Sunday, July 6, 2014

Injinji 2.0 review

Several weeks ago, a very cool (and fun!) opportunity fell in my lap when Injinji (www.injinji.com) reached out to me
To demo their latest line and write a blog giving my thoughts about them. Of course, I told them: "absolutely!"

I have used Injinji socks since 2008 and really found them to
Work well for me. I guess i should
Back up and explain also
During 2008 was what I call the "born to run/ vibram 5 finger" boom. I feel Injini kinda exploded into the mainstream along with vibram 5 fingers and many people (espcially non runners) very closely associate the two.
But what I feel : they were originally marketed as a blister prevention sock to runners? If memory serves me correct. Well, regardless the UltraRunning and marathoning communities alike have always loved Injinji and majority of runners from
These communities are familiar with what great socks they are- if you are not- yoo hoo! Over here! if you are a runner and have blister issues: check out these socks.

I wore them while I ran(consequently won overall for
Females) during grindstone 100 2012. They worked beautifully as I had no blisters and lost no toenails
That race and that's saying a lot given the gnarly terrain and all the uphill and downhill one has to
Cover. They are pink- I still
Have them and will show you a picture later in the blog when I compare/ contrast 1.0 from
2.0.

I so arrived home from
The beach and found a box on my porch and inside was this:


- Pretty exciting, huh?!

So the very next day I began to demo- ran on pavement for 10
Miles In a pair of the "run 2.0" I was impressed just putting on the socks and taking note of the new features: 1. a mesh panel across the top of the sock for ventilation and better breathability.
2. Reinforced toes and heels (same as 1.0) I've already attested to how long lasting these socks are - they are awesome - now
They have added cool max xtra life
Fiber -- these socks could probably survive a zombie apocalypse, now.

3. New feature for run 2.0- a cuff that goes higher on the heel- this eliminates friction of your shoe rubbing the back of your heel
Above low socks!!!
This feature made me extremely happy because during my first 100, umstead 2012- I was literally reduced to a crawl the last 20
Miles because I had worn smart wool low cut socks and my Solomon slab wings rubbed a gapping hole on the backs of both Achilles they were bleeding and just the most painful, excruciating experience with every step. (Shudder!!) never want to replicate that so that is something
Since that race, I immediately look for when buying new socks- and make very sure I always wear taller above ankle non-cute socks for trail and ultra trail running.






Here are two pictures of on my left foot is the grindstone 100 2012 sock- see? Looks
Great! I wear these socks all the time!! And on the right is the new Injini run 2.0 sock. Note the mesh panel and taller lip of the back of the heel in comparison to the pink 1.0s.

I really liked the trail 2.0 as well they offer same features but the sock itself is above the ankle boasts a "double cuff"
To insure the socks stay In place and keeps debris from
Getting into your sock- which you ultrarunners and trail runners know- trail debris- hubris and small
Rocks and dirt is another awesome
Way to get a blister or
Hot spot. -- these guys on the design floor for Injini are on it. The trail 2.0 also offers some light padding. Personally, I'm not big on padded socks for running- but these were nice- definitely wasn't super noticeable. I still felt
I could "feel" On the inside of my shoe while running.

And lastly: my favorite!! Injini has some
2.0 compression socks. Out of all the socks I demoed- these are my favorite- because I love to
Utilize compression for long trail runs and races- makes your legs feel great, i use them ESP
Day after a long ultra for recovery benefits - I find I don't get leg cramps while
Running as much wearing compression during running long races and quite simply when you are trail running in they a wearing a talk knee sock protects you from briars, sticks on the trail trying to
impale you, poison ivy, etc-- and plus if you're a chick: super cute in my humble opinion to pair knee compression socks with shortie running shorts or a running skirt- yes, guys it's all about looking cute while doing all that suffering out on the trail! So with Injini: you get the best of both worlds!! The blister prevention of a their toe sock- and benefits of compression. here are some
Pictures of Injini's compression socks








And my last favorite feature of the Injinji compression - comes with a free hair tie- didn't know if the packaging guys are aware of that but that is what I use mine for- makes a cool
Bracelet too:)


So I hope that gives all you guys a good perception of the latest line of Injini and their noticeable advancements in design. Again, i have to reiterate the durability of these socks are amazing, and I'm very excited to see how long lasting these 2.0s I have are.

I do have to thank the kind people at Injini for thinking of me to do this. I really enjoyed demoing your line (and will continue to enjoy my socks!!) very appreciative for the opportunity to do this.

Lastly, running wise: I registered for several races!! I am running jarman's marathon in Charlottesville, va on aug 2nd-

Will be running the length of the AT through Shannondoah National Park over Labor Day with a group of strong and amazing women ultrarunners.

Plan on running a big ol chunk of a long run with the yeti trail runners on the va creeper trail in oct. As a long run for Mmtr-

Running Mmtr nov 1

Hopefully running hellgate

And I am registered for fort clinch 100 miler next march 28th.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 16, 2014

What I've been up to: salomon demo, MSL running group, adventures in jewelry making, and Highlands Sky 40




This is going to be a WHALE of a blog post. You've been warned! My blog has been idle since TJ100k, not because not much has been going on, but because I've been going pedal to the metal ever since!! We are on our way to the beach, so thought this would be the PERFECT time to catch everyone up to speed with whats going on in Jenny land.



Really busy spring with Kid's soccer and end of year events. I have to say I am so extremely blessed that MSL is really flexible when it comes to my schedule and understanding if my kids have something going on. Jack and Todd had a great spring and I'm really enjoying all the family time with them this summer. They are growing so much-- they are starting to get out to sugar hollow and run a four mile technical loop with me. We have a great time.. we hike the climbs and run the downhill and flats and they are little pros at finding their rhythm












jack and todd running in their kids XA Pros








on the Job front-- It has been such a great progression to watch the MSL Wednesday night running group really flourish and grow. We have had Skratch labs come visit and hand out samples, a montrail demo,  a trail running clinic with post run pizza at Mellowmushroom, and several track speed work sessions with Coach Tom Murrell.  We held a Salomon Demo at Sugar hollow park on  June 10. It has been so fun to have these events, and see the group take shape as a community. Bristol truly needed a running group.  if anyone is interested in joining us for a run on Wednesday nights at 5:30 we meet at MSL parking lot and have routes of 3, 4, 5, or 6 miles downtown Bristol.  If we do track work options or trail running options, we announce it on our FB page : https://www.facebook.com/groups/MTNSPORTSRUNNERS/ so go there and join the group so you can be in the know with  what's going on. This is a VERY FUN, POSITIVE, INCLUSIVE group whether you are a veteran runner or a newbie there is something for everyone.  We usually have between 20-40 runners at every fitness level, so you WILL have someone to run with if you wish and won't feel awkward or weird  at all- I PROMISE :)
















Another Cool thing that we did at MSL was have our First ever : MSL YOGA DAY. We offered free outdoor yoga class to anyone who wanted to come, and they got 20% off coupon for any of our active wear ( aka yoga apparel) in the store. We offer some really great yoga gear: Stonewear Designs, Prana, patagonia, and lole. Adriel Slaughter led the class and we had a GREAT turn out for a first time event.  While I was doing yoga outside the store with the group. It was kind of surreal moment if anyone would of told me 2 yrs ago that MSL would have a Yoga day or an actual running group that met consistently  and I would the one come up with it and bring it to fruition - WOW. I know it's not all me-- it's MSL, the people who are coming in and participating, but it's really been awesome to invoke positive, noticeable change.








okay, so riding this wave and during the week before MSL yoga day I met Julie. Julie opened this AMAZING yoga studio in abingdon called WHITE TOP YOGA. This yoga studio quite simply is the coolest thing Ive stumbled upon in awhile. The studio itself is bright, happy and clean, with tons of natural light. This is very different from the yoga I was accustomed to, where the room is pretty dang dark. Just the general vibe of this place is SO HAPPY, POSITIVE and SUNSHINEY!! What hooked me though was Julie and the yoga itself. Julie RYT certified very knowledgeable and experienced, and in her classes you can talk, you can laugh, you can ask questions.. it's all good.. it's just yoga. Her classes really challenge me, but on the days I don't want go all out, she is so wonderful to offer modifications and I feel very sensitive to everyones fitness level. Anyone could come to her class and really enjoy it. I had tried to headstand for the past 2 yrs. A month of going to White top yoga a couple times a week, look what I can do: not perfect, work in progress but I can do it!!





so if you are looking for new, different, happy, want to change your perspective and turn your world upside down in a good way-- AND get super freaking fit-- go to WHITE TOP YOGA!!





SO ( I told you guys this was going to be a long blog - hang in there) all these inversions  I swear started stimulating the creative side of my brain- on a whim I decided I wanted to start making some handstamped jewelry and playing around with metal working. I have made jewelry, sewed and done tons of other arts and crafts on and off since college. but this was the first time something truly resonated with me and I felt I could really improve my skill and do something with it. I made myself some cool pieces, then friends started asking if I would make them some personalized custom pieces.. then more friends requested my stuff. SO I made myself an Etsy shop on may 11th and it's been doing AWESOME the  past month. i am SO surprised! The support of the ultra community and my friends and family of this has been amazing.


https://www.etsy.com/shop/MountainPrimaDonna




























and I have some really cool ultra runners wearing my things now :)





Sophie and Annie of the Crozet Ultra team!





Jimmy Dean Freeman





Bill Gentry and Kimba , Meredith


among a bunch of others!





Then Jason Green from the yeti trail runners approached me about making the female awards for Yeti Snakebite 50 miler and 50k-- and that was SO FUN making something cool for an ultra trail race!! Those got such a great response I'm making some extra pendents to sell just for their Ultrarunning club.


Julie Smith is also selling some yoga centric jewelry I've made in the retail section of her studio so if you are ever there, check it out!










thank you so much to everyone for supporting me, believing in me. It's been incredibly inspiring to create all these pieces and I do draw so much of my energy from ultra running and yoga and the communities i'm apart of. So GOOD GOOD stuff!





okay lastly another cool things that happened to me: I'm going to be in the july issue of  Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine Jess Daddio had approached me about helping her with an article she was writing and it's from the stand point of road trips.. so I'm the guide for a trail running road trip-- so I take the reader on three of my favorite routes, to my favorite local restaurants and watering holes etc. I'm so excited to see how this turns out and had so much fun helping Jess ( who is an AWESOME  very bright and  talented chick currently traveling around in her little camper and adventuring for A YEAR! )  We did a photoshoot for  the article up on beauty spot on the AT near Erwin TN and here are a couple of images she has been kind enough to share with me. Thanks so much Jess Daddio for letting me use these





!


















Okay, oh yeah this is an ultra running blog: So my first race back from TJ 100k was Highlands Sky 40. Where I have been so busy, I knew I was going into this a little undertrained in terms of time on my feet. with the track sessions and road running. I knew I had my speed back. I ran Orange Dot  3 weekends ago and PRed by like 17 minutes by running it 3:45 ( should of found myself a shorter trail race had I wanted to be competitive! lol just kidding) but I knew once I past a certain  mileage - probably going to hurt.  I love being outside. I love ultra running. I love training. but it really has been a challenge this spring to balance it all. When I was a stay at home mom, it was much much easier to find the time to get my long runs in.  and be in the mtns more. Logistically it is very hard for me these days! but I'm working on it! plugging away at it, and you know-- it's actually been great to kinda start again from ground zero.   I feel I'm not making mistakes I did in training several years ago, been able to implement experience and patience. The great news is that  I know Im GETTING THERE.  I really feel by fall - I will be running well and have an excellent base. I think I'm doing it RIGHT for once and embracing my journey. Enjoying where i am in the season I'm in, without comparing myself to others and putting so much pressure and self loathing on myself when I didn't meet my expectations. Ive had the realization that life is short, and we have enough adversity to overcome and critical people to deal with-- without beating ourselves up too.  So yeah I know I'm not peaking yet, but I can see the peak and know I"m moving towards it at a solid rate and I know I will get there.


So Highlands sky: I got there to Canaan Valley resort late. Missed the race meeting, got my number,  laid out my gear : great salomon tech tank, ( I did opt for some lulu shorts- just couldn't find the "just right" salmon shortie shorts for this race) smart wool socks ( with blister shield, Suunto Ambit 2S, and Salmon XT wings 3 shoes.


got up at 4am feeling nauseous- just like pinhoti 100 it was creepy-- is this nerves?? sinuses/ allergies?  all I knew I felt like I was going to blow chunks. I ate a banana and  sipped on 7 up and tried to just think about how much fun I was going to have, that I couldn't wait to run. I literally slept in the car on my way to the start. I felt tired. I was thinking - "hmm probably should of tapered and rested more."  but then i thought- "well ,I didn't so it is what it is. just go do it. "


and that is what I did. I started slow, and just stayed steady all day. I didn't  get in a hurry at all- just ran by feel, and by the time I was climbing the mtns among the stinging nettle, I thought- yep- just going enjoy my day and not put any pressure on myself- it's going to be a long long day- so may as well sit in.  It was VERY muddy, I fell a couple times, this course is super technical, and intensely beautiful- had I known I was going to run so slow, I would of brought my iPhone so I could of documented.   but every time I would look up I was amazed-- and kept telling myself how blessed I was just to be out there.  I was super full of gratitude, just thinking back to some of the things I've been through in life and to be where I am now. THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME BE HERE. So I did I got to brock at mile 19 in right at 5 hrs.  but I was happy. and told him yep this is going to be a 9:30-10 hr day, assured him I wasn't hurting and having a blast just being out there. 


me at mile 19 getting ready to run across the road across the sky.


So the whole day I kept leap frogging with this super nice ultra runner from balitmore named Shawn/sean.  I noticed him picking up other runners gel packets off of the trail. and immediately told him i didn't know him just seeing that made me know he was cool. lol We worked together a lot esp the second half and I really enjoyed hearing about all his races ( he had ran WS, hard rock, wasatch, MMT etc) so I am sure I talked him to death picking his brain about 100s.  I love 100s and I can wait to get back to them.


So 9:45 my wonderful, happy, blissful  selfish fun run at  highlands sky ended.  I think from the picture you can tell how I felt about it all.  This was my 33rd ultra. I've realized they aren't all going to A races. This was like a D race- lol-- but i had fun, enjoyed the day, got some great time on my feet and I really feel with consistency and what I have planned for the summer and early fall-- I will have a strong MMTR and hell gate this year.  I have my speed back- because I can consistently run 7 min pace- on the road for 5 miles or so.  I hadn't been there in a LONG time, boys and girls.  I'm so flipping thankful to just be on the road back.  and post HS40, I'm not too sore ( because I didn't run hard duh) but still 42 miles is a LONG way no matter how you slice it and my gear all worked great. no blisters or issues so my socks and shoe selection was spot on.  I never bonked or got fat fingers so my  salted watermelon GU worked great, it wasn't too hot so I didn't take any salt tabs.







SO THERE! for those of you who made it! CONGRATS! That was an ULTRA of a blog post! really excited about the direction I'm going in- I'm helping coach a high school cross country camp at Western Colorado State in july, and plan to run all of the AT in SNP over labor day  weekend with annie Stanley, sophie,  steph wilson and Martha wright- our group is called "dirty moms" :)


I promise I will update more frequently than three months or chop up my posts from here on out squeezing in four months is tough!! Cheers y'all! be kind and do good things! and love yourself! :)




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pursuit of Happiness: my experience at the Thomas Jefferson 100k

 I knew for 2014, I needed a different game plan. While I was intent on leaving an extremely disappointing year in the rear view, I knew I needed to glean from all the lessons I learned and not replicate mistakes I had made in order for this year to be better, in everyway. 

First, before any type of training commenced, I did some  deep soul searching regarding WHO I am/ who I am not--what I am about, WHY I feel compelled to do what I do, and also what is important to me/ what's not important. Then I compiled a list of goals for the year. I wanted clear concise written goals for me to set out and obtain. 


    THEN I trained differently. I started implementing morning runs. That was a challenge for me because I hadn't really taken the time for morning runs really ever. but it was a necessity due to my super tight schedule. I would get up at 5- be out the door in 10 min- run for an hour,  with my headlamp in the cold and darkness- shower, get kids up and ready for school, work, run again, take kids with me to the YMCA for kids gym while I did a 6pm yoga class.  I learned to love it. I trained diligently. When it snowed, I ran in snow shoes, 



and rode my surly pugsly to cross train.
 I REALLY started hitting the weight room. No more light weight, high reps- going through the motions.  I consciously really started focusing on what I was doing, and what the purpose of each session was for. 

 i ran with faster people during my long runs to get myself out of the slogs.  I did bonk runs. I was tired, I ate tons and went to bed early almost every evening. Very geeky, dorky, obsessive behavior. However,  I knew it was a necessary for me to do all this to get back on track, I found a lot of enjoyment in structure, having a plan, sticking to my plan and seeing it through to completion. But even with all that I did, I knew I didn't really have adequate time to properly prepare for a 100k- 50k sure- but I knew by the end I would be relying upon my experience to get to me to the finish/ and also fighting  my demons because I hadn't ran  AND FINISHED over 100k since hellgate 2012

 I was drawn to TJ100k for a multitude of reasons. I was a political science major and have my minor in history. One of my favorite classes from my senior yr at UVA-w in 2000 was Jefferson and Ataturk by Dr. Garrett Sheldon.  Most Jeffersonian ideology resonates with me on a pretty deep level. I have this profound love of Charlottesville. I love it's trails, running communities, I have many friends who live there,   I usually visit 3-4 times a year and always enjoy myself. oh and I love dave matthews:)  So the idea of a weekend running 100k of  practically 100% single track trail, spending time amongst good friends seemed like a no brainer. 



   
   I arrived at Tandem friends school friday afternoon, the race headquarters. ( AJW is the head of school there)   I found a bustling campus with soccer and lax matches going on, it was so fun to watch!! i picked up my race packet, and I've ran 30 ultras or so the past 5 yrs-- and Ive never been so spoiled!!! Very nice. 

  I then went to pre race pasta dinner sponsored by whole foods.  Food was delicious! I got to catch up with Brian Pickett from Kingsport and some other tn ultra runners. 


Then we had pre race meeting. Andy really set the tone I feel for the entire event/weekend here -- of course he and sophie went over logistics and timing, but what sticks out in my mind was Andy pointing out "pursue happiness" was written on the front of our patagonia race shirts. Reminded me WHY I run these things and work so hard at self improvement, not just in my running, but all areas of my life. It's FUN and MAKES ME HAPPY. 
AJW really emphasized they were there for us --whatever we needed-- pacers, pep talks, massages ( haha) He just wanted us to finish and enjoy the event. 
  

  I felt much less nervous driving back to the hotel. I knew no matter what went down the next morning, I was amongst friends and in a safe place. I also knew I'd be suffering- and they would NOT let me drop-- which is exactly why I came to TJ100k with no crew. I needed  so desperately not to drop. get the DNF monkey off my back. 

 i went back to my hotel, and tried to sleep quite frankly had some strange and vivid realizations about certain things in my life. ( yes my brain didn't want to shut down) instead of worrying about the race I found myself thinking about everything under the sun. Sleep eventually found me, but 2:30 am arrived much too soon. I got up, dressed- I had decided to run in Salomon Mantra 2's for this race. Gathered my gear, and drove to walnut creek park. I checked in. i was happy to see Sniper:) Then because this is a loop course 7 x 9 mile loops, I set up a little area with my bottles of Gu roctane and extra race vest. 

The race began at 5am so we wore headlamps. I stupidly didn't check the batteries since hellgate. ( really!! like dumbest mistake ever) My head lamp didn't die but it was VERY VERY dim for loop 1. i felt it slowed me down, but that's probably a good thing.  I felt GREAT loving the 40F temps and cool breezes. The course was very well marked and easy to follow. I found myself just running it ALL. I completed the first loop in 1:42. 

some  random super nice guy lent me his headlamp for my second loop since it was still dark and replaced my MYO with fresh batteries while I was out on the loop ( THANK YOU!!) ,  I have to say BOTH Aidstations were out of this world amazing to me! every time I would come in, they would cheer and tell him how great I was moving and fill my bottle offer me food etc. CATs ( charlottesville area trail runners) manned both aid stations and did a tremendous job. My second loop was 1:42. I was feeling good, strong and not too worked. but the sun was up and I knew it would get warm- here are some pictures of me running, and pictures from the race course that morning at sunrise ( courtesy of sophie) 





 Loop 3 was okay. Loop 4 a little tougher, I started getting really hot, and sweating ALOT I was still first female, but knew I was going to have to dial back my efforts. I thought of OD and how awful that was-- my hands were swelling, tummy swelling, and all I could think about was how I wanted to jump in the lake. I thought to myself " no race is worth this torment, I'm done. I'm quitting ultras forever, I'm terrible at this. I suck."  I came into aidstation 1- out of it and sad the way my race was going-- I was still leading but felt AWFUL-  the CATS were amazing.. they dumped water over my head, they gave me ice to put in my sports bra to bring down my core temperature-- I decided to go to water only in my bottle. Annie said she would pace me the last two loops just get through loop 5



 so off i went, determined to just get back there in 2hrs- my feet were great, no blisters or hot spots- they didn't hurt at all- I just felt tired, I also was aware I was trashing my quads with all the downhills I was trying to bomb. My heart rate was high-- oops it's survival mode time--  THEN  I thought about post OD, sophie sent me a blog by jimmy dean freeman about a 100 that was hot and had a high DNF rate- maybe angles crest- but what I thought about was him saying essentially was dial back your effort-- take racing off the table-- make finishing your goal if you don't want to quit, DONT.  So There on loop 5 I decided even if my "race" was going down the crapper because I don't run very well in heat-  I am FINE and i don't have to quit- so I'm not. i had tons of time to finish. That was a freeing thing. because I knew Stephanie was steady and right behind me. 
 I finally got back to start loop 6 with Annie. Stephanie caught us here and passed  and went on to run consistently and finish strong for the overall female win. I ungallantly death marched most of loop 6. I was a train wreck, but annie little by little pieced me back together. Encouraging me to eat and gel ( hey I forgot about that on loop 5- oops) By loop 7- the sun was going down and felt so much better, So we ran everything we could. I wasn't pushing hard--  was having fun getting to know annie, and really just had finishing in mind- that is until the  last 2 miles I saw Carter right behind me- it was silly but I kicked it into gear and ran my hiney off to the finish. How did I go from feeling so slow to feeling so energized?? motivation, perception-- most of ultra running is SO MENTAL, it scares me. 
BUT I FINISHED-- That meant SO much to me. I was so tired and fatigued during that run, but it felt so tremendous to overcome that and all the little issues that got thrown my way. AJW and craig Thornley were there at the finish  line,  i got hugs and a 2 dollar bill ( nice!!) I have to say no way I would of finished without the help of the CATS at the aid stations and annie stanley pacing me.  I would like to think I could of made it without a pacer, maybe I could of but I know how simply she cheered me up, she got my thoughts and energy going in a different direction. We focused on the positive:) 
 Idealistically I wanted to watch the other finishers and hang out at the finish line. so I laid out my folding chair, changed clothes and then decided I needed to drive to where there was cell service to let my family know how I ran. I drove and drove- by the time I got service I was 5 miles from my hotel, so i just went back, showered and crashed out.  yes I left my chair because I was so out of it-- sorry guys!!!


 Got up the next morning hobbled to my car, back to tandem for Awards breakfast top 3 men and women where awarded a Jefferson cup engraved with TJ100k, also I got a cool MHW expedition duffle. 



The weekend was so fun and amazing. The people -racers, organizers, volunteers, sponsors- ALL made it special. AJW really created such an amazing experience-- it wasn't just an event- it was an experience. He spoke of how this race was a personal reflection of a part of who he is, and why he loves ultrarunning. I know for me, personally, this is why I feel such connection and deep level of friendship with all of these folks-- it's a collective of people who set goals, work diligently to obtain them: commitment, community, steadfastness. All these things I learn to practice during my races, I, in turn, hope to implement into my everyday life. I'm so appreciative and thankful for my journey. It isn't always easy, full of twists, turns, ups and downs, but I'm  still here ON THE COURSE and STILL MOVING FORWARD. 
 I definitely want to thank AJW for putting on such a wonderful race. I will be back!! So honored to get to apart of the first one! 
Post race reflections here 3 days later: this course is DECEPTIVELY much harder than it seems. It really wears you down, where there isn't any fire road to make up time, and it's all single track-- you burn ALOT of calories. I really don't feel I ate enough. Also I didn't have enough depth in my training ( although I trained hard-- I really didn't have enough TIME to train WELL to RACE a 100k-- was it good enough to cover the distance- YES.. but I was by no means strong or comfortable at the end- I was in survival mode- BUT silver lining for that is running this and recovering from it- is going to make me SO fit! yay!! 
 Also where it's early spring in central VA, it's a dice roll of what the weather and conditions will be like. I was dying in the 70F heat that afternoon.. the very next day, c-ville had 4 inches of snow. So that adds to the fun of it. Being flexible planning for anything and everything and just rolling with it. 
Thank you so much to Salomon running! my Mantras worked amazingly beautiful for me this weekend! no blisters, no bruised toe nails ( and this was a technical course in places lots of rocks and roots) 
Thanks so much to GU Energy labs! I ate about 18 gels- salted carmel GU and Gu roctane. :) love being apart of the gu crew:) 







Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spring 2014 Additions at Mountain Sports!

  hey guys!  this is a new type of post for me and my next post will be complete devoted to my running and training.  I am just so excited about all the awesome changes and additions to the store I'm a buyer for, Mountain Sports, Ltd.
I wanted to write a blog post to show my readers some of the awesome things we have in the store- and show case some of my favorites. A lot of it will have to do with foot ware.. and right now, the store is STOCKED TO THE GILLS with shoes..

 New to the Salomon line up at the store ( we have Mission XR, EA pro's, Synapse low cut hikers)  is one of my favorite shoes that I pretty much do all my running in- road, hybrid trail, single track. This shoe pretty much fits the bill for a work horse that can do it all. SALOMON MANTRA2

BOTH OF THESE WE HAVE IN STOCK FOR THE WOMEN SIDE and the men have two colors to choose from as well.  This is the shoe I will probably wear for TJ 100k that I have coming up. It's light, responsive, but protective ,enough cushioning -- it's pretty much the perfect shoe offered from Salomon.  


I'm really excited that Mountain Sports Now has MONTRAILS on the wall!! We have The Mtn Masochist 2 for both men and women. What the mantra is to Salomon, the masochist is for Montrail. 9oz-- protective toe box, great rock plate, very grippy tread.  It's the perfect shoe for ultra trail running distances 50k to 100miles. 


Okay so after you are done trail running you need a cool recovery shoe to air out those tootsies and make your feet feel nice?? I'm crazy in love with the CHACO REVERSI FLIP
 It comes with a solid black thong-  and that is great- but you  buy these packs of  chaco flip thongs with different patterns and colors-- you end of with 6 different pairs of flip flops?! great if you like to color coordinate-- or I'm just rationalizing after one wears out you simply replace the webbing with another from the pack-- and with the chaco lowers.. you KNOW these flip flops are going to last you until you are like 80. seriously the best idea and probably the last pair of flip flops you will ever need to buy. 

 on the hiking side, Mountain Sports brought in Salewa for Men in Fall 13 and they did VERY well. Salewa is an up and coming brand that I'm really excited about and love their products.  For spring we decided to bring in the women's wildfire as a low cut hiker and scrambling/approach shoe. This shoe has VERY sticky rubber/ vibram sole and the uppers are so well made. you do feel like you are wearing climbing shoes almost.  and they are so comfy. They aren't marketed as a running shoe and the rep actually tells you-- don't run in these-- they aren't designed for it--  think climbing and mountaineering. 
 great for super rocky hikes like up on Mt Rogers. 

Still in hiking another newer company I just love ( and the rep is a cool ultra runner and a friend) is Ahnu. Ahnu has made a big splash at  Mountain sports with it's Montara Hiker. and we have TONS of those in every color of the rainbow-- water proof, all weather hiker for women. if you are looking for a high top hiker with ankle support- this is a great shoe, and it's stylish-- you can wear it to the grocery store-- you can wear it for a 20 mile hike on a backpacking trip. Anhu personifies the women I try to buy for in the store-- the girl who does it all- and wants cute but functionality and COMFORT. 
SO for spring I am introducing the sugar pine  both HI TOP and LOW cut.. from the anhu line
 Outside and Backpacker have both given the sugar pine and Montara great reviews.  The Sugarpine just has this great lighter material instead of all leather but still waterproof.  Just a great hiker.  I'm so excited about these shoes! They literally make me want to go camping and hiking just looking at them. 

Okay, moving in another direction- YOGA clothes, RUNNING clothes for women-  Mountain sports has some AMAZINGLY cute, functional and AWESOME lines for Women's activewear. 
I'm going to show you two pieces  from patagonia I'm full on addicted to and wear so frequently my husband asks-- didn't you wear that yesterday?? umm.. no… er maybe...

The gloyra wrap and racer back tank from Patagonia both of these are made from a very soft technical fiber.. very stretchy- but wicks sweat away and SOO comfortable..  and freaking cute!!!  I want one of every color! lol. guess what? you can get them at mtn sports! 
 Another current obsession of mine is the Exofficio Chica cool line-- ANYTHING FROM IT-- but right now I wear my hoody.. it's so cute, looks so great on, and I love the retro 70's look of the material.  and it's really a technical piece.. I even wear it running.

 in addition to some other AMAZING yoga pants, cropped capris, sports bras--
 Here are the lines we have in the store currently on the Women's side ( and have a GREAT selection of each) 
Lole- we have dresses, yoga and running clothes and next month will have lole yoga mats and yoga towels
Ojai- great story the owners of ojai is the original designer for patagonia and it's almost ALL made in the USA. great stuff.

Stonewear Designs -- great little company from Colorado- the rep is a professional rock climber originally from KY-- they rep in house, made in the USA and they make great clothes. 
 and fall 14 ( starting in august Mtn sports will have TONS of prana

and KAVU accessories-- you asked we got it christmas-- we sold through it ALL we got more of it_ 
That kinda is the tip of the iceberg-- but there are some NEW and exciting things going on at Mountain Sports
BUT YOU HAVE TO GO THERE to experience it. Sure you can click on the links and pay too high shipping charges to bring it to you- but shopping at a local, independent outdoor retailer-- you are keeping your money in the tri-ciites, getting great costumer service and hopefully a really positive fun experience-- because going to an outdoor store and buying gear  in itself SHOULD BE VERY FUN, HAPPY, POSITIVE experience. 

and ladies-- you don't have to go asheville or knoxville, or johnson city anymore for your yoga clothes, running clothes or cute outdoor wear--  WE HAVE IT ALL RIGHT HERE IN BRISTOL, RIGHT NOW.  :)  and isn't that AWESOME?!  It's seriously a dream realized for me! 

 I love my job and working for mtn sports so much, the people I work for are so nice, and my co-workers are such great people. It is a happy place and never really feels laborious- even when checking in items and putting out stock.  It would be AMAZING for you all that are local to come by the store and check everything out- I know I focused on the women's side but the men have great  gear as well:)
 and surly pugslys-- we have those!!! highly intelligent aussie not included




 Running happy at Sugar Hollow Park in my Mantra2's