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 year...it 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 this...no 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 bad...like 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 reason...to 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".