Speed Bump……….with a side order of Redemption…& a lot of purpose!

“If you fall short, you don’t cross that arbitrary line, it doesn’t mean you suck.  It just means that you have ambition, that you try to do big heroic things. That’s what matters. A DNF should be a badge of honor. It means your dreams are boundless.  

~Mishka Shubaly

Thank you to my friend Andrea for messaging me this above quote after my DNF at Pinelands……really meant a lot….

Memorial Day weekend is best spent with family, friends, and remembering the veterans who have given us the freedom we know today.  Driving up to Maine, hubs, the boys and I were super pumped.  We couldn’t wait to get there, the drive was smooth, except for the car in front of us on I93 hitting a deer….so sad. I couldn’t wait to see friends and hang out at our little pre race potluck BBQ together, before race day.  I have to say, the running community is really special.  So much camaraderie and encouragement between everyone.  So happy to be part of such a great group of people.

The boys

The Grill Masters…Charcoal vs Gas

We went to L.L. Bean and picked up our bibs before heading over to the venue for dinner.  Great to see Jen (who is an Inknburn addict, like me) for the first time.  So proud of her for running her first 50k!! She smashed it, I think she’s hooked!!!  Also got to hang out with my BFF, Julie and her family, and got to meet her lovely friends….So fun hanging with our four running buddies,  Jim and Amanda and their adorable boys and Jon and Astrid..it was like VT moved to Maine…

We settled in for the night, and the boys had the movie “Vacation” playing on the boob tube…I heard giggling and reciting of the movie (mostly from the big kid….aka Hubs) as  I packed my gear and got stuff ready for the morning.  Amanda was sweet to offer to bring our boys to the start of their 25k around 9:30am, since hubs and I had to be there at 5:40am.

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The VT crew..hubs, myself, Reeve (what a cutie grabbing my cheek), Amanda, Jim, Astrid, Jon, Hugh, Julie, and Naia before the 50 start. Love these people!!

 It was super foggy at the start.  We settled towards the back of the pack, got the chance to see Heather who was running her VT 100 qualifier!! (She by the way, rocked the friggin course!! Congrats Heather!!)  The start was calm and relaxed….we settled into a nice pace around 10 minute miles and then we were doing about 5 miles an hour, for the first 15 miles.  It’s nice to bank some time in the beginning when you’re fresh, yet still run smart, which we were.  Then the wheels fell off……..  I dropped at mile 20, finishing just the first loop of the 50.  I had to stop and use the “forest” bathroom at least seven times (TMI..I know) on the last five miles of that loop, thank you to my hubs for hanging in there with me…our time was really dogging by that point…..I knew at about mile 15 something wasn’t right.  I was taking in my appropriate tailwind and bars, but couldn’t keep anything in.  My stomach would gurgle, and sharp pains ensued.  I tried Rolaids with no relief.  My body wasn’t digesting correctly like it normally does. I’ve run lots of 20+ mile runs this year in training, nothing like this has ever happened.   Hubs was really worried about me, I could see it in his face. We ran into the aid station where our team tent was. Hubs loaded up with more tailwind and headed out on his second loop, after making sure I was ok.  I told him I would sit and rest and see if I could keep fluids/food in. If I could, I would get back out on the course.  I had plenty of time.  The weather was near perfect (it was the mud that everyone kept talking about, the fields were saturated by the immense rain we’d had).  So I sat, ran to the bathroom, sat, ran to the bathroom.  Ate and sipped…..I felt like I lived in the gross porta-potties all day…..ewwwwwww.  I decided it would be a no go, and made my way to the timer to turn in my bib….wah, wah.  I knew my boys were somewhere on the 25k course…..they were flying and it took hubs nearly ten miles to catch them.  (The 25k loop is done twice by the 50k and three times by the 50)

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my boys on their way to their 3rd 25k finish!!!Beasts!!!

It was nice having friends/family come off loops and see the determination and happiness on their faces.  It was a nice distraction for me.  One point in particular was when Julie and Naia came off their fist loop on their 50k..both looking to finish their first ultra!!!!!!!  I helped Julie with her blisters…and tailwind refilling. I got the nicest message from her after I got back to my hotel room (I was feeling a wee bit sorry for myself….)  She wrote…… “For what it’s worth, having you at the tent my first lap made my day and I am eternally grateful for your help and support at that point.  Maybe you were meant to be there at that moment…I sure needed you.” This is why I run, this is what it’s all about.  Connections, people, friends helping each other, encouraging one another.  That really brightened my spirits, when I needed it the most.  So Jules (and Naia) way to epically ROCK your first Ultra together, I can’t wait to see where the trails lead you…….love you to the moon and back girlies…..

So thank you to all my friends and family who reached out with encouraging words about VT100.  Somedays, the fairytale in your head doesn’t play out.  But, I live to run another day with these beautiful people in my life.. and I’m thankful for that!!!!

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Hubs at the 50 finish!!! He’s an animal and my HERO!!! Pic by the famous Allyn Genest

 

Congrats to all who ran Pinelands, we will certainly be back next year, celebrating Memorial Day weekend in running fashion with friends and family…..

 

Follow Up Since the 50 debacle

After Pinelands, I went to see my Chiropractor, Dr. Beth (who is a complete Goddess and Savior to me and my family) She felt my stomach had not recovered fully from the stomach GI thing I had 5 days before Pinelands (the stomach I learned from her takes 10 days to regenerate…I’m learning so much about how the body works)and that she feels my bloating in my everyday life is from a lack of acid in my stomach…who knew!? The whole time, I’ve been feeding myself Tums, Rolaids, anything to help…which in turn was hurting me worse.  I’ve been following her advice:  take 1 tbsp of Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with a bit of water before each meal.  I’ve felt wonderful this week…

I decided to map out 50 miles on my Strava map and run my own “Brownsville Redemption 50 miler” …as I affectionally named it.  I awoke Friday morning a little nervous…I didn’t know how of would feel and I was still a bit worn out from the weekend.  Thankfully hubs was going to crew for me out there, bringing me tailwind, extra food, grilled cheese and of course his smile and positive attitude……As I laced up my shoes and headed out the door, I was thinking of my Grandpa Blitt, who had passed away the morning before.  He was 95 and lived such a full and exciting life.  He fought in WWII, was an incredible artist, some of his paintings would blow your mind……His spirit was with me all day…….I’m forever grateful for that.

There was no fanfare, no accolades, no cowbells….just me, my breath, my every foot fall. The backroads of VT were so peaceful that day,  I never saw a runner, biker or horseback rider.  I felt as if I were all alone, yet had so much strength wrapped around me.  Thank you Guy and Justin who helped and encouraged me throughout the miles…….I’m so grateful for my family always………

 

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50 miles done!!!!!

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I’m also excited and humbled to be a RunFar Athlete

This is what they stand for and was taken from their website:

“We believe that the brave men and women who have protected our country respectfully deserve to have their families protected as well. Through the Sergeant Sean Northcutt Scholarship, we will provide educational benefits to the children of these fallen service members who have lost the battle at home. Founder of Run Far, CJ Schneider III, veteran of the United States Marine Corps, is an Ultra Marathon runner whose goal is to bring people together through fitness to raise awareness for Veteran suicide and PTSD”

“Run Far is all about inspiring runners to reach goals that before seemed nearly impossible. It’s for those with dreams of adventure & successes, and for those who want to put a little more good back into this world.”

Donate to RunFar

Sergeant Sean D. Northcutt Scholarship

Sergeant Sean Northcutt, Proud Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, served multiple deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. After honorably giving 8 years of his life to his country, Sergeant Northcutt was diagnosed with PTSD and depression prior to transitioning into civilian life. After a long fight with these horrible illnesses, Northcutt took his own life on July 20, 2015 at the age of 31, leaving behind a widowed wife and two children.

​ Sergeant Northcutt lived a life filled with immense pride and discipline in everything he did. He carried himself with the love of his family, country and fellow service members. Northcutt affected many lives in a positive way in his short time on earth.  Ideally, those who benefit from this scholarship will emulate the principles by which Northcutt lived, thereby keeping alive the legacy of our fallen Hero, Brother, and Friend.

I’m so excited to be part of the #teamrunfar. Together we can help veterans and their families……every dollar counts….Thank you.

RunFar hats

100% of every purchase and donation goes towards the Sergeant Sean D. Northcutt Scholarship fund.

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Run Far hats (they are pretty awesome!!!)…100% of every purchase and donation goes towards the Sergeant Sean D. Northcutt Scholarship fund.

 

The moral is…..do not give up, do not let thoughts/or failures tear you down.  Get back up and fight another day…….

Happy Trails….and thanks for following my running journey….

Krista 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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

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

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…

 

 

 

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….