More fun to come!

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 09.37.06

New Year’s Resolutions…. Waste of time.

Goals for 2018… Worth the time!

That’s just my humble opinion for what it’s worth.  I stumbled across an article that resonated with me and decided to rip it off for this blog post.  That being said, check it out for yourself.  You may just find yourself inspired as well!  Here is my version of the article, A Different Kind of Trail-running Goal (Sarah Lavender Smith), first published on Trail Runner Magazine 12/11/17.

1) Learn new wilderness skills:  I laughed when I saw this one because it’s already on the list for 2018.  A small group of us have committed to taking a wilderness first aid course, specifically designed for the conditions we play in… the New Hampshire White Mountains.  I have had a number of first responder courses over the years, but this one excites me because it’s applicable to my playground.  I am already a stickler for carrying first aid supplies, plus catastrophic event supplies like a tourniquet and bivvy sack for warmth.  I want to know what else I can be doing to keep us safe and always enjoy learning new skills.

2) Find and run a trail from Point A to Point B:  Oh where to start? I have lots in mind for this one, mountain ranges I want to string together and new places I need to see without ever leaving my State.  The Kilkenny Range, the Sandwich Range and many others already dot my list.  I have a lot of places I want to see where many others don’t go and I want to make these into epic overnight adventures.

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 09.31.59

3) Spend a night solo in the outdoors:  Having been collecting the gear for the last year, I am just about ready to tackle this one.  The only thing that bothers me a little is the bears… so I am learning about how to keep them out of my food.  Literally, it’s not the bear that bothers me, but waking up and having nothing to eat!

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 09.30.09

4) Make your trail adventures multisport:  Pack a burro up and bring him along?  Ironically I have that option, albeit Donkey may not agree it’s a good idea!  Maybe try a kayaking adventure?  We shall see if I make this one a reality, but I am open minded.

Donkandme

5) Become a better runner through a trail running camp, class or retreat: YES is all I can say to this one. Unless a local retreat pops up for 2018, this may have to wait until 2019.  I have always wanted to do the Hut-to-Hut out west or the Transrockies event.  I will continue to dream this coming year and hop into any local opportunities I can find!

6) Run a fast road marathon: I am modifying this one… just because pavement marathons aren’t my thing.  I wouldn’t mind trying for a sub 2 hour half marathon.  Currently, 2:03:22 is my fastest half so I have some room to play with this one.  I have already committed to working some speed targeted workouts into my 2018 plan so I don’t see why I can’t work on this goal!

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 09.35.42

7) Volunteer:  Done.  I love volunteering both as crew and as race staff.  I adore helping others, even if that means filling bladders at aid stations or changing nasty runner socks as a crew member.  I already have some plans in 2018…. The most epic being a trip to Tahoe (eeeeekkkk!!!!)

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 09.33.09
The best part about using 2018 as a building base year is the world is my oyster.  I have no doubt I will pick out something amazing for 2019, but for now I want to continue to get strong and work on my weaknesses in the coming year.  I also want to get better at using these adventures (such as overnights and solos) as a method of clearing my head and planning for my professional future!

 

Advertisements

Blog Interview #1 – Meet Kate

I was once told “don’t try to run like the boys because you AREN’T one of the boys.”  This was by no means an insult, but simply points out female runners and athletes are different!  That statement literally opened my eyes to the amazing female athletes around me.  These are the women I admire and strive to run and train like!  The idea of interviewing some of the most inspiring female athletes has been bouncing around in my head for awhile and I have finally decided to launch it!  The women you will meet over the coming weeks graciously agreed to share a little about themselves.  Kick back and meet….

5AA18C43-A210-40FD-8A8B-51BF64D73FAB

Kate

Let’s start with the obligatory “tell us about yourself” since… well… we should!  I am an almost 30 year old runner, skier, hiker living in the White Mountains of NH. I love skiing back country and trail running mostly. Primarily vegetarian (!!) but I hate tofu. Born in MA, I relocated to NH and have loved ever moment of being up here. I hold a bachelors degree in pharmacy and work as a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

Did you play sports as a child or in school?  Tell us about it! I did! Basketball and cross country mainly, and tap, ballet and jazz. Come my senior year of high school, I took a step back from running as I had double shin splints. I played indoor soccer with some old work buddies for a few winter sessions.

What does a typical week of workouts look like?  No need to get specific, simply looking for mileage, number (if any) of strength work, types of workouts. Right now my work outs are all about stretching and PT. Trying to rectify a left knee injury but usually I run around 20ish miles and have recently gotten into CrossFit for my strength training.

katevarin

How many physical pursuits do you dabble in?  What are they and which one is your favorite? Running, Skiing, Hiking, CrossFit. I can’t pick!

Tell us something interesting about yourself most people wouldn’t know. If I wasn’t in health care or dispatch, I’d be a railroad engineer. Railways and trains have fascinated me since I was a kid. I’m also sucker for Russian literature.

What is your favorite achievement to date? Running Reach the Beach

If you could one superpower, what would it be and why? Either Teleportation or foresee into the future. I can either get where I want and need to go instantly or determine how something might end up.

Favorite piece of activewear? Hmmm, I have a few key pieces. Under Armour heat gear shorts as they are awesome for running and CrossFit, my WildThings puffy as its easy to layer, especially skiing, and my SheShreds muscle tank.

Favorite pair of shoes (anything is fair game!)? Either my New Balance running sneakers or these boots from Target that are super cute, warm and practical.

Favorite piece of gear? My Volkl Aura skis. They are so much fun in all conditions.

I know you have had to overcome a difficult physical hurdle.  Would you share that with us and tell us how that impacts you today?  What do you do to overcome it? I am a cancer survivor. I had thyroid cancer and had my entire thyroid plus 24 lymph nodes removed in 2014. I also had to have radiation, which nearly killed me. I really need to watch and be mindful of what I eat (hence I’m primarily vegetarian), that I get enough sleep and listen to my body. Not having a thyroid can make being active tough, especially as I can be fatigued easily, have a high cold intolerance so thermoregulation is hard, and staying active and positive can be challenging. I just make sure to get up and get out there and have fun, and show people that nothing can hold you back.

Tell us about Sheshreds.co! SheShredsCo is a female powered team (more of a family) of athletes from all over the world. We get out there, break the boundaries, compete and shred for fun. Skiing, snowboarding, wake surfing, roller skating – you name it the girls do it. We want to inspire girls of all walks of life and ages that if you put your mind to something and work hard, you can do anything the guys do (and then some!).

So what’s next in 2018? Reach the Beach round 2, skiing, hopefully finishing my NH 48, and my first Spartan Race in May. Hoping to also run a half marathon and a bunch of other races.

C569938D-0C20-45E3-AD4D-B431902A49ED

 

Fastpacker in a Runner’s World

photo5057888831235270584

Recognizing our strengths and weaknesses is key to success in any endeavor, whether it’s work or play.  Learning how to overcome those weaknesses is also a very important part of growth.  I recognize I won’t ever run a sub 7:00 mile, much less be able to hold that pace for miles on end.  Kudos to those amazing creatures who can!  I recognize I won’t ever finish a trail ultra in the top half of the field.  That’s alright too!

photo5057888831235270611
Thankfully I don’t do this for the medals!  

To overcome my weakness, I capitalize on both my desire and ability to climb.  Over the years, I have adopted a fastpacker’s mentality.  What is that you ask?  Climb steady (and as hard as you can), run the flats and the downhills and all the while maintain a pace that will carry you for many miles.  Sounds easy right?  I would venture to say most people can do this, as long as you take some time to adopt fitness and technique.  This article on I Run Far says it all.

IMG_20170820_092315258_HDR

Fastpacking is used when you want to travel many miles in a day or over the course of several days.  You carry all your gear with you, in the lightest manner possible, in gear that allows for quick bursts of movement.  In coming articles, I will outline the gear I have gathered over the years.

photo5057888831235270583

My favorite fastpack from 2017 was the Pemi Loop!  I don’t break speed records, but I am capable of maintaining movement.  That beast is 30 miles and nearly 10,000 feet of climb.  I did it in one day, but can’t wait to go back and do it in two, most likely with a stop at Owl’s Head thrown in!  Fastpacking gear is KEY to long adventures for those of us who aren’t elites.  We can all do these crazy climbs, some of us are just slower than others.  I like to think of it as being able to absorb more of the beauty!

On Being Brief

image4

I talk.  A lot.  I’m italian… so basically I can’t help it.  It spills over to my blog, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it means my posts take me a long time to write because I have so much to say.  Starting now, I am shooting to shorten these up but perhaps add a few more!

What was awesome this week…

TEAM TAP 2018 BADGE

I became an Endurance Tap 2018 Ambassador!  Their Canadian Maple Syrup energy gel is ridiculously delicious and was a staple during my training this year.  It tastes amazing at mile 10 or mile 92.  I am giving away a limited number of free samples in the coming weeks.  If you want one, email me at spottedimages@gmail.com.  Matt and Pat, owners of Endurance Tap, are super cool dudes who have created a niche in the running fuel industry.  If you want to buy, use my code LIFTNRUN20 for 20% off your order! Check them out by clicking this link.

I’m running again…

image2

The Noxgear Tracer360 is AMAZING!  If you don’t have one and run the roads, get one ASAP!

Low miles, 3-4 days a week with a focus on getting my endurance bag and foot fall.  Calves are in pretty good shape, endurance is awful.  That’s alright, I am right where I expected with 30 days off.  I am building strength for playing in the snow (which apparently is showing up tonight!).

Busted out some new shoes this past week…

image3

A view of Stairs Mountain (on the left) and Mt. Washington (center) from Mt. Crawford

I got to finally put some miles on my Altra Lone Peak Neoshells (3.0) in the Whites!  This shoe is amazing, keeps my feet toasty warm with it’s Polartec lining and is like running on clouds.  I am so fortunate to have been part of the Altra Ambassador Team this year.  Having the backing of such a great company… from their shoes to their clothes… has made running so much fun!  Have you seen what’s in their shoe line-up lately?  I want them all 🙂

That’s it for now!