Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week in Review (September 29 - October 5)

Tuesday (16,594 steps) - Day 1 (sort of) of the 8 week Fitness Blender program. I skipped day 1, the fitness test, because I was drained from two half marathons over the weekend. So I jumped in on day 2 with a low impact cardio warm up (way too long), a HIIT workout (not bad) and a total body cool down.
Wednesday (22,331 steps) - Warm up, upper body strength and stretching videos in the morning. Went to the gym and ran 4 not-so-terrible-but-not-great miles on the treadmill.
Thursday (17,338 steps) - Cardio and cool down yoga in the morning before working. After work we ran to Home Depot to pick up air filters for the furnace. For the first time, I was asked to run my card as a "chip card." My card kept getting declined, so I called the bank. On their end, the error message was "expiration date error" - but said there was no reason why the card should be declined. Home Depot finally let me run my card manually (type in card number, expiration and code) and it went through. 45 minutes of my night wasted. After homework time, A watched some TV and I installed a new thermostat. Boy, that was fun too.
Trying not to electrocute myself
Friday (16,224 steps) - A combo video of HIIT and lower body strength. Not the worst ever, except for star jumps. I LOATHE STAR JUMPS. Our adventure of the evening was going to Target to buy a wall mount for my TV so that I would have something to look at when I am running in my basement. I young kid sold me a mount and a Roku stick so that I would be able to stream Netflix. Long story short. I screwed up installation on the wall mount the first time around because I didn't drill into a stud. Then I finally got the mount up, only to discover the Roku stick wasn't going to work because it was too long and didn't fit. ARG. Ended up stealing A's Wii to hook up. I'll figure out a solution to this later.

Saturday (31,356 steps) - I had every intention of doing my long run. After the TV installation fiasco I was tired and didn't get up early enough to do it. I still ran a few miles though, so my contraption wasn't totally wasted.
A had a Girl Scouts event at the School of Mines called "Bridge the Gap." Put on by student volunteers, there were over a dozen stations to help get the girls interested in science and engineering. A had a great time (and there was cupcakes).

After that we went to the zoo - mainly because A wanted to see the Lego exhibits. Stopped at Runner's Roost to pick up my new shoes and then went to an extremely late lunch (early dinner) at Sweet Tomatoes.

This turtle looked like he was doing yoga, LOLOL!!
Red pandas are my FAVORITE

Sunday (38,488 steps) - This time I *did* get up early to do my long run. 14 miles to be exact. It's incredibly hard to believe that I EVER did this kind of training on the treadmill. But I did. I did up to 30 mile runs on the treadmill. This, however, was CHALLENGING. I had my TV going and my fan going and it was mostly ok. Other than the fact that I have gotten incredibly slow and it took FOREVER.
A and I made breakfast burritos. After showering we went down to visit Heather and Dan. We went Halloween costume shopping and watched the first half of the Broncos game. Heather and I gabbed about all things running and Dan and A played game after game of Jenga. We went to Chili's for dinner - which was tasty.
Monday (16,740 steps) - Yet another HIIT video. I think I have done this one before and I didn't really care for it. I did a lot of the "easy/modified" moves as I find things like jump lunges very difficult. Finally got my hair cut after work - a couple of inches makes ALL the difference, it looks so much healthier.


  • 159,071 steps
  • 21.2 miles run
  • 122 minutes of cross-training (other cardio/HIIT)
  • 26 minutes of strength/stretching

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weeks in Review (September 15 - September 28)

Tuesday, September 15 (21,531 steps) - I was extremely tired in the morning after staying up until 1 in the morning unpacking so I didn't do my video. I had some friends come over to tell me what I'll need to do for a dedicated outlet for my built in microwave and wiring for ceiling fans in our bedrooms. Good news is that all that is left to do is hang up my medals! Just before bed I did my upper body strength and cardio video. This one was pretty good too.
Wednesday, September 16 (19,272 steps) - Very busy evening after work picking up random odds and ends for the house. A blissfully short HIIT video.
Thursday, September 17 (16,242 steps) - Up early for my appointment with Comcast. I was quoted 2ish hours for install. 5.5 hours later, I went to work. The morning was not a total waste, I braved hanging up some of my medal racks. The time consuming aspect was re-sorting them all in chronological order. Oy!
A low impact cardio video was on deck - I really liked this as a "movement" video. Might do again. Was dealing with the computer stuff for most of the night as I've been without internet for 3 months. Just backing up my phone and doing updates took a few hours.
Friday, September 18 (17,347 steps) - For the first time since we moved in I actually got up early for my video. I did not really care for the total body strength and HIIT video. Maybe I'm just really uncoordinated, but a lot of the moves seemed uncomfortable and awkward. Dinner was at Ruby Tuesday's for National Cheeseburger Day!
Saturday, September 19 (25,95 steps) -  Gym in the morning - 5.5 miles of hills! It actually was not that terrible.
Loving the new zombie shirt!!!
Unpacking, cleaning - over and over and over. I did discover, however, that there is a leak in my ceiling. Texted a few people, hoping to get it resolved as there was no disclosure of any type of leak or water damage. We did, however, make some cookies!
Sunday, September 20 (15,839 steps) - Nothing, nothing, nothing. EXCEPT that we adopted a BCF (best cat friend) for Batman Sour! With no one to entertain him during the day we thought a companion might help him out. We went to the animal shelter (the same place we got Batman) and got Robin Sparkles, a 5 year old black cat. He seemed to do ok with her in the house, albeit a little jealous.
We made burgers and a pumpkin cake (and muffins) for dinner. 

Monday, September 21 (21,246 steps) - Went to the gym and ran just over 3 miles (slowly) on a hill program and then did a butt and thigh video (can't remember if I liked it or not, but think I did).
Tuesday, September 22 (15,884 steps) - An upper body video in the morning (which sadly, did not leave me as sore as I hoped it might), and an easy few miles in the basement inferno after work.
Wednesday, September 23 (21,032 steps) - Got up early for the cardio video of the day. Only moments after I finished the plumber showed up to look at the leak from my tub. Turns out the drain waste pipe had a hole and that's where the leak was coming from. The owners claim no responsibility for that although the plumber said that connecting pipe should have been replaced when the tub was put in. He at least put some glue over the pipe and said that was a "temporary fix" until I can get someone in to replace the pipe. At least that meant I could use the shower... After work I went to run club after work. The theme of run club was "Hoktoberfest" - so I tried a pair of Hokas (which I did not care for), and there was beer and brats. It was great seeing everyone as I had not been in a few weeks.
Thursday, September 24 (13,216 steps) - Good intentions of getting my video done in the morning but I was way too exhausted. I had to leave the house by 6:15 to get down south to drop my car off for more work. Drove back up to Arvada to take A to school and then back to work. Lather, rinse repeat (in a bit of a different order) to pick up my car. So almost 5 hours in the car to get my car worked on. Too tired to do anything but a mile in the basement inferno.
Friday, September 25 - Last day of the Fitness Blender 8 week challenge (well, I really should have done it on Thursday, but I still got it done). This was an easy "stretching, pilates, yoga" video. Pretty proud of myself for getting this challenge done and only missing one day! Had to take Robin Sparkles to the vet for her "check up" and her rabies shot. Shockingly, she did not enjoy the car ride. After work I met up with A at her Girl Scout event.
When we got back home we finally hung up some of the pictures that I got from Avery Images (you know Kate from "My Alpine Adventures" - and I love them!!
Saturday, September 26 - Drove up to Granby (about an hour and 45 minutes each way) for the Snow Mountain Ranch half marathon. A volunteered for the 2.5 hours+ that I was racing. Supposedly she did a really great job, there were no complaints.
We stopped on our way home at IHOP for lunch (a very late lunch) and then home for a quick shower before heading over to Bear Creek for volunteering! We arrive at 3:15 and worked the boat ramp aid station until about 9:00.
View from our aid station
A was a little bored in the early hours...
A was a little bored volunteering until it got dark. Then she had a great time in all her "glowing" gear running up the hill and running with the athletes to the aid station, asking if they needed anything and chatting with them. She was told many times she was the best volunteer ever and that her distractions were really appreciated.

Drove over to the finish line for a sandwich (grilled cheese and sausage - SO GOOD) and a beer, before heading home. An incredibly long day for sure.
Sunday, September 27 - The Bear Chase!
After the race and socializing was done we went to lunch in Morrison with Heather and Dan. It was nice to just hang out - outside of running, that is.
Delicious chili rellenos!
Went home for a quick shower and then A and I went to see Hotel Transylvania 2. It was pretty cute. Spent the afternoon/evening doing laundry, cleaning the toilets and hanging up pictures. A busy weekend for sure!
Monday, September 28 - Fitness Blender released a new 8-week challenge. Today should have been the "fitness test" (think timed mile, push-ups, etc). I decided to skip this as I had already done quite a bit of running over the weekend and thought rest would be a better option. The evening was spent making quite the elaborate spread for breakfast burritos and finally sitting around and watching some tv.


  • Week ending September 21
  • 136,972 steps
  • 8.8 miles run (close to an all-time low!)
  • 106 minutes of cross-training (other cardio/HIIT)
  • 32 minutes of strength/stretching
  • Week ending September 28
  • 156,509 steps
  • 29.95 miles run
  • 23 minutes of cross-training (other cardio/HIIT)
  • 49 minutes of strength/stretching

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bear Chase Trail Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, September 27
Lakewood, CO
Half Marathon #139
Colorado Half #72
Weather - sunny and warm

This was going to be my fifth year running the Bear Chase. This was, however, going to be the first year that I was not running an ultra distance. With a 7 am start time, I wanted to be out the door by 5:30 as the exit for Morrison Road gets pretty backed up when there is an event. I was sort of out of it in the morning, so exhausted from the day before. By the time A and I got out the door it was closer to 5:40. However, there was no traffic and we were parked just a few minutes after 6.

Dan was volunteering at the parking lot and agreed to hang out with A while Heather and I raced. I met up with Heather and we headed over to the start line. By the time we cycled through the bathroom line and took a few pictures it was time to head out.

Me, Heather and Lisa
Plan was to start in the back so that I didn't start out too fast. Heather fed into the conga line a bit earlier than I would have liked so started off a bit uncomfortable. The loop for the half marathon is the same big loop that the ultra races do, but to get it the half marathon distance we did this weird half mile loop around the parking lot. There was a lot of bottle-necking early on.

Due to all the rain that we had this spring the race had to start at a different location (although the course itself was the same. We moved onto the trail into single track. Less than two minutes later my calves were already cramping past the point of comfort so I had to jump off the trail to try to loosen them up, losing Heather very early on.

The slope on the side of the trail was too steep for it to be comfortable to walk so I did some quick stretching and waited for a break to jump back in.

I tossed my gloves at one of the first trail markers. I don't know what I was thinking - there was no way it was cool enough to need those.

My legs were very tight the first few miles. I was hoping to catch up to Heather, but there was no way that was going to happen. So I decided to just take it easy and hope to have a decent finish. 

The one nice thing about the modified course is that we would be heading up Mt. Carbon much earlier in the day. There is zero shade on the base of the "hill" and it would be nice to get that part out of the way before it got too much warmer.

I saw Heather when I was starting the ascent and power hiked up to the top. As usual, the view from the climb was really pretty.

The back side of decent was great, like always. I managed to pass a half dozen people on that section and even skipped stopping at the aid station because I had barely touched my handheld. The section with the water crossings was nice and cool.

So many people were stopped on the side of the trail taking off their shoes and putting them back on after the river. Uh. Did you know that there are three crossings and you are wasting a lot of time? Oh wells. I passed another few people in this section.

Jogged most of the section next to the golf course and stopped briefly at the Fox Hollow aid station to take off my shoe as I had gotten some mud in there from the crossings. The section heading into Cattail Creek is my least favorite. There is a big climb and the course runs right along Alameda. The mountains are pretty, but the course in this part is exposed and HOT. However, it is mostly flat so I ran a bulk of this section.

The hardest part of the race was knowing that when I got to the Cattail Creek aid station that I was not "almost done." I did the climb up "mini Mt. Everest" and did a lot of run/walk until the nice section of downhill heading into the boat ramp aid station. I topped off my water bottle and headed into the last three miles.

It WAS nice to not have any major climbs at the end. My legs just felt like LEAD after having run the day before. I passed a couple people, but I had to walk more than I would have liked.

Official Time - 2:47:30
Overall Place - 210/285
Division Place - 41/61
Garmin Time - 2:47:29
Mile 1 - 13:22
Mile 2 - 13:07
Mile 3 - 13:33
Mile 4 - 11:39
Mile 5 - 12:32
Mile 6 - 14:38
Mile 7 - 12:47
Mile 8 - 13:22
Mile 9 - 12:46
Mile 10 - 11:18
Mile 11 - 13:42
Mile 12 - 12:08
Mile 13 - 12:20
Mile 13.ish - 8:44

After I crossed the line I met up with A and got my beer. It was my teammate's birthday, and she brought Jell-O shots for all of us. It was pretty great to hang out at a finish line and not have to rush home right after.


  • I keep coming back to this race because it is a really great event. It is very well organized and the overall atmosphere is pretty awesome.
  • There were plenty of aid stations on the course - and even though we were only running the half they had "ultra" foods out (although I didn't take any).
  • The course was very clearly marked (the 10k was running at the same time as the half). I have run this numerous times so I knew where to go, but I feel that even "newbies" would have been able to navigate just fine.
  • The shirt was a white tech tee, which I probably won't wear, but is gender specific.
  • The finish line is THE BEST. They have all the food and beer and sodas STILL there for the last runner. The finish line does NOT come down early. So if you are a slower runner and you want to give trail running a chance, you should consider this one. 
  • Will I be back for year 6? Probably. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Snow Mountain Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, September 26
Granby, CO
Half Marathon #138
Colorado Half #71
Weather - sunny and warm

I had been wanting to run Snow Mountain Ranch trail half marathon for a long time. Unfortunately it is the same weekend as Bear Chase, so it was looking like it was never going to happen. Due to a lack of running and training, I opted to NOT run an ultra distance at Bear Chase, which gave me the opportunity to finally check this one out.

As is the norm for ERS races, it did not start until 9:00 am. Kinda nice to not have to get up super early, but also not great for running in "hot" weather.

A and I left the house at 6:15, made a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts and then drove the 80ish miles to the YMCA at Snow Mountain Ranch. The parking area was very well marked and after using the (indoor) bathrooms, it just took a minute to get my bib and shirt. A started her volunteer shift early - helping to hand out shirts, and I used the bathroom a few more times. My zombie shirt and lace capris from INKnBURN were a hit. I got tons of comments when I was in line.

She is wearing a ski hat because it was 26 degrees when we arrived!

The race started right on time (yay!) and I began in the back. We had a small downhill before heading up into the trees. I was right where I usually am in a trail race - right in the back. My legs cramped up pretty early and I had to do quite a bit of walking in the first few miles. One thing I can say is that the scenery was BEAUTIFUL - so at least I had things to stop and take pictures of while I was meandering along. Finally started to feel better around mile 2. I was running the flats and the downhills (and some of the smaller uphills), and gradually started to pass people. The "turnaround" was really heading back out for a second loop. At this point I could tell that the course was going to measure short as I was barely at 6 miles.

It was starting to get pretty hot. I ran for a mile with a sweet gal named Joanie, but she ended up hanging back as she wasn't feeling well. Runners are a funny group. After less than 5 minutes of chatting with her, a complete stranger, I knew that she was ready to shit herself...

I walked a bit more than I would have liked and was pretty darn happy to see the finish area. A saw me coming and helped me run it in to the finish (up that nice downhill we had at the beginning).

Official Time - 2:34:51 (measured 12.15 miles)
Overall Place - 96/111
Elevation Gain - 1,061'
Starting Elevation - 8,681'
Garmin Time - 2:34:41 (no chip timing)
Mile 1 - 13:32
Mile 2 - 12:13
Mile 3 - 11:46
Mile 4 - 11:37
Mile 5 - 14:15
Mile 6 - 12:24
Mile 7 - 13:46
Mile 8 - 13:34
Mile 9 - 11:38
Mile 10 - 12:25
Mile 11 - 13:32
Mile 12 - 12:22
Mile 12.15ish - 11:05

A got some pictures of me with my medal. I drank a beer, A had some chocolate milk. Debated on having a burger or hot dog, but wasn't really hungry.

Have my ears always stuck out like this? :(

  • I have run quite a few ERS races and I think this was my favorite one so far. The time of year with the changing leaves and the course itself - it was really beautiful. The pictures I took really do not do it justice.
  • The course was very well marked, there were markers at every mile. With that said, the course measured almost a mile short for me. I know that there are "variances" in GPS readings, but a mile seems like quite a bit when we weren't in a super rural area. I digress.
  • There were plenty of aid stations on this course, although at least half of them were unmanned. This course was not technical, so maybe not as much of an issue as other races, but I personally feel better when I am on a trail run and there is someone available in case of emergency. The aid stations had Kind bars, gels, water and electrolytes - all very well stocked.
  • The shirt, if I kept race shirts, was very nice. Gender specific tech tees in a not-so-average dark grey color. 
  • The medals were cute - and more race specific than the series has done in the past.

  • I am really happy that I chose to run this race this year. It exceeded my expectations for sure. Not sure if I will run it again, but I'm glad I did this year. I would recommend this race for sure.