Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 was crazy sauce!!

2010 was just a crazy ass year for me to say the least! I have definitely had some crazier years, but 2010 kinda tops my list. People keep telling me I should write a book but I dunno??..hmmmm...;o) The pic from above was taken back at the beginning of the year on one of the coolest runs/hikes in the snow I have ever been on! Love me some Michelle Barton!! She's my girl, and it was a great way to start off the year. Next my son and I hit up the Winter trail Run Series(, and ran two of the races together. I was just coming back from an injury to my hip, and had taken 7 months off(yes 7 people). These little race series were a super good way to come back from my surgery, and such a long time off. A ton of people kept telling me to sign up for a marathon or half, but I knew better than that. I spent all of January hiking, and running slowly only on trails. I lifted a ton, went to yoga, swam like a maniac, biked a million miles, and by February I was up to running/hiking 15 miles on the trails. I never stepped foot on the friggin pavement or any indoor machine as they are a death sentence to the knees and hips. I spent the entire month of February hiking and trail running even more(a ton at altitude), and always took it really easy. If I felt like I was pushing to hard I would stop and power hike. I was consistent, determined, and focused on coming back 100% injury free. By months end I had done a few 20-22 mile runs.

The picture above was of me at the starting line of the SJT50k. This was beginning March, and I had not ran farther than 22 miles on the trails in over 9 months! I never once pushed it during that race, and used it solely as a comeback race. Without any expectations I ended up having a ton of fun, and finishing 11th overall, and 4th woman. I was pumped, and just super thrilled to be back out on the trails with all my friends and family!!

Next I went up North to run Mt.Diablo 50k put on by Brazen Racing( This was just two weeks after SJT 50k, and I did great! I ended up 2nd female, and 10th overall. Yippie I was so excited! The woman who beat me was amazing, and we friggin battled all day, but in the end she pulled away form me and beat me by about a minute. She was so strong at the end! To this day this is still one of the most well organized, well manned, best swag races I have ever ran!! Can you spot the girl in the Rat shirt above?? Hint: Look to your left...hehe

From there I put on and Race Directed a little race we so-cal Ultra runners like to call "Leona Divide 50"( It was my first year directing this race, and I knew the instant it was over I had found my calling in life. I absolutely love people, and especially encouraging and aspiring people new to this sport. I am a social butterfly, and just love to spread the joy and love of Trail Running that I have to others. I have such a huge passion and love for this sport, and through Race Directing I am able to share it with ya' all!! The best part about being a Race director is so many of you I know on a close and personal level so when you cross my finish line it is VERY emotional for me. So many of you mean the world to me, and I can't explain what it's like to put a medal around one of your running partners necks! It's the best job in the world, and I love it!! Below is Michelle, aka "speedysauce" with her win and finish at Leona this year. Not the most flattering pic of me, but oh well! hehe..
In May I ran the PCT50 mile( This race was so tuff! Hands down I think the toughest 50 miler around. It's technical as heck, and I have never been able to have a good race on this course~I won, but BARELY. Sally Mcrae was right behind me, and if it wasn't for the small kick I had at the end she would have creamed me. Glad that race was over when it was as I puked all over myself three miles form the finish!! Gotta love the sport of Ultra Running(I LOVE IT!!)

Two weeks after PCT50 I flew out to New Mexico and ran the Jemez Mountain 50k( Wow what an amazing race!! I cannot put into words how beautiful the trails in the Jemez Mountains are, and people this race needs to go on the bucket list no doubt. Absolutely breathtaking! Just plan on sucking air through a straw the entire time, and having a very slow finishing time as most of the race you run above 9,000 feet. Plan on tons of power hiking, and just enjoy every mile of this race.Tough, tough, tough...but top notch A+++ race. Well organized, well manned, and to die for trails. I will be back in 2012 forsure!! I enjoyed the day, and my entire four days of vacation in New Mexico, and goes down as one of the most fun trips to a race I have ever had!

In June I paced my dear friend Scott Mills at western States. OMG now that was awesome sauce!! Scotty is such an amazing guy, and I was so proud of him for doing so well as he really hit a low spot the last few miles. The excitement of being at that race, at night on that course cannot be put into words. I am super excited to either be apart of my Deano rats crew(aka ratsauce) or pace Scotty again. Would love to pace Scotty again so much!!

In July I went to Badwater, and crewed for my dear friend Jimmy Dean Freeman(aka coyotesauce). What a blast we had! My best friend Pam Everett(aka swisssauce) was part of the crew along with my little brother Eric Wickland(aka homeskilletsauce), our photographer Garreth McKay, J, and the sweet JB Benna. We all meshed so well, and had the most amazing time of our lives!! I think in over the 34 hour span that Jimmy was on that course we fed him over 30 pineapple GU roctanes! OMG poor Jimmy!! From this amazing experience has stemmed some of the best friendships I have ever had. Jimmy and I are closer than ever. His Coyotes Trail running group will be working two of my aid stations at Leona Divide, and a ton of the Coyotes will be running Leona as there first 50! Jimmy is now going to be on my Badwater Crew(if I get in!), and I am pacing him at Angeles Crest 100(go coyotesauce!!) The Coyotes will also have a huge involvement in my new race "Leona valley Trail Races"( Crewing Jimmy at Badwater was life changing for me, and such an incredible experience. I cannot wait for this summer!!!!

So after Badwater I spent many, many hours training for Angeles Crest 100 mile. Below are some fun pics of some runs I did...and the coolest part of all was these were taken at Baldy in July!!

August was spent running, and hiking, and running some more. My goal was to go into AC100 in the best shape of my life, and I did!! I was somewhat smart and tapered, and come race morning I was super well rested, and ready to rock. I remember standing at the start line of the race, and the buzz and energy was just so intense! There is nothing like the energy at the start line of a 100mile race! OMG it's something so special. My pacers and crew were amazing(thanks Ashley, T, & Pammy)!! I had a super good race at AC, and even though I went off course for 4.5 miles I still managed to somehow pull out a win. Seriously I just got lucky, and would love to return in 2012 and tear that course to shreds. If I don't get into Badwater I will run AC no doubt. That entire race, and the training leading up to that race changed my life completely. Cannot wait to race it again someday, and I am really looking forward to training late spring and early Summer with Coyote Sauce(Jimmy) to get him ready for a sub 22!!!

September I went up and raced Rio Del Lago 50k( My dear friend Jimmy Gabany(what up Badwater crew member!??) is the race director, and he is my Riosauce!! I won this race also, but luckily no fast women were there. This race was just pure "suck it sauce", and has officially gone down into the history books as one of the stupidest decisions I have ever made. I actually walked the last two miles, and will never race another race 2 weeks after any 100! It was two weeks after Angeles Crest, and the win was pure luck. Below is a pic of me early on in the race..thank god!! Jimmy Dean's brother Stan was also running the 100mile as his first 100, and it was so much fun to experience and be a part of that later that night.
In October I went up and Ran the Diablo 50k put on by PCTR. I actually have a full re-cap of the race on my blog. Check it out as it was a great race for me. I Loved the course(TONS of climbing), and had a great day. I won this race, and was second overall. So stoked!!!

November, and December have been spent just running with tons of friends, and having some of the best couple months of my life!! I also put on another race called Los Pinos 50k( I have a small recap up on my blog also for this race. Race date for next year is Saturday October 22nd! I think you can always measure someone's integrity and compassion by the support of there friends. I have been overwhelmed the last few months by my friends!! Some of the best friendships I have ever had have come to light in the last three months(love you Eric, Faye, Shannon, Pam, T, Scotty, Dean, Jimmy, Annie, Sean, Murphy, Molly, Andrew, & Michelle). Below are just a few pics of some runs and good times me and my entire "Sauce" crew have been sharing together.

And last but not least here is a whole link of photos from a great run we did the other weekend in Pt. Mugu state park in Malibu. So much fun!!

So that's my 2010 in a nutshell, and a very shortened version. I would have to do this post in two parts for the long version, and just don't have the time right now. Life has gotten so busy for me(all good stuff), and I keep looking around wondering how come all these amazing things keep happening to me?? Maybe it's my karma or maybe it's a little of my destiny. I can pretty much take care of myself; I don't walk around with much fear. I spent the entire day on Monday with jimmy, and at lunch he said something that really stuck with me....

This is 110% true. I love Ultra running, I love being outside, I love swimming, Hiking, biking, lifting weights, yoga, cooking, baking, watching my Lakers, watching football(college&NFL),and just being friggin alive!!! I love that I am the girl that always goes for it. No fear, going after what I want, and never having to live with settling or regrets. I love that I am constantly taking big risks even though I don't know the outcomes. I am never angry, agitated(ok maybe in big crowds!!), or upset because I am living my life by my rules, and the way I want to live it. Live life to the fullest with no regrets, and make 2011 your best year yet!! If you don't like the way your life is going check your Karma, make amends where needed, then change it!! Be good to all who cross your path, and treat people with honesty and integrity, and only good will come back your way. It's just how life works whether we like it or not. We are only on this planet once, and time flies. Make sure you are surrounded by people who bring out the best in you, and truly have your best interests at heart. 

Last but not least my Vikings actually won the other night!! Yippie!! What a game! Not sure whats going on with my Lakers though...oh man! Went to a game a few weeks ago, and then again on Christmas, and it's just been a slaughterhouse. Tyler and I are gonna be at the game on the 30th(what up Shaq and the Celtics!??) and I cannot wait!! My son has also talked me into running part of the Surf City Marathon with him. Luckily for him my entire sauce crew is going to be on hand to pace him form 13 to the finish. Poor kid is never gonna get off easy in the sport of running. As soon as the word got out he wanted to do this Mary my entire crew was on board. Should be soooo fun!! I am still waiting on my royalty fees Surf City WTF??!! He also wants to do LA Mary, but we'll see. Man thats a ton of pavement(UGH!!) Also looking forward to getting up to Mammoth and Big Bear for some serious snowboarding this season!! I love to ride, and just cannot wait!! What up Mammoth with a million feet of fresh powder..what up?? Yes I will be coming soon don't worry~

Make 2011 the best yet, and I cannot wait to make a million more memories out on the trails with ya' all! Yippie!! Life is just awesome sauce!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My beautiful Jayden Raye!!

I have been super busy enjoying life more than I could ever have imagined(OMG!!!!).  I don't have the amount of time to know where to begin so I won't even try!!

Just wanted to give a quick plug to my sons girlfriend Miss Jayden Raye~she is pure AWESOME SAUCE!! She is completely self taught on both the guitar, piano, and writes all her own songs! She is only 14, and just one of the most amazing teenagers I have ever met. She had asked me to post a different link, but I liked this one way to much! Here is her link, so please check her out!

Merry Christmas to all my amazing friends and family, and I can't wait to see so many of you during the next few weeks!! Yippie!! Life is just so friggin awesome sauce rad!!! Just sayin...

PS...below is a pic of my sons BB team, and there annual football game in the mud! Just had to add this pic as it made for a perfect afternoon! Luckily I am just the team mom, and only had to make cookies and cupcakes for the boys!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Loving my New kicks!!

A ton has been going on in my life in the last few days, and it's all been super exciting. I have been running like a maniac(DUH!!??), but also swimming & biking quite a bit to. I actually ran yesterday with Faye for two hours, and then went home and hopped on my bike for a couple hours. I have been having a ton of fun on my bike, and am looking forward to going for a 50 mile ride tomorrow with my son! Tyler has been playing so great at Dana for his BB team. With two games a week, and practice every day things have been nutso!! I am busier than I have ever been in my entire life, and just super stoked to be making so many great things happen and come to pass.

I also have started to mentally prepare for Hurt...but that is still up in the air a bit. I am starting to get ready to move after the new year, and Hurt might not be what's best for me right now. My dear friend Dean Dobberteen was going to crew and pace me(luv ya Deano Rat!), but still sitting on it for a few days before I make any decisions set in stone. I also have a huge trip to NY in January for personal/business stuff, and with all my work stuff right now swinging over to Hawaii and runnin' a 100 miles seems near to impossible. Like I said I am going to sit with this for a day or two and decide...more than likely its looking like Hurt is not going to happen this year. I am 100% focused right now on the business/work aspect of my life, and racing comes second. If I don't go to Hurt it will definitely free my legs up to race in the So-cal scene Jan~March. Love the sound of that...

So now on to the main reason for this post. In the quest to find the perfect trail running shoe for Hurt I was introduced to an amazing shoe made by La Sportiva( called the Crosslite. Honest to god these are hands down the best trail running shoe I have ever ran in, and I am hooked!! They are so friggin comfortable, and just supportive as heck. It's funny cause I was having all these little aches and pains in my knees(both), and hips, and even my IT band was acting up. I had been running in a certain kind of shoe(not saying any names)for years, but I knew something just wasn't right. Sure enough I ditched the shoes, got my La Sportiva's in the mail, and have been running pain free ever since. I am by no means a shoe expert, but I am completely convinced all my issues were because I just wasn't running in the best shoe for my running needs. I absolutely LOVE these shoes, and am super stoked to be tearing up the trails in them!! I am running totally pain free now, and all those little pains are gone(along with the old kicks!) Love my new La Sportiva Crosslites a ton!!

Getting super pumped for 2011~so much fun stuff going on!! If you have not signed up for Lake Sonoma 50 mile yet then do so cause it's almost full! Go to ultra signup to get registered This race is just an awesome event, and one that should not be missed!! A whole clan of about 15 of us are heading up from so-cal including our very own Jimmy Dean Freeman as a cheerleader for us all(just teasing Jimmy baby!!) What's great is a ton of other great friends of mine will be there from all over the planet! hehe...cannot wait! So much fun just love the heck out of this sport!

Ok must sleep...way past my bedtime..way

I will be runnin' all weekend, and a TON over the next few weeks and Holidays(what up Christmas eve run!!!) I can't think of a better way to burn off holiday calories than running like a maniac, and spending time with friends. Tons of pics and posts will follow! What's also great is Tyler will be out for school soon for Christmas break, and that means TONS of hiking & trail running with him(Mt.Baldy hiking here we come). Yippie!! Yippie!! Awesome sauce!! Love the holidays so much ;o)

God bless everyone, and Happy Holidays! Get out there and get dirty people!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where do I begin!??

Warning: This post is going to be long...drink a Guayaki shot b4 reading...and maybe some GU!! hehe..

I have decided I am going to write this post backwards. Many of you have sent me emails wondering why I have not posted a Los Pinos recap. Well I have been friggin Hella(my new word thank you Mr. Coyote Reymond)busy, and now I am not even sure where to begin! I will work my way back so if all ya want is Los Pinos( then scroll down, and skip all the blah, blah, blah...

Sunday was an incredibly great day! I ran in the AM, but just 10 miles in Laguna. I was supposed to run with Murphy, & Bacon boy O'Brien in the mountains, but I have had a bit of the sniffles so I decided playing in the snow wasn't the best idea(trust me this decision was NOT easy to make). It all worked out though because I ended up with half the entire Freshman Dana Basketball team at my house, friends, family, and a whole lot of football watching. I made a ton of great food, and we just had the best day ever! Nice to see the Chargers whoop some serious ass. We had all TV's going as the friggin Lakers game was on the same time as the Chargers game..ok who's idea was this?? Basketball wins over football for me, but I was still going back and forth from TV's as was the entire house! My Lakers lost, and I am still upset about seriously...give me a few days, and I will be ok. Looking forward to going to the lakers game soon!! OMG I cannot wait!!!! Below is a picture of my son with his "new" haircut...yes thanks coach Butterworth, thanks??

Saturday and Friday were great days also. Tons of running, and hiking with friends and family, and of course college football watching! Like my dear friend Pam would let me "not" watch her Michigan game?? Ya right! Friday night I somehow got talked into going to see Harry potter with my entire family, and this was all adults people. Honestly it was just a friggin riot, and I am still a little scarred from the entire event. My cousin Brock learned the hard way you cannot bring alcohol into the theatre(or at least be inconspicuous ya dork!!) Love my family so much, and its been great how they have rallied around me the last month. They have been amazing helping me get through all that has happened, and now I am finally exactly where I have wanted to be~love my life, and so glad I have stepped out of my comfort zone to live it the way I want it to be lived!! Awsome sauce!! Love you my sissy!! Friday I spent a big part of the day with my friend Garreth. He even wore his Badwater cargo shorts(ha!) We had a ton to catch up on, and had a great afternoon. We were supposed to have dinner that night with Kate&Jimmy but he ended up having his daughter. Looking forward to his Christams partaaaay~yippie!!

Thanksgiving was amazing, and just so much fun!! Usually I always cook for everyone(I LOVE to cook), but my Aunt Penne offered as I have had a ton going on in the last few weeks. We all spent the day at her house on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, and it was so great to relax, and just enjoy football, and my family. Below are some pics of my baby niece, and my Aunt Penne, and cousin Brockton~

 Ok so Wednesday was a sort of interesting day for me...
For the last few weeks I have really been toying with the idea of having a photographer at Leona...but a super talented one that is young, and just "gets" me. Here is where Brooklin Rosenstock comes into the picture(

A friend of mine had suggested him to me a few weeks back, but I had just sort of put it away. I knew he was talented(hello look at his website!??), and exactly the perfect for for Leona, but for personal reasons I had my reservations. I sat on it for a bit, but then realized I had to reach out to him. Immediately we clicked, and just instantly became friends. We met for coffee, and ended up talking for hours, and I just knew he would be perfect. He completely gets my young, energetic, race directing vibe~he is just so friggin cool, and I am super stoked to have him on my team. The coolest part of all is he is going to be part of my Badwater crew(if I get into the race!!!) He will mostly be documenting the whole thing, but keeps begging to pace me through Keeler(sorry Garreth, can you loan him your cargo shorts??) To top it all off he loves my new project I am working on(ok just getting started) about a documentary on southern California Ultra running. We talked a ton about this, and he had some amazing insight, and just great ideas. Brooklin ya friggin rock, and are such an important puzzle piece in my future~wow! Please check out his website he is amazing!!

Ok so now on to Los Pinos 50k re-cap(shorter version)!
Los Pinos for me was bitter sweet. This race was created in a very short time, and came about in an interesting way. It was shortly after crewing Jimmy at Badwater that I decided I wanted to put this race together. So meant to be, and just another puzzle piece in my life that was meant to happen. The days leading up to the race were super fun. Tons of amazing friends(Shannon, Pammy, T, Molly, Kevin, Michelle, Scotty, Wicky, Munz, Larry, Harvdog) helped me mark the course, do water drops for one of the remote aid stations, and just get ready for race day. Love my friends so much!!! By the time race day came I had over 80 volunteers, and one heck of a bad weather forecast!! Pouring rain was expected, and I was super bummed. The night before the race we all went over to Charlie's house( Tons of us hung out, and discussed the potential things that could happen with the weather, and laughed and laughed. Below is a pic of myself with Annie, and my good friend Jimmy G. He is the race director of Rio Del Lago, and a TON of other great ultra's!

I had capped the entrants to 85 runners because it was the events first year, and my goal was to have a successful event with as little hiccups as possible. Luckily come race morning with the pouring rain 64 runners actually showed up! I was pleasantly surprised as it was cold, rainy, and wet! Everyone was in such good spirits, and despite the bad weather all my amazing volunteers rallied incredibly, and we got through the day. Thanks again to my AWSOME aid station captains: Molly, Pammy, & Eric!!! You guys were just so great, and I could not have made this event happen without you.

Chris Price won the race with a stellar fast time of 5:16. I have been training with this guy, and he is just stellar fast, and wicked talented. Watch out so-cal boys!!! Michelle Barton won for the females in a time of 5:36~luv u my girl!!! The Los Pinos website has many pictures up( Video will be coming soon I promise. Also the adorable Annie Tenwick has tons of pics she took on her Facebook page. Jakob Herman also has some great pics, and video on his FB page. Below is myself, Annie, and Captain Anthony standing under the tent to keep from getting soaked!!

I was just blown away by how amazing everyone was at that race. The runners blew my mind by how positive they all were, and as bad as the rain was the day turned out to be so incredible. I just love everyone in this sport so much, and I am honored to have you all as part of my Ultra family. Some of the greatest people and friends I have ever met have all stemmed form this sport, and I have met in the last 5 years. Love each and everyone of you, and am just so glad to be part of such a close knit group of people. What a cool friggin sport we are in!!!

Race date for next year is Saturday October 22nd~as of now...

I opted not to run the Red Rock 40. I am really focused on Hurt100 right now, and just want to train right now, and not race. I knew I would push myself way to much, and then spend the weeks following trying to recover from Red Rock instead of training for Hurt. Super excited to spend this month doing tons and tons of power hiking in the mountains along with tons of long runs, and shorter ones as I will be incorporating tons of "two a days". Throw massive amounts of swimming, biking, and yoga and I should be ready come Jan 15th!!! Whoo-hoo!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Life is bananas amazing awsome sauce!!!

The past two weeks have been absolutely amazing, and life is just AWSOME SAUCE!!! This weekend I spent running on my "LVTR" course getting the elevation profile for the marathon course( Annie and I had planned this the weekend before with Kate, but instead Annie brought a bunch of great SoCal Coyotes with her, and we just had a blast!! They LOVED the course(so stoked!!), and it was so fun for me to tell them all about the history of Leona Divide 50mile, and the trails out there. I love history, and especially love the history of race courses, ect. So cool!
I absolutely love meeting new people, and what a sweet group of runners!! We had a blast, and I was honored to show them my marathon course! Afterwards me, June, Annie, and Erin all had lunch in Santa Monica(love these girls), and then I headed home. Saturday was a very mellow pace for me so that night I went back out and ran another ten, and swam. It was early to bed as I am in 100% Hurt clean, train, rest, clean,train, rest repeat...hahaha! Love this lifestyle, and love living and functioning in this manner. It will be nice after Hurt to have some downtime though!! I caved the other day and did have some sugar...but it was organic raw cane sugar in a vegan cupcake so it does not count! Ha!

On Sunday Pam and I had planned on running Temescal to Westridge, and back. She has been begging me to take her up on these trails, and so off we went. We ended up hiking though as my IT has been tight, and I really needed a good solid power hike for Hurt anyways. We hiked 13 miles in 2 hours, and 50 mins! We are animals! We even stopped to chat with Bev, and Juliett! Great to see those girls! Afterwards we had lunch with Jimmy Dean(such a nut that boy!) and just had an amazing afternoon. Hey we even saw Derek Jeter where we were having lunch. Jimmy is a huge baseball fan so he was pretty pumped. Pam and I then went over to whole foods to get some warm teechino(I do not drink coffee!!) and then headed home. By the time I got back to the OC, and showered it was very late afternoon so I walked my dogs, got work done around my house, and then dove head first into a ton of Los Pinos work I had to do. Honestly Pam and I had the best day ever, and I am just blessed to have such amazing friends in my life~

Yesterday myself and some friends did a water drop/shuttle for Los Pinos 50k( We had so much fun, and I cannot think of a better way to spend my day that out on the trails all day with friends! Love being outside as much as most women love to shop! Cannot imagine doing anything else all day~ok maybe a bike ride, a swim thrown in, and then eating yummy food after! hehe...
Today and tomorrow I will be marking the Los Pinos course all day, and getting ready for tons of friends and family to come into town for the race. Honestly the amount of help I have for this race is just overwhelming, and I cannot wait for the race!! I just love my job so much, and LOVE this sport so much. The people are amazing, and without a doubt the best people I have ever met! I promise a full race recap by Monday night...

Sunday I might go up and run the PCTR 50k...I definitely want to see everyone, and go up there, but we'll see. So much fun! If not then Pam and a bunch of friends are running 30 in the Santa Monica's so I will  just jump on that train. Been incorporating a ton of power hiking into my training, and I am just LOVING it!!! I LOVE to power hike for hours, and will absolutely need it to survive Hurt100. LOVE IT! Gonna spend a ton of time doing this the next 6 weeks~a ton~

Have a great weekend everyone! I will see all of you weather at Los Pinos(what up 80 volunteers!??!) or at the PCTR race on sunday...yippie!!! Looking forward to Thanksgiving, and seeing my sister!  I will definitely be tightly surrounding myself with tons of family. Gonna run that morning with tons of friends, and spend the day in Newport at my Aunts. So fun!!

Awsome sauce everyone! Have a friggin great day!!! Life is just bananas amazing! Live it how you want to not how other people tell you to!! ;o))

was out marking my course today on the Los Pinos Trail! Shannon and I had such a friggin blast, and the coolest part of all is part of it was in the dark It took us 4 hours to mark this section, and we had just way to much fun! The picture is of me just loosing it when the marking ribbon got all tangled..I have this super weird habit of falling to the ground whenever I laugh!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My 2011 Race Schedule

I believe there are angels always watching over me...and yes the above picture was taken on a run. With some of the races I am going to do in 2011 I will need all the blessings and Angels I can get, but I am confident in what I have sent to my Manager, and believe these are the races that suit my strengths the best~

Jan 2011~ Hawaii Hurt 100 Mile!!!
Feb~ Recover/swim/bike/yoga
March~ Save Mt.Diablo 50k
April~ Lake Sonoma 50mile
June~ Pace/crew Scotty at Western states!!!! Yippie!!! Love u Scotty!!!
July~ BADWATER(if accepted!!!!)
August/September/October~ Recover/swim/bike/yoga
November~Red Rock 40mile

I normally wouldn't post this quickly again, but I was asked to solidify this schedule so what better way than on my blog. So yep, here it is. Ready for 2011, and looking forward to an incredible year!

I am nervous about going to Hurt100...but super excited at the same time. Faye and Wick will be there with me(and maybe Jimmy??), and I am confident I can finish in one piece. I think. I hope. Ya I will be ok.. right??

Originally I had posted I wanted to do Wasatch. I swore I would never go back to Badwater again a month ago. Things have changed though for me. I have always wanted to do Badwater with all my heart. As much as Wasatch is on the bucket list Badwater is all I think about. I believe it's what I am meant to do, and I am in a great place with everything now mentally, and can't wait to go back!! I have a solid crew of my dearest friends, and I can't wait for us all to take the Badwater journey together( If I get accepted in). It's a life changing experience, and it will be all I am thinking about throughout the year. PUMPED!!

Wasatch just does not work anyways with all of my races I am putting on. Wick and I have pretty much decided that early September is the month for our "Ray Miller 50mile". No way I can put on a race that size, and run a 100 in the same month. Early October is My "Leona valley trail Races"(, and that event will be on the bigger side so I need September to work; not run and recover from a 100! Funny how fate always steps can fight it all you want, but one way or another if something is meant to be it will find it's way to come to pass...period!

Have a great couple weeks everyone!! I will hit ya all up with a great Los Pinos Recap on Sunday the 21st!! Honestly I believe everyone I know in the sport will be either volunteering or running! So excited with all the help I have, and honestly just blown away. Love my Ultra Running family soooo much, and it is just gonna be such a blast!! Michael murphy wanted me to tell everyone that while he is climbing Los Pinos he is going to do a Nancy Kerrigan tripple axle...yep thats what he said! ;o)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Battles and Blessings...

I believe life is full of battles and blessings. The battles are what help us reach our blessings, and even when we go through hard times there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I was woken up this morning at 2am with a phone call that my Grandma passed away in her sleep late yesterday. She was 90 years old, and I was close with her my whole life. She was like a mother to me, and in many regards raised me when my own Mom was not fit to. I quickly woke up Tyler, and we cried and laughed over all the wonderful memories we have of her. He finally went back to sleep, and now here I sit alone in my bed. I had planned to write about my whole weekend of running, swimming, and biking when I got up today, and then go hit the pool for an hour swim. As of now I am just loving sitting and listening to the rain. I love to write, and listen to the rain. I will miss her with all my heart, and I know she would still want me to enjoy life, and share my amazing weekend with everyone! So grandma for you I will write all about it, and like everyone else I hope you enjoy reading it! Today has some battles, but my weekend was filled with tons of blessings....

Last week was a great week for me. I swam(3 times!!) and rode my bike a ton, and loved it. I also hit the gym twice, and threw in some miles on the trails. Friday I ran long with Shannon, but took it really easy as my friend Annie and I had plans to run Saturday. I absolutely LOVE Annie. She has become one of my super close friends, and we have quickly developed an incredible bond. She lives in Santa Monica, and we wanted to spend all day running Saturday trying to figure out how to connect up Temescal with Westridge. Faye and I had wanted to do this also so I was super excited to go on this adventure with Annie. To me doing something like this is heaven, and I just love new trails, and exploring. The run was bananas amazing, and the day could not have been more beautiful. The weather was cool, but sunny, and the trails were crowded with tons of people I know from Race Directing. Annie laughed as every runner with a handheld or pack stopped to talk to me. I am super used to it, and it's just part of the lifestyle. I love the Southern California trail running community, and absolutely love being out on the trails seeing everyone. So fun!!

Once at Westridge we turned around, and headed back to Temescal Canyon where our cars were parked. Westridge is strictly fireroad, but the views of the ocean are absolutely spectacular. Once back in Temescal it's tons of fun singletrack! Annie was so friggin strong, and I got her to power hike a ton. She did amazing all day, and a few more all day runs with me, and she will kill it at North Face. So many of my friends are going to North face that I am still on the fence about it. Right now my main focus is Hurt100, and Red Rock 40...but we'll see...

After our run I was excited to spend the afternoon with Annie! We went back to her house, and grabbed her dog, and took him down to the beach. While walking we saw Kate running with her mom, and it was great. Jimmy has been away crewing for someone at a hundred mile race so she was hanging with her mom. Her mom was riding the bike, and Kate was running. So awsome!! We all discussed next weekend, and made plans on saturday to run my Leona Valley trail Races Marathon course( coming soon!! Once at Venice I think Annie was dying over my behavior. I had never been here before, and I am still in shock over the whole thing. What a wild place!! As we walked she said, "lets go check out the Basketball courts". SIDENOTE~my son Tyler played BB for 10 years. He is 6'2", and to put it lightly is a friggin baller. He is a white kid that has mad skill, and informed me just Wednesday he is going to play High School ball. He then went on to tell me on Wednesday after school he tried out for the Freshman team, and made it. I am still in shock a little as his Cross Country season just ended, and track starts in a few weeks. He stopped playing BB because of all the pressure form his coach, and his continual jumpers knee. He is a center, and one of the best rebounders I have ever seen, but jumping up and down causes the knee to go nuts. I am concerned, but must let him fly on his own, and learn battles and blessings on his own. Hopefully his knee won't act up, and I can watch my sun ball it up at Dana!! He is talented as hell, and I can't wait!!

Ok so back to me and Annie! I loved watching the guys play ball at the courts. I have to bring my son here, and it would be an absolute blast to watch him dunk on some of these guys. We then walked on to Muscle Beach(Ok really??), and I fell to my knees when I saw guys in speedos working out at the outdoor gym. I had heard of this place before, but come on...really?? God I am glad I trail run, and just have a grip on what life is really about!! hehe...Afterwards I headed home, walked my dog, and got some work done. I then went for a recovery swim in the pool, and just felt incredible. It's funny because swimming is actually what I am naturally good at. I am best in the ocean, and I just don't get tired. I love to swim, but of course would much rather run!! After my swim I showered, and made an amazing dinner for myself and some friends. LOVE to cook healthy and yummy food!! Honestly in my past life I was a friggin chef!!

I got up early Sunday to once again run on the trails all day, and was super excited to drive up with Mike to meet a bunch of the LA Frontrunners for a backbone run!
I had such a great time on Sunday! We ran on the Backbone trail, and honestly if you have not ever been on this trail you must check it out. We started at Kanan Dune parking lot, and headed North back towards Malibu. Every section of this trail is so green you would never know you are in Southern California. Honestly it has to be one of the most beautiful trails in Southern California, and I just love running on it!! It's 100% singletrack, and has a good mix of great climbs, and runnable down. Perfect Trail! I had such a blast with all these guys as they are very sweet, and will be helping me a ton with Leona Valley Trail Races! My friend Jonathan was there also, and he owns Salt Stick. I am super excited to be working with him now for my races, and amped to support Salt Stick electrolyte pills! Such a great product!! During the run Sean was the best entertainment. We started a discussion on new flavors of gels that need to come out. I suggested PB&J, and then he suggests Bacon!! He starts going on and on about bacon, and how he has bacon soap, bacon candles, bacon everything. Those that are very close to me know how much I love pigs. I believe my jaw is still where I left it on the trail! So funny! Sean you need help! hahaha...
Once we finished the run we all went over to Jonathan's house for some great fun! He made tons of food, and we all just hung out, laughed, and chatted, His house is so friggin beautiful, and is literally in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains. The views he has are spectacular, and I was so impressed! Those who know me will quickly say things like this dont normally ever impress me, and honestly I could care less about material things...but wow what a beautiful home with outrageous views!! We all were so excited as we planned many get togethers we would have! So fun!!

I got home late Sunday afternoon, and was PUMPED to see my Vikings win. Thank you Brett...thank you. Lakers won this weekend also, and that was with Kobe playing very little. He only had 12 points, and 30 mins play me some Lakers!!

Sunday night I went over to Wick and Faye's for Sunday night dinner, and also to discuss a race Wick wants me to make happen. The tentative plan is September 2012, and the potential name is "Ray Miller 50/50". Definitely gonna make this happen....forsure! It was great to see Eric Mapping out the course, and figuring out aid stations, ect. We had so much fun Sunday night, and I just love these two people with all my friggin heart. They are my family, and I can't imagine my life without them!! I got home last night, and Tyler got home shortly after from his Dad's. I love our sunday night talks. We recap about our entire weekend, and he is always so interested in my running, who I ran with, and loves to hear all about my crazy adventures. At one point on the run on Sunday Jonathan saw a gardener snake. I quickly snatched it up, and all the guys just lost it..they were so freaked out. OMG it was priceless!!

I then went to bed, and awoke to the news of my Grandma. The rain is pouring now, and I have to get Tyler up for school. Her death has only solidified the things I want in life, and how important it is to not ever let the ones you love go..ever. You are only here once, and as time flies it's so important to spend it with people that truly better you, and make you happy, and live out your passions to the fullest.  You go through life meeting thousands of people, and if you are lucky enough to connect with that one person it is vital you recognize that, and do whatever it takes to see it through. I love surrounding myself with amazing friends and people, and living life to the fullest. I believe in the powers that be, and that life is such a great gift. With all the battles the blessings are awsome~patience is the key to life, and something I did not have a few weeks back. Today, and for the next year I will have patience, and see all the things I truly desire in life come to pass. Life is quick~seize the day everyone!! Don't take one second of it for granted, and do what ever it takes to truly find happiness~even if it involves some battles!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What a weekend!

This weekend was so much fun I don't even know where to begin!!! I have been working like a dog for the past few weeks on Los Pinos 50k( so I was definitely due for some great time on the trails this weekend! My original plan was to run my Leona Divide 50k course on Saturday(, and then meet my new(and amazing!) friend Anne, and Sean up at Griffith Park to run my new half marathon course. Anne is great. I met her through Jimmy, and she is part of his So-Cal Coyotes, and I just love her to pieces. She is definitely a great puzzle piece that has recently stepped into my life. She is super close with my friend Garreth, and is dying to be a race director, and wants to help me in any way I need at my races. I am loving all the amazing and loyal people that are stepping up to help me with all of my new races. So awsome!

Sean also has been awsome!! He is very good friends with my dear friend Mike, and is just becoming one of my super close friends. The coolest part of all is he lives just a few miles from Griffth Park, and has completely helped me map & label my entire course! I am blessed to have his help(he is my Karl #2!! haha luv ya Karl!) and once again is just another puzzle piece that fits perfectly in place to my destiny! Love it! Sean was also going to run my Leona course with me Saturday, but with the pouring rain, and the 5 freeway shut down Saturday morning at the 14 freeway Shannon and I quickly called Sean and said we need another place to run the 5 is flooded and closed. He laughed and said, "I know how we can get some miles at Griffith". Since we were already up in LA on the 5 we got out of the icky traffic, and met Sean at Griffith Park. Here is where one of the best days I have ever had running began...
Let me start by saying Sean is an absolute adventurous nut, and I friggin love that!! He is just a blast to be with, and so much like me when it comes to running. The gnarlier the trail the better, the crazier the adventure the happier we are! Sean took Shannon and I on a back country tour of griffith park, and it was absolutely nuts!! At one point he was like, "wow I can't believe you girls like this most people hate these crazy trails!" We laughed and were like, "are you kidding we friggin LOVE this!!!" The trails were so steep at one point I actually had to get on all fours and crawl up...and yes I was in heaven! Since i am going to Hurt100 in January now Sean kept saying hey its great training for Hurt! Haha...ya thanks Sean! The weather was perfect, and the day just flew as we chatted, laughed, and just had the best day ever. Honestly I can't imagine living, and not Trail Running. So much fun! By mornings end Sean had helped me name and label all of the trails I will be using for my GPHalfMarathon, and then some! we were dirty, and climbed about 5,000 feet in 20 miles, and this was all within birds eye view of downtown LA~amazing! Sean was a running history lesson, and knows more facts on Griffth Park than the me. I love history so I was a total sponge. Such awsome sauce Sean is! At some point we ran into Dominic and Jorge, and it was great to see them. We all had plans to run the following day together at Mt.San Gregornio so we chatted a bit then continued on. I just love how connected everyone is in UltraRunning. We are such an amazing extended family, and I just love everyone so much! Sean is amped to get the LA front runners involved in my new races, and I am just super stoked to support this amazing group in any way I can. Looking forward to the best friggin year ever!! Think I need 5 assistants! After the run Shannon and I went to Whole Foods, and ate waaaaay to many persimmons and coconut water. Honestly the combination wasn't the best idea...hahaha

I somehow managed to go out saturday night for a bit, then get up early to meet the boys for the San Gregornio run. Annie completely understood that instead of running in Griffith Park again I was going to run with the boys in the mountains. I promised her we would run next weekend a ton! No way this girl will EVER miss an opportunity to spend all day running in the mountains. It's my absolute favorite thing to do, and what I live for. I thrive above 5,000 feet on dirt trails in the wilderness. I just love it! Me and the boys had a blast, and they definitely hackled me all you can see in the above video...

We all power hiked together up the mountain, and I was stoked to see I was keeping up with the boys. We talked and chatted all the way up the mountain. I was super excited to fill them in on another idea I am working on, and couldn't believe how supportive they all were. I have decided I want to documnet so-cal Ultrarunning...but I want to document everyone; not just a select few, or a certain race. I want to video training runs, local trail running groups(Bad Rats, Coyotes, Trail Headz, LA frontrunners, ect), and get in depth commentary from everyone coming out of the So-cal Ultrarunning and Trail Running scene(yes Jimmy we will give you your own 5 minute commentary). The only documentaries that are out there are on specific races or specific people, and I want to tap into everyone I know. We are all connected by some sort of 6 degrees of separation, and the whole thing just fascinates me. I Have to start documenting this sport, and how it's changing. I feel so connected to everyone in the Southern California scene, and I can't wait to take this project on. Charlie is on board to help to, and our goal is to get out to training runs, races, running groups and document everyone! So cool!

Ok so all in all today was absolutely amazing, and I just love to power hike in the mountains! When I was coming back from my injury, and had not ran for 6 months I went up to the mountains and power hiked at elevation to get my strength back. IT WORKED!! I not only came back stronger then ever, but I came back quickly, and learned how to kill it on the trails in the mountains. As much as I hated being injured I can look back now and say it was the best thing that ever happened to me! I still believe to this day if anyone is trying to come back from time off you should get up to San Gregornio, Baldy, or Baden Powell and power hike!! Push it on the up, and then slowly run back way to come back!

Once towards the summit of the mountain we were so excited to see snow! So amazing, and just beautiful! It was extremely icy though so we all were super careful.

The views were spectacular, and I can't express what an awsome day it was. Honestly if every person on Earth were a trail runner we would all be with people we truly love, and the world would just be a better place!! DUH!? Once done I hopped in my car, and hurried home to catch the tail end of my Vikings game...ugh!! Cannot believe the Patriots beat my Vikings...of all teams! Man I wish i didn't get so upset but I do and it will take all week to let this one go...

Have a great week everyone! Get out on the trails and run, hike, and enjoy life! Awsome sauce!! The best is who I get to spend Halloween with...or as she would say..."halloleeeen"! Love my friend Shannon's 4 year old daughter! Love life!!

Happy Halloleeeen!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon!

The last few days for me have been absolutely amazing, and I can't believe how many great things are happening in my life...way to much to write about today, but just wanted to touch on some of it. I opted not to run the 50k up in Malibu Creek on Sunday. I have a crazy brother named Eric who somehow talked me into running the Santa Monica Mountains Backbone Trail on Saturday with the boys & faye(SOOOO FUN!!!), and Sunday was spent running all morning with my girl Shannon. After our run I spent the rest of the day doing tons of work, and watching football. Man was I bummed to see my Vikings loose! Ugh!

Back to Griffith Park....
So about a week ago I got a very surprising phone call. Back in August I had pursued putting on a Trail Half Marathon in griffith park. I honestly could not even tell you how this came about or why I was so determined to make this happen. I live about 54 miles from Griffith Park, and personally I had zero knowledge of the trail system in the park. Sometimes when things are meant to be in life they just happen. Even if it does not seem possible, and mountains have to be climbed, eventually it will come to fruition, and god will just make it happen. Just how life works. Period. So after MANY closed doors, and a ton of "No's" I walked away from it, and put it to rest. If it was meant to be it would come to pass...inevitable!

About two weeks ago I decided to email again(for about the 20th time) the city and parks commissioner for LA. He finally had just had it with me, and forwarded my email on to the head ranger Jessica for Griffith Park. She then called me last week, and we chatted up a storm. From their my little idea of "Griffith Park Trail Run" was born!! I filled out the permits paperwork(been doing this quite a bit these days! haha) and now it was off to find a course. I picked up Shannon this morning at 5am, and off we headed up to West LA~

Although I had studied Trail Maps for the park I knew I had to get in there, run it, and really get a feel for the park. Right off the bat I decided I will start the race from the Greek Theatre side. It's a little less busy, and being this race will be on a Saturday in late July this is very important.  I had a small idea of where i wanted the course to go so off we headed up the main trail that is a Dirt Road that spines through the entire park system. Quickly we were climbing! Man were we ever! The above picture is one of the many views from the top! Honestly it was just breathtaking! The view in the pic is the city of Glendale.

Shannon and I just had a blast. My goal was to find a solid 13.1 mile loop. We did have to add an out and back section up near the Hollywood sign, but it was beautiful, and just a great course. There is so much history in Griffith Park, and I believe the runners are going to love all the different landmarks they will see throughout the race. I absolutely love history, and with views of the observatory, Hollywood sign, and the Greek it will be great!! So excited!! The runners will even get to do a small out and back to the observatory! It will be 100% on trails, and is just gonna be friggin amazing! I really hope they approve the permits!!

Once done we jumped in my car, and headed home. We had shut off our garmin's at certain times so we could add miles, and hit some of the other trails throughout the park, and just had the best day ever. Still can't believe what I did today was work?? Yes this is my job people, and I am not complaining!! I plan on running my course a few more times in the next week as I have to submit a mile by mile description of the exact course. They want all the permit paperwork submitted by weeks end so I definitely will be back up tomorrow running my course, and just getting it nailed down. Hopefully this will all work out, and I can make this happen!!

This event will be on the bigger side, and I am a little nervous as I take on something this huge...but I love it, and am good at it. It's my god given talent and destiny so onward I go!! Life is so busy in the next few months with Race directing, and running races myself! Just got HUGE news today about a certain race I will be running in the beginning new year. Cannot believe I was able to get in. Thats all I can say for now, but hell ya!!! LOVE life so much right now. Jimmy you better be ready for pacing duties!! :o)

Enjoy the next few weeks everyone, and can't wait to see a ton of you at Los Pinos 50k, and then Red Rock 40mile. Get out there and enjoy life people!!!