Episode 256 – Kristina – DangerGirl

Kristina2The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 256 – Kristina – DangerGirl



Link epi3256.mp3

Introductory comments


Hello my friends.  Good to talk with you again.  Let me know if the every other week release schedule is working for you.

So- Hey – Welcome to episode 3-256 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  Today we have a long interview with Kristina who earned the moniker “Danger Girl” by converting herself from the couch to a competitive downhill mountain bike racer.   And then, after crashing too many times she had to limp away from that sport  and to spite her doctors took up trail running and now is a competitive ultra-runner.

Now she’s looking to transform her life again by hosting running retreats for women in the White Mountains of NH.  She’s a master of transformation through endurance sports and we chat all about it in a rather long interview.

If the interview doesn’t seem tight, it’s because I gave Jim the week off and edited it myself!

I didn’t think I was going to get a show out this week because I’ve been traveling and my life is full of the brick-a-brack of stuff that lives get filled with, but a trip got canceled and here we are…aren’t we?

Since we last spoke I’ve had some ups and downs in my training.  I’m right on the edge of being race ready.  My PF is hanging in there and my physical condition is good. My overall fitness is pretty good but my race fitness has yet to fully click in.

I’m seeing and feeling flashes of it but I would bet hard cash on it right now.  It’s a fragile fitness that will require a good day and good conditions for me to make my ‘A’ goal.

I ran the Martha’s Vineyard 20 miler a couple weekends ago and had a mixed race.  I could get my HR to settle out for the first half of the race.  This is another one of those winter races where the weather is a factor, especially on the back half.  It runs out 10 miles and then cuts back across the island for 10 miles.

Having the advantage of having run this race many times before I over-dressed on purpose and was paying for it in the first half.  Just like at Derry I was overheating and had to tak off my hat and gloves and unzip but was still sweating like crazy.

I couldn’t figure out my HR.  It never came lower than zone 5 but I was holding conversations with people so something wasn’t right.  I certainly didn’t feel strong.  I kept trying to slow down and people were passing me.  Finally around 8 miles I pulled off to relieve myself on a golf course and decide to ignore the HR and just run by feel.

When we turned the corner at mile 10 I was glad to have my hat and gloves.  The temperature dropped and it began to rain/snow.  Knowing the course, this is what I was holding back for.

For some unexplainable reason as it got cold and miserable I relaxed. My pace smoothed and a started re-passing the people who passed me earlier. “How you doing number 477?”

“Not so good…”

That’s the trick with this race is it suckers you into thinking it’s easy and then smacks you in the face with freezing rain.  I saw ambulances going by on the back half probably rescuing people from hypothermia.

I felt strong on the back half and averaged at or under my goal marathon race pace. Mile 17 was a particularly good mile. I was able to relax and stretch it out and felt strong at a pace well under my goal marathon pace.  If felt the strength.  I felt the race fitness.  Mile 20 was a bit of a struggle but I ended up finishing about 12 seconds a mile over my goal race pace.

Like I said, flashes of race fitness.  That’s why I like to race instead of just doing the long training runs – you learn so much more about your fitness in a race situation.

Since then I’ve had mostly boring training runs except for a 9 mile pace run earlier this week that was horrible.  My legs were like lead and I had to walk a bunch.  I think coach screwed up.  He gave me squats and weighted lunges the previous day so my legs just weren’t up to the pace and effort.

I’ve got an 18 mile goal pace workout on the schedule for tomorrow and the thought of it scares me but I’m going to approach it like a race and see what I can learn.  All these workouts are just building blocks.

I’m going to give you some ideas about how to look and sound brilliant during moments of truth in the life balance section today and I’m going to philosophize on the ‘rest week’ in the training section.

Hope you enjoy it.  Hope your training is going well.  Hope your life isn’t too interesting! And, finally I hope you are enjoying this adventure!

On With the Show!


Section One:

How to be brilliant all the time – http://www.runrunlive.com/how-to-be-brilliant-all-the-time


Featured Interview

Kristina – Danger Girl

The links are www.dangergirldh.com and www.athleticandbeautiful.com

About Kristina

I was a very unathletic until around the age of 17.  I used to spend my time sitting around on the couch, eating donuts and watching TV.  I hated myself and I hated life.  I had no purpose or direction in life and felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere.

I was introduced to mountain biking in late 1996 and bought a cheap bike at KMart for about $100.00.  I went for my first mountain bike ride wearing tight denim shorts, a tight white shirt, black dress boots, and large hoop earrings.  I suffered terribly but actually had fun.  Soon I found myself in a bike shop buying a used bike that was what the shop considered a “real mountain bike”.  I also purchased a helmet and a pair of riding shorts.  They soon talked me into riding with toe cages and riding more often.

One day I went to the bike shop looking for a way to meet people to ride with.  They told me that there was a mountain bike race in June 1997 and that even if I sucked I would still meet people who rode.  I showed up at the race, alone, not knowing what to expect.  There were only about 6 women racing that day.  I got on my bike and took off at the sound of the whistle.  I puked, I sweat, I suffered relentlessly, and I managed to get 2nd place.  I also met a bunch of people that day who would change my life forever.

I soon started to ride with people and began learning about training, riding clipless pedals, eating better, and most importantly how to like myself.  With my racing I felt like I belonged, like I had a reason to wake up each day.  My life finally had meaning and I finally had friends.

Fast forward several years and along the way I have met so many people who have touched me in so many different ways.  Some of them I owe my life to and most of them molded me along the way into the person I am today.  They introduced me to new sports, inspired me, helped me learn that I can do whatever I dream to do as long as I put my heart into it, and they gave me the best gift of all, friendship.

The person I am today is a little bit of each person along the way who has taught me something special.  There are so many people I look up to and strive to be like, but in the end, all I want to be is me.  I hope that I can inspire others and give back what so many people have given to me.  I thank each and every person who has helped mold me into who I am today.

Section two:

Rest your weary soul – http://www.runrunlive.com/rest-your-weary-soul


Spring is here! And you, my fearless friends, have emerged into the springtime of the end of Episode 3-256 of the RunRunLive Podcast.

If you’re new to the show, you probably didn’t make it this far. If you’re one of my old friends I thank you again for sharing my adventure and helping me expunge my daemons through literary and auditory excess.

You probably inferred that I’m a reader.  I like to read and I read well.  I retain the information and learn from reading.  I think it’s a wonderful skill set and help my life, my career and my writing.

What have I read over the last couple weeks?  Well you know I read Matt’s LifeSong book.  I also read “Hard Core Zen, Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the truth about reality” by Brad Warner.  It was a flawed book but had some flashes of brilliance, moments of clarity and some really solid moments of epiphany.  Make me want to learn more about Zen Buddhism but I don’t think I’m the meditation type! I don’t know where I would find an hour a day to stare at a blank wall!

I also re-read a good translation of SunTsu’s Art of War.  I’m currently reading “Neon Angel” by Cherrie Currie who was the lead singer of the “RunAways” an all girl rock band with Joan Jett in the 70’s and 80’s.  I like it because I remember the times but I feel really sad for her and all the weirdness she went through.  It’s a movie too, but I haven’t seen it.

As I said to Matt in the last show the 70’s were a weird time. The baby boomers broke down the old moral codes and societal norms in the 60’s but that left a void that filled the 70’s with a lot of bad stuff under the guise of freedom.

My next race is the Eastern States 20 miler a few weeks before Boston.  I’ll try to pace that at race pace and see what happens.  If all goes well I’ll have a shot at racing Boston well, but it really depends on the weather.  If it’s at all hot I don’t race well.

After that I’ll have to see what happens next.  If I qualify at Boston I’ll probably do some longer trail races in the summer and some mountain biking.  If I don’t qualify I can either double down at another marathon right away or mount another campaign to train through the summer and nail it in the late summer.

I’m not worried.  There is always something to do. There is always another adventure waiting just outside the front door.

Remember to join me on April 28th, 2013 for the 22nd running of the Groton Road Races.  We are in the final stretch in our preparations and everything is going well.

Also remember that I’m running Boston this year for Team Hoyt.  I would very much appreciate it if you would help me, help them change the world by clicking on the donation banner on the right side of my web page at www.runrunlive.com.


Also the direct publishing of the show notes with all my links to the mailing list continues to work.  If you’re interested in seeing it pop into your inbox each time I publish a show just go to www.runrunlive.com or check the show notes and sign up for the mailing list.

Mailchimp link here

I am up to 11 published chapters of the audio version of my second book “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy” and I’m having a lot of fun with it.  If you’re interested you can visit my kickstarter project.


It’s nice to chat with you, my friends again.  Please keep me in your thoughts and I will keep you in mine.  We are all part of the same big adventure and…

I’ll see you out there…



Links for this show



Other products from Chris Russell you may be interested in

The Mid-Packer’s Lament


On Amazon


On Kindle


On Audio (Read by the author)


The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy


On Kindle


Standard Links:














Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube


Dial in number for RunRunLive is – 206-339-7804 (to leave an audio message for the show)



Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com.  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad.


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