This profile, in our LVL Dossier format, of Leah Frost first appeared in our March/April 2016 magazine issue.
Name: Leah Frost
Weight: 105 lbs.
Residence: Glover, Vermont
High School: TASIS, Montagnola, Switzerland (‘01). My parents are both teachers and taught for many years at the American School in Switzerland. As a result, I spent many of my formative years living there: ages 1-4 and then 11-18. My love of running was born in the mountains of Switzerland, and even now I still have dreams in which I am running on those favorite trails.
College: Wesleyan University (‘05)
Club: Crow Athletics, Green Mountain Athletic Association
Day Job: UVM Extension-Vermont Migrant Education recruiter and mentor/Migrant Farmworker Health Promoter in the Northeast Kingdom, assistant cross country coach at North Country Union High School, chief carpenter at the Museum of Everyday Life.
Miles per Week: 85 average, 65-105 depending
2:49 on MDI’s hilly course
43+ miles (my longest run to date) at The Great Run 6 Hour Ultra
Races: Mount Desert Island Marathon, The Great Run on Cranberry Island, and The Down East Sunrise Trail Relay (all Crow races!). Also, The Glover Day Chamberlain Run in which we reenact the historic run of our local hero, Spencer Chamberlain who outran the waters of Runaway Pond to save the miller’s wife. You can read the full story at the Glover historical society page here. I also like the Old Stone House Museum Half Marathon Fall Foliage Run.
Workouts: Scenic long runs (if those count!), fartleks, and a workout we call “the Oregon Run” in which we do continuous loops on a marked course; the pace changes at each marker (run, jog, 5K pace, jog, all out, jog, repeat).
Places to Run: The beautiful hilly/rolling dirt roads here in the Northeast Kingdom, along the ocean in Maine, and the mountain trails north of Oaxaca where I lived in 2011-12.
Running Shoe: Merrell Bare Access 4. I am now a Merrell ambassador!
Workout Songs: I never listen to music while I run. In the rare case in which I am bound to a treadmill (only once thus far this winter), I am also bound to exploring the music of the nice man who runs the gym. Generally, I pick Toots and the Maytals or other reggae, sometimes some nice old country.
Books: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Housekeeping by Marilyn Robinson, The Cave by Jose Saramago, and many more. I love to read!
Hobbies: Reading, making stuff, hiking, making and eating elaborate breakfasts with bubbly wine on the canoe in the pond.
Set challenging but reasonable goals and work towards them. If you keep those goals in mind, otherwise miserable workouts become enjoyable. Mostly.
Prerace Ritual: Jumps at the starting line. It is really more about my outfit. I like to where my Museum of Everyday Life singlet that reads “SMASH THE PATRIARCHY” on the back. (The Museum of Everyday Life is my dear friend, Clare Dolan’s brainchild. Every year we feature an everyday life object an exhibit. Past exhibits have included the matchstick, the safety pin, the pencil, the toothbrush, and now dust. There is an historical, a scientific, a philosophical and an artistic component to each. Come see for yourself!) The wardrobe regulations at the Olympic Trials are mega strict, however. I will have to go with my trusty yellow shorts, as my nephews cheer, “Go, yellow shorts!” and a plain blank singlet. Either that or my birthday suit. I didn’t see a nudity clause in the handbook. [Editor’s Note: Crow Athletics came up big and provided Frost with a singlet that met USATF guidelines. See photo on prior page.]
Career Highlights: Qualifying for the Olympic Trials! And just a couple years back, breaking 3 hours in the marathon.
Goals: To break 2:40 in the marathon. I think I would like to start running some longer and more rugged races in the future: trail 50s and such.
Proudest Moment: In life? Maybe when my, at the time, four year old nephew tried to open a Fizzy Izze with his teeth after watching me open beers in said fashion. In retrospect, that was actually pretty nervous-making. In running? Every time I reach a goal I have worked hard to attain—most notably making the Olympic Trials qualifying time in the marathon. I trained hard and dug super deep to shatter my personal record and squeeze under the qualifying standard. I think I was blue in oxygen deficit crossing the finish line!
Best Distance Runner of All Time: Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuelson for their amazing performances and longevity and generosity in the sport.
Local Running Role Model: Every single member of the North Country Union High School cross country team! Those kids are tough, hard-working, goofy, and most importantly kind and supportive of each other. I find endless inspiration in them. Gary Allen of Crow Athletics. He is a true blue badass lifetime runner who sweats enthusiasm. He has built an amazingly supportive running and racing community and figured out a way to really give back to something he is passionate about.
Oddest Thing That’s Ever Happened to You on a Run: On a trail run I came out an exit south from where I expected on the interstate. I had to hitch a ride with a trucker who then got pulled over by the cops for picking up what was reported as “a twelve year old girl running down the highway.” We cleared it up and I got escorted back to my door by the friendly officer.
Advice for The Legion: Before a race or hard run or workout, think of all the work you have done leading up to that day that has prepared you for it. Think of all of the reasons you are going to be successful. If running has taught me anything, it is the power of positive thinking.
Miscellaneous: Did I mention the Museum of Everyday Life? “A residing place of wonder, an asylum for ideas, a room for the artist, a home for the wanderer. Welcome home….” The museum is located on Route 16 just 5 miles south of Glover village. The museum is self-service, just turn on the lights to your right as you enter, and please remember to turn them off if you are the last to leave. Donations welcome! Enjoy your visit. Ω
To read more from our Mar/April 2016 issue, click here.
To read more from our current issue, click here.