Shannon & Pam, after months of training, officially became ultrarunners with finishing Way Too Cool 2010 (3/13/10). They continue to run the long distances as they continue to challenge themselves physically & mentally. This is where they post those triumphs and also their tribulations.

January 31, 2010

Day 84/125 Shannon

What a beautiful weekend we are blessed with! I'm in heaven, unfortunately though, this afternoon I'm stuck indoors getting some much needed computer/paperwork done.

I struggled this week with my training, once again. I honestly believe that I'm suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) so this sunshine-filled weekend is doing me some REAL good!

A whole lot of FTR's met yesterday at Twin Rocks for a run. Some were doing just a short out and back, some a long out and back, and the rest a long point-to-point to Auburn Dam Overlook. Pam and I chose the long out and back as Pam has been suffering from bronchitis all week. We were scheduled to do 18, but we decided we'd take it easy and see how Pam was doing. We managed to squeak out 16.5 miles - YEAH PAM! I know we were able to do this because she and I took it real easy while we were out there. We took breaks, walked the hills, fueled properly, etc., etc. Pam took pics and I'm sure she'll be posting them here shortly.

We hooked up again this morning to push out 5 miles at Cavitt in Granite Bay. With yet another beautiful morning we had no problem out there! So pretty and unseasonally warm. I was actually able to start my run without gloves (although my hands were quite cold to begin with) and earwarmers.

I thought at this point in my training (84 days in) I would list what I have learned about myself and trail running (not necessarily in the order it's listed).

1. Gaitors are the best invention to trail running. I love my new gaitors from Dirty Girl Gaitors.
2. Eating brown rice pasta, with marina sauce, veggies, and garlic bread is the best pre-run dinner!
3. I need to eat every 4 miles! A homemade gel every 4 miles w/a drink of coconut water, gives me the energy I need to keep going.
4. On long runs, anything over 8 miles, I need to eat at least half a PB&J sandwich every 8 miles.
5. Epsom salts w/lavendar bubble bath is THE best post long run muscle recovery bath, oh and after one of Diane's hard bootcamp workouts too.
6. Do not go on a long run when your legs are extremely sore after a bootcamp workout.
7. I don't want running to be MY life, I want it to be PART of my life.
8. Trail running isn't about how many miles you can put in or how fast you can run them. Trail running is about finding the peace within you and enjoying the scenery. Having a really great running buddy makes that happen!
9. It's extremely important to stop on the trail and enjoy what you see! Take a camera, take pics, soak it in!
10. I can't afford this sport.
11. I'm glad I'm doing this, however, I will only train for a 50k once a year. I had hopes of doing Skyline to the Sea in April, but financially nor mentally can I afford it. We'll do it next year.
12. I have a dropped navicular bone in my left foot.
13. I have impingement syndrome in my left shoulder.
14. I may have a dropped bladder (not confirmed) which may be causing my need for multiple stops on the trail.
15. I have a very patient and understanding husband. I think I already knew that before this training, but it's been confirmed during this training.
16. Oatmeal is the best pre-run breakfast!
17. Arm warmers ROCK!
18. My new Nathan hydration pack is awesome!
19. I need a new camera!
20. And last but not least, I can't wait until Way Too Cool is done and over and I have successfully finished injury free and feeling like I want to do it again!

Enjoy the sun while it lasts!

Have a great week.

Stay dirty!

January 26, 2010

Day 79/125 Shannon

Yes, I’m still here, and yes, I’m still clocking the miles. I just haven’t had the strength to blog about. Since Pam did such a wonderful job posting about our 16 miler with pics and all, I didn’t feel the need to “over-blog” her :).

I have been going through a wave of emotions the past couple of weeks. After my awful 14 miler a few weeks ago, I questioned my sanity about this whole 50k goal. But then after an awesome 16 miler that Pam posted about, I thought, wow, I can do this. There’s nothing to it, just make sure you properly fuel, take it easy on the hills, and you’ll do fine. Then last week I had an emotionally trying week, which in turn caused me to be stressed and very tired (found out my daughter lost her job, found out I have impingement syndrome in my left shoulder, our pet rat died, blah, blah, blah). I didn’t want to do a damn thing, let alone keep up my training. But, I did the best that I could with the energy that I had.

This past weekend was a cycle down week, which was greatly needed. Saturday was to be 10 miles and Sunday 7.5 miles at Diane’s FLTRS. Saturday was a lot of fun, Pam and I met at Karen’s Bakery in Folsom and set out with 2 other friends, Pam and Lynn. Not even a mile in on the trail and we hit a MAJORLY flooded area that we couldn’t get around due to extremely high berry (sticker) bushes. So we somehow made a path through the bushes and headed up to a higher trail. Needless to say we stayed on the bike trail until we got past the major flooding areas. It stayed relatively dry for us, so the run turned out to be a really nice one.

Sunday morning, I woke up tired, but headed out to Beale’s Point to help with the set-up of the race. I was feeling a little out of sorts, but did what I could to help. As it got closer to start time, something was said to me that really upset me. I can’t even tell you what it was exactly that was said because it was so quick and the subject was changed so quickly that I didn’t even have time to react. I felt the comment was unjustified and certainly in poor timing, what with me getting ready to start a race within 30 minutes. But, nevertheless, it was said and it really upset me.

I had a hard time getting started. Pam wasn’t there with me and I was out there by myself dwelling over the comment, not being able to focus on my run, but after a couple of miles I was able to tune into my iPod and just go with the flow. I was feeling really good, got into a really good groove, and went to the beat of the music. Then as I got closer to the finish line, my thoughts went back to the comment and the person and all of sudden I didn’t want to finish, so I struggled to get the last mile done. I finished in 1:34, not bad since my goal was 1:30.

Once again, my brain is going to be nemesis!! I’ve got to really work on the psychological end of this whole thing. I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that I no longer want my life revolving around my running (which it is), it needs to be the other way around. I will be glad when this training is over and I can go back to enjoying the run, when I want to run, spending more time with my hubby, and getting in some much needed golf!

Until then, the training continues with us doing 18 miles this weekend. We’re going to start at Twin Rocks in Granite Bay and either do an out and back or a point to point to the Auburn Overlook in Auburn. Either way sounds like a lot of fun as I’ve only run a portion of this trail and I always love to experience a new trail. Oh and I got a new Nathan hydration pack that I can’t wait to try out – woo hoo! There’s nothing like new equipment to get you excited about a run – LOL!

Here’s to staying dirty and enjoying the trails!!

January 19, 2010

Rain, rain go away

Headed to the gym today for a 4 miler. Waited to see if it was going to clear up, but no go. Got a great run in even on the treadmill. Weights, core and stretching afterward.  Now off to bed :)

January 16, 2010

Another Epic Run!

What a fantastic day today! About 30 Folsom Trail Runners met at the Quarry Trailhead for our WTC training run.

The weather was perfect and the sun came out, making for an incredible day. The goal was to hit the 2 main hills on the WTC course. The first was Ball Bearing:

This was a tough, long climb. But once at the top, the singletrack towards Goat Hill was absolute heaven!

Next up was Goat Hill, another tough climb, but much shorter

We had great company, Jennifer and Mary are ultrarunner veterans and kept us on the right track.

We both ran strong today and breakfast at the Pine Cone lodge was a great ending. It was a great day and made me love trail running even more (if that's possible)!

January 13, 2010

Making peace with the pavement, just for tonight..

Tonight was a 30 minute workout and planned to hop on the elliptical, but Bella was begging to walk and I decided to do a 30 min run. Felt great and I felt like I was flying. Didn't mind the pavement. I'm hoping I won't regret it tomorrow :)

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Here's some great exercises using the foam roller to work out you muscle soreness. I definitely need to do more of these! This article is from Women's Health Magazine.

Fix the Kinks

Tend to tired muscles with this rejuvenating foam-roller routine

These moves take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete and hit all your soreness-prone places. Do them anytime: during your favorite TV show, before bed, first thing in the morning, or after workouts, when your muscles are especially tight.

Follow these directions, rolling each body part over the roller five to 10 times. If a spot feels extra tender, try this: Start below the area, work up to it and hold for a few seconds, then roll through it.

Click here to go to the full article.

January 11, 2010

WOW! Day 64 Shannon

So after Diane's bootcamp, I was sore. Well come Saturday morning I was REALLY sore. My legs and bum we're crying. I was crying everytime I tried to sit down to use the potty. OMG!
Well I had to run 14 miles Saturday morning. I did it! But it was extremely painful. Every step I took hurt! We had run this 14 miles before in late September, so I knew the terrain, which was really nice, but it didn't make it any easier. By the time I was done, I could barely walk. I attempted to stretch, but that was extremely painful. So I crawled into my truck and went home. Got a bite to eat (not too much as my stomach was upset, was for the whole run), and soaked in a hot bath. While I was in the bath, I stretched, which I found to be much easier. I then proceeded to take a short nap. I was glad that run was over!

I will say, that even though I was in pain, I did manage to shave 8 seconds per mile (average) off from my last time out. I'm impressed, even if no one else is :)
Now comes the fun! Sunday was our scheduled snowshoeing day. I managed to assume too much and didn't make it to the correct Park and Ride spot so I ended up driving myself all the way up to our meeting point - Boreal Ski Resort. As soon as I got there, I got a parking pass ($5). Then I moved to the correct parking area, got out of my truck, feeling confident because I had already walked around, took a step toward the outhouse, hit black ice and down I went, right on my tush - OUCH! Luckily the only thing that truly hurt was my pride. :p. I managed to get up, and safely made it to the outhouse. However, I walked very gingerly.
Once everyone arrived, and everyone was changed and geared up, we walked to the trailhead and proceeded to get our snowshoes on. What a challenge that was, for me anyways, having never done it before. Well I did the best that I could and found that it wasn't all that difficult to walk in them - phew.

We proceeded up the trail and after about 50 feet, Pam said we were going off the trail - woo hoo. Well at least I thought, woo hoo at the time. Off the trail means less compact snow, more fluff, much softer. What does that REALLY mean, more work! I think I found every sink hole there was. At one point, Steve, noticed that my snowshoes needed to be tighter and he was kind enough to help me with that, while I stripped off my heavy jacket. HOT! After he fixed my shoes, I had to try to get up this small embankment, well my first step took me all the way down to my knee. I couldn't lift my leg up and out, so I crawled - LOL. I was quite the sight I'm sure. But luckily no one was looking, except Steve, but he was too nice to laugh.
We finally made it the prairie and took a breather. Here's a pic of Pam and I. Pam still looks good, and me, I'm all disheveled having stripped my beanie, earmuffs, jacket, gloves, etc.,etc (after only 30 minutes). Luckily the camera doesn't show all.
After our breather, we took off, going up, and up, and up, stopping only briefly for potty breaks & disrobing.

We finally made it to the peak that we were aiming for - phew. It was a climb, but well worth it.

Isn't it just beautiful there? We stopped to have lunch and enjoy the beauty. Then Pam took a pic of me conquering the hill!

It was an absolutely fabulous day. We couldn't have asked for better weather. All I can say now is - When are we going again???
Thanks Pam for an awesome day!

January 8, 2010

OW!!!!!! Day 61 Shannon

So yesterday was a full day of exercise (well more so than normal). My training plan had me scheduled for 4 miles with Tabata thrown in. Well my Tabata turned out be more like Chabata cuz there was more cha cha than Ta Ta!

I had to do my attempt of Tabata on the hamster wheel, ya, not an easy task. As Pam described in her post, you are suppose to go as fast as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10. Well when you crank up the treadmill to run as fast as you can, it takes almost 10 seconds for the treadmill to slow down enough for you to rest, so needless to say - NO REST. Well, listening to my body, I ended up doing 30/30. 30 seconds really fast, 30 second rest. I know Diane! When Tabata is on my schedule again, I will either find some way to get out on the trails for it, or I'll try the eliptical like Pam did.

So because I signed up for Diane's Balance Runners Bootcamp, and I knew I'd be running later in the evening, I only did 2 miles in the morning.

At 5:30p we met at Karen's bakery and a few of us bootcampers went for a 40 minute run. I buddied up with Suzie who needed to take walk breaks, which of course I had no problem with, and we were able to get in 3 miles in 40 minutes. I told her that I'd have her running the full 40 minutes by the end of the 6 week bootcamp. :) She accepted the challenge.

So that was the easy part of my exercise for the day. Next we headed to the gym for Diane's bootcamp. Now having been in Diane's bootcamps before, I knew what to expect, but of course my body wasn't prepared for it.

I will say, she took it really easy on us last night, because of newbies to her class (again I had no problem with that!), but I am still sore today. My bum and legs hurt! Especially my inner thighs, OMG! Last night's bootcamp was just the appetizer of what's to come, and all I can say is RIGHT ON! It felt good to be back in her class, working parts of the body that I tend to neglect when I'm training by myself. She ended the class with a short yoga session, which was the perfect end to the evening. Thanks Diane!

Now the only problem with this soreness is that we are scheduled to run 14 miles tomorrow, and you know that the 2nd day is always the worst when it comes to soreness. My legs are going to feel like lead. I hope I can keep up with Pam. I better bring my iPod in case I end up by myself, I'll need the company to push me back to my truck. :}

Then after we put in 14 miles on the trails tomorrow, we're going snowshoeing on Sunday. I've never snowshoed, so I'm excited, however, I know it's going to be a major leg workout, so I may not be able to walk on Monday :} MOMMY!

Get dirty this weekend.

January 6, 2010

Can you say TABATA??

Today was a Tabata workout. I worked very late and couldn't get to the gym, so I walked Bella for 10 minutes, then hopped on the elliptical to do this workout. What a blast! I forgot how fun it was to really push it to the limit. And the beauty of this workout is that it's over before you know it! Warmed up on the elliptical for 13 minutes, then did 8 cycles of very hard effort for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of recovery. Got a core workout and yoga stretches in afterward.  Now, off to bed!

Resolve to Succeed - Shannon

Pain can do a lot to a person's pysche! With my back hurting and feeling extremely fatigued on Monday, my post seemed a bit like I was wanting to quit.


I, by no means, am a quitter. I never have been. I don't know how. I will keep pushing and trying! Always have! I think I actually annoy certain people with my persistence :}. HHHMMM......

Having said that though, the thoughts of quitting, when things get too hard, do cross my mind, I won't lie. But thoughts are just that, thoughts! It requires action for a thought to become reality. When I'm in pain or extremely fatigued I have to remind myself that God gave us a body that can withstand just about anything; it's the mind you have to convince.

Convincing the mind is the hardest part when dealing with pain. So here's what I'm going to do to keep my mind convinced that this is meant to be:

1. Reprogram my brain! The brain is like a computer and processes whatever messages you feed it. That is why I will be posting various positive affirmations around the house. One being "Pain is only temporary; Self-respect is forever".

2. Why do I run? In the beginning it was another level in my attempt to lose weight, but then I met awesome people, found trail running, and I have absolutely fallen in love with it! There's so much beauty out on the trails, how can you not love it.

3. I'm not alone. I have such an awesome support system. First and foremost, Pam! The one who convinced me we could do this, who encourages me when I'm out on the trails, who inpires me. Diane, who is helping us with our training. And, my husband Mark, who is very patient and doesn't question why I'm gone on Saturdays or when I come home so wiped out I can barely move.

4. What can I control? When life gets crazy it's hard to focus, but I have to learn that I can't control what's happening around me. I can only control myself. I need to stay focused and take all the steps that I can possibly take to make this happen as pain free (and injury free) as possible.

5. Motivation. I have to focus on my motivation, not the lack thereof. I have to stay motivated to get up at 3:45a each morning to get to the gym to get my runs in. I have to stay motivated to go out and do the LONG runs.

6. Surrender. To the knowledge that you will hurt, however, just remember, pain is only temporary.

7. Think positive. "Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows." "You will succeed!!" "I will survive!"

8. Take care of myself. Take time to take bubble baths. Save my pennies so I can get a massage at least once a month. Learn to say No.

No it's time to go listen to The Eye of the Tiger :)

Stay dirty.

January 5, 2010

Terrific Tuesday

Woke up this morning and it was still dark and I was freezing. Did NOT want to go anywhere, but had a run scheduled at 7:45. Very foggy on the drive up to Loomis, but by the time I got to the trailhead, the sun was rising and the fog was gone. It was an incredible view and I wish I had my camera. Most of the trusty tues girls (and token man, Randy) were there.

It was a fabulous run. This section of the trail is my favorite. Did about 4 miles and felt really good. I'm very happy with how strong my legs felt today, especially after a hard effort on Sunday.  Will fit in some yoga and core after seeing the PT this afternoon.

My sister's lumpectomy went well. She'll get pathology report in 2 days. Apparently the surgeon said that it all looked good and she doesn't need radiation....we are all breathing a sigh of relief, but we won't be able to fully relax until the formal results come in...Keep saying prayers for her.

1-5-10 Day 58 Shannon

Happy New Years!!!

Can you tell the novelty of the blog and the training is wearing off for me (less posting on my part)? I'm trying to find my enthusiasm again. Pam helps a lot with this. If it wasn't for her, I could find it quite easy to give up this whole crazy notion of running a 50K. Why am I feeling like this, you ask? Because I'm wiped out after last Sunday's 12 mile race.

I know part of my exhaustion comes from the fact that I hurt my back before the race, and I'm still feeling a lot of pain from that. I did see Dr. Steve last night and he worked his magic, and I do feel better, however, I'm still hurting. Getting out of bed this morning was extremely challenging. Not only does my back hurt, but my legs are sore as well.

Pam and I really focused on this race, per Diane's nudging :). We kept our chatting down to a minimum, kept our aid station stops to a minimum, and took no bathroom breaks. We both did good. I, however, lost steam during the 10th mile and could no longer keep up with Pam. She finished approximately 3 minutes ahead of me - I'm so proud! We both shaved off time from our previous race at Negro Bar - I shaved off approximately 13 minutes, and Pam shaved off approximately a whopping 17 minutes - you go girl!

I did manage get out of bed this morning, got to the gym, and got my 2 miles in on the hamster wheel and 1 hour of yoga. I will say that the run was a heck of a lot easier than yoga was this morning. I thought the run would be painful, but I was pleasantly surprised that my legs didn't hurt while running, nor did my back. During yoga though, I really had to modify a lot of the poses for my back. I was also feeling fatigued, so holding some poses became challenging.

Tonight, I'm going to the Snowshoeing 101 clinic being held at REI in Roseville. I know I'm going to find enthusiasm in this as I've never snowshoed before and we're getting ready to go snowshoeing this coming Sunday. I am excited about that.

However, we do have 14 miles scheduled on Saturday. I sure hope I'm not so exhausted that I don't enjoy myself on Sunday (although, I know that no matter how tired I am, I'll have fun with the FTRs, always do). I know Pam and I will take it easy on Saturday's long run, as we'll be running at Brown's Ravine, a trail we are familiar with, so we'll know where to take it easy and where we can let loose.

I have to keep the mindset of "that which does not kill me, only makes me stronger." Of course, that's easier said than done, when you feel like crap.

Here's to finding my 50k enthusiasm once again, and snowshoeing for the first time. WOO HOO!! I'm ready!

Get dirty!

January 3, 2010

Weekend wrap up

Per Diane's instruction, the past week was our tapering week. Tuesday was supposed to be an easy 4 miler, but ran with the Tuesday girls (and a new guy, Randy) and ended up getting talked into a few hill repeats at Folsom lake; ran alittle over 4 miles. Wednesday was 30 minutes of easy spinning and some yoga. Thursday was our first tempo run of 4 miles. It was a pitiful run for me. I pushed and felt good, but by mile 2, Bella became annoyingly distracted by everything and my Garmin stopped working. Note to self - don't bring Bella on tempo runs. The rest of the week was resting, except for core and yoga. It was tough to not do much of anything. Sunday was our 12 mile race at Negro Bar and I felt very ready and anxious to push myself. Shannon and I did well; kept a really good pace and then the last few miles I started moving faster. In my mind I wanted to finish in 2:15, but realized that was unlikely. But prior to the last hill, my legs felt fantastic and I thought 'maybe?'. The last hill was tough and I ended up finishing in 2:28, which is great for me. I'm very proud of both of us for pushing the entire time. No bathroom breaks (except for the attempt by me in the bushes, then realizing I put my race pin thru my underwear, so that mission had to be aborted). We barely stopped at the aid stations. We were on a mission, and we completed it!

January 2, 2010

I think I'm losing my mind

I signed up for the Tahoe Rim Trail 50k in July. Tahoe Rim Trail 50k/50m/100m  My faithful running partner can't make it....I hope I survive!!