Sunday, January 27, 2013

All Is Fair In Love And Trail

Camera Man: "You are injured."

Me: "It's my ankle...I'm used to it."

Camera Man: "Let me see.....that is swelling quite a bit....tell you what...take this trail straight is technical but you look like you can handle will be at the start in no time."

Me: "We are only a few miles from the finish, I am fine...I am not going to DNF."

Camera Man: "You really want to see this thru? Ok...I can't believe you are smiling."

That was the conversation I had with the trail camera man a few miles from the finish. I thought I was over this little ankle problem...apparently not.

I could not have asked for a better course for my first race of the season. The conditions were perfect. It was a little on the chilly side (22 degrees or so) but that kept the trails frozen solid...which made for very fast running. The first mile had decent grade change and really got everyone warmed up. I could not help but many little ups and just felt so good to fly thru the woods like that. Being single track everyone was piled on top of each other for a while, but I don't think anyone really minded...everything around us was just too beautiful.

Nice little course map from TOPO

After the first mile we crossed the street and began what would be close to 700 ft of grade change over the next 4 miles or so. Basically we ran up the trails (noting 8 switch backs along the way)...around and then came back down. Since the city had closed these trails for the winter they were in amazing condition and provided some spectacular views. I wish I had taken pictures, but I was not about to stop....

Or was I? 

Things were going really well on the climb up and was on the decent that I felt a "oh so familiar" pain. I had just jumped a little log and started to change my stride to tackle a downhill turn when it happened. That horrible pain I felt a few weeks ago had returned. That motion that I could not stop....that unpreventable ankle "pop" followed by a string of "($*%#(*$%$#" . This time the pain was much worse. I knew exactly what I did and the swelling started immediately. I was pissed. I looked around and realized that I had a few miles left to finish and started to slowly run on it. Kilian Jornet I am not....why slow downhill transitions are my downfall is beyond me...

I was relieved to find that I could put weight on it. As I started to make my way down I ran into the camera guy for the first time. He recommended I DNF, but that was just not an option for me. I knew where I was....I was very comfortable where I was...I was not worried at all about being injured in this environment. I needed to finish. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it and I needed to spend more time on these these woods. They were too peaceful and beautiful to leave. Yes, it hurt like a bitch...and yes...I was shocked to hear myself whimper a little on some steep sections...but I could not help but smile because I was just so happy where I was. I can't explain the feeling. I just felt very comfortable and natural...I just wanted to stay there. It was like the trails were going to guide me safely to the finish....I just had to trust them.

Now, it is not like I was just out in the woods alone. Everyone who passed me knew I had injured myself and they all asked if they could assist. That is the amazing thing about the trail running community. Once they knew I was injured, time and racing did not matter....nothing was more important than a fellow runner injured. One runner even volunteered to carry me down to the finish. While this would have made for an awesome time, crossing the finish line "piggy back" style, I wanted to do it on my own and told everyone that I was fine. Some hesitated, but I guess the fact that I was still smiling and commenting about how beautiful the trails were let them know it was OK to go on.

I am happy to report I finished on my own....and was not the last one (not that it matters). Yes, I cried when I crossed the finish. I cried because the ankle hurt...but also because of the beautiful time I had in the woods. I got to see so many wonderful things because I was forced to slow down. The race ended with a familiar arm thrown over my shoulder and the best words of the day: "Let's get you some ice."

I can't really say I am upset to be injured again. I need to learn to listen to my body. I am sure this will slow me down for a while, but it won't prevent me from getting out on the trails. I will still get out and enjoy them....maybe not at full speed...but I can walk and jog them until the soft tissue heals and the swelling goes down. Perhaps it will open my eyes even more to all the wonders of may bring even more enjoyment. is ski time...soon I will be in the snow...running and skiing in a softer environment :)

Thank you everyone for the advice...both the comical and serious. When I was walking thru the parking lot an older runner came up to me and said he had suffered from sprained ankles for 15 years. While I was not excited to hear that...he did let me know that the natural motion of swimming helps heal the soft tissue. I may give that a try. I was also told by a FB friend that this kind of injury takes longer to heal. Since this guy spends his time chasing life in the mountains, I view him as very knowledgable and will try by best to be patient with myself. Sometimes it is hard to listen to "common sense" when it keeps you from doing what you love. To listen to the mind and not the heart may sound simple....but it is not. At least I have my new issue of Trail Runner magazine here with me. I have been busy looking at all the races I want to do in the next few months :)

What a great community!

The ride back...before she started to change color :)

A very tired me post race...with a very good beer :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

No...I Have Not Forgotten...

I see by traffic that there are quite a few people checking for updates :)

Fear not, I will update tomorrow after Topo in Cinci

Since the last post I have been training and today is a rest day, so I am going insane! It snowed so it looks like frozen trail tomorrow!

Wish me luck. I found a shirt that actually matches BOTH pairs of I am pretty sure that is a good "sign".

Monday, January 21, 2013

Watch Out For That Wall....Oh Nevermind....

"I am cold"

That is what I thought sitting on a log in the middle of a trail entrance this weekend. 

Me...laying on the log..sorta.

Yes, I have a calendar, I am aware that it is January and everyone is cold....but I am really cold. My bones are cold

How cold?

If I was to touch you, after you warmed back up you would probably move away from me and ask me "never to do that again." So cold that last night sleeping in base layer and possibly a fur coat seemed like a really good idea....after I sat in the shower for about a 1/2 hour with the water turned as hot as it could go. 

The reason for this? Simple...the blame falls on a little bastard called the thyroid.

Now, this is nothing new...and as you know...a ton of people have thyroid problems. But true to form, by body does not "half ass" it. My thyroid is not does not work. It does not release any chemical into my body. I really don't know why I am even keeping it. I have transplant available. I am entirely dependent on some tech at the Synthroid lab making a little pill to make me feel better. I have been struggling with this for over 10 years but when it comes to running it is even more frustrating.

About a month ago my dose was lowered a bit from the highest dose available. I blame too much coffee and running the morning of the blood work for this and since it has happened my condition has been described as a "steady decline". Add ridiculously low iron and I am just "jacked up". I am exhausted. Not mentally tired but my body feels like it has not slept in days. My hands and feet are so cold and I walk around constantly bitching (like I am doing now). The oven is starting to look like a tempting place to hang out when people are cooking.

Running is horrible. I feel like I have not run in about a year. My legs feel like cement blocks....they hardly want to move. My muscles seem to have no memory and feel like I am ripping them apart on each hill. My hands and feet just hurt. And the weather is not helping, as I cannot layer up enough to keep warm. 

This cannot be happening on the same week as my first race. At times I really wonder what I did in a previous must have been something horribly amazing! 

I have called my doctor and will beg for the higher dose when she calls back. But I hope this happens soon. The first few days after switching doses are filled with heart flutters and what I would describe as "hyper mental activity". Running during this time (which I have done in the past) can be a little scary and to be in the middle of a trail race during this is not ideal. The good thing is that during this time period I have learned to not run alone :)

We will see how it all goes. I am struggling thru my training schedule, but I figure I cannot give up and rest all week...then wake up at 7 on Saturday morning and head up to Cinci for the best run ever. At times my body is my worst enemy....I listen to her when I can....but there are times when a girl just has to keep on going. The fact that it should only be around 11 degrees tomorrow during the brewery run is not something I am happy about. I will be I love everything about it and everyone there...but I may not look too excited....unless I am on that higher dose....then I will seem like I am on crack or something :)

Sorry for the bitching blog...just be gratefully you are not sitting next to me on the would be victim of the "cold toes under the leg" attack I am known for. Apparently it is least the girly screams that come from everyone who has been victim of it seem to make me thing so.

Stay warm.

This is a masterpiece I made to cross a creek...pathetic isn't it?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Let Go Of Your Story...But Make Sure To Follow The Line

Interesting title huh? 

Trust will make sense in the end and may even make you have one of those "ahh" moments! (Credit will be given where credit is due.)

Now, if you have read my blog at least once, you know that I am training for my first trail race of the season. I have been logging some great runs and am now in the planning and logistics phase. Like any race it will be marked, but I figure it is good to study the route and become familiar with the grade changes and elevation. Thankfully, I have access to some great 3D GIS maps of the courses to help with this.

This afternoon I took some time and laid the maps out in front of me to start studying. After about two minutes my head hit the table and I realized one thing: I can't read a map to save my life. Now, you may be thinking "How bad can it be? Surely you can read a little of the map." No, it is bad. It is so bad that it has been recommended that I download the "Where's My Phone?" app for my upcoming ski trip so my friends can come find me on the XC ski course in between all the scenic views and "beautiful mountain huts."

How can I be so bad at reading maps?

Really, it is not totally my fault. I grew up in the perfect "Norman Rockwell-like" town of Goshen, NY that never changed. Oh, and New York City right down the street? I have news for you, it is a grid. If you miss a street...go to the next one and turn. It is not that hard. Yes, Lexington is a city, but the busiest road is called New literally drive in a circle around the city. My life has never really required me to read a map. When was the last time you pulled out a road map on a trip? Yeah, I thought so. You are probably like me and just turn on the OnStar or Garmin...problem solved. No worries. Talk about a "first world problem."

In all honesty, I am worried about this whole map reading thing. I need to learn how to do this. What am I going to do in CO...turn on my OnStar? I really don't think taking the Envoy up a mountain counts as trail running. I may need to take a course. Thank G*d my "pacer" creates and reads maps for a living.

One thing I did notice while staring blankly at the map was how important it was to follow the lines. This hit me as kind of funny. Trail running is such a free thing. It is so enjoyable because you are running in nature, taking in all it's beauty and just being free from all the restrictions of daily life. Just make sure you stay on the trail...stay on that "line". Be free...but be free on the "line".

Why did I find this funny? Well, mainly because over the past few months I have been trying to get in touch with the real me and get off the path I have always followed. Growing up I always just wanted to fit in. I did not want to stray from the "line" that everyone else was on. I did not want to "let go of my story." Now, the one thing I enjoy doing that makes me feel like I am finally getting off that path has me studying the lines on a map. To feel really free I still have to  find my line and let go of my story.

Tonight at yoga, my instructor AnneDean really stressed the importance of "letting go of our story" for at least 60 minutes. I will admit, it was an emotional hour. It made me realize how far I had come in such a short period of time. Thru running I am finally getting off the "line" I have always followed and am learning more and more about myself each day. My map of life is changing and the freedom that comes with that feeling cannot be explained in words.

At the same time, I had the honor of viewing a visual poem created by Seb Montaz-Rosset (the mastermind behind all those awesome scenes on the Summits of My Life project). At the end of the video he asked a simple question. It was something to the effect of "Have You Found Your Own Line?". The poem was written and read by Charlotte Davies  and was very emotional. It really captured the inner desire to be free from the daily stresses we as a society put on ourselves and get back in touch with nature. Get back to what we truly desire as humans on an instinctual be close to all that supports and gives life and to share it with those we love. It really hit me because that is what trail running lets me do. It lets me feel escape all the daily responsibilities but at the same time to take my loved ones with me on the adventure. I feel like a little spec running thru something far larger than I could ever understand. was funny that it was described as a "line". It makes perfect sense but is ironic at the same time. So many lines.

I am proud to say I have found myself drifting off the "lines" more and more each day. As many of you know, transparency was the goal of 2013 for me. I think it is fair to say I have been doing well with it. I am doing things I never would have imagined. I am setting goals I would never have thought to. I am drawing maps for myself to happiness and freedom, and am so grateful to have such supportive friends and family to come along with me. And yes, I have accepted more people on FB (remember all my rejections and hiding?)*t...I even sent out a request someone I did not know but admire as an athlete. It was rejected I think...but you know what? It was liberating. It was like "I'm going to do this right now because it makes sense". It may not have made sense....but it does not matter...and I am not embarrassed to admit it because I really doubt he has even read the page more than halfway around the world distance prevents any random meetings in the street. Normally I would have stayed on my straight and narrow path but for one second I was like "that would be fun" and I pressed that little button. Regardless of the outcome...I am proud of myself for doing it.

It feels good to let go of the traditional story line and just go with life. I am learning and loving every minute. Hopefully I will continue, unless I get lost on a XC trail for days and my GPS fails...then I will just be frozen...but even then...I will have "let go of my story" and strayed "from the line".

Back to the maps....back to the lines....writing the story of my race on the trails and in life. Oh...and is the link to the visual poem. Just listen to her voice..her words...and his images. It is truly perfection.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

When You Go Down....When You Go Down Down...

With an injury that is! (But yes...Flo Rida has made his way onto my play list...and get your mind out of the gutter will ya?!)

As we all know I have come close before, but this time I really did it.

The run on Thursday started out perfect (like most do). The park was dry and fast...leaves crunching under my feet as I weaved my way in and out of new trails. The sun was shinning and it was unusually much so that I was able to wear just a t-shirt and pants. My time was fantastic and I was getting quicker with each passing mile. I was on top of the world chasing the sun as it started to set in the distance.

On top of the world that is until I finally hit the pavement heading home. Just as I started down the main stretch past the dog park and playground I spotted a young kid on a dirt bike in one of the fields. I really don't know what happened after that. All I remember was thinking "huh...that kid is really tearing the place up" when I felt a "pop". The pain that rushed thru my foot...ankle...knee and hip was like nothing I have felt before. It was like for one nano second I had lost all control of my left leg as it made this gross "slow motion" bend that I could not prevent mid stride. It was like that replay on TV where the guy twists his ankle and hits the ground. The one where everyone in the room almost throws up in their mouth a little as the announcers play it over and over again ( know the one!)  It scared the crap out of me...I literally could not breathe for a few seconds.

Now, you are probably thinking "didn't she do this before on her way to the brewery?"

Why yes...yes I did....but this time it was different. I did not fall. As we all know...I am a terrific faller....and if I had managed to do that I probably would have been O.K. Instead I think I tried to "over correct" and catch myself. I was successful and ended up just standing there in unbelievable pain staring at that kid and his damn bike.

Of course, the first thing I did was turn around to make sure my foot was not laying in the road a few feet back. After determining that it was still attached I took a deep breath and looked down. I thought for sure a bone had to be sticking out somewhere. To my surprise there was no bone....nothing too gross....just some slight swelling. I took a look at both my ankles next to each other and made the decision to call off the run and head home.

The pain walking was so bad that for a good 1/4 mile I contemplated calling to get a ride. After about 1/2 mile my foot had started to go numb...but my knee and hip felt fine. I did the only thing I could think of. I tried running on it. I crossed the field by my house and found the mowed grass trail to follow. It may have been hurting like a b*tch but at least I could put pressure on it and get a half way decent stride going.

Upon my return home I was greeted with a "that does not look good...get some ice" by multiple people grilling out.

And ice I did. It helped some....but it prevented me from running for a few days. Those were not a fun few days. I watched and read as everyone got out on their runs and I just had to sit around and think about running. As we all know....I should not be allowed to sit around and think. I think I thought about runs....running with friends....running in the park...on the trail runs that start in a few weeks....skiing...snow shoe running....the 1/2 marathon in March...the brewery. It was ridiculous. I can never get injured again. At one point I was ready to call it quits and even shut down the blog.

Today I finally made the decision to get out and test it. It rained all day so I decided not to do the trails or park and just stick to a paved trail. I tightened up the ol XR Missions and headed out the door. It was pouring...but it was almost 60 degrees so I was golden. I love running in the rain and it showed...I had a PR for the first few miles. I could not believe it. I thought I was going slow so as to not injure myself on the wet concrete but I was flying. While there was still swelling there was no "active" pain while running. I got home...stripped down....hit the shower and noticed that while the pain was returning...the swelling was not all that bad. I was as happy as could be!

Now, I know I should not be doing something that causes pain....but I think I can run thru this one. There is no bruising and no real pain to the touch. I think it is just a bad twist...but it is something I don't want to do again. In the morning I am going to head down to John's Run Walk and look for a running brace. This is the same ankle that twisted on the brewery run a few weeks back, so I think something may be up and is likely to happen again. The last thing I want to do is have this happen at TOPO....but then only seems to happen on concrete...I am like a friggin gazelle on grass/trail :)

In other news...this accident happened while O-Zone was playing so they will have to leave the play list for a little bit. I am superstitious like that. But I am not worried since I read some time in the near future Zikali will be releasing their amazing music from Summits of My Life/A Fine Line for purchase!!! I can fill the play list with that. It is such beautiful will want to do everything while listening to name has you them and try to find some of their stuff on SoundCloud! It reminds me of the music my mother played for us growing up.  Actually....better it is:

Also...I was excited to find quite a few open trails for XC skiing during our trip in a few weeks. I think I am going to spend most my time doing this...after all I don't want to show up the group too much on downhill. I would hate to have to leave them early so that I could join the X-Games or something (that is a joke...I don't want any of our international readers to translate and be like "woah....she is a champion!") AND...I figure it would be a really good workout. I have never tried it but hey....what is life for? I will master it before I leave those mountains!!

And if anyone has recommendations on what month is best to head out to CO let me know. I know quite a few of you head out there in the spring/summer. I want best running conditions!

Oh...and here is "transparency" running in the pouring rain. I don't know if you have tried it but it is hard to smile in the rain while wearing a visor and taking a picture. Give me a break :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Numa Numa.....

19 days....

19 days until my first trail race of the winter season.

*You have got to be kidding me*

I will be honest. I am terrified.

Why you may ask? will best explain it....

(*Conversation with friend*)

Friend: "So...your trail race is coming up"

Me: "Yup...I am scared sh*tless."

Friend: "You worried you won't do well?"

Me: "Nah"

Friend: "You worried about the terrain?"

Me: "Negative"

Friend: "Well, what is it?!"

Me: "I can't listen to music while I run.."

Friend: *puzzled look*

Yup. I read the other day that headphones and cell phones are not approved during my trail run. Now, I know this is for safety reasons as it is single track running...but still.....this has me all wacked out. I listen to music all the time. I listen to it when I am getting ready to go somewhere. I listen to it in the car. I listen to it around the house. I listen to it while trying to fall asleep. For crying out loud...I am listening to it right now!!! This cannot be happening...

Now, some of you may be reading this thinking "What is the big deal?"

Well...I really can't answer that. I love nature....I love the sounds of nature....but music is such a big part of my life and I love to listen to it while I am running in nature. I literally create my play lists around the kind of run I am going to do. I don't just take off running thru a park listening to radio hits, I put great thought into it. Both music and running make me happy. When I put them is safe to say I am in heaven. To not be able to listen to music has me wondering now successful I can be on this little adventure.

My friend called it a "quirk". I guess it is. I see many people heading out for runs without music. You had better believe I am going to have to start training that way over the next couple of weeks. I don't know how this will go. I am a "quirky" kind of person and change is not something I am very fond of. When it comes to my music I am very "quirky"....and I am not talking about my usual "I love picked veggies...chicken liver pate...or skinny mountain runners from Catalunya" quirky....I am talking about my one love when running....

The Moldovan boy band O-Zone.

You can stop laughing now.

Yes....I love this little boy band. They are no longer together but everything about their music makes me happy and it fits perfectly into my running style. To not be able to listen to this while running up and down the trail has me a little nervous. It is something I turn on every time I am doing a new or longer run. It keeps me hypes me up....I don't understand a word of it but I don't care...

I know I have to get over it...and I am sure I will. I guess we will not know how I do until the time until then I am just going to have to get in as much "Despre Tine" as I can. Really...stop laughing...I am sure you all have "that one thing" that keeps you going on long runs.....

Other than that (which I think is pretty big) tonight was the traditional awesome "brewery run". Now...a few of you seem to have the wrong impression of this event. It is not some bar is an entire brewery. It is wonderful. I got in a few miles and only got lost once....but that was because instead of turning with like 50 of my fellow runners...I decided to take it a "little further" down the road. I turned around when I saw a 4 year old's Huffy bike chained to a fence. I figured at that point I had gone to far and needed to head back to "base." Once safely back with friends there was more wonderful talk about our upcoming ski trip. A lovely night with lovely people. I cannot wait until the next time.

Oh....and the whole shoe thing. Yeah, I went out for a run the other night...without the XR Missions. I had been running a few days without them and I will never do it again. My poor ankles....knees...and hips hurt. I am back with the Missions. I am not a minimalist. I cannot join that movement. I need support in my running shoe...and for now my "door to trail" suits me just fine. It felt so good to be back in them tonight. Gazelle I tell you....gazelle.

And now the moment you have been waiting for...another picture of "transparency". It is me before my night run the other day....

Yes...there was almost NO POINT to this blog....just thought I would share what was going thru my mind right "train of thought" is always "de-railed".

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Trying Something New

Words cannot express how "unexcited" I was to go running when the alarm went off before 7am this morning. It was looked cold outside...there was bed was room was dark...

"Why did I say I would do this?!"

That was the first thought that ran thru my head as my feet hit the cold floor. was the be honest...I believe the first was "is that a )(*$)(#*$ alarm going off?!".

Why was I doing this you may ask? is because I promised to try something new in 2013. I promised to get over my deal of having to "run alone" and try running with other people. I had committed on the LexRunLadies FB last night that I would be there, and I was going to be...just like I said....looking half awake and grumpy....

I think it is safe to say that if I had balls, they would have frozen off while heading out to warm the car up. 25 degrees. Perfect....just perfect. As I scraped ice off the windshield I promised to never do this again until Spring arrived. I was not a happy camper.

However, my opinion changed when I pulled in towards the barn where everyone was meeting. As I was driving up the hill (yes...I was a few minutes coffee) I saw a group of ladies frantically waving. It was my group. Yes, they were running away without me....but it was "my" group. It was a lovely feeling. It really made my morning...until I realized that they were moving pretty damn fast and I would have to sprint to catch up to them!

As you may have guessed, I didn't catch up to them. I started down the hill and made a few turns heading out to "horse country". The farms were beautiful. So beautiful that they actually slowed my pace down. There were other people with me at the time, but that did not stop me from taking a few pictures or talking to someone new. To see the sun come up over the farms and to feel the excitement of horses breaking off in full sprint as you ran was magical. At that moment, I knew why all these people kept getting up at insane times and freezing their butts off out here. It was a very peaceful thing to do. Even though many were on the route, there was still a silence as people were just enjoying their surroundings. It really didn't bother me...running with one really cared what the other was doing.

To come to that realization is pretty big for me. You see, I am very outgoing (I shock and awe right?!) and do not really limit myself when it comes to doing things. However, I am horribly shy when it comes to running. Why I think anyone is going to care about how I run or my pace is beyond me, but I do. That has always kept me from wanting to run with others and today I realized that you don't have to be in a big group talking the whole time to enjoy the company.

I think I can say I am "hooked" and will be doing it more often. It is fun. I will not be chatting it up the whole time, but to have the "silent company" is kind of nice. I think I am ready to be part of the "group".

And speaking of the group...I have to thank them....all of them for continuing to ask me to group run. Never have I been so warmly welcomed and randomly hugged as I have by the ladies in LexRunLadies. It has taken me a while to warm up to them but it is such a great bond to be forming!! I love it! Many have FB'd or asked me if they can run with me and I would totally recommend coming out to a run with this group! It is truly motivating...and I will admit...there are times when I am not (silence is not motivating people!). I will do whatever run you want with them....find them on FB...LexRunLadies or Twitter...or even online....they post a weekly calender of activities. You do not have to be a seasoned pro to run....any skill level will be made to feel like a champion by these ladies! You can and will get there...just give it a try...try something new :)

In other news, hopefully I will be able to go explore some new trails tomorrow. I have been looking at the map and they look to be pretty good for dirt bike trails. They have some good elevation so I am pretty excited! While road running I have actually been wearing my Salomon S-Wind shoes...which is a totally different feel than the XR Mission. I don't know what I think about that...I am going to give them a try on the trails just for "sh*ts and giggles" and see how they compare. For now I think the XR Missions will go from "door to trail" to just trail and we will see how the S-Wind hold up on the road. I know...I know....this is big news coming from me.....everyone knows the XR's are my favorite shoe in the whole wide world! They are still #1 in my could they not be....they are so beautiful!

OH....and if you have any running of the greatest women trail runners ever (Anna Frost) has decided to tackle the issue. All I could say was "eeep" when I saw on Kilian's page that she was taking on questions relating to women and running issues. The first question I would ask is "holy cr* does anyone keep their calf muscles from getting friggin huge?!"  While I love my muscles, I am not sure how these calves are going to look in heels come Spring. It is starting to bother me. I say I would ask....but I am totally too shy....runner shy...remember? 

Check out this site:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year And A New View....

Happy New Years everyone!

I hope everyone had a safe and fantastic New Year's Eve! This will be a short entry...just a little "thank you" and some insight into what will be coming down the road (or I should say "trail") in 2013.

The last few months of 2012 have been wonderful and I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store. As always, I hope you all continue to follow here and share in all my adventures. If you ever want to join me...just let me know ;)

Anyway, my trail running season will kick off this month and hopefully go strong into summer, when I will be heading out West for a couple of weeks to run in Colorado. I am beyond excited and will probably start purchasing sun screen now so that I have enough when the time comes. I hope to make 2013 more of a trail running year than a trail running/road training year...but we will see how that goes. I have found a new set of trails to start running this weekend, so it should get interesting.

2013 will also be the year I start exploring other training options for when I am not on the trails. Yoga, bouldering, cycling and skiing are all on my list and I can hardly wait to start. I have also fallen in love with snow shoe running. snow shoes....if you have never heard of this just google it and tell me you would NOT want to do that. I can picture myself now taking off across the park in my new snazzy snow shoes. This may have to become a reality. It would be awesome. It would have to be an awesome leg workout. Anyone want to form a team or something?

In other news, I am still getting used to all the views that are generated each day on this blog and realize that I may have made a few mistakes along the way in 2012 with concern to it. After the "Summits of My Life" entry, this blog blew up. Most of the new viewership was European, something I was not familiar with at all when it came to readership. I think in the last two weeks I have rejected more FB friend requests and emails then ever before from people I did not know. I literally locked everything down tight and tried to hide until the wave was over.  Now that I think about it, I think only 3 people from that whole thing made it onto my site...and even when they did I "amped" up my privacy settings to limit what could be seen. I thought this was O.K. to do.

I was talking about this with a close friend the other night and she looked at me and said "why would you do that?" Of course I was like "do what?" It was then I realized what I did. Some of those people wanted to see what I was about a little more, or wanted to keep up with the blogs, or just tell me they enjoyed it. Instead of being welcoming to that, I got intimidated and rejected them. If you are still reading this, I apologize. I did not realize that while I was trying to share something special to me, I was also excluding people who actually have the same love of trail running as I do.

So....give it a try again if you would like. And keep sending me messages or emails. Don't worry about the language barrier.....just write like you would and I will figure out the rest. Google and Bing Translate have been "very very good to me" for the past few weeks. Even if you profile picture shows you running next to Timothy Olson...I will suck it up and let you in...praying that you don't laugh and make fun of me along the way ;)

Oh...and one last thing. I am going to try to be a little more "transparent" in 2013. Someone mentioned "I love you blog....but you never have any pictures of YOU". Good point. I don' I am terrified of the camera. I love taking pictures....hate being the subject. Now that I think about it...that really won't work on a blog about a dream that I have. Pictures of running and runners show so much emotion. Just from the facial expressions and eyes you can tell exactly what a person is feeling at any part of a run...before...during or after. I think that is important to share, as I am sure there will be plenty of ups and downs this year. I am. I am letting down a guard. I will do my best in 2013 to include more of "me" in the adventures so that you can see the "woman behind the words". It is my promise to you. Oh..and one other don't get tan in the summer.

Here is me...plain and simple.

And here is me eating toast...because I read somewhere that humans eat a lot of toast.