Thursday, March 26, 2015

Week in Review (March 17 - March 23)

Tuesday (17,298 steps) - Legs still suck so I did a super slow 2.4 mile slog.
Wednesday (15,474 steps) - Legs STILL suck, so yet another awful and sloggy miles.
Thursday (20,044 steps) - Slog. Slow. Awful. Sensing a pattern?
Friday (8,600) - Did nothing but drive to Moab. I took this picture near Eagle.
 

Saturday (122,356 steps) - 24 Hours of Utah. That took alllll daaaaay loooooong.


Sunday (8,077 steps) - I left Moab at 7 in the morning so I could be back in town in time for Hannah's 8th birthday. She was having a small swim party at 2:00 - and I got there with a minute to spare! (I even stopped at home for the quickest shower in history because I was pretty ripe after Moab).


Dinner and birthday cake at my parents.


Monday (16,518 steps) - Actually headed to the gym for a walk on the treadmill. A is on spring in Utah (Moab!!) with my parents so I did 3 leisurely miles. Surprisingly, not that sore after Moab, I guess that means I didn't try hard enough, right?
  • 208, 367 steps
  • 61 miles run
  • No cross training, did some walking
  • No strength training
Everything Else
  • I haven't been back in for physical therapy / ART in the last week. The copay for me to see the therapist is $45 so I need to wait until I get paid as I hadn't budgeting for the extra expense. Womp. Need to get this taken care of as the fire calves are not seeing improvement (yet).
  • A and I did MORE clean sweeping in the last week. I am so happy she is learning to "let go" of things. Maybe she isn't going to end up a hoarder after all!
  • Work is going great - almost at the end of my 90 days already! How time flies...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

24 Hours of Utah (Race Recap)

Moab, UT
Saturday, March 21-22
Ultra Marathon #13
Weather - Sunny and warm
 
 
After having missed Gemini Adventure's 24 Hours of Utah last year, I made sure to sign up and get there however I could. In the weeks leading up to the event I realized that I was NOT trained for the event. Between having the fire calves and lack of running, I figured it was going to be a struggle from the beginning. But that is half of what makes it fun, right?
 
I didn't have anyone to travel with me, but the biggest hurdle was going to be getting the time off from work to go. I had plenty of PTO with my old firm but was not eligible for PTO at my new firm since I'm still in my first 90 days. "Luckily," the first week I was employed here was MLK day, which is normally a firm holiday. Because of our move, all of us in the Denver office worked that day so we were given a "floating holiday" for use at a later time. With the time off secured, I was mostly ready to go.
 
As per the norm, I didn't pack until the night before. Normally I have an idea of what I want to wear really far in advance. This time, I was still deciding at the 11th hour. I took the kids to school Friday morning, did a coffee run with L to Dunkin, and then grabbed my gear and loaded the car. I was on I-70 heading west by 9:30. Luckily the tunnel construction is done and I didn't hit any traffic. I made sure to hydrate on the drive (after I tallied it all up, 5 bottles of water) and stopped in Grand Junction for lunch. Since I was missing #pizzaFriday, I ordered some off the lunch menu and topped it off with a tasty beer.
 

For the first time the race was offering packet pick-up the night before. I arrived in town too early to pick up (around 3 pm), so I headed to the brewery. While enjoyed a tasty beer, I looked over and thought I recognized fellow blogger/runner Beth from SUAR. I introduced myself to her, finished my beer.

 
I wasn't hungry for dinner but I knew that once I grabbed my gear and headed to base camp that I would have no other opportunity for dinner. I grabbed a single slice of pizza from the pizza place next to the brewery and headed to Gearheads to pick up my stuff. While getting my gear, there were a couple of new and COOL things for the race. First, they finally have tech shirts!! The other events have all had cotton shirts (which is fine, I still wear them), but I like the tech tee. Also, I found out that they had plans to put LIGHTS on the course at night this year. Music to my ears! Since I was registered for the 24 hour event, I was given one of the lights for free as long as I agreed to carry it on me during the night. Walked over to King Soopers for another big bottle of water and some donuts (one for dessert and one for breakfast) and then drove to base camp.
 
The port-o-potties had been moved further back into the lot and I parked relatively close to them. I like convenience! Then I took a quick walk down the hill to get a shot of the rock...


I had plans on sleeping in my car. 1). Because I am an idiot. 2). Because I was too cheap to find a hotel. 3). Because I figured HOW BAD CAN IT BE?? (Answers to follow). As I was finishing my piece of pizza, I noticed some Runners Roost teammates and walked over to chat for a few minutes. As it started to get dark I realized I should probably get all my gear ready to go for the morning.


Stuff EVERYWHERE. I was pretty tired from the long drive and decided to start trying to go to sleep around 8:30 or 9. It certainly was dark enough. However. DID YOU KNOW THAT SLEEPING IN BEE RAD WAS THE WORST IDEA EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER? First off, I didn't bring anything WARM to sleep in. I had my hoodie, but nothing else. No blanket, no pillow. So every 45 minutes or so I would realize I was freezing and I'd have to start the car and blast the heat. Then I would finally warm up, turn the car off. Doze off. 45 minutes later, freezing, lather rinse repeat. I barely got any sleep and did NOT feel rested when I got up - I think it was around 5:30. The race was to begin at 7 with a pre-race meeting at 6:45. I waited until about 6:42 to use the bathroom for the last time and drop off my drop bag by the start.

This being my third time at this event, there wasn't anything that surprised me at the meeting. It was a tad chilly and I was ready to get going. (Even though the forecast indicated it was going to be a hot day in the desert).

We started just a few minutes late. I opted to keep my 1/4 zip on for the first loop as I was still chilly. I was carrying just a handheld with Nuun. In the pockets of my shorts I had chapstick, salt and a gel, and my phone was in a small waistpack.

Having barely run in the last two weeks, I knew it was going to be slow going. I secretly hoped for a distance PR (anything over 12 loops), but realistically I knew that was probably not going to happen. I had plans to take it slow and easy and just walk whenever I felt I needed to. I had my iPod on me but I didn't turn it on. As in previous years, I got a bulk of the pictures in the early hours - when the sun is hitting the rocks just right.






First loop was clockwise. I noticed immediately that at the entrance to the trail it seemed like the sand was deeper. I *had* packed gaiters. However, the tape on the back of the velcro would not stick to my shoes so I was out of luck. I realized that the Brooks Pure Grit were NOT going to be a good shoe choice for this course (sadly). Even in the early miles, the slick rock seemed harder than usual. The white markings on the rock seemed harder to see in previous years. BUT I LOVE IT OUT HERE. It is so gorgeous in Moab, it just takes my breath away!
 
 
Not that I remember much of any specific loop, but I will spare the details. I kept the long sleeves on for the second loop, although about halfway through I got pretty warm. It was going to be a hot one! I know people get bored/annoyed with loop courses, but I really like them. I like seeing people. I like knowing who is still on course and who is not. I didn't know how many people were registered for the 24 hour distance, but based on bib numbers I had a pretty good idea. I seemed to end up about a loop ahead of two ladies, one who dropped fairly early, and one that I think never ran a single step - but she certainly kept moving.
 
By about the 4th loop the sun was really getting to me. I was using my Orange Mud handheld (20 oz?) and I was filling it at base camp with water/Nuun at the start of every loop. Most loops I topped off at the unmanned aid station with water on the back side. I could not seem to get enough to drink. The sun was making me feel kinda sick. For the first time probably EVER, I had to force myself to eat - normally I'm really great about eating. I started to get a dull headache early afternoon.
 

DID YOU KNOW THERE WERE NO CLOUDS IN THE SKY AT ALL???


Until I was closing in on one of my later loops - but these weren't going to cool things down at all.


Even the west side of the course seemed sandier than in past years. I had to stop almost every loop to dump sand out of my shoes AND socks. HOW DOES SAND GET INSIDE YOUR SOCKS?? It's baffling. My feet were getting puffy and I was having a difficult time getting my shoes back ON.
 

Every time I am out here I see this rock that looks like a fist. I either fist pump it if I am feeling good - or I shake my fist at it if I am having a hard time. I think this is about when I realized the race probably wasn't going to go quite as well as I hoped.



I would love to say that if I had a better pair of shoes, or gaiters to keep the sand out of them, that I would have gone for more miles... I don't know if that would have been the case or not. I came into base camp around 5:45 - in time to see the "fun run" runners hanging out by the start. Dave (blog reader) was there and I would later see Todd (who has been out every year I've been to Moab). Grabbed my food, headlamp and long sleeves and headed out. Turns out I could have done that loop without light but I wanted it just in case. About a mile before base camp I saw the volunteers heading out with the course lights. They looked pretty neat!

Put on the long sleeves and changed into capris and then headed back out. It probably wasn't cold enough yet for capris, but I didn't want to change completely in the dark. The loop wasn't too bad and when I got to the backside I was the "fun runners" heading towards me on their first loop. The lights on the course were a variety of colors (red, green and blue) and lit it up SO much better. Finishing that loop got me to 48.33 miles - tying what I had run two years ago.

I could CERTAINLY do better than that... so I headed out again on a moonless night.


The sand seemed worse this time around and the bottoms of my feet were hurting. I came into base camp around 11 pm (shortly after my 920XT beeped a low battery warning - which is weird, because at 16 hours, it should still have over 30% left). I got a grilled cheese sandwich and decided I was going to call it quits with 53.7 miles. The other girl who was still out there was a lap behind me. She said she was going to take a short nap and then go out for two more loops. In retrospect, I totally should have gone out to do one more... but I just... didn't.
 
I ended up having two sandwiches. I sat and talked with some people until about midnight, when I decided to go to bed. In Bee Rad. For the second night I got virtually no sleep.
 
I got up early to see how everyone fared for the remainder of the race. For the first year, there would be no 100 mile finishers. All (3?) quit in the night. I had lost victory to the woman who didn't run a step because she was NOT too lazy to go back out. The Wash Park team was running until almost 7 am - logging something like 134 miles between 4 people.
 
I collected my medal, cowbell and new hoodie (not pictured) and at just after 7 am, started the drive back to Denver.
 



Garmin Time - 16 hours, 17 minutes
Garmin Distance - 54.4 miles

Thoughts:
  • At the time I was totally ok with NOT going the extra mile... now I gotta say that I'm kicking myself. For the solo runners, this was not very competitive field and I could have walked away with a victory.
  • HOWEVER, considering all that I have gone through in the last few months I should probably be grateful that my body held up for the mileage I was able to get done.
  • (A few days later) I'm not very sore and again, annoyed that I could have walked for a couple of hours and won. But anyway!!
  • I love my new hoodie (you all will see it for sure on my blog as I live in these on the weekends!)
  • LOVE my cowbell!
  • LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this event. I will definitely come back for this again, although I would love to NOT have to rush back in the morning or have someone can come with me so I don't have the added concern of driving on little to no sleep.
  • The lights on the course made all the difference. It was so much easier to see where the course was going - especially on the slick rock.
  • Base camp is the best. Grilled cheese is THE BEST. They also had ramen, pasta, hot chocolate, and of course all the other goodies like cookies, chips and candy. (But no beer. I totally need to remember to bring beer).
  • I used my handheld the entire time. It never got annoying! Although my arm is sore - so that is sad and I am weak.
  • I missed a few spots of sunscreen on my back - the race singlet I have apparently doesn't cover my sports bra. I felt the burn in the shower. Owie.
  • Did not turn on my iPod until after 10 pm. I have never gone that long running solo with music EVER!
  • I WAS STILL RUNNING AT MILE 48 OR SO. For me, this is pretty huge. In most ultras, I am pretty much done by mile 40, with just small bouts of running.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Week(s) in Review (March 3 - March 16)

Tuesday, March 3 (17,661 steps) - 50 minutes on the Crossramp and an upper body video.
Wednesday, March 4 (16,750 steps) - 4 miles on the treadmill. Felt dizzy and slightly sick the whole time so it was not a great time.
Thursday, March 5 (19,201 steps) - Yet another blah run on the treadmill, 5 miles.
Friday, March 6 (8,664 steps) - Clearly, I did nothing.
Saturday, March 7 (20,994 steps) - An "unofficial" Runners Roost run was planned for Waterton Canyon. I wanted to go but didn't want to pawn A off on my parents. I was given the suggestion to bring A along with her bike, so I did. Ended up running late because A's bike had a flat and I don't have a bike pump so my dad had to come over.
 
 
It was a gorgeous day for running. I was way overdressed and my legs were SO ANGRY - return of the FIRE CALVES. I was chatting with Laura (one of the Roost ladies) and was telling her about my symptoms with my angry calves. She though it sounded a lot like exertion compartment syndrome. When I got back to the car and looked it up, it sounded about right. The tightness, the pain and the numbness - all signs. Anyway, we got just over 6 miles in and A had a great time.
 
 
Kids were panning for gold...
 
 
Sunday, March 8 (10,798 steps) Got a text from my older sister asking if we wanted to go to the climbing gym with her in Boulder. Sounded like fun, so of course we went up there.
 
 
 
A pretty much had no fear. I freaked out about a third of the way into my first climb. After I got used to it, it wasn't nearly as bad. We both had a great time and I could not believe how sore my inner arms were (for daaaays). We went to lunch together with my sister, her husband and kids. Always nice to see them, we need to do it more often. A and I were pretty tired but we still did a short run at the lake.
 
 
We were both exhausted and ended up playing with Legos for a bulk of the evening. I think these "bad guys" from the Minecraft sets are adorable.
 
 
Monday, March 9 (14,967 steps) - So my legs were dead. Still. I walked for a bit on the treadmill at the gym. I made an appointment to go to Accelerate Health to have them possible test my legs for this compartment syndrome.
Tuesday, March 10 (18,123 steps) - I had an appointment during lunch to have my legs looked at. The therapist agreed that my legs were ridiculously tight. She did some ART therapy (essentially a form of deep tissue massage) and suggested that I come back in a few days. More walking.
Wednesday, March 11 (11,967 steps) Open house at work now that we have been in our new space for a few months.
 

 
Thursday, March 12 (11,383 steps) Went back to get more ART done during lunch. She also did some dry needling, which left my calves VERY tender. Finally finally FINALLY - we had our team meeting for the Runners Roost race team!! I was so excited to meet all my teammates and to finally get my gear for the season. I was really pleased to find out that our color this year is NEON YELLOW!! Neon is my favorite :)
 
 
 
Came down with a full-blown cold. By the time I got home I was congested and having a hard time breathing. More tired than usual and feeling lethargic.
Friday, March 13 (12,615 steps) Worked, popped zinc and cold medicine all day long, ate pizza, drove to Salida.
Saturday, March 14 (35,791 steps) Run Through Time half marathon.
 
 
 
When we got back to Denver I picked up A at my parents, took a super fast shower and met up with Jessa and Lisa for the St. Patrick's Day festival in Olde Town for Jessa's birthday/St. Patricks. We spent most of the time at the festival standing in line for face painting for Jessa's son. When the festival was done we went to get dinner, ice cream and a beer at the Arvada Brewery. Fun day!
 
 
 
Sunday, March 15 (15,219 steps) Run around Sloans Lake with A in the morning. For the first time I had to tell A to slow down. My legs were still so pissed at me. Running a trail half with a crapload of gain was probably not the smartest and maybe my "shake out" run not a great idea either...
 
 
We spent the afternoon with Jessa and her son - a few hours of that was at the park. Such a gorgeous day for Colorado "spring."
 
 
Monday, March 16 (18,258 steps) Still no running. A walk on the treadmill at the gym. Did a legs/squats video.
 
W/E March 9
  • 109,035 steps
  • 16.4 miles run
  • 2 hours, 50 minutes of cross training
  • 31 minutes of strength/stretching
W/E March 16
  • 123,356 steps
  • 15.8 miles run
  • No cross training, but lots of boring treadmill walks
  • 12 minutes of strength stretching
Everything Else
  • Certainly a busy few weeks. Lots of stuff going on! Heading into the long spring/summer race season and getting all the little things done.
  • A and I have been "clean sweeping" the last few weeks. We have donated an embarrassing amount of clothes and toys and books, etc. It certainly is a reminder (if only for a while) of how much stuff we accumulate and how much we DO NOT NEED.
  • Still trying to figure out what is going on with my legs. Really need to be better about doing the videos and cross training, using my Roll 8 or stick and STRETCHING... I have barely been doing any running at all the last few weeks.
  • With ^ that said, of course you know that I have to follow-up with my next idiotic statement. I am heading back to Moab this weekend for my 24 hours race. It will be interesting to see what I can get done...
  • Work is still great by the way.
  • Nothing else.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Run Through Time Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, March 14
Salida, CO
Half Marathon #127
Colorado Half #60
Weather - mild and sunny


L had not done the Run Through Time half marathon yet (I ran it alone in 2012), so I agreed to join her - since I love trail running! Even though when I ran I just drove up in the morning, L wanted to drive down on Friday night. After a quick pizza dinner after I got home from work, we started the drive and arrived in Salida around 9 pm. Ironically, we ended up at the same hotel where we stayed when we ran the Autumn Color Run last fall. I wasn't in bed until about 11 but the race didn't start until 9 so it wasn't too late.

The marathon started at 8 and the half started at 9. We were only a few miles from the start so we got up around 7:15 and headed over to the SteamPlant arriving just before 8. It was a bit chilly so we stayed in the car for a bit before heading in to get our bibs. On the way in I ran into Fort Collins Roost teammate Melody (and her husband Joel). Yep, the mountain behind us we would be running up...


We picked up our bibs and used the indoor bathrooms before heading back to the car to get the rest of our stuff. Another trip to the bathroom left us getting to the start only a few minutes before the start.


I had NO idea what to expect, in terms of my legs. I am ridiculously far behind in blogging, but my legs (specifically my calves) have been AWFUL, so I had been in to get ART and dry needling and had not run all week. Well, the plan was to start out slow and hopefully not be in too much pain. Combine all that with the cold I had been suffering from for the last few days and you can imagine I wasn't super pumped about all the climbing.

I started in the back and had to take my first walk break in the first mile (an early climb). I had started out wearing my long sleeve, but it was already too hot. I had to stop to take off my vest to get the long sleeve shirt off. Then the fastest mile of the day along the road before we began the climb up:


The trail is not that technical in this section. It is just a bit narrow and it is steep. My legs are angry. Why are they so awful??? I thankfully was not the last person up, but I wasn't having an easy time. It's already so hard to remember last weekend, I really should not wait so long to post.

The race director had emailed us to let us know that the trail was going to be muddy and icy and spots and I was surprised that this side of the course was BONE DRY.



The views out here are amazing. I got a bit of running before heading into mile 4, where the climbs REALLY start... We get to the top of a pretty intense climb and have a nice downhill before going into the worst climb of the race. Like 500 feet of gain in one mile up a jeep trail to get back to the aid station. So hard. So tired! Legs so angry :(

Heading into the aid station I see a big 2 liter of soda and I was thinking how tasty Mountain Dew would taste. BUT THEN I SAW PBR!!! BEER!!! A cute couple that was visiting from Florida had a volunteer take their picture with the snow capped mountains in the background and I had her take mine as well:


I was confused and thought the worst of it was done. We had a nice "flatter" and somewhat "downhill" section, but this is where the slog really started! There was a lot of snow and ice and therefore... mud.


I had forgotten that there as another decent climb around mile 8. Then some downhills and rollers.



I wish I could remember more, but I can't. I think I passed a half dozen people. With the marathon starting an hour earlier I actually was getting passed by the super fast marathoners. That isn't fun on a muddy single track. I tripped a few times but no fall, so that was nice.

I was slogging from the cold, from the lack of fitness and from the dumb angry stupid leg situation I have going on. But I really could not have asked for a more beautiful day on the trails, even IF I did run about 9 minutes slower than the previous year. (Of course that was the year I for real TRAINED for a 100 and was pretty healthy).

No medals apparently means I am awkward and don't know what to do with my hands
Roost team! (Amy on my left was 4th female in the marathon!)
Official Time - 3:11:14 (gun time)
Overall Place - 111/141
Garmin Time - 3:10:29
Garmin Distance - 13.34 miles
Garmin Pace - 14:17
Mile 1 - 13:12
Mile 2 - 11:33
Mile 3 - 13:42
Mile 4 - 15:25
Mile 5 - 14:54
Mile 6 - 12:26
Mile 7 - 20:52 (including beer slamming and picture)
Mile 8 - 16:12
Mile 9 - 14:16
Mile 10 - 14:08
Mile 11 - 14:41
Mile 12 - 13:15
Mile 13 - 12:14
Mile 13.3ish - 10:55

Thoughts:

  • Last time I ran this they had a tee shirt. This year, a tech shirt - bright pink for females and bright orange for males. I opted not to take mine since I have so many shirts I don't wear.

  • No medal, but I expected that.
  • I registered at the end of January and think I only paid about $45, so it is a great price. The marathon wasn't too much more - maybe $65 or $70?
  • Three aid stations on the course - all cup free. Which is nice! I didn't see any litter on the course. I think they probably had good food but I didn't take any. Wasn't super hungry for once.
  • Good post-race food and had beers for purchase.
  • I would run this again for sure! Only downfall is the drive to and from. It is doable to drive in the morning as long as the weather cooperates.