Six in the Stix and a ski jump?

Saturday was my first time racing at Team Amp’s Six in the Stix Trail Race. It was a hot and sticky morning in NH do running in the woods sounded like a perfect idea. Before the race I quietly warmed up on the trail and this was one of the first things that I encountered . . .

20120621-082526.jpg
This might be the quickest way to the finish!
20120621-082547.jpg
Too bad I forgot my skis

A little ski jumping anyone?
I was hot before the race got started and felt antsy to get going. The energy of the racers was high as we entered the woods and I quickly found my pace as we entered the woods for some uphill. The woods were cool and the footing was soft.
Every time I get on the trails I feel like a kid on an adventure through green fairy land. The air always feels refreshing and the woods always seem magical even when i am pushing the pace. How do you feel when you are on the trails? Racing or just out for a fun run?
This race was my favorite distance. I know I can push hard through the finish and have begun to find my speed. The downhill came at about 3 miles in. I have been working hard on my downhill running. I’ve found it’s best to stay loose and let gravity take over. Running down is all about watching your footing while at the same time being just on the edge of out of control.
The race finished near the ski jump on the track. The loop around the track was a little jolting after being on the trail but I pushed to the finish in 49:56. I ended up third in my age group which landed me a spot on the “podium.”

20120621-164500.jpg
Psyched about my 3rd place finish and even more excited about enjoying some pancakes and my prize syrup.

The prize was sweet-maple syrup! Yes, please!
I hope to hit the trails again soon for another awesome trail race.
Happy running and get out there hit the trail!

20120621-164816.jpg
Syrup anyone?
Advertisements

Six in the Stix Trail Race

Tomorrow will be another day of fun racing. I am headed to Newport, NH to run in the town forest at The Six in the Stix trail race. This race is a part of the Western NH Trail Race Series put on by Team Amp (Same organizers as the Winter Wild Series).

Trail Running Adventures

Trail running and racing is one of my favorite things to do. My first real experience with trail running began when I moved to Barnet, VT and began running on the Kingdom Trails with a bunch of runners who like to call themselves the Kingdom Krazies. We would spend countless hours running the endless trails, uphill and down, up the mountain, through the winding beautiful Vermont wilderness. How could you not fall in love with trail running? Racing on trails means going fast and the additional challenge of navigating the rocky/root covered terrain (roots sometimes being referred to as chicken necks which I think is hilarious) sometimes made slick by the rain. Racing on the trails brings a huge endorphin rush but at the same time a weird sense of calm that comes from the intense focus required for the fancy footwork as well from the crisp fresh air in the woods and sounds on the trails.

I welcome the adventure that awaits tomorrow. What adventures do you have planned?

Related articles

Winter Wild Championship at Bretton Woods

Over the weekend I completed the Team Amp Winter Wild race series. The championship event took place at Bretton Woods and was hosted by Acidotic Racing.
The weather at race time (6:30 a.m.) was an unseasonably warm 40 degrees so I decided it was time to break out my green Skirt Sport running skirt with nothing on my legs but some crazy purple patterned Smartwoolsocks. Very festive for St. Patrick’s Day.

20120319-104925.jpg I was super psyched too to try out my new Kahtoola Micro-spikesfor better traction on the way up the mountain (especially helpful in the mushy slush covering the mountain). I was psyched about my new “bling,” a raffle prize from the series given to me by Magrethe a fellow Kingdom Krazy since my luck in the raffle was no luck at all (more on that later).

20120319-105505.jpg
The race began and I felt energized and strong. My calves and quads have definitely gotten a lot stronger since the series began which will definitely be helpful for my marathon this spring. The mountain was draped in an eerie fog from the warming snow. The runners at the front of the pack disappeared into the fog as they reached the summit. The strong women racers on the mountain have been inspiring at each race, so strong and determined and so fast!
The descent was exhilarating. Today the footing was a little softer and slippery allowing you to slide and glide with each foot strike. Running down the mountain I always feel like a kid, arms flailing, running free and light.

20120319-111752.jpg
I finished the 4.25 mile course today in 38:57. A fifth place finish which put me in a 3rd place finish overall for the series! Sweet!
It was great to see all of these high energy racers every week which today included my friend Martha aka Outdoor Mom enjoying her first race on skis with skins and Kingdom Krazies too!
The only disappointment for me at these races was that I did not win any of the excellent prizes in the raffle. Wait . . . I actually did win one prize . . . my number was called so I excitedly went to the front to find that I had won some organic eggs. Not just any organic eggs, ironically they were our Pete an Gerry’s Organic Eggs the eggs that we had donated to the race as prizes. Too funny!

20120319-114553.jpg
All in all what a great experience! We were lucky this year to have mild winter weather to make each race extra enjoyable. This race series is definitely something you should add to your race calendar next year to add a little adventure into your winter. Plus these races are extremely well run by energetic race director Chad Denning.
I can’t wait for the Western NH Trail Series also put on by Team Amp starting this spring.

20120319-115705.jpg
Happy running and hope to see you on the trails!

20120319-115836.jpg

20120319-115853.jpg

20120319-115904.jpg

20120319-115917.jpg

20120319-115933.jpg

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