Trail Dining Du Jour

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Five hour run in the bag! Awesome!
I love not just the long run, but the prep that comes with it. I had a solid five hour run Friday, accompanied by lots of pre-run gathering. Pack, download, charge, wash, glide, and finally layer up (ohhhh, so many places i could go with that list, but i will resist). And then go back in the house fifty more times for almost forgotten items. That’s Aggie’s favorite part, the waiting. The morning of, I usually take a couple of hours to get saddled up. Poor girl. She tries to be patient with her meticulous mom. Or is that just a procrastinating doggie mom?
And then run. Finally. It was sunny, 30 degrees and gorgeous.
It truly was an awesome run. I felt great throughout. I’ll save the rehash, though. I will say it was like running in sand the entire way. Ugh. Around hour four I almost quit, despite the beautiful day. My interest was lagging, mostly my head was getting me down. So, I cut back home, slugged some coffee, and headed back out. My last half hour was on pavement, and not half bad. Thank you, my savior, caffeine. Next long run I’ll be packing a drop bag with a coffee thermos to have as a reward at hour four.
I popped a Hammer Nutrition Electrolyte pill every half hour or so. No leg fatigue whatsoever! This was a first, so I’ll gladly blame the electrolyte pills for that. They are now a must for my long runs.
I do want to talk food. I’ve heard often to experiment with food on my training runs. That way, come race day, I know what works for me. I’m grateful to have figured out early refined sugar doesn’t agree with my tender tummy. On long runs, anymore than three hours, I feel queasy as is. Add sugary stuff, and it’s worse.
So, I plucked down for some fancy co-op goodies. I read somewhere dates are pretty nutritious, so I tried coconut covered date rolls. My favorite dried fruit are apricot, so some of those as well. And some ‘energy’ bars with spirulina and carob. Top those off with a peanut butter chocolate chip Clif Bar and some Annie’s Bunny Gummies, and I had a feast to graze off of. I packed a few of each in a Ziplock. Of course, I packed some treats for Aggie.
The apricots were a no no. One or two are fine. Anymore, enough said. The carob bars were so dry they were hard to swallow late in the run when my throat starts to tighten. The coconut rolls were my absolute favorite. Sweet, moist, Delicious. Three were my max, lest I wanted REAL trouble. I will definitely buy them again. Next time I’ll try to incorporate a PB and J into the mix. If you have any more suggestions, I’m open.
The last picture is of Aggie post-run Friday. She sort-of melted into the couch. Aggie? Aggie?
So, there you have it. This week is an easy training week. Smaller runs more often. Longer runs are on the plan for next week. Six hours…

Thanks for running with me,
Astrid

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Let’s Usher in Spring with Snow

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We’re in the midst of a two foot dump. As soon as I put my gaiters away and starting organizing my winter gear for storage, voila. Big snow! Which meant another day off, making a record three snow days this season. Hubby had to work, so no riding for me. Poor me, I guess I’ll have to go running. Aggie is doing doggie jumping jacks.

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We did quite a bit of slogging, albeit sweaty slogging. It was SO much work running through knee-deep, untracked snow. I secretly wanted to run today so I could test out my hydration vest.
My new vest is a Nathan HPL 020 Racevest. And I love it. Truly. It never once sloshed, bounced or chaffed. I like having pockets on the straps so I can grab stuff on-the-go. We’ll see if my back stays cool. I like that it doesn’t feel like I’m lugging around 10 lbs. of agua. My only complaint, and it’s minor, is the bladder is difficult to unclip from the vest. Two thumps up.

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This photo is hilarious. What’s the verdict on this pic? Too stuffy? Is the logo too over-the-top? Totally silly.

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While dumping crappy photos from my iPod, I found this one. Two things to mention: I re-started my running life in these beauties. They were already eight years old. But, they’re what I had in my closet, and I was determined to trail run. I moved out of them half way through last season when I bought my Hokas. It was like going from a Yugo to a Vayron. I feel nostalgic about these babies. But, a photo was more appropriate than bronzing them. Thank you, old shoes. Even though my back hurt running in them. You will live on right here.
On a more serious note, this is a runniversary. It was just over a year ago my woods walks with Aggie turned into runs! Miss Agatha let me know it was ‘time to hurry up, mom’. So, without any fanfare, I began running. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. I could write an entire post about it. But not now.
I feel like I should mark this with a celebration. Any ideas? I suck at planning. Aggie’s ready for a party…maybe I’ll celebrate with a long run…
Thanks for running with me,
Astrid

Back To Winter

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Burr! I guess I starting getting used to the balmy, 40 degree days. Starting my long run in 18 degrees felt down-right chilly. But, it was sunny and beautiful, and I had the day off. So, off for Long Run Friday. Layers, a neck gaiter and my usually-too-sweaty-back hydration pack (autocorrect tried to replace that with backhand rant!?!) will keep me warm. Aggie loves this weather.
Once I’m warmed up and out of the wind, my thoughts drift. My head is all over the map when I run. Tree, hill, crunch, what’s for dinner. I’ll get as far as chicken, but not what to pair it with or how to cook it. Never a complete thought. I’m okay with that. I kind of like that I am mostly judgment-free of myself. Running is about the only time my inner critic shuts the hell up. Definitely okay with that.
As of late, I’ve been listening to Trail Runner Nation podcasts. I love them! Podcasts are new for me, and I’m not sure I’d use headphones in unfamiliar territory. For now, three hours fly by listening to interviews and ‘you know you’re an ultra runner if…’ stories.
I’ve been doing a similar loop the last four runs. The terrain has been different each time due to ice, snow, sun, mud, you name it. I have not been bored. I’m actually looking forward to plain old vanilla dirt trails. This ice pack is a little ridiculous. I put my foot through ice in a few spots, scaring the slow right out of me.
I ended up not doing the five hour run I’d hoped for. My evening plans won out, and I didn’t want to be cooked for them. But, next Friday, watch out, I’m all over it. Me and the couch have a pending date. I love that this excites me!!!! Yes, both.
My Nathan 020 hydration vest should be here tomorrow. I’m pretty excited. I’ll let you know how it works for me. Also, I’m hoping to update you on the diet changes I’ve made. AND, check out my brandy new race page. If any of you can make these races, I’d love to link up there! Also, suggestions would be amazing!

And, because I can, here’s a little fun from my bathroom sink. Enjoy.

Happy Running Friends,
Astrid

Some Inspiration for Another Long Run

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My long run last week was four hours
on-the-nose. This week’s long run may be about the same, although I’m behind schedule for training. Part of me wants to say screw it. Don’t run. The other part of me wants to run five hours to get back on track. So, I’m hoping posting some past run photos will get me pumped to go long. Then I’ll go the full five.
Running longer is not the problem. its me afterward. i love being out as long as my new running legs will carry me thus far. It’s amazing to be out on the trails. And I’m so blessed that running is not a chore for me. I truly love it. But I’m wrecked after a long run. It takes about a day to stop walking like I have arthritis. And to give up hogging the entire couch in corpse pose. Maybe I wanna get something done. Maybe. Maybe I feel a little selfish.
I’m a bit crabby cause the weather has been amazing for five days- 45 and sunny. Now it’s back to winter today, with snow showers and a low of 8 tonight. Ugh. I’m really ready for spring conditions. The trails were bullet proof this morning. Who knows, maybe the sun will break through tomorrow, making for a gorgeous run. I’ll try to stay positive.
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Here are a couple of photos from riding last week. One shot is back through the trees as I sat on my duff admiring the fluffy powder conditions. I didn’t include a shot of me eating sh_t on a kicker I had no business being on sans health insurance. Good times.
Aggie will most likely talk me into a looooong run. Woof.
I’ll let you know how it goes,
Astrid