Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Sunday, April 19th was Wendell and Sarah's Diablo 50 mile and marathon run.  I've heard this run is very difficult and a great training run for Western States.  I decided to enter this year in preparation for WS.  First of all, let me say, I'm pretty sure Wendell enjoys making his runs "difficult".  Mount Diablo is in Wendell and Sarah's backyard and they know those trails.  So finding the most difficult ones was pretty easy for Wendell!
The weather for April started unseasonable warm.  We were seeing temps in the 90's and projected temps of 100.  This scares me, how warm will WS be?  Possibily like 2006?  
Back to the run...  
You know your in trouble at the 7 a.m start when your already feeling warm in just shorts and a t-shirt!  The run starts out with an uphill climb to Eagle Peak.

The views were beautiful:

It was a long climb up.  The terrien was rocky and technical, which is not my favorite but I need the practice.   I hit the first aid station, Juniper City feeling pretty good.  I brought my camera with me in my pack and when I took it out for some photos, I couldn't get it back in.  I ended up carrying it for miles so I dropped it off in my drop bag at Juniper City.  Of course, I regretted that decision when we got to the summit and the views were fabulous!
After leaving the summit there was a very long steep downhill and Scott and Clare caught up to me.  Clare and Scott were taking it easy in preparation for Miwok so we all ran together.  Those two are awesome!  
We arrived to North gate aid station and headed out for a 5 mile loop.  There were a few creek crossings and we took the opportunity to cool ourselves off.  My feel were pretty wet.  I could feel a blister developing.  I always tape my feet because I tend to get blisters in the medial aspect of my heels.  This didn't seem to work today.  I developed a large blister on the inner part of my left heel which caused me to run with a funky gait.  
After leaving Rock city you head down a very long 6 mile trail to Finley road.  Due to my unusual gait, I ended up twisting my ankle which made me run even more awkward.  On the return to Rock City, I decided to save it for another day.  It took me 10 hours to complete 37 miles.  That is one tough course with over 13,000 feet of elevation change. 
Overall, it was a good day.  I got to see lots of friends.  The temps ended up being over 90 degrees, so it was some good heat training and my stomach held up.   
I don't think that I want to complete my unfinished business on this course.  I can live with the ass kicking!!

Run fun... 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The A's vs. Boston

On Wednesday, we got some tickets for the Oakland A's vs. Boston Red Sox baseball game.  Roos was "working" the game.  I use this term loosely because from what I saw, he ate a lot of sunflower seeds and stood around getting paid overtime.  Sweet!
Connor and his friend Levi and I arrived just after the first pitch was thrown.  We had some nice seats behind first base.  Not bad for free!

I was surprised at the large number of Boston fans at the game, I think their were more Boston fans than A's fans and we unfortunately, had an obnoxious Boston fan sitting directly behind us.  Boston won 8-2.  The obnoxious guy behind us was thrilled.

Spring Vacation

This week my son is home from school because of spring break.  As I was on my hands and knees mopping the floor on Monday, I thought how awful this is that I have to do housework while my husband gets to do all the "fun stuff" with Connor.  So Tuesday, Connor and I packed up our bikes and headed to the American River bike trail. 
We arrived around 12:30 and hit the trail at Howe Avenue.   It was a very windy day but the trail was pretty much deserted.

We started out nice and slow.  I was just out there two weeks ago but when I was running, I never realized the things around me.  I saw signs I'd never seen before.  There were tons of dirt trails around us so we decided to take a dirt trail.  Connor was leading and we had quite an adventure.

On our ride, we counted 16 squirrels, one rabbit and lots of ducks.  We stopped at a fishing pier and checked out the ducks and geese. 

I have never noticed the Mountain Lions signs before or the number of wonderful parks and playgrounds along the trail.  We stopped and played at a playground and finally turned around about 8 miles out.  
We stopped to have a snack and I snapped this picture of Connor eating fruit snacks.  

OK, not the best picture.  I decided to take another:

OK, again, not the best picture.  Special needs - helmet and all???
Finally, I got a nice picture.

We ended up riding about 16 miles.  We had alot of fun.  It was nice to look at the bike trail from a different perspective.  It's sad to realize I don't really notice alot of things around me when I'm running.  I always thought the bike trail was kind of boring but on Tuesday, I noticed it's beautiful.  I just need to look around....

Run fun....

Knight's Ferry

Saturday, April 11th our running club, ShadowChase had a run of the month at Knight's Ferry.  It's been awhile since I've been out there to run.  
We met at SaveMart at 7 a. and carpooled out.  Robert, Anita and I drove together.  Robert and I both had to be back before noon.  We arrived and of course, took a group photo.  
We decided to head out Sonora Road.  It was an exceptionally windy day and as we headed out, the wind was facing us.  Sonora Road is very hilly and the wind made it worse.  Robert, Anita and I started out and soon Anita fell back.  We ran around a 9-10 minute pace out and about an 8 minute pace on the way back.  The wind, of course was pushing us along.  Team in Training was out there also and they were kind enough to let us replenish our water bottles at their aid stations.  Robert and I ended up doing 14 miles.  Most people averaged around 10, some doing as much as 20.  It was a nice day.  I arrived home in time to shower and head off to work....

Run fun...   

Monday, April 6, 2009


On Saturday, I toed the starting line, along with 509 others, for the 30th annual American River 50 mile run.  Julie Fingar took over as the race director this year and she did a fabulous job!  It turned out to be a spectacular day.  You couldn't ask for better weather and the flowers on the trail were beautiful. 
 We started the run on the bike trail near the Guy West bridge in Sacramento.  The start was a little different this year but I started out with Bill and we were underway in the dark.  I lost Bill and ran alone for some time before I put on the ipod.  Tony Overbay and Scott Dunlap came up beside me, WOW, I was going way to fast.  They didn't stay long but I did play leap frog with Tony for most of the way to Beals aid station.  
I've changed up my eating and drinking, trying to fine tune it.  I started with Gu2O drink in my handheld and refilled with the same.  After that I switched to plain water.  I think this is working well.  The electrolyte drinks tend to get too sweet after awhile.  I also had the privilege of trying a new product - Gu Chomps.  They are like Gu Rocktane only in a shot block.  They are fabulous!  like little magic beans.  They don't have any caffeine which is okay with me.  I also changed the brand of electrolytes I'm taking.  The endurolytes seemed to repeat themselves and after a bit, I had a hard time getting them down.  I've switched to SaltSticks and they seem to be doing the job.  
Onward with the day, I did my usual run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute.  I felt pretty good.  It's funny how sometimes when your running, your mind isn't in the game but your legs feel good and vice versa.  I, unfortunately, had the latter on Saturday.  My legs were not perky.  This is understandable with all the hard miles I've put in in the last 3 weeks. 
At Nimbus dam aid station, this man was waving and yelling at me so I took off my headphones and he stated, "your the 20th female".    A few feet further, another man said the same thing.  This struck me as funny, I was only at mile 18.  I had along way to go.  Besides, I figured all 19 other females were probably in my age group.   The 40 year old female age bracket is TOUGH.  Look at Kami Semick, she kicked ass!
 I finally arrived at Beals.  I was greeted by a happy Melissa and Nancy.  

I headed out for the last 23+ miles.  Once I hit the trails, I turned off my 10:1 ratio and tried to keep moving.  My mind was saying, you can run this, but my legs were saying, oh no you can't!!
I was now playing leap frog with Tim Quinn.  I left Rattlesnake with the happy thought of only 9 more miles.   We had 1 1/2 hours to go 9 miles, could we do it?   Tim said no, I said yes.  We started out and I passed Tim in my attempt to do it,  I really wanted to finish in 8 1/2 hours.  Well, I hit the last hill and looked at my watch - 8:17.  I wasn't going to make it.  I decided to run for 50 steps and walk for 50 to get up the blasted hill, 3 miles to go.  The folks working Last Gasp aid station were awesome.  They came running to you and refilled your bottle while you just kept on moving.  
I caught up with a group of 4 people.  They were very nice.  It turned out to be Lisa Henson, the RD for Lake Sonoma, which I ran the previous weekend.  She was very encouraging!
I finally made it to the top of the hill, rounded the corner and could see Connor and Kaytyln waiting for me.  We all three ran in together.  I crossed the finish line in 8:48. 

I got my very cool Brooks jacket and tickets for an awesome BBQ, complete with Cold Stone ice cream for dessert.
Full results can be found here:  Capital Road race.
Our running club had a great showing for this race - 13 runners in total.  It was awesome to see them come across the finish line.  Charles had a great day, a sub 8 hour run and Berklee ran her first 50 in 8:30.  Barb Elia, who never ceases to amaze me, ran under 11 hours.  She is the energizer bunny.....  We had many club members come up to pace and cheer us on.  Our club, Shadowchase, rocks!
I had a great day.  No stomach issues at all and I am VERY happy with this.  I will still continue to fine tune the hydration/nutrition component of ultra running because this is what makes or breaks you!
I have an awesome family who supports me in my endeavors.  I don't think I'd be able to do this if I didn't.  I received a text from my son and daughter in law, wishing me a good run and of course, Roos and Connor at the finish line cheering me on.

Up next, Mount Diablo 50 miler!

Run fun.....