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 : 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.

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! :)


Kirstin C said...

You looked happy out there everytime I saw you. HS40 is so tough. And so gorgeous, it's almost a race you shouldn't race, but take in all that scrumptious scenery.

Rob said...

So glad to hear you ran happy at Highland Sky, and awesome to see you back at the keyboard and blogging again!

Kim said...

Whew, I'm tired now! Had to stop in the middle for a gel!

Nice update and that reminds me, I will post a pic of my bracelet on your FB page!

Patapsco R.D. said...

Hey Jenny, Not sure how I missed you out there but nice report! I had a rough day myself, but can't help loving that race for the tremendous scenery and fantastic people. Hope to see you soon.

Patapsco R.D. said...

Not sure how I missed you out there but nice run and report! I had a pretty rough day myself, but can't help loving that race for the tremendous scenery and fantastic people. Hope to see you soon.

Robin O G said...

great entry, Jenny. Kudos to you for loving life and sharing your enthusiasm with others!