We caught up with world-class, ultrarunner extraordinaire, Anna Frost (Frosty), to find out what she's been up to since the birth of her daughter.
You've been racing for over a decade. What race has a special place in your heart?
After 10 years of racing around the world in distances from vertical kilometers to 50 miles, I was searching for something that really made me dream. It was then that I met Hardrock. I wanted to test myself over such a beautiful course and a new distance of 100 miles. I wanted to be involved in such an amazing and quirky ultra family and I wanted to be part of something that was so close to home—my new home—Durango, Colorado.
What did you do to ramp up your training for the new 100-mile distance?
So I set about getting my qualification for Hardrock. I ran the Bear 100. I trained and trained and trained and then trained a little bit more. I needed to know that I actually could do this distance. I did everything from running to swimming to kickboxing and taichi so that I could be fit from head to toe. I knew that after hours and hours (36-48hours are the usual cut-offs for these races!) of running, my entire body would be fatigued and I would count on different muscles for that strength. I finished the race in 21 hours and had a surprisingly fantastic day. My fanatic preparation had paid off and that got me my qualification to enter Hardrock100.
Was your training for Hardrock different from other ultras?
To my absolute shock, I got picked in the lottery to race in 2015. When I thought I had trained hard before, now I was really training hard. I was in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, 6 to 8 hours every day, hiking, running, jogging, sprinting up and down, learning each and every stone and every footstep like the back of my hand. When it came to race day, I would know exactly where I was, how I was feeling, and connected with energy shared with those mountains.
With all that increased training what did you do for self-care and injury prevention?
During that 8-week training block, I added in a massage once a week, which is something I had not done before. My massage therapist (Flowersong Herbals and Massage) took one touch of my muscles and reeled in horror at the amount of dehydration she could feel in my body. She pushed me out the door after an hour of trying to get in through my muscles that were rock solid and lumpy. She ordered me to go and get some Ultima. From that day on, I started using Ultima twice a day, every day. The next week when I went back to for a massage, she was so relieved, my muscles had hydrated and were easier to manipulate. I could feel my body relaxing and responding to the massage. I felt so much more revived and I even felt my skin getting brighter. The electrolytes and minerals from the Ultima were definitely playing a big part. Ultima became an essential part of my training.
So what happened at Hardrock and what have you been doing since then?
To put the next 5 years up until now in a nutshell: I won Hardrock, twice, and placed 4th in my third finish. I continued to race around the world and explore some Fastest Known Times. I met the love of my life, started our own travel business, Trail Run Adventures, got married, and fell pregnant!
Wow, that is quite a list! Congrats on the birth of your daughter Skyler. Did you have any weird cravings during your pregnancy?
The strange thing was, that the minute I became pregnant before I even knew I was pregnant, I couldn’t stomach Ultima. I have no idea why, but I also couldn't smell or look at coffee and chocolate, which are staples in my diet! I couldn’t even sniff or drive past a coffee shop without dry-reaching. But as soon as little Skylar came into the world my body started craving Ultima, coffee, and chocolate again! My body had gone through such a stressful labor and was so exhausted with endless nights of not getting much sleep, that I knew I needed to get my nutrition and hydration on track to be able to maintain. The human body is so strange and fascinating at the same time, and I really felt the daily Ultima helped rejuvenate me. It felt clean, pure, and simple in the craziness of parenthood that we had just walked into.
How has motherhood affected your running goals?
Skylar is now 1 year old. It has been the hardest journey I have ever had to go on. It has been exhausting and at the same time so rewarding. My heart has never been so full and I have never been so ready to compromise everything I am and have been for Skylar. Sometimes it is too easy to forget about me. But a daily reminder is my Ultima. Staying replenished and active. Competitive running no longer drives me out the door, it is the intrigue to show Skylar the world, the smells and sounds in the forest, the views of the white-tipped mountains, the slow and shared heartbeat of carrying her close to me, so we can both get the most out of life.
Anna Frost (Frosty) is an international and professional mountain, trail and ultra runner who has 15 years of experience in all sorts of races from VK's to 100miles as well as adventures in/and out of the mountains such as adventure racing, triathlons fast-packing, biking, hiking and running. She is a proud ambassador of SisuGirls, an empowerment project to get girls outside reaching their potential!