Five days till the 50!! Yippee Skippy!

“Do the work. Do the analysis. But feel your run. Feel your race. Feel the joy that is running.”

~Kara Goucher

The clock is ticking…….Is it me, or does Spring seem to be flying by??!? I love spending Memorial Day weekend with family and friends at the Pinelands Trail Festival, so pumped that this weekend is right around the corner! It’s such a great race, endless distances from a 1k kids race to a 50 miler.  The vibe in Maine is relaxed and it’s always a treat for this Vermont girl to see the ocean on the way up on our drive.  This race will be a great warm up for VT100 coming up in July.  It’ll be a family affair, the boys are running the 25k and hubs and I will both be running the 50…….I’m sure we’ll see the boys out on trail…..They’ll do one lap, and we’ll do three, so chances are they will pass us! Can’t wait to meet some new peeps and hang out with my precious dear friends…..Happy Tapering everyone!!! Can’t wait to see you all!!!

 The past three weeks have been HUGE for me in the mileage department.  I’ve logged 122.4 miles with an elevation gain of 19,402 feet thus far in the month of May!!!  Including two Mt. Ascutney climbs (getting myself ready for those relentless long hills of VT, remember the ones with scary names?!?!!) I’ve been adamant about having my training elevation mimic that of the VT100.  Granted, most of my training loops are crazy hilly, so it’s not that difficult to achieve that.  Last week it was in the upper 80’s, low 90’s and my 19 miler kicked my bootie!!!  I’m focusing on eating smaller portions more frequently during longer runs.  I really have to get more heat training runs in, I’m waiting on Mother Nature tho.  This weekend actually looks picure perfect, 62 and partly cloudy, let’s hope the rain holds off…..

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6 miles into our 19 miler….it was hot! Love this shot of hubs running down one of our favorite back Vermont roads….

 

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Loving my Last Horse Runners hat….check them out 

I hope your May training is going well……..I’ve had a few rest days.  Trying to preserve my legs and be careful of injuries……My shins were definitely sore after my last hike up and down Ascutney……feels good to rest the bones……..lots of hot baths filled with epsom salts and lavender….I kinda like tapering…….

Soon, packing will begin…….

  • Fun happy clothes….InkNburn of course! Now which outfit….hmmmmm
  • Hydration Tailwind Check!
  • Bars Simple Squares….. I will have extra if anyone at Pinelands would like to try some!! Come see me!!
  • Socks Only Injinji…..knock on wood no blisters…however the compression didn’t end up working for me.  My calves locked up in the first mile of a 22 miler I did….Luckily hubs came to the rescue and brought me my shorter socks…….not sure why my legs disagreed with compression. As soon as I switched, all was right in leg land…
  • My running supply drawers I made for races…….holds everything from Lube, tampons, bobby pins, rolaids, tums, pens, bandaids…..you name it, it’s in there. Also works great at home, I always know where things are……

 

Sweet drawers!

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fuel for one of my long runs…..

 

And please, please, please turn on the Charity Miles app…..I’ve logged 429.28 miles in 2017, which is $107.32 for the charities of my choosing……..Every Mile Matters……..

 

Running with Raven

When you love a book so much, you read it again…. “Running with Raven”

 

I’ll let you know how the 50 goes! It’ll be a great test to iron out any kinks before VT……I’m a little nervous. My only other two 50’s were at the VT50….home turf…  Of course, it’s a kick ass hilly one, so I’m hoping this one will be a tad easier…..but who am I kidding, 50 miles is 50 miles!!!!!!! Thanks for following my running journey………..

Happy Trails, & see ya at Pinelands!

Krista 🙂

xoxooxoxoxo

Hills, hills and more hills……

“If the hill has its own name, then it’s probably a pretty tough hill.”

~Marty Stern

Heartbreak & Agony are just a few of the tough hills I will be running (who am I kidding…..power walking, climbing, shuffling or crawling….) up soon at the VT100.  If they have a name like Stern’s quote says, then they must be toughies, right?? Yup, they are.

It’s hard to believe that the VT100 is a mere sixty-nine days away. Holy Shit…..  Training is really ramping up these past weeks.  This week I put down 52.2 miles with an elevation change of 6,598ft in three runs.  My highest weekly mileage to date.  Ankle is holding up well, I’m being very adamant about rest days……. I know how important they are in this whole process.  I’m being proactive with stretching and seeing my chiropractor on a regular basis.  I already have an appointment lined up for the week before the 100.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Probably because I haven’t run farther than fifty miles at a time….. I have days where I stop suddenly in my tracks and say “I’d still be running!” or before bed while brushing my teeth, “yup, still running” or in the morning the next day as I’m getting the kids off to school……”ahh, still running!!!!!!!!!!” Of course I HOPE I’m still running, because that’s the goal…to FINISH!…..I’m feeling like I will be using most of the 30 hours to get this done, so visualizing myself doing this and crossing the finish line is key.  I’m still working on my stomach.  I’m taking an acid reducer the night and morning before long runs, I’m honing in on eating during these longs runs, which is getting easier with the aid of Tailwind and the pure act of making myself EAT.  Lulu and Joe also mentioned trying to eat a small bite of food every 20 minutes, rather than waiting until you feel hungry….gonna try this as well.   I’ve noticed improvement, but if there is one concern for this race, it’s my stomach.  I have a fear of throwing up, which is not the best one to have as an ultra runner.  I despise, loathe, and hate vomiting.  I cry like a baby, I pretty much am a baby when I’m or anyone around me is doing this God awful thing…….thank goodness I never had morning sickness, I would have been a complete mess.  So I’m working hard on keeping my stomach in check. Do anyone of you out there suffer with stomach issues during your ultras? I would love to hear what helps you.

Pinelands 50 is fast approaching….3 weeks from today.  I love having another race to use as practice for the big dance.  I’m going to use it as a stepping stone race, no need for PR’s or pushing myself too much.  Just nice and steady, using my time wisely at the aid stations and getting around the course feeling good.  Soon I’ll be checking the weather to see what conditions will be.  Except for my run with Raven in Miami, I’ve yet to train in any sorta of heat or humidity.  I can’t wait for it to warm up in VT and run in some HOT and HUMID temps. I’m excited that so many friends are heading to Maine for this race, and my whole family is running it.  Hubs is in the 50 miler and our two boys are doing the 25k, I think they are secretly going just for the Swedish Fish at the aid stations, ha-ha….. There are also a few new friends that I’d like to meet there as well.  Should be a fun weekend for us all……

Yesterday I finished up my weekly training with a 21 miler with new friends and my lovely hubs.  Lulu and Joe drove up from NYC in the pouring rain Friday and stayed the night with us.  It was fun to finally meet her in person after corresponding on Instagram @ lulu.mnyc . She too will be running the VT100 , with Joe as her trusty crew and pacer.  We enjoyed a great day on the trails with slight humidity, rain, sunshine, wind, muddiness, lots of chit-chat and of course taking fun pics.  We loved having them, Alba did too!! Can’t wait to see you Lulu in less than 2 months!!! Keep up with your great training!!!  We’re gonna Kill the hills girl!!!

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Lulu and I jumping for joy on the trails….

 

I’m staying positive, motivated, grateful and happy about the upcoming 100.  When I told my good friend, Laura Farrell (who is the founder of the VT100, thank you Laura for all you do) that I’m very NERVOUS and excited, she gave me this wisdom….. “Please remember that at the 100 mile, you get to spend a whole day doing something you love.”  This has really stuck with me, I hear her words in my head while training and in life.  I’m looking at this as an adventure…..one step at a time. I’m going into it with a BIG SMILE on my face.  It won’t be easy, it won’t be all fun and games…..but running is something I love doing and I’m so thrilled that I get a chance to take a shot at one of my biggest goals……

Happy training and remember to always have fun!!!!!!

See you on the trails……thanks for following me…….

Krista 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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I want you so very bad Mr. buckle…..I’ll take the small one 🙂

Running 8 miles with a legend…..

“Knowing I’m not alone, that there’s people here that want to be with me, that motivates me.  If I had to come out and run by myself, I don’t know if I could.”

“I always felt like an outcast….now this run is like my family.”

~Raven

It’s funny how life works sometimes.  I was promoting one of my Red Horse and Co.  running bracelets on Instagram and doing a March giveaway.  I entered the names of the people who liked and commented on the photo on an online random winner generator.  Lulu.mnyc was picked.  Hooray!!  We’d been chatting prior to my giveaway, because we are both registered in the VT100 this coming July, and had become friends.  I sent her the bracelet and received a nice message back saying “Thank you so much, I love it, it’s beautiful.” and the next message was “I work in publishing and the house I work for is publishing a book about a real life story of a man in Miami who has been running 8 miles every single day for 40+ years.  Would you like an advanced copy, I’d love to send you one.” Um…..yes please!! was my response.  I can’t get enough of memoirs, especially about running or horse related stories.  I’ve loved the connections I’ve made through social media….so thank you Lulu……

“Running with Raven” by Laura Lee Huttenbach arrived a few days later, and I couldn’t put it down.  It is such a wonderful read, that chronicles the life story of Robert “Raven” Kraft.  An excerpt from the front cover follows….”In 1975 Robert “Raven” Kraft, a high school dropout and aspiring songwriter, made a New Year’s Resolution to run eight miles on Miami’s South Beach each evening.  Over 125,000 miles later, he has not missed one sunset. Along the way, Raven has changed the lives of thousands who have run with him-many of them hundreds of times. From all fifty states and over 85 countries, across all ages groups and backgrounds, they come to run with Raven, and in the process find friendship, inspiration-and a nickname.”  Be prepared to be inspired, enlightened, moved, and touched by this incredible story of Raven’s life and come to meet some of the various runners who have run along side of him.  I felt I had to take my time, because I wanted to devour the book in one sitting, I needed to savior it.  I give it 5 stars, one of my all time favorite books, you don’t need to be a runner to enjoy this one.

My husband had a work conference in Naples, FL….it had been planned since last summer.  So our curiosity got the best of us on one long run in March after reading the book.  “Hmmmmm, I wonder how far Naples is to Miami Beach???” We stopped and googled mid run and lo and behold, it was only a mere two hours away.  How cool would it be to run with Raven, to run with a man with such determination and grit.  Hubs and I were like two school kids the whole way home.  We decided to run on April 26, the day after the book was to be released. It was to be a quiet evening at the conference and we could easily slip away.  We told his co-workers what we were up to, and they were equally intrigued by our upcoming adventure.  We don’t like to sit still, so this was right up our alley……We couldn’t wait to meet Raven, run with him, hear his stories and earn our nicknames..

We picked up our car rental and set out for Miami around 1 pm……We left early, allowing enough time in case of delays with traffic and such.  Smooth sailings along I-75, sun was shining as we munched on lunch and chatted about what it will be like to meet Raven.  Driving into the city was a breeze, phew! I’m not a fan of city driving, thankfully Hubs doesn’t mind it.  I pointed out a Parking garage sign near 5th street above Publix, leaving only a 5 minute walk to the beach.  It was hot for us Vermonters.  85 and sunny, with relatively low humidity.  We arrived at the 5th Street Lifeguard stand around 3:45.

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Arriving at Miami beach 5th street Lifeguard station

We love people watching, so we settled in for about an 1 1/2 (yes, we were really early!!)  We saw all kinds of people…. families, pot heads, topless women, endless photo shoots by teens, kite fliers, you name it…it’s on South beach.  The anticipation was killing me and I told hubs I’m gotta pee one more time….. as we were leaving the restrooms….we spotted Raven, heading up to the beach in his black jean jacket and jeans.  I said “OMG, it’s Raven” to hubs and we quietly followed him up to the beach.  I didn’t want to act like a stalker and ambush him right away.  He put his stuff on the lifeguard stand and then we headed over.  We said, “We’ve read your book and it’s incredible, loved it!” He said, “You must be fast readers!” I told him I had a friend who gave us an advanced copy….. Raven was so down to earth and was delighted that we’d be running too!  As we were chatting, “Taxman”, Raven’s number one runner walked up next to us and gave us a fist bump (customary greeting with Raven Runners) Taxman is a 63-year-old accountant and has logged in the most runs (1,959 of them) with Raven.  We also got to meet Close call and Lobotomy.  It was truly like the book was coming alive.  All these people whose stories I have read about, were standing in the flesh before me.  It was surreal to say the least.  We did the Back and Forth North Route.  The miles flew by as Raven did Roll Call of the members (he has the most beautiful deep voice) and told us many stories about the characters he’s met and bits about Miami Beach and his life.  He asks us which part of the book was our favorite and he told us we were the first runners to come after reading the book.  I was in Heaven, I have to say I was a bit nervous at first, because it’s crazy meeting an idol. That quickly melted away, because with Raven, it’s natural and the conversation flowed like we were old friends.  He does a bit of an interview to get to know you to come up with your nicknames.  I told him my love of Arabian horses and endurance riding and about my accident with my elbow and how running has been my savior these past two years, and that horses run through my blood…he responded..”Desert Horse”, how does that sound?” I was floored!!!! It was perfect for me…..absolutely perfect!!  Hubs chatted how about his love of basketball and coaching and his crazy running adventures…..hubs does this awesome “Crossover” move in basketball and viola, “Crossover” was his nickname to be….

As the three of us ended our run (the others peeled off along the way) I felt so blessed to have met this man, and to have made a connection.  Because isn’t that what life is all about, connections?  We all have so much in common in this world. Sometimes slowing down and enjoying a run on the beach with a friend, may be the best way to experience it. We ended the evening with a 1/3 mile swim in the Atlantic………can’t wait to bring our two boys to run with him…….

Raven is a wonderful, humble, funny, kind man.  In a world with such uncertainty and volatility, one thing’s for certain, Raven will always be at the 5th lifeguard station on Miami Beach at 5:30pm.  I hope if you are even in that area, you lace up your running shoes with this great man……….keep on inspiring Raven!!!!

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pre run photo-op with Raven

Hope to see you on the trails…………..

Krista 🙂

aka Desert Horse xoxoxoxo

Runamuck 50k Recap……..

“When you begin to believe, that is when you will be on the right track to try and accomplish whatever you have set out to do”

~Bob Hodge

I love Vermont and I love Vermont Ultra-running races.  Again, I chuckle, because for me the word, RACE is comical.  I’m what you call slow and steady….grind and pound out the miles.  Guy, and our friend, Fred and I arrived at the Runamuck 50k around 7:30am. The race starts and ends at Suicide Six ski area, a lovely ski mountain in the beautiful hills of Pomfret, VT.  This is the first year we’ve run it, which is funny, because the last few years the course ran right by our house.  With surgeries the last two years on my elbow, the timing was never right…..so I was pumped to have finally made it here!! We saw our two great friends, Jon and Astrid right away…always so nice to catch up with these two….  I loved the feel of the race as soon as we arrived.  We met race director Jonathon Vass, who was super welcoming, helpful and smiley ….. a great attribute for a RD.  At the check in table, there were pads of paper, pens and bibs scattered…..”pick you number, write down your name on the paper”…..”now you’re good to go.”  Love it! Simple, quick…smart!  I picked out number 52 and headed back to the heated car….it was freezing!!! No sun, high winds at the foot of Suicide Six, and spitting snow.  BRRRRR.

Waiting in line at the porta-potti I met a sweet runner named Jasmine….we talked about InkNburn, training, and running goals & aspirations….a long line…..I seem to meet the best women waiting in that line at races 😉  I also got to meet Kimberly for the first time, which is awesome to meet a fellow blogger and runner in the flesh!  Jonathan gathered everyone for a quick pre chat, around 100 runners lined up and were off. It felt like a true grass root event, again VT rules!  We headed about 3+ miles up Stage Rd, paved, slight incline….but the adrenaline was pumping and we were chatting it up with fellow runners.  We were running along side a very accomplished VT 100 miler (he has run it since 1993…HOLY WOW), who was making it look incredibly easy, I slowly backed off……I knew it wasn’t a pace I could keep, it was fun while it lasted!!

After coming off the pavement, we hit a dirt road, Lime Pond Rd .  The roads were icy in spots, so you had to watch your footing, and yet at times, they were squishy, which was nice on the legs.  It felt like you were either climbing steep or descending steep, there was roughly 3400 ft of elevation gain.  Not much in the way of flats….VT never is, you think I’d be used to it by now, born and raised here.

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heart-shaped pond…always on the lookout for hearts along the way….<3

 

At mile 12, there was a lovely aid station with tons of goodies.  We got to see Astrid ( vttrailgirl )and her pup, Aggie volunteering, it’s always a boost to see friends on the course.  I gobbled down 3 squares of PB&J and loads of potato chips! I had already drank one and a half 17 ounce bottles of Tailwind and a Simple Square Coconut bar.  First 12 miles flew by….there was a huge downhill into that aid station, so we were cranking off some 9+ minute miles, which is pretty fast for me.

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A nicely stocked aid station….thanks Runamuck!!

There were open stretches of dirt roads where the wind would nearly take your breath away….I had to chuckle at our friend Fred….he started with no outer layer, hat or mittens…..Thankfully Astrid was at the aid station to lend her buff and a spare sweatshirt. The hard problem for me on this run, was where can I pee??? There are no leaves on the trees yet and it was hard to find spots to duck in….I had to pee so bad at one point that I had to scoot behind round bales that were lined up on the side of the road….It was hard to blend into nature with my colorful rose sweatshirt…..hehehe..women problems….

After the aid station there was another huge climb that seemed to go on forever…..when you come upon those you know you will be doing a lot of power walking.  I feel this is an area where I have to get better with my training. Run the doable hills, yet adding power walking to my training will be key for the VT100. I know there will be stretches on the 100 that I will be walking for what seems like an eternity, so I have to build my muscles for that. I seem to get tight in my hips and my back with walking, so it’s a must that I train for that.

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The boys…..love the signs…on ski poles….

With about 5 miles to go, I felt I could push little more.  Originally I wanted to finish around 7 hours, but it was looking like 6:15 to 6:30 was going to be achievable.  I really got a second wind as we passed markers headed down the hill (ones we had passed on our first loop coming up…I made a mental note on the first go round….I think my endurance riding has helped me with loops, because on horses rides, you are always doing loops it seems) so I knew we were getting closer to base camp.  Hubs and I got into an amazing rhythm, letting the miles just melt away with each step.

 

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Yup…show that hill who’s BOSS….love people who put signs out….TY!!

 

It was a nice descent back to the finish line via pavement.  We kept moving forward, slowly gaining on a gal ahead of us.  It was nice to have her in view, because it was so FLAT to the finish, I needed something to focus my mind on.  For some reason, and I can’t figure out why……I get a little nauseous right before a finish line, it doesn’t matter the distance.  I am a bit of an anxious person, but I can’t figure out why this happens to me.  About 1/8 before the finish, I felt like I was gonna dry heave…..but I had my mantra in my head, as I always do and I kept saying, “This will pass” Sure enough, 20-30 seconds of stopping, I gathered myself and pushed to the finish line with a time of 6:16:25 a 50K PR for me!!! We were 82nd out of roughly 100 runners…..I’m still mind blown by the times, such amazing, talented, speedy runners out there, the winner finishing in 3:35, way to go Brian!! …..kudos to you all, no matter where you finished….31 miles is a long way on your feet!!!

Overall, a wonderful race in VT.  Loved the local feel, actually loved everything about it. We got finisher prizes of Darn Tough Socks and a beautiful pin and stickers.  Hubs and I even got a “Couple” award.  Lunch for two at Harpoon, heck yes!! Thanks Jonathon, and all the volunteers and sponsors for putting on such a stellar race.  We will defintely be back……

What worked

My InkNburn clothes were perfect. Capris, and my Rose sweatshirt kept me toasty all day with no rubbing or chaffing…my only running clothes I wear… Someday I will wear shorts again…..

Tailwind (Mandarin Orange) about five 17 ounce bottles for the duration, less than I thought, but it was so cold.

Simple Squares (3 of them for the race) These went down so well….organic, gluten, soy, dairy free…pure yum!! (if you wish to try them, use code vtrunnermom15 at Simple Square website for 15% off.

 PB&J, Chips

Injinji toe socks, no blisters

Buff, gloves

Salomon pack

Strava GPS

Charity Miles

Redirecting my mind at times/Using my mantras

Asics GT 2000

What didn’t work this time

PB crackers (too dry at mile 26 for me) ugh…didn’t go down well at all..YUCK

If you are looking for a fun, fast, Spring race in New England, be sure to look this one up!  We’ll be back for certain!

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Finisher pin

Happy Running……..see you on the trails…..xoxoxox

Krista 🙂

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The Finish! Jon, Me, Guy (Hubs)  Fred and Aggie

Make the most of your dash……

“Life is made of two dates and a dash. Make the most of your dash.”

~Unknown

This quote certainly resonates with my family and I. Everyone’s life is made up of two dates and a dash…..it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, old or young, or what your beliefs are, we all share this same common fate.  What will you do with your dash????  Be darn sure to make the most of it………….I know I sure will!

Training for the VT 100 is on. Saturday I’ll be running the Runamuck 50k in Pomfret, VT, starting and ending at the base of Suicide Six Ski area.  The elevation gain is 3,612 feet and the course meanders along the back roads of rural VT.  This will be a stepping stone in my training for VT100.  I’m going into it super excited and treating it as a killer training run, a chance to make sure things are working seamlessly….haha..nothing in ultra running is ever seamless! I must eat and eat and eat, to train my stomach.  Tailwind will be a huge help of course, but I know I have to get my body eating regular foods, nausea from not eating is my nemesis.  My fellow VT running friends (and New Englanders) and I are ready and deserving of some decent weather. The forecast is calling for 40’s and cloudy on race day….I’m still hoping to wear shorts!!! Looking forward to meeting new friends and hanging with my favorite buds.  The last two mega snowstorms have made it harder to train…..we finally saw the sun on our training run this past Sunday, Hallelujah!! We Vermonters are stubborn, tough, and a tad rugged. We know that summer will be here soon…..75 and Sunny next week!!!!!!! And then perhaps Winter could return..you never know.  So, I’ll follow up with what worked and didn’t for Runamuck….stay tuned!

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Guy on lookout during a long run…..We wore shorts….FINALLY!!

 

What I’m reading…..

So, I have to tell you about a book I just finished reading, Running with Raven: The Amazing Story of One Man, His passion, and the Community He Inspired. By Laura Lee Huttenbach. I was given an advance copy of the book by my wonderful friend, Lulu.  Lulu will be running her first 100 in VT too!!  From the moment I read the first sentence, I was hooked.  It follows the life of Robert “Raven “Kraft and how in 1975, he made a New Year’s Resolution to run 8 miles a day, everyday. He has done this for the past 40+ years on beautiful Miami Beach.  Over 125,000 miles later, he’s yet to miss one sunset.  He’s inspired thousands around the world and hasn’t run alone in the past decade. He gives everyone who runs with him a nickname (the Author is White Lightning) which is so friggin cool and keeps a meticulous log of his runs. You’ll hear many stories of people who have run with him, and learn about who “Raven” is and what makes him tick….I laughed, cried, well, I had pretty much every emotion reading this book.  I don’t want to spoil it by telling you too much, so I will leave you with this…You need to buy this book!!! It hits bookstores April 25, 2017.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did….

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Foodie Corner:

I decided to make homemade Granola bars for the upcoming race……here’s my recipe:

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Maple Walnut Chocolate Chip No Bake Granola Bars

 

2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats

1 Cup Almond Butter

1/2 Cup Walnuts

1/2 Cup mini Chocolate Chips

1/4 of VT Maple Syrup

TBSP Chia & TBSP Flax seeds (optional)

pinch of Cinnamon

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Pour into prepare pan, press firmly. Freeze for 1 hour. Cut and wrapped Individual.  These will be in our packs Saturday. Yum.

Enjoy!

Hope you are all enjoying your training…..Any big races or adventures coming up?? I would love to hear what you’re up to!!

How are you gonna make your Dash count????!!!! Go get it!!!!

 

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My boys living life to the fullest…..

 

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always make time for kisses

 

Thanks for following my running journey….see you on the trails….

Krista xoxoxo

Cross-Training…group fun and long runs…..

“With self-discipline, all things are possible.”

~Theodore Roosevelt

After my running setback in January, I learned a lot about my personal training.  Don’t over do it! Period. Expand your horizons.  It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to run all the time, but learning to balance your training is key.  After the big dumping of snow we got on Tuesday from Stella2017, we got out to do some snowshoeing in the deep powder up at Ascutney Trails.  Wow!  What a workout….what I like about snowshoeing is you get the intense training, without the pounding on your feet and joints.  I realized even more how much my body needs to heal and recoup after each run.  Below I found a great chart on the calories burned while snowshoeing.  I don’t have the running snowshoes, so I fell into the walking in hilly powder category, but without poles.  I really enjoyed it, if you have snow near you, it’s a great asset to add to your training program.

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Running with friends is WAY more fun…so grab a buddy or four and head out….Saturday, we got the chance to meet up at our house and venture out for a 6+ miler with great friends.  I love the chatting, catching up, and hearing about friends upcoming races.  So excited for vttrailgirl, who is heading out for her 100 miler at Umstead in a few weeks….pumped to hear all about it.  After running we shared a yummy breakfast spread, catching up more with each others lives and reminiscing about funny stories of days gone by.  Can’t wait for the next group run, I heard there may be chili!!! 🙂

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Brownsville Runners…happy to running again with these great peeps!  Missing a few who hope to join in soon….

 

Today I finally got my longest run in to date since my injury in January…. 17.4 miles!!!  Feeling like this whole 100 adventure may be back on track. Before our run we used Fully Charged, a pre exercise Ignitor from Hammer Nutrition.  It’s said to help increase energy and endurance, aid in reducing fatigue, promote mental alertness, help alleviate muscle soreness and provide antioxidant support. It had a very mild cherry taste and went down easily.  I felt it would be a great chance to try it on my longer run.  We followed the directions and drank 8 oz of it before we hit the road….  Hubs and I started out from our house en route for a 8.5 mile loop.  It’s great if you have multiple loops from your home, where you can run back to and create a”mock” aid station to start and train your body to eat and rehydrate.  We started out in thicker jackets, it was chilly, but the sun was lovely.  Any direction we start from our house is always uphill, so up we went, chipping away at the miles.  I went through one 17 oz bottle of lemon Tailwind and felt great, no weirdness in my stomach from the Fully Charged, phew!  We descended down into our “aid station”…grabbing our prefilled bottles of Tailwind (this time Mandarin Orange)  and bonk breaker bars and headed back out…only staying for a few minutes.  Our next loop was about 9 miles (we ditched the jackets and ran in long sleeve tech shirts)…more uphill…but we ate our bars as we climbed….leaving an “aid station” is always a little bit of a letdown, but as the bars hit our stomachs, the energy was coming back. I knew I’d burn about 2000 calories, so I was making sure to refuel enough. (hubs had played in a basketball tourney yesterday so he was running on tired legs, he’s such a stud!)

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a little smooch mid run…

This is one of the most beautiful roads we run on, with Mt. Ascutney in view…..here we knew we had about 5 miles till home.  A little voice in my head said…”you’d still have about 88 miles to go in the 100″…oh boy…..”shhh miss negative nelly”…”ahhh sunshine and kisses..much better” The last miles ticked by, our legs and body finding our groove….coasting into home.  I couldn’t be happier about how I felt, my ankle felt and my stomach felt on this run.  The next two days will be rest days for me, very important days on the training schedule….remember that.

Overall, great training for the week…a night run, snowshoeing, group run, core and long run…..happy girl….

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running down a dream…..

 

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Hubs enjoying the fresh powder…..

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heading to mile long field………

I hope your week of training went well.  Happy Spring BTW……Anyone out there going to the Runamuck 50K?  Hope to see ya there, less than 3 weeks!…..happy training..

See ya on the trails…. xoxoxoxoxo

Krista 🙂

Night running……

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.”

~Vincent Van Gogh

Night running….. mystery….. the unknown…. darkness….peacefulness….calm. Night running is wondrous. It seems as though the world has stopped for a brief moment in time. No hustle and bustle.  All is silent.  The houses twinkle in the distance, the sounds of animals waking up, the moon illuminating the way.  The hills seem to melt under my feet, my mind unable to see far ahead to the next climb approaching.  There’s a sense of lightness, calmness, tranquility, and ease.

This was our first night run of the season, earlier than normal, usually we plan an epic overnight run to prepare the boys of Brownsville for the VT 100.  I was so giddy….excited for the longest run in some time for me, and a night one to boot!! A date night with the hubs, if you will.

Have you ever ventured out in the night to run??? I’d love to hear your experiences! We only had two cars pass us (gotta love country living)…probably thought they were in an episode of the twilight zone with our blue and pink lights flashing.  Our tailwind turned to slush, but we unscrewed our caps and had lemon slushies along the way…yum! Coming out of a trail around mile 5, we heard a man and his dog in the distance. Naia (as we heard him call her)  was very curious as to why crazy, colorful, humans were approaching her.  The man yelled, “Are you walking or on horseback!!??”…we said “We’re running! Nice night for it, huh…….um…is your dog friendly???” She was a love bug, wanting to give us kisses. Phew! Hubs was recently bit while running, hence the pic of him with the “dog stick” just in case.  We followed the moon, who was playing peak a boo with us between the trees, lighting the way. The stars were abundant last night….a bit of quiet before the storm.

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the beautiful moon lighting our way

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the nor’easter is in full force as I type..

Things to remember

Always snag a running buddy or let someone at least know where you are going.

Carry a “dog stick” just in case

Bring fuel/food (preferable tailwind for hydration and my go to.. Luna & Clif bars and my most favorite SIMPLE Squares..

Always wear reflective gear and some sort of blinking light, if on the roads

Headlamp

Dress warm if you live in the arctic like me….layers, layers, layers

Bring camera…iPhone

Have fun and Enjoy!!!

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A few must haves….

A little video of our fun…..Warning! Might be a little trippy with the flashing lights…hehehehe

See ya on the trails……. xoxoxo

Krista 🙂

Training days and tidbits…….

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”

~John Muir

As I sit and write on this blustery March day…..wait…what!?! MARCH?? Feels more like January around here in Vermont.  After a few weeks of pretty mild weather (we hit close to 70 degrees), old man winter is not loosening his grip on us.  We are supposed to get dumped with 12-18″ of the white stuff on Tuesday.  This kind of weather makes it challenging to get runs in for us Northerners, but as long as you dress for it, you will be just fine. I’m sporting my crane tights in the pic above from InkNburn.  They are my most fun tights I run in, you will definitely be seen by motorist or deer, have no fear!! I love how comfy they are and of course the hidden large pocket in the front for carrying my phone, never miss a fun shot on the trails.  The weather doesn’t bother me too bad (hmmmmm, as I write tho, I’m dreaming of summer days, please have mercy!), I’m not a treadmill girl, can’t wrap my head around it.  I’d much rather feel all the elements thrown at me…of course at the VT 100 in July, I’m sure I’ll be wishing for these -10 windchill days when I’m melting like a snowcone in Phoenix (couldn’t help myself, I love Mrs. Doubtfire)  In VT, we definitely get a little bit of everything……..

Four weeks from yesterday will be the Runamuck 50k!!! First race of the season!!!! I can’t wait to finally run with my friends and family, it’s feeling more real as my training runs are going well!  Fingers crossed! Pretty please with sugar on top!  Excited to meet Kimberly, a fellow blogger whom I met through our love of InkNburn.  She has a wonderful blog called  Kimberly on the Run.  It’ll be fun to meet up in person as we toe the line in South Pomfret, VT.  She is lightening fast, so I better talk quick, hehehe.  She is a superb runner, mom and friend.  I love all the connections I’ve been making through my running. My sister-in-law, Elaine is also running the 50k, this will be her first ultra.  She’s been a wonderful crew and pacer for my hubs (her brother) throughout the 6 years he’s done the VT 100. So I’m ecstatic to see her find the love of running and join the ranks of all us crazies…..I hope we can all do a photo-op together!!! Hint hint…..

Friday, hubs and I got in a nice five miler.  It was cold, but sunny and we decided to run to in our town forest and trek on some of the fun trails. We seriously have a playground around us. It’s nice to see the ice melting, can’t wait to get back to them on a regular basis.  Running on trails is so different from the roads, every turn is a new surprise.  As the seasons change you around you, you feel subtle differences in yourself as well.  Hubs and I are working to intergrate core routines into our training. I found at Runner’s World, a great list of core exercises.  I really want to add strength to my runs, something  I can pull from when I’m feeling weaker at the VT100.  During our run, we pondered life, did planks and bridges and were just goof balls.  If you can’t bring fun into your training runs, then you are missing out.  I want my runs to be focused but equally entertaining as well.  It’s a great stress reliever out there, use your time on the trails to unwind.  As I run, I feel the layers peel off and I begin to feel lighter….

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Hubs pondering life……mid run…

Another site I’ve been following is Bigger than the trail.  Tommy and his wife, Amber are raising awareness for mental health. One in five Americans suffer from mental illness, yet only one in 50 seek help.  They are running the Bryce Canyon 100 miler in Utah and are raising $1 for every vertical foot of gain in the race, 18,000!!  They are looking to improve the lives of others struggling with mental illness…wanting to stop the stigma of it and start changing the world together #biggerthanthetrail. Bigger Than The Trail partners with individuals to provide opportunities for education, support, and treatment.  I received my pin, that I proudly wear on my running pack, a reminder to keep the conversation going.  As a former sufferer of panic attacks (I now have tools to help me), I understand the impact it can have on one’s life. No one should suffer alone.  Join the movement. Be the impact.

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#biggerthanthetrail

Tidbits………

This is for the ladies….I’ve finally found a way to wear my hair running….drum roll please….the double ponytail!!! I suffer from migraines, so just the slight pull on my head will produce one.  This is a way to achieve the ponytail, without the heavy weight on top of your head….phew. Another life hack checked off….

I was sad not to become a Tailwind Trailblazer for 2017, I think they had thousands apply. Kudos to all who made it, and thank you Tailwind for taking the time to reach out to all who applied personally, such a nice touch. I am such an advocate for their product, I won’t run without it in my water bottles. I love the Lemon and Mandarin Orange flavors the best.  The VT50 last year was the first time I really ate throughout, and I accredited it to Tailwind. This will be my one and only hydration for all my races. End of story…..If you haven’t tried it yet… do…….you won’t be disappointed!

On a side note, the aroma of maple syrup is abundant in my kitchen right now. Hubs and our boys are boiling again today on our stove…who knew you could boil 2o+ gallons of sap inside the walls of your home?! Of course we haven’t seen our electric bill yet :/ and there is a bunch of condensation pooling up on the ceiling…..but dang, that fresh syrup is yummy!

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boiling…p.s. I want that hat!!

Lastly, InkNburn is holding a 30% off sale store wide.  The discount will reflect in your cart.  Great chance to stock up on some favorites!  They are moving locations, making room for new designs….their clothes are happily Made in the USA and the only running clothes I love to wear!! Boom! Don’t forget to mention you heard it from your favorite InkNburn Ambassador, Krista

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Our playground…

Keep on training, be goofy and just enjoy your beautiful life…..we only get one ride around this wondrous planet….make it unforgettable!

Thanks for following my running journey….See ya on the trails…….xoxoxox

Krista 🙂

Happiness on the trails with a side order of wind……

 

“It’s not where you take the trail….it’s where the trail takes you.”

 

Yesterday was a beautiful bluebird Vermont day, so bright and clear….but wow was it brrrr cold. The wind was a blowin’.  Hubs and I bundled up for one of our favorite run/hikes to the  ‘top of the world’ trail in our town. It starts with a nice climb up a rural back road, luckily it was cold, so the mud had frozen.  Mud season is coming soon in Vermont and there have been cars known to be swallowed up in those ruts!! After a mile and half in, the trail to the ‘top of the world’ is on your left and you wander through the most beautiful forest. A plethora of young and elder maples around you, lots of them tapped for sugaring, yum!

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hubs checking out the taps….

It was a nice mix of running and hiking,  I love exploring the woods this time of year, it’s such a different perspective in the winter than the summer.  So happy for the seasons Vermont gives us.

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CRUNCH

CRUNCH

The sound of our shoes atop the snow

how mighty the wind, she’s about to blow

look around you

see the world

open your eyes

your ears

and just BE

let the warmth rush over you

as you run through

Sometimes when I run, different words or poems enter my thoughts..above are some of my thoughts from yesterday.

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My hubs touching the sun……I looked back and saw him scale this tree with grace and swiftness….

Our workouts are fun, inspiring, and full of laughter, we like it this way.  I know there will be hard training days ahead, but we always act like kids out there.  We use the time to play and be goofy…talk about our kiddos and what’s going on in their world and whisper the  dreams and adventures we have planned for the second half of our lives.  I love having a partner in life that I can share so much with, we are truly best friends.  It was a great day,  a great run with a great man!

The weekend wasn’t all exploring.  We watched a great flick on Netflix called Finding Traction. WOW!!! An epic adventure of Ultra Runner, Nikki Kimball on her quest to be the fastest human on the 273 miles of Vermont’s Long Trail.  The Long Trail is a bucket list for my family and I as well, but slightly slower on our feet ;).  We’re hoping to finish it in 2 weeks when we tackle it (hopefully in a few years)….check out how long or how little it took Kimball to finish it.  A home-grown Vermont girl who is truly inspiring!!!

I’m also fundraising two ways for the Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sport during my VT 100 hundred mile journey. Donate to Vermont Adaptive via my 100 mile journey and with Red Horse and Co. Runner’s High Bracelet sales. Check out Runner’s High Bracelet. 50% of the proceeds will go to Vermont Adaptive. Thank you to all the people who have donated thus far.  I really appreciate it and will give my all for you during those 100 miles, and will think of you with each step…… HUGS ❤

I hope your training is going well (Don’t forget to use your Charity miles app when you hit the trails) and don’t forget to be exhilarated out there….

P.S. If you haven’t watched This is us, please run to your T.V. and binge watch it…..it’s the best show EVER! Incredible story about life, struggles, family, the connections around us and hope.

P.S.S.This song makes me happy….and think of family…it’s called ‘Watch me’, by Labi Siffre….maybe someday I’ll be able to strum those chords on my Luna….until then I hear this song as I watch my kids grow before my eyes….

Enjoy & soak up that Sunshine my friends…..see you on the trails… xoxoxo

Krista 🙂

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Running ‘on top of the world’ trail

 

 

 

 

Running…oh, how I’ve missed you……

"A run begins the moment you forget you are running." 
~Adidas

 

Think about this quote…Have you ever gone for a run, and truly forgot you were running?? I have, it’s wonderful. I hope you have experienced this too…. it’s an incredible feeling when you forget your worries, let your guard down, halt the nagging voice, let go of the rat race of life and just purely enjoy the sound of your feet along the road, the sun on your face and smell and sounds of the forest around you.

I was out for my first “real” run back since my tendon/ankle injury.  It was a haunting, foggy morning in the hills of VT, and I was so thankful to be in the moment. Something I’m personally working on everyday. Staying in the MOMENT.   Running has a way of releasing negativity, building confidence and achieving pure bliss if you let the emotion of it take over.  Thinking back to my high school cross-country team, I don’t ever think I felt the above quote…maybe I was too young, or too naive to understand the true impact running can have on a person.  I loved my team, my coach, but I didn’t LOVE running.  It took me years to grasp the lure running can have on a person.  It provokes this inner fire in me, a zest for adventure and provides hope.  I feel at peace when I run, I feel comfort, but most importantly, I just FEEL.

I’m happy to be running again, but I’m taking it slow.  I don’t want to risk re-injury.   Just being away from it for six weeks was hard enough. I think when you are detached from something you love, it’s that much sweeter when it returns to you.  I feel complete out there, like I’ve found my way home.

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Out on the trails…my happy place….

P.S. Spring is right around the corner….can I get an AMEN!!!

Wishing you the best in your training and in life………see you on the trails xoxo

krista 🙂