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 🙂

 

 

Learning Patience….and a few other tricks in life..

pa·tience
noun

1. the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Patience…Do you have it?  I don’t, especially when it comes to myself.  If I have things to do, I want to check it off my list pronto!  If I have things scheduled, I want to do them…NOW.  I’m not a fan of waiting and I don’t like to have people waiting on me.  Ask my mom and dad 😉 I guess at times I have a bit of a type A personality…but then at other times I can be really relaxed and calm.  I do have anxiety, especially heightened after my accident, but I’m not ashamed of it anymore.  I think more people struggle with anxiety than we think.  It’s important to get help and have a great support system, people who you can talk with. My hubs is my rock and I’ve turned to him a ton over the past 25 years together, we can talk about anything and I can be truly myself around him.  Also working with a therapist and learning tricks to cope with anxiety has helped me when certain situations arise that may cause my heart to really “pitter patter”.  Deep breathing exercises are one of the best helpers for me, also a little yoga mat time never hurts.

My great friend, Astrid @ Vttrailgirl shared a beautiful and touching post about what goes on in her head during a run.  I loved how she said her head is a “bad neighborhood” at times when she’s alone. (Please check it out, it’s a wonderful post)  This hit home, because so many times I feel this as well.  Not just on runs but with everyday life…. “You can’t do this” “Your injury  won’t heal in time for the 100” “You don’t fit in” etc.. but I try and let them roll by like a cloud in the sky.  I see them, and set them free.  I have had my share of negative thoughts creep back in after my little setback with my tendon/ankle.  Negative thoughts can really rule the mind if you let them, or you can choose to let Happy thoughts trump the negative ones.  You can choose to wallow in the self pity or you can see the positives all around you.  I’m now seeing my setback as a positive, because I’m certain those shoes would have caused problems down the road when my mileage really started to crank up.  I’d rather have the injury in January rather than May.  I’ve also learned, don’t fix things that aren’t broken.  This can be a life lesson for sure.

Patience.  Do you struggle with it?  In a world where we have to wait very little for anything, I feel it’s important to practice good patience. If you want to watch a movie, you download it, a song..boom, it’s in your iTunes, a gift or toilet paper, viola Amazon is there.  I was not blessed with the patience gene, haha, we know having patience isn’t something you’re born with, but I still lack it at times.  I’m a fixer, I want answers quick so I can fix whatever the problem is.  Like my ankle/tendon, I want it fixed now!  My chiropractor told me I have to rest, pure and simple if I want to heal this.  So, I’m practicing patience.   Living in the moment, is a great start to learning patience.  Being present and not letting  your mind wander to the what ifs.  I also feel the guilt settle in when I’m sitting with cranberries on my ankle doing nothing, but what I do see as well, is a family that pitches in and helps one another.  From doing dishes to laundry, shoveling donkey manure, or snow, we make it work.  We make it work, because we love and support one another.  We support each others hopes and dreams, from being a golfer on the PGA, to lighting it up in the NBA, to running ultra 100 mile races, we are all there to allow those dreams to grow.  So I’m making a conscience effort to be patient, especially with myself.  I’m also learning to love myself, for who I am, not for anyone else, but for me.  I’m gonna cut myself a little slack and know in the end, it’ll all work out.  Because I surround myself with people I love, who love me back for who I am, always.

I’m feeling much better.  It’s been 19 days since I did damage to my tendon, but each day I see improvement, walking is much better!  We all gotta have a little faith that everything will be ok, right?  If anyone out there struggles with patience, anxiety, etc, let me know what your tricks are to help soothe your soul………..cheers xoxo

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Until next time,

See you on the trails soon & happy training….. xoxo

Krista 🙂

Holy Shit…this is real!!

“If you can dream it, You can do it”

~Walt Disney

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Elevation map and details of the VT 100

Well, I took the first step in my 100 mile running dream…..I signed up for the VT 100! My palms were sweaty and my heart was pounding…a wee bit crazy, I know….. but I had all this adrenaline pumping through me as my fingers clicked checkout on RegRun.  Click…”You’re all registered for the VT 100″ “AHHHHHHHH…..Holy Shit, this is real!!”

My training isn’t going as planned so far.  When does anything in life really stick to “the plan?”.  I did something to my ankle about 12 days ago. I was running along smoothly, about nine miles into my first loop of 12 miles, it was suppose to be a 20 mile day.  All of a sudden I had this weird pain on the outside of my ankle, no “Ah-Ha” moment of rolling it or awkward step.  I was running with Guy and I told him the sensation I was having.  It was like something was catching in my mid ankle and tender to the outside to the touch . A feeling I’ve never had. I know broken bone pain and I do feel I have a high threshold to pain, so this was a “weird pain” not a “cry pain”.  We walked for a bit and I stopped to stretch it.  We continued on slowly for the last three miles to our house (our house was going to be the quick pit stop before the next eight mile loop).  I got back, took a seat on my yoga mat and did some more stretching.  My calves were pretty tight, as they generally are since being in my Altra’s, which I read comes with the territory of running in a zero drop shoe.  For the most part, besides some tightness here and there at the beginning of a run, I have felt the best I have, both physically and mentally in a LONG time.  So this was a bit of a shock, to say the least, especially since it came out of nowhere.  I was on day 11 of my Winter Warrior Challenge, boo…..my longest running streak ended there.  I iced it, elevated, iced.  My son was already getting his heel looked at the next day, so I was able to jump in after his appointment to get a quick X-ray.  I figured it would be a great starting point.  X-ray was clean, phew, but as I was told (and read online…..lots and lots of googling on stress fractures) a stress fracture may not show up right away.  I let the PA (who is also a family friend) know my plans and dreams for the third weekend in July.  So, he put me in a walking boot and said REST, REST and more REST, until I see you in ten days.

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Frozen cranberries are the best ice pack

So of course, I’m bumming…..but it does feel a lot better to walk on it now, but not perfectly normal to want to run on it yet.  I’m going to see my Chiropractor, Beth  tomorrow, who I have so much faith in.  She knows the “whole” body so well. Hoping she may have some insight. Before I really delve back into training, I’m thinking I may need an MRI. Mostly because I’ve had two different sets of  X-rays ten days apart that are both clean, but I don’t feel 100%.  I think we live and learn from mistakes.  I switched shoes back in November.   I’ve always run in Asics with ZERO issues, chirping that I’ve have no leg problems, nada, it’s usually  my stomach!!  So I will be going back to my Asics, whom I have a new appreciation for…BIG TIME!!!!!

Six months out.  Not my ideal way to start the official training off, but right now I feel I have time still.  I’m grateful that I know my body well enough to stop when things feel odd and be patient in the healing progress, God knows I learned how to do that with the kick injury I endured almost two years ago.  I need lots of good mojo from all my friends and family…..and I hope to be back on the trails soon!!!

In the meantime, I’m reading such a great book!!  “Nowhere near first” by Cory Reese.  It is such a great read.  It’s awesome to read a book by a real person, who is not famous, or elite….just someone like you or I.  Funny, heartwarming, crazy stories.  Definitely want to to the R2R2R now!!!!  Uncle Jim, we may be hitting you up for staying at your place sometime.  So want to bring the kids to do this!!! A must read!!!

So the plan is still on….VT 100….If for some reason I am set back and I have to stop my training for a lengthly time, I’ll shoot for the Javelina Jundred or Ghost Train 100, which are both in October of 2017. The VT 100 is my dream one to run first, because I have so many great memories out on those trails with Song (my beloved Morgan gelding), as we shared four VT 100’s and a win together there in 2004 (the year I was four months pregnant with my youngest the day of the race).  I know every turn of that course via horseback,  I tear up just thinking about him, he was a one-of-a kind horse.  I also have so many new memories with Guy, the boys, and Elaine and Christine and so many friends.  I’m looking so forward to sharing the trails with him and many friends near and far. It truly is a magical one.  I’m staying upbeat and positive……that’s what heals!

Until next time..hope to see you on the trails soon,

Krista xoxoxo

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The dreaded boot….I’m out of it for now…

 

 

 

Forward Progress…….

 

“Don’t try to rush the progress..Remember- a step forward, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. Keep Believing.”

~Kara Goucher

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Snowy trails…….

I love Kara’s quote above…..makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?  We as humans, tend to want to rush the process, I know I tend to. Hurry up and move onto the next thing.   I’m working on slowing things down in my life and really enjoying the moments when I’m in them.  I think we all want to achieve that in life, sometimes we let so many worries overwhelm us, when in fact, 99% of that worrying is useless chatter in our heads. Looking to the little moments in life like, seeing a  beautiful hawk fly high above you, hearing the giggles of your kids in the other room as they make a crazy shot in the Nerf hoop, smiling at a random stranger, cozying up by the fire with a loved one, running down a trail listening to a favorite song as you breathe in the cold invigorating air, these are the moments that fuel me.  Make sure you take the time for you and know that whatever goals you have in your life, you can obtain….you may take baby steps, but each forward progress, is one inch closer to your glory.

I know with running, I’m loving the training immensely this year.  Today will mark day ten in my running streak (I’ve never in my life, ran more than two days in a row!!).  I feel surprisingly good!! I thought my legs would be fried, or mentally I wouldn’t want to keep going for days.  Yet, I’m eating it up (and I literally want to eat everything in the fridge and cupboards!!), loving the time in the Vermont fresh air.  Nothing wakes you up like running in temps in the single digits. Which is funny because I was always a huge hater of winter (sometimes wondering how could I be born in a state, in which six months out of the year you are cold!!)…couldn’t stand it.  Would dread winter coming, as early as September.  This year my motto is EMBRACE WINTER!! Don’t let the cold stop you from enjoying something you love, you may surprise yourself, you may even enjoy it.

My great friend and training buddy, vttrailgirl  and I, had a blast the other day running. We chewed up 11 miles together, laughing, catching up and of course there were picture moments had….  after our run, she recommended that I try Ultragen Recovery Drink.  We enjoyed a glass of it, as we sat at my kitchen table.  Ultragen says you have a 30 minute “Window of Opportunity” following a hard workout to refuel exhausted muscles and restore energy levels. It has loads of Vitamins, BCAA, Glutamine, Protein, and many more goodies and it’s gluten, lactose free.  This is known to deliver all the nutrients to maximize your recovery, after a hard workout.  I’m going to give it a try.  I ordered the Chocolate flavor, because I can never get enough of chocolate…..I’ll keep you posted on my individual results.

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vttrailgirl and I enjoying a selfie break in our 11 mile run….. don’t forget to make your training fun and goofy!

Another great friend who I love running with has a blog kidstrailrunning. She turned me onto to Trevor Hall’s music.  The other day on my 7 miler run, I had Green Mt. State in my earbuds….total goosebumps as I ran down the trail, taking in all this great state has to offer..love you VT!! Thanks Jules for sharing your love of this song with me………

I hope you Enjoy it as much as I do ❤ ❤ ❤  …..

Trevor Hall’s “Green Mtn. State” about ours truly…Vermont ❤

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Keep pushing, one step at a time…..

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My hubs and oldest battled the cold and rocked out 5 miles a few days ago…..WTG!!!

Thanks for following my running journey……look forward to seeing where you go in 2017!! Keep believing……

Until next time,

Happy trails… xoxoxoxo

Krista 🙂

What lies ahead……and a few peeks back at 2016..

“When you bring peace to your past, you can move forward to your future”

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The sky’s the limit!!! I’m wearing the INKnBURN Ascent Tech shirt and Cable knit Capris.  

This past year was one of “finally letting go” of my injury…… Letting go is a powerful thing.  It’s allowed me to really focus on my future.  Like the above quote, until you bring peace to your past, whether it’s an illness/injury, bad relationship, work woes, or other issues in your life, you can never really focus on what is right in front of you or what is ahead of you.  Goodbye past….. hello 2017….

If you’ve been following me, I haven’t written in a while, which seems to be a theme.  I just finished writing my brief write-up on Iceland (That trip was in AUGUST!).  I could have written pages and pages, but I’m hoping I gave you a glimpse of what lies in Iceland for you.  Perhaps you are ready to make your own memories there or somewhere that speaks to you.  If you need any help or have any questions, I’d be happy to assist.

I’m looking ahead to goals for 2017…I would love to blog more.  Writing is very freeing  for me and if I can inspire just one person to “get up and get out” and explore what’s around them, then amen! Most of you know my big goal for 2017…is the VT 100.. YIPPEE!!! I’ve written about this before, because I believe that if you want something bad enough, talking about it keeps you focused.

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Here’s the sticker I bought from ULTRASTICKS, I’m hoping this baby will have a home on my car in JULY!

I was so elated in December to become an Ambassador for INKnBURN.  I’ve been running in their incredible tech wear since this past Fall. I was so in love with the company, that I decided to give it a chance and send in my application along  with tons of other INKnBURN addicts 😉 I’m glad they gave me a shot at promoting their clothing.  I love carrying my iPhone for mini photo shoots on my runs (love when my hubs joins in on the fun, he’s a great sport)  All their clothing is 100 mile tested and I love how happy I feel wearing it. There is no chafing, rubbing, riding up or down.  The Dry I.C.E. fabric wicks away moisture and keeps me super cool on my long run.  I love the design of their pockets, it easily holds my iPhone and that eliminates me wearing the dreaded running belt 🙂  I’m so happy to finally have figured out my running attire, shorts/capris that finally stay put and don’t cut off the circulation around my stomach… check them out at www.inknburn.com.  Stand out in the crowd!!!

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Here my hub is sporting the Phoenix tech shirt. It’s inspired by the mythological bird that recycles its own life.  It ignites itself into a magnificent fire, only to reemerge from its own ashes, reborn, renewed and very much alive.  The colors of this shirt are brilliant!!!

I was super stoked to connect with an incredible runner/blogger who is also training for her first 100 miler.  The funny story is that we’ve already met at last years VT 100 while standing in the Porta Potty line waiting for our runners.  We started chatting about running and horses and donkeys, it was like we were long-lost friends…who knew months later we’d reconnect via Instagram!  Be sure to follow her at Irideandrun She’s got some amazing tips on running and sweet adventures to follow!

An App I found that is incredible is called Charity Miles .  For every mile you run or walk, Charity Miles Sponsor will donate .25 to your charity of choice. Why not help others while you are doing something you love?   After I finish lacing up, I choose from 30 charities that I’d like to donate to, click the app on and I’m off and running. The GPS in the app keeps track of my mileage and they do the rest! Today I ran for the Wounded Warriors Project.  It really puts the focus on someone other than yourself when you run………..

I’m currently reading “Running on Empty” by Marshall Ulrich.  He’s a hoot, logging in over 3,063 miles across our great nation.  This guy is a true beast. Check his book out here…. Running on Empty. I find myself laughing and crying about his life story, so much living here!

I’m on day 3 of the Winter Warrior Challenge!!!! You must run everyday outside for the whole month of January! BRRRR….. I’ve logged 22.14 miles in so far!  I’m excited to see how I’ll feel after running that many days in a row, I’ve never run more than 3-4 days consecutively, so my body will be wondering, WTH is going on??? HMMMMM Check back in later to see how I’m doing! 🙂

Lastly, I’m so impressed with my Yaktrax I bought for winter running.  I’ve run twice in them so far and wow!!! No Slipping!!! My first run with them was on glare ice, there would have been No way in heck that I could have even stood up on the roads, let alone Run!  Today was my second day in them, I felt I could relax on the down hills and let my stride out, without feeling like I’d fall at any given moment.  I feel they are reasonably priced and give me piece of mind while running in icy conditions.

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My Yaktrax’s and super cool Cable Knit Capris by INKnBurn

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My hubs Yaktrax’s in action and Turkey tracks 🙂

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I ran into Frosty on my run today! I love the surprises around every bend in the road….Round bale frosty, only in VT!

Until next time……happy trails!!

xoxoxo, Krista

Like being on a Different planet….

This pretty much sums up being in Iceland for me…You feel as though you’ve boarded a space ship and landed on a different planet.  After spending 11 days in Iceland with my husband and two boys for my 40th this past August, we compared it to Mars several times, and numerous times referred to it as “Cold Kauai “(lots of similar sceneries, but much colder).  Rugged, was the official word used throughout our vacation… The kids began to joke about the word, as I seemed to use it around every bend in the road or every trail we ventured on to find waterfalls….”This land is so rugged”

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Waterfall way….

I had been dreaming of Iceland for many years, which is odd, because I’m generally not someone who wants to jet off to a cooler climate, but I do have such angst to see raw, natural beauty at its finest, hence Iceland …After doing tons and tons of research online, via Facebook and Instagram and Bloggers and my BFF (who has been twice) we decided that we’d do the unconventional (not drive the ring road) route and settle in Hellulandar, the valley right behind Geyser.  We wanted a home base to come back to each night, to cook occasionally, play cards (Scum is the best family card game.  We learned from a group of pilgrims we met while we were walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain)  We are not the typical type of travelers that like to have everything planned to a “T”.  We like to “wing it” as we say.  We knew the areas we wanted to venture out to and where our days trips may take us.  The only three places we booked ahead of time were the Blue Lagoon (a must book ahead if you plan on getting the day and time you want, and no it didn’t feel crowded, the place is HUGE) horseback riding in the north ( in Cowboy valley) and white water rafting (Hestsport took great care of us on the rafting and horseback riding) …All three must do’s in Iceland.

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Blue Lagoon…a must see

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Secret Falls we had all to ourselves…..

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Searching for the pot of gold in Iceland

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Walking the 4k to the DC-3 plane that crashed in the 70’s (all survived) on Solheimasandur black sand beach

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Waterfall way….my most favorite hike in the world!

But for me and my family, Water Fall way was the highlight.  We still relish in the  beauty, power and peacefulness of this almost 16k out and back trek from Skogafoss to the bridge.  The bridge crosses you over the Skoga River to Porsmork .  We were treated to 22 waterfalls, each so different and majestic in their own way.  I had to pinch myself, I felt as though I was in the middle of the most incredible dream. We now have a beautiful canvas print of a moment in time there above our piano…..makes me smile everytime I see it.

We wandered, played, splashed in its thermal pools and just truly enjoyed this beautiful country and all it had to offer.  It was a nice change to stop and truly be in the moment.

Iceland is only a short hop from the East Coast.  If you are planning your next adventure, give Iceland a shot…it won’t disappoint. I truly can’t wait to go back….one of my most favorite places on the planet….

Happy Adventuring….xoxoxo

Krista

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My birthday wish was to ride with my three boys…Jase’s first time ever being on a horse. We had wonderful, quiet Icelandic horses that took the best care of us..

 

Giving Back…..

“We only have what we give.”

~Isabel Allende

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Runner’s High Acai Bracelet

What a crazy week it’s been.  With the recent election of our Country’s 45th President, it’s been difficult to see so much sadness, fear, anxiety, and turmoil in the lives of people around me and the world.  Despite who you voted for, we truly have to pick ourselves up and come together. My Facebook feed alone, is a continuous scrolling of negative posts, and fighting.  I have to admit, last Wednesday, I felt like I was walking around in a fog, stunned.  As I started to feel sorry for myself and get sucked into the vortex of the web, I did a lot of thinking and soul-searching.  What can I do on a small-scale that would help others and keep me focused on the importance of what makes me happy?  My family, friends, running, and animals make me the most happy in life.  I also love making my Mala and Acai beaded bracelets.  Then an idea popped into my head! I could make my “Runner’s High” Acai bracelets and give 50% of the proceeds on each bracelet to VASS.  Vermont Adaptive.org . This is taken from their website; Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont offering the most diverse program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment. Vermont Adaptive promotes independence and furthers equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, tennis, horseback riding, and more. They serve clients of all abilities with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities from all over the world.  

The VT 100, which takes place in West Windsor, VT each July is one of the biggest fundraisers for VASS.  VT 100 Check out all that the VT100 does for VASS, every penny raised at the VT100 is given right back to VASS. I can’t wait to participate as a runner in 2017 along with hundreds of other athletes; horses, runners and riders. An incredible event raising money for an outstanding organization… helping EVERY BODY find their journey through sports.

So, please check out the RUNNER’S HIGH Acai Bracelet on my website and consider buying this beautiful, inspiring running bracelet for you, a loved one, or BFF.  Keeping in mind that 5o% will be going to VASS. Runner’s High Acai bracelet.

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I love wearing my Runner’s High bracelet when I run. It gives me my positive mojo and keeps me grounded and now it gives back to VASS!

I hope you all have a wonderful Fall of running or riding or whatever you do in life that makes you happy. Let’s stick together and make this world a wonderful place for all around us……

see you on the trails.. xoxoxoxo

Making Training Fun….

 

I feel alive and free on the trails……

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goofing around on old round bales…

 

YIPPEE …. 254 days until the VT 100!! There will be a few other races before that to get us ready.. Since the VT 50 this past September, we’ve taken very little time off from running.  Guy has run the VT 100 six times, finishing four! He’s hoping to snatch up his 500 mile buckle  this year,  I’m hoping for my first 100 finish!  We’ve decided for 2017, we’re really going to put a ton of effort into training.  Learning to train our legs, minds and stomachs for the long haul, hopefully creating a much more enjoyable hundred miles….I’m loving my new book I bought.. “Running Your First Ultra” By Krissy Moehl.   Krissy is an insanely accomplished Ultra runner. I love reading about her life experience with running and her training schedules are incredible!!! Lots of do’s and don’ts.  With hard work and dedication, you can do this, whatever distance you choose. Check it out, it’s a keeper! A book I will keep coming back to!

We’ve really decided to document a lot of the training this year. You can follow me at VTRUNNERMOM on Instagram.  I think when you reflect back on whatever your goal is, you totally remember the whole journey, not just the big day.  I want to focus on each moment, each run, feeling more around me in the woods…listening to the brook, or the crunchy leaves under my feet, the sound of my breath as I conquer the hill.  I was just saying to Guy on our run yesterday, that “I feel so alive and free!!” Coming through my injury, I have learned that life changes and it’s ok.  I think change can empower us and give us strength to new things.  I’ve definitely put more energy into running than riding my Arabians, but at this moment, it feels right!  I feel for the first time since the accident, I’m listening to the little voice in my head and what’s in my heart…..Life keeps moving forward and I’m happy to be along for the ride.

Taking the iPhone along has created such funny memories…..we take it out and take small videos or snap goofy/inspiring pics of each other!  It gives your heart rate a brief break and a chance to act like a kid again.  I love inspiring people around me to get up and get out.  If you enjoy walking, running, biking, swimming, riding, etc… try to spice up your training..We forget that we are actually training, because we make it FUN!!! Everything we enjoy in life should be fun!!

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Guy head standing !!

Keeping a running log has kept me accountable, a great app I downloaded on my iPhone is “Running Log”.  It keeps track of daily, weekly and monthly mileage and time.  In October, I ran 84.20 miles! That was exciting to see….Usually I would just kinda guess, this makes it more of a game..

 

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A beautiful tree along the trails in Brownsville…from the other angle, it looks like a man and woman dancing…

 

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Water is again on the trail….missed the sounds of the babbling brook…

Are you goofy when you’re working out? What keeps you motivated??

See you on the trails…. xoxox K

 

Fifty Miles….DONE!!!

“Part of a runner’s training consists of pushing back the limits of his mind” ~Kenny Moore

I swore after my first fifty miler in 2011, that I would never do that again.  I guess the motto is…never say never. I’ve changed a lot since then, I’ve become mentally stronger (even though I still need a boost here and there with my mantras) after my injury and I’ve changed as a runner, I think most in part because I have more passion for it.  I’ve been counting the days until the fifty, so pumped to run the beautiful trails and dirt roads of Brownsville, Hartland, Windsor, & So. Woodstock, VT.  This race is so special because it’s held in our backyard and supports The Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sport.  (http://www.vermontadaptive.org) They are the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in VT.  The Vermont 50 is a wonderful race. I love running with the mountain bikers and the other 600 runners, especially this time of year in VT. The volunteers and race management are top-notch, and the course is incredible.  Long stretches of single track and a mix of dirt roads and open trails. (Thank you landowners!!)  It’s one of the best in the East. Registration opens in May 2017(https://vermont50home.blogspot.com) You won’t be disappointed!

We awoke early Sunday morning, fed the animals and then came inside to eat and get ready. One word…BRRRRR.  It was a crisp 33 degrees, stars were out in full force.  A gorgeous morning to start, I kept saying “How can we be this lucky to have the perfect weather for our 50??” The weather forecast was supposed to be 59 sunny, so we put lots of layers on, knowing we’d be peeling them off along the way.

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The four amigos at the start…Guy (my hubs) Me, Fred, and Hugh

We got to the race around 6am, and watched the mountain bikers leave in waves.  My teeth were chattering, there were people huddled by huge lights, trying to stay warm. Others were covered in blankets, “why didn’t I think of that!?” Good conversations passed the time until our 6:30 am start.

I was surprisingly calm before the race, I was able to eat a big breakfast and I was just relaxed..which is not always the case for me.  I think I looked at the day as a fun, enjoyable run in the woods with Guy.  Like I always say, he’s my rock, I love running with him.  He grounds me, inspires me, gives me confidence, and is just a fun running partner.  I know, this is where you can <gag>….our horse farrier calls us the “cupcake couple”  I’m actually flattered by this…. We love doing everything together, even running!

We couldn’t wait to meet our family at Skunk Hollow which was 12 miles in….the first stretch of miles was so enjoyable. The early meandering trails are our normal training ones, so those flew by.  Loved chatting with numerous runners from all over, DC, Boston, Chicago….each one kept saying, “You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world ” My sister, Karrie and her boyfriend Dan, my parents, our boys and Alba (our chi) were waiting for us at Skunk.  What a lift they were….smiling, cheering, encouraging, there’s nothing like seeing your crew.  Such a boost to the soul and heart!! Thank you guys!!! I knew we had to leave, time is NOT on your side in this 50.  We reluctantly said goodbye, waving “see you at mile 30! Yikes!! That’s so far away” I thought……

We climbed and climbed for miles and miles up to Garvin Hill….What a stunning view.  Loads of volunteers lugged aid stations goodies up there for runners and bikers.Yum, everything was so good!  Potatoes, chips, and PB&J sandwiches. Holy Shit, I was eating!!! This was a first, I normally shy away from food, knowing I will pay for it later.  Tailwind was being consumed about 17 ounces every 1 1/2 hours. So I knew that played a huge part in my eating. Tailwind gives you 100 calories per scoop and electrolytes. Read up on it here. http://www.tailwindnutrition.com/why-tailwind/  It was a life saver for me…like I said, I ate all day, even at the last aid station!!!!

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Garvin Hill Mile 18!!

 

Garvin Hill Clip

 

Heading down after Garvin, we knew we had 12 miles until we saw our faithful crew again.  It would be so great to see them!! We knew time was getting tight, 12 hours seems like a lot, but at times you actually feel like you are going backwards! Strange feeling.  We trudged along, through Cady Brook, and M-Ville aid stations.  Leaving M-Ville at 26.5 miles, Guy was concerned about time.  We left there at 12:25, only 35 minutes before the cut off time….that’s when my mind and stomach felt nervous, “Can we make it?” All the negative thoughts started running through my mind…The mind is a powerful thing….it can give you a boost or it can cut you down.   Running is a good example when the mind can trick you…you may hear “You can’t do this, your arches/quads are killing you” or “Why did you sign up for this” “how much further?” I had many thoughts throughout the fifty miles, good and bad.  Mantras really helped me a with a few low points in my fifty miler. A mantra is a statement of slogan repeated frequently.  Leading up to Greenall’s at mile 30 (where I’d see my family) I repeated it over and over “You are strong, you can do this, Remember what you’ve gone through, You are strong, you can do this, Remember what you’ve gone through” Mantras are incredible.  I repeated and repeated it, looking at my mala bracelet, peace and calmness flooded back over me.  My stomach felt better, my nerves calmed.  Back to business..As we ran down the big hill behind Silver Hill Farm, we saw our two boys running towards us. What a sight for sore eyes…they literally brought tears to my eyes.  How sweet they are to come looking for us, running and laughing and so full of life.  Love them to pieces, they are what keep me ticking. A moment I won’t forget.

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The incredible trails….

 

Clip a few miles before Fallon’s

We quickly said hi to everyone, filled our water bottles with more Tailwind and grabbed a snack and kept going. My BFF Jules, nudging me out of the aid station, “Get going girl” she said….I needed that, or I would have wanted to stay longer.  We knew 30-40 would be a hard single track section, leading to Fallon’s.  We met runners in our situation. We knew we would be running against the clock, one gal came up and asked “Do you think we’ll make it?” Guy kept doing the calculations in his head, “We gotta keep moving!!” So onward we went.  I loved knowing that at Stones (39.8 miles in) we’d see our friends, Jim, Amanda, Mark (he was going to pace Fred in the home stretch) Again, we quickly said hi, grabbed food and marched on.  See the trend, we never stayed long and kept moving the whole day, where does the time go????  We had ten miles and two hours and forty-five minutes… Ok, doable, but not a gimme.  Mark kept the mood light, with jokes and encouraging words.  We slogged up and down single track trails, with hopes that we could get to Johnson’s with an hour and twenty for the last 4.1.  We wanted that cushion, the end was different from what we’ve known in the past, so that had me a bit rattled.  We came into the last aid station with one hour and 25 minutes to do the last 4.1…OK, I could finally breathe.  I knew we still had to move, power walk up the hills.  As we left, the trail leaded us right, away from Mt. Ascutney.  Ugh…. Our bodies and mind wanted to veer left, knowing left would lead us to the finish.  The expression on people’s faces and the silence in the woods was deafening….the soft sounds of feet hitting the dirt, each one of us putting one foot in front of the other, wanting the same goal….. A FINISH.  We must power on, relentless forward motion RFP, RFP..repeating in my head.

When we reached the one mile to go sign, we all tapped it as we went by it.  One mile to go, was it really happening? Were we going to finish within the time perimeter? We seem to always make a dramatic ending, my last 50 I had six minutes to spare, six! This time I knew we’d have more, but not by much!! We could hear all our family and friends from about 1/2 mile to go….the tears were flowing, all the work, time, and energy had paid off, we were going to finish…I could taste it now.  This time we finished 11:43:57…16 minutes to spare!!! I was now qualified to enter the VT 100!!!! Something I’ve dreamed about for the last few years….

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love the high fives

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almost there!!

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the finish

Thank you to all the volunteers, race managers, land owners, who make this race happen year after year…..it’s a special one for my family!!!!

See you on the trails…… xoxoxoxox

Krista 🙂

Getting excited for VT 50…..14 days and counting….

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Pausing at the Jay Peak Trail Running Festival 25K

What a wonderful Labor day weekend my family and I had at the Jay Peak Trail Running Festival. I highly recommend this race to all runners because they seem to truly offer it all!  First, you have a plethora of choices of distances; you can enter the beast of the 50k, 25k (which is still an animal) and on the day before they have three 5k’s (still a challenge!) and a kids race.  You can enter one, two or three of the 5k’s, ranging from black diamond, blue square, or green circle.  The 50k has been called one of the hardest 50k’s in the northeast, and I can see why!  Running the 25k is a killer on the quads, so double that for the 50k..the races have an elevation gain of +3000 feet (some bloggers indicating they had upwards of 4000 elevation change), including an out and back jaunt down the Long Trail and running straight up and down the mountains lift trails. Your quads will SCREAM at you on this race, but the epic views, race directors, volunteers, swag, and venue will surely make up for it……..plus running this race, really confirms that you are a Bad-Ass!   Second, you and your family will love treating yourselves to the Pump House indoor waterpark (ask about the Run and Stay deal when booking your room), numerous restaurants (our fav was the Foundry Pub and Grill….the flatbread Pizza was to die for!), and it’s own General store.  Be sure to check this race out, you won’t be disappointed!! Jay Peak Trail Running Festival.  This was a great run to add to my training calendar for the VT 50.  It gave me a boost on my hiking and hill-work training.  We used our Tailwind religiously and it was great.  Non filmy and acidy like the gatorade I had been using before….hoping Tailwind will be a huge help for my stomach at the 50.

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Guy climbing a trail at the Jay Peak Trail Running Festival

 

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runners making the trek Up, Up, and UP!!

SO it’s T- Minus 14 days until the VT 50…..I have one more long run scheduled for tomorrow, then it will be lots of tapering and mental positive thinking on my part.  I really want to finish this 50 and qualify for VT 100 next year (one of my daily mantras)  I’m going to be running with my rock (My hubs), who I know will keep me focused and calm and he’s one hell of a numbers guy!  I know I will ask him over and over, “do we have time? will we make the cutoff?” I really hope I can finish this 50 with more than six minutes in the bank like my last go around.  It was wonderful to finish, but wow, it was stressful running against the clock!!!!!!!  I hope all you fellow runners and mountain bikers are enjoying your last few weeks of training and are soaking it up!

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the boys at their 5k race

 

Here’s a glimpse of the Jay Peak course…………..

See you on the trails in a mere few weeks…………

xoxoxoxoxo, krista

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Our Asics drying in the sun….