Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Week in Review (April 20 - April 26)

Tuesday (8,599 steps) - Woke up to snow (again), but the roads looked fine, so I headed into the office. Apparently that's all I did.
Wednesday (17,596 steps) - Work from home. I was feeling very motivated, so in the morning I rowed, then took Pika for a "short"ish walk and then did a run with Tyler and Kristin. Kristin had hill repeats on schedule, which I didn't really plan on doing, but they ended up not being terrible. After work I did a Peloton ride and some strength training.
Thursday (19,585 steps) - Work from home. Had my call with Abby (dietician) and got a lot of good information going into the next week - mainly adjusting calorie intake and taking a closer look at macros. Took Pika for a walk at lunch. After work I went for a run. The first half of the run was ok, but I was pretty tired and suffered a decent amount during the back half. Not that I am expecting running to ever be "easy" but I would like for it to be... better.
Spent the evening meal prepping (which so far, I don't love), trying to get my macros/calories lined up.
Friday (16,359 steps) - Up early to meet Pete and Kristin at Wash Park for a lap. Went to get coffee before heading to work. Nicole is still sitting by me, and it's been fun catching up with her. I got out of work a bit early so I could watch Ariel's first "scrimmage" of the year for track. It started early enough that I missed her running the 1600, but I did get to watch her run a 3:15 800!

Pizza!
Saturday (16,859 steps) - Woke up at 3:30 (not intentionally, that was actually an hour before my alarm went off). After failing to fall back asleep, I just got up. Ben and I were volunteering at a local trail race near the house. We planned on just running to the start since it was less than two miles away. Haven't used a headlamp in a loooong time... The run wasn't great and Ben's neck was still hurting so we took it easy. We arrived early to volunteer and spent the morning handing out bibs and then eventually handing out medals at the finish line. I've missed volunteering, I think it had been about a year and a half since i last helped out at a race, thanks to COVID.

Maureen had dropped Colfax off at the house with Ariel, and she met us at the race and we ran back to the house. Grabbed the dogs and took them for a walk. After that, the rest of the evening was spent in the backyard soaking up the sun and drinking beer. Tyler, Jeramiah & Stephanie & Elanor, and Kristin and Doug all were there, in addition to Maureen. Ben had to get his second dose of his vaccine, but I never left the house (nor did I take any pictures, apparently).
Sunday (24,801 steps) - Woke up early. Again. I didn't need to leave until 8, but I was up before 6 anyway... grrrr. Met up with Jeramiah, Kristin and Tyler to do a run at South Table. I really felt like crap, and my heart rate was really hard for the relative effort that I felt like I was using. Jeramiah ended up turning around early, but the rest of us did a loop at the top. Even though I wasn't feeling well, I'm glad I went, it was a nice morning.


Ariel and I took Pika for a walk at the lake.
We were "motivated" so we finished working in the mud room, then we cleaned and organized the shed AND took a carload of stuff to Goodwill. Ariel went to a friend's house for the afternoon and I took a nap for a bit. Did a Peloton strength workout.
Monday (16,742 steps) - Work from home. Took Pika for a walk at lunch. 
After I picked Ariel up from track I went for a run. I felt like junk again right off the bat, so it was really more of a run/walk than a run. I know it's only been a few weeks, but I was really hoping that I would be feeling better after a few weeks of adjusting my diet.

Stats:
  • 120,541 steps
  • 24.73 miles run
  • 15 minutes Peloton
  • 7 minutes rowing
  • 30 minutes cross training

Spitfire 25K (Race Recap)

Menan, ID
Saturday, April 17
Weather - Cold and windy at the start, sunny and warm at the end

After the fun racecation I had going to The Drift in Wyoming, I'd been half-heartedly looking for something "fun" to do out of state. Of course the problems are finding something that fits into our schedule, doesn't cost a ton, and somewhere we would feel comfortable traveling. After going to Omaha and realizing that flying seemed fairly safe, I started looking for something. After checking out airfare, I landed on the Spitfire (Ultra) 25K in Menan, Idaho. We signed up ten days before the race, so we didn't have much time to plan going into it, but it was "only" a 25K, so how much planning did we even really need?

Race Day

We arrived at the start line with about 40 minutes to spare. I wanted to get my bib and use the bathroom, and then get everything ready to go for the 7:40 mandatory meeting. We got our bag/bib (nothing exciting, not even a shirt!) and headed back to the car to get everything ready. All we really had to do was put water in our packs and decide how many layers we were planning on wearing. In my old age I REALLY hate to be cold, so I planned to wear my R1, even though I knew it would warm up pretty quick.

We headed back over to the start and attending the meeting, which was actually helpful - I liked to be walked through the general direction of the course and hear about markings. As confusing as the course looked on paper, it seemed like it would be pretty simple once we got out there.


I opted to use the bathroom one more time before we started. Lined up towards the back with a minute or so to spare - with Ben heading closer to the front.
There was a little bit of a bottleneck right at the start as we all had to go through a fairly narrow gate. Then we were off! While the race director had emailed me the caltopo and I had put it into my watch, I really had no idea what the course was like, or what to expect in terms of terrain. Except of course, that we were going to "dance on the rims and in the belly of the worlds largest tuffed volcano!" (From their website).

So the course started out on a wide dirt trail, and headed UP. Like up the side of the volcano. I figured it was going to be a big climb, and I thought that maybe there would be, oh I don't know, switchbacks or something, but no. Straight up. I made it like two minutes before I started mall walking. Holy crap this was hard. And it was COLD. I was glad I was wearing gloves and that I had the warmer jacket on. OMG, how long was this hill?? I think I'm going to pass out and I know I'm breathing really hard. 
Finally get up to the top of the hill after a really steep section of rock that even had a chain to help keep people upright. Made sure to note the amount of elevation gain and distance. 649' and .79 miles. OK, unless my watch is wrong, I didn't imagine how tough that first climb was! Pause for a minute to get a picture of the adorable llama before heading out for my first jaunt in the caldera. 
We ran along the rim, down a pretty steep descent (so I was penguin-ing down) and then across the caldera! This section was pretty cool as we were in a runnable area that had sagebrush and single track. 



At the far end of the caldera we had to run up a hill and then we had a rocky section that I wasn't expecting that included some bouldering and climbing. It was really pretty, but I was really beginning to wonder what I had gotten myself into...




When we looped back around we were at the llama, and then we ran down the hill and through the caldera again, only this time when we emerged, we turned to the left instead. We had another pretty big climb to get back to the rim.
We were on a wider dirt trail again, and ran up to the radio towers before making a sharp right turn and heading down a pretty steep descent. The views were amazing from this section and I really enjoyed breathing easier and running down. Of course in the back of my mind, I'm remembering that we will have to come back up this later...
When we got to the bottom we had a nice, rolling section of single track that I ran 90% of. We got to the first aid station, and I didn't stop since I had barely used any of my water. I had eaten a few pretzels on the climb, into the aid station, but I still had plenty of food left. After leaving the aid station we had about 3/4 of a mile to run on road, which was actually nice because it was a gradual downhill and not at all technical. This race has a fall race and a spring race, and apparently the spring race changed a tad, so in this section my watch beeped that I was off course, but I knew better. We ran along a farm, which smelled pretty terrible, and then once we exited there were a few volunteers with a radio. We head up into the hills towards the other volcano. At this point, about mile 7, I stupidly thought this was when we were starting our loop around the rim. I was wrong.




I was playing cat and mouse with a few runners along the section by the water. They stopped to walk and eat, and I never saw them again (until the finish). Just before mile 8 we had a pretty big hill - this was obviously up the side of the volcano, and I saw the faster runners bombing the downhills and I was wondering when I would see Ben. Had I been even a few minutes faster, I would have missed him! I was at about 8.5 miles in and he was just under 11 miles, and after I saw him it was less than a quarter of a mile until he started the loop around the rim. 



I really liked the section around the south rim. It was wide and runnable and a gradual downhill. There was an aid station on the far end of the rim and I had thought about filling up my water, but I still had a decent amount left and they didn't have cups for coke, so I breezed through. I passed another few people I had been trying to catch and never saw them again after that. There was another climb out, which I ran about half of, and then I had to stop for a second time to dump sand out of my shoe. I'm glad I had asked Ben what mile he was at because I was at the same mileage at the same point and knew exactly what I had to go (or so I thought).

I was getting a little hot and tired, and I kept thinking that the people I had passed at the aid station were going to come out of nowhere and pass me, but they never did. The only people who did pass me were people on the second loop of their 50K. (Which, by the way, I can't believe that anyone did. I would never have been able to go out and do another loop after knowing what it was like). The section by the farm wasn't as smelly as the last time, and even the gradual uphill on the road wasn't terrible. I did stop at the aid station for a cup of ginger ale and a few small pickles. At this point, I was already past mile 14 on my watch, and I asked how far to the aid station. OVER THREE MILES. WTF. And "it's mostly uphill." My fears were realized! That nice downhill at mile 3? We'd be going up that now... I had secretly hope that we would be veering off somewhere before then. I was wrong. It was just as steep as I feared and I really didn't like this section. I was FINALLY not happy and I was just wanting to be done, and these stupid hills never ended!!
R is for RIDICULOUS!


FINALLY, I got to the turn at the top of the hill.  Unfortunately, by now, my legs were toast. The volunteers said "now you get to run the pretty part!" Well, the pretty part was actually weirdly technical, and my legs were jello. I was more just stumbling along and trying not to fall. When I got to the very last set of volunteers, I knew it was .8 miles to the finish (because I had been smart enough to look at the start of the course). It was even steeper on the downhill, and I really struggled at the top because the rocks were covered with sand and it was SO STEEP. Finally, with maybe a half mile to go, I was able to run all the way into the finish. Ben at least got a picture of me crossing the line. Woot!
No beer at the finish, supposedly they had a potato bar, but I didn't feel like eating anything. I downed a bottle of Powerade and took a La Croix for the road.
This was NOT an easy course! I felt some redemption when Ben and I compared stats and we both had nearly exact mileage and elevation gain (which ironically, was about 1,000' more than the Caltopo the RD had sent me!)

Official Time - 4:27:47
Garmin Time - 4:27:46
Garmin Distance - 17.74 miles
Garmin Pace - 15:06
Elevation Gain - 3,509'
Mile 1 - 22:56
Mile 2 - 15:53
Mile 3 - 16:26
Mile 4 - 11:07
Mile 5 - 12:07
Mile 6 - 11:08
Mile 7 - 12:37
Mile 8 - 14:08
Mile 9 - 19:16
Mile 10 - 13:34
Mile 11 - 13:31
Mile 12 - 12:20
Mile 13 - 14:10
Mile 14 - 13:50
Mile 15 - 15:55
Mile 16 - 19:08
Mile 17 - 18:54
Mile 17.74 - 14:38
We left the race and headed into Idaho Falls where we had a delicious lunch, and "ok" beer.

Thoughts:
  • Very low-key race. Our $80ish (last minute) race entry didn't give us anything except the race and a buff. No shirt, or medal, although we did get a cowbell at the finish. 
  • Course was very well-marked, although I still felt better having the route loaded into my watch.
  • Course was also not quite what was advertised, so be prepared for... surprises in terms of elevation gain and mileage.
  • Overall, a good time, and the race director was very responsive to the questions that I emailed her.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Week in Review (April 13 - April 19)

Tuesday (18,282 steps) - Work in the office. There was rain in the forecast, so I was undecided if I was going to go to run club until the last minute. It was cool, but not raining, so I opted to do one "repeat" at Dino Ridge. Instead of just trying to run up the whole thing I did a run/walk interval on the east side and it ended up being my second fastest... Headed over to Green Mountain Brewery and ran a 5Kish with Maureen and Colfax.
Stuck around for a beer and then headed home for dinner.
Wednesday (9,255 steps) - Work from home. Did a 30 minute class on the Peloton and thought I was going to die. My longest ride on it yet and it was NOT easy. Took Pika for a walk at lunch, then Ariel and I went to Qdoba to pick up lunch. I had received an opportunity to do a taste test, so my lunch was free, PLUS I got a gift card after completion. 

I may have done something crazy, but... that's what I do. So after the last few years of feeling a little "lost" in terms of nutrition and exercise, etc., I've hired a registered dietitian/personal trainer! We had our initial call and I'm excited/nervous to go through all the steps to get to a more healthy point in my life. (I know I'll need to cut down on beer - but she SAYS that nothing is off limits, so pretty excited about that).

After Ben got off work I met him at New Image for happy hour.
Thursday (15,840 steps) - Work from home. Took Pika for a walk at lunch and saw a mangy bald eagle! 
Took a second lunch to do a short run before the snow blew in. The run was not great, but at least I didn't get pelted in the eye with snow. Also did an upper body video. The snow came in REALLY quick - no one but Pika was happy to see it.
Friday (12,171 steps) - Work in the office. Because we got a ton of snow, and because I decided I didn't want to leave my car at the office all weekend, Ben drove me into work. I left work about an hour early so I could catch the train to the airport from Union Station. 
I didn't plan my food well and after having a few beers at the airport lounge I had to grab a snack before boarding my flight. Ben was already in Salt Lake after having taken an earlier flight, so he already had the car rented when I landed.

We had just over a TWO HOUR drive to our hotel, ugh! But at least I had landed on time, and we were supposed to arrive at a relatively decent hour. We stopped and picked up food at a truck stop since everything was already closed. Hey, my gas station salad wasn't bad, although it's tough to eat a salad in a dark, moving vehicle. I had picked a cheapo hotel because we were literally only going to be there a few hours, and it wasn't the greatest, but an ok place to sleep. 
Saturday (45,413 steps) - I had a bit of a hard time falling asleep, but thanks to super powerful air conditioning, I had at least stayed asleep. With our race being an hour away and starting at 8:00, we were up just after 5 so that we would both have time to get ready and check out of our room. The hotel did actually have breakfast out, so I grabbed a cup of oatmeal and a yogurt to eat on the way. We stopped in Blackfoot to get some coffee, then headed up to Menan. 

See Spitfire 25K Race Recap.
We still had some time until we were going to be able to check into our hotel, so we stopped at a brewery/restaurant in downtown Idaho Falls. The beer wasn't great, but the food was really good! Our hotel was only minutes away, so after dinner we checked into our hotel, showered, and promptly took naps. After an hour of sleep, we were ready to be "adventurous." Our hotel backed up to a nice path by the river. We were only about 3/4 of a mile away from the local brewery, so we walked over there and had a few beers.

Terrible picture of me, but whatevs.
We decided to walk on the other side of the river on the way back to the hotel, and it was really pretty at sunset.
AND... we saw beavers!! Like multiple beavers! They were really cute, like fat squirrels or marmots or something.
We walked around the Friendship Garden a bit before going back to our room and deciding what we should do for dinner. We landed on going to Buffalo Wild Wings so Ben could get wings. It was SO crowded, I didn't really feel very comfortable being there.
We went back to the room and drank some of the meowler (a small growler) of beer we had bought at the brewery and watched some TV before we weren't able to stay awake any longer. It was a long day!
Sunday (6,968 steps) - Slept LATE! I don't think we rolled out of bed until after 9:00. We headed down to the lobby to get our breakfast, then lounged around a bit in the room and packed, leaving around 10:30. The drive back to Salt Lake was much nicer in the daylight. We had no plans for the day, other than food and beer, which is basically all we ended up doing. We stopped in Ogden for lunch, at a Roosters, which had really good food and just meh beer. (It's not really the fault of the brewery, everything on tap has to be 5% or less ABV!)

The second brewery we went to was closer to the airport and didn't have a single IPA on tap, so it was really just for me to try their stouts. Again, they were ok, just not quite what I'm used to. Then onto the most exciting thing for Ben - a trip to the Patagonia outlet store! I told him to not get his hopes up as things probably weren't even that marked down, but turns out I was wrong! Ben got a vest & a Better Sweater, and I got a CRAZY good deal on a Calcite jacket - marked down to $50 from $249?!! One more stop on our way to the airport - and it was saving the best for last.

The car rental return was only minutes away & we arrived at the airport with more than enough time to make our flight. With another brewery IN the airport we stopped and had a beer & some nachos. (Seriously, weight gain over the years is a mystery).
We flew back on Southwest and managed to get seats together in row 6, which we were happy about.
The flight wasn't bad, and I watched a few episodes of Schitt's Creek to pass the time. We landed a few minutes early and got out of the airport as fast as possible, getting home just after 11:00 pm. LONG DAY.
Monday (9,624 steps) - Work from home. Took Pika for a walk at lunch, and we saw a HUGE hawk by the lake, and also, one of the adult owls was finally out of his/her nest! We've missed seeing them, so that was fun.

Did a 15 minute Peloton ride and picked Ariel up from practice. She was SOAKING from having to run in the freezing rain. We vegged out after dinner.

Stats:
  • 117,553 steps
  • 25.67 miles run
  • 45 minutes Peloton
  • 0 minutes rowing
  • 15 minutes cross training

Week in Review (October 5 - October 11)

Tuesday  (7,233 steps) - Work in the office. Rushed home after work to get my 45 minute Peloton ride in before I had to pick A up from pract...