Sunday, January 29, 2012

On the road again...

Yesterday I hit a milestone, literally!  I ran my longest run since my injury in November: 10 miles and it felt GREAT!  I hadn't planned on running on 10 miles yesterday, it just happened.  I actually started running with the idea of running 8 miles and just wasn't ready to turn around so I added an extra loop.  I am going to go back out today for another 5 miles as I don't want to push it! 

Here are some pictures from my run yesterday:
My shadow on the trail :-)

The actual carriage trail weaves around this field not through it!  It is typically field with deer at dawn and dusk.  The views in both directions are amazing!

A few miles up the trail on one of the switchbacks this is the view...simply beautiful!

After my run I was FREEZING as I had dressed for a nice warm, sunny run not a cloudy, windy run.  I stopped by my favorite coffee shop for a almond milk latte (they make them special for me!) and when I got home I had some wonderful homemade lentil soup and arugula salad (recipes to follow).  

Happy Trails!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The beginning

So I thought I would share with you my story of how I hit the trail.  I will apologize up front as I am thinking this could be a long post :-) 

I didn't start running until about 3 years ago when riding my bike began hurting my knee.  So, I started slow and in the grass along our local greenway here in Boone.  I had worked up to 3 miles which I thought was awesome!  The pain continued and I ended up going to the doctor and it turned out that I had once again, blown out my ACL.  So, back to the OR I went, for a second ACL replacement on the same knee in August 2009. 

I worked hard in rehab with my focus being a return to the slopes and to my running which I had fallen in love with.  With hard work and determination I did both.  For my return to health after surgery I register for my first sprint triathlon (Aug '10) which ended with a two mile run.  My athletic trainer wasn't thrilled with the distance but eventually came around to support my decision.  She asked that I promise to not run further than a 5K in order to preserve my knee.  Deal!

My triathlon was a success!  I was so happy when I crossed the finish line.  I had set a goal, trained for it and swam, pedaled and ran with a smile!  I still get warm fuzzies just thinking about it!

After the triathlon I didn't have another goal in mind but I continued to run.  The miles just kept getting easier and more enjoyable.  I was up to seven in no time and now it was late October 2010.  My boot camp friends were all getting ready to register for the Mistletoe 5K race in Winston Salem.  I thought, "I've never run a road race, why not join them!"  So, I said I wanted to join them and one of them suggested I do the 1/2 marathon given my current mileage.  Silly me said, ok!  So that is what I did!  Again, I ran with a smile on my face the whole time and was so happy with setting a goal and reaching it.

In the spring of 2011 I was running and getting bored with the road.  A group of us had begun a new running club in Boone, Boone Running Club and we were meeting every Saturday for group runs.  It was great but something was missing.  With the weather turning warm and longing to get away from the road I went out to hit the trails...I.WAS.HOOKED!

Everyday, I was on the trails.  I was now a trail runner.  All I wanted was the trail and distance.  I ran at the local mountain bike park where I volunteered so that I knew the riders and the trails.  I ran out on the parkway...everywhere!  I ran up on Beech Mountain on the Emerald Mountain trails... Iron Mountain trail... as long as there was no pavement I was running on it!

Events...oh my goodness!  Not only was I hooked on the trails but I was hooked on the community of runners both at organized runs and races alike.  Some of my favorite runs this past year include The Bear (running up Grandfather Mountain), Iron Mountain Trail Run, Blue Ridge Relay and the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon, Pine Mt, GA.  What a year!! 

Mud and yellow jacket stings at my first trail race!

Group heading out for a training run on the Iron Mountain trails.

Blue Ridge Relay team...208 miles!

My goal for 2011 was to run my first marathon and well, I did.  It just happened to be a trail marathon with 4000ft of elevation gain in the mountains of Ga and took me 6:33 to finish (more on that later)!  I loved every minute of it :-) 

When people ask me about running and how I got started they are always amazed as I have overcome such injuries.  They talk about how they could never do what I do and I always say sure you can because all I do is put one foot in front of the other. 

My goal for 2012 is to run my first ultra and my first 50...  I can't wait to see just how far I can go with running.  I will be running as long as I can ... as long as I am still smiling. 

Happy Trails!