Monday, April 16, 2007

The Candyman Can

At the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA. I was a little worried that the giant Jelly Belly would reach down, grab me with its giant jelly fingers, and eat me. The bunny ears did nothing to hide its sinister smile.

A slightly less menacing Jelly Belly. This one was creepy because I kept seeing the human underneath. Everytime I glimpsed human eyes (through the smile), I thought about how much he or she probably hated taking pictures with visitors like me. Sorry, giant jelly bean!

The Scharffen Berger factory in Berkeley was definitely an improvement. No anthropomorphized candy, just good old-fashioned free samples, and lots of them. The whole block smelled was like the building was surrounded with a chocolate cloud, and I even wanted to gnaw on the brick walls. I can honestly say the Scharffen Berger bathroom was the best-smelling bathroom I've ever been in.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

SJT 50k: Why You Gotta Hate?

This past weekend I ran the San Juan Trail 50k in Cleveland National Forest. This race chewed me up, spit me out, threw me down some gnarly, rocky hills, and then spat in my face. Highlights include a 10-mile uphill grind between aid stations, a "bridge" consisting of approximately five twigs, none of which could support the weight of a toddler, and the infamous "Stairway to Heaven," a 1.5-mile vertical climb that took me over 30 minutes. I kept trying to throw myself over the cliff to end the torture, but it was so foggy I couldn't find the edge. However, I eventually finished, and my noble valet was at the finish to capture the glory.

It was foggy, pea soup-style, the whole race. The weather was actually awesome (I was worried it would be really hot) but at times discouraging--there was no view to speak of, and on some uphill sections, the lack of frontal vision made it seem like we were on a satanic treadmill, going nowhere.

Who's that coming through the finish, and why is she so foxy?

The agony and the ecstasy.

Oatmeal Cookies: Post-Race Recovery Food of Champions.

Accepting my award for First Place in Age Group (Women under 29). "I'd like to thank all the lazy 20-somethings who don't race ultras...please continue to not attend so that I can keep winning." (Seriously, once I reach 30, I'm toast).

This silver fox is Baz, the race director. He also directs my favorite race, the Shadow of the Giants 50k. His races are consistently beautiful, low-key, and uber-friendly.

This is how I rock cold weather gear. One pair of sweats was not enough for the drive home, so Jason's pajamas were borrowed. The result was, as my friend Tyra Banks would say, "Fieeeerce."