Friday, August 18, 2017

Beaver Creek Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, August 13
Avon, Colorado
Half Marathon #170
Weather - #allthesun

Even though the Beaver Creek half marathon is a beautiful course, I was dreading it. I'm slow right from the start because the first few miles have allll the climbing.

This year, there was an early start option for walkers. After having the course bike medic/sweep on my tail all race LAST year, this seemed like a great option. I met up with Stacy, Annette, Daniel and Michelle to start about 20 minutes early.

For some reason, I ended up being the rabbit - at least for the first mile. Just as much climbing as I remembered. I was hot, out of breath, and tired after running the day before. What I *did* have this year, that I didn't have last year, was people to run with! It made SUCH a big difference.
Thanks for the picture, Daniel!
The aspen grove did not disappoint (it never does) - and for once, it was nice to not have to keep moving off the trail. Since we had done the early start, we were way ahead of everyone. That didn't make it any easier, just less annoying.
The next section is my FAVORITE. Nice downhill on the road - which makes me feel like I'm a real runner (after the huffing and puffing I do through the aspen grove).
Allie's way is a beautiful wooded section where we can really FLY... well, kinda. Some sections are fairly steep, and there area  lot of tree roots. But at least I can actually breath here.

We then come out onto the slope, up the road, and arrive at the second aid station (which has moved to where we first enter the 5 Senses trail. This is when we get passed by the first half marathoner, who just happened to be Sean, my teammate!

The 5 Senses trail isn't too bad, some rocks and roots. Then we move onto what I would argue is the "worst" part of the course.  We move onto the road briefly before getting onto an ATV trail. More single track after we cross another slope, then an out and back up the road, and then down a wide dirt road into the finish.

Oh.

Did I mention that the half marathon is a double loop and we get to do it all over again?

At least this year, there weren't already people in the finish line enjoying their mimosas. It made it a teeny tiny bit easier to go back out the second time. By now it was really heating up and I was super tired.

For some reason, the second loop seemed to go by a bit faster (although I was definitely slower). I took more pictures the second loop. About a half mile into the second loop - who do I see? Ross! Our nearly 80 year old friend from Arvada! He had taken an even earlier start (7:00 am), but he had also run the Rocky Mountain half the day before. When I grow up, I want to be like Ross.


The next two pictures are from Allie's Way. I've never stopped long enough to take pictures in this section (this was the 3rd time I've run this event) because I've been RUUUUUUNNNING the downhills). However, it's so pretty, I figured I should take a sec and share it.

I managed to get ahead of Michelle and Annette at some point after the 5 Senses trail. The ATV trail that seems so long and hard is actually really pretty!
I was EXHAUSTED by the time I had to do the out and back on the road again. By now, I was getting caught by the mid-packers that had started with the gun. My legs were so shot that the glorious downhill I normally enjoy was actually pretty painful. Impressed that I was actually able to run it in.

Stacy was at the finish line cutting off shoe tags, which meant that she had dropped to the 10k. Jeff had another shipping error and there weren't enough medals for everyone, so we agreed to wait to collect ours so that others could get them instead.

Picture with the team at the finish.
Lesley, Stacy, Me, A, Dan, Susan
 A had been volunteering at the finish line and the food tent (which is her favorite). I actually grabbed some food and sat down to eat. Not normally something I've been able to do at this race. I had saved one medal from the finish line to give to Ross - which he seemed to appreciate.

Official time - 3:13:55
Overall place - 54/65
Division place - 5/8
Elevation gain - 2,539'
Mile 1 - 17:12
Mile 2 - 18:48
Mile 3 - 14:04
Mile 4 - 15:38
Mile 5 - 16:06
Mile 6 - 10:34 (wheeee!)
Mile 7 - 15:57
Mile 8 - 19:58
Mile 9 - 14:52
Mile 10 - 15:14
Mile 11 - 18:04
Mile 12 - 12:03
Mile 12.5 - 10:39 (I actually can't believe it was this "fast")

Last year, the course measured 12.4 and my time was almost 10 minutes slower. There are a ton of trees, so the "short" course measurements are not a surprise. Happy I wasn't slower than last year, but again, I was injured last year, so this wasn't anything spectacular.

Thoughts:

  • This course is gorgeous. Just maybe not my favorite since I have to run it twice. Maybe if I only did the 10k... but then again, Beaver Creek is about 2.5 hours from Denver, that is a long way to go for only 6 miles.
  • This is probably the best finish line party of them all - there is beer AND wine (and a wine glass) since the event coincides with the town's wine festival.

Run the Rockies half marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, August 12
Avon, Colorado
Half Marathon #169
Weather - perfect

After running the Run the Rockies trail half marathon last year, I knew I would want to run it again, especially if I was healthy. I registered for the half marathon for a super low price of $40, and signed A up for the 10k for only $20. Yes, you read that right, both of us were going to be racing for $60!

Packet pick up is as no-frills as it gets. A bib and a shirt (which we both took, but will donate because they are cotton).

The half started at 8 and the 10k started at 8:30, so A stayed with me at the finish line until it was time for me to go. I remembered that although the first few miles of the course are pretty flat, I have a hard time warming up until a few miles in, so I started at the back.

Like last year, I made it through the first mile before I started to take walk breaks. The first few miles run along Lake Dillon, and it was just as spectacular as last year. I stopped briefly at the aid station near the camp ground before we headed into the more heavily wooded section. This is probably my favorite part of the course!





Around mile 4.5 the course heads out into a more expose trails section, which is also where the most climbing is. It seemed pretty warm out and I was taking a lot of walk breaks. I passed a few people when we got to the next aid station and they lingered.
Somewhere around mile 6 or 7, I noticed a teenage boy standing on the side of the trail, shortly after a section where a volunteer was stationed to prevent people from cutting the course. Interestingly, he somehow managed to get in front of me after we looped around. I mentioned to him (as I passed him) that he had cut the course and he seemed very indignant at the accusation. Hello, we are running on single track, I think I would know if you had magically passed me again. I hate cheaters.




The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. I got pretty tired and took more walk breaks than I would have liked, but overall it was fine, and I finished about 10 minutes faster than last year. I would have been happier about that if I hadn't been injured last year, but ah well.
A met me at the finish line and we waited for Tom and Lynette to come across. Got some pizza and beer and spent at least an hour talking with Tom and Lynette before we finally headed out.


Official Time - 2:52:01
Division Place - 18/25
Garmin Time - 2:52:23
Garmin Distance - 12.90 miles
Garmin Pace - 13:21
Elevation Gain - 981'
Mile 1 - 11:17
Mile 2 - 12:02
Mile 3 - 13:08
Mile 4 - 13:36
Mile 5 - 13:44
Mile 6 - 15:29
Mile 7 - 12:59
Mile 8 - 12:55
Mile 9 - 14:38
Mile 10 - 12:30
Mile 11 - 13:35
Mile 12 - 13:23
Mile 12.9 - 13:21

A ran the 10k in 1:21:25, which was good for 3rd (out of 6!) in the 19 and under age group.

Thoughts:

  • This event is pretty awesome. Pretty sure I will run it again next year. Great price, good post-race food and beer - I finish towards the back and there was plenty left.
  • Scenery alone puts this race in my top ten events ever.

Week in Review (August 8 - August 14)

Tuesday (13,915 steps) - Barre with Sasha.
Wednesday (21,820 steps) - Met up with FRXC at Lyons Park in Golden for the scariest Wednesday night run yet... Chimney Gulch. I knew it was going to be hilly, but what I didn't really know was that this trail is the trail way to get up Lookout Mountain. Oh boy. Run started easy on the bike path for maybe a third of a mile before we eased onto the trail. There were two groups running - one that was "faster" and going to go all the way to the top of Lookout, and the shorter run was going to go to the saddle. Of course we were going to go short! There were only 5 of us (with one that was going to run even shorter) and they were nice about waiting. The early climbing was actually the worst, and I found that I was able to jog a decent amount as we got closer to the saddle. I think the view was worth it! We then headed up an even steeper section (A said, "and this is why we have switchbacks!") to get a view of the valley.








See that road waaaaay down there? That's how high we climbed!!



Met back up at the saddle (the group that had gone long was there waiting) - took a group picture and then had a glorious run down.
The weather had looked a little sketch, but we only had a little sprinkling on the way up - which really helped to cool things down. I can't believe how much we have lucked out with our trail running this summer!
Thursday (15,394 steps) - Barre with Sienna. Surprised to have Ben in class this morning. I had every intention of walking at run club, but Dulce was in the mood to run. It was a slow pace, but surprisingly hard. I guess not THAT hard after a crazy hilly trail run and a barre class.

Friday (14,421 steps) - Dinner on the patio and packing!
Saturday (35,002 steps) - Out the door by 5:40 for the Frisco Run the Rockies trail races. Recap to follow.

We stayed after the race talking to Tom and Lynette until after 1:00 - we were the very last people there! We weren't able to check into our campsite until after 2, and the weather looked iffy, so we decided to drive into Breckenridge to walk around. We went into a few shops, didn't buy anything (other than a mini personalized Colorado license plate for A). Around 3:00 we decided we were starving, so we stopped at the Flip Side. It was still fairly nice out, so we asked for a seat on the patio. We both got burgers and shared an order of truffle fries. About halfway through lunch it got colder and started to rain. Camping was seeming like a bad idea. By the time we walked back to the car and actually drove to the campsite the rain had stopped and there were blue skies. Thankfully we had reserved a spot as the campground was full! I "helped" A set up the tent, and then we just sat in our camp chairs and talked. Just before sunset we drove into town so I could have a "new-to-me" beer (which was tasty). In bed shortly before 9.
Sunday (33,113 steps) - Up at 5:30 to break camp. Left right as planned at 6 to drive to Beaver Creek. Made a quick stop in Silverthorne at the new Dunkin' Donuts for coffee. Arrived just after 7 and headed to the start for the Beaver Creek half marathon - recap to follow.
After the race we drove back to Breckenridge. We met Daniel at the gondola only to discover it was closed for lightening! Luckily the rest of the gals had not checked in yet and they drove back down from Peak 8 to pick us up. It was a TIGHT SQUEEZE getting all of us into a Pathfinder.

We spent a few glorious hours in the hot tub (first inside, and then we moved outside when the skies cleared again), before going
into town for a very late lunch.
This is the life!
After we all got dropped off at our respective cars, A and I went back into town to pick up cookies (that we planned on saving until we got home). We left Breckenridge at 5:15 and I was fully expected to spent the rest of the day in mountain traffic. It was a blissfully "short" drive as we got home just after 7. Unpacked the car and still had some time for TV before bed.
Monday (17,334 steps) - It was stormy in the afternoon again, but thankfully it cleared up so we could go to the New Terrain run club. This time Dulce and Matilda joined us! After our weekend of racing I let them know that we would be hiking the climbs and they didn't need to wait for us at the trail junctions. Dulce had never been to North Table, and I was really glad to hear that she liked it!

Skipped sticking around for a beer since we desperately needed to go to the grocery store.

Stats:
  • Steps - 150,999
  • Miles run - 38.5
  • 2 barre classes

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Week in Review (August 1 - August 7)

Tuesday (12,963 steps) - Can I just ask how is it AUGUST already? Barre with Sasha. Which was a surprise when I signed up because she has always taught at noon. Turns out that Gabi, one of my favorite instructors, is MOVING. Wah! Not that Sasha is bad, I just hate change. Weren't sure when else we would have time, so A and I baked our mini cheesecakes for the upcoming RMRR potluck.
Wednesday (15,875 steps) - Got a FB message that my morning Sculpt class with Kelly was cancelled. I promptly went back to bed. Denver Roost run club after work. A and I actually ran the short Wash Park loop, although it was every bit a struggle for miles 2 and 3. Bah. Spent a bit talking with Milan about Chamonix and his upcoming trip for UTMB. Someday I'll be a strong enough runner for trails like that! Alison was also there for the first time in ages, so we chatted a bit too.
Thursday (13,523 steps) - Barre with Sienna. First, she was "late," she didn't show up until 8 minutes before class. This neighborhood is not the greatest, so I was unimpressed with waiting by myself. I also did not love her class, which is unfortunate with Gabi leaving. We had planned on going to Belmar run club, but traffic was so awful that it just wasn't possible. Actually kind of nice to have a night at home!
Friday (16,454 steps) - A went with a friend and her family to go camping for the weekend, so I headed to the RMRR August 5K and potluck by myself. There were a few people from Belmar that were running with RMRR for the first time, so they didn't have handicap scores and would be starting at 0:00 with me.

The first mile or so went fine for me, but as is the norm, my calves and thighs basically exploding about 15 minutes in and I had to take a zillion walk breaks. The best part of the evening was obviously the potluck! My mini Thin Mint cheesecakes were a hit and I didn't get out of control with all the food.
Paula, me and Ang


Roost teammates post-race
I had a great time with everyone, but headed home around 8:30 since we were way down in Littleton and I had to get my aid station ready.
Saturday (30,156 steps) - Missing A when I had to set up my aid station solo! These 5 gallon jugs weigh a TON. The run was out of Runners Roost Lakewood and was set up for a max of 10 miles. I struggled a bit around mile 2 (which again, is pretty normal). Never really felt great during this one, so pretty proud of myself for doing the full ten miles.
Went home for a quick shower and breakfast and then drove up to the Boulder Reservoir to volunteer at the Boulder 70.3. I think that this was my sixth year volunteering - these are my favorite events to work! I was set up to be at the information tent with Jeannene again, and had a bit of difficulty actually finding it. Spent a lot of the time spectating and cheering, with a few random tasks thrown in. Headed out around 3:30 because it looked like it was going to storm. Took over a half hour to get out of the reservoir because apparently, everyone else left at exactly the same time. Stopped at REI to look at coolers, horrified by how expensive they were, opted to just pick up some Tokyo Joe's and veg on the couch. Finally finished watching Bates Motel - the series finale was just nuts. In bed a bit later than planned.
Sunday (18,025 steps) - Up just after 4 to head to Lisa's house. Got there right at 5, and we headed up to Summit Lake. We had planned on hiking forever (literally the first weekend day ALL SUMMER that we were both free) and we decided on going for Mt. Evans since A was going to be gone. The forecast had looked pretty sketchy all week, but since we were very limited on availability, we opted to head up at sunrise and hope that we could summit and get down before the storm. We were annoyed that the park fee was $15 instead of the $10 that EVERY SINGLE WEBSITE SAID IT WOULD BE. So instead of $10, we had to pay $20, since we didn't have enough change. Arg. On the drive up we saw a fox, the first of a TON of wildlife we would see.
We started the hike around 6:30. It was COLD when we first headed out, and I was concerned that I had not brought enough warm clothes. Luckily, as we got out of the shade, it warmed up. I must have changed my layers 10 times throughout the day though. This was also the least crowded of any hike I think I have ever done, even including local ones. For much of the day we were alone, with maybe just a couple people within sight. It was nice! The Mt. Evans trail was also incredibly well marked, unlike some of the other 14ers we have climbed. The route guides said the route from Summit Lake was five miles round trip, but I measure it at 6.5 miles.



The weird thing about this 14er is that people can actually drive (nearly all the way to the summit) and then just walk up a few tenths of a mile to the top. Even up there it wasn't that crowded, but it is a weird vibe to have been hiking in solitude and then see a bunch of cars when arriving at the top. I did, however, appreciate a bathroom!

On our way down we saw a ton of mountain goats. Lucky got a tad too close and we had a few hairy minutes while a gang of them stalked us. Luckily, they lost interest. The way down didn't take long, and it warmed up substantially.





We had estimated the hike would take maybe 4 hours round trip, but it actually took closer to 5, and it was almost noon before we got back to the car. We shed all our layers, switched to flip flops, and drove into Idaho Springs for a lunch and beer at Westbound. I had a delicious lentil salad and small pour of an Imperial Stout.

By the time we got back to town it was after 3, which gave me time to go to the store. I finally heard from A's friend that they had hit a delay leaving, and wouldn't be back until after 6. That meant more TV time!!! Another call from them later was that the drive took even longer than planned, and they asked if I wanted to meet them all for dinner.

We met up at Los Arcos for some Mexican food, and as a result, we didn't get home until almost 8:30. Need a weekend from my weekend.
Monday (13,786 steps) - Most exhausted ever. Cold front came in overnight and it was cold (in the mid 50's!) and rainy all day. We had planned on going to the New Terrain / North Table Mountain run club, but it was cancelled last minute due to poor weather conditions. For the second time in a week we had an unexpected night at home.

Stats:
  • 120,782 steps
  • 17 miles run
  • 2 barre classes and one hike!

Beaver Creek Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, August 13 Avon, Colorado Half Marathon #170 Weather - #allthesun Even though the Beaver Creek half marathon is a beautiful cour...