Tag Archives: Friends

STILL RUNNING

Even though it appears that I have not been running (it might if you only follow me here on the blog), don’t worry, I have been. I just haven’t been posting much about my runs for various reasons.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been taking photos while I run though. I always take photos. 🙂

2017 has brought some changes in my training routine. I don’t really care to go into detail but I am training and I am focusing. I fully admit that I entered 2017 in a bit of a lull, lacking “mojo” and motivation.

However, luckily it was short lived and I have my zest for running trails back where it should be. A lot of that has to do with who I have been running with lately.

My usual partners in crime (Pigeon, Stonegate, Burning Girl) for a while were not able to run with me. They have a life and sometimes life gets in the way (fully understandable). I also have a life and my life lately has been consumed by the Peanut and Squeaker’s basketball teams.

Coaching means tying shoes.
Coaching means tying shoes … oh wait, I do that as a mom too. :)

I am the assistant coach to Squeaker’s team and they are hands down the cutest 5 and 6 year olds on the planet!

Squeaker looking to pass!
Squeaker looking to pass!

Peanut is on her own team but this is the first year either of them have ever touched a basketball, let alone play the game.

Peanut!
Peanut!

I have a long history and love affair with the sport of basketball (Vans SO does not) and so I’ve happily taken the reigns of shuttling to practices and working with the girls. I love it.

Look at that form! :)
Taking the shot! Look at that form! :)

Yet because of basketball and coaching, my run days have been moved around.  No big deal but it was hard to find people to run with from time to time and I am not one to go out on the Auburn/Cool trails by myself for very long (safety first).

Enter Grumpy and Not Chris ….

Grumpy, me and Not Chris
Grumpy, me and Not Chris

I work with both of these two and they both were looking to get into trail running. Not Chris is registered for the FOURmidable 30k in a few weeks. I have no doubts he will do well. Grumpy is also registered for the 13K FOURmidable race and is really putting in the work.

It has been fun running with two people who are new to trails and who are smitten by them just as much as I am.

This past weekend my worlds collided! Pigeon is back on schedule to run with me now (thanks to a new baby in her immediate family) and she met Grumpy and Not Chris for the first time (she is actually to blame for Not Chris’s nickname).

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Pigeon!

We all met in Auburn and agreed on the mileage beforehand. The route we picked was nice because even though Grumpy doesn’t need to go as far as we do, he’s able to join us on some pretty cool sections.

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Not Chris
Grumpy!
Grumpy

The weather this past weekend was amazing. I know we need more rain, but the rain has made for some pretty gnarly runs lately. I do love the sunshine especially early in the morning.

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I’ve taken the boys out a few times solo but this past weekend we took them on a different loop. I think they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

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We’re all different paces but it seems to work. We run, we meet up at any turns and we continue on. Sometimes we stick together. Sometimes I run ahead because I want to take photos! 🙂

Pigeon and Not Chris
Pigeon and Not Chris
Grumpy flipping me off - hence the name Grumpy. :)
Grumpy flipping me off – hence the name Grumpy. :)

After we got done with that loop, we took them up Stagecoach. I’ve taken them up before, but Pigeon took us a different route which led us to the famous “bench” and we forced the boys to take the obligatory “bromance bench” photo.

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After the climb up Stagecoach, Grumpy left us and ran back down. He doesn’t need to rack up mileage. Not Chris, Pigeon and I continued on.

It was an awesome day. I finished feeling strong. My legs felt worked but I was smiling ear to ear. Later that afternoon, I ended up playing 90 minutes of basketball with the girls and some friends at the park! I guess I had more pep left in my legs than I thought.

So I apologize in advance for not writing much this year about running. I’ll pop in from time to time with some photos and maybe some recaps of the girls and their basketball games. Race reports are one thing I love to write about since I do go back and read what worked and didn’t work race by race, so you’ll see those for sure.

Maybe now that I have found my running mojo, I’ll find my blogging mojo. 🙂

Until then ….

So far, she loves it and that makes me happy!
So far, she loves it and that makes me happy!

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

 

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WOLF-PACK

wolfpackWhat started out as a joke on Facebook before our road trip a few weeks ago (you can read about that adventure here), got me thinking about the people I run with and who honestly, I spend most of my happy time with (besides my own family).

I feel very lucky to have the set of friends that I do. Friends who do crazy things and who enjoy Mother Nature and getting muddy just as much as me.

Waterfall fun!
Friends who jump off rocks and take a million photos
But remember, Blue is Bad!
Friends who goof around in the middle of a run.

If you read my posts, you know who these usual suspects are in my life. Pigeon, Stonegate and Burning Girl are the most frequent. Occasionally we are lucky enough to run with Miss P and Pearls.

These ladies rock!

I also run with a dear friend, TiggerT. She doesn’t run ultras but when we do run, we usually laugh, a lot. She is my California International Marathon buddy and my “road-running” friend.

TiggerT and I
TiggerT

But more importantly, she and Stonegate, Burning Girl and Pigeon are my friends. My wolf-pack. They are the ones I know will support me in a race and in life.

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They also send you funny texts during races.

Truth be told, before I ran trails, I ran alone. A lot. I used to read Kristin Armstrong’s blog Mile Markers on Runner’s World and would be so envious of the stories she’d write about – meeting her friends for a morning workout or a long training run – laughing and sharing their life’s problems with each other. I wanted that.

2016 Selfie

Well now, I have it but 100 times better.

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My wolf-pack doesn’t run together every day or every weekend, but we are connected. The trails may have brought us together but it isn’t what keeps us strong.

Trail Girls

My wolf-pack keeps me sane. They keep me on my toes. They are resources for things I know nothing about. They build you up and remind you, that you are worth it and that you deserve the best. They are shoulders to cry on when life gets hard and they remind you when you may be making the same mistake twice.

Hugs!

They give you hugs when you need them and they make you laugh.

Oops! hahaha

I adore my wolf-pack and while it seems stereotypical to “give thanks” this time of year, that is exactly what I want to do.

Thank you ladies for all that you do. Thank you for being a little bit crazy and a lot-a-bit fun. Thank you for being adventure seekers and thank you for supporting my often crazy ideas. Thank you for the hugs, the laughter and the tears. Thank you for listening. Thank you, for being you … my wolf-pack, our wolf-pack.

wolfpack-2

Happy Trails!

(and Happy Thanksgiving!)

~Trailmomma

 

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RAINY DAY FUN

If you have followed this blog since the beginning (which is probably no one but Pigeon and maybe my NJ family) you may recall back in 2010 when I was training for my first ever ultra.

I was part of the Fleet Feet Ultra Training Group (the first one there ever was) and that is where I met Pigeon, Coach Nikon, Captain Kirk, Kuni the Beast, Miss P and a whole host of others who I still see both on and off the trails.

But what stands out most that training year was the RAIN. We had multiple runs where we were soggy, muddy and just down right drenched. I would venture to guess that was the last time we had a “real” wet winter here in Northern California.

One of my favorite old shots - Puddle Jumping!
One of my favorite 2010 shots – Puddle Jumping! Photo by Coach Nikon

This year is starting to look and feel more and more like that crazy water-logged 2010 year did.

Gray Skies Again!
Gray Skies Again!

Last Saturday I found myself running with Pigeon and Stonegate. We decided to run 16 so we carpooled to the Auburn Damn Overlook (ADO) together.

We knew that rain had been forecasted for the most of the morning but when we started our run it was only spitting.

We set off for the canal with plans to run down Cardiac hill and out towards Avery’s Pond. I happen to love this section of trail.

Good Old Cardiac!
Good Old Cardiac!

After a rough work week (eeerrr month), I had energy to spare and was pretty excited to be out running.

Pigeon is working herself back up to where she left off last season and was content to let me and Stonegate run off ahead like two little kids in a toy store. 🙂 And boy did we!

The mud was thick and slippery and there was no use trying to dance around any puddles. Needless to say, our socks and shoes were pretty wet fairly early into the run.

Here comes Pigeon!
Here comes Pigeon!

We had some good laughs along the way. I was on high alert because a few years earlier Pigeon and I had run into a mama bear and her cubs on this very trail … something I didn’t really want to repeat.

The trails were pretty busy with various groups and people out running or walking their dogs. Every once in a while the rain would come down a bit harder but for most of the run, we were dry (well, minus our feet). I even took off my jacket after a while and ran in a t-shirt as I was getting quite hot.

We ran past Avery’s Pond and eventually turned around and made our way back the way we came.

Fallen Tree!
Fallen Tree!

Oddly enough, a tree had fallen after we passed it and was blocking the trail on our way back. Thank goodness it fell well after we had run by.

The colors were so pretty!
The colors were so pretty!

Stonegate is signed up for the American River 50 Miler, her first 50 and it was neat showing her exactly what she will be running on her last 8 or 9 miles.

Taking it all in.
Taking it all in.

Like I said before, I just love these trails. They cleanse my head and fill my heart every time.

Soon we hit the bottom of Damn Hill where Cardiac starts back up.

Pigeon and Stonegate fueling up before the climb
Pigeon and Stonegate fueling up before the climb

We paused to have some food and take in the river which was actually flowing one more time before climbing our way back up Cardiac towards the Overlook.

Once we reached the top, we stopped to take a few more photos. Stonegate wanted to get a better shot of me and like any good friend would, she climbed through the canal to get to the other side just to take the photo!

She also cleaned her shoes in the process.
She also cleaned her shoes in the process.

The rain started to come down pretty hard the last few miles but it felt good. We knew we were almost done and we all had smiles on our faces.

I know we need the rain because we have been in a drought for so long but running in the rain always requires a bit of extra work and tends to slow down the run (darn mud) overall. No matter what though, it always makes for an adventure and I am looking forward to many more of these wet and muddy adventures as training season continues!

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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HEART HEALTHY

Vans was in Whistler, Canada for six days last week leaving me with the girls for our own little week of adventure.

Who is he with?!
Who is he with?!

Not to worry though as we didn’t waste any time getting our own little party started …

Dinner at my our favorite restaurant.
Dinner at my our favorite restaurant the first night!

The girls understood that Daddy was away doing a bike race at our friends house in another country and that we had to continue on our usual routine as best we could without him. For me, that meant no more morning or weekend runs with the usual girls or using soccer practice as a time to do some of my Rouxbe cooking assignments.

The running part was an adjustment, but luckily I work for a company that provides showers and a locker room so I took my running outside a few days week during my lunch hour. The distance is only four miles and there is only about 9 feet of elevation (picture a completely flat bike trail and business park) so instead, I motivated myself to start running faster.

It worked!
It worked!

I was able to maintain an average pace of about 7:37/mile each day that I ran on my lunch break. The temps were in the 90s too so it was pretty hot when all was said and done but it was a nice stress reliever which I have needed since work is growing more and more insane lately.  I have also been using my standup desk more and taking the six flights of stairs at the office. I keep reading articles about how sitting is slowly killing us by raising our triglycerides and insulin levels and that a mere 30 minutes of activity doesn’t do squat to combat the damage. I commute at least two hours each day to work, I sit at a desk all day long most days and when I come home, I am sitting with the Peanut doing homework. I know it may seem like I am on the go all the time but the reality of it is, I do spend a lot of time in a chair. Think about yourself. How much time do you sit in a car, a chair, at a desk or on a couch? Really think about it. The number may surprise you.

I also recently have been diving more and more into my favorite type of cooking. The online cooking course I am taking through Rouxbe is great but it is your basic plant-based cooking style using things like coconut oils and cashews to create rich and fulfilling meals. My family history of severe heart disease and heart attacks really makes it hard for me to eat that way all the time. I truly believe in the work behind Dr. Esselstyn and when I finally received his wife and daughter’s cookbook, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, I have been on an plant-power cooking adventure!

Mango Salsa!
Mango Salsa!

Rouxbe does have a unit on oil-free cooking and I am eagerly waiting to get there so I can learn even more tips and tricks to cooking fantastic plant-based meals without oils or nuts.

Another Esselstyn inspired meal - Green Onion Hummus
Another Esselstyn inspired meal – Green Onion Hummus

It is really important for me to try and maintain a healthy heart (as it should be for everyone). I don’t need to share the statistics that prove Americans are getting more and more unhealthy and are more and more reliant on pharmaceuticals to try and “fix” their ailments. Drugs do not reverse anything. They are only a band-aid which is why I love Dr. Esselstyn’s message. He’s a doctor, a cardiologist and is first line of defense for any of his patients is to avoid medication and put them on a plant-based oil and nut free way of living. Not a diet, a way of life.

I know I know, so many of you are probably thinking “What?! You already do not eat gluten and meat, what on earth are you going to eat now if you leave out oil and nuts?!” It isn’t that difficult to cook oil free. Oil has no nutritional value to it what so ever. It is pure fat and can do massive damage to the endothelium, the innermost lining of the artery. Nuts will be a little harder as I do love almond butter. What Dr. Esselstyn and his crew (including his son Rip who is the founder and drive behind Engine 2) say, is that if you do not have a history of heart disease that 100% avoiding nuts and fats like avocado isn’t AS crucial.

I should preface this by saying I am TRYING to be better about living this way. In the years before Vans and the girls, my diet was very much low fat and nut free and I truly felt my healthiest (minus that gluten thing). However running and training for ultra races also presents various problems when you are maxing out high mileage on a weekly basis. In fact, my usual pre-race breakfast is a bar that contains a lot of nuts! What to do?

When asked about “moderation” Dr. Esselstyn’s response is generally, “if you eat unhealthy foods in moderation, you will have a moderate heart attack.” It makes sense. I am just trying to get the hang of it all. Eating this way and being active is doable. Rip Esselstyn is a former professional triathlete and firefighter who ate this way during his training days. It can be done. We shall see where this road takes me.

In other healthy news, the Peanut had another soccer game this weekend wherein she played goalie during the first half. One goal made it past her but her team soon rose to the challenge and returned the goal and many more.

The fierce goalie!
The fierce goalie!

It was a pretty grueling weekend. The temperature was in the 100s both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday started early with soccer photos for every single team in the league!

Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
The soccer Dad and his girls.
The soccer Dad and his girls.
And the girls.
And the girls.
Squeaker hiding from the heat.
Squeaker hiding from the heat.

We had the soccer photos at 9 am (and it was scorching already) followed by a game at 11:00 am. Come noontime, everyone was fried and exhausted. Since I wasn’t able to run on Saturday due to all the soccer activities, I planned a run with Stonegate, Burning Girl and Pigeon for early Sunday morning. I haven’t seen Pigeon in quite some time so I was totally stoked when she said she could run with us!

Pigeon arrived at my house promptly at 6 am and we ran ourselves down to the trail head to meet Stonegate and Burning Girl. The sun had just come up and Pigeon and I were catching up on some lost time and laughs. I love how we can always pick up wherever we left off.

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We headed out on New York Creek looking to do about 16 miles for the day. My house is about a half mile from the trail head so that added an additional mile for us. Right off the bat my legs felt a little tired but they soon came back to life for a short while. The run out is always nice. It is somewhat downhill and we’re usually super excited and chat the whole way. By the time we passed Spanish House over by Folsom Lake the conversations were starting to slow. I felt like I had a bowling ball in my tummy for a while but it luckily subsided after I ate some food and took a salt tab.

Amazing views
Amazing views

The trails are a bit technical on this side of the lake compared to the route I normally go but it was a nice change of pace and it had some real nice rolling hills that we’d run and occasionally walk. Poor Pigeon had run 26 miles on Friday, 15 on Saturday and was sticking with us on our 16 mile run today. Her legs were beat but she was able to hang with us.

P1050972
So lucky to live so close to trails like this.

We chatted and shared stories. The girls laughed endlessly at my fear of birds and Stonegate is longing for the day when a turkey crosses my path on the trails. I am sure she will have her day one of these days especially as we approach Thanksgiving.

The sun was rising!
The sun was rising!

Even though we started running at 6:30 am you could feel the heat coming. The air was thick on our route back and we were reduced to walking a bit more. We also encountered a million mountain bikers on the trail having a few close calls with some head on collisions.

Overall it felt good to be back out running some distance on the trails. I definitely feel the absence and I hope that I can rebuild the stamina I once had when it comes to running longer. I am also looking forward to the next two weekends coming up. Lots of adventures are ahead quite a few of them will be in Tahoe!

Meanwhile, I will be back in the kitchen cooking for Rouxbe as well as trying to incorporate some of my own plant-based meals ala Esselstyn style.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

 

 

 

 

 

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