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Posted by on Jun 28, 2011 in Trail Running | 0 comments

54 days to Leadville! The physical and mental ups and downs…

54 days to Leadville! The physical and mental ups and downs…

Sometimes I find myself comfortably settling into my own routine of working, sleeping, eating, running and spending quality time with Andrew. I love all of these things but  there are only so many hours in the day and with an hour commute to work  it eats up much of my time.  So planning my day is crucial to fitting my training in for the week so everyone is happy. Living in such routine can become stale and the motivation I once felt for Leadville 100 can slowly start to unravel.


Ah you can see for miles in Kamloops




That’s why getting away and visiting my super great friends in Kamloops, BC is the breath of fresh air I needed a couple weeks ago. It`s refreshing to run and hike somewhere different then the lush and fresh coastal rain forest of the North Shore and Squamish,BC.  Kamloops is the desert of BC with hot dry temperatures, sage bush, cacti and smooth flowing single track.  Sunshine, no rain as well as positive and fun company is just what I needed.

Elle and Nick

Elle and Nick and there three cats greeted me with a cup of tea.  They are the only people I know where we can drink a copious amount of tea anytime of day.  We caught up on life, love and reminisced about the good old days.  Elle and I met and became roommates in Thunder Bay during 2001 for a year before she left to the east coast while I choose to venture out west.  A few years later Nick and Elle moved out to Kamloops, BC to start a new adventure together full of great friends and fantastic riding. Over the years I have driven up to run, skate ski, mountain bike, hike, eat and drink tea with them.
Aside from a cold, we were able to run and hike through the hills of Kamloops.  I left feeling rejuvenated and motivated about training again. Hanging around their active friends and the positive encouragement from them always leaves me feeling inspired and motivated to continue training again when I get home.

inside the old cabin during our run

discovering an abandon cabin
























Elle and I running part of comfortably numb last week in Whistler

After I ran the Comfortably Numbcourse yesterday (which was 25km of gradual switch back, mostly soft terrain with some rocks and roots leading the way) doubt began to enter my mind abut leadville. Ok maybe sheer panic is a better word. It’s been a month since Sun Mountain 50km when I ran almost half the course with sharp shooting and grabbing pain down the side and front of my leg. At times it felt like my leg was cramping and I had tremendous weakness in my leg. I knew that this was coming from my back, a nerve root lesion affecting L4. Basically, lumber vertebra four is compressing the nerve because of many factors which I won’t go into detail now.   Over the last month, things haven’t been that bad but I still can’t seem to run more then a few hours with pain down the front of the leg.  I have been seeing Kelly a physio at Moveo for the last month and it has improved but I keep upping my time on my feet which doesn’t allow my back to completely heal.   The only positive thing is I can hike or run up hill without causing sharp pain. The therapist in me thinks I should give it a rest for a week or two but the athlete in me keeps pushing through. It’s up to me and how well and consistent I am with my  exercises.









after the race

This brings me back to the 25km trail race I ran yesterday. Things were feeling really good until I hit the two hour mark and the pain started. At least I only had 8 or 9km left but this left me thinking how on earth could I get through Leadville 100. The point is I can’t like this and I don’t like the word can’t but its true . I felt a bit defeated during the race but at some point I realized its not the end of the world.
Regardless I still enjoyed the run immensely,  and highly recommend this point to point race.  If I focused to much on the pain during the 25km race  then I really began to fall apart mentally. So I shifted my mind to more inspiring thoughts. My mind thought of the Western state 100 race the other day and how inspiring it is to hear Ellie come from behind and win by 20 minutes or how Nicola and Gretel ran from the finish to the start and back again in this race, or how the last person Marla from Western States finished with three minutes to spare.  Yes, I look at all the results even the ones at the end because that will be me out there fighting to finish and regardless how fast you are moving 30 hours is a long haul.   All of these people, whether I know them or not inspire me to keep on running, stay positive and mostly to have fun out there.

Jen Turner and I after the race enjoying the sunshine














Have fun out there

Kristie Elliot

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Posted by on Jun 20, 2011 in Trail Running | 0 comments

First Race finished in almost 3 years!

First Race finished in almost 3 years!

Training has been super,  thanks to Nicola Gildersleeve on crafting a program for myself.  She keeps me motivated and properly trained as the tendency for  myself is to always do more then I should per week.  Since she can see what I do through the computer training program it also keeps me accountable to not just myself but someone else.  Last year I attempted Fat Dog 100 in which I quit after 90km or so.  I didn’t run any races that year before Fat Dog 100, in fact I haven’t run a race since the knee knacker in 2008.  I was injured in 2009 and decided to run Fat Dog 100 because of the amazing beauty of Cathedral provincial park and Manning park.  For me I planned it as an adventure with my friend  then as race.

Winthrop, Wa

So this year I have added a few races and the first one I ran was Sun Mountain 50km on May 22nd. (almost a month ago, slow at posting) I went down with Nicola and a bunch of amazing trail running girls to Withrop, Washington.  I was excited to be around some positive girl power energy as well as finishing and running my first race in a few years.  The race itself was lots of fun and quite beautiful.  Sage bush lead the way up the hilly single track with wide open views all around me.  A totally different experience then running amongst the cool dense coastal forests of BC.  After some doubt in the first hour of the race, I finished the race with a huge smile on my face as I was met with high fives from all the girls.  Of course the pizza, beer and live band was an amazing plus to this running event.

The girls waiting for me to come in after their amazing finishes

Hi fives from Nicola, Cathy, Gretel and Shauna

I have to admit it was nice running with people again.  I tend to do most if not all my training by myself.  I enjoyed talking to people along the way and cheering racers on who were passing by me.  The first hour of the race as well as the first hour of any training run feels sluggish and slow.  It takes my lungs and heart rate anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to feel warmed up and steady.  Perhaps this is why I felt a bit doubtful in the first hour of the race.  “If I feel like this, out of breath, out of shape  and wanting to walk then there is no way I am going to finish”  are the thoughts that entered my head as many people passed me and I passed no one in the first hour.  The first hour went by and just like magic, my lungs opened up as though they were expanding and I was able to settle into a perfect and constant rhythm.  As each hour of the race passed by I felt stronger and fitter.  All the doubt faded, as I slowly passed people all throughout the race.  The last six miles was the best part of the race for me.  I felt strong on the climb, fast on the descent and happy all the way to the finish.

So far a good start towards my ultimate goal of finishing Leadville trail 100

after the race, having fun

Have fun out there!!


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Posted by on Jun 1, 2011 in Favorite articles, Trail Running | 2 comments

Hello world, on trail running, film and writing…

Hello world, on trail running, film and writing…

Since I was a six I have always kept a journal.  In fact my first private thoughts were contained in a red Annie diary that had a silver lock and key, protecting them from curious minds.  Inside was filled with movie pictures of little Annie with quotes of friendship underneath her.  Though the movie was before my time I remember watching little orphan Annie at some point in my childhood and admiring her and all her friends.  The first entry was printed in big letters covering two lines about visiting a friend.  Since then I have always kept a journal, all through the over dramatic years of high school ( mostly talked about boys) to more intelligent thoughts leading into early adulthood.  I have kept them all and on occasion I will open one of my colourful journals and read a story from a moment in time.

Now I have decided to share some of my story with who ever wants to listen.  I’ll still keep a written journal for internal reflection as there is something romantic about writing with a pen and paper.  I have recently started reading other peoples blogs and have been inspired by their stories.  Everyone has a story and most of the time we think our own story is not worth telling but to others it may brighten their days, inspire to try new things, fill them with laughter or motivate them to push past their limits.  I know others have inspired and touched me by reading and hearing their stories.  The next few months will mostly focus on my biggest challenge: Leadville Trail 100 Below is a video that my boyfriend Andrew and I made about my love of trail running and my goal to finish Leadville.

The video started out as a suggestion made by Andrew to do something for my work while producing a film that he could use to showcase his skills with video.  It started off small and slowly transformed into an epic first time filming adventure. He shot over 16 hours of film between nine locations and spent close to 30 hours editing a four and half minute piece. It probably didn’t help that I was hovering over his shoulder now and then making suggestions.  My unexpected part other then to run and to speak was finding places to shoot that had either great light or would make a great scene like the river crossing.  All the creative shots where thought of by Andrew, though I had input into some of the shots.  Andrew is so patient to work with and very meticulous as I had to cross the freezing river 20 times to get the shots he wanted for the river crossing sequence.  The title Set Free was appropriately chosen because running brought out confidence in me as a child (I was really shy) and as an adult, running gave me a chance to strip away all the layers down to the core root and become free and vulnerable as nature intended us to be. I had so much fun working with Andrew on this short film that I want to take a course at the Gulf Island film school for fun one of these years.  We are never too old to try and learn something new.

We plan to document the lead up and aftermath of the race with another short film.  In the meantime, I’ll share the funny, scary, inspiring people and challenging road to Leadville, among other events that may come up along the way.

Have fun out there!!!


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