Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Week in Review (May 17 - May 23)

Tuesday (15,526 steps) - Since it was raining (still), I skipped the morning run and did a new to me upper body video. I really liked this one! No duplicate moves and ones I hadn't done before. When I got home I did a quick run around the neighborhood. The first mile felt Great! Easy! and then I bonked. Big time. Looking back at the data, I ran way too fast my first mile (right around 10 mm pace) and then struggled through the rest. Womp.
 Wednesday (18,121 steps) - MY BIRTHDAY!! Up early for a HIIT, Abs and cool down. HIIT is seriously the hardest ever. It's truly baffling how I can be so out of shape! The Abs video was extremely humbling, as I could barely get through it. I know for a fact that I have been able to do these reps in the past. Depressing. I expected A to make me breakfast... but she didn't, and didn't mention my birthday. WTF. How could she forget? I hype up my birthday ALL YEAR. Got a few gifts at work, and my cell mate made me a "Better than Sex" cake. Picked up A, and it took her another 15 minutes to remember my birthday. Rude!!! Got my free cake from "Nothing Bundt Cakes" and then went to run club.

Love it when Brooks comes to run club - they have the best games!
Ran 3ish miles with A, had cake(s) and beer with my running buddies, won the raffle from Brooks (in addition to getting a super cool box of goodies for my birthday), and then went to dinner at Pho with Heather and A. Heather also got me NBC's (carrot cake and red velvet) and a dozen yellow roses. See, I don't need a boyfriend!!! Up way too late though, exhausted.

Thursday (18,615 steps) - I was in a bit of a predicament with how busy I was going to be in the evening, so even though I was dead tired, I had to get up to get in my run (not great), and the longest video of cardio, upper body strength and yoga EVER. A had felt very badly about forgetting my birthday, so she got up early and made me breakfast. After work we prepped the batter to make the cookies for A's student council party AND a graduation party. Gymnastic and Tokyo Joe's and baking like 6 dozen cookies. Lordie. Too much for a Thursday.
Friday (14,127 steps) - I again skipped a video because of an upcoming race. Rest days are nice. I took A to school a bit early to go to the school book fair (buy one get one free!), and then she had field day. I stuck around for the first few hours, but had to be at work at noon, so I sadly missed the ever popular "shoe kick."



Picked her up a bit early from school because she had her end of year student council party. Did nothing the rest of the night.
Saturday (37,532 steps) - Palmer Lake half marathon.
Left almost immediately to go to A's last soccer game. We hit nasty traffic and got there a few minutes late, but it wasn't a big deal (according to A, I loathe being late). A played very well the first half, and was a bit sluggish the second half. She's had a minor cold for a few days, coupled with not a ton of sleep and the FIERY HOT SUN, the second half was a bit rough. They had a giant soccer ball cupcake/cake to celebrate.

Drove home for a quick shower, and then went to our friend's Heather and Jack's house for their son's graduation party. We stayed a few hours, then headed home because I was THE MOST TIRED EVER. We actually went to bed pretty early.
Sunday (10,764 steps) - Up early AGAIN. This time, it was to volunteer at the Endurance Race Series tent at the Erie half marathon. We were supposed to be there at 6:30, but I forgot my phone, had to go back home to get it so I could map it, and then had a hard time finding it. 15 minutes late. The other ambassador didn't show up until almost 8 (which is when the race started), so I think I did pretty good. The race was much smaller than I expected, with probably only 250 runners between the half and the 5k. A kept herself occupied hula hooping (she can hula with up to FOUR hoops at a time. I can do ZERO) and playing other various games.
We stuck around until about 11 am, then headed to the grocery store to buy food for A's soccer BBQ. Quick rest on the couch, then the BBQ (with delicious burgers!) from about 2 to 3:30. I think I dozed on the couch for a few hours. What an exhausting weekend. I think we were in bed by 9.
Monday (15,533 steps) - Snoozed through my alarm a few times, but still got up with enough time to do a dirt run along the lake. It's rained so much lately I haven't been running on dirt because I didn't want to deal with the mud. For the most part, the run went really well.
Busy day at work, picked A up from her last Girl Scout meeting of the school year, where I had a quick heart-to-heart with the leader about possibly not coming back next year. This year they were just overloaded with so much activities on the weekends and after school, I'm not sure that A will be able to make the time for it (or me). We agreed to have a parent meeting in a few weeks to discuss what worked this year, and what we might do next school year. After dinner I did a new-to-me lower body video, which I really liked. In bed early again, because we were both still tired from the weekend.

Stats:
  • 130,218 steps
  • 26.8 miles run
  • 101 minutes of cross training
  • 73 minutes of strength/stretching
  • Weekly loss 0.2 pounds 128.0 (insert crying noise)
Everything Else:
  • #noteatingallthethings, round two. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I am sure some of it is from the lower mileage the last 6 weeks or so, but I'm in the danger zone. I haven't felt like I've been that out of control, but I've done experiments in the past, so I know how quickly the weight can creep on. Heather and I are doing another #noteatingallthethings - and it's just as un-fun as I remembered. I vaguely remember an initial weigh in the day after I got back from Avenue of the Giants to use as a benchmark. Well, 3 weeks later, and I've only managed to drop 1.5 pounds. I guess my birthday WAS in there, so I'll cut myself some slack. (The sad part is I'm up over SIX POUNDS from end of March - again, that was peak mileage for me, so...)
  • I signed up for the summer/early fall session of Runners Edge! It is SO MUCH EASIER to get long runs in when I don't have to do it alone. It doesn't start for a few more weeks, which is fine. I have not yet (knock on wood) had my normal "burn out" from running, so keeping mileage low for a few weeks until I get my next training plan.
  • My powder bathroom sink is leaking! If it's not one thing, it's another.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Palmer Lake Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, May 21
Palmer Lake, CO
Half Marathon #146
Weather - sunny and HOT

The Palmer Lake half marathon is a part of the Endurance Race Series that I am an ambassador for (code ERSRACE3 saves 15% on all races, all distances, FYI). I hadn't run this race before, so I was looking forward to it. The forecast was for sun and warm temperatures, so I was a little sad to have an 8 am start.

We left the house just before 6, with A planning on volunteering with Eric. (I tried to talk her into running the 10, she has earned a jillion free races, but she said she didn't want to be tired for her soccer game that afternoon). Anyway, the start of the race was at Palmer Lake, the same place we had done our 24 hour race back in April. We parked and walked over to the start line so I could pick up my packet. I ran into Heather and Eric in the parking lot while I was getting all my gear ready, so we all walked together over to the start. I used the bathroom, and before I knew it, it was time to go.

We started 7 minutes late (arg!) and did a counter-clockwise loop around the lack, then headed south on the Santa Fe trail towards Colorado Springs.
Lake looks a lot different than it did back in April. Gorgeous!
I had run this trail before, during the American Discovery trail marathon in 2014. I knew it was a gradual downhill on the way out (which of course meant a gradual uphill on the way back). The trail is a wide, dirt road. With ZERO shade. It was already hot by the time we headed out. I hadn't really looked to see where the aid stations were, so I was wearing my hydration pack. We've had a lot of rain recently, and the trail was mostly dry, although there were a few muddy sections.

For some reason I thought the 10k would be running this section, so I was surprised to not see anyone. I obviously realized that they had to have been running the back half of the course. The only aid station was at the turn around, about 3.5 miles out. That's about when I started walking. It was a combination of fatigue and the heat. Took a gel at mile 4, and it exploded when I opened it. That was fun having sticky GU all over my hands. In general, I did not love the section running back to the lake.
Santa Fe trail - taken during one of my many walk breaks
There was an aid station on the north side of the lake, I filled up and decided I was going to have to ditch my vest at the start area. It was so hot on my back! As I was coming into the start area, the half marathon winner was heading into the finish (I was barely past mile 7, for perspective). Eric was directing runners and I gave him my pack, apologized for it being sweaty, and asked if he would give it to A. I had grabbed one of the bottles out so I would still have fluids and immediately felt better.

We ran up a hill to get onto the back half of the course, a small section I hadn't run before. Then we had to cross the road, hit another aid station (about mile 8), and then we entered the Greenland Open Space for more super exposed trails.
The lonely trails in the Greenland Open Space!
The turn around was at the mile 10 marker, at the top of the switchbacks I had run during my first ultra.
View from the switchbacks
There, I overheard people complaining about the lack of aid stations and the fact they weren't able to get their Pandora to work. I enjoyed the downhill of the switchbacks, and then it was a pretty brutal and hot suffer-fest from about mile 11 on. I stuck with two ladies for the last half mile or so. However, they had kick left, and passed me with a tenth of a mile to go.

Collected my medal and then headed off to find my beer. I was one of the later finishers, and it was, as always, appreciated that there was beer and food left! I wasn't super hungry, but I still shared half a burger with A, had a beer, and grabbed a bag of chips for the road.

Did some pictures with Maureen, Heather and Eric, and then headed out to go to A's soccer game.
Eric, Heather, Maureen, Colfax the dog, Me
Thoughts:
  • The late start wasn't great. However, this is Colorado. Three weeks before this race the entire course was covered in a foot of snow. So, had it not been such a hot day, probably would have been better. Sadly, we can't always have a nice cool and overcast day. (The inaugural race the year before was in JULY - I can't even imagine).
  • Course was very well marked. Markers were at every mile - with different colored markings for the half and 10k.
  • There were, in my opinion, plenty of aid stations. (Five for the half, two for the 10k). However, there were a lot of first time trail runners out there that disagreed. I made the same rookie mistake in the past, and made sure to mention to the race director to note the longer distances between some of the aid stations (4ish miles between some were fine for ME, but I also carried water on me).
  • Race shirt was white, boo. Medal was pretty big, which people always like. Medal is given to all participants, which people also like.
  • Food is phenomenal - burgers (veggie and beef) and hot dogs, chips, desserts, etc. 
  • Definitely would recommend this as an "easier" and "non urban trail" beginner event. Just be sure to carry water, and know that there is no shade!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Week in Review (May 10 - May 16)

Tuesday (16,991 steps) - The Lazy has set in. I snoozed, again. I did get up eventually and did the big loop around the neighborhood, so I suppose that is better than nothing.
After work we had to stop and pick up groceries since we've barely been home the last few weeks. While I was making dinner I did another video (!!!). I promise, I'm really going to work at NOT dropping my cross/strength training.
Wednesday (17,356 steps) - Even though we had gone to bed early(ish), still tired. I did get up with enough time to do another video (!!!) and stretching. I'm doing a two week program so I didn't just randomly choose these. Did not love the cool down/stretching video though. Went to run club, and ran 3 miles with Maureen, Heather and A. After, we went out to eat at Noodles & Company.
Thursday (16,302 steps) - Got up early with plans to run 3-4 miles. Felt terrible, so turned around after 15 minutes and went home to do video instead.
Cardio warm up (which I did not like) and abs/upper body. Gymnastics and Tokyo Joe's, followed by baking cookies.
Friday (17,896 steps) - Skipped the daily video because it was LONG and lower body focused. With a race on Sunday I didn't want dead legs. Instead, did a short run out to the lake - it was gorgeous! Busy day at work. Had to go to the Colfax marathon expo during lunch. It was set up in a ridiculous way (best described by my friend Lisa as similar to the layout of Ikea). Took an hour just to grab my bib and baton. Annoying! We also had happy hour at work, and some  last minute filings that made the day fly by. Picked up A, quick stop at home, then went to our other friend Heather's house for a gathering with friends that we haven't seen in months. Great night! Of course, ended up being out way too late (didn't get home until almost midnight!)
Saturday (26,034 steps) - Tired, tired, TIRED. I forced myself to get out of bed on a dreary and foggy morning to drive into Denver for a run with Runner's Edge. Actually, my first run with them in ages (due to racing and LASIK). The max mileage was 14, but it was essentially a big loop. I had thought I might like to do 8, but instead of doing an out and back, I just did the big 7 mile loop. Somewhere around 6 miles in my right ankle started to ache a bit (same one that was bothering me during Avenue of the Giants).
Picked up Einstein's on the way home. A and I had some TV/nap time, and then headed down to Runner's Roost in Lakewood to pick up a new torture device and rock tape. Quick stop for a snack, and then we met up with Rose, Madi and family at Elitch's.
I was feeling a bit... "off," but we had a great time in the cooler weather going on rides. Headed home to lay down (trying to ward off whatever was making me light-headed), and to pack. Headed downtown around 6 so that I could go to Cheesecake Factory for my pre-birthday dinner. They were SUPER busy. I was very distressed to learn they no longer have pepper jack or sharp cheddar cheese, so I skipped getting my normal grilled cheese sandwich. Got some nachos instead (which were tasty) and mac and cheese. I actually couldn't even finish the mac and cheese (???) and we had to take our cheesecake to go.

Headed over to Heather's house to spend the night. Watched some TV, sat in the elevated legs, and had a beer. In bed by about 10:30.
Sunday (24,692 steps) - Planned on carpooling to the start of the Colfax marathon relay with Eric (who was running the full). He was a bit late picking me up, and we didn't get out of the house until 5:20 (for a 6 am start). Colorado was closed around 13th, but we found a spot not too far in a residential area on the east side. I have never shown up so late to a race! Luckily there was no line at the port-o-potty, so quick stop there, and I went right into my corral (and happened to end up standing next to Ruth).
I wasn't sure at all how the day was going to go. Hoped to run fast, but take it easy at the same time. Legs tired right off the bat and I had to do some unplanned walking around mile 2. Legs loosened up a bit and everything went pretty well until I got closer to the stadium. The last half mile or so of the leg is pretty cruel, with a steep hill leading up to the exchange. Handed off to Heather, and sat in her car while she ran her leg (which was mostly a loop, and then a mile back to the car). We drove back to the house to get A, and then headed over to the finish area, where we would remain until after noon. It was great seeing so many friends and teammates at the finish!

Heather, Lisa, Dierdre, Colfax and Maureen, Me
A was getting hungry, so we decided to get food (with Heather, Eric and Maureen). Our first stop was Snooze, but with a 90 minute wait, we went down to Sam's instead. Finally got my pepper jack grilled cheese (and a spicy bloody Mary)!

Headed home for a shower, and then over to Jessa's for some catching up and lasagna. Longest day ever. In bed at 9:30.
Monday (13,493 steps) - Turned off my alarm, so no morning workout. Even getting 9 hours of sleep, still tired. A and I made chicken sweet & sour stir fry for dinner, and then I did a lower body video. In bed early again. Still so tired from the weekend!

Stats:
  • 132,764 steps
  • 23.5 miles run (I think I'll wait another week before rebuilding)
  • 35 minutes of HIIT/cross training
  • 122 minutes of strength/stretching
Everything Else:
  • The big victory this week, obviously, was getting back into my cross/weight training. Another one of those things that once you fall off the wagon, it's very challenging to get back on. I did 4 days worth.
  • Surprisingly (not), I won the "March Madness" fitness challenge at work. I won another gift card for Target. Hooray!!
  • #noteatingallthethings did not go that well over the weekend. I have a hard time during my birthday month not "treating" myself. Bah. I just need to be better at making good choices.
  • It's been super busy the last few weeks, and unfortunately, I won't have time to rest for a few more weeks. This time of year is just crazy! Heather and I have started sharing food pictures again, so that's fun. Not.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Week in Review (May 3 - May 9)


Tuesday (17,646 steps) - A had student council early in the morning, so I did a quick run by the lake after dinner. Tuesdays are clearly the most boring day of the week, which is totally fine. I was still exhausted after the Avenue of the Giants weekend, so we went to bed really early.
Wednesday (18,529 steps) - Slept in because we went to run club after work/school. Maureen ended up coming, so we ran about 3 miles with her. They ordered in pizza for Heather's birthday, so we decided not to go and get dinner. Because, free pizza.

When we got home we had Batman Sour's birthday paw-ty. Two years old!

Thursday (21,108 steps) - Finally managed to drag myself out of bed. Did 4ish miles near the lake. Temps were good, and I'm loving the sunshine!
Friday (14,343 steps) - Rest day!! Was hoping to get out of work early. Never quite works out that way and it was pure chaos and stress going to pick up A at school and then driving back down to Denver to drop her off at Heather's for a sleepover before driving out to Grand Junction. My friend and teammate, Kate, had graciously offered to let me stay at her house (since I had forgotten to book a hotel), and I was super stressed about my impending late arrival. Quick stop at Garbanzo's on the way out, and didn't get to Kate's until 10:45!! Thank you, Kate, and sorry for the late arrival. You're awesome!! Was woken up a few times in the night due to crazy thunderstorms.
Saturday (28,635 steps) - Rabbit Valley half marathon. The drive back to Denver was fairly uneventful, with the exception of on and off rain. Bee Rad got a PR with number of miles on a tank (566.7!) of gas.
Stopped in Silverthorne hoping to get food, but there was only fast food. I did, however, stop at the Banana Republic outlet store and got a super cute dress and sweater for $26!! I finally had to stop in Idaho Springs to gas up, and made a quick stop at Tommyknocker's for a beer and a bowl of chili to tide me over until dinner. While I was running Rabbit Valley and driving back to Denver, A was running Girls on the Run with Heather.
Arrived at Heather's around 3:30, giving me plenty of time to shower and get pretty for our dinner at The Palm, celebrating Heather's birthday with her family and other friends. Had an amazing time! Tons and tons of food, and always fun to get dressed up.
Sunday (10,067 steps) - I was DETERMINED to sleep in. I have so few opportunities for it! I kept waking up, but I managed to stay in bed until 9 am. 9!!! Batman Sour assisted in waking me up by sitting by my head and purring. A sneaked downstairs, making me coffee, eggs and pancakes! She also did all the dishes, making this the perfect Mother's Day breakfast. We sat on the couch and watched HOURS of TV. Around 1 we went over to the library to renew A's library books. We went for a 2 mile run along Little Dry Creek - love our runs together!
More TV. We went to lunch/dinner (not sure what meal you eat at 4 pm) at Old Chicago's. We ordered #allthefood - an appetizer sampler of pizza rolls, Italian nachos and cheesy garlic bread, A got a turkey/bacon sandwich, and I got the fancy mac & cheese.

Spent the remainder of the day on the couch in a food coma. BEST MOTHER'S DAY EVER!
Monday (15,848 steps) - I had my alarm set early with plans of running the big loop around my neighborhood. Turns out, I'm still recovering from my awesome Mother's Day of doing nothing. I barely had time to get 1.5 miles in. But the weather was perfect and the sun was shining. Yay spring!
We left the house a few minutes early so I could stop and get my depo shot. Wasn't as quick as usual, so A was a few minutes late to school. After work I did a video(!!!) while making dinner. Time to get back on track with building up my puny strength!

Stats:
  • 126,176 steps
  • 23 miles run (taking a few low mileage weeks before building back up)
  • 32 minutes of cross training
  • No strength/stretching
Everything Else:
  • Blah. So I haven't been paying much attention to what I've been eating (obviously) and slowly but surely, the weight has crept back on. It's easy to pretend that running 40-60 miles a week means you can eat whatever you want, but that is obviously not true. Not planning on tracking calories or anything, but cutting back on all those things I can't seem to stop eating. Womp. I'm pretty much back to the weight I was on three years ago when I did the #noteatingallthethings - apparently maintaining hasn't gone that well.
  • Nothing much else going on, just planning an out of town Memorial Day weekend with A and locking in the remainder of plans for the summer. HOW ARE THERE ONLY TWO WEEKS LEFT OF SCHOOL?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Rabbit Valley "half" marathon (race recap)

Saturday, May 7
Fruita(ish), CO
Half Marathon #fail
Weather - overcast, perfect

The Rabbit Valley half marathon was an inaugural race, put on by Gemini Adventures, the same group that organized my stage race last summer. As soon as I heard it announced, I signed up. I was pretty excited to run the same section of course - NOT in 100 degree weather.

Left Kate's house around 5:45. Drove into Grand Junction to get coffee and a diet Pepsi, then headed west on I-70 to the race start. The Rabbit Valley exit is only two miles from the Utah border. There was no traffic and I arrived with an hour to spare.

I picked up my bib and chatted with Kyla. There was also a mountain bike event that started at 7, so while that was happening I cycled through the bathroom line and got my stuff ready. My teammate and friend, Laura, was also running the half, so we talked and took a pre-race picture.
Me and Laura at the start
We were not starting initially on the Kokopelli trail, we would instead be on "trail 2" for the beginning part of the race. I was feeling pretty good, but I couldn't remember how hilly the course was. I made sure to take some pictures on the uphills since I was walking anyway. I hadn't even looked at the course, so I didn't know where the aid stations were going to be. The first one was right after we moved onto the Kokopelli, around mile 2.5. I grabbed only a small cup of coke. I had heard in the pre-race meeting that there would be a total of 4 aid stations, hitting each one twice. I assumed it would be another 2-3 miles before we saw it. I was surprised when it was only 1.5 miles out. And I wasn't even sure that it was the right aid station as there was flagging for some other organization.




Around mile 4 was when we first started seeing the leaders heading back. Sure seemed early. Then started seeing the bulk of the people another half mile or so later. What the heck? Did I miss something? Maybe there was another out and back at the end? Or a loop? Did we miss a turn? Keep running until we got to  the cone with the deck of playing cards. I had been chasing a couple and asked them if we had missed a turn and they said no. Huh. Views at the turnaround were amazing!

I was feeling really good at this point. There was a slight breeze and the temperature was perfect. There were some nasty clouds looming over the horizon so I was in the mood to move quickly. Hit the aid station and noticed the sign said "7.5 miles" - only I was only at like mile 5. Ok.

I completely skipped the last aid station because I didn't feel that I needed it. When we were only a mile or so out from the finish, I noticed some people coming towards us. Uh, were we doing a section twice? I asked one of the guys "is the finish not where I think it is?" He said it was "right over there." I looked at my watch, about 9 miles. WTF. So when I crossed the finish, my watch said 9.79 miles.

Got my dog tag, and grabbed some watermelon and a grilled cheese. Once I had stopped running it was a lot cooler, and I put on my sweatshirt. Chatted with Laura for a few minutes, and stuck around for awards. The race director admitted the course was short - they aren't really sure what happened, although whoever they had marking the course clearly didn't mark it correctly, and they said they didn't double check after it was marked. Kind of a bummer!

Garmin time - 2:05:16
Garmin distance - 9.79 miles
Garmin pace - 12:48 (totally pleased with this for trails)
Mile 1 - 12:08
Mile 2 - 13:04
Mile 3 - 12:59
Mile 4 - 14:09
Mile 5 - 14:01
Mile 6 - 11:55
Mile 7 - 10:59
Mile 8 - 12:18
Mile 9 - 14:12
Mile 9.79 - 12:05

Thoughts:
  • Bummer about the short course. It WAS well-marked, just not correctly. It was marked very well, and there was no way to get lost, that I can think of.
  • Well stocked, cup-free aid stations (although I did get a cup for my one partial cup of coke). I actually didn't take food of any kind from the aid stations. The had gels and some snacks, I just didn't want any.
  • The cards at the turn around served two purposed - to make sure that you hit the full course, AND there were a few winners - $20 for certain cards. That was fun!
  • Like the shirt, it's a soft cotton shirt.
  • Dog tag in lieu of a medal, but better than nothing.
  • I will run this event again, and have already been promised the course would measure correctly next time. Everyone makes mistakes.