"...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)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Treadmills, Meatheads, and Boobs! Oh my!

I almost hate to admit this, but ...

I once again joined a fucking gym. Yes, "once again" as in, this is not my first time signing away my dignity and $35.99/month to subject myself to the 'over-tanned, over-pumped, meathead and huge-breasted, yet tiny-assed, boy short wearing' end of the fitness spectrum.

Historically, I have found that the gym is SUPER good for my self esteem. And every time I have extracted myself from an automatic payment nightmare at XYZ Corporate gym after paying months and months worth of dues long after I have stopped going, I tell myself, "Never again! I hate the gym. Even more, I hate PAYING for the gym when I do not go to the gym."

But, alas, I joined. Here is my explanation for this seemingly self-destructive behavior. I have a new schedule this year that is making it much more difficult and often impossible for me to work out after school during the week.

I get up really early and can run before school. As a matter of fact, I used to, but I have become a chicken shit and can not seem to make myself run around my gorgeous, and high end neighborhood anymore.

Also, in my palatial 900 sq ft house there is no where to put a treadmill, unless I really want to class the joint up by having one in the kitchen (I don't know why, but it has a large kitchen for a small house *shrugs*) Therefore, I joined the gym.

I have gone three times this week (which may be a gym attendance record for me) at 4 am and although running on the treadmill is a little slice of hell, I found that the 'Roid monsters and Barbie dolls tend to not be in the gym at 4 am so I am not as self conscious and pissy. Beautiful people, need their beauty sleep evidently.

I have to admit that Formulaic calling me out on my training mileage (he did not really 'call me out.' He innocently asked about it, but I have to be dramatic. It is how I roll) is what made me finally take stock of my current "training." I had to ask myself, "what is my goal and am I doing what I need to meet it?"

The answer was a resounding, "No."

Hence, the dreaded gym.

The Goal: (It has been alluded to, but not spelled out because my psyche and self esteem have taken a few hits this year and I could not handle any further failures)

I want to do a 50 mile run in 2011.

The reason for this (as if I need to justify why a fat, slow, perpetually bottom 10% finisher would want to run 50 miles since it sounds like a marriage made in heaven!) is that I want to see if I can and to see if I like it.

It is really the same reason I attempted Ironman (for the record, the answer to both of those questions in that case was another resounding "no", but I am glad for all the the experiences it afforded me. Well, except for that stupid, fucking swim, but whatever)

I am still undecided on which 50 miler to attempt. The leading contenders are Rocky Raccoon (Pros: flat course, looooooong time limit due to 100 miler at same time, I get to see IronJane, Misty, and S. Baboo Cons: In Texas and hubby is not loving the traveling, the race is in February and that limits my time to train) and American River 50 miler (Pros: Local, one of the flatter 50 milers for California, the race is in April so more time to train Cons: 26 miles of it are on the road, 13 hour cut off [this is the biggest 'con'], April may still be too soon training wise)

Hubby Update

Hubby is doing ok. He was doing great, the effects of the radiation were subsiding and he was getting his energy back, but then he had to get his last hormone deprivation therapy shot and now he is feeling shitty again. I am taking solace in the fact that this is the last round of this.


(This part is rambling and a bit of a downer. Feel free to skip)

I struggle sometimes with how honest to be about all of this. Here on the blog and in real life. On one hand it has helped me immensely to read honest accounts from the wives and lovers of men with prostate cancer on the other hand it is about my husband and me during the scariest and hardest time of our life together. And some of the topics and issues are, for lack of a better expression, not cool. Not cool at all.

When he was diagnosed we started feverishly researching everything we could find on prostate cancer. In our travels we came across several forums for people undergoing prostate cancer treatment. These forums offered a wealth of information and are chock full of really, really kind people.

Can you feel the 'but' coming?

But, reading day in and day out, about the horrors and complications, both short term and long term, that are associated with prostate cancer and prostate cancer treatment turned out to be a recipe for insanity and depression in the RBR household. So I forbade him from reading them (I sound like such a shrew, huh?) and I stopped reading them myself.

But then we entered a new epoch, one that is hard to talk him about, one that is even hard for me to think about and I returned to the forums. It has proved to have the same effect as before, except like an addict I keep going back expecting it to be better, and to find the answer I want.

I have yet to find that answer, but I do find myself working 18 hour days again, which is historically a sign that I am not doing great mentally.

So once again, I deleted all the bookmarks.

I do not have a wrap up for this. I still have not found the answer. I just know where I won't find it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Race Report: Fall Showdown Trail 1/2 Marathon - September 25, 2010

Ron (PunkRockRunner) asked me if I was interested in this race last week and I thought 1. it would be nice to see him again and 2. a flat 1/2 marathon would be a nice recovery long run after beating the shit out of myself at Rio del Lago and Mt. Diablo.

Well, I was half right. It was nice to see Ron.

Elevation profile for the Fall Showdown

It was no Mt. Diablo, but flat it was not. Plus the 90 degree heat added a level of difficulty that I could have done without.


Total distance: 13.35 miles (I took a slight detour, but it was NOT my fault this time!)
Total Time: 2:52:34
Total climb: 1520'
Total Number of Bloggy Buddies that dropped my ass AGAIN: 1 (Oh, we will get to that!)


I snookered LA Run Buddy into going with me. She was going to run the 5K and then work on some stuff for school while she waited (and waited, and waited, as it would turn out) for me to finish the half marathon.

Ron's picture of us from after the race. Mental note: Always have pictures taken by people freakishly taller than you. Very slimming. Me likey!

We met up with Ron. He was easy to find in his signature crazy ass hair. LA Run Buddy asked, "Do you see your friend?" and I said "Yeah, he's the dude with the crazy hair over at registration."


There were like 20 people doing the half marathon and frankly not a regular sized person in the bunch (i.e. all skinny ass runner types).

Great, I get be last. Again.

I can not tell you how many people say to me that they would never do a race because they are worried they will be last. Or tell me as we are waiting at the start line, all nervous and jittery, "I just don't want to be LAST. God, that would be AWFUL."

Meh. It is not so bad.

Especially after the 15th or 16th time, you barely notice anymore. Plus the people at the finish line are usually REALLY nice to you. Probably because they finally get to go home, but whatever.

Anyhoo, back to the race...

When we met up with Ron that morning, he immediately tells me that he is going to run this with me.

[Pause for collective "Riiiiiiiiiiiight" from the audience]

Yeah, that was my response too.

Start of the race. It is so blurry because he was running away from me so fast.

I hate to be a total bitch (ok, no I don't...), but to draw a little comparison, Willie lasted 4 miles with me at SF Marathon, and this is Ron's and my second encounter of less than 20 yards. The first time can be written off as "this never happens to me," but two times? I am just saying...

Ok, ok. I will give the guy a break. He did say he thought LA Run Buddy was running with me and he did seem pretty sorry when I gave him hell about it when I saw him at mile 6 (his mile 8, whatever) , and then again at the finish line, and then again in the parking lot. Ok, and once more via text message. I am just sweetness and light, aren't I? Can't imagine why he keeps dropping me. *shrugs*

Prettiness from the trail to break up text block. ADHD Blogger

The course ran along the San Pablo Reservoir and it was part paved and part trail. It was a really pretty course and not a super tough run, but my legs were just tired. I suffered for the first three miles before my legs finally warmed up. I always love the internal dialogue that goes on when I am suffering early on in a run:

RBR: My shins hurt. I think it is shin splints. I should stop so as to not risk further injury.

Rational RBR: You are not even at one mile yet. You will warm out of it.

RBR: My ankle hurts. I think it is my Achilles. I better stop now before I really injure myself.

Rational RBR: Mile 1.1. You are fine. Suck it up.

RBR: I feel a twinge on the outside of my knee. Clearly, this is IT Band Syndrome. I better walk now.

Rational RBR: Mile 2, Drama Llama. How did you EVER run even one marathon, much less 11, being this much of a whiny bitch? Just run, for god's sake!

And finally my legs warmed out of it and I started to enjoy the run. Just in time to get lost.

Now, before you roll your eyes and say "Christ, they mark these courses. What is your malfunction?" I was lead astray! I was happily running down the trail when two gals came running back toward me saying that we missed a turn and that the trail dead ends ahead. Hmmm... I really thought there was only one way to go, but since I do not have a great track record for staying on course during runs, I listened to them and headed back the way we came. I was right, there was only one way to go.

The pretty bridge we had to return to see that yes, in fact we had gone the right way the first time

Apparently in the 20 minute diatribe that the race director was giving us before the race, he mentioned that we would have to go through a gate at about mile 4. Why exactly do race directors do this? They gather the crowd for a pre-race talk that invariably goes through an exhaustive turn by turn of the entire course that sounds like this:

"At about mile 6.743 you will come to a four way intersection, veer slightly to the left, not to the left, mind you, just slightly to the left and follow the trail to the point where you find a fallen log. DO NOT turn there. Wait until you see the fourth fallen log and then go right....."

Seriously? Does anyone remember what they say?

I always feel as if I should have brought a note pad and a pen. I suppose it is so when you come back broken and bloody from falling off a cliff because the trail abruptly ended, they can shrug at you and say condescendingly, "We told you to go right at the fourth fallen log."

Whatever. It was a relatively short diversion and as I previously went over, I was not winning this thing, so I was not too worried about it.

The rest of the run was beautiful. It got hot and I was tired, but all in all I had a great time, met some really nice folks, and when I finally dragged my big ass to the finish line I was shocked to find out I won second place in my age group.

Bling Shot: LA Run Buddy won her age group in the 5K, Ron won his age group in the 1/2 marathon, and little Ms RBR got second in her age group in the 1/2 marathon. (Photo by Captivating Sports Photos, some of the nicest guys in the business!)

Ok, there were only 3 in my age group and the only gal I beat was injured and had to walk the last 3 miles, but whatever, I WON something!

I love this guy. Thanks, man, for always making me smile. Next time I know you can go the distance ;)

Wolf Pack Events

This was my first race with this group and they were some seriously nice people and put on a really nice event. I know, I always say that, but in general, if I did not like something or someone, or did not have an opinion towards them either way, I will not mention them here. (Not by name at least ;) Unless they piss me off, then all bets are off )


1. Well marked course
2. Plenty of aid stations with teenagers running the stations, but adults about to keep them on task. (Always a good idea, in my opinion)
3. Cold water at aid stations
4. Really sweet and enthusiastic volunteers
5. Still had food left after the last runner came in, and no, not just rat ass watermelon rinds.


1. Cotton t-shirt (honestly, would have preferred a tech shirt over a medal or lower price option to opt out of the t-shirt all together.)
2.Small bottled waters seemed like a waste.
3. Not enough slow runners.... ok, can't really blame them for that one

Friday, September 24, 2010


No, no more tarantulas, Lindsay. You do not have to say "forget you" (Who says that, BTW? I mean, besides 11 year old girls being "bad" at church. Dude, you crack me up)

This post is about the BRC 1 class (Beginning Rock Climbing) I am taking with my Run Buddy (I still don't have a new name for her despite the fact we have not run together in well over 2 years...)

She asked me to go with her and I adore her, so I said yes. Plus, I did not have enough athletic endeavors that I suck at, so I needed to start a new one.

Mission accomplished! Because I do, truly, suck at it. (Shut up, G)

Now, it is not the actual climbing part that I am bad at. (I know, you are thinking, WTF? What the hell else is there in rock climbing besides climbing? I am getting there Ms./Mr. Impatient don't get your panties in a twist!)

Truth be told, I am kind of freakishly strong for a woman (Aforementioned "Shut up, G" still applies) I may not be the fragile, delicate flower of a woman that many find desirable, but if you need someone to schlep their end of the couch up a flight of stairs on moving day? Then I am your girl.

Because of this, I can muscle my way up the wall for pretty much any of the beginning climbs (until about 5.8, for any climbing types out there) But, as the climbs get more difficult, there is apparently technique to this rock climbing thing.

This 'technique' involves, graceful, dance-like movements as you ascend the wall.

Graceful and dance-like? Hmmm ... Not my strong suit. I have humiliated myself at enough Jazzercise and step aerobics classes in my day to know that. Which leads to exchanges between me and my instructor that sound like this:

Cute as a Button 21 year old instructor (Hereinafter referred to as CB21yo): "RBR glide to the left and open your hips away from the wall as you pull up."

RBR clinging desperately to the wall: "What the fuck are you talking about? And why do you wait until I am 20 feet up this thing to start talking to me?"

CB21yo: "What did you say? I can't hear you"

RBR, yells in perky sing song voice: "Okay, sure! No problem" *grunts, scrambles*

CB21yo: "Umm... okay. Kind of like that. Straight arms! Let your skeleton bear the weight not your biceps!"

RBR: "Ummm... simple physics, Sport. You can not pull up with straight arms!"

CB21yo: What?

RBR, yells : "Okay!" *squeals as she almost slips off the fucking wall trying to simultaneously, glide, pull, open hips away from the wall, and hang on straight arms*

I actually really enjoy the class. Our classmates were all pretty shy and reserved at first, but between Run Buddy and I, we got them to be the loudest class in the gym. We cheer and clap for each other when we finish a route. (Ok, and a few wolf whistles and cat calls, since Run Buddy and I are soooo mature)

When I am not being told everything I am doing wrong from a super cute, 21 year old guy that is standing below me looking at the super UN-cute things the climbing harness is doing to my 41 year old ass, I feel kinda like spidergirl crawling up the wall.

Everyone needs to feel like a superhero once in awhile.

*Side Note: Don't worry. I promise no RBR in a full body spandex suit pictures are forthcoming. That would be way scarier than the tarantula.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Race Report: Mt. Diablo Trail 1/2 Marathon - September 19, 2010

I first saw this event on my buddy Jo Lynn's blog and I thought it sounded fun. After I turned my feet into hamburger last weekend I did not think I would be able to do it.

Then she emailed to see if I wanted to run it with her... What can I say? I succumbed to peer pressure. I am such a sucker for a pretty face!

Spoiler alert! We made it. Jo Lynn at Mt. Diablo summit.

I knew I would be slow, I knew it might hurt, but I also knew we would have fun and it would be beautiful. I was right on all counts.

Total Distance: 13.93 miles
Total Time: 4:22:23 (see the elevation profile before you get all judgey!)
Total Elevation Gain: 3822 ft. (according to USGS)


The run climbs up Mt Diablo and then back down.

Elevation Profile. Please note the 1000 ft increments on the y-axis.

For the first 2 miles my legs felt like shit. I have not run all week due to my battered feet. I could not even ride until Saturday because my feet were like fat, swollen sausages and did not fit in my cycling shoes.

I know, so cute.

My legs warmed out of that just in time for the climb to start to get hard. Most of those next 5 miles were not really runnable, so we hiked to the summit and enjoyed the beautiful views.

I have never been up here and the landscape was breathtaking.

Mt Diablo is known for blistering heat, but today it was overcast, cool and perfect running weather.

She is too damn cute! Approaching the summit

Rare tree lined portion of the trail

By the time we got to the summit it was socked in with fog. Awesome.

Ok, I will admit. It was not all a power slog to the summit and back. We found some time to goof around a little.

One of the three tarantulas we saw. Jo Lynn was shocked I did not want to pick him up. Little known fact: RBR is a total wimp about spiders. Yep, most punk ass biology teacher EVER!

A den in the side of the mountain. There were no critters inside, except for the rare, sightless pink chested RBR. (Obligatory lame biologist joke.)

Then there was the biggest pine cone I have EVER seen. All of the conifers up here were scrawny and rat ass at best, but they spit out some giganto pine cones.

We ran down the mountain at what felt like a brisk pace, but according to Garmin was only brisk in comparison to the ascent. Oh well. Whatevs.

In the last mile we were passed by the winner of the marathon. So yes, the gal that ran twice the distance we did passed us and finished before us.

This no longer shocks me.

All in all a great run with a great buddy. Thanks, man.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crew Report: Rio Del Lago 100 mile Run - September 11, 2010

Alternate Title: Superman Found his Cape

This weekend I had the esteemed pleasure of crewing for S. Baboo, at the Rio Del Lago 100 mile Run. This was my first crewing experience of any sort and the first 100 mile run I had ever been to. I have had a hard time processing all the emotions and experiences I had in doing this, so we will just have to see if I can put it to words here. I am certain I can not do it justice, but I will do my best.

Backstory ('cuz I can never just get right to the story. Don't act like you are surprised)

I "met" S. Baboo through reading his wife's blog, The Athena Diaries, which if you are a late onset athlete like myself, you should really read from start to finish. In reading her blog I found myself inspired to do and try things athletically that I never even knew existed and certainly never thought I was capable of. (I know, gush, gush. I decided a while back life was too short not to tell people what I really feel. If that makes me a puss, so be it.)

It may or may not be known that I am a bit of an ultrarunning groupie (well, not known to you unless you are a holder of one of the multiple restraining orders against me, but I digress...)

Anyhoo... when S. Baboo started running ultramarathons I started following and commenting on his blog. He has this amazing writing style that lets you see what he saw and feel what he felt during his runs. Reading his race reports was like I was on the run as well. (More gushing, apologies...)

Fast forward to last spring and he announces that he is going to train for the Leadville 100 miler. I believe my comment was:

Oh. My. Fucking. God!!!! LEADVILLE!!!!

Such a class act that RBR.

Then he announces that he will be coming out to California to run the Rio Del Lago 100 miler in September, a mere 3 weeks after crazy-ass Leadville, and asks if I want to crew (ok, 'he asked', 'I begged'... toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe...)

Uh... HELLS to the YEAH, I want to crew!

One problem, I have never crewed and have never been to one of these things and other than reading a bunch of 100 miler race reports, I don't know shit about ultrarunning or crewing.

I am sure it will be fine.

[Star struck RBR did not take a picture with S. Baboo]
The fact that I do not have one single picture of me and the S. Baboo to put here makes me sad.

Race day

As you know already, Misty and I ran the 50k (52.5 K, still bitter) that morning. Both races took off at the same time. We planned to finish (I will not even tell you what we projected our time to be. Let's leave it at, we were WAY off and possibly high on crack when we projected our finish times) and then shower, grab food, and head out to crew.

We had hoped to catch him at the Auburn Damn Overlook on his second time through which would have been at about 44 miles, but we did not catch him until Rattlesnake Bar which was at 55 miles.

Rattlesnake Bar Aide Station

Little did we know that during those 11 miles from Auburn Dam Overlook to Rattlesnake Bar, S. Baboo had suffered greatly. A runner came in calling for Misty and telling us that her runner needed his headlight. She grabbed hers from the car and headed up the trail to give it to him.

I looked at my watch. It had been dark for at least 30 minutes. That is a long time to be alone on the trail in the dark. My heart sank as I realized that had I been faster today, we would have gotten to Auburn Dam or at least the Maidu aide station at mile 47, and he would not have had to run in the dark without his headlamp.

This is not the last time I would have that guilt haunting me.

RBR Crewing lesson #1: Do not run a 50K on the day that you are crewing for someone in a 100 miler. (Or get a lot faster. I will admit the former is more likely.)

He and Misty came walking into the aide station. He was cold and his stomach was revolting on him. He asked for a blanket and I ran (ok, waddled, sore feets, remember?) to the car to get a sleeping bag I had brought. It was a little shocking to see him hurting so much 55 miles in. All I could think of was, "Holy Christ! He has 45 miles to go."

I was silent. I did not know what to do or say. Misty ran the show. I felt about as useful as tits on a bull.

RBR Crewing lesson #2: When you do not know what to say or do, shut up and take orders. (Ok, that one is kind of a life lesson)

After his stomach had some time to settle he ate the sandwich we brought him and he started to chat with us and the volunteers. He was clearly more comfortable and cracking jokes, but he kept telling us that there was nothing left in his legs, they were just done.

No one talked about him dropping and no one talked about him continuing. We just listened to him tell us he was done and got him soda.

Then all of a sudden he got up wrapped in the sleeping bag and said he was going.

"I am just going to walk and I will be nice and warm in this" he told us, as he headed to the trail.

I grabbed his hydration pack and Misty scrambled to get ready to pace him to the next aid station. We got him another shirt and took the sleeping bag off (obviously he was a little loopy, 5 miles to the next aid station with a sleeping bag was probably not a good idea, but I felt terrible that we did not have anything warmer to put on him)

RBR Crewing lesson #3: ALWAYS have warm and/or dry clothes for your runner, even at a hot race.

I thought to myself, "We were honestly going to send him back out there?!" as he wandered down the trail back into the darkness.

Horseshoe Bar Aide Station (1.93 miles from Rattlesnake Bar)

After navigating a 30 minute delay stuck behind the horseback course sweeps, I finally got to the next aide station only to have missed them by about 2 minutes according to the aide station volunteer.


I rock at this crewing thing. I am certain he will want me at ALL of his races from now on. I headed off to the next aide station which was about 6 miles of tough, technical trail for them and about 2 miles driving in a cushy car for me.

Twin Rocks Aide Station

I set up a chair to wait knowing that they had those 6 miles of technical trail to navigate in the dark and I may be here awhile. He left Rattlesnake Bar at about 8:45, 1 hour and 15 minutes before the cut off, the cut off at Twin Rocks was at 12:15 am.

Well, it was originally at 12:15 am.

While I was sitting there there was a very worried looking man at the aide station. Come to find out his wife was lost between Horseshoe Bar and Twin Rocks. She was over an hour late to pick up her pacer at Twin Rocks. The race officials sent someone out looking for her. About 11:30pm she came in, clearly distressed, but very relieved to have found the aide station. The trail ribbon sabotage earlier in the day, and the fact that the ribbons were not reflective left her wandering alone lost in the darkness for over an hour.

Dear God. I know how pissed I was in broad daylight when I got lost and I knew I was only about 2 miles from the finish. I can not imagine how scary that must have been for her.

Her husband hugged her and she hurriedly babbled her story:

Lost Girl: "There were no ribbons. And, and, the ribbons were not reflective!
And, and you could not see them until you were right on top of them! There was NO ONE out there! I was so lost."

*catches breath*

"I just wanted to be here. It was so, so ..."

*her voice catches*

Husband of Lost Girl, looking to console her: "I have soup"

Lost Girl: "It was soooo awfu...." she stops short and looks up at him. "You have soup?

[blink, blink]

Lost Girl: Do you have a ham sandwich?"

Husband of Lost Girl: "No, but I have soup. I can get you a ham sandwich for the next aide station."

Lost Girl: "Ok. I want soup" and with that the crisis was over.

She drank her soup, picked up her pacer and trotted out of the aide station.

RBR Crewing Lesson #4: These are a different breed of people. You could have not gotten me back out on that trail with a cattle prod or even promises of half naked firemen waiting to rub my feet and hand feed me Pop Tarts at the next aide station. (Scary little view into my fantasy life, huh?)

RBR Crewing lesson #5: Have pacers for your runner during the time when it is dark that is when they need them most.

After that they extended the cut offs at each aide station. It seemed unclear as to exactly what the extension was, but S. Baboo and Misty showed up right at 12:15 am. He was in and out quickly. He physically looked better than at Rattlesnake Bar, but his mood was dour at best.

Negro Bar Aide Station

After two more aide stations, we noticed that he had slowed considerably and his mood had not improved. At Negro Bar, he came in looking like the walking dead. He was freezing cold and his gait had been reduced to a shuffle. I was amazed at how he could still joke with us and the volunteers. He is actually quite hilarious.

At this point, I was consumed with guilt that I could not pace for him. Misty had already paced about eight miles and her feet were done. I had not paced one step. My blisters made it hard to even walk small distances, but in sending him out there alone I felt like a sadistic kid that enjoyed pulling wings off bugs.

Watching him move slowly and painfully off into the darkness once again, I thought, "This is crazy. We need to pull him out of this." Misty kept telling me "We just need to get him to the dawn. When the dawn hits he will be a new man."

I was starting to have some serious doubts that we were not just torturing this guy.

Hazel Bluff Aide Station

All bad at Hazel Bluff, but he trudged on.

I felt like a random, worthless spectator to his misery: "Good luck, Big Guy!" *smacking him on the ass* "See you at the next aide station. You want us to get you anything at Starbuck's?"


*for the record, I did NOT smack him on the ass, despite the fact that Misty and I both agreed that with all of his crazy running, he has quite a nice one. ;)

Mountain Lion Knoll Aide Station

Dawn had finally arrived and we waited at the aide station for S. Baboo. We asked the head of hte aide station (hell of a nice guy, by the way. Top notch volunteers at this thing) if S. Baboo had passed the last aide station.

Cool Aide Station Dude: Number 50? We do not have any information about number 50. We are waiting on 2 runners, 22 and 23.

Misty and I started to worry that they had pulled him from the race.

He called the previous aide station and after a little back and forth, they announced he was still in the race and about 15 minutes out. Some mental math told me he had made up some serious time.

Misty: Maybe hs should not have done this so soon after Leadville.

Cool Aide Station Dude: He ran Leadville? This year?! Like 3 weeks ago? Damn. That is crazy.

RBR: And a marathon on Monday

Cool Aide Station Dude: Wow, what is he? Superman?

Misty: I keep telling him that just because we call him Superman does not mean he has to prove it every time.

And as if on cue, another volunteer announces, "We have a runner coming up."

S. Baboo comes trotting up the trail, smiling and looking like he was out for a Sunday jog.

Cool Aide Station Dude *smiling*: Looks like Superman found his cape.

Misty and RBR: *screaming and cheering*

Hazel Bluff Aide Station (Return)

JT (JohnnyTri) had called us (when we were at Starbuck's. Don't judge me! I had blisters and was tired, and I needed coffee) and told us that his runner had dropped. Misty told him S. Baboo was still in the race and JT offered to pace him from Hazel Bluff to the finish.

I thought, "Thank Sweet Baby Jesus! He won't have to run alone anymore"

We got to Hazel Bluff and JT is there looking fresh as a flower. I looked like 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound sack, yet he had been up all night, running over 24 miles in the pitch black with a sick runner, and there he is looking all handsome and perky. Fucker.

S. Baboo came running in looking like a million dollars and under the original 8:35 am cut off. Misty was 100% correct, the dawn and breathed new life into him and he was making up time fast! The aide station volunteers could not believe he was the same runner they had seen suffering so much only hours before.

With his pacer in tow, S. Baboo took off down the trail. For the first time since Rattlesnake Bar I smiled as he ran off. He was going to complete his second 100 miler in under a month.

I will never doubt Misty again. The girl knows her man!

RBR Crewing lesson #6: Make sure there is at least one person on your crew that REALLY knows your runner and/or is an experienced ultra crew member. The suffering is hard to watch and you need someone that knows when it is ok to let them go and when to pull the plug. I would have pulled the plug at Rattlesnake and I would have been dead wrong.

Negro Bar Aide Station (return)

Moments after we arrived at the next aide station Misty's phone rang. It was JT. S. Baboo had dropped him 2 miles in, on an uphill. He was running 8 min miles uphill after over 90 miles of torture.


A few minutes later S. Baboo comes flying, and I mean FLYING, into the Negro Bar aide station. He refilled his water bottles, grabbed a snack and took off. We had to cheer from the car he was so goddamn fast.

I finally felt like I could take a picture. Photographing his suffering through the night was too much for me to contemplate. Don't worry, now that I know exactly how tough this son of a bitch is, next time I will get a photo log of the amazingness!

The Finish

Misty jumped in to pace him the last 3 miles and I drove back to Cavitt school to wait at the finish. It was getting hot and he had slowed, but was still making up time.

And then the man that had hit teh Hazel Bluff Aide station, half dead and almost an hour over the cut off came barreling into the finish chute over an hour UNDER the cut off

100.28 miles in 28:45:10


S. Baboo, his buckle, and pacer extraordinaire and genuinely nice guy, JT

Superman found his cape, indeed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Race Report: Rio Del Lago 50K - September 11, 2010

Alternative Title: Stupid, Fucking Sand: A Cautionary Tale

Drunk on my course PR at San Francisco, I agreed to run the Rio Del Lago 50k with Misty. I had already begged shamelessly to be allowed .... errr, I mean, agreed to crew for her hubby, S. Baboo, who was doing the 100 miler that day.

I am going to write up my race report for the RDL 50k first and then tell the story of my very first 100 mile ultramarathon crewing experience later. I will say now though, that it was an incredible experience. I need some time to process it all.


Total miles: 50K+ (~32 miles, possibly more. There was a navigational mishap)

Total time: 9:59:43 (updated with chip time. Sub 10! Woo hoo! Stop rolling your eyes, SQ. It is rude)


I decided to wait until I would hit maximal traffic heading up to Roseville on Friday. It gave me time to think, reflect, and commune with my fellow drivers. Much needed serenity was gained as I inched my way through the three and a half hour drive. After exchanging loving honks and hand gestures with the courteous and patient drivers of California, as you can probably imagine, I was almost zen like when I arrived at the hotel.

I met up with Misty and her hubby S. Baboo for a little dinner. I had met them once before about 2 years ago when they were out here for the Vineman Full Iron (S. Baboo) and Barb's Race 1/2 Iron (Misty). We talked for about 4 seconds and then were seated at opposite sides of the table of about 12 people. So we did not really "meet", as much as we saw each other and had dinner at the same restaurant. I was actually pretty nervous about meeting them this time, one on one (I was going to type "one on two" since I met both of them but, I thought that might sound a little more risque than the reality which was we ate Mac and Cheese in their hotel room and talked shop.)

You never know how it is going to go when you meet someone that you talk to online. I thought it went well and that we hit it off swimmingly! (Of course, I may have to retract that statement if they come back and post that I was an uninteresting idiot, but for now we will go with my version where we are all now BFF's for life!)

Race Morning

Both races start at 6 am and leave from Cavitt School (I am not sure why we all always include the name of where a race starts. Like anyone in another state gives two shits about Cavitt School in Roseville, CA. Hell, I live in California and I could give two shits about Cavitt School. I digress...)

We were chatting it up and meeting people. I met Cynthia, a local ultrarunner that decided, like three weeks ago, 'what the hell! I will do a 100 miler' and JohnnyTri,(he will be back in the next post when I tell stories about crewing. He is hilarious and a super sweet guy!) an Ironman and ultrarunner, who is training for the HURT 100, he was pacing a runner today for 33 miles.

Then there was S. Baboo, another hardcore Ironman who ran the Leadville 100 miler 3 weeks
ago, a marathon on Monday, and was now about to embark on another 100 miler and Iron Misty who is training for her first 100 miler and was rounding out a 60 or so, mile week.

I stood around the school gym with all of these WAY hardcore people thinking "What the holy fuck am I doing here? I do not fit in with these people" and started to feel more than a little self conscious.


The race started promptly at 6 and we trotted out into the darkness. Misty had run a marathon on Monday (yes, you read that right. 5 days before this she ran a freaking marathon!) and was using this as a training run so she wanted to take it easy. 'Take it is easy' is the new code for "I will run with you, RBR" and that made me VERY happy because I was not ready for this thing and suffering alone for 31 miles did not sound fun.

The trail was beautiful and the weather, at 6 am anyway, was comfortable for running.

RBR and the Geekgirl feelin' fine at about mile 5 or 6

Misty was surprised at all the dead, brown grass along the trail. She felt that a bait and switch had been perpetrated by California.

Beautiful views of Lake Folsom

Misty was complimented on her UBER cute outfit all day long! She was cuter AND thinner, which I could have handled had she not also been funnier and smarter. I call, bullshit. It is not supposed to work like that.

I wore the same boring stuff I always do.

As we ran the first 15.5 miles, I could not believe how good I was feeling. Not tired, breathing well. Overall I was feeling amazing. Once we turned around, the reason for my 'feeling amazing-ness' became obvious. We had been running downhill for most of the 15.5 miles.

It was now getting hot and we found ourselves climbing. I SWEAR I barely remember ever running downhill those 15.5 miles, but I also do not remember a catastrophic tectonic plate shift that would cause a drastic change in the elevation profile that morning, so we must have.

Elevation Profile for the first 27 miles. I had originally wanted my race time for this run to beat my Garmin battery life, but sadly, even though the Garmin gave me 8 hours and 23 minutes I was not able to beat its battery life.

After 10:15 am it was getting hot (temp at noon was 90 degrees according to weather.com) and dusty.

but it was still pretty!

A beautiful oasis with a natural spring along the trail that we used to cool down on the way back.

Pretty pond we ran by

At mile 28-29, I was more than ready to be done. We came up to an intersection in the trail that had four different directions you could choose from and no orange ribbon to tell you which one was the way back in. Grrr...

This had happened several times during the day. Apparently, there were people sabotaging the race by pulling the trail marking ribbons down. Misty used her New Mexico Navajo tracking skills to see which way to go and we had not gotten lost all day, but now the trail was covered in mountain biking tracks and she could not see where the heavy foot traffic was headed.


I tell you, I was hot, I was tired, and my feet hurt, but if I had seen a mountain biker with a fucking orange ribbon in his hand I would have had plenty of energy left to hide a body.

Two trails went downhill and one went up hill. We tried one of the down hils and at the base of the hill. Hmmm... it looked "wrong", so we hiked back up the steep ass hill in the full sun. Then we tried the other downhill trail and followed it along for at least 1/2-3/4 of a mile before ending up at the base of the same goddamn hill we just climbed. We climbed the steep ass hill in the full sun AGAIN. Then we tried the uphill trail and after about 1/2 a mile we end up...

you guessed it!

..at the base of the same motherfucking hill we had now climbed TWICE! This time we did not climb it again, we instead took the trail that looked 'wrong' and after about 3/4 of a mile we found this

Finally, an orange ribbon. Angels sang and women wept (ok, we almost wept. We were too dehydrated from 30+ miles in the searing fucking heat)

We finished out the run and crossed the finish line together. Little did we know that in doing so we tied for 3rd place female in our age group.

They said they will send me one of these awards as well. I am certain that there must have only been four in our age group, but I will still take the bling anyway.

Post Race

Here is the RBR is dumb as a doorknob portion of the post. (No, smartass, the 'she didn't train for a 50k and ran it anyway' was not the dumb part. Shut it.)

The trail was mostly sand and fine, powdery dirt. Due to my super efficient running gait, I could feel that I was kicking sand and dirt into my shoes and forming hot spots on the balls of my feet.

I own gaiters. However, I did not wear them, even knowing that I ALWAYS kick shit into my shoes trail running. Then, for some reason that I still do not understand, I did not stop to take the sand I had kicked into my shoes out until 24 miles into the run, after it had become so bad that each stride felt like I was running sandpaper over raw skin, which was essentially what I was doing.

As a result of this supreme idiocy, this is what the balls of my feet look like

Try to ignore the carpet fuzz that is stuck to my oozing wounds. Ick.

Oh wait, it gets better.

After the race, I drained the blisters by cutting them open with safety scissors (the kind your kids use at school. I had a random pair in my purse and it was the only semi-sharp thing I had) and then I covered them with socks and headed out to crew for S. Baboo.

After crewing all night, I had to carefully peel my socks off and get ready to take a shower. This was painful and NOT fun, but not as nearly as bad as when I went into the bathroom to take a shower and my bare feet and oozing blisters stuck to the bathroom linoleum. I was certain I would be found by the maids the next day stuck to that same spot because every time I tried to move searing pain shot through my feet as if I was peeling off my skin, which, again, I was essentially doing.

Despite my stupidity, my second 50K was a blast. Misty was an amazing, fun, and patient running partner. If you are wondering if she is as funny, charming, and nice as she seems in her blog I am here to tell you she is and I have 30 straight hours of conscious contact to prove it.

There are not many people that you can just meet and then run 32 miles miles and crew all night together.

It is for that reason that I am currently having my new BFF's name tattooed on my ass as we speak.

Ok, I am kidding.

But I will make myself available to run with her anytime she feels like 'taking it easy'. Thanks for a great run, Misty! Javelina here you come!

Next post will be my experience crewing for S. Baboo's 100 miler that night. It was as intense a thing as I have ever been a part of in endurance sports. I still have not wrapped my head around it all. Amazing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ants! It's what's for breakfast!

Every August as we and the students trudge reluctantly back to school, we are greeted with a more energetic crew awaiting our return... the ants.

Lots and lots of ants.

Unending trails of fucking ants.

We are not allowed to have any type of insecticide in our room. (because, presumably, they think that high school students are so irreparably stupid that upon finding an unguarded bottle of ant spray they will IMMEDIATELY drink it down with a smile)

Therefore I am forced to battle ants with this

Not a super effective ant killer. Mostly it just drowns them and/or makes them smell lemony fresh but, it will beat the troops back a bit.

So that brings us to the reason for today's post.

I get to work pretty early. Typically between 5 and 5:30 am most days. I am one of those ridiculously perky morning people. I do, however, require LARGE amounts of coffee to get through the day, so I usually, (read: ALWAYS) start off my work day by brewing coffee in the coffee maker in my classroom (Yes, that is patently against school regulations. As is my microwave. Bite me. Pay me more than the dude that cuts your lawn and maybe I will consider removing said items, Ms. Superintendent.)

This morning I am making my coffee and already have my panties in a twist because I am out of the good coffee (i.e. the Starbuck's Pike's Peak) and have to resort to the back up Folger's coffee (gasp!) but shit coffee is better than no coffee so I proceed.

After brewing I detect a strange, spicy flavor in my coffee. Hmmm.... odd.

Now this is not my first foray into shit coffee. Truth be told I am a bit of a coffee whore and will drink anything resembling coffee, which includes going all Aunt Edna style and reheating yesterday's coffee to drink or reusing coffee grounds. (Don't give me that face! I am not saying I prefer it, I am just willing to do it. Sheesh. Like you did not lower your standards and wake up with a few fugglies in your day, Mr. and Mrs. Judgey!)

ANYHOO, back to the story...

In my experience, shit coffee can be bitter or dirty tasting, but I have never had it be spicy. Then a particular organic chemistry lecture from college flashed in my mind. Formic acid is a compound in ants that gives them a "spicy" taste.


I check the filter.

Yep, I just drank a nice hot cup of brewed ants.

A new low, even for this coffee whore.

I am headed out for Sacramento this afternoon to run (ok, run-ish) the Rio del Lago 50k tomorrow. This may hurt a little.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

School days, School Days....

The next line in the song (after the Golden Rule bit, which ... yeah, right) is

"Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic Taught to the tune of the hickory stick"

Teaching to the tune of a hickory stick! Now, there is a tradition that is sorely missed. At least by me. Last year I was known to lament that stocks were deemed "cruel and unusual" punishment and the fact that I was not issued a chair and bull whip when I received word of which "special" students were assigned to my class.

I must say though, that when the ol' Gods of Scheduling were divvying up the cherubs this year, I got pretty darn lucky. So much so that I almost have nothing to bitch about.

Don't worry it is week 2. They are sophomores. I am certain they will not disappoint.

I will instead bitch about my colleagues...'cause I am classy like that.

I present to you a letter in response to the deluge of annoying shit that has already occurred in this newly dawned school year.

Dear Esteemed Colleagues:

1. You have TWO options when replying to an email, "Reply" and "Reply all." Be aware of the audience you are sending an email too. We all do not need to know that your daughter has an orthodontist appointment and you will not be attending the faculty lunch. Nor do we need you to prove to us how "important" you are by listing every meeting you are attending this month to show the one person that gives a shit about your schedule that you are available Wednesday at 3 pm for a collaboration that 95% of us in your "Reply all" list are not involved in.

Now, I am NOT referring to the gal that hit "Reply all" and proceeded to flame the shit out of the original sender's spelling and grammar, because, really, that shit was entertaining as hell and made for a uber- fun staff wide lecture on professional compassion where the whole thing got started again and grammatical errors within the flame itself were criticized. It was AWESOME.

2. Please do not speak to me like I am 7. I am considerably older than 7. For example, if I am laughing louder than you would prefer in the main office, two hours before school even starts, I ask that you treat me as you would any other adult that is annoying you. Do you really say "library voices" to other adults in public? And if so, how often do you get your ass kicked? Because I know one Friday morning when you came close.

3. I know, I know, you work harder than me. You work harder than us all. No one has as tough a schedule, as grueling a extracurricular commitment, nor is as fatigued/ill/or cursed, as you. I just have one thing to say, "Shut the fuck up and get off the fucking cross! No one cares."

4. If your automated email signature is longer than 90% of the emails I send, you are possibly full of yourself. If your email signature signs off with "Namaste" you are certainly full of yourself.

Sincerely and with the utmost professional compassion,

Namaste! (See? I have been to a yoga class, too! )

In other news....

(Nope, not spilling the beans on the BIG secret yet. *evil, but UBER excited grin*)

I am running a 50k in less than 2 weeks with the GeekGirl herself. Afterward we are going to crew for her husband, S. Baboo, as he does ANOTHER 100 miler (he did Leadville 2 weeks ago!!) It is the Rio del Lago 50K. I am registered. My room is booked. I am going. I am soooooo excited, but soooooooo SCREWED!

More on that later....