Sunday, December 30, 2012

Blink Blink....

“Until I met you," she said, "I never realized how precious each day could be. When I was working, each day was over before I knew it, and then a week just flew by, and then a whole year...What have I been doing all this time? Why didn't I meet you before? If I had to choose a whole year in the past, or a day with you-I'd choose a day with you...” 

 ShÅ«ichi Yoshida, Villain

I am always fascinated by how fast life just zips by. It always comes closer to my attention when I finally find a quiet moment to spend sometime on my blog, and get a new post up. How could it already be almost New Years Eve? Where did Christmas go...where did the last year go? Each week just flies by. Each month just zips past. I look back at the last three months of my life and they have been incredibly busy. I had the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon on Nov 17th, and then the Griffith Park Trail 10k on Nov 18th. Both were sold out races, and huge successes. Following that I ran and played on the trails quite a bit, and took a huge backseat to racing myself. I did the Red Rock Trail Marathon on Thanksgiving weekend, and Jesse and I had a blast camping up in Santa Barbara that weekend! Then in December was another one of my events called Paramount Ranch Trail Half Marathon and Trail 10k. Both of these races sold out, and were just a ton of fun!  I literally blinked, and my entire back end of 2012 just came and went. I feel so blessed and lucky that I have Jesse to spend my life with, and I honestly cannot remember what life was like before he was in it. He is my best friend, and I am the luckiest girl on the planet! As fast as it zips by I feel like as long as I share it with him I am happy to be moving along.  

After Paramount I took a huge backseat to all things other then running. I knew I really wanted to focus on getting back into race shape, and start 2013 off right. Last year was not that way, and I really had a rough start to my 2012 racing season. So....the last four weeks have been spent doing nothing but playing on the trails for hours on end, and I am really looking forward to racing in three weeks at the San Diego 50 mile. I hope to have a great race, and just enjoy the heck outta the day! Below is a mash up of a million pictures from the last few weeks. I just love my life, and I am happy to spread that joy with all of you! 

I cannot wait for the next few days!! Today I spent four hours playing on the trails with Pam and Tommy, and tomorrow we are headed up to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl!! Jesse's entire family is in town from Wisconsin, and its gonna be the biggest celebration ever! New Years day I am really looking forward to the ARC annual run, and cannot wait to run the actual parade route. It will be a super fun week filled with lots of good times spent with friends and family. Somehow I will find the time to try and fit in a good 2012 race recap of my year on this blog...just not sure when I will be able to find the time! 

Happy Trail Running my friends, and Happy New Year!! On, On, On.... See many of you at Ray Miller 50 mile/50k in February! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Soaring To Your Best

Be Selective as to what you give your attention to. The mark of a true champion is to know which battles to fight. I guarantee most battles should be ignored~

One of the ways you can see yourself go to a higher level is by learning to choose your battles and refusing to fight battles that don't matter. In life you simply do not have to fight every battle. You don't have to respond to every critic. You don't have to be offended because of what someone said. You're not a crow; you're an eagle. You can rise above it. You can soar at new heights. The mark of a true champion is knowing which battles to fight. Bottom line: Choose to be an eagle. Choose to rise above it.  Be selective as to what you give your attention to. Don't get caught up in battles that don't matter. If you will get good at knowing what to ignore and not get distracted by things that don't matter then it will only help you accomplish all of your dreams. 

Have you ever thought about how much energy it takes to be bitter or hold a grudge? We only have a certain amount of energy for each day. If we use it for the wrong purpose, if we focus on the negative or dwell on whoever hurt us, then we're not going to have the energy we need for the right purposes. We're not going to be able to make the best decisions or be as creative as we need to be. We're not only doing ourselves a disservice, but we're doing our family and friends a disservice, too.

As much as you may want to, you can't control what other people say or do; you can only control yourself. If you focus on the actions of others and allow them to constantly upset you, then you are handing your peace over to them and giving away your power.  Jesse and I have this rule that we never go to bed mad at each other. The reason many people don't have joy or enthusiasm in their lives is because they go to bed every night with anger and unforgiveness weighing them down. When you go to bed with a cluttered mind and focused on the negative, you wake up with the same negative emotions; not to mention, you probably won't sleep very well. 

Remember, if you want to love your life and live it to the fullest, don't let the sun go down on your anger. If you don't have a solution to the issue, agree to disagree and focus on the importance of the relationship. Keep peace in your heart, and don't give away your power! Last, but not least you must always learn to forgive. No matter what one has done to you it will only keep hurting you if you keep holding on to the past. 

Peace is not possible without forgiveness. Martin Luther King once said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” The only way children can learn the habit of forgiveness is by seeing us, their parents, forgive others and forgive ourselves. The freedom to be at peace in our own skins - that’s what forgiveness allows. We relinquish this freedom when we hold onto anger and resentment. Enormous amounts of energy are wasted when we hold back our love, hold onto hate, and harbor acrimonious feelings. The only remedy is letting go, and being willing to forgive. Life is short. It happens in the blink of an eye. Stop spending it worried about what others think or say, and only focus on the greater good for yourself. Forgive those that have hurt you, and also learn to forgive yourself for your own mistakes. It will only get better form here! 

On,On,On with life my friends! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Living in Pure Bliss!

Vacation in Oregon-Crater Lake

A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

I believe this has been the longest gap on my blog from posting. I have been crazy busy, and just overwhelmed with life stuff
. It took me quite some time to recover from AC100, and before I knew it Summer was over! In August Jesse raced Where's Waldo 100k. He had a great race even considering he had not ran in the six weeks leading up to the race due to a hamstring injury. He was thrilled to come in third overall, and nab a spot into Western States! So excited for him!! I had an incredible time crewing him all day, and I even got to hang out with my friend Glen Tachiyama(love you Glen). We incorporated a super long vacation in Oregon into the trip, and had the time of our lives! We visited friends Petit and David in Bend, Ashley and Josh Nordell in Sisters, and hiked and biked a bunch! It really was one of the best trips I have ever taken in my life! If I go on vacation I need to be at a place that has miles of endless trails to hike and run on, tons of great biking routes, and just an area that caters to outdoor playing. Bend Oregon is heaven for this kind of stuff. We even spent one day rafting down the river, and I absolutely fell in love with Bend! Sorry but I would choose this over Hawaii or Mexico a million times over for a vacation destination...but thats just me. Its such an awesome laid back place, and there were tons of amazing vegan and healthy restaurants, and kick ass brewery's and pubs. The best part? The entire area of Bend is surrounded by miles and miles of endless single track trails! We had a blast, and cannot wait to go back next Summer! After our vacation I raced a 50k in September in Big Bear for fun(got 2nd female and 8th overall), and then this last weekend was my very successful event "Leona Valley Trail Races".  Man life is just so fun! 

Life is so Interesting. I love to motivate on this blog.  I would like to share with all of you just how much life can change in a few years. Two years ago today exactly(just looked back in my notebook) I was lying on the cold tile on my bathroom floor, sobbing, blowing my nose into a t-shirt. I was in the last stages of trying to salvage a marriage that was not working for a million reasons, and scared to death of how I would be able to support both myself and teenage son on my own. 
It was not a good month, in a less-than-stellar year.
I was facing the unknown.
It was a year filled with difficult circumstances to say the very least.

I blamed myself for not being more successful and I was so afraid to step out of my financially comfortable life into the unknown.

On top of that I’d been chasing a friendship with a man who left me hanging when I needed him most, and he himself turned out to be dishonest, and crushed my heart(I still thank him all the time in my prayers for doing me such a huge favor..because of him I was able to find my Jesse). I felt like a failure on every possible level. How could I possibly be so stupid I said to myself in the weeks following his horrible actions. 

So I found myself on my bathroom floor, sobbing like a baby, disappointed in myself and terrified about what to do next. 

Flash-forward two years and I’m doing incredibly well as a self employed Race Director. I own all of my events outright, and am seeing success I never could have imagined possible. I LOVE my job, and it's only just the beginning for me. The best part? I also have finally truly found real love. Not simply "I am gonna stay in this relationship because I have to" kind of love. Nope. The kind where you have butterflies still every day even after two years. The partner that shares your whole life, hobbies, and in it's truest form is your soul mate. Your best friend, and the most passionate love you ever could have imagined. I love that I never have to apologize for being gone for hours on end due to training. He understands, but more importantly he usually is training with me. You should never have to apologize to your partner for doing what you love to do. We share an incredible life together, and I know how bad it sucks to be on the other side of this. I am so blessed, and so lucky! It took me 34 years to find him, and I am head over heels bat shit wild over this man!!! The last two years have not been easy, but these are some of the lessons I picked up along the way:

It’s okay to not know.

This was the hardest lesson for me because I’ve always been goal-driven. Sometimes you just have to leap off that cliff, and not know whats gonna happen next. 
After about a month of daily tears and anxiety I relaxed into the idea that everything was going to be okay even if I didn’t know where I was going. I kept writing and read all the inspirational books I could get my hands on.

Clean up your messes before you move on.

For me, this meant drawing the line with friends and an ex who were destroying me. In the case of my ex, it was difficult because we had a 9-year habit of codependency. I gave myself time and space to work through why I kept feeding the situation. I could make it without him, and I couldn't let him scare me into thinking I could not anymore. No more living in financial fear. I simply drew the line in the sand. 
I read books on personal development and talked to people who had worked through similar issues. I realized I’d been hiding behind “making other people happy” instead of having the courage to focus on my own happiness.
I finally ended the constant need to please behavior in myself, and you’d be amazed how much time this created in my daily life. Trying to make other people happy takes up more mental energy than you may realize.
Take the time to figure out your personal blockages and work on them. It’ll free up a lot of time and energy.

Follow your own instincts.

Well-meaning friends and family love you. They want to see you happy and safe. But sometimes they’ll give you advice you know is wrong for you. It may even sound perfectly logical, but you know it’s not going to further your personal goals.
By all means, find mentors and get professional advice when pursuing your dreams. But as long as you’re taking care of yourself and working toward your goals, don’t put too much weight on well-intentioned advice from family and friends. I recognize now I did this to much during those trying months, and although they meant well they just didn't understand what I was going through. 
Thank people for caring enough to make suggestions, but learn to own your decisions.

Remember the big picture.

Even if it seems like you’ve taken a step backward, it’s only negative if you stop learning and trying. A calculated retreat gives you time to find out what didn’t work and how to fix it.
After my meltdown in the bathroom two years ago, it took about two months of introspection and working on interpersonal issues to have the confidence to believe in my dream again. It took another solid six months of 10-13 hour work days, and an incredible drive to just not stop at anything to build everything I have today. I simply told myself everyday that nothing was gonna stop me, and nothing could hold me back. 
From the outside it may have looked like things were peachy keen, but everyday was like climbing Mt.Everest. My son went through allot, and no matter which way I turned I hit huge walls. I really had no one that was truly there for me that first year. My closest friends were not strong enough to be there for me, and you realize when times are really tuff it's just up to you to forge through it all. I simply dug my heels in, and refused to give up. Every friggin day. Nothing could have stopped me. Nothing can stop me today. Period. I am a survivor, and a fighter, and no one will ever stop me. Ever. 
The end result was worth it. I’m still learning about my business and craft, but two years has been great time to lay the groundwork. I refuse to give up, give in, and not accomplish all I have set out to do. I love being a Race Director of the most awesome Trail races ever. I love giving people an opportunity to run there first trail race without any worries but just having fun, and enjoying the day. I take extreme pride in what I do, and plan on doing it for the rest of my life. I plan on marrying my best friend on the planet Jesse Haynes, and I also plan on watching my son accomplish all of his dreams in his life. I plan on living life to the fullest no matter what obstacles cross my path, and I plan on sharing those experiences with all of you through this blog. Happy Trail my friends...and on, on, on with life!!! 
Thank you to the blog and website "Tiny Buddha" for my inspiration on writing this. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rise Higher Than Your Fear

"Your going to keep on rising above. Your going to keep on soaring to new heights"

My blog always tends to be a mashup of all things in my life. From race recaps, healthy eating tips, and positive posts; I simply love to keep it rolling with the goal of inspiring others to live there best life possible. I think it's vital for people to realize you are only here once. Right now close your eyes, and think back to where your life was, and where you were five years ago. How different is it today? What changes have been made? Are your kids grown? Now think about how fast that went by. As you get older it will only go by faster, and the more time we are spending it doing what we *don't* love to do, or with people that are holding us back and making us feel suffocated and trapped it will only go by faster. Remember this: You are only here once. You will never ever get time back that has already passed. Stop spending it in a job you don't love or with someone who is not right for you. A partner should be "with" you on your journey-not making that journey more work. If you don't share your life, passions, and hobbies with your significant other it might be time to really rethink that relationship. The more time passes there you still sit. In the same exact spot you were two years ago, five years ago...ten years ago?  

I believe fear is the #1 emotion that holds us back from all we are capable of doing in this great life. If you were given the option to do anything you wanted for one day without zero chance of failure or no consequences what would you choose to do? Start that company you have always wanted to do? Leaving your job in search of a better one? Getting out of a trapped and unhappy relationship? Move to that new city or town you have always wanted to explore? Summit Mt.Whitney? Or how about running your first Trail Race or Ultra? What are you afraid of? What are you fearing today? Write it down. Your deepest fears, and maybe even your biggest regrets from the last two years. Look that list over. Now imagine doing all those things. Take out the fear completely, and just tell yourself you are capable of accomplishing all you desire. I call this re-routing fear, and I actually do it every single day! Why does the worst thing have to happen in a scenario? What if the best thing happened instead? Change your internal tune and combine the element of desire with the element of surrender. Right before you make that important call, or take that big risk say to yourself, "Please let the best possible things happen today". Focus on a better opportunity arising, having a bigger dream, and seeing a brighter future. If you tell yourself you can rise higher than any of your fears then you will do so. We are the limits we put on ourselves. Take away the limits, and just start reaching above your goals. Set standards higher than you ever imagined for yourself. Remember that we are exactly what we tell ourselves we are. If you put yourself and goals high in the sky then how could you possibly not end up soaring? You can accomplish anything you set your mind to! 

My lord  Kate Martini Freeman has the best legs ever!!

The last two weeks since AC100 have been filled with great fun! It seems like I am sleeping more than ever....but we have been having some fun to! I promised myself that for the two weeks after the race I would have a forced "down time" and just get a ton of sleep, and enjoy some time with friends. I was thrilled to throw a super fun party Saturday night for some of our friends. I LOVE to cook so getting to do this for 30+ of our peeps was so fun for me!! We had a blast, and I am so lucky and blessed to have all the wonderful people in my life that I do. I love the picture above...we are so silly! I love it!! The picture below is of three of my favorite boys. My "Wolf Pack" cute is the one on the right?? ;o)

I am excited to spend this week in the saddle. My legs are just not quite ready to run. I love my new bike Jesse built for me, and the next four days I plan on riding a ton! Saturday I am gonna hike up @ Baldy while Jesse gets in a last long run up there Before Waldo 100k, then we get to take our week long vacation to Oregon!!! We are so excited!!! I LOVE Oregon so much! 

The other weekend Jesse and I were able to nail down my Paramount Ranch Trail Half Marathon and 10k courses. This little race is the newest addition to my Fall line up, and I am so excited for it. This race is 99% single track, and just amazing!! Website will be launching soon. Below is the Face Book link for the race, and some great pics of the course! Please like us, and stay connected on FB if you have not done so yet!  

Mapping the course!

We also had a ton of fun doing a training run for the Griffith Park 10k!  A huge group of great peeps showed up! The next training run is Sunday August 26th, and we will be running both the 10k course, and Half Marathon course.  Coyotes will lead the 10k run, and myself and Jesse will lead the Half Marathon run. Please stay connected with the Griffith Park Races on Face Book also as I am constantly posting race news and training run info on these pages. Good times!!!

Face Book Link:

On,on,on with life my friends! Happy Trails! Stay positive!

Griffith Park Trail 10k training run! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Angeles Crest 100 Mile 2012

God only gives three answers to a prayer: 1. "Yes!" 2. "Not yet." 3. "I 
have something better in mind." 

Early on in the race w/Angela Shartel

AC100 Start Line

This week after the race has been a bit of a blur for me. I am extremely tired, but on the same note overwhelmed with excitement. From dinners with friends, celebration nights with my boys, to just trying to manage through my email inbox-it has all been a bit overwhelming. Today is the first day I woke up, and was able to walk normally. I slept 11 hours last night. Yes 11. I actually got up, and went for a walk down by the beach. Just 30 mins, but I cannot believe I felt great enough to do that. It's not that anything is really wrong. It's just that I have an overwhelming feeling of tiredness more than I have ever felt. More than after any other race. I believe when you truly put all you've got out on a course, and leave everything out there it takes it's toll. So this begins my journey and story of running a 100 miles on one of Ultra Running's toughest 100 mile courses; on the courses hottest recorded day in history. Ya I think it's safe to say its fair I am so tired-

I trained very hard for this race. Jimmy had drilled into my head that it wasn't about the quantity of miles I would run to prepare, but the quality. I committed myself for the entire month of June and part of July to only train up in the mountains and high back country of the San Jacinto's and Mt.Baldy. I actually sat down, and wrote up a quick 5 week training plan, and emailed the schedule to many of my crazy Ultra Running friends. Many were happy to agree to get in some miles with me, and I worked tirelessly for 5 weeks training with Simren, Brandon Adame, Jonathan Toker, Chandra, and Jesse. In the five weeks leading up to the race I summited Mt.Baldy six times, and one time twice in one day. I ran the Los Pinos 50k course four times(I sware to god I will never run there again!), and week by week felt myself getting stronger and stronger. I never once did a single mile of speed work, and cut out 100% of the "junk" miles. I rested when I needed it, but five days a week I was getting in the hours and miles I needed in the elements that were necessary for me to succeed on the AC 100 course. To be honest I believe this is one of my strengths. When I commit to something I am all in, and will do whatever it takes to make it to the goal.

We(me,Jesse,Chandra) got up to Wrightwood the Friday before the race. I checked in, and then we pretty much relaxed and hung in our cabin. It went by fast, and before I knew it Saturday morning had arrived. When Jesse woke me up that morning I went into the bathroom, shut the door, and sat down on the cabin floor near the shower. I took a deep breath, and put my hands together. I flooded my fingers within each other tightly, and repeated this under my breath three times, "Today you will have the strength of five ox, the speed of three cheetah's, and the belief that no matter what happens you will preserver"....Once done I reminded myself to take in this moment. Never again would I be here. Things only happen once, and before a blink of an eye the race would be over, and all that really mattered was to enjoy the day and race, and not take any of it for granted. After that I quickly got dressed, and we walked over to the start line. I stood there taking it all in, and was overwhelmed by all the hugs and love everyone was giving to me. Right before we started Jimmy Dean came over to me, and touched my shoulders. He looked at me and said, "This is your course- It will be 100 degrees out there today, and you love the heat-You are the best climber I know-Do what you do best, and believe in yourself". I smiled, and said, "Heck ya its on!!!". Today I would believe more than ever before, and master the art of squashing self destructive talk on the trail. He gave me chills with that speech, and it was just what I needed!!!

Miles 0-25.9 "The High Country"
The first mile I set out at a comfortable pace, and would keep this for the first 26 miles. I traded spots with Angela quite about the first 9 miles, and we were able to chat quite a bit. She is such a strong runner, and it was great to hear her kids are doing so good, and life is great for her. Most of the first 9 miles is a ton of power hiking as it is at such high altitude so I just stayed within myself and focused on running my own race. Early on Jane Larkendale and Sada Crawford pulled a ways out front. By the time I got into Vincent Gap it seemed all the ladies were out in front of me. I quickly zipped through the aid station, ate some fruit and potatoes, and thanked my awesome crew of Chandra and Jesse. In and out fast, and onward! The climb from Vincent Gap aid is a big summit up Mt.Baden Powell. You get up to 9,399 feet at the summit, and stay pretty high for much of the course until mile 30. I did what I do best, and just power hiked the candy crap outta the entire climb up Baden. I eventually caught and passed the extremely talented Jane Larkendale who would eventually drop due to hip pain. Paulette Zillmer would also drop, but I never once did see her all day. I continued on, and before I knew it I was almost to the top. It was getting very hot. I remember after climbing for two hours straight that my shirt was so soaked it was as if someone dumped a bucket of water over me. Thank god I had my INKnBURN tech shirt on. The material is just meant for this kind of sweating. I turned up the music on my iPod, and just felt amazing on this entire climb. Little by little my confidence was building on this course. God I was feeling so friggin strong. I dug deep, and the steeper it got the more I would push on. Hotter, hotter. Steeper, steeper. Push Keira I kept telling myself. I also kept saying, "come on legs-come on" as I powered up the mountain. Eventually I would make my way into the Islip Saddle aid station-mile 25.9

Miles 25.9-37.5 "Hell on Earth"
I came flying into Islip, and once again my crew was kick ass, and I was out in a flash. I left knowing what was ahead, and I promised myself to stay mentally strong. To me this entire section of the AC100 course is the toughest part. It includes the infamous Cooper Canyon, and today would be one of the hottest days recorded in AC100 history. 25.9-30 is mostly ran on pavement. It's probably my least favorite thing about AC. Who wants to run four miles on pavement smack dab in the middle of a 100 mile race. Eventually I was off pavement, and started my trek into Cooper Canyon. I have been through Cooper before, but never when it was this hot. There is not a single positive thing I can say about this section. It's a relentless treck and climb out of a deep exposed canyon where the sun melts you to a pulp. The bugs prey on you while you try not to mentally fall apart in this horrifically hard section. One foot in front of the other I just "kept it moving" and tried my best to stay positive. I was sweating so bad my Rudy Project sunglasses just kept sliding off. I finally tucked them into my pack(LOVE these sunglasses!!), and used this time to pour water on my neck and head. Eventually I would go through all 90oz of water I had on me for this 7 mile section knowing I had about 1.5 miles left of climbing. Shit! Why did I pour my water on my head. I quickly reminded myself I was drinking all day, and a little time w/out water would be no biggie. At this point I decided to start counting my steps. I really just wanted to pass the time, and although the elements were so brutal I still felt great. I picked up my hike even more, and just counted away...1,2,3,4,5...before long I could see and hear the aid station. All I could think about was water. Oh god someone give me ice cold water please. I came into the aid station, and to my surprise my little brother Eric Wickland was there! He would be pacing Chris Price later so it was awesome to see him! My crew quickly iced me down, and everyone jumped in to help cool me down. I drank, and ate, and drank, and just did all I needed to do to get back to the right place mentally. Scotty Mills wiped and cooled my legs down(thank you Scotty!!!!), and Jesse and Chandra shoved watermelon piece after watermelon piece in my mouth. I was in and out in just a few minutes, and felt so amazing leaving here. As I left I was informed by my crew Sada Crawford looked like she was struggling, and it gave me a huge spring in my step to have my confidence assured. I crushed the next section, and arrived at mile 37.5 feeling great! Jesse shoved grapes and pineapple in my mouth while Chandra shoved Avocado in my mouth. I left with cheeks the size of chipmunks, and swallowed everything down with huge gulps of water and Nuun. I also finished this section with a deep appreciation for Salt Stick. Best salt pills on earth!! 

Miles 37.5-42.7- The race has begun
I zipped through this section. It was so hot. I just kept pushing, and it was during this section that I started to think about picking up my pacer, and my mindset just was shifting. I had thoughts of passing Sada, and was feeling super great. This section went by fast, and I flew in and out of Three Points aid/mile 42.7

42.7-74.6- The pass
The section from 42.7 to 49.1 Mt.Hillyer aid is extremely tough. It is absolutely unforgiving, and just relentless. Lots of exposed open climbing, and punishing. I spent a big part of it with Brandon Adame, and we chatted away as we climbed the huge pavement section up to Hillyer. It must have been 95 degrees here, and all I could do was think about cold water and some sort of fruit. This section is back country hell at it's finest, and I was so relieved when we finally arrived @ Hillyer. I chuggeded tons of water, ate two Hammer gels(LOVE me some Montana Huckleberry!!!), couple oranges, and was in and out fast. The climb outta this aid station is just brutal and exposed(of course) so i turned up my music and just powered through it. Eventually I got to the top, and shuffled my way down into Chilao aid- mile 52. I was so excited to get to pick up my first pacer, and see my Jesse. I was breaking just a bit from the high temps. I just cannot describe how hot it was out on that course in the Sun....

I arrived at Chilao, weighed in, had a shit ton of food shoved in my mouth by Jesse, and took off with my first pacer Chandra Farham.  I also got some huge encouragement from Jesse which I needed, and I was ready to rock after that. We crushed this section. I am humbly saying this. At times I was running so fast Chadra had to remind me to slow down to save my legs. We flew in and out of Short cut mile 59 aid, and once again I was able to take in fruit, avocado, and just zip in and out. Chandra and I just chatted and chatted, and her energy was just incredible!!! OMG we were having so much fun blasting away into the sunset, and before I knew it we hit the HUGE climb up to the Newcomb's Saddle aid. This is about mile 64 in the race, and never lets up until you arrive at the mile 68 aid. On fresh legs even the best runners would feel the climb here. We hiked like maniacs, and just kept laughing, talking, and moving at a super fast pace. All of a sudden Chandra looked at me and smiled huge. My head was down as I was telling her a funny story about my 16 year old son Tyler, and as I looked up I saw Sada ahead. She wasn't moving to well, and I could just tell she was hurting. I am extremely competitive when I need to be, but I also love this sport and everyone in it. I am friends with practically everyone, and am always in awe of any of the women in this sport. My lord we race against the men(the only sport that does this!!!) and I always try to encourage other women. I passed her with huge words of encouragement, and on me and Chandra went. She didn't say to much(she is amazing as this was her first 100!), and continued for about 1/2 mile to run and try and keep up with my strong hike. Eventually we came in to the aid station together, and I was in and out before she had left. I would never see her again, and she would end up finishing behind me. She raced a great race, and crushed that course on such a tuff day! Once Chandra and I left the aid I knew this race could be mine. I was feeling way to strong to let anything happen, and we flew like crazy people through the night downhill into the campgrounds. I knew once we reached the bottom it was just a huge climb up to Chantry. Before I knew it I could hear the noise from the party up ahead, and all I had to do now was run less than a marathon!!! 

Chantry to the finish!!!! 
I came into Chantry, and was so excited to see everyone. I quickly spotted my crew, and second pacer Slater Fletcher. We high fived, and I couldn't wait to run with him. I chugged a Guayaki Pure endurance Tea(LOVE me some Guayaki!!!), and once again had zero problems taking in some Carbo Pro and fruit. I must have ate four pieces of Watermelon here!! LOL! In an out we went, and before long we were headed up the trail. I used Slaters bright light for this section as he always has the best gear! Man his light rocked. The section from Chantry to 83.8 is 100% all climbing. Not like little climbs you might find on a normal 100 mile course, but more like some of the toughest climbing you can find anywhere around. It steep, relentless, and on fresh legs would be brutal. I had 75 miles on my legs, and was hurting. We pushed, and pushed as Slater just told me story after story. I love this about Slater as he is the best story teller ever!! Both him and his wife are very good friends of Jesse and I, and we just love them. We would stop about every mile, and he would remind me to take 5-6 big huge fast breaths. Once I would do that we would start powering up the mountain again. Step after step, mile after mile we just kept it moving. My legs hurt so bad, and all I did was listen to his awesome stories, and refused to give up. I kept quietly reminding myself that I had given birth to a huge boy at the young age of nineteen. If I could get through that I could most definitely get through this shit!! Before I knew it we made it to the top, and I chugged a bunch of water and Nuun, and took two Hammer gels. At this point we started to run pretty hard down into the Idlehour aid station, and I was ecstatic to see my Coyote friends Erin and Jeff waiting for me!!! Yippie! I ate, drank, and we quickly got outta the aid. I had covered that section in 2:40!! Oh man yippie! Ok one big ass climb down, two more to go. The next climb is up to the Sam Merrill aid station. Once again I did exactly what I did before and took it little by little. We would stop every bit, and I would take in 5-6 deep breaths, and then we would immediately keep it moving. One foot in front of the other. Up, up, up we went as I focused on just the task at hand. I would start to think about how much farther I had to go, and then stop the though fast and only focus on the next 50-60 steps. Just get up ahead to the next tree or bush. I pushed as hard as I could, and stayed extremely positive in my head. Slater was absolutely amazing on keeping me positive. He constantly was encouraging me, and together we made it to Merrill in one piece. My lord this course is just so tough. So tough. 

Merrill, Millard, and the finish! 
To be honest I don't really remember Merrell. We got in and out fast, and I do remember my legs were just shot after this aid. I struggled to run fast, but just listened to Slaters stories, and did my best to shuffle through this extremely technical and rocky section. Eventually we arrived at Millard, and I was starting to fall apart. I ate a ton of watermelon, and we left quickly. The hike outta this aid station is pretty darn tuff, and part of it is on pavement. As we climbed and climbed I started to worry that I had not seen a ribbon or marking for a bit. After about 3/4 of a mile I mentioned to Slater my concerns. He agreed, but said he had not seen any markers for a turn. He then said you keep hiking up Keira, and I will run back down the hill to double check. He took off super fast, and I kept hiking up the hill. After about 2 mins alone all of a sudden my light went out!!! NOOOOOO!! No joking. There I was in complete darkness. Without my pacer. I lit the watch on my light, and started singing to myself as I was scared shit less. Here I was tired, fragile, and in complete darkness in the middle of the mountains. Eventually after about 15 mins Slater came flying up the trail, and assured me we had been on the right trail. He changed the batteries in my light and I moved the best I could. Unfortunately due to standing for 15 mins my legs just locked up. I tired the best I could to run and shuffle the last few miles, but they were just done. I by no means was death marching, and my hike was still a pretty good pace. The problem was I just could not run. I did the best I could to not focus on the fact that this little mishap cost me at least 20 mins, and let Slater keep my mind positive. He assured me we would  get in under 23:30, and eventually we hit the pavement that I knew put us within 1.5 miles to the finish. OMG I was almost done!!! We hooked up with the little trail on the left that eventually leads you to the neighborhood that winds you to the finish. All the sudden I saw Jesse's big smiling face, and then before long we were met up with Chandra, Kevin, and Simren and they all finished the last 1/2 mile with me. Before long I came stumbling through the finish......

I would not have made it through the race without the help of my amazing love Jesse. I just cannot put into words how amazing life is being able to share all of it with him. We have so much in common, and in order to be in this sport is a huge necessity. He is so supportive, and just so understanding of what it takes to do what I do. It rocks to have my partner also an Ultra Runner, and our life is so much fun!!! Thank you also to my two dear friends, and best pacers on earth Chandra and Slater. I love you guys so much, and you are both incredible athletes yourself. You both rocked!!!! Everything really came together perfectly at the right time with the right race. I am super happy with how it all turned out, and am flying on cloud 9 this week for sure. I have been taking in tons of Recover-eas and Nano Reds, and that has helped a ton with my recovery. Been having way to much fun this week....and actually looking forward to rocking out a few more solid races in 2012. I pulled outta Wasatch as I know it's not a good idea to do this again in 6 weeks. It's just not gonna happen. I decided to run Cuayamaca 100k in October, and then have a few surprises in the books for November and December. Cannot wait!!! 

Congrats to Chris Price (aka Prizzle sauce) for crushing this course and winning overall!! What a total rockstar this guy is....Jorge nabbed 2nd overall male, and miss Angela would end up behind me for 2nd female!! So awesome!! Great day for team Rudy Project! 

I also wanted to say something about the apparel I ran it. I never once changed clothes, and had zero chafing for the whole day. I ran in my new INKnBURN denim shorts, and my Coyote jersey. All 100% INKnBURN. All I can say is its best stuff on earth. Comfy, soft, held water extremely well, and just amazing!! I also went through 16 Hammer Gels, 8 Clif shot block packages, lots of Nuun, tons of Carbo-Pro, and 24 Salt Stick caps. Plenty of fruit and potatoes also. My energy always felt great, and I am happy with my nutrition intake for sure. 

It's amazing when you just believe in yourself how much you can make happen. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

L.A. Runner: VIDEO: Ultrarunner Chris Price

This is so awesome!!! Great job Bill Yang on this!! LOVE it! Everyone enjoy! 

L.A. Runner: VIDEO: Ultrarunner Chris Price: A couple of months ago, I shot and subsequently edited a video featuring my friend Chris Price , a local ultrarunner who has enjoyed a good ...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Giving all you've got-and then some

 "If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you will be successful"
-Victor Runco 

Playing on the trails

Many times as a young girl growing up I did whatever I could to just make it through each day. My life was not an easy one, and I would not wish it upon any child. I remember always saying to myself when I would cry myself to sleep, " You made it through today, and all you have to do is do that again tomorrow". It's funny how I learned at such a young age to be in the moment, and simply use the skills and tools that life gives you naturally to adapt and make it through each day. One time in my eighth grade English class my history teacher was giving us a talk about what we had plans to do with our lives for the next 24 years. I thought it was odd she picked the number 24 years. I distinctly remember sitting in that class that day and laughing in my own head. My thoughts wandered to not what I would do to get through the next 24 years, but more how I would make it through the next 24 hours. For the entire afternoon following class that day I focused on those exact thoughts. I was filled with excitement thinking about the fact that all I had to do from this point forward was only focus on getting through each 24 hour period. I believe even as young people we pick up learned behaviors that stick with us our entire lives. At a young age I learned to only get through each day, and simply put aside the traumas and worries of what the future held. In my world the future was a scary place; so I adapted, and fought the best way I knew how. I lived day to day, and simply stayed the absolute most positive I could to get through until the next 24 hour period. This most certainly is no way for a child to live. 

I never had the joys that most kids had, but what I did have was gain this incredible skill to adapt to any situation, and I also learned to be self sufficient, positive in the worst circumstances, and not sweat the small stuff. It also taught me to be extremely fearless. What could possibly be worse than what I had been through the last 18 years? I simply had zero fear of failure for some reason. It taught me to be quite the little fighter, and go after exactly what I want. I was never given a single helping hand from anyone growing up. I was never told I would be able to go to college. I was never encouraged to do amazing things. I was simply constantly told I was worthless, and would never amount to anything. For 18 years this was told to me, and at that time I did the only thing I knew how. I fought. Once I was old enough I left home quickly, and started my own battle. I had my son not to long after, and it was that child that brought out the best in me. All those amazing skills that I learned from fighting for my survival as a child came out when it mattered most. I simply wasn't going to let my family hurt me anymore, and no matter what it took I would make it. 

I believe with all my heart we are exactly what we limit ourselves to. People are constantly gonna tell you no. You will never get a "yes" the first time around. If you want anything bad enough you must be persistent, and give it all your heart and go after it. I tend to be extreme on the side of passion and persistence. In some cases I cannot let things go easily, and it has most certainly at times backfired on me. I am in constant forward motion, and my energy level can be a bit much for some people. I have had to learn to be aware of it more, and be OK with the fact that not everyone is going to like me. I love people, and 99% of the time I blend great with anyone anywhere...but there have been moments where something was simply not the best thing for me or meant to be, and I had a hard time moving on from it. I have a shit ton of integrity, and give anything I am doing 100% of my heart and love. There have been times where I have been taken advantage of because of that, and others have used that to there advantage. I am completely OK with this as it's just my personality, and I am full of fire and passion, and I would never wanna change that. It always ends up that something a million times better was just around the corner, and I am constantly reminding myself that when one door closes five more better ones will open up. This is one of the #1 keys to success and staying positive. Always remind yourself that when something does not go the way we planned or hoped for its simply because it's not life's plan, and something much better is in the works. Stay focused, positive, and keep moving in the forward direction and all roads will lead to the destiny! I promise!! 

Weariness leads to discouragement. When you are discouraged you see only the problem instead of the possibility. You talk about the way it "is" instead of the way it can "be". If you allow yourself to become weary you loose your passion, and your enthusiasm. The more you talk about how tired you are the more tired you will become. You are simply just adding fuel to the fire. Don't talk about the way you are-talk about the way you wanna be. We all get tired and weary. Here is what I tell myself all the time: If you never feel like giving up then your dreams are to need to get larger goals if you are not discouraged or overwhelmed at times. You must move through life with a positive attitude, and talk the good talk. If you are not your biggest fan them how can you possibly expect others to believe in you. Two years ago when I had a very BIG dream of having a Trail race in Griffith Park I literally had people laugh out loud to me. I had a park ranger simply say no. I had people tell me it would never happen, not possible, the city would never let that happen, and it just was impossible. Many reminded me they never have let anyone have races on the trails in the park anymore, and it just wasn't going to happen. Today I have two Trail Races in Griffith Park, and plans for a third one. I love the park officials more than any other organization I have races with, and I am so blessed to have my Griffith Park family. I simply did not settle for no. I turned every rock over, climbed every mountain, and knew I would make it happen. Do I believe fate played a big part in all of it? Yes absolutely. Many other people had tried there many times to get in the park and have Trail races, but I believe in my heart it's my destiny, and what is meant to be for me. So with a whole lot of tenacity, passion, and persistence I made my dream a reality, and I believe anyone can do just that. It takes a whole lot more than that to be successful, but for me this was the start of my calling and what I was meant to do with my life. 

Two years ago yesterday someone came into my life that introduced me to Griffith Park, and it was because of him that I had a deep desire to have a race in that park. He simply mentioned he did his brick work out in there, and I decided to take my friend Shannon and go run in there, and check it out. He also led me to the love of my life Jesse(THANK YOU!!!), and gave me the passion and fire to create Ray Miller 50mile/50k and a ton of other amazing things in my life. It's amazing how a certain person or thing in life can be such a driving force. To my advantage that person is not in my life anymore, but I am grateful everyday that he quickly came in and out of it. He brought out the best in me for what is now my "best life ever", but I most certainly needed a little push. I needed to be pushed out of the previous situation I was in before (which was very easy and comfortable) in order to reach my full potential of what is now my most awesome life ever!! Sometimes in order to get to the fruits of the loin you must pick through the rotted ones first. In other words sometimes in life we have to go through bad stuff for the good stuff to happen. They key is to keep moving forward, and always remind yourself no matter how bad off it is-it most certainly could be a lot worse, and it will only get better. Below is a great picture of me taking a leap off a trail from a run Jesse and I did the other day plus a few other fun pics from the new Griffith Park 10k course!! Cannot wait for the Griffith Park Trail 10k!!! 

My Jesse! So hot!! Love you baby!! 

The views from the 10k course!

I honestly believe you can do anything you set your heart out to do. Couple that with hard work, consistency, integrity, and being good to people in your path then it will only lead to success. It's vital to know your worth, and not doubt that. At times I have been guilty of that, and that's OK-it happens. Simply set out to improve, be better, and just not settle for anything but exactly what you want out of life. I always say at least twice a day, "It's better to aim for the stars and miss then aim for a pile of manure and hit it"- 

On,On,On with life my friends!!