Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Chase the Moon 12 Hour Endurance Run (Race Recap)

Highlands Ranch, CO
Friday, July 22 - Saturday July 23
Ultra Marathon #18
Weather - Humid, overcast, warm
I decided not to take the day off from work since I can never sleep past 7 anyway. I did, however, work a short day, leaving around 3:45 to pick up A and head down to the Chase the Moon. Traffic wasn't great, but I expected it from the last time I ran, in 2014. We arrived around 5:30 pm, with plenty of time to get the tent set up and for me to pick up my bib.

The weather looked really iffy. Dark clouds and thunder and lightning. We had a few raindrops, but nothing too terrible, we really lucked out. I spent the next hour getting everything ready to go, chatting with Heather and other teammates, using the bathroom, etc. Maureen and Colfax were volunteering, and she was nice enough to bring a pizza! About 15 minutes before the start I decided that a slice of pizza would be the perfect way to fuel. It was so tasty.

Heather and I planned to stick together, with me warning her that I had not been running at all, and that I would be going really slow. And by not running, I mean, seriously, I hadn't run since the super slow half marathon the Sunday before. We started in the back, and that's pretty much where we stayed the entire race.

It was warm and humid, but thankfully, overcast. Neither one of us had really paid too much attention to the race instructions, nor looked at a map. All I remember hearing was "if you are a solo or 5-person relay team, follow the blue markings." Since we were in the far back, it was a little disconcerting that we only saw ORANGE markings. We could see people in front of us that we knew were solo runners, so we figured we had to be going the right way. Heather and I had sort of an unspoken agreement that if one of us took a walk break, the other one would as well. We jogged most of the early miles, walking a bit only on the climbs. I was relieved to find that this year we were starting the course counter-clockwise, as I believed that to be the more difficult direction. We saw a snake that was slinking across the trail early on, rattling at us. SO TERRIFYING. I HATE SNAKES.
Couldn't get my camera out fast enough to see him slithering across the trail (shudder)
Isn't it so pretty??
We arrived at the Outlaw aid station, about 4.5 miles in (?) and I only grabbed a little cup of Mountain Dew. We asked the volunteer if we were on the right course for solo runners and only got an answer that we were at the Outlaw aid station. Yeah, we know. So we kept going, still only seeing orange flags/marking. Shortly after leaving, the sun started to set. We spent the next 10 minutes or so taking pictures. Worth it.

Out came the headlamps, with discussion of how far it was until the next aid station. We arrive at the wider dirt section of the trail. In the past, we went to the right for an out and back for the aid station. Not this year. Turns out that was a detail I should have paid attention to! I hadn't filled up my bottles at Outlaw and I ran out of water with about 2 miles until the start/finish. Womp. The last two miles I was surprised at how good I felt. I did notice, however, that I kept having to stop and wait for Heather. She hadn't been running much either, and had recently lost her big toenail. She insisted she was feeling ok, so I kept waiting.

Once at the start/finish, used the bathroom and then refilled bottles. I wasn't really hungry, and I was feeling very agitated with the amount of time we were at the aid station. I kinda rushed Heather out, and we headed out for loop 2.
Overlooking the city from the top of the course
I was still feeling good and had convinced myself that this was an "easy" loop. I was still spending a lot of time waiting on Heather, but for now, it was ok since we were doing a small amount of climbing. The moon was starting to come out, but I couldn't seem to get a good picture of it.
Headed to the west side of the course and I was actually having a pretty good time. Thankfully the newer headlamp I bought is WAY brighter than my other one. Maybe a mile outside of Outlaw I realized that Heather wasn't behind me, and I couldn't see her headlamp. At this point I made the decision not to wait. I was feeling way better than I expected and wanted to see how many miles I could put in. When I arrived at Outlaw I asked the volunteers to let her know why I couldn't wait. I spent the rest of the loop feeling a little badly for leaving her, especially after we had agreed to stick together. Sometimes, I guess you have to run your own race?

Arrived at the start/finish to see Maureen and Colfax still hanging out. I was very quick at the aid station as I had decided I really wanted to go for 4 loops. I didn't see Heather on my way out and hoped that she wouldn't be mad for me leaving her. The counter-clockwise loop did not feel as hard in the dark as I had remembered from 2 years ago (thankfully). Almost stepped on a toad around mile 23, which was pretty terrifying. At Outlaw the volunteer told me they had ice. ICE. All the water at the aid stations was lukewarm and the the thought of ice cold fluids made me SO HAPPY. It took her a few minutes to get the cubes into my bottle, but it was totally worth it. Surprised/pleased at how much running I was able to do this loop. Finally getting hungry, I eat some peanut butter pretzels and beef jerky. In and out of the start/finish (which by now was VERY quiet) in a minute or two, only briefly chatting with David (the race director).

Out for my final loops, with about 3.5 hours to complete. Pretty sure I can get this done with no problem as long as I keep moving. I risked not bringing a long sleeve with me as I was STILL hot, even knowing I got cold around dawn the last time I ran. I saw Heather about a mile in and she seemed happy to see me, concerned only that she was going the right way. Still some running this loop, but not as much as in previous loops. Sun started to come up shortly before I arrived at Outlaw, where I ditched my headlamp. The last 4+ miles to the finish were a death march for me, walking pretty much the entire time. I don't know why the sun coming up during a race tires me, but it always does.

I arrived at the finish in just under 11.5 hours, getting passed by two relay runners right as I crossed (who were trying to goad me into running faster - c'mon ladies, I've been out all night, you haven't). Considering my injury, I'm pleased with how I felt and how many miles I was able to complete. Met up with Heather, grabbed a cold burrito and then went to help A pack up all the gear.
Somehow neglected to get a single picture of myself before/during/after the race - this was what I wore, along with my medal
Official  Time - 11:24:03
Official Miles - 41.2
Overall Place - 30/78
Gender Place - 11/35
Division Place - 5/12
Miles 1-5 - 13:06, 13:47, 14:00, 14:39, 16:55
Miles 6-10 - 15:26, 16:30, 15:46, 15:10, 15:27
Miles 11-15 - 22:16, 16:00, 15:38, 16:21, 15:13
Miles 16-20 - 13:49, 15:48, 15:51, 15:14, 17:34
Miles 21-25 - 15:32, 14:29, 17:19, 16:24, 20:58
Miles 26-30 - 16:39, 16:38, 16:50, 16:10, 16:42
Miles 31-35 - 17:44, 18:26, 17:56, 17:04, 16:19
Miles 36-41.25 - 18:19, 16:58, 19:35, 20:11, 17:59, 17:43, 13:25 for the last 1/4 mile!

  • Once I realized that the blue/orange markings only affected the east side of the course along a small section the course was super easy to navigate. I think the course was marked very well, with confidence flagging and glow sticks at night.
  • There was only the one aid station on the course, which was fine once I *knew* there was only one. Sodas and tons of ultra snacks. No "warm" food that I saw, although after dark there supposedly was at the start/finish.
  • Cool race shirt this year (no pic of course).
  • Medal is the same as two years ago, but with a (cheap) year specific ribbon. Still don't like that the only increments are 50k or 50 mile for designations on the middle. Wish they would just leave that off and say 12 hours.
  • The "party" atmosphere was definitely gone this year. Flippin' Flapjacks was a no show (so sad), and they opted not to do beers and awards at the park this year so everyone just kinda left when they were done. Kind of a downer way to end a 12 hour race! A and I ended up going to Snooze for breakfast, where I had some truly delicious blueberry/lemon danish pancakes.
  • Would I recommend? Absolutely. If you are looking for a sort of hilly, not very technical run in the dark, do it! It's a great way to go for your first ultra as you have 12 hours to get it done. Depending how the next year goes I'll either run again, or volunteer like I did last year.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Longmont "Trail" Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, July 17
Longmont, CO
Half Marathon #149
Weather - Sunny and hot

The Longmont Trail half marathon was probably the one race in the series that I was not looking forward to at all. For starters, running that far in the metro area in summer is miserable. It's been in the 90's for weeks and race day was no exception. Secondly, obviously, I haven't been running and I wasn't even really sure that I could physically get through the race. Lastly, I was confused and thought the Longmont half marathon I ran a few years ago was the same event - and I hate it. Anyway, not looking forward to it.

Jeff (the race director) had moved up the start to 7:45 (from 8 am), but said we could take an early start. Under normal circumstances I would not take an early start. In my current physical condition I decided I'd go ahead and start early, since I very likely would be out on the course all morning.

I got up around 5 and drove the 45 minutes or so up to Longmont. The parking lot was fairly easy to find at the Boulder County Fairgrounds and it was a short walk to the starting area.
I met up with fellow ERS ambassador Stacy, who asked if I wanted to start at 6:40-6:45 (I had been planning to start at 7). She had already spoken with the timing guy, who said we could pretty much start whenever. So as soon as I had my bib and went to the bathroom, we were off. Stacy was having some issues with her ankle, as well as some breathing issues. We managed to stick together for the first 4 or so miles, plodding along at a speedy 13:xx pace. The first two aid stations were not set up yet, but I had my handheld so I wasn't super concerned.

Around 4 miles in Stacy decided that she was going to drop at the 10k (the half marathon course was a double loop), so she pulled back and slowed down and I kept going.

Man. It is really hot in July. The first few miles, I had noticed a bit of a niggle in my hip, but by 3-4 miles in it seemed to loosen up. Other than general fatigue, I didn't find anything painful, so yay! I was heading into mile 5 when the faster half marathon runners and 10k'ers were getting started. I literally started an hour early and they weren't that far back.

These short areas of shade were amazing!!
Even though most of the course was on bike path, there were some appealing views
I haven't really done many double loop courses and figured I would hate the loop the second time around. Even though it was fiery hot out, it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. There was enough shade on most of it that I didn't feel too terrible. Plus, I got to be lapped by all the fast people, so that's always fun.

My "A" goal for this race was to see if I could get through at least half of the race running. I am pleased to say that while my pace certainly wasn't anything impressive, that I was able to slow jog about 95% of the race. I say that is a success!

Official Time - 2:55:55 (wow)
Overall Place - 130/139
Gender Place - 84/91
Division Place - 31/33
Mile 1 - 13:55
Mile 2 - 14:08
Mile 3 - 13:44
Mile 4 - 13:45
Mile 5 - 13:25
Mile 6 - 12:33
Mile 7 - 13:11
Mile 8 - 13:43
Mile 9 - 13:20
Mile 10 - 13:40
Mile 11 - 13:39
Mile 12 - 12:48
Mile 13 - 12:34
Mile 13.12 - 11:50

I met up with some of my teammates after the finish (they were still there because they were waiting for awards - I'm the only one on the team that didn't make the podium, lol)

The gal in the blue shorts is the doctor that has been working on my hip - race was approved!
  • Course is definitely flat and fast. If you're a person that can run well in the heat, this would probably be a good course.
  • I wore my Hoka Cliftons on my longest run to date. Previously, my longest run was 6 miles. I don't know that I "love" the Hokas, but they have been my go-to shoe during my injury as they seem to minimize the impact a bit when I run.
  • Course was well marked - there were several small out and back sections that were marked for both the 10k and half marathon, I don't think it would be easy to get lost.
  • The aid stations are a blur. I don't remember. I believe there was water and Powerade, not sure if there was food/fuel of any kind.
  • The medal is pretty cool - doubles as a bottle opener. 
  • I haven't changed my mind on the summer racing. It sucks. I don't love the heat, at all.
  • The race shirt is nice - gender specific, and randomly, black. It doesn't seem to be the super thin tech style, so I'll have to see what I can pair it with. But it's different, and since I'm an ambassador, I'll likely wear it. I only have one other black race shirt in the mix!
  • This is called a trail race, but let's be clear - it's "urban" trail. That means that it is a combination of bike path and dirt, but nothing technical at all. Very little elevation change and I have to say that it is sort of a stretch calling it trail.
  • Post race party was good, but sadly, one of the three venues that doesn't allow beer.
  • Overall, ERS puts on a fantastic event (and I'm not just saying that!) and I would recommend any of their races. With that said, out of all the races, this would not be a "top" pick for me. It was however, better than I expected.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Years in the making

I've been struggling on and off with continuing with the whole blogging thing, and I've decided I'm not going to do it anymore. The exception to this will be race recaps, which I hope still come in handy for people.

I'll leave you with just a quick update - the hip is much better. I've gone to a few follow-up ART and needling sessions. That, combined with no running, has helped. Hope to be back at running soon.

For a final (non race specific) picture - a group of my favorite run club buddies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Week in Review (July 5 - July 11)

Tuesday (16,376 steps) - Mildly hungover and exhausted from the weekend. Hip felt like crap so I scheduled an appointment at Accelerate Health. The doctor I have seen in the past wasn't available, but I was able to get in to see someone else at lunch. I explained all my issues and she seemed to think it wasn't a tear or anything serious. She asked what my running plans were for the week and I told her I was taking the week off. She suggested I keep running??! Uh. I just told you it hurts and I'm limping even when I'm walking... I did not agree with her diagnosis. I did, however, agree that I should be using heat therapy as well. Making an appointment to see someone else if it's not better next week. After work I went to a special barre class - specifically for our Roost team. After class, Maureen and I went to Denver Beer Company. Out late AGAIN.
Wednesday (19,360 steps) - Super SUPER annoying day at work. For some reason I thought barre was at 12:30, so I arrived 15 minutes late (at 12:15) and missed the upper body portion. I think two days in a row might be a bit much right now.
Went to run club after work. Maureen and Colfax and I went to the local dirt track and did a SUPER SLOW (like 14:30 pace) and it was bearable. I was wearing my Hokas, and dirt doesn't bother me as much. Went to dinner at Garbanzo's after.
Thursday (17,798 steps) - Went to Belmar/Lakewood run club. No running (seriously!), but it was still a good time seeing everyone. Nachos and a beer at Rocko's and home around 10. Too old for this!

These are pretty much the most delicious nachos ever
Friday (16,705 steps) - Went to another barre class after work. New to me instructor and the class was way different than others. Rushed home after class for a quick dinner and then went to see the new Purge movie with Rose. It was ... ok. Gory and crass just for the sake of having a shock factor? Oh, and did you know that movies are over $11 a ticket now? I didn't, since I so rarely go.
Saturday (32,020 steps) - Up early for a mash-up Runners' Edge / Runners' Roost Brooks run. I hadn't even "jogged" since Wednesday, so once again, I moved to the slowest pace group and tested out the hip/leg. Had a great time running with the same folks I ran with last weekend. I decided to turn around with a goal of 6. I was going crazy slow, and nothing was "hurting," just the same general fatigue and aching.
Ran into Maureen who was out walking Colfax, so I cut the run short at 4.7 or so miles and walked the remainder with her. Loitered around the store until about 10 am and then headed over to Grandma's House for another beer run!
Sadly, we had to walk all of it (Maureen is on doctor's orders to not run and my hip is a jerk), but it was good times. The best food truck ever was there, and I had some tasty buffalo chicken mac n' cheese.

Didn't head home until after 2. Showered, took a nap (kind of), then ... drum roll ... I went on a date. Not sharing details for now, but it was fun and I didn't get home until after 11. Party animal!!!
Sunday (17,332 steps) - I knew I wasn't going to run, but I thought maybe I would go hiking. Then I didn't get up until after 8 and it was already a zillion and a half degrees, so I didn't do anything. I watched some TV, finished my book, then decided to walk to the library to return it. It was so hot, glad that walk was the extent of my outdoor time. Blech.
Solo lunch at Tokyo Joe's, grocery shopping and then headed to another barre class - this time Chris and Maureen joined! After class Maureen and I went to Denver Beer Company (again). Managed to only have one beer and then home for more TV. In bed way too late. Again.
Monday (17,165 steps) - I had high hopes of going for a trail run at Lair O' the Bear after work. Planned on taking it easy and seeing how the hip felt. Then I went to Accelerate Health and met with Kendelle (who is infinitely better than the gal I saw on Tuesday). She did some intense ART and needling. Her consensus is a bit different - EXTREMELY tight thigh/glut muscles, and thinks I will benefit from another few days of rest and coming back for some more needling. So there goes THAT... I'll heed my own advice (and that of Kendelle) and take MORE time off. Sad. So the rest of the evening was more TV and some walking on the treadmill.

  • 136,756 steps
  • 9.9 miles "run" (actually, probably closer to 8, since during my Saturday run I walked the last 1.7 or so)
  • 12 miles of walking (yes, I'm logging walking right now)
  • 4 barre classes (225 minutes)
  • Weekly gain 0.2 (126.6) - Can I blame this on no running? Probably poor eating...
Everything Else:

  • Really loving my barre classes! I'm still working off my unlimited month pass. Not sure what I will do when the month is over. I love these classes so much and I really feel  like they are great exercise!
  • The hip/thigh/leg is still not great, obviously. My range of motion is definitely better than it has been, but it is still sore and achy. I am really hoping that all this resting will allow me to finish out my summer as planned, but I'm not getting my hopes up. This really sucks.
  • A is still in Texas, but should be back in a week or so. Will be really great to see her and get back to our normal routine.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Angel Fire Adventure Marathon (Race Recap)

Angel Fire, New Mexico
Sunday, July 3
Marathon #29
Weather - Sunny/windy/warm

With a pretty big race coming at the end of summer, I knew I would need some longer runs. At the time I registered for the Angel Fire Adventure marathon I didn't yet have my training plan and decided, sure, why not. Well, I actually was looking for something close by when I didn't already have something planned, preferably on a Sunday so I could also do a longer run with Runners' Edge. I was having trouble finding a race until I expanded my search to surrounding states, and since I hadn't run a marathon in New Mexico, it was the "obvious" choice.

I registered right after I finished Revel, before I knew the hip was all jacked up. As race day approached I was apprehensive about what to do. I had already booked the hotel, and since the "easy four" and week of trail running had been "OK" - I figured I would head out and hope for the best.

As far as I could tell, the course was a double out and back, and figured I could ask the race director about dropping at the halfway point if I felt really awful.

Race Day

I had slept fairly well. I had mapped how far it was to Angel Fire from the hotel, and it was about an hour and a half, so I was up just after 4 am for the 6:45 start. I was checked out of the hotel by 4:15, and drove around town for longer than I would have liked looking for coffee. Finally found an open gas station, got a coffee and diet Pepsi, then started the drive.

Highway 64 into Angel Fire is a two lane highway, super straight until you near the hills, then  it is pretty curvy. I saw jillions of deer on the side of the road, so I was paying extra close attention, as dawn is when they really seem to be out. I was driving over the speed limit and it was STILL taking longer than mapquest had said. Shit.

There was no actual address for the race start, but when I started to get close I saw that there were markers on  the side of the road so I just followed those until I got to the parking lot at the entrance to the resort. The website had said it was a 1/4 mile walk to the start/finish area where I would need to get my bib. I was parked by 6:10 - only 35 minutes until the race start. I call shenanigans that it was a 1/4 mile. It took almost 10 minutes to walk over, then the same to get back - and I was walking pretty fast.
View from the start line. Wish the race would have been in those hills!
By the time I got back to the car it was 6:35, I still had to apply sunscreen, shove my gel in my pockets and get my sunglasses. I was halfway to the start when I realized I had left my handheld in my car. Crap. And then I still had to use the bathroom - I hadn't used one since I left the hotel! Got in line with 3 minutes to the start, but there were only two port-o-potties. I ran into Dave Bell in the line and we chatted until he headed off, while I still waited. The race is not chip timed and I was the very last marathon runner to cross the start line - 8 minutes late, snatching a bottle of water on my way out. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the race...

The race set out on the shoulder of the road... where we would remain the entire race. I was minutes behind everyone else and stupidly started out faster than I should have. Within a half a mile, my calves seized up. Tried to run through it, but I pushed too hard and by the time I gave up and started walking I had to go super slow and was limping. At this point, I was thinking, the calf issues are nothing new, if that is the only issue I have this will be fine.

When I say I was running super slow, I'm not kidding. Normally (at least in the last few years), in a road race I'm moving around an 11 minute pace. I was at a 13 minute pace for most of the first half. I was taking lots of walk breaks. Angel Fire is at 8400' and for whatever reason, the altitude was making me a little queasy, although some of that could have been the heat and sun.

The aid stations were about 2 miles apart, having ONLY Gatorade (various flavors) and water. I had brought enough gels for the entire race, but for the first time, the sweetness was really bothering  me. I had also forgotten my Base salt, and I was sweating like crazy.

I got passed by the first half marathon runner before I was even at the first aid station. I caught up to the first marathon runner shortly after that. I was NOT enjoying myself. Even though my hip was feeling all right at this point, I just felt overly fatigued and not into it.

Not much else to say about the first half. It wasn't great, but I figured I might as well just go for the full marathon. I caught up to Dave just after the half marathon runners turned off. He wasn't having a great time either. Then, I realized where we were...
Focus on the SIDE of the highway. Pretty trees!
When I had gone out last year for Ragnar, there was a section of trail that ran near the road, going UP. That's what we were on. So for about 2 miles, I pretty much just walked. It was steep enough that running wasn't even worth it. Just past mile 15 we had some downhill. I started running, slow still, but the hip was holding up. That is, until I was running across a gravel driveway and I caught my toe on a rut. I lurched forward to catch myself from falling on my face and the impact of stepping (of COURSE with my "bad" leg) jarred my hip. I yelled out and tried to keep running and couldn't. This was around mile 17. I basically walked the remainder of the race.
The only marker that made me feel almost as good as the finish line
At the turnaround, I noticed I wasn't alone in my misery. All the people at my pace were walking. I would walk for 3-4 minutes and then try to jog, but the way back was about a four mile climb, into a headwind. AWESOME. My kidneys were "hurting" like I needed to pee but there were no bathrooms on the course and nowhere I could go without risking public indecency. Since the race was on the road, there were a few Sheriffs cruising up and down the race course to ensure people weren't driving like maniacs.

I tried REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hard to not hate every single second of this race. Pictures like THIS made me feel a tad better (this was the side of the road, maybe around mile 22?)

To top it all off, I was getting eaten alive by deer flies. URG. I was in  bad place and cursing my stupidity for "needing" to run the full marathon.

Random sightings on my run back... (I did NOT take a picture of the decapitated owl):
The long long long long long road - but yay for the pretty mountain in the distance!
Deer leg. Just one.
Deer body. Down the road from the aforementioned leg.
Caped ninjas on horseback?
I passed maybe a half dozen people in the last 6 miles. Caught up to a guy I seen pacing earlier. He had to quit his pace leading duties after getting incredibly sick. We ran/walked together for most of the last two miles.

At the finish I collected my medal, was given a bottle of water, and then I headed to the "finisher tent" for my shirt. Not surprisingly, the size I had ordered (men's size XS, since no women's size) was not available. There was no food at the finish other than pretzels, granola bars, orange and banana slices. After a hundred thousand miles on the road, I really needed something more. "Luckily," I was still nauseous so I was fine for the time being. I hung around at the finish to wait for Dave and Stacy. I chatted with the race directors for a few minutes and let them know that they need more potties and that the walk from the lot to the start is NOT a quarter mile. The race director offered to adjust my time to my Garmin time since I started so late, which was nice.

Official Time - 6:08:46 (slowest road marathon, by quite a bit)
Overall Place - 64/78
Gender Place - 35/44
Division Place - 7/7
Mile 1 - 13:19
Mile 2 - 13:09
Mile 3 - 12:52
Mile 4 - 13:34
Mile 5 - 13:00
Mile 6 - 12:56
Mile 7 - 13:01
Mile 8 - 13:42
Mile 9 - 13:29
Mile 10 - 13:10
Mile 11 - 13:34
Mile 12 - 13:22
Mile 13 - 13:52
Mile 14 - 13:58
Mile 15 - 16:11
Mile 16 - 12:39
Mile 17 - 13:49
Mile 18 - 15:11
Mile 19 - 16:08
Mile 20 - 17:03
Mile 21 - 16:36
Mile 22 - 16:20
Mile 23 - 15:39
Mile 24 - 13:21
Mile 25 - 13:3
Mile 26 - 13:54
Mile 26.11 - 12:55

Back half = NOT FUN
  • This was the third year of the event and there are still some kinks that need to be worked out. The parking lot situation/time to walk to the start needs to be adjusted to a realistic time. The inaccurate info caused me to misjudge my morning and got me off to a rough start.
  • The aid stations were well stocked with fluids, but NOTHING else...  I know better than to rely on aid stations for food, but for a $100 fee, something with salt would have been appreciated.
  • The course was marked. But incredibly inaccurately. The only mile markers that were right on for me were 1 and 13. For example, the 26 mile marker was about .6 away from the finish. WTF! If I was someone who had a kick at the end I would have lost my mind.
  • The race isn't chip timed, which is fine, but there needs to be more bathrooms at the start (and on the course) and the half should maybe start 30 minutes after (instead of 15) to ease up on the crowded start area.
  • The race did start right on time, which would have been nice if I could have started on time.
  • The post-race was not great - need more food for sure!
  • The unisex shirts. Boo, hiss. Everyone knows how I feel about this.
  • I do love the medal!
  • The course itself is not great. I knew it was road, but it was all on the shoulder and most of the shoulder was gravelly and uneven. But! If I looked to my left or right, it was really pretty! Angel Fire is a gorgeous resort town, and running on the trails there is pretty fantastic. Sadly, I didn't get to do that (again, not the fault of the race, it's not like they mislead anyone into thinking it would be trail). I also realized, when writing my recap, that I did not take any pictures on the first half of the course when we ran through "town" and on not nearly a "pretty" road.
  • Would I run this again? No.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week in Review (June 28 - July 4)

Tuesday (21,551 steps) - With A gone, I plan on sleeping "late" and doing my running in the evenings on the trails. Traffic was a nightmare getting out of downtown, and I had plans on doing the loop at North Table, which is about 7 miles. I hadn't been there since I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. I pretty much didn't run at all last summer, remember? Anyway, the loop, on average, took around 1:40-1:45. I expected to be a tad slower with my tired legs and stupid hip. By the time I got close, it was almost 6:15 and the sky was looking suspicious. I kept checking my phone. Windy, but no forecast of rain or a storm. Hrm. So I headed out. I got about a mile up and a few tiny raindrops started to come down. Mesa Top from North Table Loop was open (it never had been a few years ago), so I figured I would take the "short cut" and hopefully avoid whatever storm was coming. It was a bit disconcerting when the thunder started when I was on top of the mesa. I headed back down Cottonwood Canyon. A LOT more mountain bikers today, and it was (as always) frustrating to jump off the trail.
Anyway, managed to make it back down without getting struck by lightning. Yay! (And smart choice to do the shorter loop, it would have been dark by the time I finished the big loop). Shower, dinner, reading and two episodes of "The Vanishing Women." Boy, I really live it up when A is gone!
Wednesday (18,282 steps) - Went to work an hour early so that I could go to my very first barre class during lunch! For some reason, I thought the studio was closer than it actually was (if you are a long time reader, you know that judging distances and time to travel between the two is a serious problem I have have). I thought I would have time to walk over there, take the class, and be back in under two hours. Turns out, the Barre Forte LoHi studio is almost 2 miles from my office, so I had to drive over. I did manage to find free street parking just a few blocks over. I was the first to arrive for the 12:00 class, and spoke with one of the owners and the instructor before class began.
I guess, in my head, I imagined it would be similar to the Fitness Blender barre videos I have done in the past. It was NOT like that at all. It is incredibly fast-paced, and is a total body workout. Within minutes, I had sweat dripping down my back. Within 15 minutes I was shaking during so badly during some of the moves that I thought I might collapse. But man. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. After class the instructor told me she didn't believe me when I said I'd never taken a barre class before. She probably says that to everyone, but I loved hearing it. So I was a sweaty disgusting mess when I got back to work, but I felt great. Stayed a few minutes late to make up for my long lunch, then headed down to a special run club at the Roost.
The run really sucked. I have been running 3ish miles pretty regularly at run club. Between the fatigue from barre and my stupid hip being weird, I barely got in 2 miles, with quite a bit of that walking. Other than that, it was a super fun evening with Maureen listening to ultra runner/Leadman Travis Macy speak. Stretched when I got home and watched another episode of "The Vanishing Women."
Thursday (22,338 steps) - Failed at sleeping in. Pretty tired at work all day. After work I headed over to Lair O' the Bear for a special weekday "Happy Trails" run club. Thankfully, the temperatures dropped a bit, it wasn't nearly as hot in the hills. Decided not to demo shoes since my hip is still being stupid. After a pretty full week, and Wednesday's Terrible Run, Maureen and I decided to run 3-4.
We ran with a new friend, Francesca, and the run was pretty great. We took it slow and easy, lots of chatting.

When the run was over we gathered at a picnic table for BBQ and a beer. It started to rain a bit and I desperately needed to run to the store, so I left early.
Friday (17,491 steps) - Rest day? Nope! I was still feeling pretty good (as in not sore) after Wednesday's barre class, so I went to the 7:15 class, giving me a chance to go before work. It was much easier to find parking, but I didn't enjoy the instructor quite as much. As soon as I got to work, I noticed an email that the office was closing 2 hours early! Yay! Only I ended up staying later to get work done. Stopped and got my hair cut on the way home, watched some TV, picked up some Pho (only my order was wrong), bed later than planned. A called me for the first time since she left and we talked for a while. Miss her!
Saturday (22,540 steps) - Runners Edge was right down the street (literally, like 5 minutes away), so I decided to go short and slow. It was drizzling when I left, and thankfully, continued to lightly rain all morning. Ran with the slowest pace group for four (really enjoyable) miles.
I remembered the pace leader as the one that Hope and I ran with a few years ago. Stuck around for coffee and a sandwich before heading home to finish packing and watch an episode of Contagion. Left around 10 to go to Declaration Brewing for the first of the beer runs!
Met up with Maureen pretty easily, got our stuff, and then met up with Johnny, who decided to "run" with us. I was trying to still take it easy, but had incredibly heavy legs. Hip did seem ok. We stayed on the patio for HOURS, sharing beer and conversation. A truly great time!

Had to wait a bit before I could head out, so around 5 was when I finally headed down to Raton. Got hungry a shortly after passing through Pueblo, and realized I was in the middle of nowhere with very limited food options. It was raining pretty heavily and the "best" choice for a quick dinner was Carl's Junior. Ate in the car, got to my hotel in Raton around 8. Door lock was broken, but it was the "last room" (I always find it funny that no matter what time I check in, it's always "the last room.")
I was EXHAUSTED from the day. Took a shower and was in bed by 9.
Sunday (64,122 steps) - Angel Fire marathon - recap to follow.
On the way out of town, I stopped at the Enchanted Circle brewery. Got a pork sandwich, fries, and a delicious beer. Service was kinda slow, and I was sitting on the patio when it started raining pretty heavily. Food and beer was good, although it took a long time to check out and be on my way. The drive back was fairly uneventful except for the 75 minutes of POURING RAIN that I drove through once I crossed into Colorado. Every time I drive to New Mexico. EVERY TIME. Stopped at Target on my way home, watched some TV, in bed later than I hoped. My hip was INCREDIBLY sore and achy. I warned Maureen that we may not be able to hike as far as we planned.
Monday (31,817 steps) - I woke up way before my alarm. I could barely get out of bed because my hip was hurting so badly. I was glad that I had picked up some Epsom salt and took a hot bath. I don't know, it might have helped. Left the house at 7 to meet Maureen at the Woolly Mammoth lot at 7:30 so we could carpool to Evergreen. We were parked and on the trail by 8. Looking up my old Garmin information, I thought that hiking to the summit of Bergen Peak was about 9 miles. I hadn't been out to Bergen in two years, so my memory was foggy of where everything was. My hip was feeling all right and Colfax was keeping up. We were maintaining an easy pace and having a great time. We decided to go all the way to the summit, and I was a bit surprised that both our watches read 5 miles.

At the summit!

 Ah. The way down was a bit more taxing on my hip and I could feel my gait getting wonky. But the movement DID make my body feel better. We stopped in town on the way down to grab a beer and share some chips and salsa.

I drove into Uptown to meet up with Heather for "real" lunch at Steuben's. I had a fantastic green chili burger and a beer. I hadn't seen her in a week (that's a long time!) and it was great to catch up before she leaves for Hawaii for two weeks.

Went home for a quick shower, iced the hip, watched an episode of Contagion. Drove over to Jessie's house for her annual Fourth of July party. More BBQ (I really didn't eat that much, but there was a to-die-for pineapple upside-down cake that I had two slices of). Headed home when the city's fireworks started. Another long day and I was exhausted. Iced the hip again, watched one more episode of Contagion (I really like this show!)

  • 198,141 steps
  • 44.6 miles run
  • 4+ hours of cross training (10 mile hike!)
  • 120 minutes of strength/stretching (2 barre classes)
  • Weekly loss 0.4 (126.4)
Everything Else:
  • The hip sucks - I plan on taking days of from running and seeing the chiropractor to see if they can figure out what is going on. Bah.