“Awe Experiences” Adventures in Trail Racing

Hey beautiful people, I’ve been so late in posting to my blog BUT for good reason. Since finding my new thang in trail and mountain running I’ve spent more time living life and less time talking about it. But…I am baaaaaack…to share my “awe experiences” with all you wonderful people.


When I started the year I knew I was going focus more on running and less on triathlon. I knew I was up for doing more things that “scare the $h*t outta me” (my intention for year) but didn’t know how it would unfold. I set a massive goal of closing out my year by racing my first 50-miler mountain/trail run at The North Face Endurance Challenge (TNFEC) San Francisco in December. In my mind every trail race this year is “training” leading up to preparing myself the best I can for TNFEC. So far it’s been an pretty amazing “awe” inspiring adventures where in a few short months I’ve had so many “firsts” and life opening experiences. I’ve done things that I did not know my body could do and so many new adventures that I’ve fallen in love with.

Recently on my flight back to CA the Southwest Magazine caught my eye because of the theme “Leaps of Faith.” Specially I got hooked into this inspiring article The Mountain of Youth by Jay Heinrichs . Here is an excerpt that really sums up where I am at with my trail race experiences…


But on to the nuts-and-bolts of it…My hubby and I “ran” the Mt. Diablo Trial Half-Marathon a few weeks ago. It was a good choice because my in-laws live a mile from the mountain and we consider it “local.” Getting to the start and all that pre-race stuff was seamless. I don’t typically get worked about it. However, when the race started I was off…probably too fast because it didn’t really register in my mind that we running UP A MOUNTAIN. My mind still associates “half-marathon” with speed. Lesson (very much) learned. By around 4 mile (when my HR started to spike) we started the continuous upward trek until we hit mile marker 9 and then it was a downhill plunge. I noticed early on that I would need to adjust my pacing game plan and really slow down. My HR was shooting up too high too early in the race and the temps were climbing well in to the 80’s. I managed to steady myself physically and mentally (ego has no place in a mountain trail race). Mental patience was the name of the game. Also, since this was a week before my 42k I wanted be smart and really use it as training and not get myself in too deep a hole. Mission accomplished. It took me 2:28 to finish (5th AG) and it was great money in the bank for what was to come a week later. Here’s the insane elevation map…It’s pretty badazz to say I raced up a mountain!


Fast-forward a week later to first my first trail marathon! Miner’s Revenge 42k in Cool, CA. Miner’s Revenge 42k came out to about 5,077 ft of climbing and 27.5 miles! This race was epic, life opening, and truly bliss! From the moment I started I was mindful and connected with all the nature and crazy positive energy around me from other racers and volunteers. The race was a lopsided figure eight. From the moment I started the 2nd loop I was totally alone for 9 miles and loved it! I felt like a kid again playing in pouring rain. Sure there were challenging moments like when the Garmin hit 26.2 and I still had no idea where the finish or when it was coming, BUT they were no comparison to spending the whole morning in communing with nature…it was intoxicating! This race really solidified my relationship with trail running. It’s had me dreaming about bigger goals, bigger dreams, and bigger thangs! Here what  5,000+ ft of climbing and 27 miles and change looks like..BOOM! I finished in just under 6 hrs and 3rd Overall Female…Craziness!


So my question for you is…when was the last time you did something for the first time? And when was the last time you felt ALIVE and in “awe” of life? What really makes you come alive and connect to your humanness?

Trial running has answered those questions for me lately. My friend, trail-running mentor and co-woker Janet started planting these seeds in me long ago and they’ve finally sprouted! Trust me if you would have asked me a year ago if I would run a trail marathon (technically an ultra because it’s over 26.2 right?!) I would have said HELL NO! Never say never because when faith and life call for a change…ANWSER! Because there really is a greater good on the other side but you have to have faith to trust enough to have the courage to change. Change is not a bad thing if it brings more “awe experiences” in life…

Keep reaching for your peak beautiful people and SHINE SHINE SHINE ON!

-Dr. G

My hubster and I at Mt.Diablo Half-Marathon


Me, Janet, and Race Director, Anthony at Miners Revenge 42k!
BIG BIG BIG goals are a cookin’

BIG BIG BIG goals are a cookin'
BIG BIG BIG goals are a cookin’

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Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is a clinical sport psychologist, triathlete, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California. She works with elite athletes and sports teams across the country. She is a competitive athlete and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family, and traveling.