The Tale of the Mountain Snobs

By September 30, 2014 Ramblings, Travels
mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Once upon a time, there was a girl who grew up in the mountains of New York. She loved them, and they were hers.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

The girl lived in the Shawangunk Mountains every summer growing up

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Part trail runner, part climber, part mountain goat

Then one day, she took a trip to Colorado. And the mountains there were majestic. They had snow and peaks that touched the clouds, and they enchanted her.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Giant mountain

So when her time came to get married, the girl took her boy back to those big, magical mountains in Colorado, where he fell under their spell, too.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Mountain lake wedding

And enchanted they stayed for many years. Every chance they got, the girl and the boy ventured to those big mountains.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Crystal-clear waters

They hiked them.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Rocky Mountain National Park

Slept in them.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

North Fork Cascade, Grand Tetons National Park

Photographed them.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Banff National Park

And they were theirs.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Bear Lake, RMNP

The girl and the boy lived in Alabama, near so many pretty, closer mountains. But those mountains weren’t good enough.

They were short.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Baby mountain

They didn’t touch the clouds.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Need a step stool there, friends?

And they had no snow.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Are those even peaks?

So they were never visited. Everything east of the Mississippi was scoffed at, looked over, forgotten about.

But then one day, the girl and the boy decided to pay the Great Smoky Mountains a visit. And they soon realized that these mountains were magical too.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Ok, this view from the tent doesn’t suck

They were green.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

The Secret Garden

And mossy.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Campsite sunrise

And bald.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

You can borrow my hat, Jane

And had views forever.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Looking out into Tennessee

The girl couldn’t believe that she had never given these mountains a chance. They too held adventures, and were only a short drive away.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Lunch and a nap

All those years, the mountains east of the Mississippi had been ignored. But it was finally time to make up for lost moments.

And so new states were visited.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Oh hey there, Cloudland Canyon in Georgia

New trails were explored.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Finding elevation wherever we can

And new dirt was slept on.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

Great Smoky sleeping

These mountains were not giants, but they were enough. And the girl and the boy were reminded that all mountains are worthy of love.

mountain snob, snowcaps, Shawangunk Mountains, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Bald, Jane Bald, eastern US mountains

New mountain friends

Sunday Funday Favorites

By September 28, 2014 Uncategorized
Robert Frost, Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening, foot tattoo, quote tattoo, NonStop Art, and miles to go, Whole Foods, hatch chilis, Garth Brooks

Smell that? That’s the first week of October coming ‘atcha, ladies and gentlemen! It’s full of trail races and football games and pumpkins and frights and campfires and adventures. Isn’t it lovely?

I just got back from traipsing around some mountains in North Carolina again, because I can’t seem to get enough of that fresh air. So to keep riding this mountain high for a few more hours at least, let me share some things that I’ve been crushing on lately:

My tattoo—Say whaaaaat? This girl finally went out and got the tattoo she’s wanted for years. And it’s badass. And it didn’t hurt (I swear on my running shoes.)

Robert Frost, Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening, foot tattoo, quote tattoo, NonStop Art, and miles to go, Whole Foods, hatch chilis, Garth Brooks

“And miles to go…”

Robert Frost, Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening, foot tattoo, quote tattoo, NonStop Art, and miles to go, Whole Foods, hatch chilis, Garth Brooks

And it looks fucking amazing with heels!

Garth Brooks—Do you have an artist that you forget about for a while, then fall hopelessly in love with all over again? Garth’s my man. How can you not sing along to “Friends in Low Places” or get all teary-eyed at “The Dance?”

Robert Frost, Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening, foot tattoo, quote tattoo, NonStop Art, and miles to go, Whole Foods, hatch chilis, Garth Brooks

This. On repeat. All day.

Mac & cheese with hatch chilis—Because everything that Whole Foods says is gospel, I tried making this mac & cheese recipe and became ob.sessed. Fake, powdered cheese is vegan, right?

Robert Frost, Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening, foot tattoo, quote tattoo, NonStop Art, and miles to go, Whole Foods, hatch chilis, Garth Brooks

Get in mah belly

REI jacket—Since the ‘Ham is REI-deprived, I made a stop at the Asheville store a few weeks back and snagged this jacket on mega-clearance. Nevermind that it’s still swimming weather, I am READY for fall!

Robert Frost, Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening, foot tattoo, quote tattoo, NonStop Art, and miles to go, Whole Foods, hatch chilis, Garth Brooks

Pretending it’s not 85 degrees out

Camping—For the past two months, the hubs and I have packed Pokey full of camping gear, picked a spot on the map, and headed off for short weekend adventures. I kind of love my tent more than my loft right now…

Robert Frost, Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening, foot tattoo, quote tattoo, NonStop Art, and miles to go, Whole Foods, hatch chilis, Garth Brooks

Luxurious car camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park this weekend

So yeah. That’s my Sunday rambling for y’all. What’s been on your favorites list lately?

What is Cosplay? My Weekend at Scarefest

By September 22, 2014 Ramblings, Travels
Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

OK, so I’m skipping an entire month’s worth of events, but I just have to share my weekend experiences with the world. And it’s Monday, and everyone needs a laugh or two.

If you follow any of my social media accounts, you probably were like, “what in the hell have you been up to, Tanya?” when your feeds starting blowing up with pictures of ghoulish creatures and Sally selfies. My company also happens to publish ghost hunting books (shameless plug—check us out!) and attends horror conventions. When I first heard this, I could not volunteer fast enough to be the one to attend. So my coworker Liliane packed our bags full of her incredible costumes, loaded up on coffee, and jetsetted us to Scarefest in Lexington, KY.

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Our awesomely spooky booth

I kept a stream of consciousness in my notebook, tweet-style, so that I wouldn’t forget a single detail or thought that crossed my mind. Here are most of them:

Liliane set me up! She knew what this would be like and the attention that I would get.

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Liliane lives for dressing up!

Wearing a white shirt at a horror convention makes you stand out

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

White is no!

Forget about a red carpet—these stars walked the “black carpet”

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star, Mike Myers

This sweet old man was Mike Myers in Halloween 2 – he’s the one who haunts your dreams

Zombie baby dolls are a thing I am totally on board with—kind of like the mannequin family

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

“Hold me and love me and let me eat your brains while you sleep”

Can someone remind me why dead animals in bottles are an attraction?

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

This little piggy never made it to market

I feel like I just walked into a Stefan sketch

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

This.

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

And this.

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

And this.

My one (non-work) goal was to determine if ghosts are real—I did not find out the answer

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Clown anxiety, on the other hand, is a very real thing for some

The proper response to “I hear” is not to ask “hear what?”

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

This totally reminded me of “Beast with the Four Dirty Paws” by Of Monsters and Men

Ghost poop, condom business cards, and revealing costumes are the norm here

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Who doesn’t want a skeleton with a GoPro up its ass?

Don’t laugh at paranormal videos in front of the ghost hunters

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

This friend was a ghost hunter in the booth next to us. He spoke to “the Devil.” I laughed. I’m a terrible person.

Why is everyone injured?! Do ghosts attack non-believers?

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…

Things you only hear at a con—”My hobbit left, I need to find him!”

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

He found his hobbit

So. Many. Mullets.

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

And bald-headed masks

No sir, you may not give me a foot rub

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Can Stormtroopers be sexy?

Children can be psychic too

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

…and frightening

Cosplay makes you famous

 

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

This guy was apparently in Season 4 of Walking Dead. He isn’t Daryl, so I don’t know him.

Has anyone ever been to a DragonCon or ComicCon or anything? Isn’t it the weirdest/coolest thing ever?

Some more shots, if you haven’t had enough:

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

There was a Jason Aldeen concert in the same convention center – full of…country-lovers. This clown terrorized them. It was wonderful.

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Princess Christopher and crew did my beautiful makeup

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Geeking out over a real piece of the Amityville house

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Doesn’t everyone need a spiked collar in their closet?

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Why children believe monsters hide under their beds

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

Favorite movie

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

This zombie was my favorite all weekend long

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

…he also shoots clown porn. I shit you not. That is a thing.

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

If you know me well, you know my sick humor regarding dead cats

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

I also rode a horse

Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally costume, cosplay, Halloween, Scarefest, comic con, horror con, America's Haunted Road Trip, Lexington, Patti Star,

And discovered a castle

Guest Post – My Big 100 Mile Adventure!

By September 20, 2014 Race Reports, Running, Trail Running, Ultra Training
Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

What do you do when you’re not out running the trails? Celebrate the kickass accomplishments of others!

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

So proud of this chick!

My good buddy and fellow BUTS member Olivia just ran her first 100-miler at the Hallucination 100 in Michigan and rocked it. She trained for-frickin-ever for this race, logging countless hours and miles of blood and sweat. She told me the day before the race that her goal was to run all 100 miles with a smile on her face—and she did. Because Olivia doesn’t have a blog, I asked her to share her story on here. So without further ado, I present to you the newest BUTS buckle holder!

My Big 100 Mile Adventure!

My experience of the Hallucination 100 miler at WoodStock (Hell Creek Ranch, MI) was life-affirming. Just the idea of running with a bunch of other hippies created a disturbing level of excitement for me (I missed the first WoodStock in ‘69). I was smiling from start to finish. :-)

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

Me and Jen

My friends, Allison and Vann, who ran there last year, assured me that the course was mostly flat and runnable with a combination of single-track and fine gravel roads. The chances of mud were to be minimal. This was surely to be amongst the “easiest” 100 mile races around (a perfect reprieve from the hills and humidity of Birmingham).

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

Start Line

The race consisted of ~16.6 mile loops in a sort of out-and-back fashion. I broke the race down into about 4 mile increments; Bruce’s Deli (start/main aid station) to Grace (minor aid station) to Richie’s Haven (major aid station) back to Grace and back to Bruce’s. The 4 p.m. start was ideal for the night person that I am. And the temperature was PERFECT at about 90 degrees with 49% humidity and a sunny warm breeze. After the Jimi Hendrix rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, we were off! Around the campground and into the woods we went up a giant hill (ant hill – LOL!).

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

Elevation profile

Loop 1 – The hippies are running, the hippies are running!

Some of the local runners were not as excited about the warmer-than-normal temperature, but to me it felt like air conditioning. Even before we made it to mile 8, I encountered a few runners who appeared to be melting on the trail. However by mile 12, the weather took a major turn at Albuquerque and the tornado sirens started blaring. No!!! It was not 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning in Birmingham; this was for real. SchIst! Well, there was an 80% chance of thunderstorms in the area that I had been tracking for over 10 days.

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

Stormy weather

Thankfully, I was running with two guys pacing upfront and a local WS100 veteran behind me. With the wind howling like a train and the trees screeching, I had all of the motivation I needed to keep up a faster-than-planned pace. The main concern was about falling trees cracking my skull, but the inaugural “stupidity run” at Red Mountain provided the confidence to keep it moving. Finally, the wind died down and it started raining. Whew!

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

Mark, Melissa, Howard, and me at the Stupidity Run

Loop 2 – Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

Another loop down

The light showers were fine but with rain comes MUD. Luckily, the main BOG was limited to a ¼ mile stretch a mile out from the start/finish area. Oh and there were fallen trees to navigate for the remaining of the race including one buzzing with HoneyBees! So much excitement!!!

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

So much mud

Loop 3 – Howling at the Moon

Everything was utopian about this loop. I now knew the course intimately in the dark; I love running at night! Although it continued to rain, the moon was visible in the distance shadowed slightly by a few clouds; providing a little extra light. In fact, enough light to see that a little raccoon was up ahead on the trail. I was not afraid but also didn’t want to startle the little fellow. So, I slowed to a walk and said in my little girl voice, “hey little buddy, I just want to get by.” Just then the little thing charged towards me with its teeth showing and shrieking. I screamed and ran but I looked back to see the little eyes chasing me. I stopped again and swatted in its direction with my trekking poles to scare it away to no avail. I ran, it ran. I swatted more, it seemed to keep coming. Finally seeing that the little raccoon was undeterred, I tucked my trekking poles under my arms and sprinted down the narrow trail. Slowing not once but three times to make sure the little beast was no longer a threat. That got my adrenaline up a few notches. It was later reported that this little orphan (1 of 3 brothers) just wanted some of my trail mix.

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

My raccoon enemy looked like this

Loop 4 – Let the Sunshine In

The sunrise was a beautiful and welcomed sight. Somehow I had kept a pretty steady pace through the night and was well-ahead of the 29 hr pace. :-) Arriving at the campground just ahead of the 50K/50M start made for a stampede of eager and chatty runners at beginning of the loop with my first pacer Becca. This loop would take me beyond my furthest run to date: ~67 miles. So far my routine of CarboPro, Coke (Thanks Maurizio), baby food, aid station food (heaped into my sandwich bag ninja-style) and S-tabs kept me fully energized. My “personal “aid station volunteers (all dressed in the same InknBurn tie dye singlet) could not believe that I had already run more than 50 miles since I was still smiling and revving to go. Eventually, I needed a couple of painkillers to soothe a little pain brewing under the toes on my right foot.

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

Michigan trail

Loop 5 – Smiling and Laughing

FITS socks to the rescue! A quick change of shoes was also in order; from Pearl Izumi N2’s to Saucony Peregrines. Mark, “used to be a mechanic,” would now be my pacer to the finish. He was a great storyteller, photographer, secretary, nurse, and pace pusher. I heard stories about Italians immigrating to the US, posed for pictures, took a call from my husband Ermanno who said the tracker was not updating, and ran as quickly as possible on all of the roads and downhills (my favorite part). The highlight of this loop was getting a shout out from a BGR! sistah, Brandess, doing the 50 mile race. More coke and painkillers at Richie’s and we were off into the sunset with me laughing at my new distance PR of 75 miles!

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

Brandess running 50 miles

Loop 6 – Cruising to the Finish!

There would be no stopping at the car this time. The goal was to put in a huge buffer of time to be able to relax and enjoy the end of the race. We made it to mile 91 more than an hour ahead of the cutoff time. Oh yeah!!! The only problem was the hotspot on my right foot; no blister but topped it off with some moleskin anyway. With 9 miles to go, nothing was going to stop me. Not even some ill-informed staffer at Grace (mile 96) who told my pacer that I was not going to make the 30 hour cutoff. What the..what?!!! 4 miles with 2 hours to go??? There was no way anyone was going to deny me my buckle! Once out of the aid station onto the main trail, I floored it until we got past the BOG with less than a mile to go. But I needed a moment to reflect before reaching the blue alien at the entrance of the campground, so I walked. What a great experience! 100 miles of smiles in the great outdoors.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped me to reach my goal and to those who have ever helped a girl follow her dreams!

Olivia Affuso, Hallucination 100, Woodstock, Michigan, first hundred-mile race, ultra running, trail running

My crew

Peace and Love,

Olivia

All or Nothing Mentality

By September 17, 2014 Running
all or nothing mentality, injured runner, lacking motivation

Why is it so easy to slip into the “all or nothing” mentality? You know, if I can’t do/have/eat X, then fuck everything—I’m just going to sit here and pout. And when I can do/have/eat it again, I WANT IT ALL. No middle ground. Like that O-Town song where the boys sing about wanting it all, or nothing at all with their fling (Who remembers them? Be honest—I won’t judge. Much.).

This happens all the time. Take diets for example—how many times have you (or a friend) been excited about starting a new diet, swearing off all carbs, sweets, or alcohol. And when you fall off the wagon, you eat all the food in sight. Or, let’s look at one of my favorite phrases, “Go hard or go home.” An awesome mantra when you’re in the mood to be a badass and do great things, but not so hot when you can’t or don’t want to give your all, so you don’t even try. What a silly way to think.

all or nothing mentality, injured runner, lacking motivation

Mmmm, pumpkin doughnuts I did not earn with a long run

Not long after rolling my ankle at Hotter ‘N Hell in July, I caught myself slipping into this mentality. It was my big comeback race—the one I was using to judge whether or not I was fully recovered from my pesky groin injury and ready for a fall full of ultras. I was killing it and was super stoked to pace my friend Jen in her first 50K a few weeks later. And then I fell and went right back to square one in half a second. And rather than dusting myself off and moving on, I shut down. I basically threw an adult temper tantrum and said, “I don’t WANT to cycle or cross train or eat less! I want to run!” See? All or nothing.

all or nothing mentality, injured runner, lacking motivation

Found this in my inbox last week – I’ve been caught!

I realized my (irrational) thinking is I can’t run, so rather than being logical and cross training to keep up my strength and endurance, I do a hard stop on all things fitness. Even my daily push-up routine was abandoned—my growing guns didn’t do anything to deserve this neglect! They’re starting to resemble forgotten-about birthday balloons at this point.

all or nothing mentality, injured runner, lacking motivation

Gun show before it left town

Over the past few weeks I’ve been noticing the changes in my body that are the result of not running or doing anything more strenuous than hiking or walking up three flights of stairs to my loft. The key word is “noticing.” I’m not doing anything to stop it. Except eat another helping of pasta. (Because non-running runners need carbs too, right?) And when I start to get frustrated or cranky over my lack of motivation to do anything, rather than being productive and easing my way into a different activity, my brain yells at me, “you dipshit, what did you expect?!” And then I sit around some more. I know my motivated self will make a comeback, but getting over this slump is frustrating and downright difficult.

all or nothing mentality, injured runner, lacking motivation

My “my thighs don’t fit into my shorts!” selfie to my running sista Rachel

But no more. This post can mark the end of the Tanya pity party. They say that the first step to fixing a problem is to acknowledge it. So I am! I need to throw this “all or nothing” mindset out the window and learn some fitness moderation. It won’t kill me to do something other than run. And running a mile or two or five isn’t an ultra, but it’s something! I should be thankful. And so I’ve slowly started to come back out of my pissy shell and venture out on some runs. And they feel great!

all or nothing mentality, injured runner, lacking motivation

Easy mornings are hard to get the hang of again, but they’re worth it!

Does anyone else have this problem? What do you do to combat it? Help a girl out! Am I just a lazy bum at heart?

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