Introduction by Meggie Inouye
When deciding on a Member Highlight this month, many on our board had amazing things to say about Krissi because this woman shows up! Krissi attended every Newbies Run this summer, she completed the Reno Running Co. Bingo challenge, and somehow was at two different aid stations at Castle Peak 100k…keep an eye out for a Krissi sighting because she is everywhere. You will know it’s her by her big sparkling smile.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am originally from the Bay Area, born in San Mateo, and currently live in Truckee.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
I began running casually in college, because I didn’t know what to do with myself athletically now that I didn’t have team sports anymore. I gradually found consistency over time, and eventually signed up for my first road half marathon in 2013. I realized that having a goal to work toward, whether it was training for a race or a fitness challenge put on by the school gym, was what I needed to have fitness consistency.
After moving back to San Francisco full time, I joined the November Project. Through them I found the San Francisco Running Company and trail running. I ran my first trail race as part of a marathon relay team at The North Face Endurance Challenge California at the end of 2014, and my interest and time spent trail running just grew from there. Coming back from a broken ankle in 2015, I switched almost exclusively to trail, and eventually mountain, running. I found more joy in what feels like the limitless exploration and growth process of trail running, and didn’t want to go back to the pursuit of the perfect pacing of pavement pounding.
Being a part of the San Francisco/Marin trail running community, it’s hard not to quickly find out about and witness ultras. I think early on into trail running, I knew I wanted to run a 50k, but played the long game to get there. I felt like trail running was so hard at the time, and I had so much strength and experience to gain first, that I wanted to be fully prepared before diving in.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you?
I typically do a few races a year of varying distances. I personally find races and similar big goals helpful for maintaining motivation and consistent training. I like to have one or two ‘A’ goal races a year, usually ultras, and then fill in the gaps with a few other planned and last minute races more for fun or as a part of training.
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)?
The UTMB races OCC or CCC are definitely a bucket list item that I’ll keep entering the lottery for. I think I would really consider any international/destination races as dream races though. To be able to discover and run through beautiful places is such a gift.
Besides UTMB, I typically only think about what dream races I want to do in the next two years or so. Tarawera 100k has been on my radar since before Covid started, so I think that’s my 2023 dream race. (I studied abroad in New Zealand in college when I was running roads recreationally and didn’t know trail running existed. Back then trail races barely existed there anyways, so I’d love to explore the north island in a new way.)
What was the best running advice you’ve received?
Honestly, I don’t know… but the best thing I did when I started training for road halfs was to research and read whatever I could. Being mostly plant-based before I started taking running seriously, I was really concerned with how I could fuel myself enough and took the opportunity to incorporate new foods and recipes into my repertoire. I try to continually learn about and work on the mechanics of running to always be improving myself. It’s often put me in a place to help give advice to newer runners, and I appreciate being able to bring more people into the fold and help them make fewer mistakes than the rest of us.
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy and favorite post-run meal or beverage?
When running, I stick to Skratch electrolytes & chews, and Muir & Spring for gels. I prefer the ‘real food’ approach to trail nutrition, and haven’t been plagued with stomach issues yet. In a race, I may grab whatever stands out to me in the moment from an AS, such as potato chips and, most recently, Twix.
Post-run or race, I like to have a Vega recovery drink to start replenishing carbs while I wait for hunger to kick in. Then typically something like a breakfast sandwich, baked goods, fries, fruit, kombucha, or a good sour beer are all common. It’s really about what my body and brain are craving.
Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
Yes. I can share my vegan spiced chai banana bread below.
I also love this unique summer salad.
And this is an excellent veggie chili for my no-meat friends out there.
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
Being able to race again! I didn’t think I would miss it much, because I will always run regardless of race goals, but I’m really starting to embrace pushing myself in races. Volcanic 50k was an incredible, scenic, & challenging first ultra back in person, and I was just so appreciative to be able to choose to race and suffer in a beautiful place in beautiful foggy, rainy weather.
What was your most challenging/ character-building experience this past year?
In terms of running, the uncertainty of if and when goal races would happen due to both Covid and smoke season. Every race has felt like a bit of a moving target, and I’ve had to take a different training approach a lot of the time as a result. I don’t like training too hard or with too much volume outside of specific training blocks for specific race dates usually. Without being able to plan, I’ve had to maintain a good base fitness and just be prepared to take advantage of any opportunity or smokeless day.
Personally, I finally made the move here full time and doing so during a pandemic hasn’t been without its challenges. It’s especially hard to try to build a new community during and after a long ‘stay-at-home’ period.
With most races being cancelled this year, do you have your own adventure or virtual race plans?
Before races started coming back in California, I did a virtual Chuckanut 50k in March. Since they’ve mostly returned, I’ve been able to do a few small regional races and did Volcanic 50k in Washington in August. I’ll be at Broken Arrow Skyrace again this year too. I was hoping to do my first 50 mile race this fall, but the smoke crushed my training momentum and fitness some, so now I’m totally playing it by ear. (Taking ideas for fall/winter races!!). Otherwise, I find October is a great time for peak bagging and some adventure runs, but don’t have anything big planned.
What led you to join DPMR?
I had been a part of some DPMR races in the past, and now that I live here I wanted to meet more of the community and get more involved.
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
I’ve done the Racing Gnome snowshoe race a couple times and love it. As someone who typically runs with spikes and not snowshoes in the winter, I think it’s such a fun & funny thing to try to race in snowshoes with limited experience. You can’t really take yourself too seriously when running feels so goofy and foreign, especially with the wild weather the past couple editions of the race.
Favorite local trail?
Hmm, that’s hard. The PCT from Donner Summit to Granite Chief is pretty incredible. The Marlette Lake area as well.
The DLRT and Castle Peak area are probably the trails I like to run most frequently.
Do you have a mental training technique, mantra, or similar that you rely on to combat the mentally trying times of a longer run?
‘Just Keep Moving’
I also like to just stay in the moment, acknowledge it and work with it instead of against it.
Do you listen to audio while you run and if so, what have you been enjoying lately?
I don’t, mostly I like to observe my surroundings, use the time to think through what’s on my mind, or focus in on the running itself.
Recovery technique(s) that you swear by?
I try to roll, use the Hypervolt, and put my legs up the wall before bed. But really, the biggest way I can always help myself recover is to stick to the basics: hydrate, eat, & sleep.
Do you have a favorite piece of running gear (hydration system, shoe, clothing layer, sock, etc.)?
The Naked Running Band and Altra Superior trail shoes
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
If I could spend all my time outside, I would. Dog walks, lake/river hangs, backpacking, skiing, off-roading, learning to longboard in the neighborhood, etc. I’m willing to do or try any new sport or outdoor activity if I have someone to do it with, especially if it’s in the mountains or by the ocean.
Other interests are cooking, baking, collecting & drinking all of the sour beer, spending time with my nieces and family in the Bay, and hopefully traveling abroad again soon.
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?