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.

March 13, 2011

Way Tool Cool....One year later...'s been way too long since I've posted on our blog. Life has been busy, complicated, and has gotten in the way these past several months. But yesterday was a day to remember and I promised Shannon I would share it here.

Shannon and I started this blog a year ago, when we decided to run our first 50K, Way Too Cool. We were so lucky to both get in. Our training was nothing short of adventurous and fun and the training paid off as we both finished strong, and in one piece!

Fast forward a year. I put my name in the WTC lottery hoping for another chance to run this epic trail race. Sadly, I was 184 on the wait list and realized I would not be running.....or would I?   I had ditched my training for anything after that. I had planned to run AR 50 but shin splints kept me from that race. So, I sporadically did a few long runs here and there, and a few miles a week; nothing that would constitute for good 50K training.  A few weeks prior to the run, I got a call from the RD asking if I'd volunteer as the medical provider at the AR 50 midway point, in exchange I'd get a free ride into WTC. I think it took me one second to scream, "YES"! So WTC training was back on! (early birthday present to me) I was a tiny bit concerned that I might really struggle on the run given the lack of long miles. It was also bittersweet cuz Shannon was not able to even enter the lottery due to a nagging heel problem.  But I was fortunate enough to have Kym train with me.   We were able to get in a few mid long runs on the course just before the race. For my birthday, Kym got me a pair of Dirty Girl Gators that I'm convinced made me run faster.

Fast forward to yesterday. The weather was perfect.  I picked up Dave and Kym and headed up to get a parking spot (about a mile away from the start, ugh). I was alittle nervous about the run, actually more excited about it. I was just so excited to be a part of it with all my other FTR buddies that got in. We saw lots of FTRs that either were injured, didn't get into the lottery or were just not ready to run a 50k. They were out in force volunteering and cheering for us. They are truly the best group of people you'll ever meet :) 

First stop was the porta potties.  So many potties, so little time to pee...the lines were LONG.

We met over by the infamous Frog for a bunch of pictures with our FTR running buddies.
Dave B, Misha, Kellie, Mndy, Cathleen, Kem, Me

Kym, Gail and I striking a model pose

We headed up to the start and of course took more pictures....
Keira, Misha, Kellie, Kym, Me

Our very clean gators....they sure didn't stay that way!

From right to left: Nancy, Greg, me, Kym, Dave, Mindy, Katy

We missed getting into the FTR group shot :( 

And then were were off. Our first creek crossing came very early, I believe this is Knickerbocker creek

 The first 8 miles were on the Olmstead loop and besides a moderate amount of mud, it was really beautiful. I found myself running the first 10 miles much faster than I usually do. I felt fantastic and wanted to push it alittle so I wasn't stuck behind slower people (did that come out of my mouth? Aren't I one of the 'slower people'?)  I did the first 10 miles in about 2:02 hrs which is fast for me. At the first aid station I found Kym again and we headed out and down the trail towards Quarry Road. Took no time and passed through the aid station quickly, but just a few steps into running on Quarry, my right calf completed cramped up and nearly knocked me to the ground. Stretched and rubbed it out and headed out very slowly. This is the first time I've ever cramped and it was likely cuz I pushed it on the first 10 miles. Caught up with Kym again and we made our way up Dead Truck. The trail heads to the right and runs along the American Canyon trail. I didn't take pics while running, but here's a picture of this section from a previous run.....

This part of the trail climbs up for maybe alittle less than a mile and then heads to the right towards ALT, the next aid station.  We were in need of a little motivation on this portion and a runner, Michelle ran with us encouraging us to keep running. So glad she was there! There are lots of signs along the way to provide motivation....

We got into ALT (21 mile mark) and loaded up quickly on food, soup and fluids. We had made the cutoff way ahead of time. The cutoff was 1:30 and I think we got in at 12:50.  Kym found new energy from her soup and after this point she was on fire.  I started to get occasional calf seizures which would stop me dead in my tracks. I think it was about this time we encountered a very unfriendly runner who would not let us pass and actually pushed Kym. Very disturbing. We played leapfrog with him for a few miles, and then we didn't see him again until the finish (Kym actually passed him right before the finish, Yeah!).

Next stop was the top of Goat Hill. I'm so glad I've trained on this hill alot in the past. It isn't very pleasant but if you know it well it isn't that bad. We moved steadily up the hill and were SO happy to get to that aid station. More soup, oreos, chips and water and we were on our way. My calf began to seize again a few steps out and I fell far behind Kym. I had to walk/run for about a mile until it settled down, then I ran slow and steady. Before I knew it I was to highway 49 and crossing to the final portion. I looked at my watch and couldn't believe I was going to finish almost ONE HOUR faster than my last year's time! I got up the final hill, onto the straight away and my calf went out AGAIN! I stopped and stretched it, tried to use a stick to roll it, but broke the stick and then started running again. I was determined to run to the finish so I pushed on and was cheered in by the FTRs and friends at a time of 7:38, WOO HOO! 50 minutes faster than last year!

Coming up to the finish

And achieving a PR!

Shannon was there with a beer and a smile....:)

The beer was sooooo good...:)

and I got a cupcake this time....yummmmm!

 It was great to see my other buddies that finished earlier and they were all still there!  Usually I get in so late that everyone has already left.

from right to left: Kem, me, Gail, Diane

I was pooped and Kym's husband, Dave offered to drive my car home, thank you Dave!

I am so proud of us and all the FTRs who finished this incredible race! Thank you Kym for your companionship, friendship, and for pulling me through the last half of this race! This was such a wonderful experience. So looking forward to Tahoe Rim Trail 50K in July!

Finished this birthday weekend off right with a day at Geri's Garden in Fair Oaks on Sunday.

My friend, Kathy organized a spa day for the girls.  We started off with Mimosas for all (check out the napkin).....

Kathy brought other appropriate napkins for the occasion....

We started with amazing foot soaks and foot massages (I needed that, still having dirt embedded in my feet after the run even after scrubbing in the shower). This was followed by facials and massages.

We were a happy, relaxed group after 5 hours of pampering, food and mimosas!

It was a fabulous weekend of fantastic running, bonding with friends and an overall epic way to celebrate a birthday! I am truly a blessed girl!


  1. You rock Pammy! I so missed being out there with you, but was so proud to be standing at the finish line to see you come through!

    What a great b-day weekend for you! PR a 50K and a spa day (I'm so jealous).

    Thank you for my book, I can't wait to read it.

    Congrats and happy b-day to my awesome Turbo Turtle buddy.

    Till next year!

  2. Congrats Pam! What a race! And yeah for a PR!!!! My heart was out there with everyone running! Happy Birthday too. Nice way to finish the race . .. . with a SPA day! sweet!

  3. thanks girlies! it was a great weekend...i'm so sad it's over! I can't wait til we're all out there again running the trails we love so much!

  4. Pam,congrats on your race!!!!

  5. Congrats on the PR! I was out there too... And yeah, you shouldn't have gone out so fast... Still, it was a beautiful day out there.

  6. Way to go Pam! I just love your winning spirit!