Friday, April 29, 2016

Love Loss Running

This week has sucked and I feel like I am living  through life under a dark cloud. A piece of our tight family circle has passed on. A piece of my life my little sister has passed. She left before I had a chance to say goodbye and that would be my fault. My sister was positive bright light. She really was. I had a race scheduled this weekend and I was going to skip it but then I had this feeling . I got an email from the Lost Boys 50 mile race . They gave me my bib number 38. My sister was just about to turn 38. When I ran my first marathon 12 years ago I had a picture of my sister under my bib and every time I got tired I would look at her picture and just knowing she was at home stuck in her wheel chair always gave me strength to run for her. My next thought is this time I can really take her with me. Then I sat with that and I just know she wants me to go run this weekend the reason is she wants to know what its like to run 50 miles. I figure she will be my angel pacer and that she will either think I am crazy or she will love it.  

So Saturday morning at 5am I will be at the start line of Lost Boys 50 miler.  I am running this race because its scares me and it looks really hard and I know we can't let fear stop us from doing what we love. I know my sister is in heaven with God but if he is looking for her tomorrow she will be my companion and her and I will be running in the dessert. I love her .

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I will miss you My Sweet Lillie

My little sister passed away last night. Yes, she was really sick for a very long time and I know that. I want to share a little about my sister. She was an angel and God sent her to us to bless our lives. She has a beautiful smile that came from with in. She taught me to be gentle and to be empathetic. She opened my heart in a way no one else could and when I ran I ran for her all the time. I knew she was home sitting in that wheel chair and somehow I took her with me. I carried her in my heart. Oh my sweet Carmen how you will be missed.

I love her little hands. They where soft and sweet. She had a great laugh and loved dancing in bed . She loved putting on make up and getting her nails done. Like all girls.

Carmen always loved me and I knew that. When I was little and I felt alone or heart broken just getting in her crib and holding her healed me in so many ways. When she was little and could talk she would say yoya. Thats me. She was 37 years old and she is my sister and now she is gone but I will carry her in heart forever and she has made me a better person. She always did.. I love you Carmen. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lost Boys 50 Ultramarathon - course overview

Weekly update

Its Monday and 60 days from today is Western States. I am both excited and scared. I am doing what I know I need to do to finish and hopefully have a better race than my last 100 mile race. This past week I got 70 miles in . I think 40 where good miles and 30 felt like time on my feet miles. A couple of things that make me feel like my training is paying of are it seems like my last run of the week feels the best. I absolutely love my long Saturday runs. I share them with my friends and its so nice to see them . The past week we ran with some new people and man I mean when I say. Trail Runners are the nicest people. We ran a part of the new course for the San Diego 100 miler. It was a long morning  on the trails but we covered a lot of ground. Robert and Phillip and David and Nartaya are all running SD100 so it was a good to get out there.
OK so here goes. I am kinda pooping my pants over here with 2 months to go until my dream race that I can't even believe that I got into WITH ONE TICKET !!!. Every chance I get I have been running and watching every Western States video out there. I AM CRAZY excited and I have been trying to sleep a lot too.. So I thought that for the next two months I would just blog about everything leading up to just being able to be a part of something so much bigger than me. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was a big training weekend for me.  I put in a lot of miles some with my awesome running group and lots of walking with Jack. I don't think I have ever put in so much work into a goal. The amount of training that goes into running 100 miles is daunting on paper. Then there is the fact that my second 100 miler will be Western States has made me want to work even harder.
 Looking back on last weeks runs makes me thing Holy Crap G.. You have come a long way. My #1 goal is to go into WS strong. I also do not want to chase cut off times. That is just stress I don't want to feel,  but after running we did the last  3 days with a ton of elevation gain and accent it makes me feel way better about what I can do. That's the awesome part about this whole experience. What I am taking away from all this. How running is changing me. How much more I appreciate my life. 
 I thought I was training well last  year but I was taking short cuts This year I really want to finish WS. Saturday morning I arrived at 6:30 I felt a migraine coming on so I decided that if It worse I would just turn around and go home. We got started around 7am and I knew this was going to be along run. It took a lot of effort and It was work. At mile 20 I started feeling good. WTH right ? The weather was nice the sun was strong but it was windy so it did not feel to hot. I was so happy to be done 26.2 miles up climbing up and up the PCT. I never thought I would be so familiarized with this trail. I was so freaking happy to be done. SO was everyone else. Then we had Sundays run to look forward too. 22 miles and yes back to the mountains we go. I was dreading it but I know that showing up is half the battle so I showed up . Sunday it was crazy windy and cold at Penny pines. We looked kinda crazy running . The wind would just push you down but we kept moving and I knew by mile 3 that I was going to have a great run. I felt strong and it felt easy to keep going. I was so surprised because my mind told me I was tired but my body did not agree. So I played my music I went for 70s disco music on Sunday and was once again happy and grateful to share the morning with friends ..I am little bit stronger and that makes me happy. So I ended up the week running 60 miles and walking 21. Happy Week friends.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mommy Adventures

My mini morning adventure :
Today was one of those days that I needed to get out of the house. I have a-lot of those days. I needed to be outside so as soon as I dropped of my older kids at school I headed home and got my stroller ready and set out for a long walk with my little man. He is no longer interested in the stroller but I thought eventually he will be. It was weird even though it should not be to leave my car behind and walk into town. We left early and we walked together for about an hour. We hit the park and then just walked. We walked by old buildings and under the freeway. We walked by people on bicycles , skateboards and every time we passed by a runner Jack would yell ," go runner ". We walked and he walked and then I ran for about 3 hours and then it was lunch time. We made our way to the Broken Yolk. I was starving and so was Jack so we ate like champions after all we walking people that a-lot of work for 2 1/2 year old and his 43 year young mom :).  We really did have a great time at lunch Jack was tired so he was so good. He ordered and said Thank you to the waitress. I felt very proud. After lunch there was the walk home but to my surprise I only had about 45 minutes to get home before my mommy taxi services needed to start. Jack insisted on walking so I let him and very shortly after he wanted in the stroller. "stroller mama" I walked as fast as I could. Suddenly I had to go pee and there was no bathroom in sight at the same time Jack wanted out. I told him I had to go pee and he said "run mama".

This is him running home so I can go pee. I barely made it and poor kid was so tired he fell asleep 10 minutes later. I like to think of mornings like these as my mini adventure morning. I looked at my watch and we walked 8.3 miles. It was fun and we got to spend the day outside. Most of the morning outside.
Happy Trails.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

So True

I read this quote and I loved it. Here are some random thoughts on this ::
 This is a picture I took this past weekend of a friend coming into the finish line. She looked strong and I felt so happy for her.  It is so true where you put your focus that is where you send your energy. So I asked myself where does my energy go ?

 Most of my energy goes to my family. That means all the awesomeness that comes with being a stay at home mom. I don't love to cook but I do love to feed my family and a huge amount of my time goes to making sure we all eat well. My favorite question after we eat is " is your tummy happy." I cook a-lot and I has become fun. We sit for dinner every night and end up hanging out for an hour or so we laugh with the kids then sometimes my  kids argue. We discuss all the things that are tough discussing outside the house like religion and politics and opposite sex questions are coming up a lot. I have two teenagers  its perfect. The bigger the meal the longer we sit so I am OK with cooking because of that. The next thing is taking care of my house. I really have to have a clean house not crazy but I need clear open space for peace of mind. I feel like Jack need toys everywhere for his mind so we have come to a good negotiation.

Then running my thoughts and energy seem to go there no matter what.  I focus on running and all I want right now is to have good strong races. Planning for them is fun. I don't care how I place. I am a middle of the pack kind of runner and that is perfect. I focus of my form. My stride my breathing my surroundings and that makes me happy. There you go lots of crazy G thoughts for today. Keep your focus on the good things and the bad things will seem smaller and if that doesn't work go for a long run and your troubles will fade away. 
Happy trails ..G

Monday, April 11, 2016

Oriflame 50k pictures

One of the coolest things for me is getting the email from the photographer letting you know your pictures are ready to be viewed. They take you right back to that moment right ? Paksit photos took them this year and they are really good.
All the thoughts that I was having at the time they took this picture. I was thinking  how much better I felt about my running because I have been training with such good people. It has made a huge difference in confidence as and my desire to get it done.   Having rad people to run with is the sh-t. They put so much hard work into there passion it rubs off.
 The Trail Crashers where not running next me but instead they where with me the entire day. I could see us lined up on the mountain running along. I could see Ricky at the top waiting for us. I felt becca waiting for me up ahead. Robert making me laugh. I actually have so many memories on this exact trail now. Last year I would not even know where this trail is and today I  could run to it right now. All this gives me so much hope that there is so much more fun goodness ahead. Good times ahead and happy Trails for sure ..I read about the group affect and yes I think it's true for me . 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

My Oriflame 50k race report

Yesterday was Orriflame 50k.
This was taken right when I got there. I love morning pictures before a race. I really do.  I was a worried about the weather because it was looking like it was going to be really cold but I decided to think about it as an adventure run. I arrived at 6:30 am and the race started at 7am. I was surprised I found parking and all I could think is the the weather must of scared some people off because I did not see a-lot of people. So with 20 minutes to go I checked in and got number 52 . I saw my friends and then we made our way to the start line. 
as we are waiting for the race to start I noticed my water hose was not working. It was stuck so Robert tried to fix it but the we had a minute to go and with out getting it fixed we put it back and I took off. The race starts on a single track and my hands were really cold besides that I felt good. I was happy to just be there. My friends where in front of me and besides not having water all was well. Every time I looked up I was so inspired by the clouds. Yes maybe there was going to be rain but who cares when it looked so beautiful.
This race is an out and back course and struts at the Sunrise Trail head parking lot. It fallows the PCT trail north for a couple miles. I think about 5 miles as your running in front of you there are mountains and the dessert. Its magnificent.
Then you start running down  Oriflame Canyon. Here is my story with this canyon. Last year we did a training run on this canyon on a very hot day. It scared me enough that I decided to not do this race. It was so freaking hard I felt like shit after we where done so I said no and I did not run it. Not this year !! There was no way I was not running a local race because I'm scared. 
If this sport has taught me anything it is to be brave and not be afraid of working hard at something I love. I hate fear so this is me working my ass of to conquer my fears and grow. There I am running down the canyon . I think I should say I was very carefully jogging down. Running down hills is something I am working hard at. I have along way to go and I knew this was going to be the challenging part. It was really cool watching all these awesome ultra runners kill the hill. I was having a great time. I needed to stop at some point to fix my bladder because it was stuck and there was no water coming out. You know when your running the last thing you want to do is stop so finally at mile 13 I got thirsty enough and it took me like 3 minutes. I took of my shirt and fixed my bladder and drank as much water as I could. I was so thirsty. 
The aid station volunteers where very supportive and I only stayed for a minute or two. When you get to the bottom of the canyon you runs couple miles in the sand get to the turn around point. My friend Jeff was there and he gave me some water. Its always nice to see a familiar face. I was not feeling great at this point. I felt a little dehydrated . I just needed to drink my water and I knew I would be fine soon. When it was time to start running up the canyon I felt so much better. I really like running up hill for some crazy reason. I started my just keep moving G. No walking G just keep moving G . Then it was G you love running up hill fallowed by lets me how many people I can catch. There was 3 girls I could see in front of me and 6 men. So I just kept moving and one by one I passed them. No walking just short strides and running only zone. Then before you know it I was at the top and feeling the best I had felt all day. This aid station made me feel super inspired. They cheered when I ran in and told me I looked strong even though I probably looked like crap and I left happy to be alive. 
Thank you Paul for this picture. This is me leaving the S2 aid station. I had a banana and I was off .I had the total running happy thing going at this point. I had 5 miles to go and I ran the rest of the way in. No walking just running. I passed 4 more people and finished 6:28. I am happy with that.
Thank you Nartaya for this picture, This is me finishing. I had a great time it was a ton of hard work and I loved it. I love the 50k distance. A big thanks to John Martines the race director for putting on a really great race that was so well marked. The aid station volunteers for being there in the freezing cold just to help us . I had a great day it was hard and challenging . We ended up with great weather too. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Saturday's run

Yesterdays run started around 8am. That mean that I had to be out the door by 6:30 am. Very doable and that's how it started. The drive was really nice because I was realign awake and the sun had just come out. The light had that morning glow about it. The freeway just seems nicer in the early morning hours. Once I arrived and saw all my fellow runners getting ready to go I felt that excitement about knowing this entire morning would be spent outside making my way though the mountains. We are training for the PCT 50. A 50 mile race that started at the bottom of the PCT and goes up and around 25 miles and then you make your way back. We started running at 8:02 and I knew by mile 2 that this was going to be a long run for me. Yes we where running 19 miles but there is easy long runs and today for not it for me. My legs felt so tired and I couldn't find my running mojo.  

I decided to just do my best to keep a a slow pace and not stop. I was suffering but I just kept think that this run would make me stronger because I felt like crap but I still had to keep going. I did just that. I saw a horse on the trail and since hiking season started I saw lots of hikers too. The scenery is just amazing and I don't care how tired you are somehow you get more energy from all the beauty that surrounds you. The air is crisp and you can see as far as Mexico. It always help when you run with friends too . Mentally they keep me motivated and I know there in front of me and behind me so I just keep you moving along. I kept thinking about how I could hitch a ride back to my car because I felt so tired but knowing we where all out there suffering somehow made it easier.  

I have to thank my friend Louka for these pictures.  I was not done at this point but instead I  refilled my pack and was just so damn happy that we only had 2 miles to go !! It was a long beautiful morning that I know helped me grow as a runner. There are many a times you just have to suck it up buttercup as Robert says. I feel like I am at a point in my life where I really appreciate the hard work that goes into finishing an Ultra-marathon. Your age does not matter or your gender we all have to put in a bunch of hard work to finish running any distance farther than a marathon through the mountains. I also have a whole new respect for all the woman I know or read about that go out there and kick ass. They have changed the way I look at female strength . I just want to go out there and do a better my best like so many woman before me do everyday. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hello and Happy April

Hello and Happy April 1st. This week has been a great training week. Everyone is on spring break so I don't need to drive the kids anywhere and that means more time on the trails for me. I ran  80 miles so far this week and I am a little sore but super happy to be sore. You know that feeling. Yesterday, I was able to get that dripping spring run in again. It was hard but a really good hard. I also ran with my girl friend most of the time and that in itself is a treat. This weekends run should be fun and but I don't think easy. I hurt my foot a bit so I will be trying to run easy. Sometimes running easy is just not possible when your with your friends. You know you just want to go !!!!
I am getting way more excited for Western. I am a mom and an athlete and I can do this. Thats one of the things I keep telling myself.  It will be back to the PCT tomorow nice and early . The only good reason to get up at 4am. if you ask me is to go RUN ! Have great weekend.