Thursday, February 11, 2016

Week in Review (February 2 - February 9)

Tuesday (21,783 steps) - Impending Snowpocalypse meant sleeping in. I did a quick yoga video and then dropped A off at a friend's house since SHE got a snow day and I had to work.
Not sure why anyone thinks we should drive in this much fresh snow!
While I was at work, A made her Valentine's Day mailbox
6ish miles on the treadmill during my lunch break. Went out briefly to sell Girl Scout cookies, hoping for some sympathy sales (yes, we got a few, but WOW, it's COLD and people don't shovel their driveways or sidewalks!)
Wednesday (18,588 steps) - Tried to brave heading outside since two days on the treadmill was TOO MUCH. It was a freezing cold terrible 3ish mile disaster. The snow was super deep, but at least it wasn't icy? Nothing had been plowed yet.
Skipped run club.
Thursday (21,710 steps) - Thought (incorrectly) that the sidewalks would be plowed/better. NOPE. 4 miles of terrifying ice mess.
After work I picked up A and we headed up to Louisville Runners Roost for an ERS ambassador meeting. It was an incredible event! Food, beer, and TONS of merchandise from vendors/sponsors.
2016 ambassadors, our local Hoka rep, and the race director for ERS
The gear (not pictured, Native sunglasses!)
By the time we got home it was a crazy whirlwind of trying to get everything packed for our trip. I haven't really mentioned the trip, but basically, Heather and Maureen had plans on running Surf City in Huntington Beach, California. I was already registered for the Ralston Creek half marathon and didn't have the funds or resources to bring A with me, so I declined the initial invite. After Heather was able to secure the family jet and beach house for the weekend, INSISTING that A was welcome to come and could hang out with her non-running friend that was coming while we raced, I of course decided to join in the "Girls Only" weekend.
Friday (12,946 steps) - Last minute packing, dropped A off at school and then I went to work, but only for a few hours.
One of my attorneys went to Voodoo! Excellent start to a racecation!
Left work just before noon to pick up A and head over to Heather's house so I could fall her and the other Heather (we called her "H2" to keep confusion at a minimum) to Centennial airport for our flight to SoCal. We made a brief stop at Einstein's for lunch to eat on the plane. I have never flown on a private jet... what an experience this all was! We literally parked (or got the car valeted) about 12 feet from the plane. I sat in the back with H2 and we had a great time getting to know each other. The flight went by super fast.
Thank you for the flight!! Landed in the California sunshine!
We were picked up by a limo service (a big van/bus) and the drive to Heather's place in Newport Beach only took maybe 20 minutes.
View from the patio!
We had a quick tour of the house, and then we decided to get dinner.
We stopped at Inspiration Point to watch the sunset and then to Yard House at Fashion Island where I had a delicious grilled cheese sandwich and sweet potato fries. We stayed up pretty late playing Apples to Apples. Because, California.
Saturday (22,363 steps) - Up fairly early (all things considered). Tried to go to a French restaurant in the harbor, but it was closed. Instead we went to a diner that had the most amazing cinnamon french toast. I #ateallthethings.
Oh. Did I forget to mention the skillet I also ate?
We went to the expo in the morning before heading over to the beach in the afternoon.

We had a great time doing a barefoot run and playing in the water.

Stopped at the store to stock up on groceries for the weekend and the Super Bowl extravaganza. H2 made a delicious salad and pasta dinner for all of us. In bed fairly early after playing Scattegories for a bit. Every played it? So fun.
Sunday (31,470 steps) - Surf City half marathon.
Heather, Jandy, Me, Maureen
We headed back to the house and found that A and H2 had prepared some fresh cut fruit for us to snack on while A made us all breakfast. (Seriously, she made a menu and made toasted bagels and omelettes for us all).

After we all showered and ate we got ready for the big game!
Pre-game!
The Super Bowl was the most fun I think I have ever had. We screamed and yelled at the tv, drank beer, and ate the most food ever. It was the most exhausting day of my life and I think I went to bed at 9.
DENVER WINS!!!
Monday (16,784 steps) - Up fairly early to meet California BFF Heather for breakfast!! She found an awesome place called Pancakes R Us. She had to go to work, so she dropped us off at the house. We immediately left for one more day at the beach (and another barefoot run).

We had just a short amount of time before the limo came to take us to the airport (although we had the driver stop at In N Out burger on the way). Flight back was just as (if not more) fun than the way out.
A got to be a co-pilot for a bit - she "helped" fly over the Grand Canyon!
When we landed, our cars were waiting for us (heater running and trunks open). I may never be able to fly commercial again... By the time we got home we barely had time to do some homework and unpack. Most fun girl's weekend EVER.

Stats:
  • 145,644 steps
  • 30.7 miles run (recovery week in training - worked out perfectly!)
  • No cross training
  • 14 minutes of strength/stretching (oops)
Everything Else
  • Did I mention that the next month of my life revolves around Girl Scout cookies?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Surf City half marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, February 7
Huntington Beach, CA
Half Marathon #143
Weather - Sunny and HOT

Heather had made the best decision EVER when she purchased the "VIP" registration for the Surf City half marathon. We went to the expo on Saturday around lunch time. The VIP got us a parking spot right next to the tent. We spent an hour or so in the HOTTEST venue ever. Seriously, tents on the beach get super stuffy. Anyway, picked up some merchandise, said hi to my former Ragnar teammate at her booth (Bic Bands) and then headed out.


Race Day

I was planning on running with Maureen. Thanks to Jandy joining us, I hoped that she and Heather would run together (so Heather could run faster than my pace). Maureen's wave was scheduled to start at 8, and being right down the street with our super special parking pass, we decided that leaving at 6:30 would give us plenty of time. Our only issue was actually making the turn into the lot. Our spot was even closer than the one we got at the expo. Bathroom lines were slow so we hit them up first. We wandered down the beach path to get some pre-race pictures.

Teammates!
Heather, Jandy, Me and Maureen
Heather and Jandy waited in the corral for me and Maureen while we made one more pit stop.
Most baffling? All the people wearing pants and long sleeves!!
Best sign of the race!
Sure enough, right after our wave started Heather and Jandy took off. I had a great time running with Maureen, and I was surprised by the number of people I recognized on the course. I had studied the course map the night before, and other than the first aid station being at mile 2, it looked like most of them were only 1-1.5 miles apart, so I had decided to not carry a handheld, even though it was sunny and eleventy billion degrees. I stopped at every single aid station, taking water and the electrolyte drink when it was available.

The course was extremely crowded. It did thin out a bit after the first few miles, but it was definitely more people than I am used to running with. Maureen and I chatted the whole race, and both of us felt good the entire time. I cannot remember the last time I ran a race where I actually felt good the whole time, did not take unscheduled walk breaks, and STILL had a kick at the end. Obviously not anywhere close to the speed I had years ago, but I will take a race where I feel awesome the whole time over being speedy.

Official Time - 2:19:00
Garmin Time - 2:19:02
Garmin Distance - 13.18 miles
Mile 1 - 10:52
Mile 2 - 10:48
Mile 3 - 10:42
Mile 4 - 10:49
Mile 5 - 10:20
Mile 6 - 11:00
Mile 7 - 10:09
Mile 8 - 11:10
Mile 9 - 10:30
Mile 10 - 10:28
Mile 11 - 10:33
Mile 12 - 10:33
Mile 13 - 9:42
Mile 13.18 - 8:03 (FLYING)

Awesome medal - the center spins AND it has a fold out stand!
We found Heather and Jandy, discovered the beer line was way too long to bother with and headed home.

Thoughts:

  • Virtually no shade. We were lucky to enjoy a slight breeze on the way back. It was unbearably sunny and hot (especially coming from single digit temperatures in Colorado!
  • The course is very flat, with the exception of a small loop around a neighborhood around mile 5 and an overpass.
  • Plenty of aid stations. It was a billion degrees and I did not ever feel like I was desperate for water. They also had gels and shot blocks.
  • Some of the aid stations had trash boxes in the middle of the course. Awkward, especially when you are running with tens of thousands of people and can't always see them... I almost tripped over one.
  • The marathon course looked SUPER confusing, based only on the signage I saw for it. No first-hand knowledge of course.
  • The expo was not my favorite. Way to hot and crowded.
  • Shirt is cute - of course no picture, sorry!
  • The race branded merchandise was actually pretty affordable. I didn't buy any because I already have way more running clothes/items than I'll ever wear out.
  • The finish area was a CLUSTER. I did not care for any of the "freebie" food items, and it was a bummer that the beer line was so long since we had 2 free beer tickets on our bibs.
  • If you are running with a group, SPLIT THE VIP COST and buy it with one of the registrations. I cannot stress enough how awesome it was to have this! Totally worth the money at a race this size. We did not have to mess around with the shuttles and we got super close parking for both the expo and the race.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week in Review (January 26 - February 1)

Tuesday (25,434 steps) - Finally have my training program. Lo and behold, crazy stupid long(ish) run scheduled (7 miles). It was COLD COLD COLD, but I got it done. I was tired and pretty much miserable the entire time though. Oh, marathon training.
Yes, this community in west Arvada still has their trees decked out with lights from Christmas...
Wednesday (21,021 steps) - And the opposite of Tuesday's run... 4 miles and they were glorious. Almost wished I had more time and miles on schedule.
After work we went to the "Pre" themed run club at the Roost. We ran a few miles with Heather and then stayed for yet another super fun event, like usual.
Thursday (18,448 steps) - Totally unmotivated for my 5 mile run, but it actually turned out all right.
Tokyo Joe's rounded out the evening.
Friday (17,029 steps) - Rest day! I have been waiting for you! My mystery box from INKnBURN finally showed up. I managed to wait ALL DAY until I picked up A before we opened it.

We met up with my friend Amy for dinner (we had to go a few places before we found somewhere with less than a 45 minute wait, which ended up being Sweet Tomatoes). In bed early.
Saturday (44,299 steps) - Long run with Runners Edge of the Rockies! Thankfully, the weather was perfect. Our route was in west Arvada on Ralston Creek trail and I imagined it would get really windy, but thankfully, it didn't. 16 miles ironically didn't feel as terrible as 14 miles did last week. Serious about building a better base for racing season this year!
After lunch A and I went to the Colorado History Museum. I actually had never been there. It was super interactive and even I learned a few things.


We went grocery shopping, out to dinner for Mongolian food, and then picked up her ration of Girl Scout cookies. LONGEST DAY EVER.
Sunday (17,951) - Short recovery run... in the mud. I had envisioned a nice, easy run in the dirt before the storm rolled in. Turned out I barely beat the storm (started getting snowed on on my way back), but the "dirt" was "mud."
A and I loaded up the wagon and went door to door selling cookies (or trying to) for about an hour and a half before heading to yet another birthday party at the skating rink.
After THAT party, we went home to pick up cookies, headed out for a bit more selling, and then went to Runners Roost for the Trail Sisters event, which was a LOT of fun, and very informative.
By the time we headed home the snow had started falling. BOO.
Monday (16,878 steps) - I knew it had snowed the night before so I slept later and did a total body strength video (I KNOW, I haven't done strength training in forever) and then did my 3 mile run on the treadmill during lunch. After I picked up A we went door to door for about 45 minutes, hoping to get some "sympathy" sales (which we did), since by now the snow was really coming down and it was about 20 degrees.

Stats:
  • 161,060 steps
  • 46.2 miles run. With ZERO races. 
  • No cross training
  • 24 minutes of strength/stretching (hey, better than the zero I've been at lately).
Everything Else:
  • Girl Scout cookies. For the next six weeks. Arg.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week in Review (January 19 - January 25)

Tuesday (16,572 steps) - So extremely tired in the morning, so I opted for sleep. Ran 4 miles on the treadmill during lunch. Must've been ok, although I don't remember. I picked A up at school and we headed down to the Sie Film Center for a special screening of "Spirit of the Marathon II." They provided food (BBQ and fancy mac & cheese), which was nice. The event was put on by the Colfax marathon and they had an elite panel for Q & A before the movie. Super fun event!
After it was over we went across the way to "The Tattered Cover" - where we each got a book. I still love REAL books.
Wednesday (21,698 steps) - 3ish mile run in the morning.
After work/school we went to run club, where we did another couple miles. As always, good company and good snacks/beer. Fun evening!
Thursday (22,814 steps) - Got up early for a "long" run. Felt great running 6 miles, almost wish I'd had more time.
Friday (18,004 steps) - A rest day, but I still went out for a few miles thinking that it would be great to run on the dirt trail by the lake. FALSE. It was so damn cold when I got out there I thought I was going to die of hypothermia. Womp.
Saturday (35,585 steps) - Long run with Runner's Edge (and Heather). I was pretty excited about the forecast (50's by the time we would be done). The route was one of the uglier ones I have run, but it was nice to have a change of scenery, and it's always nice to run with Heather. 14 miles done!

After lunch A went to a birthday party while I was baking cookies. At 6 we went to the Runner's Edge party downtown. We had a lot of fun in the photo booth.
After THAT party, we went to my friend Ben's house for his birthday celebration. Ended up not getting to bed until 10. EXHAUSTED.
Sunday (16,915 steps) - Up sorta early to head to Waterton Canyon for a "group" run with the Happy Trails run club. Most of the group planned on running to the dam (about 12 miles), but A and I obviously weren't going that far. Except for the wind it was a gorgeous sunny day.





After grocery shopping and a shower we went to Jessa's house to watch the football game. Ate way too much "game food" and ended up going to bed very early.
Monday (18,320 steps) - Now that I finally have a training plan, I'm relieved to see that I've been pretty much doing exactly what I should be. Ran 4 miles by the lake - and it was one of the best (and fastest) runs I've had in a while. I didn't need a single break the entire run, which is pretty rare.
I left work a bit early to go to A's school to watch her in the spelling bee. Like last year, she got out during the first round. She was most upset that she was given a word that was not on her study sheet. Her two classmates (and friends) were the winners.
I had to go back to work while she wen to Girl Scouts. We ended up going out to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes - we actually hadn't been there in a long time. In bed pretty early again. Winter is so exhausting!!

Stats:
  • 149,908 steps
  • 40.8 miles run. Wow. NO races, and only 4 on the treadmill. SOLID.
  • No cross training.
  • No strength/stretching. Need to get back at this, but with running in the morning, I've pretty much lost all motivation by the time I get home.
Everything Else:
  • It's almost time for Girl Scout cookies. I hate this time of year.