Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week in Review (August 19 - August 25)

Tuesday - slow and easy 6ish miles on the treadmill, which I didn't hate (according to dailymile).
Wednesday - A few minutes on the elliptical while waiting for the treadmill during lunch, where I did a few miles. BodyPump at night.
Thursday - 5 horrid treadmill miles.
Friday - Pizza! Beer!
Saturday - Runapalooza half marathon. L, A and I went to coffee with our runner friend Ross - always fun to talk about running with other crazy people, although A said "ALL YOU GUYS ARE TALKING ABOUT IS RUNNING." Um. Yes. Took the kids to see "How to Train your Dragon 2" - and it was cute.

Sunday - Up early for A's second trail race! Did a quick arms video while A was getting ready. On our way out the door, we had neighbors warn us that we had a giant raccoon in our tree...


Called animal control (nothing they could do) and headed to Bear Creek Park. A decided to run without me, with the big kids. And then after she was done, she let me "re-run" the course with her. She ended up doing something like 5 miles. Crazy. If you are in the Denver area - I encourage you to check out "Mountain Goat Kids" - they are awesome! For $15 you get a trail run for kids ONLY, complete with an aid station, food at the end, shirt AND medal.

Pre-race - because she is weird.

She wore her medal ALL DAY LONG so she could show everyone how "awesome" she is (her words).
Monday - CHAOS. Not the most interesting class.

Weekly Miles Run - 26.83
Minutes of Cross Training - 67
Minutes of Strength/Stretching - 69

Weekly Loss - 1.4 pounds (120.6)
  • So I must have forgotten to mention that I got a FitBit. This has not really changed my eating habits, but I am in friendly competition with some folks and if nothing else, it motivates me to walk a bit more.
  • Food was pretty Great this week. Pizza is always delicious, and my mom made her famous chocolate chip zucchini cookies - and I had lots of those.
  • Beer not out of control and I tried THREE new ones this week. Mmmmm. Beer.
Everything Else
  • I am on the fence about the Bear Chase. I am currently registered for the 50k. Now that I have registered for that 100M, should I move up to the 50M? In the past, I would have said no because of the 12 hour time limit (which I BARELY met when I ran it before). Now the time limit is 15 hours, with the only cutoff being at 37.5 miles (11.5 hours). I think I should bump up...
  • Did I mention that I am running two races this weekend? A mountain half on Saturday and a road marathon on Monday.
  • Did I also mention that I have a bachelorette party on Friday night, a rehearsal dinner on Saturday night and a wedding on Sunday night?
  • Related: this weekend might kill me.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Runapalooza Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, August 23
Arvada, CO
Half Marathon #114
Colorado Half #50
Weather - SUNNY, warm


One of the last races put on by All-Out-Multisport that I haven't run yet was the Runapalooza. Located about ten minutes from my house, it was a no brainer. Even though the race started at 7, we didn't need to drop off the kids until about 6:15. We arrived with more than a half hour to spare, but the parking lots were already pretty full. I think this was one of the first races this series has sold out, so it was more crowded than usual.

We were able to use the bathrooms inside the rec center, so that was nice. We headed outside with about 8 minutes to spare, knowing that the race director is so chatty that we would likely start late anyway. PS - it was SUNNY AND BRIGHT at the start.


I lined up mid to back of the back. I had a really rough week of running and I knew my legs were going to feel tired and heavy. I made it through the first mile without too much trouble, and then it was pretty much all over from there.


The entire race is run on the Ralston Creek trail - where I ran Spring Fever and the Ralston Creek half. It is not really a terrible path, it is just fairly exposed in most areas. I was pretty surprised that the shaded areas (first couple miles) didn't feel too horrible. I just was not in the mood to run. I took multiple walk breaks every mile.


This might be the best race sign I have ever seen:


There is a long mile and a half incline up around the reservoir. I had a man come up to me when the switchbacks started and tell me that he was so glad he caught me because every time he came close I would start running again. I took off and didn't see him again the rest of the race.

For me, there isn't much point in running up this hill. I am just not in the shape I used to be and it trashes my legs. So I did a lot of walking on the inclines. I had one mile that was almost 13 minutes. Womp womp. It was nice that I actually passed some people on the climb. The views were nice, if only it wouldn't have been so sunny.



Around mile 5.5 or 6 is when the course finally goes downhill before leveling out toward the end. I really do a great job of running downhill, and I passed probably 25-30 people on the backside of the hill. I still did a decent amount of run/walk intervals when it flattened out. I just did not have anything in me during this one.

Bib #677
Official Time - 2:23:22
Official Pace - 10:57
Overall Place - 146/208
Gender Place - 83/131
Division Place - 30/38
Garmin Time - 2:23:23
Garmin Distance 13.13 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:55
Mile 1 - 10:34
Mile 2 - 11:49
Mile 3 - 11:38
Mile 4 - 11:51
Mile 5 - 12:53
Mile 6 - 10:26
Mile 7 - 10:39
Mile 8 - 9:58
Mile 9 - 10:43
Mile 10 - 10:16
Mile 11 - 10:28
Mile 12 - 10:31
Mile 13 - 10:15
Mile 13.1 - 10:34



I saw Heather at the finish - she rocked the 10k and won 3rd in her AG.


We stuck around for the awards since All-Out gives out a TON of raffle prices. L and I both won free custom cones from Cold Stone.


Thoughts:
  • All-Out puts on a great race. The course is always well-marked and the aid stations are always well-stocked with friendly volunteers. The trash is always a reasonable distance from the table so you don't have to stand there to drink (or litter).
  • All her races allow for a "drop station" at the first aid station if you decide to drop gear. It all gets taken back to the start by the time people are finishing.
  • The race shirts are always really nice and gender specific. This one I won't wear though because it is white and it is too see through for me. (Sorry, no pic - just imagine the poster above as the logo on the front on a thin white shirt).
  • The medals have gotten much better. She gives medals for all distances, and each one is distance specific.
  • Finish line has great food - breakfast burritos. My only complaint is no beer. Why not? Beer is the best :D
  • The raffles are fantastic - she gives out a TON of prizes, from gift certificates to local restaurants, gift cards to massage envy and random things like water bottles. I think we have won something every race.
  • Her races are very competitively prices - I think you can get in during "regular" registration for under $60.
  • With all that said... I really hate the course that this was on. It's a gradual to steepish uphill for the first 5.5 to 6 miles and pretty exposed. It is not AS bad during the cooler months, but this was not a lot of fun in the hot sun.
  • 7 is still pretty late to start. I will keep petitioning for a 6:30 start! It's light by then!
  • I probably won't run this again, mainly because there are so many other races to do. Maybe if I have nothing on my calendar next year...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week in Review (August 12 - August 18)

Tuesday - Back on the treadmill. Maybe because I thought it would be the WORST RUN EVER, it turned out to be just that. My "easy" pace felt impossible, and I walked more than I have ever walked (sans injury) on a treadmill run. I think I gutted out 5ish miles, but I didn't log it and I have no idea on pace. I hated every second of this run. So when I got home I decided I should try a video, so I did one of the arms videos I used to do with some regularity. OMG IT WAS THE HARDEST EVER. I am SO WEAK. What.
Wednesday - Played hooky from work! Ariel and I went hiking in Boulder. The hike was a bit more technical than I expected, but she did a great job.

We hiked to the summit in between the two jaggedy rocks on the right!

We met up with my sister at the Southern Sun in Boulder and I splurged on grilled cheese and beer. Yum. Then, we went to run club. Such a fun day!

A is smoking us in her new Pure Flow 2's
Thursday - Oh wait. Just when I thought running couldn't get any worse, it did. This was also The Worst Run Ever. I barely made it over 4 miles. Same issue, "easy" pace felt impossible. Lots of walking (again) and had to settle for super slow jog at incline. Treadmill, I hate you.
Friday - Up early. Went to A's school to find out who her teacher was going to be and then a long drive to Glenwood Springs. After lunch (which was actually breakfast), we went to the hot springs with the kids.
A refused to strike a pose
Early to bed.
Saturday - Glenwood Springs half  marathon and the longest drive ever home.
Sunday - Nothing in the morning and then roller skating in the afternoon.
Monday - CHAOS. Dead. Half the class was outside and we had to do tire flips and sledgehammer swings. I'm STILL THE WEAKEST PERSON EVER.

Weekly Miles Run - 23.50 (13.1 trail race, 8.95 treadmill, 1.45 road)
Minutes of Cross Training - 60 + hiking and a lot of walking this week
Minutes of Strength/Stretching - 20

Weekly Gain - 1.4 (122.0)
  • Considering all the crap I ate, I'm actually surprised this isn't worse. I had soooo many things this week that I would not normally have. And it was all worth it and delicious. 

Everything Else
  • I have a third grader!!!!!!
  • So our AC was leaking and it flooded the spare bedroom closet. It is moldy and musty and we have a super disgusting fungus of some kind along the walls that needs to be cleaned up. So that was fun.
  • Ariel is registered for her FIRST 10K!!! Her and I are going to run the Kooky Spooky 10k in Golden on October 26. She earned a free entry from volunteering. It will be my last "race" before NYC marathon. I'm pretty psyched about it, but I'm a bit concerned that she doesn't really realize how much further this is.
  • I spent a bulk of the weekend tracking friends running Leadville and Pikes Peak. I know I said I would never even CONSIDER Leadville. But... I'm considering. I mean, it would be a fight to the finish at my pace, but WOW. I gotta say, I'm tempted.
  • Nothing else.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Glenwood Springs Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, August 16
Glenwood Springs, CO
Half Marathon #113
Colorado Half #49
Weather - Sunny and warm


The Glenwood Springs half marathon was put on by the same group that put on the Beaver Creek half marathon I ran last week. Luckily, this race was not on Sunday and it started an hour earlier. Packet pick-up the night before was quick and easy at Sports Authority (and the race director recognized both of us...)

Race shirt
We had mapped directions to the start the night before, thinking it would take about 10 minutes to get to the start. For whatever reason, the app didn't recognize the address and had us driving up and down I-70. We luckily found it. And it was like a mile from our hotel and we didn't even NEED to get on I-70 at all.

Arrived with about 45 minutes to the start. L saw that the beer was already out and suggested I drink one. OK.



L, Gregg, Me
The Courtyard Marriott (host hotel) allowed all the runners to use their bathrooms (thanks!) and we cycled through a few times before heading over to the start. This is apparently the smallest race of the series - with only 100 runners across both the half marathon and the 10k. I started in the back.


We knew pretty much nothing about the course, other than the first 4.5 MILES were going to be uphill. Wonderful. I was in the mood for a nice, long, hike.

The only picture of me during the race - I guess only fast people got on course pictures?
Turns out there was a quick switchback, then we were on some relatively flat single track to take us to the dirt/gravel road we would be running up. IT WAS ALREADY THE HOTTEST EVER.


I had managed to place myself with people that were actually my pace, if not a bit slower than me. Once we got to the road, the walking began. I know you can't really tell in these pictures, but I promise it is steep and hilly. At least some of the road was shaded because it was SO HOT AND SUNNY.


No goals for this race, other than try to run a reasonable amount of it. I probably walked up at least 70% of the hills, but I tried to do a bit of jogging on every switchback. It helped a bit, as I passed a few people on the uphills (which I know are my weakest). Since we were running on dirt road, it wasn't super scenic, although the views FROM the road weren't half bad:


Miles. And. Miles. Of. Dirt. Road.


Finally, I was almost at the top. For real, those were the longest miles EVER...


I grabbed some water at the aid station and FLEW DOWN THE MOUNTAIN. No really. I might not be great on uphills, but you know what I'm pretty good at? NON-TECHNICAL DOWNHILLS.


I passed a LOT of people (and by a lot, I mean, like 4) on the downhills. I cruised down those miles in half the time (or less) that it took me to get up. And then I re-entered the reality of flat. I struggled a bit on the singletrack for the 2/3 of a mile or so until we ran by the start/finish area. To make up the half marathon distance, we would be running two 2-mile loops on the Wulfsohn trail. It was pretty wide dirt rail, lined with some cool wildflowers.


There finally was some more "technical" trail. Some tree roots and rocks, and some sharp turns. It didn't last nearly long enough.


I got passed by the guy we had seen at the race the week before, and headed out for my second loop. I found that all the people I had passed on the downhill were just starting their FIRST loop. So I really made up a lot of time on those. I think I ran a bit more, and then when I headed towards the finish, I SMOKED a guy with about a quarter mile to go. He even came up to me at the end, kind of annoyed "where did you COME FROM? I never saw you the entire race." lol.



Official Time - 2:39:17
Garmin Time - 2:39:10
Mile 1 - 14:09
Mile 2 - 18:02
Mile 3 - 17:45
Mile 4 - 16:54
Mile 5 - 9:35
Mile 6 - 7:38 (interestingly, my fastest mile EVER)
Mile 7 - 9:08
Mile 8 - 9:37
Mile 9 - 14:34
Mile 10 - 13:37
Mile 11 - 12:47
Mile 12 - 13:06
Finish sprint - 7:43

Somehow, I came in 3rd in my AG (L got 1st). For a prize I got a pair of socks, but I gave them to L because they looked huge.

Thoughts:
  • This was an ok course. Not as fun and pretty as Beaver Creek, but wow, I enjoyed the downhill a LOT.
  • Great aid stations - all manned by US Army personnel. They were very friendly - never out of anything.
  • OK shirt, OK medal.
  • I don't think I would travel again for this race (about 3.5 hours each way), but I would recommend it. The price is good, and other than the giant uphill at the beginning, it would actually be a good starter for trail running.
  • Did you notice my watch? Turns out, I FORGOT TO BRING MINE. Lucky for ME, my dad was with us and he let me borrow his (since I am OCD). And I'm glad I had it because it was confirmation that when I felt like I was flying, I was...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Week in Review (August 5 - August 11)

Tuesday - 7ish miles on North Table in Golden. I really, really like these trails. Not super technical, but they are relatively challenging with the ups/downs. I think this was my fastest time on this loop.
Wednesday - RUN CLUB!!!


Thursday - Headed over to Green Mountain for the first time since late winter. And NOW, I remember why I don't run there. SO ROCKY!! Had to cut my loop short due to some scary clouds and thunderstorms.



Friday - Work party, pastries, beer and pizza.
Saturday - Went to BodyPump in the morning. Spent a bulk of the day driving around trying to find a place to buy a recorder. Have no recollection of what I did in the evening.


Sunday - Beaver Creek half marathon. Took A roller skating after that. More pizza.
Monday - CHAOS.

Weekly Miles Run - 28.15
Minutes of Cross Training - 60
Minutes of Strength/Stretching - 60

Weekly Loss - 0.8 (120.6)
  • Had pizza twice this week. Delicious.
  • Had lots of pastries thanks to work party. Delicious.
  • Lots of new beers this week. Also delicious.
Everything Else
  • So the kitty's official name (after joining the family two weeks ago) is Batman Sour. Batman is the name A picked. L and I have added the "Sour" because he is like a Sour Patch Kid. First he is sweet, but then he is sour... 
Can't you just see the look of crazy in his eyes??
  • A is officially registered to run back to back 5ks at the New Years Double this year. She is super excited to get her own challenge plate!
  • Um. School starts on Monday. Where did the summer go??? I mean, "I" didn't really get a summer since I work year round, but it seems like it just started?
  • NOTHING ELSE.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Beaver Creek Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, August 10
Avon, CO
Half Marathon #112
Colorado Half #48
Weather - Sunny, warm

The Beaver Creek half marathon, put on by Endurance Race Series was an early addition to our race schedule. I have run some of the the city "trail" races ERS puts on, but this would be my first mountain race, other than the Copper Mountain half that I ran in 2012. I spent the weeks leading up to the race thinking I was racing on Saturday (which would have been better). Turns out, it was on Sunday, and not starting until 9:00.

Alarm was set for 5:30. Batman "Sour" (the kitty) did NOT wake me up and I slept wonderful. My dad came over at 6 to watch the kids and we started the drive up. We did not hit any issues with the construction (hope not, at that hour), and saw a herd of mountain goats on the side of the highway. We made excellent time and found our way to the resort with no issues.

Parked the car with just over an hour to the start and walked to the expo/start area. On the way out of the garage, I was stopped by Dave, a reader of my blog. That was fun! Picked up our packets, met and chatted with Jeff, the race director. He told us a bit more about the course - that it would measure 13.2 miles - two 6.6 mile loops - (although my watch disagreed), and that there was 700' of climbing in the first 2 miles before it leveled out. We then headed back to the car to get all our gear ready. There were supposed to be 7 aid stations for the half, but after the last race where I felt there wasn't enough aid, I decided to wear my Orange Mud vest to ensure I had enough fluid. (Spoiler: I'm glad I brought it as it turns out there were only 5 aid stations).

We cycled through the bathroom line a few times before the start. We lined up and started just a minute or two late. There was a half marathon in addition to the half marathon and we all started together. I started in the back as I knew a bulk of the climbing was in the first few miles and since we would be on single track, I didn't want to hold anyone back. I think I managed about a half mile before I was walking. The trail was pretty crowded for the first few miles, so as a suggestion for next year, I would start the 10k and half at least 15 minutes apart to ease congestion. I took almost all my pictures in the first loop.

At the start
Even though I started in back, I was still getting passed a decent amount in the beginning. I know I am a poor uphill runner, and I didn't want to hold anyone back.


The section leading into a mile-ish of running among the aspen trees was a bit more forgiving and widened a bit for people to get into their groove.


Fellow runner got this pic of me - LOVE the Aspen trees! (NO FILTER)
Due to the late start, it was already HOT during the exposed sections of the course. Luckily, about half of the course was shaded, so that helped.
Beaver Creek / Avon - View from about mile 2.5

FREE RACE PICS!!! (Courtesy of Running Guru)
There was a really neat section of trails called "Allie's Way" that was nice single track in the trees. Switchbacks down the back of the hill and not too technical, although some areas were steep and there were a lot of tree roots. we actually had to climb over a few trees that were blocking the path. I LOVED THIS SECTION.
We were, in fact, running ON the ski slopes
There was a small section that ran along the road, which I was not crazy about. Miles 4-6 were not technical at all, and it was probably the most runnable section, with the last mile being SUPER FAST downhill.


Most of the people I had been pacing with were running the 10k, so they got to stop while I had to go out for another loop. At least I knew what to expect this time!

Within the first half mile, this is actually a grass section behind someone's house - before getting on the trail
I would be alone for most of my second loop. I was getting pretty hot and was just trying to get done. I don't remember much of the second loop, it went by a lot faster (every single mile of my second loop was faster than the first loop, which I consider a major success!). Basically, the best part of my day was that I still had something left in my legs and my last mile in to the finish was about a 9:00 pace, which is crazy fast for me. I passed a lot of people in the end, which was nice.

Crossed the line and chatted with Dave (the blog reader) for a few minutes and had just enough time to grab a beer before we had to head back into town.

Garmin Time - 2:54:25
Garmin Distance - 11.98 (although RD insists it was 13.2 and something about the elevation and trees jack up the distance...)



One of my Facebook friends alerted me to a video that was posted about the race. The guy actually started right behind me, and I did talk to him. If you want to see a bit of the course, it's not very long.



Hey look - I'm in part of the video!!


Thoughts:
  • 9:00 is insane. What the what. It is too hot AND we got stuck in the weekend mountain traffic as a result. Thankfully, the rest of his mountain races are on Saturday, so at least we will miss the traffic issues. Nothing like spending double the amount of time in the car on the way back. Gross.
  • The race was VERY well marked. Things were blocked off with cones, there was a lot of signage, and he used chalk for turns. Impressed. There were also markers at every mile.
  • This was a great course. So pretty! I thought I would hate the double loop, but it really wasn't bad.
  • There were not as many aid stations as there was supposed to be. There was one just after mile 2, one after mile 4, and then just the one at the start/finish. I had my pack so it wasn't a huge deal, but I know it was for others. All I took at the aid stations was water, but they had some electrolyte drink I didn't recognize and cookies/gels at them. The volunteers were friendly.
  • Great finish line area. There were snack and burgers, and of course, BEER.
  • All in all, this was a great race. The trails were not that technical, but with the altitude and climbs, might be rough for flatlanders.
  • I probably won't run this one again, mainly because it falls on a Sunday. No thanks.

East-West Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, June 10 Highlands Ranch, CO Half Marathon #164 Weather - SUNNIEST AND HOTTEST EVER I started watching the forecast about a...