Tag Archives: Running

PLATES

Too much. I hear those words often and I am probably not alone.

“Don’t eat too much!”

“Don’t do too much!”

“Don’t drink too much…”

Errrr, am I the only one who has heard that last one? (kidding!)  Generally I hear, “Don’t WORK too much!” That’s a common one that I am sure a lot of people hear but in my case it is generally directed at the fact that I have three jobs, run ultras and do a bunch of random things on the side.

This week I was tired. No doubt a result of last weekend’s run (you can read about that by clicking here) or perhaps the fact that Squeaker is sick this week and up a lot throughout the night … or maybe the fact that work has been extra frustrating and stressful lately. Most likely, a combination of all of that I am sure.

Still, I posted something on Facebook and a lot of comments came back saying things like: “burning the candle at both ends” or “too much on your plate girl!” While I don’t disagree that is true, I do feel that I am handling ‘my plate’ fairly well albeit not the way in which I would handle it if I only had ONE plate. But who has one plate in life? A mom certainly never has one plate. We juggle so much that it makes clowns look like amateurs.

Moms are typically able to juggle kids, work, personal lives and everything else that is thrown our way pretty easily. Sometimes however, the body says otherwise. As much as our minds want to go, go go all the time, our body needs to be honored.

This week, instead of working out at Breakout Fitness on Monday morning at 5 am, I opted for sleep because Squeaker woke up. Tuesday morning I made it, but didn’t really “feel” like I was working out vs just going through the motions. No one wakes up at 4:30 am just to go through the motions.

When Wednesday rolled around and the Squeaker came in like a burning ball of fire and curled up next to me scalding my pjs, I decided not to workout once again. Squeaker is not alone in feeling “off” this week. To be honest, I haven’t felt quite right for weeks. Something is off in my digestive track and I just keep feeding the problem (no pun intended) instead of figuring out what is causing my discomfort.

I’ve resorted to eating pretty bland with no relief or results. Sadly, I am one of those people who holds their stress in their belly. I may look fine on the outside but my belly is in knots. Work has definitely been less than happy lately, my other jobs are fine although they take me away from my family time and that stresses me out too as the girls are at the age where they WANT to be with me. The Peanut is going through some emotional things right now that have me a little bit worried. I am thinking constantly about the fact that I have to run a 50K in 3 weeks and a 50 miler in about 4 or 5 both of which I don’t feel I have put in enough miles towards and if I have put in the miles, why am I not recovering as quickly as I used to? Stress. It all comes down to stress, poor sleep and diet.

I eat well. There is no denying that I eat probably far healthier than most (I could probably cut back on the wine but it is good for the heart right?). I lack sleep. QUALITY sleep. But I am a mom. I have a two year old that is having nightmares and/or is fighting a cold so she is up and only wanting the comfort of her mother. Unfortunately, that comfort comes in the form of taking her back to her room and sleeping on her hard cold floor which really doesn’t treat my aching tired muscles very well.

In an effort to combat that situation, I miss out on morning workouts which will result in guilt and more stress about lack of training. A vicious circle that goes round and round sometimes.

Of course there is the logical side of me that says, “Snap out of it Trailmomma! There are people with far greater worries in life than what you are faced with! You have a healthy happy family!” I need to just chill out. I do. I admit it. I also need to create another day in the week or learn to say ‘no’ to some things in life.

But I enjoy the things I take on. I wouldn’t take them on if I didn’t enjoy them! I enjoy working for the Kings on occasion (namely weekends), I enjoy working for Gold Country Run and Sport on Sundays, I enjoy my FT job (okay, that’s not entirely true but I like my manager and we do have a mortgage), I enjoy long runs with Pigeon and friends, I enjoy blogging here and I enjoy taking a class. Wait. Did I fail to mention that I am getting a certification from Cornell online so that I can have a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition? Um, yea, I am doing that too.

I’ll probably write more on the certification when I finish the course. It is only 6 weeks and while not entirely at your own pace (you do have to follow a curriculum) it isn’t as high pressure as I thought but I do wish I could devote more time to study and learn. It is fascinating information and has really changed a lot about how I look at food and food intake in the face of major diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

It has also changed my thoughts on taking additional courses while doing what I am doing. This course has some flexibility, some of the other courses I want to take, do not and I would undoubtedly need to create more time in my day to take on something a little more intense. Just more food for thought (there I go again).

So really, there is no point to this post. I am just sort of randomly writing about what I am facing right now. Perhaps blogging is my therapy? My way of alleviating stress in my life? I certainly don’t stress about what to write here because honestly, I don’t have that large of a following and while this blog gives me great pleasure, I do hope to grow its readership some day but in order to do that, I guess I should have a common goal or purpose. However, for the time being, I love posting about my training runs. Whether they are interesting to anyone else, it doesn’t really matter. They serve as a way for me to look back in time and see what I have accomplished. A way for my girls to hopefully look back and see why their mom was nicknamed Trailmomma.

My plate may be really really full right now … but my heart and brain are as well. Things happen for a reason in life. Doors open and door shut and who knows where my life may take me this year. I guess I just have to wait and see what my plate is served with next.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

A focused Peanut
A focused Peanut
A healing Squeaker
A healing Squeaker

 

 

 

 

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PIPELINE

I’ve been thinking a lot about 2014. Generally I like to think I am a “live in the now” kind of person. However, by nature I plan. I make lists for myself and the kids whenever we travel (for Van’s it is kind of hopeless), I write out grocery lists and meal plans for the week but for the most part, I would like to live a life of spontaneity and with no regrets. Of course having two kids under the age of 5 inherently makes that very difficult (um, nap time).

However, when it comes to running and training, I have generally never jumped into a race “just because” or signed up for something last-minute. I always get the “early bird” sign up and never the “day of” registration. That is just the way I have been programmed. I have learned my lesson a few times by signing up for races and then having ankle surgery.

But I have been putting a lot of thought into my 2014 racing/running plans. Way back before my surgery I even made (yet another) list of the races that I wanted to do. I tried to ease myself back into things with Resolution Run in January in Auburn followed by that little old thing called the Western States Training Run in February and well, that itty bitty race called Way Too Cool 50K in March. However, WTC is a lottery and what if I didn’t get into the lottery next year? Of course I’d have to sign up for the Tahoe Rim Trail 50K too (which is also a lottery for 2014). Both Way Too Cool and Tahoe Rim sign ups are in December so essentially, I have to sign up for BOTH at the same time and run the risk of being picked for BOTH races. I am not, by nature, a lucky person. Lucky things do not happen to me generally but I think in this case, I WILL get picked for both races because well, that would be Vans’s bad luck (and my good fortune) butting heads.

I also just discovered that the American River 50 Mile race, which I had no intentions of doing again, at least not this year, had a course change. The start is about a mile from my house (again)! Now if that is not fate knocking on my door I don’t know what is. Right? (Van’s don’t answer that).

My other main focus in 2014 is pacing. Pigeon is throwing her name into the Western State 100 Mile race again and I am finally healthy should she choose me to be her pacer. My love of all things Western States stems back to my first few months in California (1999) when my local PBS station (and past employer) did a documentary on the race (Race for the Soul). I fell in love then and the love still stands. I was fortunate enough in 2010 to do a few of the WS training runs as part of my training for AR50 and then for fun after AR was done. That is my goal this year. I want to be out there on Memorial Day weekend running those beautiful trails again getting muddy, wet and dirty but having the time of my life! I love it. I have goosebumps just typing about it.

I have too much to think about and all of it wonderful. I truly am lucky in that my surgery was done well and I am back running and feeling so great. My only hurdle these days is time but I am managing. I have a lot of support in Vans, my girls, my running and non-running friends as well a few new friends that I have met along the way.

I am healthy, my family is healthy and we have so much to be thankful for these days. This solo parenting week has really opened my eyes to how lucky I am. Spending quality time with my girls has really been wonderful. They  make me laugh daily and I love to make them laugh. I love seeing bits and pieces of Vans and myself in them and I only hope that we can pass on our love of the outdoors, sweat, fitness and being active to each of them. What they decide to do with that is their choice. We don’t demand that they are competitive but as long as they can realize and understand how movement can improve how they feel and how they think. We are blessed with healthy bodies and our job is to keep them healthy.

my girls

How are you treating your gift today?

~Trailmomma

 

 

 

 

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BACK ON THE TRAILS

First let me say thank you to all of you that read my last post. I appreciate those that commented, shared it on Facebook or even emailed me directly in support. I also thank those that didn’t necessarily agree with my post and told me as such. As a reminder, that post was the letter that I WISH I could have sent to the PTA President and was not the actual letter I emailed (which was much nicer, sort of). My biggest issue with her initial response was how dismissive and rude she was to me and my concerns. She clearly could have just said something along the lines of “thank you for your email. I understand your concern and will take that into advisement next year when planning.” But she didn’t do that. Instead she tried to draw me into championing a new game to rival the ring toss and was downright rude about it. I am not going to beat a dead horse about this. I sent my letter last week in response and I cc’d the school principal so she was made aware of what her PTA president was doing and how she handled parent’s concerns. I have not heard anything from either one of them. I will be more on top of things next year when our Harvest Festival planning is in the works.

This past weekend marked a small running milestone for me. On Friday I was able to run the Ridge Loop of Death (7 miles) for the first time and boy was it disastrous. Not only was it sweltering (what the heck, it IS October right?) but I had forgotten that I had gone to Breakout Fitness that morning and had done a series of leg drills (squats, burpees, lunges). Not the wisest decision on my part however, I was thrilled to be getting an extra day out running in the first place since I don’t often get extra days to run. This also was the first time since surgery that I did the Ridge Loop of Death!

On Sunday, Pigeon and I had agreed to run when she got off from work which would be late afternoon. In a way, I enjoyed this late start because I was able to enjoy a nice leisurely morning with my family but it was also harder to motivate and figure out the meal situation. However, I could not complain because Pigeon had been on her feet working a 9 hour day prior to meeting me so really, hush up Trailmomma right?

I decided that I wanted to test out my new socks. I recently purchased the Injinji lightweight no-show socks (from Amazon).

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I don’t typically (knock on wood) have blister issues when running but I have noticed that my running form has suffered post-surgery because I have been running as if my ankle is GOING to hurt and therefore have been running on the outside of my foot. The Injinji socks really let you focus on putting more weight evenly on the front/ball of the foot including the big toe. The sock is really light weight, almost nonexistent compared to my Drymax socks that I usually wear when running trails. I am not entirely sure how these socks will hold up when running through streams and river crossings but overall on a dry hot day, they were great. I really liked how they felt and I didn’t have any issues when running. I purchased two pairs and will continue to wear them running to see how their fare through some winter running. Maybe I’ll do a search and see if they have a trail version that is perhaps a bit thicker. I have an old pair that I won years ago when they first came onto the market but I prefer the no-show look and the older pair was more of a crew sock.  Okay enough about socks.

Pigeon showed up and instead of taking her on the Ridge Loop of Death we decided to try a new loop that Vans suggested that takes us on a bit of road and trails but ultimately dumps us into Browns Ravine and we found ourselves running right by a very dried up Folsom Lake.

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Brown’s Ravine

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Folsom Lake

It was a fun run and I brought my phone because well, running with Pigeon always involves the historical pretend we’re in a JCPenny Catalog Photo Shoot (probably just an excuse to stop running periodically).

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JCP Photo: Voila, the Trail!

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JCP Photo: Oh dear, what’s my time?

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JCP Photo: Focusing on the sun.

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JCP Photo: Mighty Thirsty

The weather was pretty warm and sunny with little shade cover on most of the trail. I was having a blast. Running with Pigeon is fun regardless but just being back out there running up the hills (or power walking) and getting a little dusty felt awesome. Once we found ourselves on the levee by the lake we took the pavement back to my house by cutting through a fairly festive neighborhood.

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Scary spider!

In total, we did about 7.25 miles which is roughly what the Ridge Loop of Death is distance wise. No matter what you are running some massive hills on either route but I would say the hills on the Browns Loop were a bit worse and/or steeper. There seemed to be more of them and maybe that is just my recollection because I was dying from the heat and from being out of shape. Baby steps. Our fitness is coming.

Gear: For this run, besides my new Injinji socks, I also sported Athleta’s Stability Shorts  in black and their Printed Tinker Tank both of which are on sale (hint hint). The shorts I love and wear often (I have 3 different colors) and the tank,  which I usually reserve for Breakout Fitness type workouts did well for me on the run although I had to pair it with a sports bra for added support. When I can, I will try and do gear updates like this as often as I can so that perhaps someday Athleta will give me a shout out and welcome me into their wonderful world as a Featured Athlete. (hint hint). For hydration I brought my Camelback insulated handheld. I love this water bottle. I never leaks, holds enough cold water for distances up to 10 miles or so and has a handy little pocket that fits gels or in my case, dates in it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about 2014 and what runs I’ll be doing next year. Perhaps I’ll do a post on what my plans are and what I’d like to accomplish next year. Right now, I have no real races scheduled that I plan to race. I do have an entry into the California International Marathon that I am toying with right now.

In other news,  sadly Van’s is on a business trip this week so there will be no Breakout Fitness classes this week or trails runs until Saturday. I am okay with that. I look forward to spending time with these two little monkeys.

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 ~Trailmomma

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SURGERY AND THE BOOT

So on Friday September 6th I had my long-awaited ankle surgery. Technically it was arthroscopic ankle surgery with the possibility for an arthrotomy but as far as I know, they only needed to “scope” it which is a good thing recovery wise. Since about 2009 (that’s my best guess as to when this all happened) I’ve had an anterior ankle impingement which has progressively become worse over the years. I can run but at a certain point (or mileage) my ankle would start to hurt (bad) and I would lose any flexibility. So if I was running trails, and I hit a rock, the whole foot, ankle, leg would jam instead of “giving” and it would completely lock up. Running hills was excruciating and I’ve had a swollen ankle since about 2009 as well. That’s a great look let me tell you.

Here is an image (not my real ankle) of what an ankle impingement or “bone spur” looks like….

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According to my Doctors, my bone spur was not only huge, it also went down into the talus/joint area which ultimately prevented me from flexing my foot towards my face. That makes driving a car pretty awesome too.

I finally decided, after years of pain and really inhibited running, that I was done. I want to have a long running career and there are races that I want to run and races that I want to pace for others and this ankle problem, was seriously taxing my abilities. So I decided to finally go for the surgery.

I checked in late morning and the whole surgery took 3 hours. All I can say is that being under anesthesia is like having the best most restful sleep you could ever have but you pay the price later. I had a terrible headache and nausea from the anesthesia later that evening but it was worth it for how rested my body felt.

1Vans was sure to capture a post-op photo for me. That boot that you see on my foot as become my biggest enemy. What was nice is that I got out of surgery early enough that Vans was able to bring me home and get me settled while he ran out to pick up the Peanut from kindergarten and then Squeaker from daycare.

I just relaxed at home on the couch with a few pillows, some ice and the tv. It was quite nice.

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What was even better was the fact that The Great Outdoors was on tv! I absolutely love that movie so I was content to just sit there. I was not given crutches, just the boot and some drugs (which I didn’t need). Vans picked up the girls and sent me this photo that made me laugh out loud.

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They are just too silly when they are together. They also picked up some Thai food for me from my favorite Thai place down by our old neighborhood and brought it home.6

Yum!! Not only did he leave me with my favorite Thai food, he then took the girls out to the skate park for some event they were having.

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They were having a blast eating ice cream and watching all the skate boarders and BMX bikers.

That first night was pretty easy going. Like I said earlier, I have had no pain at all with this surgery which has actually been a little surprising. I went to work the following Monday wearing that stinking boot and all was fine. I’ve developed a little bit of bruising near my heel but I think that may be some of the blood settling post surgery because so far so good.

The only pain in the butt is the boot which makes my whole body lopsided and has been causing some hip and back pain. I don’t wear it anymore while I am at home but going out of the house, I have to wear it (which means taking it off and on to drive, awesome).

Life has been the usual since the surgery, not much has changed except the fact that I can’t work out and I have to shower every other day at night wearing a garbage bag on my leg.

Yesterday, I decided to go to Athleta located in the Roseville Galleria because they host free yoga classes on Saturday mornings and I could use a stretch in my back/hip.

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Athleta is my all time favorite store. You’ll see once I start posting more about running and training because I’ll be bragging and reviewing all their clothes/gear that I own because it is my long time dream to be one of their “featured athletes.” I also wear a lot of their clothes to work too. Athleta’s clothes are just so well made and they have the most awesome return policy ever. Yes, a lot of their stuff is overpriced but compared to places like Lululemon, they are way more reasonable and really, I try really hard to only buy sale items when I can. So Vans, if you read my blog (hint hint). 🙂

Back to my ankle. Tomorrow I have my first follow-up post surgery. They did not give me much instruction when I left the hospital after surgery which I found kind of annoying. Basically I am to let pain and swelling be my guide. If I can get rid of the swelling, then I can start doing more things like squats and lunges and ultimately return to Breakout Fitness in the mornings with running soon to follow. Trail running cannot happen until I have complete and total strength and flexibility in my ankle.

So that’s about it … our weekend has been low-key which is kind of nice. Next weekend my family from New Jersey will be out visiting for a family reunion and I am attending Pigeon’s wedding which is going to be great. Squeaker has had a big girl bed for about a week as well. This morning she woke up and came to visit us and then disappeared … this is where I found her ….

photo 5 (2)I can’t help but smile either. 🙂

I hope everyone has a great week. Make sure to make some time to get outside no matter the weather and remember to give thanks to Mother Nature for all she gives to us each day.

~Trailmomma

 

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WINNER WINNER

Even though it is only Tuesday, so far it has been a good week! Tonight I came home to find a package in my mailbox from this girl. Woo hoo! A few weeks ago, I commented on her blog and I won a pink HooRag!

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 Krista, as you can see from her blog, has a bunch of uses for her HooRag (and looks a helluva lot better in it than I do). I took the easy route and did what I thought was probably the easiest (and dullest) of uses.

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Snot rag on the wrist for running.

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Horrible photo Neck Scarf for colder running weather

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Something to wear when I rob a bank or run in this smokey weather.

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Or the good old doorag/head band look

Right after I took that last photo the Peanut entered the room and said “Mommy, what is on your head? Isn’t that what old ladies wear?” Hmm, smart kid.

Even though I have not been running very much lately, I have plenty of ideas for the HooRag and I can’t wait to put them to use.

You can always check out their website: www.hoorag.com if you want to see their youtube video to learn more or purchase one. Vans kind of liked it as he needs something to wear under his bike helmet to collect his sweatiness. I am so glad I won a pink one! He won’t steal that from me the way he has taken my various arm sleeves in the past.

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