Good LSD

Today I had a good long, slow, distance run. It wasn’t too long, and it was very slow, but I’ll take what I can get.









I’m surprised that I’m never approached to do run-modeling. Weird.

Today’s run was nice. It went by smoothly, and I wasn’t pushing it so didn’t set myself up for disappointment. I am still a little sore from my mountain run on Tuesday and the gym yesterday, so we’ll see how the rest of the week pans out. I’m guessing I’ll hit about 30 miles by Sunday, and then slowly being ramping it up in the following weeks.

I got a super-awesome package in the mail yesterday! A few weeks back I won a great prize package from the blog and it included quite a ridiculous amount of schwag. (Is that how you spell schwag??)

Some of the goodies:

This is just a fraction of the stuff from Clif. The rest wouldn't fit into the photo.

That's my mom in the background. She's always trying to find a way to get a photo op on my blog.

I’m definitely interested in trying Udo’s Oil. I like the idea of natural supplements. Plus, Geoff Roes and Scott Jurek use it, which means that if I use it, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll win Western States next year.

If not, I can always fall back on modeling.


There is more stuff coming as well: shoes, sunglasses, and running clothes. I’ll be sure to post pics when the rest of the gear comes in so you can all be jealous of my AWESOME trail running duds. Thanks Bryon Powell!!

Tomorrow I’m going for a run with my brother. I’m really hoping his 31 year old bones can keep up with me.


Mountain Run

Yesterday I tackled my mountain run. I call it a mountain run rather than hill repeats because it’s about 3 miles and 2000 ft. to the peak. So I pretty much run/walk up it and jog down. It’s great because there are all sorts of paths before the peak (at about 1500 feet) so I usually don’t summit and just jog along the rolling hills before I go back down. It is GREAT training for descents, and my quads are definitely on fire today. Time to invest in a rolling stick. Anyone wanna buy me one??

I wore these ginormous shoes called the Lone Peak. They are super rugged yet still low to the ground. They were designed with 100 mile races in mind; for the ultra runner who wants a tough trail runner yet still wants to have the flat and roomy feeling of a barefoot-style shoe.

I also wore my supercool AR50 shirt. I actually really don’t like the shirt, but it was laundry day.

Our gorilla is such a weirdo. He insists on wearing protective goggles everywhere.

Here are some view of the bay from my run:

It is such a difficult hike but sooo beautiful. You curse the mountain but love it at the same time. Almost like a Sour Patch kid–first it’s sour, then so sweet :)

Looking forward to more good runs this week!

Back at it

It has been awhile since my last post for two reasons:

1. Running lately has been lame and uneventful. I don’t enjoy writing about how much running sucks, so I’ll keep those posts to a minimum. Hopefully I’ll have better material this week.

2. I went to a bachelorette weekend getaway. All the details to follow. NOT! What happens in Santa Barbara, stays in Santa Barbara.

Except for this picture:

Me and Victoria, the beautiful bachelorette

So today I’m back at it. Back at blogging, and back at work as well.

My work uniform (minus the shoes): the best part of working in a running store. Don't mind the dorky school photos in the background.

I’m working part time at a running store called ZombieRunner. It is a unique store because there’s a coffee bar inside that serves some of the best coffee in the San Francisco Bay Area. No joke. It also caters to trail runners and ultra runners so it has random but necessary products that not many running stores carry. I worked here for a few months in the fall and early this year, and it was what got me into ultra running in the first place. Wearing supercomfy clothes and running shoes daily is just one of the perks of the job.

Side note: I’m mentioning the store because it’s a great place to come for running gear, NOT because I want y’all to come stalk me. So please don’t stalk me. But if you come in to get some running gear and see me, say hi. I’m usually pretty nice.

As for training, last week sucked. I should probably be easier on myself, but I’m bummed that I didn’t get any good runs in. I know my next race is going to require all of my efforts, so I really must get serious about training. Just so I don’t set myself up for disaster, I’m going to give myself small, manageable, weekly goals.

For this week:

1. One long run over 10 miles. Gradually I’d like to do a 20+ mile long run every other week-this’ll probably be during peak training in May and June, with a few 50K races included as long runs.

2. One tempo run. This would be like 6 miles where I’m running at a good effort the whole time. I know, it doesn’t sound specific, but I don’t keep track of my pace very well.

3. One super hilly (like 2,000 ft elevation) run. This might be my long run, but if not, I want to get out there on the mountain sometime this week if even for 6 short miles.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle those goals this week. Next Sunday or Monday I’ll reassess new goals for the following week.

As for today, I was planning on doing a 6 mile tempo run on the treadmill but instead I’m going to play… softball??? I’m doing a friend a “favor” by subbing in for a female teammate on their coed team. I’m sure after today he’ll never ask me again.


Deep Thoughts

If you read my blog because I’m witty, pretty, and an amazingly mediocre athlete, then skip this post. This one is gonna have some deep, deep life thoughts and might get a little cheesy and emotional.

Just giving ya’ll a heads up.

Have you ever reminisced about a previous time in your life, thinking, “that was when life was perfect….” Could’ve been high school or college, or when you were first married or first fell in love. (For my parents, I’m sure this was the moment I was born and will continue for the rest of their lives. I’m such a gem.) You remember feeling happy every day, having great friends, and making great memories. You might fondly refer to them as glory days. You wish that you could go back and be that version of yourself, and have that life again, if just for a moment.

You all know what I’m talking about right?

Well, I don’t. I’ve never had the feeling that “these days are the best of my life.” I hated high school, and was terribly insecure for the years leading up to it. My first attempt at college was a fail, and set me up for a lot more discouraging moments regarding school. The first time I moved out, it was great! But it was also lonely and scary. And when I finally went back to college, that was great too, but I never moved away and had the typical 4 year experience when most people make great memories.

My whole life I’ve been very introverted and introspective. I’ve only come out of my shell in the last few years or so, and sometimes still have to work hard to be social, and to not overanalyze things. I’m afraid of so many things: of being awkward, embarrassed, uncool, unfulfilled, dealing with difficult tasks, taking responsibility, and owning up to my mistakes. The list goes on. For too long I’ve stayed in my “comfort zone” because I’m afraid to commit to a career or say the wrong thing or fail at something. Basically, I’ve been afraid to be an adult. And I’m just starting to gain the confidence that comes with age and maturity.

All of this sounds kind of depressing, but it’s not. In a way, I’m excited that over the past few years I’ve tackled a lot of my insecurities. Tony and I have had similar paths with schooling and finding our careers. We’ve both struggled along the way, and are dealing with the biggest struggle of all at the moment. When we finally decided what we wanted to do in life (teaching for me, firefighting for Tony), life threw us some curveballs. For various reasons, it’ll be a little while longer before we get settled with jobs that make us fulfilled. The reason for all this rambling is because I know that my glory days are yet to come. I’m sad that I can’t reminisce on extremely happy times in my life, but I’m happy that I’ve learned a lot about myself and have become good at living in the moment and accepting live as it comes. I know that life may not be perfect, but I’m getting much better at living it.

So, although I can’t reminisce about better times, I can tell you the moment that my life became infinitely better.

The moment I met this guy:

Ok, SO CHEESY! I’ll be back to my normal self next post :)

Running is LAME :(

Today was NOT a good running day, so I’ve decided that running is super-lame and only super-uncool people do it.


A few reasons why my run sucked:

I got winded really easily. Why does this happen? Some days I find myself losing my breath even when I’m keeping a slow, steady pace. What gives? I don’t get it. I’ve been running for 15 years and I’m in fairly good condition, so why am I getting winded when I’m not even running fast? And how can I train to prevent this from happening?

My knee was kind of hurting. Not throbbing or intense pain, but since I wasn’t feeling too hot in general I decided not to run through this knee pain for the sake of a crappy run. I was a reminder that I cannot take my knees for granted. Tony is in between knee surgeries  and constantly reminds me that I should be thankful for my physical health. I owe it to him and my knees to take better care of myself. SICS (Stretch, Ice, Cross train, Strength train); it’s the new RICE!

My stomach was bugging. Which could have been because I ate some of this yesterday…

"Chicken and Waffle" sandwich: French toast bun, pancake battered chicken breast, bacon, and sweet potater tots

Or because I ate one of these last night…

Tony's has the fruit. Mine has the Fruity Pebbles

Or it could have just been because I was running by this:

Hey Bay, why so stinky??

Don’t mind my fuzzy finger.

Either way, it was a disappointing day “back in training”. I went to the gym and biked for an hour, hoping that would make me feel like I put in work. It didn’t.

So today, it’s back on track with the healthy eating. I’m going out of town this weekend for a bachelorette party, so I’m going to attempt to eat as cleanly as I can until then.

Tomorrow I’m running 10 miles, no matter how long it takes. It’ll either be on the treadmill (with 2-3 episodes of One Tree Hill to keep me company!) or on a steep trail by my house that I haven’t run in months. Easy or hard, but 10 miles either way.

Hope no one else is having a case of the Mondays!!


Yesterday I ran for the first time since my 50 mile race a week ago. I’ve had a lot of energy this week and have been itching to run, but I had no idea how my legs would react. They’ve been a little achy all week and I have NOT been a good little girl with icing, stretching, and rolling :(

Rather than have a set distance, I just ran out the house and decided to see how I felt.

Bike path near my parents' house. It was a beautiful day yesterday!

I had so much energy, but knew I wouldn’t last on a long run, so I decided to do my own little speed workout. Pretty much ran at med- to high- intensity for as long as possible, then walked to catch my breath. And repeat. Pretty scientific, no?

I also took a picture of myself running, but it’s waaay to bad to put up, which is saying a lot. I’ve posted some pretty darned ugly photos before.

Instead, here’s a different running photo (last time I promise):

So serious! Hahaha.

So this week will be my first week “back” in training. The rough plan is to put in 30 miles this week, and 40 the next, and then follow one of the training plans from Relentless Forward Progress. I am going to play it by ear this week since I’m still not sure how my legs are recovering. Note to self: ICE, STRECH, AND ROLL OUT MUSCLES!!! DON’T BE STOOPID AND THINK YOU’LL RECOVERY EASILY!!

On a side note, my life has become a little less aimless as of late. I found out last week that I passed my CSET. For those of you who don’t know, the CSET is the California Subject Exam for Teachers. Since I want to teach high school English, I had to pass 4 subtests despite the fact that I have a B.A. in English. Since I was pretty cocky and didn’t study (um, kinda like how I didn’t train for AR50…), it took me 3 times to pass the last subtest. But I passed, finally, and that’s all that matters to me. What this means is that I’ll be back in school this fall, to student teach for 2 semesters. And in a little over a year, I’ll *hopefully* have my Teaching Credential. Yay! This means that if all goes well, I’ll FINALLY be an adult just months shy of my 30th birthday.

What this also means is that it’s back to work for me! I’m still pursuing getting a personal training certification (from ACE), because I want to have the knowledge as well as the possibility of training in the future. So until school resumes, it looks like I’ll be training part time, studying part time, and back at good ol’ ZombieRunner part time. So if any of y’all have shoe/gear/nutrition/compression/insole/headlamp/etc. questions, I’m your running gear expert! Feel free to comment or email me questions regarding gear anytime.


Are you sick of hearing about AR50 yet?

Because I’m not sick of talking about it! Besides, my life is pretty boring during this recovery week so rather than blog about what I ate, I’ll share some shots of me in action.

My boyfriend Tony likes taking videos on his iphone. The other day we were watching a movie and I started laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. Tears were coming out of my eyes and I was grabbing my stomach while making these funny gasping noises. Of course Tony got it all on video without my knowing. Fortunately, he’s a certified EMT and I can only hope he would have stopped video-ing to resuscitate me if I had passed out for lack of oxygen.
Anywho, here are some videos from last Saturday.




I’m not sure what order they’re in. They’re kind of boring; I didn’t stop for too long at the aid stations. Tony was telling me there was a cheesy motivational guy at some of the aid stations but I think he was really talking about himself. You can hear him yelling at me in the background.

On another, exciting note, I won an AWESOME giveaway from Bryon Powell at I’ll be getting some Mountain Masochist II’s (shoes), a running outfit from Mountain Hardwear, Clif products, sunglasses from Ryders Eyewear, Drymax socks, and a bottle of Udo’s Oil. I’ll probably post a million photos when the package arrives because I love getting new running gear. This is perfect timing too, seeing as I’m unemployed and training for my next 50M.

Yay for winning!!!



Goal # 3: Get FASTER!

In case you didn’t read the title, my third goal is to get faster. I’ve always just accepted the fact that I’m a middle/back of the packer. Even in high school I wasn’t very fast. Some of my best cross-country times were at an 8 minute mile pace. I never did track either, which might have helped me speed up. Instead, I did diving. I mean, running sprints vs. chilling by the pool? Really. C’mon.

So goal #3 (and my last goal for now) is to get faster. I’m pretty sure it’s possible. I don’t expect to win any races, or speed up to a 5 minute mile or anything, but it would be nice maybe to qualify for the Boston Marathon some day. Speed might also help improve my ultra-distance times. I mean, I shuffle along in distances longer than 26 miles, but if I my natural, base speed was faster, then wouldn’t I shuffle faster too?

If you’ve been reading past posts, you know I don’t do well with structure, especially when it comes to training plans. I try to use them as guidelines, but I mostly just do my own thing. So although I am going to try harder to hit some specific mileage by attempting to follow a training plan for my next 50 miler, I don’t have any specific plan to increase my speed. I will, however, incorporate speed work with tempo runs, fartleks, and the occasional sprinting intervals that I kinda make up on the spot. The idea will be to do 2 days of some kind of speed work a week. I think that is something that I can stick to.

Since running my first 50 miler last Saturday, I’m taking a week off from running to just relax. I did a little gym workout today (walk 15 minutes, row 10, bike 30) and my muscles are feeling good. I wanted to run, but I know my knees are going to take awhile to recover and I want to play it safe.

I have no interesting pictures of my day, so I’ll leave you with 3 relaxing photos and one random cute kid pic.

Tony's nephew. Can you tell he dresses himself?

To all the runners out there: How do you recover/reward yourself after a big race?

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: