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I AM EFFING FORTY!!!

Today, I am 40. How in the hell did that happen? I should start off by saying that you’ll have to excuse this little self-indulgent post. I will try and keep it short and sweet. Okay, maybe it won’t be so “sweet” but short would be good right?

Hopefully you can tell which one is me ...
Me as a kid with my neighbors … hopefully you can tell which one is me.

I have been thinking about this day for quite some time. Probably since I turned 39 and realized, “Holy freaking crap, I am leaving my thirties and entering the dreaded 40 zone?” I know it isn’t a huge deal. I mean, Vans turned 40 eons ago and he survived right? 🙂

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Yet for some reason, this milestone, this marker, has brought on actual change (stay with me here). When I went from 20 to 21 I didn’t really notice a general shift in anything. Sure, yea, I could buy alcohol, whoopee! I wasn’t a huge drinker at the time so it didn’t matter (well times have changed and I do love my occasional glass of wine and a really well made margarita – don’t hate me, I have two kids damn it!).

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My crazies.

When I went from 29 to 30 I was pretty down about it. I absolutely loved my twenties! I mean, I moved to California, I got my own apartment, I met Vans and I traveled to Italy with just a backpack!

Happy 20 somethings...
Happy carefree 20 somethings…

I also got laid off, went back to school, got a new degree and started a whole new-fangled life in a new profession. I also got engaged and married all within a span of 4 months (no I wasn’t pregnant) all in my twenties! It was great. And then, 30 came.

In my twenties with my best friend and love, Vans
In my twenties with my best friend and love, Vans

Turning 30 wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t notice any “significant” changes other than I felt that I had to act more grown up. Did I? Probably not. Okay, most definitely not but I did have this sense that I was supposed to. We bought a real house, had kids and did all the things 30 year olds are supposed to do I guess.

Taken 1 week before Peanut was born.
Taken 1 week before the Peanut was born and our lives drastically changed!

However, 30 I felt was mostly just counting down to (gulp) 40.

5 ish months into this "being a mom" thing - CAMPING!
5-ish months into this “being a mom” thing while CAMPING!

This last year of being 39 has been nothing short of awesome. I have had so many wonderful things happen. My baby entered kindergarten and while this only made me feel OLDER it has been quite amazing watching her grow into the little stubborn (see above – margaritas do help) person she is today. My oldest is actually more like a little adult now (again, making me feel much older – thanks kid) but it has been incredible having this little “partner” to do things with.

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I also went on a road trip this year with my Wolfpack and trail sisters to Ashland, Oregon (and laughed my a$$ off). I spent a week in Tahoe with my family over Thanksgiving and have never been happier.

Snowed in at Tahoe!
Snowed in at Tahoe!

I had a stellar racing year, one I doubt I will ever duplicate. I ran my first 100k at Quicksilver. I qualified for Western States. I even placed in a few small local races and when you’re at the bottom of your age bracket that feels pretty awesome (it doesn’t matter that they were “small” races – just let me have the glory alright?!).

My cool trucker hat, wooden medal and wooden award. Very creative.
FOURmidable 50k

However, I have had what I feel is a more noticeable shift; a change or transformation if you will these last few months of my 39-dom. Do you want to know what that shift was? Essentially, I don’t care anymore! Don’t get me wrong, I CARE! Of course I care about things and about people, but I care far less about silly frivolous things we have no control over and in all honesty, I care less about what people think of ME. Not that I ever really cared THAT much (ask Vans – when it comes to appearances I have always walked to the beat of my own drum, especially in the fashion department).

Me in my 20s .. see what I mean by "fashion" - not much has changed.
Me in my 20’s .. see what I mean by “fashion” – sadly not much has changed.

Basically, I feel like turning 40 has given me a gift. Something that I consider to be very important. Forty has given me the gift of self-esteem and the gift of confidence. It wasn’t that I didn’t have these things before but I think now, it just comes easier. It is hard to articulate into words but turning 40 hasn’t been so bad.

Photo by Michael Molinski Photography
Yes, that’s Scott Jurek and ME at 39!                  Photo by Michael Molinski Photography

I know who I am now. I don’t feel like I am waiting to find out who I am going to ‘grow up’ to be because, I am there. I am her. And damn it, she rocks! Told you this was a self-indulgent post.  🙂

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So I am embracing 40. I am taking it by the horns and saying “Hell yea! Let’s do this!” I am on the top of my game. I feel better than I ever have. I am healthier than ever. I have a fabulous family who is my world (on both the west and east coasts). I have friends that make me laugh, go on adventures, text or Facebook me funny things. What more could I ask for? So what if I am entering the toughest age-bracket on the trail running scene … (damn those women are FAST) but it is empowering, it is motivating and it just reinforces my “forty is effing awesome” theory.

The future is bright.
The future is bright.

So there isn’t much else to say really (I already surpassed this post being “short” – sorry). I am 40. I am effing 40 damn it (I think turning 40 means you curse a lot more too but I am not sure). So Happy Birthday to me!

Thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with me these last 40 years! Near and far, you all know who you are! You are part of the reason I am who I am today… at 40. Geez, I am 40? I think I just have to keep saying it for it to fully sink in … 404040.

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Okay 40, let’s do this!

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

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FEED A FAMILY – Rice Love Bags

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” 

– Mother Theresa

I am excited to announce my recent partnership as a Rep with Rice Love Bags. I stumbled across this company quite by accident actually. I have a small (okay, huge) addiction to bags. Some women buy designer shoes or high end purses, I buy bags or backpacks. I’m a nature girl who loves to travel after all.

The Peanut's cheesy photo of me! LOL
The Peanut’s cheesy photo of me! LOL

But lately I have been purging and cleaning out the closets in my home and was realizing, that we have a lot of useless junk. I am tired of purchasing frivolous items and instead, was looking for a way to do something a little more meaningful. Enter, Rice Love Bags.

Photo from Rice Love Bags
Photo from Rice Love Bags

When I discovered Rice Love I started digging a little deeper. Who are they? What are they all about? Essentially, they are vegan bags made out of old rice sacks (side note: I love rice! 🙂 ) . The company was started by two guys who met in Hawaii. One was from California, the other India. Together, they came up with the idea to help the 450 million people in India who are starving.

Worldwide, there are roughly 795 million people in this world who do not have enough to eat. With every item sold, Rice Love gives away 1 kilo of rice.

Now 1 kilo of rice (2.2 pounds) wouldn’t help a family of four very much. Instead, Rice Love gives each family (or person) 20 kilos of rice at a time and they don’t wait until a bag is sold to do so. They give away the rice as they are making each bag.

Currently, Rice Love is feeding India (1/3 of the world’s hunger population), Nepal and are working on expanding to Hawaii as their homeless population is also growing at a rapid rate.

Rice Love is a pretty unique company. How often do you support a company that claims to help those in need but you never actually see who you are helping directly? Well Rice Love shows you and lets you hear from them.

You can look up which family you helped with every purchase.
You can look up which family you helped with every purchase.

And let’s be honest, the bags are super cute, vegan and 100% unique. They are handmade in India, which also provides jobs for those needing work. Their supply is limited because each bag takes time.

The Peanut snagging my Rice Love Bag
The Peanut snagging my Rice Love Bag

If you are interested in helping or just want a really cool bag, then check out Rice Love Bags (www.ricelovebags.com) and if you purchase one, use the code TRAILMOMMA at check out to receive 20% off your purchase . . . every time you purchase. This is not just a onetime code. They make really great gifts too.

The Peanut loves her new pencil case Rice Love Bag
The Peanut loves her new pencil case

The Peanut loves her Rice Love pencil case and she was really interested in seeing who she helped give a bag of rice to as well.

The Peanut loved reading about who her bag helped feed.
The Peanut reading about the family she helped feed.
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Photo from Rice Love Bags – the family we helped

This opportunity has also opened up a lot conversation between the Peanut and I about hunger, other countries and food. She was shocked that the dad in this family, only earns $1-2 dollars a day as a construction worker but has to support his family of four.

So take some time, if you can, and check out www.ricelovebags.com. Read their story, check out the bags and take a look at who they are helping. If we all take baby-steps, it will some day create leaps of change.

“From small beginnings come great things.” – Proverbs

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

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HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY SQUEAKER

Dearest Squeaker,

It is hard to believe that you are turning 5 years old and leaving the only “school” you have ever known. Daycare is over my dear. Welcome to Kindergarten. Welcome to life!

Kindergarten Orientation 2016
Kindergarten Orientation 2016

Besides getting taller, not much has changed with you in a year. You still wake up smiling (most of the time), eager to get dressed so long as you can pick out the clothes. You are always ready to start your day.

Even with a crown.
Even with a crown.

I love that you tried soccer, basketball and t-ball this year sometimes as the only girl on the team. Always in a tutu.

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I love that despite your hesitations, you tried out for the TAZ Swim Team and now join your sister in practices, laps and laughter.

Gathering ribbons!
Gathering ribbons!

I love the sing-a-longs during our long commutes home. I will miss belting out Bon Jovi and PINK lyrics with you while dancing down the freeway each afternoon.

My partner in crime.
My partner in crime.

I love that you are eager to learn. You ask us, “How do you spell ….” probably 10 times a day at least.

I love that you get frustrated with the boys at daycare “for not listening!” Honey, that may never change. 🙂

Goofball
Goofball

I love when you get excited that Daddy is home and you run to the garage to help him do yard work or fix his bike.

Daddy's girl
Daddy’s girl

I love that you still adore your sister even when she is not nice to you. I also love that you call her out when she is being mean. You can push her buttons better than anyone but she is still your everything.

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I love that when you grow up, you tell people that you want to be a mom. My heart grows about tens sizes every time I hear it.

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I have no doubts that you will be a fantastic mom.

I love that you have such a connection with your Poppy and that you ask to talk to him all the time.

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I love that your energy and laughter is infectious. Your giggles make those around you smile.

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Most of all Squeaker, I love that you see life as one giant adventure. You are forever curious, forever attentive and always ready to go.

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I hope you never lose that spark I see when I look at you and I know others see as well. You have something kid, something special and I know that you will go far if you follow your heart.

The first of many graduations for you.
The first of many graduations for you.

You make us proud Squeaker. You make us laugh. You make us love. You make me happy to be your mom.

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Thank you for blessing this family with your imagination, your sense of humor and your unwavering love and kindness.

Family
Family

Happy Birthday Squeaker!!  We love you to the moon and back!

My heart always,

Mom

Some classic Squeaker memories …

Always trying to make us laugh - even if it meant wearing underwear on the outside of her clothes.
Always trying to make us laugh – even if it meant wearing underwear on the outside of her clothes.
Always cracking herself up. Not much has changed.
Always cracking herself up. Not much has changed.
Our always smiling girl.
Our always smiling girl.

 

 

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FALLING BEHIND

It has been an absolute whirl wind around here. Blogging has taken the back burner unfortunately but hopefully there is a light at the end of this crazy tunnel and I can resume some normal activity on here.

Let me try and recap the last month or so.

Nothing like bullet holes in a sign to wake you up!
Nothing like bullet holes in a sign to wake you up!

To start, I had a great run in the canyons on the Western States trail with Pigeon. We only ran 17 or so miles but we climbed over 6,000 feet. We started at Michigan Bluff and ran to Devil’s Thumb and back. I love this trail and no matter how many times I have been on it, it never gets old and it never gets easier!

It will be a great run when your hat matches the sunrise.
You know it will be a great run when your hat matches the sunrise.
These views never get old!
These views never get old!
On the bridge!
On the bridge!
Super HOT climb back to up to Michigan Bluff
It was a super HOT climb back to up to Michigan Bluff

Then Jersey Dad arrived for a visit and to celebrate the Peanut turning 8 years old. I quickly jumped from running mode to mommy and hostess mode.

Jersey Dad and his grand daughters!
Jersey Dad and his grand daughters!

On top of all of this, Squeaker had the chance to try out for the swim team! Big sis was there in support (sort of) and luckily, she made it with flying colors! So proud of that kid.

Congrats Squeaker! Age 4!!
Congrats Squeaker! Age 4!!

Alas, that means swim team season has officially started with scheduled practices 5 days a week! We are working on a routine and balance right now. School comes first even though there is not much school left!

Auburn!
Auburn!

During Jersey Dad’s visit, I took a “mental health” day from work and joined Pigeon on her mid-week long run since I knew running over the Peanut’s birthday weekend wasn’t going to fly. It was a hot day and running long on a Thursday really threw me for a bit but we had fun regardless, as always.

Pigeon
Pigeon
So done with climbing K2 this season!
So done with climbing K2 this season!
The meadow in Cool
The meadow in Cool
Love this place!
Love this place!

Shortly after that long run, it was time for the final long run of the training program! Pigeon and I agreed to meet on Saturday and kick out 30 miles as our last long run before our race in two weeks. The day started out nothing short of entertaining …

Base Jumping off the bridge!
Base Jumping off the bridge!

Within minutes of running we were startled by some base jumpers off of the Foresthill Bridge. Talk about taking your breath away. These guys were super nice. They landed right in front of us so we chatted with them for a bit before continuing on our run.

A perfect landing!
A perfect landing!

It was a beautiful day to run and we’d occasionally switch things up by picking a new (old) trail to follow to change the course a bit. There was also an equestrian race happening at the same time so that made things very interesting. I don’t mind sharing the trail with horses but I do admit, they give me a bit of a scare at times. I’ve met too many not so skilled riders who tend to not have control over their horse. Hence, my fear level always raises a notch when we encounter one. I am sure the horses can sense that.

A beautiful day.
A beautiful day.

We had to cut the run a few miles short to due to a small situation at home (nothing to worry about) but I was content in myself and the way that I was feeling during the run, that I could have continued on if need be.

I feel pretty darn good going into taper right now. Truth be told, I was mentally ready for taper about a week ago! My training this round, I feel has been good. I raced two solidly hard 50ks (not intentionally) and was able to maintain a higher mileage for longer than I normally would in a training period. That’s the nature of the beast when you choose races as ‘training runs’ and have life get in the way from time to time.

I feel comfortable in my ability to climb, mildly comfortable in my ability to descend (going to take it super easy on those to save my knees) and I feel somewhat comfortable in being able to handle the distance.  A 100k is farther than I have ever gone before, so I can’t lie and say a small part of me isn’t a tad bit nervous about that but mostly I am excited and curious. I am curious to see what unfolds. I know there will be ups and I know there will be downs.

Pigeon and I have decided to run together. She has a set pace and a set goal in mind and since this is my first ever 100k, I am content to go with her flow. We both want to finish. So, for my first ever 100k, I am content to enjoy the experience, the company and the scenery so long as I finish, and finish smiling AND qualifying for the Western States 100. 😉 Can’t forget that little piece of the puzzle right? Although, that wasn’t my initial reason for doing this race … but it is a HUGE cherry on top.

Now, to enjoy my two weeks of taper. This should include taking care of myself with good quality food, some decent sleep and lots of stretching.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

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HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY PEANUT

So here we are again, another birthday for my Peanut. Eight years old and so wise beyond her years.

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My Dearest Peanut,

When you turn 8, you think you know everything. And I do mean everything. No one is as wise as you and your parents are starting to look a little less cool in front of your friends.

When you turn 8, you still like to snuggle and have quiet time with me. Note to self, I need to stop and make more time for this, no telling when you won’t need me anymore.

When you turn 8, you complain about homework and how hard it is but when push comes to shove, you can complete it in record time.

When you turn 8, you get excited about animals and want to adopt every one that you see despite the allergies you seem to have inherited (sorry kid).

When you turn 8, you will be finishing second grade and the world revolves around your friends and what will happen this summer.

When you turn 8, your sister is still as annoying as ever but you finally realize that she can also be a great person to have on your side.

When you turn 8, you love to read but only when you find books that interest you and not books that are assigned as homework.

When you turn 8, you love your Poppy more than anything and you get jealous when your sister has more time with him.

When you turn 8, you become a jokester. Making people laugh seems to be what drives you and makes you happiest.

When you turn 8, you still love tigers. You know all there is to know about them, and I kind of love that.

When you turn 8, you still eat broccoli and have even added a few veggies to the mix but you still hate all fruit and I do mean all.

When you turn 8, you think Survivor is one of the greatest shows on TV and I love how you root for the under dog.

When you turn 8, your heart is still golden and pure. You still trust and believe in everyone.

When you turn 8, you stand up for what you know is true and right. You know that love is love and I couldn’t be more proud of you for that.

My dear sweet Peanut, I hate that time flies so fast. It makes me sad that you can no longer snuggle in my lap; fitting like a perfect puzzle piece. But I do love that we can laugh together and have our little inside jokes. I love that you love going to the movies and theater as much as I do. I love that you have late night chats with your dad. And I love how your eyes sparkle when you get excited about something.

You are growing so fast and becoming your own person every single day. Your dad and I love you very much. Keep being you kid.

Forever my baby.
Forever my baby.
Forever my friend.
Forever my friend.

Love you to the moon and back kiddo!

You have my heart, always.

Mom

 

 

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