Running and Riding

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Thanks for running with,
Astrid

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April in January

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Hello from Sunny Vermont.
I’m not kidding, it’s been in the forties for four days. And we’ve witnessed multiple sightings of the sun. Folks have come out of their hibernation for a bit of socialization. Runners greet one another as they pass.
This is easy living. It won’t last, though. So I’ve run five times this week (out-of-doors). The forecast calls for a return to seasonal norms. So sub zero will be typical til, I don’t know, April? Maybe I can squeeze a few more trail runs in before I re- retreat.
The snow, however, is not fairing so well in these beautiful days. It’s brown and sloppy and salty and sad for dog paws. Aggie could care less, until I try to put her in the Pit of Despair, better know as the tub. A chewy will fix what ails you.

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I snapped these on my first early morning run of the year. Notice the snow is still perfect. Not so much now, only five days later.

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I’d forgotten how amazing the rest of my day can be if I start it by running. I’ll try to remember this tomorrow morning, when my alarm goes off at six and I want to huck it across the room. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Happy running,
Astrid

Checking In

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Old rope tow shack on my favorite trails.
Happy New Year!
I'm working on getting used to running in cold, bleak, January Vermont weather. Sorry '
bout the run-on sentence. I don't run in sub 20 degrees F yet. So….The upside is…CROSS TRAINING! I mean, it's suggested I use other musckles, right?

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Night riding!
This is our super secret local riding spot. The old rope tow is my upper body toner. The amazing dump we received for Christmas/ Boxing Day is for working those leggies.

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Me and hubby riding at Okemo.
J has finally made the switch from skiing to riding. And, I’m happy to report, he’s loving it! AND we’re still married (despite advice that someone other than his wife teach him). We’d been trying to get out on the hill together for the last three winters. Since I started running last year, my motivation to stay active has been pretty high. Hence, the frequent snowboarding this season. That, and the incredible snow conditions. Hooray! I so missed riding. It’s great to get reacquainted with my old love. My Tahoe years feel like my memories again, not some tall tale I substitute for my staid life.

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Thanks for hanging in there with me. I love sharing my trail love with you.
Astrid

(Almost) As Good As Running

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Happy Holidays!
I haven’t posted in three weeks! Betcha thought I’d given up, huh? No? Well, I’ll tell ya about it anyway. It was cold, I had the capital F flu, and it was still cold. There, that’s it. Wasn’t so bad, was it?

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I had my first day back running on Christmas. And it was awesome. I was afraid it’d be painful, but it wasn’t. My usual terrain seemed fresh and new. My lungs didn’t burn and my quads and calves aokay. Unbelievable! I guess a bit of break was just what I needed to reset my body.

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I love riding, but have taken the last few years off. These pics are from today’s hike and ride! We’re in the middle of a big dump, so far we’ve gotten 12″ to 14″ of the fresh stuff. Riding felt like spending time with an old friend I missed terribly. I wondered if I’d still know what to do. It really is like riding a bike. And hubby finally got to give it a shot. We laughed and sweated and had a hilarious time. Wowza! So grateful.
I may cross country ski this weekend, so I may put running on hold for few more days. The snow is too good not to take advantage of. More pictures to come of that particular brand of hilarity. Stay tuned…

I <3 Winter

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I have yet to love running in the cold. Friday topped out at a balmy 24 degrees. I needed out, though, so instead of a run, a hike was in order.
Most of the above photos are from Lye Brook Falls, here in southern VT. The falls itself is around 140 feet. It’s about a five mile round trip and pretty easy going. Aside from the flat light, it was a beautiful walk with hubs and a happy Aggie dog.
Hiking at new spots is okay. Can you tell I struggled with an adjective? I want to be grateful for having the ability to get out and go. I am. But, hiking is not running. And (more griping) running on the treadmill is not trail running. If given a choice, I’d pick hiking. Treadmill running is about as fun as dental work.
I’ve been to the gym twice in the last ten days to run indoors. It was really a blast to be back there, but the most I could last on the treadmill was 40 minutes. The real highlight was watching my reflection in the glass. For the entire 40 minutes. Ugh.
I can’t believe I miss the humidity and bugs of summer. I miss getting up with the early sun of July to run before the heat of late morning. Maybe if there was snow on the trails…
So I wait for cross country skiing. My shins are healing. My IT band rarely bothers me. I’m focusing on LOTS of stretching and portion control. I’m still running outside, but only two days a week. I gave up tracking mileage (for now). The plan is to get back into spinning and try some cross fit and Zumba. Anything to keep up cardio and stay off the TM of doom. Any ideas? I’d be grateful for feedback of what you do to keep fit through the winter.
Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving.
Thanks for reading,
Astrid

Late day sun

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I’m the most blessed chickie ever! New camera AND I convinced hubs to do a longish run two days ago. Yay!
I just picked up an iPod, complete with camera. I’ll probably never listen to music on it, but I can post poor photos to this here blog from anywhere. It was news to me that iPods have wifi capabilities. Go figure. So I’m WordPressing from a two inch screen.
These are some shots from my bread n butter trails.
Friday was, of course, Long Run Friday! Wooooohoooo! I was gonna try some new trails, but opted for some company instead, after convincing hubby he NEEDED run with me. Yup.
J and I have done a run here and there together, but our pace and surface preferences are different. I want dirt, he likes asphalt. I slog, he actually looks like he’s moving. And when we run together, it’s mutually beneficial. I push more than if I was alone. J, well, I think he practices listening to me blather. Really, there’s no need to practice on his part. I’ve turned into a talker since I got sober. Who knew? He says I help pace him, but I think he’s being generous. Like I said, pretty blessed.
Our Aggie girl was about to combust waiting for us to get going. I’m in no rush to get out there early this time of year. It wasn’t 30 degrees til 10am. By 11, she was groaning with frustration. It was as horrendously frozen by then. Not a fan of running in sub 0 Celsius. Fancy, huh?
You guys have heard all the gory details of this particular run. It’s a ten miler that starts on a dirt road, continues into some town forest and on a teensy bit of asphalt at the start and finish. It’s familiar territory, but It was made new by highlighting all my favorite trees and rocks to J. I don’t think it was as painful as that, he’s still eating my cooking. Pretty cool. I prefer to run alone, but it was amazing to share my chosen trails. I’ll crack up if I’m lonely next time I hit this route. Hello? Anybody? Hello?
Anyhow, I better pile on a few miles before Thanksgiving. I’d like to do some damage to a certain pumpkin pie with my name on it. We’re also going to find a turkey trot for Thursday, maybe I won’t feel so gross Friday. I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks for reading,
Astrid