Friday, June 29, 2018

My friend ran Western

I was lucky enough to be able to attend Western states last week. My girl friend Julianne got in and she asked me to pace her for a 20 mile leg. My friend Ricky also got in so I got to hang out with a bunch of the Trail Crashers in Auburn. It was an exciting time . I love watching the race it is so much easier than running the race. It was another hot day in Auburn and the race course its just hard. Those canyons are a killer. I stayed with Julianne and her family and at 5 am we where at the starting line. My girl friend seemed calm and I never had any doubt she would finish. 
This was my first time crewing from beginning to end and I was worried the entire time. You get worried you won't get to the aid station on time. You get worried about your runner, Your worried there eating or that you brought everything they might need every time see them. I never stopped being worried and that was a different kind of stress. 
Robert paced her the last 20 and it was awesome to be a part of her succesful Western States.
Strength grows in the moment when you think you cant go on but you find a way to keep going anyway.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

My San Diego 100 mile race report

I had planned on running this race last year but life had other plans. Fast-forward to 2018 and I found myself at the runners briefing last Thursday with butterflies in my tummy and so much excitement. One of the best parts about signing up for a 100 mile race is the journey you take to get there. I find that, for me, in order to have a shot at completing a 100 mile race it's the journey that teaches me all about my destination. Unless I show up for almost every training run and put all my miles in my chances of holding a buckle are slim. When you have a running group like ours that is easy. Becca tells us where we are meeting and what time to be there so all that is needed is to show up and run.

I love the journey. I choose to train with the Trail Crashers. I spent   hours and hours training  with them and so many of us signed up for the San Diego 100 miler. 

The race started at 6 am. I went and took my place near the back of the conga line as the race started. I like starting near the back because for me slow and steady is the way it is going to go. I loved catching up with old friends like Chipping Fu . Last time we saw each other was on the trails at Western States where we finished with a seven second difference .
Now here we where at mile 1 of the San Diego 100 catching up. That felt really cool. 

I could feel it was going to be a warm day really early on. It was more of a feeling of 'take it easy G its gonna get warm and stay that way all day so take it easy'.  Just feel this one out as you go. When the weather is like it is in a-lot of San Diego races hot and dry you really need to learn to listen to your body and keep checking in with yourself. 

My plan was to eat as much as I could . I made some really dense bars and cut them into small pieces and just had maybe one an hour. I also made rice but I put a couple spoons of it in a baggie w gee butter the night before and crushed some bacon bits and mixed it up and had a baggie of the every other hour. Then I had a  chia gel  every hour, I had lemon Skratch in my pack half of what they tell you to drink for the first 40 miles and then just water the gel and the food and pure water. I usually throw up at least once during a long race so I am trying to figure out how to help my tummy not hurt. This race I felt full most of the time but I still threw up about 6 times. I do feel way better after and I kinda feel like I can start over.

I love this picture because this tree has so many memories for me. We have had lots of training runs and all Trail Crashers  stop and hang out under that tree. This tree is also the part of Lost Boys course that tells me I only have 23 miles left. The Cuyamacas are magical and will kick your ass if you do not prepare. One the bright side nothing like getting your ass kicked on a beautiful mountain right ?

I get to see so many friends and I made new ones too. The race was hard and hot and meeting people out here is fun because there is no time for bullshit. It's more 'hi how are you'?? The person replies, 'I feel like shit'. You try and help them and talk for a bit and become friends. I love the fun personalities I get to hang out with. 

I just took it easy and ran at my pace. Slow and steady. I was extra careful on the super technical parts because my feet are always what hurts the most. The views did not disappoint either. On my way to meadows was all kinda  crazy. I got to run with my new friend Alex and his friend Ben that was fun because they're great storytellers.  I started seeing people just sitting down and I thought it was kind of early for that but it was hot and not everyone had a pack. Going into Noble canyon was hot and I had lots of water and decided it would be smart to carry an extra bottle just in case. I am so glad I did there where so many guys who had ran out of water who were seriously hurting. I gave two of them some water and convinced one of the to just start walking with me back to the aid station and once we got there it was way better the aid station crew took care of him. I also got to run a little bit with my friend Spring and that was great too.   The canyon consisted of me telling myself every single reason I could think of that it would be okay to stop here. This works for because I give myself time during these races to mope. Then when I can't come up with any reasons I mentally tell myself Ok G. You're done now let's keep going. I had so much to look forward too. My husband was driving my pacers and crew so I would get to see him for maybe 4 min and Julianne was going to pace me for the next 20 miles. 

Here we are. I was tired but coming into the aid stations at this race is just awesome. Everyone wants you to succeed. I had Nartaya waiting for me with my night time clothes, chicken soup and my light. My husband and his friend Doug with words of encouragement. Nartaya told me when she would see me next and that it would fine and Cinda told me I will pace you after Julianne. Having new goals of seeing my crew again and running with Julianne gave me a great boost. When we left the aid station I was doing okay for about  6 miles after that I felt like my body hit a wall. It was like a huge woosh feeling of its time for bed G. Poor Julianne went from jogging to walking and I couldn't seem to wake up. Then it hit me all the gels I was eating do not have caffeine! I forgot I had a plan no caffeine until the evening. So
I found them and took one and started jogging then Julianne got me down to Cubbits and there I picked up Cinda.
When I got down there I saw Phillip and he was hurting and I saw Mark Daniels pacer . He told me Daniel was in an ambulance so I was worried about him but I also knew there was no way that they would let anything happen to him. He was in good hands. Nartaya gave me some soup. I think I did something with my shoes and I put on a jacket. I was feeling to comfortable at this station and there was so many people that had dropped and I was just thinking about the fact that they didn't have to run anymore and that made me want to get out of there faster because not running sounded good but it was not an option. I got the coolest new light too. 

Hurkins Orbit, 180˚ wide angle rechargeable LED on amazon but you do need two batteries bc they only last 7 hours .

 for the night time. This thing is as bright as the UFO light in ET.
It was so great I took my headlight off . I forgot to tell you I had a toothache going into this race and it was messing with my head so not having a headlamp helped enough that I could deal with it. Cinda was a great pacer we didn't really know each other but by the time we were done we bonded. Man I have so much respect for her. At one point, she fell so hard her head bounced and, yes, she landed on her eyebrow...on a rock! A big Rock. There was a ton of blood and I felt so bad I can't imagine how much her head hurt because of course she never once complained and ended up running 25 more miles with me this way. In her words we are on a mission and it's the finish line so let's go. I never gave up and I knew it was hard but I always think to myself when I feel like shit. Yes it's hard but I am doing hard just keep doing hard. Bad English an all. It is also comforting to know I am not the only one feeling like this. All the runners / survivors still out here where suffering too. 

We ended up running the last 9 miles with Louka and Cinda and what a treat that was. We ran the last mile in and I just wish I would of had the real energy to tell everyone how freaking grateful I felt. I was so tired I didn't even take pictures. The race is put on by such a good runners ( Scott and Angie S) legends  people that really want you to succeed. The volunteers are amazing and I mean that.  One volunteer, Guillermo, held my face when I felt like shit and looked me in the eye and told me: 'You can do this you just need to patient with yourself ride out this shitty place your in and keep moving'. Be patient it's a 100 miles. I know you can be patient. That stayed with me the whole time. If it's one thing I have, it's patience. ( I have 4 kids and they teach me to be patient everyday) I was so glad to be done. Cinda was too. I have a whole new appreciation for the length of one mile. One mile is a long way when your tired. I was hungry ,thirsty dirty chafed but so freaking happy to have finished. When your a back of the pack kind of gal and you know your going to be out there 30 hours but of course you hope that by some kind of magic you might do 29 hours you mentally have to get ready to just hurt but when you cross that finish line its like a magic wand just blessed you with this feeling of YES that was all worth it. Yes that was all worth it....

I ended up finishing at 30 hours 48 minutes. I will take that. I heard that the more difficult it is to reach your destination the more you remember your journey. That is so true.

Getting my ass to the finish line was a group effort. Starting with the Trail Crashers sending out the emails telling us where we needed to be every Saturday. To following the training plan Robert gave me. Eating healthier and having amazing crew and pacers. I feel like just showing up and towing the line takes guts. Lots of us didn't make it to the finish line at this race but as corny as this sounds we really are all winners. We have our health and we found something that we are passionate about. That's huge.
I am so happy I was able to grit it out and yes that is a lovely buckle right ?? Thank you to all my people that helped me during this journey to complete this hard ass race. Sneaky hard is what it is. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Sunset run on the PCT

This Saturday instead of running in the day we ran front sunset to 10 pm. It turned out to be a magnificent sunset. One that I got to share with my friends. 

This is amazing right ? The sky was blue and yellow and crazy windy so the clouds kept floating by us. It was a great idea to get out there at night so we could try our night gear. I was freezing so I need to rethink warm clothes situation. That is why its good to plan.

The light was amazing. We ran about 14 miles and climbed 6000 feet I think . I called out for hiking so I ended up running at night witch sometimes I get scared to do but once I took of it felt fine.

All of these people will be running SD 100 with me in 10 days !!
crazy is as crazy does :)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Pacing on the PCT

The PCT 50 was two weeks ago today and a bunch of my friends where running it. Its 25 miles up the PCT starting near campo and then 25 rolling kinda down. My plan was to volunteer but instead I ended up pacing my friend. 

We arrived really early. Runners love the early morning thing. I still have a hard time with it. My runner had to run 25 miles up hill before I could pace her so since we had time to spare a couple of my fellow Trail Crashers and I went for a short 8 mile run. We ran through the meadows and it was lovely. Then I just hung out watching all the front runners come in and out.

It is always exciting to See the people in charge specially because I never get to see them run. If the race is an out an back I do but being a spectator is like having a front row ticket to your favorite show. (to me) 

My runner came in and off we went . I have not paced much so I was excited to be able to help a friend out and keep her company. I had a great time. My friend never complained she just kept going and talking bout stuff.

It has been really awesome watching my friend take on such hard races train her butt of and finish strong. Today was no different . 

Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
John Wooden

Monday, May 21, 2018

Birthday Post

The whole birthday situation always throws me for a loop.
One of the reasons is because it reminds how fast my time flies. My kids will be  23,17,15 and 5  WTHeck
This past year has been an easy one. I love easy I have learned a couple things . I really want to be a better listener so I am consistently working on that. I also discovered I love reading. I have read more books in this past year than I have my whole life. This reading thing is amazing. I like different kinds of books I love good mysteries and girly books that are just easy fun reading. I also love  biographies. I also discovered audible and when I run I can listen to books too..
Ahh my love for running has not diminished at all. I freaking love it and I hope I can do it forever. I never thought ever that I would love a sport like this. Running  has sparked something in me I had no clue I needed . It has helped me cultivate inner strength and I am so much healthier too. I love knowing I can run forever and I love that in running ultras I can be slow or fast as long as I keep moving its perfect. I feel like I have a whole new family with my friend I run with. I love it !!
This year has also included grieving for Chris. I didn't know you could miss your x husband this much. I cant begin to explain how hard it has been for all of us and I cant speak for my kids but man I cant get over it. I never expected Chris not to be here or to killed the way he was. My heart aches for what he must have gone through when he passed. My heart aches for everything he is missing. I know and have felt this whole passed year that he needs to be here to see his kids going to prom and tennis games. You cant ever fill the space of someone who was taken to soon. I visit him a couple times a week and it just sucks.
I am living my best life and my husband is really a good man. He loves our family and he is so good to my kids and what more can I ask for. My kids always come first.
My greatest teachers I figured out this year are my kids. I am listening more and having date nights with them. I am really looking and watching and its awesome to watch someone you adore grow up right before your eyes.
I have to say this birthday was one for the books. It was all I could ask for. I saw my mom and sister and aunts. Had lunch with my dad and dinner with the family. I know I am right where I am supposed to be. I feel it and my focus is to continue to focus on the positive and keep growing in my faith and in life.

My mission is life is not only to survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion with compassion some humor and a-lot of love.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Trying Training never stop moving

I kinda felt like a baby throwing a temper tantrum inside of me. I just wanted to sleep in and stay home but the idea of knowing I might be able to shift the way I was feeling by just getting up and getting out was to good to pass up. I asked my friend if he wanted to ride up with me to the mountains. This way it helped me feel accountable and my sweet friend told me I kind of felt that you needed me to come in order for you to be able to show up. Even though he ran 20 miles the day before he made the trip for me and ran another 20.
I am glad I went and yes something shifted inside of me. Even though I run a-lot the thought of a 20 something mile run in the mountains sometimes feels impossible. You know this whole being vulnerable movement and asking for help thing works. The run really helped and after 5 miles I was thanking my friend for telling me yes I will go with you. 

Some smiles are harder to come by than others. Life is about doing trying, experiencing the whole thing. 
So heres to not giving up with out a fight or a long ass run. Hoping you have a magical week.