Monday, July 31, 2017

Longmont "trail" half marathon (race recap)

Sunday, July 23
Longmont, CO
Half Marathon #167
Weather - sunny and hot

When I ran the Longmont trail half last year, I was injured. I took the early start option because I wasn't even sure if I would be able to run it. I was able to super slow jog it and finished in just under 3 hours. Since I like to set the bar low, my only goal was to beat last year's time.

The half was starting at a terribly late time of 7:30. We left the house a few minutes late, but with no traffic we still arrived around 6:45. We parked at the Fairgrounds and had to walk a bit to get to the start area. Packet pick up was easy and I also got my Eagle shirt and medal (after I sent my GPS data to the race director, I was given credit for the run so I'll be a finisher for the ERS half marathon series!)

Phil from Runners Roost had a tent set up, so we left our gear with him and just wandered around until it was time to get in the bathroom line. A's race didn't start until 7:45, so while I was getting ready to run, she hopped in to assist with packet pick up.

The race started right on time, and I started in the pack, as usual. I won't lie, I was really really really tempted to do the early start, simply to avoid the heat. But, I didn't.

The first mile or so went fine, but it was pretty much all downhill from there. I'm back to having the same issues where my legs (specifically my calves) are ridiculously tight, forcing me to take frequent walk breaks. The first aid station was a bit further than I remembered, maybe around 2.75 miles out.
Just after the first aid station turn around
On my way back to the next spigot, I saw A! She looked fantastic AND had started 15 minutes after me, and was less than a mile behind me.

The half marathon and 10k both had another out and back before heading into the finish area. The half'ers had to go a bit further out, but thankfully I got to see A again before she turned around, although this time she was walking. I spent the next ten minutes or so trying to figure out if she was going to meet her goal of finishing in under an hour.

When I got to about mile 5.5, A caught up to me again, I told her to "go go go, you're almost there, you've got this!" And she took off. Shortly after that, a woman jogged beside me and asked how old A was and said that she was just doing amazing. They were announcing names as people crossed and I didn't hear A's name! Stacy was directing half marathoners out for their second loop, and right as I headed out, A came running out and gave me a big hug and said "I did it mom! Under an hour!" It was the cutest thing, she was teary and so happy. Worth the 30 seconds I lost to be there for her at that moment.

But then, of course, I still had a whole loop to do. By the time I got to mile 7 the faster runners were already coming in to the finish. It was so hot out! Very little recollection of the second loop. Just tried to walk as little as possible so I could be done. I managed to pass a few people, I think the heat was getting to everyone. 

A caught up to me when I had about a mile to go. I gave her my handheld and told her I would see her at the finish line. My "A" goal was under 2:30, but I wasn't disappointed that I missed that by a few minutes. I can live vicariously through A.

A's results
Official time - 58:53 (BIG PR!!)
Overall place - 42/162
Gender place - 21/108
Division place - 1/5
A's professional pic (free!!!)
My results
Official time - 2:31:41
Overall place - 84/138
Gender place - 41/76
Division place - 10/17
Garmin time - 2:31:41
Garmin distance - 13.14 miles
Garmin pace - 11:33
Mile 1 - 11:02
Mile 2 - 11:43
Mile 3 - 11:55
Mile 4 - 10:57
Mile 5 - 11:21
Mile 6 - 11:27
Mile 7 - 12:02
Mile 8 - 11:37
Mile 9 - 11:37
Mile 10 - 12:06
Mile 11 - 11:39
Mile 12 - 11:27
Mile 13 - 11:24
Mile 13.14 - 10:11
My funny hands are back!
I think this was actually the second loop, so maybe mile 10?
Met up with A at the Roost tent, where we had to immediately do our team picture.

Sabine, the one in the short red shorts, was second female!
Lynette, Tom, me and A (ERS ambassadors)
We stuck around the finish for a while. There wasn't really any food left (but I wasn't especially hungry anyway), and there was sadly no beer at this event - one of the few at a city park where it isn't allowed. Helped Phil take down the Roost tent, then headed home.

  • Aside from the Westminster trail race that is held around Easter every year, this is the least "trail" of all the races. We like to call it "urban trail," which is basically a bike path. Most of the course you can  run in the dirt next to the bike path.
  • This is a double loop course for the half marathon. It really is not a bad course, it's just not the best for running in July! It gets pretty warm out.
  • There are three aid stations on the course, although the first one isn't usually manned until the 10k starts - which is fine, just be aware.
  • Course is certainly "flat and fast" as A proved. The elevation gain for the entire half was somewhere around 140', and I think most of that was going under one bridge.

Week in Review (July 18 - July 24)

Tuesday (10,901 steps) - Barre with Gabi. Still feels hard.
Wednesday (14,993 steps) - Barre sculpt with Kelly. I was able to do about 99% of it, but still super hard and sweaty. Traffic was a damn nightmare getting out of downtown. By the time we got to run club it was almost 6:30. We ran a few slow miles anyway, and thankfully it was cloudy. Also, it was freaking windy. I picked up the Hoka Insticts I won recently, and they are really pretty! Looking forward to trying them out.
Thursday (15,914 steps) - Met Janna for lunch at Mod Market. I had never been there and it was delicious. I got a rice heirloom salad - so tasty!
Traffic was a nightmare AGAIN, and it took almost an hour to get to Belmar for run club. Got there with a minute to spare to change clothes before heading out.
A and I decided to run on a bunch of random trails in the park since she was demo-ing trail shoes. Legs were tired from more back to back barre classes, but we got in over 3 miles, so that was nice.
Friday (11,328 steps) - Ang invited us to dinner again! We stuck around after eating and played "Things," which was a lot of fun.
Saturday (21,967 steps) - Runner's Edge was waaaaay down in Parker. We had the mile 12 turn around, so we had to leave extra early to get our aid station set up. We both opted to run short, A ran 5 with Pete and I did 8. The route was uphill on the way out, so thankfully, the last half wasn't as bad. My ankle started to ache a bit with about a mile to go. That's not good.
We went to the grocery store and then I made a week's worth of stir fry (for dinner and lunches).
Then we went over to Sully's grand opening at the Berkeley Park running store. It was a super fun evening - filled with food and beer! By the time we got home it was after 7 and we still had to bake a few dozen cookies. Exhausted.
Sunday (30,085 steps) - Longmont trail half marathon (recap to follow). Just enough time to go home and shower after the race before heading up to Heather's house for a BBQ. Thankfully it was substantially cooler in the mountains, it was just brutal down in the city. We ended up staying for quite a while, coming home for dinner and going to bed EARLY. Weekends are more exhausting than the week.
Monday (19,870 steps) - Runners Roost was hosting a "fun run" with Anton Krupicka. Kristen messaged me and asked if we were attending and offered to bring A down so I wouldn't have to drive home to pick her up. SO AWESOME.
As for the run, my legs were DEAD from start to finish of this. Kristen was kind enough to wait for us so we wouldn't get lost. Janet stayed with A since I was the caboose.  The route was not my favorite, we were running in RiNo, which can be pretty sketchy. It's also sad to be so slow that we were not able to get in any of the group shots.

Either way, The Source hosted us at the end and we got free drinks (I tried a "Juicy Watermelon" beer that wasn't too bad) and Stance was also there. I got a free pair of socks just because I had worn some to the run!
Janet, Kristen and me

When A asked Anton if she could get a picture, he asked for her name. Then he said, "I feel like I've met you before." Yes Anton, you have. It was pretty funny.
  • 125,058 steps
  • 29.8 miles run
  • 2 barre classes

Friday, July 21, 2017

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 strength. Gymnastics and Taco Tuesday.
Wednesday (22,255 steps) - Barre Sculpt with Kelly. D'oh. This is so hard. I know it's probably helpful to take this class, but sheesh. Skipped run club (for the first time "on purpose" in ages) so that we could meet up with FRXC for a run at Apex. I hadn't run with that group before, but I managed to meet someone who claimed they would be running slow. (And I clarified what my pace and "slow" meant, so I felt good about it). However, slow was a bit faster than I expected, not to mention, first run since Chase the Moon, and SORE/TIRED from barre. Either way, it was an overcast night, lightly rained and PERFECT weather for a trail run.

Had a great time (A did too!) and the group leader said that A was officially the youngest person to come out for a run, and he wanted a picture of us for their Facebook page. 
Photo cred: FRXC / Bryan G.
Thursday (14,708 steps) - Belmar run club! Tired after back to back barre classes and a tough trail run, so I just walked with Dulce and Matilda.
Bought beer for the first time since getting back from vacation. Although it may sound delicious, it sadly was not.
Friday (11,046 steps) - A was spending the day with Ang, and then she invited us to stay for dinner! She is a fantastic cook and we really enjoyed our meal. I don't recall doing anything else...
Saturday (25,886 steps) - The forecast was for a million degrees and sunny. Our aid station was the mile 8 turnaround, and I initially thought I might run 12-14. My ankle has been bugging me for a while, so after 5 miles I opted to turn around. Good thing, as it started throbbing about a mile after I headed back. The route was in Golden on the Clear Creek trail and was mostly downhill on the way out. Pretty pleased that it wasn't as bad as I feared it would be on the way back. 10 total was plenty.
Stopped at the store on our way home, then just had a little time before heading to Nikki and Calvin's birthday party at the park. Posting this pic because I'm actually in regular clothes (wearing the sunglasses).
Left the party at 4, then went to the music store to exchange A's viola - she grew and needed a bigger one. Then we headed down to Berkeley to visit Sully at his new running store! So happy for him, it's really a cute store! (Although I'm not sure any guy would be happy with me using the word "cute" to describe their work).
Sunday (19,002 steps) - Out the door by 5:30 for the Donor Dash 5k. Not going to write up a separate recap on this one though. Parked at the high school by 7, and immediately ran into Laurie in the lot. Took a bit of time to find the tents to pick up our bibs, we had all received free entries from the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank (what a deal!) Found Ang and the girls, took some pictures before the start.
The Donor Dash is a huge event - tailored towards families. With that in mind, we lined up close to the front since there were a ton of people walking and lots of strollers. We saw Jandy just before we started and she jumped into the corral with us. A decided that she was going to run with Jandy and I said something to the effect of "have fun with that." Sure enough, they bolted right out of the chute. I did my best to take it easy and hope that I wouldn't need to walk. The first mile was meh, I briefly chatted with Michael, who was definitely taking it easy. Walked through the first aid station, said hi to Shari and Tony. I struggled a bit in the second mile, even took a second walk break. Hit the second aid station at mile two, and shortly after that I saw Jandy running into the finish, and only a minute later, saw A. Oh geez, I still have forever to go. I ran pretty strong the last mile and finished, thankfully, at under an 11 minute pace. Found Jandy and A, then we backtracked the course to meet up with Ang and walk her into the finish.

Official time - 33:39 (pretty much my fastest 5k in years, sad)
Overall place - 783/4511
Gender place - 322/2675

Official time - 26:31 (she officially beat my 5k PR!!)
Overall place - 249/4511
Gender place - 66/2675
A with Jandy
There was a big celebration after the finish, which involved the release of a ton of balloons (white, green and blue) - I'm sure it's not great for the environment, but it looked pretty cool.

Went home for breakfast, then we met up with Jessa at Tokyo Joe's for an afternoon snack and to catch up a bit.
Monday (20,199 steps) - We had such a good experience with FRXC on Wednesday that we decided to head to another run club - the North Table Mountain Monday night run club. The route was a 4 mile loop, which I was pretty familiar with (other than the first 1/3 of a mile, since we were starting at New Terrain, and I had never been there.
Within the first 3 minutes we were in the very back again.

This group also waits at every junction.
The two miles on the way down were really great, and we were NOT the slowest on that section - hooray! There were supposed to be beer specials, so I ordered one (and a root beer for A), but it seemed to be full price. It was delicious though, and the perfect way to recover from a trail run. We sat outside on the patio and chatted with people for at least 45 minutes after the run. Super fun night!
  • 123,825 steps
  • 25.5 miles
  • 2 barre classes

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chase the Moon 12 Hour Endurance Run (Race Recap)

Highlands Ranch, CO
Friday, July 7 - Saturday, July 8
Ultra Marathon #24
Weather - Perfect!

Probably not my brightest idea ever to sign up for a 12 hour run the same week we got back from a two week overseas vacation. But since I've never been accused of making wise decisions, this should not surprise anyone.

The Chase the Moon 12 hour race is one of my favorite summer events. Running in the summer is the most miserable ever, but since this race is at night, it is actually bearable. Plus, I actually get a "LONG" run in.

Sadly, I again had to work all day before the race. I still wasn't sleeping well (I'll blame jet lag), so I was ridiculously sleep deprived even going into the race. I also shouldn't have taken a tough barre class as my legs felt like lead before I even started.

I picked up A and we started the drive to Mountain Vista High School. I expected the traffic, so I was not surprised that it took over an hour. We still arrived just after 6, which gave us plenty of time to set up the tent (ok, A sent up the tent, I was not involved) and pick up my bib. By the time I got my ankle taped (still bothering me a bit after rolling it at Dirty 30) and loaded up my pack, it was time for the pre-race announcements. Pretty much the same old, same old, so I had time to use the bathroom before heading out.
Race started right on time at 7:00, and I ran the first 4 minutes or so with Jandy. The race starts with a decent climb and I know better than to even pretend to run up that with a 11 hours and 56 minutes remaining. I would spend the next few miles yo-yo'ing with a handful of runners, never really maintaining a steady pace. I have a pretty decent handle on running ultras now, and I typically walk most of the uphills and run the flats and downhills. By the time I arrived at Outlaw (the only aid station on the 10.3 mile loop), I told Lisa and Pete (who were volunteering), that I was already so tired that I felt like I had already run 30 miles, not just 4. Ugh. I usually loosen up after a few miles, but I never felt good during this race.

I didn't need my headlamp until the very end of the loop, but since it was paved, I figured I would wait to mess with it until I had gone through the start when I would be walking the uphill. I ran into Jandy, who was walking with A. A would join me for about a mile of run / walking, until the course split off.
Free race pic from Twain Wilkins
My second loop was pretty uneventful and it felt WAY better than the first loop, although again, never actually "good." I had to fill up my pack at Outlaw, which is crazy. Only 16ish miles into the race and I was already almost out of fluids.
Third loop was also pretty uneventful. Saw lots of creepy birds with red eyes. One woman told me (as I passed her) that my pace was "amazing." Never heard that.... ever. That's about it. As I was coming onto the road for the downhill into the start/finish I finally saw Jandy! We agreed that we would run together for the next loop. She is such an amazing person to run with during ultras (the same gal that I ran with ALL of our Palmer Lake 24 hour race).
Photo: Twain Wilkins (Ignore my crazy eyes)
We were in and out of the aid station quickly and I told her that my main goal was to beat my time from previous years. We were both struggling and not running much of anything. A few miles in and we actually saw a skunk on the course! The last 4 miles back to the start/finish were miserable, but I had remembered that from previous years.
Sunrise with a mile to go!
We both decided that even though we had time, we were not going to do a small loop for more miles. I ran over 35 minutes faster than I ever had, for a huge course PR.

Of course, as my friend Dave went out for a little loop, I immediately had regrets that I had opted to NOT run more. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Ah well.
Team at the finish! (left to right: Mike, Ben, A, David, Jandy, Me, Syd, Sue)
Official time - 10:47:17
Loop 1 - 2:17:05
Loop 2 - 2:38:39
Loop 3 - 2:47:03
Loop 4 - 3:04:30
Overall place - 28/77
Gender place - 8/29
Division place - 5/12 (speedy folks in my age group!)
Garmin time - 10:47:18
Miles 1-5: 11:41, 12:46, 13:09, 14:23, 14:33
Miles 6-10: 13:00, 15:16, 13:17, 13:34, 12:40
Miles 11-15: 16:10, 15:10, 14:52, 13:51, 13:52
Miles 16-20: 13:16, 18:33, 16:45, 16:39, 16:29
Miles 21-25: 18:17, 13:23, 15:52, 15:19, 19:25
Miles 26-30: 16:11, 16:03, 16:00, 15:20, 15:48
Miles 31-35: 17:24, 17:51, 17:07, 17:35, 17:54
Miles 36-41: 17:50, 19:38, 18:24, 18:52, 17:45, 15:52

  • Pretty sure the course was a bit different from last year. There was only orange flagging on the big loop, which helped alleviate confusion. I believe the small blue loop was the same? Not really sure.
  • I didn't have any issues with the distance between the aid stations, which were well stocked with typical aid station food. My favorite of the day was salted watermelon, pickles, and of course Mountain Dew.
  • Race shirt is burgundy and glows in the dark!
  • Medal is nice, no mileage designation this year, which is fine.
  • Finish line had Flippin' Flapjacks pancakes again, which is a delicious way to end the race. I started thinking about pancakes with about an hour to go, and I'm sure that helped me to run faster, haha.
  • Super fun event, I really like that it is always run the weekend of the full moon. Will run this one again for sure.

Week in Review (May 14 - May 20)

Tuesday  (12,837 steps) - Peloton ride before work. I was about 40 minutes into a 45 minute ride when our internet went out. Totally forgot ...