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.

April 25, 2010

Folsom Point 50k - Shannon

What a gorgeous day we had out in Folsom yesterday.  OMG way too pretty!

Our 50k start time was 7a, which I was very happy about!  The earlier the better, I say.  Mark dropped me off at about 6:20a, so that he could come back using the parking placard.  After getting registered and getting my schwag, I saw Pam and I was able to put my stuff in her car.  As we were getting ready this was our view.

Sunrise at Folsom Point

Here we are just before the start.  Aren't we cute?!

The race was very small.  I think there was a total of 25 of us.  But they haven't posted the results yet, so I can't confirm it.  I like the small races.  No big hoorah.  In fact our start line was a dollie (hand truck) with a pink ribbon on it.  LOVE IT!

The start took us across the levee, which is about a mile long.  I don't care for the levee, but in retrospect, it was nice to have the easy warm up.  After the levee we hit the trails.

Here Pam is cursing her Garmin.  It stopped working for some reason.

Pam and I had company for this run, fellow FTR Lindsay.  She is nursing some knee issues and was running at our pace.  I lead the pack of us until mile 10.  At mile 9, tromping through some mud, I pulled something in my right tush, which, of course, slowed me down. So at mile 10, Turbo Turtle Pammy couldn't take my pace anymore and jumped out in front of me.  At about mile 11 Lindsay asked to pass.  I managed to keep up with them until we got to the New York Creek aid station, manned souly by fellow FTR, Ed Walsh.

Fellow FTR, Ed Walsh

Here we are at the New York Aid Station, Lindsay, Shannon, & Pam

We took off and I was able to keep up with them until we got to the Finch Aid Station.  After the Finch station, I took the lead for a little while, and then both girls passed me up and I no longer could keep up.  But I was ok with it.  I felt very content with being out there by myself.  I was just enjoying the peace and sunshine.

Even though we haven't had too much rain lately, we still had some mud to get through.

2.4 miles to the turn around point - woo hoo

Self portrait (not the most flattering) with backdrop of my view as I was running the trails.

I was such at peace that I couldn't help but stop a lot and take pics of the beauty I was experincing.  I can't explain it, but yesterday was a run of serenity for me.

Black butterflies were out big time yesterday and I found that they were very attracted to my royal blue Trail Turtle shirt.


When I hit the the turn around at Salmon Falls, Pam and Lindsay were there.  We got our hydration paks refilled, fueled up and headed back out.  The girls were talking about jumping in the water where the lake came up close to the trail.  I didn't know where they were talking about.  But when we got there, they took a right turn and headed straight for the water.  I continued on, knowing very well that they would catch up to me.

Pam & Lindsay heading for the lake.

Sure enough, after about 1.5 miles, the time came that I had to pull off the trail for a pit stop.  It was at that time that the girls passed me up.  I was sorry that I couldn't let them know because they were worried about me when they got to Ed at the New York Creek aid station and I hadn't gotten there.  But Pam figured it was because I had to make a pit stop, but she was still concerned (love you too Pam).
After leaving Ed, I felt pretty good.  But then that tush pull started tweaking me in different areas, but I pushed through it and the pain went away.  I was in such a serene state of mind being out there, I was so engulfed with all the flowers, butterflies, trees, etc.  I felt like I was out on a nature walk instead of a race.  I was in awe!

A solo California poppy in all it's glory!

I have a thing for "odd" trees and I just love this tree.  It stands all by itself and it makes a statement.

Wildflowers in full bloom

So being out there by myself for the last half of the race was a blessing for me, I think.  I had time to do a lot of thinking and I had a really good time.  I had some aches, but I was feeling really good.  I had brought my iPod, just in case I got left in Pam's turtle dust, but I didn't need or want it.  However, after I crossed over the marina, I decided I better plug myself in to push me through the last 3.5 miles.  And it worked.

My wonderful hubby and awesome step-daughter came out to cheer us on and they were at the end of the levee, so they got pics of Pam coming across and of me as well.



When I got to the levee, I decided to pick it up.  My goal was to run across it without stopping and do it on average of 11 minute mile.  I managed to do that.  I ranged from 10.5 to 12 minute miles, slowing down a bit toward the end, but seeing my family there really helped me push it through to the end.  It was funny as I passed Mark and Stephanie and got off the levee, I stopped and walked to adjust something and Mark yells, hey no breaks, and Stephanie said, leave her alone she just ran all the way across the levee, dang!

They're awesome.

I finished in 8 hrs 1 minute.  WOW.  I will say though that it wasn't a complete 50k.  It measured out to be 29.5 miles.  I can't really compare this race to Way Too Cool because of the different terrain.  It would me like comparing an orange to a carrot.  Sure they're the same color, but they're completely different shapes and species.  What I can compare is my average mile.  At WTC (which was 30.5 miles, 1 mile longer) I averaged 17:13 minute mile.  Yesterday I averaged 16:18 minute mile.  Which is pretty good, considering that average includes 3 pit stops, and a lot of butterfly watching.  If I had behaved myself and took it more seriously and hadn't needed to pull off the trail 3 times, my time would have been better.  But I don't care.  I don't trail run to be fast or to beat anybody.  I think I try to improve on my times, but I don't really think I care.  I trail run because it's so beautiful to be out there.  And if it takes me longer than everybody else to finish, then so be it.  I'm ok with that.  I did finish last :)

Pam & Shannon, finishers of their 2nd 50k

Today I feel good.  My hip flexors are a little sore, but nothing too bad.  It probably helped that I came home, took a shower to wash off all the mud, then took my epsom salt/bubble bath to soak the tired muscles.  Then I rolled my feet on a golf ball, then rolled my tush on a tennis ball.  That was painful, but needed and it paid off.  Only the hip flexors hurt today.  WOO HOO!

Stay dirty!

To see all the pics click HERE

April 23, 2010

Happy Earth Day! Shannon

Earth Day is by far my most favorite holiday. Ok, so it's not really a holiday, but it should be. I like it because it's not commercialized and it's point is to bring awareness to everyone how important Mother Earth is to us. Of course, we should be doing this every day of the year, but we live in a society that believes that Mother Earth will continue to provide for us no matter what we do to it. But I won't get on my soap box, I will just share with you my Earth Day celebration.

As with most holidays, you don't always get to celebrate on the DAY of the holiday and that is what happened to me yesterday - the official Earth Day! However, I did get to celebrate in a small way. I went out to the Folsom Lake Trail Run Series for race #1 of the Spring series. I celebrated by running a very fast (for me) 3 mile trail run. I averaged a 10:27 mile. WOW! That is really fast for me. I finished 53rd out of 78 overall - not too shabby. Turbo Turtle Pam finished 50th - you go girl! However, I am truly, truly impressed with our age group totals. I finished 7th our 15 and Pam finished 6th! WOW!! The best we've ever done. WOO HOO!
And in the spirit of Earth Day I wore the brightest green shirt I could find. I love my Nike 5k 2009 neon green shirt!!
We're off!!
Pam is directly behind me to the right. She doesn't stay there long. This is the only time I'm in front off her. After this she was out in front of me the whole way.

See you can't even see me anymore. I think I'm right behind that guy in the red shirt.

This is heading back. As usual this Trail Turtle was out there by herself. But it was ok cause I was on cruise control.

As usual Diane put on a fabulous race and I'm looking forward to running in more. If you want to see more pics, click HERE.

So, back to Earth Day. I usually celebrate Earth Day by planting a plant. My favorite thing to plant on Earth Day is Jasmine. Mainly because I love the smell and it's really hearty. I need hearty plants because I'm usually busy doing too many other things than to care for my plants.

This was an Earth Day jasmine I planted several years ago. I love it. It's my favorite. It's just below the steps to our front door and it has taken over the railing. LOVE IT!

This is a jasmine I planted a couple of years ago in our backyard. It's taking over the upper deck railing. Again, LOVE IT.

This year I decided to try a couple of different things. Since I couldn't do my planting on Earth Day, I decided to plant 2 plants to make up for it.

This is a Salvia. A purle flower that attracts butterflies.

This is Rosemary. I've attempted Rosemary before but something happened to it. One day I went out to check on it and it was completely gone. As if it had never been there. No dead stump or anything. So I'm thinking hubby pulled it up thinking it was a weed. Ya, he'll never do that again! Rosemary is a very hearty plant as well, plus it just smells really good!

Tomorrow, Pam and I head out for our 2nd 50K. This time it's in our backyard. Folsom Lake. I love these trails and I know it won't be as hard as Way Too Cool, but 31 miles IS hard no matter what trail you're on. I'm a little scared as I haven't been as diligent about my training as I was with WTC, but I'm gonna take it easy and not push it. There are no cutoffs for this one, so that stress is not there this time. So I'm going to enjoy this race. I know Turbo Turtle Pam will take off at some point, leaving me in her dust, which is ok!! I'm bringing my iPod this time and if I feel the need for some musical encouragement, I'll have it handy. Mark is planning on being at the finish line again this time, so that will be another encouragement for me.
So, wish us luck, and tell me what you did for Earth Day, if anything. I'd love to hear about it.
Stay dirty!!

April 18, 2010

Fifteen! Shannon

Fifteen? What is fifteen? Well it depends on what the topic is. Running, money, time, dates, ......
Well I will start out with running. This weekend is our cycle down weekend before our 50k next Saturday. So we ran a total of 15 miles. 10 miles on Saturday and 5 miles on Sunday. Both days were absolutely beautiful and the runs were great. I did learn a valuable lesson on Saturday during my run.

Since we were only running 10 miles, I figured I didn't need to worry about my fuel. WRONG! Normally I eat every 4 miles. Well I did have my homemade gel at 4 miles, but I didn't have my normal 1/2 PB&J for my 8 miles. I figured, I don't need to eat at 8 miles because we'll almost be done. Only 2 miles left. Ya well lesson learned. During the 8th mile I got really hungry and started feeling the "bonk". My pace slowed and I got really tired. I survived, made it back to my truck and inhaled my banana and chocolate soy milk. I felt better. However, I did start to feel queezy about 20 minutes later and was wiped out the rest of the day. Not cool. Lesson learned! Always, always, always, follow your fueling protocol no matter the distance!!!

Today's run was nice, we started out at Karen's and took it easy running the flat stuff. Loved it. We saw a lot of fellow FTR's out there today, that was nice.
While out on our runs Pam and I have a lot of time to chat and solve problems, wether they be our own or the problems of the world. That's what we do, all trail runners, we talk and solve the problems of the world!

I mentioned to her that I was looking in my backyard this morning and told my husband we were one step up from trailer trash! Kind of harsh, I know, but that's how I felt. I told him we were lazy. He said do you mean "me" and I told him, no, both of us. Neither one of us want to deal with the "unpleasant" stuff of owning a house, a car, a boat, a pool, etc.
He and I have a problem. We're both pack rats! Growing up we were both taught that you don't throw it away if it could potentially be used SOMEDAY! Even if it's broken, you might be able to fix it. Ya, we have a lot of "broken" stuff that might some day get fixed. NOT!

I know we have this problem, but it's hard to break old habits. So anyways, I was talking to Pam about it and she too has some of the same tendancies and we both decided we would work to motivate each other to "clean up" our lives at home. We were very good at motivating each other to train for WTC and we're continuing our motivation for future runs, why not motivate each other to better our lives as well.
I told Pam about a program I used to follow that really helped me when I first moved up here, and the premise is 15 minutes! If you just spend 15 minutes a day on whatever task you have, before you know it, that overwhelming project will be done. She liked it and agreed, we can DO this.
So, feeling very motivated after our 5 mile run and solving the problems of the world talk, I came home and decided that my 15 minutes would be spent on an antique hutch I have in the kitchen that seems to be the catch all for all the junk. I manage to keep our dining room table pretty clear, but because of that, the hutch gets the brunt of the crap.
I tend to throw, kitchen related items there, but hubby likes to stash other stuff there, like the latex gloves we've been using for the hallway walls that we're still "working" on, magazines, flyers, newspapers, etc., etc., etc.
So I set my timer for 15 minutes and I dove in. I was able to toss quite a few newspapers and old flyers (Leslie's Pools mostly), old shelled walnuts, a few "broken" items waiting to be glued back together (not, tossed), but the find of all finds was this large assortment of vegetable seeds and flower seeds. HELLO, when did we get those. Cool just in time for planting that garden we MIGHT get to this season. HHHMMM

So when my timer went off, I stopped. But then I had to wipe down a few things which took me another 4 minutes. So 19 minutes total and this is what I got done!

Not too shabby. I'm more than halfway done with this section of the hutch. 19 minutes did a lot. Tomorrow I will set my timer for 15 minutes and finish the right side!
We all have areas in our lives that we close the door to, shove in a drawer, etc. We all have the "junk" drawer (which by the way ours is the middle drawer and right drawer on this hutch). Is it time for you to clean out that junk drawer, the closet, etc.? Set you timer for 15 minutes and go start, you'll be amazed at what can be accomplished in 15 minutes.
Let me know where you'll spend your 15 minutes today.

April 12, 2010

Having way too much fun to be sober! Shannon

I mean really!! Way too much fun!

We were Super Turtles on Saturday for the AR50 FTR's super hero themed Aid Station. We were the only ones to dress up. But that's ok, because we had a lot of fun!!

Here we are coming to the rescue!!

I'm not sure who we're rescuring, but gosh darnit we're gonna rescue somebody!!

Why, you ask! Because we're SUPER TURTLES!!

Here I am performing very important Super Turtle duties. I am directing traffic to make sure that all the awesome runners safely make it to the Aid Station. I know I saved lives today!
After using all our super powers on Saturday to make sure the runners had everything they needed to get to the next aid station, we went for a beautiful Newt Patrol Training Run up in Cool. Pam has already posted some of the really pretty pictures from the day, but I thought I'd share a few more.

This is a baby newt that "we" rescued off the path. The "we" is a royal we because Ed and Diane were always up front doing the moving for us. :)
Isn't he just the coolest? I love his eyes!

I was having so much fun on our run, and I was feeling really good, that when we hit Dead Truck Trail, I was able to take on the beast and redemption. During WTC, Dead Truck kicked my toosh! But not on Sunday. I got down that trail in record time. It felt great!
When I came to the stream crossing at the bottom of the beast and started walking through the water, I stopped. That water felt so good to my feet, that I just stood there! Then I thought, hhhhmmm, impromptu ice bath! So I put each knee in the water for about a minute, wow, it felt great.
When the rest of the group showed up we continued on and had made the decision not complete our 24 miles, which meant no Ball Bearing. Oh bummer! NOT!! Because of this, I was extremely happy and posed for Pam at the bottom of BB in front of the pretty flowers. (She actually wanted me to lied down on the rock and pose - LOL)

Yes, I am a weirdo, I know.
We finished up this run in the rain, which I really enjoyed. I splashed through streams, no puddle jumpers needed, and just enjoyed it. We then headed over to South Pine Cafe in Auburn for brunch. YUM!
As you can see, this weekend was a lot of fun! This is what trail running is all about. It's not about going fast, winning races, etc., etc.. It's about getting out there with nature and soaking it up in all it's glory. We are blessed to live in an area that gives us all this so close to home!
Can't wait to see what next weekend's run brings us.
Stay dirty!

April 11, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend was the AR 50 Miler. Folsom Trail Runners sponsored the aid station at Negro Bar. Lots of volunteers made for an awesome aid station.

We had a blast! Shannon and I were in our superhero costumes, SuperTurtles. She made awesome visors and capes for us to wear.

We got to cheer in many of our FTR members. All of them finished strong, yay! it was especially exciting to see Trailmomma coming into the aid station. She looked great! Shannon provided her with a portioned out payday bar and she was on her way. She ended up finishing in 10 hrs 26 minutes, WOW...we are so proud of you, Pam!!

Watching the runners and manning the aid station started the brain churning.....I want to do this 50 miler next year! I think I've talked Shannon into it...:)

Sunday was a scheduled 24 miler. Met the FTRs in the morning and thankfully the rain hadn't started yet. We had a fantastic run from Quarry up Browns Bar and down Dead Truck.

The wildflowers and newts were out in full force today. Diane and Ed were on newt patrol, moving them off the trail ever so delicately to keep them from getting stepped on.


Ed took a liking to one particular newt....

We didn't quite make 24 miles (we left out Ballbearing, hmm I wonder why) but we got 20 miles in and made it nearly all the way until the rain started at around mile 18. Now we have 2 weeks to taper until the next 50k and after that I plan to take it easy, until the training starts again for Tahoe Rim Trail 50K in July!

April 8, 2010


These past few weeks I have struggled. You read about the awful run on 3/28 then the awesome run this past weekend on 4/4. But in between, during the week, I've been struggling with getting in my workouts and eating right. I've also been in pain, my lower back, since last Thursday night's run with Pam.

The pain hadn't subsided by Monday morning so I made an appointment with Dr. Steve, the miracle worker, and he "popped" me back into place as I was really out of whack - his words, honest. Out of whack, is a highly technical term and isn't used lightly.

I'm still dealing with an extremely tight back, but I'm trying to stretch it out. Luckily, it doesn't bother me on the trails, it's only when I'm not running that it really bothers me. Guess I need to run more :).

Last week, I ate really well, this week I've blown it just about every day. It's quite frustrating! But after last night's awesome hill repeats, I'm feeling better and a little more motivated!

We started out at Sophia Parkway and headed out toward the Marina for 1.9 miles. I, of course, was the turtle and couldn't keep up with the group, but once they stopped I eventually got there. We then proceeded to do 12 hill repeats up a very short steadily climbing hill. This was not a hill for endurance but for speed. That is why we did so many. The best I could do at top speed was 18 seconds. I tried really hard to go faster, but I guess that was my top speed.

The run back was interesting. When the group said we'll go slow and easy back, I giggled. These people don't know what slow and easy is. I said if you truly want to go slow and easy, let me pace you. So they said ok. That lasted until we hit a hill that I needed to take a walk break on. We had just gone up a long, steep one, and the next one, I just couldn't do, I had to walk. Ya, they all proceeded to pass me and that was that for my pacing job. I was once again demoted to sweeper :). I'm still trying to figure out who sweeps me, but that's another day. LOL.

But true to form, Bryan was waiting for me at the levee. Thanks Bryan!!!

Tonight, I meet up with my trail turtle buddy, Pam. With her, I know I won't be left to sweep by myself. :). We'll do a nice and easy 4 miles out in Granite Bay. The weather will be great. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm also looking forward to really working on eating right, again, and prepping for this weekend's long 24 miler. Our last long run until the Folsom Point 50k. We'll have some honorary turtles out there with us, Jennifer Blake and Diane Forrest. Although, I don't think Diane is as turtlish as we are :).

I'd like to share a very poignant quote I read today. This quote is very insightful and deep. I'd like to thank Trailmomma (who is running her first 50 miler on Saturday, AR50 - you go girl - Pam and I will be there with your Payday bar!) for introducing it to me. It has put everything into perspective for me.

"When life kicks you in the butt .... make sure it kicks you forward!"

Here's to life kicking your butt forward.

Stay dirty.

PS - I'd also like to send a shout out to Shut Up and Run who has an awesome give-away happening right now, and because I'm poor and need new running clothes, I'm hoping I win and this is one way to win!!

April 4, 2010

Trail Turtles Triumph! Shannon

We did it! We got in a long run and it felt great!

After last week's awful run, I pouted most of the week. I couldn't understand why I was ready to quit a run after 9 miles. The weather was gorgeous, the trails were in great shape, and I was relatively well-rested. Why was it such a tough run?

Pam had had a rough week with an awful stomach flu, so she had a really good reason for not feeling "it" last Sunday. But me, I had no reason! So I was really upset with myself and pouted. But in my defense, I will say this last week was a really stressful week for me. Work was crazy and I was tired.

But anyways, I did manage to get in a nice run with Pam on Thursday evening. It felt GREAT! We'd found our mojo again. We did a nice easy 4 miles out from Cavitt. But after the run, my back started to really hurt me and then my left foot also started to give me grief. WTF! 4 miles and I'm in pain, what's up with that?

So I took it easy and a lot of ibuprofen on Friday! Then Saturday, I was once again feeling sorry for myself because my back was still hurting so I figured I wouldn't get in the 5 miles I needed to. But then I got a text from Pam. She said she was heading to Twin Rocks and would I join her. Hell ya, it's the only way I was gonna get my run in because I most certainly wasn't gonna do it on my own.

Once again, we had another awesome run. We got in a little over 5 miles while battling bikes - apparently Blue Adventures was doing a race out there. Once again, my feet and back were bothering me and I started thinking maybe it was my shoes. Maybe I was due for some new shoes. My other shoes have definitely seen the mileage.

So I went out last night to the Folsom Outlets Nike Store and got me a new pair of trail shoes (the only trail shoes they had). Nike Zoom Red Rocks II. They're a little dirty in this pic cuz I wore em today. They worked great! I'm always a little worried about wearing new shoes, especially on a long run, but I figured I needed to find out if they'd work or not. My feet are sore, however, they are sore in different spots and because I did 20 miles today!!! But after rolling my feet on a golf ball, I feel much better.

Our run was fabulous. We felt great! We started from Sophia Pkwy on the Brown's Ravine Trail. We started out with a bunch of FTR's but they were quickly gone leaving us Trail Turtles behind as usual. But we're ok with that. We feel most comfy in the back of the pack. We have decided that our job as Trail Turtles is to sweep the trails. We make sure that everyone makes it back! Although, we wonder who makes sure we make it back, but that's another story for another day :).

We took a break at about 8.5 miles and had half a PB&J while sitting and enjoying the calm weather.

Self portraits are fun!
As we were sitting there I saw this pretty yellow flower. It was representative to all the pretty flowers we were seeing out there.

My cell phone camera doesn't do the yellow any justice. It was much brighter than this pic shows..

After our break, we headed off to hit our 10 mile turn around point. Just after 9 miles we came to this bridge. Bryan had said we may have to cross a knee high creek and we figured we weren't in the mood to run in wet feet today, so we would just turn around at the creek. But low and behold there is this beautiful bridge for us to cross!
A sign telling us about the bridge

A view from the bridge.
I think this will be a new fishing spot for my hubby!
After our bridge crossing we kept going until we hit 10 miles. We had never gone further than 7 miles on these trails and I was a bit worried about what we might encounter for 3 extra miles. Mostly, would we know what trail to stay on? We had NO problem. The trail is really well marked out there and all went really well.
At our turn around point, we took another self portrait. We are still happy after 10 miles. Or is it were happy to be turning around to go home? HHHHMMM
We headed back and just enjoyed the scenery and the quiet of the trails. For most of the run we had the trails to ourselves. NO body was out there. Once we past the FTR group coming back, we didn't see another sole until we started heading back. Then we started seeing others, mostly bikers.
A very serene cove.

On the run back, once again Pam shows me how strong she is! She is a Turbo Turtle! She manages to pick up speed the closer we get to our stopping point, where I manage to slow down. After we reached the Spanish house, it was all I could do to keep up with her. And I didn't! She was sweet and would stop periodically to make sure I was still coming and to see if I was ok. I was! I'm the slow and steady Turtle and she's the Turbo Turtle! She's my hero!

The run was what we needed to pick up our spirits after last week's awful crash and burn run. We managed to get our 20 miles done in 5 hrs 20 min (or something close to that). We headed to Starbucks, of course, got our goodies and said our goodbyes.

Next week we'll be working at the FTR aid station for the AR50 on Saturday. The aid station theme is Super Heros, so Pam and I are going as Super Turtles, of course. I will be making us capes to round out our costumes.

On Sunday, we head out to Cool, once again, for our final long run before our next 50k. We'll be doing 24 out on the WTC trails. We will once again face Ball Bearing! Hopefully it won't be as painful this time.

Till next week. Stay dirty!