Monday, April 29, 2013

Legs and Other Things

 Oh, my sweet, sweet boy! At school, for rewards, they get Paw Pats, which they can cash in once a month and buy items with them. He was so, so, so excited to finally have his very  own sweat band!
 I will not apologize for the over abundance of leg pictures in this post! My gaiters and shorts finally came and they make me so happy, almost as happy as Myles w/his sweat band. : )
 I LOVE them. I should say I love them because they keep the rocks and sticks out of my shoes, but really I love them cuz they are cute and make me smile! Shipping took longer than expected, so she threw in a free headband, which made me extra happy!
 They are from Running Funky. If you ever need fun/unique prints, that's the place to go!
 We set out on a hike on Saturday, but didn't get very far. It was hotter than we realized and the kids wilted quickly.
 Roses from the yard.
 You know what this means....the pools up!! Summer has officially begun in our neck of the woods! We are in the high 80's - mid 90's this week.
 These next pictures are from this mornings run! First real run since Diablo. I ran/hiked twice last week, but got about 8 miles in this morning, it was 70 when I started at 8:40, and 82 when I finished  after 10. It was beautiful out!!
 Lovin how tall the mustard is.
 Chatted with this guy for a while, learned about Warblers (??) He told me which birds were making which sounds, and which ones are just passing through, and which are staying and nesting. Nice guy.
 he he he...get ready for it...I spotted some gaiters in the creek!
 I was headed outbound on Stage, past BBQ Terrace and spotted some leftover 50k markings. Then I found a ribbon clothes pinned to a tree up by Buckeye Trail near the ranch.  I snagged it and ran with it the rest of the morning, it was flapping in the breeze and made me sound much faster than I actually was.
 This is my "What the heck is about to catch up with me" face. I thought for a while I was hearing a low flying jet...but when I got to the top of a hill and looked at the bright blue sky, no plane.  Eventually I figured out something big was heading my way on the trail. I started hearing it when it was down in Pine Valley, but it climbed up Stage behind me.

 This is something I think would probably only happen once in your life...if you timed it just right. It was scraping off the top few inches of trail.  Why noteworthy? Well, have you ever been the first skier down the hill in the snow?  Me either. But, now I have been the first set of tracks on the trail!
 If you've run down Stage, or BBQ Terrace, you know it's steep and this time of year, it's loose gravel, and slippery. Going up, that was the case. Running back gravel! It was smooth, powdery dirt! You can see looking up the trail the line on the side and see they scraped down quite a bit.  I felt very spoiled, and like in a matter of minutes, I had a brand new trail all to myself!
 This is the junk in the air that has the kids allergies going nuts! It looks like it's snowing.
This is me loving life this morning! I dont' mean to sound redundant, but I love it out here!!  Add to the beauty around me my guilty pleasure songs on my ipod - Big and Rich's Save a 'Horse, Ride a Cowboy', Blake Shelton's' Boys Round Here', and Gretchen Wilson's 'Redneck Woman',(I know, they are all terribly tacky, but I love em!) and then add to that sunshine, sweat, and running legs....can't ask for a better way to start my day!

More pics from todays run and other stuff here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lake Sonoma 50 Miler Pictures

This post kinda got lost in the chaos of the past few weeks, but that happens sometimes. It allowed me time to edit and crop away at these great athlete's pictures.  It was really something to see the "Trail Running Greats"...which I'm sure they'd never refer to themselves as, so I'll do it for them.  Most of us read about these guys in our Trail Runner and Ultra Runner magazines, and/or follow their blogs.  It was fun to see them up close and in real life at the end of a 50 miler that the best of the best were all running.

We had a great spot to watch/get pictures at!

1st place - Sage Canaday - 6:14:55

2cd place - Cameron Clayton - 6:26:24

3rd place - Max King - 6:33:57

4th - Jorge Maravilla

5th - Dave Mackey

Chris Vargo

Joe Uhan

Galen Burrell

Ryan Ghelfi

Nick Clark

Jacob Rydman

Josh Brimhall

Gary Gellin

Karl Meltzer

THE Tim Olson!!!  We love Tim because his wife and baby are so important to him. Within seconds of crossing the finish he's always got his son in his arms.  There's a neat You Tube video of him running with a watermelon taped to his waist, running through the woods with his wife while she was pregnant.

Yassine Diboun

Rickey Gates and Erik Skaggs, stride for stride, with the exact same finishing time - 7:14:19. Great sportsmanship right there.
First Female - Cassie Scallon
Victor Ballesteros!!

Ryan Burch

2cd female - Joelle Vaught

3rd Female - Amy Sproston - We were standing next to her parents and they were so excited for her!

 And, finally...I leave you with a stalkerish, through the windshield, picture of "Big Daddy" Hal Koerner chatting with his friends.   Hal had a rough day and ended up with a dnf. But, he's still awesome.
Just in case you forgot what's under his famous yellow and blue tank -
(you are welcome) -

Great way to spend the day! We went fishing afterwards and caught nothing, which is normal.
Good times!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Save Mt Diablo Trail Challenge - Brazen Racing's 50k Recap

Honestly, if you want the recap you could really just read last year's post. I started, ran half the course, and DNF'd.

Brian's recap is here.

If you stick with my recap till the end, there's a video of the day for you!

It was a different day than last year, with different reasons, and different circumstances.....but at the end of the day the cold hard truth is that I was not mentally strong enough to keep pushing and get it done.  It was not a matter of physically being able to do it. Mentally I was not in the game, even before the game started. If I could have gotten my head in the game, I could have pushed and gotten it done. I have no doubt about that. head was not in it.  Some of you already know both Brian and I were up till around 1 a.m. with a sick kiddo.  The alarm went off at 3:30 to get out the door by 4:30 to get on the bus by 5:30.  Most of you also know I had been on the fence all week with the weather and the heat.  Friday night should have left me no doubt Sat morning that the wise thing to do would have been for me to drop to the 13.1, letting both Brian and I sleep in, and drive Brian to the start of the 50k at 7.  But, that is not what I did.

I wanted it so bad this year! I did everything right. This was the year. I really thought the excitement of the day finally being here, the excitement of a race day, the bus ride, all the other runners...surely that would perk me up and flip the switch and it'd be "go" time.   If I'm being 100% open and honest here (which I always am, maybe too much at times)...there had been 'junk' in the weeks before this race, and all the stuff that went on the week of (Boston, ricin, earthquakes, news all day Friday, etc) that had left me a little drained, and lacking enthusiasm for Diablo.  Which is really a shame after months of being so focused.  Again, this is where mental strength, focus, and determination come into play, and bottom line is, again, I did not have it on race day.

I showed up. I started. I ran. I climbed. I climbed. I climbed more.  Went up and down a few more times. Cursed the hills. Cursed the heat. Had stomach troubles and me, who will poop in a bush at the drop of a hat, debated for miles whether or not I should go or wait.  For the record, the answer is always go! Go, get it over with, feel better, and move on. Do not cover miles in discomfort because you cant make a decision.  Oh, and...I was alone. Very alone. Occasionally I'd spot people way behind me, and way in front of me, but most the time....I was alone. I normally run alone, but 4:40 is a long time to be alone, and it was lonely!  I had my music in, but honestly, my internal voice was so busy convincing me I was going to drop at 15.6 that I don't remember hearing my music, which I so enjoy normally.  I normally sing, laugh, and nearly dance along the trail.....I can't even remember hearing it, but I do remember being annoyed that I wasn't enjoying the songs I normally love. I got to 15.6, said I was done, and headed right to the outhouse. Came out....turned around and went back in. Came out, sat, and really wanted to sleep. Every time I'd shut my eyes I'd get tapped on the shoulder by a Search and Rescue guy asking if I was ok, and if I wanted to eat.... 3 times this happened, and then I just tried not to close my eyes because I knew the guy was watching me and I didn't want to stress him out.

The positives - while I did give in and drop at the 15.6, same place as last year, I got there 40 minutes faster than last year.  I climbed faster, and ran harder on the downhill. I was not too far behind Brian coming into 15.6, as I saw him heading out and up the trail leading away from it. I was able to hollar out to him that I was done, and he said, "Do you want me to come back?"  Um, no. Keep going!

Eventually I got a ride back to the finish area, where I knew The Beast and NTL and Diane would be. The rest of the day was much funner than the first part! I gotta say Brian and I have a great 'Running Family'! After some hugs and tears, I got to spend hours talking with these guys, and cheering in all the finishers, down to the very last one.  Diane made sure I was keeping up on my pizza and slushies and Brazen Family gossip/news.  We got to see a few friends finish the 50k, including The Beast's husband, who finished covered in bananas (he says if you rub them on your skin the potassium works quicker).

We were able to check in with Sam and Jasmin and knew approximately where Brian was on the course. There were some tense moments of not being sure of where/when he was spotted last...but after a long 10 hours of moving, he came across the finish line!!  Everyone was so great helping him with recovering a bit, cramping legs, bringing food/drinks, helping him sit up, stand up, walk, etc.  It was neat to be there at the very end of the day and get to see every last runner come in and still have a small crowd there to cheer for them and show some appreciation for their hard work!

That pretty much sums up our day. I'll do a separate post on Save Mt Diablo/Brazen and the actual details of their role on race day and all the goodies that were there, and my thoughts on future 50ks.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Brian's Finish

Update - Brian's recap is up here.

I have not uploaded pictures yet, and am not up to doing a long post at the moment, trying not to sit for too long as my legs take a while to get moving again.
But, I did want to post a link to this awesome video that Allen (aka NTL) was able to get of Brian running in the last little bit of the 50k.

Check it out here.

 And here's a few pictures -
(none of these are mine, they are either NTL's, other runners, or volunteers pictures)
 He was super happy to see Allen! He could probably hear the finish at this point, but could not see it.

And a few from the course -

 This is on the first climb, maybe half way up...or maybe 1/3 way up.

 Believe it or not, we started down there below the ridge we are now towering over, on the pancake flat ground.
 The above, greener, shadier pic is heading out of the 1st aid station, beginning climb #2.
 You quickly lose the shade and are back to the open, exposed climb.

 Going up this one, I knew I was on the second major climb, and kept telling myself to get to the're almost there....came up over the ridge you see....and realize we turn right and keep climbing.
 Eventually you do get to the top of the 2cd climb and have some great views. It was super windy up there when I came through (much later than these pictures would have been taken) put your head down and run sideways, can't hear your music in your earphone windy. But, it was nice to have the wind to cut the heat.
 After the main 2cd climb, you have a few miles of rolling hills before you drop down into aid station #2 at the 15.5 mile mark.
 This is aid station #2, where 2 year in a row I have called it a day.
 Brian saw 4 different snakes. He said he stepped next to a stick and it started wiggling away and he realized how close he had come to stepping on it.  These are not his pictures, but snakes other runners saw.

 Lots more pictures coming.
Brian feels pretty good. We went to the beach on Sunday and he walked through the sand like a champ!  He said he feels much better than after any of our 6 road marathons, which is pretty amazing, but that's one of the reasons I like trails so much. It's much more forgiving on the body.  That's not to say we both aren't sore, tight, and moving a bit slow, but by comparison, not too bad.
Anyhow....I'll post more later in the week.