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.

May 31, 2010

Western States Training Run Day 2

Training has started for the Tahoe Rim Trail 50k and first on the agenda was the WS Training run (20 miles) from Foresthill to Rucky Chucky. Carpooled up with Marc and Maria and headed to the Foresthill Elementary School where we hooked up with some friends:

Shannon and I met up and we were off. The day was gorgeous, but definitely warming up quickly so the armwarmers got chucked pretty early. I was alittle worried about the legs since I cycled 25 miles the day before. However, I did have a great massage after my ride which worked out alot of kinks.  A few weeks prior, we ran 16.5 miles, starting at Michigan Bluff and running to Devils Thumb and Deadwood canyon, then back. This involved some hillacious climbs and long descents. I knew this run would be MUCH easier and it was :) We ran down beautiful singletrack, paralleling the river.


The trail was mostly gentle downhills, with some steep uphills thrown in for fun. This one was an exposed dirt road that seemed to never end. Shannon's hip flexors were rebelling so I told her to walk backward for a bit.

Here we are at the top of this horrible hill

Our first aid station actually was before this climb and was star studded. I made TT take a picture with us:

We crossed a few streams, but the one just before our final aid station was like an oasis. I spent quite a bit of time in the water. Ice baths are really underrated!

I lost Shannon just prior to the Rucky Chucky aid station.  This aid station was at mile 15.5 and headed by Ken, fellow FTRer. I ate lots of potatoes, chips, water, and anything else I could stuff in my face. I knew we had a brutal 3 mile climb to the top and wanted to fill the tank before that. I love aid stations!

At the start of the final climb, I hooked up with a gal from Seattle who had run the prior days' run and was pacing her friend for WS. She kept me company up that terrible hill. At the top we headed onto a beautiful singletrack and although I was completely exhausted, I started to run and actually felt better.The trail leveled off and passed through a beautiful high meadow

We also passed this boarded up house/barn...out in the middle of nowhere.


I finished in about 5 hrs 20 minutes. Got to the finish and downed a hotdog and coke, hopped on the bus and headed back. I worried about Shannon; I didn't know how she'd do on that last terrible climb. But she pushed through and finished. She again shows her metal!


Goonies never quit! Shannon

Or at least in my case - Trail Turtles never quit.

Yesterday's Western States training run kicked my tushy!  My lack of training reared it's ugly head during yesterday's brutal run.

The day started out beautifully.  A lot of FTR's were at the school all primed and ready to go. Pam and I are ready to go.
The start of the run was awesome - all down hill!  First 3 miles - no problemo!  Beautiful scenery.
Pam looking good on the trails!

As we started with some accents, I started to lose Pam, there she goes!

However, she was so sweet that she would stop periodically and wait to see if I was still coming.
We then hit this awful climb.
I thought this one would never come to an end.  Pam suggested that I try to walk up it backwards, sideways, whatever way would work.  And I did.  But of course, I lost her here too.
But she, once, again, was waiting at the top of the hill for me.  She took a couple of pics and I'm hoping she posts them soon.

By this point my legs are pretty trashed and that climb caused my stomach to start talking to me.  So after this brutal hill, what goes up must go down and yes we started descending again.  I struggled, but managed to get down the hill while watching some strange person in Pam's body fly down the hill!  If you know Pam, she's not the bravest going downhill.  Our norm is she's good on the uphill and I'm good on the downhill. Yeah, somebody was masquerading around in Pam's body yesterday because she took those downhills by the horns and rode 'em like nobody's business.

Needless to say, I lost her once again.  But found her at an oasis.
Here she is stting in the water cooling down.  There were several other girls there and we were having our own little pool party!

This was the last time I saw Pam!

I couldn't keep up with her and I did a lot more walking.  Now when you're out on the trails, by yourself, in the heat, with an upset tummy, you're legs are sore, and no iPod, your brain tends to play tricks on you. As I was walking along a trail I looked up in front of me and I see this brown thing in the middle of a bunch of green and my first reaction is - it's a naked Ewok!  You know, from Starwars.
Either that or it's a small Big Foot!
What do you think?
Come on, I'm not the only one who has had hallucinations on the trails!!

Ok, so at this point all I want to do is quit!  I'm now out of the single track and on the fire trail with less than 2 miles to go to the Ruck-a-Chucky aid station.  I know Ken is there and I'm thinking ok, you can just call it a day and hitch a ride back with Ken.

Then as I'm walking and struggling here comes someone who passes me up and I look at her and she, of course, is running and she's doing it on a prosthetic - hello!  If she can do this, darnit, I should be able to do it.
Not! I tried to shuffle along, but just didn't have it in me.  So I continued to wallow in my self pity and walked.  Then I saw Ken coming over the hill.  Pam had sent out to find me.  He said luckily he didn't have to go to far.  He and another gal walked with me to the aid station.  It was nice to have the company.

The people at this aid station were awesome (the first aid station was lacking on moral support and help with filling the bottles).  They had ICE - I love ice!  They put ice in my hydration pack and filled it with water.  I got ice in my 2 waist bottles and put water in those too.  I ate what I could, which wasn't much.

I asked Ken what the last part was like and he said it was all uphill and wide open (no cover).  HHHHMMMM.  I can quit right now or I can push through.  After the awesome encouragement from the volunteers and getting ice, etc. I felt like I could do it.
So off I went.

It was awful!  It just climbed, and climbed, and climbed.  At some point there was a bench under a tree.  I stopped there for a few minutes and just rested.  But then got up and kept going.  At this point it got prettier.  I was no longer on a fire trail but back on single track with a little shade.  It had flatten out a bit which was nice, but I just couldn't run any more.  I walked.

As I'm walking along I looked down at my hands and they were white.  White?  They should be pink or red, but no they are white.  I tried to make a fist and it hurt.  I looked at my left hand and my rings were looking a little tight.  I apparently was retaining way too much water.  HHHHMMMM

Well thankfully by the time I started stressing out about this, I was almost done.  I came up out of the single track to a road - looked left and right because there were no ribbons or arrows and spotted to my right some tents and thought, that must be the place to go!  So I walked to the finish as there was absolutely nothing left in the reserves.

I was so happy to see Ken there as he was getting ready to leave and offered me a ride back to the school.  YEAH!  I didn't have to wait for the bus.  I was so grateful because all I wanted to do was go home!  However, when I got back to the school I saw Diane Forrest and that made me feel better.

I discovered that there were free massages happening, and because it took me SSSOOOOO long to finish (6 hrs) there wasn't much of a wait.  So I put my name on the list.  I am so glad I did.  I asked her to work on my hip flexors and apparently she was putting so much pressure on them that she ended up pulling something in her shoulders.  So my butt broke the massage therapist!  NICE!  But anyways, she was able to work out some of the soreness and I was able to walk normally again.  Today on the other hand is a totally different story.

This is what I did after I got home.  Lounged on my back porch on the swing with a beer!

Today I am really sore, quads and calves especially.  But, I will survive and I have learned a very valuable lesson - never attempt the WS trails again without being properly trained!

Will I do it again, absolutely, I need redemption!

Stay dirty!

May 28, 2010


Ok so Pam and I have been seriously MIA from the blogging world, well at least I have been!  I haven't even stalked Facebook in a month.  I have been sssssooooo busy!  In my last post I talked about my vacation to Lone Pine.  Well I took 4 days off from work to take that trip and it took me til just this week to finally get caught up.  3 weeks for 4 days!!  HHHHHMMMMMM

Anways, this will be a quick catch up posting.

Since my trip I've golfed 3 times. First was at Cold Springs for their member/guest day
Then with my Twilight League at Cordova GC.
Then Mother's Day with my hubby and mom and dad at Sun City Roseville.

I have run with Pam only 3 times :(.  We had a really nice 12 miler out at Twin Rocks on May 8th.  The weather was beautiful and the trails in great shape.
This past weekend I was up in Grass Valley for the Nevada County Relay for Life.  This is a 24 hour event to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.  For the past 4 years I've made and donated a quilt to raffle to help raise money.  You can see the quilt in the pic.  I take my granddaughter, Justice, with me as it's our annual "camping" trip.  We spend the night out there in a tent.  Loads of fun!  This year, however, was very very cold.  We actually got a tad of snow before we got about 15 minutes of rain.  But that was it for wet weather, which was nice, because we were expecting a day of rain.

Every year, Justice draws the winning ticket.  This year the winner was Gwen Corbett.  Gwen is the woman who donated the fabrics and pattern to me this year.  She is also originally from Camptonville, CA.  Which is pretty cool because my team is the Camptonville Buddies!!  The quilt has gone full circle.

Running certainly has taken a back seat this month, which is a real bummer.  The weather has been so unpredictable with lots of gloomy rainy days and along with my heavy workload, has caused me to be in a terrible funk.  I'm hoping to get out of this real soon.

Today I head over to a quilt shop to work on a quilt with my friend Mickey.  Then I'm golfing this afternoon with my hubby, Mark.  We haven't really golfed together all season except on Mother's day.  So it's a golf date for us.

Sunday I'm doing the Western States Training Run with Pam.  I'm really nervous about it since my longest run since Folsom Point is the 12 miles I did with Pam back on the 8th.  Now I'm heading out on Sunday to do 20 miles.  Yikes. All I can do is just put one foot in front of the other and be ever so thankful that we are expecting 80 degree weather this weekend.  NO RAIN! YEAH.

So get outside people and enjoy this awesome weather we're gonna get this weekend.

Happy Memorial Day!

May 7, 2010

Wild Wild West! Shannon

This post is way overdue.  Here is why.  Before I left on my trip to Lone Pine I broke down and bought myself 2 new cameras.  Yes you read that correctly - 2 new cameras.  My goal was to get a small, compact camera that took really good pictures to take on my runs with me.  In the past I've borrowed my daughter's (Destiny), but she wasn't giving it up for this weekend, so I decided I better just go get one.  Well what a pain in the arss that was.  I won't go into all the details, but I had too much time to look at all the cameras and decided I needed a bigger one with a stronger telephoto lense for taking pics and video of my granddaughter, Justice, when she's in her school performances.

Ok, so what does all this have to do with my delay in posting?  Well, apparently these new cameras do take awesome pics and (this is just MHO) the resolution is really high.  So with this higher resolution, when trying to download the pics to my poor pathetically slow laptop, I ran into my laptop being even slower and then locking up.  Well I got the pics downloaded, but now everytime I try to work within the file where the pics are, the computer goes coo coo. So, because I wanted to post pics with this post, I've procrastinated.  But I'm here now to try to get my computer to behave long enough for me to post a few pics.  So here goes nothing.
Dad, mom, me, and daughter Skyla
(pic taken at Mt. Whitney Portal)

We (my mom, dad, and youngest daughter, Skyla) left Thursday morning and had to head south, because the weather was too bad to go through Reno.  There is no direct route to Lone Pine.  It's on 395 and you either have to go up then down or down then up to get to it.  The shorter/faster route is up then down.  On the drive I played with my new cameras and let me tell you I LOVE THEM BOTH.  I was able to take really good pics while we were driving.  Just for fun, here's one of a train.  We're going 70 mph mind you.

Anyways, it took us 8 hrs to get to Lone Pine.  It's been approx, 35+ years since I've been back, but the memories came floading back.   I spent a whole summer there and experienced a whole lot during that summer (chased by a nuerotic rooster, kicked in the chest by a pony, fell off a horse a couple times, etc, etc.  Ya fun times LOL).  A lot of places change, put Lone Pine hasn't.  It was great!

When we got there it was extremely windy, but the views were great.  This is the view from my aunt and uncle's home:

My Uncle Brad and Aunt Sandy have lived in the same house all these years and raised 5 kids.  My Cousin, Marjianne, now lives in the house next door to them with her 4 boys, Gregory, Brad, Nicholas, and Edward.  My cousin, Marie, drove up from Las Vegas with her boyfriend, Carlos.  And my other cousin, Aspen, drove up from San Diego.  It was great to see them all under happy circumstances.

(upper right pic - Marjianne, upper left pic - Carlos & Marie, lower right pic - Aunt Sandy, lower left pic - Uncle Brad)

On Friday, my dad and Uncle and I decided we were going to attempt a round of golf at the local golf course - Mt. Whitney GC.  Mind you it was still really windy on Friday.  The winds were blowing up to 15-20 mph at some times.  Well we did it.  We managed to play 18 holes and had a really good time.  However, I will admit, that after 9 holes, I could no longer pull/push my cart.  So I loaded my bag up into the cart my dad was in and I continued to walk while he drove my clubs around for me.  It worked beautifully!!

The closest point you see on the snowcapped mountain is Lone Pine Peak, Mt. Whitney is to the right, behind it.  Even though, the pic makes Lone Pine Peak look taller than Mt. Whitney, it's only because it's closer.
Saturday morning, the main reason I had decided to make the long trip to Lone Pine, the Wild Wild West Marathon (put on by the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce), was happening.  The race offered 3 different distances - 10 miles, marathon, and 50k.  My original intentions were to do the 50k, but after discussing it with several experienced runners, it was advised that I not consider that distance because of the elevation (topping out at 6500 feet) and having never run in that elevation, it wouldn't be wise.  So I decided on the 10 miler to get a taste.

It started at 6a and this was my view --------->
Absolutely beautiful morning, however, very very cold.  I had on 3 layers, ear muffs, and gloves.  This race was very low key.  So low key that the start and finish line for the 10 miler was drawn in the dirt - not chalked, not tape, not ribboned - drawn like you were when you were a kid - "I dare you to cross over this line...".

We started promptly at 6a - all distances. I started in the middle of the pack.  I've decided that starting in the middle is better than starting in the back.  If you're the same pace as other runners, you'll never be able to pass them, and they'll never be able to pass you, therefore, you won't come in last - get it??  Using my noggin now!  Of course that only works on those runners who are paced the same as you :)

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  The first glance at a map of the course that I got was the night before when I picked up my registration bag.  But even then, if you've never been anywhere on the course, a map doesn't really tell you anything, anyways!!

We started off at a slow jog and then I quickly realized that that wasn't going to last.  We started out on an uphill climb and continued on the uphill climb for 2.66 miles - we started at an elevation of 5124' and peaked at 6318'.  Yes, I walked 99% of it.  I had no choice.  I quickly discovered what running in higher elevations means, at least running uphill - your quads start to burn much quicker and your lungs are more constricted, not too mention the cold windy air doesn't help the lungs either.

We started on a fire trail for about 2 miles, then we hit single track, which had us weaving through brush and climbing rocks, ah just like back home.

I did also get a very small taste of extreme technical downhill and a water crossing, but that was it.  After we climbed back up out of this little gully, it was wide open fire trails pretty much the rest of the race :(

After we peaked it was all down hill for the next 6 miles.  I was in heaven.  I was able to run the entire time, except for the pit stop I had to make.  Now when we're out on our local trails, the worst thing you really have to worry about when you need to make a pit stop is not squatting into poison oak.  Out there in the Eastern Sierras, you don't have to worry about poison oak, but you do gotta worry about squatting into a cactus or a snake, however, it was too early and too cold to have to worry about the snakes.  The other problem you have to worry about is that the only privacy you'll find out there is a passing tumble weed.  Ya, finding privacy was a challenge. LOL

I was a little bummed that I had to make the pit stop, because I lost ground.  I had managed to "pick off" a lot of runners on the downhill (my specialty - downhill) and while I was busy behind the largest bush I could find several runners went on by.  But I'm happy to say that I managed to jump back out in front of all of them at the next aid station - phew!

After the downhill blast from 6318' to 4646' I again had to start climbing to get to the finish which was back where we started at 5124'.  However, this climb did offer some rolling ups and downs so I was able to run more on this climb then in the begining.  I'd say 75% walking.

A very small portion was on the road and since it was up hill, I decided I could take a pic and one of the runners came up behind me and offered to take my pic - cool
By this time I had shed one layer (that was it for the whole race)
(and no, I don't own any other running clothes - LOL)

I had to make sure I ran across the finish line, even though it was a steady uphill incline to get to the line drawn in the dirt.  So with about a tenth of mile to go, I pushed it.  Not too hard mind you, just enough so that I was actually running across the finish and shuffling.  Well my quads were on fire and my lungs were burning as well and the feeling of queeziness made it's appearance, but it didn't last long and I was so proud of myself, especially once I realized how many people were still behind me.  I had no idea how many people were doing the 10 miler, and I still don't because I have no idea when the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce will post the results, but as I was driving out of the campgrounds, I was passing runners still coming in.  WOW.  Lil ole me didn't come in last - woo hoo!
Post finish pic :)
The group behind me is the where the finish line is :)
I finished in 2:25, which I'm very pleased with!  Next year (or the following year, not sure if I'll get to go next year) I plan on doing the marathon distance since you only have to climb another 200 feet to peak at 6509' I figure, I can handle that.  As long as you walk up hill and run all the downs, this race is very doable.

I will say, that even though the pre and post race information is extremely lacking, the race itself was very well organized.  They had 4 aid stations just for the 10 milers.  The first aid station was my favorite:

Love the skeleton wearing the Wild Wild West Marathon t-shirt
I will definitely be back!

Since I was done with the race by 8:30a, we were able to spend the rest of day site seeing, we went to the Whitney Portal and to the Eastern Sierra Museum in Independence.

The Portal was georgeous and Skyla and I fell in love with the waterfall

Sadly come Sunday it was time for us to pack up and head back home.  It was a great trip and I can't wait to do it again.

I have to thank my wonderful parents for driving me down and practically paying for everything - love you both tremendously.
And to my pretty baby girl, Skyla, for coming down with us and being my photo bug twin - she and I both love taking pics and we both got into the moment.  There are alot of nature shots and museum shots that got taken :)

Yes, she is old enough to drink!

Sorry this is so long, but a lot happened in 4 days!!

I will finish by saying that I would never give up our Western Sierra's with all the trees and poison oak for the desert rich Eastern Sierras!  I love our trails!!

Stay dirty!