"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't hate me because my trails are beautiful!

Hee, hee that title was for Willie.

I will start that this week included 5 - 17 hour days. Monday through Friday. Total insanity.

I left the house each morning at 4:30 am and returned at about 10:00 pm. I was at work all day, then taught an after school AP Biology review session, then went out to teach my class at State, then back to the high school to teach another AP Biology review session. I packed three meals a day to take with me. I was able to run 5 miles each day on Tuesday and Thursday at lunch and go back to shower at school and teach my after school review sessions and so on. When I got home I had to write lesson plans and grade. I slept about 2-3 hours a night. Then on Friday night and Saturday morning I taught labs for AP Biology. In between all this I had a 25 page research paper to finish and turn in and a research poster to create and present. I had to bail on several very important faculty meetings (can you smell the sarcasm?) and now have four friendly reminder (yep, more sarcasm) emails about my absence at said meetings.

It was a hell of a week.

Needless to say I was more than a little concerned about my long workouts this weekend and my ability to complete them.

On Saturday, I did a long ride of sorts. It was only 18 miles, but it did have some hills, so I am counting it toward my new "get your ass ready for IMCdA before you embarrass yourself" resolution.

On Friday, I got an email from a gal that trains with my coach. She was looking for people to run part of her 35 miler this weekend. Hot damn! I told her I needed to do 20 miles and was looking for something relatively easy. We decided to run in Big Basin Redwood Forest and, well, somehow that 20 miles of easy trail translated into 24 miles and a whole lot of descent and climbing.

Garmin had some trouble tracking in the forest, but USGS says 24 miles
and 3980 ft of total climb.

Five of us ran. 3 of the gals ran the 12 miles from the headquarters to the beach and had one of the their husbands pick them up. Then Helen and I turned around and headed back up the hill. I have to say, I would have rather climbed in the beginning and had the descent at the end, but it was worth to get to run with a group for a run I was seriously dreading.

Julia (Run partner from Bizz Johnson) crossing a wood bridge at the end of the first short climb, before the big descent

Julia hamming up the climb. She just got over a nasty cold so she was quite the trooper for being out there

Claire posing with one of the many cool fallen trees that have become part of the trail.

Julia and I in the dark forest

This little red speck is Helen. She is a seriously BADASS ultrarunner. She is doing the 50 miler at the North Face Challenge in Marin on Dec 6th. The fact that I was even on this run with her made me feel more than a little badass myself.

I don't know what happened here. Low light + shaky runner hands = shit picture.
Sorry for the blurr. Left to right: Lori, Helen, and Claire. Julia was off taking pictures of a newt.

Here is Julia as a newt!

Not surprisingly, I did not take any pictures on the 10 miles of climb up from the beach. I was working a little too hard! But I did get this picture describing the and I had to add oone I took of Jane's thoughts of this trail during Skyline to Sea.

In the end I was pretty damn proud of myself. I had to get a picture with Helen 1. because she is a bad ass and 2. because she helped me get up that damn hill! I look a little happier than her because I am done and the poor thing still has 11 miles in these hills to go!

All in all a great run. I had a blast and felt pretty darn great. Product mini-review: This is the first run I have done using Perpeteum from Hammer. I have been looking for a drink for longer workouts and I had a free sample so I decided to try it. It tastes like shit, but I think it helped. I didn't have any stomach trouble using it with Gu and fig newtons. They jury is still out since it was just one run and I was conservative because I didn't want to have stomach problems in the forest for 24 miles.


Go Mom Go said...

I do have to say I "hate" you because your trails are beautiful.

What a great job you did, not only getting all your workouts in but for the kids that you helped this week! You are a rock star!

Calyx Meredith said...

My AP Bio teacher did NONE of that stuff. For the umpteenth time - I don't know how you do it. I bet the trail run helped! You seem to get so much out of them that probably the busier you get, the longer you're going to have to run in the redwoods to stay sane. Good thing you have an IM coming up. :D

Jaime said...

You look amazing at the end of that run.

Stef0115 said...

Great pics! Quite envious of the terrain you have at your disposal to run on! I like our terrain too but it would be nice to run in some trees once in awhile.

I LOVE Perpetuem. I use it on the bike. I like the way it tastes and my stomach loves it!

Julianne said...

Man, those trails ARE so beautiful!! Good job on the run, btw!! Are you tapering for the CIM??

Willie said...

You are sooooooooo bad!

Love your trails baby! Your trees are enormous!!!

That's it I'm coming out

Tina Mickelson said...

Ohhh is is so beautiful and I wish I was there running with you. My 12 mile run was rudely interupted by an IT Band issue that cut it down to a measly 9 mile run. Not happy just two weeks before my marathon. Not happy at all. Now I have to hate you because of all those beautiful trails too.

Anonymous said...

Way to go on a massive week!!

I use Perpetuem on my long rides and in Half Iron etc.. haven't tried it on the run but I loooove the stuff. I mix it into a thick paste and just have a small mouthful and wash it down with water. It's good shit... seems to help the energy level fluctuations I had. up down up down... much better using Perp.

Marie said...

I wish we had trails like that here!

Aka Alice said...

You are both a bad-ass trail runner (don't know how you do it...) and a bad-ass teacher. Whenever I think I'm doing too much, I read one of your blogs.

Southbaygirl said...

SUPERWOMAN....wow now I know 2 superwomen, you and irene!!

You are a rcockstar...i will say your work week sounds like mine so I feel you pain!!!

We must meet!!!

ShirleyPerly said...

Man, those trails are to run for!

Awesome you were able find a group to run with and get your twentyFOUR miles in. Did I hear you now have a coach? Who is it, if you don't mind me asking? I'm sort of considering something crazy next year and may need one.

Klassenator said...


Southbaygirl said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a great day!!


Anonymous said...

Once again your blog is better than mine. :) And I may have to steal some of them photos! LOVE the one of you and Helen. And you can feel free to take any of mine that you like! Like my picture of the newt, for example!