6 Month Mark, WS 100 training camp, Running just for the love of it.

Posted by Jen on May 28, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Ok, well here we are,  a bit over 24 weeks pregnant. I  have to say this pregnancy is zooming along.  The pace of life is keeping me going.  My biggest struggles have been a few things-1) work responsibilities are growing as big as my belly (i.e. travel, then a 70 hour work week on the East Coast is getting harder and my heart breaks to leave my daughter more than ever), 2) The realization that I cannot and will not be able to do everything once this baby arrives mean I am more reflective now than ever about how I want to prioritize my life and 3) on a very superficial but related to running note,  I struggle with accepting the needed pregnancy weight gain.  They say when you have a breakdown, you have a breakthrough.  Much could be said about juggling so much you begin to crave simplicity- running in the mountains, being a mom, productions with Journeyfilm are still the most important things.   More on that later- but let’s just say, I am looking at my life no longer through only my eyes, but now with the vision of my two kiddos. I want them to be clear who their mama is.

Smores of course

Smores of course


The pregnancy health wise, has been spectacular thus far- I only had one little scare when I thought I had appendicitis, but later confirmed, no in fact, it was massive acid reflux.  A lot of Pepcid AC later, and I am back on track.  At 6 months, my scale is telling me I weigh about 16 pounds more than training weight and 19 pounds more than racing weight.  I can honestly say I have never eaten more clean however- and often wake up wanting only greens and blueberries. So this amount of gain perplexes me.  But just this week, I made peace with it and have stopped complaining (sorry JB). I don’t feel super heavy- though I notice it much more on the steep climbs on the trails more than any other time.  I am trying to just accept that yes, I will gain about 35 pounds in total and just like with Eva, I will lose them again.  The major difference is that my belly is smaller this time round- maybe its that whole boy vs. girl thing or its just plain different.  That only means one thing thus far- I haven’t had to break out the running support belt yet.   I’m sure its coming.  I do feel more fit this time and so I am grateful for that.  Running volume isn’t much- still about 30-40 miles a week.  But usually 30.  I am trying to keep up squats, side lunges, push ups, side planks, tricep work about 2-3 days a week.  I am also getting ready to take some ballet/barre core classes and other ways to diversify and keep it fun in the summer heat.

Robinson Flat, Eva ready to run

Robinson Flat, Eva ready to run

Finally, the greatest weekend of the year happened to be just last weekend at the Western States 100 training camp.  JB, Eva, Luna (the pup) and myself loaded up our camper trailer (the new HQ for Journeyfilm’s traveling TraiLive show) and we headed to Robinson flat.  JB did the bulk of the running with a 20, 48, 5, 20 mile sequential days of running on the trail. I ran each day on the course and found my favorite section by working hard to get up from the creek below Duncan Canyon to Robinrson flat. I also got to enjoy views, stop and look around and basically do all the things you don’t get to appreciate during the race.   I reminisced about my race last year- how fit I actually was (I ran most of the Robinson climb compared to my hiking last weekend) and what went wrong.  It occurred to me that for some reason Western States is the only 100 mile race I have started, but haven’t finished.  Twice.  The first year was major sickness that should have been a DNS, but last year was my infamous myriad of mistakes led to DNF at mile 80.  I thought about what it means to put it all together- be smart, be fit, minimize the little mistakes.  Pam Smith- your name came up as doing that so well.  I relished the footsteps I was taking on the course, the mending of my mind and the forgiveness of myself for such a lousy race last year.  I came away with that level of stoke that you get right before something great happens or maybe that feeling you get heading into a race that goes well.  It was so amazing to be so simple and to sleep under the pines with no particular pressure of my own.  I could feel the excitement of the other runners and for this year, that will do just fine.  I promised myself that I will be back to that race- maybe next year if I don’t get into Hardrock 100.  I will make it right.

JB along the WS trail

JB along the WS trail

The other major accomplishment this past weekend,  is that Eva did the Little Bald loop from Robinson- all 4 miles and 1400 feet of climbing all by herself- much of it running.  She would say things like- “Mommy, isn’t this a beautiful view?” or “Mommy watch me run over these rocks.”  She’s a wild child- her technical downhill skills are pretty dang awesome.  No fear, pure foot rhythm and feel.  What a joy to watch.

So Hokas are so comfy, Luna can sleep on them

So Hokas are so comfy, Luna can sleep on them

Next up is crewing at WS100 and then a major road trip to Hardrock. Wishing the WS runners a bit more of a push in their training and then a successful and happy taper.  See you at the race.


Sarah Lavender Smith
May 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Big kudos to you for getting out a blog post! I have let my blog go dormant because my life is crazy busy now too, so the blog is the first thing to go. I’m impressed and inspired you carved out time to write and chronicle how you’re doing. Don’t worry about the weight gain! I was as big as a house with my second kid but it all came off as soon as he started nursing and I re-started running — nursing + running = a furnace burning calories like nothing else! Hope to see you at HR (I’m pacing Betsy Nye).

Jun 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Thanks Sarah!! Wise advice- and I know better about the old nursing +running equation. It really does burn everything right off- good reminder. So looking forward to seeing you at HR. Pacing Betsy should be so fun and a wonderful way to see the course. I’m sure I will want to run that race even more after being there this summer. See you soon!


Jun 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Oh dang, I would have loved to say “hi” at the WS Training run! I was there on day one and man, that run is by far my most favorite stretch! It was gorgeous out that day. Absolutely gorgeous. Congrats on your continued mileage and distance. Your daughter’s run amazes me! I have two lil girls myself and my oldest (6) does not like to run … maybe some day she’ll want to go see those amazing views with me too. :) As for your struggle, I still struggle to this day in a job that pays the bills but isn’t what I love – I hope to instill in my girls that they follow their passions early in life. Funny how you no longer view life through your own eyes once you have kids … my eyes want to provide for them 100% and give them a solid future even if I am sacrificing just a little. I hope to be out at WS weekend too, somewhere!
Looking forward to the film!!! ;)

Jun 15, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Crazy Lady! I DON’T know how you keep up your pace, but I do admire your determination and I love to read your thoughtful reflections! Keep us posted, and I have one more name suggestion….drumroll…….Journey! Specifically, Journey Bruno Benna, which would hallmark two remarkable journeys in one name and would be kind of a twist on the tradition of having a “junior”……Journey Bruno Benna, would be J.B.B., the “B”, to follow his fatherJ.B.
Just saying….you’re in my thoughts and prayers ;-), xoxoxo




Copyright © 2015 A Girl’s Guide to Trail Running.

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