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.

July 19, 2010

Tahoe Rim Trail - FTR rocked the Rim!!

TRT 50K was the final long race/run in my plan this year. I began to get alittle concerned about completing this ever since my heel began to bother me weeks ago. On the last 20 miler before the race, I suffered intense heel pain 15 miles in and barely squeaked out the last 5. I finally decided to go see Steve Long, chiropractor (and fellow FTRr) who worked on my back, hips and heel. I also got weekly massages from Shannon at Massage Heights. The heel started settling down a bit and I felt nice and loose; ready to run 32 miles. It didn't hurt that I was also off work for 4 weeks prior to this race.  These last weeks have been emotionally draining; my practice which I worked hard to build, closed, and I found myself unemployed. I was blessed to be hired on by the VA. But there was alot of sadness over losing my patients and my staff. Running for me these past few weeks has been much needed therapy.  This race was sort of a mark of new things in my life, and I was viewing it as a metaphor as to how the next phase of my life would go - I was nervous.

Diane and I headed up Friday afternoon and got into Carson City where we hooked up with the rest of the FTR group for dinner.

We had a blast! Lots of laughing, even without any alcohol :) Got to meet Trish's other half, Aaron (loved his sense of humor!) and their new addition, CeCe - such a cutie pie! After a great dinner, we headed back to get to bed early - wake up time was 3:45 am, ugh!  Fortunately I slept well and we headed down to the lobby to meet up with our posse.  Mike G took this pic of us. He was supposed to run but hurt his back a week before. It was so nice to see him get up early with us to see us off!

We piled onto the bus and headed for Spooner Lake. We were all giddy with excitement, taking lots of pictures in the bus.

We met up with a few more people at the start, used the facilities and found a place to drop our bags. Posed for a few more pics, then headed down to the start.

(trish anticipating the pain ahead!)

 The sun was just rising and we started out. The weather was absolutely perfect; alittle chilly and breezy. My goal was to take the start nice and easy, which I did. The altitude didn't seem to be bothering me at all.  I settled into the back of the pack where I feel most comfortable.  Kym and I partnered up and took our time. The trail was beautiful from start to finish. We felt good heading into the first aid station where we saw Dave (Kym's husband) coming back. He was running just a short distance.

(Dave took this pic of us early on)

We moved quickly through the aid stations which were about 6 miles apart. The volunteers and food were first rate.

We began the climb up to Marlette Peak and the view took my breath away.  The pics don't do it justice!

The run down the other side was incredibly fun.  We were doing pretty well when we came up to Tunnel Creek the first time. Then we hit the Red House Loop which consisted of a very steep down hill, long flats, then a constant, unrelenting climb back up.

That took alot out of us. We came into Tunnel Creek the 2nd time and saw Diane sitting with ice on her knee. She had to drop due to knee problems. That was disappointing and I thought for a minute that I might drop cuz my heel was absolutely killing me. But Kym and I fueled up, said our goodbyes to Diane, and we soldiered on. More climbing ahead.

We took a video during this part of the trail

Kym was not feeling good and started to slow a bit. I put in my Mp3 headphones and cranked up the music. At the top of the climb, I got a 2nd wind and tore down the trail into Hobart with Coldplay's  Viva La Vida blaring in my ears. While I was getting my 2nd wind, Kym started to feel sick. She was eyeing the Jameson at the Hobart aid station, but only posed with it (didn't drink any :)

(she was feeling alittle like this wilted flower)

 She started to suffer quite a bit after leaving Hobart and had to take it easy. It was tough not running on some of that singletrack, but there was no way I could leave her feeling that way. She pushed on even though she felt like crap and had to throw up three times! She's a stud...I think I would've quit had I felt that bad.

The climb up to Snow Valley Peak was amazing....again my breath was taken away. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this trail. 

We got to the top about 3:15pm and quickly started heading down. The trail was gorgeous, but rocky so running it consistently was tough. Once down alittle farther into the trees, we were able to run a bit more.  Kym slowed again and I continued running. The trail was smooth, fast, and switched back and forth through the trees. I was told it was 5 miles from Snow Valley Peak to the final aid station, but it felt alot longer. I stopped a minute to make sure I was going the right way and a 100 mile runner came up and assured me I was going the right way. He had run it last year and said this part always seemed to go on and on. He and I ran together until the next aid station. When I got to the bottom, Dave (Kym's husband) was waiting to run her in, so I went ahead and sprinted the last 2 miles to the finish. I was greeted by my dear friend, Maureen. She had moved up to Nevada 2 years prior and had introduced me to hiking the Sierras. I finished in 11:27, woo hoo!! I was so happy to have completed this race and felt great at the end.  I met up with Diane and Sue Boo at the end. Kym came in just a few minutes after me. I'm so proud of us! This was one epic run, although I hiked most of it :) I initially said I wouldn't do it again next year, but never say never....I'm already dreaming about doing it again!

And I started the new job far so good!

July 16, 2010

Blood Sweat & Beers Training Run 7-10-10 - Shannon

First of all - we had a huge turn out for this training run (minus my turtle buddy, Pam)!  FTR's Rock!

I'm smack dab in the middle - blue shirt, white cap

What a challenging course!!!!

We started out at 7a and it was already warm.  I had never run this route before, so I didn't know what to expect.  I did get a taste of some of this when we did the ADO to Rat Bar and back a month ago, but not this exact route.  The training run was for the upcoming Blood, Sweat & Beers Trail Run happening on Aug 1st.  There are 2 distances happening for this race and I'm scheduled to do the long one (10.4 miles). So our training run also consisted of both distances, and yes, I did the long run.

We first headed out on the old dam road (Auburn), then hit a single track that took us into China Bar where we hit the aquaduct.  We stayed on the aquaduct for about a mile, then we had a steep, challenging switchback to go down - I love the down!!  Once we came out of that we were back on a road for a very short distance, where we took a right turn back onto the trail that took us down some more.  Here is some of the view from this point.
These rocks were just stacked up like that.  Thought that was kind of cool.

Of course, I'm always in the back of the pack and I was the volunteered sweeper.  But of course, I had no clue where I was going, so I was quite please that I had my awesome trail veteran, Ken Crouse, sweeping with me.

This is the 2nd time Ken has been my hero! And I'm sure it won't be the last!

After this part, we were once again back on pavement, but now we start the climbing!

And we climbed, and we climbed, and we climbed some more.

I honestly believe there is more climbing than going down.

After you're on this for awhile you finally hit the Cardiac Hill bypass, which continues to climb, but at least you're on the dirt again.

Then you end up back out on the old dam road which takes you out to the old dam area.  I'm gonna leave the rest of the details for my actual race report.

All in all it was a good run and I managed to have yet another neausea-free run.  YEAH.
You can see all the pics from our training run HERE

This weekend Pam is doing the Tahoe Rim Trail 50k with several other fellow FTRs.
I, however, am not!  As it's my anniversary weekend and we're heading up to Lakes Basin area for some hiking and rest.

Blogging to follow next week by Pam and myself.

Have a great weekend!

July 8, 2010

Still here! Shannon

Just wanted to put the word out - the Trail Turtles are still HERE.

With the summer weather, we've both been really busy with lots of stuff!  But, yes, we are still out there hitting the trails.

Last weekend we did 20 miles from Granite Bay to Horseshoe Bar, which was very nice.  After having a couple of really rough long runs in the heat, this time we both did very well.  Although, Pam's been suffering from foot pain, and this time it did start to bother her.  But we both successfully ran a nausea-free 20 miler in the heat.  YEAH.

You can see more pics HERE (my pics have yet to be uploaded, computer issues at home - WAAA)

I've started biking and am now addicted.  I've even gotten my hubby out there with me, which is really nice.

What started this new addiction, you ask?  FTR, Bryan, put on a a Tri-4-Fun a few weeks ago.  This was a very low key, lets just get out there and have some fun get-together.  We met at Negro Bar and started off with an hour run on the trails, then met back up at the picnic area on the beach, then headed out for an hour bike ride.  Now I hadn't been on a bike for many years and had no idea how I was going to do.  After some bike mechanical issues (chain kept falling off when I shifted gears) I proceeded to ride around the lake (11 miles), in one gear, with no problem with taking the hills (running ultras has developed me some strong legs :o).  Then we met back up at the picnic area and proceeded to kayak for an hour and a half.  What a blast.  I had never kayaked before and I had a great time.  I realized how much your core is invovled with kayaking - what a workout.

Me and Linda Bombe getting ready to go :)

Me coming in
To see more pics of this really fun event, click HERE.

So since that weekend, I've been hitting the bike trails for a ride each weekend.  Of course, got the bike repaired, have purchased another mountain bike, and just enjoying the time out on the bike trails.  Next, I'm going to dare to mountain bike for real - in the dirt.  Watch out people, I'm dangerous.

Along with trail running and biking my DH and I have finally started working on our hallways.  This was a project we started 3 years ago - stripping the wallpaper proved to be more trouble than we had anticipated.  Apparently, this wallpaper must have been the original wallpaper put up when the house was built in the early 60's and they must've used cement to put it up - sheesh.  So needless to say, we got discouraged and only worked on it rarely over these past 3 years.  Well we dove in this last weekend and it's looking good.  We've gotten most of it painted, but doing the staircase ceiling is going to prove to be yet another challenge.  It's really high up - yikes.  But we're motivated now, and we'll get it done.

This weekend Pam is in cycle down mode getting ready for TRT and she's going for a hike with some friends.  I, on the other hand, am gearing up to start my training for Sierra Endurance Trail Marathon, but I have a few smaller races coming up.  The first being Blood, Sweat, and Beers on Aug 1st and the FTR's are having a training run this Saturday on the course for the race.  There are 2 distances and I'll be doing the 10 miler.  Can't wait to see what's instore for me on 8/1.  Since I'm kind of familiar with the area, I know that beer will be needed after the race, so I'm thinking I better bring an ice chest for Saturday too :)

Next weekend is my anniversary weekend and DH and I are heading up to Gold Lake Lodge which is in the Gold Lakes Basin Recreational Area (Tahoe National Forest) just above Sierra City/Downieville and we'll be doing a lot of hiking (on parts of the Pacific Crest Trail)  and fishing - I promise I will blog about it when I get back.  Also next weekend is Pam's TRT 50k.  She too will HAVE to blog about it.  So be watching, we'll get back on the blog scene, even if it's only a couple of times of month during the summer weather.

Stay cool and dirty!