Sunday, April 12, 2015

Little bit of Missouri

It has been a bit since my last blog post. A lot has happened and JCM is getting so big. After Salmon Falls 50k, we had a big trip planned. We were headed to Missouri, to visit my wife's family. This was a big trip as it would be JCM's first flight and our first flight with a newborn. It was going to be challenging, but we were up for it. JCM did great on the flight, he didn't make a peep and slept most of the flight which was great. The challenging part was the drive. Once we arrived in Missouri, we had a 3 hour car drive to Grandma's house which ended up taking us 4 fours because we had to stop a few times to calm/feed JCM. But other then that he did great.

It was a long journey,  but glad we made it to grandma's house

Grandma and the family were super excited to see him and pretty much couldn't put him. We saw pretty much the entire family while we were in Missouri and there was even meet Baby JCM party. It was a great trip.

Missouri Landscape

The last time I was in Missouri I had mentioned to my wife that I wanted to go to the Fantastic Caverns. Missouri is known for there caves, there are a ton of caves that can be visited throughout the state and Fantastic Caverns just happens to be down the street. What makes this cave system different is it is America's only Ride Thru Cave system. Pretty cool. Well, be loaded up the family and took an adventure. I enjoyed the tour and we saw a lot of cool things in the cave. It was a pretty massive cave system and a few years ago it did flood and it has 2 sink holes. When we go back, I wouldn't mind visiting another cave as I find that kind of thing interesting. 

He has grown so much!

After visiting grandma at their place we once again had a long journey ahead of us. We had a 3 hr drive back to St. Joe, and it took us 6 hours as JCM was having some gas and we were needing to stop to sooth/calm him down. It was a long trip but we made it. He was a trooper. 

All ready for St. Patrick's day. 

Tired little guy from the trip

His overall's which are super cute on him. 

While in Missouri we also went to Jamestown. Jamestown is a historic place and home to the Amish. There is also a lot of antique stores and we walked through all of them and ended up with some pretty cool things that we mailed home.

JCM meet Ma and Paw, great grandma and great grandpa.

I enjoyed taking photos of grandma and Ma and Paw's land. 

Such a handsome little guy!!

Missouri was great, but we were very happy once we made it back home. Once home I resumed my training  as I had a race coming that I was using as a training run. The American River 50 miler didn't go as planned, but I write more on that later. For now, I hope you enjoy the pictures of JCM just as much as I do. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Salmon Falls 50K Race Report 2015

This past Saturday was the first race for me in 2015. The Salmon Falls 50k, put on by race director Anthony Brantley. The start of the race was at Magnolia parking area. From there we climb to enjoy some beautiful views of Cronan Ranch as we make our way to the South Fork of The American River. From there we climb and make our descent on Red Dragon which offers views of Salmon Falls. From here we make our way onto the Sweet Water Trail system which is a single rolling track as we continue on to the Browns Ravine Marina and finally our destination at Folsom Point. A beautiful course with a rich history.

 I had some personal goals going into this race, but ultimately my long term goal was to not be destroyed at the end so that I could resume my training. This was a training run for me, but a training run where I wanted to push a bit if I could and see how the body responded. Going into Saturday, I wasn't nervous. It was just another run for me. I didn't sleep that much the night prior as having a newborn in the house doesn't allow for sleep.

Race Day

Race day here. I met up with Trailmomma and our friend drove us to the starting line. Once at the starting line, we had no clue what the weather was going to do. All week I had been watching the weather reports, one day it called for rain, another day thunder showers, and another possible showers. I didn't really know what to wear, so I brought a few extra layers just in case the skies opened up, but didn't need them as it felt like it would be warm day.

At the starting line at Magnolia parking lot I could feel the energy. There were about 180 or so racers. Anthony gave us a pre race briefing, basically saying if you get lost it is your own fault as the course is well marked. And just like that we were off and running. I was warned by many people to take it easy during the first half of the course. If not I could pay for it during the second half. I kept that in mind as I tried to find a good position on the fire road. Soon we hit the creek crossing and started our first climb of the day. I ran some and hiked most of it keeping a steady leg turn over. Trailmomma was right in front of me and looking strong. She had been training hard for this race and I could tell during our long runs how much power she had developed and many runners told me "She is like a billy goat going up that hill." I heard this a lot during the race from other races.

Of course what goes up must go down, we hit the first descent and many runners opened it up. I resisted the urge to fly down knowing we had a long ways to go. It was too early in the day to destroy the legs so I let others fly past me. It was here that I paused for a second and looked around at the beauty of this course and area. It was amazing how lush and green everything was. Soon I was at the base of the hill and slowly starting to climb again. This would be a constant theme throughout the race, up and down up and down. Again Trailmomma took off like a billy goat. I couldn't keep up with her. As we neared the top and started the long descent to our first aid station Trailmomma said that she needed to use the restroom. I told her to run ahead and I will meet her at the aid station. She took off. She was gone. All I saw was a small speck in the distance. I made my way to the aid station and once there noticed just how far the restroom was and looked down the trail to see Traillmomma high tailing it back to the aid station. She explained to me that it was just too far and she would wait.

I chuckled and we were off to the longest climb of the day Pedro Hill. I have climbed Pedro Hill, and it is a nice steady climb, I also took in some calories as I had only garbed a handful of chips at the aid station. My legs never felt loaded and I kept a steady turnover, even running some of the hill with Trailmomma. From here I pretty much have run the course and knew what to expect in the coming miles. I hit the top of Pedro Hill and Trailmomma and I started the descent. Here I backed off a bit and Trailmomma gained a nice lead on me. I knew that she wanted to push herself, so when she pushed here I let her go. I wasn't ready to push the pace.

Soon enough Trailmomma and I reconnected, I could tell she was focused. She wasn't talking much and I was OK with that. We would chit chat a bit here and there but overall not much. I was feeling pretty good and as we neared aid station #2, I heard "Their is the new momma." Hearing that brought a huge  smile to my face. All day long I heard how cute my son was, which just brightened my day and made me smile ear to ear. I thanked Paul with a hug and enjoyed some more chips as Trailmomma and I made our way to aid station #3, where I knew my son and wife would be waiting. That was my driving force, that was my motivation all day.

During this stretch, Trailmomma really opened it up and started to push hard. I couldn't keep up with her. I power hiked as hard as I could but she kept gaining ground on me. She had really perfected her power hike and all her hard work in training was paying off. I settled back and focused. I focused on keeping a nice and steady pace, power hiking when I thought best and running where needed. Here I started to feel a bit off and decided I should take in a few calories. I continued on power hiking and running through the ups and downs and smooth rolling single track, and soon I had arrived at Red Dragon.

Red Dragon is gnarly descent. It twist and turns just as a dragon does. It has super sharp turns and feels like it goes on forever. On the descent I had the urge to use the bathroom, only there wasn't anywhere to step off of the trail. I would have to wait until I reached Salmon Falls aid station. The descent was hard on me and my stomach. I slowly made my way down and kept thinking "Oh I hope I make it." It was going to be close. Soon I reached the bottom and crossed the bridge and saw Trailmomm's family who cheered me on and I made my way to the aid station.

As I popped out of the single track trail and into the parking lot I quickly made my way to the restroom. I had to go and go I did. I felt so much better after that pit stop. A weight had been lifted per say. Once this duty was completed I made my way to my family who was waiting for me with a big orange sign and of course my banana. My wife and son were there and I had arrived right on time. I took a quick photo with my son, kissed my wife and Trailmomma and I were on our way.

13 miles completed and I was feeling pretty good. We crossed the bridge and made our way up the road chit chatting and enjoying the day together. As we hit the single track of the Sweet Water Trail System Trailmomma took off and I couldn't keep up. I was feeling a bit low on energy and my legs weren't responding. I knew I had to take care of myself so I took in a gel. Not long, I started to feel a bit better. This single track trail is super runnable and I was frustrated at myself for messing up my fueling. But once my fuel kicked in and I started to make up some ground.

Long day crewing for Mom!

I was nearing the river/stream crossing and I could see Trailmomma just across the way. She was at least 7-10 minutes up on me. I followed the billion course markers to the stream/river crossing and once across I heard "Pigeon!!!" I looked back and was surprised to see Trailmomma. I shouted to her "Did you get lost???" her face told the story. She looked like a deer in headlights and she explained to me that she was following the runner in front of her and missed the crossing. She settled in behind me and I lead us up the hill. I asked if she wanted by but she said "I just need some time to recover is all." We plugged along and soon enough Trailmomma took the lead and was off once again. We made our way into the aid station and had another surprise, Captain Kirk and Wonder Woman with their little boy were there cheering on the runners. They told us we looked strong and I thanked them. I then focused my attention on fuel, as I needed some. I guzzled down some Pepsi, grabbed 2 girl scout cookies and a handful of peanut butter pretzels and took off after Trailmomma who had already started the climb.

While climbing I finished my snack and could feel the Pepsi kicking in and quickly caught up to Trailmomma. I was feeling better then when I arrived at the aid station as I do believe by now I was behind on my calories. A mistake I know. Together we were making our way to New York Creek Crossing. The trail is rolling along and I could tell from Trailmomma's form that she was feeling strong.

This stretch we focused and talked about our family and how exciting it was to see them, when out of nowhere I see her family. Vans and her kids had made their way down to New York Creek Crossing and had surprised us. That was an exciting moment and really boosted my spirits and Trailmomma's as well. In fact I think this gave her what she needed. After seeing them she was a different runner and I couldn't keep up with her. I was able to keep her in my sights. We were working together during this stretch, at one point I would be in the lead pulling us along and then Trailmomma would take the lead and pull us. I couldn't wait to see the next aid station as I wanted some more coke.

We arrived at the aid station and down 2 cokes, look over at Trailmomma and see the best thing ever. Payday's. She is enjoying a payday. I quickly scan the table and find them. I grab 2 look at trailmomma and we both start to hit the trail again, while others stuck around. We started hiking and finished up our snack. We had put some distance on the runners at the aid station, but I could hear them coming. We picked the pace up a bit and started to cruise. It was during this stretch that Trailmomma asked me how many more aid stations. I responded very quickly and assured her we had 2 more aid stations. She didn't believe me, but also didn't question me. Here I am thinking we have 9 more miles to go. 9 miles.

We cruised along, running more and more of the rollers. I was on a mission and pushed myself to remain steady but run more of the rollers. Trailmomma took the lead and out of nowhere she had this sudden burst of energy. She was gone, I couldn't respond. I focused on a nice and steady turnover, run that roller, keep going. Push, push, push. I could see the aid station and as I neared it it was Fleet Feet. I arrived to some loud cheering gave Dan a hug and guzzeled some coke. I quickly pointed to the sign on the table and said to Trailmomma, "See 3.47 to the next aid." 6 more miles is what I am thinking. She quickly says "3.47 to THE FINISH!" I respond "No, 3.47 to next aid." Then Debbie and Annabelle who were both voluntering look at me and say "No, you have 3.47 to the Finish." I and dumbfounded, really. I look at Debbie and quickly say can you take my pretzles, I can get by on coke them. She laughs and does. I guzzle some more coke and Trailmomma and I are both off. Thank you girls for the help.

3.47 sounded so much better then 6 miles to go. I apologized to Trailmomma. I had no clue where I thought we had 2 more aid stations, I guess my math didn't add up. This last stretch we have both been on numerous times. My legs were tired and I was ready to be done. 3.47 we got this is what I kept thinking. Trailmomma took the lead and I just tucked in behind her knowing that with each step forward was another step closer to the finish. I could see the levee. As we descended down to the levee I shout out "hey, that's Tigger T." Trailmomma's friend had come out and surprised us by being on the levee. We quickly gave hugs and said thanks for being there and that we would see her at the finish. A great surprise.

The levee never ended. I could see the finish line and I could hear the finish line. So instead of focusing on the finish line, I focused on the runner ahead of me. Our pace quickened but it felt like we were not making any progress. We were gaining on the runner and slowly passed him. Soon we made that right turn on to the single track trail that would take us to the finish line. Trailmomma got a burst of energy and I knew she had a strong kick. I couldn't let her get to far ahead of me, but I also couldn't kick as early as her. I had to time it just right. She kicked and I kicked a little, I was gaining. I can catch her, I kicked a bit more, I was so close. I could hear Anthony saying "Look, we have Trailmomma and Pigeon, training partners coming into the finish line." So close I was to her. She crossed the first mat and it looked like she slowed down a bit, I kicked only finaly time, I pushed as hard as I could gaining, when I hear Anthony "Oh no, Pigeon is catching you." and trailmomma pushes hard to the finish line. She crosses one second in front me. I almost caught her. What a finish. When we hit the homestretch we put on a strong finish. We were both smiling from ear to ear and laughing a bit about the strong finish. Way to get it done!

Finished!!! Laughing, just as it should be

We finished, we both had some obstacles to overcome through out the day but in the end we finished with a smile on our face and both our families there to see it. As my son get's older I hope I am an inspiration to him and that he will see that he can achieve anything he put's his mind too. I also hope he knows that he is my motivation and that I love him and my wife very much.

Thank you to everyone along the course who cheered and said encouraging words to me. Thank you to my wife and son, who put up with my training and for encouraging me to sign up for this race. It was a great day made even better because I was able to spend the day doing something I love with people I love. Until next time, Run Happy as trailmomma would say!

Go Here To Read About Trailmomma's experience and for pictures!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Taper Time and Remodel Update

It is finally taper time, meaning I bring the mileage down and allow my body and mind to rest and recover so that I can be prepared for the upcoming Salmon Falls 50k on Saturday. This is a brand new race, which also means new trails, that I haven't been running on that much. I have been able to train on parts of the course, but I am still unsure of the entire course.

With tapering comes the doubt that slowly makes it's way into my head. Have I done enough? Did I do enough long runs, quality runs, am I ready? My training for this 50k hasn't been perfect, but what training ever is? I have a newborn at home, I am in the midst of a remodel, which currently my wife and I are doing the work. This means long days as well as long runs followed by working on the remodel and also taking care of our son. One little piece of good news is I am currently on an LOA for baby bonding time so I do not have that stress factory.

With all of that, I can confidently say, I have done enough. My body well remember to run that distance. With each weeks long run in the books, I gained more confidence as my form and strength came back. This race isn't my target race, but a race to help my training for my target race. In the end, what matters most to me on Saturday, is running a strong, smart race and to be able to continue training the next week.

Taper week has played many tricks on me. On Saturday Trailmomma and I ran a nice and easy 8 mile run. Only I felt terrible, my legs weren't working, I was just spent. I internally did a mental check to figure this out and I came up with this conclusion; A, I have been working on demoing, ripping carpet out of bedrooms, ripping tack strips and staples out of the floors, and also painting. B, I am tired due to the face we have a newborn, C, it's life, get over it and move on.

There is nothing I can do about the past but there is something I can do about the future. This week I am making sure that I am resting. I slept in today. I am drinking plenty of water and eating. I also plan on getting a few shake our runs in as well to keep the legs loose. I will ready for Saturday if not then it is the tough runs that I learn more about myself.

Like I said earlier, my wife and I have been working on the house. We have completed a few rooms, besides some minor things like sanding the floors and base broads, which we will do later on down the road.
The first room we completed was our sons room. We ripped out the carpet, wood paneling along the walls and painted. Doesn't sound like much, but it was a lot of work.


During, carpet is gone and next to go is the wood paneling along with the cubby hole.

First coat of paint on


JCM says "Thank you"

The other room we focused on was the office. We gutted this room as well. We removed the carpet, the built in desk which took up a ton of room and painted.

The dogs space and office

The built in desk

Shag green carpet under the built in desk. WOW!!! The entire room before had this carpet

Getting ready to paint

My space. We turned it into a den.

I am so glad that these two rooms are completed. Now we are focused on the master bedroom, organizing the garage and then moving into the guest room. Lot's of work to do, but we are able to make this home our own and that is all that matters.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Confidence Gone

This morning I woke up a bit late for shift change, about an hour late. I have been super tired just as my wife is. We have been doing a lot during the day with our remodel along with loving our son. As she downloaded me with the evening events, IE; he didn't sleep from midnight to 4am besides a little nap here and there and has been cluster feeding it was a pretty good night. Sounds exhausting to me. I took over so that my wife could get some uninterrupted sleep, only I had no clue how it was going to go for me.

Within 15 minutes I had him asleep. Sweet, nicely done, only that didn't last long, long enough for me to down load my pictures I took yesterday, which didn't take long at all. He awakes and I figure I should check to see if he has a dirty diaper, and sure enough it is dirty and wet. So, I change him. Now my confidence had (notice the use of had instead of has) been growing, as he hadn't peed on me in a few days. I have been doing pretty good, with my efficiency during a diaper change. Almost like nascar pit crew, OK so maybe not as quick as a nascar pit crew, but I was getting better with each diaper change.

I was in the midst of changing him, I had a clean diaper ready, wet wipes good to go, this was going to be easy. Then I feel something warm on my arm, crap, he is peeing, but his diaper is wet, is all I could think about. He shouldn't be peeing.

Quick cover it, cover it, I grab a wet wipe as fast as I could and cover it. I quickly clean my arm and hand up with a wet wipe and proceed to change my son. Now, not only do I have to change his diaper he now needs new clothes because of that little incident. He is not a happy camper, he is crying and getting louder and louder, and all I am thinking is "Please don't wake mommy, please don't wake mommy."

I remove the wet wipe and start to clean him up with a new wet wipe, when all of a sudden just like that he is peeing again. How can something so little have so much? Crap, grab something, I am out of wet wipes, so I grab the clean diaper and lay it as fast as I could on top of him. At this point he has pee all over him, on his face, his chest, his back it is everywhere. I quickly clean him up, which means a new out fit and a washcloth bath. Now, he is really crying because he is cold and I am not moving fast enough. Crying and flapping his arms and legs which makes it difficult to change his outfit. Finally I get a fresh diaper on him and a new outfit and just like that the crying has stopped.

Now my confidence has been shot with this diaper changing business. But at least JCM has calmed down and is now resting comfortable in my warm arms. Everyday brings with it new trials and challenges from changing a simple diaper to trying to sooth him during those long dark nights. But with those trials and challenges comes great rewards and love and affection. Those moments where I am holding him as close as I possible can and he giggles. It starts in his belly and works it's way up his body, and I can feel the giggle coming before it happens. Seeing his eyes light up with pure joy and excitement. Those are the moments, the soft unspoken connection when our eyes meet and for a bit it is just me and him in this world.

Nothing else matters, the peeing incident is long gone and forgotten as he rest quietly in my arms.

Let me give you a quick update on the progress of the remodel.

I focused on removing the carpet from the office/dogs room

Wood Floors underneath. I removed the tack strips, nails, staples and base boards too. The plan is to remove the built in desk, texture and paint this room, new base boards. But for now I am just happy that disgusting carpet is gone. 

Yesterday my wife focused on JCM's room. Her primary goal was to get it ready so that we could paint on Friday, and hopefully get his things back in the room. Because right now all his things are in the living room besides his crib. The house is a bit disorganized and I can only handle that for a little bit.

The cubby hole. That is the master bedroom on the other side, so it took up a bit of the master closet

Sheet rocking

Goodbye. Now that the cubby hole is gone, it gives us more options in his room for furniture placement and wall decor.

Taping the area

Mud, then it will be sanded down and I believe ready for paint, unless we have to texture it.

She also textured this wall so it should hopefully be ready for paint after sanding. 

I am hoping that today we can paint. I think we need to sand down the walls. She used wall putty to fill any holes which there were a ton. After paint we can do base boards, or we may wait until we stain. But we should be able to get his furniture back in the room. Then we can move onto the master and spare bedroom. Which we will be removing the carpet and painting. We are hoping by the end of weekend we are done with the carpet removal. I can not believe how disgusting the carpet it. This house was a rental and had maybe 3 rentals in it before me so I can only imagine the dirt and grim in the carpet. We were lucky though and have the wood floors underneath. 

For now, we are happy with how much work we have completed. I can't wait to get the paint on the walls so that JCM can have his room back and us our living room. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

It's Official, Let The Remodel Began

It is official, we finally closed on our home and now we can make it our own. It has been a long 4 months. We looked at a ton of homes, put a offer in on one, but we couldn't come to terms and then we put a offer on the rental home we were in and that was accepted.

The great thing about that is we don't have to move, but we are starting a massive remodel project. Some of the projects we will be doing ourselves (DIY, good thing that is my favorite show) and others we will be contracting out. Talk about doing things backwards.

I mean who gets pregnant, then just before they are due start to look for a home during 4th quarter for me, finally purchase a home and with a newborn start a remodel in the home?

We do that is who, crazy, but exciting at the same time.

The first thing we did when we heard we had closed was take down the 1970 curtains in the family room and dinning room. Boy, did that bring in a ton of light. The curtains we took down were floor to ceiling and disgusting with dirt, stains and who knows what else. By taking those down that made a huge affect to those rooms. We still have to take down the curtains in our master bedroom, but we are waiting until we pick out window treatments.

Talk about out dated, 1970 floor to ceiling drapes

Taking down those curtain/Drapes really brightened the room

The second thing we did was buy a new washer and dryer. Our washer and dryer went out on Monday, we closed Tuesday and that same day we bought a new pair which was delivered today (Wednesday). You can't imagine how much laundry we have to catch up on, ok it is not that much, but I had big plans earlier this week.

space for the washer/dryer, we took that box down as well. Actually it just came down, it wasn't secured to the wall very well. 

The third thing we did was buy paint. This house needs a paint job bad. The paint is so bad that when we would wipe a wall down the paint would come off with it. I can't wait to paint the bedrooms and bathrooms. With all that excitement, today my wife and I decided we would start painting our son's room. Only that didn't happen. What happened instead was a massive overhaul.

Look what we found under the carpet!!!

As I was taping off the wood paneling, (yes wood paneling, the fake kind) I causally said "Hey, I think the paneling will come off pretty easy." and with that simple sentence our little project turned into an overhaul. We took off a panel in the corner behind the door, to see if what I thought was true, and sure enough it was pretty easy, and there wasn't too much damage to the wall as who ever installed the panels only used glue on one wall, so that was a nice surprise.

But of course we couldn't stop there, since we had removed a small section of the panel we decided to see what was under the carpet as we had plans in the near future to replace the carpet with new wood floors. What do we find under the carpet, wood floors!!!! Score, who in their right mind would cover up wood floors. With that score we checked all the bedrooms and sure enough each room has wood floors under the carpet. Another Score

Carpet is gone, wood paneling is next to go!

With the find of the wood floors, we started to rip out the carpet, the tack strips, nails, staples, wood paneling and anything else that didn't belong. When we fully uncovered the floors we were very surprised to see that they were in really good shape. Another score!!!!!

Wood paneling gone.....

So what started as "hey, let's paint JCM room." Turned into removing the carpet, removing the wood paneling (not real wood paneling), tack strips, base boards and nails and staples. A pretty big project, but one that was needed and would have been done in the near future. All that is left to do is repair the glue damage, paint, new base boards, and bring JCM's furniture back into the room, currently that is sitting in the living room except his crib as that wouldn't make it out. It is going to be a pretty big change from what he had when he was first born, but one that will be worth it.

JCM giving us a fist bump for all the work we did today!

Even with closing on the house, and the remodel in full effect I have been able to get in some solid quality runs this week. Monday I took a rest day, Tuesday was hill repeats. I did a mile warm up, then 6 repeats followed by 1 mile cool down and then 200 step ups at the park. The step ups were done on the equipment at the park, specifically for step ups.

I would step up with one foot on the small circle, then pause at the top on one leg and very controlled step down and repeat with the other foot. All of this motion was very controlled and really works my leg muscles. Today, I ran 6 miles and then did 100 step ups. So far this week has been off to good start. This coming weekend Trailmomma and I are doing the Western States Training Run. It is the last 20 miles of States. Looking forward to it.

I can't believe how long he is getting

I am sure you have noticed my blog going in a different direction. I will be writing about my running as well as my family and now this remodel, in hopes to one day share all of our crazy/fun adventures with JCM. Stay tuned and see what else we turn up during this remodel and see how my training is coming along. I have also finalized my race calendar which I plan on blogging about soon.

Sleepy time.......

Until then Run Happy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Long Run Saturday

This past Saturday was long run Saturday. On the schedule we were to do any where from 20-26 weather depending as we had a big storm come through. What I wasn't expecting when I woke up at 3:00 am for shift change, AKA JCK Baby Duty, was not being able to get anything done that I needed to get done before leaving. As in I needed to eat, pack my gear, get my clothes, ect......JCK was having a rough morning and only wanted to be held, but that didn't sooth him, the only thing he really wanted was food, so I feed him which also meant his diaper needed changing. Pretty much from 3-5 I held him, eventually though I was able to get him back to sleep. As soon as that happened I quickly gathered my gear woke my wife and ran out of the house to meet Trailmomma and Jenn for our run.

We were lucky as the weather system that came through looked like it might hold off. I wore a short sleeve shirt, my vest, and shorts and a hat. The vest was for if it did rain, at least I could keep my core warm. Well about 1.5 into the run (if that) I took my vest off and never wore it again. It was muggy out on the Salmon Falls course. The trail was super nice though, it was soft but not to soft on the single track where you fell through. It was a fast trail this morning.

On the way out I took the lead and set the pace. We weren't exactly sure of how many miles we were doing, but the goal was to be on our feet for at least 20 miles. We weren't the only ones out there today. There was a large group that started maybe 15-30 minutes behind us, so for the time being we had the entire trail to ourselves. It was absolutely gorgeous out. My legs were feeling really good, I think the consistency in my workouts has been helping me tremendously not just in the physical aspect but also the mental aspects. Mentally I was feeling strong.

The three of us were making some good timing along the course. There are a few significant climbs at the beginning, but on the return those would all be some pretty fun descents. Soon we hit the fire trail and it was wide enough for us to run side by side and take in the views. We were making our way to the Movie Set, which of course once we arrived, I took a look around to check it out. At this point I was feeling pretty good and we only had a little bit to our turn around.

Once at the turn around we looked at the trailhead map and decided we would add a couple of simple loops to get our mileage up. We took off on this climb that brought with it some spectacular views of valley. The sun was shinning and it was a sight to see. The climb was pretty good, a constant grade and once we reached the top it was a very gradual down hill with some small rollers. Soon we were back at the Movie Set and added another loop along the river. This loop was interesting as there were a ton of porta potties. I chuckled at myself as there were so many bathrooms, but neither one of us needed to us them.

After this short loop we decided we better make our way back. Jenn and Trailmomma took the lead, I was glad about that as I needed a moment to myself to assess the situation. I was feeling a little low on energy, and I knew I needed to do something about it. I decided that now would be a good time enjoy some more Skittles. Instant energy, but I also knew it wouldn't last long so along with the skittles I took in a Special K bar. Now I was feeling better. I knew this because I saw some runners ahead and all I could think about was catching them. I took the lead and increased our pace a bit. We put together a nice stretch, running a bit of the uphills and keeping a strong steady pace on the climbs. It was go time, it was time to challenge myself and see what I could put together.

We were getting closer and closer to the runners so I kept the pace going, even on the slow and steady climb. I gave us a few minutes though to recover before putting together one final push on the climb. Soon we were passing them left and right. They were really nice and made room for the three of us. I knew though that once we passed we couldn't relax, we had to keep the pressure on ourselves and that meant running more of the climbs. We did just that, though I gave us a small section to recover. We were about 3-4 miles from the finish with only a few minor climbs before the long descent down Red Dragon. Here I took in more skittles, and offered Trailmomma her 1 skittle. (A joke between us) When I offered her the skittle she just took off up the hill. I yelled to her in a joking way "Fine, no skittle for you." She and Jenn were gone. They crushed that hill and hit the descent like they owned it.

I at this point was feeling the push we had made earlier and was just focused on keeping a steady pace up the hill. Once on top I let the hill take me down, dancing around the loose rocks and being carful not to let the hill take me to fast. Slowly we winded and turned and made our way down. We arrived back at the car all three of us feeling pretty good.

Back at the car we quickly stretched and changed our shoes and I jokingly  said "The sky is going to open up any minute now." And as if on cue, the sky opened up. We all three laughed and quickly jumped in the car before getting soaked. Overall this run was pretty solid. We put together some nice sections and with each long run I get more confidence in my fitness. Thanks for the great run ladies, I can't wait to do it again.

Next weekend Trailmomma and I are doing the Western States Training Run. This run is the last 20 miles of the States course. Always a great run, I haven't done this run in a few years, so I am really looking forward to it.    

Hanging out with this guy after the run. Miss him when I am gone

This past week training was pretty solid for me. On Monday I did 6 miles followed by 100 step ups. Tuesday was a rest day as JCM had his 2 week check up, Wednesday was hill repeats, 6 repeats. Thursday  I did 6 miles, Friday rest day (doctors appointment) Saturday 20 miles, Sunday 8 Miles. Pretty good week. I always enjoy the hill work outs. I feel stronger each week after completing them and I look forward to them each week.

Friday, February 6, 2015

4 Diapers Later

Have you ever had one of those moments that you really just can't believe is actually happening? Like, when you close the front door only to realize that the keys are still inside and you had locked the door already? Or how about that moment you get all the way to work only to realize you left your cell phone on the night stand? Or that moment that your son is still going #2 (poop) and you don't have a diaper ready? Yup I am talking about that moment. 4 epic diapers later.......

 It was my shift as we call it around here. Meaning I was in charge, feeding, diapers, burping, cuddling, all me.   My wife was resting and it was up to me to keep the fort down. Up until this point I have been really good with the diapers, he has only peed on me twice, or three times, I sort of lost track, but hey, who is counting. Certainly not you, but I bet you are.

Anyways, I decided that I would change his diaper. I went to the changing table and took off the dirty diaper, only it wasn't dirty. (I am still learning) When all of a sudden my son goes #1, and pees. I do what anyone would do and quickly grab the clean diaper (Diaper #1 here) and cover him so he doesn't get everything soaked. Crisis diverted right, nope. As I am cleaning him from the incident #1, he goes #2. Now there wasn't any warning, it just came flying out. It startled me and I screamed a bit. I froze not sure what to do, and then I realized he was still going, so I quickly grabbed a clean diaper (diaper #2) to catch the remaining #2. OK that has to be all of it, right. So I gather diaper #2 up and throw it away and grab a clean diaper (diaper #3) and put it on him, only I didn't realize that I missed the mess on the changing table from the explosion and I had just placed the clean diaper in #2.

Are you laughing yet?

Because I wasn't.

Now I grab another clean diaper (Diaper #4 if you counting) and quickly get that on him this time being sure to miss the mess on the changing table. 4 diapers later of what should have been a simple task turned into a 2 person task as my wife came to my rescue. You see what I didn't tell you was I screamed again and she came in to see what all the fussing was about. She helped on diaper #4 as by this time I had it under control.

4 diapers later he is all changed.

Now I am sure this will happen again or something like it. This was one of those moments that I replay over and over again in my head and say "Did that really happen?" and the answer each and every time is "Yes, yes it did happen."

This is something no one tells you, but that is OK. I laugh at myself just about every day over something. I am learning something new every day and I love it. I don't mind the dirty diapers and the sleepless nights, in fact those moments I am sure will be long forgotten as he gets older.

I am enjoying when he is sleeping and grunts and stretches is little tiny arms above his head and he holds his breath until his face is red and grunts some more and then whimpers just a little whimper but enough of a whimper, then I pick him up and look into his sweet little eyes and he smiles, like ha, I just got you to pick me up. Hehehe. Those are the moments I love.    

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Simple Cup of Coffee No More

It is amazing how routines can change just like that. Change is typically something hard for me, I love routines, I am all about them. Change is tough for me, ask anyone I know. So it is hard to believe I have adapted to my new routines rather quickly and without fighting them since the new addition to our family. It didn't freak me out or turn my entire world upside down or into complete chaos, in fact the new routines were rather simple and something that just naturally developed, a unspoken routine I would say.  


 It all started this morning that had me thinking about routines. Typically the first thing I do when I wake up is enjoy a cup of coffee, I look forward to coffee just as my dogs look forward to being feed. It is a constant, something I am familiar with, something that starts my day on the right foot so to say. No, it doesn't have anything to do with the caffeine, just the simple motion, the simple routine of making coffee. It soothes me so to say. That is the best way I can describe it. Soothing.

This morning as I was sitting in the living room having cuddle time with our son, I just smiled to myself, this simple act of cuddling was now my new routine. I look forward to our special one on one time each morning. A time for us to bond and connect over the little things in life right now. Those little things being dirty diapers, feedings, cuddle time, more dirty diapers, and best of all story time and connecting with my son.

Now the first thing I do in the morning isn't reaching for the coffee cup, but rather reaching for my son and soothing him when he starts to cry. We have our morning escape, just the two of us in the early morning hours, just the two of us and eventually when everything calms down and he is settled back in then and only then can I enjoy my coffee, although sometimes I make it, but I don't always get to it on my schedule.

A simple cup of coffee no more, but rather a time to cuddle and connect with our son.  Morning coffee is one of many routines which have changed and I am sure as he gets bigger and older my routines will change again. But for now coffee can wait.