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!!!!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mark Smidt
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 15:24:50

    Do the Bushidos have enough cushioning? I thought they looked like good shoes. Congrats on your trail work.

    Reply

    • spottedimages
      Jul 19, 2014 @ 16:11:51

      I believe they do. I love the rock plate and they fit like a glove. They are a bit more stiff than my regular trail shoes from Pearl Izumi but even after all day in them, I have no foot issues. They also wash well with a hose!

      Reply

  2. limaromeobravo
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 18:46:57

    Hee, antics! You rocked it at Loon. Cheers to smart eating/training/resting *tink!*

    Reply

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