Peer Pressure

I am not proud to say that I caved in to peer pressure yesterday. Actually, no one was pressuring me at all, but everyone else was doing it so I felt I had to do it to be cool.









I bought a running skirt. (Please don’t mind my horrible feet in the photos. I thought it better to cut out my morning face than cut out the feet.)

I’ve been seeing girls wearing them at races for years, and I never thought I could pull it off. But they look so cute so I thought I’d give one a try. I mean, I know I look like a sweaty mess when I’m running, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make an attempt at looking decent, right? It’s like putting lipstick on a pig or something. It’s the effort that counts.

Plus, my soccer shorts from high school were starting to wear out. New running gear was needed.

I’m considering wearing the skirt tomorrow. I’ll be running this:

cinderella trail runand it’s gonna be a hot one. I’m doing the 50K as a training run for my 50 miler in July. This means that I plan on running it and not racing it, so I’ll be taking it pretty easy. That being said, it’s probably not a good idea to be in 80 degree weather doing moderately intense exercise for more than 8 hours. usually underestimates the temperature in my experience. So I’m hoping to aim for a 6-7 hour finish, which means that I’ll have to put in more than the usual effort. Lots of sunscreen, lots of fluids, lots of skin showing, and hopefully no poison ivy on the course.

Wish me luck!


Bad Bass? An ultrarunner’s confession

Recently I was told by a sweet, sweet soul that I was a bad bass (minus the second “b”, but there’s no swearing on my website). She’s a marathoner, who’s probably faster and bad basser than I am. For some reason though, she had the impression that all people who run ultra (26 miles +) distances through mountains are bad basses. I clarified for her that this indeed was NOT the case, but to no avail. So for you, kind readers, I will give a list of reasons why I am the furthest thing from a bad bass that you can think of.

Reasons Why Megan is a Weenie Ultrarunner (and a weenie in general)

1. I am scared of butterflies. Actually, terrified. They flitter around with no direction and are so delicate it FREAKS me out. I’m scared to swat one that crosses my path because I’d be SO creeped out if its delicate little wing ripped off. The absolute worst part of the American River 50 mile endurance run was the fact that the course was littered with butterflies. I was running on the edge of the cliff so had to endure them smacking against my head and body. It was the most horrible part of my Best Day Ever.

2. I’m scared of babies. If you’re a friend of mine with a baby, you’re probably laughing right now. Like butterflies, babies are delicate and unpredictable. I do not want to be the one responsible for giving babies the first scare of their lives. “I remember when Auntie Megan nearly dropped me on the head!” Not cool. I try to avoid holding them until they’re beefy enough to withstand any harm I might cause them.

That is a look of terror on my face. Fortunately this guy is 4 1/2 now so I'm not scared of him anymore.

3. I don’t like to get dirty. Bad basses get dirty all the time and love it. Not me. I would much rather run 50 miles and tip toe my way through the muddy parts than do a 3 mile mud run. Guaranteed dirt? No way! And I’m also NOT one of those people who go for runs and walk around after all sweaty while doing errands. The first thing I do after a run is shower. Bad basses don’t shower. 

4. I would rather give myself a UTI than pee in the woods. (For the record, I have done it before. Once. It was my first 50K. Now I make sure the courses I run have bathroom access.)

5. I cry when I fall. I’ve learned to stifle it when other people are around, but my first reaction, before I decide whether I’m hurt or not, is to start sobbing.

6. I don’t like any creepy crawlies! I cannot kill spiders, not because I am a kind soul who respects all things living, but because I’m scared of them. When I lived with my parents, my dad would have to kill them for me. If he wasn’t around, I’d put a cup over the spider for him to kill later. They would sometimes go on vacation and come home a week later to find a dead (starved) spider under a cup.

6.5 I also hate worms. I LOVE to fish. However, I don’t touch the worm or the fish. I just reel them in and let these guys do the dirty work.

7. All the fun things about childhood? Scared the dickens out of me. I didn’t ride a bike until I was like, 10 years old. Rollercoasters, I think at least 12. Dogs too.

This list is a To Be Continued, because I’ve sufficiently embarrassed myself for the moment. I’m sure as time passes I’ll come up with more reasons why I’m not a bad bass. Maybe it’ll become a regular column.

My new superhero name is Megan the Weenie Ultrarunner :)

100 Miles

100 miles. 

What?? Who said that. No, I am NOT thinking about running a 100 mile run. Those are for craaazy people. And not, like, “Dang girl, you’re crazy!! Like, “Dang girl, you’re crazy. Seriously. Maybe you go see someone about that.”

I mean, who wants to run through the night? And there’s bugs and bears and stuff out in the woods. And there are NOT porta potties in the woods… if bears $#!^ in the woods then I’d have to too.

So no, I do not want to do a 100 mile endurance run. Not in my plans, not even thinking about it.

But if I were to think about it, these are ones I’d consider:

Rio Del Lago

Javelina Jundred 

American River 50 Mile Endurance Run: BEST RACE EVER!!!

On Saturday I ran my first ever 50 miler. The day was filled with nothing but positivity, which was amazing!! There was not one low point–never did I think I wouldn’t finish, and I never, never felt miserable. What’s the deal?? Maybe I was meant for this really really long distance thing.

*disclaimer* I’ve never written a race report so this one might be a little aimless. I could write a better, more detailed and entertaining one, but I’d rather get my thoughts out all at once. Be warned! It’s long and might bore you. Don’t let it deter you from continuing to read my blog :) If you want the short version, click here.

It all started Friday morning when my parents picked Tony and me up for the 2 hour drive to Sacramento. I’d been filled with nervous energy the entire week and my stomach was unsettled. During the car ride I felt like I was going to vomit, and the feeling didn’t leave me all day. I think it was the combination of being daunted by the task ahead, and feeling utterly and completely unprepared. Why, oh why hadn’t I trained more?? Would my knees hold up? Would I feel nauseous and vomit all over the race course? Would I fall down a mountain and have to climb my way up, losing precious time? So many thoughts were going through my head and messing with my stomach.

Fortunately, I was able to get about 6 hours of sleep. The Comfort Inn was kind enough to open breakfast up at 4 am so I was able to get in a toasted mini bagel and english muffin with peanut butter, and some apple juice. There were two other men in the room who kept to themselves. I was hoping for some nervous chit chat, but no such luck.

My parents took me to the start line at about 5:15. My mom kept offering to carry my water bottles and my dad kept offering his coat. At this point my nerves had disappeared turned into anticipation, but I guess Mom and Pop didn’t get the memo. I think they were more scared for me than I was! In fact, my dad was so nervous he must’ve forgot his camera to take hundreds of photos of me at the start line. It was OK though, he sure made up for it later. Time ticked by quickly and before I knew it people were lining up at the start.

At 6 am the race started and we were off. For many ultra veterans, 50 miles is no big deal. Especially the AR50, which is on a flat paved path for the first 20ish miles. So the pace set was pretty quick. My former employers Don and Gillian suggested walking for the first 10 minutes to get warmed up and to just take things in. Since they know a thing or two about ultras (over 200 between the two of them), I took their advice. After 5 minutes I let my energy get to me and started on a slow jog. I continued to follow the ratio of jogging 13 minutes, and walking 2, as per their advice.

I told my family (a.k.a. My Crew) to meet me at the second aid station at mile 14ish. I didn’t think I’d need them until then and I was right.

At this point, I dropped off my sweatshirt and took off my tank top. I had a lot of trouble deciding this morning what to wear, since it’d be pretty cold then pretty hot.. so I layered. I also overpacked my “crew bag” with back up t-shirts and shorts. But I settled on this outfit and ended up running the rest of the race like this.

The miles ticked by on the bike path. The one *minor* complaint I had was of all the cyclists. Most of them were cool, but some of them made snide comments of runners taking up the whole path. We’re on a race course buddy! And most of us are pretty lean, so it’s not like we’re really taking up much space. Learn to steer.

At mile 22ish there was another aid station where your crew could meet you. I told my family I wouldn’t need them there but looked for them nonetheless. I truly didn’t need them though. I was feeling fabulous, and just needed some water and PB&J’s from the aid station. Plus, there were so many WONDERFUL and encouraging spectators to uplift me. That was one of the great things about this race. EVERYONE was so genuine in their cheering. Like they really meant “You look great!” and “YOU’RE AMAZING!!” It only added to my feelings of positivity.

I saw my family at the aid station at mile 26. As per the last crew stop, my dad had backtracked the race course to take some paparazzi photos of me running in.

Or maybe this was the aid station where my mom ran me in?

Hard to remember.

I saw them again at mile 31ish. These middle miles kind of blended together. If I were a better blogger, I’d have brought a little voice recorder to remember every moment, or been more consistent with my iphone photos. However, I don’t really care enough to do that. Well, that’s not true. I think I wanted to make sure I took everything in without being distracted. I knew that I could never get this first 50 miler experience back. I remember Tony telling me to just enjoy the day and that’s what I was doing.

Funny thing: While running on the trails and passing by other runners, I kept wanting to say, “Isn’t this amazing? Isn’t it just such a wonderful day? Look at that view! Wow, these trails are so beautiful! Don’t you just feel so great??” Didn’t say anything though, because I’m sure not everyone else felt the way I did :)

***Well, one thing that wasn’t so great were the butterflies. I HATE butterflies, and this does NOT make me a bad person. (Weird, maybe, but not bad.) They were these hefty black butterflies that kept dive bombing everyone!! It was getting dangerous, too, because some of those trails are on mountain sides, and I almost threw myself off a cliff just to get away from them. Scary. But maybe having some adversity helped me appreciate the day even more.***

After mile 31 the rest of the race was on trails, mostly single track. I also noticed that most people picked up pacers. For those of you who don’t know, pacers are runners who can join you in the second half of an ultra-race. They usually provide encouragement and advice, and make sure you’re running on two feet and going the right direction. They can’t carry water or food for you, but they can be a great source of mental support to some people. I had thought for a moment that I might like my brother to pace me for the last 10 miles, but quickly dismissed that thought. I knew that if I were to run 50 miles, I wanted to do it alone. For one thing, I wanted to know that I was able to do this by myself. For another, I was afraid that a pacer might hold me back. I am a good self-motivator, and sometimes find that when I run with someone else I end up complaining a lot, walking a lot, and get discouraged in general.

So, no pacer for me. And I’m glad, because I don’t think some of the pacers were up to the job. In face, one was puking on the trail while her runner ran ahead. I think it took her a good 15 miles before she caught up to her runner.

I saw my family again at the mile 40ish aid station. This would be the last time I’d see them before the finish. I told them I estimated a 2 1/2 to 3 more hours on the race course (turns out it was only 2!). I said hi, grabbed some energy chews, gave a kiss to Tony, and kept running. I had expected that I’d spend more time with my crew resting, changing shoes, eating, complaining, etc. but all I wanted to do was keep running. I felt bad since my family went through such effort to be there for me at these pit stops and I barely spent time with them, but I had momentum and some good juju going for me and didn’t want to lose my mojo/juju. I hope they understood.

There were more pacers on the course for the last 10 miles. It was kind of funny, entering the trails again, to see fresh faced pacers hopping in place waiting to pick up their runners. I’m sure there were a lot of runners dragging their feet and feeling miserable who were SO thankful to see these smiling faces waiting to accompany them the last 10 miles. Pacers probably saved a lot of people from dropping out.

Like the ones before, the last ten miles were mostly a blur. The trails were beautiful and difficult to run, but rather than feeling tired, I enjoyed the challenge. I knew that the last 3 miles were supposed to be the worst. Rather than save my energy, I picked up the speed a little, hoping to tackle those miles as soon as possible!

After more trails and one more aid station, the beginning to the end finally came. The last few miles took place on a mostly gravel and partially paved road. This was a welcome change from the trails, even though it was a steep incline. It was easier to get traction, and the surface was consistent enough that I didn’t have to worry about my footing as I was running. The hill was NOT NEARLY as bad as people made it out to be. I alternated between walking for a bit and jogging 100 steps at a time. During one of these walking segments, a guy painted white (or who didn’t rub in the sunscreen enough) said to me, “looks like we’re gonna sub-11 [hours]. Barely, but we’ll do it. There’s a mile and a half left.” I looked at him and said, “Really? Thanks! I needed that,” and went on running up the hill. I’m not sure what I was thanking him for, but I guess hearing that my far-reaching goal wasn’t so far fetched was all the encouragement I needed to get the race done with ASAP.

The last mile was great. Every spectator was smiling, encouraging, and at least appeared to be in awe. About a quarter mile from the finish, I saw one my favorite ultra celebs Catra Corbett. She’d already finished the race and was sticking around to check out the finishers. She said, “Looking good! Nice socks!” to me, and then I heard her comment to a friend, “Wow, she looks so fresh!” I nearly died.

As I ran towards the finish, I kept looking for my family. Where were they? Fortunately, there were hundreds of faces saying great things to me as I ran by. And right before the finish, when the announcer called out my appearance (and almost fumbled my last name), I heard my family yell “MEGAN!!” and saw their smiling faces right by the finish line. It was the best feeling ever.

There are so many more thoughts I have about the race that I might have to do another random post. Who knows. All I know is that it was the Best Day Ever, and I can’t wait to tackle the next one. Next up: Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Miler!

I’ll leave you all with some random photos. Enjoy! And hope you had a great weekend too 😀

My rewards:



AR 50: The Best Day Ever *teaser*

Yesterday I ran the American River 50 Mile Endurance run. To say that it was probably the best day of my life would be sad, and cheesy. And true. But it’s ok, I’m not married yet and don’t have babies, so I’m sure one day this B.D.E. will be surpassed.

I know you all are dying to hear the details. I want to put together a post that would do the day justice, so I’m taking my time. For now, just the basics.

-I finished in 10:51:09, which is an official qualifying time for the Western States Endurance Run. It’s not the best time ever, but WAY BETTER than expected, considering my non-existent training.

-I ran for the majority of the race. I took 2 minute walk breaks occasionally, but felt SO GREAT that I ran a slow jog almost the entire time.

-I wore BRIGHT pink compression calf sleeves and through out the entire race, everyone shouted “nice socks!!” and “hey, pink socks!!”. I chose not to correct them on this technicality :)

Some photo highlights:

Have you ever heard of the phrase that a guy “got chicked?” (Urban dictionary it.) Happened a lot during this race 😉

Read about it tomorrow night (??) when I’ll hopefully have a nice, long race report.

Weird Faces and Nervous Energy

In a day and a half, I’ll be running my first ever 50 mile race. I’m scared as heck and have been acting a little kooky for the last day or so. Have you ever been SO EXCITED for something, and wanted to CRAP YOUR PANTS at the same time?? Well, that’s how I feel right now. Hopefully the latter won’t happen.

Today, Tony and I were driving around and saw this:

We drove past it too fast and I couldn’t get a pic, so Tony switched to the slow lane and I got a good shot. I’ve been on ice-cream/froyo withdrawal for the last 2 weeks, and I’m already thinking about what I want to indulge in on Sunday. If I run 50 miles, that means I can eat 5,000 calories worth of ice cream and not gain wait. (Right? 😉 ) Yessss!!

To rid myself of all this nervous energy, I’ve been doing some funky dancing. Unfortunately for you all, I have no videos, so you’ll have to just imagine it. Or ask Tony. He loves when I funky dance, and I’m sure the looks he gives me are ones of awe and admiration.

Instead, I’ll show you all my talent for making weird faces.

And your welcome.

Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend! Think of me this Saturday and send me some positive energy!!


Goal #1: Eat more healthfully and mindfully

Since there are a lot of goals I have for myself, I thought I’d spend this week addressing my goals one day at a time. Hopefully putting my goals out there will help me stay accountable. That’s why everyone starts a blog, right?

So goal #1 is COMPLETELY BORING AND UNORIGINAL, but something that needs to be done: eat more healthfully and mindfully.

The most common fallacy of runners is that we think we can eat as much as we want. Even those of us who are somewhat aware of eating healthfully get caught up in the excitement that yes, we just ran 10 miles so we can have that ice cream/oreo/juicy burger/extra ranch on everything/etc. Or beer. Who doesn’t like beer??

I sure do. And it’s ok to drink it. Just not a 6 pack a day. If you drink enough to make a beer-amid, you’ve drank too much for the day.

I guess we were too drunk to make a taller beeramid. Best light beer ever BTW

Enough with the beer photos. You know that saying, “Don’t live to eat, eat to live”? Well, I’d like to do both, but with healthfulness in mind. It’s a hard thing to do, to find that right balance. I definitely LOVE to be able to eat yummy things and I’m proud of the fact that I have a strong and lean body, but I also know that there is room for improvement. I’m sure that at mile 48 this Saturday I’ll be saying to myself WHY??? did I eat all those Oreos?? Why?? Why didn’t I eat more yummy, healthy salads (like this one)?

So the moral of this post is not for me to start obsessing about food. I’ve been there and it’s not fun and it makes me grumpy. Rather, it’s to try to make smarter choices. Or at least ask myself this question: Is it worth it? And for sure, sometimes it is :)

Oh, and to try try tryyy to only eat cupcakes and cake on birthdays!

Excuses for AR 50

Today my 20 mile run turned into the worst 8 miles ran by anyone, ever. I was too tired to run the uphills, and too worried about my knees to run the downhills. So I shuffled along the flat sections getting passed by 80 year olds and women pushing strollers. My dad, who thinks he’s a doctor or something, mentioned I might be pushing a little too hard. I guess I’ll heed his advice to take it easy. My mom, who also thinks she’s some kind of medical expert, suggested LOTS of icing. Glad I didn’t have to pay a co-pay for that advice :)

[Shoes worn: Saucony Mirages. But don’t hold it against them.]

I signed up for the American River 50 Mile Endurance run a few months ago. Plenty of time to train, right? You’d think…

Excuses for AR 50 (Why I didn’t train) and One Reason I’ll Finish

1. I was sick the month of February. Besides not being able to breathe during runs, I kept swallowing snot which made me nauseous. I’m a LADY I tell ya and I’ll never blow snot rockets!! I also polished off a bottle of NyQuil during that time and unlike Drew Brees in the commercial, I was NOT able to perform my best the next day. I kept weaving off course, probably still drowsy from my double-doses.

2. When not sick, I like to get about 12 hours of beauty sleep. Then in takes me an hour or so to wake up. Then I eat, and am too full to run. So it takes awhile to digest, and then I’m hungry again!! Sometimes I go through this cycle all day and realize that I’ve done nothing but eat, and that’s why I didn’t run…

3. I get discouraged if it’s too hot, too cold, too dark, or too crowded. I usually end up loving my run when I get out there, but I’m so good at talking myself out of things that it’s not even funny.

But I know I will finish because I am so darned stubborn that I won’t allow myself not to finish. It’s as simple as that. Oh, and there’s a cool finisher’s jacket. I WANT THAT JACKET.

Running Aimlessly


I’ve been a runner on and off for the last 15 years or so. I ran cross-country in middle and high school and was always a middle-of-the-packer. I picked up running again about 7 years ago because of my love for ice cream. (Well, I had other reasons, but mostly ice cream. And doughnuts.) I’m an EXTRAORDINARILLY mediocre runner… so why the heck am I blogging? Because I’ve decided I want to do MORE with running, like run my first (and second) 50 miler and possibly 100 mile race. You know that saying? If a bear craps in the woods and no one steps in it, did it really happen?? Well, that’s why I’m documenting all of this. Otherwise I’ll never really know if I just imagined it all.



I’m 28 years old and unemployed. Voluntarily, mind you. No, I am NOT lazy. (Well, I am, but that’s neither here nor there.) I’m just tired of spinning my wheels and waitressing and salesgirling while I figure out what it is I REALLY WANT TO DO with my life. I have a degree in English Literature but never figured out what to do with it. Careers I’ve considered: Physical Therapist, Personal Trainer, Dietitian, Book Editor, Magazine Person, Cupcake Store Owner, Chef, Teacher, School Counselor, Therapist, Novelist, Ice Cream Taster…  If I could make a living running I would, but I’m RIDICULOUSLY SLOW and I don’t think they give prizes for that.

The reason I took time off from working is to run as many ultras as I can, and explore possible career choices. Right now the flavor of the year is teaching. I’ll likely resume school in August (if I pass the CSET, fingers crossed), and in the meantime I might try substituting and get my personal training certification. I’ve worked hard for the last 10 years and have saved up enough to indulge myself for a few months. Keeping my eyes and my mind open…