Tag Archives: Family

RUN RUN LIVE Podcast Interview

A few weeks ago I received an email from Chris Russell, the host over at Run Run Live podcast1Someone had told him that I would be an interesting person to interview. HA! While I am not so sure about being “interesting” it was a super fun conversation that lasted about 25 minutes. I talk about running, mom’ing, plant-based stuff and how the heck I squeeze it all in!

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If you want to listen, you can click HERE. The beginning of his podcast starts with Chris talking about his marathon training and a piece on beating those winter blues.

My portion of the podcast  starts at about 18 minutes.

You can also listen on RunRunLive on  iTunes.

Many thanks to Chris over at RunRunLive Podcast for his time and interest and a big HELLO to the new readers his podcast had channeled my way.

It never ceases to amaze me the path our lives can take based on the people we meet in life. I have had an incredible February and I feel truly blessed.

February has been the month where I have felt my “plant-based super-powers” have been utilized the most and I look forward to helping and doing more! 🙂

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

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SANTA CRUZ TRAIL RACE 30k Race REPORT

With school starting in two weeks for the Peanut, in a last minute decision (more or less) Vans and I decided we wanted to take one more family getaway. We originally had planned that Sunriver, Oregon would be our only family vacation this year, but we managed to squeeze in one more weekend (truly a weekend) getaway and it wasn’t easy.

One random day while driving around to one of our various swim team events, Vans mentioned Santa Cruz. I did a quick google on my phone and found a trail race the very same weekend he was considering! His response, “Well, we have to go now. You can run and I will ride.”

So, a few more days of finding hotels that fit our needs and dates … we were set. Another Run-cation (as Vans likes to call them) was in the books!

We left on Saturday (not as early as we would have liked which would have been a better idea) and sat in the massive amount of traffic that is the bay area. I was “scolded” (in a humorous way) by a friend for the fact that my girls have never seen or been in the ocean (Peanut has seen the ocean but probably doesn’t remember it).

What can I say? We are Tahoe people through and through. Our girls have been in Lake Tahoe more times than I can count and built many a sand castle on the golden beaches of Lake Tahoe but the bay area? Ugh, sorry, I just cannot stand the drive that way as it is NEVER free from traffic.

So we left Saturday morning and was hit immediately with bumper to bumper traffic getting into Santa Cruz. What should have been a 3 hour drive was slowly turning into 4+ hours. We made some diversions along some local streets but in the end we arrived way later than we had anticipated.

The Beach!
The Beach!

But, we made it and hit Davenport Beach which is a nice quiet, semi secluded beach up Highway 1. Although we were all fully dressed and not in swim suits, the kids were free to do what they liked. The Peanut, albeit a little bit naive about the ocean, loved every minute of it. Squeaker? Not so much. She hated the cold and the noise. The ironic part is that the Peanut (a notoriously terrible sleeper as an infant) was put to bed with wave sounds whereas Squeaker who was always a great sleeper, was not… guess who was afraid of waves!? 🙂

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Still, it was so amazing to see their excitement even if they complained about the seaweed. Tahoe doesn’t have seaweed. 🙂

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We checked into our hotel and then departed looking for a place to eat for dinner. I had done a little Trailmomma #plantstrong research before we left home finding a few places that we could visit. The first was the Saturn Cafe which came about because it was closest and we saw it while driving around.

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Basically picture a real diner but made entirely vegan and almost 100% gluten free. That was this place. While not 100% healthy (anything fried, is not healthy) it was pretty incredible.

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The Peanut and her camera skills

Unfortunately, with a race looming early the next morning, I couldn’t go too crazy with all the plant based foods (I have a sensitive tummy) so I kept it low(er) key by sampling a lot.

Sunday morning came faster than I anticipated and so I woke up and snuck away to the lobby with my gluten free oatmeal in search of some hot water. I managed to make a good breakfast. Soon we were on our way to the starting area.

An important item to note here is that Vans’s phone died and I wasn’t about to leave him with the girls and no phone while I was off running in a race for a few hours. I gave him my phone which is why this race report has limited photos. HOWEVER, I want to return to this race because the photos would have been amazing. 🙂

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This would be the second Inside Trail Race that I have done. The first was the Mt. Tam 50K last November. In typical Inside Trail fashion, the course markings were definitely something you can’t ignore. Once again, I printed the course map and threw it in my pack. I know better with these guys. 🙂

There was a 10k option, half marathon option and 30k option. I signed up to do the 30k. The first few miles of this race were up hill in sand. Not just sand, but deep beach sand where you sink about 3 inches and slide back a few as well. By mid race, my calves were screaming at me but I was loving every minute of it.

Within the first 4 miles you are also crossing the San Lorenzo River which was about knee high for me. The race director had said in years past, the river was well over his waist!

I started out with a fairly fast pack and was not thinking too much about pacing or anything. I was just happy to be running on new to me trails. Some people may think I am nuts for finding these races and running them solo, but I love it. It really just sets your mind up for something and it is up to you to conquer it. You also really take in your surroundings this way. I kind of love it. 🙂

At mile 2.5 I happened to run past a porta potty that wasn’t intended for the race (I think it was for some workers actually) but I took advantage of it and then lost my spot. When I emerged from the porta potty, I was stuck in a conga line. Oh well. I passed when I could and eventually found myself spaced out from other runners.

Along the way I had helped two men find their way. They didn’t have a map on them and I guess did not listen to the pre-race talk as they had no idea which ribbons to follow at one point. I told the Half Marathoner that he had to follow the pink ribbons only and if he sees orange ribbons, he has gone the wrong way. The other guy was running the 30k like me. I helped him a few other times along the way when the paths were some what confusing. Ironically, this will come back to me later in the race.

A 30K is just a smidgen over 18 miles and so they only had 3 aid-stations on the course, one of which you passed twice. They are very efficient with the way they set up these races and have the course. I relied a little too heavily on the idea that the aid-stations would have something for me to eat and therefore I didn’t bring too much in the way of my own fuel. That was not a well planned out idea as the aid-stations didn’t have any gluten free options for me. They had sugary items but no gluten free salty items and the items that I brought with me, were sugary in nature as well. Oh well. I made due and continued on my way never staying long at any of the aid-stations.

Vans and the girls were wandering around the grounds
Vans and the girls were wandering around the grounds

At the second aid-station I caught up to the woman who had been in front of me. She seemed extra paranoid that I had caught her. We talked briefly and then I started out on the trail before her. She was very quick to follow and then she started up a conversation with me up a hill.

As she was talking we noticed a group of mountain bikers. Between the mountain bikers and her talking, we missed our turn and realized it about a mile later, that we were going backwards around the loop that we needed to run. The girl panicked big time and started running away. I kept telling her that I had a map and we could figure it out. Then we ran into another girl who was also going the wrong way … she too was kind of freaking out. I was calm as can be and was intent on figuring out how to get back to where we needed to be in order to do the correct loops.

Both of these girls would not listen to me and took off back towards the finish. In the end, they skipped a whole loop of the course (about 4 to 5 miles worth) and I betcha anything, are the two girls listed on the finish list in my age group as 3rd and 4th place. Karma was not good to me there. I had been helping other runners all day and then got myself lost! ha! Oh well. I was smiling the entire time.

I did the right loop and tried to make up time. I did as I eventually caught up to the guy who had been running behind me the entire day. He laughed that I got lost (he was the guy I had helped earlier).

The way back was fun. It was SO humid outside that I even contemplated taking off my shirt and I NEVER do that. The river felt amazing when I had to go through it a second time.

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Eventually I realized that I must have been close to the finish. Luckily, we avoided the sandy section on our return. Soon enough, I saw Vans and heard the girls! They were on the trail cheering me on.

My race shirt
My race shirt

I finished in just over 3.5 hours which I was okay with considering I ran an extra mile or so when I got lost and spent all that time trying to figure out the course (and porta potty stop). It was fun and I would totally do this race again.

My Medal was stolen by Squeaker
My Medal was stolen by Squeaker

Vans and the girls had a blast exploring Henry Cowell State Park while I was off running. They have some amazing red woods here and the girls were just in awe over them.

Big Tree!
Big Tree!

Post race we wandered the grounds as a family which was good and bad. Good as I enjoyed seeing everything, bad as I didn’t take enough time to stretch post race but the walking felt great.

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The rest of the weekend we spent doing all kinds of fun things. We hit the Santa Cruz Boardwalk which was a blast. The Peanut is like me and likes rides a lot, especially somewhat scary ones. 🙂

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Our view from the Ferris Wheel - amazing
Our view from the Ferris Wheel – amazing

Squeaker was able to ride her first ever ferris wheel AND she went on a (small) roller coaster – not sure how she feels about that now (she was a little freaked during).

On the roller coaster!
On the roller coaster!
Strange creatures roam the Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Strange creatures roam the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

On Monday, before leaving town, we had a few other things that we needed to get done. One of them was for Vans to visit the Derby Skate Park in Santa Cruz.

Found it!
Found it!

This park was odd (to me) and full of local kids who were chatting it up with Vans. It was funny. Post skate park, we had to find the Santa Cruz bike shop hub …

Found it!
Found it!
The girls liked it
The girls liked it

Then it was time for more strange plant-based eateries for lunch … the girls and Vans were not a fan of Dharmas. It definitely takes some getting used to.

The Peanut is drinking a mint chocolate coconut vegan smoothie that she actually liked
The Peanut is drinking a mint chocolate coconut vegan smoothie that she actually liked

After lunch, we headed to Capitola Beach for one more jaunt into the ocean. This time we all put on swim suits and went in. Well, everyone except Squeaker. She was content to play in the sand the entire time.

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Over all, it was a great short trip. The traffic in both directions was incredibly terrible reminding us why we never head to the bay area. We are mountain people at heart and luckily, the traffic to Tahoe is usually manageable. Still, our last vacation before school starts was a success. The girls had fun and were happy to get home to our two new fur babies.

Jersey & Reagan
Jersey & Reagan

TiggerT was a great auntie cat sitter for us. The kittens were in great hands the entire time.

Not sure when my next blog post will happen. I have to figure out this blog transfer stuff and fast. I am also doing some traveling to the east coast next week for something I am crazy excited for. I was hoping to do a whole blog post related to it so I better figure out this blog transfer thing and fast!

Until then…

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Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

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GETTING MOTIVATED

Since my last big post,  I have been trying to get motivated to do a lot of things that I feel I put to the side during training. Since AR50, I’ve been spending more time with the girls, more time resting, hanging with friends and planning birthday parties for the Peanut and Squeaker.

I have also been contemplating this blog and my last big post about being Plant-Based. I am basically learning on the fly and finally diving into what this website can do or really, what I can do to this website.

What I have learned is that I cannot have a “blog” like format (i.e. multiple posts) on separate pages. So that Plant-Based page I was dreaming of, did not quite materialize as planned. Instead, I spent quite a bit of time “Categorizing” my posts into separate…well, categories. If you see on the right hand side of your screen, there are four categories listed: Trail Running, Plant-Based, Race Reports and Uncategorized.

So basically, I will have to continue posting on this page (Home) BUT if you recall a post that you read here that you’d like to go back to, or if you missed a few (hey, it happens I can’t expect everyone to subscribe – hint hint) then just click on the Plant-Based category and you’ll find what you are looking for (I hope anyway).

I am working on a few posts (in my head) that I need to sit down and pan out a bit. Time has been consumed lately with a certain little Peanut’s 7th birthday that is quickly approaching as well as an awesome get-away weekend with some old and new friends.

The Trailmomma family traveled to La Porte, California (population 26 – maybe on a good day) for a wonderful weekend where we “unplugged” so to speak and enjoyed good company and great food.

Stonegate planned and organized the whole thing and she did a fantastic job. She assigned me to a crew that consisted of 3 or 4 other families for our Saturday evening meal prep. I was in charge of the vegan/plant-based dish. I lugged my Instant Pot all the way to La Porte and it came through 100%. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of my final meal, but it was pretty tasty and I used a new (to me) bean called a Pinquinto! I followed this recipe here modifying it a bit to my liking.

The Saturday Night Meal Spread
The Saturday Night Meal Spread

Also, I have a Facebook page – www.facebook.com/trailmomma that mostly consists of plant-based nutrition posts or photos. So if you like that kind of thing, feel free to head on over there as I tend to post more frequently over there than I do here. 🙂

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Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

 

 

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TAPER TAPER TIME

The Salmon Falls 50k race is in 6 days. I am excited for this race for so many reasons. It will be a great chance to see all my trail friends in one spot, this a new race on a previously unknown (to most) course and it has been a while since I’ve run a 50k and felt fairly well trained for it. I’ve been putting in the work this time. I can’t say that I have been 100% as dedicated and as determined as I could have been but it gives me goosebumps to see results.

With that said, taper week (where we bring our mileage way down), still plays its little games within my head. Last weekend’s 20 mile adventure run (oh boy, still fresh in my head) really challenged me mentally and physically.

On Saturday I met Pigeon for a nice easy 10 mile run and while running we shared how we’ve been feeling physically lately. I told her that after last weekend, I kind of feel like I have been hit by a truck. She turned to me as we were running and said, “Well, you kind of were! That was a big dog that barreled into you.” Good point. Still, mentally I have been fighting internally as to why I was sore and tired after that run whereas in runs past I have not been.

This is why we taper. We build the miles up and up peaking at the very top and then let the body come down, heal, regenerate and rebuild itself to be ready for race day. The one reminder in my head that say over and over to myself when that little bit of doubt that creeps in is “Your body will remember. It knows what to do.” That is so true.

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Saturday was so nice. A chilly foggy start but it felt great to shake the legs out with Pigeon. I had some time constraints so we had to jet out and jet back for the most part. We did have a tiny bit of adventure on the trail when a fairly large sized coyote jumped right out in front of us and across the trail. After last week’s dog incident, I definitely held my breath when I saw him running towards us.

After the run I race home to be with my girls while Vans attended a class down in Sacramento. The girls and I ran some errands and then came home and decided to be lazy.

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Again, letting the body do what the body wants to do and if that means snuggling with my Squeaker on the couch, so be it. 🙂 Love that kid.

With all the extra time this past week I’ve been trying to get the girls out and moving. Wednesday night the Peanut wanted to go to the track and do some “running” … who am I to say no to that!?

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We did four laps combining running and walking. Mostly we talked about the girls lacrosse team that was practicing in the middle of the field. The Peanut was intrigued as was I since lacrosse is a new to me sport.

Today brought sunshine when originally they were calling for rainy skies. Once Squeaker found out that the Peanut had gone to the track with me solo, she wanted to do the same.

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So we ran around a bit and then ultimately played on the high jump mats while the Peanut and Vans biked their way to the track (a big deal for the Peanut).

We’ve been living and working in one of the foggiest weeks I have ever seen here in Northern California so today’s sunshine is just glorious. I truly wish the weekend could be extended.

This week will either fly by or go painfully slow. I hoping it goes fairly quickly. Not sure how many photos I will have for the race next weekend since I won’t be carrying my camera with me. Vans and the girls will be out there so hopefully they can snag a few. Until then….

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!). 🙂

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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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