Tag Archives: Coach Nikon

THAT DAM(N) RUN HALF MARATHON RACE REPORT (and a million other things)

The October love is still flowing strong. This past weekend was no exception. We squeezed in a lot!

Crazy is as Crazy does!
Crazy is as Crazy does!

The weekend started off with the school’s Harvest Festival on Friday night. I am giving the PTA props because they made some changes to the festival and it was well done. Vans helped with some set up too.

Just hanging around
Just hanging around

Saturday we found ourselves at the Loving Lane event down in Sacramento. Sally Edwards, aka the Head Heart is a dear friend of ours. Her nephew Lane Edwards was in a terrible accident about two years ago and was left with a C4 spinal fracture which has left him unable to walk.

Lane is defying all odds with the help of a huge team of trainers who are supporting his efforts to be able to walk again, on his own two feet.

We attended his event to help support LovingLane.org which is enabling Lane to continue with his therapy. Check out his website www.lovinglane.org and see how you can help.

Pinkhouse age 97
Pinkhouse age 97

Also attending Lane’s event was Pinkhouse, our 97 (soon to be 98 in December) year old friend who contributed by doing an indoor cycling ride for Lane! How is that for inspiration!?

Indoor cycling workout led by Sally the Head Heart
Indoor cycling workout led by Sally the Head Heart

Sunday morning came bright and early for us after the great day we had at Loving Lane.

A few weeks ago I ran into Coach Nikon (my old trail coach and friend). He is the Race Director for That Dam(n) Run – trail 10k and half marathon.

Pre-Race
Pre-Race

Coach Nikon invited Vans and myself to come out to his race AND he told us to bring our girls. He said that he and his daughter the Cheetah, would watch them while Vans and I ran. How absolutely perfect (and nice) is that?!

Trouble!
Trouble! Peanut, Squeaker, Cheetah and friends

I ran the half marathon and Vans ran the 10k. My race started first. After a few announcements from Coach Nikon, I was off and running.

Coach Nikon talking to the 10k Runners
Coach Nikon talking to the 10k Runners

The 10k runners followed yellow and black checkered ribbons while the half marathon runners followed pink and black striped. The course was well marked with ribbons and with flour on the ground. If you got lost, you clearly were not paying any attention.

Day of the Dead theme ALL over the place
Day of the Dead theme ALL over the place

I should note that Vans does not run much if at all. He’s probably run once this entire month. Needless to say, he was pretty stoked to find out that he was the winner of the 10k.

Here comes Vans!
Here comes Vans!

He was also pretty tired and really did not enjoy the uphill finish! ha!

Winner winner tofu dinner!
Winner winner tofu dinner!

He had a blast though and loved the challenging course. Hmm, maybe I’ll sign him up for the half next year?? 😉

Coach Nikon and Squeaker - TOTAL trouble here.
Coach Nikon and Squeaker – TOTAL trouble here.

My race was fun. I ran hard and had a great first half. Second half, after climbing the old dam hill, I slowly started running out of steam.

There was a young(er) girl who passed me at one point and who I stayed behind the entire second half of the race. She was running super strong.

She stopped at the last aid-station, about 1.7 from the finish and I grabbed her arm and said, “Nope. Come on! This is your race. You’ve got this, let’s go!” She followed and took the lead.

She asked if I wanted to pass and I told her no, this race was hers as she had been a super strong steady runner the whole day.

We turned a corner and saw the final stretch to the finish. It was completely up hill!!! I had been running steady for the last 3 or 4 miles with no walking … seeing that hill just knocked the wind out of me!

Best race photo EVER
Best race photo EVER

Vans snapped that photo as I was cresting the hill. I was giving Coach Nikon the evil eye with a bit of Jersey-attitude for throwing that darn hill in at the finish. FYI – You had to run the hill because EVERYONE was watching and cheering at the top. 🙂

It was a FANTASTIC race. Such a gorgeous day and a very well run event with amazing volunteers!

First in AG, 4th overall in the half - Vans was first overall and first in AG for the 10k
First in AG, 4th overall in the half  – Vans was first overall and first in AG for the 10k

We chilled at the finish line laughing and chatting with friends.  We didn’t really want to leave ….

Two little monsters!
Two little monsters!

but alas, we had promised the girls a trip to Apple Hill to get pumpkins since next week is Halloween. Where is time going?!

All the tutus and all the fairy wings = heaven for Squeaker
All the tutus and all the fairy wings = heaven for Squeaker

We stopped quickly at an orchard to get pumpkins, apples and look at the all the vendor booths. Squeaker found her happy place at a booth that sold tutus and fairy wings.

Next stop, was at our dear friends winery. Our peaceful happy place. The girls just love it here and so do we.

Sisters
Sisters

The girls run around playing while Vans and I chat with the owners and our friends, Ann and Paul (in between masses of people visiting the winery of course).

Peanut - love her
Peanut – love her

October is always an insane month for them. It is the busiest time of year actually. Vans and I are low maintenance and happy to sit and enjoy the views. We also love to help them out when they need it, carrying boxes, empty glasses or whatever they need. It makes us happy to help.

Happiness
Happiness

Needless to say, I am bummed this is the last week of October. It has been one amazing month and I have been so blessed and over-joyed with all that we have been a part of this month.

Next weekend is my plant-based cooking class and I am super excited about that. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, November isn’t looking too shabby at the moment. My trail-girls, Stonegate and Burning Girl and I have a little road trip adventure coming up which should be fun!

Life is just good all around.

Loving life
Loving life

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

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THAT DAM(N) RACE HALF MARATHON RACE REPORT

That Dam(n) Race Half Marathon and 10k race celebrated its third anniversary this past Sunday and I was FINALLY able to participate! 2012 was its inaugural year and I was all signed up to do the half and Vans was signed up to do the 10k but unfortunately, Squeaker fell ill right before the race and I stayed home snuggling her all day long. Vans went on to run the 10k and had an amazing race.

The second year, the entire family volunteered to help at the race but Vans was super sick and it was quite cold so we didn’t stay long after the race. The girls and I had a blast though but I was due. I was due to finally run this race!

I registered pretty early for the race, determined to add it to my calendar. It did fall during a time in my training schedule where I was supposed to do a super long run but I tried to improvise. I reached out to my old Coach Nikon and to Pigeon to ask for their advice. Coach Nikon said I should do the race hard and then make up some of the miles before and after but he said that racing hard would be a great training run any day compared to a long slow day. Pigeon offered up running both Saturday AND Sunday. Well, as it turns out, due to a change in plans, I did end up running a little over 7 miles on Saturday and then did the race on Sunday. Boy did my legs feel it!

I left the house bright and early on Sunday because I wanted to get a close parking space. The fire-station at Cool is notoriously hard to park, particularly when a race is involved and I didn’t want to be a mile or two down the haul road from the start/finish area. When I parked it was dark and I realized that I had left my headlamp at home. Luckily the iPhone has that handy dandy flashlight feature!

Stonegate Girl quickly found me and we left our cars to get our packets. I saw Coach Nikon and the whole crew. It was nice to see everyone! I have missed my old trail people!

Stonegate Girl came and sat in my car with my seat warmers and we just talked until it was time to get ready for the pre-race briefing. Coach Nikon always puts on the best races. He had some neat raffle type gifts that he was handing out to everyone. I think everyone was smiling despite the chilly air and foggy skies.

Soon it was time to line up at the start. I still had my arm sleeves on and I wasn’t sure whether or not I would ever take them off it was that cold!

Coach Nikon blew his little horn and we were off and running. It took a bit for my legs to warm up and catch on that I was running and in this race, the hills come pretty quick. It felt odd at first to be running up some of the hills we typically walk during our training runs but I wanted the race to feel hard so I could say we gave it a good effort.

Stonegate Girl stuck with me the entire time. It was hard letting people pass us from time to time but we were focused on the task at hand, just running and not getting ourselves injured.

Up and down this race goes. Stonegate Girl had never been on some of these trails and was totally blown away by the beauty of it all. It was then that I wished that I had brought my camera. Luckily Stonegate Girl had her phone and snapped this awesome shot.

Fog!
Fog!

Soon we approached the hill for which this race is named. That Dam(n) hill is brutal. Switch back after switch back you go. What a great training hill!

I was feeling pretty good minus my stomach. I have continued to battle stomach issues lately and it was just hovering below the surface on this run. I knew I would only be able to run for so long before I needed to find a place to duck off the trail. Unfortunately on this portion of the race, there are not many spots to do this!

The volunteers at the aid-stations were awesome. They cheered us on and wanted to know if we needed any water or fuel. I don’t think we stopped at one aid-station. We used our own water and our own fuel most of the race. Always good to practice using what you may use in a race down the road.

Stonegate girl and I finally came to a spot that allowed us to duck off the trail and take care of business. I hated stopping because I knew it was wasting time but I had no choice.

Once we were moving again we came upon a pond and Stonegate Girl was beside herself with the beauty of this race. It was super well marked too, no getting lost on this course!

Finally, we could hear the finish line and we could see the line of cars lining up and down the haul road. I was ready to be done. My legs were toast and it felt like I was running in quick sand at times. My legs were spent and so was my stomach (again).  As we were approaching the finish line, I saw a sight for sore eyes … and I kind of teared up a bit.

There she is!
There she is!

My girls and Vans were waiting right at the entrance to the finish line! I was so happy to see them and they were wearing their big clunky rain boots because it was muddy out (great for mud, not for running!). 🙂

Finish 1

Brining me to the finish line!
Brining me to the finish line!
Stonegate Girl and I post race
Stonegate Girl and I post race

My girls love this race and they LOVE Coach Nikon and his family. I think if the Peanut could, she’d go move in with Coach Nikon’s daughter Cheetah.

LOVE this race!
LOVE this race!

The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out at the race and just talking to old trail running friends. Peanut was put to work though. She had to earn those extra “finishers” cookies. 🙂

Helping Coach Nikon and Cheetah hand out awards!
Helping Coach Nikon and Cheetah hand out awards!

Squeaker just follows along and was enjoying the pizza, cookies and music. I truly am so lucky to have such a great cheering section.

I like this song Dad!
I like this song Dad!
My cheering section waiting for me to finish!
My cheering section waiting for me to finish!

This was a great race and I would really like to run it hard some day. I know what I need to work on though because twos days of running had my legs feeling pretty wobbly after the race. Luckily there was a massage tent which I took full advantage of! It really helped knock the kinks out of my legs. My recovery has been slower than normal lately and I truly believe my lack of stretching is to blame (I know, duh!). I have been working on it! I also think a lack of quality strength training is hurting me as well.

I am looking forward to Coach Nikon’s other race, Miners Revenge in April. This is an amazing course and I am spoiled. Coach Nikon really puts on one of the best events in town. He is race directing his first 50K this February too! Check out this link to the Salmon Falls 50K! I am VERY tempted even though I swore up and down that eventually, I’d like to go back to doing shorter distances for a while. At least until my girls get a little older. I know I say this all the time, but it is hard being away from them for so long and ultras require time to train which of course I have been doing a terrible job of lately.

This Saturday will be two weeks until my 50K. After my run this Saturday it will be taper time!! We have a busy weekend ahead which I hope to capture on camera this time around and blog about. There may be another race report coming your way involving the ENTIRE family so stay tuned (and cross your fingers). 🙂

My Racing Family
My Racing Family

Happy Trails & Happy Halloween!

~Trailmomma

 

 

 

 

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