Thursday, August 28, 2008

A good reason to Run

This is David before he discovered ultra running.

This is David after he discovered ultra running. Any questions?

An empty nest and a happy heart

Our trip to USC went well. It was sad, but Courtney was excited about her new adventure. When we arrived and went to register she said, "Well, Mom, I can't believe this is my new home." Oh, to hear that was really hard. I told her that her home will always be in Santa Rosa.

Matt and I spent the night in Santa Barbara and had a nice dinner on the pier. The next morning after breakfast we headed home. It was weird coming home to an empty house.

Suzanna won CCC 100 last weekend in Washington. She was 8th overall and first woman. Her amazing time was 23:06:13! Fellow Wasatch team member Brennen Wysong and Monica Ochs finished in 25:36:50 and 26:52:36 respectively. Fellow blogger Steve Ansell finished in 27:38:17. CCC is a beautiful, low key 100 miler. I recommend it to anyone looking for a beautiful but tough race.

It has been HOT HOT HOT here in Sonoma County the last few days. Our upstairs bedroom is the perfect setup for heat training. I am dripping sweat as I type this. Tomorrow I am running 18 miles in Armstrong Woods. Karen and I will sweat it out as it promises to be another hot one tomorrow. I got a pair of Muzuno trail shoes this afternoon, but after walking around the house in them, I think they may be too narrow. I am bummed because I was hoping to run the 18 miles in them. I guess I will have to try another pair. I have been running and loving the Brooks Adrenaline ASR shoes. I hate to try something else, but I am going to take a risk......

On the weekend of Sept.13-14th, I am pacing my friend Tamara Johnson at Angeles Crest 100. Suzanna is pacing Dan Williams. We are going to have a blast pacing them. I haven't been on that course before, so I am excited to see it. Both Tamara and Dan are great runners and it will be fun to see how they do. I just might have to put it on my bucket list. Ha!!

Winning is great, but sometimes just completing what you set out to do is enough.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Courtney.....College bound

Courtney move to USC happens tomorrow. There, I've said it. It's happening. My heart is heavy, sad, empty, knowing that my baby is moving on. College bound, 8 long driving hours away. Her stuff is almost packed. We are checking the list and then checking it twice. What else do we need to pick up? Courtney is my youngest, my last born. She was part of our and God's perfect plan for us. We have been blessed abundantly.

Courtney is a red-headed, bright and articulate 18 year old. She is brighter than I ever dreamed of being and she is an avid reader. She is not afraid to speak her mind and she is beautiful. Wow, she is my baby girl.

Courtney's boyfriend, Cameron is going away to a different College. He is going to UC Santa Barbara. They will be about 2 hours away from each other. He starts school next month. I know that they are both hurting inside. They can already feel the others absence. They cling to each other as if they are part of a lifeline. It is heavy on my heart to know that they will grieve for the loss of the other. They have been together for two years. Cameron is a part of our family and Courtney a part of his.

This heaviness I feel is awkward. I sit at this computer and write. I want to run, but I don't want to be away from my daughter. Even though she is asleep, I know that she is here. I'm afraid to leave this house. My time with her is limited.

My heart is heavy but joyful too. I am confident that she will soar. We have given her wings and now we will watch her fly. Fly away, baby girl, but please come back. I will miss you, sweetie. We will keep the light on for you.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One of the greatest secrets of life is having patience - knowing when to do what, kinda like the song says, "you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, and know when to run."

Today Suzanna and I ran a 12 mile loop in Annadel. It was a beautiful morning and we had fun catching up and trading stories. She is getting ready and gearing up for Cascade Crest 100 mile in Washington. It is a tough 100 miler but I know that she will do very well there. It is on August 23-24. Cascade Crest was my 2nd 100 and it just about did me in. I hadn't prepared myself for all the mountain climbs and I was really inexperienced. I would like to go back again and see how I could do now.

Leadville 100 starts tomorrow in Leadville, Colorado. I haven't run Leadville and unfortunately, with the problems I have had with altitude, it is doubtful that I ever will. That totally bums me out because I hate to think that I have a weakness that is serious enough to keep me from doing something that I really desire to do. I have made peace with that limitation and I know that there are several great 100's that I can shoot for. So many races, so little time. Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This photo was taken by Olga Varlomova at the Headlands 5o mile last Saturday.

This week has gone by so quickly, it is scary! Work has been busy and it is hard to keep up with everything that I like to get done. I've taken a few days off from running and I can't believe how much extra time I have. Yesterday, while finishing up my run, I noticed that a neighbor's house was on fire. Unfortunately, it is severely damaged with damages estimated to be over 400,000 dollars. I am so sad for that family. When I was a little kid, fire was my biggest fear. I still feel a panic run through my body when I see flames anywhere.

The Olympics have been great! I just read that Michael Phelps consumes approximately 12,000 calories a day! Apparently many of the top swimmers swim between 35-40 miles per week! Wow! Can you imagine being in the water that much? I like to swim, but that seems ridiculous. Amazing athletes and performances. I got into the pool for a short swim the other day and I think everyone swimming was there because they were motivated by the Olympics to be there. First off, everyone was older and basically non-swimmers. (I don't think they realized this). They take up an entire lane flailing about, on their backs, legs pointed down to the floor, arms flailing about keeping them somewhat afloat. I tried to pick the lane with the best swimmer. It was really hard to decide. Hmmm. I picked the lane with the slowest swimmer with the best form. She needed a lot of room to swim. We split the lane and it was almost impossible to swim next to her, as I needed to make myself very thin as not to get hit with either her legs or her arms. It was exhausting. Usually, there is never a problem at the pool. It is very easy to pick a lane because there is almost no one occupying it. Not since the Olympics! Okay, Michael Phelps, see what you've done?!

I hope you all have a happy Thursday! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A fine day at the Headlands 50 mile

Yesterday was the 2nd running of the Headlands 50/100 mile race located in the Headlands just north of San Francisco. The race covers some of the same trails as the Miwok 100k. Last year I ran the race in 9:01 finishing as second woman. My good friend Suzanna Bon came in 1st.

I was apprehensive going into the race as I have been plagued with a few injuries that have not helped my training. My left and right piriformis are so inflamed and tight that it can be difficult to sleep. With my "tight butt muscles", I've had a hard time elongating my stride. Instead, I run with a short, choppy gait. I have been trying to stretch it and ice it but it has been a chronic problem since about December. Going into the race made me uneasy as I wanted to better my time from last year.

Race morning was cool with a bit of fog. It only took a few minutes of running across the beach to warm up. The course is beautiful with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. The run traverses over tall cliffs and through narrow coastal trails. There are a lot of ups and downs on uneven rocky ground.

Despite my painful hips, I have to say that I had a great run. I had the pleasure of running with fast Beth Vitalis who dominates many bay area races. We have trained together before, but is was great to run with her and see what a great sportsman she is. She's an excellent ambassador to the sport of ultra running. It was a pleasure to run with her. I think that she helped push me to victory. She is a strong runner and I tried my best to keep her within sight. Finally, with less than 10 miles to go, I was able to push ahead and finish as 1st woman, 8th place overall. Thanks, Beth for pushing and encouraging me. It sure feels good to have won a 50 miler as a 50 year old!

Congrats to 3rd place woman and former Montrail teammate Meredith Tarranova. I enjoyed visiting with fellow goat, and former Montrail teammate Olga Varlamova and blogger Rick Gaston. They were both there to pace in the 100 miler. As always it was great seeing friends and being out on the trails that I love. Thanks Matt, for allowing me the freedom to be who I am and for supporting my love of running.

The overall mens winner was Lon Freeman with an awesome time of 7:43!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Live, Love and Enjoy Today

This afternoon I received a phone call from my oldest child, Caleb. He is in Cancun vacationing with a few of his Fraternity Bro's. His voice scared me as his tone was quiet. He started out by saying, "Mom, I just wanted to tell you that I love you very much". He then told me that he had just witnessed a 21 year old guy that had just drowned in front of him. He described the terribly disturbing scene, ending the tragic story by saying that the young man's Mother and family were crying and screaming over their loved one while he lay on the sand. My heart is bleeding right now for that poor man's family and the life that was lost today. As a Mother, I can feel his Mother's pain. As I took a short, easy run today, I could hear his Mother's cries. I prayed for his family. I was sad that my son had to witness that horrible tragedy. I can't imagine losing a child. I love my kids so much, that I can't imagine living through a loss like that. I thought of Caleb, 22 years old, my first born, my perfect, loving son. I thought of my two daughters, bright, loving, perfect children. God picked me to raise and love them. I am so blessed to have these three kids. I am so thankful for the joy and love they have given me. The unconditional love I have for my children is so big, so strong. It is all so encompassing. I never knew this kind of love until I was blessed with their lives.

Remember, how precious life is. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Love, live and enjoy today. Hug your children and tell them that you love them. Tell them again. And again, and again. Life is short... I was reminded of that today.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Feeling rushed in the morning? I know I do. I get up at 4:45am and I am working by 6am. It is almost impossible to squeeze in a filling, nutritious meal in, after dashing into the shower and heading out either on my bike or in my car to the Hospital. While breakfast might be the last thing on your mind as you dash out he door, it is important that a morning meal has a place in your routine. For many of us, consuming large late night dinners, or many calorie-rich evening snacks, reduces the urge to eat upon waking. Eating dinner within an hour or two before bedtime may cause poor absorption of food and a restless night of sleeping. Give yourself at least three hours to digest a healthy dinner before going to bed.

Working out on an empty stomach is recommended for workouts lasting around an hour (or less), but neglecting to refuel post-workout is an unhealthy start to the day. The body has enough stored glycogen in the muscles to help you finish an hour long moderately intense workout fist thing in the morning so long as the daily diet is balanced with several small protein and carbohydrate snacks and healthy meals every day.

In order to have plenty of energy for your morning workout, eating late at night is not recommended. Workouts become compromised when undigested food is sitting in the stomach or you wake up bloated due to a late-night meal. Also, eating too many simple carbs in the evening increases the chance for unstable blood sugar levels, poor storage of muscle glycogen and the probability that excess calories will be stored as fat. Breakfast is the first chance to refuel liver and muscle glycogen after sleeping all night. Eating breakfast will not only help you recover quickly after a morning workout, but your mind and body will also feel energized all day. People who skip breakfast have a tendency to snack excessively, feel starving at lunch, and experience uncontrollable cravings throughout the day.

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending"

Finally, a new car

I have been without a car for over a month now. We have not been car-less,we do have a Honda Pilot, but my much loved car failed smog, and I have not been legally able to drive it. It has been the total pits, believe me. I have begged, borrowed, and rented vehicles while waiting to buy another car. Finally....on Monday, I purchased a totally cute red ruby Honda Element! I am more than thrilled! I hear it is the perfect cyclist's car. Damn, does that mean I need to shine up my bike and head for the trails? I was riding my bike to work, but I have been slacking off lately. Note to self.... ride my bike to work this week.

My running since TRT has been sketchy at best. I came out of TRT with a very sore back rib, and a horribly inflamed PF. Our bed is so full of lumps and bumps (it's only 3 years old), that I toss and turn all night with total hip and back pain, making me utterly exhausted. So hows that for training! I wake up feeling like I ran a hard 100 miler and I have never left my bed. Not good. Once again, we are in search of the perfect mattress.

I am running Headlands 50 mile this next Saturday. I would like to beat my time of 9:01 from last year. I should be able to do that if things go as I want them to. Unfortunately, we all know that anything can happen out on the trail that we don't expect.

I received a bottle of Recover-ease in the mail the other day. I am anxious to try it after Headlands and see how I feel. Thanks, Bob, for recommending it to me.

Nothing to much interesting to say except that my youngest daughter is in Barbados vacationing, and my oldest son, is in Cancun. Wow, are they lucky! It must be nice, I think my kids have seen more of the world than I have. Today, Matt and I are going to the County fair to people watch. It is always a good place to get your confidence built up. If you are feeling ugly, go to the fair. I guarantee that you will feel like a prince or princess after seeing the hordes of toothless wonders that frequent the carnival rides. I am feeling ugly, so I gotta go hit the fair. Peace out!