Posts Tagged With: Ultra Running

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…)

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Crewing is Harder Than Running 100 miles.

Crewing is harder than running 100 miles. That’s right, I said it.  Look, you train for 100 miles (in theory). It’s you goal to finish, to PR, to win, whatever, but it’s yours. Then you rope in friends, family, whoever to spend day and night (and maybe day again) taking care of you. There is no training to crew (unless you count daily life with children). We are thrown into this crazy world that YOU chose and we play the hurry up and wait game. All the while you run, that’s it! You just have to put on foot in front of the other! How nice that must be…

I have 5 kids, I know how to handle little people, this makes me a great crew person. Every ultra runner pulls a Benjamin Button at some point in 100 (even front runners to a degree). They forget to eat and drink, can’t speak, and possibly have soiled their pants. They need a Mom. They need someone to think for them. They need help. As the crew person it is your job to know your runner. To know when they will make mistakes. To know when they need help. To brief their pacer even after they have, “now he said he won’t want you to tell him to drink more, but do it anyway”. So Mom you become, and being a Mom is hard.

Now lets add in the driving all over the place. Directions are great in theory, but when you are in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and directions that the race director came up with, “yeah that’s good enough, everyone knows where mount Timmy is and they will totally understand the aid station is to the left most corner of the right face”,  it’s stressful. What if you are late? You have everything they need! What if this messes up their entire race? It’s a lottery race they will never get in again! YOUR race lies in MY hands and I’m in the middle of nowhere…. Heart attack time.

And now it’s dark. Yay. I really don’t like the dark as it is, and I’m tired. A little nap? No time for that. All those splits they gave you? yeah they are totally off them now. You have been trying your best all day to predict when they will come in and they screw with you every time. Don’t they know this is messing with your game? No nap, push through, light will come, shit I haven’t ate or drank anything all day…

Eventually they finish. You are elated for them. Now they want to relive EVERY second of the race with you. While you try and pin your eyelids open and convince then you aren’t sleeping through their exciting tales they decide they need EVERYTHING from the care parked nearly 20 miles away (or 50 yards, whichever). You feed them, change them (maybe just bring them a change of clothes but it’s all the same), and get them warm. Sleep? I would love some… Then they ask about your day, how everything when for you ALL day long. The moment you begin sharing they beginning snoring… Sigh…

Now if your runner drops it’s even worse! All you will hear about for the next 2 months is the “shoulda”, “coulda”, “woulda”… There is no winning. You will agree they shouldn’t have quit and they will be upset that you didn’t push them. You will tell them they could have kept going and they will convince you they couldn’t have walked another step (although they did walk down to the car to leave, but who’s counting).

Alas, the panic attack, Mothering, stressing, multiple runs to the car, driving, getting lost, lugging huge bags, planning stuff, overthinking, organizing, reorganizing, life of a crew person is hard. You silly runners putting one foot in front of the other for 100 miles have it pretty darn easy.

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


It’s Silverton time baby! Headed up a little late Friday with all the Little People. Van pack full of food, breakfast in their snack bins, and no real plan in mind. Decided to keep it simple this trip and not think too much, if you know me, that’s a clear lie.

I will say my planning sucked for this trip. Nearly everything I have for the kids I have bought myself in the last 6 months. I like matching shirts (so I can find them easier if they are lost), comfy clothes, basically whatever it takes to keep things as simple as possible. Yet, I found myself with nothing, and a whole lot of shopping to do. With drama always on my door step, getting out of town took longer then I wanted.

So we drove, FINALLY, the 6 of us. We stopped when we wanted, snacked when we wanted. Other then a little more whinning then I would have like, it went well! And then they saw Silverton:


Obviously they are a little odd… but I kinda like how Tay calls marrying the same gender “flavor”. He is well on his way to a comedy career.. or incarceration… a Mother can never be too sure!


They talked about how much they love small towns and they ran around on the playground and all came back out of breathe! Oh, a Hardrock loving Mothers dream. They were all so happy to be “home”.

We headed off in the mountains to sleep. It was too late for me to care to put up a tent, van it was. Tru laid on me for a while and was nice enough to inform me “no poop Mommy, no poop”. Thanks Buddy, glad you don’t plan on pooping on me tonight. Everyone found their “spot” and sleep came. The morning was my favorite:


On to the fun adventures! I have some exciting plans for my out-of-shape little ultra runners! Stay tuned!

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to get out of this place!

I still consider myself homeless, I am currently squatting. Yes I am in a home, but it is not my home. It is one room for my kids and I, which really is fine, but again it is not my home. Now that the kids are out of school is time to take this homeless show back on the road. Back to Colorado, back to tent living, back to spending our days adventuring and not inside.

I hate raising my kids inside. Although I love their schools (Tay is heading to school next year too) I still daydream about unschooling (google it) in the great outdoors. I daydream about having a home sometimes. Nothing crazy or big, something small and comfortable. I love having my children close, the idea of having space for them to get lost inside is silly to me. Also, all that stuff to fill a giant home seems ridiculous and materialistic. A tiny house with a wonderful outdoor space sounds lovely to me. A giant garden, outdoor living/cooking space, chickens, dogs, forts, and everything else that comes with it. A space I could lock up and leave for months at a time as we wander the world seeking adventure.  Oh that would be the life…

So on to our summer fun! Tea has picked a bunch of races she is really looking forward to (Sky Series is calling my little mountain Lady) and has requested we hang in Silverton for her to train. All the other Little are looking forward to being free and dirty outside. We are hoping to hook up with some of our Vagabond friends to party all night with. My plans to bag some crazy peaks alone with 5 Littles my seem optimistic, but I like a challenge.

Now it’s time for me to plan, clean, pack, unpack, repack, over think, get stress, and finally head out on my next great adventure. Being a single, vegan, homeless, poor, running bum, Mom to 5 Littles is always an adventure, I’m ready to take that adventure up in elevation.

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids, Parenting, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crewing for 5.

What did I do this weekend? Well crewed my +1 at a 100 mile race with my four littlest Littles of course!

Let me just say here, my +1 is a very talented runner. Not only is he talented, he has a no quit attitude everyone should be jealous of. I often spend my “free” time crewing telling people how wonderful he really is. Watching him race is always a mixture of pride, admiration, stress, anxiety, and joy. I love every minute of it! But enough about him (he can write his own report!) this is about ME!

We left Friday, late. Now mind you, we had ZERO plan, but I like leaving early in the morning and that just didn’t happen. We honestly just decided to head out around 10:45, with zero snacks, toys, music, or any other “keep the kids busy” activities. I am the Queen of road trips so this is very unlike me. Between leaving late and overall feeling terrible, I was off my game. I spent the ride sleeping, sternly informing the children of how I WAS trying to sleep, and passing them snacks when they refused to say quiet. Oh and freaking out at them to not make a mess since we were not in our van. Yup, I am a clean nazi at times. We arrived at the end of the pre-race briefing and headed to our camping spot.

Like I had thought, camping was way too close for comfort for me. I wouldn’t normally mind, but a bunch of people trying to get to bed early while my little hoodlums who have been trapped in a car or hours throw a tent party did not seem like a good idea to me.  I sent +1 to the tent for the night and the Littles and I took the car (no big deal really). We listened to music and chatted until way too late and finally fell asleep.  You know what is awesome? Being awoken at midnight to a toddler SLEEPING ON TOP OF YOU POOPING IN HIS PANTS. Yup, fully asleep and having terribly sick poop in his pants… perfect. Life? yeah, couldn’t be better. So I grab some paper towels and get to cleaning. Ugh… who needs sleep before crewing all day?

It sure was a pretty view to wake up to though.

It sure was a pretty view to wake up to though.

We awake and head to the start. Nothing too exciting here… just a bunch of people heading out for 100 miles

+1 is there somewhere. Photo by a 9-year-old that clearly is still asleep.

+1 is there somewhere. Photo by a 9-year-old that clearly is still asleep.


And off we headed back to camp. A spot the runners would come through but we could not crew from this time. The kids hung with friends, well except Tru… He got exiled to the car for a much-needed nap. See, here’s where I am a genius (actually not just here, I am a flipping genius always),  I bought an awesome baby monitor. Before our trip last summer I needed a way to leave the children in a place (car, tent) and walk a short distance away (locking said car AND with them strapped in their car seats). If anyone wants in (or out!) I will hear the car AND I can hear if someone in the car wakes up and needs something. So Tru napped, Bigs played, and I watched across the lake for +1. He rolled in, I waved, he didn’t wave back, and we headed to the next spot we could crew from.

Kids and new friends. Life is good. so far...

Kids and new friends. Life is good. so far…

I tried to nap, kids made a mess, I cleaned it up, gave +1 his two new bottles, he ran off, headed to the next spot. My head hurts… Oh the crew life.

Honestly, things were working alright.

The kids passed the time-


A little racing up mountains.

Oh and playing with nasty horse water. SAVE THE BUGS!

Oh and playing with nasty horse water. SAVE THE BUGS!




















I should have offered him his ultimate direction pack with ice in it here, but I didn’t. I promised it at the next crew spot and sent him along. Moving on.

Now +1 can usually be found in the front of the pack at a race. I count on him being near the same people he has been so I can usually judge when he is coming in. Not only that, I can usually look at the distance and elevation (guessing terrain) and guess pretty well when he will be coming in. So when he was late, the kids were pissed. The questions, interrogations really, of when +1 was coming in, where is he, what happened, and WHY oh WHY is he not here yet?!?! began flooding in.

“Snacks, we need snacks lady!”

“No, I need to watch for +1. He can come in any minute!”

Tru falls asleep on my back


Tenny falls asleep on the pavement, basically in the runners way.



Tru wakes up.


Tay who has been holding +1’s pack with ice like a diligent little crew man gives up, hands me the pack, and heads to play.

Finally get word +1 missed a little out and back section and went back to check in at the aid station… Oh goodness this is no good…

Tenny wakes up.


Me- Watching…watching… watching… not +1 not +1 not +1

Oh shit I haven’t seen Tay in a while…send Tea to check on him… OH! There is +1! Tea come help!

He isn’t in the best of moods but also isn’t a disaster like I would have expected. I give him some caffeine, his pack, and food and send him on his way. Tay apparently was building an awesome fort with a friend he had met and was having a great time, thank goodness someone had fun on this stop! On to the next one, and some snacks., lots and lots of snacks.

More fun was had! Apparently sticks and pine cones make for a great crew game of baseball!

Creativity makes the time go by.

Creativity makes the time go by.

Next stop the kids saw their friends from camp and were super stoked to play for a few minutes. I started to notice +1 was making a move up but tried to not show my extreme excitement. The kids had a ton of snacks but were definitely showing signs of the long day.

Somehow shoes became an issue. Crew lady and baby mover, I'm on it.

Somehow shoes became an issue. Crew lady and baby mover, I’m on it.

Back to our horse water/running up a mountain spot from before. We met some nice people who offered my kids a warm shower. Should I be offended or not? The Ladies decided to clean up their hands and feet a little and Tay checked out an awesome conversion van with a pop up. Tru wrecked himself-

"It's blood"

“It’s blood”

PLEASE don't clean it!

PLEASE don’t clean it!













Tenny wrecked herself, and in all the waiting Tru fell asleep on me and +1 came in. Crewing with a sleeping baby in your arms is not so easy. Luckily he isn’t too needy and headed off.

One sleeping kid stayed sleeping, another fell asleep in my arms while waiting in the dark at the next aid station. Said Little Lady who shall remain nameless decided to awake from the dead (asleep) to scream, since clearly she needed to crew +1 and not sleep in the car. Look, it was dark and she fell asleep, I needed hands free. +1 had been slowly moving up and I knew that would only continue. Tea join her in the car, I spotted +1’s light coming in, Tay and I gave him what he needed and set him moving again as fast as we could. I was giddy inside with how well he was doing and that brought a new but of wind to my tired sails.

Now the drive to put everyone to sleep. I had one more spot (campsite) where I could crew him before the finish. For once this crewing journey I was alone and so happy to see my +1 roll in. He had an amazing couple miles and I could tell he was ready to race to the finish. I sent him off again, excited to have my day of crewing with kids coming to and end, and excited to see him finish!

I hoped back in the car…Oh shit, what’s that smell?? Oh yeah.. shit… So Tru and his *poop in him pants while sleeping* last night was special, but again tonight?!? Then it all makes sense, he REFUSED to use a non real bathroom all day AND refused to go outside. Ugh… does he know what family he is a part of?!?! Pooping outside is what we do! So now I find myself at a boat dock restroom in the middle of the night cleaning poop off a toddler I had to stir awake… luckily he was someone cooperative. Off we went to the finish!

Watching +1 finish was amazing. Not only did he wreck the second half (I told you he was talented), but I also managed to pull off crewing with 4 Little People in tow. YAY! Although exhausted from the day, they did (mostly) enjoy spending their day crewing (or is that just the promise of a beach day?).We all survived! With some cuts and bruises maybe, but we survived!

Let me just say it here, Crewing IS harder than racing. Yup that’s right, and I’ll say it to your face! I am tired, sore, and I’m pretty sure I could eat my weight in food. So now I’ll get back to letting the children watch TV while I *try to nap.

My life currently in a panoramic photo.

My life currently, in a panoramic photo.









Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I may break something…

Because that would clearly be productive….

I was always an athletic person. Growing up I played baseball, with the boys. Well, that is until they began throwing the ball AT ME and no longer to me. It was around middle school when I retired from little league, but I was still a swimmer, cheerleader (shocking right?!?!) and baton twirler. I was flexible, strong, and super competitive. I have always HATED running, but when I was 22 my EX and I decided to train for our first half marathon, the Disneyland half (see, I have a Disney problem). Of course I began training and then became pregnant, but I continued to run and finished my first half marathon at 20 weeks pregnant. I will not be telling you my time…

So that makes it about 8 years that I have been running. My running plan has always been; run well for 6 months, get injured and be out for a couple months. Often times it has been this deep nagging ache in my calf that no one has been able to diagnose, once a stress fracture, and another time superficial vein thrombosis (This is not deep vein thrombosis which is very scary… I was told unless it comes back I should not worry… who knows). Basically, I’m a mess. I hate this! I can not stand not being able to run. The mountains are sitting out there, calling me, and I am not patient.

Before I knew that Lululemon Shorty Shorts are ALL you should wear. Sad days...

Before I knew that Lululemon Shorty Shorts are ALL you should wear. Sad days…

Right now I’m sitting staring at how beautiful it is outside. Walking hurts, sitting makes me angry, there is no winning. I’m not sure what it is this time, feels like a stress fracture (which it did with the blood clots the last time), but if I rest for a couple days the pain isn’t as extreme. Ugh… I’m frustrated. Honestly I wonder if the last giant baby I gave birth to (9lbs 8ounces, ouch) messed with my hip alignment and that is causing all my issues. Seems like a good thing to blame, right? So for now I sit, angry, until I get my act together and head to the doctor. *sigh* Oh yes, and that means no Zane Grey for me…


Remembering the days I could run...

Remembering the days I could run…

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

Six Wild and Free

How do I explain what has been going on with me in short? Chaos. I must have been living in some dream world but I honestly never thought I would find myself at 30 with no real possessions, no home, no car, no money, and no education. When I became a full time Mom I believed it was forever and never saw the need to prepare myself to be independent. I get it, I was delusional. In the end I can only blame myself for the terrible spot I am in today. So here I sit trying to decide what I become when I grow up….

My blog will remain Seven Wild and Free, but currently there are only 6 of us. We are Six Wild and Free looking for our number “Seven”. No don’t take “Looking” as waiting around twiddling our thumbs. We are living our lives to the fullest. Adventuring, exploring, and doing epic shit together. If our “Seven” comes along during that time, great. If not, oh well. Now you may ask yourself “but doesn’t she have a +1”?? Why yes, yes I do. My +1 is awesome and has helped me out a ton during this crazy time in my life. Is he “Seven”? I’m not sure yet. I get it, buying in to an existing family with a ton of kids is a lot to take on. Our “Seven” will see how fulfilling a life with us can be and how much my Littles and I have to offer. I made a promise to my Littles that I will not ever marry someone that does not love them as much as I do. That is a promise I will not break. So my little family of 6 is going to continue to be awesome (now that I’ve gotten my shit together somewhat).

Currently I am attempting to train for Zane Grey (yes laugh now). I have been such a mess that no training has happened, well unless you count my 3-4 mile run every Wednesday night leading the group run. So yeah, let’s take a super hard 50 mile, a crazy lady trying to get her life together with ZERO time to run and see what happens. I mean, this should be fun right?? Also let’s add to that, my blood clots seem to be back (superficial vein thrombosis)  and I have no insurance… Yes I’m winning! So who knows whats going to happen. Maybe chaos in your life and loosing everything you thought you had makes you tough enough to run 50 miles with little training? Don’t bet on it, but I promise I’ll try!

I LOVE Zac Brown Band. I have a really awesome memory of a friend who helped me to remember I am special, worthy, and important. One night he sent me this song, it still makes me smile every time I hear it. 🙂

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments


Im sitting at Starbucks while my +1 is racing. It’s one of those silly races that I can do nothing at. No updates, no driving to aid stations, just sitting… waiting… I could have gone for a run but I feel like the blood clots are back in my legs and even running a little hurts (superficial blood clots, not the super scary ones). So Starbucks it is.

You know what’s awesome? Being in a restaurant and having a 2-year-old that has been fine ALL day just vomit. Yup. Now let’s picture this, I am there alone with 5 hungry children. It’s late and we really just need to eat and get “home” (yeah we still don’t have a real home…. story for another day) and head to bed. So, being the awesome Mom I am, I give the loud “oh Honey did you choke on a chip”, trying to save myself and not have to run out of the restaurant. He, said 2-year-old who will remain unnamed is not upset or having issue at all. OF COURSE a certain 8-year-old has to VERY loudly respond to her mother’s rhetorical question “Mommy I don’t think that was because of a chip”- Death Stare to said 8-year-old… Ugh… Did I leave? NO! It was only a little vomit, I was able to clean it up on the sly. 2-year-old just kept shaking his finger at me saying “no more mommy no mommy”. Ok buddy, I get it, you won’t vomit any more. He kept eating, we all laughed and had a great time. Mommy win!

Jump to the next morning, everyone is eating breakfast and Tay asks “Mommy will eating something make me feel better”? “I think so buddy” I respond. I head upstairs to take care of Tru and turn to the bathroom door to see Tay staring at me. That stare only a mother knows “hey buddy you feeling alright…” and before I can finish he has vomited all over the floor. Clearly we are doing well right now. He now feels better, I clean everything up, and drop them off with their Dad. It’s +1’s birthday and we are heading to California for him to race this silly 50k, EXCEPT we BOTH feel terrible too!

So we drive feeling like we are both going to throw up. Try and eat dinner feeling like we are both going to throw up. Sleep in the car feeling like we are both going to throw up. Sit in the car with the heater on at the race start feeling like we are both going to throw up. Then he does, and now he is racing. Because, that’s what you feel like in an ultra, right? Silly boys….

Moral of the story, there is a lot of vomiting going on. AND you may want to stay away from me, I haven’t vomited yet, sorry Starbucks peeps. I’m looking forward to feeling a little better and hanging out in California with +1 having some fun for his birthday!

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Never invite a Grandma up a mountain, and other awesome training trips.

Part on my new training “idea” is that I need to learn to like hills. My usual response to something as small as a speed bump is “oh shoot a hill, I better hike!” and I start walking, slowly. Obviously if I have any thought of doing well at a race this strategy doesn’t work on speed bumps or tiny mole hills. So alas I have decided to make myself like hills, or at least not feel like I have an excuse to be lazy the moment on comes into sight.

My new training plan has started, I will hike as much incline as I can in a matter of a mile or two, with both of my little, Little people on. That’s right, one on my tummy, one of my back, and Tay running ahead as he pleases. The goal here is that going up with 60lbs on is going to suck, I will really appreciate having that 60lbs off and will be more likely to run up the hill (or at least wreck it hiking). So far I have had a few trips with them both on, and I can say that things are always interesting, but when is my life not?

My Mom.

My Mom. The original GramCracker.

My Mom is quite the team player and helps me out a ton. When I was little she would often take myself and my siblings hiking up Squaw Peak (Piestiewa Peak) by herself. I had a brilliant plan of taking all my 5 this weekend and enlisted her to join us. My mom is a busy lady and ended up showing up to join us in jeans while the rest of us were decked out in running clothes, poor choice I thought. We got to the park with cheers from Tru, who apparently loves climbing mountains I assume from his squeal. He went on my tummy and Tenny on my back, and we were moving.

GramCracker and Tea heading up!

GramCracker and Tea heading up!

The Babies and I following behind.

The Babies and I following behind.

Tajh took off and picked places to hang out and wait for us, scaring my mom as he slightly hung off cliffs with a giant smile on his face. After a couple of “get off of there, what are you doing” ‘s I was pretty glad she didn’t see the crazy stuff we were up to this summer. Plenty of people hiked by and told me how “crazy” I was or wanted to have a mini conversation with the crazy lady wearing two kids up a mountain, sorry I gotta breathe. So on we trudged and I began remembering how giant the steps are on the way up and started to think possibly this was a terrible idea (which my bestie Lala had reminded me of earlier. I’m a terrible listener….).

Tenny Taking some "selfies" on the way up.

Tenny Taking some “selfies” on the way up.

I always forget about this tattoo. Thank you Tenny for the reminder!

I always forget about this tattoo. Thank you Tenny for the reminder!




















So the awesome thing when you think you are some decent runner and you spend you summer climbing crazy mountains and living outside? When you you hear your Mom, Grandma to 7 say “oh guys hold on let’s wait for your Mom”. That’s right, my Mom, in jeans and Puma’s, was kicking my ass up the mountain. At some point wearing 60lbs isn’t an excuse… I am fired. So she kicked my ass up, and then back down (I only wear Tru on the way down, Tenny hikes). And I… I am deflated. This would be a true moment when you are put in your place and realize you are NOT the badass you think you are… sigh…

My Sour Patch Kid Tay.

My Sour Patch Kid Tay.

Tajh making GramCracker freak out a little. Photo by Tenny

Tajh making GramCracker freak out a little. Photo by Tenny

My Gang. Tough bunch.

My Gang. Tough bunch.

Ten wrecking the downhill… well not exactly.

Ten wrecking the downhill… well not exactly.

Not sure how this training plan is going to work out, but so far I like it. Hills just look all that much smaller without 2 Little People hitching a ride… But I’m pretty sure my Mom isn’t invite to the next one…


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

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.


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

Blog at