Tag Archives: Stagecoach

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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MOVING ON UP

Even though I have run 20 miles numerous times, there is something to be said about running your first 20 of the season. It means training has truly begun and it is time to start seeing what works and what doesn’t. Weed out the bad stuff and push your limits.

Tunnel of Truth
Tunnel of Truth

This past Sunday, I had one of the best runs yet and what made this run so great, was that I had ALL my running pals together at one time. Our schedules finally collided and Pigeon, Stonegate and Burning Girl and I were all ready to hit the trails at once.

Trail Girls
Trail Girls

Pigeon was happy to show Stonegate and Burning Girl some new trails. Trails that I have run a few times but didn’t have the confidence to do on my own just yet. Stonegate was super excited to see some new views and I don’t think this run disappointed her.

Hello Auburn!
Hello Auburn!

We carpooled in two cars and parked near the confluence. We started running and then BAM within 3 minutes I had rolled my left ankle and heard a distinct “POP!” I was too busy looking at the beauty around me to notice whatever the heck it was I had stepped on.

I didn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop. I pushed the pain radiating up my leg aside and just kept going. The day was just beginning and I was too excited. Plus, I knew it was not that serious, just a minor set back.

The Auburn Fog is just amazing
The Auburn fog is just amazing

We ran Clementine in single file. Such a gorgeous trail. It was muddy and slippery in sections which made it even more fun. The only sketchy part was running into a couple that had two dogs. After my dog experience last year (read about that here), I am forever hesitant on the trail and will never trust a dog or its owner again.

This couple pulled their pups way off the trail. They had one tiny dog (held by the woman) and one large dog (held by the man). When Stonegate ran by that big dog was growling and lunging towards her. Luckily the man had a good hold but I can’t say the rest of us were eager to run by next.

With that behind us though we just continued on. Stonegate and Burning Girl would run up ahead, I’d take up the middle and Pigeon was the caboose with her steady pace. We’d stop and regroup at all turns and intersections.

Regrouping
Regrouping

With that downhill section my tummy started doing some flip-flops which is why I slowly positioned myself to mid-pack. I wasn’t sure if the porta-potty that I remembered was still where it used to be. Lucky for me, it was!

In true goofball form, the girls decided to play a little prank on me ….

Surprise! Papparazzi!
Surprise! Papparazzi!

They thought they were hilarious trying to get my reaction when I stepped out. It was pretty funny but I felt tons better! Moving on!

Weeee down hill!!
Weeee down hill!!

Back towards our car we ran. The first loop was done.

Photo by Stonegate - all smiles
Photo by Stonegate – all smiles

 

Next it was time to introduce the girls to ….

Stagecoach!
Stagecoach!

We all started the initial hike up Stagecoach together hiking and running when we could.

Banana Slug!
Banana Slug!

As we were hiking I saw this huge stick … moving … wait that wasn’t a stick it was a Banana Slug! 🙂

Soon however, I started to feel the pull. There have been a few times when Pigeon and I have gone up this hill and I’ve said, “See ya at the top!” Climbing is one of my favorite things to do so off I went, powering my way up.

Amazing views
Amazing views

There was a guy in front of me that I was determined to catch. I caught him and then passed him. I finally made it to the top feeling strong.

When the rest of the crew made it to the top, we ran through Auburn to the Overlook and then back down the trail towards No Hands Bridge. The sun was up and the day was just getting better and better.

Burning Girl however has been dealing with some hip pain and decided (wisely) not to push her limits and headed back to the car. This is where running loops is SO smart. Pigeon, Stonegate and I continued on towards K2 to do our last four miles with a good mile of climbing to start.

Burning Girl and I pushed our way up K2. Some doofus on his way down thought he was being cool and said to us, “Just so you know, you’re not even half way there.” No duh kid, thanks. 🙂

When we were all together we headed off towards the trail that leads back down. For years I used to hate this trail. Before I had my ankle surgery, this trail used to be nothing short of excruciating for me. Now that I have solid ankle strength, I love to just FLY down this section.

Stonegate and I just took off. Eventually I even lost sight of Stonegate behind me. I was just smiling ear to ear dancing around and through all the mud puddles. I was like a pig in a mud bath or baby in a toy store … it was the perfect way to end this 20 mile run.

Where's Stonegate? I can't find her!?
Where’s Stonegate? I can’t find her!?

When we made it back to No Hands we were stretching and goofing around waiting for Pigeon. Stonegate decided to climb up into this cave.

20 miles and almost 5,000 ft of climbing in one day with three of my favorite running partners. My heart was full. My body felt amazing. My fueling was good and my legs felt strong. I was a happy girl.

Post-Run Fuel
Post-Run Fuel

If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw that I posted this after our run on Sunday. I am a strong believer that what you eat after a hard workout sets the tone for your recovery.

In the photo above, I had a gluten free teff flour tortilla topped with homemade no-oil hummus, raw spinach, shredded carrots, steamed kale mixed with hot sauce, cooked beets and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. So good. If I remember, I will continue to post the meals that I recover with because I know people are curious and it is often a question I am asked a lot.

So there you have it, our 20 miler was fantastic! I am looking forward to another weekend on the trails however mother nature it looks like she might grace us with a nice big shower for our entire run. Bring it! 🙂

Happy Trails!

Trailmomma

PS: Ankle Update – Tonight I saw my miracle worker at Elite Spinal and Sports and he said that I thoroughly jacked up the tendon between my tibia and fibula. He was pretty amazed at how messed up it was AND that I was able to continue on with the run. It feels great now, a little tender but at least I have feeling back in my toes. 🙂

 

 

 

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I AM HURT!

We are two weeks away from the Way Too Cool 50K. This weekend’s run was slotted to be 26 miles. After last weekend’s run, I was ready.

I hadn’t seen or run with Pigeon in about 3 weeks so I was ready to reconnect with her and enjoy our day out on the trails. Our email exchanges this week had been brief but we had decided on a route that involved loops again using the car as our own personal aid-station.

We had run a similar loop a few weeks ago but this week we decided to start at the top of Stagecoach trail as there was a race going on in the area and we wanted to avoid some of the runners. After parking, figuring out what we were going to wear and assembling our gear we took off down the Stagecoach hill.

About a quarter mile into the run I hear (very loudly) GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE! As pretty much everyone knows, I have an intense dislike of all birds so I slowed, squealed and tried to find out where they were. I looked up and on the cliffs was the largest turkey I have ever seen with his wings stretched out. I said, “Did you see that!?”

Just as I said that, I hear Pigeon start to gobble herself (mocking the turkeys mind you) and when I turned around to find her she was gone! I heard a yell, a laugh and when I turned again Pigeon was entangled in my feet! With my crazy ninja like reflexes I was able to avoid going down with her but Pigeon was down and then she was back up! She popped up so fast I didn’t realize what was going on. Then we stopped.

I am hurt!
I am hurt!

Pigeon’s whole left side was one giant slice of trail rash. From her elbow to her knees, she was a mess.

Trail Rash
Trail Rash

Her hydration pack on her back had saved her backside from also being scrapped up but it was the way she was holding her arm that had me concerned. We were laughing and running still before she started yelling, “I am hurt! I am hurt!” I felt like I was with my kids, “What hurts? The cuts? Your elbow? Use your words!” 🙂 I was pretty concerned about her arm as she was holding it awkwardly but she seemed to be worrying more about the cuts on her quad and knee (which were swelling before our eyes).

Trying to clean it up with a wipe.
Trying to clean it up with a wipe.

We stopped finally to assess the damage and clean up as best we could … and also for me to take some photos of the situation. 🙂

Not laughing at her, just at the situation.
Not laughing at her, just at the situation.

Down the hill we continued on. I am not sure if the trail shoe had been on the other foot, if I would have continued on the way she did. She is one tough runner. When we made it to the bottom of Stagecoach we used the bathrooms and continued on.

I kept checking in with her but she said she was fine so we just kept running. When we made it back to our car/aid-station, we connected with another trail group that we sometimes run with. They were doing the same thing, using their cars as an aid-station and running almost the same loops we were … except they were running fast.

She's tough.
She’s tough.

The temps were predicted to be pretty warm and we both were kind of excited by this. Despite our need for rain, we’ve been very spoiled with our amazingly warm temps in the middle of February. It made for some amazing views too.

We ran over towards the Overlook and down the hill towards No Hands. I was noticing that Pigeon was slowing down a little and I was worried she might be changing her gait a little too much. She mentioned that climbing and descending were tough on her quad which was swelling to the size of a small grapefruit.

When we reached No Hands Bridge we stopped as there was an aid-station set up for the Fourmidabl Races. I recognized the two people manning the aid-station and mentioned to them that Pigeon had fallen. They were quick to whip out their first-aid kit and I tossed Pigeon some Neosporin. It was probably a little late but I was worried that she had not cleaned out her cuts yet.

It was about here that Pigeon decided that she should call it a day instead of trying to squeeze out another 10 miles to make our 26 for the day. I know it killed her inside to call it quits. If we didn’t have Way Too Cool just two weeks away, I might have encouraged her to push it but at this rate, she needs for these wounds to heal and she needs to not alter her gait compensating for the injury.

So we crossed the highway ready to run back up Stagecoach again when we ran into the other trail group again. They saw Pigeon’s distress and asked her how she was doing. She told them she was calling it quits and they seemed to agree that was a good call. In awesome trail runner fashion, one of the girls brought her a baggie of ice to ice down her swelling quad.

We walked over to some rocks and sat down to just give her a moment to ice the wound and take her off her feet for a little bit.

Icing the wound
Icing the wound

It was here that I know different scenarios and thoughts were flying through Pigeon’s head. She is not a quitter, not by any stretch. She was battling here with the decision she was making but I know she knows she made the right call.

Sad but smart.
Sad but smart.

Soon it was time to gather ourselves and start the climb up Stagecoach one more time. We hiked, we shuffled. Finally at some point, Pigeon turned to me and said “You can run. In fact, you should run!” I hate leaving my friend but in all honesty, hiking up hill hurts my lower back whereas running doesn’t (odd, I know). So I told her I’d meet her at the top and I took off.

I ran a lot and I walked some. The terrain on this road is just plain annoying. It is just rough, rocky and really hard to get your footing if you have feet issues (like me). It was also super hot and sunny (I love that though).

Pretty Views
Pretty Views

I made it to the top, tapped her car and ran back down to find Pigeon and hike back up with her. When all was said and down, I had 20 miles on my Garmin and was feeling pretty good. Whenever we’d stop I would stiffen up but that is normal.

I do feel that I could have made the additional 10 miles today if things had gone our way and that is all I need to know. My concerns about running Way Too Cool subsided a little bit. I have no doubt that the run will be hard but I know that I have definitely gained some endurance. 13 miles flew by easily today and I haven’t felt like that in a long time.

Next week is our taper week which is always a mind game for most runners. That’s the time we start noticing aches and pains or try to avoid anyone who might be sick (like my kids).

I just am hoping for some nice weather for Way Too Cool. My plan of attack is to have fun. Running with Pigeon I think that can happen. She is using it as a training run for Tahoe Rim Trail 100 and I don’t really care to blow myself up if I still have to run the American River 50 Miler 4 weeks later.

To me, the best part about running trails is the friends you run with, the friends you meet along the way and the adventures you have together. Today was a little bit of all of that.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

While I was out running, the girls had an adventure with Vans. 🙂

A little skate park action for the Peanut.
A little skate park action for the Peanut.
Squeaker was just not in the mood so she watched from the side.
Squeaker was just not in the mood so she watched from the side.

 

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