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 🙂

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 🙂

A Fresh Start……

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Training run with my hubby on the beautiful roads in VT

Some time has passed since I’ve sat down and blogged. It’s been quite a year, and it’s hard to believe how much I’ve changed as a human being during it. I’ll always be feisty, but I’ve evolved in the way that I’m more relaxed than I’ve ever been, calmer, more at peace. Not to say I don’t get stressed, worried, scared or intense at times, but I’m starting to learn to slow down, breathe and enjoy the little things in life. It’s so cliche, but life flies by us so fast, that stopping and truly smelling the roses is something I’m grateful to be doing.

Since my last post, I’ve undergone two more surgeries on my elbow. One to release the joint from all the scar tissue that had formed (and I’ve been informed from my surgeon, that I grow an insane amount of it) and another after my elbow re-fractured in two places after the capsule release, most likely in one of my numerous braces that I was in.  January and February were tough months to be honest, because having three surgeries in ten months is taxing on the body, mind and soul.  At a particular low point in January, my husband wrote me the most positive, beautiful letter that I’ve ever read. I cried, laughed, and felt hope come back as I read it.  He wrote about numerous people who had overcame injuries and illnesses that seemed far worse than my shattered elbow.  The one person who seemed to resonate with me was Janine Shepard.  She was in a horrific accident in her 20’s and ended up writing a book called “Never Tell me Never”.  I couldn’t put the book down, and I’m forever grateful to her to have the courage to share her story with others.  I highly recommend it and am excited that she has a memoir coming out this fall.

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Never give up! Healing this arm day by day..

I’m excited to be running again. I’m shooting for the VT 50 in the Fall, as someday, I’d love to qualify to run the VT 100.  I’ve ridden it eight times on my horses, and would love to someday join the ranks of the toughest guys and chicks around.  This weekend is the Pinelands Running Festival in Maine and I’m beyond excited to be running the 25k with my best friend, Julie and our 4 kiddos.  My hubby and numerous running buddies will be tackling the 50!! It will truly be a beautiful day in the woods spent chatting, running, eating and enjoying each others company.

I guess if I can say anything about this past year, it would be that I’ve become more compassionate and I’m getting closer to “full circle “in my mental healing, as I’m the one encouraging others in their dark times.  I really couldn’t grasp that this winter, that I could be smiling again and seeing true joy around me.  Injuries are tough, especially the ones that really knock you on your ass, but they do have a way of making you tougher, more resilient, and kinder. You understand what it truly means to endure.  I’m going to be kind to myself and allow my love of horses to creep back in once the fear has left, as the the Japanese Proverb says, “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows”.

I’ve been fortunate to have Egalite join our farm…he’s a beautiful, seven year old Arabian gelding.  I feel a strong connection to him already, and hope he will give me the courage to ride again and dissolve my fears.

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Egalite

I look forward to see what the summer brings us……remember to be kind to yourself, to others and our beautiful world around us…it’s all we got.

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Get your run on…