Intro by Jeff Brown:
The melting pot of DPMR has facilitated friendships that would have never previously occurred. Cue the Peter Fain-inspired Wednesday morning speed sessions that have introduced a discipline also not likely to have otherwise developed and the opportunity to find amazing people of similar speed and interest. Once the dust settles and speedsters are gone, the mid-pack (generously in my case) was consistently a group of myself, JP Prince, Leslie Dellamonica and Kim Yamauchi among others; though JP’s participation was more out interest in conversation than inability to hang with the front pack.
From these sessions came ideas for weekend adventures that have manifested in many different ways. In addition to climbs up Cold Stream to Tinkers Knob and trips through the tunnels, our most radical adventure was a midnight, full-moon voyage along the PCT from Judah to Squaw in order to catch the start of Western States. The combination of distance, darkness and delirium yielded many unguarded conversations and revealed fascinating backstories including Kim’s time as a gymnast, previously owned businesses (Blizzards) and tons of anecdotes about her tightly-knit family. Kim is always up the adventure and great company on the trail. I’m eternally grateful to DPMR for the opportunity to meet and befriend so many amazing people in our community.
Intro by JP Prince:
One of my favorite things about DPMR is the people I have met . Kim is one of them. When I know Kim will be at Wednesday morning workouts or a group run I know a couple of things will happen: we will share some laughs, work hard, be pushed. Kim has improved my outlook on life and my running. If you get a chance, meet her and share some miles. It’s worth it .
Where are you from and where do you live now?
We moved around a lot growing up. I was born in Cleveland, then moved to Buffalo, Minnesota, and finally Southern Ohio (think Hillbilly Ellegy, Armco Steel, and Middletown, Ohio). We finally settled in Dayton, Ohio when I was in middle school and stayed for High School. My mother still lives in Dayton. I went on to “The” Ohio State University (OSU), but then had the itch to go west. Shortly after graduation from OSU I moved to San Francisco, and then fell in love with Tahoe. When my husband’s job took us to Chicago, we bought a vacation house in Tahoe Donner that we shared with his sister. Finally, 17 years later, we moved back to California, and made it as far as Truckee. We decided to give this area a try, as our kids were entering High School, and it was the best decision we ever made. We’ve been here full-time since 2012, and we love being part of this community.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies?
I started running when I “retired” from my gymnastics career. I walked-on to the OSU team, and then decided I was no longer interested in pursuing the sport at the collegiate level. I needed something to keep me active and in-shape, so I turned to running. I loved the time efficient workout and soon loved the freedom and simplicity of running. I haven’t stopped since, other than during injuries. My “distance running” has consisted of 7 marathons (the first one was to celebrate turning 30) and numerous half-marathons. I now run exclusively on trails, and don’t see myself ever racing on the roads again. Trail running is my sanctuary. It quiets my soul and brings me peace.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you?
I do race but haven’t raced as much these past years. I’ve done a few 30Ks, which I think is a good distance for me. I thought I wanted to attempt longer – 100K but missed the time on the mountain bike with my husband and family. The 30K distance is definitely more manageable, and still leaves plenty of time for other activities. I did run the Broken Arrow Skyrace 26K this year and loved that race (more later)!
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)?
I’m registered again for Broken Arrow, which will be in June this year. I haven’t put any other running races on my calendar, but I do have a couple bike events on my calendar.
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy and favorite post-run meal or beverage?
My stomach (and my gut) tends to act up on me during long runs, which has really been my limiting factor in going long. I do know that dairy is not good for me, and gluten seems to also cause problems. So, when I’m running a lot, I limit these types of foods. On my runs, I tend to like “real food” – my energy balls that I make myself are awesome. I use Skratch for hydration and Tailwind for recovery. And my favorite post run food – either my husband’s fried rice or a runny egg over roasted sweet potatoes and kale! Plus, a huge cup of coffee!
Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
My energy balls really power me through long runs and bike rides. They are super simple to whip up and are delicious.
- 1c dry oatmeal
- 2/3c coconut flakes
- 1/2c peanut butter
- 1/2c ground flaxseed
- 1/2c chocolate chips (I use mini)
- 1/3c honey
- 1TBS chia seeds
- 1tsp vanilla extract
Mix everything together and let set in fridge for ~1/2 hour. Roll into small balls, about 1” in size. Store in air-tight container in fridge. I often cut this recipe in half.
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
I had a couple great running experiences, and I’m going to mention 2:
- The first was running from Sugar Bowl to Palisades with JP and Jeff Brown. We left Sugar Bowl at 1AM and the goal was to finish at the escarpment at the top of Palisades to see the Western States runners coming through. It was such a cool night run, the weather was perfect, and our paces were very similar. We were a good crew. We made it to the escarpment right around 5am, just as the sun was coming up, and waited about 30 min for the first Western States runners to come through. There was a huge crowd at the escarpment – plenty of DPMR runners cheering. It was truly amazing to see the energy at 5AM, and the sunrise was especially beautiful.
- My second memorable experience this year was running Broken Arrow 26K. It was my first race in a few years due to Covid. Obviously with the October timing, and our summer wildfires, I did not feel completely prepared, but figured I could knock out the 26K, even if I had to walk. JP, Jeff, and I started together, but ended up running our own race. As I was “hiking” up Red Dog Ridge, there was a little voice behind me, asking if I am “Kim Yamauchi”. It ended up being a very close friend of my nephew Richard. We lost Richard in 2010 to a skiing accident but continue to be close with many of his friends. Ana Garcia was one of his childhood friends. She and I ran together for a while, catching up. When I looked through the race photos, there was one of Ana and me running together, through Richard’s “playground”. He loved skiing at Squaw more than anything else in the world, and this was such an emotional moment and unbelievable that it was captured as a photo to enjoy.
What was your most challenging/character building experience this past year?
I think the character building and challenging moments this year were the terrible wildfires and the smoke. So many of us were in the same situation. Wanting to help, but now knowing how. Wanting to do our training and workouts, but also knowing it was not ideal to do so. I felt so helpless in what I could do, to help those in need. I felt for our beautiful forests and the animals that were losing their homes, the many people that lost their homes, and even those that were displaced for long periods, not knowing whether their homes were still standing or destroyed. If we think back, it started around July 4th with the fire near Sierraville. Later that month, Markleville caught on fire the evening before the Death Ride, and then of course the huge Dixie and Caldor fires that kept creeping closer to Tahoe and lasting for several unfortunate months.
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
I will definitely be running the Broken Arrow 26K again. The single loop was a great distance, still challenging, but completely enjoyable. The 2022 race is scheduled for June, so based upon our recent snowfall, there will most likely be snow on the course, so adding another element to the challenge. I’ve also signed up for the Durango Iron Horse Bike Race in May, the Steamboat Gravel Bike Race in August, and most likely the Northstar 100K mountain bike race in July. My brother and I are trying to enter the Cape Epic mountain bike race in S. Africa, for March 2023, so I will be increasing my bike training for the next 15 months. That race is a partner, 8-day stage race, so definitely a challenging, but exciting goal.
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
I work for NetSuite, a division of Oracle. My best time for training is in the AM, before I start work, but sometimes I get early calls put on my calendar, which of course messes with my AM workouts! Prior to covid, I was traveling about 50% of the time, so that did make training challenging. I’m not fond of working out indoors, so it is hard for me to motivate for the hotel gym. I’ll often take my running shoes and find somewhere enjoyable to run for an hour when traveling.
What led you to DPMR?
When I was living in SF, I ran with the Impala’s. It’s an all-women running team, and I loved the experience. When we were in Chicago, I put together a small group of women that trained together for ½ Ironman and running events. I love training with groups of people, had heard about DPMR, so I looked into the group. I’m so happy to have found this group of amazing and interesting people. Running with a group is so much better than running alone!
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
I think my favorite experiences are the early morning coached workouts. Unfortunately, I haven’t made many social outings with the group, but hope to participate in some of those as well. Helping out at one of the aid stations for the CastlePeak 100K was a pretty cool and fun experience.
Favorite local trail?
This is a tough one, as there are so many wonderful trails in Tahoe. I love the DLRT in Tahoe Donner from Bermgarten to Glacier Way. The views of the Pacific Crest and Donner Lake are spectacular. I also love running into Euer Valley. There are many great trails, and this is literally in my back yard. The Lake Tahoe Rim Trail is beautiful and is one of my goals: to hit each section. I’ve hiked, run, and biked many of these sections, but want to complete the circle. Last years fire season prevented me from completing this goal but hope to get this accomplished in 2022.
Do you have a mental training technique, mantra, or similar that you rely on to combat the mentally trying times of a longer run?
For so many years, I’ve used Nike’s slogan “Just Do It”. As I crawl out of bed, wanting another 15 min of shut eye, I tell myself, “Just Do It”, and keep moving. If I question “why”, I can easily talk myself out of whatever I’m trying to do. And when the running gets tough, again, “Just Do It”.
Do you listen to audio while you run and if so, what have you been enjoying lately?
I do have some music on Spotify that I’ll listen to. My daughter put together a playlist called “Run Momma Run” with some good 90’s rock, and some newer music as well. It’s a nice mix. But lately it’s mostly podcasts. Sometimes it’s NPRs “Up First” or the NYTimes “The Daily” to keep me up to date on the latest happenings. For running podcasts, I like “Trail Society” with Hilary Allen, Keely Henninger, and Corrine Malcolm. “Smartless” with Jason Batemen is good humor. Also, “The Adventure Stache” with Payson McElveen, “Breakfast with Boz”, Ian Boswell, and a few other NPR staples such as “How I Built This” and “Hidden Brain”.
Recovery technique(s) that you swear by?
Foam rollers, Thera-Gun, Peloton Yoga, and SLEEP!
Do you have a favorite piece of running gear?
Hmmm, new running “things” keep me motivated and excited to run. I got a new Salomon running vest from the Broken Arrow Sky Race and have been trying it out on some of my longer runs. I like the two soft water bottles in the front, so I can put water in one, and Skratch in the second. There’s room for some snacks, and space in the back if I need to stash a jacket. As far as running clothing, my go-to running clothing is Lululemon, simply because I like the fit. But, if I’m looking to shop local, I always head to Tahoe Mountain Sports. They have great clothing and gear, and a super helpful staff. They carry Vuori which is making some great active apparel, and the fabric is incredible.
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
I’ve mentioned biking previously, and it’s really my other passion in the warmer months. I just love to be on trails whether it’s running or mountain biking. My family mostly bikes so family activities tend to be biking. When my daughter is home, I can get her to run with me, but she’s now become too fast (or I’m becoming too slow) for us to run together. In the winter months, I love to Nordic/skate ski and backcountry skiing.
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
Haha, I’m not sure how many people know this, but we owned the Dairy Queen (DQ) in Truckee for a few years. (That’s actually how I met JP. He did electrical work for us.) My husband wanted to buy the DQ (since it was one of a few drive-thru’s in Truckee) and wanted to convert it to something cool and hip, but we soon realized the investment in time and energy more than we anticipated. We had hired his nephew to run the DQ, but he left when his wife was accepted into ophthalmology school at USC. I then ended up managing it and finally convinced my husband to sell it. I think we owned it from 2013-2016, and now I’m back in the tech world.
We’ve owned a home in Truckee since 1998 and have lived here full-time since 2012. Our son graduated from Truckee High in 2016 and our daughter graduated from North Tahoe High School in 2018. They both went on to college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo studying engineering (aerospace and architecture). We enjoy San Luis Obispo and visiting them there.