Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Week in Review (November 7 - November 13)

Tuesday (9,392 steps) - Nothing... walked on the treadmill and watched an episode of Game of Thrones.
Wednesday (19,114 steps) - Runners Roost Boulder! Once again, we arrived with like a minute until the trail runners headed out. A decided that she was just going to do the road run at 6:15, so I went out by myself.
I managed to start about 30 seconds after everyone else and that was just enough for me to not be able to catch up. I figured I could re-create a route we did a month or so ago. The trails were crazy muddy and the glowing eyes freaked me out. Plus, I never saw a single person out there. I managed to not get lost.

Got back to the store in time for pizza, beer and dessert. Criminal Minds when we got home.
Thursday (9,386 steps) - Belmar run club!
Friday (13,192 steps) - Barre with Sasha.
Saturday (31,769 steps) - Runners Edge. We were running out of Broomfield, which was nice because we didn't have to get up super early. Ran 6 with the group and the last 8 solo for 14 total.

Home to shower and then met up with Heather and Eric at her house so we could carpool to Lone Tree for our indoor skydiving! We got to iFly a few minutes early, which gave us time to do our waivers. We watched other people take their turns, took our "class," got our super snazzy suits and then a group of us headed in. I will say that it was pretty fun, but that I would never pay full price for it.
Went to California Pizza Kitchen for A's birthday dinner with Heather, Eric, Beth and James. Service was terrible, company was great.

Sunday (14,898 steps) - A was running the Great Candy Run with her Girls on the Run team. I didn't want to pay $40 to run a 5K, so after I dropped her off with her school I ran 3ish by myself and then headed to the start to watch. It's always fun to spectate!

After everyone was done we stayed at the finish eating candy and socializing. We went with Ang and her girls to Chipotle (50% of all proceeds were being donated to GOTR for the day) and then home. Walking/Talking Dead.
Monday (16,684 steps) - Last New Terrain run club of the year (sad face). Since Dulce was with us we told the group to not wait for us at the intersections. I felt pretty good and would run sections, then wait for Dulce and A. We ran the 4.5 mile loop and it took a long time, but the weather was really nice. We socialized for a bit with the group before heading home.
  • 114,435 steps
  • 31.4 miles run
  • 1 barre class

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Backcountry Wilderness Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, November 4
Highlands Ranch, CO
Half Marathon #176

In it for the fifth year to run the Backcountry Wilderness half marathon. Heather signed up at the last minute and we had plans on running together. The course was different this year, with the start/finish at a different location as well. I knew it was about 45 minutes to get there and planned on arriving with an hour until the start. The closer lot was already full by the time I arrived, so I had to go back out and park at the high school. By the time I got all my crap ready it was 8:15. I saw Lisa on my walk to the start (which took a long time). The line was already insane. It probably took 20 minutes to get my bib, and by the time I got THAT, the line for the bathroom was already insane.

Due to the wind, they actually delayed our 9 am start fifteen minutes because course markings had blown over. So luckily, I was able to get through all the lines. I did not, however, have time to run back to the car to drop off my bag. Luckily, Anne was working with her Nuun van and let us put our bags in there.

We lined up in the middle of the last wave. I had not looked at the map at all to know where we would be running, so I walked when I felt like it - which in the beginning was a decent amount. The wind was pretty bad, but I at least warmed up a bit. I was familiar with the entire trail section in the first 6 miles, so it was pretty easy to know where I could push the pace a bit.

I had only brought my handheld, and we didn't hit the first aid station until mile 4. We both filled up and then headed out to the section of trails where the Chase the Moon course went. I know Heather was behind me for a bit, but I pushed it a bit on the downhill and when I looked behind me I didn't see her. I ended up in a conga line, but the pace was pretty good so I didn't worry about it. I was really looking forward to the Roost aid station at mile 8.5.
I caught up to Michelle around mile 8 and she said she was struggling a bit. I stopped at the aid station only long enough to fill my bottle and headed out. Looked like we had some climbing to go, but I thought I knew where the course was going and that we would get another aid station around mile 11. Unfortunately I had not read that info either, and would only have the two. Womp.
I manged to catch/pass a LOT of people on this section. The last two miles were mostly downhill and I was able to push that section a decent amount. This course had always measured a tad short for me, this time it was just over 13.1. I saw Lisa and Eric at the finish and after grabbing a bottle of water I met up with them to wait for Heather, who was more than 15 minutes behind me.

Official Time - 2:45:07
Overall Place - 570/762
Gender Place - 246/395
Division Place - 90/141
Garmin Time - 2:45:10
Garmin Distance - 13.15 miles
Elevation Gain - 1,348'
Mile 1 - 13:18
Mile 2 - 13:10
Mile 3 - 13:21
Mile 4 - 10:56
Mile 5 - 12:25
Mile 6 - 11:15
Mile 7 - 12:42
Mile 8 - 12:46
Mile 9 - 13:43
Mile 10 - 14:21
Mile 11 - 12:18
Miler 12 - 11:45
Mile 13 - 11:35
Mile 13.15 - 10:15

Stayed at the finish long enough for Flippin' Flapjacks and a beer, even though the wind was extremely unbearable.

  • This was the fifth time that I have run the race. The weather has actually always been pretty decent, considering it is in November.
  • The race is very well organized, for the most part. The packet pick-up is always a giant cluster, especially with 1,000 people running. Checking for ID also slows everything down, as well as the lack of parking near to the start.
  • The swag is always really good. This year the shirt was a hooded long sleeve shirt and the medal is nice too.
  • Good post-race party with beer and pancakes - what more could you want?
  • In the past there have always been three aid stations. It would have helped out a lot to have a third one around mile 11. The course is exposed, and if the sun is out it heats everything up A LOT. If they keep the new course, I really hope they make this change!
  • Will I run this again? Oh, probably. 

Week in Review (October 31 - November 6)

Tuesday (8,228 steps) - Halloween!! Barre with Sasha. We stopped at the grocery store on our way home and then went over to Kristen's for "trick or shot." Surprised to have Pete show up too! The adults sat around the fire pit and A went trick-or-treating with some older kids. A fun night!
Wednesday (20,352 steps) - Runners Roost Boulder run club! We barely arrived with enough time to join the trail run. And it was WINDY.
We ended up leaving the store about a minute after everyone else did because A needed to fill her handheld. Thankfully I had downloaded the Strava route, because I ended up having to run the app while we ran. The route was more on the roads than what we had run before, and we ended up getting pelted SEVERAL times by dry leaves. It hurt and the leaves actually were cutting the backs of our legs!! Finally we got to the Shanahan trail. A decent amount of climbing, but most of it didn't seem that technical. We actually managed to catch up to the group around the apex of the course and opted to run down with them instead of finishing the loop.

Unfortunately the front of the pack missed some turns and we ended up running a bit longer than we had planned, finishing with over 7 miles (on VERY tired legs). Arrived back in time for pizza, beer and a raffle. I won the last raffle of the night - a Boulder Roost shirt! Also picked up the newest winter beanie.
Thursday (10,287 steps) - Belmar run club! We did a mini boot camp at the start with Ash Kempton, and then Dulce and I ran the big loop. I was glad that I had left a thin jacket in the car because it was COLD. Stupid winter.

Friday (5,932 steps) - Went to A's school for an award's ceremony, and then later had to pick her up from her early release day.

They did their own face paint for Day of the Dead
Rachelle asked if she could come over for a sleepover, so I ended up having the night free! I went out with Lisa and Jessa. LONG night.
Saturday (31,310 steps) - Backcountry Wilderness half marathon (recap to follow). I was supposed to pick up A around 1. Got a message while I was still at the race to ask if she could stay a little later, so I stopped at the Denver Roost to get some fuel and rock tape. Then I got another message after I was already on my way asking if she could stay even longer. With my extra time I went a bit further into Thornton to stop at Godfather's Pizza (with a new brewery next door!)
By the time I got A it was almost 4. Went home, ate, showered, napped on the couch. Watched a bunch of crappy Lifetime movies before bed.
Sunday (22,027 steps) - The only good day of daylight savings is the first day - extra hour of sleep! We got ready and headed over to Prairie Gateway Park for the RMRR November Trophy Series! A was also going to run the 9 miler. I misread my bib and thought I was supposed to start a minute after the gun. I actually was supposed to start at 0:00 so they quickly had to edit my start time.

Last year I had remembered suffering the back half of this race, but happy to say that I ran pretty steady and didn't have to take any walk breaks. Also ran about 40 seconds per mile faster than my predicted time (although no ribbon), and about 17 seconds faster per mile than last year. Overall, pleased.

Garmin time - 1:37:45
Garmin distance - 9.00 (on the dot!)
Garmin pace - 10:52
Mile 1 - 11:09
Mile 2 - 10:55
Mile 3 - 10:53
Mile 4 - 10:40
Mile 5 - 11:01
Mile 6 - 10:43
Mile 7 - 10:49
Mile 8 - 11:04
Mile 9 - 10:30

A and I had went to Red Robin for lunch - which was fabulous. Afternoon flew by, no recollection of anything other than watching Walking/Talking Dead.
Monday (26,684 steps) - Got a text from a co-worker notifying me that we were having a late start because of a power outage. (Thankfully she texted me or I would have gone in). I took A to school then stopped at Target to pick up some groceries. Went home for a bit and walked on the treadmill while watching Stranger Things. Around 9:15 I thought it was probably time to go into the office, then I got another text saying at the soonest we would be opening at noon. So I went back home with plans to watch a movie until it was time to go in. Around 9:45 we were informed the office would be closed all day! WOOT!! I finished my movie, went to barre with Laura and Beth at noon. Then drove up to Centennial Cone and ran about 6.5 miles. My first time out there, and next time I will allow more time so I can do the whole loop instead of having to do an out and back.

Came home for a late lunch and started an other movie. Left to pick up A at Scouts at 5:15, then went to the second-to-last run club of the year at New Terrain. Now that it is dark we can't run on the trails, so we just ran along the canal. I had only planned on about 2 miles, but it didn't feel that cold and my legs were ok, so we did just over 3.
Had a beer with the group, then went home for dinner and to finish Beauty and the Beast. Best unexpected Monday ever!
A's newest art project!
  • 124,820 steps
  • 41.2 miles run (WOW)
  • 1 barre class

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sage Burner 50K (Race Recap)

Saturday, October 28
Gunnison, CO
Ultra Marathon #27
Weather - 16 degrees at the start, warm and sunny at the finish

Gunnison is a teeny tiny place and our hotel was only about 6 minutes from the start line. My race started at 8:00, and I wasn't sure what the parking situation was going to be like, so ideally, I had wanted to leave around 7. Breakfast was put out a just before 7 and we decided to eat at the hotel. Then I was texting with Natalie and we decided to stop by her hotel (right next door) to before heading to the start so A could borrow a bottle.

We ended up arriving at the start around 7:15 and it was PLENTY of time. We checked in and got our shirts, bibs and shoe tags. Per the norm, I cycled through the bathroom line a few times. All of a sudden, the gun went off and I hadn't even started my watch yet. So, I was literally last to cross the line. Again. The 50K and 28K were starting together, so it was going to be hard to tell how far back I was actually going to be until the course split.

It was only 16 degrees when we started, but I made the decision to forgo the long pants because it was supposed to be pretty sunny and I knew the course was very exposed. I only kept my gloves on for about a mile, and my long sleeve top for maybe the first 10. I was glad I had opted for thin layers.

Anyway, this course did not mess around. The climbing started immediately. I knew it was going to be a long day (at best) and a short, horrible and tragic day at worst (if I DNF'd for missing any cutoffs).

The biggest problem I had going into this race was going in blind. I only realized about a week out that the course had an 8 hour cut off (with 4500' of climbing). I was concerned because the last few 50K's I have done had substantially less climbing and took, me between 7:10 and 8:15 to complete. Bah. And then, to mix it up, there were also aid station cutoffs. There was NOT, however, any mention of what MILE these aid stations were at.

So anyway. I'm running the best I can, which basically means running the flats and sorta jogging the less steep climbs and power hiking the rest. I know for sure that I have NO time to be screwing around, so I was not able to enjoy the course as much as I would have liked, BECAUSE I WAS WATCHING MY GARMIN THE ENTIRE TIME.

I felt like there was a TON of climbing in the first couple of miles - maybe nearly 1000'? The trails reminded me a lot of what I'd run in Utah. Then we hit our first ridge - it was nice to finally be able to "run" - although it was a lot rockier than I thought it would be. For all the local Colorado people, it reminded me a lot of Green Mountain. So even on the "flatter" sections, I really had to watch my feet because of the loose rocks and bigger boulders.

The view was pretty awesome from up here! We literally started at the the elevation of the river.
We finally got a bit of downhill and I managed to pass a few ladies. Then somewhere around mile 3 I noticed a woman sitting by the trail and my friend Rich standing next to her. She had fallen and thought she broke her ankle. Luckily they had cell service - although we weren't in the most accessible area. 

It seemed like forever before we hit the first aid station - which of course was a the top of a hill at the end of a dirt road. I only grabbed a cup of soda before heading out. I had caught up to Rich and Stella, although they both took off and passed me. I did manage to catch Stella later, and we actually ran together until the second aid station.
The second aid station was much further away than I thought it would be. And I knew the first aid station cutoff was still TWO aid stations away!! They thought that from there (I think we were around mile 11), that it was still 5 miles until the third aid station. I WAS SO ANNOYED. I did not take any pictures between the two aid stations as I had zero time to screw around. I finally got to the third aid station at around 3 hours 15 minutes into the race, at just over a 14 minute mile pace. I remember yelling "please tell me THIS is when the cutoff is." The volunteer said that it was "the next time around" and it was only a 2 mile loop, and if I missed it by a few minutes they would let me through.

Well.... let me tell you something about these two miles. We headed up the road and then down. INTO THE QUARRY AND THEN HAD TO RUN BACK UP IT. UGH!!!

So by the time I got out, we had done a LOT more climbing, like according to my watch we had already done about 2/3 of the climbing on course. So aid station 4 was about halfway through the race, and I missed the cutoff by about 8 minutes. I stopped only long enough to fill my bladder and head back out. I couldn't believe how tight the cutoff seemed. I was not messing around, the course was challenging, and I was well ahead of the overall course cutoff.

I was pretty cranky the rest of the race. I was running every section that I could. My ankle was holding up, I was drinking enough, taking in salt. (I did realize after that I probably didn't eat enough though).

I knew there was still one more aid station cutoff. I got to the aid station at mile 5, which was the one where the volunteers all dressed up and was the most festive, with less than an hour until the cutoff at the 6th aid station. They thought it was about 5 miles until that one too. DAMN IT. I was not happy with having to STILL keep an eye on my watch. Took only a handful of pictures and kept plugging away.
Got to the 6th aid station a minute over cutoff. I just didn't say anything about it to the volunteers and they didn't say anything to me. I grabbed some coke and a pickle and headed out. We had a big loop to do and then we would loop around and this same aid station would be our last one on the course.
Fake it until you make it?
There was one woman that was right in front of me and when we got back to the aid station we realized we had like 90 minutes to finish. I thought to myself... PLENTY OF TIME. UGH UGH UGH. By now my ankle was kind of pissy. Some of the more rocky sections really bothered it. In my head, I thought I had heard some people saying the last two miles were downhill. And then we came up on another section of MORE CLIMBING. Looking at my watch we had already done all the climbing we were supposed to - why was there MORE?? Finally hit the top and then I'm down to like 25 minutes until I'm out of time. I see this sign and think... I'm going to DNF on a trail with my same name.
So I finally have some downhill. Only the grade is so steep that I can barely move! My quads are screaming from pushing so hard earlier in the day. It was so steep and I was having a hard time controlling keeping myself upright. The course was in the shade and in a rocky area so I had to take my sunglasses off so I could see where I was going. Less than 10 minutes to go. I am literally shouting how pissed off I am and how much I am hating this course. I don't recognize where I am, but it seems like I should be close - unless the course was long. FINALLY I come to an opening and I can see the finish line!!! I have less than 5 minutes now, but I am so close!!! I know I can make it. I am nearly in tears because it hurts SO.MUCH.

And then I see the blue flags are leading us around the parking lot?? Damn it. Why. I see A and she tries to run me in. I see the clock and it says 8 hours - but since it was chip timed, I was still under. I enter the chute at exactly 8 hours and I'm done.

The volunteer that took my timing chip asked how it was and I couldn't say anything except "HORRIBLE."

Pretty sure I have not been so stressed out in a race since I nearly missed the cutoff at my first 50 mile race. Never again.
Official time - 8:00:06 (I still don't see how this is possible. I even messaged the RD and he said the chips synced with the clock. Which not possible since I entered the chute at 8 hours and at the start I was the LAST person across the line. ANYWAY.)
Garmin time - 7:59:42
Garmin distance - 31.25 miles
Elevation gain - 4,974'
Miles 1-5 - 15:22, 15:02, 14:23, 1518, 12:54
Miles 6-10 - 12:53, 15:00, 14:19, 13:32, 12:43
Miles 11-15 - 16:21, 13:59, 14:16, 15:14, 18:21
Miles 16-20 - 17:39, 15:57, 14:32, 15:35, 14:21
Miles 21-25 - 14:25, 13:47, 19:36, 15:38, 16:08
Miles 26-31.25 - 14:57, 17:04, 16:48, 19:09, 16:34, 14:58, 12:02

  • Mad Moose puts on a great event. They do. The course was very well marked, the aid stations were top notch. However, there was NO information about what mile any of the aid stations were at, which would have been EXTREMELY helpful for someone like me.
  • All distances got a medal. Very cool, although a bit "blah" for the 50K to get the same as the 13K, with nothing to distinguish the distances.
  • I really like the shirt, so I am glad that I did not DNF so I can actually wear it.
  • I absolutely take full responsibility for not paying attention to the cutoffs until the week before the race. Looking at the climbing, I *KNOW* this was going to be a tough day for me. It's frustrating for me, a back of the pack runner, to hear from a race director that it is "easier" than a race that had less climbing and then to suffer so much, even with better training. I simply will not sign up for a 50K with an 8 hour cutoff, or if it is the longest distance of an event. 
  • When all is said and done, I am happy I went for it, although I'm still annoyed about my official finish time. I am also a bit upset that the course was really great and I could not enjoy it at all because I was so obsessed with making the cutoffs. It made for a really long and stressful day.

Week in Review (November 7 - November 13)

Tuesday  (9,392 steps) - Nothing... walked on the treadmill and watched an episode of Game of Thrones. Wednesday  (19,114 steps) - Runners ...