Thursday, April 27, 2017

Week in Review (April 18 - April 24)

Tuesday (11,878 steps) - Barre at lunch with Laura. Skipped my scheduled miles.
Wednesday (17,863 steps) - Denver run club! Mo has been building her mileage back up and she feels the best the day before chemo, so we did 4 miles. Tested out the new Newton Gravity - not sure what I think about them.

Juno is over 100 pounds and knocked me over just by leaning on me. So adorable though!
Thursday (16,394) - Rainy run club in Belmar. Did 42 minutes of running for the special "Runners High" theme for 4/20.


Colfax, Mo, Me, A, Dulce & Matilda (the dog)
Friday (10,031 steps) - Went to Torchy's Tacos for dinner, I think that was the extent of the day's excitement.
Saturday (10,097 steps) - Our trail race was cancelled because of rain/snow, so I attempted to sleep in and went to A's soccer game instead.
Later in the day we went to Carrie's bridal shower.
Sunday (9,818 steps) - Heather's Cherry Creek Sneak party in the morning, then on to Ben and Carrie's wedding in the afternoon.
The cake is made out of Rice Krispies!
It was a very long day of socializing, eating and drinking. I think we were in bed before 9:00.
Monday (12,581 steps) - Morning barre class.

Stats:
  • 88,662 steps
  • 7 miles, that's it. Needed some recovery after Palmer Lake.
  • Just one barre class! 
Everything Else:
  • This was a week of going to bed early and recovery. I just didn't feel up to doing much of anything. I figure a week of nothing doesn't hurt anyone.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Week in Review (April 11 - April 17)

Tuesday (17,043 steps) - A had student council, so no speed work. With this THANKFULLY being a recovery week, I did an easy 3.5ish miles before work. It was chilly, but nice.
Pretty cool to see the moon set!
Barre with Laura during lunch.
Wednesday (16,441 steps) - Run club after work.
I was actually going to be on a panel for a presentation on beginning trail running, so I didn't have a ton of time to get a run in. A and I started out with Mo and Colfax running the 2.3ish mile loop that we did last year, but we picked up the pace a bit because we needed to be back.

The panel was actually a lot of fun and it was CRAZY to me that people came up afterwards and wanted to ask me questions and get advice. I still consider myself a novice as well, but it was SO nice to see people so excited to get started!
Thursday (17,636 steps) - Opted for sleep instead of a morning barre class. Belmar run club. Mo was able to run 1.4 miles out of the 2.5 mile loop.

A found a lot more eggs than I did
Decided to go to Rocko's for nachos after, then headed home to start packing.
Friday (12,956 steps) - Rest day! Picked up beer and Domino's for dinner, finished packing, went to bed early.
Saturday (124,136 steps) - 24 Hours of Palmer Lake.
Sunday (49,179 steps) - More 24 Hours of Palmer Lake.
Had to stop and take a 15 minute cat nap again on the drive home. Took a shower and then a nap. Intended to rest for only a few hours, ended up sleeping until after 3. Went to IHOP for omelettes and pancakes, then a trip to the grocery store.
Monday (11,730 steps) - Another rest day!

Stats:
  • 249,121 steps
  • 83.8 miles run
  • Just 1 barre class

Monday, April 17, 2017

24 Hours of Palmer Lake (Race Recap)

Saturday, April 15 - Sunday, April 16
Palmer Lake, CO
Ultra Marathon #22
Weather - Mostly good! Sunny most of the day and not too windy

We had such a good experience at the 2016 edition that we opted to go for it again in 2017. The 24 Hours of Palmer lake "fun run" underwent a name change for 2017 - to the Palmer Lake Death Race. I don't know why I found that so funny, but it's kinda true.

We got up around 5:30 (no thanks to my phone, which AGAIN had my alarms go off without sound) and were on the road by 6. We were parked at 7:01, found Jandy right away and set up our tent right next to her.

Bib pick-up was easy, all we we had to do was sign a waiver. Last year we didn't have bibs, so this was a new "fun" perk. Ate our donuts, cycled through the bathroom line, and of course got the pre-race selfie.
Race started on time at 8:00, and the first lap was a "race to win a hydration pack" that we did NOT partake in. We settled into a slow and easy pace and the first hour flew by. Of course, as the day went on, the miles became slower and more difficult. Every four hours we switched directions, you know, to keep the .82 mile loop "interesting."
Teammate Nick came out for a few miles and then cheered us on!
The mileage boards weren't going to be put out until afternoon, so we had to keep track on our own - we opted to do slash marks on the backs of our bibs. It's harder to remember than you would think!

Our friend Lisa came over around 1 and ran some loops with us (after she had already run a technical 25K earlier in the morning). She ran Jandy and I in for our "marathon loop" - which took us just under 6 hours. By this time, we had already started our run/walk - using landmarks to determine which sections we would be running.
The lake really IS pretty
Lisa and A
Phil and A
Me, Jandy, A and Francesca
Our teammate Lisa took this picture of us... not sure when, but we were still really happy here
A hit both her marathon distance and 50K while it was still light out! Her goal was 40 miles (!!!) but I had the feeling that she wouldn't stop there since she still had so much time left. Jandy's family arrived around 4 and A ran/walked some loops with Landon, while Jandy and I kept plugging along.
A at the 50K milestone - still light out!
We ran with our friend for a loop while he hit his longest distance ever (34 miles) and of course memorialized the moment with a selfie.

I had started the race wearing my New Balance Leadville shoes, but they got more uncomfortable as the day went on. Both of us decided to change into our Hokas for more cushioning (it was totally a last minute decision to bring these, but glad I did). Shortly before the sun set we opted to put on our tights so that we wouldn't have to screw around with doing it in the dark. At dusk we did one loop without a headlamp, hoping that it wouldn't be dark enough to need one. The moon didn't come out for a long time and it was cloudy, so we had to use a light for the rest of the night.
At dusk
By now we were just walking and trying to keep moving. A decided to try to sleep when she hit 38 miles, deciding to finish her last miles in the morning. I was surprised she stopped so early (9 pm) as she was pretty gung ho about running at night. She only stayed in the tent for a few hours before telling me she was too cold to sleep. For most of the night she would sit in the car while we did a loop and then she would join Jandy and I for 2, repeat.

Around 1 am I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open. I asked Jandy if we could take a 15 minute nap break, and agreed to run with her until she hit HER goal of 87 loops (71.34 miles). The nap totally rejuvenated me! I felt a ton better after that. A had increased her car breaks to two loops, so when we got done with our 85th lap, we woke her up so we could do our last 2 laps together (her getting her 50th mile(!!) and us getting our 71st).

We finished about 5:55 am and decided to take a half hour nap and then check the standings again. When we stopped, Jandy and I were 2nd and 3rd female, and we didn't want to risk losing our standings. The 30 minute nap was a lifesaver, and around 6:35 we headed back over to the start, where we saw nothing had changed, but we decided to do a "victory lap" anyway. When we got back into the start, all of a sudden the woman in 4th had added some tick marks and was ahead of us by one loop (urg, that seems like cheating!) so we decided to keep going. We "ran" all the way until the clock stopped (well, 7:53 am, because we didn't have time to complete another in 7 minutes), with Francesca running the last two with us.

About 100 yards from the finish line, the race director told us that we were tied for third female and one of us needed to cross the finish line first. OH HELL NO. We didn't run together for 24 hours for only one of us to "win." We opted to take the tie and joked that we could share custody of the award.

There was no formal awards ceremony this year, so we just took a handful of pictures, tore down the tent and headed home.


Seriously - such a cool award!
I had no real goal going into this race, only a hope that I could complete more miles than last year (66.42) - which I did. A was just a rock star (again), and we both had a memorable time. Unsure if we will go for it again next year, but it's pretty cool to get an award, after placing 4th in three of the ultras I ran last year.

Ariel:
Official mileage - 50.84 miles (!!!)
Overall place - 45/139
Overall gender - 16/75

Me:
Official mileage - 75.44 miles
Overall place - 15/139
Gender place - 3/75 (!)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Week in Review (April 4 - April 10)

Tuesday (27,392 steps) - I was CERTAIN that speed work was going to get canceled when I saw how much snow we got (and that it was STILL snowing) when we got up at 4:30. But I didn't get an email, so we braved the drive to Bible Park for another long and terrifying workout.

The drive, thankfully, was the worst part of the morning. Only 4 brave souls showed up (all women) besides Coach Joel. We began with a 1.5 mile warm up jog around the park on the bike path. The temperature was hovering around freezing, but with our recent warm temperatures, the sidewalk was only wet and NOT icy.

We did our drills on the recovery section of the loop and then started the really challenging part of the workout.

2400m - 15:21 (10:14 pace)
2400m - 15:09 (10:06 pace)
400m - 2:09 (8:47 pace)
400m - 2:05 (8:29 pace)
400m - 2:01 (8:15 pace)

We had about a quarter mile recovery between all intervals. I walked most of the ones between the 2400's, but slooow jogged between the 400's. I did walk a brief section of each 2400, which kinda bummed me out, but still pretty pleased with a low 10 average time. Tempo pace is NO JOKE. We didn't have quite enough time to get to our last repeat. 
Took Laura's barre class during lunch, and for the first time in a REALLY long time I didn't have to take any breaks between reps.
Wednesday (22,597 steps) - A "longer than I planned because things seem closer in my head" run with Susan. 5 miles became a 10K, which is probably the longest I've ever run at a Wednesday run club. I had a few great miles in the middle, but was DONE by the end.
Hard to believe it snowed ALL DAY on Tuesday
Thursday (31,453 steps) - Since I ran more than planned on Wednesday, I cut my run down to 6 miles before work. It was one of the more miserable runs of the current training cycle. As always, a pretty sky almost always makes it worth it.

Barre HIIT with Laura during lunch. Run club at Belmar - A walked with Ang and I did a run/walk with Mo, she was able to run half of the 2.5 mile loop!
Friday (10,637 steps) - Rest day!!
Saturday (38,210 steps) - We didn't have an aid station for Runner's Edge, so I opted to run at the lake so we wouldn't have to rush to get A to her first soccer game of the season. I "only" had 12 miles on schedule, so I decided to head northwest to on the Greenway. I only went a little further than the last time I ran out there, which turned out to be as far as the trail goes before it ends.
Trail literally ends less than a quarter mile from this sign...
I made a detour on the way back to Mower Reservoir, which was a cute little pond in the middle of the open space.
Got home with enough time to shower and make coffee before A's game. Her coach wanted her to be goalie "for a little while," which ended up being the entire game (except for maybe 5 minutes). She did really well and stopped quite a few goals. She was kinda bummed not being able to play any other positions, but maybe next game!
A had another event for Scouts, so after a quick lunch I drove her down and dropped her off. I had some errands to run (that she wouldn't enjoy) and got back just in time for her to finish. Grocery shopping and later dinner at Old Chicago's.
Sunday (18,827 steps) - Drove down to Littleton to volunteer at the Platte River half marathon and relay. I've run the race twice and volunteered once - this is a huge race for our team. We again had the mile 2 aid station, but I didn't read the instructional email very closely and didn't realize we were about a quarter mile west of where we had set up in previous years. A ton of people came out for the aid station and I saw lots of people I knew running.
The last runner came through maybe a half hour after the start and we were able to tear down the aid station and drive over to the finish line (the race is point to point) just in time to see the lead runners finishing.

A scowling with our MUT team captain
We cheered at the finish line for well over an hour and then went to the post-race party at Buckhorn Exchange. Even though I had been at this even a few times I had never been to the finish line - the food was spectacular! We had a great time hanging out with teammates and it was about noon before we headed home.
Mo, Sabine, me, Jen
A and I went to a pretty challenging barre class with Jen at 4:15. I had 6 miles on schedule today that I opted to skip since I have a big race coming up and I've been pretty tired lately.
Monday (10,863 steps) - Another rest day!!! 

Stats:
  • 33.6 miles run
  • 159,979 steps
  • 3 barre classes

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Week in Review (March 28 - April 3)

Tuesday (24,170 steps) - 4:30 wake up for speed work with Runners Edge, and for the first time, it was going to be on a track! I have to admit that I was TERRIFIED for this workout. I *used* to do speed work years ago, but it was always on the treadmill. I was not looking forward to seeing how slow my pace would be in comparison.

After a few weeks of warm weather it was a little colder, with rain in the forecast. I was wearing a tech tee and my Ultimate Direction jacket, which ended up working great. We did a 20 minute warm up (at about an 11:30 pace) on the dirt in Cherry Creek State Park. After drills we headed up to the track.

A had read through the email and decided for the mid-level ladders. She ended up finishing only about 5 minutes before I did, so I take that as a big win!

400m - 2:09 (8:29 pace)
800m - ??? (hit pause instead of lap)
1200m - 7:26 (9:46 pace)
1600m - 9:49
1200m - 7:28 (9:51 pace)
800m - 4:49 (9:33 pace)
400m - 2:12 (8:50 pace)
200m - 0:53 (7:00 pace!)

There was a two minute recovery between each interval, which I desperately needed! I'm most impressed that I got through every single interval without walking! And ALL intervals were sub 10 pace, which I haven't seen in a REALLY long time. Felt very accomplished when I was done with this workout! 7 miles total, and we finished just in time - the rain came in on our drive home.
Wednesday (20,229 steps) - Barre before work with Gabi. Sitting pretzel is really the most awkward movement (and pointless) for people who have extremely weak hips. Best run in ages at run club - 5 miles round trip to Wash Park.
Thursday (30,955 steps) - 7 not-so-great miles. 3.5 out on roads, but the sun was already coming up so I jumped on the trails on the way back. Legs just tired I guess after a hard effort the night before. Always appreciate of a pretty sunrise though!


Barre HIIT with Laura during lunch, which was just what I needed after a horrible morning at work. Belmar run club. I did a run/walk with Mo and Colfax (about 1.5 walking and 1 mile jogging).
Friday (15,319 steps) - Rest day! One year follow-up appointment for my lasik, otherwise nothing!
Saturday (44,843 steps) - Thankfully, the storm didn't amount to anything major. It was definitely colder than I am used to running in and I kept my long sleeves and jacket on for the whole run. The route was set up as an 8 mile route. A stopped after one loop and I went out and did another 10. The first 17 went pretty well, but I was certainly ready for it to be over.

This guy would NOT look at the camera!!
For all the hills and stopping, really pleased for a sub 12 pace overall!
Sunday (31,405 steps) - Up early to run miles before my ERS training run. Everything, of course, took longer than I planned and I only had time for 5.5 miles before I was supposed to be there. I ran an out and back, which included a section of the new bike path to Boulder. Legs felt pretty good for these miles.
The training run itself was sort of a bust, only a handful of people came, and most of them decided to walk. I ran 4.5 (out and back) on Big Dry Creek with Tom and it was HARD... he is a fast guy and I was working way too hard to try to keep up with him. The 45 minute break between my two runs probably didn't help either.
Home for a quick shower before we met up with Lisa and Jessa for brunch at Billy's Inn. Ended up taking a short nap and then went to barre.
Monday (10,919 steps) - Rest day.

Stats:

  • 47.4 miles run (no races!)
  • 177,840 steps
  • 3 barre classes

Week in Review (July 11 - July 17)

Tuesday  (10,729 steps) - Barre with Gabi! Thankfully, it didn't feel quite as impossible as last week. Hopefully I have not lost ALL my...