Wednesday, December 31, 2014


well I just had my first run back since I had the flu last week, and second run since hellgate dnf.  my hip is tight- even with some yoga. but I ran pretty much pain free- so I'm glad I was patient enough to allow myself to heal.  Looking back 2014 was a great year.  I had so many cool adventures:  here is kinda my highlight reel:
  ANNIE DUMPED A PITCHER OF TAILWIND OVER MY HEAD about 50k into a 100k race.  I never will forget that! but MORE than the sticky tailwind residue- that day cemented mine and Annie's friendship. That girl paced me for  the final 20 miles and endured me being stripped down so raw and I really got to see what a caring, loving pure soul she is- LOVE YOU.

   TJ really is a FANTASTIC race. DO IT. AJW, John Andersen and Sophie/ CRUT crew do such an amazing job with this race.

Carter and I happy with our Swag post TJ 100k

 I got to go to Barkley. again. but this time I hung out with cool CALIFORNIANS  and learned the art of crewing- and made life long friends.  I hope to go back again in 2015

 I had a running club in Bristol based out of Mountain Sports we met every Wed evening. and over the yr hosted several demo events with Salomon, Montrail, Skratch labs ( and of course) GU energy labs. sometimes ( esp for demo nights) as many as 40 people would come- but usually we had 15-20 people. it was great experience getting to know so many bristol runners, and making so many new friends!
 I got to see Dave Matthews shows- 3 of them- that was pretty freaking cool

                                      had the luxury of running Highlands Sky 40-  ran it an hour slower than 2 yrs prior but was SO happy to just have a beautiful day running in the mountains- another incredible race for any east coast ultrarunner- easily a 40 that runs like a 50- it's technical -yo.

 I was afforded the opportunity to run up  and down Jarman's Gap like a gazillion times until I ran a 50k.  okay- I will be honest THAT SUCKED. The donuts, beer, peach ice cream from crozet peach orchard and  the awesome company of super funny, sweet running buds-  did NOT.

 I got to be in Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine article as a tour guide for trail running in our area! Thanks jess daddio!!  the photo shoot at Beauty Spot on the AT was an amazing morning.

 I got to do a lot of non- race adventuring this year.  I went camping a lot, hiked a lot with my kids, intentionally went places I had never been before.

 I grew TONS of really beautiful tomatoes, peppers, herbs and really got so much satisfaction and fulfillment for doing that for myself. Definitely plan on replicating that in 2015.

Ran the AT through SNP over Labor day Weekend with the Dirty Moms. THIS WAS AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE. 

Steph and I being brave. 

 I race directed two races. CTR 10k for the 7th  consecutive year and raise enough money for two scholarships.  and the Virginian "extra mile" 4.1 mi race for the Nicewonder Cancer Center- for the second consecutive year.  10k was raised for the cancer this yr

    in July,  I started my own company! I set up Mountain PrimaDonna as an LLC and  began selling on etsy-  I decided to branch out- I stepped away from my buying responsibilities at MSL- I left on great terms with just with an understanding that whatever I do i have to be "all in"  and i just felt very compelled to DO THIS for myself and couldn't have splintered focus- They completely understood- so not burnt bridges and have worked with MSL on several projects this winter- I'm so grateful for my experience there- because I know there is no way I would have been able to do what I'm doing now- had I not had 2 yrs of buying experience with them.
 SO after I truly became self employedL began selling at the Abingdon Farmers Market on Sept 6th.  For me to do this- I had to face a lot of my fears and insecurities- really work on myself tons- but decide that i had what it takes to do this for myself. It was sink or swim- GO TIME.  and I'm happy to  say - I'm swimming.
  Has my running suffered? well.... there is this thing called TIME.  I feel to be a killer ultra runner- business person anything etc- you have to be able to invest TIME AND ENERGY AND INTENTION into whatever goals you are setting out to achieve.  I have kids-  I feel I really have to prioritize-  I love running and will ALWAYS be a runner- but for the time being- I really am focused  on building my business and I run FOR FUN, health and because I love running in the mountains- it makes me happy- I love it it also makes me happy to make jewelry, and sew, it also makes me happy to do yoga.  totally plan on "making a comeback"  I feel I'm just in this ebb with my ultra running so I can take care of some other areas of my life that really needed some tending too.

 I love love love my logo

                                      I love making things that reflect how much I love running in the mountains

 I love making things that reflect the valuable lessons running in the mountains have taught me- because let's face it- there are times- IT SUCKS. IT's HARD, IT's NOT FUN- IT's PURE MISERY. but you trudge forward.   and you grow. ( not looking back over your shoulder- you look FORWARD down the trail) but guess what for all the times it's crappy - I guarantee you have 10 times more POSITIVE stuff to focus on:  runs, races, life time events that are THE BOMB- It's BOTH the good and the bad that make us the unique, cool well rounded people that we are. AND if things were just flipping amazing all the time- we wouldn't even know to value and appreciate- So for me practicing patience during the Ugh times- absolutely LOVING the crap out of life when its Good and being so grateful to God for blessing me with IT ALL.  It's true I LOVE LOVE LOVE being me, and that I get to live my life. 
You can find the GOOD in practically any situation. and even dark dark days of tragedy when they visit your door- and they do for us all- you may not see it at the time, but as you heal you will see that you have a choice you can allow dark occurrences to change you for the better, to make you a stronger, better person. ( and it sure gives you perspective, empathy and compassion for others) or you can play the victim and replay things in your mind over and over and choose to let it define who you are and sit right there and not move forward. ( don't do that- MOVE FORWARD) It's all about Choices- and WE ALL are 100% in control of our lives and the choices we make daily. man up and be responsible for what you choose for yourself.  I had to to. and it's not an easy thing sometimes to look REALLY honestly at yourself in the mirror- but I feel the key to that is--- LOVE YOURSELF.  but tough love and honesty is sometimes just the ticket, if there are things in your life you don't like-  analyze why you do what you do- what self limiting beliefs you are totally lying to yourself about- and go about to CHANGE what you don't like- YOU CAN DO THAT. Realizing that for me was SO freeing.  LIVE YOUR TRUTH  ( sorry for the ramble just felt compelled to share that) 

               I got named to the Stonewear Designs ambassador team 2014-2015- I am on a team of just amazing women from all sport backgrounds --super excited to promote for them, and honored they wanted me to be on their team.
 in oct. I was lucky enough to crew this fine, young man for about 17 hrs as he ran ( and won) Grindstone 100. It was so amazing to be back there and to get to LEARN so much from him.

 and I had an amazing helper. Todd crewed too and it was a wonderful weekend to spend with my son- he loved every second.  and he thinks Jeff Browning and Jordan Chang are super heroes

                                            I cut my hair!!!  and I LOVE it - was ready for a change!

I've done a lot of yoga this year.  I really think it's helped me in so many different areas of my life. 

                I love it SO much- I'm planning on teaching a couple classes and  pursuing my RYT in 2015. ( and all the clothes in the above 2 pictures are Stonewear designs- aren't they great?)

 last race I finished for 2015 was MMTR- I was so thankful to get run my third Masochist and finish and run the new course and have a great weekend with friends.
 john price is one of my heroes. 

end of the day- WOW. I am blown away- I see how incredibly blessed I am- to have so many wonderful people who I love and who love me in so many different places in my life. Family, friends,  in ultra running, in my community, at the farmers market--- I'm so grateful for it all.  Just as David Horton says ( he is that handsome young man surrounded by all those lovely ladies in the last pic) "WE NEED EACH OTHER. PEOPLE NEED PEOPLE."  That's what it's all about.  SO to all my people: THANK YOU for making my year and my journey so amazing. It's been a mountain climb the past two years- but i'm getting there!!  I can see the summit- just a couple more ( okay 20 min) of switch backs- but just knowing i'm going somewhere MEANS SO MUCH. LOVE YOU ALL!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

First blogpost on the Stonewear designs blog site

Hey everyone I posted a blog on the Stonewear Designs blog page for timeless "classic" advice for first time ultrarunners- check it out and let me know what you think! Here is the link:

I am loving being a Stonewear ambassador and working with such a positive company ( made In the USA! ) and wearing, field testing their amazing clothes!!
If you haven't checked out their website please do so! The link is on the logo on my page - so if you click the logo it will
Directly take you to the Stonewear website!
And thank you so much for the shout out regarding mountain primaDonna, llc!! :) I have mountain masochist 50 next weekend on Nov 1st! That will be my next post:)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Stonewear Designs clothing review- first of many!

Hey everyone! Life has been going at lightening quick speed again since my SNP adventure several weekends ago.
Finally catching up with myself to write my first blog post primarily about Stonewear Designs. I was so elated to named to their team of female mountain athletes. Firstly, because I truly love their story of functional, versatile clothing for women that is made in the USA and can be utilized for whatever you wish- you can use it for having epic adventures in the mountain or going to yoga and then shuttling your kids to soccer games- the clothes are classic, sturdy and simple(but cute!) and can meet anyone's needs whatever they maybe- so I like the mass appeal aspect and that they aren't really catering to a certain sport or niche.
Secondly, I love that it's a small company that reps in house and has outstanding costumer service.
Thirdly- my heart truly is passionate about getting more women of all ages and skill set outside being active and being in the mountains (if they feel led to go there) there is so much personal growth in setting goals for ones self, reaching outside your comfort level and doing things that perhaps you only dreamed you'd like to do. You can make that a reality- all you have to do is "be a doer" we are what we repetitively do. So if you want to learn to trail run- find a group! If you want to learn how to rock climb, google to find your closest climbing gym- same with yoga- find your nearest yoga studio and go!! We grow by seizing the moment, experiencing new things, meeting new people and practicing enough self care to do things for ourselves. Whether that be running an hr or going to the gym- love yourself enough to make time for yourself. :)

Wow- didn't mean to go so deep with that! But with out further ado I wanted to do some gear reviews of some Stonewear pieces that are in heavy rotation in my wardrobe :

- The wunderlust skirt- I have two of these one grey and one khaki and I wear them all the time. I wear them to work- running errands, I've worn it hiking, family camping and to a festival and a Dave matthews concert. This skirt never disappointed me once- easy to care for - the fabric is super sturdy, quick drying, washes well- never shrinks or fades.

My favorite feature is the zip off external pocket. I loved this when I went to the Dave concert. I put money, my car key, ID and iPhone in my zippered pocket and I was hands free with no purse to keep up with! Genius!

Second pic is a two for one! The Lyra top- which is my absolutely favorite of the supported tops by Stonewear. It has an internal bra (with bathing suit type cups) which I think rock!! Please keep doing this to your tops and dresses!! The material is a comfy stretchy technical fiber- great at wicking, and quick drying. This top can be used for running, hiking, yoga, rock climbing- but it's also nice enough to be paired with a nice skirt accessories and you could wear it to a dinner date

Third item is the nomad Capri.

I love this Capri for so many reasons. I love the cut and the fit. The material is indestructible - so sturdy- first time I wore them- I took maverick my Aussie to zazzy z's coffee and accidently spilt coffee all over myself- I did worry that they would stain- but nope one cold water wash and dry later- good as new. You could wear these hiking, adventuring and I think these are a great 3 season travel pant option.

My last review is for the Lyra dress this is from the spring line and is currently on sale but I had to mention it because I love love love this dress- it's so sassy, but without being too revealing- the hem is low enough you will never feel self
Conscious it's right at the knee. It offers the same cross back feature as the Lyra top and I just think it's strikingly beautiful on anyone who wears it. I usually am a solid color kinda girl but I have been digging the river stones print. I think it's funky, outdoorsy and fun.

My last closing comment on Stonewear designs clothing for this post is that it means so much to me that they create this line with such a broad audience in mind. These clothes look great on virtually any body type or age- my mom can wear Stonewear to the gym or working in her garden- so can the little 14 yr old girl across the street who runs cross country.
It really is such great high quality clothes with a reasonable price point. And they are so durable they last forever. I have a pair of rockin pants that are 11 yrs old I bought from msl - when I first got married. still look awesome.
Hope that was an adequate gear review and I do want to thank Stonewear designs for this opportunity and for believing in me and my abilities to represent their brand in a positive way. Thank you!!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dirty Mother SNP weekend

Wow. I'm still processing the adventure from the past weekend. I spent last Friday, Saturday and Sunday running the length of the AT through Shenandoah National Park with 4 other awesome
Ultrarunning women who are all moms- we called our group "the dirty moms" and the run "dirty mother SNP run". Annie Stanley, Maratha wright, Sophie spiedel, Stephanie Wilson and myself composed the group

I won't go into all the logistics because I think Sophie and a couple others are going to blog in detail about that, but today, in my mind:
It's full of all the wonderful imagery of the trail- there are some really sweet sections and amazing overlooks. I didn't use an iPod all weekend so my head is full of birds chirping and insect noises and the crunch, crunch, crunch of out Cadence on the trail. We had some very fun miles full of laughter and excitement in shared adventure. For me by the end of day two their were some tears of both happiness and some tears of frustration because running 75 miles on single track in two days HURTS. I'm so incredibly proud I got through day 2 and got up and ran day 3- which was blissful because I knew the journey was drawing to a close and wanted to relish every second I had left even if my feet were trashed. We ate together, slept in close quarters, ran in the woods together - this was like summer camp! And we all got along so beautifully and were so supportive of each other. This was a magical dynamic I wish more women in our sport were able to experience.

It was so amazing to bond with such strong girls with whom I have so much commonality. I drew from their tenacity and life experience as much as I could, and found it extremely inspiring- each one of the group I felt had something special and unique to bring to the table- Sophie: her leadership skills and organization. Annie: steadfastness and consistency, Maratha: loving, nurturing- she was our "trail mom" very quick to always help others in time of need even if it was at the sacrifice of her pace. Stephanie: quick witted, hilarious and always optimistic- she and I bonded over our love of making things ( art) and shared suffering on the trail- many many funny Jenny and Steph stories from the weekend.

What I take away from this experience is this was UltraRunning in its purest form: no competition, no egos,  we just plotted a course, got a minivan with tons of shared aid and went out and had a great epic adventure and enjoyed ourselves and each other- end of the day, it won't matter how many buckles or medals you have collecting dust- what truly will come to mind is your experiences you've shared with others and that is what they will remember you for- not how many wins, finishes (or dnf) you had- your fellow ultrarunners will remember how you made them feel when you talked to them, or that one time you both ran out of water and had to struggle to make it back--etc I really understand now when david Horton stands at hellgate and says "people need people. We all need each other."
 I truly feel blessed to have had this experience and be apart of such a wonderful community.
 I love being competitive and racing, but  I most certainly am in a place in my life where I plan to make time for MORE of things like this.

Here are some pics from my super awesome 3 day epic journey!!

CHEERS YALL!! My next blog post ( hopefully tomorrow)  will be some Gear Reviews for Stonewear Designs new FALL 2014 line:)