Phoenix

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Such a full, sad and beautiful week. Like so many, my thoughts have been with the Boston community all week. Running has truly allowed me to feel my feelings. Heartache, frustration, redemption mingled with trepidation. All a direct result of the past week’s events.
I’ll keep this brief. I simply needed to say something about the week before moving on. I ran a lot this week, and I’m looking forward to sharing the highlights with you, including my first six hour run.
I’m so blessed to be a part of our running community. I hope you all feel this way, too.

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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

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

Oh, Go Run, will ya?

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Here in Southern Vermont, we were spared any of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath. We had been prepared for the worst, per TS Irene last year, but received only heavy rain and wind.

Earlier in the day, I read a runners blog out of NYC. She wrote about gratitude and the strength of fellow New Yorkers’ resilience post-Sandy. She loves her town and it shows. She said, and this is big, that the she wasn’t concerned right now about whether the NYC marathon was on or not. She has bigger fish to fry. Wow.

I spent the first 17 years of my life in Manhattan. I don’t often consider myself a New Yorker, unless its to brag. It is an origin of convenience. Or whatever. I never loved NY, it was just where we lived. But, somewhere, deep in my DNA is New Yorker. On 9/11, the first person I wanted to talk to was my mom. In 2001, it had been 10 years since we moved to VT. But, I ached for my city then as though I’d never left.

I’m feeling a similar tug to NY today. The pictures I’ve seen, the posts, TV coverage are all unreal. I feel frustration and anger and sadness. And all I can do is pray. It has to be enough.

So, what does this have to do with running, you ask?

I took a whole week off of running, without really meaning to. After my long run and then the CHaD race, my shins felt like they had daggers in them. Every.step.hurt. I didn’t want to stop, but I HURT. I hiked, I stacked wood, I cleaned (aggressively), I raked more leaves than any one person should. I walked. But, none of it is running.

And, I started to get bitchy. Really bitchy. Stop chewing so loudly bitchy. I started thinking maybe I didn’t need or like running anymore! WHAT!!!?!!! Okay, enough, go run. Slowly, gently.

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This is the trail that started it all.

Mile and a half in, and no shin pain. Amazing. I guess I did need some time to heal.

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Ahhh, and I’m back. I love these trails. They are my GF bread and butter. I can feel my mood lifting. I’m pushing out the heartache and the depression.

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My gratitude is rising. Aggie is happy to run. I’m happy to run. I don’t feel as messy as I did. And less hopeless and helpless. Thank God for running. This was a short three mile run. Just enough to get moving and not re-injure. And to get my head screwed back on. I love running, I’m passion about it, and I better appreciate what I gots while I gots it. Before its gone. Big sigh of relief. And it works to help get me out of the way of me.

I think I’m more available for prayer for my fellow New Yorkers now.

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I’ll always love you New York.- Ryan Adams