Colors of green have turned to soft shades of beige, gold, and wheat. It’s undeniably summer in Gold Country, Northern California, with all but the hardiest weeds and the gnarly majestic oak trees burned out in the palpable dry heat. Survival specialists, they are expertly tuned to endure the arid climate for months on end.
This is a perfect time to visit a cooler area and get to know one of our riders in Massachusetts.
The Early Years
While her parents wisely didn’t let her train at an early age, they let her jump into races a couple of times per year. As an eighth-grader at Holliston High School in MA, she was finally old enough to join the high school team and had immediate success. All through high school, she ran cross country, indoor and outdoor track, and then ran for Brown University.
Her highlight at Brown was when their women’s cross country team became the first Brown women’s team to win the Heptagonal Championships, and the first team to qualify for NCAA D1 Nationals where they finished 9th. Celebrating that night, a few of them inked their lower backs with matching runner tattoos. Runners for life…
Kim’s Impressive PRs include a 4:29 mile, 9:29 3k, and 16:30 5k.
After a couple of post-collegiate racing years, she met her husband, started a family, and gave up running competitively while her children were young. It wasn’t until her mid 30’s that she discovered mountain and trail running, and eventually, ElliptiGO training.
We live in Leverett, MA, a beautiful town that feels like the middle of Vermont – all gravel roads and the best trails!
I qualified for the 2016 US Mountain Running Team by finishing 3rd at Nationals and then was the top US finisher (9th place) at World Mountain Running Championships in Bulgaria. That same year I was second at the Mount Washington Road Race.
This was my glory year! I have always been an injury-prone runner but after my high in 2016, my body fell apart.
I have always trained smart – not running more than 30 miles per week, even when qualified for the US team. There was always that component of supplementing with lifting and about five hours/week on an indoor bike trainer.
In the winter of 2016-17, I suffered a bad injury, with on and off back and nerve pain ever since. Riding on the bike trainer was no longer comfortable for me.
Then, in 2018, a used SUB for sale in my area got me thinking about the ElliptiGO…
Speaking with Keri at ElliptiGO I commented on planning to use the bike mostly inside. She said something like, -“Yeah, that’s what you say now.” It makes me laugh to think about it.
I purchased the 8c, later also buying the MSUB. Now, I’m outside riding just about every day. I love the indoor option but love my outdoor riding even more.
For many years I was a stay at home mom and a homeschool mom to my children. When my kids went to school, it took me another couple of years to figure out what I wanted to do now that I was all grown up.
With my too-long history of injuries, I had learned to rehab just about every injury a distance runner can sustain. As a Corrective Exercise Specialist, I started working with injured runners, eventually leading to coaching.
Now, I coach twenty women; professionals, and those who are dedicated to running but don’t necessarily win races. I love all of my runners, regardless of their ability! Most runners find me because they are injury-prone and I know how to work around just about any obstacle.
Last year I also started doing run assessments using near-infrared light spectroscopy where I monitor muscle oxygen saturation and blood flow starting with light intensity running and ending near failure.
Trends in the data tell me what causes the runner to fail when they run faster than race effort.
I can then use this information to make suggestions about how to stress and train what limits their performance.
Yes, I love my job!
Already understanding the value of cross-training, I knew that runners did not need high run volume to race well. I was still a fan of higher volume but knew it needed to be safe volume with less impact. I find that the ElliptiGO Long Stride is run-specific in terms of form and effort.
On the Long Stride, my heart rate has a similar range (130 to lows 180s) compared with running (130 to high 180s). For me, this means I can use the ElliptiGO for recovery efforts, tempos, and high-intensity interval training depending on what’s on my schedule for the week.
After first purchasing an 8c in the fall of 2018, and later an MSUB, I was recently given an 11R for test rides as an ElliptiGO Enthusiast.
I was sure the 8c would always be my favorite but there’s something about getting on the MSUB and flying down dirt roads without worrying about what I might run over that I’m really appreciating right now.
I think if my focus were on run racing, I would ride the MSUB a little less. The MSUB is just plain hard, although I can get better at using it on recovery days.
It took me a couple of months to build needed quad strength and endurance. I use the 8c for all long slow distance, recovery days, and occasionally will do workouts too. I think I have equal love for both.
I really prefer to ride outside. That’s another reason to love the MSUB; I can now ride on rainy days too. If unmotivated or short on time, I will hop on the bike trainer but always make an effort to choose outside first.
Riding outside, I find I’m much more likely to ride longer.
As someone who cannot safely run a higher volume of miles and who can no longer ride a sit-down bike, ElliptiGO was my bread and butter during my 2019 racing season.
Just before I turned 40 last summer, I finished 3rd at the Mount Washington Road Race, then went on to win the New England 8k Championships (Bridge of Flowers)
It felt amazing to race so well against young, fast women off of much less mileage than any of them. The last two miles were downhill but still, I ran them at 5:15 pace. I was proud of that coming off 20 miles per week of running and lots of ElliptiGO time.
I think runners often make the mistake of only using their cross-training tool when they are injured but it should be part of an effective training routine.
When I purchased the 8c, I was initially scared to ride on the road but what I wasn’t anticipating is that drivers tend to go wide for a long stride. The rider’s height increases visibility for both you as a rider and drivers on the road. I have so appreciated this unexpected quality.
It’s a game-changer. I often say this…… realizing it’s just a possession, it has increased my quality of life in a way that is not possible to describe in words. I feel deeply grateful that these bikes exist and allow me to train every day regardless of what injury I am experiencing.
”Save your dollars and just do it. It will become your baby, your best friend! You’ll wish you didn’t wait so long.”
ElliptiGO wishes you all the best in your continued training and racing Kim.
We are happy to have you!
Contributed by Elinor Yee – A rider considering herself lucky for each day on her ElliptiGO, drawing inspiration from fellow riders conquering obstacles big & small.
Want to inspire Elinor? Contact ElliptiGO with nominations to Rider of the Month or share your own story. It may just be the next feature!