Time to Throw Down

First things first. My 50k training has officially begun. Which means I should mention the when and where. My very first ultra is the Pineland Farms Trail 50k on May 26. Its a weekend-long trail running festival in Maine. The 50k is on a Sunday, making for an awesome destination weekend.
My nerves are making me second guess my big jump into the ultra scene. It was only a year ago, almost to the day, that I trotted out my first trail run in twenty plus years. What the heck, bring it on. I can do this. Right?
So, I have just about eleven weeks left with which to train. Mind you, I simply want to complete the distance without falling apart. That’s a pretty wide margin to work in. BUT, right now my booty is cooked after 12 miles. I have some training time to put in.
That being said, I ran five days this week, including two back-to-back longish runs. And it has not stopping snowing in VT for over a week. Because I refuse to run anything else, I’m wobbling and twisting on snow packed trails. My heart rate has consistently been in the 150 bpm range for the entirety of the run. Making for one tired, actually two, tired puppies. Both girl and dog are grateful for artful picture stops along the way.

20130227-170017.jpg
Food I love on long runs:
Honey Stinger Pomegranate Chews. Yum.
Chicken broth
Clif Bars, especially peanut butter chocolate chip
Snickers Mini (I discovered those after Halloween), but only one or two, or it’s not staying down
Peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches
Blackstrap molasses mixed with honey and instant coffee. Not so yummy, but my stomach is okay with it and it’s way healthier than most energy gels.
AND my newest favorite run item is Nuun sport drink tabs in grape. I put two or three in my hydration pack, instead of plain water, and voila. Delicious, fizzy, yummy electrolytes. Seriously love it.
I’m planning on alternating weeks for adding an hour to my long run. I’m up to 4 1/2 hours, so by May I should be getting comfortable with 7 and 8 hours on the trail. In theory. I’m not going to speculate on a finishing time to shoot for. Maybe next post. It seems too daunting to think about yet.

20130227-170926.jpg
The good news gets better…the elevation gain for the Pineland 50k is about 300 feet! Total! Can I pick ‘me or what? Now, I’ll really be in luck if the course is in the woods out of the sun. And my 40th birthday is just days before the run. I might have to wear a birthday tiara. Put a BOLO out on chesty girl in a tiara. Hehehe.

Who’s running with me?
Astrid

20130303-141005.jpg

Advertisements

Gratitude

I was a crab-ass today. Poor me’s all day. While watching a segment on folks with facial tumors, I had an a-ha moment. What an ungrateful little turd I’m being. I’ve got it sooooo frickin good, it hurts. My life is amazing. Truly.
It seems a little cliche to do this as a blog post, but I hope you’ll indulge me while I share my working gratitude list. It always helps me to add to my list when my attitude’s in the shitter. I haven’t done one this year, so here goes.

God
Sobriety
My honey
My family
My Aggie girl
Work
The ability to run
Coffee, coffee, coffee
Wood stoves
Making amends
Gardens
Shirts that fit my long waist. Actually, anything that fits; I’m six feet tall and not some skinny mini.
Friends
Chocolate frosting
Moving out of my comfort zone
Naps
Hot showers
Toothpaste
Spell check
Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles
Sports bras.
Comfortable shoes, namely my Hokas and my Keen sneakers
Zebra print duct tape
Crock pots
Hot dogs and mustard with sauer kraut
Having Fridays off
No tumors
Never having broken a bone
Living in Tahoe for four years.
Living in VT
Growing up in NYC
Learning to slow down
Heartache (this one’s a work in progress)
Help
My favorite books
My sight
All my fingers and toes.
Learning to be kind
Good beats
Nice people
Animal shelters
Many trips to Spain
Our local trails
A good education
Quitting smoking last year
French Fries
GPS
Sandy beaches
Having a working car
Ultra runners to learn from
People that make me laugh
Other women bloggers
My overall health
Dentures (really, long story, though).
THE OCEAN!
Night diving
SUSHI
Not doing this alone
How could I forget til now: HOT SAUCE on just about everything
Hot pink
Burt’s Bees chapstick
A fresh dump (no not THAT) of snow
Riding on a powder day
All the greyhounds my family has adopted
Baby hippos and giraffes
Managing a nightclub for two years
Driving cross country five round trips.
More sushi
Greek food
Sunshine
Good paintings
Memories
a second chance at life
Hugs
Black clothes
Stained glass
Weight loss success stories
Side-splitting laughter
Doomsday movies.
Sleeping in
Syfy channel
My bed, with tons of blankets
Running before sunrise
Cactus plants
Sock monkeys
My iPad
Contact lenses
Bill Wilson
Social networking
Not always having to ask why
Just for today
You

20130218-210456.jpg

20130218-210716.jpg

20130218-210806.jpg
Please add yours,
Astrid

Running and Riding

20130216-194851.jpg
Long Run Fridays have officially begun again. Yesterday marked the beginning of some happy and focused trail run training.
It was a glorious day for a run. 41 degrees, sunny and no humidity. Perfect running conditions.

20130216-195330.jpg

20130216-195436.jpg
Last fall, when I’d gone from 40 mile weeks to about 3, I stopped recording my mileage. I then proceeded to tell myself that I was above fray. I didn’t needed to keep track. I’m good. My love for running is enough. And it can be. But, if I want to run an ultra, I have to be honest about what I’m capable of. If I don’t keep track, I could end up telling you I’m ready for a 100 miler next month.
I mean, I love to rest on my ‘accomplishments’, the things I’ve done, the places I’ve been. Been there, read the book. Hehehe. Yeah. I gotta stay in the present and be accountable.
Three hours seemed like a good length to start building endurance on. I certainly had low expectations of my mileage. I took my Garmin, but left it in my hydration pack. I’d check it at the end. I’ll just run for the sheer joy of it. And I did.
All week I looked forward to having Friday off. I eeked out two 5ks during the week. Upon arriving home, I checked the GPS. I ran 11 miles in 3:05! Mind you, I’m running in snow. And, of course, I’m a bit pokey. I’m pretty happy with how far I ran.
I loved MOST of the run. I pooped out the last hour. I should have had more fuel with me. Oh well, I got the water and clothes parts correct. I smiled at the sky. I spread my arms like wings on the downhills. I watched Aggie fly through the trees. It was glorious. I truly love running.

20130216-201211.jpg that’s a doe print next to my Hoka mark

20130216-201524.jpg

20130216-201551.jpg
I had some energy left for Pat’s Peak ski area today. It’s on the other side of the Connecticut River, in NH. Hubby and I were given passes (!) for the season. Despite the holiday, the conditions were pretty good. By about 2 o’clock, I was cooked. Stick a fork in me. No more legs left. Pour me in the car and take me home. I think I will nap a few times tomorrow. And update my running log.
Oh man, my life is good!

20130216-205258.jpg

20130216-205332.jpg
Thanks for running with,
Astrid

Big Snow

Whoops. Sorry about the false start.

20130211-200115.jpg
We didn’t get the three feet of snow some of southern New England received, but enough for some amazing conditions. I didn’t get a chance to snowboard. I did enjoy some amazing trails on Hoka, buried under a foot and a half or more of fresh powder.

20130211-200421.jpg
I finally ran four days in a row. I wouldn’t call all of what I did running, per say, but I was moving. And sweating. And hooting and hollering, with glee. We don’t have to worry about where to put multiple feet of snow. So when we get a big dump, it’s strictly playtime.

20130211-200707.jpg
Me and Aggie hit the trails. She is hilarious in deep snow. Often, she was buried up to her shoulders, trying to swim to stay afloat. Needless to say, both girl and dog are spent. My quads and calves are about to go on strike. Today is a rest day. But I’m back at it with a pre-work 4 miler first thing tomorrow. Yay, 5:30am wake up call! Ugh. Those trails aren’t gonna run themselves.

20130211-200914.jpg
This Friday I’m planning on my first longish run in months. Ideally, I have 14 miles on the calendar. I said ideally.
Fingers crossed for a good day. Stay tuned.

Thanks for running with me,
Astrid

P.S. I haven’t forgotten about the 50k announcement. Nothing like a little suspense, right?

No Place Like Home

20130204-190318.jpg
Temperatures here in VT the past two weeks have fluctuated dramatically. We’ve had balmy 55 degree days. The very next, it’s a bone chilling -20, just to keep the balance. And not a lot in between.
On the warm mornings, I get up before dawn and run. Sounds dramatic, eh? Sunrise is at seven, though. Anyway, I run before work. And all is well with my world for the day.
On sub-zero days, I cower under a sea of heavy blankets until coffee is delivered. No run for me. No treadmill, no park trips for Aggie dog. Sad astrid.
So after some especially frigid days, 15 degrees seemed doable for a run. And if I don’t continue to train, no 50k for me this June. More on that big piece of news later.

20130204-191604.jpg
Full loaded, um, armored under a one piece-like snowsuit, I set out on some new trails. It was painfully cold on my exposed face, but otherwise comfy. Nothing a little fleece couldn’t fix. I had new trails and ice sheets to keep my brain busy and happy. Sweet relief.

20130204-192122.jpg

20130204-192140.jpg
There’s so much magic in new trails. I would never have been interested in risking life and limb to brave this crappy footing before. But this is new terrain. It links two sections of town forest I didn’t know could be connected without crossing boring roads. So, over ice I go. Happily. My Hokas work really well with Yak Traks on ice.

20130204-193103.jpg
More ice for your enjoyment.

This past weekend, my husband’s family convened in Minneapolis for a winter wedding. I’d been hoping to blog from there, complete with Midwestern trail photos. NFW. For the four days we were there, it never got above -1. Again, NFW. I squeezed out two 5ks on the treadmill. Barely. Ugh. BUT, I did it. And no, I’m not telling you my times. Sorry.

20130204-195227.jpg
I played hooky today, caught up on some much missed sleep and went on a two hour run. Aggie and I gleefully skipped over ice. I hucked sticks and walked big hills, skidded over frozen rivers and generally reveled in being back home with my dog girl. I so love my home trails. I love the ice, the layers. I love running slow and long. I love being home. And I love it even more now. Something about absence and fondness…
When it’s 90 degrees and 100% humidity, will someone remind me about how wonderful I think that sounds right about now? Thanks.

20130204-201927.jpg
Thanks for running with me,

Astrid

20130204-202058.jpg