Inspiration

Last night, I attended a screening of 100: Head/Heart/Feet at the Music Hall.  I have been following the development of this film for over 18 months as I know one of the producers.  This is the story of Zac Wieluns, a normal guy turned ultrarunner.  Zac went to Colby Sawyer College with my husband’s best friend, as did the Producer Mike Mooney.  So even though this film would have hit close to home for me regardless, it was way cooler to know the people involved!

We sat through the 102 minute film and I had goosebumps throughout the documentary.  I almost cried twice.  Not only was I impressed with how it was made, I felt part of the experience by the end.  I am hoping to be healthy enough to pace Tony to the finish of his first 100 in 2015 and this film made me want that so much more.  I can’t wait to be responsible for getting him to the end…. getting him through the best and worst race of his life.  Running makes me feel so selfless…. I don’t know how else to describe it.  Anyway, if you get a chance, check out the trailer for 100: Head/Heart/Feet!

So given I am completely inspired now, I am also sitting here trying to decide the direction I need to take for the next few weeks.  I think I am leaning towards no running whatsoever for a week.  My trainer has sent me my strength training routine to work on.  I may hike as well, but need to focus on strengthening for right now.  I am so disappointing to be missing the Presidential Run but I will just have to do it some other time.   The bigger goal is Kismet.  And pacing my “brother from another mother” to the finish of his 100.  I know I could push through the Prezi, but is it worth completely blowing out a weak ankle?  Nope.

I have a brace from CEP coming today.  Here’s hoping it provides enough stability to allow this thing to heal up!  In the meantime, strength work and stretching!

 

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On Patience.

Do not give up

Picture this….

I am at the start line of a local trail race.  I am ready to run… easy anyway.  It’s brutally hot.  My legs feel good.  My shabby ankle is feeling fine.  I am confident I am ready to return to trail racing.  I had a very strong four miler on pavement and have done non-technical trails for two weeks.  The race starts and I go out easy.  Chatting, landing light.  I come around the corner in this field where the footing gets tough.  It’s full of holes.  I have run this field 3 millions times and could find those holes with my eyes closed.  I am dodging them without issue when I land (on flat ground) and my ankle completely buckles again.

Damn.

I could not believe it.  The grinding and crunching of ligaments and tendons and nauseating.  I instantly wanted to punch something. Lise did too.  I encouraged her to go ahead and I stood, one legged, waiting for the pack to pass.  Once it did, I tentatively stepped down.  On yeah.  That sucks.  This injury, one I am now getting used to, makes my whole foot sore over the top and around to the arch.  I started to walk slowly and as I did, it felt better with each step.  Phew…. just like last time.  I walked the 1/4 mile back out… having to go through the finish line.  Tony was speechless.  Momentarily.  Ryan told me I needed to get back out there…. his wife (aka my coach) smiled and said NO!  I grabbed some ice and sat down at the finish line.  Defeated.  Deflated.  But not discouraged.  Kristina told me to rehab it just like I did a few weeks ago and get back on the technical stuff.

This is really just irritating right now.  My brain is so on track and my ankle just isn’t there yet.  Not the end of the road though.  I can hike (hopefully… let you know Saturday) and I can do strength work.  I ordered a CEP brace and hope it will help give me just a bit of stability until these ligaments and tendons strengthen back up!

Keep on keeping on….

Balancing act: Work and Training

power

My job gets in the way a lot.  Almost a year after moving from one agency to another, I have zero regrets.  In fact, I often call it the best decision of my professional career.  However, weeks like this past one try my patience and ability to train… much less keep up with my house and husband!  A total of 28 hours of extra work made for a sore week.  My low back is destroyed from all the driving.  I only got about 14 miles in this week… one of those runs I only got a half mile from home before the phone rang and duty called.  Literally.  And I missed two scheduled workouts with my new trainer.

I feel like I lose condition every time I have weeks like this.  That is probably insane, but it certainly feels that way when I am sleep deprived and living in a state of lead legs!  I have found that being stressed about not running is counterproductive.  I think I did a bit better than usual this time around.  Call week ends in three hours!

On tap is a massage to fix my lower back, two scheduled work outs, a trail race and [hopefully] multiple mountains.  I may even try my first solo 4K next Monday!!!

Finding my place….

Loon Mountain Race 2014

Loon Mountain Race 2014

4.9 miles and over 2700 feet of elevation gain in one race…. my idea of an amazing time!  I have been struggling the last 4 months to find my niche, my place, in the running world.  I have settled on mountain running.  I don’t care if I am ever fast because it’s not about the speed… it’s about the challenge.  I have run two mountain races, Loon and Wildcat (see my race/summit report on My 4K Quest page) and seriously could not stop smiling.  They were horribly amazing with nasty death march climbs, but the harder I worked my body the more amazing it felt.  It was like coming home.  Loon was an unreal experience, especially the Upper Walking Boss.  Think 1/4 mile at 40 percent grade to the finish line.  I found myself walking backwards just to relieve my calves.  Each time I did, I was treated with one of the best views in the Whites.  Amazing!!!

I have been struggling a little to come back from my ankle injury in April.  The stress reaction healed as did the high ankle sprain.  I was able to start running the weekend of Pineland Running Festival.  I ran from aid station to aid station for our 10Kers as well as for Tony during his 50K.  It was strange to not be running the race I trained so hard in the snow for, but I was so happy to be simply be running again.  I put in about 4 miles that weekend.  My lungs sucked, I was sore and my ankle shouted a bit… but I was running again!  We rented a house in Maine and had the entire crew up for the weekend.  It could not have been more fun!

pineland

This is just a snapshot of the antics.  Lots of running, fishing, eating and beer drinking for three days.  Love my friends 🙂

loon

Once again, my friends are why I do this.  Without them, it would not be the same experience!

I have become a bit of a gear whore this summer too… check it out!!!

gear

I am IN LOVE with my new Ultimate Direction PB Vest.  I can shove so much gear in it and on it and still run until my heart is content.  Also loving the front bottles which I wasn’t so sure about.  I bought a small and have to wear it with the adjustments all the way in for the summer since all I usually wear is a tank top.  Should be awesome come colder weather too.  I have been wearing compression sleeves since my bone injury and actually like the tight feeling.  Plus I get tons of compliments on my bright socks on the trails!  I do enjoy matching…. Finally, I invested in a pair of La Sportiva Bushidos for mountain running.  This shoes are utterly insane on wet rocks.  I tried them out on Pierce and Jackson in the rain and didn’t slip at all on even the slickest slabs.  Incredible.  CANNOT WAIT TO RUN KISMET IN THEM!!!  And they are so pretty too!

I am in training with Kristina Folcik-Welts for the Kismet Cliff Beast in September.  Running in the whites is my training ground.  I will be participating in a Presidential Traverse on August 1st with her running group and then Tony and I have planned to peak bag multiples midmonth.  There are some other weekends in there too.  I twisted my ankle about 10 days ago but am back to running on the road.  Going to attempt some technical trail today with a 10 miler planned tomorrow.  Kristina has me building my mileage base slowly with cross training as a component.  I enlisted the help of a local personal trainer for 12 sessions to get my building strength too.  I feel like I am finally crafting a way to be successful and comfortable!  I got frustrated when I twisted my ankle, but Kristina pointed out that injuries are part of the running process.  I stopped immediately, have taken really good care of it and it healed quickly.  Here’s to smart nutrition, rehab and training… finally!!!!