Introduction by Renee Elsdon Jacobs:
Meggie and my friendship is a testament to the “connect” element of the Donner Party Mountain Runners mission (“to inform, inspire, and connect mountain runners in Truckee-Tahoe”). I was so very fortunate that both Meggie and I were metaphorically in the same place at the same time last fall, looking for running buddies while subject to the demands of motherhood. Although I was formally the “leader” of the mid-morning group run, she was definitely the informal co-leader, joining me almost every week, and leading the run when I was unable. Her companionship on the trails was more than I could have possibly asked for, as we both had an interest in exploring trails, had a lot in common and much to talk about, and we both enjoyed running at a very similar pace. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure to meet Meggie, it probably will not be long before you do – both she and her husband are very active DPMR members and attend many group runs and events. If you have the pleasure of joining Meggie on a run, it will certainly be a good one!
Meggie and her husband Chris, running at Waimea Canyon in Kauai
Where are you from and where do you live now?
Born and raised in Tahoe City. After 16 years away (LA, San Diego, Roseville, and Seattle), I feel super blessed to be able to return to the area and now live in Truckee with my husband (Chris Inouye, also a DPMR member) and two young boys (Micah, 3 years old,s and Granite, 6.5 years old) .
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
I started running in high school under the coaching of Warren “Madman” Mills at North Tahoe High School. He has coached cross country for 45 years and led teams to over 30 state championships and many individual titles. Coach Mills taught me to work hard and also that running is a team sport. Running has been a part of my life since high school with just a couple brief hiatus during pregnancies. Looking back on the years, running has been a grounding ritual for me…it’s been like therapy, with each step giving me the mental space to work through life’s transitions.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you?
I do race…which pushes me to run longer distances. But even when not training to race, I’m pretty addicted to the endorphin kick after a good run so would be out there anyways.
Meggie with her boys, Micah & Granite, at the end of the Marlette Lake 50K (photo credit: Chris Inouye)
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)?
My husband and I are registered for the Tahoe 100K in September. We have both done a handful of marathons and 50Ks but this is going to be a huge step up for us. I’m hopeful that we will both finish this race so we can qualify for the Castle Peak 100K next year.
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy and favorite post-run meal or beverage?
This has been a goal of mine to figure out…I usually pack a peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich; homemade sweet potato fries; and an assortment of gummies and gels. I’ve also packed leftover pizza which was amazing. But my all time favorite was when my dad brought me homemade blueberry pie at mile 19 of the Marlette Lake 50K last year! I definitely savored that one. My post-run favorites include anything my husband makes on the grill…he’s an amazing cook.
Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
No specific recipes but I’ve really been enjoying all of the meals I’ve cooked out of the Run Fast Eat Slow Cookbooks by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Each recipe is packed with nutrients that runners need and they don’t skimp on fat so everything is super yummy!
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
1) Last June, I ran the PCT from Sugar Bowl to Squaw with my husband and my dad. It was a gorgeous day with amazing wildflowers and amazing views. My dad turned 73 last year and had a double hip replacement and knee meniscus repair but he is still going. He is as tough as nails and I’m hopeful I’ve inherited that.
2) My husband and I ran the rim of Waimea Canyon in Kauai last September. I wish we had brought a machete as there was super dense overgrown jungle in some areas.
Meggie and her dad, with Squaw in the background, at the end a PCT run from Sugar Bowl to Squaw (photo credit: Chris Inouye)
What was your most challenging/ character-building experience this past year?
There are so many parenting moments this last year that have either made me a better person or showed my flaws. I’m thankful for runs at the end of the day that let me reflect on ways I can improve in parenting.
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
We’ve got permits for a mountaineering trip out of Bishop in early August with hopes to summit Mt. Polemonium (14,080 ft) and Mt. Sill (14,154 ft). I did a lot of mountaineering in my life before kids and like to aim for at least one big trip a year. I also hope to complete all the links of the TRT this summer in preparation for the Tahoe 100K in September.
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
Besides being a full time parent, I’m a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Certified Lactation Educator at the Tahoe Forest Pediatrics clinic. I work just 3 days a week so can run on my days off and otherwise run commute or get up early to run before work (I’m usually not much of an early bird but one of my goals is to show up to as many early morning speed workouts as I can this season). I do my longer runs on the weekends. It’s really tricky to balance work, parenting, and running with my husband who also wants to run… but we are committed to supporting each other and also get a lot of help from our AuPair and our family.
What led you to join the DPMR?
A couple friends recommended the group to me when I moved back to the Tahoe area about 2 years ago. It’s been great to have a growing community of awesome running buddies.
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
Last summer, I ran pretty consistently with the DPMR Wednesday mid-morning crew and got to meet a bunch of amazing runners, many of them are mom’s with young children. I really enjoyed the miles we spent together exploring all over Truckee and North Tahoe.
Favorite local trail?
There are so many great ones…but my all time favorite is the TRT. So many epic views and a well maintained trail that challenges me physically but I don’t have to worry about route finding.
Do you have a mental training technique, mantra, or similar that you rely on to combat the mentally trying times of a longer run?
When I’m really fatigued, I literally talk out loud and tell myself “I can do this” or some variation. I also do a lot of deep breathing that I’ve learned from yoga practice.
Do you listen to audio while you run and if so, what have you been enjoying lately?
I like listening to books when I’m out by myself. I’ve recently enjoyed several inspiring books by Brene Brown. I sometimes listen to music. A recent favorite band for running is Walk The Moon…their beat feels just right for my cadence.
Recovery technique(s) that you swear by?
Jumping in cold water…my favorite being Lake Tahoe!
Do you have a favorite sports bra?
Yes…the Nike Fe/Nom Flyknit Sports Bra. It was $80 but worth every penny IMO.
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
I generally love anything active and outdoors…rock climbing, XC and backcountry skiing, paddle boarding, and backpacking. I also recently learned to knit and bring my knitting projects to my kid’s piano lessons or on road trips. This keeps my hands busy when I have to sit still.
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
I worked as backpacking and climbing instructor the summers before and after graduating from college and slept outside every night under the stars either at our base in Bass Lake or in the Yosemite and Ansel Adams wilderness. My sleeping back was super stinky by the end of the summer!