Tag Archives: trail running ultra running

I have put myself in Time Out

Post TMB

I was very stressed during the TMB and realized on Day 4 on the steep ascent from Cormayeur to Refuge Bonatti that I needed a time out. The stress from a horrible job to a new job, from worrying about my mom, from a heavy training schedule was too much to sustain. I’ve been gaining weight over the last 1.5 years and need to get back to basics. A normal schedule with workouts 4x a week (extras are bonus) to gain strength back, at the right time work my nutrition and lose the weight, and have some time to add joy to my life.

I am in timeout until early 2023.

I want to get my sleep in order.

I want to read more books vs. watching movies.

I want to think about retirement.

I want to support my husband.

I want to spend time with my mom and sister.

I changed my participation in Ragnar VT from an ultra to a regular team which was fun and am not training for any more big races this year. I want to be strong like I was in 2019 in 2023 but need to regroup.

Sometimes you need to slow down to speed up.

Tour du Mont Blanc – Breathtaking

July 17-22, 2022

This is an amazing trail every second of every day. The entire loop is ~105 miles with 32,500′ elevation gain. I ended up taking one day off as a mental/physical rest day and we cut short some of the trails from Flegere to Les Houches so ended up doing ~63 miles and 20,300′ elevation gain. Worked with Vagabond Trails who organized the lodging, guide and luggage transfers between hotels/refuges and did the hike with Sergio Cisneros (guide) and Adam Pelletier.

We got pretty dirty every day! Wildflowers were just beautiful, tons of waterfalls, amazing views, big uphills (although not technical like in NH) and some long, steep downhills.

I wrote a whole book on the experience and will just put a few pics here.

DAY 1: Les Houches to Refuge Nant Borrant (past Les Contamines), 11 miles, 3000′, 6:53 h

DAY 2: Refuge Nant Borrant to Le Chapieux 9.5 mi, 3320′, 6:28h

Went over the great Col du Bonhomme and stayed at Les Chambres du Soleil in Le Chapieux (a town only open in the summer).

DAY 3: Les Chapieux over Col de la Seigne to Courmayeur in Italy!

16.2 miles, 4957′, 8:15h

DAY 4: 20.8 miles, 6350′, 11:11h, Courmayeur to La Fouly in Switzerland up and over Grand Col Ferret

DAY 5: Laura spent a rest day in Chamonix (traveled there with a baggage courier from La Fouly!) while the men went on.

DAY 6: The team is reunited at Planet Montroc train station. 4.9 miles, 2690′ 3:46 then took a gondola down from Les Praz de Chamonix and bus to Chamonix.

Amazing. Introspective. Challenging. Have to go Back!

Another back to back weekend, Pack Monadnock and N/S Twins + Galehead 7/2 and 7/3… on Little Sleep

Another long weekend of back to back runs. Saturday run and up and down pack Monadnock 4x (again) but felt way stronger than last weekend. Didn’t have cramps, was consistent on each loop. Pack Monadnock gave me 10.08 miles, 3261′ elevation and took 4:05 hours.

That evening Kenny and I went to a Tedeschi Trucks concert – which was awesome! …. but allowed for little sleep (<3 hrs) before I had to get up early Sunday to drive up to the N/S Twin trailhead to meet Amy Wilson.

Amy and I did the N/S Twins + Galehead (most boring peak ever) which was 14.3 miles, 5285′ elevation gain and took us 10:13 hours on an 80F day. Pretty tired when we ended – has a long flattish part along a stream for a mile or so at the beginning and end.

N/S Twins – from S. Twin you could see the Galehead hut which seemed far away and had a brutal steep ~0.5 section just before you got there:

Galehead is the most boring summit I’ve been at so far, truly a waste of time except to mark it off the list!

The hike down to the hut was scary because I kept thinking we had to go back up! In reality, going up wasn’t bad at all – one foot in front of the other.

Mt. Moosilaukee and a COLD SOAK! 9/12/21

7.9 miles, 2730′ elevation, 3:48:37 Mount Moosilaukee and the South Peak Loop

Parked on side of road (no fees). Runnable on the way down. Top of Moosilaukee is an alpine meadow, no technical rock climbs.

Goal was 5.5 hrs and finished Moose early so drove a few minutes over to Franconia Falls and did a cold soak from waist down halfway through – AWESOME!!!! 6.71 miles, 1:38:33, 387′ elevation

Mt Greylock vs My Chin 8/14/21

We had a little work gathering in July that kicked me into high gear. My friend, Dan Danecki, told me he was running the Mt Greylock Half Marathon. Mt Greylock is the highest peak in MA. I signed up immediately and then just after, did the epic week of confidence building including 3 big hikes Skyline Trail, Mt Washington, and Mt. Garfield.

Although again, I was near the end of the pack, it was a beautiful day, a road trip to get there (2.5 hrs) and a runnable downhill. Stats:

The only down”fall” was my fall in the last 3 miles on the dirt trail which I broke with my chin and forearm. I almost cried but did not!! I have to admit I like crossing a finish line covered in blood (remember my epic fall just after I had my sling off for shoulder surgery?)!

I also figured out that my Poles are my superpower. Noone else was carrying them. I took them for practice and used them for 9 miles of the race going up and down. Nothing is more fun than poling down the mountain!

I got to show it off all week long – here it is at Nashoba 2 days later:

Lesson learned is you need intermediate goals. Now that I have done this, I am focused on the Kilkenney 25 mi/9000′ run in Sept. I am seriously worried about my ability to run far. I am working hard on hills and plan to do Old Speck twice again this week as we camp at Papoose Pond in Maine.

I have been researching the NH48 so I can choose the right length/elevation trail for my long sunday sessions.

Today; however, was a bust. We have a hurricane coming in. I wanted to run Mt Monadnock twice before the rain hit. Got a little late start and the woman at the check-in said it was pretty slick without rain. I planned then to run up and down the lower section. It got darker and was doable but I got scared thinking of it wet/raining so bailed after 45″ and 700′ elevation. Went home and ran an hour in my neighborhood to get another 700′ – was pouring. Did not do the 3000′ and 4.25 hrs planned. I could barely move later so maybe better to take a little recovery…

Freedom in the Woods, 1st Trail Run April 19, 2020

I’ve been running around my neighborhood several times a week.  In and around each cul de sac multiple times a night….around and around.  With my 2.25 hour long run today, I broke free of the neighborhood and ran down to my home course 3 mile loop.  The soft pine needles under my feet felt great!  I remembered why I love the trails so much…. Note that the day before we had snow pummeling down that melted in a few short hours.  The run started out so cold I could have used gloves but ended up peeling off the fleece after a few miles and being comfortable in just a long sleeve rashguard.

Despite the fact noone is supposed to be out, I saw plenty of cars still.  To get there, I had to run 2 miles each way down a typically very busy road with, in some places, a very small berm.

Ended up still going around and around my neighborhood 🙂  My neighbor called me a chicken about going up a hill around the corner so I had to do it….finished in front of the forsythia!

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I am still struggling with hip pain so did two romwods prior to the run and then had a little soak in the hottub after.  Note that with the corona virus and Kennys’ dad passing away, I cancelled my shoulder surgery and spent the next few weeks working out very hard to see what I could do even with the shoulder.  I rehurt my shoulder and last week was so worn out I could hardly do anything.  Took it easy this week and next with no strength work and extra mobility.  Despite me feeling like an old woman with my aches and pains, it is perfect training grounds out here in NH!  Then, although I was tired and walking a bit slow, spent 4 hours mulching….which is another blog.  Let’s celebrate progress – last year at this time, I would have been absolutely crippled with lower back pain.  At least my lower back pain is gone after running due to all the single legged exercises I’ve been doing.  It does come back after doing strength training….What’s the fun if it was easy?!

Train on!