March 30, 2010

Atalanta Athleticwear Explores New Adventures

"The goddess of travel and adventure, Atalanta was a legend for her athletic prowess, as well as her courage and willingness to stand up for her personal values. Sought after by many, she preferred first to see the world and ran like the wind in an effort to earn this right. "
(Atalanta, Greek marble statue; in the Louvre)

The passage above is from the Atalanta Athleticwear site where I found an exceptional running skirt. Over the last few years I purchased several commitment skirts in different colors. The sizing was always the same between orders & colors; the attention to craft & construction was always impeccable. 

After inconsistent orders from and Skirt Sports, I've determined that Atalanta Athleticwear takes the gold.

In my quest for exceptional running skirts, I did not discover any athletic skirt—with compression shorts beneath—that exceeded the quality & comfort of the commitment garment. The commitment is for women who wish to wave so long to chub rub and hello long- and short-run comfort!

The committment skirt has two outside secure pockets with shorts beneath that don't travel; it's my choice for long runs in both cool and humid weather.  

"Does this skirt make my butt look fast?" tm

With sadness I read an e-mail from the owner that she will begin to liquidate her inventory. As she explores opportunities, I hope she finds a way to keep some of our favorites available for the long term. 

  Thank you, Heather! Thank you, Atalanta!

Heather, of Atalanta Athleticwear, e-mailed her coustomers: 

"It is quite difficult for me to say this, but the time has come for atalanta to reach for a different golden apple.  As many of you know, atalanta athleticwear is really just me - a one woman show, and was started because I could never find anything that I wanted to run in. This has been great fun, but I still have a regular job.  Circumstances in my life no longer allow me to serve as chief marketer, customer service representative, shipping department, product developer, operations manager, saleswoman extraordinaire, webmaster, bookkeeper...

March 28, 2010

Spring Fells Trail Ultra

After training run & hike along the Seven Sisters course last weekend, my 8-mile loop around the Skyline Trail in the Middlesex Fells felt "easy" by comparison. Of course, I only leisurely wogged one lap in the Skyline to take photos of the Spring Fells Trail Ultra:

If images above aren't visible:

After Bogie D stepped down from directing the Fells Trail Races, as he'd done for several successful years prior, Steve L took over and dropped the 8 mile distance leaving just the ultra distances of 32 or 40 miles.  Nothing less.
Capped at 25 pre-registered runners, about 20 "lovers of long distance" showed for the 7 a.m. start.  It was 19 degrees and sunny; the trails were ice-free and not muddy. 

If video above is not visible:

Congrats to all starters, finishers 
and everyone in between.

2010 Results.

March 20, 2010

Spring's Huckleberry

A bunch of surprises this week led up to this fabulous first day of spring. 

Apart from learning of the pinched nerve in my back, which is on the mend, spring is fresh and blooming. To quote a friend, “you just can’t seem to catch a break!

This seems to be the theme of the last few months but why droop; I am relieved nothing is broken and with any setback —minuscule or mountainous—I’d rather focus on the positive. 

Life   is   becoming  a   whole   lot   better.
I    l o v e   s p r i n g !

First, my grant came through to participate in what I refer to as Summer Art Camp for Adults. While my summer takes shape, it appears I’ll be spending a lot of time in the Green Mountain state between Solar Fest, ANE Workshops, the Vermont 100, and visiting family and friends. 
I love VT!

Also, on Friday I met my baby niece Brooke for the first time; she is a peach flower of adorableness! Then, I stopped in REI for new bicycle shoes and also discovered two new gel flavors: Jet Blackberry by GU and Hammer’s Montana Huckleberry. 

By Saturday, daylight savings settled into my waking routine and I was up and out to Bradley Palmer to run with some of my T.U.G. peeps, Dan and Rob, for what turned into a fun Mud Fest 4000Hello, VT 50—2009. 

Our meeting spot(s) were flooded out:

Deciding we didn’t want to start our long run by passing through three feet of moving water, we headed to another lot. After a few crazy loops, loopy conversations, and moss-inspired Haikus (I'll keep those to myself), I shoved off after 2:15 hours on the trails. Dan and Rob dove back in to wrestle another 10k. 

I visited New England Running Company in Beverly before satisfying my burrito fixation at Rawbert’s Organic Garden with their Guacamole Burrito. 

...And what an unexpected surprise to lunch with the Callaghans & company!

If I feel fit in the early morning, I'll head east tomorrow to the Mount Holyoke Range for some training. Hopefully, my jaunt along the 7 Sisters won't be a huckleberry over my persimmon

Note: This expression refers to something that's just a little bit beyond one’s reach or abilities.

In Just—Spring

a poem by ee.cummings
[in Just-]
when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman 
whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


balloonman          whistles

March 04, 2010

Out of Hibernation

Spring is my favorite season with fall a close second. But if it isn't going to snow anymore, then I just assume encourage my dafooldils to keep pushing their way through the blanket of mulch and leaves. 

A New Englander to the core, I hold out hope for one more snow storm before the end of March. Flowers or snow,  I  emerge this March from hibernation— from my bear-like "winter lethargy." 

My 2010 training has been groggy from the start with about 60 miles in January, along with 10 days of cross-training, rowing, and cross-country skiing.  

February looked increasingly promising until I added one little straw that broke this back. Not literally.  

In addition to training, I moved a lot of furniture in Dec. & Jan., including one especially large metal flat file  that was stacked on top of a solid oak flat file. Wake up call. Bring, bring... Darwin Awards. After a few days rest I started up my usual winter work out, treated myself to very deep tissue message and entered a weekend road race. That was the straw

After 17 months of running  exclusively off-road, I thought it would be fun to run in the Bradford Valentine  Run. Good run! Bad timing. My pace was conversational & I felt comfortable throughout. With a mile to go, I thought I might pick up the pace a bit as I felt way, too, comfortable.  I love the fast down-hill finish & even kicked it as I tried to pass the lady in the tutu. All's well that ends well. Until later that day when I had some trouble.  Ice and Ibuprofen...Then to the doctor's office for strict orders, a diagnosis (back muscle spasm) and some muscle relaxants....

The doctor looked at me and in his Russian accent delivered the news, " No running, no rowing, to biking, no skiing. Nothing below the waist."  A pause. A look of concern (me to him).  "Emily, because I know you need to do something, I give you these exercises and gentle stretches.... And this prescription."  
Alas, I rested for two weeks, which felt like a winter hibernation. On day 15, I decided on a little test run, followed the next day by a sampler at  Dan's Fat Ass Birthday Suit Run.  

 As I attempt to increase my training, please do not stop & ask me for directions nor offer to give me a ride—
no matter how lost you are or how lethargic I appear:
Got snacks...?