Monday, November 12, 2018

Hiking Max Patch to Hot Springs NC on the AT

This weekend my cousin and I embarked upon another hiking adventure together. My cousin Sherry is chipping away at her section hiking project. She knew she had this big day coming up and enlisted me because she knew I’d keep her laughing and moving and wasn’t afraid of being out all day long on my feet. 
  We left Friday evening and drove to Newport TN- and got a hotel room- (we decided to not camp out due to a massive cold front that was moving in ) that morning we drove to hot springs and met our shuttle a lovely lady named Beverly - who met us at the trail head beside laughing heart hostel - and then proceeded to drive us 50 min up up up to max patch- 
We were met with ice, frost and sciffs of snow. 
It was very cold and windy on the bald- and honestly it shocked and awed sherry and I both- the difference from down low on the mtn to there 

Getting ready to start! And brr! It about froze my fingers to take the pics I did up there 

It really was that freaking cold 

Reminded me a lot of mt Rogers area 
I will have to go back when it’s warmer for the 360 views- 

I think I’m inwardly praying “help me, Lord”😂 this was about 3 miles in and I’m doing the math of how long it will take us to hike 18 more miles 

Stopped for a snack about mile 5  feeling little warmer because we have been descending 

We found this gigantic old growth tree beside the trail and both hugged it we were so happy to see such a gigantic tree 

Clouds trying to break up some 

We made it to bluff mtn mile 10 and it was cold there again- we got chilled very quickly so out come all the layers once more 

Just liked the way that looked 

It warmed some about 36-40 and in the sun didn’t feel too bad- about mile 14 we stopped for  late lunch - I brought my jet boil and heated us up some chicken noodle soup- the warm broth really hit the spot. 

Sherry enjoying my back country  culinary skills 

 Sherry took this at about mile 19 - we were almost to hot springs we could look over the ridges and see the French broad river - so we were excited to be so close 

Looking back to bluff mtn- I  about froze my ass off up there geez. 
 It was a great day in the mtns and really enjoyed getting to have a girls weekend with my cousin.  I encourage anyone to get out there and walk on the AT - it’s always a positive character building experience 

Friday, November 9, 2018

The optimist creed

Just wanted to share this as it makes me feel sooo amazing to just read this little pledge ♥️ for the next 21 day I am going to recite this pledge every morning in order to set my day with intention : 

Feel free to join me the next three weeks!! I sense major positive shifts will happen for each person who
Does this- aside from the Ten Commandments- if every person on the planet lived life by this credo - what would
The world be like??? 💕

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Trout fishing in Damascus, Va with my brother, river glass and jewelry making

Today I got to spend the day with my brother Brian and we went trout fishing together! It was a beautiful crisp fall day! My brother caught a beautiful brown trout and I let too many off the hook to count Lol 😂 I did score some river glass - it seemed wherever I was I would look down and find it- I’m assuming from the strong rain yesterday 

Brian was nice enough to let me have his trout- trout for dinner!!  and as soon as I got home I made some necklaces and a bracelet from some of the glass I found! 

Very thankful to get to be outside on such a gorgeous day!!!  

Brian at TN Laurel 

Beautiful morning 

One of my favorite spots 

Happy to be outside 

Brown trout Brian caught 

Brian at the trestle near the creeper trail 

Brian just loved getting his picture taken all day 😂

My haul from the river bank 

The things I made this evening!! ♥️

Brown trout after I gutted and filleted him 

Volia! Trout for dinner!! 

Next up: I’m supposed to go backpacking this weekend and it’s going to be cold!! Supposed to go from max patch to hot springs on the AT with my cousin sherry  who is section hiking the AT. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Mmtr 50 weekend- adventures in crewing-

 This weekend my husband Brock completed his first 50 mile trail race. It’s held in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and called Mountain Masochist 50- it’s been held for 30 some years but unsure of the exact number. However I feel it’s a very very hard and challenging 50 given the hard 12 hour cut off and the vertical climbing this race boasts.

We drove to Lynchburg area Friday and it pouring the rain. We went to sleep early but a bus load of basketball players at 11:30pm insured we would be awoken- and tormented for the next couple hours with their obnoxiousness- I most certainly had a chat with my son jack who is going on a band trip next week about hotel etiquette once I returned home after this experience- 

Anyways we woke up at 4am got ready ate breakfast and I drove Brock to the start at the camp KoA in Monroe.

He seemed calm and confident and ready for the day!! 

The race began and I drove to the parkway bridge aid station for Brock to come through at his mile 11 - to switch hand helds and get his headlamp 

Blurry pic but he was looking strong and happy and under control- and so I met him at the next aid station at the resivoir 

Again strong looking good and on sub 10 hr pace!  This was mile 17 for him So I was thinking I suspect today will be a good day for him- I felt if he kept his efforts steady he would break 10 hours 
I then drove to the long mtn way side mile 23 gave him a turkey and provolone slider I made for him and a soda
I didn’t get any pics from there but I did at the loop mile 31

Looking so fresh and strong! I was so impressed!! So I got to stay here an hour and see so many friends! Which really was fun for me because I haven’t ran mmtr myself since 2014. 
I missed Brock at salt log gap- which it’s a long drive but even better I knew he wasn’t slowing down he was speeding up! 
So I drove to the finish and got everything ready for that 
His clothes to change into so he wouldn’t get cold- post race food and warm stuff to drink (I brought my jet boil and heated up bone broth for him to
Drink post race because I knew with the salt and protein it would be good and also it’s warm and it was windy and cool at the start) 
So finally he finishes 9:49!
He met his goal! He ran beautifully all day and it made me so happy to see him do well and be apart of his special day! 

Little salty 😜

Brock with Dr. David Horton 

Brock and I at the finish  watch everyone 

 Brock with his LUS black hole
Duffle bag  congrats Brock! I love you and so proud of you! 

Okay! So all day everyone was telling me I need to get back out there and asking me what I was doing. Which is so amazing people are encouraging and interested in what I have going on- I really tried to keep everything nice and breezy- and I am going to try to train for holiday lake in February 
However- it’s obvious to me- I haven’t really raced hard or ran well since 2012.  I ran a lot of long hard races that year and had a lot of life stress- I’ve ran ultras since then plenty of them even  2 hundreds and got finishes but I just think something kinda broke  inside me via overtraining syndrome and I keep hoping I heal- that’s why I focused on so many other things - to give myself a break from training so hard- working mar mtn sports, teaching yoga, making jewelry, I went back to school and worked on my masters teaching certification a semester —- all in the hopes I find something that fires me up like running ultras that I can love and be passionate about- alas I have not found that thing- and I still train and run daily however my body forces my mileage to be low.  I wish I could explain the fatigue and tiredness I have felt for years- on a daily basis- and I’ve really tried to
Figure it out for myself- I eat healthy I take supplements - I’ve been tested for lymes- negative- my thyroid is a little low but nothing extreme- everything else is normal when I go to the doctor I’m healthy- so I how can I explain- I can’t run long distances hard and intense anymore- he is just impressed I can go run 5 hrs even if it’s 13 min pace on a trail. So I’ve been in this limbo-
But the good news is I’m fine now- for years I can’t tell you the stress anxiety and tears about not running well and not feeling enough or my  frustration about it. Today yes I would love to run fast again for long long distances - will that ever happen for me? I don’t know and I’m okay and accepting for that - only took 6 years for me to get there - I have an appt with a new dr who is a runner nov 13 and they are supposed to do a host of tests to try to figure out what can be done if anything 
I’m just trying to be in a place of gratitude- life is not that bad for me- I have a healthy husband who is killing it at his running and happy!! I have happy amazing kids! I have dogs who love me-  I still lift and get to run and bike! Just not for hours and hours - with out terrible side effects that make me have a set back- read some of things on irunfar about over training syndrome - it’s nuts. I try to be happy at least I can do what I do and I do have some hobbies I enjoy 
This weekend I’m going backpacking again with my cousin on the AT inNC
Backpacking although it’s slow and cumbersome in comparison to trail running- it gets me out there - and that’s truly my love is to be outside. 
I also hunt and fish and really have enjoyed cultivating those skills within myself 
I eat what I kill or catch - I’ve been busy this fall with jacks band and October was very warm when bow season began so I haven’t had the opportunity to hunt much 
So yesterday after we got home I went to my parents farm- it was such a beautiful evening and I really just wanted the time with my dad and peacefulness of sitting quietly in the woods 
But after several hours a huge buck 125-130 lbs showed up but his rack was small- 4 pt. Which isn’t important to me as I’m hunting for meat and not a trophy -I was able to harvest him with my cross bow! 

Dad and I field dressed him and hung him to drain and he will be  skinned out and processed this morning!! Field to table and stream to table is the most sustainable  food healthiest form of protein. I don’t take the loss of life lightly- and harvest responsibly same as my dad selects steers for us to slaughter once a year for our family.  Its old school- but if you really think about where our food in grocery stores come from- this way for me is optimal since I’m an omnivore 
  I’m going trout fishing with my brother later this week, and very excited to get to have trout for dinner and get to spend time on the river with my brother Brian. Hunting and fishing hasn’t replaced  or eclipsed my passion for running- or trail and ultrarunning it will always be my first love but being outside and cultivating skills that I know I can feed myself(and I feel the same with herbalism and foraging and I haven’t discussed my love for that here but will do some posts on that in the future)- I find very satisfying 
 After my dr appt I will do a post as well to keep everyone updated on my journey - on how to optimize my health and enable myself to do the things I love ❤️ 
And in closing- I had an incredible weekend. I’m so proud of Brock and so happy I was able to crew him.  I’m working to get back out there ♥️ I have zero regrets as life is a journey and I just need to keep moving forward and take everything one day at a time- just like a race- aid station to aid station. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Running happy consistently 🎃 and happy Halloween

The last two days I have experienced a change in my running- for the first time in a long long time- I’ve actually enjoyed it- had fun on my runs!! I’m sure cooler temps and eye candy(aka fall foliage ) have a lot to do with it 
I am unsure why I had such a blah attitude when I ran- just felt it wasn’t fun anymore and I did it out of obligation to my health or identity - because I knew I should etc - but today and yesterday both run I felt a shift in my thoughts like hmm this isn’t bad- I’ll just float up this hill... 
where before I’d be like “oh God—- this sucks.”  Why do I do this to myself? Etc- soo perhaps it could be shift in thinking- and better fitness combined - who knows? All I know is I’m excited that the fun aspect has returned for me! 
I have been using both my garmin and my Apple Watch to track my runs- 
I’m excited to feel my appetite for running return and as Karl Meltzer told me when he coached me last year: “if running is hard for you, you need to do more of it for it to get easy.”  Pretty sound advice! 

Today is Halloween! We are very excited for trick or treaters! And to watch scary movies and have a taco bar!! 
Both kids just want to hand out candy this year! 

Here are some pictures from my run yesterday and a shot of me just finishing my run this morning : 

Yes I look sad  or traumatized 😂 but I’m not just was trying to breathe 😆 

Jack and Todd dressed up for school - Jack was a tacky tourist and Todd it was career day and he is a civil engineer 

Jack with his Veterans Day project he made for

Monday, October 29, 2018

Pumpkin carving party!!!

As promised!! Here is my post about my Halloween get together I hosted!! We all had so much fun- it was such a great group of girls- and I’m so extremely lucky to have such amazing,  intelligent,strong,beautiful friends ♥️ we were treated to pretty views of the fall foliage and enjoyed each other’s company, and yummy fall foods! 

Me with vast majority of my favorite women of swva!!! Love you all 😘

Our pumpkins!! 

It’s an orb 😂 it’s really smoke but when I took the picture I claimed it was a ghost 👻 

Camille’s beautiful “la Luna e las Estrellas”

 Laura, robins and Kate’s handiwork 

 Beth’s executioner 

 Beth is the pumpkin carving wizard 

 Jack and Todd free handed their pumpkins as I did I 

Hard at work! 

 Me and mama bear!! 

 Gluten free pumpkin pie! 

Todd being edgey 

Me and my amazing friend Camille who handled hanging out with a cult of ultrarunning alpha females extremely well 

I had table decorations!! This was a swanky party 🎈 

End of the day I am just grateful I was able to share a happy evening with some really dynamic awesome ladies and definitely want to make us all getting together like this a regular occurrence♥️ mellow Monday day after masochist!!