Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week in Review (April 8 - April 14)

Tuesday - 35 minute walk on the treadmill during my lunch break. 2.3ish miles of hills, tested out the ankle with an easy jog the last 5 minutes. After work, I did the video Heather talked me into trying... 1000 Calorie Workout Video: 94 Minute Insane HIIT & Bodyweight Workout: Attempt at Your Own Risk. Well, the name alone should tell you that I almost DIED doing this video. I was literally screaming and weeping at the computer, begging it to have mercy. (PS - Heather quit this one, lol)
Wednesday - Another hill interval walk with some light jogging at 2-3% for about 8 minutes of it. 2.2 miles in 32 minutes. After work, 4 miles in 15 minutes on the bike, and then BodyPump. DEAD from yesterday's video. I barely survived.
Thursday - Hill program run during lunch. Ended up being more of a speed workout at the end, running at 6.0 with 1% incline. 4+ miles with average pace around 11:30, which included a decent amount of walking at the higher inclines. Had planned on the gym, but was so exhausted that I skipped. OH WELL.
Friday - Nada. It was my two year anniversary at work, so I got Thai food with coworkers during lunch instead.
Saturday - 1.5ish "easy" miles with 6 minutes at 2%. Then did another mile of hills, walked half and jogged EASY the second half. In the afternoon, A and I attended a tea party with her Girl Scout troop. The girls really had a blast dressing up, but didn't like the tea so much.

Sunday - Race for Open Space half marathon.

Also did the Upper Body 5x5x5 Pulse Workout - this one is just ok. A was supposed to go to a birthday party in the afternoon, but it was cancelled because of the impending weather and poor road conditions. I found out later that the mom took "some" of the kids that had RSVP'd to Dave and Busters. A was not one of those kids. Without going into it too much, I'm pretty upset with how it was all handled.
Monday - Forgot my clothes so I couldn't do anything during lunch. Skipped the gym and did a new Butt & Thigh video.

Weekly Miles Run - 18.73 (13.1 racing, 5.63 treadmill). I thought maybe my ankle was bothering me, so I took it a bit easy on the running.
Weekly Cross Training - 5.5 miles of hill/walking/easy jogging, 4 miles on the bike.
Minutes of Strength - 217 minutes

Weekly Loss - 1.0 pounds

  • I didn't really eat the best AGAIN over the weekend, but it could have been worse. I contained most of the crazy to Saturday. I really have to get this under control. It's really a non-issue during the week.
  • I've added beer back into my diet, let's see if that staves off my ravenous appetite.
Everything Else 
  • Work has been really busy, which is a nice change.
  • Weather is being schizophrenic. 70's at the end of the week, snow and teens on the weekend. Ready for warmer temperatures, but I hope we actually have a spring this year.
  • Other than that... NOTHING. Boring week over here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Race for Open Space (Race Recap)

Sunday, April 13
Denver, CO
Half Marathon #102
Colorado #38
Weather - low 30's, WINDY, rain/snow pellets

There were multiple races this weekend, but with it's incredibly inexpensive $43.40 price tag, the 2nd annual Race for Open Space was the winner.

The forecast was not looking spectacular for Sunday. Which was unfortunate, since we had just experienced a handful of beautiful spring days in the 70's. The night before, the weather was supposed to be rain turning to snow, with a chance of up to 8" of snow accumulation. SPECTACULAR.

I got up at 6:15, allowing extra time to get ready and be out the door by 6:45. I was ready in plenty of time, and stuck with my outfit choice, as it just looked wet outside, although I grabbed my INKnBURN ambassador windbreaker on my way out the door.

L and I had raced on the Sand Creek trail a few times, so we knew the general vicinity of the start, and found it with little trouble. We were parked by about 10 after 7, walked up the hill to get our packets, noting that the wind had really picked up, and the "rain" was starting to turn into icy pellets. FUN!!!!

Packet pick up was easy and we hit the port-o-potties with no line on the way back to the car. We cranked the heat and sat in the car until about 12 minutes before the 8:00 start and then used the bathroom one last time.

I was not looking forward to this. It was cold and windy. I started out towards the back and hoped for the best. The first part of the course was a bit downhill and I was trying to get my groove without starting out too fast, which happens almost every race. And it happened this time too, even though my first mile didn't click by at a super fast pace. I stopped and took this picture about a mile in:

The course was actually really pretty, and a lot of it was on crushed dirt and NOT pavement. However, with all the moisture, it was a bit slick and muddy in places. I was really pretty cold the first few miles, and then I started to warm up. The rain/ice/snow pellets were actually not that bad, but I could have done without the wind.

The course was a series of out and backs and random loops, and most of it was on a section I had not run before, so that was nice. I ended up finding a comfortable pace, which meant I was shadowing a poor woman for 9-10 miles. I took this picture around mile 3 or 4:

Not much to say about the race itself. Once I got past the early miles, it seemed a bit easier to run and I was able to maintain a bit faster pace. The course was pretty, the weather was not.

I saw L a few times on the out-and-back sections, she even kept her throwaway sweatshirt on the entire race, which as you know, means it was cold.

However, I did warm up a bit and spent a few miles mid race with my jacket tied around my waist. I was still wearing a long sleeve shirt with an INKnBURN tech tee over it. I was comfortable until about mile 12 when the wind REALLY picked back up again.

My legs felt pretty good until I was 11-12 miles and then every little hill felt like a lot of work. I briefly passed the woman I had been shadowing, and then my legs reminded me that I'm not really in shape to be running "that fast."

I did more walking at the end than I would have liked, but considering all that, I was pleased when I glanced at my watch heading into the finish and saw that I would be well under 2:20. Thanks again to L for waiting around in the freezing cold to get this picture of me crossing the line:

Bib #650
Official Time - 2:17:28
Official Pace - 10:30
Overall Place - 80/113
Gender Place - 44/72
Division Place - 14/23
Garmin Time - 2:17:26
Garmin Distance - 12.97 (I lost satellite around mile 2)
Garmin Pace - 10:36
Mile 1 - 10:20
Mile 2 - 11:39
Mile 3 - 11:00
Mile 4 - 10:59
Mile 5 - 10:23
Mile 6 - 10:28
Mile 7 - 10:14
Mile 8 - 9:48
Mile 9 - 10:39
Mile 10 - 10:05
Mile 11 - 10:28
Mile 12 - 10:59
Mile 13 - 10:42

  • Inexpensive. I only registered 2 months in advance, so I don't even think this was "early bird" pricing.
  • Very well organized. There were three distances and the course was clearly marked for all. Bibs and signage were color coordinated, which made things very easy to understand.
  • Related: LOVED the course. I have run parts of this in July, when everything is brown and dead (as the course is fairly exposed). Even though it was cold and rainy/icy/snowy, I could see some signs of spring and it was fairly colorful and pretty.
  • Aid stations were about every two miles. With the weather being cold, that was fine. I did not carry my own water. There were plenty of volunteers. Complaints about the aid stations - Styrofoam cups (??) and no electrolyte drinks that I saw at any aid station. Also, they did not give out gels on the course, so I was glad I had brought two of my own (that I took around miles 4 and 9).
  • Related: Plenty of port-o-potties along the course, although I surprisingly did not have to use one, it was nice to know that they were there.
  • Related: SUPER awesome volunteers. I was really surprised that SO MANY were out there during the horrible weather. I bet there were at least 4-5 at every aid station, and they were peppy and cheerful. LOVED THAT!!
  • Race shirt is unisex cotton. Will never wear. Would love option to save a few bucks and skip if it is not a gender specific tech tee.
  • Cute medal.
  • They aren't up yet (and I will edit when they are), but Running Guru always provides free race pictures, so that is a nice perk as well. I saw photographers at a few points along the course, will be interesting to see if I managed to keep my eyes open. (Did you notice that I wasn't wearing sunglasses for the first time, pretty much EVER? Too wet, I felt like they would really annoy me).
  • I would recommend this race for sure! If you aren't ready for a half, there were also options for a 10k and 5k.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week in Review (April 1 - April 7)

Tuesday - Upper body tabata and finally some abs.
Wednesday - Bike for 15 minutes and BodyPump. We had a sub that had a hard time giving instructions, so it was a bit hard to follow. She was using older tracks, so at least I was familiar with most of them.
Thursday -  Another good run at the gym, managed another 6+ miles. It was sweltering hot and I actually ran in just a sports bra and capris. Lots of flab flopping around, but between the lack of air circulation and the giant lights, it is REALLY HOT in the gym.
Friday - Checked out the new gym in my building. I didn't have workout clothes, so I just used the bike for a half hour, even though I was wearing pencil skirts and tights. I have a feeling the other girls that were in there were talking about me after I left.
Saturday - Intended on a long run. Then, didn't. 4ish miles, then a hurried trip to Dunkin', where I tried the jamocha almond fudge iced coffee. THAT was delicious. I then spent about 5 hours at a horse show with A and her Girl Scout troop. After a quick dinner, we went to a friend's birthday party in the mountains, where I consumed a second dinner and a ton of snacks and desserts. LONG day.

Sunday - Um, no exercise. Met up with Jessa and her son to see the new Muppet movie, which was cute. Lunch of a giant spicy burger, mac & cheese and beer. Went to Jessa's house for the remainder of the afternoon. Dinner, Yogurtland, homework, bed. Where did the weekend go?
Monday - Went to the gym during lunch and did the butt and thigh "drop it like a squat" video. Tried running after work and apparently I have something weird going on with my right ankle. It feels... "tight" and "off" - almost like it needs to crack or something? I barely got in two miles and could tell my gait was getting weird, so I stopped.

Weekly Miles Run - 12.55 (All treadmill, and my lowest week... um forever. Even the week after my 100 I ran more than that. So, there's that).
Weekly Cross Training - 2 rides on the bike, 9+ miles and 45 minutes total. Also some walking, which I'm not counting, but it was there.
Minutes of Strength - 156

Weekly Gain - 2.8 pounds
  • I know, I know. I don't know what it is, other than I have lost all self-control. Not even pictured are the piece(s) of cheesecake I had on Saturday night, mucho beer and tons of other things I cannot remember. I have got to get this under control. Highest weight since the second week of June (week six of #NotEatingAllTheThings)
Everything Else 
  • Our office move is finally done. What a stressful week. Pretty much everything is unpacked, we have some issues with a lot less storage space, but so far, I like the new building.
  • Related: Our building has a gym, which is nice. I will likely go a few times a week, just to get out of the office.
  • I'm not super crazy about the commute, as it is further and I have to actually drive into Denver. Lots of traffic, one-way streets and random construction. No fun.
  • The LEAST fun has been dealing with the parking at my new garage. Prior to the move (around March 20), I prepaid for the month of April in a lot a few blocks away. First day, my pass doesn't work. I find out that the pass that was sent to me was from the old management company and even though they were never owning/operating the lot on/after April 1, they billed me and sent me a pass that was never going to open the garage door. Long story short, 8 days later, I finally have access to my garage but the new owners claim I owe them money. That's been fun.
  • Related: the new assistant has apparently done NOTHING since she got hired, and I have spent the last week trying to get HER caught up.
  • Related: the new managing Partners have offered me a raise. The two terms are that I now worked for one of the managing Partners, as well as the three named Partners. One of the named Partners is VERY high maintenance, so I'm concerned about that. Also, raise does not go into effect until June. But... second raise in just a few months, so that is good.
  • Related: As a result of the reorganization and the addition of some new duties, I have been SLAMMED at work for the last few weeks. I barely have time to even text or check email. Not sure if that will last, but it is nice not watching the clock all day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Week in Review (Mar 25 - March 31)

Tuesday - I may or may not have called in late for work so I could go for a run with L. With the kids gone, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get off the treadmill again. It was COLD out, mid 20's, and my left hip was SORE from when I fell on my trail run. I had to walk a bit in the early miles, but knocked out 5 miles and was only an hour late to work. I didn't miss anything anyway.

Wednesday - Before work I did the toned, lean arms video again. I am still so weak. How is this possible? So far, I think I actually like the really long arm tabata video the best, but obviously, I was on limited time. After work, I ran the Green Mountain loop again. After my fall on the trail run, I was already sore. This was a bit of a struggle and MUCH slower and windier and colder than when I ran it Monday. Also, a lot more bikes, so I was jumping off the trail a TON.

Thursday - A was supposed to be back earlier in the day, so I skipped the gym and did the lower body butt and thigh tabata video while I was waiting for her. Due to poor road conditions, they didn't get in until after 9:00.

Friday - My first for REAL complete rest day since... October. The last day of packing/preparing for our big office move, and I was busy all day. I also ate a ton of candy. Stress eating!!
Saturday - Got up and went to the gym to run on the treadmill. I had planned on an "easy hour" - but I was still just lethargic and sore and tired, so I ran 3ish miles and called it quits. Sat in the sauna. Spent the day running errands and grocery shopping. After dinner, upper body tabata video.

Sunday - Took the kids to see Frozen at the cheapo movie theater. Yes, we know it is on video, and yes, we own it. It costs $2.50 for TWO people to see movies there! In the afternoon, I took the kids roller skating - they had FREE passes for spring break. I did the brutal butt and thigh video and finally some abs.
Monday - Moving IN to the new office at work. I still had to park in my lot by the old building, and it was 1.3 miles of walking each way. In the wind. (No, it was not uphill both ways). Had an amazing 6+ mile run on the treadmill at the gym.

Weekly Miles Run - 21.4 (trails - 13.4, road - 5.3, treadmill - 9.4)
Weekly Cross Training - Nada
Minutes of Strength - 139

Weekly Gain - 1.6 pounds
  • I am sucking majorly at #NotEatingAllTheThings Round 2. I ate probably a half dozen donuts, mini cheesecakes, went out to eat a few times, pizza, etc... eating way off track all weekend. If I'm going to bother, I need to buckle down and take this more seriously. 
  • I have gained back close to half of what I lost last/spring summer. I'd hate for all the new clothes I got last year to not fit or be tight and unflattering.
  • I did buy beer for the first time in about 6 weeks, and it was tasty and delicious (I still have 3 left).
  • No cooking this week, except roasting some sweet potatoes. A wanted a "break" and I for real can't eat that many leftovers of the same thing.
Not pictured are the hundreds of donuts and treats I consumed. I was too involved with stuffing my face.
Everything Else
  • Moving. The. Office. Just as un-fun as it sounds. I did a lot of packing (not just my own stuff) and of course, unpacking as well. For real, if/when I move again, I am taking nothing but my clothes. Everything else can go!
  • And other than the fact that I didn't get to spend spring break with A, things are same ol' same ol'. At least she got to enjoy some nature and warmer weather!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Week in Review (Mar 18 - Mar 24)

Tuesday - Got my one mile out of the way in the basement inferno before work. Glad it's an "off" day as the arch of my right foot feels... off. Videos of the night - (new to me) brutal butt & thigh, (new to me) upper back, arms and chest and because I have been slacking - fast abs.

Wednesday - Up early and got out a solid 3 miles in the (hotter than usual) basement inferno. Got to the gym early, but since I did my run in the morning I decided to check out the new bikes at the gym. ARM RESTS AND BUILT IN FANS?? I only got a picture of the new high tech screens, but will try to get a picture of the full bike next time I'm there. I was concerned it was not even going to be a real workout, but HOLY COW, 5.7 miles on a random hill program (level 7) was TOUGH... I'm the weakest. Then an hour of BodyPump, where I am also (still?) the weakest. Exhausted.

Thursday - Left work early, HOPING I would have a quick doctor's appointment. SADLY, getting my depo shot took almost TWO FREAKING HOURS, and I did NOT get an outdoor run in. Sad, three miles on the treadmill.

Friday - Up early for a mile in the inferno, and a 5 min abs/obliques. Did not care for this one, I will take the extra few minutes for a better workout. Went to happy hour with the girls from work, which was a lot of fun. I like getting a break every now and then!
Saturday - Spring Fever half marathon in the morning. Immediately after the race, I went out to lunch with my A, L and H, and my dad for H's 7th birthday! We may or may not have coerced her into going to Chili's. Yum. In the afternoon we went to the rec center for birthday swimming with all the cousins. I spent a bit of time in the hot tub, no swimming. Dinner was pizza with the fam and then I took my older sister, W to Odyssey for a (very) belated birthday beer. My parents were watching Frozen with all four grandkids, and by the time the movie was over, so were the kids. Too much excitement for one day.

Sunday - Roasting vegetables day, tv time, packing the kids for Moab (they get to go on vacation for Spring Break, and I don't, BECAUSE OF OUR STUPID OFFICE MOVE). L and I made the mistake of making S'mores bark again (I may or may not have had a billion pieces). I thought about running, but then did that hour long upper tabata video instead. Running streak officially over. I gave it some thought, and I have been feeling tired lately, and I would rather end the streak on MY terms, not because of an injury or illness or something else. Well, that was fun. Now what...
Monday - With A being gone for a few days in Moab, I decided to head to a close-ish trail nearby, Green Mountain. I briefly looked at the map and thought, ok, the big loop is just over 6 miles, I have an hour and half or so until sunset, I'll do that. LOL. Well, I was at least smart enough to wear long sleeves, but NOT smart enough to wear gloves. Even though the sun hadn't set yet, it stayed behind the clouds and it was cold and exposed. It was also steeper than I had anticipated, and the first two miles were SLOW, with a lot of walking. I finally started running, tripped over a rock and face planted. Thankfully, no bleeding, but I took it more cautiously from there. DUMB. I was starting to get concerned at some of the forks in the road that this "big loop" wasn't as easy as planned, and figured if I hit 3 miles or so and didn't seem to be heading back, I would turn around. Luckily, I seemed to be heading in the right direction. I arrived at the parking lot to discover I was at the WRONG lot and had to run another .3 or so to get to my car, about 5 minutes before the sun set. My hands were FREEZING and it took the entire drive home to warm up. Hopefully, lesson learned. Just under 7 miles of trail glory.

Weekly Miles Run - 27.79 (8 treadmill, 6.7 trails, 13.09 race)
Weekly Cross Training - 25 minutes on the bike, about 5.7 miles
Minutes of Strength - 185

Weekly Loss - 2.6 pounds
  • What a cluster of a week. I ate EVERYTHING. As per the norm, I did fine during the week. It was H's birthday this weekend, I had a ton of pizza and cake and DONUTS.
  • Related: Apparently, my body will do whatever it wants...
  • No new recipes this weekend. However, I roasted more veggies and L and I made another batch of the S'mores bark, which at least THIS TIME I am sharing with folks in the office. I bought a pre-made meatloaf from Sprouts that was pretty good.

Everything Else
  • PURELY to ruin my life, the day I left work early? I ran into J on the street outside my building. He said "hey, what's up" and I gave a death stare, said nothing, and kept walking. Unlike the rumors I had heard, he looks fucking great. And I, OF COURSE, looked like total shit in a sweater and pants because I was too lazy for tights and a pencil skirt. The real insult was I was heading to get my depo shot (for period regulation, OBVIOUSLY not because I'm sexually active now), and it apparently was time for my annual questionnaire. Last time I had sex? Soooo long ago, I wonder if its different. Totally wrecked my afternoon.
  • As for running, as I said, the run streak is done. Will be a big relief to not have that hanging over my head. I did enjoy my day off, and I plan on another day off later this week.
  • Related: What to obsess about now.......
  • Have I mentioned that moving our office is RUINING MY LIFE???? UGH. There is a reason I don't move - IT IS TERRIBLE. T minus 3ish more days and yet we have like 10% of the office packed. I'm for real going to stab someone.
  • Related: I am at least PLEASED with where my desk is located. I'm near everyone I enjoy working with and the few people I don't especially enjoy (cough*officemanager*cough) are faaar away. Also, I'm right by the kitchen and close to the bathroom. SCORE. And I guess when I'm visiting with other people, the view isn't so bad:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Fever Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, March 22
Golden, CO
Half Marathon #101
Colorado Half #37
Weather - CHILLY, windy, flurries, overcast

I should have been racing in Moab this weekend, like have the last two years. However, the price got too high since I waited, AND my travel buddy bailed. Instead, I half-heartedly signed up for the Spring Fever half marathon (that Ariel and I volunteered at last year). L hated the course and didn't want to join me, so I was in it alone.

I got there with about 30 minutes until the start. Packet pick-up was easy, but people clearly don't read the emails that say "ID required." I agree, it's pretty dumb, but the volunteers are instructed to not hand out if you don't have it. I was FREEZING just in the few minutes I was outside and debating on wearing a jacket in addition to my long pants and long sleeves. I sat in the car until about 15 minutes before the start and then headed to the indoor bathrooms (where there was no line AND a volunteer with TP just in case a stall was out).

Headed out just as the National Anthem was playing and then walked up to the start, lining up in the back. I had no real goals, just hoping to come in under 2:30 and to not freeze (I had opted for no jacket, thinking I would get too hot).

The course is basically the Ralston Creek half marathon course, just in reverse, which meant all the hills would be at the end when I was already tired.

I felt ok the first mile (gradual downhill), but noticed that my legs felt very fatigued. Not necessarily the calf tightness that I normally have, just "tired." The first 5.5 or so miles were a slight downhill, and I held back a bit, trying not to overdo anything. The miles from about 1.5 to 5.5 were an out and back section, but it never got crowded. There were plenty of aid stations, and they all had Powerade and water. At least one of the stations (maybe two) had Clif gels in various flavors. At the second aid station, I grabbed one, but didn't take it until closer to mile 4.

I have run this section a few times, so there wasn't much to look at, just concentrating on running and trying to stay warm. I was really happy I had grabbed hand warmers, as I kept them the entire race. But, a few pictures I took anyway:

At the turnaround is where I really started to get tired. I made it until just before mile 7 when the walk breaks started. I was feeling very fatigued and the breaks helped. The gradual uphill continued until about mile 9 when the real steep uphills began. Remember in my Ralston Creek recap where I have all the super speedy downhill miles toward the end? That's what I was running up. And by "running," I mean I walked up most of that. A few people in front of me were jogging, and in all honesty, with the exception of one or two, I caught them all at the summit doing a run/walk. Mile 10.5 or so and the course finally flattens out.

That SUPER STEEP hill that lasts a 1/2 mile in the Ralston Creek half? FINALLY DOWNHILL... I was clocking 8:00-8:30 pace and blasting by people. Of course, it was short lived, and I run/walked a lot of the end of the course too.

The flurries started to pick up a bit more when I got to mile 12.5. Turned the corner and I could see the finish banner, AND, what looked to be A!!! I was running right by a lady but didn't have any kick to pass her. I was pleased when I saw the clock time, as I had expected to run much slower.

Official Time - 2:21:25
Overall Place - 174/234
Gender Place - 97/138
Division Place - 37/54
Garmin Time - 2:21:25
Garmin Distance - 13.09 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:48
Mile 1 - 9:28
Mile 2 - 10:02
Mile 3 - 10:42
Mile 4 - 10:29
Mile 5 - 10:08
Mile 6 - 11:03
Mile 7 - 11:27
Mile 8 - 10:58
Mile 9 - 11:15
Mile 10 - 13:00
Mile 11 - 11:22
Mile 12 - 9:47
Mile 13 - 10:55
Mile 13.09 - 9:47

I received a fancy water bottle at the end filled with water. I was too cold to drink anything, and just wanted to get out of there. A wanted my free burrito, so I grabbed that, said a quick hello to friend, and got out of there. It was probably in the low 30's when I got done, but I was shivering for at least an hour after I got done. Luckily, the really heavy snow held off until about an hour after I finished. THAT would have been miserable.


  • This is a very challenging course. Know that going into it. I knew it was going to be no fun, and I'm not sure if that affected my performance, but those miles of hill toward the end were BRUTAL.
  • Related: This was only about a minute slower than I did RnR Denver this year, where I really did NOT walk, so maybe SOMEHOW I am regaining some of my former speed?? MAYBE?
  • The weather on this particular weekend, in general, seems to be not great. Last year, there was so much snow that the race had to be postponed a week. Prepare for WIND.
  • The race is pretty inexpensive, I think I paid about $50. The shirt is a nice, woman's cut tech tee in a fun bright yellow color. I'll likely wear it again.
  • There were plenty of bathrooms at the start, inside. Enough to handle three distances (the 1/2, 10k and a 5k).
  • Not crowded, the race director does a staggered start for the distances.
  • The course was very well marked with neon green electrical tape on the sidewalks and orange domes to mark where to NOT go. Last year there was a volunteer shortage because of the rescheduling, but there were plenty this year, and one was posted at any area that might be "confusing."
  • There were port-o-potties in multiple places along the course.
  • PLENTY of aid stations, all well-stocked, with the trash bags located far enough away to actually get used.
  • Overall, very impressed with the organization of this. Other than the terrible and difficult course, I would give this an A+.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week in Review (Mar 11 - Mar 17)

Tuesday - Got up early to run my mile to try to wake up. SUPER tired. After work, I tried another new butt and thigh tabata video. This was pretty tough, and LONG. First Fitness Blender video I've done with both Kelly and Daniel and they are adorable. Also did lean, toned arms. A did her last "training run" before her big trail race!
Wednesday - I actually went to run club!! I tried the new New Balance Fresh Foam. Kind of an ugly shoe, but pretty comfortable. Had a nice and easy run with Heather, who is finally back from her latest injury.

Thursday - Legs a bit sore after the brutal video I did on Tuesday, but knocked out 3.5 miles on the treadmill, and then tried a new upper body tabata video. Holy billions of reps!!! There wasn't any individual moves that were hard, just the sheer number of them.

Friday - 1 mile in the basement inferno before work.
Saturday - A billion solo miles at the High Line Canal Fat Ass. You can read about it HERE.

After a super quick shower, A and I drove to Denver to meet up with Jessa and friends for her birthday lunch. I had a TON of food as I was starving after my run that morning. We spent about 4 hours downtown and headed home because it was getting dark and cold.
A found a "Beauty and the Beast" ballroom in the Brown Palace, where Jessa had a room for the night
Sunday - Up fairly early for A's first trail race! The Mountain Goat Kid's Trail Series' first race of the season was at Bear Creek State Park, home of the Bear Chase race I've done the last three years. We got there about 45 minutes early, with enough time for pictures, bib decorating and a bathroom stop (for me). My legs were DEAD after my run yesterday, but I ran most of it BEHIND A and took a ton of pictures. The trail was muddier than expected and about half of the way through the 2 mile run, A lost her shoe in the mud, which was a bit upsetting to her. She rocked the end of it (in an effort to beat ME) and said she wants to run the next race in the series.

The afternoon was spent eating cookies, watching tv, and roasting some vegetables. While A was doing her homework, I did the toned, lean arms video and walked a mile on the treadmill. Anyone else watch the Walking Dead? This episode was one of the craziest and most intense EVER. I'm still a little traumatized by it.
Monday - 5k on the treadmill. Legs too tired for anything else.

Weekly Miles Run - 50.2 (8.61 treadmill, 41.59 outside)
Weekly Cross Training - 1 mile walk
Minutes of Strength  - 154 (Not bad since I missed BodyPump this week)

Weekly Gain - 1.2 pounds
  • Maybe my heart just isn't in the #NotEatingAllTheThings Round 2? Last time, this all seemed so easy, and I had losses every week until I hit my goal. I'm at my same post-holiday weight, and while the number doesn't bother me, the jiggle does a bit.
  • Related: I am not eating my best most days, and I can FEEL it. Like yesterday (Monday), one of the attorneys brought in a giant plate of German Chocolate and caramel brownies. I ate like 5 of them over the course of the day. WHY? One would have been fine. But they were there, so I ate them. Stupid.
  • I am REALLY enjoying roasting vegetables. I made a TON of them on Sunday and they should last me all week. they reheat really well!
Everything Else 
  • I didn't do a financial update last month, but I'm plugging away at the budget.
  • I have about 10% of my emergency fund in the bank (not where I would like to be, but I have honestly spent the last 3 years with NOTHING put away, so this is a start).
  • I FINALLY rolled over my IRA from my job that I got laid off from in 2010. Yeah, I know... took me 3.5 years. It was even easier than I imagined. I only was getting statements once a year, so I didn't realize the amount of money I had there.
  • Including today, there are only NINE more days until we move and my boss's "partial retirement" is official. I have located a covered garage fairly close, and while it is about $15 more a month, the raise I got helps with that. I am not looking forward to the additional commute. Will be interesting to see how a one mile move further into the city will take.

Monday, March 17, 2014

High Line Canal Fat Ass

Saturday, March 15

I have run one Fat Ass "race" in the past, the Southside, back in 2012 when I was training for my first 100. I had a great time that day, and it was a nice change for a long run to not be on the treadmill.

I found the registration for this race on Ultra Sign up when I was registering for Bear Chase. At the time, I still planned on running in Moab, so I planned for it to be a mid-length run (around 15-20 miles), just to get some time on my feet. Other than a couple half marathons, I have not run longer than 13.1 since the double marathons of New Years.


A few weeks ago, I had to cancel my plans for Moab. The race is substantially more expensive this year, and my travel buddy bailed on  me. No way I could/would want to cover all the travel expenses on my own, PLUS, half the fun of the 24 hour race is spending time with my friend during the night sections.

But, I decided... I have barely been outside this winter, the forecast looks ok, maybe I will go ahead and run it anyway.

As the date approaches, information starts trickling in on the course, times, etc. TURNS OUT, the start time is 5:00. In the morning. Oh, and it is a point to point. Um. The organizer says "You should be able to get a ride back to your car." SHOULD?

I talked to my dad, and after some discussion, he said he would be willing to pick me up when I was done running and drive me back to my car. Did I mention I had offered to be a carpool vehicle and that I would be driving out of my way to meet people at 4:10 am (30 minutes from my house)? Oh. Yeah. That.

Oh, and did I mention that when I agreed to be a carpool vehicle, the organizer says, "all the 50k runners can meet up." But after looking at he map, the 50k meet up location was actually at mile 36... So. A maybe 15-20 mile training run for a race I was no longer doing became 36 miles. (or so).

3:11 a.m. Alarm goes off. I had NOT slept well. I estimate I got 2 hours of restless sleep. Grab coffee and my pack and head out the door right on schedule at 3:40 am.

I arrive at the church meeting point at 4:07. Turns out there were additional carpool vehicles I didn't know about and I was able to get a ride to the start with someone driving a van. This meant I would not have to find a ride back, and also, that I was committing to the full 36 miles.

We had been given a set of instructions where we could find the roving aid station, locations where there were places to buy food (gas stations), and the two "tricky" parts of the course.

Just after 5:00, and we were off. It had been 50 degrees when I left my house, but it was 20 degrees cooler in Waterton Canyon. I made the risky decision to just wear an INB tech tee and my INB ambassador windbreaker. I had brought throw away gloves with some hand warmers, but no hat or ear warmers. It was a tad chilly, but I figured I would warm up after I started running.

It was DARK. I was surprised that a handful of people weren't even using headlamps. Um, we are in the middle of NOWHERE and it is DARK and it is HOURS before the sun will be up. I was not running with music, hoping that I would end up pacing with someone roughly my pace.

The High Line Canal is a fairly wide trail (packed dirt) that runs about 70 miles in south Denver. I had run a small section of this trail last summer with Hope, and remembered it being beautiful and very runnable.

Due to all the snow we have had, the trail was hardened from all the horses/people so it was very rutted. I was very glad to have my headlamp as it was not as smooth going as I remembered. About 3 miles in and I had to stop on the side of the road to pee. It was going to be a long day. My hands were very chilled and I was having trouble opening the valve on my pack.

The miles in the dark were a bit lonely, I ended up not latching on to anyone and I was trying to avoid twisting my ankle. The first tricky section is a detour, and I was glad I had a few people that I could barely seen in front of me, as I might have made a wrong turn. There were a few miles that we had to run on the shoulder of a semi-busy highway, although traffic was very light at dawn on Saturday morning. Around mile 10 I got back on to the trail. I finally decided to pop in some music since I was clearly in this alone.

One of my favorite pictures EVER
Once the sun came up, I was hoping it would warm up a bit. The forecast for the day was overcast with wind, with snow/rain starting early afternoon. My "A" goal was to get the 36 miles covered BEFORE the moisture hit, hopefully to be done in 7.5ish hours.

There are a LOT of trail systems in Denver, and most of them are pretty well marked. However, I came to an intersection where the trail seemed to go in various different directions. I had thought that almost the whole section was supposed to be unpaved, but didn't think too much of it when I came across a fairly long section that was paved. I began to worry when I got to a major street crossing and the only signage was for the C470 bike path. Feeling it was better to be safe than sorry, I texted my dad (an avid cyclist) to ask if the bike path and the High Line Canal were the same. He says, "no."

Shit. I made a wrong turn, but at this point, I'm all turned around and have no idea where to go. I have the freeway on one side of me, a bike path, and this all intersects with another major road, and I don't know where to go... Luckily my dad was able to get me back on track. After standing around for 6-7 minutes and going over 1.5 miles total out of my way... so my "36ish" miles were going to be more like 37.5. GREAT.

Can you see the storm clouds rolling in??
Somewhere around that point is when I lost my groove. It was windy, overcast and chilly. I still had not seen any of the roving aid, although I was slow to begin with, and my detour only added time so I can't say I was surprised.

My right ankle was a bit achy, I couldn't tell if it was just from the distance, or if I had slightly twisted it when I was running in the dark.

Honestly, I don't remember much about the run. I took a lot of walk breaks, I took pictures, I was texting a lot with L and Heather. Somewhere around 5 hours in, I finally saw aid! There was a box of goodies on a picnic table by the rec center and I grabbed a handful of cookies. Saved my life!!

I was regretting that I had decided to run so far. I was cold, tired, and not having the best time. At some point, I lost one of my gloves, and that was really not much fun either.

I don't know what's happening here. This was a good 15 feet up in the tree
Thanks to a timer app I downloaded I got a full body selfie!
I certainly didn't make my time "goal" - but lets be real. This was NOT a race, this was NOT timed, and I paid NOTHING for it.

I was never so happy when I saw the mile 35 marker and shortly after, the turn for the parking lot where my car was.

Miles 1- 10 (11:14, 11:14, 11:27, 13:04, 11:43, 12:24, 15:22, 12:41, 11:30, 11:35)
Miles 11-20 (11:21, 12:19, 11:23, 12:51, 13:01, 11:40, 12:03, 17:05, 16:18, 12:15)
Miles 21-30 (11:46, 13:07, 12:42, 13:59, 13:31, 13:09, 15:40, 13:14, 13:43, 15:16)
Miles 31-37.6 (14:09, 13:59, 14:08, 14:04, 13:56, 13:06, 13:03, 13:00)
Average Pace - 13:00

  • I am really glad that I brought all my own stuff, as I never saw the roving aid at any of the promised locations. I know for sure there were at least 2 people behind me that I passed AFTER my detour. I think about 30 of us started the run, but it looks like the roving aid was catering to the faster runners. Which is fine, but just be aware that you should always carry enough of your own water/fuel JUST IN CASE. I had filled my pack almost completely full (70 oz) and still had about 15 oz left when I stopped. This might not have worked out so well if the day would have been warmer and/or sunnier. I had brought more gels than I even needed, I think I took 7 total. Other than the handful of cookies, I only grabbed a fun size package of M&M's from the one aid box on the course. 
  • Related - I'm glad I didn't end up needing a ride back to the start for my car, because again, I didn't see anyone affiliated with the run and I had no cell phone numbers as contacts for the man running the aid station or the man who organized the run. Again, it is always MY responsibility to make sure I know what I'm doing (thankfully, I had my dad to fall back on to re-route me when I made a wrong turn). And also, I'm glad I got a ride to the start because I would have had to wait on my dad to get my car. No bueno.
  • Other than the lost glove and cold ears in the dark hours, my outfit worked out perfectly. I have not run in the windbreaker before, but with 20-30 gusts and temps in the low 30s, the jacket paired with only a tech tee was perfect. I was never cold, and the zippered pockets were perfect for holding my trash. If only I had put my gloves in my pockets while I was eating, I might not have lost a glove :(
  • I probably was not in shape to be running this type of distance, but I got it done. Pretty proud of myself for sticking this out, definitely my training run ever. My maybe 15-20 miles became a 50k that was actually 36 miles, but after a detour, I really ran a 60k. 
  • I got what I paid for. I could have done this with no support, but I wouldn't have. I would have liked to have met up with someone else and run at least some miles with someone else, but it didn't work out that way. The man who has organized all the metro area Fat Ass runs is starting a new running series - going head to head with Leadville. If you would like to read more about the series and possibly donate to the cause, the link is here.