Anna Frost was one of those international runners that I always saw in race photos crushing it alongside the Salomon Trail Running team. And then I saw her featured in one of the Salomon Running TV Videos (Seriously, they are so good... and this one is exceptional. If you haven't seen this before watch it before continuing!)
Anna "Frosty" (Lets just call her "Frosty" because that sounds so much cooler) has an impressive running resume (check the link for more details). But last year she dominated (and set a new course record) at The Bear 100 (her first 100), 2nd in the SkyRunning World Series, won SpeedGoat 50k, and is on her way to HardRock 2015.
More than that though, Frosty is an incredibly down to earth woman with a giant heart who has many of the attributes that all Trail WhippAss members (and anybody on this planet) should aspire to attain. So needless to say I was psyched when she agreed to answer some random questions from our members. So without further delay, twenty some odd questions with Frosty.
- Do you have any mantras you repeat in your mind during tough moments? How do you dig yourself out of low points out on the trail?
“Look up and face the challenge” – my mentor and a sporting legend – John Hellemans - told me this over and over again! I remind myself of all the sacrifices and hard work I have gone through to get there.
- If you found out that the world was going to end in 24 hours, what would you spend the next 24 hours doing?
Have a big beach party with all my friends and family!
- If you could hop in a time machine and talk to 10 year old Anna for 30 seconds, what would you tell her knowing what you know now
Enjoy the ride!
- If you could hop in a time machine and and talk to Anna 50 years from now for 30 seconds, what would you ask her? Also 50 years from now where do you see yourself?
Did you enjoy the ride? As an 83 year old enjoying whatever the world has thrown at me.
- You have accomplished a lot in ultra running so far, but the possibilities are really endless. What are some of your bucket list races or goals?
I don’t have a bucket list, just open doors of opportunity. If a race appears that looks incredible, I go for it. Travel is always going to be a dream and there is such a big wide world to explore. Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands, Scandinavia…
- What is your proudest moment so far in life running related?
For me watching my friends cross a finish line of a race they have been focusing on for sometime is incredibly powerful and I am so proud of them for that!
- What is your proudest moment non-running related so far in your life?
There has been many moments that I didn’t even dream about. But right now it is the new book ‘Fearless Frosty’ that is being written about me by a wonderful collaberation SISUGIRLS
- What were you like as a kid?
Non-stop action, wanted to try everything, friendly, determined to achieve, aspired to be like other great people, creative
- What are some life experiences that helped shape you into the ultra runner and person you are today?
I grew up in an outdoor family and we travelled a lot so that made it feel normal in my life now. I still really feel like I am a kid…travelling, exploring and wanting to see and try new things.
- What music are you listening to right now?
- What is your funniest or craziest animal encounter on the trail?
I have been butted by a yak in Nepal and joined along a Utah trail by a friendly moose, but dogs always make me smile and laugh. My running best friend!
- Whats the most embarrassing wipe out you have ever had on the trail? And honestly we never see video or pictures of elites wiping out on the trails. But it must happen to you guys all the time like it does for us. How often do you actually tumble while running?
I don’t think falling over is ever embarrassing just sore! I think the last time I took a big tumble was in La Reunion and left my skin there when I tore up all my shoulder, arm and hand on the volcano. My toe got stuck on a rock when I was running downhill. Ouch!
- You do a lot of outdoor activities besides just Running. What is your favorite non-running outdoor activity, and do you believe it helps you with your running?
Absolutely, yes! Doing cross training is really important to give your whole body strength and balance. It is not just your legs that get tired when you run. I love SUP boarding, walking, biking, yoga/pilates, the gym…
- What does a typical training week look like for you? Do you follow a strict plan or are you more loose with your training?
Im quite loose with my training, but if I am in a focused block of training I like to do per week: 2-3 long runs (4-6hrs), 2-3 tempo endurance runs (2.5hrs), 2 hill sessions (i.e. 3x8mins uphill), and 1 session of speed work (i.e. fartlek or 1km repeats). I mix all this up with cross training and yoga/stretch time.
- Who do you look up to (Not just in running… but in life)?
- What would you want to tell to the people who look up to you as a role model in the sport of ultra running?
‘Thank you’ for being inspired and for inspiring me to keep doing what I am doing, and Good Luck!
- If you could run anywhere in the world with anybody who would you run with and where?
With my parents dog – Bedford - along a Dunedin beach!
- You have struggled a bit with injury and things not going to plan in the past. How do you cope? Both in the moment when you realize your race is about to be derailed, and also in the weeks and months after?
I don’t cope so well actually. It is a huge mental and physical barrier. You have to really simplify things and remind yourself that running really is just running. Then you can go on focusing on other things that make you who you are or give you happiness in other ways.
- I had my first DNF last yearafter 14 hours and 100k in my first 100 mile attempt. When I’m running on the trail sometimes I lose myself and zone out and I dream about finishing that race. I literally will get tears in my eye and I imagine running the last mile surrounded by my family and friends. Do you ever really zone out on the trail like that? If so, what do you dream about?
But you made it 100km and that is awesome…you have learned…if it means you do it again or not it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you tried and succeed in many other ways! Yes that happens to me too, I have also been 2hrs into an ultra and thought ‘oh no this is going to be a long day, where is the finish line?’ Again I just remind myself all the time I have put into it and all the people that are wishing me well along the way…that keeps me going.
- You always have all eyes on you. Any race you enter, or project you take on you have all the media’s eyes, your fans eyes on you as well as all your sponsors eyes. You can’t just fly under the radar. Do you ever wish you were just a middle of the pack runner without all eyes on you?
In the end, I am still ‘just me’ so I continue to live as normally as I can. We are a small sport in comparision to all the high flying celebrities so I think we have it quite easy. In NZ I easily go under the radar so that is nice to have too.
- What is the last book you read, and tell me about it in 2-3 sentences?
The Enigma - Alan Turrng: A facsinating and sad story about a gay man who saved millions of lives during the war through code breaking, but was punished for being gay. In the end he took his own life.
- What is the best advice you have ever been given and who gave it to you?
I have had many inspirational people in my life, all have taught me something about life and myself. I like to live life to the fullest, with a smile, a laugh and a lot of love.
- If somebody were to make a movie or write a book about your life, what would it be called and why?
Fearless Frosty http://www.sisugirls.org/opinion/2015/2/23/fearless-frosty
- Last what do you think this is? (see image attached below)
A blue monkey in dress up!
So whats the take away? Its clear in my eyes. We should all want to be like Anna Frost. We all should all look up to Happiness, value our friends and family (and even our dog), and we should all want to adventure and see the world around us. We should all be inspired to inspire others.
Sure it would be nice to be insanely fast and badass like Frosty, but seriously....How many sponsored elite athletes would tell you that their proudest moments running related is watching their friends cross finish lines of a race they have been focusing and dreaming about finishing. And you know what, I believe her and maybe its time some of us re-evaluate whats important to us. The world would be a better place if we all aspired to be like Frosty!