The little things….

“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things……I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.”

~Leo Buscaglia


The fam and I enjoying a moment at the Celtics game this past Friday

Do you ever feel like life is going by so fast, that you have to stop and catch your breath? It feels like yesterday that my two boys were tugging at my pant legs, looking up at me, but now, I’m the one looking up. Before I know it, my oldest will be off on his new adventure….college., and my youngest will be headed into high school. I vow to focus on the little moments everyday with my family. It’s the little moments that pass us by in a blink of an eye.

Just last night, I had one of the best times. My family and I were playing “Bonus Ball”, a game invented by my three amigos. Everyone shoots a basketball from different areas on the court, half court shot being the final one. Each player gets a turn and if one person makes it, you all advance to the next shooting spot on the court, you’re a team. If you all make the shot, you get a bonus round of four extra shots, one per person. I was a bit confused at first, but my boys kept me up to speed. As a whole, we are a very spicy family, we feel deeply, we are uber competitive at times and a wee bit loud when we are playing games. My grandma shooting technique gained us advancement late in the last round, and since we had a few bonus balls, we had eight tries to get the half court shot. Swish…..the crowd goes wild….well the four of us hollered around the gym like we had won an NBA finals game. It’s the little moments spent with the ones you love, not doing anything spectacular, just being goofy together.

This past week was a much needed recovery week with training. Preparing for two 100 mile races this year, I’m working on training smarter. After three heavy months, with many long back to back runs, hubs and I are looking to shake things up. Incorporating the much needed recovery weeks into the schedule, and pushing ourselves with some speed training. Speed work, say what?! I haven’t thought much about speed training, since my high school cross-country days with Coach Burg. We’re looking to keep training “fresh”, while pushing us out of our comfort zone too. Getting our ole’ tickers working.

My main goal for the upcoming season is to finish. First and foremost, I will try my hardest to get to the finish line. As always, we need a little luck on our side too. With more effective training, it would be sweet to shave some time off my previous race finishes, but again, it’s not about the time for me, more about the experiences along the way. Chatting with fellow runners, getting to know other runner’s why, and soaking up the whole adventure, one mile at a time. I have such gratitude for what my body does for me, where my legs take me, and the little moments I gain along the way.


A snowy run in Boston….

What are your little moments?

Happy Running….hope to see you on the trails. If you need some inspiration, be sure to check out our stories of the everyday runners on our website, http://www.bluecollarrunners.com   

Krista 🙂

xoxoxo

6 weeks and counting……

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

~Maya Angelou

 

I just want to start by thanking all of you who have donated to our Vermont 100 Sponsor Board.  We think of you often on our training runs and hope you know that you are on this journey with us. The money raised is going to such a worthy cause.  We are so close to our goal of $2500 for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, we couldn’t have done this without you…many thanks!  It’s so exciting to see the board filling up…. its almost go time!  Our board will come with us to all the aid stations, reminding us WHO is motivating us on our journey and who WE are ALL helping on our adventure together…..Let’s do this!!!!!!!

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It’s been quite awhile since I’ve sat down and typed, it’s always so freeing to let the fingers do the talking.  I’ve been really concentrating on my mind and soul these past months.  My friend Amanda, owner of Forest Trail Retreats introduced me back to yoga in late April.  She is very soothing in the way she teaches and how she guides you through your Yoga, I’m looking forward to continuing classes with her.  She will be up at the VT100 conducting yogas classes for you and your family!!! How cool is that?!   Emily, my running buddy, also nudged me into coming to some classes with her at Mighty Yoga, where the studio is heated.  I loved the connection of my breath to my body, to my mind, and to my soul.  Not to mention it’s a kick A$$ workout or if you slow it down, it’s a great practice to do after a long hard run, stretches out those hammies 😉 …..Looking forward to continue my Yoga practices with these ladies.  A particular quote I love is “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”  I kind of feel my running is the same way, it’s taught me abundant lessons in life.  Running has taught me a ton about myself, we are all evolving and adapting everyday,  these two seem to compliment each other greatly. This is now in my list of tools that can help relax me……

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Circa 2011….Guy’s first VT100….my oh my have the kids grown! Mile 99!!

 

Another practice I’ve been doing is meditation.  I never thought I’d be the type to try it, but after the Runamuck 50k this past April, I was a MESS. Why? I really have no idea.  I train, I’m a competent runner,  I eat healthy, I’m not competitive (as my hubs and I call ourselves the “blue-collar runners…we are not fast!”) I have an incredible family life, but I do have a TON of anxiety.  Growing up, I just thought, hey..everyone is like this…..and I’m finding out as the stigma goes away, there are a lot of people who battle with anxiety!  You’re not alone!!  I put a ton of pressure on myself, always have, it’s in my genes, I have a family full of perfectionists and people pleasers.  Not a bad thing, but it can cripple you if you let it.  The thing with ultra-running and most things in life, is things never go as planned…..you have to learn to adapt to any situation thrown at you.  In my running it may be the weather, or certain people who heighten my anxiety, questions, like… do I belong here, did I train enough …at the start of the race, these are all things out of my control, so there is no need to create angst from them.  My anxiety rears its ugly head in the first 10 miles of a race, sometimes it’s the first mile, sometimes the eighth. My hands get numb, my palms sweat and become tingly, I’m one big nerve and I now am realizing that these are mini panic attacks (I’ve had huge full-blown ones after my accident, these are smaller, but you feel the nausea, the worry, the bang, bang, of the your chest, like you are losing control over your body)  My adrenaline is pumping through my body so fast and in the first few miles, even at a slow pace mind you, my heart rate is hitting 180+…..it’s frustrating, but I’m learning new tricks and I’m beginning to lose the fear of the evil monster.  So the second tool in my box of tricks is meditation, I’ve been meditating for the past 3 months, on and off, but mostly on.  I feel so much better when I have taken the 10 minutes to shut down from the outside world.  The app I use is Headspace It’s a free app that guides you through your mediation (his voice is super soothing and British, a win-win), whether your starting from scratch or if you’ve been practicing forever….  I love it, it reminds me to be in the moment, which I feel most of us in the modern world forget to do as well as work on my breathing……..I can’t say enough about it.

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Atop of Ascutney……take it all in..be in the moment, just BE

I’m excited to see what the next four weeks bring in our peak training.  This is a race I look forward to every year and this year is the 30th Anniversary!!!!!!!!  I’m so excited to be part of the race committee,  we have some special things planned for you all.  It’s like my friend Astrid and I always say…”It’s Christmas in July!”  Can’t wait to meet new friends and see my old best pals at Silver Hill……….See you there!

 

 

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vttrailgirl and I at the Chesterfield Gorge 100k! What a HOT day…..but we survived!

 

Happy training, happy mindfulness and happy life……..See you on the trails…..

Krista xoxoxoxo

 

BE Mindful….

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Jay Peak & Beyond……

“It hurts up to a point and then it doesn’t get any worse.”

~Ann Trason

 

This quote can relate to many things in life, especially Ultra running. This past weekend my family and I ventured to the Jay Peak Trail Run in Jay, VT.  Driving up on Saturday, the sky was blue, the air crisp, two eager boys in the back, ready to tackle their 5k.

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The boys stride for stride at the start of the Green Circle 5k

What I like about the this weekend is we make it a mini vacation, with a side order of running. The facilities are top notch, rooms are gorgeous, we were lucky to get one overlooking the mountain this year.  Great restaurants, a general store, and don’t forget the amazing Waterpark to get your splash on or relax in the giant outdoor hot tub! A must do on Sunday night to soak your tired muscles…….

The boys enjoyed their 5k, but were eager to get to the waterpark afterwards, what kid wouldn’t? The waterslides and lazy river are so much fun…….we had many races against each other…we came to realize that whoever rode down the slide with hubs, was clearly going to win!! Hehehehe

We grabbed a nice lunch at the Pub, it was the most beautiful, picture perfect VT day.  Not a cloud in the sky, near 70….you couldn’t imagine any bad weather coming in on the horizon.  Yet we knew, they were calling for frigid temps and lots of rain…..EWWW… After getting our packs ready and laying out our gear, tailwind, simple squares for the morning….we chilled and put on a movie and settled in for the evening.  Our alarm would be going off at 5:30am.

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I thought I was buying oatmeal……maybe the worst pre race breakfast ever!

BUZZ, darn alarm…..I jumped up and started getting breakfast together and making our oatmeal….WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?!?!?!?!?  What I thought was oatmeal was some sort of pancake batter thingy.  I made mine ultra thin and you can see hubs made his thick.  Thank goodness we bought english muffins….

We walked down to the start, it was cool, no rain yet.  Some people had rain jackets, others just a tank top and shorts.  I decided to go with my Skylight Inknburn tech and Mermaid shorts. I love me some Inknburn……. I don’t love being too hot, I heat up rather quickly while I run, but I did pack a rain jacket.  Hubs and I always laugh when we stand around at the start, because as we look around, we have packed the whole house into our packs, and others have nothing.  I always feel like I’ll need something and I want to be ready, but boy, I gotta learn to minimize!!!

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At the start..go team RunFar

And we were off on our 35.5k, adventure… so a 22 miler with two loops.  Each loop has an elevation gain of approximately 3500+ feet.  They label these races as Quad Burners and that is 100% true!!!  We start off meandering by the lodge and up into a nice slightly elevated groomed trail….climbing roughly 700 ft.  Then the BEAST climb, pretty much up the face of Jay.  The third mile has an elevation gain of 1200+ ft! In ONE mile!!!! I could feel my legs burning a bit, but the rain was holding off so we could see the majestic view below us!!!

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Rain was at a minimum during loop one

As we reached the top of that climb, we entered the “mossy forest”…as I aptly named it.  Gorgeous, rugged, gnarly, rocky, rooted trail.  After this brief climb you are almost to the top where there is a cool lodge building.  Teenaged boys handing out water, bananas, and such.  They looked so cold!  Thank you to all the volunteers for being out in the frigid temps to help us runners!!! Much appreciated!!!

 

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almost to the top! Storm’s a brewin’

From there, lots and lots of downhill to reach our out and back down the Long Trail.  This is a hard section for me, because as you are making your way down, all the front runners are hiking back up, FAST.  It’s difficult mentally knowing it’s about a mile down and then the same mile back up….but there is a cool aid station at the bottom and oh did those Oreos taste AMAZING!!! Thanks ladies……

From the top of the Long Trail section, it’s pretty much a coast home for the last five miles.  Nearly all of your massive climbing is done in those first 6 miles, don’t get me wrong, the last five miles aren’t flat, but there are more sections that are runnable.  Numerous runners had trekking poles, I think they would have been extremely helpful on the steep downhills, it was hard at times to hold yourself back.  As we headed into our tenth mile, the rain started coming down.  Luckily we had our rain jackets stuffed in our packs….they kept us warm and somewhat dry, even though our base layer was wet…I did feel warm enough.  With eleven miles done, we had the midway aid station at the starting area, and then it was back to the intense climbing and repeating the loop again…….I actually enjoyed it way more the second time, I was tired and my quads were barking, but I knew what was coming ahead and that after six miles, we would be in the clear.

*This is the “mossy trail”…..haha hubs called it an awful trail as a joke…we just kept laughing at the conditions……I have to say it was an epic day! 40’s and rain and mud….best trio for an ultra!!!

I just love this race!  I totally recommend it, it’s not easy, but you know you’ve done something after you conquer Jay!!!!!!!!!!! We’ll be back for sure in ’18!!!!

 

Looking ahead…….I may have, accidentally, maybe, uh, hmm, signed up for my second 100!!!!!  AHHHHH…..I’m really pumped for this one, because I will be meeting up with all my RunFar friends.  We will be racing the Javelina Jundred in the beautiful desert of Arizona this upcoming October.  Hubs and I are flying out together (thank you Mom and Dad for hanging with the boys…..and we get to celebrate our 26 year anniversary of being together to boot <3) Looking forward to meeting the amazing folks at Aravaipa running who put on the JJ100, and to finally meet my fellow RunFar athlete/friends face to face.  I’m so proud of what RunFar stands for. Running for them is a constant reminder of our veterans serving our beautiful country.  I want to continue being a voice, sharing their message…….getting veterans the help they need with PTSD and mental trauma can hopefully save lives and saves families.  RunFar’s mission is to raise awareness about veteran suicide and PTSD while providing scholarships to the children of fallen United States Military service members that have taken their own life. Please take a moment to check out their website, grab a sweet RunFar trucker hat/shirt or send a few bucks their way…every little bit helps…..thank you….

I leave you with a cool video from RunFar….enjoy and keep inspiring others…..

RunFar video  

Click on above link to see what RunFar athletes are up to in October…….

See you on the trails…………

Krista xoxoxo

 

A wee bit windy at the top!!!!

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boys cheering us at the finish!!! Best kids ever!