Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just not Feeling It

This morning when I woke up I was in a daze. I had to really focus on what time it was, was I suppose to be at work and if so was I late? I had no clue what day it was. Then slowly but surely it all came together for me. The day was Thursday, and no I do not work on Thursday I am off free to do whatever I felt like. Whew crisis resolved.

 It was 4:30 in the morning and sleeping in felt really good. Yes, I slept in. Typically I wake up at 1am and get ready for my 2:30 am start time at work. Brutal I tell you. This is not early morning  to me, this is still considered graveyard, but yet it wasn’t considered that. My body was tired, it is the first week back to work and every since returning it has been nonstop action, constantly moving snacking on pantry foods “goldfish” because I didn’t have time for a hot meal. And I wonder why I am so tired after my work week or for that matter after my work day. I truly cannot explain how hard it is, you just have to believe me or try it out for yourself one week.

Needless to say I really didn’t feel like a long run would be in my best interest today. It probably would have put too much stress on my body. I almost talked myself out of running again this morning but ultimately decided that a nice early morning run around the neighborhood would be good for me and my legs.

The early morning run was great, I enjoy the crisp fresh air, seeing the neighborhood wake up and head of to work or wherever the day takes them, enjoy seeing sprinklers turning on and off and it’s just me and the road. The humidity this morning was a bit muggy, but the good news was it wasn’t hot like yesterdays run. I figure that on days I work I will attempt to run in the heat and my non working days I will either do my long run or what I did this morning (6 miles).

My legs felt a bit heavy and there was a little twitch in my hamstring which caused me to slow my pace down for fear of pulling something and risking injury. I figure this week I will keep my runs nice and short and plan on a long run next weekend. This will have given my body 3 weeks to rest/recovery from my last race. I know I have a 50k coming up on August 21, but my base has been built and I need to go into that race healthy and also leave that race healthy because the Sierra Nevada Endurance Run will be here before I know it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back at work and running in the heat

I was dreading going back to work early Tuesday morning, but funny thing, it actually wasn't that bad. Yes, I only managed to get 4 hours of sleep and then it was time to go off to work. But amazingly I wasn’t tired all day. Probably because once I arrived at work it was nonstop action, constant go go go, no stopping lots to do not a whole lot of time to get it done. I survived my first day and once it was all over I thought I was going to crash hard, but I didn’t until later that evening.

The next day was just as jammed packed as Tuesday only this time I didn’t have a 2500 piece trailer plus p-fresh. All I had was a tiny 1600 piece trailer. That is a piece of cake.

I always have mixed emotions returning, but I could really tell that my body and my mind needed a break from work. I didn’t realize how drained and how stressed out I was becoming nor did I see the signs.

Upon returning I found myself having more energy mentally and I also noticed freshness in my step. A vacation was really what I needed to recharge my batteries. I can only imagine where I would be if I hadn’t taken a vacation.
Today after work I decided I should head out for a run, I almost talked myself out of the run but ultimately I held strong and ran in the mid day heat. The heat just about stopped me in my tracks; it was brutally hot on the pavement today. I thought I was going to melt away; maybe I should have talked myself out of this run. I managed a very slow 6 miles around my neighborhood.  I had to stop periodically and walk, but I think that was due to my legs being extremely fatigued from work or maybe the fact that I should have eaten something before heading out on this voyage.
I know that I need to run in the heat and I also know that when I do run in the heat my pace is going to be a bit slower until I am adapted to the heat. Did I mention my body really doesn’t do very well in the heat, but it is a part of running and a part of the Sierra Nevada Endurance Run.
Even Traildog thought it was to hot to walk

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's Official

It’s finally official, I signed up for the Sierra Nevada Endurance Run. This is the race that last year I DNF at Twin rocks with maybe 5miles to the finish. It was a brutal race last year; the heat alone was a killer, coming into the race with an injury on top of that not good. 
I have been putting off signing up maybe secretly hoping it would fill, or that I would not want to run this particular 50 again. But I have been talking about this race since December and I know deep down I want Redemption from my 2010 attempt. It also scares the living day lights out of me. I dare not read my race report from last year as I really do not want to relive that day.
The fear was real when I signed up for this race. As I clicked on the registration page and it became official a wave of anxiety and panic overwhelmed me. My hands became sweaty, my heart beat increased, and my breath became very short and labored. “Oh my God what have I done” is all I kept thinking, but then a crazy thing happened…calmness….just as quickly as those symptoms came on they were gone in a heartbeat and calmness was all I felt.
I was calm for the first time thinking about this race. Calm because I am now 100% committed and I know what I need to do to achieve my objective.  Committed, I am committed and when I commit to something I am all in.
My goal is to get to the start of this race one healthy, and two injury free.
My training this year has been on point. Tahoe Rim Trail 50k was awesome, tough but a great race with a nice PR, American River 50 was a great race also. I achieved my qualifying time to be put my name into Western States for 2012 and I also PR. I ran Way Too Cool 50k for the first time and had a nice time at this race.  Up next Run on the Sly 50k. I am planning on using this run as a training run for the Sierra Nevada Endurance Run.
 A training run because it starts later then most ultras, a 7:30 am start time, so hopefully I can judge how my body does in the heat, if it is hot that day. A nice hilly course so that I can improve my leg strength and best of all I am hoping to run this run with some of my ultra friends and training partners and team mates.
Its official the stage has been set and I have now fully accepted the fact that I will once again run the Sierra Nevada Endurance Run. I am facing my fear and moving forward instead of away from it. My fear of this race will help make me a stronger person and a stronger runner.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

First Run on Tired Legs Still

This morning I headed out the door for my first run since TRT on Saturday. As my run progressed I could still feel the fatigue in my legs. They were tired and not liking this run. I knew I didn't want to push my luck so I took my time on this run around my neighborhood, my loop is pretty hilly which caused me more fatigue.

Usually Thursday is my long run day, but I am very glad that I decided on a easy pace for 6 miles. I would hate to find out how things would have turned out if I went longer today. Tomorrow I have a massage scheduled with Lily from Massage by Lily. It is funny how things work out because I wasn't originally planning on getting a massage tomorrow, but as luck would have she called me and one thing lead to another and I have a appointment for tomorrow. Very glad she had called and can't wait for some needed relief tomorrow.

Lil Man returned to pre-school, but as soon as he got home he couldn't wait to play with me. We played cars in his very messy room, we played with Traildog, and then Lil Man had this great idea to go outside and catch butterflies in his net.

Catching butterflies, Do you see any?

We stayed outside for maybe 10 minutes before the heat was to much for Lil Man. I found him sitting in the shade on the steps. He almost abandoned me but I talked him into staying outside for a bit longer with me. Before we headed back inside we caught Traildog on top of the chairs outside.

I sometimes wonder if Traildog thinks he is a human and not a dog. Right now Lil Man is next door enjoying some pool time with his friend.

The rest of this week I will plan on staying focused on rest and recovery. Letting my body recharge before doing any major long runs, but I will be running that much I know for sure. Just not too long yet. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Today was my last day in Tahoe and as I packed the car up and was getting ready to leave I was a bit sad. I had enjoyed my time in Tahoe with  my nephew Lil Man and my sister. I enjoyed not being on a schedule and just hanging out and doing what ever we pleased. The other day we spent most if not all the day down at the beach bouncing back from the lake to the pool and back to the lake. Lil Man had a lot of fun when I told him I would play in the lake with him. We went into the "deep" end and would "run" out and then run back in laughing the entire time. It is amazing how entertaining this was for us both and I am sure anyone who happened to be watching us.

Spending some time on the dock with his scooter

Making sand castles, which by the way for the record I am not good at, they all collapsed.

Enjoying some time off my feet after TRT 50k

What a view

His laughter says it all, fun had by all.

Running from the top of the hill to the lake

Picking up speed, almost there

Not only did we spend some at the beach, but also at the playground. I ran around playing good guys and bad guys with Lil Man. I even went down the slide after him. It was good to be laughing and playing like a kid again. I will always remember this vacation.

All by himself

he screamed the entire way down, yes I know it is not that big, but he was having fun and so was I.

This trip wasn't without it's bumps and bruises though. For one Lil Man has a nice gash on his chin from where he hit his chin on the coffee table after tumbling off of the couch. The cushions were not on the couch all the way and when he went to get down to get his crayons he fell and knocked his chin on the table. There was blood everywhere, but like a true trooper he cried a little and then calmed down and once everything was under control he enjoyed a fruit snack. I thought for sure we were going to be making our way to the ER on that fall.

He is really working it, post accident all cleaned up and in some new clothes and enjoying his fruit snack.

On last memory before leaving

Until next time, and I can't wait to get back. Hmm Maybe in August or September or maybe October?

We all had a great time on this trip. Now it is time to get back to training, eating healthier, and focusing on my next race. I am running Run on the Sly 50k as a training run for my Redemption race in September, Sierra Nevada 50 Miler. Last year I was a DNF my first DNF and this time around I don't want that to happen. I am healthier (right now) fitter and have more experience, but I am still nervous about this race too many interesting memories. Time to Focus!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vacation in South Lake Tahoe

After TRT 50k it was some time for some R&R and what better place to take a vacation than South Lake Tahoe. My sister and Lil Man came up with me and the last few days have been fun filled. We went on the nature walk at Taylor Creek, saw the old estates and spent a lot of time on the beach and at the pool. Lil Man has enjoyed his special trip and I have been enjoying some time off away from work and all the hustle and bustle of my normal life.

What more could I ask for?

Enjoying the view and some mommy time

We never get a group photo. My twin sister and lil man and me

Time for some rock throwing

Taylor Creek Stream Profile

Just mesmerized by the fish

A bit tired but nothing is going to stop him from taking his pine cones home, not even a snack

Pool Time

Canyon Ball!!

Enjoying the pool

Playing on the beach

It has been very nice just relaxing. We spent most of today at the beach and the pool. The great thing is the beach is right outside our door about a 25yd walk which makes it very convenient for when he/I get tired and need a short break or a snack or a beer. It has been nice not having any sort of schedule and just doing what we all want to do. I will be sad when our time here is up but for now I am just enjoying every moment. 

Tahoe Rim Trail 50k Race Report

At the start of the Tahoe Rim Trail I was excited, I said hi to other runners I knew and lined up next to Trish and Monica. The countdown began and we were off and running up the fire road to Marlette’s single track which would take me to the peak and back down.  I ran the entire fire road this year, last year I had to walk some of it. My legs at the start were feeling good, but the one thing that wasn’t feeling good were my lungs. With all those runners on the fire road the dust was unbearable. I was breathing it in and was having trouble breathing, yes some of that trouble was the elevation as we were probably at 7,000ft with the highest point on the course reaching 9,214ft.
Me, Anthony, Kuni Photo by Dasie

Once the single track came so did the conga line. This time I was able to run more of this first major climb. I did incorporate hiking breaks as now my legs were feeling dead from all of the climbing. I would run some hike some and repeat. The conga line wasn’t that bad; I just settled in and focused on myself not worrying about who was passing me as I knew I most likely would be seeing some of these runners later on in the day. Of course it wasn’t all positive thinking, I started to have those negative thoughts. “Why am I doing this race?” “I am never doing this race again, it isn’t any fun it is just a pure torture fest?” I know pretty extreme and I was only a few miles in.  My legs were still feeling dead I couldn’t find any rhythm and I finally told myself that I needed to do something about it; this dead leg feeling wasn’t going to fix itself. I took in some GU and also an S-cap and soon enough my legs were feeling better. Why I didn’t do it sooner I don’t know, just glad I did. Now that my legs were feeling better I was running smoother, the rolling terrain to the top didn’t seem that tough and my attitude changed. Just before I hit the top Monica and Trish came flying by me as I was hiking. I hooked on with them and Trish led us to the top and to our first descent. The interesting fact about Trish and Monica is this is the same area they passed me last year.   

The first descent isn’t that long, but it is long enough and gave my legs a break. I didn’t open up and fly down this descent because my legs were still feeling funky from all of the climbing. I just followed the pace of the others in front of me. As I neared the bottom though my legs were feeling a lot better and I was getting more comfortable on the trails.

At the bottom there is fire road, luckily this fire road was not choking me with dust. I ran when the road wasn’t too steep, but soon enough the fire road became steep. Now how I forgot about the steepness and how long this fire road really is I will never know. I must have had selective memory last year. The hill just kept going. While hiking up I fueled with my GU and just put my head down and kept charging up the hill. The hill does end, but my legs were once again dead.  I hit the single tack and am trying to find my rhythm but just can’t, I take another s-cap and that seems to have helped.
I arrive at Hobart aid station and quickly down a coke, grab another to help wash down my PB&J as my mouth was very dry and my gag reflex was in full effect.  I managed to wash the PB&J down and I was off.

I started climbing and had my first encounter of many through the snow.   There were steps built into the snow to help us out. I was very uncomfortable on the snow.  My feet kept slipping and I knew at any minute I was going to go down. I made it over this obstacle and kept on hiking making my way to Tunnel Creek where Kuni and Dasie might be.  I reached the peak and paused quickly to take in the view and then continued on.  During this stretch there was so much snow I had to cross over. I really had to pay attention to the markings so that I didn’t go off trail. The snow never ended and it started taking a toll on my legs. My feet kept slipping I couldn’t get any traction. I kept moving and when there was no snow I would run, but then not long there was more snow. Some stretches all I could see was snow. There was one very steep section where I had to crawl up it with my hands and legs and as I was doing this I wondered to myself, “How am I supposed to get down that?” I was so happy once my feet were back on the dirt. I moved a bit quicker knowing I had some time to make up.

As I reached the top and started my descent I opened it up knowing this descent would take me into Tunnel Creek aid station. Of course there was still snow on this descent. Switch back after switch back more snow and more snow.  I was cruising and getting a bit more comfortable in crossing the snow when my feet went out from under me and I was down. I tried to scamper back up and my feet slid out from under me again. I scurried off the snow drift and hurried to my feet. My right leg felt like it was just shaved with a piece of glass. It burned, but I didn’t have any time to think about it I had to keep moving.  I did tell myself that I would not be looking forward to the return trip through this section.
As I finished the descent the trail becomes relativity flat. My legs after that descent did not like the flat ground. I was having a hard time transitioning, but I kept them moving and eventually made my way into Tunnel Creek Aid Station. My time at this point was 2hrs and 45 minutes and my attitude was not positive. I was once again hating this race and wondering why I even signed up for it. Daisy and Kuni were there and I said hi to them and I am sure the expression on my face said a lot. I was not having fun, but I was hoping that Red House Loop of Hell would bring me back, just like it did last year. I grabbed a handful of pretzels as I didn’t see any PB&J and made my way down to Hell.
The Red House Loop is notoriously known as The Taste of Hell. I flew down because for some reason my legs were feeling great and my attitude was more positive, maybe from seeing Kuni and Dasie.

Down, down I go further into the depths of the Red House. I passed Monica and Trish and this loop we would be hop scotching, as they would catch and pass me on the climbs. Further down I go until eventually I make it to the bottom. The stream crossings this year were longer and deeper but the cold water felt really good on my feet and my ankles.
 By now it was time to start climbing; I would run some then hike. While hiking I would fuel, knowing I needed this fuel. My throat was very dry and it was during this loop that I thought I was going to get sick. Every time I took in some GU I would gag and have to quickly wash it down. I also developed a very dry hacking cough that made fueling difficult. This cough lasted the entire race. I would just start coughing uncontrollably, but I kept moving. I surely was given a taste of Hell this time around on the Red House Loop. Monica and Trish passed and I just tagged along with them for a bit. When they ran I did, when they hiked I also hiked, I just needed to keep moving and being with them gave me the motivation I was lacking on my own. 

The three of us made it to the Red House and what do we see there, but an aid station even after there was an email sent out saying there would be no aid in the Red House Loop. I looked at the table and kept on moving. I just wanted to get out. The climb kept going, I just kept moving. I passed Trish and Monica on the climb and just kept moving. I kept climbing, running when I could. My quads were feeling really sore and twitchy; I hope I didn’t blow my quads up because I still needed them. I was in survival mode. I didn’t care who passed me I just knew I needed to keep moving and that I would eventually see them again. The climb was brutal this year, I was hacking up a lung, gagging every time I fueled, Ialso found myself singing Go find it on the Mountain,  but I kept pushing forward making my way back to Tunnel Creek. I completed the Red House loop in 1 hour and 30 minutes.
I arrived at Tunnel Creek, re-filled my pack and also had to refill my flask. I was almost empty. I put some water in my flask followed by three GUs; I needed it more diluted so that it would go down easier. I downed some coke and was out of the aid station not too far behind Trish and Monica who passed me at the aid station.  I slowly caught back up to Trish and Monica and just hooked on with them. We were climbing back to the snow and the Hobart aid station. Trish let me pass and I just powered on, thinking in my head they were going to catch me. That lit a fire in me and I increased my power hike. I pushed myself my legs were feeling really good and alive. There was another runner with me and she told me I was setting a good pace. I appreciated that comment and kept it up, running when I could and hiking when it became too steep.  I had to let the runner pass me as there was a rock digging into my heal and it was painful, plus I didn’t want a blister which would just slow me down. I tried to get the rock out but to no avail. So I continued moving and the discomfort soon went away.

I was moving pretty well on this climb and moving over the snow better. But soon the huge area of snow patch was upon me and I had to really pay attention as there were foot prints going every which direction and the markers were hard to find. I was with another runner (Katy) and we chit chatted and helped each other stay on course.  Remember that really steep area, were I had to crawl up it with my hands and feet, well I arrived there and just looked at it perplexed.  Katy suggested going down backwards feet first, I thought about it and then decided to just slide down it on my butt. It was pretty fun and I only wished I had some video of it to share. We continued on our way over the snow and again my feet slid out from under me and I landed on my left side. This fall jarred my back and my hip some. I got up and continued on my way.

We were almost to Hobart Aid station with only two more snow drifts to conquer. I eased myself onto the snow and picked up my pace as it was a bit more runnable, one more snow drift. There was a volunteer redigging out the snow to make it a bit easier and I thanked him for his work.  I arrived at Hobart and just had 10 miles to go. I was excited, I quickly grabbed some paydays and some coke, had my pack re-filled. As I was eating my payday I had a coughing attack which lasted for awhile. I left the aid station still coughing making my way to Snow Valley which was a 3 mile climb.

I was feeling strong on my to Snow Valley, my legs were alive and I was excited as I had only 10 miles to go. Now instead of just surviving the race was beginning.  I started passing other runners the girl who ran some with me from Tunnel Creek to Hobart was with me to Snow Valley. But soon I started to slow down, I decided to let the three runners behind me to pass so that I could focus on fueling and that is what I did. I kept them in my sights though and fueled all the way to Snow Valley, I knew I would need this fuel for the descent to the finish. Snow Valley was now only 1 mile away. We had to cross some more snow drifts and as we neared the top the drifts became longer and slipper. Now only .5 to go to the aid station. Here one of the runners friends were waiting for him and he fell in line behind me, only when I turned around to see who was quickly coming up on me I had panic look on my face and a surge of adrenaline. He quickly told me he wasn’t in the race and I calmed down a bit. He helped distract me from the last climb and then the aid station was in sight. I ran into the aid station at 12:30. I downed two cokes and was off.

I knew the descent was going to be where I would pick up some time. It was 12:30 I had an hour to get to the finish by 1:30 which would 7.5 hours my target goal. That fired me up and ran as fast as my short legs would go. I pushed myself fired up and on a mission. My mission was to pass as many runners as I could. The runners in front of me were my targets. My focus was like a razor beam. I was on a mission. My legs were feeling awesome. I would approach a runner and they would step off as I neared, one by one I passed each runner that passed me on the climb to Snow Valley. Each time I passed a runner I became faster not wanting them to pass me later on. Down I go, down, down the rocky single track trail hopping over rocks, side stepping other boulders pushing off of the boulders moving like a runner on a mission.

I kept moving and I kept passing runners, as I neared the bottom there was a bit of a climb. I power hiked this climb and fueled knowing I would need it. I took in a s-cap so my legs would stay together. Once I say the top of the climb I ran and continued my mission. Another little climb but I ran it now not wanting to lose any time. Keep moving, I kept checking behind me to see if anyone was closing in on me, but there was no one in sight. I saw a runner ahead of me, my next target. I pushed harder and passed them and I kept pushing even though I had a bit of a climb. I told myself it was just like running up to Cool keep my legs moving and arms pumping. Soon I hit the hard right turn gave my number to the volunteers at this “aid station” and kept moving.

I knew this 1.5 miles to the finish was going to be tough as it was flat. I couldn’t slow down but it was inevitable. I kept looking behind me, but didn’t see anyone. I had to walk to stretch my quads out, but I walked for a short time and then I was shuffling. I could see the finish tents and knew I was close, but dam I had to go around the lake first. I was almost to the wooden bridge; I knew it was about .5 from there. Before I hit the wooden bridge I ran through some aspens and my foot caught a huge root and I was doing the super man pose. The pose where my face is almost in the dirt, my arms are held behind me and my legs are pumping as fast as they can to catch up with my falling body. I managed to recover and keep on running but it took some wind out of my sail. I crossed the bridge and the end was near. Then I heard it, the footsteps of runners behind me.  I looked behind and it wasn’t just 1 runner, but there were 2 male runners. I pumped my legs harder, I could hear the cheers but I was so focused on not letting those guys pass me. I pushed harder I was in a dead sprint oh my God I hope I don’t fall. Faster and Faster I went I could feel them right on me, but I wasn’t going to let them pass me, not after all the work I did on this section. I reached the finish line and a step behind me they crossed. It was close, but I held those 2 runners off.
At the Finish and still smiling photo by Dasie

I crossed in 7 hours and 44 minutes and 20 seconds. It was PR for me. by 34 mintues, I had the biggest smile on my face. The 50k was actual 34.4 miles. I am very pleased with my results. Will I do this race again next year???? Probably not, I say that now but when registration comes along who knows. 

Fuel: 15 GUS
          1 PB&J square
          Handful of Pretzels
          Coke-not sure how many
         My all time Favorite-Chap stick-

Blisters: Zero

Toe Nails to be lost: Looks like 1 due to the tree I tripped over with less than .5 to go to the finish.
Hacking Cough for 24 hours

Brand new PR: Priceless
2011 Repdemption is on!
Time to head home!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Excited for Tahoe Rim Trail 50k

The time is finally here TRT 50k is tomorrow. Now if you were to ask me back in May if I was excited for this race I would have told you yes, but deep down inside during the Month of May and part of June I was not really looking forward to it. I started second guessing why I signed up and if I really wanted to do this race. But as time went on and I continued training things on the inside took a turn. I started getting excited about this race.

I began looking at things in a new eye with a new attitude. I dived into last year race report and what I went through, if you remember I had a very tough race. I threw up twice the first time being at mile 9 and then again at mile 15ish or so. My fueling was off most of the day and the only glimmer of hope I had was when I saw my amazing friends and personal Fleet Feet Crew of Three during the race and at the finish. They helped me pull it together. The one thing I can say about last years race is I never gave up, I kept moving forward I kept digging deep and I finished.

I also looked at my time for last year and the competitiveness came out. I wonder if I could do better this year and if so by how much? That competitive drive came out and I trained even harder. I did hill repeats, I pushed myself to run/jog up the hills I would otherwise power hike and soon enough my legs were getting stronger, my confidence grew and the excitement built up inside.

Today if you were to ask me that same question, the answer with all of my heart would be yes, I can't wait to run tomorrow. I can't wait to get to the starting line and see what I can do. My taper over the past few weeks has been good, I went through the usually taper crazies, legs misfiring when running the twitches, the short temper that comes with it the need to run longer but holding back.

But then a beautiful thing happened on my last run which was yesterday. Everything feel into place. There was a sense of calmness, my mind for the first time was rested and in the moment and not thousands of miles away, my legs were firing on all cylinders, there were no twitches or pain coming from my body. I was totally at peace I was ready for what ever TRT had to bring me. My goal for this race is to run it anywhere from 7-8 hours, but looking for a 7:30 finish. Considering the terrain, elevation that is a doable goal.

I am ready and can't wait to let it go on the beautiful single track trails in Tahoe.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Special Camp Out

This past weekend Lil Man had a special night that his Dad planned for him. First we all headed to the movies to see Cars 2. It was a cute movie, edge of the seat kind of movie for Lil Man. We all enjoyed popcorn while the pre-screening wasn't showing but we could hear it. I was lucky enough to get the entire bag to myself while Mom and Dad and Lil Man shared the tray. Lil Man insisted on sharing with mommy. After the Cars 2 movie we all headed home and Lil Man and Dad were getting ready for a spectacular evening.
Brent had been promising Lil Man he would go camping and it finally happened. A camp out that happened in the backyard. Lil Man came running to my room and told me we were going to sleep in the tent. I of course had no clue what was going on and just thought he was using his imagination and said sure I will sleep in the "tent" with you. Next thing I knew he was having me put my shoes on, he grabbed two pillows one for me and one for him and we hurried to the backyard where I saw the tent. He then grabbed his tiny little lion blanket and told me this blanket was for me. It would barely cover my legs, but I smiled and said OK. He even had Shamu with him, he was all set.

Only the best for Lil Man and his Dad

Once the tent was up it was time to roast some marshmallows and make some S'mores. Americas favorite camping treat. This would be Lil Man's first time enjoying a smore. He even managed to roast his marshmallow, though it did catch on fire and charred the outside.

Learning from the master (his dad)

Reach Lil Man

It's about to catch fire!

Once the construction was complete it was time for his first bite. His first bite was a bit hesitant but once that oozy goodness and chocolaty Graham cracker touched his tongue he was in heaven. He ate the entire smore.
Constructing the perfect s'more

His first bite

He was so excited about his "camping" trip that he was in his PJ well before 8 and off the to the tent he goes. I talked my way out of it because I didn't want to interfere with his daddy's time and the special camping trip. Lil Man lasted until 9:30ish when he told his daddy he was ready to go back inside now.
The best smore and camp out ever

I bet he dreamt about smores that night

The next morning though the first thing Lil Man said once he woke up was when he could camping again. Memories I am sure that will last forever.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Epic Run Promised and Delivered

Last night Power girl sent me a text message about meeting up at the Overlook for a run with Captain Kirk, Wonder Woman and Dustin (hmm I need a nickname for him). The plan was, for me a nice and easy pace about 8 miles or so. I jumped at this opportunity as running by myself was getting pretty lonely.

Once at the overlook this morning I learned that Captain Kirk had a epic run planned for us. I quickly chimed in that I was planning on doing 8 miles or so. He totally understood and was glad with the fact that that was all I was doing. For our epic run we would be running on some new trails up towards the Foresthill bridge. Sounds like fun, I am always up for a new trail.

Off we went but even before we got going there was a huge group of workers/volunteers/fire fighters working the trail that takes us to Cool. I could hear chain saws buzzing, saw people standing around we even saw a tree hit one of the workers. Finally they let us pass, but still the chainsaws were buzzing. I am surprised that we didn't end up getting hit by a falling tree. We must have missed the sign that said the trail was closed, but then again I don't think we ever saw a sign nor did anyone else we ran into on the trail today.

cutting down trees

Watching the trees be cut

Immediately this run was already pretty epic. We made our way down to the fire road and the single track trail and then the fire road again. It is always interesting when you hear your fearless leader say "Now, I was told there a was trail just off to the left somewhere that will take us up to the highway crossing." Ummm Captain Kirk you mean to tell me you heard about this trail and aren't even sure where it is?
Looking Good you four

OK, we all just laughed and soon enough we were stopped just a bit shy before you hit the waterfall. Captain Kirk said he thinks this is the trail, but when I looked at it, it honestly just looked like a game trail, or even a runoff trail. But we all went single file...Captain Kirk took the lead, followed by Wonder Woman, Power Girl then Dustin and I took up the rear.

I think this is the way

Wonder Women said "This looks like a trail where we would see rattlesnakes." The trail was overgrown with tall brush. I said "If we pass a rattlesnake it will probably strike me since I am last", but Power Girl quickly reassured that it would strike her as she was third. The saying goes something like this.....The first runner usually startles the rattlesnake, the second runner pisses it off and the third runner gets bitten because the snake is pissed off so I would be OK because I was last in the line. Good information to know, so note to self I will never be the third runner. I am guessing the first runner is the spot to be.
still climbing

Up this "single track" trail we go. It is getting steeper and steeper, I end up power hiking it as I didn't want to blow up my legs. Up and up we go, until the green gate where we get to cross the highway. Captain Kirk had flown up this monster, you would never have guessed that he ran States a few weeks ago. I arrived and we cautiously crossed the road. We continued hiking and came upon a huge line of port a potties. So many we each could have our own times 3.

Port a potty anyone?

Soon the single track meets up and we are on our way to Stagecoach. It is a very beautiful trail. Covered in most areas, very fast down hill sections, very smooth but at times a bit technical but overall a very awesome trail. We even crossed a little wobbly bridge. We arrived at our turn around spot and had a brief photo session as we could see No hands bridge way down below us, we could see the trail leading to K2, and we saw the Foresthill bridge. A very pretty sight, but I didn't realize how high we had climbed.

No Hands Bridge way down there, can you see K2?

The road to Cool

Can you see Foresthill bridge?

Captain Kirk and Dustin and I turned around while Power Girl and Wonder Woman continued on stagecoach. Wonder Woman is running in a trail marathon in a few weeks and needed more miles then us.
Still smiling :)

A good day on the trails

Captain Kirk enjoying his day on the trails

Power Girl and Wonder Woman ready to keep on running

On the return we power hiked most if not all the hills. I enjoyed the company of my fellow trail runners on the trail and even spent some time sight seeing, which I normally don't do during a training run but since I am in taper mode I enjoyed the views today.

But of course we did have some excitement on the return trip, I was in the lead with Captain Kirk right behind me, I immediately stop and put my arms out so he can't pass, he immediately grabs my hydration pack ready to pull me back. He didn't know why I had stopped so suddenly he was ready to rescue me from a rattlesnake only it wasn't a rattlesnake it was huge deer crossing the trail and bonding up the trial. Now in my experience where there is one deer there are more to follow, I didn't want to be in the middle of the rest of the deer who were crossing the trail.

Wood chipper cutting up the trees into tiny pieces

Long day on trails for this group

Once back at the overlook we met up with Dustin who was in the canal. I joined him and iced my legs down.

 My body wasn't feeling terrible it was feeling like it should during a taper at times my legs felt a little funky, but most of the time my legs were feeling really strong. I took my time on the climbs out per Captain Kirks advice. I ended up taking one s-cap and pretty much drinking my entire hydration pack on the run today. It was bit warm out there. I am excited about TRT in a week and can't wait to be racing as this taper is making me a little ancy. Captain Kirk told me that I am looking really strong which coming from him is very reassuring. All in all I had a great time on the trails today with some great friends.