Monthly Archives: April 2016

Friday Five Favorites

Five Favs

 

1. Daffodils-my favorite flower. Harbingers of spring. The yellow has to cheer anyone up

Two daffodils

 

yellow daffodil

yellow daffodil

2. Dogs- I am such a dog person

Tino and Jules

 

3. Wine Room-I took this totally unused wasted space in our house and made a great storage room for our wine.

old coal room

old coal room

Finished Wine Room

Finished Wine Room

This then allowed me to turn my dark little downstairs room into MY workout area.

4. Trails-I am such a trail person.

trails

I miss them. trails

All of them

trail by lake

5. Home made beef jerky-my husband makes me home made beef jerky. It’s pretty simple.  Alton Brown taught him how to do it.

What are your five favorites this Friday?

Daffodil Rescues

daffodil rescues

I would consider the daffodil my favorite spring flower. The sunny yellow is always a cheering sight to view in the greening grass, after the brown bleakness of winter. As a gardener, I really appreciate the flower-it divides and spreads on its own, and critters do not eat daffodils.

As a runner, it’s always been a fun sight to look over at the side of the road, or out into the woods, and see the discovery of a patch of daffodils. Daffodils mean civilisation. Daffodils growing in the woods mean someone planted them there. Usually, if you look closely, you will see the remains of a house, or a foundation.

As the greens started to show, I decided I would go on a daffodil scavenging hunt. These daffodils were planted by someone-probably long ago.

How long? In some instances, where I scavenged, I would bet these houses have been gone for fifty or eighty years or longer. Who planted the daffodils? Some farm wife? Where did she get them from? Her mother? Sister? Did a child bring home some bulbs from school?

My little mission started sooner than I thought. I was out for a trail run, when the yellow color caught my eye.

daffodils in woods

I investigated, and found a little gem:

double daffodil

I was expecting the ubiquitous big yellow trumpet daffodil, and found this. It has kind of a split cup, almost looks like a daffodil double. I don’t think this is that common of a daffodil-and this whole grove was made up of these!

I continued on my run, and sure enough, a few miles down the trail, another patch of yellow caught my eye. I had to look carefully, but I could find the old stones of the foundation.

foundation

 

house foundation

 

It was a little difficult to dig a small clump of bulbs up-with my fingers and a stick. But I managed to get some bulbs and stuffed them into my running pack.

My next rescue was on a road run.  On one of my back country roads, I could see the old chimney from the road. I had even thought to myself, “there’s daffodils down there”. A road cut to a natural gas well made it much easier to traverse through the multi flower rose brambles, and I procured more bulbs. Although this time I had a trowel with me, it would have been far easier to have brought a shovel!

chimney

This huge swath of daffodils surprised me. I was on a trail run, in my usual location, when I glanced to my left and saw all the flowers! I had been running this trail for years and never saw the daffodils! I guess I was busy watching the trail and picking my way through the mud!

daffodils trail

 

The last location I checked was more of a hunch. As I run down this road, I can see the remains of the house-which, I think sometime later, was torched. I investigated, and sure enough! Daffodils!!

The daffodil bulbs have been planted in some pots, and are currently residing in my plant room. Some have blooms, so I can see what they are, others are just like a new bought book-I can’t wait to see what will bloom!

How To Create YOUR Project 50 List

How to Create YOUR Project 50 List

How to Create YOUR Project 50 List

Do you have a special date or deadline before you?  Maybe you are turning 49 and want to accomplish 50 things by 50, or maybe you are celebrating being fifty and alive! Maybe you want to accomplish XX amount by X years old.

kayak on the sea

I wanted to celebrate turning fifty, not hiding from it, lamenting it, or denying it. Heck, I’m happy to have made it to age fifty. I decided to turn it into a celebratory year of TRY-try new activities, food, experiences, mindsets.

How I Developed My List

here’s how I developed my list of ideas and goals:

Books

20,000 Days and Counting by Robert D. Smith-how would your thought process change if instead of counting your time in years, you counted them in days?  A good and easy read. Thought provoking.

I Dare Me-being a woman of midlife, this was a good blueprint. Lu Ann Cahn felt “stuck”. Her daughter encouraged her to try a “First” every day for 365 days. This started as a blog, then turned into a book. Some of her firsts were *big*, but others were just small, but still firsts, like trying all the ice cream flavors at Baskin Robbins.  This helped with the formation of my Project 50.  My items weren’t all necessarily big adventures, (like cleaning out your clothes closet)  but items new to me, or something I haven’ done in ages-like ski or learn to snowboard.

The 52 Weeks-a book similar to I Dare Me, this is a collaboration between  Karen Amster-Young and Barbara Godwin. They too felt a bit stuck and challenged themselves to trying one new activity a week for 52 weeks.

Internet Key Words

This is easy,  plug in bucket list, you will have a plethora of websites to surf through to gain ideas. I ignored the big bucket list ideas, as “travel to India” was not going to happen in 2016. Using the search term “bucket list and your state” will give you good local ideas to try.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great site to look for Project 50 ideas. Just use the search term “Bucket List” or “Bucket List Ideas”.  This should spur your imagination.

Your Inner Self

What are you afraid of? What activity or experience is slightly-or way out- of your comfort zone?  What have you not tried because you think you will look silly? I’m going to try karoke this year. I might need to have a drink or two before I attempt it, and I’m sure I will look silly-but I am going to try it. That’s out of my comfort zone.  What activity have you not done in..a long time? I’m going to hopscotch. I don’t even remember how to do it, but it will be done before the end of the year.

Enlist Support and Ideas from Others

Tell your friends and family what you are going to do. Ask them for ideas. They may come up with something you would have never dreamt of-so go do it! This can also help to inspire others to create their List for the Year, and go out and crush some goals.

Do you have a List to Celebrate Turning XX? Or do you want to accomplish X this year? Why not Do it?

Happy Ten Year Blogoversary to ME

Happy Ten Year Blogoversary!

 

I’ve been blogging for TEN years.  How many people can say that?

10 Year Blogoversary

I started my blog in 2006. Like my Geocities pages of old, I wrote about what I knew. Trail running. I had no idea of what I was doing in both running and writing blog posts. There was a typo in the header post of my first entry.  I’ve kept it that way for posterity!

Joing Blogland  April 23, 2006
Well, well, well, I have finally joined blogland. But first I have to go for a run before I can work on this anymore.

2006 was my first YUT-C 50K where I met my good friends and mentors Bob Combs and Jim Harris.Mill Creek Park YoungstownBlogwise: I didn’t know WordPress existed. I only knew of Blogger and it was free. I also had to upload images doing the old img=SRC. One at a time.

2007

2007 was the year I attempted my first Mohican 100.  I timed out at the race, back at the Grist Mill in the old days, mile 75 hour 23.  An excerpt from the first short entry:

DNF timed out at Grist Mill, hour 23,mile 75, did not make the time cut off. I am perfectly fine with that. I had a great run and made a couple of personal race management planning issues that cost me my time cushion. I will write about those later-I am not making excuses, but I think if I explain what happened maybe it will help out someone else.
Other than not finishing the race, I had a simply wonderful weekend. I got to see old friends, ran with new friends, people told me that they read my blog. I think I am going to turn on the anonymous comment thingy so if you don’t want to register for blogger you can comment. Tell me who you are people!!

Go Kim

Mikey marking the course and leaving me a cheer!

2008-the blog went on, this was the year of the Trails and Tribulations podcast. I can’t comment on the technological side, as my co-host did all that work.

I just wrote. No SEO no alternative text in photos.
I just wrote.  Edit? Second draft? Nope, I just wrote and posted. I wrote for years. Every now and then I would wonder why I didn’t get many comments. Yet runners would comment, in person to me that they liked my blog.  How many followers did I have? I have no idea. I had no idea there were blogging statistics.

2009-I finally had an epiphany that I should train like an ultra runner, instead of just acting like an ultra runner. An excerpt from the Bobcat Trail Marathon:

I came upon the last AS with the poor guys still stuck there. They advised me I was around mile 21, and the last AS to the finish line. As I trekked up another hill, I just wanted to be done with the race. I was cranky, crabby with myself. I was tired of being the poky last person, tired with being so tired. Do fast runners get tired out there? Do thin people get tired running? Honestly, I was really really mean to myself out there. Disgusted with being fat, disgusted with being so slow, hating to make people wait for me so they could get on with their day.

2010

I stopped being so mean to myself. I was my own worst critic. I started to be more positive. I began to lose weight and train!

Fools Day 50K 2010

I listened to a podcast called Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone.  I believe that’s where I found the Fitbloggin website. What, a conference about blogging and fitness? Wow, what a cool/great idea! Baltimore! That’s not far!! Ohhh..it was sold out.

But I got to read recaps and live blogging from the conference. I got some good ideas and didn’t understand others. I wished I had attended the conference!
I followed some of the bloggers from the conference. I noticed other bloggers getting
“free stuff”. I wondered how they were getting stuff from sponsors. How did I get these sponsors to knock on my blogging door?  I admired the nicely designed website and blogs.

2011

Before my first Massanutten 100 race, I decided to rebrand. I no longer felt like an ultra newby.  I changed my name to a custom URL, but still on blogger, to Ultratrailgoddesss.com.

2011 Massanutten FinishI wrote on. I didn’t edit, or post to my *social*.  I don’t know whether I gained or lost readers, because I didn’t track any analytics. I just posted pictures, I took pictures right off the internet *gulp* because I didn’t know any better!

2012 was the year of Hardrock, my dream race.  Blogwise, I did no more editing or revising than the year before!

2013-the year I hired a coach,  Karl Meltzer, to attain a sub 30 hour MMT finish.  It did not happen, but I was very pleased with my results.

Blogwise, I kept writing. I didn’t know why I wasn’t getting any more comments or followers. Twitter moved too quickly for me to do anything there, when I popped in once or twice a week. I didn’t *get* Instagram at all.

2014-a low stress year of going to Colorado to volunteer and pace at Hardrock.    I went to Fitbloggin and learned that there was so much that I didn’t know about blogging and social media.  I felt like everyone was light years ahead of me AND I had been blogging for years and years! But it gave me great ideas and action plans. I had four pages of notes .

2015-a year I could do without. My sister died and I DNF’d Hardrock again.

Even though I had just bought new business cards, I felt like I was in the need for a change, a rebrand, a fresh start. Maybe I need to try WordPress?

WordPress scared me.  I took the plunge and started the new URL and blog-because, with it being brand new, if I broke it, it wasn’t breaking much!  This was ultratrailchick.com.

I felt like a total newby on WordPress. This didn’t bother me because I love learning.  I felt like I was being refreshed and a new blogger. I began reading blog posts about WP and tips and tricks for a *new blogger* and listening to podcasts about blogging.

I discovered FB Groups, which, get this!  where other people will promote your post. Who knew?  I found Blogher and other networks. I began reading about how other bloggers got traffic to their posts. I finally understood the saying  “ I could write and write and write, but if I don’t promote it, “nobody will come’. “

I finally understood that it’s a good practice to ‘edit’ a post. Not to just write, wily nily and throw the first draft up. That I could re read and delete many “probably” and “so” from my writing.

Blog Changes: I bought my latest URL, kim.today but was scared to change my site!

2016-my ten years of spreading my heart out on the internet!

I also rebranded AGAIN.  I felt like I am more than *just* an ultra runner. I want to reach out to people, to women of midlife and encourage folks to go out of their comfort zone and TRY new things and activities.

first time paddleboard

Celebrating my first time SUP

I am interested in writing about being a healthy active individual, at any age and want to empower and encourage people to stay fit and active.  Look for me at the Indy Fitbloggin conference with a new URL, a media kit, and a fresh look on blogging and social media!

What’s your blogging history? Are you ready to make a change? Do you need to make a change?  Are you going to join me at Fitbloggin 16 in Indy?

 

 

 

What Runners Can do for Earth Day

What Runners Can Do for Earth Day

https://lnt.org/blog/everyday-earth-day

Go cupless at a race. Even if the race provides cups, bring your own handheld. Cupless is becoming a popular trend in trail running.

Donate old shoes-look for donation boxes at local running stores or sporting goods stores.

Pick up trash– Most trail runners tend to pick up trash just when they see it. Make this a habit. Leave the trail less trashy than when you ran it.  Maybe on Earth Day, go for a Trash Run! Make it a group activity, take a garbage bag with you, see how much trash you can recover. I have friends who had a “Beer Run” where, (sadly) they could run a road and pick up enough beer cans to help pay for race fees.  They would run this road about once a week because there was that much beer cans tossed out on the ground.

Stay on the trails-run the path before you. Don’t go around the big mud puddle. You go around the muddy sections, you make the trail larger.

Practice Leave No trace Principles

Leave No Trace Principles

Food Recovery is the  EPA theme for Earth Day 2016.  This is something that aid station captains and race directors could try and implement.  For example: don’t open food packets until the food on the table is eaten up. That way the unused food can be donated or taken home by volunteers not merely dumped into the trash.
Do you have gels or food items that you hate? Bring them along and donate to another runner. I tried a food item a few years ago that I hated. I was happy to give the nutrition away to another runner who really liked the item! A win win!

 

 

Organizing Convalescent Corner

 

Organizing my Convalescent Corner

convalescentcorner

 

Surgery is tomorrow! (Just knee arthroscopy.)  After a busy day volunteering at Forget the PR 50K on Saturday, today is time to:

Organize my Convalescent Corner

 

In my corner, I have:

-a manila file with odd pieces of mail to read

-two books on the intervention in Grenada

-various back issues of Outside Magazine and Runners World

-my Kindle with about 4 brand new books to read

-my dog scrapbook and two art journal books that I am working on

-a basket with craft supplies-with a lid to keep the 64 pound German Shepherd puppy out of

-a to do list on my Evernote with items to take care of, like complete my continuing education for my license, and two online social media classes I have access to

-movies: I bought the first 3 seasons of Downton Abbey. I have three running movies I’ve never seen: The Long Run, Prefontaine, Run for your Life: The Fred Lebow Story

We do not have Netflix or any access to stream videos or movies on our limited bandwidth internet, hence having to have physical movies.

Any tips for about a week of non-movement for a recovering runner?

Five for Friday Barkley Edition

This Five for Friday is the Barkley Edition

fiveforfridaybarkley

 

For the folks who still can’t get enough Barkley 2016, some interview from around the web with the runners:

Five media profiles with folks that ran 2016 Barkley:

Interview with Rhonda Marie Avery, the very first blind runner to attempt the Barkley Marathons.

Ultra Runner Podcast with Starch Grant. Starchy Grant has his place in Barkley History as part of the trio who have the longest complete loop of the Barkley, 32 hours and change.

Ultra Runner Podcast has a great interview with Gary Robbins on his first time Barkley run

Trail Manners interviewed Ty Draney on his time “out there”, also available as a Google Hangout on You Tube.

Joel Gat returned to the Barkley, and Obstacle Race Media had the opportunity to talk to him about the experience.

 

Any more interviews from the 2016 Barkley out there?