Proud & Loud Week 2 of the 100k Summer Training!

After spending three days feeling like a MAC truck had run me over, I jumped back on the wagon. Needless to say even shorts runs were victorious this week.

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What this week was suppose to look like:

1. REST. Stretch / Foam Roll / Core Strength

2. 45-min run [zone 1/2]

3. 80 min run: 20-30 min w/u, 30 min climb with 10x: 2 minutes hard [zone4] & 60 sec recovery [zone1]

4. 50min run [zone 1/2] + glute strength

5. REST. Stretch / Foam Roll / X-train

6. 2.5 hour hilly run: 30-40 min w/u, 3x 10 min [zone3/4] 6 min rest

7. 1.5 hr easy hike/run [zone 1-2]

What this week actually looked like:

Easy does it - 20 min [zone 2ish] :: Will I throw up?

60 min [zone 3/4ish] :: Friday after a long ass week of work/being sick and motivation was lowwww. This made me snap out of it.

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30 min [zone 3/4ish] :: After a full day of working on our house renovation that last thing I wanted to do was strap on my sneaks at 7pm and get out for a run. Managed to anyway and felt so much better after.

Factors:

1. Still a little sick

2. Snowed all week.

3. No trails to run on - who knows where I can find a hill up in this joint?

Bring on Those April Showers!

I am very conscious to always call these items intentions in an attempt to stray from them being an end all, be all. Life is life and we can't always accomplish all we set out to do because, after all, they told us to dream big! So, these are intentions, things I am mindful of, hopeful to accomplish, but will never feel down on myself for not quite getting there.

Q1 just like that - poooooof, gone!

A quarter of the year has already come and gone and I feel like I am mentally still doing "New Year planning," for what my intentions are for 2018. It's amazing how fast the time can go.

The beginning of April marks a few things,

  1.  We've basically made it through winter and spring is (hopefully) right around the corner.
  2. The end of the first quarter of the year and
  3. A great moment to stop and assesses this year thus far.

My list is always long and daunting when it comes to personal items I want to focus on, goals and intentions but so far so steady. Re-reading my yearly goals regularly has helped. 

2018 Intentions:

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-Spent 10 minutes a day decluttering. As simple as making the bed in the morning, putting away the clean dishes in the morning and making sure clothes get tidied into their spot at the end of the day.

-Meditate often. I haven't stayed up with this and need to jump back on the wagon. Subscribing to the calm app now.

-Less Drinking & More Hydrating. Crushing this! I have hardly been drinking alcohol and being much more aware of my water consumption.

-Sleep More. A to-bed before 10pm rule has allowed me to maintain consistent 8 hours of sleep a night with several puppy potty breaks as mild interruptions.

-Business & Personal Development. If you know me you know that I'm an idea person and have always wanted to have my own business. I'm working on it... and lots of personal development (EI training, managerial training) along the way!

-Daily Time Outside. Even if it's walking to the post office from my office or a dog walk, fresh airs solves so many problems!

In addition to setting yearly intentions I am mindly every month, and even every week, to set intentions and have tasks I would like to focus on.

April always has brought me a feeling of relief. I can rest easy knowing that the cold, dark months are behind us and we have warmth coming our way.

April Intentions:

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-Rejuvenate the Morning Routine. This is time to appreciate yourself, care for yourself and start your day off positive. Take time to drink a glass of water, wash your face with warm welcoming water, mediate and stretch.

-Write More. So many thoughts, put them on paper!

-Take a Breath. Eager to please and a progress tracker. Breathe, remember what's important to you and move forward calm and collected.

-Spend less time concerned with the world. And more time focusing on your intentions! This means stop scrolling and comparing, stop wishing you were them and be who you want to be!

-GO OUTSIDE AND RUN! After all I am training for a 50k!

Training Doesn't Always Go to Plan, Here's to Trying!

What this week's training intention was:

Day 1: REST | Strength/Core

Day 2: 45 minute run [zone 1/2]

Day 3: 60 minute run [60 minutes to include: 1:30 zone 3/4, 1:00 zone 1/2 x10]

Day 4: 45 minute run [zone 1/2]

Day 5: REST | Strenth/Core

Day 6: 2 hour run [zone 1/2]

Day 7: 75 minute FLAT run [to include: 4x 3:00 zone 4, 3:00 recovery]

 The view from my Day 2, 45 minute run, overlooking Victor, Idaho.

The view from my Day 2, 45 minute run, overlooking Victor, Idaho.

What really happened:

Day 1: Hip/Glute Activation Circuit [I found this one and am loving it] Side Note: last year I sprained both my ankled due to a lack of... I'm not sure. But my PT associated it with my glute weakness, so this is killer!

Day 2: 45 minutes, averaging 10:52/mi [Average HR of 150bpm, suppose to be below 140 bpm]

Day 3: Got to the bike path in town where I planned to run and realized I had everything except a sports bra. Got dressed and ran for 25 minutes anyway. Let those boobies fly! #nobranoproblem

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The rest of the week was a total wash! My parents came to town, we went skiing, to the hot springs, did the elk refuge slay ride and then I got the norovirus!

It would be easy to beat myself up that I couldn't even follow my training plan for a week, but that doesn't sound productive or like good karma for the 10 remaining weeks, so instead I'm okay with having been a little light this week (and honestly probably most weeks). Afterall, I'll just be glad I'm not doing this completely off the couch!

10 Weeks to Go!

Herb Smoothie

Nothing like dreaming of your next surf trip in January.

Winter can be harsh and sometimes something as simple as a refreshing smoothie can really transport you to the beach. This is one of my favs with lots of good energy boosting herbs and hydrating greens! Throw all the ingredients below in your blender and shake that shit up!

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Ingredients:

1 tblspn Psyllium

10 Drops Nutribiotic GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract)

1 tblspn Gaia Maca Powder

Juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon

1 handful of cilantro (stems on)

5-7 leaves of mint (stems on)

3-5 leaves of basil (stems on)

4 organic romaine leaves

4 oz coconut milk

4 oz water

1 tblspn coconut butter

4-5 ice cubes

Why these ingredients?

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Maca is an amazing caffeine free, plant-based, performance enhancer. And is used to help promote energy and support a healthy libido (who doesn't love that?). 

Grapefruit seed extract has antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and  help fights yeast in the body. It can also benefit those who suffer from IBS feel comfort in their stomach.

Psyllium husk is a prebiotic, which means is a non-digestible compound that helps nourish your good gut bacteria so that they can thrive. This is crucial in maintaining good gut health!

#MakingTime for The 100K Summer

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It always starts like this. It's more than 6 months away and I'm feeling really motivated sitting on the couch in my college sweatpants. I'm the midst of my slobbery somehow I think I'm going to get my act together and create a routine, or I guess people call it a training regimen. Next thing you know I've entered my credit card information and hit submit. "Non-refundable," goes unnoticed in the small print and there you have it, I'm running a 50k (or two) off the couch.

It's not unthinkable, I'm fit, lazy but fit. And I do actually like running. I also really like chicken pot pie and laying on the floor in the corner of my living room where the sun creeps in.. but those things aren't that helpful. 

Regardless, it's now 12 weeks out and I have it in my mind I'm going to train. I've downloaded a training plan from Mountain Project and have put weekly goals into my trendy passion planner. So here goes nothing, I'll either be super prepared or just wing it.

Follow along as I try my hardest at #makingtime.

Winter Work Outs

As the days get shorter and the air cools off it's harder and harder to get outside to fit in exercise. I use to be a huge gym rat (see photo below) and would prefer going to the gym and grunting through an hour of weights than going on a long outdoor adventure.

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Those times have changed but now behind a desk for 8 hours a day it's harder to find the time for outdoor adventures everyday–especially as winter approaches.

Looking for a quick and easy ass kicker no matter your fitness level? Try this:

Equipment Needed:

  • Weighted Medicine Ball (I used a 10lb ball, use whatever you feel comfortable with)
  • Small 16 inch box or step
  • 10-25lb weight (I used a 10kg weight)

Warm Up:

10 minutes of cardio

Strength: 4 Rounds

12x lunges while holding weight overhead with straight arms

12x air squats

Endurance: 5 Rounds

30 Sec Wall Ball (With Medicine ball)

30 sec tuck hold

30 sec touch-jump-touch

30 sec tuck hold

30 sec hippity-hop

30 sec tuck hold

60 sec rest

 

I've been lying.

I've been lying to all of you. I can't speak for the rest of the world out there but, I'm bursting at the seams and I just can't keep lying. Everyday I post, tweet and touch you, whoever you are, with my images and words and I can't keep lying to you.

I'm lying about my glamorous life here in the mountains. Most days I'm hulled up in the extra bedroom of the house I rent, slamming away on this keyboard, squinting at my computer screen and becoming weaker, less in shape and paler.

I'm lying that I reach the top of mountains with a smile on my face. Most of the adventures require some serious suffering, a whole lot of nerves and a shitload of self-talk to over come my paralyzing fear. I cry on 99% of these days. I cry because I'm scared, because I'm hungry and thirsty, because my knees ache, because I've been standing on the side of this damn mountain for over 6 hours and I just want a damn cheeseburger and a beer. Yes, I cry. (I am so sorry Brady).

Up with the sun on a different kind of adventure today.

A photo posted by Monica Purington (@tomgirl) on

I'm lying that one day I am galavanting in the mountains and the next I am sitting in the line-up somewhere on the coast. In my 27 years I have, twice, made last minute extensive travel plans that bring me from one amazing place to another. I live in the mountains, I try to go to the ocean as much as physically possible, but I'm poor as shit and travel ain't cheap.

I'm lying that my relationship is gold, that we just climb mountains together, go on exotic beach vacations and romp around in the snow like two love birds. It looks beautiful in photos; gazing into each others eyes, laughing on the beach and smiling in a warm embrace at the top of a snowy mountain. But, I am only human. I am hopeful that our relationship is gold but I am mostly trying to be brave because I'm afraid that it's not. We argue. We disagree. We are human.

HOURS of border traffic has us basking in all our Baja glory. #landlockeddrifter #JHinBAJA

A photo posted by Monica Purington (@tomgirl) on

I'm lying that I even know how to surf. Had I not started dating Brady three years ago I would have never gone on a surf trip, I would have never tried (drowned) as hard as I did to learn and I would still be here daydreaming about how cool it would be to know how to surf. I can barely duck dive a shortboard and a successful day is making it out to the lineup.

I'm lying that I am confident and put together. I still have no idea who I am. I constantly wonder what I was put on this earth for, where my place is here and what I need to maintain a state of happiness.

Always happy to head back to good ol' Wyoming. #thatsWY

A photo posted by Monica Purington (@tomgirl) on

I've been lying that I am in full support of female partners. I mostly adventure with a (very specific) male partner and tend to stay away from female partners. Maybe it's trust issues, maybe it's group dynamics and maybe I'm to blame.

I find myself stagnant at the kitchen table just scrolling through strangers pictures and being jealous. Thinking I should be doing more, getting out more, getting more done everyday. But isn't it all just a lie? We're all so "busy," but, are we? We waste so much energy and happiness dwelling on what we aren't doing and what they are doing but what are we trying to prove?

I'm not hating. I will continue to post daily about something I may or may not being doing that actual day. I will still scroll through outdoor related hashtags and "engage" with total strangers and I will still feel good about myself when I get over 100 likes on a photo. No, I'm not hating, I'm just clearing the air and letting you know what happens behind the smiling summit photos.

I love breathing in fresh air, I love the feeling once the day is over and I love the adrenaline I get from being scared. I do it because I love it, but it isn't always pretty.

Worn Out | Stio CFS Boardpant

From the beach to Teton peaks...

Okay, that is cheesy as hell, but seriously. Stio has made a functional multi-purpose outdoor pant that doesn't look like a "hiker." It's about time outdoor world! 

This jogger style technical pant, made of Sphero™ HO stretch poplin, looks just as great as it functions. A perfect summer weight stretch fabric breaths, wicks and drys leaving you confused as to whether you should head for the beach or start climbing tall Teton peaks. I've personally done both in these pants and have been really happy with both their function and style. 

A slim cut that is somehow also boyfriend-ish (especially while utilizing the hidden cuff bungee) is severely flattering. And don't be fooled by their style forward design, these pants move with you. The stretch is great even while rock climbing and making that tricky heel hook, trust me, just go for it - the gusseted crotch has got your back(side). 

I am so pleased to have finally found a pant for both cruising town streets and climbing in the Tetons - especially one that doesn't have awkward cargo pockets, that aren't khaki colors and that look stylish as all hell no matter the location. Cheers Stio!

Sizing questions? Leave a comment below or send a tweet to @mmpurington

#upandoverstatelines | The Salewa Ultra Train

Years of being a Salewa fan, a company that truly builds shoes for the mountains, I could not wait to get my hands on a pair of kicks from their all new running line up.  

Fresh out of the box, Brady and I took the all the Ultra Train's  for a 20(ish) mile test drive up and over the Teton range. Starting from the Death Canyon trailhead we ran 1 mile to the Phelps lake overlook and then down to the mouth of Death Canyon, a mix of dirt single track and loose scree.

From the mouth of the canyon we started the 7 mile, 4,000 vertical foot climb up the blistering hot Death Canyon trail to the Static Peak Divide. This is where I was thankful the Ultra Train's were highly breathable, keeping my feet cool and dry when they should have been a total swamp pool.

Rocky dirt switchbacks lead us along a deliciously cold water source (which makes carrying little water and a Steripen the ultimate set up for the Tetons) until we reached the Static Peak trail fork and turn to climb up and around Albright Peak. The trail turned to mostly rock with about 300 vertical feet left. Views of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming to the east and the Jedidiah Smith Wilderness in Idaho to the West, a 360 view of my own utopia. Above tree line and finding footing on Teton granite, I came to find full confidence in the SHARP! (watch out for rubbing your calfs and ankles) Michelin tread.

At 10,788 ft we found ourselves feeling accomplished and perhaps in danger of being exposed to weather and quickly turned toward Alaska Basin. 

From here we began the 12 miles gradual descent through what you would imagine if the Wizard of Oz took place in the mountains; beautiful meadows full of wildflowers, babbling streams and small alpine lakes in a massive basin surrounded by the ominous peaks of the Tetons.  

I wouldn't say it was an easy outing, but well worth it for the views. 

Coming in at 8.1 ounces the Ultra Train is aggressive for its petit size. The Michelin sole is sharp! and gives you all the confidence in the world while boulder hopping. The light water resistant coating keeps your feet safe from splashing across alpine streams and with an 8 mm drop (2 mm more than the La Sportiva Bushido) I felt like it was the perfect amount of cushion. 

Just under 20 miles in mixed terrain and two pairs of feet, blister free!  

 

Check out a recap of our snap story from the @SalewaTeam snapchat: 

Questions?

Fire away in the comments below.


Getch you some...

THE tom's | WONDERWOMAN Jax Mariash Koudele

More commonly known as Dam's these are the woman that live the Tomgirl lifestyle and speak the Tomgirl language. So dam's, meet The Tom's.

I met Jax, 4 years ago through her (then boyfriend) husband, Lance, who is a photographer. Lance and I were collaborating on some shots for his client, Trew, and in comes Jax, schlepping a strobe up Teton pass to ensure Lance, "got the shot." I knew from this moment, as Jax, giggled and zealously carried gear up a mountain that a) I was going to really like this woman and b) she was up to something radical. 

So, a few years have passed and I've followed Jax and Lance's story as they move back and forth between Hood River, OR and Jackson, WY. I watched Jax as she: ran every day for a year, to promote overall healthy activity and raise funds for LiveSTRONG; started her own marketing company [Mariash Marketing]; then opened her own roaster/coffee shop [Stoked Roasters] in Hood River.  Now she is going for a huge accomplishment of not only completing the Grand Slam Plus as the first female ever but she wants to win it! - (and so far she is).

Needless to say, I've looked up to Jax as a strong female athlete, entrepreneur and a unbelievably positive female role model. Holy sh*t this woman is amazing.

So, what is this lofty endeavor Jax has set out on? The grand slam plus... Is that a baseball thing or...? The Grand Slam Plus is a series of five 250K, multi-day foot races across the roughest terrain in the world. It includes the four 4 Deserts Grand Slam races, plus the Roving Race - all to be completed in the same calendar year. In the 14 years of the 4 Deserts race series, three men have completed the entire Grand Slam Plus - Jax is determined to join those men and be the first woman ever to complete the feat, all to raise awareness for the LymeLight Foundation

Although not as well known as  Kit DesLauries goal of skiing the 7 summits or Melissa Arnot climbing Everest without O — I'd say it ranks up there in athletic endeavors. 

Jax has completed two races so far, finishing 2nd in Sri Lanka and just recently finishing 1st in Sahara, Africa.

The remainder of the races are...

·       Gobi March: June 19-25, 2016

·       Atacama Crossing: Oct. 2-8, 2016

·       Antarctica: Nov. 18-24, 2016

 

 Jax is fired up and ready to hit the Grand Slam Plus out of the park!

Jax is fired up and ready to hit the Grand Slam Plus out of the park!

 

I had the pleasure of catching up the Jax and diving in on a few questions on motivation, training and a couple of the "luxury" items she keeps with her during her races...

What inspired you to set this goal?

 

The inspiration behind the Grand Slam Plus is two fold for me. First, I have always been the type to desire to do something so big on this planet that it left a stamp on it that was full of inspiration and motivation for individuals to reach for their highest potential and get outside to explore. I figure the more that I can push folks to move their bodies then the healthier and more fit our planet will become. Second, is to push to raise mass awareness and funds for Lyme Disease via the LymeLight Foundation.  Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease in the world and has been reported in every state besides Hawaii and found on every continent besides Antarctica. When a few very close friends of mine were diagnosed with the disease I couldn’t help but get more involved. Lyme is extremely hard to diagnose and the side effects are really awful. I was troubled when I learned that most insurances do not cover treatment for Lyme and that families are often left on their own to battle the disease.  When I started to see the vast extent of treatment protocols and the suffering that goes into this disease I began to get more involved. This started with riding my bike 100 miles at the Ride For Lyme in the Marin Century Ride. I also am honored to have Stoked roasters sponsor the riders out there. With the 4 Deserts races there is a lot of synergy between the challenges that I am facing in the desert and Lyme patients pushing through their own ultra-marathon of treatment protocols and fighting against relentless symptoms. As I battle the elements of adversity out on the course, I feel that my journey is paralleling theirs and I am helping them to reach their own finish line. I can’t tell you how empowering it is for me to push on my quest with the Grand Slam Plus and I hope to become a beacon of hope, strength and tenacity for them to push on. I hope I can raise enough funds to give out at least one medical grant to a child or young adult suffering from Lyme through the LymeLight Foundation. I hope that this grant will allow him/her to heal so that they can get back outside to adventure and explore. Personally, my very close friend Scott and his family have been very affected by Lyme. I have watched them push through relentless symptoms, which at times has them completely debilitated. It is so hard to see folks you love so much suffering. It is also eye opening when you see the treatment protocols that they all must go through for the rest of their lives in order to stay on their feet. I hope that this epic feat helps to bring the awareness needed to this disease so that folks can heal. 

When did you decide you wanted to complete The Grand Slam Plus?

Well Monica, low and behold It seems like in everything in my life, I just get an idea and jump in full force in a can’t stop won’t stop attitude that is probably legit crazy! For the GSP, I was bouncing ideas back and forth with the 4 Deserts race crew on what we could come up with that would be so outright epic that it would move and shake the masses with inspiration and awareness. Low and behold they presented this idea to me of the first lady in the world to complete the GSP. I thought about it for a few days and then low and behold with 5 weeks to go before hopping into Sri Lanka for race #1 I signed up for the gig. This meant 5 weeks to juggle skiing and skimo training with adding running back into the regimen as I usually take the winters off or with very low mileage. I had to hustle like wildfire to make it happen and somehow build the strength and stamina to jump right in. The climate along was super scary because the first race was 80-99% humidity in 84-95% humidity and we live in an arctic tundra it seems in the winter with ice and snow everywhere and temps ranging from -20 to positive 20. Its totally nuts, exciting, scary and a huge rush all at the same time. 

 

What has your training been like for these races?

So for Sri Lanka, training was a bit off the norm. I was really trying to enjoy the ski season still which threw a wrench in the whole gamut. It looked something like running 30ish miles a week, skimo training, and skiing. Skimo training is fun but it just isn’t the same as running so it put me in a bit of a downside. With it being the first race in the series I knew I just needed to finish and I knew I was strong enough no matter the case to be competitive with the added cross training. For Namibia after a recovery period I jumped into a more legit program. It involves around 85 miles a week and has an active recovery day of 3-4 super slow miles, 2 speed days, and 4 longer distance days. Some days runs are split in two and others it is all in one. It just depends on how my body feels. In addition, I also run around town with my pack fully loaded with my equipment to train with the load. Otherwise your body is in serious shock the first few days. Between Namibia and Gobi the there is only 6 weeks which is totally wild. The first week I just ate and didn’t run at all. The 2nd I ran around 60 miles and now in this 3rd week I will bump to 85 miles again. The next two weeks will be the same followed by a taper week as I travel to China. With such a small amount of recovery it is really important to listen to my body though. So if at any time I feel mentally of physically exhausted then I just toss that day of training out the window and rest. 

 

How do you stay motivated?

Some days I really wonder how I stay motivated a lot. Especially with training at this level over and over again for 5 of these races. I would really have to say that when I feel like not training for a motivational purpose, I immediately think about all of the Lyme Patients that I am running in honor of and it fizzles away. Additionally I feel a responsibility to uphold to my mission to inspire the masses to explore and get outside. Part of that is leading that example myself. If I am not our there getting after it, a part of me feels like I am letting my fans down on the drive to explore. 

 

Tell us something weird you bring with you on each race

So as all can expect, luxury items are few out there because you are carrying everything on your back. It is always amazing to see what folks bring out there on the course as their items that they cannot live without. For me, they include the following; Trigger Point Therapy ball, toothbrush and a super mini tube toothpaste that you get in your kit when you fly internationally, super light flip flops, a tin cup if we won’t get water bottles, a wire blender ball for blending my protein ponder, iPod shuffle and headphones, ear plugs, sleeping pad, small tin of nivea lotion, one extra pair of shorts, and a piece of a microfiber towel, and most importantly notes that lance sneaks in my bag to read every day. Man that is a lot of luxury actually. Every time I think of tossing any of that out I end up slipping it back in right before we leave for camp 1. Lance helped me to realize that even if it is extra weight, there are certain items that in the end will really improve your race performance so you might as well bring them. The most important of those is the .5lb sleeping pad. It literally changed my world and my sleep out there which lead to a better performance. 

 Image provided by Jax of all of the items that fit in her 18lb pack while she runs each event!

Image provided by Jax of all of the items that fit in her 18lb pack while she runs each event!

 

And your favorite running accessory/gear?

As long as it is charged, out there I would say my favorite accessory becomes my iPod shuffle. I wait until the last checkpoint of the day and then I get the gift of jamming to tunes for the last stage. It helps when you are low on energy and famished to just check out and rock out. It was essential in this past race in Namibia to get me through every day. The competition and pressure up top was so intense that it helped me to just stay within myself and in the zone.

 Jax Mariash Koudele running a lap on her town hill, Snow King, in Jackson, WY.

Jax Mariash Koudele running a lap on her town hill, Snow King, in Jackson, WY.

Dying to know something else? Ask Jax in the comments below and she will tweet you a response!

Follow along as Jax runs around the world to raise awareness for Lyme disease, prove female mental toughness to the world, and is a fucking Wonder Woman!