Monday, October 9, 2017

My Cuyamca 100k Race report

 I woke up at 3am made some coffee got all my gear in the car and made my way to my friends house. We carpooled to the race because I know  that running a long race and trying to drive home alone can be really hard.  We made it to the race by 5:30am
As soon as we got there I felt better. We got great parking and had lots of time to check in and hit the bathroom. I got my number 119 and got my picture taken. Then got in line and ready to start. This is one of the best races in San Diego. The race director Scott Crellin really makes sure that everything is ready for us the runners. We had our morning briefing and then right at 6:30 am we where off.  I felt good and ready. I do want to say this.. I know I am not recovered from the Tahoe 200 and that I should not be running yet but I love this race and I love the ultra running community so much. That my will power lost and there you have me at the start. 

This course is beautiful but it will kick you ass if you are not trained.  The aid stations are amazing. They want you to succeed so they encourage you to keep going. They get you ready to keep going by feeding you good food or hugging you and believing in you when you stop.
This year my back and feet where not happy with me. I didn't carry any water in my pack and I thought maybe my back would be just fine. It still hurts from Tahoe I think the pack I chose for that race was way to big .
 I got to Cuymaca peak that was Angela Shartel's aid station. (she is this amazing ultra runner)  I wanted to quit because my back was on fire. I sat there and Angela in a very sneaky way got me back on the trail. She did that thing that helps you get your head back in the game with out letting your self know thats what your doing.  A young man at the aid station cracked my back twice and that really helped so before I knew it I was running again. 

I was not moving really fast but I was moving and I was loving running . I could manage the pain in my back so I was good to go. I needed to finish the first loop with a little bit of a cushion in order to be timed out. I was chasing cut offs ( almost chasing them) I finished loop 1. Becca and Nartaya got me ready and next thing you know I was off again. Loop 2 is hard even though its only 13 miles. The thing I told myself is its 13 miles G. You can run 13 miles.

I took this picture at the point I knew I was not going to be able to compete this race.  My back was killing me, Tahoe caught up with me and my feet where so sore. I decided at this moment to count my blessings. I would end up running 48 beautiful miles at the Cuymaca 100k and that is a huge positive. I love this hard race and imagine this . Here I am in this beautiful field running and sharing stories with other runners. The part of me that really wanted to run this under 17 hours was let down but my heart is way bigger than that and running owns so much of my happiness that just being a part of this amazing event was enough for me this year.
Miss G got a DNF at the Cuymaca 100k this year and yeah a DNF always sucks but I love running so I will be back next year. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

This weekends 100k

This Saturday is the Cuyamaca 100k. I am super excited but also nervous because it is a hard race and I want to do well that for me means 16 1/2 hours. I have my nutrition down and I have some new Olympus Altras so my feet should be happy. My friend Nartaya who is in this picture is coming out to pace me and we always laugh together. I love races like these because San Diego has the nicest runners and getting to see everyone is always so much fun.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

What 331 miles !!

The month of September is gone . Forever I thought the Tahoe 200 would never happen and now its all in the past. Thanks to that crazy ,beautiful race I ran my biggest month ever. I ran 331 miles in September and maybe that is why my feet hurt. (ha ha) I am still having a hard time believing that Robert and I did it. We finished 200 miles in 99 hours. I was so scared going into that race. My biggest motivation was remembering what my friend Becca always tells me when we go into race. Trust the training G. When you put in the work and you don't cheat yourself your chances of finishing are really good and when your brain knows that and believes it . You finish what you start. The older I get the more I really get how good this running thing really is.
Sending you awesome blessings for next month.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Random Life Stuff

Recovery has been slow. It has been a couple weeks and my feet don't hurt. I have been running around wit Jack going to scooter parks. This gets me moving !!

Peeps They Cryo thing has been amazing for my recovery. My legs feel so good after 3 min. If you have not tried Cryo ..You need to and don't feel scared to try it a bit colder. This is the place I go to in Del Mar. Cryogenics    I love it.

I have been eating fruits and lots of veggies too. 

I am trying new shoes. My feet hurt so so much during the Tahoe 200 that all I could think about was I need to try something else. I got 3 pairs of Altras and I hope they work. Life after the 200 is really good I just need to give my body some time to heal. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The finish line Tahoe 200

We finally crossed the finish line. I aged aged a couple years. You know when your so tired your like a zombie. Thats what I felt like. A very emotional tired G. I cried a bunch and I wanted a shower so bad. Robert and I did well. 
look at this thing ! Insane 

Here we are with the race director. I was so mad at her during the race it was just so hard but now looking back. at our run what makes it special is that we conquered even though it was insanely tough. Would I do this again ?? I said no way but now 2 weeks have passed and well I am thinking about it. I would like to do the other 200 she has. Moab or Big Foot maybe next year.

This is my new sexy buckle ...Do you like it ? I love it.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Day 3 and 4 Tahoe 200

Even on the third night, I felt overwhelmed by the beauty. My thoughts kept reminding me to try and be present: take it all in G. I would stop and count from 10 to 1 and take deep breaths. It is a good way that works for me to remind myself to come back to NOW.

OMG!! Let me tell you the story about this picture. I don't remember what it's called but I took this picture when I got to the top. Okay its about 6am and we have to run through the streets of  Tahoe where the really nice houses are to get to this trail head. We get there and I literally looked up and said, 'oh shit!' I remember during the race briefing they told us about this part of the race where you see the telephone poles. They told us you will have 3 false summits and it does not look like a trail but it is. You will have to go through bushes and pull yourself up by roots and just when you think your done you're NOT! I was so mad at the race director at this point. I was like OMG this lady is trying to kill us. I think it was the fact that I was tired and how freaking hard it felt. Then as I am struggling to go up I hear, 'on your left.' Just like that a 70 year old passes me. He just climbs up like its nothing. My butt felt humbled. In my brain I was being a baby and I told myself we don't have time for that G. It was at this point I started realizing I needed to step up. When I got to the top I took the picture, went pee and waited for Robert. 

I feel like after this climb this race for me got real. Robert was the perfect partner. We got in grove where we stopped talking and we just ran in rhythm. I started having serious foot pain too. My bottom of my feet just ached and I kicked a rock and tore my big toe nail off. I started with La Sportiva and then wore Hokas but they where too tight on my fat feet so I ended up running the last 80 miles with Salomons but by then my feet were gone. The best thing I could do to was just channel my pain away from me and go faster. Even though it hurt I felt lucky just be able to run and be in the mountains.

Robert was in pain but neither of us complained too much. I helped him and he helped me. He was amazing at keeping us on track and I only got mad once and that was because I am a slow eater and I hated having to eat fast at the aid stations. Robert got kinda upset because I took way to long for 2 miles but once he communicated what was wrong I stepped it up and went faster. After he told me we actually made up a whole hour. 

My dad was great he drove with me and crewed me. See how tired I looked. I think I was totally swollen too. Oh by the way this jacket by Ultimate Direction is not a warm jacket. It is a wind breaker. Note to self I need a new rain jacket.  This picture was taken mile 190 and I Robert and I had been up for almost 4 days. We had 10 miles to go but needed 5 hours to do it in because of the climbing that was coming up. I was starting to feel nostalgic and I missed my husband and I wanted to tell him all about this crazy race. I felt love for Robert because he was such a great running partner that made sure we never got lost. I felt grateful for my dad and Anthony and Cassie. They were so good to me while I ran. I felt so lucky that somehow with Robert's help we where going to make it. You know your out there for so long and it's like being in another world for 200 miles. I kept thinking about people like Scott Mills and what he has accomplished and what an inspiration he is for me. I thought about Angie Shartel this strong bad ass female Ultra runner mom I admire. She just had surgery and I know she is will come back stronger because thats who she is. I thought about people I have met in the San Diego ultra community and how much they mean to me. How there story had inspired me so much to not give up. I just feel so lucky to have found The Trail Crashers. The running group that took me in and let me suck and stuck in there waiting for me during training runs until one day I got a little stronger and I was able to keep up. I think I should probably just say I don't know what there is about this sport not to love. I had to keep myself from thinking about my kids because I was trying not to cry but I cried from mile 203 to mile 205. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Day 2 Tahoe 200

Day 2 did not get any easier. I guess I was able to sleep for 2 hours and that was a blessing. The relentless up hill was so constant that it defiantly kept me awake and worried .. My thoughts can I keep doing this for 200 miles ..

The views were spectacular. To me I felt like I was looking at Gilligan's Island. The little Island was a tan with deep blues surrounding it. The weather was nice on most of the second day. I just kept telling myself I can do anything for four days and now I just have 3 to go. 

I know I look like crap in this picture but this is me. Tired but eating with a purpose and keeping warm. Check out the bags under my eyes !!!

This was the part of the Rubicon trail. That was weird because there was massive jeeps and all hours just plowing through..CRAZY

One of the best parts for me was that Robert and I got along so well. We really did. It was so easy running together. It didn't make the course easier but it made life easier.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day 1 of the Tahoe 200 miler

I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought I knew what I was signing up for but I didn't. I had no idea in this picture that the next couple days would be so hard. I live in San Diego so I don't really have a sense of elevation gain. This race has an Elevation Gain :  35,117 feet (10,704 meters) of ascent and 35,117 feet (10,704 meters) of descent.

I did not go into this alone my friend Robert and I hiked and ran the entire 200 miles together. We took care of each other and kept each other motivated. In the past when I run at events the days go by fast but not at Tahoe .The days went by slower and I think it was because you where always climbing and moving. I was always thinking about what do I need next. Do I have enough food to get me by and the water situation was a mess. I ended up eating 43 gels. The CHIA gels ended up being my favorite. They seem not give me tummy issues and they went down easier. It sounds like a-lot but when you know it works you just swallow. I ate bananas and ham and cheese sandwiches too. 

 It was also a big deal having a friend with you that reminded you its time for a gel. I wish I would of taken more cookies and just other food but I can't imagine carrying more stuff in my pack. It was so heavy on my back. As I sit here and write this my back hurts. 
The view where amazing. I loved being outside and it was a spiritual journey for sure.
The plan was day 1 Robert and I would cover 62 miles and the plan was that would take us 20 hours. As you know I am not a fast runner I am usually middle of the pack. Cuyamaca 100k took me 17 hours and in my brain that is a really hard race so the thought of it  taking me 3 more hours for 100k worried me. My thoughts kept coming back to how hard can this be...REALLY FUCKING HARD. At mile 6 we saw Cassie and Anthony they are crewing Robert and consequently me.  We got some water and kept moving then out of no where comes my dad just hiking along. He has a lot of energy and it was nice to see him smiling. Robert and I kept going and I saw about 30 runners in front of us. I asked Robert what was going on and it was really a surprise to see so many people lost. This is early in the game maybe mile 10 and there are no ribbons to be found. There are runners coming from all sides. Some ran east and west and till no ribbons so Robert takes out the GAIA app and we all fallow what it says. The problem was the worrying every step you take your worried its in the wrong direction and when your going 200 miles that is the one thing you don't need extra milage. Finally about an hour and a half later thanks to the  GIAI app we found a ribbon. We all clapped and it was the best feeling. I don't think they marked that area well. I don't believe that anyone would pull that many ribbons just to screw w us. Now we are back on track. The weather was nice and we just kept plugging along these insane hills.  The time passed and we found our  grove . Everyone had told me the first day would be the hardest. I was ready to work and I knew it would be a long day. I kept thinking how will I stay away and will taking a get every hour really work. It turns out that wheat kept me awake was the adrenaline. Just knowing I was doing this with Robert and that he was counting on me to keep pushing kept me pushing. It took us 20 hours to get 100k done. I think part of it was the altitude and the other half was the climbing. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

1 day until the Tahoe 200

Here I am. I made it to Lake Tahoe and on Friday morning I will be at the starting line of the Tahoe 200.  If you want to fallow me just click on Tahoe 200 and you can fallow me I am number 37. You might be stuck to your computer for four days !!! I am not as scared as I feel I should be. My mind set for this adventure goes something like this. I am beyond grateful that I am healthy enough to do this and everything else is a gift. I am not running for time I am praying I finish with a good cushion. I want to be mindful on this journey and be present and aware of my surroundings. I know its going to hurt and that I will suffer and that is part of the journey of choosing to run 200 miles.. There is this huge part of my brain that still shows up at these events and does not understand how I got lucky enough to take part in an event like this. I feel trained and ready.
 I feel bad for my husband who is home with 3 kids for 6 days. Thank you Mike for making all of this possible. My husband often tells me when I bring up a big race and when I am feeling him out to see if it is going to works with his work schedule the kids and school. I just want to say I have 3 kids in 3 different schools that start at 3 different times... It is a bit crazy. My husband tells me G how could I not want you to go and why would I not try and make happen for you . It's what you love and it makes you happy and I like it when your happy. That's another reason my heart feels humbled and I feel so grateful.
Friday morning at 9:am myself and a bunch of other amazing human will take part in a 200 mile journey around Lake Tahoe. I am so excited to just be a part of it. I am sure it will take me the 4 days we are given and I have no idea what to expect but I do know that I will be working my butt of while practicing patience and determination. 
You are the road of Love, and at the end my home.. Rumi

Monday, August 28, 2017

Meditation on the run

I went yoga today and the teacher told us to try and lead from our heart. I put my hand over my heart and tried to visualize . Then she said feel your emotions go through your heart almost like your coming in from the back door. I never thought about love coming from my entire heart and how about it going through . I love that visual I picture my heart and good energy flowing from the back door through to the front around and back.
I went on a short run today and I have been working on keeping my heart rate low when I run I can go farther for longer.
Today I just focused and sat with love flowing through me. I had the coolest, easiest feel good but quite run.  It felt like I really just meditated while I ran . It left me feeling special.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A new adventure coming up

Some of the best people I have met have become my friends out on the trails. There is something about spending an endless amount of time running with someone that makes you specially good friends. I never thought I would run a 100 mile race. I remember training for a marathon and thinking 30 mile weeks where insane. The last couple years have been so much fun.  Running has helped me become a stronger person both emotionally and physically . I used to be afraid of so many things and lets just say that has changed. I feel confident. 
My friend Robert and I will running The Tahoe 200 in about 10 days ! I am so excited and nervous but more excited than anything. Robert was so awesome he paced me at Lost Boys and we run well together. He runs better than me so  guess I fallow well. The race looks like its going to be crazy so much everything. going on. The elevation is crazy so I have been hiking my butt off. I have been running my butt of but I have been learning  how to listen to my body when I am feeling tired and slowing down with  a purpose. I am so looking forward to this adventure ..

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Just Keep Moving

Today I went to visit Chris and it was so sad. I go a couple times a week it feels right. The kids and I feel better every time we go. This morning I went for a really early 8 mile run before the day got going. I had stopped running early and you know what running early made my entire day so much better. I noticed a huge difference in my mood and my energy level. I was able to focus on good memories about Chris. I guess I am writing this because even in the crappiest of times remembering to keep moving helps so much. It helps in the saddest of times. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Black Canyon 50k

I signed up for The Black canyon 50k . I thought it would be a great training run for Tahoe 200 . The weeks fallowing the passing of Chris I had no running in me. I felt guilty leaving my kids to go for a run so I stayed as close to them as I could. I was not happy because running is my happy and training for a race is what really keeps me motivated but life has been mixed up lately. The last two weeks I kicked myself in the butt and started running again. 
On Saturday July 21 I woke up early and drove 25 minutes to the race. Another reason I signed up for this race it's so close to home. We started at 6am. I had no freaking idea what I was in for. I thought oh its a 50k I can do that and we don't have that many hills in San Diego so I should be okay. BS
It was really hard and challenging. I got my butt kicked and it was just what I needed to remind me that I need to keep at it if I want to take part in this sport.
About the race. It was really well organized . The shirts and hats totally rock. There logo is awesome and they had Popsicles at the aid stations... The volunteers as usual where so nice and helpful.
The course was a bunch of complicated loops but the way they marked the trails was really well done. I did not get lost and there where so many ribbons that I never really freaked out about being lost. The heat and the climbing sucked and it went on forever and ever. The moment I got to the top of a hill oh wait there is another hill and another.
It took me 8 hours peeps !!! That is a long time but looking back this is a great race because your working your ass off. Your running climbing and trying to keep cool. All the things we look for in a good challenging race !!!
I felt a-lot like the green guy in the picture !!
Now its back to training the Tahoe 200 is in about 1 month. Yes, its going to be a great time because even when it sucks its good. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

So grateful

What I am most grateful for is this world..
I am so grateful for my family . I hold our family get together close in my heart. I love the sense of knowing these are my people and even if things are bad they can never stop loving me . I can never stop loving them. What I feel I have with my family is a forever relationship and for that I am so grateful. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The sad truth

Yesterday I took my son to buy a suit for his dad's funeral. You know I have been holding it together but yesterday was so hard. Just knowing he can't call his dad whenever he wants breaks my heart. The way his dad was taken from him is horrible. I keep looking at the pictures and my thoughts keep bringing me to how much I learned from Chris. He changed my life forever. He taught me how to use a computer and he bought me my first new car. He loved reading and because we would watch him read and study for hour and days the kids and I also learned to love books.
He was a good dad and he was crazy about our kids. Chris was adopted so when Christopher was born he looked at and told me .You know this is the first person I have seen that is related to me. It was an awesome moment. When I was pregnant with Isabella he was working at the hospital and he had a 24 hour shift so he couldn't make it to my doctors apt. I found out we would be having a girl and I sent him a big bouquet of flowers that said It's a Girl !! He was so excited. I remember us trying to teach the kids to ride a bike and how challenging it was..
He took Bella and Christopher on a big camping trip that lasted about a week I remember when they got home the kids where in heaven. They had so much fun.  There was so many more memories to be made and the sad truth is they have all been taken from us.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Missed SD 100

My big race this year was the SD 100 . Missing the race and staying home was what I needed do. I really missed being out there with my friends and you know how build up an event forever in your head and when its happening and your not there you feel kinda sad.and left out. That was me. I am looking forward to running it next year and for now I will focus on Cuyamaca 100k and the Tahoe 200 in September.
I am excited to get out there and run soon. Hope your having a nice summer. G

May you rest in peace

My kids lost there dad last week in a most horrible way. I lost my x husband and a life long friend. His friends lost the fun guy that made them laugh. The medical world lost a great researcher . His mother lost her  passionate son and the world lost Chris. There won't ever be another him. He was truly brilliant. He made you feel like you where the only person in the world and he had so much class. 

I started this blog when we where married and even though it did not work between us we still somehow kept our friendship together. We traveled all over the world and had many adventures. Chris spoke French and Italian fluently he loved traveling. My favorite story of us is how we met. I was late going to work so I was running through the parking lot to the elevator in the building I worked in. I made it to the elevator when I looked behind me and saw this tall guy ask me to hold the elevator and run in. He told me I ran to catch the elevator because I saw you and I thought to myself I might never see you again so I thought I would run in and ask you to lunch. I looked up and said lunch would be nice. Then he said you look very pretty and I said you look great too.  
2 years later we where married and 3 years later we had Christopher. When it was good it was great. My kids will miss him and I will miss him. May you rest in Peace and we will never ever ever forget you. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Happy Mothers Day !!
I hope your Mothers Day wishes came true.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Lost Boys 2017 race recap

The day before the race I drove up to Lake Cuyamaca with the plan of sleeping in my van. The sun was setting on my drive and it was devine. I don't remember having a more beautiful spring in San Diego in a very long time. As I was standing here I could smell the mountain flowers. 

I stopped one more time along why 79 to take this picture too. My thoughts where tomorrow morning at 5 am I will start running from the bottom of the desert straight up here. Man that is a long way !!

I was on the bus at 3:30 am. They drove us about an hour I think into the desert and  by 4:30am I had checked in and had my bib. #39. The race director had everything ready to go. There was muffins and I think coffee I am not sure. The RD for the race was there making sure we all knew what was going on and giving us some safety tips. The race started promptly at 5am. I decided to leave my head lamp because the sun would be out soon. This is a picture of the sun rising over the desert it was stunning. I was running with Robert and Mark at this point. Robert and I are running the Tahoe 200  together so we had talked about trying to hang together during this race to get a feel of how we would do. 

The morning is my favorite part f this race. I highly recommend the 
Lost Boys 50 miler. I mean look at this light. The start felt easier this time than our training run 3 weeks ago and that's probably because we ran it and got a feel for it. I am sure my  excitement had something to do with it. San Diego has such a supportive and just great ultra running community how could you not be in running haven. 

Here it looks hotter than it was . The weather was perfect not to hot and not to cold. There was the perfect head wind and everyone was still smiling. The first aid station I remember coming into Larry told me I was number 39 just like my number. I also remember they had the best potatoes I have ever had at a race. I had 2 and kept moving and talked about how good they where for a while. Robert was really good about not letting me lag. I think if I was alone I would not have been as motivated to keep moving and I would have taken way more pictures but nope I kept running along.
 I always run with head phones but lately I have been rewarding myself with music. This time I told myself when I get to Orriflame Canyon I will turn on my tunes and I am so glad I did because I was able to push and yes dance my way up the canyon. I felt like a lucky kid that gets to play outside all day with her friends while climbing the canyon. (while getting her butt kicked by the climb )  After climbing up Orriflame I started to get my second wind. I think it was all that NWA that got me going. I almost forgot to mention that Becca with Nutritiously Balanced helped me with my nutrition and that made a huge difference too. I never felt sick and I was able to keep my energy levels consistent. My expectation going into Lost Boys  was running 25 min faster than last year. That gave me a goal to work towards. Imagine my surprise when a man at an aid station told me your 5th female. I knew there was only 14 woman running and lets be real here in the past I am always near the back. I have never trained so much before and its true if you put in the work you get better results but better results for me would of looked like 30 minutes faster. This training thing really works !!!

I kept running and thought  to myself maybe you should try and catch the next girl G. My thoughts ... what do you have to loose  just run. I pushed myself and pushed some more. Than I passed 5th and then 4th and I had a fun conversation but  she encouraged me to keep pushing so I did. I ended up finishing 3rd female 10 minutes behind second and an 1 hour and 16 minutes faster than last year. 
 All my training with the Trail Crashers is paying off. I get so emotional after I run too. After this picture I gave my friend Becca a hug and cried.  This is such a good race if you love running challenging courses that take you places this race offers just that. Climbing ,stunning views all while getting your butt kicked.
I kept thinking of this quote during the last 5 brutal miles when I asked myself why are you doing this.
You can choose courage or you can choose comfort but you can't choose both.   Brene Brown