Thursday, May 21, 2015

Week in Review

Tuesday (22,224 steps) - So my running has been suffering. This time of year I always seem to suffer burnout as a result of crappy runs, most of them being on the treadmill. I'm frustrated with being slower and having less time to cover more miles. Had a bit of a "heart to heart" with some of my virtual running friends, and the bottom line is that I need to find a way to make it less awful, or just stop doing it. So, I've been getting up EARLY (like just before the sun is up) in order to get some running done outside before work. 3 miles done around my neighborhood. Now, that doesn't sound like a lot, but I consider it a victory since that 3 miles was including a pretty big hill that I would have walked up if it was in a race. After work, headed to the gym for 40 minutes on the elliptical, and then when I was at home I did the total body video.

Wednesday (24,845 steps) - Up early again. Did I mention it's been cold and rainy? This one required a light jacket, although I did warm up and took it off after about a mile. Same general route as the one I did the day before, but went a bit further. 5 miles done. Went to run club after work for another couple easy miles.


Thursday (24,845 steps) - Got up, headed out for a run and came back after less than a mile. Just not in the mood for it. Went to the gym after work and got in an hour on the elliptical.
Friday (24,099) - Historically, this has been an "off" day for me. However, I got up and tackled my longest morning run yet. Just over 6.5 miles before work.



Saturday (28,903 steps) - Since I've been running in the neighborhood, I wanted a change of pace. Headed down to Clear Creek trail and had a pretty good 5 mile run. Everything is so green right now because of all the rain that we have been having. 


Went to the gym after for 55 minutes on the elliptical. Then A and I headed to the only thing I was looking forward to on my birthday weekend - seeing Pitch Perfect 2! It wasn't nearly as good as the first one, but we had a great time. Birthday dinner was a delicious burger. I hadn't had one in ages.
Sunday (32,141) - I was up EARLY to get to the Colfax marathon relay since I was the runner for leg 1. I have already recapped the race so I won't go into much detail, but the 6.5 miles were pretty great, other than the last mile.


I rushed home to shower so that we could all go get breakfast. I had thought about going to get waffles, but we just ended up going to IHOP because it was close. I was EXHAUSTED after the race and ended up napping for half the afternoon. Welcome to old age... Quick total body video before dinner with my family.
Monday (16,362 steps) - Up early for my birthday run. 3.7 miles for 37 years... still very cold here, so I was running in long sleeves. I don't do that often and I'm running out of cold weather tops, so it was Christmas in May.


A and I went out to dinner for my birthday - shared a pizza. Then we indulged in all the dessert I had. One of my co-workers made me a huge cake and then another bought me little ones from "Nothing Bundt Cakes" - all delicious. 


Stats
  • 173,115 steps
  • 33.2 miles run
  • 155 minutes of cross training
  • 48 minutes of strength
  • SOLID week, and 0 miles on the treadmill
Everything Else
  • I'm 99% sure I won the step challenge at work. We turned in the last of our number on Monday morning, but for some reason it will take a WEEK to add them up? Are chickens doing the math?? I want the glory!!
  • Related: Work is still going really well
  • A's wrist is healing nicely. However, the bills have started rolling in. OMG can I complain and bitch and moan about the cost of health care???? AFTER insurance I'm looking at over $2200 out of pocket... and that does not include her follow-up appointments which will include more X-rays and a new cast. I'm sad, mad, and overall wtf. No wonder people go broke over medical bills. BLAH. I've been selling a lot of stuff, including some of my INKnBURN and my "designer" handbags in an effort to pay these bills. I've also got some pretty great friends that have offered to pitch in and send a few bucks my way if needed.
  • And as for all the running... my stage race is less than a month away. I figure I might as well get some miles in now. The outdoor running has really helped, so hopefully the run funk is over. What isn't over is all the rain. No sun is depressing.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Colfax Marathon Relay (Race Recap)

Sunday, May 17
Denver, CO
Weather - Sunny, NOT raining

The only relay I have ever done was the Ragnar in SoCal with #VanAwesome. I had no intention of ever running Colfax again. I ran the half two years ago only to knock it off the list. It always falls on my birthday weekend and I don't really like running on my birthday. I would rather eat and spectate, like I did last year.

Anyway, I somehow got roped into running with people from work. Two people who had run in the past were going to be on vacation and my attorney volunteered me since he calls me a "real runner." Wheee.

Our captain did not pick up our stuff for us, so since I had the first leg I went to the expo on Friday so I could get my bib and the baton. The expo was at Wings Over the Rockies - a pretty cool museum. However, it was INSANELY CROWDED, which as you all know, makes me twitchy. I think the drive to and from the expo and the time I spent there took an hour and a half. Sigh.

The marathon relay began at 6 am, so I had to be up just after 4:15 to drive down to City Park to get my car parked before 5 am so I could walk over to the start and do all my port-o-potty nonsense. I think I parked in almost the exact same spot as when L and I ran a few years ago. I was parked by 4:58 am, and the walk to the start was 10-15 minutes.

There were billions of bathrooms at the start so I didn't even have my normal "waiting in the bathroom line" stuff to do. Luckily I ran into a fellow roost teammate and we chatted until about 15 minutes before the start.

I had a throwaway sweatshirt since it was cold and I kept it on until about 5 minutes before the start. The race started about 5 minutes late and since I was in the 6th wave back I texted my team to let them know to expect me a bit later.

I had no idea what to expect but decided to just run on feel and hope for the best. We started in City Park, ran by East High School and we were on Colfax pretty early on. I was feeling good and running much faster than I normally do. I briefly stopped to get water at the first aid station just past mile 2. The best part of the early miles was seeing the guy dodge into Voodoo Doughnut and come out eating one. He got a bit of grief when he didn't finish it and tossed part of it in the trash.

Came up on a Grease Monkey around mile 2.5 - "Marathoners, you are at mile 3! 23.5 to go!" Nice try. Just before I25 we ran through the fire station (lame, there were no shirtless firemen" and then we turned onto the Cherry Creek trail, which I have never run on. Normally it is filled with homeless people, but they had apparently all been cleared out. There was an aid station around mile 4 on the trail and I briefly stopped there as well. I was still feeling pretty good. I was not having the fire calves, but I could tell I was starting to get tired and wasn't sure how long I could hold out. We got off the trail, ran by Confluence Park and then ran behind Elitch's. The answer to how long could I hold my pace? About mile 5.25 we started a small climb and my legs just stopped. I took a few walk breaks for the next half mile or so. We arrived at Sports Authority field and ran through Gate 5 and got to run inside the stadium:


We exited the stadium and then had to run up the ramp and back around the west side. Seems unfair to end on a hill. Didn't want to walk because I was SOOO CLOSE to the exchange. As I got closer I was wondering how on earth Sheryl was going to see me - the exchange area was so tiny!! They were announcing bib numbers and luckily she found me right away. I was so happy to be done!

The big annoyance was having to wait in a ridiculously long line just to get my bottle of water. I was pretty hot and thirsty and I didn't appreciate the 15 minute wait to get my water. Wah. No good food at the exchange, so I had a gal take my picture and headed out:


I figured I would have to catch the bus on Federal and luckily there were others wandering around confused like I was. We figured out that we needed to walk about 6 blocks south to catch the bus. The bus wasn't "special" for the race, just the regular city bus, so it stopped about 25 times before dropping us off near the start at 17th and Colorado. By this time it was already 8:30 in the morning. I briefly considered walking over to the start to see if I could catch up with anyone I knew who was running the half and decided going home to shower and eat was more important. It was another 12 block walk back to my car.

Garmin time - 1:07:17
Garmin distance - 6.53 miles (my leg was 6.4 according to the race)
Garmin pace - 10:18
Mile 1 - 10:37
Mile 2 - 10:12
Mile 3 - 10:03
Mile 4 - 9:32
Mile 5 - 10:09
Mile 6 - 11:15
Mile 7 - 10:26

Thoughts
  • For such a large race, this was really well organized. The aid stations had both Gatorade and water, and there were bathrooms on the course. And PLENTY at the start.
  • Very cool medal - even for the relay.
  • The baton that we had to use for the relay was a bit archaic for me - join the 21st century and do bracelets or something. I had considered running back to my car instead of dealing with the bus but decided I didn't want to carry a handheld AND a baton.
  • The exchange could have used a little work. The water really should be separate from the food so we didn't have to wait so long.
  • The bus was a bit complicated to find, but it was nice that I was able to get back to my car without any difficulty. Our bibs had our bus tickets attached as a tear off, so that was nice.
  • They have a pretty good finish line deal with BBQ and beer, but I didn't go because it was too early and I wanted breakfast instead.
  • All things considered, it was fun and I would probably do it again. It helped that work paid for the race so it didn't cost me anything but time.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Arvada Park to Park 10k (Race Recap)

Saturday, May 9
Arvada, CO
Weather - COLD AND RAINY

So if you aren't from Colorado you might not know that we have had INSANE amounts of rain for the last few weeks. Many races in Colorado had been cancelled as a result. Many trails are closed.

Up until the night before, we imagined the Arvada Park to Park half marathon was just going to be a wet and muddy mess on the bike paths and roads the course was supposed to be on. At 1:45 in the morning the race director sent out an email saying the half marathon was off due to crazy amounts of flooding in the second half of the course. The shorter distances (10k and 5k) were still on.

So... we headed (literally) down the street to the start line. It was cold and drizzling already. Below is a picture of the creek (which is normally MUCH smaller).


My dad had registered for the 10k, but since the forecast was wrong (the night before it said we would get a few hours of sun and relief from ran) he wanted to drop down to the 5k. It was pretty much a disaster trying to get him changed over. Three volunteers but only one seemed to be in charge of changing distances and fixing problems. I bet it took close to 20 minutes to get this changed over. Did I mention it was cold and rainy? We headed over to the bathrooms and then went back to sit in the car. We could not be outside. Too cold.

We stayed in the car until about 5 minutes before the start. I had plans to run the first mile and a half with A before she turned around to finish the 5k and I would keep going for the 10k. We started mid-pack and it was chilly but for the first 10 minutes or so it was NOT raining. We did a loop around a park and then she headed back. THEN, it poured. (See a picture below of A near the finish - I didn't find any pictures of me because I'm betting the photographers left...)


Meanwhile, I was feeling pretty good on the 10k course. It was cold and POURING but I was doing ok. I was on pace for a decent-ish pace and then I got to the hill heading back up to the park before we looped around and I walked a minute. I am so glad I hadn't run with my phone. I was drenched. Picked up the pace the last few miles. There was a ton of standing water about 2/3 of a mile from the finish, which was an unwelcome development.

Ran it in the best I could for the finish, and I managed to pass a few people in the last quarter mile. I saw everyone at the finish since we parked right there and L and I had to get our post race picture. I had chosen to run in the wave tank (appropriate for the amount of water we had, don't you think?)

We stuck around so that we could hear the 5k awards. A managed to get second in her age group (again, just around 11 minute miles for her - and in a cast even!) and my dad got first in his division (he was really happy to have beat an 84 year old, lol). L and I had no chance.


We weren't given medals at the finish but asked around for who was handing them out. People running both distances got one.

Garmin Time - 1:03:58
Mile 1 - 11:30
Mile 2 - 10:46
Mile 3 - 10:46
Mile 4 - 11:15
Mile 5 - 9:45
Mile 6 - 9:32
Mile 6.ish - 7:54
  • Having run in rain before, I was thinking, how bad could it be? Well, when it is also windy and the temperature is in the low 40's, it can be pretty bad. I'm happy I didn't have the horrible fire calves and was actually able to finish at a respectable pace. I can't even remember the last time I had 2 sub 10 miles (in a row, even).
  • There were 3 aid stations, all unmanned. They had nuun, which was nice. I took some at two of the aid stations because I had not carried anything on me.
  • The course was very well marked, and there were volunteers at a few of the turns to ensure you didn't get lost.
  • The course did measure just a tad short for me, but that could be a result of the rain?
  • The shirts were meh, again, a sheer white tech shirt. I wouldn't even have taken mine but my dad had picked up my packet for me. This will be donated.
  • Didn't expect the medal, especially for the 10k, that was nice.
  • Not sure about post-race food/drink, we booked out of there the second awards were done. This might be one of the coldest races I have ever done. Brrr.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Week in Review (May 5 - May 11)

Tuesday (18,077 steps) - Went to the gym with plans to do a hill program of some type. After I had been screwing around and had only gotten maybe a half mile into my run, one of the teachers from the Kid's Club came over to tell me that A had hurt herself and was pretty upset. I grabbed my stuff and headed in to see her shaking, crying and freaking out. She had been trying to show her friend how to do a back bend and for some reason the two were holding hands. Not sure of who let go or what happened, but A fell back "wrong" on her wrist. I opted to take her to urgent care - where it was confirmed... fracture.


Wednesday (22,108 steps) - A still wanted to go to the gym. I tried to run on the treadmill, got a little over three miserable, chafing miles in. Blah.
Thursday (25,399 steps) - An hour on the elliptical.
Friday (17,155 steps) - A had an appointment to get the "real" cast on at a super inconvenient time. I skipped going to work in the morning and watched some tv while she was in school until it was time for her appointment. She opted for green and purple.

Saturday (18,193 steps) - L and I were supposed to be running the Arvada Park to Park inaugural half marathon. Due to a week of non-stop rain a lot of the half marathon course was flooded so it was canceled at the last minute (like 2 in the morning). We opted to run the 10k instead, and A ran the 5k. (Recap to follow).

I had plans to meet up with Jessa, Jackson and Lisa at 3. We hadn't hung out in a LONG time. Imagine my surprise when we walked in and they had thrown me a mini surprise party! (My birthday isn't until the 18th, but this weekend worked better for us all). They got me Voodoo Doughnuts, a cheese plate, vegetable and fruit trays, stout beers I hadn't tried and we ordered pizza for dinner. THE BEST NIGHT EVER. These gals are the best!!


Sunday (22,247 steps) - L had opted to run another 10 in the morning. It snowed (A LOT, like 5 inches) overnight and I wasn't feeling up to it - especially after all the fun food from the night before. Since it was Mother's Day, A woke me up with coffee and breakfast. We had NO plans with such a blah day, so we watched movies. I walked (yes, walked) - 8.5 miles on the treadmill. Yikes.

We had dinner at my parent's house with all the family - it was pretty nice.
Monday (29,254 steps) - I did a "virtual run" with some of the INKnBURN fan club ladies. I actually got up early and ran 6 (very very very slow) miles on the treadmill. I honestly can't remember the last time I did that many miles during the week OR the last time I got up early during the week to exercise. A still wanted to go to the gym so we went for a bit - 40 minutes on the elliptical.

Stats
  • 152,433 steps
  • 15.5 miles run
  • 100 minutes of cross training (plus 8.5 miles of walking)
  • No strength this week... (oops)
Everything Else
  • Gah. So, yeah, A's fractured wrist was the "excitement" of the week. Not that there is ever a good time for medical bills, but I have just spent all that money with the dentist (root canal & tooth bleaching is coming up on the 26th) and I'm not looking forward to getting the bills from the Urgent Care and Orthopedic. Yikes.
  • The weather has been AWFUL for the last few weeks. Maybe we were spoiled with such a mild winter, but man. It's been cold, windy, rainy and GLOOMY. Not to mention the half a foot of SNOW we just got. Enough!!! I want some sun and warm weather!
  • Still haven't had my review at work. It was canceled due to the HR lady being out on a family emergency. It never got rescheduled... Do I harass and keep asking if it is happening? It was supposed to be almost three weeks ago.
  • Nothing else.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Week in Review (April 28 - May 4)

Tuesday (22,273 steps) - 45 minutes on the elliptical. Legs are just still angry and tired and sore and running seems to make it worse...  Also did a HIIT video, targeting abs, butt and thighs. I seem to remember it being difficult.

Wednesday (20,503 steps) - Run club with Heather! Legs tired, conversation was good. Got home to my package from Dirty Girl Gaiters - these are AWESOME - and SO me...


Thursday (23,629 steps) - 45 minutes on the elliptical
Friday (16.791 steps) - Pizza Friday!!!
Saturday (34,247 steps) - Run Blossom half marathon.
We met up with some friends for lunch at Fuzzy's Tacos. Fairly uneventful for the rest of the day.
Sunday (24,688 steps) - I am in need of "more cushioned" trail shoes for my upcoming shenanigans. I briefly tried Hokas, but they seem really tall and like they would be too narrow. Earlier in the week I purchased a pair of Altra Olympus for practically free (only $50!) at Running Warehouse. Even though I was pretty sore (??) from my half, A and I went to Big Dry Creek so I could test out the shoes. Initial thoughts - they are definitely more substantial than what I currently wear. They felt "weird" on pavement, but decent on the dirt part. I will have to test out more when I'm feeling better.
After lunch A and I went to see McFadden - what a wonderful movie. I just loved the character of Danny Diaz so much. LOVED THIS MOVIE. In the afternoon L and I did an upper body video and then a 100 rep squat video.
Monday (21,348 steps) - An hour on the elliptical. We hurried home for... BATMAN SOUR'S FIRST BIRTHDAY! It was pretty cute, the kids made him cards and had gotten him some presents. He even got a candle in his kitty food. (I don't have much in my life, don't mock me).

Stats
  • 163,479 steps (I upped this since we are doing a "step challenge" at work and I really want to be the winner.
  • 19.9 miles run
  • 150 minutes of cross training
  • 51 minutes of strength/stretching
Everything Else
  • Pretty quiet week here - with the exception of Batman Sour's birthday of course.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Run Blossom Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, May 2
Canon City, CO
Half Marathon #131
Colorado Half #64
Weather - perfect

This race might have been our cheapest race EVER. We registered opening day, March 1, for $30. Yes, $30. There was a no-shirt option that saved us $5 (so technically, most people probably paid more), and there were NO FEES.

On Saturday morning I was up at 4:03 am in order to drive 2.5 hours southwest to run the Run Blossom half marathon in Canon City. The drive was long and uninteresting (mainly because it was still dark.

We found the general vicinity of the race without issue but drove around the block to find out where we were supposed to park. Of COURSE our buddy Ross (also from Arvada) was pulling in at the same time. We walked over, picked up our bib, used an indoor(ish) bathroom and sat in the car until about 15 minutes before the race started.

There did not seem to be a ton of people but we were still concerned about a line for the bathroom. We did not have to wait. We ran back to the car for sunscreen and then headed over to the start. There were NOT a lot of people participating in the half. (The race has been put on for a few years - there is also a 5 mile and 5k option, but the half is only in its second year, maybe that is why the numbers are smaller).

I think this was almost everyone running the half
The race started on time - 7:30. It was GREAT to start the race this early. The weather felt perfect but I knew it would warm up quickly. The first mile or so we were running on a bike path along the river, and then we crossed a street and ended up on some dirt - when I noticed this:

Uh. Are we running a trail race? There wasn't much information on the website and I sorta thought we were running a road race? My legs were tired and angry and I walked a lot of the hill on the way up. I enjoyed running on the non-technical dirt.


The reward, of course, were some gorgeous views of the valley and the river.



The first aid station was at mile 2. They had water, electrolytes and some "ultra-type" snacks including grapes and gummy bears. Then, we got to run through some cool tunnels (pictures to follow). Once I was through the tunnels I was feeling a bit better and run all the way to the turnaround (somewhere just over mile 3?) without additional walking.

View at turnaround
The way back to the aid station I was still feeling good and really only stopped for some tunnel pictures:



Back at the aid station, grabbed a grape and some water and headed out. It was starting to warm up already. So the question was... where would the course go now? We had been running on the Arkansas River Trail and I knew we would be coming back through by where we started. When it got within my line of sight I noticed a start line - with like 200 kids in matching green shirts lined up. The race director announced for them to let me run by. That part was kind of cool - it was like the parting of the Red Sea and all the kids were screaming and cheering for me. I totally felt like a celebrity.

In the midst of the commotion I missed the aid station at mile 6 (right by the bridge where the finish line was). Dang I was pretty thirsty. I kept going and when I got out of sight of all the people I took a quick walk break - just as the hundreds of kids started to zoom past me.

On one hand, it was kind of nice to no longer be running alone. On the other hand, did you know that most kids have no idea what race etiquette is? Sometimes they would just stop in the middle of the path and tie their shoe or were running 5 across. Either way, it was certainly a bizarre colliding of distances.

We were apparently still on the Arkansas River Trail and after the 5k people looped around and turned off it was much less crowded. And really pretty:


Heading into the aid station around mile 8.5 I saw L, so she was fairly far ahead of me. There was a decent sized hill at mile 9, and then we finally turned around somewhere around mile 9.75 or so to head back. These last three miles LASTED FOREVER.

Free race pic!
I was probably the most tired I have been in a race in a LONG time. I have been struggling for a while anyway, and even though the last miles were fairly flat, I was just... done. I walked a lot. There was a gal in front of me that I kept thinking I could catch and finally with about a half mile to go I just let her go. I just had nothing in me.

Finished just under 2:30, which was pretty disappointing when I thought I would be on track for finishing closer to 2:20. But the course and the views made up for it. It was a really pretty race.


After we got our finisher picture I asked L if she wanted to stick around and see if she had place. The race director said he was getting results ready and offered to do half marathon awards first since L was, in fact, third overall female.

Turns out they also did age group awards! Since the race was so tiny I managed to place 3rd in my age group (there were actually two ladies that finished after me), so I ended up with a keychain award. That was very cool and unexpected.

Official Time - 2:29
Official Place - 29/35
Garmin Time - 2:29:08
Mile 1 - 10:39
Mile 2 - 13:16
Mile 3 - 10:59
Mile 4 - 10:29
Mile 5 - 10:39
Mile 6 - 10:20
Mile 7 - 11:18
Mile 8 - 11:06
Mile 9 - 11:00
Mile 10 - 11:26
Mile 11 - 11:52
Mile 12 - 11:51
Mile 13 - 11:44
Mile 13.22 - 11:14

Thoughts
  • What an unexpectedly great race. I did not have high expectations for this at all. I was pleasantly surprised with the course, with the aid stations, and the unique awards. The shirt was nice as well, even though I did not get one.
  • The course was VERY cool for the half marathon - running through the tunnels was neat!
  • Aid stations well stocked, and there were plenty of them for the race - 8 total.
  • The only not-so-great part was the lack of information regarding the course and the shorter distances starting after the half.
  • Overall I would definitely recommend this race! I will probably not run again just because it was so far, but if you are in the Colorado Springs area, definitely a good race to look out for.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week in Review (April 21 - April 27)

Tuesday (20,093 steps) - 45 minutes on the elliptical and then a total body video at home.
Wednesday (19,324 steps) - Run club!!! Just got a couple miles in. Legs were still angry.
Thursday (20,743 steps) - 3.5 miles on the treadmill. HOT. Not a great run.
Friday (14,914 steps) - PIZZA!!!
Saturday (32,332 steps) - Ft. Collins half marathon.
Pretty much left right from the race and headed home for a quick shower before going over to Jessa's house to babysit Jackson for the evening. Turned out to be quite the perfect night. Sitting and watching tv. My favorite.
Sunday (10,719 steps) - Went to Heather's "Cherry Creek Sneak" party. Turned out to be the perfect day for going to a party and sitting and eating and drinking and NOT running. It was pretty cold and rainy the entire day.
A had a great time making posters and decorations for the party
A was the champion of Jenga, Uno, Operation and Connect 4
Monday (23,885 steps) - 5+ miles on the treadmill doing a hill program. I don't remember it being awful, so it was probably average. Also did a total body video at home.

Stats 
  • 142,010 steps
  • 24 miles run
  • 45 minutes of cross training
  • 48 minutes of strength/stretching
Everything Else
  • I've made the public announcement on Facebook - might as well do it here as well! I'm officially running my first stage race! I didn't find out until fairly recently, and honestly, my training is not really up for it, but the location?? Western Colorado and Utah (specifically, Moab). MY FAVORITE. I am so excited for this! It is to be run the entire distance of the Kokopelli trail (about 148 miles) from just west of Grand Junction, Colorado to downtown Moab, Utah. I am pumped. The race is Desert RATS - and it is put on by the same folks that had the trail race I just ran a few weeks ago and the race I do in Moab. Here is the LINK if you are interested in learning more about my next crazy adventure.
  • I went to the dentist TWICE for "scaling and re-planing." What that basically means is deep cleaning since I hadn't gone to the dentist for a while. It also is a clever way to bill the insurance company more money since it isn't "regular" cleaning and maintenance. The three total visits I have had cost me over $600. Good news? I only have the root canal left. The bad news? I want to bleach the tooth that is having the root canal because it is a front tooth and it is discolored and insurance pays none of that so it isn't covered and my bill will be $466. Yay!
  • It was staff appreciation WEEK here at my job. They did all sorts of cool and fun activities, catered in a LOT of food, and they did giveaways for gift certificates, massages AND free "paid days off." Sadly, I didn't win anything, but I had a fun time participating.
  • I guess since I posted about it a few weeks ago I will update. I had been talking to someone through Facebook (we do know each other in real life and he is a runner) about going out for drinks. We had sorta made plans, we were texting a bit. Then.... nothing. I felt like I was doing ALL the initiating of conversation, so I stopped. I ran into him at the Ft. Collins race and mentioned that he still owed me a beer and there was no further follow-up. So I guess that is not happening. I hate to appear desperate.
  • And with all that.... nothing else happening. Seems like it was a pretty boring week.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ft. Collins Trail Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, April 25
Livermore, CO
Half Marathon #130
Colorado Half #63
Weather - sunny and warm

I was really looking forward to yet another trail race. The Ft. Collins half marathon is put on by Endurance Races Series, and I have run a few of their races. According to the website, this was pretty much going to be the most difficult of all the trail races.  The race did not start until 9:00, but since we were about 1.5 hours south, we still had to be out the door by 6:30. Luckily, we had set up the mapping in advance since we lost all our cell phone service about 20 minutes before arriving at the start, a tiny little church across from Eagle's Nest.

We picked up our packets and used the bathrooms. The bathrooms were inside, but there were only two stalls and we knew there was close to 350 runners between the half marathon and 10k. We peeked at the start line across the street and did not see any port-o-potties there. Uh oh.


We figured allowing 20 minutes would be enough time to use the bathroom. We really should have left another half hour. We cycled through right when the race was supposed to start, but lucky for us, they started the race about five minutes late.

If you look in the picture above, you can see the road that we were going to be running up for the first mile. As I expected, I tired pretty early and a group of us walked a bulk of the second half of the hill. For the first time in a while, I got the fire calves and I was "glad" I had the hill excuse to walk and loosen it up. It was soooo pretty in this area, and I don't think people minded that I captured them walking :)


So I started out walking with maybe 10 people behind me. By the time we got close to the first aid station (at the top of the hill at mile 1), I was literally in LAST PLACE. I don't like being in last, but I have done enough races to know that I won't stay there for long.


After leaving the aid station we moved onto the single track. It was much more narrow than I anticipated. The 10k was supposed to start 15 minutes after the half and I was worried about the super fast people catching up to me. It did NOT take long for them to catch me. I don't think the 10k started late, so they were only about 10 minutes behind us. I was probably around mile 1.5 when I heard the leader coming up behind me. Womp.


We had some more "gradual" climbing and I was able to fast a few people on the incline and then we came to a glorious downhill. Good for me because I would actually be able to run that section and I am pretty decent at downhill. Bad, because at mile 2, that's when a lot of the front runners were catching up to me and that meant running to the right of the trail and jumping of the trail to let them them pass. I did NOT enjoy that part.

The downhill lasted until the next aid station at mile 3. Luckily with the turnaround I was no longer going to be bothered with the fasties :)  After the turnaround we finally were running near the creek/river, and then headed up another hill to the last aid station of the out and back, around mile 4.


I'm grabbing just a cup of water when I hear one of the gals in front of me talking to the volunteer. He says, "I think the trail is a bit muddy... oh, look, here is one of the front runners, look at his shoes when he runs by."

Oh. So... it was going to be muddy. Thanks for the notice! The trail became overgrown "dirt road" with tire tracks, tall grass and yes, mud. I think we had at least 7-8 sections of muddy water that we had to cross. 


And at mile 5, there was a wider crossing, and what looks like bones. From something.

I saw L when my watch said 5.4 - she was CRUISING. I was running with a guy and a gal and we kept running together until we hit about mile 6 - which was shortly before the turnaround. The guy was complaining of having a side ache, I ran past, and they never got back in front of me.


The mile 6-6.5 seemed REALLY STEEP. I almost had to stop walking because I was just dying and needed air. And then - the turnaround!!

I took this picture at the halfway point - which took me about an hour and a half:

I was hoping that since it had seemed really hard and steep on the way up that it would seem more downhill on the way back.

And for the most part, it did. I think miles 6.5-8 were pretty great. It seemed really hot to me and I was getting tired, but I honestly didn't walk that much.
Got to the aid station at mile 9 and passed a few people there. It was nice and downhill to the aid station at mile 10, and I passed another couple of people. There was a small section that was not "quite" the same was the way out and it was pretty steep and I walked a large section of it. There was maybe 1/3 of a mile of flat and downhill, and then we started a climb that was THE WORST EVER.

Maybe about mile 10.7 the climbing started. That glorious downhill at the beginning. OH YEAH. That is what I had to get back up. It was so steep that I was taking breaks. And a selfie:

Just past mile 11 and I see a girl who stops and sits on a rock on the side of the trail. I mention that it seems hot and she just sort of nods. I ask her if she is ok and she says she is not feeling well. I ask if she needs anything and she says no. But she doesn't move so I asked if she wanted me to talk to the volunteer at the last aid station and she said yes. It took me 10-15 minutes to get there and... there is no there. Damn it!

I knew that the last mile was downhill and I just cruised it. I passed two more people in the last mile and came in at a very solid pace (for me).

Crossed the line and got my medal and immediately told Luke (who was timing the event) that there was a girl in trouble on the course. A park ranger ended up driving up to make sure she was ok. Scary!!
Official time - 2:49:08
Official pace - 12:55
Overall place - 132/154 (ok, so I passed like 20 people)
Gender place - 65/82
Division place - 18/22
Garmin time - 2:49:11
Garmin distance - 12.59 miles
Garmin pace - 13:26
Mile 1 - 14:12
Mile 2 - 12:40
Mile 3 - 12:42
Mile 4 - 14:12
Mile 5 - 14:23
Mile 6 - 16:00
Mile 7 - 12:49
Mile 8 - 11:15
Mile 9 - 11:59
Mile 10 - 12:44
Mile 11 - 18:15
Mile 12 - 12:39
Mile 12.6ish - 8:59 (!!!! - yay downhill)

Thoughts
  • I got done, grabbed my free beer ticket and headed over to the finish area. AND THERE WAS NO BEER. OMFG. Advertise free craft beer for a race and... it's gone??? So all the fast people get beer and the slow people don't??? This is not the first race where this has happened and even with bib tickets? SO BUMMED AND SAD.
  • Not cool to let the volunteers leave their aid stations, especially when there is NO cell phone service. Kinda scary if something were to happen.
  • The course was AMAZING. I love trail running so much. I got to run a lot of my favorite terrains and I didn't mind getting muddy.
  • The aid stations were plenty - they did warn people that there was going to be a 5 mile stretch with no aid. They had water, some sort of electrolytes, bananas, cookies and some type of gel that I didn't have.
  • The medal is pretty nice, and the shirt was ok too - gender specific tech tee. L didn't take hers, but I did.
  • Overall, I think this was a fun event, but not sure that I would run it again due to its location.