Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pigeon Down

It has been a very interesting week for me. I took a few recovery days and they were very much needed. When I did run again I ended up doing some up tempo without realizing it. I just let my body run what it felt like. I didn’t realize that I had thrown in a couple 7:30 min and 8 min miles over a 6 mile run. My long run this week was going to be on the bike path with Coach Nikon. We had talked about doing 22-25 miles.

On the morning of the run it was raining. Really! Raining this late in June. I was not thrilled to be running 25 miles in rain. But as I gathered my stuff it stopped raining. But I am not sure what I would want more, rain or the humid muggy weather we had that day. For me, not the humid I think I would want the rain. So the run didn’t start in rain, but it ended in sunshine with temperatures that felt very warm due to the humidity. Now usually on the long run Coach Nikon is like clockwork, this time it was me telling him I needed to go to the bathroom and we were only 5.6 miles into our long run. He got a real chuckle out of this because I usually don’t have to go a run. But when nature calls it calls, and all I could think about was how far until the bathroom? Lucky for me it was only around the corner. It is amazing how much better I felt. This was a very interesting run from the start. Rain, humidity, Coach Nikon ran into a dead rat, which scared both of us. I was in the lead at one point and up ahead I saw a coyote just running on the bike path. It stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t want to face it. The coyote did run up into the brush, but I am sure it was watching us.

We ran around the lake and on the way back in Coach Nikon picked he pace up and would run ahead and then turn around and run towards me. A couple of times I surprised him by being closer than he had expected. He even asked me if I was trying to negative split. My answer to him was “It doesn’t fell like a negative split.” In reality I was just trying to hold it together, I was stiff again. My quads and hips were feeling the flat terrain that day and pretty soon my run was turning into a slow shuffle. But my slow shuffle was still holding 9:30 min miles. Along the run I would use Coach Nikon and tell myself “O.K. just keep him in my sights.” It worked for a bit. I also tried speeding up hoping it would help loosen me up and get the stiffness out. That also worked because soon enough we were back at the foot bridge and we only had one last hill to tackle. That is just what we did. We both finished strong and for me it ended up being a 21 mile run in 3 hrs and 19 min, a little shy of our original goal. But I am O.K. with that. I still have the weekly miles I was aiming for.
After getting home I rolled on my foam roller which helped a lot. My long run routine is soaking my legs in cold water. I also went to the pool and played with my nephew a bit, which of course was after a nap. That run drained me. It was a good thing I took my nap because my dad was in town and we had dinner at my brother’s house with the rest of the family that evening.

Grandpa and Lil Man

Saturday, Coach Nikon couldn’t run with me so I was on my own. I headed out to Cavitt and decided on a nice and easy 12 mile run. Overall this run felt great on my body. The terrain is a nice and rolling and is very easy to get a good rhythm. It wasn’t overly hot but it was warming up a bit. I knew that on the way back in the fire road was going to be really since it is pretty exposed.
Pretty cool tree

Down by the waters edge

I set a nice and steady pace, whatever my body was feeling was what I ran. I was enjoying being alone. I did come across a few runners on the trail, and I even ran upon a horse. I hit my turn around point and started back. On the way back in I ran into one of my pacers from AR50 and we talked a bit. She is training for a race in a few weeks. After running into her not maybe five minutes later I ran into Wonder woman who was out doing a 13 mile loop of her own. What a small world. We talked for a bit and off we went in separate directions.
Horse I had to pass

I only had 4 miles left. I hadn’t even gone half a mile when I was face first in the dirt. What just happened!!!! I was on the easiest section of single track and I tripped over I don’t know what. Usually when I trip I can catch myself before falling, but this time I think both of my feet hit and I couldn’t do anything about it. I did a great superman face first into the dirt. I lost focus and that is what happened. I thought, hmmm how can I take a picture. You see I was by myself and it is not a matter of if I was going to fall, but when I was going to fall. And will it happened with no witnesses. I could have left it out of this post but that wouldn’t have been fair. After falling I did what any ultra runner does, I got up brushed the dirt off and continued on my way. I still can’t believe I fell. After the fall I was more focused because I didn’t want it to happen again. I hit the fire road and only had 2 miles left. I picked up the pace and made it back in one piece, well sort of.

I am glad that I went out today even if I did fall. Tahoe Rim Trail is just around the corner and next week Coach Nikon and I might do the canyons one last time. Than it is a taper for me, which I am not very good at. But I know I am going to need it. The plan after Tahoe is to recover and then start training for the Sierra Nevada Double Marathon in September.

Ride around the block!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Solo Birthday Party

Saturday was here and it was time for “Meme time!!!” Lil Man and I had a birthday party to go to. This would be my first birthday party where I was completely in charge of Lil Man. In charge of everything from making sure he ate, had sunscreen on, went to the bathroom, and was safe in the pool. Whew, I was a little nervous but confident because he is such a easy going kid. Before we went to the party we had to go get a birthday present, talk about not planning and rushing around to get things done. I even managed to squeeze in a short 3 mile run.

Once we picked out the birthday present and we were leaving I realized that we had more than a birthday present. He had a new piggy bank, because he broke his, he had a new Toy Story toy and a paddle ball. I think I spoiled him a little bit. But that is what Aunties are for.
We arrived at the party and he was very excited. We immediately went into the blow up slide. Let me tell you it was hard to get him out. He had a blast running around, swimming, sliding, and playing with the other kids. He was the first kid in the pool and the last one out.
"I can do it all by myself."

Up and down for hours!

He laughed the entire time!

Good Times!

All in all we both had a great time, he didn’t come home sunburned, and he ate some lunch and of course enjoyed cake. He listened to me and we only had incident where he cried. He got hit in the face with a foot and came running to me and I scooped him up not caring that I was getting soaking wet. I calmed him by kissing and making it better and he was back in the action.
His new friend

He even made time for bubbles.

His first Tetor Totor Ride!

We came home and he was completely exhausted and so was I running around after him for him 3.5 hrs. He took a nap, and when he woke up he put his shoes on and came to my room and asked “Meme, can we go back?” That is how much fun he had he wanted to go back and play.

Happy, even though we had to leave!

Sunday came and I was still really tired and not really feeling a run, but I knew I needed to do something. My friend had called me the night before which was a great thing because we ended up running 15 miles. You know what, the 15 miles went really well. I was holding a incredible pace which I didn’t think I could. I am so glad my friend called and coaxed me out to run because I don’t think I would have run that much. It’s definitely interesting how things turn out. I am glad I only did 3 on Saturday I guess maybe my body was telling me to take a rest day.
 My next event is 4 weeks out and I am looking forward to it. Coach Nikon and I have been training together and we plan on either doing something hard and fast, or intervals, or hill repeats on Friday. Trying to get our legs stronger for all the climbing we will be doing in Tahoe.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Almost There!

This morning Coach Nikon and I meet up at the Auburn Dam Overlook for a little 20 mile run. We are both training for Tahoe Rim Trail in July, but Coach Nikon is actually gearing up for the Wildest Run in the West in August. The time was 7:00 a.m. and I was just pulling into the parking lot, I hit some traffic in Roseville. I quickly put my gear on and used the restroom, good thing I did and off we went. The plan was to hit Cardiac on the way back up. Thank goodness for that, because let me tell you that is one tough climb.

It was a gorgeous day, and the temperature was just right for our run. I was feeling really stiff and tight and I woke up with a kink in my neck and my legs were feeling little sluggish, but I wasn’t going to let that slow me down. O.K. I lied, it did slow me down and was very noticeably out on the trail. This trail is very run able and you can get a good flow only I couldn’t find my flow which makes for a long a run, but I powered on determined to do it.

Bottom of dam hill, beginning of single track

It has been awhile since the last time I ran from the overlook to rattlesnake (AR50 in April). The trail was defiantly different it was overgrown and the weeds kept untying my shoe strings. The weeds just jumped out and grabbed my ankles and tripped me up the entire time. At some points the trail was almost gone, but that is trail running.

Ummm, where is the trail

The trail pretty much parallels the river and the river was high, much higher and very calm.
Water was very calm, glass like

I was hoping that they Tylenol I took before leaving the house would kick, but I don’t think it did. Coach Nikon was gone and I couldn’t keep up with him. So I just ran and took pictures and ran some more and at one point the weeds were up to shoulders and yes the weeds were grabbing at my shoes still. They never did trip me up though (ohh wait yes they did, more on that later)

Tight sqeeze

After running through weeds I rounded a corner and it was clear, yes!! Thank you to whoever cleared the trail.

Trail again

This is a great trail; you have shade there is sun, a bridge crossing a instant photo shoot…..

Work It
Great hand placement


We both stopped to refresh by the water and also to do a little modeling. What do you think? JC Catalog material?????

After Mormon Bridge I started to chuckle to myself. I came upon a Pond.

Can anyone tell me which Pond this is?


Trailmomma that was for you. We missed you today.

At this point we were close to our turn around. And was I ever so happy to see it. I was really enjoying the run and free time and being one with nature. I could hear the birds and see the river.

What more could I ask for

 Beware of this guy out on the trails, I think it was Coach Nikon evil Twin brother…..

Do Not Approach

Evil Twin Brother

Running with Coach Nikon is always fun and entertaining.

After the evil twin sighting I headed back, only 10 to go plus Cardiac. The return trip was painful all my aches were screaming at me, my quads felt dead but I pushed on. Coach Nikon would run ahead and than run back until he saw me and run ahead. I was doing my best and he motivated and encouraged me which was great.

We finished off the single and started up the road a bit when I desperately needed something….

One Up!!!! I just called for a one up…..It worked because I feeling great and we only had a few miles back to the overlook. Cardiac was fast approaching and I have heard a lot about this. Just think in September I get to run/hike up and than also hike/run it down on my return trip for the Sierra Nevada Double. Can I say Fun!!! Cardiac starts at 496 ft and we hiked/run to 1,280 ft in 1 mile. Overlook elevation is 1,339

I was pointing at Cardic. Steep!

Coach Nikon

View behind me.

As we were hiking we kept yelling out “Almost there” drawing out the there part. Yes I know probably not funny reading it but in the moment it was great. Almost Theeeereeeeee!

More catalog

Cardiac is everything and more I have heard. It reminds me of devils thumb with all the switch backs, Coach Nikon reminded me and I totally agree with him. It is also a great training hill I wonder how running down it well be for me? At the top there is an awesome view.

The river is below and we had to hike/run up this hill.

I think the worst thing about this run is running next to the canal. Don’t get me wrong it is great, but it just takes forever to get back in. It seemed like we ran along the canal for hours when it wasn’t or maybe I was just really tired. But finally I emerged onto the paved road and the cars at the overlook. Yeah!!!

It wouldn’t be a true overlook without the traditional canal dip. I grabbed our towels and both Coach Nikon and I headed to the canal. He was in lead and unfortunately for my readers I don’t have a picture but I fell walking down to the canal. I was going down a little incline and just slipped, without warning. Coach Nikon in true form asked for the camera but it was back in the car. My first official fall, or maybe that shouldn’t count since the run over? It turned out to be a great and challenging run for me today, but I enjoyed it and finished it with a smile on my face.


Elevation Gain: 2,385 ft

Elevation Loss: 2,399 ft

Min Elevation: 467 ft

Max Elevation: 1,359 ft

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hanging with the Family!

It has been a crazy week. From the long hours at work to having hard time sleeping, but a few things that kept me going were running and the number 1 thing was hanging with the family. It also seems that family time is short these days. When I get home from work in the morning if I am lucky I get a quick hug as Lil Man is heading out the door to pre-school or grandma and papa house. When I get up most of the time Lil Man has just gone down for his afternoon nap and by the time he wakes up I am heading out the door for a run or he is heading out for swim lessons or gym time. Once I get back from a run he is getting ready for bed while I am getting ready for work and the entire process starts over again.What makes it even more frustrating is the days when I don't see him at all and sometimes that could be a few days. Really, we live in the same house. But when I do get to spend some real time with him it is memorable, for instance he likes milk and marshmallows, because I had hot chocolate and marshmallows one day. He usually gets a special treat and that could be marshmallows, to chocolate milk, to a new book. We usually do something different every time and it is alot of fun.
This past Sunday I had just gotten home from a tough 9 mile run and the family was heading out to visit my sister and her family in Vacaville and do a little swimming. I quickly changed and off we went. Great thing was I was off that night so I could enjoy the time without stressing about when I was going to get a cat nap in. The weather was perfect for swimming and the water felt really good on my sore legs which were sore from all the downhill running Coach Nikon and I did on Saturday.

It was great to spend some down time just hanging out with my sisters and nephews.

After swimming for a bit, it was time for the boys to go down for a nap. In fact Lil Man demanded that he take a nap. Yes, you read that correct. He tells us when he is ready for a nap. My sister put him down and told him he would have to take his nap without his pacifier. It got left back at home. He of course told his mom "Go home." Smart little boy. Solution was solved because his cousin had a spare. After a little bit my sister went and checked on him and found him in a peculiar situation. He was stuck in his baby chair that he somehow found.

No worries, he is having a blast, check out that smile.

He was able to squeeze himself in the chair and he was enjoying every last moment. Only he was stuck. My sister had to carry him down the stairs and out to the patio where it took three adults to get him out and of course one auntie taking pictures. I couldn't resist.

Help, I am stuck

All was well, and we all got a great laugh out of it. I can't wait until he his bigger to show him the pictures.

I enjoyed myself, was able to soothe my sore muscles and I enjoyed a few adult beverages. Life is good!


Of course though after a great long weekend it was back to grind at work. But luckily it was a short week only 3 nights. But those 3 nights were long. Which also means I didn't see Lil Man that much, but I do have a great Saturday planned for us. The two of us are going to a birthday party. Yeah!!!

So far this week I have logged 20 miles which is great and I even made it out to cheer on trailmomma and Miss P. who were both racing in the Folsom Trail Series out at Negro Bar. They did great and I can' t wait to read trailmomma's report. I saw them at the start, at the top of bluff and than on the return trip at the bike trail and the road crossing at the finish. It was fun popping up on the course and cheering on the runners.
Tomorrow I am heading out with Coach Nikon and we are running 20 miles from the overlook via cardiac bypass down to rattlesnake and back. Going to be great run and my first look at Cardiac. I have heard so much about it.

Sometimes I wonder who's dog Toby is. Toby is very Loyal to both us and sometimes it just depends upon who is sleeping.

Toby and Lil Man cute!

It just melted my heart seeing this and everything from the week earlier just vanished. Thanks Lil Man for reminding me. Things are looking up!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Forresthill Elementary School to Drivers Flat

Today Coach Nikon and I ran from Forresthill elementary school to drivers flat for a total of 18 miles or so. This run was little tricky because we both had to drive and since it was a point to point we had to leave one car at drivers flat and than car pool up to the school. Our meet up time was 7 a.m. I arrived at the starbucks just before the Forrest hill bridge and parked between a truck and a car. I was 20 min. early so as I was getting settled to rest a bit when I noticed that this guy was standing at my window. It was Coach Nikon I had parked next to his truck and didn't even realize it. He got a kick out of that. Off we went up the hill to drop my car off. We ended up getting to the school and started running about 7:20 in the morning. It was a good thing we did because it felt like it was going to be warmer than the day before. Before we started I took in a GU, I didn't want to make the same mistake I made yesterday by not eating enough and I also drank water the day before all day so I would be well hydrated.
To get to Ruck A Chucky it is about 15 miles of down hill descent with a few "small" up hill climbs. The first 3 miles I was sort of stiff and we both could tell, but soon enough I started to loosen up and was running much better, or maybe the Tylenol kicked in. I don't know but what ever it was I was running pretty fluidly. Coach Nikon stoped running to point out where we would be running to. Just over that ridge and around the corner. No biggy right!

He is way out in front

 I still wasn't to sure where we were headed only that at Ruck A Chucky I would be getting in the river as a tradition. That is all I kept thinking about making it to the river. Only as I ran the river messes with me. At some points I can hear it so I think I must be getting close only to find out around the next bend I am climbing and seem to be getting further from it. But that is how trail running works. I just kept running along.
The river that played with my mind all day!
Enjoying the view!

Ruck A Chucky 12.2

Coach Nikon did warn me that we would be doing some climbing, I was more concerned about blowing out my quads on the downs. As we cresteted over the climb all I hear is Coach Nikon whopping like he does. I wasn't sure why until I saw this massive descent. Here he stopped to take a photo of me coming down and I blew past him. I had put caution to the wind and pretty much sprinted down this steep, rocky, leafy hill and I enjoyed every minute of it. I surely made up some time here and the great thing was my quads held up fine.

The Climb
Taking the lead!
All smiles at the bottom!

Once at the bottom the climbing started again. but it was more runnable for me. We passed a little stream and cooled off and wet our legs to try and get some of the oak off we had just run through. It was all over the trail. Than we came upon a huge climb. It is called 6 minute hill. Why? I don't know. My mouth dropped open, but I just kept pushing on. Coach Nikon is a killer at the hills.
The begining of the 6 min. hill.
Me climbing the 6 min. hill.

Coach Nikon killing me on the hill. He Rocks!

After climbing the 6 minute hill we came upon the sign. Ruck A Chucky 4.9 miles to go. It seemed like we had already put in enough miles to be there already but we hadn't, and to top it off we were once again on top of a ridge that much further from the river.

Just around the corner.

But the next 4.9 miiles were pretty much all down hill with a ton of switch backs. My quads were still holding up, but I could notice them during this part. At one point once I had reached the bottom the river is probably 5-10 ft away and it is just teasing me. We had to run through some high weeds that hide the trail from us and also we had to try to avoid the weeds that were sharp. Both of our legs were itchying like crazy after running through them.

Coach Nikon in the lead, I can hardly see him!

We started to run up on a fire road, really once again running up away from the river, this is never going to end. Coach Nikon pointed out to me where Ruck A Chucky was and it seemed like it was soooo far away. Maybe 2 miles.

"You Coming?"

The rapids in the distance!

What we already ran through!

After running up and down on the fire road we had finally arrived at Ruck A Chuck and not a moment to soon. I was burning up and I was also just about out of water. Good thing we only had 3 miles left.

Heading to Ruck A Chucky

Coach Nikon cooling off

Me I finally made it!

I really am Happy

Ruck A Chucky! What the entire run was about.
Maybe I shouldn't have left my camera behind.

We both soaked in the river which felt really good but also caused our legs to become stiff and it was painful to have to start running again.

Once we were both done cooling off in the water it was time to start the long climb out. I don't know which was worse AR50 dam road or this. This hill/road never ended. I was out of water by now.

Just keep hiking

Finally we had hiked/run and found the gravel road. Yeah!!! Not really, we still had to hike the gravel road out which was up still.

Almost there, right?

Victory was near, the gravel road turned into a paved road and we could see the car on the way on the other side.

Caution! Butt Ahead!!!

How wrong, I can see the car but it is a way's away!

We did it. Overall the run had everything I needed for a great training run. Hills, descents, heat, lizards, everything. It was a great run and I am so glad that I was able to enjoy it with Coach Nikon.

I think he is Happy!

Check out the elevation
Elevation Gain: 3,222 ft

Elevation Loss: 4,650 ft

Min Elevation: 723 ft

Max Elevation: 3,281 ft