Posts Tagged With: Teagan Redden

Little People Running

Lots of new people coming to view our story, so stoked! Thank you to all those people out there for the wonderful encouragement you are giving my family, I truly appreciate it. It’s still a rough go over here getting the kids out to put in the miles they need, Tea especially. She gets so upset when she isn’t putting in the miles she needs. With a 55k on the horizon my girl knows what she “should” be doing to get it done. But to be truthful, it’s hard when they are only with me half the time. Even if we ran ever day they are here (which we can’t with this “life” and activities we have going on) it still would not be as much running as she wants to be doing. Sigh…. BUT An AMAZING running friend was so sweet and gifted Tea some sweet knew Ivivva outfits which was a HUGE pick me up for my girl! I can not even explain how much I love our loving community and how thankful I am that my children are loved. Pictures?

Sometimes an 8-year-old runs...

Sometimes an 8-year-old runs…

Sometimes and 8-year-old throws a fit because he didn't want to run "here"....

Sometimes and 8-year-old throws a fit because he didn’t want to run “here”….

Speed!

Speed!

Running Buddies.

Running Buddies.

That hair.

That hair.

And into the sun we go.

And into the sun we go.

While sister, runs we play!

While sister, runs we play!

Days spent in the desert are exhausting.

Days spent in the desert are exhausting.

If you follow us on Instagram you may have noticed the “home” pictures looking a little different… Well, we moved! Stayed tuned for a Vlog home tour on our Youtube channel! It’s a wild ride here at our new place…..

Cacti in the tummy. Not fun.

Cacti in the tummy. Not fun.

Thank you again to all our friends out there! Love from Seven Wild and Free!

Categories: Parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Across the Years

I know I say it all the time, but my kids are amazing. Going into Across the Years they all had different goals, the littlest Littles mostly just being excited for cookies. Tea had hopes of finishing 100 miles in less then 72 hours since she “played too much” ( her words) last year. So I settled in to help as I could and roll with whatever happened.

Tea finished 25 the first day and was a little upset with herself. She wasn’t focused and when I broke down the numbers she was upset with herself. With a promise from me to help push her more the next couple of days she was able to sleep well that first night. The next day the goal was rough, 40 miles. I knew I had to call in reinforcements to help her along the way. My poor sisters boyfriend got roped in and ran more miles (and more time) then he ever had before. Fifteen miles with a 9-year-old that was in pure heaven watching him suffer! She can be a little evil at times… Tea joined other friends along the course and we even did a family loop. She stopped at 39 for the day knowing she had one more big day ahead…. 36 miles before dark. While most of the finally day she cruised with big people friends (thank you all for the help!), at times she was alone and that was rough. I was able to join her for the last couple and we held on to each other while we walked through the cold evening. She wanted to be finished so badly at miles 97 and 98 (who doesn’t) and there were tears. The morning was not an option for her to finish (I didn’t have them in the morning) so we had to keep pushing on if she wanted to finish. She sat before her last loop and suddenly she was alive! Tajh and +1 joined us on the last loop and Tea spent time making fun of them both and slapping Tajh with her long sleeves, because at mile 99 you can hit your brother as long as you are both laughing! And she finished. 100 miles in 61 hours and 45 minutes WITH at least 18 hours of sleeping. This girl… How awesome is she? Her goofy “100 mile I’m a crazy little girl” attitude always makes me smile. She pushed through the rough moments and as always finished with a smile on her face. True badass.

Waking up in the cold on day 2. No one was happy to leave the tent!

Waking up in the cold on day 2. No one was happy to leave the tent!

"hey Tea I'm going to take a bathroom selfie" "NO" I win!

“hey Tea I’m going to take a bathroom selfie” “NO” I win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting a normal picture of a 9-year-old hopped up on a 100 mile high is just never going to happen.

Getting a normal picture of a 9-year-old hopped up on a 100 mile high is just never going to happen.

 

Little Tay loves being free to run off into the desert at this race. The kids found the perfect area and had their own little fort. They were gone doing their thing and every so often came in to get food and run a lap. He had no real goal along the way, but when he realized a 50k was possible over the 72 hours he got a little more serious. He’s my fast kid and has just recently started showing interest in racing. His little feet were pounded and painful, but every now and then he set out to add some miles.  I’m somewhat sad I did have a GPS on him to know how many extra miles he did while playing! My very proud Little Buddy finished his first 50k in 3 days (And he may have eaten more then his fair share of cookies along the way).

Crazy Boys at night!

Crazy Boys at night!

Tenny wanted to race, she wanted to go alone on loops from the get go! She ran with whoever she could each day (never enough for her) and played the rest of the time. Cookies were exciting for her, but she probably would have ran just to run. Competition is a big motivator for her and she was happy to run ahead then stop and wait for Tru and I to catch up while doing hand stands in the grass. Tenny finished with 13 miles over the 3 days. A PR for her for sure.

Because you just have to hold hands before the start of your big race.

Because you just have to hold hands before the start of your big race.

So fast!

So fast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finishing a loop with Tajh.

Finishing a loop with Tajh.

There may have been a little 6 day zombie shuffling going on...

There may have been a little 6 day zombie shuffling going on…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tru was stoked to run. If you remember, the last time he had a bib on the refused to move from the starting line and gave me a stern “NO” when I even suggested it. This was the perfect race for him, no pressure, no time he actually had to start, and all his siblings were out there somewhere. The race began and he was moving! and then he stopped, threw his hat, and yelled “NO”….. Thanks Tru. We walked that loop and he played the rest of the day. The next day he asked to run again and this time seemed much more motivated, he’s getting it! The final day we walked most the loop together but as we came into the finish he told me he wanted to run. I began trotting along and he stopped dead in his tracks, told me I wasn’t allowed to run, and sprinted to the finish. JERK! Fine, I let him win… Tru finished 3 miles, I’m very proud of my Little Bug.

Tantrums 1/4 mile in.

Tantrums 1/4 mile in.

He is lucky he is so cute!

He is lucky he is so cute!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some pretty cute sleepers cuddling for warmth!

Some pretty cute sleepers cuddling for warmth!

 

 

Tajh may have made me the most proud at the race. He told me he didn’t want to race and I offered having him help me with the Littles so I could be there for those that needed me. Surprisingly he agreed and even promised to run with some if they needed it. He was a great babysitter, I love watching him play with little Tenny and Tru and I know how special that time is for all of them. At some point Tru came up to me and I noticed cookie on his face… “hey buddy did you steal a cookie” “No Tajhie gave it to me”… umm…. Apparently, like any good babysitter, he was using cookies to get them to behave. Well played Tajh… well played… I couldn’t be angry and just asked that we slow down on the bribery for a while. While it warmed my heart to just see him play with his siblings, I was truly impressed with how caring he was to Tea. Multiple times he asked if he could run with her (to which she adamantly refused since apparently he talks too much as a pacer and only talks about minecraft) and on day 3 I kept finding him with food and drinks for her. I told him how proud I was and asked why he was trying to help her so much “well because I’ve run 100 miles over 6 days and know how much it hurt, I can’t imagine how much she hurts right now” AWWWW!! I am beyond proud of Tajh. His kind heart is hard to find some days, and his nose is always so deep in a book he can’t hear his siblings, but when he comes back to the real world I am thankful.

Little People running free.

Little People running free.

Between the pride in my heart, the long days with my Littles outside and their little rosy cheeks from days of sun, my world is pretty awesome. I do have to say how insanely excited I was to see so many kids out there. So many people telling us how my Little inspired theirs, so many kids pushing their limits with a smile on their face, how rad is that? To top it off getting to spend so much time with all our Big People friends? Man did my Littles and I have a great time!

Family Lap selfie.

Family Lap selfie.

All my Peeps.

All my Peeps.

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Javelina with a Little Lady (again!)

For some reason this blog has been hard for me to write. I just haven’t decided where to go with it…. The truth is, Tea running was met with criticism to the race director just days after she finished. My awesome race community came to the rescue talking about how wonderful my Little Lady is. I can not thank you enough for loving my Lady. But to the critiques wondering why a 9-year-old is running a 100k and the race director is allowing it, do your research said “9-year-old”  happens to live with said “race director”… funny how that works…

 

But enough about that, she is qualified. Well, maybe not this year. The amount of 9-year-old little girl tantrums we had was pretty special.  No not about computer time, her phone being taken away (she doesn’t have one), or not being able to go to the mall, all tantrums were about the time she spend training. She was disappointed. We went on runs and she cried. She knew that she was nowhere near ready, and I spent time trying to tell her it was ok it really wasn’t her fault (and may have spent a lot of money at Ivivva trying to convince her the right outfit would help). The reality is she only ran when she was with me, and I was too broken to run so she had to run with +1 (which she actually likes, he listens well 🙂 ). So training was nowhere near where it was last year and she knew it was going to hurt.

We both did practice napping...

We both did practice napping…

We are very good at napping training....

We are very good at napping training….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our last run together was suppose to be 10 miles but turned into a pathetic 6 with the complaining and commiserating we both did. But whatever, we both knew we were in for pain (me feeling super broken and wondering when I would have to call in a replacement “run 100k with a Little Lady”) and we stepped to the starting line.

The cutest runner out there! And rocking her Run Steep and Ivivva gear!

The cutest runner out there! And rocking her Run Steep and Ivivva gear!

And by step to the starting line I mean fumbled to grab our stuff (put clothing on) and watch the 100milers start. Tea loves her ultra peeps and was really excited to see Catra (who isn’t!). So we watched them leave and got our shit together. Nathan’s happens to make bottles that are great for her little hands so I bought her an extra (if you don’t carry enough water at Javelina you are screwing your race) and I carried two bottle too. And we were off… off to pain… off to an adventure together… off to our second buckle together.

The first loop went fine. Nothing notable really, Tea was just excited to see friends out there but was somewhat disappointed at how slow we were. We came into headquarters and +1 had my pack ready. Knowing we would be out there in the heat of the day a pack was necessary as a “just in case”. We took a minute and off we went again, pretty much alone. You know, many people thought the trail was going to be crowded, maybe even I did a little, but Tea and I went for long stretched not seeing anyone even on this loop. You know who we did see?

We could be friends with this guy, at a distance...

We could be friends with this guy, at a distance…

 

 

Our first rattle snake out on the trail. “Gosh” I thought “good thing we got that out of the way”. And on we went… Now the faster people are coming at us. Going counterclockwise is not our favorite so we vowed to walk as much as we wanted and to not feel bad about it. We picked up the pace a little and started to scoot over for a fast guy coming our way when he gave a “OH SHIT” and JUMPED! It took a minute to see it, and then we heard it! This guy was hidden well!

NOT a friends!

NOT a friends!

 

Afraid that he wasn’t going to move out of the way and someone might catch him in a bad mood we waited for a couple minutes warning people “Big circle people!” until our not so friend left. We were warned about a snake ahead 2 other times but only saw these two. Apparently they wanted to party in the desert too.

 

It was about this time that I started to have a “oh shit that hurts” moment but we were running with a friend so I didn’t mention it. A little while after Jackass Tea and I stepped off the trail to talk “hey Hunny, my ass really hurts” “Mine too Mommy” ummm…. Neither of us have ever dealt with ass chafing before and this Momma was not prepared! Of course vaseline didn’t help, I knew it wouldn’t … (oops) and so we were in pain. The awesome “hey Mommy it looks like you peed you pants” comment she made earlier (isn’t she sweet?)  is telling me it might be a little more humid out then I had planned for. We ran into Jean Ho who kindly shared something with us (totally can’t remember the name!) but I think we were to far beyond repare at this point.  Hobble in to finish the silly second loop is what we did, both thinking and not mentioning to each other that if we couldn’t fix this we were done.

As we ran in to headquarters I saw the always amazing Angela Shartel “I have a question” I yelled and she joins us trotting in. “Umm… we need desitin, do you have any?” “Hold on I’ll find something!” Yup, just like superwoman! Over she comes with some RunGoo and I give Tea some first “Oh my goodness Mommy, it feels better already!”. Angela saves the day!

 

Food, warm clothes (last year we were freezing so we were over prepared this year), and off we head into the impending darkness. Tea wanted to hold off on caffeine until it was dark but she decided to try some coffee before this loop, not a fan, caffeinated gels it is, This loop was just going to be a long walk with Tea reminding me how close she was to her crash time along the way and we were already close. But we made it to Jackass, the most welcoming party you can ever come across in the desert in the dark!

Together we aren't afraid of the dark!

Together we aren’t afraid of the dark!

We helped a couple friends off the trail to safety.

We helped a couple friends off the trail to safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking out of Jackass (Jackbutt as Tea calls it) lead way to both of us complaining. Without saying too much, Tea was unhappy. So now in the middle of the night walking with my daughter we both cried, a lot. I always talk about how amazing it is sharing a journey like this with your little person and the deep bond it creates, conversations it spurs, and insight into their world you get. It’s eye opening, but sometimes it hurts. Tea shared with me memories of the past that you wish your child never was to be privy to. It reiterated the failure I felt in my ability to protect my Littles. So we hugged, walked, cried, and talked about how thankful we are for times like these, out on the trial, just us, free from the world and able to share honestly and openly.

All we could say as we finished are 3rd loop was “BED”. And we slept.

Up at 4 (somethingish) and moving by 4:45, time to finish this! What made this loop special was seeing all the 100 milers on their last loop. Last year we were so late in the race we hardly saw anyone. This year the smiles, high fives, and hugs really made it special. Yes it was a lot of walking, but the day could not have been more beautiful and the people as well. The best part of a race with Tea is by far the finish. Watching her decide our run/walk schedule, making deals with herself along the way, and then her always strong finish! All smiles of course.

Running to the finish! Thanks for the photo Jess Soco.

Running to the finish! Thanks for the photo Jess Soco.

 

We finish, my Mom drops all the kids off with me, and now I’m Mommy to 5 who just finished a super long 100k adventure and just really wants a nap! Apparently none of my little people did though….

Attacking Uncle J LU. He doesn't stand a chance.

Attacking Uncle J LU. He doesn’t stand a chance.

And finding adorable little friends.

And finding adorable little friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to say thank you to everyone out there who stopped to tell little Tea how amazing she was. Your stories of how she inspired you really touch my heart. Thank you to my Ultra Family for loving my Little Lady and seeing how strong she is!

As always Javelina was an amazing event (not that I’m bias). Great volunteers, great friends, and a great party! I count myself a very lucky Mother to be able to share all this with my wonderful daughter.

At the after party. Poor Tea didn't ant to leave and tried so hard to keep herself awake!

At the after party. Poor Tea didn’t ant to leave and tried so hard to keep herself awake!

 

 

 

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Running with Little People. Bear Creek Trail

If you have never had the opportunity to run with my Little People, I’m sorry! They are by far some of the funniest running partners you can find. They had the opportunity to play with a GoPro on their run on the Bear Creek Trail the other day. As you can see, they enjoyed it! Tajh spend the next day editing and I promised I would share with the world!  (Do not blame me if you get motion sickness! These kids are not pros… yet…)

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Javelina With A Little Lady

Running in the mountains with my Big Two. *Happiness*

Running in the mountains with my Big Two. *Happiness*

Getting ready to start the Javelina Jundred I knew Tea was trained. She had put in the time, running 4-5 mornings a week before school (around 30 minutes) and long runs on the weekend including doing the Pemberton loop (the race course) twice. The girl knew where she was at on every inch of that trail. She knew what it felt like to run a “fast” loop while still hiking every hill. She knew what it felt like to run the loop in 95 degrees, and running to finish before dark the one time we didn’t bring lights. I knew she had it, the only question was, did I?

She trained like a pro.

She trained like a pro.

Packet pickup was the day before the race, and so was Tru’s big day of getting his cast off. We picked Tea and Tajh up early from school to go with their little bro on his exciting day (SPICA cast coming off and an update and how Tru is doing to come soon) and then headed out so Tea could spend some time with her big people friends at pick up. It’s wonderful to see her interacting with all the adults that she loves and respects. To see how happy they are to see her makes me a very proud Momma. She is a an amazing Little Lady in so many ways, and as a Mother there is nothing better than knowing your child brings joy to others.

Sleep is a tricky thing to come when you are nervous about the morning, but eventual I found it. Tea and I woke to watch the 100 miles start and then got ourselves ready in the hour we had to wait before our own start. I recently found out i had superficial blood clots in my lower legs (superficial, don’t be too scared!) and running caused them much more pain. I found Hokas to be a help (not that the pain went away) but along with that came blisters from the Hokas. I got my feet taped hoping that would help and Tea and I stepped up to the start.

A little chilly for a Tiny Little Lady at the start.

A little chilly for a Tiny Little Lady at the start.

For the first couple of miles we were keeping a great pace. Pemberton is all “run-able” but we knew hiking the hills would help to ensure we would finish. Some people passed us in the beginning, but we also had a nice train going on behind us. Many people had great words of encouragement for Tea while there were also a lot of surprised looks. Teagan found it exciting that people had read about her and wanted to meet her. With all this the first loop flew by.  A little over 15 miles in 3:30, and Tea was still feeling great, just the plan we had.

Tea sees a camera and takes off! Still wrecking it near the end of lap 1

Tea sees a camera and takes off! Still wrecking it near the end of lap 1

The second loop was counter-clockwise which is not our favorite direction. We hiked a ton and she continued to talk my ear off! This Little Lady has the best stories. Not only that but she remembers key markers and enjoys doing the math to decide how much longer we have to aid stations. We got to Jackass aid station which was basically half way around the loop and she was dragging a little.  It was starting to get hot and we were now over 20 miles in, it was time to  pour some cold water on her and get moving. We got the info Tonto (the water only station just a little over 3 miles out from Jackass) was out of water so we stayed cautious with our water. Luckily we were well prepared to make that entire 6+ miles from Jackass to Coyote Camp aid stations without needing to fill up again. The end of this loop Tea had Starbucks waiting for her (soy chai) and was ready to down some vegan pizza!

The kind of service you get when you are 8.. Just so you know.. no one brought ME pizza or rubbed my feet!

The kind of service you get when you are 8.. Just so you know.. no one brought ME pizza or rubbed my feet!

We hung out at Jeadquarters for a while so she could eat and drink, and we could learn she doesn’t like her special treat of chai! She sat for a while and Seth took off her shoes and rubbed her feet while I went back to medical and got my feet taped even more. Apparently taping my feet and preventing the usual blisters I was getting angered the blister gods and I was getting blisters in places I had never experienced before, perfect. We had now finished 50k and started out on our way to miles neither Tea nor I had done before. Because it was dark we were allowed pacers, so Seth joined us for this loop. I knew it was going to be a long one, and I was happy to have someone else take the lead for a while.

We were well bundled and planned on walking everything we wanted to, even downhills. Tea spent time holding hands with Seth and just marching along. It’s funny, even though this girl can run crazy miles, she is still the kid that falls asleep at bedtime no matter where we are. From movie parties with friends to the Alabama Shakes concert we went to a couple of days before the race, Tea falls asleep between 8-8:30 no matter what is going on. We were now past her normal passing out time and we were definitely dealing with a sleepy 8-year-old. Luckily an amazing sound came ringing across the desert right in the nick of time. The loud New Yorker voice of one of Tea’s favorite big people friends, Justin, AKA J-Lu. She knew he would be at Jackass (which is funny because she would only refers to it as “jackbutt” no cursing for her!) aid station and she could not wait to see him. She ran down the hill and was lifted into a big hug by him. She sat, ate, drank, and talk to everyone there. It was a huge lift for a sleepy little lady on her way to finishing 75k. We headed out again into the darkness but on our way to a little sleep for her.

IMG_5990

This walk was slower and honestly I questioned if we would make it all the way. She was just a tired 8 year old, and I was her mom feeling for her. I got down at one point and looked her in the eyes. I explain that we didn’t have to finish if she was tired, we could get Jamil (RD) to drive out, we could meet him at the road, and we could go back and she could sleep. We could be done. Her only response was a stern “NO” and she turned and began walking again, on a mission. Apparently she was not quitting, so on we trudged.

Holding hands with Daddy. I'm pretty sure it's the only way to walk through the night.

Holding hands with Daddy. I’m pretty sure it’s the only way to walk through the night.

Coming into Jeadquarters meant she got to eat then head to bed. I ate also but sleep alluded me. The plan was to be up by 5 and head out again, and I think a part of me was worried about making that happen. I ate and spent time with friends before heading to my tent and getting a couple of hours rest. Before I knew it we were up and heading out again. My Little Lady and I had 15 miles between us and our buckles, we were on it!  We hiked the entire first half to Jackass aid station where we saw Seth (who was picking up runners who had dropped to drive back) and a couple other big people friends. They (said big people friends) thought it would be funny to tell Tea to drop her Mommy right at the end and sprint in to the finish, pointing out I had blisters (which were terrible at this time) and she wouldn’t have any trouble. Tea being my amazing Little Lady gave them a “yeah right, why would I do that” look and we headed on our way.

Always with a smile.

Always with a smile.

Tea wanted Seth to run in with us so he headed out to meet us about 3 miles out. We ran a little and Tea was feeling alright, just excited to finish. In another half mile she went to brush a bee off her back and ended up getting stung in the hand. This cause uncontrollable crying from her. Look, she is 8, she is tired, she is 60 miles into her 100k, and now she got stung by a bee, crying was more than allowed.

Damn Bee!

Damn Bee!

So we gave her a couple minutes and allowed her to have her moment before we started moving again. Crying continued on and off until we got to the road crossing (meaning we were almost to the finish) and saw Jamil waiting on the other side to take pictures. Tea stopped, composed herself, and we were off and running again. Jamil continued to run ahead a little then stop and take pictures until Tea saw the finish, at which point she took off! I found myself, blisters and all, sprinting to try to keep up. At the end of her 100k Teagan was sprinting it in! It was amazing to watch, and difficult to keep up with, then we were finished. My 8-year-old had just finished 100k and was handed her buckle.

Tea was FLYING!

Tea was FLYING!

JJ Tea and Catra

One of Tea’s Favorite big people the amazing Miss Catra, and Tea’s favorite little running dog Truman!

Tea promptly took off her shoes, put her buckle on her new belt and wore it around. She played with her friends, walked Catra’s dog Truman, talk with people, and took pictures like a pro.

JJ Tea and colby

The cutest runners out there!

She was happy to see Colby (12) finish his 100 mile (we had seen him out on the course a lot as well which she was excited about) and happy to eat some otter pops.

I was happy to take my shoes off and stare at my blisters for a while. I can not express how thankful I am for the amazing ultra running community. All the kind words and support out there on the course really helped keep Tea moving. I am also forever thankful for having so much special time with my daughter out on the trail. Between Seth and my Mom caring for the others I was able to know they were in good hands and able to focus on Tea and her needs the entire time.

What she ate– A LOT! She ate many gels, stinger chews (pink lemonade being her favorite), avocado roll ups, veggie burger, vegan pizza, and all the normal vegan ultra food.

Animals– Tea loved seeing rabbits, shooed a tarantula off the trail for safety, watched some lizards run around, and even saved a hurt lizard from getting stepped on the trail.

Gear– Tea loves New Balance. She ran the entire race in her brand new New Balance 890 v3’s, and had no blisters, her feet felt great! She carried her super cute Pink Ultimate Direction Bottle, and of course had two Buff’s with her at all time. They really came in handy at aid stations to dunk in the water to keep her cool.

"stretching" along the way.

“stretching” along the way.

The important things to note from this race are, I was with her every step, she was determined to finish, she got 6+ hours of sleep during the night, and she had fun majority of the way. I understand running 100k isn’t for every 8 year old, but it is for this one. So the question was, was I ready? The answer is yes! Training with her and following her “take things as you go” approach made this, my first 100k, go as smoothly as it could. I am so proud of my Little Lady for the determination and hard work she put in, and I am extremely proud we are now buckle buddies!

Buckle Buddies!

Buckle Buddies!

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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