chaseyourgoat

Running

Tomorrow is My First 50k!

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Or will it be? HA I’ve been dealing with patellar tendinitis and can tell there are some hidden gems of unknown pain hiding throughout the solar system of my left knee. it’s funny how this happens. Last summer a few weeks before my first trail marathon, I severely sprained my ankle getting groceries out of the car that were supposed to be my groceries for climbing El Dorado Peak the following day (also a mountain I still have yet to climb).

i can have a super great healthy year and always, right before the race, I get injured. People tell me that I shouldn’t be running injured and blah blah blah but I’m sort of in a state right now of: “If I can run, I’ll try”. I can run — I just know that after tomorrow I’ll need to pull back and get more serious.

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In the last couple months I’ve seen massage therapists, a PT, my chiropractor, as well as trying cryotherapy, buying a buff gun thingy....and have been using band work to strengthen the knee. It’s all hit or miss and sometimes I feel okay but if there is a hill going up or down, game over.

What a great deal that 31 miles only has 4400 ft of gain tomorrow? I’m just hoping to finish. I’m just hoping to make it before cutoff....but if I need to drop out tomorrow, I will.

It’s no big deal.

I run because I love to run. When I’m healthy, I find myself signing up for all these races because I’m feeling good and then when the time comes down to it, I wonder why I do this so often.

But one thing about me is that I never give up. It’s almost best that I don’t care what happens tomorrow because for me, when I stop having expectations - I have more fun. I’m a creature of strong anxiety before ANYTHING that I do. My friends know not to even talk to me about a race or climb a week before we do something because they already know how bad my anxiety gets me. Before I climbed Adams this past summer I was telling them that I’d never climb again and that it’s not for me. I’m silly.  

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So here’s a blog to tell you hi! I’m attempting my first 50k tomorrow and I give no fucks and grateful to just show up and do what I love. The cool thing is that I’m not here to impress anyone - I’m not here to prove I can do this, I already know that I can. Let’s see if my body will let me:) 

(side note: I forgot to say that it’s the Deception pass 50k here in Washington)

Running, Photo Journal

Ultra Training around Mount Baker

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Becca and I are training for a 50k in December. Our schedule said to run 20 miles on Saturday so we pieced together a route that did just that yesterday near Baker. I’ve done pieces of this trail before but never in good weather.  This Saturday was absolutely perfect having this sunny day on the one day out of the weeks of rain ahead.

It’s crazy that just one year ago I was recovering from an ankle injury that kept me from running for months. Last November I started a little group that would run (just one mile a day) for every single day of November. I also was signing up for 3-5 mile trail races and finding it incredibly tough. I loved them but at the same I couldn’t see past the idea of just running that distance. 

I have always found the idea of running an ultra distance impossible. Now one year later and back to back half marathons in the mountains along with a couple 20 mile races, here we are! We have to run around 20 miles every Saturday followed by 10ish every Sunday and a couple runs during the week. It’s amazing what is possible for your body and what is possible for your mind when you truly want something. I am not fast, I don’t care about being faster, but I do care about experiencing joy on a long run. At this moment in my life, 20-30 miles is a long run. The joy I get from long days in my favorite places is exactly where I want to be and what makes me the happiest.  

 

Saturday we met at 5:30am to head towards Mount Baker. We started to head up the Chain Lakes trail which was breathtaking having Mount Shuksan behind us and Mount Baker in front of us. Then we trekked over to Ptarmigan Ridge for awhile before we saw a gorgeous green lake off to the left of us so of course we had to go there. After that we headed back to Ptarmigan on our way to the Glacial Route trail. Weather moved in so we made our way back to finish the Chain Lakes loop then to the Goose trail only to find our way back at the parking lot with 17 or 18 miles.  

Even though Becca had a bad ankle roll at the end of our day we knew we had to get 20. We made tons of loops around the parking lot till we hit 20 and that is always the best feeling. It’s hard to see that you’re almost there then settle for something below your goal.  

So there is beauty I’m finishing strong. 

There is beauty is the journey:) 

Here is Becca, Hamlin and Nate heading up the Chain lakes trail

Here is Becca, Hamlin and Nate heading up the Chain lakes trail

📸: Nate Brown

📸: Nate Brown

Becca and I on a little patch of snow on the Ptarmigan Ridge trail

Becca and I on a little patch of snow on the Ptarmigan Ridge trail

Runnable spaces. 📸: Nate Brown

Runnable spaces. 📸: Nate Brown

We looked to the left and far this lake and so grateful we took a side trail to get a little close

We looked to the left and far this lake and so grateful we took a side trail to get a little close

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 📸: Nate Brown took this of me frolicking in the way back to Ptarmigan 

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📸: Nate Brown

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my favorite kind of trail

Gorgeous views of baker  

Gorgeous views of baker  

Layers  

Layers  

Becca and I taking a look at the parking lot we still needed to run to.  

Becca and I taking a look at the parking lot we still needed to run to.  

Running, Photo Journal

PhotoBlog - The Enchantments in a Day

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This is not a trip report. I am horrible at specifics. I am horrible with numbers and names of peaks or anything in between. I'm also known as the "I just show up girl" in the sense that specifics often give me anxiety and cause me to run away from things. The more information you throw at me, the more I don't want to do it anymore. If you tell me to show up with a list of what I need, without much more detail then that, I pack accordingly and just show up. If you make it complicating - I feel pukey the whole day and find a bailout plan. 

This has been my longest day where running has been added into the picture. It was 20.75 miles and we finished in 8 hours and 10 minutes with 5000 some odd feet of gain (see I hate numbers) but it sure was one of the best days ever.

When I had loosely planned the idea of running the Enchantments in Leavenworth, it was about a month before I sprained my ankle in July of last year which took me off from running till November. That was freaking brutal and I had to put off the Enchantments for yet another year. So this summer it was going to happen. I thought more people would be able to join. Time went on. More "ideas" got added into the mix like adding a couple extra peaks and such....then BAM anxiety sets in...I don't know why this happens but it does. 

Anyway I ended up declining that idea because my boyfriend was coming on this trip (and he didn't expect climbing and never is able to join me) so at the end of all of that, no one else other than Derek was able to go. I'm actually super stoked that it was just him and I. When we are together, everything is just so easy. We love to run so that's a plus, we both are super easygoing, and he's completely encouraging the whole time. We just sort of mesh so well that we never have time to fight. We have so much respect for each other that everything feels right when we're able to get these date days. Yesterday was both he and I's first time in this area so we were just smiling ear to ear the whole time. 

Here are a bunch of photos from the trip!

Have you done this thru hike/run before?

Running

When Your Biggest Fear is Running in the Mountains Alone

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Caption stolen from my Instagram on Friday:

 “Tomorrow I’m running in the only area that’s ever scared me. Might join a running group but also might do my own thing and keep it pretty chill. Janelle Mastain was with me.

We were lost on a trail far too long in one direction and looked at our map. No one else was on the trail for a mile or so and we turned around to head back to our destination. It was only a minute of two when I felt him behind me.

I freaked out in surprise and laughed because of it while i said hi to him because he literally came out of nowhere. He never said anything back.

Never looked at me. Just kept walking right behind us.

He was very intentional and not friendly.

All of a sudden her dog that loves everyone saw him and started barking like crazy at him and ran off ahead of us.

That was our sign.

We casually pretended to start running like that was our intention.

Within some time we looked back and he was running too.

We kept running and got to the destination and he was right behind us.

He sat on the ledge and was just staring at us at below his glasses.

Eventually a few mountain bikers made it to the top hooting and hollering(thank god) and the creepy guy started flinching and ran back into the trees.

I’ve always had that in my mind.

It’s changed my solo adventures.

Nothing happened yet my gut knew it was not right.

Anyway wish me luck tomorrow”

 

 

Let’s fast forward to today, it’s Monday and Hello!!! I’m still alive. That was something that happened about five and a half years ago and although nothing worse happened, it’s still in my mind. It still shows up randomly when I’m alone on a trail and I catch myself frantically looking over my shoulder. It’s sad that we humans have to watch out for each other as well as animals. I am 5’3 and an easy kill if anything ever wanted to, and my fearful pheromones probably put a big bullseye over me as well.

So Saturday I ran 13ish miles alone in the same area that that had happened. The first two miles I had mace in my hand. This might sound overboard for a lot of you but I watch way too much Forensic Files along with my previous story to enjoy myself alone in the woods. There was a time when I did enjoy it...before I was tainted with fear. Although I tell you about my fears, I never stop doing what I love but figured I’d share what honestly happens for me out there. If I’m alone, I usually choose popular areas to run. 

Anyway the first two miles started with mace in hand. Then I started seeing a lot of other runners and the mace slowly went back into my vest pocket. Slowly I started to lose the fear and just focus on one step at a time. 

My run was in Bellingham from the interurban trail -> the lost lake trail -> the rock trail -> the raptor ridge trail -> dans traverse trail -> the gravel road which takes me back to the interurban trail back to my car. It was amazing and I only fell twice, I only got bothered by horseflies once, and I brushed through stinging nettles and cursed the world. But I did it. Finishing things that scare me feels good. Trust me this is not some huge blogggable event, this is literally what I go through over and over again to get through these fears. Not a one time - accomplishment. This happens for me week by the week. 

 

Today I was supposed to do Mount Defiance with a girlfriend but she backed out while I was at work today and that’s always hard. I wish I had more girlfriends that would run with me throughout the week but I feel that most are way beyond my skill level or hikers that want to run but don’t run. 

So I’m getting ready to do a local trail loop which should suffice my training for the day and take it easy. This is a short blog for you but just a reminder that we all have fears, we all have stories that make us who we are today, but it is our choice to stop doing what we love because of fear, or to push through it anyway and feel the rewards by never giving up.

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Running

Death and Running to Heal

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People love to run. People hate to run. I don't realize how much I love running until it's placed in front of me. 

I got sober 4.5 years ago when shit got real, when I had either two choices. Die a slow death of living as an alcoholic or get sober. You obviously know which one I chose and it saved my life. Everything I have today including my emotional and spiritual health is due to my sobriety. I went to a memorial last weekend for a friend of mine who got sober at the same time as me. About a year ago I asked her about things and why I hadn't seen her around outside of teaching yoga and she told me a story about how her new (relapsed) way of living was working for her and everything was great... Fast forward to a week ago she was taken from this disease and it hurts my hurt whenever this happens.

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The memorial was beautiful and she has so many people that love her. Pastor Ryan said something that really stuck with me. It was something along the lines of "I am not here to tell you where Madeline went...I don't  know what happens once you die, I know you already know a theory or two but I do know about life. I do know that we ALL have an expiration date and we will all die, but what I do know about is how to LIVE. Everyone knows that they will die but do they know how to truly LIVE".

My friend Tiffany and I had a sunset trail-race directly following the ceremony (like 40 minutes to leave, change, and get in line at the race. It was the Bridle Trails Winter Festival Race and it was everything from 5 miles to Ultra distances. I just signed up for the 5M as I was sick all last week and hate doing loop courses. We both went from memorial to run and oh was it exactly what we needed. We were emotionally heavy after the ceremony and once we started running it was just BLISS.

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Running has that way to just let you forget all the things that clog your mind...or at least work through them. I am currently getting ready to run a marathon in Bend, Oregon this coming April! The month before in March, I am joining a Run Like a Girl retreat to Costa Rica and I can hardly wait! Through my toughest times, running always helped save me. I need to continue to do it to remind me how to LIVE.....and live fully. 

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Minimalism

recognizing our ‘fantasy self’

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i struggle with trying to find purpose in life. my mind turns faster than my movement. i am impulsive. when i am having a ‘down’ day, i start to crave things. i want to buy things that i do not need to help fill up the ego of my fantasy self.

can you think of a way you feed your fantasy self? a fantasy self is the side of yourself that you see in your “goals”.

let’s see - someday i will accomplish blah blah and my future enriched self will wear this item, she will use this camera and she will definitely need such and such for the vacation she hasn’t bought yet.

she will buy that vacation - don’t worry, she’s just busy saving now.

she will keep clothes that don’t fit her because someday she will lose the weight and fantasy self can step back into those small flattering jeans - maybe.

 

but maybe when we reach that fantasy self, fantasy self won’t even want to wear those old fucking jeans. maybe fantasy trip to italy is no longer even in her mind and now wants a trip to greece. maybe fantasy self doesn’t need a dslr because her iphone is taking fantastic pictures - and it’s oh so compact.

 

what i’m getting at is this - we hold on to possessions and ways of being to support some fantasy version of who we wish to be. but we forget who we are.

right now.

i mean right at this moment.

 

we’re so busy thinking about the anxieties of who we want to become...maybe we should take a step back and see what’s happening at this moment. what if we focus on living one day at a time. maybe we create boundaries on our idea of fantasy self and start to truly high five our whole self, the one who we get to be every moment of right now.

 

 

that’s where i’m at right now. i recently bought a new camera on an off week which was last week. last week i was envisioning how i would feel with this specific camera. i loved it for how small and efficient it was. i obsessed about it. i watched a million youtube videos on it and when i got it, i was excited. it’s less than a week later and i want to return it because i realize how much i already love my big and heavy dslr.

 

our emotions are so tricky. when we are down,  we sometimes imagine how much better our day would be if fantasy self had a new item to add to our sad day....when in reality sad days pass and no amount of material possessions will cure that feeling for longer than a moment.

 

i’m trying to live without regret. i know that i must return this and i will feel better financially. i know that last week i was just having a down week and that it’s okay to have it. i can’t run from my feelings but i can acknowledge them.

 

things i am working on:

 

  1. return impulsive items that do not serve my reality self.
  2. when i have the chance - get out into nature, it’s free and always makes my day better.
  3. try to go to yoga 4-5 times a week and have the intention of “ground down”.
  4. spend more meaningful one on one time with my love.
  5. don’t watch the news - don’t give my opinion on the news - as i don’t believe everything the media suggests we believe in.
  6. give away all items of clothing that are either too big, too small or don’t match who i am today.
  7. ask friends and family to no longer gift me material objects but experiences instead.
  8. build savings account
  9. keep all of my clothing for my company, Choose Mountains in a storage unit. keeping work separate from home is very important for me right now.
  10. daily gratitude lists
  11. only surround myself with positive people that bring joy to my life
  12. stop worrying about what people think of me
  13. take more photographs
  14. buy replacement pieces for broken things, rather than buy entire new items, especially when things can be fixed!
  15. take workshops or classes for things i’d like to learn.

 

i believe we are all on different journeys and my journey may be quite different than others reading this. i think it’s great to always check in with yourself and make sure you are living and thriving within the reality of who you are today and not daydreaming of who you wish to be in the future. it’s a beautiful thing to water the grass we already stand on, then wish it looked like our neighbors lawn.