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.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"it's the one that says, badassmotherfucker on it"

It was a much needed training run.
Tabitha and I were most excited about the fact that we could just get out there and go without any time constraints.
We hit the trail and it was just screaming to be ran.
The hill that I wanted to take, I got about half way up.  AGAIN.  I said to myself, "you have other hills to conquer, you will find yours."

We named that hill the manipulative little bitch hill.  It looks all sweet and just adorable and then by the time you crest the hill you're thinking, "what the fuck just happened to me!?"

I like the one coming out of Knickerbocker.  That climb is a beast! You look up at it and you're like, "OH SHIT, that's going to hurt!" and you start running and you can feel gravity just pulling you back so you get a lean in and start digging. By the time you find the right pace and how to hold your body, you are half way up to the corner...and then it keeps going.    That is my sweet spot in running, when I can find that spot where I know there is nothing like this on any street outside of San Francisco.  You can't get a treadmill to this incline and let's not even start on the rocks.  Oh, did I mention I am doing this barefoot?

I love this.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beast Mode: pause

I got this.
I did no running this weekend.  I did however do a 9.5 mile bike ride in the town I grew up in with the man in my life.

I've been struggling with a lot of things this past week. I've lost hope in something I was holding on to. Something I was pretty sure would be the part of the puzzle.  Regardless I had to finally let go of that hope and in a way closed off a part of myself I had just gotten use to.  With this comes strength and the longer I am down, the stronger I come back fighting and it had been a good week of complete sadness that I let engulf me.  Waking up one morning and waiting for the right time to call someone for help because I couldn't do it anymore is a horrible feeling. I am just glad that I was able to ask for help (and he could understand me through the hysterical tears and unable to breathe moments).

This weekend I was going to do all that I could to try to pull past the feeling I have been carrying with me and for the most part I did okay.  Being home, where I grew up, is always bittersweet.  I look around and get angry at myself for all that I took for granted as a kid growing up in the mountains.  For all the times I called my brother a hick for never leaving.  For all the thousands and thousands of time of driving to and from my home between two snow covered mountains and rolling hills and trees so tall you can't even see the tips.  For forgetting how amazing the smell of sun warmed pine needles and the sound of the wind as it circles through the trees.

The ride was a beautiful one as I finally found the meadow I use to play in as a little girl.
Afterward we went to my dad's house and I got to play with some of his guns.
When we got back to the motel we took a nap and then went for a nice walk.

Monday Tabitha and I logged 2.5 miles. I'm not sure if it was the bike ride or the stress I have been under, but I got sick on Sunday and I wasn't sure how much running I would be able to do.  I didn't really do too much on Monday, but I did take the hills like a beast.

Hopefully, things will get better and I can get back on track.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I logged on to my Facebook a bit ago and I saw my daughter had posted this picture with the caption, "Starting to look like a Runner"

I swear I nearly started crying!  My little bear hates running and every time I tried to take her with me she would sometimes, not so politely, say NO.

For her birthday I bought her a pair of pink Vibram 5 Finger Treksport shoes.
She's out running as often as she can now.

I'm so proud of her!  The dream I had the other day had me crying so hard when I woke up because she came home to visit and I realized how much I really missed her and didn't have to pretend I was okay anymore.
Now I can't wait for her to come home so I can run with her!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Priorities people. PRIORITIES!

Tabitha came by this morning after I dropped Shea off at school. We did the hummin' and hawin' on the stuff that we both had to do today.
Ultimately we ended up in our running gear and headed out to the trails.

The trail is the one I went on last weekend with the brats and the one I am going to be running next month in my first 10k.
As we weaved our way around the trails trying to decide which ones we were going to take, I decided that today I was going to push it all the way to dizzy. The sun was blazing hot and the first part of this trail is relatively mellow...until it isn't anymore...until all you see is hill for as far as the eye can see.

"I'm taking it this time!" I dug in and made it about half way and said, "I am taking it half at a time!"

At the top of the hill I got a phone call and I had to take it. I realize I probably sounded deranged as I tried to give the interview guy the information he was needing. I was breathing heavy and was somewhat dizzy. He got what he needed and told me to have a really nice day. Oh hell, he had NO idea what a 'nice day' I was having!

We only had an hour of running so I made sure we stopped exactly 30 minutes in. At around 25 minutes we had this nice incline in front of us. I checked my watch again and debated if we should just turn around.
"I'M TAKING IT!" I yelled out to Tabitha who had already decided she was going to do it too.
and take it, I DID. I ran the whole hill to the top and when Tabitha turned around, it was clear she was surprised to see me so close behind her. With a quick check of the watch I saw we could pull out another 5 minutes if we didn't stop. So I didn't.

We turned around after soaking in the view and we were laughing at the turn that our day took.

Tabitha was describing her thought process before she headed over, "Okay, get up...go downtown. go get check. go to bank. get dress. get my busted nails done. get hair dye....and fuck it, LET'S RUN!"

....and run we did.

On the way back I wasn't going to stop until I couldn't breath, couldn't focus and was sure my name was Batman.
I got there with the help of the hot sun, but not before we had nearly made it back to the car.
"Whoa, hold up. Let me sit down."

Yep, this was the place Gordon told me get to. FOUND IT.

I'm ready to keep going and going and going. I am so grateful for how my progress is gaining speed.

3 miles of glorious fun!

and mud....lots and lots and lots of mud!

100 miles! I have gone from newborn to infant!

Yes, most people would think that newborn and infant is the same thing. Not me. Newborn is when you still have that new baby smell and infant is when your able to ... I don't know. Bad analogy.

Well, I have ran/jogged/hobbled my broken body in my Vibram 5 Finger Treksports for ONE HUNDRED MILES.

Last night Tabitha and I managed to get Wendi out there running with us and at first it sounded like she just might pass out and then she found her groove and started to have fun. It's always so cute when people finally get past the whole, "i hate you for making me run, you suck, you're the worst person i know and i don't know why i am your friend and come visit you on run days!" and they just accept the fact that they are going to do this and start having fun with it.

I got about a mile in and my calf and ankles locked up. "what the hell?!" OOOOOH, I had come off the trail and was running on pavement in my 5 fingers and I had yet to REALLY run on pavement before. " Son of a mother freakin..." I started to try to rolodex through all my stored information on 'cramped up ankles'. I got nothing.
So in all my infinite wisdom, I went with 'continue to run'. It worked a year ago when a 5 mile trail run turned into a 25 mile trail run where my hip popped out and I was in so much pain that the only thing I could think to do was keep going, because really...what other option did I have when I was out in the middle of nowhere?

As we neared the apartment complex we noticed a car had come out of the gate and since both of us had once again forgotten our clicker, we were going to have to sit and wait for another car to come to open the gate, but me in my spirit of moving decided to see if I could outrun the gate closing. I could hear the mission impossible theme humming in my head as I went balls to the wall running and I made it! I wanted to turn around and say, "DID YOU SEE THAT?" but I tried to be cool about the fact that I actually just ran REALLY fast.
It felt pretty good and I think it's time that we took up Paula's weekly track running and start working on speed.

It was only two miles, but I did come to the realization that I will not be able to street run in my V5F until at least 500 miles or I am going to set myself back further than I already have.

Time to dust of my Ascics.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Anywhere 5k (Trail version)

What a glorious weekend!

On Saturday, Lester and I went out for a 5 mile mountain biking ride. I think I have finally gotten past the bitching and moaning part of it. The ride towards the end just got fun and I didn't want it to end. Our legs disagreed!

On Sunday I got up to a text from Tabitha and Bonnie both saying they wouldn't be able to make the Steven's Trail (unpopular side) run because one threw out their back and the other blew out her knee on a Saturday hike.

We decided to postpone that run and go out on a run closer to home that wouldn't be an all dayer.
Alyx and Shea met me early in the morning so I could go out to Run Rocklin to cheer on my friend Birdie on her first 5k. Birdie signed up with her church and wanted me to run it, I told her, "That was my first 5k last was...uninteresting." I'm just not a street runner and usually only street run to add miles on during the week. I did one last year for the memorial run for 9/11 and it was downtown and since I get lost in a paper bag, it felt like I had no idea where I was so it wasn't so bad.

After we left the Rocklin Run we headed out to this trail that I am going to be running next month. This was the run that I ended up tacking 20 miles onto a planned 5 mile run because we got really lost. We started in Auburn and nearly ended up at Cronan, through Cool and back to Auburn. This 10k winds through some of the same area so I kept my eye out for something that looked familiar.
I took off from Dan and the kids to get my legs nice and warmed up and I never stopped.
There was this lovely fork in the road and I walked around to keep my legs going until the girls made their way back to me.

They tried to slow me down by walking really slow on the single track, but I dove to the side and worked around them to take the lead again.

As we neared this downhill portion I could hear the creek. I knew the hill going up was a doozy, but I didn't expect that the river would be so wide and fast flowing.

I grabbed Shea and carried her across so she wouldn't get her feet wet and Dan tossed Alyx on her back and carried her. Going up, I took off my shirt and put it around my waste and pulled them up. This will be a great motivator next month when I am battling that hill, I can say, "The last time I did this, I was pulling up two teenagers!"

In the book Born To Run, the runner talks about how he will walk up hills that he can't see the top of. I started to take that advice, but I felt like I needed to run, so I did.

At the end of the run and I could see the other hill that would spit us out at the school, I was bummed. I threw my hands up in the air, grateful to God that I was able to do so well even running through the calf pain.
"I could run this again!" I yelled back to Dan. He replied, "Me too, just not today." The girls said, "never again."

I'm finally getting stronger, the hills are my friends again, I love the pain I get when I am out there. It's taken awhile but 2012 is starting to get better for me as a trail runner.

I ran my Anywhere 5k and beat my time from last month and puts me at 97 miles barefoot running.

This week starts week 4 of training and I am SO ready to hit the trail with Tabitha this week!

Monday, April 9, 2012

92 miles and I found my stride!

Tonight Tabitha and I danced around going running because the girls stayed with Dan and I we didn't have anyone to watch Jeremiah. I told her, 'Let's do this, We run to the gate, you take the water and run the extra two. I'll run back with Buddy."
So that is what we did. I followed the rule of walking 5 minutes before I started running and we took off. I made it further than I normally do and then kept pushing all the way to the gate. I found my stride.

I got to the gate about a minute behind her even though it seemed like she was so far ahead of us. My ankles and calf started cramping so I got my key out of the water bottle pocket and handed her the water, telling her we would have to get use to carrying them instead of our packs. She agreed and off she went. Wasting no time, I started jogging too.

Jeremiah and I started back and I was bound and determined to make it across the field without stopping. I did. Then I swore I would make to the gate without stopping. I did. Then he started doing his, 'oh man...i don't wanna run' so I made up a game and after we made it back to the apartment he was still going strong. We pushed a little further and did a ten minute cool down.

When I got back to the apartment and downloaded all the information, I pulled up the comparison chart to see how much better I did this time, because I KNOW I DID. I didn't, BUT, I did increase my cadence and improved my time just a slight hair. It may not reflect it on the spreadsheet, but I can feel how much better I did.

I want to get to my 100 marker by the end of this week so I can go into this weekend rolling towards 200 miles!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Courting Pain

My friend Tabitha had the day off for Good Friday and I woke up crabby and would have gone back to sleep if I hadn't already drank two cups of coffee. Friday needed a reset.
She convinced me that we should go out and run. After we had talked the other day about training and 'the good ol' times' and she said, 'The best runs we've had is when we are lost in the canyons and don't have time, distance, pace in our face and we just run to be child-like'. She was right, so when we went out yesterday I had my watch, but I made sure that we took trails I don't remember taking, until I remember I have taken them before.
We got good and lost. It took me about 4 miles in before I finally found my stride. I kept repeating the words that Gordon had said to me on our run together. "Love this pain, Kristine. Learn to love it because it will always be there."
So I chanted, "I love this pain, I love i don't, I just like you but we are courting and I will learn to love you."

The recovery time from this run has taken me forever. It's now Sunday and I am still pretty sore. Oh the fun of barefoot running!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I was graciously handed an opportunity to do a run with someone I have admired for a well over a year. He offered to run with me and my boyfriend to work out some issues I have been having with trail running.
This is something I can only imagine thousands of trail runners, ultrarunners or just your average runner that knows of him would give their nutsack to have and I would be a complete scared moron if I didn't do.
Of course I said yes, and then after a freak-out moment, I realized I was going to do this for all the runners that weren't given this chance. I asked myself over and over, "Why me? How is this happening to me?"
I called the one person I know that could fully understand what I was freaking out about, my friend Amanda who has ran nearly 20 marathons and Lord only knows how many halfs, 10k, 5k and is deep in the running community in Oregon.
"I am freaking the fuck right out!" I didn't even say hello when she answered.
"What's going on?" She asked concerned, but also single handily controlling her young children who were in the middle of a meltdown.
"I got an email from Gordon Ainsleigh and he is offering to take me running with him tomorrow."
She got control of the situation on the other side of the line and said, "Hold on...." and she began to google.
"Oh holy shit!"
"YEAH, EXACTLY!" I briefed her on the details as she continued to read up on him.
"Oh wow, he is like...yeah..damn. holy shit. WOW." is what was mixed into, "DON'T EVEN THINK OF DOING THAT! PUT THAT DOWN!"
She began trying to reassure me that I was going to do fine, he was going to be amazing, I shouldn't worry at all.
"Okay, how about this...if Prefontaine was still alive and said, 'Hey Amanda you want to go for a run tomorrow?' wouldn't you be like..."
"Yeah, okay. I would be freaking the fuck out."
We talked for a quite a bit and she calmed my nerves. She still continued to read on about his most recent run and his time. "Okay, it's not so a 14 minute mile. Oh, what's the elevation like?"
"HELL." I told her all about the trail from Auburn to Cool and 14 sounded pretty much like he was bookin' it. About 50 times faster than I can go at any point in time.
"Oh what did I agree to!?"

After the run today I called her to share the story. She had told me she was going to go out and run at the same time I was for moral support. She did the track because of rain, but there many times I was on the trail and thought of her. She's the kind of person that deserves to have this honor.
I wanted to cry as I was telling her the story, because she could understand me, the situation and what I was truly getting out of it.
I told her that Lester had asked me if I had put up the picture yet and I said, "No. not yet. Right now...this is mine and I want to hold on to it before I share it with anyone." I told her I wanted to share the story with her first, sort out the emotions and feelings and know it was alright to have something like this all to myself for a minute. She more than understood and agreed.

I told her the conversation I had with Lester the night before where he asked me, "What do you want to get out of this?" and I had to really think about it. I wanted everything, all the knowledge, the stories he could tell me...but most of all I wanted to be able to use this to inspire other people just like me. The not thin, not perfect, not fast, not the person that is in this for the ribbons or records, just a person who couldn't...and then one day she caught fire...and could.

Among the 500 things we talked about, he asked me a question at the end of our part of the trail together, before he would take off and run fast and steady. "How bad do you want it?"
I've thought about this question for hours. He didn't understand that he was asking me so much more than just about running. He stripped me down to the very core and asked me a question that by my actions up until today would have to be answered with 'almost enough'.
I want this pretty bad for only one single inspire others to find what their 'it' is out there and work to get it.

Does it get easy from here after my run with the living legend? No, I think my life is going to be a hell of a lot of hard work that up until now, 'almost enough' was good enough. It's not anymore.

I plan on writing about the day leading up to and the actual run, but right now...I have a picture and head full of questions that scare the shit out of me that I want to keep close and enjoy it.

P.S. I wore my Vibrams after contemplating wearing my Brooks for 2 solid hours. No regrets. When I got home and tacked on another 2 and half miles I wore my Brooks and decided a mile in...I'm a barefoot runner now.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

78 Miles

My boyfriend and I took our bikes out in the pour rain on Saturday and I decided to give the shoes a go. They held up fine. I was happy that I could ride through these puddles that would classify as a pond and not have to worry about wet feet for too long.

Sunday morning we headed out to get him some time on his new Vibrams.  We made our way across no hands and up railbed and back around.

I lagged on the way there but after the hill of hell I found a nice pace and a couple new tricks.  The mud was bad, but not as bad as last year!!

At one point I decided to jump over this one muddy patch, slipped and extended my knee straight out. I instantly sat down, bitched at myself and then got up and started running again.

The only thing I hate about running in races is that I am so scared of hurting myself before it's time to run. I would have recovered in time, but I hate having fear like that.

Today's 6 miles is dedicated to fellow runner, Micha True.  In skydiving we say "blue skies", I guess for running the way Caballo did, "long trails, my friend".

Friday, March 30, 2012

71 miles and going strong

My Wednesday run was so lame. I wasn't feeling it and I just wanted to turn around and go home.  Two miles and I called it quits...and then Tabitha suggested we run to 7-11 for beer.  Okay...let's tack on some miles and then drink what we just wore off.

I have to go tonight, but I slept all funky on my neck and I don't wanna.  She's going to have no part of it though.  Why do I even try!?

71 miles total and I am STILL breaking in my calves.  See, you don't have to wear in the shoes, you have to build up your feet and calves.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vibram FiveFinger FAIL.

I am so irritated.
For my daughter's 19th birthday this month I used my REI dividends and coupon to buy her a pair of Vibram TrekSport shoes.  She's wanted them long before I caved in and bought them for myself.  She's thrilled to finally have them and is following the instructions to go slow.

For Christmas this year my dad bought me my first pair. I opted for the men's TrekSport because they felt better on my feet, but I went back a couple months later and bought the women's version of the shoe and I have gotten use to the feeling of a more snug fit.  For my birthday I got a gift certificate for REI and I decided to use the second coupon and my gift card to go out and get another pair for myself while they were "on sale".
The guy at REI told me, "Oh they are discontinuing the women's TrekSport shoes." My heart broke right into two.   "No! WHY?"  he informed me that they have out the Spydridons now for women that they are pushing.  "NO! WHY!?" as soon as I could breathe again I would ask more questions.
"Because they aren't as stiff as the TrekSports and they found that women don't do the kind of trail running that calls for such a stiff or thick sole."
I wish I could have said something a little more intelligent, but I just muttered, "that's stupid. I'm a woman, I do REAL trail running, not the bike trail kind of running you're describing. I run the Western States trail where there is sharp shale, mud, rocks for miles...I NEED the TrekSports!"

I had tried on the Spydridons the last time I was in REI and I didn't like the heel.  Talking to my ex today he said he picked the Komodosport over the Treks because he liked the double strap.  I thought it was just kind of a gimmick, but he picked that shoe over a shoe he would use more because of it so it must hold SOME value.  My boyfriend bought the Spydridons because he said the Treksport hurt his toe.

So, end of story, out of fear of not having that specific shoe for the kind of trail running I do, I had to buy yet ANOTHER pair of Vibrams before I have no choice of good shoes.

How do I not do testing for this company because I believe I could do a bang up job tearing these shoes up on the trails and telling them what they can do to fix and improve ...and in my case NOT FIX WHAT ISN'T BROKEN. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Training Run...69 total miles

Reluctantly I began week two of training for the 10k in May. Tabitha is back out with me and she is just sadistic.
After months of having to baby her calf, she is loving that her calf muscles are burning and tight. "YES! I love this feeling!!" She finally feels the 'good pain' and she's taunting the running Gods, "GIVE ME ALL YOU GOT!"
I was whimpering, "i'm not with her."

I've decided that this trail race will be done barefoot so I have been training in the Vibrams and as much as I want to just have one day of cushioned goodness I am not going to give in.
Last night just hitting the trail I knew my feet were not ready for the pounding I was going to give them. We started out slow and then I started my pace. My left hip decided to lock up before we made it to the first corner. I stretched it out and kept running. By the time I hit the highway split my calves and hip were pissed. Pushing through I practiced my speed walk and then got into a slow trot again.

I passed my estimated times for the run/walk scenario I papered out and I was proud of that.
The key for me is to zone out and not try to keep up with Tabitha because she is a Kenyan and there is no use trying, but to use her as my beacon to where I need to be and if I need to speed up to keep the distance only 45 seconds behind her. Last night I kept it at almost 1 minute behind and if I pushed a little bit, I could keep the right pace.

Coming back home I found a hummingbird in the apartment complex. It was hopping around and trying to get flight. Shea and I took it in and nursed it, and it was still alive this morning, but didn't make it until it was time to take him to the aviary rescue.

This morning my calves, hip and feet feel fine. I do recognize that I need to rest them, but keep them going.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Trail Run!

On Saturday I turned 40.
On Friday night I was out with two great friends drinking an absurd amount of Captain Morgan and kamikazes. This made for an interesting run on Saturday to usher in my 40th year.

I woke up early enough to realize I had just gone to sleep and I didn't care if the coffee maker had just kicked on, I was getting a couple more hours of sleep. My friend Matt was sleeping on the couch and he had mentioned a few times through the night, "I don't want to go hiking with you."
I had planned on just hiking so Matt could come out with us, but his resistance the night before was heard. When I staggered into the living room a couple hours later and got some coffee in my system he greeted me with, "I am not going out with you this morning." OKAY, I get it.

Tabitha called me and said she was sorry she was running late, she couldn't find her Camelbak. I told her I was going to pass on the hike and she let me know about myself and told me that I was going to go. I called my friend Bonnie and told her to come over if she wanted to get in on the action.

Hitting the trail late in the morning I was a little freaked out because I had to be back before noon so I could start getting ready for my birthday party. Looking at my watch, it was 11. I was screwed.
We chatted it up as we walked the first leg. Tabitha is still making sure her calf muscle doesn't pop again and Bonnie is fresh out of physical therapy for an IT band issue (I should google that because she had a lot to say about it and I had no idea what she was talking about)
Bonnie had done the first part of this on a hike with her friend so I was intent on showing her the secret side of it that most people don't know about or just think it goes down to a small waterfall.
We talked about how addictive this is and Bonnie calls it 'Jonesin'. We all hate it when we can't get out and do this.
When we entered this part of the canyon you are surrounded by the walls and fallen rock. So many times on runs I have seen the wall and swore that one of these days I would climb up there and see what was on the other side. On my 40th birthday I dug my Treks into the wall and began climbing up, holding on to roots and rocks. At the top I was rewarded with nothing. Oh well, it was fun being a little kid for a minute.

When we came out of the canyon you are blessed with the cut open and you can see where they began making the dam. At this spot I looked down to see a butterfly at my feet and I stopped and it was so beautiful I wanted to make sure that Tabitha saw it, I started chanting her name and she freaked out thinking that my complete immobile body was frozen because there was a snake about to strike me. "Look at this butterfly!" I slowly bent down to see if I could get a better look.
"You bitch! don't do that! I thought you were going to be eaten by a snake!"
We all sat there as I got the butterfly on the tip of my finger and held it out so they could get pictures. I surrendered a good 15 minutes of my day looking at his wings and beautiful furry body.

I glanced at my Garmin watch as we headed further into the canyon. My phone rang, which NEVER happens out in those canyons and I fumbled with my Camelbak and saw that my boyfriend was calling. "Happy Birthday Baby! Where are you? When am I going to see you?"
"I'm out on a hike/run and we are the second leg back to the car! I will see you soon!" I crammed my phone back in after the I love yous and be safes. "Let's go girls, it's 1pm and I have to be at Lester's at 2pm for my birthday party." I didn't want to calculate the drive home (20 minutes) shower (10 minutes) and drive to his house (10 minutes) because I would rob myself of the joy of the run back to the car. I went with, "it's my 40th birthday and I wanted to do this."

Bonnie and Tabitha took up the hill we would need to crest to get to the main trail. It was about halfway up the hill that my run turned into a walk and my walk turned into a struggled stagger. Sweet Jesus, the hangover decided to kick in about then. "Oh god, i'm hungry and dizzy!" They were almost to the top and I felt my watch tightening around my wrist telling me to keep moving, "This is like the Hungover Games!" they didn't hear me, they were cheering me on to make sure I got up that hill in one piece. I think they could see how green I was turning.
As soon as I got over the hill I knew we had one very small one and then it was all downhill. Now I was checking my Garmin about every 4 seconds calculating how fast I would have to get to the car, how fast I would have to drive, what steps I would need to take to cut off a few minutes so I could make it on time. We ran...and ran...and ran. We ran 2 miles in 20 minutes and I actually made it to my party only 20 minutes late.

The report on the feet/calves/body. I crested a hill and hit my foot all funky on a rock and I had to pamper it for the rest of the day, but on a scale of 1 to 10 on the pain it was only a 5 and the recovery was minimal. I was fine the next day.
This run was the first time that I actually noticed the length of my stride. Going downhill I could feel how I was doing most of my running from the knees down and I had to make an effort to involve my hips. Because I did this my stride lengthened and my feet had to compensate for that. It's a give and take with that method because even though my pace improved, I had to think about what I was doing and I haven't learned how to lengthen my stride and not beat my feet up because of it.

All in all, a beautiful run on a beautiful day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

62 miles total ...

Trying to figure out where this one fits in, under this blog or Hiking With The Exes. I figured since this was a week day run, I was in my Vibrams and it was a trail ... it fit more in here.

Tabitha has been sneaking runs during the week without me and I asked her if she wanted to get one in on Wednesday. She was excited and said okay...but I kind of forgot so when she showed up in her running clothes I had to hurry up and change into something.

...and I forgot the sports bra.

It was a good run behind the apartments. We wanted to see how far the trail would go and we found out. 1.1 miles in. I've been checking Google Earth to see if with a minimal street running if there is a connector trail that will take us to Sierra College. So far, no luck.

Total Miles on Vibram Treks: 62

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Plan..

In an attempt to not compare every single day to what I was doing in 2011 (also known as the best year EVER) I am walking this fine line of holding back being okay with change and doubtful restlessness on if I should change something.

I've counted the miles I have put in on foot by this time last year and the miles I have put in this year and they are within 5 miles of each other. It would have been exact, but I had promised to do Alyx's pictures and then on Sunday the weather was bad and I ended up helping Tabitha with her car. The reality is that I am actually doing more (miles) than last year because this year I have also added in bike riding.

Something just feels off. Reading "Born to Run" probably exasperated this because I am suddenly feeling like I should be at least up to 30 miles a weekend. I want to be though. There are weekends when all I want to do is get out there at 7 am and not come back until the sun is creeping down, just to see how far I could go and where I would end up.

I have an actual race coming up in 9 weeks and even though I put in the time on the trails, I don't even feel like I am ready for it. It's my first 10k. Yes, I know...small time, but for me it's the farthest time race i've been in. I'm not doing it for the time though, that means nothing to me. I am doing it because I know myself well enough to say that if I didn't have something to train for, I would probably not train as much as my body needs. Knowing what I want and getting it or putting in the work is a whole different thing.

I want to be an ultra runner. Not because it sounds good, but because that means that I get to be on those trails for a long time and I could go for hours and not give up. Saying that out loud makes me feel selfish inside. Giving up time and focus for something that is for no one but ME.
What a conflict and only one I am going to be able to wrestle with if it's something I am going to do.

The plan I put together for the 10k in 9 weeks is a hybrid of Couch to 5k and a random 10k schedule someone yah-hoo put together (me). It was actually kind of fun. Sticking to the basics of rest and run and slowly adding miles, putting together the goals and then the weekend miles was a good way to refocus. It's also going to make the weekend runs a little more structured. This way I can get other people to join me out on the trails and I won't feel bad that I am not putting in the big miles that I feel I should already be doing. After May's race I will switch my focus to the long run weekends and adding in bike riding ever other weekend.

My goal by the end of the year is a 25 mile Saturday. *crossing fingers for no injury or fears*

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Midweek fun...

On Thursday Tabitha, her friend Gene and I wanted to get out and get some time out in the woods.

We decided on doing Robie and rail bed. I was bummed when I came running into the railbed. They have created a new path that isn't as steep, but it doesn't have that magic feeling like it had before they 'improved it'. I'm so grateful of my time that I had before though. It's still nice, it's just not the same.

I got in 5.5 miles.

Feet feel pretty good.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Welcome to my wonderful life you beautiful shoes!
It's been two and half months since I got my first pair of Vibram FiveFinger shoes and I am the very happy owner of my second pair.

The black pair are actually the men's V5Fs and I really like them when I am out on the trail. They feel so much better than the girl's version of the shoe. These are the girl version of the Treks and they are the tan and the red. We shall see how they do out there. The main difference I have found between the two is the width and the strap.

The Komodosport shoes are the ones I would like to try out after I am fully transitioned into barefoot. Right now I am just in love with the Treksports and they have the perfect 0 drop and 4m sole. The Komodosports are 3.5 and I think I will be ready for that last .5 by next Christmas. I have tried on the new Spydridon and there wasn't much I liked about them. The heel wasn't as snug as every other V5Fs that I have tried on or worn. The design on the top is kind of distracting and i'm not to thrilled with the lack of strap. The tread looks like a bike tire and it is said that they are the first trail runner specific design, but I disagree. The Treksport are wonderful for trail running.

Welcome to the family sweet, wonderful shoe!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kristine- 1, K2- 1 -- 54 miles total

Elevation Gain:1,113 ft Elevation Loss:1,067 ft MinElevation:549 ft MaxElevation:1,621 ft

This was my first hike/run out by myself. I decided to take on K2/Training hill.
I stood at the base of No Hands Bridge and try to decide...'do I do Robie or do I take on K2?'. I decided that since I hadn't been out doing any kind of running in a while, it was time to kick my own ass.
It took awhile for me to get my watch working the way I needed it to. The Virtual Partner was of no use to me as I wasn't running against it. The setting was still on "biking" from the day before and for the life of me, I couldn't get the damn thing to get a way point set.

As I neared the base of Training Hill, I looked up at it. Then I started talking to it. "Yeah, I know you look scary right now...and that little hill right there is just a facade of what you REALLY look like. You are steep and you are mean and you will have me in tears a half mile in. You are over a thousand feet in elevation gain and the last part is like rock climbing. STOP STARING AT ME!"
I looked down the path that was uphill, but not as intimidating as K2. I could just do the 5 mile and head back....OR...I looked back up at K2. "Fuck it, i'm doing this." and I started my climb up.
When I first started hiking I use to love to turn around and see how far I had gone. Not much has changed, I crested the top hill knowing there was nothing more but hill in front of me and turned around. "I just did that." I said to myself and then started to round the corner that I knew brought nothing but brutal humility.

I was a little past a mile and half in when I came across a wonderful hiking man in his 60's who didn't even look like he had broke a sweat. "Hi there!" I call out and he greeted me with a smile. "Is this your first time?" I ask, and he informed me he has done it 8 times before. Okay, well...okay, i'm a fucking pussy and need to man up and keep up with this fast walking hiker. I tell him about the time I had done this exact hike and it turned into a 25 mile hike. He graciously showed me that if I go left instead of right, I can make it a nice 4 mile hike. Yes, that sounded so much better than the 25.

It took about a mile before I could finally feel my calves and could begin to run. I knew where I was and I was going to be okay all the way back to the car.

At 3.8 miles my feet started to hurt. I had hit a lot of shale on the way up and my step was slowing.

Seeing No Hands Bridge was a blessing. I waited for him to come back down as I didn't want to forget this nice man's name and be able to read the website he has been keeping through his adventures.

It was 1 hour and 40 minutes. An hour of that was just getting up that damn 1 mile climb!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Urban at roughly 50 miles.

In an effort to not be murdered while I sleep by my 5 year old nephew while he's on his school break, I decided we would go for a quick run up to the cupcake place. It's about a mile from the apartment.

Strapping on the Vibrams for their first real pavement run I got a little nervous. In the small amount of time running i've done on the street in them, my feet start screaming at me. "WE ARE NOT READY FOR THIS!"

I put on my Garmin 405 with my heart rate monitor. This would be the first time I have worn the monitor and I knew what my max heart rate should be. I was ready to see how close I could get to it.

By a mile my big toe was cramping. Okaayyyy, this is a new little thing I haven't had before. Don't remember seeing that on the forums and websites. We stopped into the cupcake place and I stretched out my big toe. Yes, big toe stretches.

We made our way back and in a hurry because I wouldn't let him eat his cupcake until we got home. He tried to run and keep up but he mostly just said, "I really don't like running." we walked a lot and my feet thanked me when we got back.

I need to work on street running in my Vibrams.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Two hikes this weekend brings the total to 46 miles

On Saturday I went on a hike with Tabitha, her son and another friend. Tabitha is the third person of Hiking With the Exes. We took her friend from work to Empire State Mine. It's a hike we have done a few times before and really enjoyed. The only downfall is it that it's an hour drive there and back. The people on the trail are always really nice and you get to see dogs, horses and people enjoying their bikes.

I debated between my Brooks and my Vibrams right up until I was ready to leave. My calves were feeling a little bit tight after Friday's mileage and I didn't want to push it, but the trail was perfect for my Vibrams so I decided to just do some extra stretching and hope it would hold up.

They didn't disappoint.

There is this one hill that I have struggled with in the past and they did so great I was almost in tears when I crested the top of the hill.

Sunday my boyfriend, his son and I went out to the same place. After the snow hike from a couple weeks ago, I needed to redeem his faith in my ability to take him out and see fun stuff. This hike didn't disappoint either. Around every corner was something fun to see, crawl on and speculate what it was for. At the Visitor's center I picked up a trail map that explained what some of the stuff was and that helped with the guess work.

On day two of the same hike I could feel that my feet were tired. My legs even complained the second time up that hill. My boyfriend is part billy goat as is his son, so we did a bit off trail exploring to see what we could see. We made our way up a very steep rock pile to investigate and this is where I would have expected to really feel the pain in my feet. I paid close attention to the pads of feet while we were up there and I would say it was pretty minimal. Nothing I couldn't handle.

Today was the first time I noticed what every other Vibram wearer talks about...the smell. Okay, after 37 miles they needed to be washed in a big way. After my most relaxing bath where I scrubbed my feet and thanked them for another beautiful weekend of exploring, walking, jogging and running I washed my shoes with Yardley soap.

I love my Vibrams.