Saturday, October 30, 2010

Napa Valley Trail Marathon!

Babbling streams will be your soundtrack as you challenge yourself on the lush singletrack within Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. The course is a bit challenging with the hills, streams and rocks - which makes it all the more exciting and rewarding. This state park is a local treasure that is untapped by tourists and located just minutes from the area's great restaurants and wineries.  This event will take place rain or shine.

That is the race description!  Seriously so excited!  Headed out the door right now.  It rained all night so let's hope there's nothing left!

Have a great day everyone - and good luck at all your running events this weekend! :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Things Thursday

This is the 'on the road' edition...

1.  Neveda is cold.  Really cold.  Colder than Utah right now.  We stayed over in Reno overnight and even though you can see your breath out in the air, all five of my kids insisted on swimming in the outdoor pool.  And who am I to ruin vacation fun.  They lasted all of ten minutes...

2.I've been adding in the extra calories.  Yesterday I got to 2000 calories - I was shooting for 2400.  Today I'll get them in.  My stomach is officially pooching.  I went to bed feeling full up to my throat.  Not very comfortable.  I need to get some more fruit in today.  It's just a little hard on the road.  We should hit the Bay Area late this afternoon and I'll get a decent dinner in.

3.  Rain is predicted for the race on Saturday.  I did bring a light weight poncho, but I've yet to find a fix from wet feet.  Having wet, sloshly shoes for miles and miles - especially in the mud - is not enoyable.  I've seen people use duct tape.  Anyone got any ideas?  I'm hoping that it's just a drizzle.  We'll see as the days get closer...  At least it's supposed to be in the 60's, so we won't be freezing.

About to get back out on the road.  We only have about 4 hours of driving time, but I'm thinking a good 6 hours before we make it. trips with fam...doesn't get much better than that! : )

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This is what I've woken up to for the last three mornings...What?  Huh?  Seriously...  Snow every morning, sections of highway that require chains, and storm warnings for the mountains.  It's like I fell asleep in October and woke up in January.  This puts a little cramp in my running that I wasn't expecting for another month or so.  I'm pretty sure it's a fluke and will warm up again.  Positive thinking.

I was reading an article on over the weekend and wanted to get your take.  It is about a guy that is a marathoner and basically a MIT whiz.  He came up with a formula to figure out how many calories needed for a carb load phase of 3 days before a marathon.  If the right amount of calories are consumed then there will be no hitting the wall during race day.  Check the article out here.  Or you can just check out the calculator calculator here.

When I put in my info, I need to load an extra 2500 calories.  That's an additonal 800 calories a day for 3 days.  That's a lot.  But if it can get me through a marathon without hitting the wall I'm in.  I'm thinking I'm going to try it.  That means I start today.  An extra piece of fruit here and there, an extra serving of rice, another piece of wheat bread and another cup of pasta.  Honestly I feel like they'll have to roll me to the start line if I eat that much!

How much do you eat before a marathon? 

Do you like this calculator? 

Do you think this guy's got it right?

We're heading out to Cali today.  We're so excited!  It will be nice to leave the snow behind.  Now, it's time to get my eat on!  I should just wear a bib around my neck all day...  : )

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Perfect 12 Miler

I had a great morning run.  I definitely needed it after my long run last week that was ended with stomach problems.  I hate going into a race with a bad long run.  Now all will be well.  :)

Came across this cute family of deer while running.

It's amazing how a good run can change the course of your day, week, race.  So grateful today's was good!  Even with rain the last 3 miles.  I can feel fall slipping away.  I hope you all are enjoying your weekend running!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I got nothin'

I'm having a very unclever week.  A week of going through the motions.  Just trying to get to next Wednesday.  Anyone ever felt like this? 

We are planning a big family trip around my marathon for this month.  We will be traveling via mini van (family of 7!) about 750 miles to the Bay Area next week.  It's all we can talk about when we're together as a family.  Nothing is getting done around the house.  The kids can barely concentrate on homework or school.  We had a birthday last weekend for my little guy, and one of my daughter's birthday is this weekend - and they almost don't even care.  Almost.  She talks more about the trip than what she wants for her birthday.  Crazy.

The days can't go by fast enough to get to next week.  I'm getting my running in but it just seems like my body is doing it but my heart is not in it for these daily runs.  So weird.  I just want to be at that start line right now!

So questions for the day...

Anyone running races Halloween weekend?

and if so...

Are you dressing up in costume this year? 

Have you ever done a race in costume? 

I'm currently trying to decide if I want to be in costume for my trail marathon.  It's gonna be hard enough to run 26.2, do I want to add the worry of my tutu turned just right or my fairy wings snagging on a tree branch?  Hmmm.  I don't know...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Motivational Monday


This fall season has been amazing.  I just can't say it enough.  We've had such perfect weather every weekend, which has made running the absolute best.  However, Saturday's run was a rough one.  I listed my choices last Friday and I ended up going with 'C'.  I set out that morning choosing 'A', an easy 20 miler and 9 miles in I had some serious GI issues going on.  I tried some different nutrition for this long run and I'm thinking that was my problem.  But this is where you gotta try things out, right?  I finally called my husband and had him pick me up at mile 14.  I was moments away from puking my guts out if I kept running.  I've never been sick like that on a run.  I usually have a stomach of steel.  So no long run.  I was pretty disappointed with only 14, but what can you do? : )  The rest of the day was great, we celebrated my little guy's birthday and we all enjoyed pizza, soda, cake and ice cream.  My tummy can handle all that but not GU.  Go figure...

So for motivation today...  This is great.  It works for more than just exercising.  Melanie, you asked for this, you got it!

So hop to it.  It's the beginning of the week.  Make a list, or don't.  Get that run in today.  Clean that bathroom.  Get the laundry done.  Seal the big deal today.  Whatever it is, do it.  No excuses.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekend Planning...

The kids are out of school for a long weekend and we've got a birthday tomorrow.  My little guy is turning 3!  So crazy.  Where does the time go?  Here's what the birthday cake will hopefully look like...

Everywhere we go, he yells in his loudest voice, 'Mom, TRUCK!'  Everything that is not a car is a truck.  Which, how can boys be boys so early on.  Trucks and guns.  He can make a gun out of anything and has mastered all sound effects of guns and cars but still doesn't talk clearly.  Should I be worried?  I'm not.  I have two older boys that did the exact same thing and are fine.  Just funny...

So my weekend dilemma.  It seems I question this before every so called taper.  Long run tomorrow:  Do I really need one?  Mentally I feel like I do.  So do I do an easy 20 miler that I can get done in 3 hours ish or 16 to 18 miles long run w/ trail, tougher and will probably take 3.5 hours.  Marathon is two weeks from Saturday.  There just aren't training plans that show what to do for a marathon a month.  It just feels weird to not do a 20 miler a few weeks before a race.  Yes, I know I can cover distance but I'm still training.  I'm not just trying to get through,  I want to get better, strong, faster.  Point...I don't want to just sit back and just know I can cover distance.  I want to push myself, without hurting my body.

So help me out...  Don't tell me what you think I want to hear.  Pretend you are the coach for a day.  Get out your #2 pencils and fill in your answers... 

Do I:

a.  Run an easy (a relative term these days) 20 miler, rolling hills, pavement course, with a one mile uphill finish - probably takes about 3:10 to finish

b.  Run 16 to 18 miles, mostly trail, lots of uphill sections, gorgeous scenery - probably takes 3.5 hours to finish


c.  Fill in the blank.  Be creative.  Give me your best.  I'm tough, I can take it!

I already know what I'm leaning towards.  Let's see what the test results bring in... ; ) 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Training Tunesday

My marathon this month is in Napa, California and it's a trail marathon. So a lot of my focus has been to get some trail running in so my legs will be ready for some tough terrain. I actually have a trail system practically in my backyard so it has worked out perfect. On Satuday I decided to do my long run with 10 miles of trail thrown in. I only did 16 total which ended up taking me 3 hours but miles on the trail are definitely not going to be in the 8 min/mi range! And along with other parts of the country, we had beautiful fall scenery all around...

When we reached our highest point of elevation, we were at 7500 ft!

The trail is pretty groomed but there are some rocky sections to navigate as well.

Ran under some fallen trees....

I think the peak of the leaves changing colors was last weekend but we still had lots of beautiful color.

The trail is mostly single track which makes it so you can't run side by side with a friend but we still had a blast!

Yes, this is a mountain lion paw print. I should have put my hand down by it to compare size, but it was the size of my hand! It was most definitely a mama, not a cub. I've known there to be mountain lion & cougars up in the hills, but have never seen them. We saw these prints about 5 times through the trail and they didn't follow the trail, they cut across the trail and then up the mountain and then we'd see them again on the next switch back! We were definitely scared. We even heard it... not good. I definitely have the fear in me now. Next time my friend and I will do this with more people. fyi - if you ever chance to meet a mtn lion or cougar, put hands up in the air and appear as large as possible, and slowly back away keeping eye contact. Hopefully they'll let you go... Hopefully you're not ever in that situation!

This Saturday, I have another long trail run planned in another section of the area. We're supposed to have gorgeous, unseasonable warm temps so I'm sure it will be amazing! I absolutely love trail running. It's such a nice change of routine especially during the autumn. Hopefully you can find some trails to run this season too!

So I've come down from my intense day yesterday. I slept like a baby last night, finally.  So relieved the presentation went well.  For Tunesday, I wanted to leave you with the song that played during my intro, it really got all the kids hyped up before I came out to speak.  However the version I used was an instumental and chorus - minus the rap verses!  Enjoy the live definitely gets you pumped!  : )

Monday, October 11, 2010

Motivational Monday! All my tweens...let me hear ya!

Here I am collecting my thoughts before I began...  So serious.  Game face.  : )

So....I did it.  I had them eating out of my hands...  ; )  I had my first real speaking engagement at the Junior High today!  It really could not have gone any better.  I practiced all weekend, held my breath the whole weekend and lived with a giant knot in my chest all weekend.  Once I actually got out on the floor and began speaking it really was so fun.  The kids were very interactive and seemed to have fun with the presentation. 

We did an activity where they had to do a circuit of exercises with 20 lb weight vests on to symbolize how much harder life can be if we choose things like drugs, alcohol, bad eating habits, and no exercises, things that will 'weigh' us down and not help us enjoy our lives.  The crowd loved cheering them on!
My thoughts were all centered around being active, being healthy and no excuses.  And it really seemed to go over well.  I had the whole 25 minutes set to a power point presentation so they had visuals as well as listening to me talk.  It went by so fast!  I even got some high fives, and 'thanks for coming, that was awesome!' from the kids.  What a great morning.

So don't be surprised if you see a box on my sidebar advertising public speaker for youth events!  I would love it - how great to be paid for talking about something you already love.

BTW - how bout my hair?  It's finally settling in to a nice fall color, right?  Things are definitely looking up this week! : )

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  My hair is still red.

2.  I haven't written my speech/presentation for the junior high on Monday.

3.  I'm eating a donut and Dr. Pepper for lunch right now.

Things can only go up from here...right? : )

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Eating for races over 3 hours...and some other things

As you might remember in some of my past races I've been experiencing the dreaded wall in different forms.  Fatigue, muscle pulls, tired legs.  Usually around the 21 mile point.  So I've been trying to do a little more research to see what I can do to make those last 5 miles a little more enjoyable.  I came across this article last week and it had some really good information.  Check it out here.

So according to this article I'm only taking in about 1/4 of the nutrition I need.  I usually eat one pack of Clif Shot Bloks throughout a marathon, plus water & Gatorade.  According to this article I should be eating a pack an hour.  That's 5 of those jelly squares an hour.  That could take a lot of getting used to. 

How much do you eat during a marathon? 
How does your stomach hold up? 
Is this a good plan of attack? 

I'm going to try it on my 20 miler this weekend, we'll see if it makes a difference.

Now on to what you've all came to my blog to find out about today...
          Ok, ok.  I will post some pics of the hair.  So, here is my hair from at least the last few years...

You can flip through the blog to see other pics of my hair color but that's a good head shot...bleachy blond weaved hair.

I could only stand to give you the back view of my hair.  Remember it has been wrapped up in a bun for the past 3 days. 

A little different, don't ya think?  What a mop of hair...

So today I went back to have a little more work done and we're getting closer.  We're trying to pull the red out and lighten it a bit.  My hair has had the works done to it in the past 4 days and now it's like my hamsting, it needs some time to heal.  We'll probably try to lighten it again over the weekend.

Am I hoping for too much here?  I just need a few extensions and some more brown, right? : )

Oh and remember this is a running blog.  What are your race day nutrition secrets?  What tricks do you have?  Secrets for pulling red out of your hair color?  I mean, how much do you eat during a marathon?  Focus... : )

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Motivational Tunesday

So I have something else to add to my fall changes this month.  I have a new profession.  It's one I've fallen into a bit by accident.  I was asked to speak in an asssembly at the junior high here in my town!  A motivational speech on being healthy, making good choices in health, friends and life.  Seriously.  I will be talking for 15 to 20 minutes to over 600, 12 to 15 year olds.  Help!  I've got a few ideas but I haven't written it out.  I've spoken in front of groups before but this will definitely be the largest and quite possibly the most hostile group.  I'm thinking I need a good activity/object, lesson/interactive game somewhere in between to keep their attention.  And, yeah, this will be taking place Monday morning.  Gotta pull it together or this new profession could be short-lived.  So while I contemplate how best to present myself, to really get through to these tweens, I thought maybe I could do something like this and throw in a couple running rhymes somewhere...( i know, sorry about the ad, couldnt figure out how to edit it out, it's worth the wait, I promise ;)

What do you think?  The kids would dig that, right?  I am such a hip-hop fan.  This was from the late show last week and I gotta give a shout out to my girl, Lady Ace, for sharing.  We've decided to go head to head at an undisclosed location and time to battle out our favorite rhymes from the past few moves included.

Focus, focus.  For now I gotta leave the mic checking and b-girl stances for later and get back to the matter at hand.  My big speech.  I'm being serious when I ask for any ideas.  Has anyone done this before?  Good jokes for teens?  Things to avoid?  Maybe I could just get all their cell phone numbers and text them daily affirmations instead.  Maybe I could start by asking if they want to live in a van down by the river...

So blog changes are being put on hold for the moment.  I have to pull my thoughts together.  Bear with me...

Oh, and yeah, my hair is still dark red, my sister said it's copper.  Potato, potatoe.  Waiting for my hair dresser to call me back to get an appointment.  Who doesn't work on Mondays anyways?  Guess I'll be spending another day in seclusion hoping no one comes by for a suprise house visit.  For all you locals, this is not an invitation to drop by.   Aaaah.  The drama of hair color gone wrong.  I mean, really, how hard is it to make someone's hair look like Jen Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, or Sarah Jessica Parker.  Pretty hard I guess...  I'm trying to get up the courage to share a pic.  Maybe after it's fixed...  : )

I said a hip hop, the hippie, to the hippie, to the hip hip hop, you don't stop...running.  : )

Monday, October 4, 2010

Make-over Monday

I've been wanting to make a few changes here and there and with this fall season upon us and I thought now is the perfect time.  My production staff and I are trying to give the ol' blog a bit of a face-lift.  You might notice the header is different and the falling leaves in the background is new.  I really want to revamp my tabs, I'll be working on that this week.  And now that September is over and my crazy month of racing is behind, I want to be better at posting through the week.  Who knew running a race a week would make me so tired? : )

With the changing leaves, I thought it would be fun to change the color of my hair too.  I've been a bleachy blonde forever and wanted to switch it up a little.  I was thinking along the lines of a warm brown with blond highlights.  My sister, a certifiied stylist, was thinking more along the lines of mahogany red.  Needless to say, this weekend was full of some ups and downs - and a few tears.  It's a work in progress.  Sorry I'm too vain to post any pictures.  Still got it pulled back and wearing a hat to carpool kids to school today.  It'll get there.  Just hope I don't have to cut it off by the time we're done...

I did go for a beautiful 10 mile canyon run on Saturday.  Took it slow and enjoyed the gorgeous leaves.  It was such a perfect day and the soft ground was good for my legs that are still healing.  And it was the maiden voyage for the Garmin.  She performed beautifully and I sat and stared at the charts for an hour when I got home.  So fun.

As I begin this first real week of October, with a ton of things going on with the family, I hope that I can think about more than just fixing my hair!  Wish me luck...