Thursday, April 16, 2015

Week in Review (April 7 - April 13)

Tuesday (18,562 steps) - Not in the mood for running. Skipped the gym and did an abs/upper body video at home.
Wednesday (14,360 steps) - Run club!! I haven't been getting pictures lately - because I'm a slacker. I can tell you 1). I forgot a shirt. 2). Thankfully, run club is at a STORE and Phil gave me a sample shirt so I didn't have to run in my bra 3). I tried out some Nike shoes that were very pink, and not too awful. I ran in Nike when I first started running a million years ago. They've come a long way.


Thursday (22,808 steps) - My description of this run was apparently "not great, not terrible." I guess that means it could have been worse. Also did some yoga/stretching. Calves have been out of control still/again.

Friday (13,103 steps) - Pizza Friday!!!
Saturday (20,068 steps) - I gave the option of a few different places to ride her bike while I got a run in. She chose the Highline Canal. The canal is a 60+ mile stretch of dirt. I ran a Fat Ass (36ish miles) on it last year. It is not TOO far away. Threw her bike in the back (a bit later than I would have liked) and we headed out. I was slow, she was patient.


I cannot recall what we did the rest of the day. I imagine it involved sitting - my favorite activity after running.
Sunday (22,978 steps) - A few weeks ago, A and I were given free entries to a 5k in Broomfield. (I actually ran the inaugural race 5 years ago). However, I was already committed to volunteering for the Platte River half marathon with my Roost teammates. I gave my free entry to my dad (totally legit, he registered for it) so that A could still run. I had to get up to be in downtown Littleton by 7:00. We had the first aid station on the course - 2 miles in:



When you have an aid station on a point to point course that early in the race, you are done VERY early. I think we were torn down and cleaned up by 8:30. A group of us went to brunch at a Cajun restaurant down the street. The food was and company was great.

While all THAT was happening, A was killing it up north at her 5k. She had a very solid run! My dad took 3rd in his age group and was psyched to get a medal and a $15 gift card!

After A's race she was heading to a Girl Scout event, so I made the SUPER INTELLIGENT DECISION to go running. I picked the Highline Canal again because it's fairly flat and it was close. Did you know that Cajun food is NOT the best fuel choice for an 8 mile run??


Monday (24,489) - A not so terrible run on the treadmill. Which is funny, since for the second time in a week I forgot an integral item of clothing for running - a sports bra.

Stats
  • 136,368 steps
  • 25.7 miles run
  • No cross training
  • 52 minutes of strength/stretching
Everything Else
  • I posted a semi-annual "set me up with a semi-normal single guy" post on FB. I may or may not be communicating with a few and possibly setting up a handful of "dates" over the next few weeks. We shall see. I'm pretty terrible with making plans. But it's been almost 2 years now (?!?!) so I think I've been single long enough...
  • Work is still going great. Last week I finally talking to the Office Manager about relocating my desk so I'm not sitting next to cat lady. She is SUPER nice, but she is extremely messy and it was totally messing with my work mojo. I was able to move without hurting her feelings as the open space is closer to two of the three attorneys I work for.
  • Work has a "step contest" happening right now. We are unfortunately not allowed to use a Fitbit or Garmin Vivo for tracking and the cheapo pedometers we were given didn't work for me. After swapping out two (they were not tracking steps AT ALL), I have given up. :(
  • Uh. That's it.




Friday, April 10, 2015

Week in Review (March 31 - April 6)

Tuesday (18,829 steps) - Leisurely stroll on the treadmill and a total body workout video.
Wednesday (13,953 steps) - Run Club! Ran with Heather again for a super awesome (2?) miles.
Thursday (21,321 steps) - 4+ miles on the treadmill. I have no recollection of this run, but based on pace, I either did hills or it just didn't go that well. I did another total body video.
 
 
Friday (13,088 steps) - Literally did NOTHING.
Saturday (38,881 steps) - Three Creeks half marathon. You can read the recap here.

 
I have NO recollection of the rest of the day. We went grocery shopping, and at some point, the kids and Batman Sour dyed Easter eggs.


Sunday (14,760 steps) - Up before dawn to volunteer at the Westminster trail races! We had to be there by 6 am. It was pretty darn chilly when we first arrive, hence the winter wear. We assisted in handing out packets (there were three distances - 5k, 10k and half marathon) and then we manned the first/last aid station for a few hours. Once they were actually BUSY, the kids did a great job.


Surprisingly, WORKING a race isn't that much exercise. A and I took a walk around the lake in the afternoon.


I did some yoga later that night - hoping to loosen up my legs and tight muscles. Batman Sour was NOT amused.
 

Monday (19,564 steps) - Stroll on the treadmill to show off the INKnBURN shirt I finally got (after almost a YEAR of hoping someone would resell or trade me for it...

 
I had hoped to do more yoga when I got home but I was having some screwy internet issues and I couldn't even get my phone to load a video. I managed to get maybe 10 minutes in, but nothing to write home about. Trying to take it easy this week because my legs are worse than ever.
 

Stats
  • 140,396 steps
  • 19.7 miles run
  • Some walking, no real cross training
  • 69 minutes of strength/stretching
Everything Else
  • Hit my 90 days this week and I'm still employed :D - I guess they like me just as much as I like them?
  • This was a super boring week. There is nothing else.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Three Creeks Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, April 4
Denver, CO
Half Marathon #128
Colorado Half #128
Weather - Sunny, nice


The Three Creeks half marathon was an inaugural race this year, put on by Racing Underground (they are the ones that put on the Ralston Creek half marathon I have run the last four years). The race was announced last fall and we registered on Black Friday (opening registration day). With a price tag of $60, it was a pretty reasonable race for Denver.

My dad came over at 6:30 race morning so that we could head out and get to Cherry Creek High School by 7. We assumed an hour would be plenty of time to use the bathroom and pick up our bibs. What we didn't really remember was the walk took about 10 minutes each way. So by the time we used the bathroom, got our bibs, and got back to the car it was already 7:40. I felt panicky and rushed and felt like I had to pee again. We got near the start about five minutes before 8 and the bathroom line was LONG. Luckily, it moved quickly and the race started right as we headed to the start.

UNFORTUNATELY, that meant that Heather didn't wait for me (we had made plans to run together). I didn't have my iPod and L and I were the last to cross the line. L took off immediately and I was alone, with no music.

Coming off all sorts of aches and pains and little running, I had low expectations for the race. I tried to take it easy the first mile, but I could feel that my legs were already tight and tired. I had a feeling I was in for a long day.

I managed to make it through the first mile without walking...

Dan got an awesome shot of me - not even sure where this was on the course, but it was early
And then it was pretty much all downhill from there. (Not literally, this course did not feel especially "flat and fast" to me. I started taking walk breaks. A lot of walk breaks. It got to the point where I don't even know that I was really feeling THAT bad, I was just... tired and achy and not really into it? The course was a little barren, I was in the very back of the pack and I was... mentally bored and agitated?




Some of the course was hard packed dirt, some of it was bike path. Finally there was a turn around section and I saw Heather and Lisa. Mile 5-6 was pretty much the only mile where I ran and actually felt good. There was another out and back section at mile 6. At the loop turnaround I saw a coyote. That was probably the best part of my race. He was pretty cute. He was a bit too far away to get a good picture.

Mile 8 or 9 is pretty much where I gave up. Lots and lots and LOTS of walking.


This was mentally one of the "longest" half marathons I have ever run. I kept telling myself that this was no big deal, I have done this distance literally hundreds of times... why why why was this time so unfun? I could see the finish line from mile 12. That last mile lasted an eternity.

Garmin Time - 2:32:55
Official Time - 2:32:54
Overall Place - 503
Gender Place - 296
Division Place - 57
Official 5k - 37:23 (this is almost TEN MINUTES slower than my PR)
Official 10k - 1:12:29
Official 10 mile - 1:57:37
Mile 1 - 10:26
Mile 2 - 11:58
Mile 3 - 11:34
Mile 4 - 11:46
Mile 5 - 11:22
Mile 6 - 10:47
Mile 7 - 11:23
Mile 8 - 11:35
Mile 9 - 12:19
Mile 10 - 11:39
Mile 11 - 11:27
Mile 12 - 12:41
Mile 13 - 11:51
Mile 13.2 - 10:32



We hung around a bit at the finish talking to Jim and Cheryll and the Runners Roost people. Like usual, we couldn't hang around too long because we needed to go pick up the kids.

Thoughts:

  • Outfit turned out to be ok. I was concerned the skirt wasn't going to work out well. I've put on about 10 pounds since last summer (yeah yeah yeah, maybe that is why I am not tracking weight). I was glad to have arm sleeves, I left them on the entire race. I kept gloves for about 4-5 miles.
  • Course measured long for everyone. Won't get into the argument over GPS, but I measured the "shortest" at 13.2.
  • Course was well-marked. Plenty of aid stations. I didn't bring my own water and I was fine. They had Hammer gels at 2 or 3 aid stations. Maybe other things? I already don't remember. I should not have waited so long to recap this.
  • Didn't really care for the course. The terrain was "varied" but it was just not "scenic" for me. Early April is a tough time in Colorado... everything was pretty brown :(
  • Packet pick up was easy enough, I guess I didn't realize it would take SO LONG to get our stuff. They did have bag drop, but I needed stuff out of the car anyway so that would not have helped.
  • Cool race shirt in gender specific sizes (black 1/4 zip with the race logo as a crest) - no picture AGAIN because I'm lazy.
  • Nice medal and ribbon
  • GREAT post race! They had soda (LOVE), water, Propel AND it was catered by Noodles & Company.
  • Prizes, if I were fast enough, were AWESOME. AG winners got growlers with the race logo on them!
  • Overall a great event. I just wish "I" had been great....

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week in Review (March 24 - March 30)

Tuesday (17,821 steps) - With A on spring break in Moab and no plans (I'm super lame), I still headed to the gym. Walked about an hour on the treadmill. Still taking it easy after Moab.
Wednesday (13,738 steps) - Super weird freak snowstorm/blizzard-like conditions in the morning, and then by the time I got out of work and headed to run club it was nice and sunny. Colorado, you so crazy! Run club was a lot of fun, I tested out some Hokas (which seemed so cushion-y) and did a few slow miles with Heather. There was of course beer! Then Dan and Heather let me tag along with them to get some Pho for dinner. I was out waaaaay past my bedtime (like 9:30!)
Thursday (13,720 steps) - For weeks Lisa and I had planned on going to Denver Beer Company for the untapping of a new beer - the Cocoa Creme Graham Cracker Porter. It didn't disappoint! It's so bizarre going out during the week. Miss seeing her during work so it was fun to catch up for a few hours.
 
 
 
Friday (13,581 steps) - Nothing except.... PIZZA FRIDAY!
 

Saturday (24,024 steps) - Headed out bright and early in the morning to do some miles at Sloans Lake. Legs help up pretty well, and I was happy to get the run over early as it was supposed to be HOT later in the day.
A and I had plans to go to Runners Roost for a special event with Frank Shorter, Healthy Learning Paths and Newton running. Unfortunately, we found out after we got down there that Frank had cancelled due to a family emergency. We enjoyed hearing about the Healthy Learning Paths program and spent some time with a Newton elite doing some activities. I am SO LAME for not remembering what his name is! We walked away with free entries to the Healthy Learning Paths 5K, some Newton socks and A also got a trucker hat (so cute!). A tried out the Boco shoes and is already wanting a pair... "thankfully" Newtons don't come in kid sizes. Although in the next year or two she will likely be wearing those sizes.
We went to Fuzzy's Tacos for dinner, got some ice cream, and stopped for a beer at Arvada Beer Company - where we played some Sorry! (I did NOT win, A beat me, and my next draw gave me second place).


Sunday (22,6776 steps) - A and I got up relatively early and hit up Sweet Tomatoes for breakfast. Can't even remember the last time we did that! Then we headed down to Waterton Canyon for a run/ride. The sheep were out and the weather was great! However, I should know better than to have a big breakfast and then exercise. It was a bit tough getting those 7 miles done. Good news is that I just had some "normal" fatigue and not fire calves.
A and I went to the cheapo movie theaters and saw "Night at the Museum 3" - which was actually really cute. We played with her Minecraft Legos for a bit and then I was super motivated and actually did a leg video and an arm video. All that really told me is that my lack of strength training over the last year or so is very obvious. I cannot even believe how HARD these were. So sad.
Monday (23,193 steps) Super motivated! Did a not-so-awful hill program on the treadmill, cranking out 5 miles.

  • 128,753 steps
  • 19.4 miles run
  • Some walking, no real cross training
  • 20 minutes of strength training
Everything Else
  • A and I "finally" finished cleaning her room (meaning - donating and trashing a lot of stuff that she has been hoarding) - it's so freeing and wonderful to have it done!
  • I have also been going through my things and have been letting go of a lot of excess.
  • Nothing else.

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 sloggy, awful run.
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 break 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.