Staying on track….

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I talk such a big game…. started eating better, back to gym, going to run more…. all things I want to do then life just gets in my damn way.  It doesn’t help that I’m travelling again for the second time in three weeks.  I’m so ready to be home and work on a routine.  For instance, I need to commit to the gym or a run in the mornings.  Eric has been awesome about dealing with our late evening dinners to accommodate the gym or appointments after work but it’s time I give back.  If I get up at 4:30 and get to the 6am class or run even the miles that frees my evenings up.

I have spring fever in the worst way but I actually think it’s worn me out.  I’ve been waiting for so long for it to be warm that I’ve given up hope.  And the cold is just driving me nutty.  For instance, I’m sitting in my hotel room listening to the wind howl like a hurricane.  No joke.  And it’s 45 degrees out.  I didn’t even bother bringing my sneakers on this trip. 

Something else I want to do is get back to time based workouts…. time on legs.  I want to be ready to hike big come June and I need to just put it out of my head that I have to run everywhere.  This is a strengthening year.  I’m going to invest in a good pair of boots and get two overnight hut trips in (I have credit with AMC).  I want to but a tent and all spend some time this summer doing sunrise hikes.  I want to be able to get back to 8-10 hours on legs over the summer.  Besides, I have some serious pacing duties come September 🙂 

So to keep it simple… My first three goals to start as soon as I’m back from training:
1) Quit beer during the week.  Red wine with dinner Only!
2) AM workouts 3x a week
3) Clean eating (Abs Diet and Blue Apron)

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A New Spring

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There is nothing I love more than those first runs in the spring when you can take your long sleeve layers and insulated pants and leave them at HOME!  Fifty degrees feels like a heat wave and everything seems easier.  I took three months off from running a step, did some serious rehab in the gym and put myself in a new pair of shoes.  I chose Pearl Izumi M2 Trail shoes for the start of this season.  They sport a small amount of midfoot stability, some more cushion than my Peaks and a rock plate.  They are wider from end to end leaving more room for my toes and a wider last for landings.  I enjoy them on the road (though I am probably going to buy their sister M3 for the road) but they are really rockstars on the trail as I felt them there yesterday!

I sprained my ankle three times in 2014, the last being a peroneal tendon tear at the 5th metatarsal.  That was the official diagnosis from the foot doctor.  I blew off PT in lieu of rehabbing myself in the gym.  I knew iIneeded to strengthen my ankles, calves and quads in a bad way and went to work doing such.  In the meantime, I took a nasty fall on Chocorua about 9 weeks ago and developed back pain.  At the time I didn’t put two and two together.  A recent visit to a woman who is not only an ultrarunner and massage specialist, but a pro at dealing with back pain revealed the muscles coming to my sacrum just were no longer moving.  One session with her and my low back pain has subsided.  She told me a nasty fall is enough to cause what I was experiencing.  And I fall a lot.

This past week was my biggest mileage week since December 1.  I did 12.5 miles and enjoyed every step.  Two of those were road runs while away at training.  They were my first 65 degree runs…. ahhhh spring!

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I went back to the gym for a scaled workout on Saturday.  It felt really good to be back and doing some burpees!

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I followed this up with a 5.5 mile run in Northwood.  The trails are back!!!!  Muddy but back.  I loved every second in my new shoes and can’t wait to spend some serious time in them!

Today I am exhausted.  Adding running back to my regimen made me realize its time for a little diet overhaul.  I am starting back up with the Ab’s Diet tonight (on the menu is Turkey burgers sans the roll, slathered with Avocado and accompanied by steamed green beans!!!) and plan on cutting back on the booze.  I am traveling again for work next week but once again will bring my shoes.  I have a date with a school mate for a run already!

As for the ankle….. it feels stronger and has more mobility than it has had in 18 months.  I am extremely cautious with it but I have no reason to believe continued work in the gym, the right shoe (fingers crossed) and appropriate after care won’t promote continued healing and strengthening.

For now…. I am not making a decision on my distance at Pineland until we get closer.  No pressure this year…. I simply want to run and climb!!!

How is it April 2015???

To say I took a leave of absence from blogging is a HUGE understatement.  My last post, while pic, was my solo of Isolation.  In order to “start” blogging again, I feel the need to recap so many other experiences in late 2014 and early 2015 that are near and dear to my heart!  Here we go… in photos!

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I got my #12 four thousand footer on Cannon on September 7th.  I was accompanied on this hike by Katie and her pup Izzy.  The weather was beautiful and the hike was a beast.  We hiked Lonesome Lake Trail to Hi-Cannon.  On Hi-Cannon, Katie had to carry Izzy up the ladder.  Yikes!   We summited with little issue after that and started our intended hike over to the Kinsmans via Kinsman Ridge Trail.  We had no IDEA even after my research how gnarly coming down off Cannon would be on Kinsman Ridge.  Izzy literally quit on us when we hit the rocky boulders that were straight down.  We ended up coaxing, prodding and carrying her down. By the time the terrain leveled out, we decided to be smart and bail on the Kinsmans.  We went back via Lonesome Lake Trail making this a 6 mile loop hike that took more out of me than any other I did in 2014.  This was a day when being smart was more important than pushing through.  I will see the Kinsmans some other time!

https://www.strava.com/activities/191611617/embed/cb36485bf9f42b992279663b58ad693a3ddd698c

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After Cannon, I did a Gunstock to Mt. Major traverse.  I CANNOT WAIT TO DO THIS AGAIN!

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Weather was fantastic and trails were quiet until we hit Major.  Loved this traverse… all 12.2 miles of it.  I kept calling it the “Little Whites” all day.

I prepped all summer for my Kismet Beast of the East race.  Here we are getting ready to run!

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Craig decided to run the Class course while Tony and I did the Beast.  This was my first attempt at that course.  This is a classic example of me being hard on myself.  Within a half mile of starting, I had severe calf pain.  It was something I had been battling late summer.  And please remember, a crappy ankle.  I started to beat myself up, Tony became silent…. watching what I was going to do.  On this course, you can literally turn away from the long course (13.4 miles vs. 5ish) if needed.  I silently, painfully made my way to the trail junction and was determined to not let the physical pain get the best of me.  I turned onto the long course and started downhill.  Tony told me later he was waiting to see what I would do.  It took me until mile 8 for the pain to subside and the Spark to kick in.  When it did, I took off and ran the rest of the course solo.

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My pace at mile 8 picked up a bit.  I finished the race way slower than I wanted to (by 2 hours) but I learned I had a lot of work left to do.

After Kismet, I finished the year with the Vulcan:

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I suffered from awful calf pain for the entire race as well.  I have since learned an electrolyte imbalance and lack of strength may be to blame.  I won’t really know until I start doing distance in 2015.  I did manage to shave a few minutes off my 2013 time so I was happy for that!  I love to race even if I am nearly last every time!

In October I finally got to marry one of my best friends off!  We will never look this girly again!

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You can’t see it in the picture, but I ran into a tree on North Mountain the week before her wedding and had a sweet bruise on my arm that was visible in most of the pictures.  YAY TRAIL RUNNING!

My ankle fell apart in November and I spent the winter in the gym and doing light hiking… with my husband of all people!

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Gym training has changed my outlook on strength work.  I am hoping to keep at it while running and hiking this summer.  It will be the first time I did strength training and run training simultaneously.  I have had a break for the last 3 weeks due to severe back pain (more on that in another post) but am ready to start back next week.

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I did some hiking this winter, to include Mt. Major and Mt. Chocorua.  Love my mountains… even in the winter when they want to kill me.  Here is an excerpt from the following photo I took when Tony and I did Mt. Major in hurricane like conditions:

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“oh..I’m not waiting to tell this story…I think I’ll share as a safety warning to anyone who decides to hike with you….the winds were VERY strong.. Nothing I have every experienced to be honest…stronger than what we saw on Jackson this summer. So we got to the shelter and being the smart people we are, we just take in a few calories and while we were still warm from the climb we decide to head back down ASAP. The wind was at our back coming up so we knew it was going to be tough for a few hundred yards until we got into tree cover. I go left and tighten down my hood and cover as much skin as possible on my face. As I round the corner the wind blows me back and I stumble and slide on the ice and rocks. I use my poles to brace myself and I lean hard into the wind and stomp my way forward. On the way up I made sure every 10 feet or so I would stop and look and make sure Mighty Mouse was still behind me and ok.. the wind was so loud I couldn’t hear her if there was something wrong. So after leaving the shelter and battling forward I turn and…nothing. So I wait a second…nothing.. I’m a little worried..so I figure I’ll go back and help her around the corner…I head back to the corner ..the wind is pushing me hard again and I get there and …nothing. Now I’m thinking…she got blown off the mountain. In a panic I peek in the shelter..nothing… Then I lean into the wind and head to the other side and I peer over the shelter wall and there she is marching away from the shelter. Apparently..she saw the wind kick my ass and said “NOPE” and went the other way… Her trail name for the rest of the winter is now “Last one standing” ..and don’t even get me started about her reaction when a gust blew me right off the trail and into a snow drift….”

And yet he continues to hike with me….

Finally… I am so proud to say my long time best friend and her hubby are now running!  She just finished her first 5 and his first half this weekend.  Love when I can get more friends running!!!!

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So that’s my recap!!!!  Here is to a fun, relaxing and amazing 2015 where I can make new memories and just get stronger!