures of ...

Her feet


Her Toys

You get the idea. It was pretty hilarious going through the camera and seeing her photos. She had some nice shots and Vans was proud.

Later in the day we jumped over to Folsom (fireworks are illegal in our county) to Jersey Girl's annual block party jubilee. They usually have a bike parade for the kids, water toss game and just a giant cul de sac for the kids to play in. Very laid back and in the evening the neighborhood dads put on a little fireworks display. It was a fun evening. Thanks Jersey Girl & Folsom!

The Peanut lining up for her bike parade

There she goes

Trailmomma girls

This was AFTER she picked one up and it exploded all over her.
No longer a fan of water balloons.

Someone found cotton candy

Someone else found this
(she is in love with this car)

Her big sister loved "helping" her even more I think

Soon it was time for glow sticks and fireworks. Squeaker had never seen fireworks before and at first was unsure. She did however, love the glow sticks

Perhaps a little too much

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July

Trouble ahead?