The crockpot is my friend. I've prepped two crockpot meals this week. I fill the old pot before bed and then turn it on when I get home. Usually (because my kids are so picky) there is enough to have as left overs (or lunch) later in the week so I get quite a few meals out of it. I've also been pretty organized in planning all our meals this week. Tonight for example, I came home and made dinner for the girls while simultaneously prepping the crockpot (for tomorrow's dinner) AND making an additional meal for us on Friday because I have to make muffins tomorrow night. Catch all that? Are you as exhausted as I am?
But let's talk about more important stuff ... like running and racing! This past Sunday was the Bay to Bliss Trail Run in Emerald Bay. This was the third time I have done this race. I sort of have a vendetta against this race because the first year I ran it, I was pregnant with Squeaker and didn't know it. The second year I ran it, Squeaker was just three months old and I was up all night and nursing. This year, I had nothing holding me back. I wasn't working (yet) and I had basically 9 months of free running time behind me. The stars should have aligned and I should have had an awesome race ... right? Nope. Ugh, this race rocked me to the core.
It all started on Wednesday when we had an intense lower body workout at Diane's. I felt fine after and even ran with TigerT that day. The next day however, I ran with Pigeon and man, could I feel it in my legs. I took Friday and Saturday off from running as well. I felt semi-rested on Sunday morning but once I started moving, I realized that wasn't the case.
When the whistle went off and we raced UP hill to the trail head, my chest seized and I knew instantly this was not going to be easy. I can tell when I am tired from just running up hill and tired from something else. I couldn't catch my breath and my heart felt like it was going to rip out of my chest it was beating so hard.
Here I come, sucking wind!
There I go ... sucking wind.
The usual crew came out to cheer me on. Vans likes this race because it ends at Lester Beach and we generally hang out a while and enjoy the private beach. This year however, there was a totally different vibe. The park rangers were gruff right from the start and the park was practically filled so Vans had to drop me off and I had to run and then he had to lug both girls to the starting area. We even left the house two hours before the race started.
Last year at this race Squeaker was just three months old! She couldn't even hold her head up ... now she is climbing on stuff.
So excited to be mobile!
Not so sure about this race stuff last year
Anyway, I started off just sucking wind up the hill but I kept running refusing to walk. I was in the front of the pack. When we entered the single track I pushed it hard and I passed quite a few people by running up the embankment. That was pretty much my theme all race. Race the downhills as much as I could and just try and stay steady on the uphills ... which are hard. There is a lot of stair climbing and hills the first five miles. I had forgotten.
At one point I took a gel thinking maybe I needed some energy or fuel and at the very least, it would be a nice chance to take a small walking break. I didn't carry water as they had two aid stations. I didn't feel like I wasn't hydrated and I didn't feel like I was low on energy. I just felt like I was breathing through a straw the entire race at altitude.
While I was out trying to survive, Vans and the girls were experiment with the self timer feature on our camera.
Wait, wait not yet!
There you go.
At mile 4 you hit Vikingsholm and you start climbing stairs. Mile 5 you just hit some up hill tracks. At this point, two girls and a guy were in front of me. The two girls had just passed me so I was feeling deflated a bit. But at one point I know the rest is down hill.
Once we hit that down hill section I turned on the jets and just started flying down. I was on the heels of this girl but she never offered to let me pass and every opportunity that I had to ask she sped up even more so whatever. I just let it go knowing once we hit the pavement parking lot I'd have a chance. Unfortunately at this point, I looked at my watch and new a PR was out of the question but I could still beat my time from last year.
As I would later find out the girl in front of me was from Indiana and she was having an "ah-ha" moment on the trails with the lake being SO close to her. She was just in awe and I had to smile because really, that is one major reason I do this race, the views and being so close to Lake Tahoe. At one point we hit a really sharp curve and the Indiana girl went flying off the course and almost down the embankment which was steep and would have been really bad. Luckily she caught herself and gave her some grief about making me nervous.
Soon we hit the parking lot opening and I said "I don't meant to be rude but I have a PR I want to try and beat" and I just flew by the two girls and the guy and raced as hard as I could.
The Peanut was watching for me ...
And was so happy to have someone to wait with her. ♥
It felt SO good.
I ended up getting fourth in my age group. The first place girl was Gretchen who was also first or second female over all ... she's fast AND she just ran Hardrock. Tough. Go read her race report on that. Wow.
The rest of the time we just had fun on the beach until it was time to go home. This race is tough for the family because we have to load the car and get up early. This year the park rangers at Lester Beach were kicking us out near the end of the race awards. Boo. Still, the girls had fun.
Even Vans was having fun ...
with the free post race Sierra Nevada Beer
**This was not proof read ... no time, so please excuse typos, I will fix ... eventually. :-)