Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week in Review (January 19 - January 25)

Tuesday (16,572 steps) - So extremely tired in the morning, so I opted for sleep. Ran 4 miles on the treadmill during lunch. Must've been ok, although I don't remember. I picked A up at school and we headed down to the Sie Film Center for a special screening of "Spirit of the Marathon II." They provided food (BBQ and fancy mac & cheese), which was nice. The event was put on by the Colfax marathon and they had an elite panel for Q & A before the movie. Super fun event!
After it was over we went across the way to "The Tattered Cover" - where we each got a book. I still love REAL books.
Wednesday (21,698 steps) - 3ish mile run in the morning.
After work/school we went to run club, where we did another couple miles. As always, good company and good snacks/beer. Fun evening!
Thursday (22,814 steps) - Got up early for a "long" run. Felt great running 6 miles, almost wish I'd had more time.
Friday (18,004 steps) - A rest day, but I still went out for a few miles thinking that it would be great to run on the dirt trail by the lake. FALSE. It was so damn cold when I got out there I thought I was going to die of hypothermia. Womp.
Saturday (35,585 steps) - Long run with Runner's Edge (and Heather). I was pretty excited about the forecast (50's by the time we would be done). The route was one of the uglier ones I have run, but it was nice to have a change of scenery, and it's always nice to run with Heather. 14 miles done!

After lunch A went to a birthday party while I was baking cookies. At 6 we went to the Runner's Edge party downtown. We had a lot of fun in the photo booth.
After THAT party, we went to my friend Ben's house for his birthday celebration. Ended up not getting to bed until 10. EXHAUSTED.
Sunday (16,915 steps) - Up sorta early to head to Waterton Canyon for a "group" run with the Happy Trails run club. Most of the group planned on running to the dam (about 12 miles), but A and I obviously weren't going that far. Except for the wind it was a gorgeous sunny day.





After grocery shopping and a shower we went to Jessa's house to watch the football game. Ate way too much "game food" and ended up going to bed very early.
Monday (18,320 steps) - Now that I finally have a training plan, I'm relieved to see that I've been pretty much doing exactly what I should be. Ran 4 miles by the lake - and it was one of the best (and fastest) runs I've had in a while. I didn't need a single break the entire run, which is pretty rare.
I left work a bit early to go to A's school to watch her in the spelling bee. Like last year, she got out during the first round. She was most upset that she was given a word that was not on her study sheet. Her two classmates (and friends) were the winners.
I had to go back to work while she wen to Girl Scouts. We ended up going out to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes - we actually hadn't been there in a long time. In bed pretty early again. Winter is so exhausting!!

Stats:
  • 149,908 steps
  • 40.8 miles run. Wow. NO races, and only 4 on the treadmill. SOLID.
  • No cross training.
  • No strength/stretching. Need to get back at this, but with running in the morning, I've pretty much lost all motivation by the time I get home.
Everything Else:
  • It's almost time for Girl Scout cookies. I hate this time of year.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Week in Review (January 12 - January 18)

Tuesday (16,694 steps) - Another sunrise jog! It's unseasonably warm in the mornings right now - like mid 30's!
We stopped at Tokyo Joe's to pick up dinner and then I actually did a total body strength video. Wow, I am so weak.
Wednesday (21,795 steps) - Early morning run, and again, pretty darn warm!
After work we headed to run club and there were a ton of people there again. We did 2 miles with Heather, Maureen and Colfax. None of us won anything in the raffle this time. Sigh.
Thursday (19,276 steps) - Actually got up early enough for 5 miles! It went pretty great until the last mile when the wind really picked up and it was ridiculously cold.
Had to leave work a little early to take Robin Sparkles back to the vet for a follow-up. Her eye looks a million times better. After dinner I did a yoga/pilates video that was pretty decent. I am always aware that I need to stretch more and I rarely do, I'm glad I made the time for it.
Friday (17,183 steps) - Been exhausted lately, so I slept in this morning. A had a Girl Scout sleepover after school, which worked out nicely since I had to stay late at work. Grr. Attorney's are the worst at time management! Stopped and picked up some pho for dinner.
Saturday (24,699 steps) - I had to pick A and her friend up by 7 from her sleepover. After dropping off her friend I had to take the car in to get new brakes. I ran home (the long way), and then after shower/breakfast, A and I jogged back to pick up the car. Not a bad way to get in 8 miles.
(Did you know that brakes in my Mini are almost $500??? Just for the front ones??? And that was the least expensive bid I got??? Blarg). We headed down to Annie's to meet up with Heather, Dan and Maureen, who had all run Frosty's Frozen.
Stopped at Runners Roost to try on some Hokas, got some Nothing Bundt Cakes, actually got a car wash and then picked up some groceries on the way home.
Sunday (32,894 steps) - Winter Prairie Dog half marathon with Heather.
We did nothing the rest of the day except watch the Broncos game (which involved LOTS OF SCREAMING).
Monday (20,032 steps) - "Slept in" and then went for a run around 9:30. I was expecting it to feel warmer being in the upper 30's... I jumped on some of the trails on the way back, but the single track was very rutted and icy, so after about 3/4 of a mile I got back on the sidewalk. Last few miles were pretty great.
After a shower and breakfast, we went down to the Belmar skating rink. $17 for skating, including skate rental. We only skated about an hour, but the weather was perfect and I didn't fall! I cannot remember any of my fancy skating moves from all my ice skating lessons as a kid.

We got Indian food for lunch (A's choice????) and lucky for ME, it was an all you can eat buffet!
After lunch we headed over to my office to finish what did NOT get finished on Friday. Sad, I was supposed to have the day off. Turns out, I couldn't get much done because we were having trouble with the fax lines. Urgh to technology!! We spent the rest of the evening snuggling with the cats, watching TV and studying spelling words. I also did a butt and thigh video and tank top arms. (When did I become so weak??)

Stats:
  • 152,573 steps
  • 40.2 miles run. ???? that's crazy!!
  • No cross training (unless ice skating counts)
  • 71 minutes of strength/stretching
Everything Else:
  • Meh. Other than frustration at random expenses (vet and car), not too much going on right now.
  • Really really really looking forward to spring. Yes, I know it's a billion years away, but I'm ready for it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Winter" Prairie Dog Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, January 17
Louisville, CO
Half Marathon #142
Weather - Foggy, overcast and COLD

I registered for the Winter Prairie Dog half marathon about a week after I ran it last year. They were offering some ridiculously cheap registration price, $35?

A week before the race I got an email that the race would be starting at the Coal Creek golf course this year. Never occurred to me that that meant the course would not really be the same either. I convinced Heather to join me, and we had plans on it being a nice, slow, training run.

Race weekend had finally brought "winter" temperatures in the teens and when I left the house it was so foggy I could only see about 20 feet in front of me. I had opted to skip leggings and was only wearing a sparkle skirt and compression socks. For a top, I had on my long sleeve INKnBURN wildflower tee under my singlet. I had on a hoodie, but I planned on taking it off for the run.

Arrived just before 7:00 - and I'm glad that I got there early. The new starting area had a much smaller lot and there were only maybe 20 spots left after I parked. I picked up my bib and timing chip and then sat in the car with the heater blaring. IT WAS SO COLD.

Heather arrived a few minutes later and we sat in her car (conveniently parked about ten feet from the start line) until 7:58. No sense in standing outside longer than necessary. At the last minute, I decided to keep my hoodie on.
Pre-race - in denial about how cold it is
Nice and colorful
The first few miles ticked by nicely, until about mile 3, after we ran through downtown Louisville. I had a bit of weird numbness in my left foot again (but at least I didn't have the fire calves).

Near the 10k turnaround
The roads were surprisingly icy, so we had to use a lot of caution - not such a big deal on the climbs, but I made up for a lot of my weakness on the uphills bombing the downhills. That would not be possible this year due to course conditions.
Mile 4 or so
There were plenty of aid stations, I would say they were roughly every 1 - 1.5 miles. I love not having to carry anything on me.

Miles slowly ticked by and I was frustrated at how hard this still seemed. Am I never going to get any better at this whole running thing??? The uphills killed me. The downhills were terrifying with all the ice. The flats were ok as long as it was dry.
Hilarious sign after getting to the (false) summit of another hilly section
There was a new section where we ran around a lake on some dirt. Normally that would have been my favorite part of the course, but the dirt was so rutted it was uncomfortable to run on and about half the loop was an icy skating rink. The only good part about this section (mile 8 or so), was the sun FINALLY came out.
So we ran, we finished, and the course was just about 13 miles according to my Garmin. I had one tiny slice of pizza and a cup of chocolate milk at the finish. We took some quick pictures and then I headed home. Way too cold to be hanging around outside (23 degrees at the finish).

Official Time - 2:23:46
Official Pace - 10:58
Garmin Time - 2:24:15
Garmin Distance - 13.00
Mile 1 - 10:25
Mile 2 - 10:04
Mile 3 - 10:25
Mile 4 - 11:48
Mile 5 - 12:17
Mile 6 - 11:08
Mile 7 - 11:28
Mile 8 - 11:16
Mile 9 - 11:32
Mile 10 - 10:02
Mile 11 - 10:56
Mile 12 - 11:16
Mile 13 - 11:36

When I got home, I still had snow/frost on my hat. Brr.


Thoughts:

  • Very well organized race. Lots of communication prior to the event. There were signs directing participants to the parking area, which helped, especially since my directions to the start included an exit that no longer existed.
  • Plenty of aid stations on the course with water and electrolytes. There were also gels on the course.
  • Good finish area - a handful of vendors, chocolate milk from Longmont Dairy, pizza.
  • Free race pictures!
  • Have no idea what the shirt looked like because I saved $5 by not wanting one (I would not have taken it anyway though). I didn't see anyone wearing it during the race either... too cold?
  • Last year the weather was in the 40's-50's and the course was dry. This year about 25 degrees colder and an incredibly dicey and icy course (even though it hasn't snowed in weeks and we've had some warm temps. Totally unpredictable in terms of weather.
  • The course CAN be pretty (views of the mountains) - if it's not foggy and overcast. 
  • Would I run again? Meh. Maybe.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Week in Review (January 5 - January 11)

Tuesday (17,349 steps) - Had a short day at work so that I could pick A up at the airport!! Man I missed this kid. We headed to Cheesecake Factory for dinner to celebrate her return and my work-aversary.

Wednesday (17,954 steps) - Got up early (but not as early as I would have liked) and did a 2.5 mile run. It was slow going, but I wanted to get in another outside run before the snow hit later in the week. Got to see a beautiful sunrise, which is always nice.

After work we went to run club. It's always awesome to see everyone, and this time was extra exciting because A won one of the raffles! We went to dinner with Heather afterwards at Noodles & Company.
Thursday (17,441 steps) - No motivation to get up. Again. I think I was severely sleep deprived after ATY because I have just been exhausted! Did a hilly 3+ mile treadmill run during lunch.
A and I had a fantastic low-key evening, watching "The Princess Bride." I was surprised she enjoyed it, I thought she would be too young to really appreciate it. Of course she missed a ton of the jokes.
Friday (18,160 steps) - 3.5 miles on the treadmill during lunch. I picked up A after school, and upon arriving at home we discovered there was something wrong with Robin Sparkles! Her right eye was oozing puss and she could barely open it. We called our regular vet and they weren't open, so we headed to Animal Urgent Care (yes, this is a thing). We were seen right away, and after an exam the conclusion was either conjunctivitis or an abscessed tooth. Unfortunately, they didn't have kitty dental x-ray equipment so we would need to follow-up with our vet ASAP. They did give her some antibiotics and ointment for her eye. So that was fun. My boss had given us a gift card for Olive Garden, and since I wasn't in the mood to cook, we went. I a glass of wine and lasagna - and we took home chocolate cake for dessert.
Saturday (28,702) - On the internet, it said the vet was open at 8 am on Saturday. We opted to just get there right when they opened and see if they could squeeze us in. Turns out, they are only open EVERY OTHER SATURDAY (this not being one of them), so I had to make a few phone calls to see if someone else could see her. We were able to get an appointment for the afternoon. I met up with Heather around 10:30 for a run. I had planned on attempting a recreation of a run I did last fall, but I got confused, so we ended up doing Big Dry Creek. All but about a half mile was snow-packed. It was sunny out and warm, and neither of us fell. A great run!



Heather, A and I went to get lunch at the Mexican restaurant by our house. AWESOME way to recover. So good! We took Robin to the vet, where she was examined (again) and had some blood work done. We made another appointment for Monday for her to have x-rays and get any teeth pulled (if necessary).
Sunday (19,642 steps) - A really chilly run in the morning. I'm never going to survive running outside when it gets REALLY cold.
A and I made breakfast burritos for breakfast, and then we headed to the rec center to go swimming. I spent a lot of time in the sauna, but we did have a great time in the "lazy river" - now that we have a rec pass it's really inexpensive to go. Headed home for a quick shower before meeting up with Heather for glow miniature golf.
We were waiting for some jackets to get embroidered with our team logo, so we went to the Yard House for a late afternoon snack and drink. They have the best happy hour! For only $7, we got a full size buffalo chicken pizza that we all shared.
Monday (17,142 steps) - Did a loop around the neighborhood, and once again, it was FREAKING COLD. I felt fairly strong on this run and didn't have to walk up the hill that normally kills me.
Too early for a sunrise pic so here is a pic of my shadow, lol
Got ready in time to get Robin Sparkles to the vet for her appointment. After work, we picked her up. Turns out, her teeth was mostly fine, and they only had to pull one. That one tooth, however, was not on the side of her mouth where her eye was all gross and her face swollen. They cannot figure out WHY her eye was like that. Oh, and they also found a tape worm (ew ew ew), so MORE meds. They couldn't figure out how she ended up with THAT either, since she is an exclusively indoor cat, and we don't have a dog (or fleas). They thought she might have had it before we adopted her, since we have only had her about four months.

Stats

  • 136,390 steps
  • 27.4 miles run
  • No cross training (although running in the snow feels like it!)
  • 10 minutes of strength/stretching (I'm getting back into it...)
Everything Else
  • Obviously, spent a lot of the weekend dealing with a sick kitty. And dealing with (in my opinion) INSANE people who think that for the amount of money I spent getting her better I could have "gotten rid of her and gotten a new cat." WTF. I can't believe there are really people that think like that???
  • My brake light came on over the weekend. I thought FOR SURE with all the work I've had done on my car I had replaced brakes recently. And I had. In March. But only the rear brakes. I called to get a quote for front brakes and it is close to $600??? Apparently Mini Coopers use some super special "high performance" brakes that supposedly last longer, but you replace rotors and pads every time. Still seems insane and expensive. Geez. January shaping up to be a very expensive month!!
  • A found out she was selected to be in the spelling bee again! We will study the word list a bit more this time and hopefully she will make it past the first round...

Friday, January 8, 2016

Week in Review (December 29 - January 4)

Tuesday (19,463 steps) - Worked in the morning and then headed to the airport for Across the Years. Mostly uneventful. Won't re-tell the story - you can read about the whole trip on the race recap.
Wednesday (113,753 steps) - Day one of ATY. About 52 miles done on the first day.
Thursday (110,644 steps) -  Day two of ATY. About 50 miles done the second day.
Friday (38,744 steps) - Final day of ATY. About 13.5 miles done and completion of the ATY race.
Lots of headaches with my return flight to Denver, but I got back safely and did a bit of unpacking. Pretty happy that I got back on a Friday night and still had the weekend to recover! In bed EARLY to try and finally get some legit sleep.
Saturday (17,510 steps) - Got up early to meet Heather at Snooze for breakfast. I love this place! I had some eggs and green chili and a peanut butter chocolate chip pancake. SO GOOD. We headed over to Runners Roost to register for the Colfax marathon relay, only to find out we would have to do it online. No worries, it's always fun to see people there. I stopped at Target briefly before heading home to meet up with Richard, who was finally going to install my storm door for me! (Only took 3+ months to find someone to install). Yay that it was warm enough to get done, and now I finally have all my "projects" done. (Yes, I know, something will come up soon, but for NOW, I'm done.)
Sunday (19,822 steps) - RMRR trophy series 10k with Maureen and many other Roost teammates!
After showering I had to go grocery shopping. With A gone I had let my fridge get near empty. Thankfully, once I got THAT done, I was able to go home and start binge watching "Making a Murderer." Obsessed.
Monday (16,795 steps) - After work I decided to do a slow jog at Sloan's Lake - as it would be my last night of "freedom" with A due back from Texas. I opted not to use my headlamp, which made for even slower jogging because it was still freakin' slick out. Stupid winter.

Stats:
  • 336,731 steps (I'll probably never beat that number)
  • 127.8 miles run (Again, I'll probably never beat that either)
  • No cross training
  • No strength/stretching
Everything Else:
  • I found out I was selected to be an ambassador (one of only six!) for the Endurance Race Series! There are currently 9 trail races on the schedule and it looks like I will be at all or most of them! I ran my first ERS race years ago. The race director is AWESOME, he really listens to his runners and his post race festivities are awesome. Pretty dang excited to add this to my list of things I'll be doing in 2016!
  • Mentioned it in another post, but I also joined the Denver Rocky Mountain Road Runners (RMRR). This group has been around for decades and they have monthly races, as well as training groups. Best part is that A can join me for all these events as well. Looking forward to doing some of these events this year.
  • I hit my one year anniversary at work! No review/raise (yet), but the best thing is that I still am really enjoying my employment here and I still like my attorneys and co-workers.
2016 is shaping up to be a great year!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

RMRR Trophy Series - Twin Lakes 10k (Race Recap)

Sunday, January 3
Weather - sunny


I had NO business running a 10k so soon after Across the Years. But Saturday night I was up late... on Facebook... and saw that Maureen was attending. I looked at the website and it was $10 for race day registration at the first RMRR Trophy Series race of the season.

The race was scheduled to start at 9, and after some quick messaging with Maureen she said it was easy to find, registration was quick and I should come. (They also had a 5k option that I was considering).

So I got up just before 8 and drove to the start, only about 15 minutes away. There was a decent number of people there. When I went to register Maureen convinced me to sign up for the whole year since it was only $35 (and I can do a family add on for A of only $10)! So I got my bib and then sat in the car for a few minutes until the race started.

The series does some sort of handicap that I don't really understand, other than trying to remember my days of league bowling. Anyway. I guessed (optimistically) that I would run around 13 minute miles. That meant that I would be starting in the first wave (with the race walkers).
Can you spot me at the start?
The course is an out and back, and I planned on going SUPER slow. I started jogging. Felt ok. Kept going... and going... (saw my buddy Ross at the 5k turnaround, but not sure he recognized me) and going... and going...

I had not run this path before, although it is a branch of the Clear Creek trail I have run in other places. We had the creek on one side and then some industrial areas on the other. But, it was pretty. It was a nice cool day, but I started to heat up around the half way point. The miles ticked by, and by the turn around I still had not taken a break.
I stopped briefly at the water stop and then kept going. I felt really good until about mile 4. Mile 4-5 I slowed down a bit and it felt harder. Maureen passed me somewhere after mile 5. In fact, quite a few people passed me then. I finally had to take a walk break only about a half mile before the finish. I swear the whole way back was uphill. My legs finally had enough!

I crossed the finish, found Maureen and my other Roost teammates, and then we socialized (with coffee and snacks) until awards. Even though this was probably a dumb idea, I had a great time and look forward to future events!
This might be one of my favorite pics ever - we all look so happy!! (Maureen, me and Lisa)
Teammates (Sabine - women's overall winner, Bill, Lisa, some guy (sorry guy!), Sara, Maureen and me)
Official time - 1:10:27
Garmin time - 1:10:21
Garmin distance - 6.24 miles
Garmin pace - 11:16
Mile 1 - 11:32
Mile 2 - 11:11
Mile 3 - 10:57
Mile 4 - 11:01
Mile 5 - 11:08
Mile 6 - 11:55
Mile 6.24 - 10:48

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...