Sunday, May 30, 2010

Western States Training Run!!!

Saturday was finally here!!!! I have been looking forward to this day all week. The Western States Training Run from Robinson Flat to Forrest Hill. Trailmomma and I met up at the school and our adventure continues from there. We did see the Fleet Feet crew were out in force. Here is our adventure of 28 treacherous miles (Fun).
Trailmomma and myself at the start, just jumped off the bus. There were 7 bus loads of ultra runners. The first bus loads of runners took over while we were busy taking photos, but that is O.K. they compacted the snow for us.

Very excited to run in snow! All smiles

The first 4-5 miles we ran uphill in snow. Surprising though it wasn't to cold! It was exciting to be running in some new conditions, but also a little nerve racking because running in snow is no easy task. I was trying not turn an ankle or go knee deep in the snow. The first aid station was at mile #2, GU and water only, they told us to hydrate because once you got in the canyons is was going to be hot and the weather today was warmer than originally predicted.

Approaching Aid Station #1, next aid we didn't know. But it ended up being at mile 15. That is a long ways away, with lots of climbing and down hills so steep you couldn't run them for fear of losing control and going over the cliff. We didn't spend much time at this aid station but once we left a mile or so up the snow I had to use the bathroom. I have a confession to make, during my entire training for AR50 I didn't ever go in the woods. So this was my first time.
I did it. Not so bad! I also have to say that when I woke up that morning I was having some stomach issues and that didn't resolve until I got home well after 5pm. First and only pit stop for me.
We climbed for a long time and the old saying is true what goes up must come down. These entire portion of the course was up, down, than up some more and than down some more and when you think you have had enough there is another down followed by another up. But the views were to die for.

At the top of our first major climb. It was worth it.
While we were running today trailmomma and I were relatively quiet. I think we were both so focused on staying on the trail and enjoying the stillness of it all that we didn't need to talk to keep us positive. Just being out there and in the moment was all I needed. We did occasionally bump into some other runners but for the most part we were alone. Which was great. I never would have thought that at the start with 7 bus loads all full to capacity.
It was great being able to enjoy this with someone. The picture don't do it justice, it just gives you a small taste of what we saw, what you don't get is the smell of the pine trees, the snap of twigs, the tussling of the leaves as we ran through them, the roar of the river-you could here it but not always see it-
After the first climb it started back down again on a fire road of some sort. This was a great opportunity for some off trail adventure. But be careful when off trail because things can get tricky. Just ask trailmomma.

Trailmomma down!!!! Let me tell you what happened. Going "off trail" was needed, she emerged and was telling me her bag wouldn't zip. Huh, that interesting. While I was waiting for her to come maybe 15 feet she just feel over, it happened in slow motion. Of course I didn't want to miss out on this perfect opportunity and told her not to move, I quickly ran over and at the same time pulled my camera out and was ready to take the picture when I paused and asked "are you alright?" and just as the last word came out of my mouth I snapped the picture. This moment was needed and kept me laughing throughout the day. Trailmomma brushed herself off and we went on our way only to see this....

A old tractor, we had to take some photos. During this stretch I kept thinking were is that aid station. It has to be getting close. The miles were ticking away quickly, so fast that I thought my Garmin was broken. But it wasn't I was just enjoying the run so much. I really had no clue where we were. We were going down hill and sure enough before we knew it we hit the river and crossed the bridge and started the accent without a aid station in sight.

There was a sign that read -No more than 5 runners- but of course more than 5 went across and all I hear is trailmomma saying hurry, hurry. The bridge swung back and forth, luckily we all got across alright and started the accent up Devils Thumb. This climb took a lot out of me. We passed a few runners or should I say walkers and we were also passed, but that was o.k. All I was hoping for was a aid station at the top. We climbed and climbed and climbed but it never ended. This must have been what coach Nikon was talking about. The never ending climb.

As you can tell I am way behind but I do have two thumbs up and a smile on my face. On this climb at some point I took in a salt tab and was drinking water. I wanted to do a GU but thought that it wouldn't stay down. Around every switch back up the mountain we went, and went and than some more. Finally we did it we made it up devils thumb.

yes at the top, wait.....No AID.....All I wanted right now was a coke. I was running low on energy and spirit but onward we went. About a mile or two done the road at mile 15 was the second aid. I downed 3 cokes, 2 payday chunks, and grabbed a handful of animal crackers than filled my pack with water and off we went. Once again we headed downhill. At least this downhill was more runnable than the previous. We were going down into Michigan bluff and down we went. I would take the lead for a bit than trailmomma would take the over. It worked out great taking turns. While we were running we discussed how we would tackle accent this time because devils thumb took to much out of us. We decided that at the bottom we would take a GU in and a salt and head up. That is just what we did. It helped for a bit. But all of a sudden I heard a rumble in my stomach and than again another rumble only this time louder. Ugh ooh. I was empty and I mean empty not good. It was mile 21. I didn't realize how much this trail was taking out of me. I was pale also which is not good. I told trailmomma and she thought that maybe around the next corner was Aid station #3. Nope nothing, I was in trouble. I inhaled a GU and a cliff bar and washed it down with water. Luckily everything stayed down.

Taking photos of the view on the ridge line. Don't fall.
After climbing we came upon this.....

Aid station #3. YES!!!! Only I didn't eat, I learned from AR50 the food takes too long to process so I skipped the food drank some coke ate a payday for the sugar and took in a GU and off we went after filling my pack again with water and ice. Thank you!!!!
6 miles to go or so. I was expecting no more big climbs but I was wrong we climbed some more and came upon this gorgeous view.

After climbing we went downhill for a few miles. Taking turns in the lead.

It is amazing we started running in snow, than rivers of mud, than mud, than pine needles, than leaves and now just plain dirt. In the canyons it was extremely warm. I just baked in there. We heard the roar of the river and soon enough we came upon it. A stream crossing, but the current was strong enough to take you away.

Trailmomma went first and I followed. The water felt really good on my legs and it also lifted my spirits by cooling me off. I had dunked my hat in previous crossing in hopes of staying cool. We crossed with no problem and continued up yet again. Only this time it wasn't so bad because we knew we were nearing the end of this journey. We powered up the hill.

Of course once we hit the pavement we still had to climb. I was smiling though because all I was thinking was this reminds me of AR50. We would walk some and than I would say "want to try running?" and sure enough we would, we gave ourselves goals to reach before we would walk again. it seemed to really work because before we knew we were up that hill and only had a bit to the end.

We had made it. The end was great reward. We both a had smiles on our faces just like when we started. 28 miles in 7hrs and 44 min. Wow!!! I ran AR50 in 10hrs and 27 min. That just tells you how hard this section of trail is. I am glad I did it and who knows maybe one day the actual Western States 100. One day I am sure!!! I have a taste of it now and a tiny thought in my head.
It was a great day had by all.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

All alone!

This morning as I was getting ready for my long run of the week the phone rang and it was trailmomma. She was sick and wouldn't be able to make it. Totally understand, but now I was going to run 20 miles all by myself. Not that I couldn't do it, I just didn't want to be alone on  a long run. I had gotten so use to running with friends. But what else could I do but continue on my way. Wait a minute I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start with what happened from last night to hitting the road this morning. It is amazing I even went out today.
Last night I went to Coach Nikon's house and got a massage from his wife Yoda. My body definitely needed it, my hamstrings were tight, my back was killing me, and my shoulder was screaming at me all week. It was so bad I could barely hold it up and than there is my neck it was tight. It has been so tight that on some of my runs it spasms out and I can't move my neck. Yoda worked her magic once again and got me back into form. Thank You so much.
Because of such the early start time this morning I decided I should head out and get some rest. I drove my usual way home, turned onto Madison and maybe went a block when all I could see were brake lights for miles. Yup, a driver license check. All I wanted to do was go home and get some sleep. All three lanes were stopped and there did not seem to be any progress. I was not going to wait to here for hours, I took the next right turn I could and detoured myself around the check point. Luckily I know my way around this area and could do it. I was so glad to be home and to be in bed.
Alarm went off and I thought "What is that, I know it's not time to get up." It was, Toby wasn't thrilled either. that alarm came to quickly it seemed.

"Really!? It's to early. I want to sleep"

 As I was getting ready I was looking for my socks, I couldn't find any. Great, how can I run without my running socks? Not a great start. I did remember I kept a extra pair in my back pack and grabbed them. Guess I need to do some laundry. My phone rang and it was trailmomma saying she couldn't make it, she was too sick. Ohh Man....20 miles by myself? I understood because next weekend we have the 32 mile training run on the Western States trails and we both need to be healthy. Because I got in late last night (10 pm is late) I didn't have my bag ready with clothes, shoes, socks, hat, bottles, gels nothing. So now I was trying to get that put together, when I remembered did I charge my Garmin? Nope it wasn't charged it was at 45% probably not enough to get through this run. I quickly plugged it into my computer in hopes it will charge to at least 75% or so. Now I am scrambling around the house, I almost talked myself into going back to bed because it just didn't seem to be my day. But I didn't I grabbed everything I needed and headed out.

Empty parking lot, just me and the chickens!

I arrived at the Sunrise Bridge put on my pack grabbed my water bottle, adjusted my watch which was charged enough and started out. I went maybe .5 when I realized I didn't have my IPod. Really!!!! It was back at the car. I tossed around the idea of getting it, than not, but ultimately decided upon going back and getting it. It was going to be a long run without something to distract me besides my thoughts. Now that I have everything I headed back out. It was pretty chilly to start but I knew it was going to warm up so I didn't wear any sleeves. Good Call on my part, it did warm up.
Overall my run was solid, my thoughts stayed positive, and I kept a steady pace. I just pushed forward enjoying nature and being alone. I was actually feeling really good once I warmed up and increased my pace which was great mentally. I knew I could hold it. I just kept watching the miles go by and pretty soon it was time to turn around. Yes small victory!!! 10 miles completed only 10 more to go. I took in a Gu a S-cap and pushed on. At 14.5 I needed to stop and stretch my hamstrings after stretching I felt much better.
At this point I broke my run down into check points. I just told myself, about 2.5 to Hazel and than 3 to the car at Sunrise. I can run 2.5 no problem. It worked because I was once again in high spirits. I made it to Hazel and crossed over and now 3 to the end. 3 piece of cake I do that all the time. Only problem was another runner decided to use me to pace them along as well. Usually I am all for it, but today I wasn't feeling it. Actually I should be thanking this runner because it just encouraged me to go a bit harder and push myself that much harder. So I did, I dropped the runner. Yeah! Another small victory. But with 1.5 miles to go I heard the familiar footsteps of that runner. What???? No way, I picked it up again and when I could I looked over my shoulder and saw...Nothing....Maybe I just imagined that runner this time but hey it worked it propelled me to keep the pace. I hit the foot bridge, and what would come on my Ipod, but a nice tempo song. That helped a ton, each beat I took a step, pretty soon I was up that hill and at my final mark of 20 miles. It took me 3:20 to complete. I was excited about that time and my body feels great. I stretched it out and drank my recovery drink ate a banana and drove home with the entire afternoon and most of the morning left.
At the start I wasn't exactly thrilled about doing it alone. In the end I think it made me stronger and I had to push myself. I did miss trailmomma and Coach Nikon's company out there though don't get me wrong. But like Yoda said "you are a ultra runner, you can do 20 by yourself" and I did. I stayed positive and enjoyed the run. Next weekend is the 32 miler and my plan of attack is to take it at a steady pace with trailmomma. Just to complete it is all I am looking for in this run, and also great company along the way.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What A Day!

Today was a busy day at the Pigeon household. This morning I made plans to meet up with my brother for some coffee and to catch up. He had just returned from  the Grand Cayman Islands.

Wish I was there!

After coffee it was time to run. I did 4 miles today, nothing to hard (I was having some tightness in my chest for some odd reason) and at a nice steady pace. Toby came with me and he had a blast.

       Can I come? pleaaaasssseeee?

Lets Go! I am Ready!

After the run it was time to get ready for Meme Time with my nephew. I have been looking forward to this all day, which is way I planned my run for earlier and also took last night off from work so I wouldn't be a zombie. We played in the back yard for a bit, and then he had this great idea to go around the block, only I would be pulling him in his wagon. Off we went around the block.

He is ready to go, with his Chocolate Milk (special surprise treat) and my water.

Around the block we went, we did stop for about 5 min. at his favorite spot and watched all the cars and bicycles go over the speed bump. Second special treat was he got to go over the speed bump twice in his wagon. 

Checking out the speed bump while enjoying his chocolate milk.

After the walk around the block he wanted to go to Target to check out the toddler toys. "OK" I said not exactly thrilled about this adventure, but hey what ever you want it is Meme time and that means fun. As we drove to Target he changed his mind and wanted to go the bookstore. (Yes) At the bookstore he immediately went to Thomas the Train play set and played for about a hour so. I had a hard time getting him away from it.

Train + McQueen= FUN

I was able to talk him away from the train set and we picked out two books each. He picked out Curious George at the Beach and a Lighting McQueen book. While we were at the bookstore I noticed a set of keys just laying around. I asked the lady standing near them if they were hers, "No" she replied and than Lil Man and I returned them in to a sales associate. The sales associate came back to us a few minutes later and she said "Just as I was turning them in up front, a lady on the phone was asking about a missing set of keys." I guess I found them in time, but I am curios how she left with out them? Something to think about.

After the book store we headed home and I warmed up dinner. Lil Man wanted to be a Big Man and eat like Meme does. That is in a chair at the table, not his toddler chair. We enjoyed some rice and chicken with carrots. He ate every last bit of food on his plate, he was hungry from our great adventures today.

"I'm hungry"

After dinner it was time for our evening walk, this time we went to the park instead of around the neighborhood. I had a lot fun going down the slide with him and watching him run around.

"Enjoying the view"

Now he is off to bed and I hope he sleeps well. What a great day from morning to the end.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Back with the Group!!!

Tonight I met up the Fleet Feet group for a 10 mile run. I have been looking forward to this every since Captain Kirk sent out the email a few days ago. The past few days I have had no motivation whats so ever to run. I did manage to get in a 1 mile runt to the park and back on Monday with my sister and Lil man. But other than that nothing. I keep telling myself my body needed a rest, maybe it did because tonight's run felt really good.
I had forgotten how long it takes to get out to Folsom battling with traffic. But I made it with plenty of time to spare. A few of the ultra group members were there, Captain Kirk, Wonder Woman, Coach Nikon, Trailmomma, Hawaii Mark, and Coach Dan and 2 newbies came out to join us for a nice 10 mile run with some tempo in the middle. It was great to see everyone and the energy was high!!!!
The group decided upon a out and back. The front group took off, and I would have thought they were racing but they are just that fast. Captain Kirk opted for bike ride tonight he is battling a injury. Captain Kirk, missed you out there but glad you got a ride in. I found myself running with trailmomma and newbie #1. We ran a nice steady (fast) pace which felt really good and trailmomma told me about her time in Tahoe this past weekend. Out there we did see a ton and I mean a ton bike riders even though it did rain on us. It seems that trailmomma had a sign on her saying "please aim for me and than move at the last possible second!!" because every bike wanted to take her out. She did have a bright green shirt on so I don't understand why they didn't see her and, we were talking loud enough! Ohh well, it gave me a good laugh.
As we hit 4.5 or so we saw the boys in the front group flying back. We also saw Wonder Woman and both trailmomma and I decided we should try and catch her. She wasn't that far ahead, but she did look really strong. The entire time we were "chasing" down Wonder Woman we both were laughing and thinking "OK once we catch her we wont be able to hang because we will be spent." and "I hope she doesn't start her tempo before we catch her." I would charge ahead and than trailmomma would charge ahead and we even talked about not catching her but than the competitive drive in both of us fueled us to push on. Trailmomma surged ahead and caught Wonder Woman and I wasn't to far behind. We did it , we caught Wonder Woman. One thing I did know was I was a little spent from catching her but it was a lot of fun.
We ran in and kept a pretty steady tempo, but at one point I faded back a little and was going to let them go when trailmomma looked back at me and smiled and that was all I needed. It gave me that extra little surge I needed to hang with them the rest of the way in. It was great being out there with everyone again and I am looking forward to more runs like this. I am very excited about the training group which starts up in June with Fleet Feet. I know that with this group and the expert coaching I will be able to achieve the Sierra Nevada Double Marathon in September, but first my sights are set on Tahoe Rim Trail 50k in July. Great Run everyone!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Four Amigos!!!!

This week I have been staying at my brothers and his wife's place and watching there 3 kids, Max, Jack, and Moose. All 3 are very special and have the sweetest hearts. Max who is the oldest likes to randomly bark for no apparent reason, Jack "the protector" was always by my side and ready if at a moments notice to protect me (I slept pretty good knowing this) and Moose "the kid" he is, well, mischievous. He has a look that just melts your heart. While watching the 3 kids my kid Toby was able to come along. They all 4 had a great time. Toby and Moose just played and played and played and than they would crash. Maybe a little to much fun.....I will get to that



Toby and Moose

Toby and Moose very quickly became the best of buds, Toby would follow Moose around the house wherever he went. A couple of times when I came back from a errand the entire toy basket would be empty and there would be 20 or so toys all over the house and later I would find the stuffing that goes inside some of the toys. All 4 boys though loved me and what ever room I was in they would be in. I mean every room, bedroom me and 4 dogs, bathroom me and 4 dogs, living me and 4 dogs, laundry room me and 4 dogs, stairs me and 4 dogs which I might add is not very safe. One time Moose knocked me over and I almost came crashing down the stairs but luckily I fell into the dog beds instead.

This morning I woke up later than usual 7:25, I know slept in didn't I. I took my time in the morning had some coffee, took care of the boys, watched some t.v. and than I decided hmmmm I should go for a run. I am feeling up to it why not. So I did. I went out and ran 13 miles. When I first started the run I just told myself run and if I feel good keep going. I felt great, my pace steady, legs were strong, mind was strong, and all of this was after yesterdays 15 mile run. During this run I finally had to tell myself to turn around and head back home. It was a great morning for a run.
Once a I got home all 4 boys were waiting for me excitedly, you would have thought that I was gone all day instead of 1hr and 52 min. I walked in and immediately let the boys out. I turned around and almost cried.

This is what I saw.

My book which I left on the coffee table was totally destroyed. I hadn't even finished it. It was a present and signed by Dick Beardsley. Staying the Course: A runners Toughest Race. Yup the dogs destroyed it. I mean destroyed it to the point I couldn't salvage any of it.

Moose "I didn't do it, I swear!"

It says To Melisa, don't ever give up on your hopes and dreams to great success! Hope you enjoy "Staying the Course."
(Moose seemed like the guilty party.)

I guess it was my fault. I was warned not to leave things in his reach. I mean I hadn't finished it, I had maybe 30-40 pages left and those were the pages that were shredded the floor.
Other than the book, the boys were great. They all argued over who was going to sleep next to me, which Toby won because he would weasel his way and than get over protective. Jack and Moose would eventually get their way and lay on top of that would be 95 lbs of Moose and 105 lbs of Jack, let me just say I couldn't move. Than while this was happening Toby would jump on me and lick my face. Good Times, so much love those boys have to give. It was a exciting week for Toby and I enjoyed spending the time with all the boys. It was great being so close to the bike trail, it made running much easier and enjoyable even if it was the first section of AR50 which I believe I have gotten better at after today's performance. Toby is home resting after a long week and my nephew "Lil man" was very excited when we both came walking in. He came running to me kissed me and yelled "My Toby, my Toby." Lil Man than took Toby out side and "walked" him around the back yard (basically he pulled Toby by the collar) and Toby was O.K. with that. What a great few days off and a great welcome home from the family. It's good to back with a welcome like that!!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

One with Nature!!!

This morning I met up with Coach Nikon at the foot bridge in Old Fair Oaks. Once again we were both early, but before we could start our run Coach had to change his shirt. You see I was wearing a orange sleeveless shirt with grey shorts and white hat and will Coach was wearing the exact same color shirt and shorts. Twins!!! Can't have that!!!! He changed into a grey shirt and we both had a good laugh about the situation. (next time send memo out with wardrobe the night before) When we arrived there was no one in the parking lot, it was empty, but when we returned from the run it was completely full. We had decided we would do a timed run instead of miles which was fine by me. We decided upon 2 hours and 30 minutes.
At the start of the run I was feeling tight but that tightness slowly faded and my legs began to feel great and both Coach and I feel into a nice steady rhythm. We were just chit chatting away, talking about what we always do, which is everything besides running because we save the running conversations for when we are not running. We headed out towards Hazel and cruised along staying on the bike path and crossed over and went up the hazel bridge and than as we were going we came across a huge herd (I guess you would call it that) of geese. They were literally sitting on the bike path, in the dirt, in the rocks and as we approached didn't move. So we had to find a path and run through them. Strangest thing I every did see.

Not actual picture, but you get the idea.

We took the fire road and than took some trails only to find out the trail was overgrown with weeds up to your waist and you could hardly see the trail. As we were running on the trail I rolled my ankle again. This nagging little injury is going to haunt me for awhile. We immediately decided to connect back up with the fire road because we didn't want to have hives again like last weekend. We were making really good timing because pretty soon we realized we needed to turn around. We had been running for 1 hr 15 min and made it 7.5 miles. Not bad, we were both just enjoying the run not pushing to hard and not going to easy.
We turned around and headed back in. As we headed back in a bug flew in my eye and I stopped but Coach not realizing what happened kept running and I think he was talking when he noticed I stopped. Dang bug!!!!
After the bug incident we crossed back over Hazel and he stopped to get a drink of water and I kept going when out of no where a nut/rock (not sure what it was) came sliding down the tree crossed the bike path and just missed me by a step. I hear Coach saying "Nature does not like you today" he stopped to check out the tree and in that tree was a squirrel.

This is how I pictured the squirrel

 Really a squirrel throwing things at me. Oh well, what can I do about it. As we moved on this time a bug flew into Coach's eye. When he got the bug out it was still alive and flew away. Guess Nature is after him too.
Immediately following the "Bug Incident" I was cruising along when all of sudden I had these sharp stomach pains. I thought to myself I can run through this. Only it wasn't getting better, it was getting worse. I told Coach I needed to walk, my stomach had me doubled over. I had eaten some oatmeal that morning but Coach thought maybe I was empty. I honestly don't know what happened because in just a few minutes the pain passed and was just a dull ache and we were able to run again. That hasn't happened to me where I was doubled over in pain. Something to keep my eye on as I continue training.
With a herd of crazy geese, 2 bugs in the eye, one nut rolling squirrel, stomach pain that stops me in my tracks, I would say we had a solid run. I was very grateful that Coach called last night to see what I had planned. The great thing about running with Coach is you forget about everything that has been going in your life and you remember how much fun running is. I was feeling like crap on my last run but today my spirits were high and I was enjoying running again. In two weeks I will be running in the Western States Training run of 32 miles. I think I am ready and I just have to remember to run a steady pace and to enjoy the experience.

Friday, May 14, 2010

This week was a very challenging week for me. I am staying at my brothers this week and he lives 1/2 mile from the American river bike trail. Which is great, I don't have to drive anywhere, I don't have to run through the neighborhoods and it is something new which is always exciting, but I also had some tough runs which than put some doubts in my head.

The first time I went out I ran to Rio cut through the school and picked up the trail and headed left. I was it seemed in a world all to myself, I had some good music on, felt energized and ready to tackle my demons. My demons being the flat section of the trail, one in which during AR50 I wanted to stop. On I went not really paying attention but feeling really good. I thought I was going to tackle my demon today, but it didn't happen, there was a detour which took me through the neighborhood for 2 miles and than to William Pond for a mile around that and I turned around and headed home. I did have some flash backs at the Pond, which I think gave me some energy because I flew home.

I didn't tackle my demon that day, but one day I will and that day was the next only this time I went right and headed towards watt ave. This run I started out feeling really good, legs felt strong, energy was high and I left the music at home. Just me and the flat road. It was funny, I don't really remember this until I came upon the bridge and everything came flying back from race day. The pain, the negative thoughts everything. But the flat section is really all in my head. The more I run it the better I can get, right??? Thats what I think. My turn around point came and my legs were strong, my head was in the right spot and I was overall feeling great. Let me just say that once I finished this run, I had ran faster than I did the before. Yes!!! Maybe I can defeat the flat.

I went out again, but this time I felt really off. My legs felt like they were full of lead, I was having serious doubts about even doing this run. Why?? I don't know, I don't know where it all came from. During this run I had to stop often to stretch, my hamstings were tight, my calfs were killing me, and to top it off I hadn't been sleeping very well. I have been waking up with some serious back pain. I carried on and ran or shuffled and even walked. I couldn't wait for it to be over. It was not my day. But that is how it goes sometimes.

The only thing I was looking forward to was my massage with Lily. She works magic and should be called Yoda! I have been going to her since I started training for AR50 and everytime she finds my trouble spots without me saying a word. She worked on my calfs right way, my IT band my back which had no give was like a stiff board and than she moved onto my right shoulder. I knew something was off with it I was having trouble picking my arm up but I didn't realize how bad off I was. She worked her magic on my neck and I am so glad I went to see her. Thank you for giving me call. I had no clue how broken my body was. I don't even remember when I stopped listening to my body. Maybe that is why I had such a terrible run the other day. She worked her magic and after she finished I was feeling 20 pounds lighter. I could move my neck, raise my arm without pain and I slept pretty good and woke up with no back pain. Thank you for fixing me and getting me back to form.

With being fixed I went out today for a easy 6 mile run. Just to see where my body was. Overall it was a much better run than what I had the other day. I know for training I need to start doing some hill work, speed work and keep up the quality miles. I will be doing the Western States Training run day one of 32 miles in two weeks. Looking forward to it. A bit nervous but trailmomma is going to be there and it will be great day and I found out Captain Kirk will also be doing this run.

While I haven't been home, my nephew has missed me. I stopped by the other day and he came running to me yelling "my meme, my meme." That just melts my heart. We went for a walk around the block and he rode his tri cycle and than decided he wanted to run with Meme and ditched the bike for a short run. Starting him young. Toby is staying with me but I couldn't resist. As you can see he has taken over the chair. I am sure I was sitting in it before him and he took it from me.

Looking forward to the long run this weekend. Trailmomma you will be missed, but can't wait to hear about your weekend.

Monday, May 10, 2010

As I Look Back

As I look back on my Life

I find myself wondering.....

Did I remember to Thank You

for all that you have done for me?

For all the times you were by my side

to help me celebrate my successes

and accept my defeats?

Or for teaching me the value of hard work,

good judgment, courage, and honesty?

I wonder if I thanked you for the simple things....

The laughter, smiles, and quiet times we shared?

If I have forgotten to express my gratitude

For any of those things,

I am thanking you now......

and I am hoping that you've known all along,

how very much you were loved and appreciated....

Thank you for being there and I know you are looking down from above..

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Twin Rocks = Poison Oak

Today I met up with Trailmomma and Coach Nikon at Peets coffee for our long run. I pulled into the parking lot only to see that they were both already there and I was 20 min. early. Go Figure!!! We carpooled to Twin Rocks and since we were all early birds today decided to start our 18 mile run in the poison oak infested area. I mean it was everywhere!!!
Trailmomma took the lead (thank you) and set a nice steady pace. Last weekend on our long run I rolled my ankle a few times so today it was giving me some trouble so I was OK with not leading out. We were cruising along catching up with Coach when we came across this view which stopped us dead in our tracks. The water was high much higher than I have ever seen it. What a gorgeous view on a gorgeous day!!!!

We continued on our way with Trailmomma still in the lead when all of a sudden we came across a bunny on trail. It was just sitting there, while Trailmomma "played" with the bunny I was thinking to myself "where is the mountain lion" and I must have said it out loud because both Coach and I quickly scan above us looking for the mountain lion. Good thing was we didn't see the mountain lion, but what easy prey if there was one. Finally the little rabbit decided to move off the trail so we could pass.

We continued on our way dodging and weaving and squeezing past all the massive amounts of poison oak. It was so bad that I was making up dance moves to get through it and I don't dance. At one point though my left shoe came untied and I saw trailmomma side step this way than side step that way and I was thinking "interesting" only to discover that she was side stepping the neck high poison oak on the right and the poison oak on the left. Well, I wasn't as lucky as her. I ended up stepping on my left shoe string with my right foot which caused all forward motion to stop and just as I am about to hit the poison oak with my head I fall back and my left arm rolls in the poison oak on my left. I am not a happy camper...stupid shoe lace.....which by the way came untied twice out there today but never during AR50. Hopefully I am lucky and don't get it, but I nailed that oak good.

As the miles came and went the heat came and stayed. It warmed up very quickly out there. Coach Nikon had to turn around at rattlesnake and trailmomma and I continued on. We turned around at 9 miles and headed back in. I took in a GU about this time (Tri-Berry) because my legs were feeling a sluggish and I also took 2 Tylenol because my ankle was screaming at me. I took the lead on the return trip and set a pretty good pace. I started to feel achy in my legs and thought "wish I had a salt tab." Good thing about running with Trailmomma was she had one for me. Thank You definitely needed it because soon after my legs were feeling better. (Note to self buy salt tab and body glide.)

We were cruising along the trail dodging poison oak when all of sudden I jumped straight up and I mean like 10 feet vertical jump in the air and I quickly turned around and pushed trailmomma back wards. Right in the middle of the trial was a squirrel. I didn't know if it was alive or dead when I first saw it. It scared me which caused us both to laugh. It ended up being dead (I don't think I like the front) and we continued on our way. We did take one wrong turn out there, but later agreed we wanted extra hill work. We realized our mistake and turned around and headed in the correct direction. Not only did we see a bunny, the numerous butterflies that like to attack me :) and a squirrel but we came across a mountain biker and a horse than more horses. Talk about staying alert.

All in all we had a great 18 mile run, I do think trailmomma is little jealous of my watch that sings at me when we hit 18 and also at the half way. It was challenging on the return trip especially the last 3 for me that is, but we made it back in one piece. We never did see any of the Folsom Trail Runners like we thought we would, but we did see at the trail head the trail turtles.

The sun took alot out of me and is a cause for concern especially with Sierra Nevada Double in September, but I am hoping that with the proper training in the heat and the right clothing I can complete it.