Tag Archives: family

Ultra Crew 101

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My husband wrote a race recap about SD50 a few weekends ago.  That is from his perspective which is very introspective.  You should read it.  His race report made me want to write a how to for those of you who are helping your runner.  Some tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the past few years as a crew member.

I want to break this down into 3 parts, before the race, during the race and after, so I’ll probably make it 3 separate posts to keep from being overwhelming.

Before the race, your runner should be doing training.  I have found it a good idea to take note of what my runner is taking to eat and drink on their long runs and try to remember what they said worked and what didn’t work.  While most people are pretty good about knowing what works for their stomach, its a good idea for the crew to know also, just in case things go down hill for your runner mentally.

If you can, try to be conscious of the time it takes for your runner to complete their long runs.  It will give you a good idea of their pace so you can gauge how soon to meet them at aid stations during the race.  I would err on the side of quicker rather than slower, especially in the beginning of the race because of race jitters and pack mentality.  It doesn’t seem to be too uncommon for people to start the race faster than ending.

Pay attention to the “other” things your runner does to prepare for a race.  Do they apply sunscreen or body lubricant?  Do they always put tape on their heel to avoid blisters?  All those things are important to know to double check before the race.  A lot of times those things start super early and pre-race nerves can make it easy to forget, so being able to double check that your runner put a bandaid on their pinky toe will go a long way to making sure its a “comfortable” race.

Things not related to your runner that are helpful.  Pack your own crew bag or make sure you are there when the bag is packed.  Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find things when your runner is trying to get in and out of the aid station quickly.  Take a look at the crew access points along the race.  Map them!  Have a good understanding of how long it will take you compared to how long it should take your runner so you know if you have to rush or if you can take your time.  For some of you, it may be helpful to study the actual course also.  Know where the big climbs are or how long between aid stations.  Your runner may find that helpful during the race, being able to get that kind of information quickly.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn being a crew member is that I’m not only responsible for my runner but for me also.  I have to manage meeting my runner, taking care of their needs and making sure they have the best race possible, but that is really hard to do if you’re hungry!  You have to make sure you have what you need also.  The two biggest ones are something to do while you’re waiting and food.  If you don’t think there will be places to stop or you won’t have time to stop, buy snacks or keep a cooler with you so you can have food.  I know the aid stations have food, but that is for the runners to get them through the race, so I never ask them for something to eat.  If the crew is having a bad race, that can directly effect the runner, I know from experience.


Stay tuned for part 2, during the race!


A Slow Start

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A Slow Start


Today started slow. After sleeping in accidentally and having to wait a super long time to have a TB test, not much has been accomplished fitness wise today. I did take my measurements though, so at least that is done.

It would be nice if it weren’t 110 degrees outside so I could walk my son to and from school, but the sun is a killer right now. Hopefully it will start to cool off soon.

I did get a walk in to and from soccer practice. Impressive, I know! Tomorrow is a new day!


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I have a confession… My husband is an ultra-runner.

That being said, race season is about to be in full swing and as his wife, I’m proud to be lead crew member for his ultras. Can I put that on my resume? Anyway, with race season quickly approaching, I thought I’d share a few projects, some tips and lessons learned from our ultra-experiences.

First- the bandana.  We went to Angeles Crest 100 last year to work an aid station and kept seeing all these people wearing bandanas full of ice.  My first ultra-project is to make one of those before PCT50 (in two weeks).  I’m certain it will be fairly easy, but I’ll take pictures along the way in case you want to make one too.

Next will be our reconfigured crew bag.  I think we have a bit before that will become a big issue because PCT has minimal crew access, but in the long run, I need to figure out a fast system to have everything quickly accessible and portable.  We have Telluride and Kodiak coming up where I think having a well-organized bag will be essential.

Also, creating kind of a cheat sheet on crewing for my husband, his family is planning to attend his last two big races and I’m sure they will have lots of questions and also I want to make sure they understand how to interact with him at aid stations.

Lastly, the ongoing project of creating our Bib Book, I’m trying to find a way to scrapbook our bibs (all 3 of ours).  I’ve tried several different size scrapbooks but haven’t really found a system I like.  I’m currently trying to use a photo album/ scrapbook hybrid (project life) method, and I think it will work if I can just sit down and take time to find/print pictures from our races.

Ideas that are in my head but may not translate to actual projects: pace bracelet, medal hanger, head bands, and race t-shirt refashions.

Stay tuned!


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We went to try a new restaurant in town.  The kitchen was so slow, we had to make silly faces to pass the time.



The windshield of my car cracked.  I guess it was bound to happen since I commute 132 miles a day for work. Not happy about it, but I’m honestly surprised that’s the worst that has happened in the year I’ve been driving that far.


The salad I had 4 out of 5 days for lunch.  Delicious! Grilled chicken, pecans, dried cranberries, spinach, nectarine with poppy seed dressing.


The boy’s first time riding some kind of amusement ride by himself.  He was just barely tall enough and since mom didn’t want to get wet, he got to go by himself!


My first review as am Ambassador for ramblen.co, it isn’t live yet, but it will be soon.  I’ll fill you in more about ramblen.co in a later blog post.

What do you do with the pictures on your phone?

16 Things Saturday

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Inspiration for this post comes from runningoffthereeses, I did not come up with this topic idea myself, though the things are my own.

1.       It’s a holiday weekend!  I love long weekends because it almost makes my commute tolerable if I only have to do it 4 times in the week.  I’d love to have Wednesdays off so I only have to commute 2 days in a row at any given time.  Fat chance thanks to being the Secretary and having to answer phones…  My bosses are flexible enough that I’m sure they’d be okay with it if one of my primary functions wasn’t making sure no one ever hears a voicemail message.

2.       I’ve followed my training plan 50% better this week than I have since starting the plan.  I’ve actually made myself get out of bed early on the days the piece of paper tells me I have to.  I’m not at 100% following it because I haven’t followed the distance it demands, but I have already done better this week than last week.  My goal is to complete my ENTIRE long run tomorrow.  If I do that, I’d consider this week a success.

3.       I drove through a wall of cloud on my way to work this morning.  Only a tiny bit of rain…


4.       12 Things Successful Women Do Differently.  I need to work on 1, 6, and 10.  I’ve got 2, 4, and 9 down!

5.      The world’s quietest room that will drive you crazy in 45 minutes.

6.       I need a manicure, really badly.


7.      JT as the riddler… I don’t see it.  I don’t buy off on Ben Affleck as Batman either though.

8.       I’m sad.  SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance) and ANW (American Ninja Warrior) are both ending in the next few weeks.  I won’t have anything to watch until the Voice comes back on (Sept 23).  I’m not excited that Christina and Cee Lo are back; I loved Shakira and Usher as coaches.  I am excited to get to stare at Adam Levine several times a week!

9.       The newest blog added to my list of daily reads. www.itsadoglickbabyworld.com  I think she’s hilarious and has managed to balance being a mom and an ultra-runner, amazing.

10.   9 this Saturday doesn’t sound as good, but getting to 16 going to be tough.

11.   My husband wants another dog.  We have a big dog and he wants an even bigger dog.  A Rhodesian Ridgeback.  I’m not down.

image courtesy of Google Images.

12.   We made it 2 days into Kindergarten without getting a phone call from the teacher.  I think I’ll have to keep a tally of how long we can go without the teacher calling. I thought we’d make it through the first week…  We apparently are parents of the class clown, already.

13.   I bought a Vitamix.  Now I can make my own almond butter and my smoothies will be blended to perfection with the 2HP motor.  I’m not really sure what else I will use it for just yet, but I’m sure with what I paid for it, I will find A LOT of things to blend.

14.   Ann Trason is running a 100 miler today.  I’m nervous and excited for her.  She’s a Legend!

15.   This bird is a jerk.  She’ll act like she wants your attention and then when you get close, she’ll try to take a chunk of skin out of your body.  Well, only to me, she likes everyone else, making her a double jerk.


16.   In the next few weeks I’m going on a picture frame hunt.  I want to make a picture frame accent wall in my living room.  There are so many thrift shops that I should be able to find second hand ones in various sizes and designs.  I think I will paint them all black unless I find a whole bunch of eclectic frames that will work together in their original states.  That would be ideal, but I know how unlikely that would be.

from Google Images.

What are you looking forward to this long weekend?

Idyllwild Weekend

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We had a great time this past weekend. We spend two nights at the Strawberry Creek Bunkhouse in Idyllwild CA. We had a cozy two room “suite” with a kitchenette and a small back deck. The main room had the tv, desk and bed and small table with two chairs. Attached to the main room was the kitchenette, bathroom (through to the other bedroom) and the other bedroom (with two twin beds). I was super impressed with the stocked kitchen; there was real creamer in the fridge! None of that gross non-dairy powdered stuff, they also provided a basket breakfast with the room charge. The breakfast consisted of a homemade scone, a packet of organic instant oatmeal, an apple and a juice box per person. The only downside to relying on them for breakfast, they didn’t deliver to your room until after 9am. Who waits that long to eat breakfast? We ended up eating at Jo Ans for breakfast and using our breakfast as snacks later in the day, delicious none the less. They are also pet friendly, the whole town is, which makes it nice that we can take our dog with us for once.

A Cozy Room for the Weekend

A Cozy Room for the Weekend


I had plenty of opportunities to take pictures, but it seems that my phone was always in my son’s hands and not mine when I needed it to be. I’m working on getting pictures of things I might want to write about.

On Saturday we went for a hike, uphill… I’m out of shape it turns out! We made a round trip of 3 miles, 1.5 miles up and 1.5 miles back down. In the middle we stopped and had a picnic of apples and Gatorade. About a mile in, the boy was getting tired more and more often, so I think we pretty much found his limit when it comes to hiking.

Puppy, by Tyler

Puppy, by Tyler

After our hike we came back to the room to rest a bit and then Tyler and I went to Earth ‘N Fire to paint some pottery. Tyler picked a dog statue and I picked a tea pot. We spend a good 20 minutes painting our pottery (yes, I thought it would take longer) and then we were on our way. We had dinner at Idyllwild Pizza Co and called it a night. I have to say the pizza was good (pizza isn’t one of my favorite foods to begin with) but the cheese breadsticks were fantastic! I highly recommend them!Breakfast at Oma's

Sunday we had breakfast at Oma’s Bakery where the dog was able to join us. My only issue with Oma’s is they don’t have a kids menu or even smaller portion options. The side of eggs was 3 eggs! Our dog had a fabulous breakfast after we were done eating! After breakfast we played at the playground a bit, and then went back to the room to pack and check out. After check out we walked around town, browsed a few shops, picked up our pottery and headed homeward. My husband had a long run, so we didn’t hang around town too long since he had to be back to San Diego that evening. You can read about his run here if you’re interested.

This is our second visit to Idyllwild and it was no less impressive this time. I loved the drastic temperature difference than the desert. I also enjoyed being able to open the windows at night, although it didn’t help with my allergies all that much. I think if we knew we were going to stay in this area long term, Idyllwild is where we would settle.

Where would you build your dream house?

5 Things Friday

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Based off the hit blog post by Running off the Reese’s 15 Things Friday; Here’s my version… 5 Things Friday!

1. We are going to volunteer at Angela’s Crest 100 this weekend. Working an aid station about half way. EXCITED!!


2. I can’t believe they cut both the tappers on SYTYCD. I think the girls were equally matched and they should have gotten rid of the jazz chick. Dance Style Discrimination!


3. I lost 1 measly pound this week. I’m at 7 total… 52 more pounds to go!

4.  If I ever have a wedding, I’m getting married under chocolate.  From Discovery News: Sweet Structure Engineered From Chocolate.


5. I’m not sure where I saw these first, may have been Pinterest, but they are pretty cute! From Mr. Printables