Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Week in Review (September 20 - September 26)

Tuesday (21,651 steps) - Work in the office. Went for a walk at lunch. After work I ran at Stone House again. I really like the flat dirt path they've added near the paved section. I only had 5 miles on schedule, but saw the group coming towards me, so I ended up walking another 1.5 or so.

Wednesday (17,155 steps) - Up insanely early since it was supposed to rain in the afternoon and I had hill repeats on schedule. The nice thing about being out that early is the temperatures are so much better. Usually I don't see anyone at all, but I think other people had the same idea as me. The best part of my run was that I had a fox that was "stalking" me. It was so cute, every time I'd go up the hill he would sneak closer to watch me, and then as I got closer he would disappear into the tall grass. He stuck around for a good 15-20 minutes until he got startled by a guy walking his dogs. I wasn't feel great during this due to lack of sleep and feeling like I was getting sick, so my splits weren't as fast as they have been in the past.

Work in the office, hoped to get a walk in, but it started raining so I skipped it. After work A and I had plans to go to a movie - Barbarian - at Alamo. I initially got roped in because they were offering $5 movies on Fridays, but what a shock, the one we wanted to see was excluded. We also got dinner while we were there - truly a splurge for us. Movie was crazy and we got home LATE.
Thursday (17,350 steps) - Work from home. I felt blah enough to actually take a Covid test. Thankfully, negative. Are we going to have to do this forever?
Took Pika for another slow walk at lunch. Weather was supposed to improve as the day went on, so I had plans to run after work. I still needed somewhere flat, but getting tired of my neighborhood, so I drove up to Rocky Flats. I know it's in the name, but it was rockier than I remembered. It was also still kind of rainy and cold, and I definitely overdressed for this. There was not a single other person out, however, and I love that.

Friday (16,173 steps) - Wash Park and coffee with the gang before going to work. After years (?) Nicole and I FINALLY went to lunch together. Our favorite place is Tupelo Honey near Union Station, and we used to try to go a few times a year. I actually enjoyed a cocktail!
Lunch was delicious, and it was fun to be out at lunch. (I bring my lunch every day, so this was a treat).
After work I headed up north for A's meet. This time, the map took me to a much better place for parking. 



I could tell A was disappointed with her time (pretty sure she still ran around 23 minutes), so we didn't talk after her run. I went with Ben to 4 Noses for a beer, then early to bed.
Saturday (18,437 steps) - I didn't set an alarm and managed to stay in bed until after 8. I had thought I would run Rock Creek and maybe run into Kristin (who was doing something crazy like 20+ miles). I sent her a text but didn't hear back, but I ran there anyway.
It was HOT and I forgot to put on sunscreen so I got a sunburn. Stopped at 4 Noses for a beer on my way home. When I got home I realized that Ben had... left. He apparently decided to make our anniversary weekend alone in the mountains. So that was fun for me.
Sunday (13,525 steps) - Didn't set an alarm and somehow stayed in bed until almost 9:30. I can't even remember the last time that happened.
I only had 4 miles to do so I just ran from the house at the lake. Run was fine. Today was my actual wedding anniversary and I spent it at home alone. Also nice.
Monday (17,524 steps) - Work from home. Was grumpy all day. Batman was too, but he had an excuse. Look how empty his bowl is!
Did my 150th Peloton ride - it was a live one and I still didn't get a shout out. Of course, I can't compete with people that have done THOUSANDS of rides. (Literally). Went for a lot of walks today. 

Stats:
  • 121,815 steps
  • 26.07 miles run
  • 30 minutes of cardio
  • 0 minutes of strength

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Snow Mountain Ranch half marathon (Race Recap)

Granby, CO
Saturday, September 17
Weather - Perfect!

I got a comp for this race back in June, and was looking forward to running for the sixth time. When I was in Banff, I even managed to convince Heather to come and join me!

Race Day

Since we were staying ON-SITE we didn't have to get up early. I was running at 7:30, but Heather's race wasn't starting until 8:30. I figured it's "just a half" so I didn't even get up until 6:30. Braided my hair, ate my yogurt and one mini donut, and got all my stuff ready. It was pretty chilly out, but I know it heats up, so I was confident my tee, skirt and gloves would be fine. 

We realized that the start line was literally like a quarter mile away, but decided to drive anyway so Heather could hang out in the car.

It was about 7:10 when I went in to get my bib and use the bathroom. Suddenly, there was only a few minutes until the race started, so I had to head over to the line.
Unlike every other year - no changing leaves :(
I lined up towards the back and was surprised to see Monica! She was telling me that she was going to be in the back as she hasn't been running. We will see. 

As usual, Jeff (the race director) basically walked us all through the entire course before the National Anthem and then it was time to run. 

My coach had told me to take it easy, but if I was feeling well, he indicated that I could "push the pace" if I wanted to. Well, I felt like garbage. Right from the start. I overall felt fairly fatigued and just blah. 

I started walking halfway up the first hill and basically did a run/walk for most of the day. In the past, when I've been feeling good, I've been able to run a lot of the course. Not this time. It was chilly and a tad muddy from all the rain we had received the night before.

The first miles was probably the fastest of the day for me, and after that it all went downhill. I did not remember there being so much tall grass on the course. IT SMELLED HORRIFIC. I don't know that I have ever mentioned it on this blog, but the smell of wet grass is the worst smell on earth to me. I had already not been feeling great at the start, and all this grass made it even worse. 
I. Walked. A. Ton. 
It was still a beautiful morning, and I found myself chatting with a few ladies on the course. One was new to trail running and one was back to running after some health issues. They both indicated they were pacing off me. Flattering, but probably not in their best interest the way this was going. In and out of the first aid station, stopping only long enough to grab a Spring Energy. There was a mile-ish loop with some flat (that I walked), then a nice downhill (but I was afraid to run fast because of all the divots I couldn't see with the grass). So, I didn't make up any time, but that was fine. Back to the aid station, grabbed another gel then off I went.

One would think that I would remember the course better, since I've run it MULTIPLE times, but... I didn't.

Around mile 5 or so was when we got to the steep climbing section. I hadn't been paying attention at the start and hadn't really been looking at the markers, and was worried that Heather would end up on this section and then be annoyed with me. (Turns out, the 10k was actually the back half of our course, not the front half).
I passed one woman I had been chasing for a bit on the climb, but then I ended up behind a woman that was jogging slower than I was walking. In the past, this section was super pretty with changing leaves, but it didn't look like that this year. Also, it was extremely overgrown in areas - nothing like I have seen in the past. 
I had hoped the descending switchbacks would be nice, but it too, was overgrown, and some of the trail was even washed out in areas. I was still behind the slow jogger because I wasn't necessarily in a hurry, but finally I got irritated and asked to pass. That ended up being close to the end of the single track, however. We were then on a nice dirt path. Finally some runnable trail! 
There were a bunch of people wandering around closer to the parking lot (with kids and dogs), but thankfully no one got in the way. My stomach was still feeling off, so I was happy that there was a bathroom at the lot. Felt somewhat better after that. There was a bit of a runnable section on some wider road, but it was definitely really muddy in areas. A 50k runner passed me and was gagging and I thought he was going to puke, but thankfully he didn't (that I saw). Got to the last aid station, grabbed a gel. Walked up the hill to the outdoor church, and then I still had to walk a bit on the downhill near the lake. What a disappointment! There was some construction on the far side of the lake, and I saw a sign that there were no pedestrians allowed past that point, so I was wondering if I had missed a turn, but thankfully saw someone in front of me. Ran a bit more here, then realized I was almost by the start line (finally). I had felt so awful the whole race that if I wasn't as far mileage-wise, that I was tempted to drop. My watch already had me over ten miles, so I kept going. Blah.

Headed up the hill, walking, of course. More tall grass. More mud. 
I saw Heather! She was pretty unamused also. Sorry, Heather! A little running here and there, but I knew by this point that my goal of beating my 2020 time of 2:51 was not even remotely possible. The only goal at this time was to just not have anyone in my race pass me. I did get passed by a few more 50k runners, but with all the divots and grass, I was still not willing to risk an ankle roll.
The last hill up the grassy area was just as miserable as I remember. With how tall the grass was, there didn't seem to be a direct trail and I felt like I kept choosing wrong. Finally, finally, FINALLY, I got on the last section at the top before the descent. One of the ladies I had been running with in the beginning was right in front of me. I didn't think it was possible to beat her, but I at least wanted to keep up. Tried to save all my energy to run up that last stupid hill into the finish, and I did it. Woo!!
Not feeling great after crossing the finish, all I wanted to do was sit down. Grabbed my medal and headed over to where the beer was. Spent some time talking with Heather, Greg, Monica (and her friends). Disappointing race, but a beautiful day!!

Official Time - 3:08:39
Garmin Time - 3:08:42
Official Pace - 14:24
Overall Place - 72/80
Division Place - 14/16
Elevation Gain - 16,31'
Mile 1 - 12:55
Mile 2 - 14:50
Mile 3 - 1557
Mile 4 - 14:16
Mile 5 - 13:54
Mile 6 - 15:58
Mile 7 - 18:15
Mile 8 - 12:22
Mile 9 - 13:49
Mile 10 - 12:22
Mile 11 - 15:37
Mile 12 - 14:12
Mile 13 - 13:26
Mile 13.1 - 11:02 pace

Thoughts:
  • I love this race and I'm sure I will be back another year. I didn't have a great race this year, and I blame part of this on course conditions (ew to the mud and insanely tall grass), but I just also wasn't feeling great.
  • Medal this year was "meh" - I wish the ribbon at least was half marathon specific!
  • Boo that there were no changing leaves like years past, guess they are changing later this year.
  • Again, race shirt is optional, I'm not sure what this year's looked like, since I didn't get one.
  • Post-race party pretty good! I was feeling nauseous at the finish so I didn't eat anything, but they were back to having beer, which I appreciated.
  • Will I run this again? I'm sure I will! I hope the course is in better shape next time, and of course, I also hope to be feeling better.

Week in Review (September 13 - September 19)

Tuesday (26,104 steps) - Work in the office. Went for a walk at lunch. After work I headed over to Lakewood so I could get my run in. I had long miles on schedule but had mapped out what I thought was a good route. I was supposed to be running easy (coach says zone 1, but I still don't think that's even possible for me unless I'm walking). Headed out first to Stone House, and discovered a lovely new gravel trail next to where it's currently paved. Wooo!

I ran into the group when I was headed out to Bear Creek, but I had to keep going since I still had miles to go. When I created the route, I was just looking for as little repetition as possible. I did NOT realize that I was mapping the way back through the river crossings! So... that happened.
At least the water wasn't that deep. I won't lie, I still had a bit of PTSD from Fat Dog, though. 
Wednesday (7,197 steps) - Work in the office. Went for a walk at lunch. After work I did 45 minutes on the Peloton. Nothing else?
Thursday (18,830 steps) - Work from home! Heather was coming in town to visit, but I misread what time her flight was arriving, so I was a bit surprised when I heard from her about an hour before I expected her. Whooops! Immediately headed to the airport to pick her up, then stopped at Snooze on the way home for breakfast. (I was STARVING for some reason).

The remainder of the day was spent taking Pika for a walk and sitting on the front porch working, while Pika spent time in the grass. Pretty sure it was the greatest day of her life! 

I still had a five mile run to do, and I had previously asked Heather if she wanted to join me (I had slow and easy on schedule) and she said yes! I offered a few suggestions for where to run, and ultimately we decided on the canal trail near New Terrain. It was a lovely evening for an easy jog!
The brewery was NUTS - they had a band playing and it was busier than I remember in ages. We met Ben in the small room near the front for a few beers. Heather and I got food from the food truck since we were staving.
Friday (20,398 steps) - Bonus work from home day!! Heather and I went to Dunkin for breakfast. We worked all morning on the front porch, while I occasionally got up to finish packing. I also saw Batman in Robin's banana for the first time!
Took Pika for a walk and then used my lunch hour to drive up to Idaho Springs. I haven't been there in a bit, and it is truly a gigantic headache to park there now. I don't know if/when I'll be back, it was not a fun experience. (Oh, and you have to pay now!) We went to Westbound & Down for lunch, delicious!
We stopped at a little shop for coffee (caramelized pumpkin latte), and it was on of the best coffees I've had in my life!! Headed up for the rest of the drive - it was the foggiest I've seen in a bit. Wanted to stop at Berthoud Pass, but we could barely even see the road, so figured that was pointless. Finished out my workday, and then decided to find a place to take a walk while we waited for Greg to arrive. Found a magical (and flat!) trail along the river. I had assumed we would do around 3 miles, but we had such a great time we did almost 5!





It started to drizzle as we got back to the car, so timing was perfect! We had plans to meet up with Greg around 5:30, and it was almost that time, so we headed to Camber Brewing. 
There were SO MANY dogs! We were especially delighted to see this adorable pup in full dirndl. 
Had a great time socializing with Greg, but realized we should head out and get some essentials before checking into our "hotel." We went to the Safeway in town and got some food for "dinner" and water for the morning. Treated to a lovely sunset in the parking lot!
Since we planned so last minute to stay in the mountains, we were somewhat limited on where to stay, but earlier in the week I found out there was room onsite at the YMCA. Parking was kind of a nightmare (how are there no actual parking lots?) and it was LOUD when we arrived. We think there was some kind of party - sounded like karaoke was going on. The strangest part was there was no tv in the room, but there was a fridge and microwave, so we were good. We opted to leave the windows open all night to cool the place down. Glorious!
Saturday (32,261 steps) - Snow Mountain half marathon!
We stuck around for about a half hour after I finished to have a beer and chat with Greg and Monica. We decided to then go to one of the other breweries, Vicious Cycle, in Frisco before Greg was heading back to Denver. By the time we had another beer we were both STARVING, so we went to get lunch. We randomly decided on Indian food, and it was FANTASTIC.
We didn't have any other plans for the evening, so we stopped to get more food from Safeway before heading back to the room to shower and relax a bit. All we ended up doing the rest of the night was taking a sunset walk. What a night!
Didn't do much the rest of the night and I think we went to bed pretty early. Another glorious (and chilly) night with the windows open!
Sunday (16,938 steps) - No alarm was set and I managed to sleep until 7:30! Holy cow! We headed up to the dining hall for our free breakfast buffet. The food was meh, but it was free, so that was nice. Then we finished up our packing and checked out. Our plan for the day was an easy hike! Initially I had thought about going to Herman Gulch, but that would require quite a bit of extra driving, and I really didn't want to get stuck in traffic, so we decided on Jones Pass. 

It was sunny and warm, but a great day for a hike in the high country. 


We made plans to turn around when the trail intersected with the Continental Divide Trail. 

I love to hike here because NO ONE comes here. We only saw three people and one dog the whole time we were out. On the drive home we stopped in Empire at Guanella Pass Brewery for beer (pumpkin for me!) and some pizza.
We stopped in Golden at Over Yonder to meet up with Ben before heading home. We sat on the deck (even A joined for a bit) before going for a sunset walk to the lake. It's been a long time since I've walked over in the evening!


Pizza for dinner and some garbage tv.
Monday (10,236 steps) - Up VERY early because Heather needed to leave to go home :( We had to leave the house by 6:30 to get her there two hours early. What a nightmare traffic was - even at that early hour! Since I had taken a bonus remote day on Friday, I was in office for the day. Womp, womp. Went for a few walks during lunch. After work I headed up to 4 Noses to meet Ben. He had managed to both get us into the mug club and I wanted to check mine out. Yum!
I went to the library to get some new books, then did a Barre video. 

Stats:
  • 131,964 steps
  • 26.67 miles run
  • 45 minutes of cardio
  • 20 minutes of strength training

Week in Review (September 20 - September 26)

Tuesday  (21,651 steps) - Work in the office. Went for a walk at lunch. After work I ran at Stone House again. I really like the flat dirt p...