Sunday, August 15, 2010

Adventure in Foresthill

Earlier this week, Coach Nikon wanted to know if Trailmomma and I would be interested in running from Foresthill to drivers flat which is part of the Western States 100 course. I of course wanted to run this again. Back in June we both ran this as part of a three day weekend of trail running. Only I wasn’t nor was Coach Nikon too sure I would be able to make it due to some injuries I have been suffering with over the past three weeks.

On Friday I had an appointment to see his wife Yoda who is a Certified Massage Therapist, to have her work her magic on me. I hobbled in and was almost in tears from the pain. She worked her magic on me and got me into running form for Saturday. She also told me my entire body minus my arms was swollen and tender. As a backup plan for Saturday just in case I had to bale on the run once we got started Coach Nikon advised that I drive my car up to Foresthill and if I had to turn around I would be able to. Sounds like a great idea.

I woke up super earlier Saturday morning at 4am just to be sure I would be able to get loose enough to run. My other concern was the 40min. commute up to our car pool spot at Drivers Flat. In order for me to make it that far I put on mineral ice on my back and neck to keep me loose. It worked because after driving up there I felt like I could run the entire distance. I met Trailmomma, Coach Nikon and Miss P. and we all jumped into my car for the short drive to our starting point. We were all earlier and started running before the sun had come up.

Coach Nikon and his Charlie Brown shirt and CIM scarf

A enthusiastic Trailmomma

The last time I ran this trail I really enjoyed it and today was going to be no different as long as my back held together and I could descend and climb. The first part of the trail is a rocky descent and it is very hard to find a rhythm. I took my time knowing that one false step and I could be hobbling back to the car. So far so good, our group was really enjoying this run. Miss P and Coach Nikon took the lead and Trailmomma and I took up the rear. I was fine with that. I knew I didn’t want to push too hard but take it easy and enjoy this run and the miles.
Sun cresting over the horizon

Down we go

As we ran down I knew at some point we would have some climbs coming our way. It felt really good on my legs to change things up and start climbing.

The look from behind. Still Climbing

As we crested our first climb we immediately had to descend. Miss. P and Coach Nikon took off which was fine.

Break Dancing, I think? Actually I wanted to get a photo and she slipped

As trailmomma and I were nearing the bottom there was Coach Nikon waiting for us. One of the many great things about running with Coach Nikon is he wants me to run my pace. So if he is blazing ahead he will turn around tell he me meets back up with me so as not to lose anyone. Awesome, love it, works out great because everyone gets a great run in.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, beware of the man in the bushes

As we hiked the next hill I took in GU and an s-cap because I was feeling pretty sluggish. At some points my legs were fine and full of life and at other points I had nothing left in them.

one of many hills. Go Miss P.

 The next huge descent we had I really like, it is about a mile and a half long and the first part is very technical but then it becomes very run able. It is here that I took the lead from trailmomma and opened up. Only, the only reason I took the lead was because my back had locked up and I was having trouble keeping my legs under me. It felt like at any moment I was going to go down so I gambled and flew down the hill.

Trailmomma making her way down

What I still had to run down


As I reached the bottom there were Miss P and Coach Nikon waiting for us. It is here that I confessed to them that I was in some pain and Coach Nikon helped me out. He dug is elbow into my rear to try and give me some relief and then he worked some magic on my back. My back was as stiff as a board which was making it hard to run. Thanks Coach Nikon that helped a lot.

Coach Nikon working it, trailmomma doubled over from laughter

The next section is filled with switch back after switch back after switch back. As we started the descent we had to stop so that we could do a little trail maintenance. A downed tree had almost taken Coach Nikon out.

Great job Miss P.

Tree wrangler

After this descent we came upon 6 min. hill. This is called that because the top runners in Western States can run this hill in 6 min. Maybe one day that will be me but for now I hiked most if not all of it.

On the ridge line approaching 6 min. hill

Making our way! Watch out for the deer

This is how it is done! At 6 min hill

Just keep climbing

Trailmomma on 6 min hill. No Problem

I am so far behind!

At the top of 6 min. hill we had a impromptu photo shoot and then continued on our way.

JC Penny Pose: Watch

The Famous muscle pose!

 I at this point was still hurting in my lower back and the climbs and descents were getting tougher and tougher with each step.

Avery's Pond anyone?

That is where we want to be

We were fast approaching Ruck A Chucky were I knew I could get in the cool river and sooth my aching body. But before we could we had to climb the fire road. It wasn’t as brutal as last time. In fact this entire run seemed much faster than last time. Despite the pain I was in I was really enjoying the run and the mental challenges it brings.
Making our way to Ruck A Chucky

It's just over there!

At last the river. Coach Nikon the entertainer

Miss P. tree wrangler and spider charmer

Trailmomma the motivator

Me, the injured Pigeon!

Awesome group!

The last 3 miles of this run is a brutal climb up a service road with hardly any shade. Trailmomma and I hiked it together and when we could we ran. As we were nearing the top Coach Nikon was coming back down for us. He hiked and ran the rest of the way in with us.

What animal am I? (a) elephant

"Y" going crazy on the hike out

"M" ohh no it's contagious

Stop in the name of.....trailmomma busted out in song for this shoot

Hey, I can see our cars

Safely across the highway!

Overall we ran 18+ miles in 4:19 min, counting all the stops along the way. Everyone at the end was all smiles including me. At the beginning I wasn’t very confident that I would make it but I surprised myself and actually ended up having a pretty good run. It is amazing how running with great friends can improve any moments.
All smiles at the end


What great friends!


  1. Nice!!! I love all the photos, hilarious! It was a great run, I keep thinking about it and how much fun I really had! Even now, when my quads scream as I go down the stairs! HA

    We'll have to do it again, at least once or twice a year . . . make it a ritual!

  2. I laugh ever time I look at this post. Great run.


  3. I just went back and read our Western States Training run (May) post and OMG, if I didn't do a muscle pose back then too! HA

    Apparently I think I am quite muscular when I am out running in the middle of no where! HA

  4. Trailmomma- that is too funny, now that I think about do that pose often.

    Coach Nikon-the laughter keeps coming. Great run everyone...what is on for Saturday?