Friday, May 29, 2009


Today, Steve and I

and 3 million unwanted guests ran the canyons!

Run fun......

Friday, May 22, 2009

May's run of the Month

Our running group (well usually Heidi) puts these "run of the month" together.  They are awesome.  There is nothing like running with a group of friends.  On Sunday we went to Twain Harte.  This was a run that was done last year but I was unable to go and I'm sorry to have missed it.  Wow, what a great place to run. 

Vicky B. is taking the photo!
We parked at the golf course and ran to the start of the aqua duct.  It is 2 miles up hill and then you hit the path.  The path is flat and meanders around the water.  It is shady with a great surface.  I ended up running a little over 14 miles.  It was a great day!.  

Run fun.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Yellow Shower curtain

  On Saturday before Mother's day I went up to the WS course to run from Michigan Bluff to Last chance and back.  I met Jeffrey and Carrie at the park n ride in Auburn.  Carrie has been running ultra distances for some time yet ran her first organized ultra at PCTR's Mt. Diablo.  She finished just a bit over 12 hours and is quite the studette!  As we were driving up to meet Steve and Rich at Michigan Bluff, Jeffrey asked Carrie is she'd been on these trails and she said she had.  Jeffrey was worried that it might be a "yellow shower curtain day"?  I asked what that meant and he said he was running a training run with the man who was lost on the WS trail last year.  He had gotten separated on the climb to Devil's thumb and was found safe the next day.  You can read about it here.
The five of us set out from Michigan Bluff and were having a great day.  We saw many people out enjoying the day. 
We started on the final descent to Eldorado Creek before the climb to Michigan Bluff.  I was clearly the ball and chain in the group.  As you know, downhill running is not my forte.  I was behind the group and kept running, off on the wrong trail.  Well, I didn't realize it was the wrong trail right away, it took me awhile.  There were ribbons hanging (just like the rest of the day) so I thought I was okay.  Well, I finally turned around and tried not to panic.  I had run out of water and food!  I used my Garmin watch to go "back to start".  
Of course, it was mostly uphill and took me forever.  I'd walk a bit and then would yell "HELLO".  No answer, finally I made it back to where I took a wrong turn.  Steve was waiting there.  Boy, was I happy to see him.  Another runner headed up to Michigan bluff to tell Jeffrey I was found.  We waited for Rich and Carrie to return from searching in the opposite direction.  I was thirsty and hot!  
It took us awhile to climb out to meet Jeffrey.  He had called Placer search and rescue, worried that I had gotten hurt.  No, I wasn't physically hurt, just my pride.  All I could think about was the "yellow shower curtain"!!!  as I was trying to stay calm while thinking I would be mountain lion/bear/vulture food!!
I felt awful for taking so much extra time and stressing out everyone else.  A 25 miler turned into a 28+ miler.
I was supposed to have Mother's day dinner with my son and daughter in law at 6 p. but ended up eating at 8 p.  What a longgggg day.

run fun....

On a side note, I ran Monday with a new found glee, glad that I was still around to run another day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Miwok 100K

On Saturday, May 2nd was my third running of the Miwok 100K.   2007 was my first year.  This was the year I was training for my first WS.  Everyone said, "you have to go past the 50 mile mark"!  So I signed up for Miwok.  I loved it, I even ran bonus miles, missing the infamous left turn and ending back up at Pelican Bay at Muir beach!  
The second year, 2008, was not good!  I had stomach issues and ended up walking the last 15+ miles.  I barely finished before darkness set in.
This year, since I have changed up my eating and (knock on wood) I haven't had any real stomach problems, I thought I could do well.  I was secretly hoping to come in around 12 hours, possibly even less.  
Early in the morning (and I mean early) Linda, Anita, Barb and I headed over to the Headlands.  They day didn't start to well.  I arrived late to pick up Anita and we were 15 minutes late to Linda's.  On the drive over, I couldn't find my bib, my bag was totally discombobulated.  It wasn't looking good!  We arrived in plenty of time to park close and we headed to pick up our stuff.  I checked on my phone and the weather forecast was pretty decent: 30% chance of rain in the am and 40% chance in the afternoon.  Hopefully, the weather would hold out. 
 I saw Jeffrey and Tony in the parking lot.  After our hugs, the first thing Tony said is, "what are you wearing?"  Everyone was perplexed about the weather.  Bring a rain jacket or not???  It was about 55 degrees at the start and beautiful.   I decided to go with a light weight jacket and put my gore tex jacket in my drop bag.  That turned out to be a smart move.
We walked on to the beach and at 5:40 we were off.  The start is about a 1/2 mile across the sand to a bottle neck that heads up a small trail to Bunker road.  I wanted to start in the back so I wouldn't go out to fast.  We made it to the top and started our climb up Bunker road.  I warmed up and soon took off the jacket and tied it around my waist.  
The course was a little different this year due to some trails that were closed.  As we left out of Muir beach aid station, it started to drizzle some.  As we started climbing up Deer park road, it started to dump buckets of water.  It was raining so hard, I had to take my glasses off because I couldn't see a thing!
I arrived into Pantoll aid station and headed straight for my drop bag.  The bags were sitting out completely exposed and they were all wet!  As I was digging through my bag, Steve Ansell came over to help.  He was kind enough to refill my bottles while I dug around in my completely disorganized drop bag.  I set my glasses on the bag next to me.  After I was done, my nice warm, dry jacket on, I headed for the bathroom.  I was in the bathroom for some time and I got to thinking, where are my glasses?  I returned to the aid station.  I was yelling for Steve hoping he had them.  A volunteer came up and told me she had put them in the bag I had left them sitting on top of.  Thankfully, it was Clare and Scott's!  I couldn't wear the glasses anyway due to the rain but I still needed them.  I put them in my pocket and headed out.  15 minutes wasted...
The bolinas ridge section is my favorite part of the course.  It winds around for miles.   This section was almost comical when you saw the rain coming down so hard and the wind blowing the rain sideways.  At times it would blow you right off the trail.  I had my hat pulled down and my hood cinched so tight on my jacket that it was awkward to look up.  I did notice the flowers on the trail were beautiful!!
I hit Bolinas ridge aid station, ate some cookies and saw Carol Cuminale.  She said some 60 people had dropped with hypothermia.  I guess the weather at the start had left many people under prepared.  The next section is an out and back to the turn around point at Randall aid station, which is mile 35.6.  This is where you see the leaders on their way back.  Eric Grossman was in the lead for the men and Anna Ortiz for the women.  I got to see lots of friends on this section.  
I got to the bottom, ate some and turned around.  I started the long climb back to Bolinas aid station when I heard someone yell my name.  I saw Anita, Barbara and Lindsay heading down to Randall.  Anita was not a happy camper, if fact her exact words were, "I'm f*^%)@!% miserable."  I talked with them a short bit and kept moving.  I was worried they wouldn't make the cut off. 
 When I got to Bolinas ridge fire road, there were large sections of the fire road that had puddles extending all the way across.  On the way out, I tried to run around the edges.  This was annoying because it was super muddy and you really worked your ankles trying not to slip while still running.  I decided on the way back, to just power through the middle of the puddles, screw trying to hit the edges.  The very first puddle I came to, I bolted in.  Shockingly, the puddle was about 3 feet deep.  It hit the bottom of my shorts.  I was afraid my shoe was going to get stuck in the mud and I wouldn't be able to reach in without my face going underwater.  I had to laugh at this point.  I got a mental picture of being able to do a cannonball in the middle of the puddle!!
I got back to Bolinas ridge and started moving.  I passed about 8 people on this section.  They probably were pretty annoyed with me because I had my head down (due to cinched hood) and would run right up their back side before I realized it.  They would step off and let me pass while I'm sure they were cussing at me under their breath.  The trail was VERY muddy and slippery at some sections.
I got to the tricky left turn and met up with some very nice sisters.  One was from Oregon and one was from Washington.  How fun would that be to run ultras with your sister?  We chatted quite a bit and before long we were at highway one crossing.  It was there that I ran into Scott.  
The four of us headed out and did some chatting and running.  By now, the rain had stopped and the fog had started moving in.
The sister from WA was an awesome uphill runner while the sister from OR was an awesome downhill runner.  Together they made quite a team!  We stayed together for sometime before everyone separated.  We were all trying to find our mojo and push towards the finish.  It had been a long day.  
As you finish up on the Coastal trail, you could hear the cheers from the crowds as runners crossed the finish line but because of the fog, you couldn't see a thing.  I knew I was close.  Just as I headed down the stairs, I saw Heidi, Mike and Barb.  I was surprised to see Barb.  I learned that her, Anita, and Lindsay had dropped at the Randall aid station due to hypothermia.  
I crossed the finish line in 13:02 - better than last year, but not my best!  I was a little disappointed but considering the weather and the condition of the trails, it'll have to do!
I did finish feeling great!  My stomach held out and my legs felt pretty fresh.  I never really got cold during the day, just wet.
Here I am at the finish talking with Clare and Steve Ansell (who is giving us the low down).

Of course, Roos and Connor drove over to watch us finish. Here is Connor playing near the beach.
On Sunday night, I found a large deer tick in his ear. I'm sure it's from playing on the beach and around the bushes at Headlands. Gross!!

Run fun.....

Big Sur Marathon

Last year I signed up for the Big Sur marathon but the Wednesday before I got some god awful stomach flu.  3 days later, I was still sick so I didn't run the marathon.  This year when Robert said we need to put a marathon on the calendar, I suggested Big Sur.  It is ranked the #1 most beautiful marathon by runner's world!  
My blister was starting to heal nicely after Diablo.  I ended up with  a really sore right quad muscle.  I think it was because I was compensating for my blister and  sore left ankle.  I had a massage on Wednesday and it felt 100% better.  
I talked Anita into running it also so the three of us left Saturday to head to Monterey.

The forecast was supposed to be cold and windy.  We awoke in the middle of the night to catch the shuttle bus.  We made it just in time for the last bus and the hour drive to the marathon start.  We arrived at the "runners village" and there were people everywhere.  We made it to the porta-potty and then headed to our spot.  Robert and I got behind the 3:50 group.  The weather was beautiful.

The first 5 miles run through a wooded section that was beautiful.  It is mostly downhill and you warmed up pretty quickly.  I took off my tivek jacket and tied it around my waste.  A woman at the expo said, when you hit the ocean, it can get cold so hold onto the jacket for awhile.  Smart woman!   We hit the ocean (and the wind).  It was really gusty.  The course is also pretty hilly.  As I was making my way up a hill, I saw a runner in front of me.  His gait was familiar and it was Howard Wood, whom I met at the Tahoe Triple several years ago.  I have also run into him at several PCTR runs and he ran Diablo 50 miler the week before also.  He is quite a runner.  We ran together for some time braving the wind and hills.  He lives in Santa Cruz so he decided to make it a long day.  He drove to the finish (at 2:30 am) and ran to the start and then ran to the finish.  Crazy!  He is in training for Big Horn 100 mile in Wyoming.

The views of the ocean were gorgeous:

We started up the hill to Hurricane point.  It is a pretty steep hill between miles 10 and 12.  It was great to get to the top.  My legs were pretty sore but I managed to power through it.  Surprisingly, my quad was feeling pretty good. 

Here is the infamous Bixby Bridge:

And the amazing piano man, Michael Martinez.

They had some interesting bands and music along the course.

The finish line is in Carmel at the middle school.  I crossed the finish line in 3:50 feeling pretty good.  I'm glad I saved my jacket because it was chilly at the finish. 
 Robert finished in 4:49 and Anita right behind him in 4:52.  
I would definitely do that marathon again.  It is beautiful!!

Run fun....