Mornin’ Running

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Morning!
I’m mostly a morning runner. Here are some of my favorite shots from my beautiful Vermont mornings. And a couple from a recent trip to Spain.
Enjoy!

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Running continues to be a real joy for me. How’s your running going?

Thanks for running with me,
Astrid

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Feet Relief

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Warning: Geeky Shoe Review Ahead. Hoka haters should exit left now.

I’ll be the first to admit, I love gear. Paddling, snowboarding, climbing, running. I love all the stuff that comes with the sport. Especially running gear (duh).
More pointedly, I’m nearly obsessed with Hoka One One shoes. Every runner I see with a pair is a new friend I want to meet. I lovely pour over pictures online. I talk to my shoes.
I fell in love when I slipped on my first pair, the Stinson Evo. It was truly flying, as promised. For my second pair, I moved to the Mafate 3, and fell mostly in love. Now, the Kailua Trail have graced my feets.
You know the Michelin Tire ad where the Michelin man falls in love each time a new tire comes down the assembly line? And then seems to fall apart as that tire proceeds on down the line. That’s me. I fall in love easily, then mourn that love’s passing, only to be starry eyed as I see my new prospect approaching. I started running, this time around, in a tired pair of New Balance. When my toes started to show through, I did some poking around (more puns) online. I felt a bit sad to discard my 1st love. Until…I saw THE shoe. I settled on Hoka sheerly on looks alone. Colorful and odd looking. I was in love/crush.
Crush led to a happy love story with Hoka. I put over 500 miles on my first pair, the Stinson Trail Evo. It was a beautiful thing. Since I’m a pokey runner, time on my feet is a better measure of shoe wear. 300 is probably a more appropriate measure. Maybe that’s the average life of Hokas. Not sure. Anyway, I knew around 250 miles on my Mafate that I should find another pair. I thought I’d move back into the Stinson. My Mafate were a little clunky on technical trails. I was experiencing some ankle pain that wouldn’t go away. It wasn’t bad, but I thought I should mix it up. While getting ready to order another pair of Stinson (I’d shop locally, but the closest place to buy a pair is two hours away), I stalled. Maybe lighter is the way to go. And less expense, to boot.
I’ve only run a few times in the Kailua. Like I said earlier, I fall in love easily. They’re awesome. The Kailua is still everything that Hoka is known for, but lighter and peppier.
My favorite part of Hoka is the downhill running experience. The Kailua still offers fun on steep downhills, despite being less padded. I do feel a bit more aggressive in them, versus the Mafate. While running, I can feel the weight difference between the two. Only a paltry 3 ounces, but I guess that makes a big difference in motion. And they sit a full inch closer to the ground, though I don’t feel less cushioned. While running in the Mafate, I often wished they were lighter and smaller. I tripped a bit on technical trails, but ran happily on smoother terrain. I got my wish with the Kailua, without compromising comfort.
I know some of these points may already be obvious to those familiar with Hoka One One. For those not familiar with them, the Kailua might be just the shoe to get into the maximal movement!
So far, the Kailua feels pretty grippy on rocky trail. There’s a variety of terrain here, right out my front door, so I’ll have to keep you updated on the more mountainous stuff. After this post, I’m headed out onto my first run on snowy trails of the season…hopefully it will eat up the white stuff as well.
The shoe looks narrow, but isn’t. I have really wide feet, so I ordered a half size up, with success. If you’ve never worn a pair, they stretch quickly, so I’d take this into consideration when trying them on.
My only gripe with the Kailua is minor. It’s the traditional laces. I’ve been spoiled by Hoka’s speed laces. So I’m doing a little surgery and swapping out the Stinson laces for the slippery and annoying new laces. Hopefully, the Kailua comes out in some more obnoxious colors, too. I’m a big fan of brightly colored kicks.

Here’s the stats for the Kailua Trail:
Heel to toe drop: 5mm
Weight: 9.3 ounces
Rocker: Some
Tread: Multi-directional lugs
Price Tag: $130

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Thanks for running with me,
Astrid

A Blogoversary!

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Amazing! One year ago today, I posted my first vttrailgirl blog post!
I’m currently celebrating by icing my sliced leggies and reading a gift copy of Trail Runner.

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Sorry, I’m guessing you don’t care what my legs look like. But, Saw Grass is no joke. Here’s the proof! I actually celebrated by doing an easy 8 miler. I hadn’t planned on another run this weekend after Friday’s 14’er. I was pretty jazzed, though, for a celebratory run. It was so worth the near-ninety degrees and full humidity.
It was an awesome sweat fest. I loved it.
Some portions of the trails are completely overgrown. Hence, the grass fight. I lost. I covered my calves, but not the thighs. They look tough now. Oww.
I hardly get in two great runs back-to-back. Mostly ’cause I’m cooked for the week, except for smallish morning runs before work. When I have the right attitude, however, it doesn’t matter if my body is tired, running feels like pure bliss. Sometimes, running is truly 90% heart and 10% fitness.

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What a year it’s been. I spent a little time flipping through my posts for some perspective. I’m incredibly grateful to be running injury-free, have a supportive family and at having lost about 40 pounds. Not to mention the friends I’ve made, the new things I’ve tried via running (say, tackle a 50K) and adventures ive gone on. And I keep shaking my head at the audacity I had, at running a mere three miles, declaring to my husband “I’m gonna run a 100 miler someday”. I haven’t lost that dream a year later. It’s what caused me to document my adventures here, that crazy statement.
I definitely feel blessed and humbled. I’m looking forward to another year of trail running and blogging.
Here are some of my favorite shots from the past year.

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Any blogs I should check out?
Thanks for running & celebrating with this grateful girl,
Astrid

The Rain Can Stay, The Humidity Has Got To Go

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This is what a sunny day looks like. We do occasionally have them here in Vermont. We had the wettest June on record, with 15″ inches of rain.

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Most mornings, we have a brief interlude of sun before the usual afternoon deluge. I’ve been working a ton, so the rain isn’t unbearable. I run most mornings, catching a little Vitamin D before work.
The trails are swamp like. Beautiful, but steamy and thick with mud and bugs. Aggie could care less about the messy trails. She simply wants to play. I could do well to take a lesson from her.
I’ve been struggling with hip/groin pain. It’s not a deal-breaker, but a serious nuisance. I’ve been run/ walking more than I want. So, I foam roll. Okay, I SHOULD foam roll. I do ice. That’s the easy part. But, wait, rest? Naaaah. I’m much nicer when I run.

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Since my last post, I’ve done a twelve miler, two races and two respectable weeks of mileage. I’m so pleased with with all of it. The highlight was a five mile trail race Saturday I ran in 1:01:37. I took a full 14 minutes off my time from last year! It was a slippery mud fest. I’d
say half of the 150 racers took a spill in the slop. But, oh-what-fun! AND I was fast! Well, not fast, but fast for me! My friend’s kiddo calls me Fastrid. I accept. Better than the embarrassing Gastrid. Yes? Ha!

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I missed you guys. What’s new in your running world?
Astrid

A Day Without Rain

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Here in Southern Vermont, it has been a soggy spring. Since June 1st, we’ve received a record 13″ of rain. Trails and gardens are exploding. The rain isn’t a running deterrent, but a day of full sun is a little bit of heaven trail side.

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Aggie and I went out for our first ten miler today since The 50K and post foot injury. It was gorgeous and lush everywhere and completely overgrown.

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I’m so grateful to be running again. I was incredibly sore, right off the bat. I’m not sure if I’ve increased my mileage too quickly post recovery. I’ve run 28 miles the past week, up from two walking miles the week before.
My hip flexors are as tight as when I started running. I should be honest here and say I walked quite a bit the first four miles. The uphill grind felt as challenging as its ever been. My foot has been completely pain free, though. I’ll chalk the pain in my hip up to starting over.

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I have a six mile race in NH tomorrow. It was my first trail race exactly one year ago! Amazingly, I’ll probably be slower this year. Oh well, it’ll be fun to hang out with friends and run some trails I haven’t spent much time on. I’ll let you know how it goes,

Thanks for running with me,
Astrid

Like A James Brown Song

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I’m running! My foot is cooperating! Woohoo! I missed my gorgeous trails. Me and Aggie stomped, danced and frolicked. I sang like a crazy person and shook my booty to my favorite beats. It was blissful. Even the breathless hills.
It has been raining pretty much non-stop here in New England. So, everything on trail is a happy, muddy mess. Which is how I pulled the tendon in my foot at Pineland. I’ll be careful.
Amazing how injury presses the ‘reset’ button on joy and recklessness, too.
Three whole days. 14 miles. Tonight, I am spent. Aggie, too.

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And all is well again. For now.

Anybody take part in #runchat or #ultrachat on Twitter Sunday nights?

Happy week and happy running,
Astrid

P.S. Finally heard back re volunteering at the Vermont 100 next month. It’s on! Pretty psyched to be a part of it!

Signs of Spring

We interrupt this ultra training to bring you spring. Finally. Sorry, Colorado. Your time will come.

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Today was a super pokey, super beautiful three hour run. It was great to not rush and simply enjoy the trails. There’s always tomorrow to continue race training. 22 days left til the Pineland 50K.

Thanks for running with me,
Astrid