Tag Archives: Training

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).

1
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.

2
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.

4

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.

5

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.

8

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

 

Share This:

PRODUCT REVIEW : Govivo

This blog is truly an extension of me. It is usually eclectic, curious and without a real purpose or direction. Clearly if you follow me, the important things in my life are my family, trail running, friends and following a whole food plant-based diet.

So this should come as no surprise that today’s post is something completely different and totally random.

A product review!

First and foremost, I promise that I will never endorse a product that I do not believe in or have not tested myself. I don’t get asked to do too many reviews so when I do, I want to be fair. I want to be honest. All thoughts and opinions on here are my own.

About a month ago someone at Govivo reached out to me asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of their products. I had never heard of Govivo before so I went to their website and initially saw that they sell nutritional supplements which is something I will not review or endorse. HOWEVER, I did notice that they also sold reflective vests and running belts. Running gear? Well that is way more speed!

I chose to review their running belt.

Photo from Govivo.
Photo from Govivo.

When I run during the week, it is usually before the world wakes up and with two of my best running friends. We never carry much but after some scary situations, we all carry our phones with us and so I invested in a running belt. The one I purchased initially, I got from Amazon. I just saw the cheapest thing out there and went for it. It served its purpose but after a year, it is slowly losing its tightness and has been bouncing and riding up all over the place when I run.

Old belt top. Govivo bottom.
Old belt on top.
Govivo belt on bottom.

Enter the Govivo running belt. Upon first glance, it is way more “belt” than my previous running belt. The strap is thicker, the clips are thicker and the pocket itself is really two zippered pockets compared to the one pocket in my previous belt. To be honest, at first, I was a bit dismayed by it. It seemed heavier, bulkier and way more than I needed.

Old belt on top. Govivo on bottom.
Old belt on top.
Govivo on bottom.

Also, in my research before receiving the belt, I noticed on their website that it says the following:

The two double pockets (7.5″ inch wide and up to 5.5″ high) are perfect to fit the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One among others.

Hmmm, I have an iPhone 6 with a bulky case. I was a bit bummed thinking that my phone, the only reason I use a running belt in the first place, was not going to fit.

iPhone 6
iPhone 6

Needless to say, I was thrilled to see that my phone AND its case, do in fact fit. It takes a bit of maneuvering but it fits and it works!

Color piping AND fitting my iPhone 6 inside its case
Color piping AND fitting my iPhone 6 inside its case

Also, what is nice about the Govivo having two pockets is that I no longer fear that my car key is going to go flying out of my belt when I stop to take my phone out for a cool morning trail selfie with my girls.

Best way to start the day!
Best way to start the day!

I just put the key in the second zippered pouch which is also water resistant (another bonus) and never think twice about it.

The Govivo belt is adjustable, like my previous belt. It fits perfectly and doesn’t bounce or ride up at all. It also has reflective piping along the front.

The belt is sold on Amazon and currently the price is anywhere from $8 to $9 which is very reasonable and quite a deal if you ask me. My previous belt cost more than that and it barely lasted a year! I have only been running with the Govivo for three weeks now but the quality of the material is much sturdier compared to my other belt. It also comes in four colors to choose from: Pink, Blue, Black or Yellow.

No Squeakers were harmed in this photo - she is just laying on the concrete ... for fun. :)
No Squeakers were harmed in this photo – she is just laying on the concrete … for fun. :)

The pockets on the Govivo are quite large and I actually will consider using this during CIM (the California International Marathon). I run mostly trails and usually have a hydration pack so I don’t need a running belt for those races but for a road half marathon or full marathon, where I don’t wear a pack, I could conceivably wear this belt and have a place for my phone and any fuel I might want to carry. I like that.

Would I recommend it?

I would. I think for the price and the product, it is a good belt. If you can overcome the initial bulky appearance, you will barely notice that you are wearing it once you start running.  I plan to continue using the Govivo running belt because I love the no bounce and extra pocket options.

Full disclosure: Govivo contacted me and provided me their running belt free of charge in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I wore the belt on approximately 10 or 11 runs ranging from 3 to 8 miles in length.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

Share This:

FALLING BEHIND

It has been an absolute whirl wind around here. Blogging has taken the back burner unfortunately but hopefully there is a light at the end of this crazy tunnel and I can resume some normal activity on here.

Let me try and recap the last month or so.

Nothing like bullet holes in a sign to wake you up!
Nothing like bullet holes in a sign to wake you up!

To start, I had a great run in the canyons on the Western States trail with Pigeon. We only ran 17 or so miles but we climbed over 6,000 feet. We started at Michigan Bluff and ran to Devil’s Thumb and back. I love this trail and no matter how many times I have been on it, it never gets old and it never gets easier!

It will be a great run when your hat matches the sunrise.
You know it will be a great run when your hat matches the sunrise.
These views never get old!
These views never get old!
On the bridge!
On the bridge!
Super HOT climb back to up to Michigan Bluff
It was a super HOT climb back to up to Michigan Bluff

Then Jersey Dad arrived for a visit and to celebrate the Peanut turning 8 years old. I quickly jumped from running mode to mommy and hostess mode.

Jersey Dad and his grand daughters!
Jersey Dad and his grand daughters!

On top of all of this, Squeaker had the chance to try out for the swim team! Big sis was there in support (sort of) and luckily, she made it with flying colors! So proud of that kid.

Congrats Squeaker! Age 4!!
Congrats Squeaker! Age 4!!

Alas, that means swim team season has officially started with scheduled practices 5 days a week! We are working on a routine and balance right now. School comes first even though there is not much school left!

Auburn!
Auburn!

During Jersey Dad’s visit, I took a “mental health” day from work and joined Pigeon on her mid-week long run since I knew running over the Peanut’s birthday weekend wasn’t going to fly. It was a hot day and running long on a Thursday really threw me for a bit but we had fun regardless, as always.

Pigeon
Pigeon
So done with climbing K2 this season!
So done with climbing K2 this season!
The meadow in Cool
The meadow in Cool
Love this place!
Love this place!

Shortly after that long run, it was time for the final long run of the training program! Pigeon and I agreed to meet on Saturday and kick out 30 miles as our last long run before our race in two weeks. The day started out nothing short of entertaining …

Base Jumping off the bridge!
Base Jumping off the bridge!

Within minutes of running we were startled by some base jumpers off of the Foresthill Bridge. Talk about taking your breath away. These guys were super nice. They landed right in front of us so we chatted with them for a bit before continuing on our run.

A perfect landing!
A perfect landing!

It was a beautiful day to run and we’d occasionally switch things up by picking a new (old) trail to follow to change the course a bit. There was also an equestrian race happening at the same time so that made things very interesting. I don’t mind sharing the trail with horses but I do admit, they give me a bit of a scare at times. I’ve met too many not so skilled riders who tend to not have control over their horse. Hence, my fear level always raises a notch when we encounter one. I am sure the horses can sense that.

A beautiful day.
A beautiful day.

We had to cut the run a few miles short to due to a small situation at home (nothing to worry about) but I was content in myself and the way that I was feeling during the run, that I could have continued on if need be.

I feel pretty darn good going into taper right now. Truth be told, I was mentally ready for taper about a week ago! My training this round, I feel has been good. I raced two solidly hard 50ks (not intentionally) and was able to maintain a higher mileage for longer than I normally would in a training period. That’s the nature of the beast when you choose races as ‘training runs’ and have life get in the way from time to time.

I feel comfortable in my ability to climb, mildly comfortable in my ability to descend (going to take it super easy on those to save my knees) and I feel somewhat comfortable in being able to handle the distance.  A 100k is farther than I have ever gone before, so I can’t lie and say a small part of me isn’t a tad bit nervous about that but mostly I am excited and curious. I am curious to see what unfolds. I know there will be ups and I know there will be downs.

Pigeon and I have decided to run together. She has a set pace and a set goal in mind and since this is my first ever 100k, I am content to go with her flow. We both want to finish. So, for my first ever 100k, I am content to enjoy the experience, the company and the scenery so long as I finish, and finish smiling AND qualifying for the Western States 100. 😉 Can’t forget that little piece of the puzzle right? Although, that wasn’t my initial reason for doing this race … but it is a HUGE cherry on top.

Now, to enjoy my two weeks of taper. This should include taking care of myself with good quality food, some decent sleep and lots of stretching.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

Share This:

NO WHERE TO LIVE

After pacing my friend 25 miles in the American River 50 mile race, I got that post-race excitement bug. You know that feeling where you just can’t wait for your “A” race to arrive even though at times, you don’t feel 100% ready for it? That is how I felt after AR.

My mind has had waves of going a million miles a minute one second and then completely zoned out the next. We took a family trip to Disneyland a few weeks ago and up until that point, that trip consumed me. Planning, preparing and packing. It was a surprise for the kids so keeping it a secret required more energy than you realize.

The Evil Queen from Snow White was my absolute favorite character. :)
The Evil Queen from Snow White was my absolute favorite character. :)

But once that trip was over, and we had walked 8 miles every day for 3 days in a row, I felt … exhausted! Then, the head games started. “You can’t run anymore!” “You haven’t been running.” “Your last training run felt like hell.” You know those thoughts that tend to creep in when you least expect it? Yea, I had those.

Then I paced at AR and felt pretty amazing which is prompting me to keep my training going as is but I also want to change things up just a bit. I have a pretty odd week ahead of me in that I have a race on Sunday that I am treating 100% as a training run. It has a lot of elevation to it. I have been on these exact trails before, they are not easy, by any stretch which in theory is great preparation for my “A” race in May but I also don’t want to push too hard and end up having to rest longer than I truly want to.

I’ve also been experimenting with home-made plant-based fuel a bit and I plan to try it out at my race (you know, the one that is not a race), this weekend.

I purchased these cool reusable pouches to create my own fuel. They are larger than I anticipated but that’s good because I want to be able to consume more plant-based calories with each serving.

Cool pouches!
Cool pouches!

It may be dangerous to try these this coming weekend but I honestly don’t have any other chances. I spent a night creating a mixture of flours and other odds and ends, to fill 3 of the pouches with. This round was a bit more savory and not quite sweet. Not sure if I will bring all 3 with me this weekend but if they are a success, I will write about it my race report. If they are not a success, I will also write about it. 🙂

These can also be used to fill with smoothies or puddings for kids which I also plan to try and do since the box they came in included six pouches. They are freezer and dishwasher safe and BPA free. It has been kind of fun experimenting and calorie counting.

I also went for a nice solo workout run on Monday by myself just to get into my head and to also test my fitness a bit. Monday was gorgeous and the trail that leaves behind my house is one that I haven’t been on lately since I usually run so early in the morning. I couldn’t help but stop and take photos.

Just down my street.
Just down my street.

This trail leads you to a road that then leads you to another trail where I can do some solid hill repeats and also see some amazing views.

So pretty!
So pretty!

And one of my favorite trees lives here.

Happy Trees
Happy Trees

I ran/hiked up and down the hill and even did a heart rate test to gauge my fitness level. I was happy with the results. Even though my weekly mileage has been down this week, I ran long on Saturday and I will be running long again this weekend. I am not one of those runners who has to run every single day pushing myself beyond what my body really wants or needs. I have faith in my muscle memory and my body and I truly believe that if you treat your body well, it serves you well in return.

I saw a quote on social media recently that said, “Look after your body, or you’ll have nowhere to live.” That sentence could not ring more true and I think a lot of ultra runners (and road runners) should take this advice to heart more often.

I happen to love where I live. Inside and Out. 🙂

Love where you live - Inside and Out
Love where you live – Inside and Out

Happy Trails,

~Trailmomma

Share This:

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

Share This: