Monday, January 7, 2013

Resolution Run 2013

This was a great run for me. The first mile and half was straight downhill on pavement. The other half was straight up and it was amazing. I couldn't be more thrilled that I trained for this one so much.  My time wasn't spectacular, but I did beat my time from last year and I am more than happy for that.

I think I am most happy reading the Facebook status' where everyone, even though they are sore, are super happy they went and ran it with us.  I talked to one of the runners last night at the rink.
He said, "Hey you! I can FINALLY walk today! It's been a week and I can finally get up off the couch without crying in pain!  Going to the bathroom was a chore. Sitting down wasn't the problem, but getting back up was!"  
It made me smile, because I wasn't in pain at all after that race.  *sigh of relief*

I think I have finally made the transition from regular shoes to Vibrams. It took me exactly ONE YEAR!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wow, it's been a good long time since I have updated this blog. You would think that I haven't been barefoot running. UNTRUE.

It's getting wet outside and so I have been training a lot more in my Vibrams.

During the week, my friend and I do a lot of street running and I just can't street run barefoot as well. I decided to stick to the trails in my Vibrams.  It's not always easy bouncing from one style of shoe to another, but I do so much better in my Vibrams when it comes to running the hills.

This last month I have been running a trail I will be running on Jan. 1st.  Each time I wear my Vibrams because that is what I am running the race in.
I do great running up the hills on the trail, but the first mile and half is downhill on pavement and to be honest, I am a little worried.  I think I am going to try to find a way to stay off the road and in the dirt, but last year that part of the trail was pretty packed too.

Today I took them out knowing that the trail would be squishy from all the rain.  I was sliding all over the place, but the more I do this trail the less scary it is to me.
It only takes one blown calf to freak you out for a whole year.

My recovery time in my Vibrams have gotten so much better.  It only takes about a half of a day before I am good to go. No more, 'ouch. ouch. ouch' every time I take a step.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

not barefoot


This was the text that started after I posted on Facebook:

 "Sure I'll work Friday until midnight!"
 "Sure we can go on a hike leaving at 7am on Saturday!"
I wish my insomnia had let me know it had plans when I was making mine, "Sure I will play 'call me maybe' over and over and over in your head rendering you stupid and unable to sleep but one precious hour!"  

At 6am Mara started texting. I wasn't even asleep, but I didn't want to dislodge myself out of bed.  She would never let me live it down if I didn't though.
She shows up at 7am with beer and ice for the chest. Lester packed up his bike and we hit McDonalds for the sausage mcmuffin ritual. I hate 1 full one and just the sausage from the second.
I was tired when we hit the trailhead, but I have felt worse on a run and it was only going to be 6 full sun. I should be okay.
A mile in I knew this was going to be rough. By the second mile I was debating my ability to make it the whole six.

 Mara came up behind me and just kicked me right in the ass. "MOVE IT!" and she took off in the cutest run ever. My first mile is usually brutal on me, maybe it would only be the 2 miles and I would be alright.

Mile 3 I was telling her, "I think I need to puke."  You would think that would bring a tad bit of sympathy. Her response was to grab her cell phone and ask nicely, "When you do, please do it in the sun because I get bad lighting for pictures in the shade."
She ran ahead and I found a nice spot in the shade to reexamine my choice of breakfast.  Did I not even chew it when I ate it an hour ago? it didn't look like it.  Okay, NOW I should feel better?  I caught back up to her right before the Knickerbocker canyon creek.  This is the prettiest part of the run and I told her to not waste it. I was feeling dizzy so I would just jog down it instead of tearing down it like I like to.  She took off and I made it to the creek. Normally it's flowing and beautiful, today it was just a wide stagnant pool of stenchy water.   The climb out was so damn hard. This is a hard climb, but with nothing left I was nearly certain I was going to burn an hour getting out of there. I would take 15 steps and it would feel like I going to die.  I would repeat this about 50 more times before I was done.  I stopped at the first corner out and decided to send a text to Mara and Lester to let them know I was almost out of the canyon, but instead my head felt heavy and apparently I blacked out.
Not certain how long I was out, but I figured my body needed to rest so I didn't freak out about it too much. My right side of my head hurt so I guess I hit a rock.

I saw Mara at the top of the hill and she was adorable as she egged me on. "Mara I passed out. I am really dizzy."  She showed fake sympathy and I love her for it. "Okay, good...lets go." and we started on the last 2 miles back.


We made it back to the Hummer and I found a hose and just drenched myself in it. She grabbed a beer and found Lester passed out in the back.
Apparently the trail was hard on him too.  It shouldn't make me feel better, but it did knowing he threw up too.

That was hands down thee worst I have ever done on a trail. This includes the time we got lost and did 25 miles, my hip going out, the time I got sunstroke, the time I ran out of water and the several trips I was attacked by mosquitoes.
 It was still a beautiful day surrounded by the man I love with all my heart and my friend that I am so happy is a part of my life.

Later that day my sister came and stayed with me and Lester. It was a good Saturday despite the hurling black out.
My body isn't sore at all...well, except that part of my head. ;)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mud Run Training

I decided last minute that Date Night would be a training trail run. As always I invite the Usual Suspects and no on could make it.
Lester said he was down to run with me and I decided that since the next "trail run" (It's not really a 'trail run' because it's more a gravel road run and no technical difficulties involved) is the Merrell Mud Run in October we could get a head start on this training.  Last year it was the first time I did that run.  It was a compromise between the Tough Mudder that Dan wanted to do and the Warrior Dash that Tabitha wanted to do.  This was close to home and didn't involved being screamed at by Marines and electrocuted by live wires.  It took me an hour and 18 minutes to finish this run and I don't regret a single minute it took. I got to help out fellow runners which wasn't something I was seeing enough of from their "team mates".  This year I want to complete it in less than hour and I will be happy.  Who am I kidding? I will be happy to be able to be out there, smiling, running with my friends and helping anyone out that needs a hand up and a kind word.

We started out at the Jr. High School and I was testing out my new hydration pack.  I've gone through a bunch of them trying to find the right one and no matter what I get there is always some sort of flaw in it that makes me kick myself in the ass for buying it.  Stop buying the cheap ones and suck it up and get one that I see all the ultra runners wearing is what I finally did.
I got the Nathan Hydration Vest and I have ZERO complaints.  If at some point I get off my lazy ass and start working out my arms I won't have to worry about the rubbing of my arm on one of the pouches on the front.  Other than that, HEAVEN.

The view on this run is beautiful. It was windy outside and the waves lapping on the beach reminded me of Maui and made me want to close my eyes and pretend I was running on the beach.  The ground was sandy and it was tough getting any kind of traction though.   Coming up and around this corner I actually stopped and took a picture so I could remember this moment.
When I got around it the trail had a few curves and it felt good to actually have to think while I was running.  Looking up the hill I saw Lester up there already waiting.  Ass can run up the hills without getting winded.
I didn't stop and just power walked it.

We made it to "heartbreak hill" and it wasn't as big as I remember it being. It still hurt like hell and I stopped half way up and decided that if I am ever going to get anywhere in this damn sport, I better just put away my smokes and try to do this right.

Getting to the top I didn't feel as bad as I did at the run last year so that was encouraging, but I am going to have to do this a few more times to get over the head pounding I get when I try to take on the hill.
I saw some women running up with all the ease in the world. Non smokers with hours of training. Yep, I need to get there.

We headed back and it was mostly downhill.  The uphills were rolling and I took those without a problem.   Lester said that wasn't a Vibram trail, that was a Brooks trail and looking back, I have to agree. The next time I run it I am going to try doing it in my Brooks.  I know I won't wear them during the race though.

I packed my shoes just in case we decide to try it out again. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

1st Annual Cronan Ranch Run

I had great intentions of getting to bed early, but that didn't happen and I couldn't fall asleep until 1am.  My alarm went off at 5am and there wasn't any energy to even cuss it out.  Tabitha called at 20 to 6 and told me that she was heading over in a bit.

My clothes were set out the night before and I just crawled into them. When I went to find my car keys I saw the note that Alyx had left for me.  Yes, it brought tears to my eyes.

After all our coffee, sausage mcmuffin and oatmeal rituals we started up to Coloma, a trail we had been on many times before. We got there in time to be able to park in the parking lot and when we opened our door all you could smell was the burgers being cooked for after the race.  This wasn't just ANY burger, this was a Fudruckers Burger and as we walked by to get our packets I decided that no matter whatever this race cost, that burger at the end would be worth every dime!

We got our shirts, bib and that coveted ticket for the burger along with some other stuff in a swag bag and got our pictures taken before we would look completed whooped and busted at the end.

The race almost started on time and by the time the gun went off I was so ready to run! Tabitha got a quick lead and I focused on  passing as many people as I could so I didn't get caught behind anyone like the week before.  My goal was to keep her in my view and not let her get too far ahead of me and I did FANTABULOUS at that until she all the sudden got rocket jets in her ass and took off.  I kept running and didn't stop even when I passed her going through the first river crossing.
"I KNEW YOU WERE THERE RIGHT BEHIND ME!" She yelled up to me and then got a second wind and passed me again.  The first part of the UP part of the UP/DOWN trail started and I wish I could say that I made it half way before I started to feel it.
 My watched showed we were only a mile in and I wasn't even close to being anywhere near being finished with this damn hill.  People started slowing down and I had to turn around and stretch my legs. That is when the few people behind me passed and I knew I didn't have too many people left behind me.

At two miles I had resolved that I was in last and I actually found some comfort in that. No more pressure.  The book I have been writing would get a few more chapters added and as my legs soldiered up that hill I began to write.  My book shall be called,  "Last Girl Running" and the cover would have a picture of me wearing a shirt that said, "Thank me now, i'm about to make you look fast."  I began to market my products and would grab a few new cuss words as the muscles in my legs began to spasm.  The thought process was getting deep and I was thinking about "Last Girl Running" running teams.  This wasn't to encourage people to be last, but know that you can say you can't run, but you can...even if you come in last. Ain't no shame in it...for now. Each person in my running group would go through stages and work their way to a self made goal, be it a distance or a time...or even both. GENIUS! no one had thought of this before I was CERTAIN of it (did I mention it was hot, I had minimal sleep and the onslaught of sun stroke and fatigue set 2 miles)
I was really getting into it and not noticing the horrible incline I had to stop and turn around to stretch my calves.  Last place. There were worse places to be. The couch for starters.  Then I saw a flash of color behind me!  I WASN'T LAST!
NEW CHAPTER: How I thought I was last and now I'm not and I don't want to be last! RUN, BITCH, RUN!

I held up for awhile and then the two men caught up. They were so sweet. I must have looked like I just got my ass kicked by 15 high school girls because they both asked if I was alright. "Yes, fine...thank you."
Okay...last again.
Then I noticed that the older guy was sitting in the middle of the trail up ahead and rubbing his legs. I asked if he was okay and he said that he was just a bit sore, but reassured me he was okay and had done a bunch of 10k races before.  Great, this guy was going to give me just enough of a lead and then blaze past me.
The hill was just a bit further up and I kept reassuring him and checking to see if he was up and moving, "Almost there, Bill...come on! you can make it!"  I gave a hoot at the top and I yelled back to him, "I see the aid station!"
Then I took off, 'this is your race, Kristine. Run it." and so I did. The aid station people were awesome and almost got kissed on the lips when they said, "The worst part is behind have a nice downhill coming up!"
The 10 mile group started weaving in and out of the trails with the 10k runners and each time they were so supportive and nice. "Great job! You're doing so good! keep going!" they encouraged me as I had to slow down at points.
At 4.5 a guy that was trying to figure out where we were said, "I thought it was all downhill from that one point."  I didn't have the heart to tell him he had one more massive incline and then he could get his speed work in and make up time.
At the 5th mile, time stood still.  It felt like I was getting NO WHERE and not even fast.  Then I heard it...people.  My watch told me we had been at this part of the trail, "TURN COMING, ANOTHER TURN, ONE MORE...goooo Kristine!" If it could talk, that was what it was saying.  And then I saw the meadow.

I shit you not, I actually heard Mara say, "Is that where the car is? and that car will take us to the beer right?"  YES MARA...we were almost done!
I began to chant as I ran, 'i'm almost to the car. imalmosttothecar. almost to the car. i'm almost to the car" and then I could see the clock.  Ugh.  Did I make it under 2 hours? probably not, I was being passed by people that had been running the 10 miler. Then I heard the cheering and the clock got clearer. 1:55:00  OH HELL YES! I made it under 2 hours!?!  I crossed over at 1:57 something and I was so happy to hear the cheering from all the people that had passed me and the smiling faces from strangers that were just happy to be out running and enjoying the whole atmosphere.

I sat by the finish line hoping I would see Bill come crossing over, but he didn't during my time sitting there.  After about 45 minutes I heard the announcer saying that a 10 mile runner was coming in...and he said, " 72 YEAR OLD..." and the runners name.  Tears again, it wasn't Bill, but it was a runner nearly twice my age and doing it BIG.  The inspiration I could feel from all the people there was outstanding. Competitive without being arrogant and selfish.  Each person congratulated each other and was so proud of each of us.  "That was a brutal run!" "That wasn't what I was expecting." "Damn!" were some of the chatter around the finish line.
Tabitha took me over to the results and showed me her time 1:20:35.  She was 28th over all in the whole 10k division.  Really!? could I please stop tearing up!?!   Proud doesn't cover it.
She said she found an amazing couple of pacers who I saw her talking to as we ate the most amazing burger created.  You could see that they were proud of their little runner in the green tights.  I know I was!
"it's time for me to join a running group."  Yes, little Tinkerbell, it's time you join yourself a running group and tear up these trails and get that 1st place metal and not just some finishers metal.

Overall, this was the hardest race I have ever ran.  I'm so proud of myself for finishing it.  There wasn't a point that I would have ever quit, but that sun and those hills plays tricks on your mind and makes me think I can't, when clearly I CAN...and I DID.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I did it!
I woke up this morning with minor ankle pain.  We got up to Cool to start our run and I had taped up my ankle and was thinking about how my calf on the other leg might get blown again for trying to baby the ankle on the other foot.
The run started and my boyfriend and I were together for about a half mile before I got stuck on the single track behind some walkers. There was no getting around them, so I just hung back and listened to them complain on how hot, dusty and muddy this run was.  HELLO, it was TRAIL RUN!
I got a chance to get around them and tried to catch up with Lester, but he was over the hill already.
Further in on the trail I came across a group of people who were training for a half marathon and thought this would be a good ‘warm up’ for them.  I’ve never heard more complaining.  ”This terrain is so weird, I can’t run. It’s like it couldn’t make up it’s mind if it wants to be uphill or downhill. Was that a snake?”  At one point I had to giggle.  The one woman heard me and she giggled back, “I’m complaining a lot huh?”  I told her, “it’s usually me that is doing the complaining, but since this is all I do…I don’t know any better.”  Then for the next half mile I heard all about the joys of street running and how it’s usually flat with just minor ups and downs.  It was about then we opened up to the most beautiful meadow.  ”But do you get to see THIS?”   I wanted to spin around and spout out the joys of trail running, but if you couldn’t see it while you were running through it, there was no use in trying.
“Yeah. It is.” She agreed and then her and her friend were left behind as I listened to them try to figure out how to maneuver through a big mud patch.
Up ahead was my ‘pacer’. She was appointed the job when I noticed her slow stride.  ”HI!” I said as I caught up with her.  She had to be sixty something and she was past running and just power walking up a hill.  We got to talking and she told me she had fell down one of the hills that I have run many times.  She has busted something in her hip and was still recovering.   As we neared the creek, she plowed through it like a trooper and I let the icy water cool my feet as I helped some runners that were trying to make their way across the slippery rocks before they took on Knickerbocker climb.
During the middle of the climb I met another woman. I said, “Jezzus. I have to quit smoking!” and she, straight faced said, “I have to quit smoking crack!”  She asked me if I had done this before and I told her that yes, I had and it was almost over, I mean…after you get up this bitch, around the corner and up the last bit.  She groaned and tried to catch up with her friend.
Finally I was alone and could find my stride. The sun was about 5 miles from the earth and my arms felt like I had stuck them to the tail pipe of a motorcycle.  The aid station was up ahead and I drowned myself in two cups of water and started down a hill into another meadow.  At one point a giant butterfly came and tagged me in the head.  ”WELL HELLO MISTER BUTTERFLY!” I yelled out and thanked him for reminding me why I was so happy to running.
My watch told me that it had lost GPS satelites and I didn’t even care, I knew the end was near and that meant I could finally go pee.
Cresting the hill I could see Lester’s bright yellow shirt at the finish line and I was all smiles as I rounded the corner, high fived the volunteer and crossed over into his waiting arms where he gave me a huge hug and kiss!
Best Finish so far!
He was there for me during the Resolution Run, but when I crossed the finish line the only thing I could think of was finding a first aid station for my blown calf.
This time, I said, “I FELT GREAT! NO PAIN AT ALL!! That was SO MUCH FUN!”  I could still feel him breathing hard so I know he wasn’t too far ahead of me and I was was so proud of him I almost cried.
We found a fellow runner and got our picture taken at the finish line.  I am all smiles because it was the perfect run for me!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sore and Sorry.

not the best way to start our run!
This weekend was a weird one. I knew I was going to run. I knew where I was going to run and I knew WHY I was going to run, but my heart wasn't really in it.

There is usually a part in the trail where I lose all my anger and disappointments and just run for the run of it and I relax.  I never found that in this weekend's run.   I had far too much in my head to work it all out in 4 miles on the way down the trail. The four coming back up is no place to think about anything, but getting back to the top.

When we got out to the road that takes up to the trail head we were stopped by Cal Fire who said we couldn't cross the bridge because their was a helicopter landed on it.  They informed us that it was a 'scene' and we wouldn't be able to pass over until after it left.  Someone had drown.
It didn't take long before the helicopter took off and we decided to keep going and start our run.   This road is probably one of the scariest roads to drive up. It's all along the canyon walls and it's one lane and the corners are so sharp it's just stupid.

We got to the trail head and was sad that Moose had already taken a group of hikers down to the river.  He's our guide dog and it wasn't going to be the same without him. We did get to see him coming back up and he was so happy to see us, but he had a job to do and that was to make sure his group made it back up to the store so he could go play with his kids that were sleeping out in tee-pees.  

The store owner had one of the girls take us down to show us this really cool cave/mining slew.  The air temperature changed so quickly when we made our way through the cave to the other side. It was pretty neat, I thought, "I can't wait for Ben to see this! he's going to lose his mind!" and maybe that's when my trail run went downhill, because I wasn't sure if I would have the opportunity for that to ever happen again.  It made me sad. As much as I fought it, I was happy about starting a new life and yes, becoming a "step parent" yet again.

I decided to take off and try to lighten my mental load with just pounding the earth.  I did okay until I stopped to remove my sock and was attacked by something more deadly than the bear or mountain lion.  The mosquito. I can't even describe the amount of them that descended on me when I stopped. Hundreds of them.  I don't freak out over much, but I freaked out.  I had one sock on and one off and I had to try to outrun those bastards.  They were so aggressive and were attacking and biting me.  At one point I nearly started to cry because the whole trail was like this, I couldn't stop for a second without the risk of being bitten.  Even with Off spray, they didn't stop.  Today I am covered in bites, even on my face.  

We made it to the river and I normally jump in, but I only got myself wet. The water was super cold today and with one drowning already...I figured I better just eat my lunch and make my way back up.  There would be no running up this trail.   This trail is a weird grade and it's almost never ending with the 4 miles back uphill.  Sometimes you can savage your way up, but I decided to let Tabitha and Billy have some time to themselves and I stayed back and just moved at a 20 minute a mile pace.  I wanted to be happy to be out there doing what I love, but I just feel this huge shift in my life in every aspect and I am not ready to grab on.

My friend Hope on FB posted a picture that had a bunch of stuff on it, but it had "What you spend years building, someone can destroy over night. BUILD ANYWAY."
This is hard for me because it feels like on too many level this speaks right at me.  I had built my whole life around a house that my girls were born and raised in. I fought to get that house back when my first husband and I split and did. I raised my girls as a married mother and as a single one in that home. I worked two jobs and went to college to make sure that I could keep the house.  Then I let someone in my life and thought I was safe doing so...and 7 years later, he walked out and I lost the house.
It's been 3 years and my girls and I live in an apartment we can't really afford, but I stay because it's close the house that we once had and the friends and schools they have grown up with.   I do this alone.
Now I am rebuilding, or trying to find a way to rebuild.  Build Anyway.  Some days, I just think, 'why, it will all be taken away again by something or someone I am stupid enough to let into my life. I am not safe from myself."

How bad do I want it? he asked.
today..not bad enough. there is no fight left in me today.  ask me tomorrow.