Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Week in Review (October 16 - October 21)

Tuesday (9,040 steps) - I actually met a guy for drinks after work. Only had about an hour, but it was a lot of fun, and something I haven't done in a long time. No pic of him, but this is his adorable pup:
I had to rush to head to A's school for her first orchestra performance of the year. The school's gym is fairly small and they had ALL band, orchestra AND choir performing. So even though I was there almost 30 minutes early it was SUPER crowded.
Wednesday (18,636 steps) - PF Core during lunch. Runners Roost Boulder! As usual, a pretty tough run. It was a little muddy and slick on Mesa before we got to Bear, but not as bad as it was the previous week. PLUS - I finally saw a bear! A cute little black bear that was thankfully running the opposite direction we were.

Thursday (13,380 steps) - Belmar run club! I actually ran with Paula, which I'm not sure I have ever done before because she is too fast (and usually running with A).
Friday (13,648 steps) - Forgot my gym clothes at home, but it was my trainer's last day, so I bought a cheap shirt at TJMaxx and some shoes and went to PF Core.
After work was typical grocery shopping & TV, starting packing for Javelina.
Saturday (21,318 steps) - Runners Edge! Lucky enough that it was in our next of the woods, so we didn't need to get up crazy early. The route was a figure 8 loop, so we all ran that.
Headed home to shower and get ready since we had plans to meet up with Dulce in Belmar for pictures. Picked up our aid station and then met her and Matilda. Spent an hour or so doing pictures (which was fun).

Stopped at BPCO to pick up some Body Skin, and we were both starving, so we went to Call to Arms & Mas Chaos. Sadly, the beer I liked wasn't on tap. Home for a bit before driving up the hill to pick up Heather and go to Brian & Katie's Halloween party. Tried to not eat too much, watched a super weird foreign movie, November. Fun time!
A with Gilly (dressed as a tarantula)

Sunday (11,102 steps) - Up early to volunteer at the 4 mile aid station at Rock n' Roll Denver. It was super cold, but the three hours flew by.
We went to brunch later at Punch Bowl Social with Ted, Jandy, Ben, Lisa and Sue.
Target stop on the way home resulted into spending $150 on new bedding. Laundry and TV.
Monday (10,280 steps) - Nothing.

Stats:
  • 97,404 steps
  • 16.8 miles run
  • 2 x 30 minute core workouts

Friday, October 19, 2018

Week in Review (October 9 - October 15)

Tuesday (10,882 steps) - Walked on the treadmill for a few miles until the guy who is repairing the drywall showed up.
Wednesday (20,359 steps) - Runners Roost Boulder! We had the first snowfall in the metro area. I didn't think it would be THAT bad for a run.
The trails were a muddy mess, and we probably should not have been running on them. Temperatures weren't too bad. Overall, felt just "ok" on this one.
Our winter team gear was finally in and I spent way too much money. Went out with people after to celebrate JT's birthday.
Thursday (9,622 steps) - Berkeley Park for the Oktoberfest Mile! Initially I thought I might do a few miles for warm-up. Then decided I would just stay and socialize with the Brandons instead.
Phil had created a new twist on a beer mile - the Oktoberfest mile would include a soft pretzel, bratwurst, streudel and THEN a beer. As could be expected, the pretzel was pretty much the worst ever. The other stuff wasn't as bad. Never again.
Friday (12,667 steps) - Core & strength before work. I found out that my trainer is leaving us!! He is going to be managing a new gym. Sucks, I really like his classes. Supposedly they are interviewing people this week. Wah. Went to lunch with Nicole at Rock Bottom. The guy who is replacing our drywall was over. I cooked a casserole (that I had made once before, and forgot about. It was so good) and also baked two pumpkin cheesecakes.

Rest of the evening was spent chatting on FB.
Saturday (40,138 steps) - Skipped Runners Edge to go to a free pop-up Runbarre class at the Lululemon in the Highlands. I ran with Mo and Colfax.



Then we took the Barre portion, which was super crowded. I can tell all my strength work has been helping though, I didn't struggle as much in the abs portion. Spent way too much money at Lulu, then drove downtown to drop A off at the Convention Center for her friend's tournament. Got home just in time to meet the drywall guy again. As soon as he finished up, I headed out for my 14 mile long run - I figured it would be better to run on tired legs in warm weather than get up super early to run in the snow. The first 10 or so weren't that bad, but my ankle wasn't feeling great by the end.



Rushed through a shower and then drove to Dulce's for Second Saturday. Fun night!
Sunday (5,651 steps) - Stayed in bed until after 9. Spent the morning watching TV, then drove up to Thornton to pick up A. Met up with Chris, Mo and Dulce at the Alamo Drafthouse to see "A Star is Born." It was really good! I was a bit worried that some of it might be "too old" for A, but she liked it too. Stopped and picked up Panda Express on the way home before watching way too much TV.
Monday (17,394 steps) - I saw my trainer still on schedule for lunch classes, so I headed over for a core class, hoping it wasn't a lie. He was there, and so were 5 others! Interesting and challenging "partner" core work. Finally headed back to New Terrain for run club - we haven't been out as much this year. I was really concerned I would hold everyone back and told Eliot not to wait, but turns out, I was just fast enough to keep up with the next slowest guy.
Stuck around for a beer (the new Imperial Stout!) before heading home for leftovers.

Stats:
  • 116,713 steps
  • 27.7 miles run
  • 2 trips to the gym - 2 core classes & 1 strength

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Week in Review (October 2 - October 8)

Tuesday (10,135 steps) - Nada! Rest day.
Wednesday (18,739 steps) - Core and strength classes before work. Rushed home after work to pick up A to head over to Bear Creek Lake Park to meet up with Ang and Maureen. ONLY... we hit a pothole on I-70 and promptly blew out a tire. Managed to pull over on C-470 & Alameda. Called Mo, and she came to pick us up. We still went for our run in the park (although we got a little lost and ran more than we planned). Made it to the Lakewood trail series potluck, where I was too stressed over my tired to do anything other than have a beer and a few chips.



Dulce and Zach were nice enough to take us to my car, where Zach & A proceeded to change the tire to put on the donut while I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the phone with State Farm. Finally gave up on emergency road side. Took forever to get home because driving under 50 mph is REALLY SLOW.
Thursday (9,368 steps) - Left early for work to stop at Big O on my way in. They didn't have my tire in stock, but would have it later in the day, so I went to work. Went back at 4:45, and they were able to put two new tires on (because you can never get just one), to the tune of nearly $300. Picked up A and headed down to Lakewood so we could see Jeff & The Lakewood Symphony perform. It was very cool, but we were out much later than usual and we were both exhausted by the time we got home.

Friday (9,286 steps) - Went to Berkeley Park for a fun "DNF" night. Junko was there leading one of her crazy training classes, but we opted to skip since we were running in the morning. Had "dinner" of a beer and snacks.
Saturday (37,197 steps) - Long run with Runners Edge. It was COLD when we started. Glad I wore long sleeves and gloves, I kept them on most of the day. It was a hard day for me. Probably the combination of a hilly route and still fatigued from Bear Chase.

Took A to a sleepover in the evening.
Sunday (19,545 steps) - RMRR October trophy series 8 mile. It was another brisk morning, so I again opted for long sleeves and gloves. My predicted finish had me running at a 10:03 pace, which seemed impossible after how much I struggled the day before. We were running in Thornton on a double loop course (hilly). I again opted for intervals - 3:15 run / :50 walk. It was tough, but somehow I managed to run my predicted time! No ribbon though.


After, Ang and I went to Panera for brunch and some girl talk.
I picked up A around noon, and the remainder of the day was spent watching TV.
Monday (8,342 steps) - Prior to leaving the house, I noticed the wall in my basement looked weird. I touched it and it was soft, so yay, I clearly have a leak. OF COURSE I DO.

Went to the gym for strength & core. Had to leave during lunch to meet the plumber. He cut a hole in the wall, told me it had clearly been leaking a while (and previously patched). Yippee. Now I'll have to have someone come out to fix the drywall at another time.

Stats:
  • 112,612 steps
  • 28.7 miles run
  • 2 trips to the gym

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Bear Chase 50K (Race Recap)

Lakewood, CO
Saturday, September 29
Ultra Marathon #31
Weather - Cool, pretty perfect weather

I signed up for the 50K as a last, long training run before Javelina. For the last two weeks, I had felt pretty blah. Felt very tired, and kinda sick of running. However, I have run various distances at the Bear Chase trail series every year since 2011, so I signed up a few weeks earlier and hoped for the best.

Left the house around 5:45, stopping along the way to drop off Rachelle and Ariel to volunteer with Pete at Cattail aid station. It was pretty chilly, and I was bummed to see that Pete had a volunteer no-show and he was alone when we got there. I offered to stick around and help set up, but he insisted they would be fine.
Cattail aid station pre-sunrise
Mo & Colfax, A, Rachelle & Pete during the midday shift
I headed into the park, with just under an hour until the start. It was chilly, but I actually had a jacket & drop bag, so I just headed to the start. Met up with Francesca and Jandy, and spent the morning chatting.
I opted to start mid to back pack, knowing that there is a decent amount of single track. I didn't want to be one of "those" people that is way further up than they should be.

It was a nice and cool morning, so I opted to keep my jacket on for the first loop, the only 10K route we would run. I also decided to just carry my handheld for the first one, in order to give my back a break from the amount of time I would be wearing my pack later in the day.

Took off with an easy jog, letting others set a faster pace. I've run enough trail races to know that soooo many people would go out too hard and fast. Stay patient. The early miles were pleasant. Early river crossing that so many were cautiously trying to cross without getting their feet wet. Just barrel through!
Heading toward Mt. Carbon early, with plans for walking up. Stuck with Jeramiah for a bit, saw Francesca behind me.
Ran down the back section, my favorite part, passing a handful of people. Turned left, away from the river crossing that we would pass on our two large loops later in the day.

I remember this section as being a slight uphill, and allowed myself to take short walk breaks as needed. Looped around and headed into the only aid station on this loop - Boat Ramp. Decided to not stop as I still had fluids and didn't really need a break. The next section into the start/finish was nice and easy.

I finally had caught up to Jandy, and she said that she wanted to run with me. Oh boy. Last year, we had started together and she ended up beating me by nearly an hour. I really enjoy running with her though, so I was looking forward to it.

We came in through the start/finish area, I grabbed a pickle and a couple chips. Quickly stripped off my jacket and put on my pack.


Jandy was apparently fine with me setting the pace, and we actually kept a pretty good rhythm going. We ran a lot more than I had planned/expected to, with the exception of Mt. Carbon and the steeper climbs.

We arrived at the water crossings and it was still pretty chilly out. The first crossing was more deep than I remembered, and the water was cold. As in years past, I took off my shoes for a good section of the sidewalk. I had opted to wear my Summit Unknowns, and for whatever reason, they seemed to let in a bit more silt/sand from the water than other shoes.

Also, with it being cooler out, it seemed like the insoles were retaining more water. Put my shoes on, grabbed more food, and then had to chase Jandy down, as she had headed out quicker than I did. I ran the lower section of the steep climb and caught up to her on the soul-sucking part by the road.

Things were much better when we got to the lower section in the Cattails, and it was much greener than I had remembered from years past. Our pace was steady in this section and I didn't remember it being so pleasant.
We finally arrived at Cattail where we got to see A (who seemed much happier to see Jandy, haha). I grabbed some coke and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and then headed out. I told Jandy I planned on running some of the section out of the aid station so we could walk later up the last big climb of the loop.
At this point, Jeramiah was a few minutes ahead of us and I worried that he had started out too fast. The next section I remember always walking in the past, but it was still cool out, so we actually ran a big portion of it. The next section was a nice downhill into Boat Ramp, and we also ran that.

Picked up some Mountain Dew and an Oreo with a dollop of peanut butter on it and then headed out for the last section until we got back to the start/finish. We walked some, but not much. I do remember thinking that the course, overall, was also sandier than in the past.

In the tree-lined section there were a TON of bugs, and one even flew directly into my eye!! It was awful, I was blinking and rubbing it trying to get it out. Came back through the start line, where Lisa (who I ran with last year) got some pics of us. If you look closely, you can see all the dead bugs on my neck. Ew.

I was feeling pretty good coming into the last loop. I had set what I thought were some pretty reasonable time goals, and the way the first 19 had gone, I thought I had a shot at getting under 7 hours, a feat I had not accomplished since my very first 50K in 2011.

The sun had still not come out, and we were enjoying much cooler temperatures than in previous years. Hike up Mt. Carbon, run the backside. Jeramiah had ended up behind us (briefly) and we all ran together through the water crossings (and even saw what looked like a young Fabio (built, tan and shirtless) riding a horse toward us. A funny conversation ensued regarding hallucinations, but I guess you'd just have to be there.

Took my shoes off again, and this time I had a bit more trouble getting the insoles to lie flat. Thankfully, did not end up being an issue.

We did more run/walk this section of the course after Fox Hollow, but still ran most of the cattail section. Once again, it was great to see everyone at Cattail.

Maureen and Colfax were course marshals, and she got a few pictures of us running. Whee! (I look like a total monstrosity compared to Jandy.
At this point, we have just a few miles to finish. We are looking good time-wise. However, it was FINALLY starting to warm up. Did I have it in me? We ran into Boat Ramp and we had about 45 minutes until my "7 hour goal." 

We passed Jeramiah on the flats and never saw him again. I felt strong on this last section. I was also having a hard time remembering where the course went, so I wanted to run as much as possible. As we were getting closer, it seemed that we might even be able to go under 6:50, a time I honestly thought I would never see again.

Coming up the final hill, we agreed to run it in together. SO PLEASED WITH THIS FINISH TIME!!!

This pic was taken before the start, but was my favorite one from the day
Garmin time - 6:49:08
Garmin pace - 13:11
Elevation gain - 2,231'
Miles 1-5 - 13:41, 10:50, 12:55, 10:51, 11:50
Miles 6-10 - 11:39, 12:58, 12:01, 14:29, 11:52
Miles 11-15 - 13:55, 13:23, 12:18, 13:28, 12:19
Miles 16-20 - 13:01, 13:52, 13:01, 13:59, 13:58
Miles 21-25 - 15:35, 12:42, 15:04, 16:33, 13:13
Miles 26-31 - 14:56, 12:39, 12:46, 13:44, 12:46, 12:34 (& 9:48 sprint!)
Maureen had agreed to bring the girls over to the start/finish after their shift was over, so I had time to take off my shoes and relax with a few beers. I also discovered, after looking it up, that I was less than 2 hours off my PR time. HOLY CRAP. I don't know that I could have beat that time, but if I was THAT close, I may have tried to push a bit more. But I'm not upset over it, this was really the strongest  race that I've had in a very long time, and it's pretty incredibly to me that I ran so "fast" at the end.

Thoughts:
  • I don't repeat many races, but this is one I have now run (distances from half marathon to 50 mile) 8 years in a row. The course is fairly unremarkable, but the vibe is great, the post-race beer and Flippin' Flapjacks are fantastic. The volunteers are AMAZING - most of them are teammates and my training partners.
  • This was probably the best weather that we have ever had. The course is fairly exposed and it usually gets VERY hot. This year, I was actually done running before that happened. It made a HUGE difference.
  • I had packed a drop bag with my Hokas in it in case the New Balance shoes didn't work out. They were fine, my feet didn't hurt at all during the day. The small issue with not really drying out after the river crossing, but overall, they were fine.

Week in Review (March 12 - March 18)

Tuesday  (15,745 steps) - Strength class during lunch. Factotum/Sunnyside run club! The run felt pretty hard, and I'm guessing it's ...