Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weeks in Review (September 15 - September 28)

Tuesday, September 15 (21,531 steps) - I was extremely tired in the morning after staying up until 1 in the morning unpacking so I didn't do my video. I had some friends come over to tell me what I'll need to do for a dedicated outlet for my built in microwave and wiring for ceiling fans in our bedrooms. Good news is that all that is left to do is hang up my medals! Just before bed I did my upper body strength and cardio video. This one was pretty good too.
Wednesday, September 16 (19,272 steps) - Very busy evening after work picking up random odds and ends for the house. A blissfully short HIIT video.
Thursday, September 17 (16,242 steps) - Up early for my appointment with Comcast. I was quoted 2ish hours for install. 5.5 hours later, I went to work. The morning was not a total waste, I braved hanging up some of my medal racks. The time consuming aspect was re-sorting them all in chronological order. Oy!
A low impact cardio video was on deck - I really liked this as a "movement" video. Might do again. Was dealing with the computer stuff for most of the night as I've been without internet for 3 months. Just backing up my phone and doing updates took a few hours.
Friday, September 18 (17,347 steps) - For the first time since we moved in I actually got up early for my video. I did not really care for the total body strength and HIIT video. Maybe I'm just really uncoordinated, but a lot of the moves seemed uncomfortable and awkward. Dinner was at Ruby Tuesday's for National Cheeseburger Day!
Saturday, September 19 (25,95 steps) -  Gym in the morning - 5.5 miles of hills! It actually was not that terrible.
Loving the new zombie shirt!!!
Unpacking, cleaning - over and over and over. I did discover, however, that there is a leak in my ceiling. Texted a few people, hoping to get it resolved as there was no disclosure of any type of leak or water damage. We did, however, make some cookies!
Sunday, September 20 (15,839 steps) - Nothing, nothing, nothing. EXCEPT that we adopted a BCF (best cat friend) for Batman Sour! With no one to entertain him during the day we thought a companion might help him out. We went to the animal shelter (the same place we got Batman) and got Robin Sparkles, a 5 year old black cat. He seemed to do ok with her in the house, albeit a little jealous.
We made burgers and a pumpkin cake (and muffins) for dinner. 

Monday, September 21 (21,246 steps) - Went to the gym and ran just over 3 miles (slowly) on a hill program and then did a butt and thigh video (can't remember if I liked it or not, but think I did).
Tuesday, September 22 (15,884 steps) - An upper body video in the morning (which sadly, did not leave me as sore as I hoped it might), and an easy few miles in the basement inferno after work.
Wednesday, September 23 (21,032 steps) - Got up early for the cardio video of the day. Only moments after I finished the plumber showed up to look at the leak from my tub. Turns out the drain waste pipe had a hole and that's where the leak was coming from. The owners claim no responsibility for that although the plumber said that connecting pipe should have been replaced when the tub was put in. He at least put some glue over the pipe and said that was a "temporary fix" until I can get someone in to replace the pipe. At least that meant I could use the shower... After work I went to run club after work. The theme of run club was "Hoktoberfest" - so I tried a pair of Hokas (which I did not care for), and there was beer and brats. It was great seeing everyone as I had not been in a few weeks.
Thursday, September 24 (13,216 steps) - Good intentions of getting my video done in the morning but I was way too exhausted. I had to leave the house by 6:15 to get down south to drop my car off for more work. Drove back up to Arvada to take A to school and then back to work. Lather, rinse repeat (in a bit of a different order) to pick up my car. So almost 5 hours in the car to get my car worked on. Too tired to do anything but a mile in the basement inferno.
Friday, September 25 - Last day of the Fitness Blender 8 week challenge (well, I really should have done it on Thursday, but I still got it done). This was an easy "stretching, pilates, yoga" video. Pretty proud of myself for getting this challenge done and only missing one day! Had to take Robin Sparkles to the vet for her "check up" and her rabies shot. Shockingly, she did not enjoy the car ride. After work I met up with A at her Girl Scout event.
When we got back home we finally hung up some of the pictures that I got from Avery Images (you know Kate from "My Alpine Adventures" - and I love them!!
Saturday, September 26 - Drove up to Granby (about an hour and 45 minutes each way) for the Snow Mountain Ranch half marathon. A volunteered for the 2.5 hours+ that I was racing. Supposedly she did a really great job, there were no complaints.
We stopped on our way home at IHOP for lunch (a very late lunch) and then home for a quick shower before heading over to Bear Creek for volunteering! We arrive at 3:15 and worked the boat ramp aid station until about 9:00.
View from our aid station
A was a little bored in the early hours...
A was a little bored volunteering until it got dark. Then she had a great time in all her "glowing" gear running up the hill and running with the athletes to the aid station, asking if they needed anything and chatting with them. She was told many times she was the best volunteer ever and that her distractions were really appreciated.

Drove over to the finish line for a sandwich (grilled cheese and sausage - SO GOOD) and a beer, before heading home. An incredibly long day for sure.
Sunday, September 27 - The Bear Chase!
After the race and socializing was done we went to lunch in Morrison with Heather and Dan. It was nice to just hang out - outside of running, that is.
Delicious chili rellenos!
Went home for a quick shower and then A and I went to see Hotel Transylvania 2. It was pretty cute. Spent the afternoon/evening doing laundry, cleaning the toilets and hanging up pictures. A busy weekend for sure!
Monday, September 28 - Fitness Blender released a new 8-week challenge. Today should have been the "fitness test" (think timed mile, push-ups, etc). I decided to skip this as I had already done quite a bit of running over the weekend and thought rest would be a better option. The evening was spent making quite the elaborate spread for breakfast burritos and finally sitting around and watching some tv.

Stats:

  • Week ending September 21
  • 136,972 steps
  • 8.8 miles run (close to an all-time low!)
  • 106 minutes of cross-training (other cardio/HIIT)
  • 32 minutes of strength/stretching
  • Week ending September 28
  • 156,509 steps
  • 29.95 miles run
  • 23 minutes of cross-training (other cardio/HIIT)
  • 49 minutes of strength/stretching

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bear Chase Trail Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, September 27
Lakewood, CO
Half Marathon #139
Colorado Half #72
Weather - sunny and warm


This was going to be my fifth year running the Bear Chase. This was, however, going to be the first year that I was not running an ultra distance. With a 7 am start time, I wanted to be out the door by 5:30 as the exit for Morrison Road gets pretty backed up when there is an event. I was sort of out of it in the morning, so exhausted from the day before. By the time A and I got out the door it was closer to 5:40. However, there was no traffic and we were parked just a few minutes after 6.

Dan was volunteering at the parking lot and agreed to hang out with A while Heather and I raced. I met up with Heather and we headed over to the start line. By the time we cycled through the bathroom line and took a few pictures it was time to head out.

Me, Heather and Lisa
Plan was to start in the back so that I didn't start out too fast. Heather fed into the conga line a bit earlier than I would have liked so started off a bit uncomfortable. The loop for the half marathon is the same big loop that the ultra races do, but to get it the half marathon distance we did this weird half mile loop around the parking lot. There was a lot of bottle-necking early on.

Due to all the rain that we had this spring the race had to start at a different location (although the course itself was the same. We moved onto the trail into single track. Less than two minutes later my calves were already cramping past the point of comfort so I had to jump off the trail to try to loosen them up, losing Heather very early on.

The slope on the side of the trail was too steep for it to be comfortable to walk so I did some quick stretching and waited for a break to jump back in.

I tossed my gloves at one of the first trail markers. I don't know what I was thinking - there was no way it was cool enough to need those.

My legs were very tight the first few miles. I was hoping to catch up to Heather, but there was no way that was going to happen. So I decided to just take it easy and hope to have a decent finish. 


The one nice thing about the modified course is that we would be heading up Mt. Carbon much earlier in the day. There is zero shade on the base of the "hill" and it would be nice to get that part out of the way before it got too much warmer.


I saw Heather when I was starting the ascent and power hiked up to the top. As usual, the view from the climb was really pretty.


The back side of decent was great, like always. I managed to pass a half dozen people on that section and even skipped stopping at the aid station because I had barely touched my handheld. The section with the water crossings was nice and cool.


So many people were stopped on the side of the trail taking off their shoes and putting them back on after the river. Uh. Did you know that there are three crossings and you are wasting a lot of time? Oh wells. I passed another few people in this section.

Jogged most of the section next to the golf course and stopped briefly at the Fox Hollow aid station to take off my shoe as I had gotten some mud in there from the crossings. The section heading into Cattail Creek is my least favorite. There is a big climb and the course runs right along Alameda. The mountains are pretty, but the course in this part is exposed and HOT. However, it is mostly flat so I ran a bulk of this section.


The hardest part of the race was knowing that when I got to the Cattail Creek aid station that I was not "almost done." I did the climb up "mini Mt. Everest" and did a lot of run/walk until the nice section of downhill heading into the boat ramp aid station. I topped off my water bottle and headed into the last three miles.

It WAS nice to not have any major climbs at the end. My legs just felt like LEAD after having run the day before. I passed a couple people, but I had to walk more than I would have liked.

Official Time - 2:47:30
Overall Place - 210/285
Division Place - 41/61
Garmin Time - 2:47:29
Mile 1 - 13:22
Mile 2 - 13:07
Mile 3 - 13:33
Mile 4 - 11:39
Mile 5 - 12:32
Mile 6 - 14:38
Mile 7 - 12:47
Mile 8 - 13:22
Mile 9 - 12:46
Mile 10 - 11:18
Mile 11 - 13:42
Mile 12 - 12:08
Mile 13 - 12:20
Mile 13.ish - 8:44


After I crossed the line I met up with A and got my beer. It was my teammate's birthday, and she brought Jell-O shots for all of us. It was pretty great to hang out at a finish line and not have to rush home right after.


Thoughts

  • I keep coming back to this race because it is a really great event. It is very well organized and the overall atmosphere is pretty awesome.
  • There were plenty of aid stations on the course - and even though we were only running the half they had "ultra" foods out (although I didn't take any).
  • The course was very clearly marked (the 10k was running at the same time as the half). I have run this numerous times so I knew where to go, but I feel that even "newbies" would have been able to navigate just fine.
  • The shirt was a white tech tee, which I probably won't wear, but is gender specific.
  • The finish line is THE BEST. They have all the food and beer and sodas STILL there for the last runner. The finish line does NOT come down early. So if you are a slower runner and you want to give trail running a chance, you should consider this one. 
  • Will I be back for year 6? Probably. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Snow Mountain Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, September 26
Granby, CO
Half Marathon #138
Colorado Half #71
Weather - sunny and warm


I had been wanting to run Snow Mountain Ranch trail half marathon for a long time. Unfortunately it is the same weekend as Bear Chase, so it was looking like it was never going to happen. Due to a lack of running and training, I opted to NOT run an ultra distance at Bear Chase, which gave me the opportunity to finally check this one out.

As is the norm for ERS races, it did not start until 9:00 am. Kinda nice to not have to get up super early, but also not great for running in "hot" weather.

A and I left the house at 6:15, made a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts and then drove the 80ish miles to the YMCA at Snow Mountain Ranch. The parking area was very well marked and after using the (indoor) bathrooms, it just took a minute to get my bib and shirt. A started her volunteer shift early - helping to hand out shirts, and I used the bathroom a few more times. My zombie shirt and lace capris from INKnBURN were a hit. I got tons of comments when I was in line.


She is wearing a ski hat because it was 26 degrees when we arrived!

The race started right on time (yay!) and I began in the back. We had a small downhill before heading up into the trees. I was right where I usually am in a trail race - right in the back. My legs cramped up pretty early and I had to do quite a bit of walking in the first few miles. One thing I can say is that the scenery was BEAUTIFUL - so at least I had things to stop and take pictures of while I was meandering along. Finally started to feel better around mile 2. I was running the flats and the downhills (and some of the smaller uphills), and gradually started to pass people. The "turnaround" was really heading back out for a second loop. At this point I could tell that the course was going to measure short as I was barely at 6 miles.








It was starting to get pretty hot. I ran for a mile with a sweet gal named Joanie, but she ended up hanging back as she wasn't feeling well. Runners are a funny group. After less than 5 minutes of chatting with her, a complete stranger, I knew that she was ready to shit herself...

I walked a bit more than I would have liked and was pretty darn happy to see the finish area. A saw me coming and helped me run it in to the finish (up that nice downhill we had at the beginning).

Official Time - 2:34:51 (measured 12.15 miles)
Overall Place - 96/111
Elevation Gain - 1,061'
Starting Elevation - 8,681'
Garmin Time - 2:34:41 (no chip timing)
Mile 1 - 13:32
Mile 2 - 12:13
Mile 3 - 11:46
Mile 4 - 11:37
Mile 5 - 14:15
Mile 6 - 12:24
Mile 7 - 13:46
Mile 8 - 13:34
Mile 9 - 11:38
Mile 10 - 12:25
Mile 11 - 13:32
Mile 12 - 12:22
Mile 12.15ish - 11:05

A got some pictures of me with my medal. I drank a beer, A had some chocolate milk. Debated on having a burger or hot dog, but wasn't really hungry.

Have my ears always stuck out like this? :(
Thoughts

  • I have run quite a few ERS races and I think this was my favorite one so far. The time of year with the changing leaves and the course itself - it was really beautiful. The pictures I took really do not do it justice.
  • The course was very well marked, there were markers at every mile. With that said, the course measured almost a mile short for me. I know that there are "variances" in GPS readings, but a mile seems like quite a bit when we weren't in a super rural area. I digress.
  • There were plenty of aid stations on this course, although at least half of them were unmanned. This course was not technical, so maybe not as much of an issue as other races, but I personally feel better when I am on a trail run and there is someone available in case of emergency. The aid stations had Kind bars, gels, water and electrolytes - all very well stocked.
  • The shirt, if I kept race shirts, was very nice. Gender specific tech tees in a not-so-average dark grey color. 
  • The medals were cute - and more race specific than the series has done in the past.

  • I am really happy that I chose to run this race this year. It exceeded my expectations for sure. Not sure if I will run it again, but I'm glad I did this year. I would recommend this race for sure.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Arvada Harvest Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, September 12
Arvada, CO
Half Marathon #137
Colorado Half #70
Weather - sunny and warm


The Arvada Harvest half marathon was a free race for me. After we got rained out of our half marathon back in May, we were given a free entry for any race in the series. I had run this race before, although it was under a different name - a 9/11 remembrance run and a bit of a different course) .

Since the race didn't start until 8 I didn't have a super early wake up. I dropped A off at my parents house around 7, parked, and walked a few blocks to the start to get my bib. By the time I cycled through the bathroom line it was time to go.


The race was delayed about 10 minutes because of traffic issues (the first 3 miles of the course is actually on the main street of the harvest festival parade).

After not having run all week, I wasn't surprised that I immediately felt tired and run down. I took quite a few walk breaks very early on. This was going to be a long and hot day.

The first part of the course is on Ralston road, then moves onto the Ralston Creek trail:


And finally middle part of the course turned onto the Clear Creek trail, which I have run many times for training. It was really not and my stomach was feeling off. I had to use the bathroom around mile 5 or 6, and actually had a runner break in while I was pulling my skirt up! Not comforting that locked doesn't really mean locked? I mean, wtf.

Being familiar with the course I knew that it was a gradual uphill on the way out and hoped I would feel better after using the bathroom and after the turnaround. I did feel a bit better, but it still felt harder than it should. The last quarter mile or so was uphill and I walked until I saw the finish banner.

Not the best day of my life.


Official Time - 2:27:31
Overall Place - 84/116
Gender Place - 52/78
Division Place - 24/33
Garmin Time - 2:27:32
Mile 1 - 11:31
Mile 2 - 11:13
Mile 3 - 10:41
Mile 4 - 11:10
Mile 5 - 11:07
Mile 6 - 13:50 (bathroom)
Mile 7 - 11:22
Mile 8 - 11:35
Mile 9 - 10:41
Mile 10 - 10:33
Mile 11 - 10:44
Mile 12 - 11:13
Mile 13 - 11:30
Mile 13.1 - 9:00

As I was walking back to the car I found the finish area. They had a keg of Colorado Native beer, so I grabbed a cup.
Ran into my super speedy teammate, Jay, in the parking lot. Right as we were finishing up chatting, my mom walked up with A. A and my mom had ended up walking in the parade with her school. Long day for all of us.

Thoughts:

  • A well-marked race. Just not my favorite as I've run this a lot of times and found it boring.
  • Very small, just over 100 runners. Other than the first 3 miles that are on road, this is all on bike path and there were no spectators.
  • Quite a few aid stations, all with electrolytes and water, and I believe some had gels (although I had brought my own).
  • Honestly don't remember what the shirt looked like since I didn't take one.
  • Can't speak for the price because I didn't pay for it, but this group has a lot of specials and I don't think it was that expensive. 
  • Decent medal.
  • GREAT finish area with an awesome local craft beer.
  • If you haven't ever run this part of town, this is a good one to try out. I likely would not run again as there are a ton of races in September that I haven't run yet.

Week in Review (September 8 - September 14)

Tuesday (15,685 steps) - Since it was a holiday and I ran twice on Monday, I did not do the video of the day. So in the morning I was treated with Monday's video - a butt/thigh with HIIT cardio thrown in. Dead. Had to double up for the day to get caught up on the schedule. Luckily it was a pretty fun upper body strength / yoga video. Exhausted.
Wednesday (17,152 steps) - HIIT cardio and abs. This was one intense workout. My abs hurt, my legs hurt, well... everything hurts (I guess that means it's working?) It's called "abs on fire" for a reason. I left work early because I finally FINALLY got my new place!!! A busy night of starting to move the smaller things.
No longer homeless!!!
Thursday (26,956 steps) - Cardio intervals and upper body. Turns out that I probably could have skipped this one as I spent the day moving furniture and boxes and got a pretty good workout.
Friday (22,306 steps) - Skipped the morning video. Got the most sleep I've had in weeks and was way too exhausted. Took A to school and then spent the rest of the morning unpacking and putting together A's bookcase.
Pretty impressed with myself for building this
LONG DAY. We had pizza Friday for the first time in months and spent the night in our new place. A long time coming.

Ignore the mess...
Saturday (39,905 steps) - Ran the Arvada Harvest Run half marathon. The race used to be known as a 9/11 Remembrance race, but with it coinciding with the harvest festival and parade the name changed. TOUGH race for me, exhausted with all the moving.
Went home for a quick shower and then took A to a birthday party. After that another quick drive home to unpack for a bit and get ready to go see "The Book of Mormon" with Jessa. We went to dinner and had a great time. Such a funny show if you haven't seen it.
Sunday (20,600 steps) - Also known as the day of unpacking and trying to get everything put away. Only left the house for groceries and a few random items. Was up well past midnight trying to get everything put away, which sadly, I didn't get finished. Too much stuff!!
Monday (20,209 steps) - Rude awakening having to go back to work. And way too tired to do my video in the morning. Did a HIIT cardio and butt/thigh strength video - which I really liked (with the exception of the "oz" jumps). More unpacking, cleaning and organizing - I was up until 1 am!
Now that A has robot capris she joined me in a matchy matchy workout!!
Stats:

  • 162,813 steps
  • 13.1 miles run (yep, just the one race...)
  • 121 minutes of cross training (other cardio/HIIT)
  • 30 minutes of strength stretching
Everything Else:
  • Obviously the entire week I have been absorbed with the move. I am so happy to be back in my own space! Of course since I packed in such a hurry there are still a lot of things that I cannot seem to find. As of Monday night I was probably 90% unpacked. Can't wait to be able to actually RELAX.

Week in Review (May 16 - May 22)

Tuesday (22,341 steps) - Speed work! We had to drive alllll the way down to Greenwood Village for this one. 1.75 mile w/u 10 x 200m re...