Hello – I’m Melissa and I live in Corvallis, OR, which is about an hour and half south of Portland. I am a trail runner, alpine skier, cross country skier (classic style), and general mountain activity skiing of person. I am also a mom to a 12 year old daughter, who is into mountain sports too, so I feel like I won the parent lottery. While not a runner, my daughter is my best training partner on her rode or mountain bike.
I have been running for 32 years – I am 46 now. I had a few years stint as a sponsored runner in my late 20’s/early 30’s before I became a mom. I have always trained on trails and dabbled in ultras before becoming a parent, but after becoming a mom, I found it incredibly difficult to train with the commitment needed to sustain racing. I continued to log 20-30 miles a week of running, but that was more for mental sanity than actual training. A few years ago, I started getting serious about my training on the sly – running at 3 or 4 AM with a headlamp before my family woke up, to see what my middle aged body could do. As it turned out, I still had a fair amount of speed and my body could handle more training volume that I thought. The secret training turned into a spectacular three-year build for some ultra racing in 2022. That plan went caput when I had a pretty serious ski accident in January 2022 and blew out my right knee.
Two knee surgeries, hundreds of hours in rehab, and 15 months later, I am running again and enjoying every mile. I did not think that I would ever be able to run again, so every day is a treat even if I struggle to complete a workout. I spend a lot of time working on strength and speed work these days, and I use a spinning bike for about half of my aerobic base and recovery workouts. I am hoping to rebuild my base miles enough to attempt a 50K or 50 miler in 2024, but I am taking my time with adding miles and listening to my body. The Uphill Athlete way of training has so far been very different from my previous ways of training, so I enjoying the chance to learn and see what concepts I want to integrate. I am also excited to be a part of a community and celebrate everyones’ accomplishments. It’s been a lonely 15 months in the gym doing squats, and I am feeling very inspired by all that everyone is doing.