Archive for the ‘trail running’ Category

The days are beginning to cool off, not quite enough for my running, but it is better.  I LOVE summer!!!!

This is the first summer I have been consistent in my running – not so good in the heat, hence my desire for fall and cooler temps.  I can’t believe I am actually looking forward to cold weather running!!! Please remind me of this statement in February, please!!

I try to run one longer weekly run usually between 10 and 14 miles.  These past couple of weeks my long runs were not under normal conditions for this time of year.  On Labor Day, I ran with my friend, Kari, around Lake Natoma in Folsom.  It was cloudy up where we lived and had been raining, but the weather reports looked promising for a great run.  Well . . . we got rained on, drenched actually.  It was such a refreshing run after so many warm sweaty runs this summer.  The temp was perfect for running in the rain!! Mike, my husband, not such a happy camper on his bike ride around the lake.  Biking in the rain does not equal the same amount of joy as running in the rain does!!! Sorry Mike . . . 😦

My run last weekend was around my favorite neighborhood lake – Sly Park Lake.  I feel so blessed that it is only 3 miles from my home.  Running that day wasn’t the best decision I have made, but at the moment it seemed like a good idea (maybe because Debora and I really wanted to run!!).  After running a couple of miles we could taste smoke in our mouths.  We ran slower and could feel the lack of oxygen in our bodies due to the smoke, although it really didn’t look as bad as the pictures while we were running.  We felt like we were running at a higher elevation, our legs felt heavy and it just took more exertion to move.



The first picture shows the side of the lake we ran first, taking a picture of the other side.  It really didn’t seem that bad, but when we got back to our starting point and looked back up the lake this is what we saw!! Yikes!! The smoke was just settling in.  No wonder we felt like we had no energy.  Hopefully . . . lesson learned. 🙂

Tomorrow, Saturday, I am looking forward to an early nice long run with no rain and no smoke!!

I know I have mentioned in earlier posts that I have been MAF training.  Training using my maximum aerobic heart rate and not going above that.  It has been slow going this summer in the heat, but I believe my pace has increased as my body as become more aerobically fit.  I am really looking forward to cooler weather to see how that affects my heart rate and pace.

I have also stopped eating anything before my early morning runs and only drinking water with NUUN (electrolytes) during my runs and feeling great.  Before a run, I  always  had to get up extra early to eat my eggs and oatmeal.  I had been reading about running without nutrition as I was doing my MAF training and decided to give it a try.  I am loving it.  I always take along  sport beans or a gel, something just in case I feel the need.  This shows me that my body is/has learned to use fat efficiently as a fuel.

My one question right now, I have 2 half-marathons and a marathon coming up and I will be running them faster and will need to fuel my body – I’m just not sure how.  As my long runs get longer I will be experimenting with fuel.  Do I eat before my run? Do I start without food? At what point do I use a fuel during my run? This is all very new to me and exciting.  I would love to hear from anyone who has done this before and what has worked for them.

I am thankful that I have been gifted with this amazing body that can run, that can be trained to be aerobically fit, that can fuel itself for a couple of hours all on its own!!!

Our bodies are a miracle!!! Thank you God for this gift!!

Patty 🙂




Read Full Post »

It was an early start that morning, meeting up with Kelly and Cara for the drive to Tiburon at 4:45am!!!

We could see the fog rolling over the hills, as we were driving down . . . hmmmm . . . how far inland was the fog?!!!

We got down to Tiburon, parked, and waited for the ferry to take us across to Angel Island.  There were 434 people racing – 336 ran the 12k, once around the island and 98 ran the 25k.  We were looking forward to cool temps after so many hot summer runs, but we actually were freezing, teeth-chattering, hands-shaking cold!!! Brrrrr . . .


Me, Kelly, and Cara . . . freezing!!!

The race started around 9:30 after two loads of people were brought across the bay by ferry.  I was looking forward to my first trail race and getting warm!!!

Off we went up . . . up . . . up . . . a little down . . . up  . . . up . . . . around . . . down . . . down . . . down  . . .  turn around and repeat!!!

The fog was burning off slowly, but surely.  I had decisions to make – was I running by MAF or running a race? With so much steady uphill and my heart rate already over 136, I made the decision to just run and enjoy.  I did keep an eye on my heart rate, but not trying to keep it at my MAF rate, which would be 126.  I ran the race between 136 and 150.  I felt great, the temperature was perfect, and the elevation decrease a bonus.

It was definitely different running single file on a trail.  At times the trail would widen, but mostly single file.  I tried to be aware when others wanted to pass me and I would run as far right as possible or at times I just slowed and moved off the trail.  I found that I just had to run and let others work around me.  What became even more hectic for me was when there were runners behind me and the 25k’s running back up for the second time around passing me, as well as random hikers here and there.


Golden Gate Bridge

The views were amazing!! I didn’t take pictures the first time around.  The second time around it was pretty much just me and the trail and I loved it!! There were people a ways in front of me and a ways in back of me.  I didn’t feel any pressure.  I could just run my race in God’s amazing creation!!


Looking toward SF with Alcatraz in-between


Golden Gate Bridge, again!


Looking down into the bay and Tiburon

I loved running down the final long hill!!   It’s kind of like being a kid again . . . running free . . . filled with joy!!  At the same time, watching carefully all those rocks in the trail because I’m not a kid again and I didn’t want to fall . . .


And . . . I finished!!

It was a total climb of about 2000 feet!!! My quads and calves were talking to me when all was said and done.

My time was 2:56, which is a PR for me, as this was my first 25k!!

I came in 2nd for my age group!! Okay . . . I must confess . . . there were only two in my age group!!! 🙂

Would I do this again? Absolutely!!! I loved it!!!!

I wasn’t sore on the days following the race, which helped me to see that I could have given more.  Good information for next time.

What’s next? I have two half marathons coming up in October and tonight I printed out blank calendar sheets for laying out my marathon training!! I’m getting excited, overwhelmed, nervous, excited, ‘what-the-heck-did-I-sign-myself-up-for’ – I will just say, a myriad of feelings flow through me at any moment of my thinking process for the upcoming CIM in December.

When this happens, I just need to sit quietly with a great God, who is the one that gave me this body and the desire to run.  I pray I can learn more and more how to rest in Him and trust Him for all I will need to do in this journey of running and in this journey of life.  There are so many lessons to be learned in both . . . they go hand-in-hand.

Thankful . . .

Patty 🙂

Read Full Post »

When one is MAF training, which equals SLOW especially in heat, it is a gift to run at a lower elevation and in a nice overcast 56 degree temp!! A gift!!!

But . . . the biggest gift of going to San Francisco was to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary!!

We each had a day that we planned what we wanted to do.  Obviously, if you know me, running was a must to be included in my day of choice.  🙂


It began with a lovely windy walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Having come from 101 degree temps it was delightful!!!


Once across we headed to Crissy Field and I ran and ran!!


I ran from the Warming Huts to the Marina and back several times


It was a gift to run in such cool temps, which kept my heart rate lower, which allowed me to run a quicker pace – a pace I missed running!!!

The views were refreshingly beautiful, as I ran my heart out!! There was a bit of a headwind running back in the direction of the bridge, which caused my pace to slow, as my heart rate increased.  I was too happy to care.  I was running in San Francisco, a location I had dreamed of running for quite some time.  I ran four heavenly miles enjoying the people, the scenery, my heart rate, my pace, the fact that God has gifted us with these amazingly made bodies that can run, thankful for the 38 years with Mike and looking forward to many more. 

The next day was Mike’s day.  He picked Point Reyes and a lovely hike out to the ocean.  Perfect choice!!! Again, very nice weather,  overcast, but not foggy!!!


Ooops!! Yes, this was his day, but it was so beautiful and I just ran for a moment . . . in such lush surroundings, just for a moment . . . 🙂

It was a wonderful relaxing, yet exercising-in-some-way-each-day getaway for Mike and I.  So thankful . . .

Good news to report on my running scene . . .

I ran 4 days this week, done correctly. Are you reading this, Jenna, done correctly!! 🙂 

I ran on Monday, shorter run on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, run on Thursday, rest on Friday, and long run around Lake Natoma today – all without ‘issue’ (Runner’s Ischemia)!!! That’s worthy of a celebration!!!  It looks like four days of training per week will make running the CIM not only doable, but enjoyable and will result in me having a blast running my first marathon.  Can you see that I’m giving myself a pep talk, as I write here.  🙂

My next race is coming up on August 3rd. 

It is a 25K trail race around Angel Island (run around it twice).  I am looking forward to running down at a lower elevation again in cooler temps with great company.  It’s an adventure!!!


See Angel Island in the distance . . . do you notice any hills?!!!


Just one more pic of one of my favorite places.

Again, I end this with a thankful heart to a great God, who has always been with me every step of my life whether I acknowledged Him or not.  He has been faithful, oh so faithful!

Patty 🙂

Read Full Post »

This week has been a great week of running . . . although, in very hot temps.

I ran 8 miles on Monday morning with a young friend, who runs track in school.  She is used to shorter – faster runs.  This was a stretch for her running a longer – slower run.  I am still MAF training – using my heart rate, keeping it aerobic, which means slow and even slower in hot weather running.  She did great and was fun company. 

This week, I was going to try 2 runs on consecutive days, a first for me in over a month.  I ran 4 slow miles on Tuesday and felt great with no issue with Runner’s Ischemia.  Yay!!! It was a beyond happiness moment for me.

Don’t judge me on what I am about to tell you, I already received a scolding from Jenna, my daughter!!!

I was supposed to wait and not run until Thursday, but I had an opportunity and the only opportunity to run with my running friend, Cara, on Wednesday.  Due to our schedules, we haven’t been able to run together for a couple of weeks and I really missed running with her and wanted to hear all about her husband’s Western States run.  (BTW – He did amazing!!!) 

Totally logical, right?!!?!!

Well . . . at the moment it was totally worth it.  We ran 6.6 very warm miles with my heart rate monitor not working correctly.  It was reading way too low for the temp and the hills we were running.  I had to go by feel.  I felt great the whole run and thoroughly enjoyed my time with Cara. 

It wasn’t until I got back to the office that I had an issue with Runner’s Ischemia.  😦

I spiraled downward from my euphoria of the previous day.  It had been over a month since this had happened.  I had to work through the emotions of ‘why can’t my body handle running like other’s can?’

I inwardly knew I was pushing it, but went ahead anyway. 

Part of me really felt by lowering my heart rate that would solve my ‘issue’. 

 I could blame it on the heat, or maybe I was running faster since my heart rate monitor was reading incorrectly . . . but bottom-line it was my own doing . . . my plan had been two consecutive days, not three.

I’ve kicked myself around enough . . . it’s time to get up and get over it . . . I made a mistake, but running goes on . . . it is not the end of my running world, it is a lesson learned . . . (hopefully!!)

If I want to be a runner, a happy runner, with enjoyable runs I need to continue steadily moving forward . . . wisely!!!

Just like my walk with God . . . it’s a steady moving forward with many ups and downs, but moving forward . . . always learning . . . failing at times . . . not liking circumstances at times . . . but always moving forward in God’s strength, His love, His grace, His guidance.  I am very thankful that He never gives up on me and enables me to get up and over the next hill in my walk of life.

Sooooo . . . today, Saturday, I just finished a beautiful, cooler temp run (since I went at 6:30am) around my favorite lake trail.


Me and Debora on Em’s Bench


Beautiful View from Em’s Bench



One of my favorite sections of this trail.

Today, I ran in cooler temps, with a dear friend, with no ‘issue’.  I  will NOT run tomorrow.  Next week I am only running on Monday and Tuesday. 

Running is an adventure, much like my walk with God.  I’m thankful He is in the midst of it all!!! He gives me the strength I need to do all things and hang in there.

Very thankful!!

Patty 🙂


Read Full Post »

I have been running using my heart rate as my guide for about a month now.  One word . . . SLOW!!!!!

After my diagnosis of Runner’s Ischemia I started running two days a week on non-consecutive days –  two weeks being free of any ‘issue.’  I then upped the running to three days a week on non-consecutive days with no problems.  My mileage was usually 8 – 10 miles a  run.  I figured if I couldn’t run everyday I was going to get the most out of each run. 😉

I ride my bicycle and lift weights on non-running days.  I’m loving the cross training!! It brings about a great balance to running, a much-needed balance.  I’m glad to get that balance back.

Along with running on non-consecutive days I started  MAF training – essentially figuring out my aerobic heart rate using Phil Maffetone’s formula of 18o minus your age, plus or minus 5-10 depending on your health and fitness level, the goal being that as one trains with their aerobic heart rate their body will learn to use fat as fuel and their pace will increase as their body becomes more efficient.  I started this training after reading this article on Miss Zippy’s Blog.  I read it after my diagnosis and I was ready to try anything to keep running – even running slower!!!

I took 180 minus 59 (I’m not there yet!!! But . . . almost!!) and added 5 extra for my fitness level.  This gave me an approximate aerobic heart rate of 126 bpm.  I was used to running between 134-145ish and sometimes higher. My first run using 126 was agonizingly slow . . . . I had to walk at times to keep my heart rate at 126 or lower . . . so SLOW.  My first run was 2 minutes per mile slower.  Mentally, I had to let that go.  I had to let my ‘natural to me’ running pace go – the pace I was comfortable with.  I learned that on warmer days my heart rate was higher just from the temperature and I had to go even SLOWER . . . On cooler days it has been amazing how much faster I can run at the same heart rate.

SUMMER = SLOW (for the moment, right?!?!)

It has been a month since I have been running according to my heart rate.  I have grown to appreciate it.  I can actually go farther on my runs and still feel great without as much fuel and without feeling exhausted after my run.  On June 6th, I ran 10 miles and my average pace was 11:48 min/mile, where before MAF training my average on the same run was 10 min/mile.  I was going to check how my training was going yesterday by running the same run, but it was so much warmer in the morning and my average pace was 12:17 min/mile with more walking involved just to keep my heart rate down.  I will have to wait until it is cooler or I go earlier in the morning to get a true test.

Once I got over myself and running slower, I have really come to appreciate it.  I have had NO issues with Runner’s Ischemia and I credit  running by heart rate and not running on consecutive days for that. I have also been hydrating better the days before a run and after. I am so thankful!!

I am also thankful that I run with friends who are willing to continue to run with me in my slowness and sometimes even walking.

Since this has been working so well, next week I plan on adding one more run on a consecutive day . . . yikes!!! It will be a shorter run between 3-4 miles, but at my aerobic heart rate.  I plan on running long on Monday, shorter on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, long on Thursday, rest on Friday, and long on Saturday.  If this works without ‘issue’ I will do the happy dance.  I will feel like the training for my first marathon in December will be possible and be fun!!!

With the warmer weather this is becoming my go to trail, being it is a bit higher in elevation and has great tree coverage providing much needed shade.



Sly Park Lake – 3 miles from my house – blessed!!!!

I hope you are enjoying your summer and moving in any form that you choose.  Make sure to get out there and do something!!! In the heat, that means earlier or later, but worth it!!! 🙂

Thankful to a great God for His faithfulness in all areas of my life!!

Patty 🙂

Read Full Post »

Today is National Running Day and I wanted to run, of course!!! I’m a runner and I needed to celebrate today by running, of course!!  But . . . I chose to ride my bike trainer and lift weights in honor of the day, because  bottom-line –  it’s all about moving in some form or another . . . and being thankful that I can.  Below is the story of my frustration with running at the moment.

I haven’t really been in the mood to blog about running much these days.  I am dealing with an issue called Runner’s Ischemia of which I will spare you the details.  I am listening to my doctor, not always easy for me, and not running on consecutive days.  Last week I ran on Monday around Sly Park Lake, a beautiful trail run of 8 miles and I ran around Lake Natoma, another favorite run of mine for 11 miles without incident.  Yay!!!!


Sly Park Lake

After I got over my pouting and frustration with not running everyday and listening to a wise daughter, who helped me see the bright side and God’s side, I am much more at peace.

These past two weeks I have enjoyed cross training.  I’m riding my bike more and lifting weights again, something I haven’t taken the time to do for some time.  I’m relaxing about the fear of losing my gains in running pace and mileage.  I’ve had to question why I run? Why I still want to run? Why not just go back to my cardio workouts, my bike riding, and my weight workouts?

The answer –

I love to run!!!

I love to be out in God’s creation. 

I love to smile at people on the trail, as I run. 

I love to run with others. 

I love to talk about running, about shoes, about cadence, about technique, about hydration and fuel, etc.

It makes me smile!!!!

There are a few things I will be working on to enable myself to continue to run and train for a 25k on Angel Island in August,  another half-marathon in October, and a marathon, my first, in December.

I will continue to run twice a week through next week.  I plan to then up my days to three times a week – 2 longer runs with one short run and see how it goes.  I am also planning on being more diligent in using my heart rate to monitor my running, especially as it is getting warmer for the summer, and not being as concerned about my pace.  On my off days, I will continue to ride my bike and lift heavier weights, which is a more balanced approached to my fitness (God has a way of getting me where I need to be cause He knows I won’t get there on my own!!).  I’m hoping these changes will make me a stronger runner and my ‘issue’ will be no longer!!!

I am thankful for very supportive friends, who get the running thing . . .  🙂

I am thankful for a God, who is there with me each moment of each day and reminds me of what is really important and He knows my heart, He knows my passions, He knows I love to run . . .



I will keep on moving forward in my running and with a great God, learning flexibility, which is NOT easy for me . . .  

Patty 🙂

Read Full Post »