Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Things that make ya go ...

This last week has been a ton of fun for me! Busy, but fun. Definitely addicted to my Lakers games! Also pretty much seven out of the last seven mornings I have seen a sunrise on my morning run, and am confident I can have a great racing season in 2012. On Saturday Jesse and I decided to put in some solid power hiking miles up on the Angeles Crest 100 mile course. He is still recovering from Bandera, and I needed the rest day from my high mileage week. We set out for Crystal Lake Campground in the back country of the San Gabriel's, and had planned to get in two-three hours of solid time on our feet. Above is a fun video of us at the beginning of our hike...and below are a bunch of amazing pics from the day early on.

The plan was to reach the summit of Mt.Islip from the campground, and then turn around and head back down the way we came. The problem is we are Ultra Runners. Translation: Kids in a candy store. After two hours of solid high altitude climbing Jesse pulled out his map of old trails up near the base of Mt.Islip, and asked if I wanted to try and make our way back down a different way, and in the end we could do a huge loop and see trails we have never seen before. Ya so here's the thing: What Ultra Runner on the planet that you know would take the "road more traveled"? I quickly agreed we should go on an adventure hike, and see what the other side of the mountain looked like. Yes. Definitely. This was such a good idea. Lets head directly into closed back country burned out non existent trails just for fun. So began our 7.5 hour journey. What was meant to be a fun hike turned into a very long day. It ended up being one of those times when you get yourself into something risky, but going back the other way would be just as worse. God how that life lesson seems to constantly smack me in the face! We knew we needed to just keep moving forward, and occasionally would see the old trails that used to exist before the devastating fires of 2009. Eventually we made our way down the backside of the mountain, and then on and back down to the campground. On return to the campground we found this hidden back in the trails and trees, and honestly I was a little speechlees...I never even knew this lake existed!!

Once back at the car we drank a crap load of water, ate and collapsed in the car. As fun as most of the day was at points the adventure quickly turned a bit scary. We had gone to far to turn back the other way, and had to push forward through trails that were overgrown, non existent, and extremely steep. Sunday I was happy to go out and run a mellow 25 miles on the trails in Laguna Coast near my house. As much as I LOVE to play in the mountains all day this definitely had it's *not so fun* moments! LOL..

I spent Saturday night cooking. I love to cook. I think in a lot of ways it's a huge stress reliever for me, and in the last year and a half I have dove head first into perfecting my cooking and baking. It truly is a deep rooted passion for me, and instead of watching hours of TV, or shopping I would just rather cook. I am a huge advocate of healthy eating. I don't drink except for an occasional celebration glass of wine or beer, and my health is my #1 priority and focus in my life. I also believe it's a great way to share love with those that are important in your life. One of the things I love the most is cooking amazing food for Jesse. He seems to love it to! We have a blast cooking all kinds of amazing stuff together, and my son eats it all up to! I never tell him all the ways I sneak in veggies ;o)

Keep your eyes out on my blog for an INKnBURN give away in my next blog post. Looking to give away a cool pair of shin skins or arm sleeves...hmmm..have not decided yet. We are just about ready to launch our Women's Camisole Tanks(so cute!!), and next will be our running skirts! We are excited as we will have a booth at the Tinker Bell Disney Half Marathon expo at the end of this month, and cannot wait to see so many of our loyal friends and family who love to run in our stuff! The expo's are always such a blast!

One of the other things I am always trying to do is send out good vibes, and positive words to anyone who reads my blog. I believe that if you are given the opportunity in life to have a forum where your voice can be heard it should be for good reason. I am a huge lover of life, living, and just being the absolute best you can be. I also believe we are exactly the choices we make, and putting toxic or negative things out in the public for others to see does not help anyone. It's kind of like posting pictures of you on Face Book while intoxicated. Remember everything you do publicly is forever. Once you put it out there...well it's out there. You are exactly what you project publicly, and I believe people that have the golden opportunity to have a public voice should inspire. I love to find cool stuff like the list below! So here's my go at it, and I wish you all an amazing and wonderful week!!!!

If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never get it.  If you don’t ask the right questions, you’ll always get the wrong answers.  If you don’t take a step forward, you’re always going to be in the same place.  Life is a journey full of choices.  Here are some wasteful choices to avoid.
  1. Spend time regretting the past 
  2. Complain about problems and do nothing to solve them.
  3. Follow the path of least resistance and quit when the going gets tough.
  4. Ignore your passions and follow your heart
  5. Setup your lifestyle so it’s dependant on your next paycheck.
  6. Spend more than you earn and rack up tons of financial debt.
  7. Try to control everything 
  8. Focus on what you don’t want to happen.
  9. Fear the things you don’t fully understand.
  10. Let everyone else make decisions for you.  Let your partner decide on your happiness
  11. Let small issues snowball into big problems.
  12. Be jealous of everyone else.
  13. Hold onto anger.  Never forgive anyone.
  14. Always be right.  Never let anyone be more right than you.
  15. Seek external validation before you consider yourself good enough.
  16. Make sure everything you do impresses someone else.
  17. Lie to yourself and pretend you are happy
  18. Keep doing the same thing over and over again until the day you die even though you are not truly happy
  19. Never finish what you start.
  20. Stay in the same place forever.  
  21. Compare yourself to those who you feel are more successful.
  22. Belittle yourself 
  23. Never learn anything new.
  24. Never take responsibility for your own actions.  
  25. Don’t let anyone help you.
  26. Be suspicious.  Trust no one.
  27. Multitask, multitask, multitask!  Do everything at once.
  28. Fill every waking moment of your life with commitments.
  29. Don’t help others unless you have to.  
  30. Think about all the things you don’t have 
  31. Never exercise.  
  32. Don’t say what you mean.  Don’t mean what you say.
  33. Never tell anyone how you feel or what you’re thinking.
  34. Never say, “I’m sorry.”  
  35. Get involved in other people’s problems and make them your own.
  36. Always put your own needs on the back burner.
  37. Make others feel bad about themselves.
  38. Watch TV for several hours every day.
  39. Do lots of drugs.  Drink lots of alcohol. Smoke!! 
  40. Don’t play, just work.
  41. Let your hobbies go.
  42. Let your close relationships go.
  43. Take everyone seriously and everything personally.
  44. Remember the insults, forget the compliments.
  45. Fail to plan.  Always wait until the last minute.
  46. Let it all bottle up inside.
  47. Always disregard other people’s opinions and suggestions.
  48. Dream about your future goals and never take action to achieve them.
  49. Fear change and resist it.
  50. Work hard, do your best, and then condemn yourself for not achieving perfection.
If you’re guilty of some of the bullet points above, remember, no matter how long you have traveled in the wrong direction you always have the choice to turn around.

On, on, on with life my friends! ;o)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bandera post race report

          I am lost. I have gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait so I can talk to myself and get back to the place I like to be. Thank you. 

I had an awesome weekend out at Bandera 100k. Not because I raced well. I actually didn't even finish the entire 100k. I opted for the unofficial 50k loop, and did not choose to go out for a 2nd loop. Happy to announce I have found myself, and somehow got a little lost out in the hills of Bandera Texas. Small, rolling, rocky little hills...and a whole lotta flat, flat, flat miles. Anyone who finishes this race is mentally a tuff cookie. It's a ton of fast running, and stomaching going out and running the same loop again takes some mental strength no doubt. I just wasn't in quite the right place mentally this week to spend 11 hours running through the hills of Texas. I am still working on building back up my running strength since my hip surgery in August, and I just wasn't quite ready. I am excited I didn't decide to drive myself into the ground for a race that was not at all a key race for me. I was hoping to just have fun, and take it easy. Totally impossible on this course. It's just to fast. I think the longest climb I clocked on the entire course took me 10-15 mins? Yes some sections were very rocky, and it was extremely beautiful, but it's a runners course. I am used to climbing at sustained amounts of time for hours; not minutes. I most certainly learned from this race I need to work on my running more, and build that weakness. I am excited to work with Jimmy Dean Freeman and have him coach me in this weak area. I have no problem giving a little energy in my training where tweaks are needed, but I also will not take away what I am good at. I hope that the end result is I can improve on my speed, and become a more well rounded runner. I also plan on working diligently to get myself back to the shape I was in pre hip surgery. I have been taking a ton of an amazing recovery product called Recover Eas. It is the best supplement on the market right now, and I swear by it. It's made by a company called Wicked Fast Sports Nutrition, and it works. Here is a website link to the product: wickedfastsportsnutrition.com/ . Jesse swears by it also. It rocks!! 

The best part of the weekend though? Jesse did amazing! It was his first 100k, and actually he has only raced one 50 mile, and about eight 50k's. He had all kinds of stomach issues, and made a ton of rookie mistakes, but he still did really well. He is fast. He is a 2:40 marathoner, and has the wheels to really do well in this sport. I am so excited for him! Once I finished my loop I was able to crew and help him for the latter part of his race. He was really struggling when I saw him at mile 47, but pulled through and went from 12th place to finishing 7th overall. He is such a *rock star* and he's all mine!! Cannot wait to see how he does in the next year. Love you so much Jesse!!!! Below is a great picture of me talking to him when he finished..the picture speaks volumes.

I also got to spend a ton of my day with Darcy(LOVE you girl!!). Darcy was racing the 100k, but was having some plantar issues so opted for only one 50k loop also. So great to see her! It was just as much fun seeing Craig Thornley. We got to catch up, and hang a ton. What a sweetheart of a man. He is the RD of Waldo 100k, and he ran the 50k, and was there for the rest of the race crewing a bunch of the Oregon runners. What is really cool about this race is if you do the 50k you can then help and crew for friends doing the 100k. All the aid stations are easily accessible, and it really was a total blast hanging out with and seeing everyone. If Jesse decides to go back to this race next year I will definitely take this option, and go to race the 50k and crew for him after. We also got to spend the weekend with his parents(love you Ed and Linda!!), and just had the best weekend ever. I really, really missed my son Tyler though, but he could not miss school for two days to come. He will be joining us at Orcas Island 50k in a few weeks in Washington, and Jesse said we are not allowed to ever leave him home again cause he can't stand to see me so sad!! 

Heres the quick version of a detailed course review for those of you ever considering doing the Bandera 100k or 50k race.

1. This is a runner's course. Plan on going into this race in top running shape. It will not fair well for you if you don't. 75% of this course is on runnable flat single track & dirt roads. It would be a great race to PR at a 100k at it, but be ready to race all the speedsters in the sport. They flock to this race.  
2.  The aid station's are well stalked, and have great support. You will never go farther than 5 miles without an aid station, and tons of spots for crew, and drop bags. 
3. The other 25% of this course is pretty darn rocky and technical. Good little 200-400 foot climbs that are full of rocks. All VERY runnable though. Just super rugged little rocky sections that were a blast to run up and down. 
4. It's crowded. You will never be alone. There was over 750 runners on the course either running the 100k, 50k, or 25k. The first loop I had some stretches where maybe for 5 mins I didn't see anyone, but I would imagine that would have been different second time around. 
5. Great race to catch up and meet people from all across the country in the sport. I met lots of great people, and was able to catch up with tons of friends I rarely get to see
6. Plan to camp. The town of Bandera has zero hotel options, and the race start/finish location turns into a huge Ultra runners camp. Everyone was camping, and it was really a ton of fun. The race site was amazing, and the race director does an outstanding job.
7. This course was breathtakingly beautiful. Cool terrain, great views of the surrounding landscape, and just super pretty. I give course scenery a 9 out of 10. Yes I am being dead serious. The course was super awesome as far as beauty. 
8. Fly into San Antonio, and do NOT forget to stalk up on food and groceries here at the Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. The town of Bandera has nothing healthy. 
9. Bring food to the finish line as the RD has no BBQ or meal after. I was starving after waiting for Jesse to finish...starving. Could have used a veggie burger...some sort of BBQ. Something. Anything. 
10. You will run hard at this race. If you go to *race* it plan on it hitting your race season up harder than you think. It tears you up to run hard for that long. Plan your key races accordingly after this one. Below are a slew of fun pics of Jesse and myself during the race. 

So what's next in life besides Orcas Island 50K? Ray Miller is first on the calender, and I cannot believe the 50 mile is sold out! Crazy! Excited for this debut race. As far as racing for me...Maybe Mesquite Canyon 50k in AZ, then Old Goats 50 mile, and super pumped for Zane Grey 50 mile. All good stuff. Busy, busy the next few months. Life just happens weather we are ready for it or not. LOVING every single minute of it though. 

On, on, on with life my friends. Keep on keeping on!! 

Olga it was soooo great seeing you at one of the aid stations. Hope to see you at Leona! ;o)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Taking the leap... guts & no glory

Ok so this weekend I am going to be racing the Bandera 100k. Jesse is also. Good times. Gonna be great. Fun stuff. Very excited. Ok so now for how I really feel...

I plan on getting my ass handed to me, and have no problem openly admitting that to all of you. I love to climb. I love to climb tough, rugged, gnarly, technical mountains. Cannot wait for Zane Grey, Old Goats, and my fingers and toes are crossed I get into Wasatch. Bandera is none of the above. I love point to point's, out and backs', and basically every kind of race our sport was birthed on. Two 50k loops on a course with just under 4,000 feet of total gain...shoot me right now in the foot. Get it over with please. Yes Mr.Meltzer this pretty smiling California girl is not so...ur..."smiling" right now. ;o(

My goals for 2012 were to step out of my comfort zone, be brave, be stronger, do things I would not normally do, get a little faster, and rock a few 100 mile races. I figured Bandera would force me into it quickly, and fast. Plus my other half reeeeeealllly wanted to go to Texas and do this race. So here I sit. Packed. Ready to leave. Jesse and I fly out in the morning. Still not smiling Mr.Meltzer.

My predictions for the race? Well I have no business giving any sort of odds for the mens field. The top 10 men will be done, showered, and eating before I am finished. I would LOVE to see a couple guys kill it that I think are rad, and I have soft spots for them.  Heres a few I believe will do great...in no particular order just giving some shout outs.

*Jesse Haynes is of course my first pick, and is def the dark horse. Glad all you busy bloggers and running far folks over looked him. Nice. I love you my man!!!

*Yassine Diboun- such a rock star. Fellow Rudy Project UIltra team runner. love this guy. go get em YD!!

* Nick Clark- This guy should be Ultra Runner of the Year. Nuff said.  Go kick some ass. I think he will win on Saturday.

* Dave James- A dear friend, and another sweetheart of a guy. Fast as friggin lighting!! Dave PLEASE don't go out in front of that young 19? year old kid that has won a few 60k's? and everyone thinks is the actual dark horse. Just for once let someone else go out faster in front of you. I promise it will pay off after 40 miles. ;o) Run smart and the race is yours...

*Tim Olson- been rocking it all year. He will kill it.  He will also tear Leona Divide to shreds. Great guy for sure.

Not touching the women's side. To much fast talent for me to even touch, and plus thats kind of lame since I am running it. I hope to break 10:30, and finish strong. Running my own race and going for a time goal. I would LOVE to see Darcy kick everyones ass. She has the talent. That's great that some of these women can run really well at some 50k's, 50 milers, 100k's, whatever..Darcy is the real deal. She is so amazing. So sweet, a mom, and could run 99% of every man I know into the ground in any mountain range in the continental US, and last I checked that to me defines Ultra Running(probably the reason why I think Karl Meltzer is so incredible). Trail running in the mountains for long periods of time. Go get that shit girl, and take names while your at it. I wish you the absolute best of luck with a win!!! I also would like to see her get female ultra runner of the year. That would be so great!

Ok so I leave you with this rad video. I have watched it a billion times, and the music is epic!!! Step out of your comfort zone, take risks, and stop letting fear hold you back from where you want to be in life. Remember this: Life happens weather you want it to or not. We are the choices me make. Bring it on Bandera!!