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Trout on the move after series win

After inspiring Placer students with her running, teacher is headed to San Jose
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Tatjana Trout has been stressed out, exasperated, even depressed in recent weeks. Weighing major, life-changing decisions will do that to a person. But she’s got a surefire cure for her anxiety waiting right outside her front door. “When you’re out exercising you don’t worry about anything,” said Trout, who was busy packing boxes at her Meadow Vista home this week. A French and German teacher at Placer High for the past five years, Trout officially resigned Thursday after learning her position was being reduced to part-time. She accepted a teaching job in Campbell and is saying good-bye to the people — and the trails — she’s cherished in the Sierra foothills. The move won’t keep Trout off the trails this summer. She recently won the XTERRA Trail Run Series Northern California title for her age 40-45 division and earned a free entry to the XTERRA National Championships in September. She won the three-race series despite not finishing the final race after an asthma attack one mile in left her unable to compete. “I had a massive asthma attack and that was a bummer because I think I had a good chance to win it,” Trout said. “I’m not a quitter. It was very embarrassing and I was very angry.” Trout was comforted when she learned her two runner-up finishes at the Chanoko Enduro race in Granite Bay and the Redwood Peak Trail 17K earlier this spring propelled her to the series crown. The 43-year-old native of Austria has grown increasingly competitive in endurance events over the past three years. She’s been a regular at local duathlons and raced to an overall victory at the Luna Bar Duathlon at Rancho Seco Park last September. But this year, she’s focused on trail running, with impressive results. Her husband Jeff, a former triathlete, acts as her coach and motivator. Trout said she strives to do well in competition, but she’s still out there to have fun. “I take it seriously, but it’s not like there’s millions of dollars at stake,” she said. “It’s fun. I know some of the women in my age group and we egg each other on. But I enjoy the scenery and when you’re done, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment.” Trout said she tries to stress to her students the importance of mental and physical exercise. She pointed out that learning a new language is one of the best ways to keep the brain sharp, while exercising is good for the body and helps give Trout peace of mind. “I tell them you have to train your body just like you train your mind by studying,” Trout said. “You have to work at it.” Trout has plans to jump back into duathlons and maybe even triathlons in the future. But her immediate focus will be the XTerra National Championships in Bend, Ore. at the end of the summer. The half-marathon will be the biggest test of her racing career. But after the uncertainty of this spring, spending a couple more hours on the trail will be a vacation of sorts. “I’ve gotten this far and my (students) are very proud,” Trout said of her Placer pupils. “I’ll miss the kids and I’ll miss Placer. I’m going to Campbell and it’s a great district, I just wish it was right around the corner.”