Organic Runner Mom

Run Green. Eat Clean. Laugh Strong.

Loon Mountain Race Preparations-A three hour mountain running adventure

The day was picture perfect for a Loon Mountain Race training run. Bridget and I set out for the mountain early on Sunday morning after an energizing night of laughter with friends the night before. We met another Pete and Gerry’s Organic Chick, Tricia at the base of the mountain. We were decked out in a rainbow array of Skirt Sports running skirts, ready to challenge the mountain in style, ready to show off our “evil legs.”

This is how I feel when I wear my skirt out for a run! (Evil Woman!)

The plan was to run the course for the race before race day to get an idea about the difficulty of the trail which Acidotic Racing boasts features climbs with 40 PERCENT!!!! grade! As we headed up the mountain Bridget shared her hand drawn map of the course which we promptly lost as we headed out through the thick mountain grasses.

Which way do we go? I think we go up!

We ended up blazing our own trail on the way up.  We enjoyed the scenic vistas along the way and the nice cool early morning breeze that kept our sweat at bay.  On the way up we talked about mountain running form and how to not waste energy on the long trek up.  Using great advice from Coach Goode of The Sustainable Athlete I focused on keeping my strides shorter and quicker while keeping my body upright. I have a bad habit of trying to muscle my way through uphill climbs rather than focusing on form and pace. This can be the kiss of death resulting in burning up too much energy to early on in the race. It is amazing how much we are able to learn from each other as runners as we challenge each other in different ways. We also talked a lot about the importance of going outside of your comfort zone in order to find success. Whether it be in math class, at a new job, or on the race course it is important to find your point of disequilibrium and then to face it head on. By challenging our comfort zones we are more apt to find our inner strength and to be able to use it as an advantage.

When we got to the top of the Gondola we discovered a playground so of course had to take a mini-break from our run for a little bit of playtime. Then Tricia bid us farewell and opted to hop on the Gondola for the ride back to the bottom.

Find your inner child

Bridget and I decided to continue on our adventure. We needed to run for approximately another 2 hours but first took a mini-detour  at the Loon Mountain Glacial Caves which in addition to squeezing our way through giant boulder crevasses included some stair running (hello quads and hamstrings!)

Caving

After our little detours to please our inner-children we got back down to business and headed up the north peak to the point where the race will finish on Sunday. The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking. You could see for miles and the mountain side was covered in daisies, periwinkles, orange and purple wildflowers and the sweetest, most jewel-like wild mountain strawberries. At this point in the run the sweetness of the tiny berries was a welcome treat.

Loon Mountain Descent

We descended down Upper Walking Boss which was in reverse of the race course. The run down was exhilarating. The scenery definitely distracted from the increasingly fatigued legs.  On the way down we ran as the we were carving turns down snow covered loon mountain, traversing the hillside back and forth in a gentle rhythm.

WOW!

Incredible NH

Our mountain adventure continued over to the south peak which required quite a bit more bushwhacking through tall allergy inducing grasses (My legs were covered in hives when we finished) with much trickier footing. There were a lot of rocks and deceptive footing which included holes hiding under wild flowers. We did not get to enjoy the luxury of weaving back and for the across the mountain side at this point. The grass came up to Bridget’s waist! My hamstrings and quads were definitely whimpering by the time we reached the bottom and we were looking for the escape route!

Escape Route

When Bridget and I finally returned to the car drenched in sweat but full of smiles we decided to end our running adventure with a cool dip in the Pemigewasset River flowing at the bottom of the mountain.  The water was perfect for a post run “ice” bath for our tired legs. We opted for a shallow pool of water not in the direct river flow as the perfect spot for a refreshing post-run swim. Nanook (Bridget’s Husky and our awesome running companion ran right in and lay down in the fresh mountain water).

B and Nanook, Daisy girl

Organic Runner Mom, Caution Tough Chik in a skirt

Flora on Loon Mountain

Now, it’s time to do some mental preparation and get out there and enjoy the Loon Mountain Race! Oh and as an added bonus I now have the chance to win some of our very own Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs at the end of the race!

Have you ever raced up a mountain before? I’d love to hear about it!

Related posts and articles:

Acidotic Racing: Up Next Loon Mountain Race

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

No responses

Chicks on the mountain

I’ve been missing wearing my skirts this winter for racing. Today I felt like being a kick-a$$ chick on the mountain so I pulled out my favorite gym girl ultra Skirt Sports in purple haze.

It was a beautiful winter morning. A low hanging crescent moon guided us (with a few “Bridget” detours) to Pats Peak in Henniker, NH.

The sun was warm today peeking over the top of the course as we climbed to the top of the mountain not once but twice (4 miles total). The race was awesome today. I am feeling much stronger when climbing and focused on staying relaxed and loose. Plus I focused on my own race a rhythm of running today and didn’t worry about time. There are some dynamic super fast women at these races which makes for an extra great challenge.

I don’t know my finish time yet but felt great especially the second time around. Plus someone even complemented me on my skirt as I ran into the finish. The added bonus was a giant breakfast at the pancake house post race. More post race laughter with the best running friends.

20120218-115712.jpg

20120218-120143.jpg

20120218-120230.jpg

20120218-120319.jpg

20120218-120412.jpg

20120218-120428.jpg

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

No responses

Energy

It has been crazy around here. I love having a full plate and being scheduled to the max. I always feel more productive. Although sometimes when I take a break for a minute I almost feel winded (almost like after running up a mountain . . . Which by the way I’ll be doing again tomorrow morning at the “egg” crack of dawn. Winter Wild Round 3 here I come!).

2 Laps of Pats Peak=4 Miles of Winter Wild

My two little chicks keep me on my toes every day. I wish I could drink in endless amounts of twirling, dancing, jumping, laughing pure energy. From the moment they awake they are out of their beds as though the starter pistol has gone off at the start of a race. During the race of our day there are meals to be made and devoured, intense playing at home and at pre-school, a daily battle of wits between 3.5 year old and Mommy, and wrestling matches with a cranky toddler who has discovered the joy of play and doesn’t want to concede defeat to exhaustion.

In the middle of this chaos is time for me to work, to write, to run. I officially started training for The Key Bank Vermont City Marathon this week to add in a bit more craziness. A coach from my friend Doug’s awesome coaching business The Sustainable Athlete is setting up my training. I am looking forward to having a daily plan to provide extra motivation. It’s been a long time since I had real coaching for sport.

Sweet one on one coach for ENDURANCE athletes

I am hoping for a Boston qualifying time which will be a fast 3:40. I feel like I’ve built a good base this past fall and winter thanks to half marathons and long miles with the awesome Pete and Gerry’s Organic Chicks.

Now it’s time to dial it up a bit. And just to kick things off with a bang my first official workout was intervals and I chose my friend Bridget (crazy fast with the energy of my 3.5 year old ) as my interval buddy. I had great plans to complete this workout in the morning but life took over. So, this workout ended up being a headlamp run on a dark VT dirt road. It felt amazing though and always the perfect way to end a crazy day and somehow I am always able to find the energy.

20120217-221107.jpg

Post Intervals Glow

Now begins the race to the finish line. This time with a plan to guide me and high energy surrounding me to serve as motivation.

Where do you get your energy?

Find your power source

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

No responses