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!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Diablo 50k!

I have decided I love San LOVE!!!

I had one of the best weekends of my life, and I am super excited to tell all about it! I flew up to San Fran on Thursday for the Diablo 50k. The race wasn't until Saturday so I was just super excited to reconnect with some friends from up north, and enjoy a weekend away form all thats been going on. My mind was super focused on the race, but being it was only a 50k I knew I was due for some serious fun, and the weekend was gonna be nothing but good times~

When I landed on Thursday afternoon I quickly drove to my hotel, and was just amped to be in the heart of the city. I love San Francisco, and if I could have it my way I would travel here a ton more than I do! I booked this hotel on purpose as I love to visit this city, and had plans with friends in Berkely that night so it was perfect! My next goal was to find a Whole foods! Whenever I travel to races I always find a Whole foods, and get a ton of food I can eat for a few days. I was super excited to head into Berkely as my son would LOVE to go to school at UCBerkely, and he begged me to stop by the campus, and get some pics. After grocery shopping I stopped by the campus, and got some great pics. Tyler was stoked when I texted them to him.

Thursday night was great. Too many Fat tires, and way to much talk of hiking the Jon Muir I love all my friends in this sport. It is just so much fun to travel up to a race, hang with friends, and just put in perspective what's important in life. Honestly I had one of the greatest nights I have ever had, and somehow I ended up hanging with myself and about 10 guys!! How does this suck!?? Haha...what a blast we had!!! Totally what I need right now!

Friday was another great day. I somehow got talked into running 8 miles(don't ask), but it was super fun! I was pumped to run trails I have never run with such an elite crowd! Wow what a day we had! We ended up showering, and then running around the city for the day, and even had lunch in china town! So out of character for me, but I loved every minute of it!! By friday night I was exhausted, and by 9pm was out cold asleep! Friday night I had switched hotels to stay in Clayton so I was closer to race start. I woke up race day super excited, and ready to rock. I was a little nervous, but sincerely felt super confident form the minute I woke up.

I drove to the race start, and was delighted to see Sara(the Race Director). She has always been super kind, and generous to me, and I just really think she puts on great races. We chatted a bit, and it was great to catch up with her. Before long it was time for the race to start. I knew the 50kers would be starting with the 30kers, and my goal was just to stay within myself, and run a smart race. The last race I did was Rio Del Lago 50k, and although I won, the race was super tough for me. It was two weeks after AC100, and honestly I had a horrible race. I have been running a ton since, and I really wasn't sure if I was even 100% recovered from AC or Rio~I was running scared that was for sure!

The Diablo 50k is a super tough course. The total elevation gain is 9,000 feet, and about the same in loss. It's technical, and hands down the toughest 50k course I have ever done. It's two of the same 16 mile loops, and after the first loop you come back to the start/finish. The course starts out with a solid mile climb up a runnable fire road. It was extremely steep, and even when I connected with the single track it was nothing but climbing. Although it was absolutely beautiful it was just extremely steep climbing. I settled into my power hiking mode, and kind of giggled as I watched a few women ahead of me running the whole climb. I eyed them for the entire length of the climb, turned up my bad religion, and would trade places with a few of them as I hiked and they tried to manage a run/slow run pace. Eventually I would power hike past all of them, and come out at the top of the climb ahead of all of them. Once at the top it was a great down hill section. This section was extremely steep(I mean STEEP!!), and I hammered it. I must have passed at least 5 guys on this section, and when I finally hit the aid first aid station I felt super great! It was early still, and I had been taking my time, and just trying to stay within myself. I was pumped to see Catra and Andy at the aid station, and laughed my ass off as they took some pics, and I charged out of their aid station!

From there you have to run up to the summit of's 2.5 miles of solid relentless climbing. It's gnarly, technical, and just brutal. The great thing though is that once you summit it's a solid 2.5 miles down back to Catra and Andy's aid!! I HAMMERED this section, and did this section in under 14 mins! Once back at the aid I slammed some soda, and was amped to run 5 miles down to the finish. When I came through the 25k mark I was surprised to see my friend Leigh! We had hung out Thursday night, and this was totally unplanned. He is a stellar athlete, and I was so excited to see him! He had my drop bag out, and we quickly got me in and out of the aid station. Right before I left I asked him how many men were in front of me? He smiled HUGE, and said 5. I had ran the first loop in 2:53, and my goal for the second half was to do the same. When I headed out for the second loop I knew immediately I felt awsome.  I Quickly started running the entire climb up to Catra and Andy's aid, and passed three of the men on the climb. I LOVE doing that!!!! Silly boys ultra running is for girls!!! Ha!

Once at the aid I filled up quickly, re-summited Diablo(WAAAAAY harder 2nd time!), and then returned to the aid. From here I only had 5.5 miles to the finish, and it was then I looked at my watch. I had less than 50 mins to get to the finish to break the course record. I had Catra fill up one of my bottles, and left the second one with her. I knew I had to really push it, and a second bottle would just slow me down. From the aid it is nothing but extremely steep fire road. A few times I almost lost contol, and ate it. I am super light on my feet right now(about 3 lbs lighter than my AC weight) so I just flew. I let gravity take its course, and turned up my music. First I was listening to Kings of Leon, but then the new  Eminem/Rhianna song came on. This was all I needed to fly!! I turned the volume up, and just ripped this section to shreds. Once at the bottom I had about a mile of flat icky, but knew I was close to the finish. When I crossed the line I was stoked to see I had done the second loop 20mins faster than the first loop, ran that section in 40 mins, and was 2nd overall, and first female! I was so friggin stoked!!

 After I went to lunch, and then I was off to the airport, and ready to get home! Tyler was going to meet me at home that night so I was eager to get back! My flight went great, and once home I re-capped with Tyler my entire day. He loves hearing about my races, and is just the greatest kid ever!

All in all this race was just amazing!! The course markings were perfect, aid stations perfect, and the course was absolutely spectacular(be ready to climb!) I cannot wait to return next year! My trip this weekend up North made me re-evaluate my 2011 schedule. I am on a mission to get up to San Fran at least a few more times in 2011, and just love traveling to places for races. I had such a blast, and look forward to visiting again!

I spent the day today doing a great 3 hour recovery hike, and the watching my Vikings win!! Man that makes me happy!! I then went out to dinner with some friends, and am looking forward to a crazy busy week! Next weeknd I am racing the Malibu Creek 50k, and I cannot wait! Busy is what I love, and I am just loving my life right now! Love that I have gotten my new "Leona Valley trail races" up and going, and am just super excited to dive head first into this challenge, and Leona Divide, and Los Pinos! Life is what you make it, and I am doing my best through tuff times to make it great!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fun with Faye!

Ok so this morning was just wicked awsome! Faye and I were supposed to run 20ish in Topanga State Park, and Jimmy was gonna link up with us, and run some of it. We both LOVE running the trails in LA as we are just down right burnt of anything here in Orange County, and plus Jimmy is nothing but free entertainment. I love the guy to absolute pieces, and it's always an adventure when Jimmy is around! Unfortunately after staying out a little to late last night celebrating Jimmy & Kate's bday, and then the long drive back from LA we decided it was best if we ran local here, and saved our great Topanga run for next Wednesday. I have an important 50k this Saturday anyways so all in all running less miles, and staying local turned out to be the best decision.

My run today was amazing. We decided to run the San Juan trail, and actually this trail is on part of my Los Pinos 50k course( It's a gorgeous trail, and the views are spectacular. It has incredible climbing, and all in all a decent place to bang out a tough 15-20 mile run. The plan today was to just put in about 10-12, and call it a day.

Faye and I always have fun when we run together because she like me is super competitive, and just loves to train hard. We had a blast powering up the trail, and as you can see from the above picture the climbing is intense! The conversation is always great when it's just us girls. So much is going on in both of our extremely busy lives right now so we pushed the pace, and chatted up a storm. Once at the top near cocktail rock we stopped. I snapped another quick pic, ate some Cliff Blocks(please somebody from cliff make coconut flavor!!!) and off we went. Once at the turn around it was all down hill, and this is where we really had some fun!

We were absolutely flying, and for me thats where I can do my thing! I love technical downhill running! We didn't really do much talking on the way down...just all out running! So fun! About a mile or so up from the finish we slowed a bit, and started to chat, and laugh how fun that was! It was great for me because since AC100 I have not really tested my downhill running, and I needed that confidence boost for this weekend. Their definitely are some men in the race I want to take out, and I have full intentions of laying it down, and running the best possible race I can. With 9,000 feet of gain and loss I am sure I can get the job done. Totally my type of course, and I will completely be in my element~cannot wait.

Once finished we hopped in the car, and I drove Faye back to our meeting spot at Starbucks where her car was parked. I love Faye to death, and she has become one of my closest girlfriends in the last couple weeks. I have needed her shoulder tremendously lately(that is an understatement), and I could not have made it without her the last twelve days of my life!! Luv you Faye!

Life is awsome, and today is S.L.A.M.M.E.D!!!! Tons of permit work to do for all of my new races, Los Pinos 50k work, and on and on. I leave for San Francisco in the AM after I have a quick few meetings to power through(sorry Jimmy about flaking on the hike), and then it's off to LAX! Looking forward to a fun BBQ at Mark's house tomorrow night with crazy ultra runners telling stories about crazy runs and races! Oh god I love this sport! Such a fun weekend ahead, and I can't wait! Full re-cap when I return Monday! YIPPIE!!! Have a great weekend all, and Jimmy GOOD LUCK at oil creek 100! Godspeed you rockstar!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

On the path to Leona Divide...

This past Sunday was an amazing day to say the least. I met my friend Karl( to map out and run my new 30k course for Leona Divide(yes this is my job, and I am NOT complaining). I needed to get it mapped out, and get a correct Garmin reading to be put up on my Leona site( I will do the same for my 50k course on saturday October 30th~can't wait!

It's funny how god always seems to put the puzzle pieces together when he has a definite plan in line for your destiny. Karl is definitely part of that! He ran Leona Divide last year, and I distinctly remembered him because when he came to race check in Friday night he had his wife, and two little boys with him. Honestly it was a moment I will never forget. His older son Matthew who I believe is 4 was super excited to meet me. He just kept talking and talking to me, and was probably to this day one of the cutest little boys I have ever met. We must of had a solid 20 minute conversation, and he just melted my heart. His wife was just super sweet too, and I have never forgetten that cute little family I met(LOVE being a race director..LOVE meeting new people!!) So when I started this blog I posted that I was going to start a new race called "Leona Valley trail Races". Going into it I had some huge concerns about courses, and how I was going to figure out how to map a marathon, half marathon, 10k, &5k all into one day! My heart was set on getting theses races underway, but knew I would need help form someone who really had knowledge of those mountains, and would be able to get out and run with me to pass that knowledge on. Once I started the blog Karl was the first to follow me, and was super excited about my postings about the new Leona races. He lives right out in the area(I live 2 hours away, but will be moving up that way eventually), and was ready and willing to help me in any way needed! Yippie!! One more puzzle piece just moved into place! To think if I wouldn't have started a blog I would have never hooked up with Karl~thanks Lowell for that one!!

Ok so on to Sunday.....
Karl and I met at the Lake Hughes Community Center on Sunday so we could run, and map out my 30k course. Neither one of us were sure how we could tweak my 50mile and 50k course to work in another race on the same day, but I was driven to figure out how. As a race director your # 1 goal with having multiple races is utilizing aid stations that are already in place. It just makes the most sense, and is the best way to logistically and safely keep track of everyone on the course. Two many distances with to many routes can cause runners to get lost, and that spells disaster. I just don't run my events in that manner, and would never let that happen. I was so excited to get on my course!! Honestly my heart totally belongs in those mountains, and after Sunday I know now my true destiny is to put on, organize, and race direct incredible Trail Races throughout the Leona Valley/mojave District. It is so breathtakingly beautiful up their, central to LA, and just where I am meant to be, and move forward in my life. Ever since I ran Angeles crest 100 mile, and have spent many hours on trails throughout LA in the last few months I am definitely ready to leave the OC, and see what kind of destiny LA holds. I have to stay in Orange County for a few more years, but when the time is right north I will go! If I can work it out sooner I definitely will!!

So back to the run...
Karl is great to run with. He is wicked fast(seriously, like a 2:53 marathon), and ran Leona in sub 9 hours, and it was his first ultra! He loves his kids and wife a ton, and totally makes me laugh when he talks about his little boys. The time flew as we made our way to the top of the fire road. The weather was absolutely perfect. The sun was shining, and it must have been around 60 degrees, and it was only 7am! I was in heaven being out on the course! The views are spectacular, but the best part was we were going to connect up with the Pacific Crest Trail in a bit! I LOVE the PCT!! To me it's my shopping mall. While other women would spend a saturday out shopping, and having cocktails with their girlfriends I would prefer to spend 8 hours on the PCT~it's my favorite place to be!

At about 4.5 miles into the run Karl explained we were going to follow the Leona 50k and 50mile course, but cut off from the course and take a short cut back over to the PCT. We would then rejoin the other courses once on the PCT, and hopefully this would give me the correct mileage for a 30k course. Once back on the PCT we followed the course down to what is mile 16 in the 50k/50mile route. We got to Lake Hughes road, and then stopped where I had stashed some water, and a steaz energy drink(love those!!) From here we looked at the mileage on my Garmin, and started to realize if we just followed the exact race course back to the finish we would have a 30k!! We also stopped to take some more pics on the trail~

As we left the Lake Hughes road crossing we headed back up the PCT. This is the infamous climb out of mile 42 on the  Leona 50 mile course. Funny how when you have less than 12 miles under your legs it's not so hard! Hahaha! While climbing(Karl was running, and I was power hiking!) we started to discuss my marathon and half marathon courses for my Oct 2011 races. By the time the climb was over we had both courses figured out! Funny how time on the trails sometimes is all you need to figure shit out! Ha! Karl has an incredible knowledge of these mountains, and I am just so stoked to have him helping me out. I have to get my permits, and website info done and completed soon for all of these races to be a success so to say I am busy right now is just the friggin understatement of the year!! I love it though, and it is what I am meant to do!! The craziest part of all is somewhere throughout that day we had established a 100 mile course I could do out their also. I always said no way to race directing a 100, but who knows now?? Definitely something I have written down, and am now toying with in the far future! If I did I would have to make it worth my while, and have at least 350 i would like to promote it for a couple years. Totally awsome sauce, and I love it!

When the run was done I was beside myself to see that my Garmin read 18.8 miles. Pretty right on the money for a 30k, and that is without having to have an extra aid station, and utilizing the entire Leona Course that will already be used that day! Totally meant to be, destiny, and another puzzle piece fitting my life together.

I was pretty amped, but more amped to get home, and watch football!!!! Bummed for the chargers loss as I HATE da raiders(like hate). I also really dislike Vick, and was even more bummed to see San Fran loose after the chargers game. Can't complain though because watching football with friends is so much fun! I love being able to run all morning, and then cook great food, and watch football with friends. My lord does life get any better!?!

Tonight it's all about my Friggin man Brett! The vikings will win~like seriously~I have no doubt!!! Love me some Vikings, and love me some Brett!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Such the chef!

Ok so no running promised I will post full re-caps soon. I somehow got talked into running 27ish miles on Tuesday...which was NOT the plan originally. So after I bang out a 50k run tomorrow, and 10 on Monday morning Faye and I are running Westridge to Temescal and back on Tuesday. Being that I am continually surrounded by crazies many have offered to help in this nonsense~Jimmy you are such an instigator!! Oh well I love it, and am game for whatever my looped out ultra running friends drag me into! I made her pinky swear we would do 50% of it hiking as I have a very important 50k next saturday that i want to rip to shreds!!

So on with my post! I LOVE to cook~I mean LOVE!! I am an absolute self proclaimed health nut!!! Nothing processed(diet foods oh god don't get me started), nothing artificial, and nothing fake goes in my body 98% of the time. I truly enjoy making sauces and dishes form scratch, and after a long day of trail running I love nothing more than coming home and making yummy food!

I got home from taking Paul to the airport just a bit ago(he is leaving for  4 weeks to go god knows where for work..Colorado, Seatlle,blah,blah..), and decided I wanted to make a foodie feast! I walked the dogs, fed them, did some laundry, dropped Tyler off at the movies, took 15 recover-eas(hope I don't die!?!), and cooked to my heart's content! I love "good" for you grains like Quinoa, Amaranth, Millet, and Teff. I use all of these in my cooking, and mostly make tons of different stir-fry's, ect. I make all of my sauces from scratch, and tonight I made an amazing pine nut pesto! Everything I use(herbs) I get from my garden, and all my veggies I by at my local organic farm. I decided to stir-fry up some bell peppers, mushrooms, kale, and asparagus. I then added my homemade pesto, some fresh chopped garlic, a little of my homemade spaghetti sauce(i keep it jarred), and then some Quinoa. I stirred it all together, and then added some black beluga lentils(total superfood), and I had a few meals for the next few days!! It turned out sooooo yummy!! I love cooking like this because I break it up into 3-4 meals, and it's just super easy to have on hand, and delicious.

I have to admit I am totally obsessed with Ultra Running, eating healthy, and just being an athlete. I love everything about this lifestyle, and I will never live any other way! Now if I could just find someone as crazy as me to enjoy this lifestyle with, and all would end well! hehe..

Have a happy Sunday all! I will be out enjoying the trails all day tomorrow! My friend Andrew keeps texting me telling me all about Chris' win at Kona! He smoked the marathon in 244, and that was coming off a 25mph bike ride! That guy is not human!! I am like, "I know I have been following!" Love amazing athletes! Andrew keeps swaring he is getting me on this new bike he bought me, and I am gonna do an ironman~oh lord why can't I just have normal friends!?! LOVE IT!!!!

Today is/was such a great day in all thats been going on. I truly have moved to a way better place then where I was at just a few days ago, and everything my friend Eric has been telling me about life, and moving on is so true! Time is such a healer, and sometimes we all just need a little time to get to all the right places in life. The last two weeks of my life have been a test, but with time comes healing, and today I am on that path no doubt~sieze the day my friends as we are only here on this planet once!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pearl Izumi

Ok so I am all about Pearl Izumi right now. I ran this week in a great skirt from them, and the coolest thing of all is it was super comfy. Like really comfy~and it looked wicked cute. For me function that can meet fashion is a huge bonus so I wanted to take a minute and give it a plug.

I plan on running my Los Pinos 50k course( in it tomorrow, and then I have a pair of their shorts I am gonna run in on Sunday when I go up to run my Leona divide 50k course( So far I love Pearl Izumi's products!!

Full re-caps of all my crazy runs with my peeps this weekend coming soon! I think next week I better take it easy and do some hiking before Diablo 50k! I fly out Thursday for the race as I plan on hanging out with some Nor-Cal ultra running friends, and then race is saturday! Hope to kill it, but we'll see~been extremely stressed this past week, and not sure if it will have a toll!

Have a great night all! Must get all my crap ready for tomorrow, and get to bed! ha!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My amazing son!

Today has been quite the day! I got up at 4am to run, but with the rain we cancelled at the last minute. My plan was to get a ton of work done on my computer since I was up, and head out for a few hours once the sun came up. Around 9am my son texted me from school, and informed me that his cross country meet after school was cancelled due to the rain. I was bummed at this was a local meet at Irvine Regional park(I love the trails throughout that park), and was pretty pumped for it. I then decided to text my son and ask him if he wanted to play hookie, and go run in the Saddleback mountains for a few hours and play in the rain & mud!? He was super excited and texted "hell ya!" Awsome sauce was my reply, and we had a date! I have been spending a ton of time with my son this last week just really trying to work through a few speed bumps we have hit, and I love that he enjoys trail running in the mountains almost as much as I do!

I planned on picking him up at noon(the original time his cross country team was to leave for the meet), but when I arrived at Dana the buses were their and ready to go! Tyler came running over to my car, and explained that the meet was not cancelled! I was so excited as I love going to his meets, and I get to run all the warm up & cool down runs with the team so its just awsome!!

He hopped on the bus, and I headed up to the park. When I arrived I quickly parked, grabbed my handheld, and knew I had exactly one hour to get a run in before he was competing. In my world I seize every opportunity I can to run, and here I was surrounded by awsome trails! I took off like a bandit, and spined my way up and out of the park to the trails. It was raining pretty hard at this point, and I loved it! Within 5 minutes my hair was soaked. I slopped through the mud on the trails, and laughed as my foot slid from under me, and down on my butt I went! I quickly jumped up, and was dying thinking about how awful I was gonna look once I return to the meet.

As soon as I got back my son looked at me and said, "mom this is a super fast course I am gonna rip it"! I smiled & winked at him. I always have said to him since he was a baby the word "godspeed". To us it means get to where you want to be as fast as god can take you~I then said "godspeed", and he smiled huge! Just then his coach came over to me and was just staring at me. He started to chuckle as he scoped my mud. His coach is a super cool guy, and actually one of Tyler's teachers, and we have fun teasing all the time. He always swares he is gonna go running with me sometime, but we all know he could never keep up!! haha...

The gun went off, and tyler took off like a bandit. Trabuco high school is wicked fast, and they had the first three spots. Next was Tyler's amazing teammate Gavin, and then Ty. Once they passed at mile 1.5 they split up to no mans land, and onto the trails. What's great is no of the other parents even attempted to scale up the hillside to the trails to see the action, but of course I did! A few of the Varsity guys followed me, and we laughed as we charged up the steep trail. Once at the top I could see Tyler still holding his place. With only a mile left when he passed me I told him to turn it the @#$$%^&**^&% on!!! "No mercy", I yelled!

I charged over to the finish line back across the park, and was stoked to see Tyler in the top 10 overall! I believe he was 8th out of a hundred or so boys! Not his best 5k time by any means, but he solidly broke 18mins, and still took 3rd for Dana?? Not exact on that one though. His IT band has been bugging him a bit, and he said he felt it today big time.

I smiled, and reminded him most kids are sitting at home playing video games, and we are out  here playing in the rain. His coach and I then took the boys out for a 30 minute cool down. it was fun except coach and I were so busy talking we totally forgot about the boys! About 10 minutes into it we look back, and had totally left all of them. My son yelled, "hey mom it's a cool down not a race"! So funny! We waited, and all stayed together after that. What a blast it was!! The other mom's look at me like I am crazy, but I am so thats fine by me! Crazy in a good way!

My son is an amazing kid. On the drive home he never stopped talking. I love that about us. We always have something to talk about, and that is very rare in most parent/child situations. Heck thats rare in most marriages! It's great to have someone to be able to just talk, and talk with, and I definitely try not to take that for granted. I am blessed to have my AMAZING son Tyler~blessed!

Off to go out to eat, and go see Ben Aflick's new movie "The Town". Love everything about Boston(ok except the celtics), and can't wait to see the movie!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cool shirt...and my 2011 race schedule

Ok so have a few minutes and wanted to post this amazing shirt Charlie Nickel made for me for Los Pinos 50k. They are so comfortable, and if you look closely maybe you can see the hidden skull in the backround? Lovin this shirt! They will be available to buy as these are not the runners race day shirts...those are still a secret! Here is a link to buy the Los Pinos shirt below:

Definitely have most of my 2011 race schedule figured out! Here goes...

02/2011~Twin Peaks 50 mile
03/2011~Lake Sonoma 50mile
05/2011~Hmmmm...(I will find something)
06/2011~pacing/crewing my man at WS100!!!
07/2011~White River 50mile

This schedule was very different as of last month, but it is pretty solid as of now. Once I make my mind up I never go back, and my heart is really set on Wasatch. I am going to go up on Memorial Day Weekend with some of my peeps, and run the entire course that weekend. I also plan on going out to Utah next summer for two weeks in August, and just hammering 200+ mile weeks in the Wasatch mountains. I will show up prepared, and ready to rock.

Have a few more races this season, but nothing to huge. Just fun stuff, but I somehow have added a few more races than I planned on! Having way to much fun living life, race directing, and running like a maniac! Yippie!

Oh and race date for the Leona Valley Trail Races is Saturday October 1st, 2011. Many have sent me messages asking. Ghost website page will be up by November, and then its off to planning. I have added a marathon to the mix so it will be a Trail Marathon, half, 10k, & 5k! My lord someone commit me now! Ha!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The buffs, and some good running...

Today was too funny~

I set out with T& P for a simple two hour run at 4:50am. I have plans to run this afternoon again with Shanny for a couple more hours so I was just looking forward to some quality time with my friends. It was so friggin dark when we started, and extremely foggy that somehow we got turned around, and lost! Here I am in Laguna Coast Wilderness park(my backyard), and the three of us got completely turned around, and I had no clue how we did it! Every time we would get to a turn we would end up making the wrong choice, and just get even more lost! Eventually after adding an hour, and watching the sun rise we found our way back to the parking lot. Funny how when its dark & foggy you just can't gage where you are on trails! In a way it was really fun except for the fact I was late getting my son to school..well almost late. He was still mad though as he is a perfectionist(no idea where he gets this from??hehe), and he likes to be early.

So after the run we quickly had T take a pic of me and Pammy sporting my Los Pinos buffs. All runners get one. The really cool thing is Corrine(she makes the buffs) also is making cuffs to match them. I got the idea from someone at Rio Del Lago who was wearing one. they are little wristbands that have small little pockets(hidden) that you can tuck salt caps or gels into. Very cool, and I am so excited she listened to my idea, and is making them now. The link is on my LP50k website...

Love everything that has come about this week. It has been one of the hardest weeks of my life, but things are very clear to me now that weren't so much last week. I have been doing a TON of running, and it has done nothing but good things for me mentally. I am in a super good place right now, and plan on staying here. I can't wait for Diablo 50k in less than two weeks!! Whoo hoo!! The rest of this year will be nothing but kicking ass, and then it's on to 2011~sieze the day my friends!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My new race

Ok so I am pretty new at this whole blogging thing...but as I start to put together more and more races in Southern California I have been told it's a good idea. I love to write so should not be that hard right? I think I struggle mostly with time. When I am not busy organizing and putting on races, I am running about 90-100 miles a week! I love to run, and run on Trails in the mountains. I can't imagine spending my time doing anything else. I also have a VERY busy 14 year old son, and being that I am a single mom that makes me just as busy. I am involved in everything he enjoys including his cross country team! He is an amazing runner, amazing kid, and I am blessed to have him! He is my rock, and has taught me what unconditional love is, and how great it is to be selfless.

So on to my new race...

In the last year I have taken over the Leona Divide 50 mile( I since have added a 50k, and 30k to the race. This means huge work for me come January!! Handling over 600 runners out on a race course in one day is an immense job, but I am good at it, and simply put kick ass at it. I am ready for the task ahead! In July after returning from Badwater and crewing Jimmy Dean Freeman I was extremely driven to put together a new race called the Los Pinos 50k( This will be the first year for this race, and already is on the path to huge success. Love it!

So now I have taken on a new race...or should I say "created" a new race. I just secured the permits for it, but the website will not be up and going for a little bit. The race is called "Leona Valley Trail Races". It will be a half marathon, 10k, &5k. This will be a huge task as shorter trail races are booming, and I will have at least 500 runners. I hope the following year to have double that amount of runners, but these kinds of things take time. I am excited to be pursuing this new race, and look forward to giving trail runners races that vary in all distances.

Tons of great things going on in my life, and sometimes I can't believe how amazing god is to me. Every time I hit a speed bump or pothole in the road of life, god brings me some sort of blessing to help me realize I will get through it. Life is so dang hard at times, but it also can be just so darn amazing. With every struggle and mountain we climb blessings are on the other side. If life was always easy then all those great things we work so hard for would not seem so "great". I am happy to be figuring this "life" thing out one busy day at a time!