Thursday, May 20, 2021

Week in Review (May 11 - May 17)

Tuesday (13,967 steps) - Work in the office. Took Pika for a short walk after work. That's it?
Wednesday (20,477 steps) - Work from home. I went for a run late morning that was "fast" and pretty amazing! I've been working with Abby for about a month now, and I think I am actually starting to see some changes in performance. Took Pika for a walk at lunch.
Did a strength video, then another Pika walk after work.
Thursday (21,597 steps) - Work from home. 
Went for a "long" run mid-morning while A was at school. The first 5ish were pretty darn great, and then a mile that wasn't, but finished strong. A 7 mile run midweek? Who am I? I'd love it if runs were "mostly" good like this. Picked A up at school and took her to get her first vaccine shot! We had to go to a sketchy neighborhood and the clientele was a bit "rough around the edges." The other kids that were there were all excited to get vaccinated, however.
After work I headed down to watch A's track meet. Sadly, I missed her first event, the 1600, by about 10 minutes, sadness. She ran really well at all her events, and even won her heat of the 400m!
We didn't feel like making dinner, so we picked up Qdoba. Since I hadn't had time to walk Pika earlier in the day, I took her for a nice evening walk to the lake after dinner.
Friday (21,459 steps) - Work in the office. Met up with the gang for a walk at Wash Park and coffee before heading into the office. Went for a walk at lunch and found a new (to me) pedestrian bridge I hadn't used before, so that was neat.
After work I had to rush home and pack - we were going to be going on our first camping trip of the season with Shelly, and I hadn't even packed. Luckily Ben and Ariel were still finalizing stuff as well, and we got out the door around 6:30. Thankfully, it is still early season so there wasn't any traffic heading up to Dillon. We had enough time to grab a beer at Outer Range, then we picked up a late dinner at Whole Foods.
Ben backed in perfect the first try, and we were able to get settled in pretty fast. We ate dinner and started a campfire, but I got cold, so we went into the camper and played a few games of Uno before heading to bed (very late).

Saturday (22,909 steps) - Initially, I woke up right around sunrise (just like at home), but after using the bathroom and taking Pika out, I was able to go back to sleep - staying in bed until 9?? We didn't really have any plans for the morning, but headed into Breckenridge to go to Clint's for breakfast, then decided to walk to see Isak the troll! From town it was a decent walk, a few miles round trip.
I definitely wanted to get in an easy run/hike. I had mapped out about a 4.5 mile loop on the trail system behind our campground. I was actually familiar with all these trails since they are part of the Run the Rockies course, which I've run multiple times. I was surprised the trails were in such good shape. We took it super easy and had a great time!

Thankfully we didn't get rained on. We headed into town to go back to Outer Range, where our friend Lee met us for a drink. On the way back to the campground we stopped at the grocery store to get hot dogs to grill, some sides, and of course, s'mores!
Lee joined us for a bit, but had to head home early because he had an early shift. We enjoyed another campfire, and more Uno! (Which by the way, Ben is new to playing and seems to think Ariel and I were making up rules... "why did I get skipped?" haha)
Sunday (11,715 steps) - Realized that check out was later than we thought, so we took our time getting ready. Took Pika for a nice walk on the lower trails, then headed back to Clint's in town for more coffee and pre-birthday cake!
Opted to head home before it got too late, what a gorgeous morning!
Once we got to the other side of the tunnel, the weather shifted and it was foggy and rainy all the way home. We stopped at Over Yonder for a beer, then once home we unpacked everything. Took Pika for a walk, that's it? Glad we didn't get home super late.
Monday (11,423 steps) - Work from home. Took Pika for a walk at lunch. Had to take A to her track meet, and figured I could use my hot spot between events to work so I wouldn't have to take the afternoon off. Why is there a meet at 2 pm in the second to last week of school? A ran the 1600 first and had a REALLY strong race. Was super happy that she ran another PR, 6:52!!

Immediately after their event there was a lightning delay of a half hour. We sat in the car while we waited to see what was going to happen. After 45 minutes of lightning and POURING rain, her coach decided to cancel the rest of their races. A was only supposed to run the 800, so she wasn't too upset about it. It ended up raining all night... Ben picked up Indian food for pre-birthday dinner, and it was delicious!!

  • 123,547 steps
  • 16.47 miles run
  • 0 minutes of rowing
  • 10 minutes of Peloton
  • 20 minutes of strength training

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Week in Review (May 4 - May 10)

Tuesday (27,442 steps) - Work in the office. After work I had decided I would go for a run in Bear Creek on the sidewalks. Since it's been so rainy I wanted to stay off the trails. I had planned on 6 miles, but I felt so good at three miles that I ran for another mile before I turned around. The weather was absolutely perfect for running, and this was the longest midweek run I've done since... last summer?

I didn't actually get rained on, so that was nice. I went to Green Mountain to grab a quick beer with Maureen before heading home for burgers & Batman Sour's 7th birthday!

After many MANY years of wearing the same collar, he was gifted a snazzy new one - with a bowtie! He looks soooo adorable in it :) 
Wednesday (22,935 steps) - Work from home. I went for a run in the morning, and once again, I selected a road route since it's still been wet. Another good run! Dare I say the diet/sleep changes are starting to kick in? (I hope, I hope!) Then I took Pika for a walk. 
Did a lower body strength video. Left work a few minutes early so that I could head down to Ariel's first track meet of the season! She was put into the 1600 and 3200 - on the same night! I was there early, so I went for a walk before her first race. She did amazing in the 1600 and ran her first official sub 7 mile! I went for another walk while I was waiting for Ben to get there. She also ran very well in the 3200, and set a new PR of 15:18. 
Ben left to pick up special beer for Cinco de Mayo, and I took A for a froyo reward. Shockingly, we had tacos for dinner.
Thursday (25,208 steps) - Work from home. Went for a run at lunch that was ALSO pretty amazing! I ran on the south side of the lake and jumped on the trails because I thought they may have dried out. They had NOT, so I didn't stay on them for very long. Took Pika for a walk. 
After work Ben and I took Pika for another walk. Delicious dinner of sausage and veggies again.
Friday (19,794 steps) - Work in the office. Met Pete & Kristin & Christy at Wash Park for a walk and then coffee. First day of covering for Nicole while she's on vacation for TEN days. Eeep. Nothing super eventful at work, thankfully. 
Flowers in bloom are the highlight of wandering around downtown on my lunch hour
After work we went to Kristin's house for happy hour and a doggie socializing. Probably had too much beer & too many snacks. This is how I get derailed!
The name of this beer is hilarious, though
Saturday (17,564 steps) - "Slept in." Took A to practice, and then Ben and I went for an easy jog with Pika.
Took a shower, picked A up from practice and had lunch. Finalized packing, then walked Pika over to Kristin's for the night. Headed to the airport for our flight to Austin. We ended up being delayed out of town because of weather and actually had to be rerouted, which added more than a half hour of air time. We landed well over an hour late, but luckily picking up the rental car didn't take too long. Thanks to the car shortage, we ended up with a piece of crap car with tons of dents and over 40,000 miles. Hey, but at least we got a car! We drove down to Bastrop and met Heather and Lisa for dinner.
The pizza was delicious, and so was the beer! The venue was really cute, with tons of decks and live music. Before we realized it, it was already 10:00! Heather headed home and Ariel went with Lisa to her house for the night. Ben and I walked over to Bastrop Beer Company for a night cap before heading to the Days Inn for the night. By the time we crawled into bed it was after 11! Ugh!
Sunday (58,895 steps) - Wildflower trail marathon.
Within 20 minutes of finishing our race we were in the car headed back up to Austin. Ben's parents had driven up from San Antonio to meet us for food & drinks. Before we arrived at the brewery we stopped to change at a Texaco and rinse of in their bathroom sink. Not an ideal way to prepare to meet your in-laws for the first time (remember, Ben's mom had back surgery right before our wedding and wasn't able to travel), but it worked out. It was still insanely hot, even sitting in the shade on the patio.
The beer was delicious, and we finally decided that we were hungry enough to get a burger from the food truck - which was also delicious. Ariel and Lisa had brought me some dessert for a Mother's Day gift, which Ariel and I shared. I can't believe I didn't take a picture, but it was chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate cheesecake.
Sadly, after a few hours we already had to head to the airport. We were flying out of the sketchy south terminal (that I didn't even know existed until this trip) and still had to return the rental and take the shuttle over. The flight home was thankfully way less eventful. Since Ben had paid for covered parking we were the first people off the bus. We got to Kristin's at 10:00 to grab Pika and we were all in bed shortly after. LONGEST/SHORTEST WEEKEND EVER.
Monday (10,515 steps) - Work from home. Raining all morning, but still took Pika for a walk at lunch. Did a Peloton ride in the afternoon and an abs video. Got pho for dinner, watched a movie and went to bed early.

  • 182,353 steps
  • 47.75 miles run
  • 0 minutes rowing
  • 20 minutes Peloton
  • 15 minutes cross training

Wildflower Trail Marathon (Race Recap)

Bastrop, TX
Sunday, May 9
Weather - Overcast but INSANELY HUMID

With a fairly "big" summer of races coming up, I had been checking on and off for various races/travel expenses that would fit into our budget and training. With Heather & Lisa both still in the Austin area, the Wildflower trail runs are always of interest. However, flights were way too expensive, so I shelved the idea of another whirlwind weekend. Then, Frontier sent out an email advertising the sale, and when I found out all three of us could fly for about $200, I convinced Ben it would be "fun" to run another race. Initially I had wanted to run the 25K again, but apparently the races this year would take place over the whole weekend and our Sunday option was only the marathon or half marathon. Well it obviously didn't make sense to "just" run the half, so marathon it is!

Race Day

I had actually slept pretty well, although with a 4:45 am wake up call, we got only about 5 hours of sleep. We had plans to get ready and head to the gas station next door for coffee and breakfast by 5:45. It's been years in the making, but I can actually get Ben to move that quickly now, and we were out of there in time. We grabbed coffee, but neither of us could really decide what we wanted to eat. I ended up grabbing a Kind bar and some jerky, and we were on our way to Mayfest park with an ETA of 6:00 am, as planned.

I hadn't remembered that we shouldn't have been putting just the park name in the gps, as that took us to an open field. Upon putting in the actual address, we found the lot with minimal difficulty. We grabbed our gear and got on the shuttle bus to Bastrop State Park. It was pretty dark, and Ben was wondering if we would need headlamps. I had no idea when the sun was supposed to come up, but I was assuming we were fine.

It was already INSANELY humid. We picked up our bibs, realizing that we would now need to carry our swag with us on the run. Ben had opted for a shirt, and I got sunglasses & a collapsible cup - both of which fit fine in my back. Cycled through the bathroom line a few times & before we knew it, we were listening to Rob at the pre-race meeting. I actually remembered a decent amount of the course from when I'd been here before, but the refresher was good. We used some bug spray from the aid station, as the mosquitos were on the hunt.
Pre-race smiles before we know we are going to DIE
I used the bathroom one more time before lining up. Ugh.. I know this was my idea and all, but I was NOT feeling ready. My stomach felt off and I was already sweating. I started in the back, like usual. I didn't remember running down the road, but this was a different out/back for distance than we had the last time I ran. We ran up a hill and I think I made it about 4 minutes before I started walking. I had 8 hours to complete this race, and while I didn't want to take longer than 6ish hours, I certainly didn't need to blow up right in the beginning.

I saw Ben barreling down the hill, seemingly in 4th place. He looked fast! I would not see him the rest of the day. We had to head up to this little cabin at the top, touch it, then run back down towards the finish. THEN, we would start our first loop (of four) for the marathon distance.

I didn't stop at the aid station before heading up the first climb. I definitely remembered this part. It was, however, MUCH sandier than I remembered. I was glad that I had worn my gaiters.

I was using my same race strategy as always, which is basically "run when I feel like it." And I was NOT feeling like it. I kept note of distances at the varying trail crossings so I'd be more mentally prepared on later loops. I was pretty impressed that the road crossing at the top of the first big climb was right around 2 miles, which I had remembered.
The open area here seemed easyish to run the first loop. But the more I was out, the more upset my stomach felt. I could NOT believe that I was pondering DNFing after less than an hour of being out. My pace was horrendous and I really wasn't having fun. The course was just as pretty as I remembered, so I was trying to make the best of it.
Really the only major intersection on the course & I think this is marked pretty amazing
From the above intersection I mapped that it was only a mile-ish to the aid station that was off the road. I don't recall this part being bad on the first loop. I was just upset that there hadn't been a port-o-potty at this aid station & was hoping that I would actually make it to the start/finish to use the ones there.

It's hard to tell, but there is a smiley face on the water tower. And it seemed to be mocking me.
I recognized the last .6 of the downhill that we had done from the beginning out/back. I was slower coming in than I had hoped, and I already knew that 6 hours likely wasn't going to happen. I used the bathrooms and then headed out for loop 2.

SO HOT. Have I ever been this sweaty in my life? Thankfully, my stomach was feeling a tiny bit better. I forced myself to eat a couple of club crackers, and continued on. The sun was staying hidden, which was really a blessing in disguise. At times on this loop, it actually seemed a bit cooler than the first time around. That didn't last long.

People were already passing me. How? I was at least passing a handful of people that were walking the shorter distances. SOOO HOT. Definitely running a little less this loop, but that's to be expected. Recall basically nothing else.

Came in just a few minutes slower than the last loop. How on earth am I going to do this two more times?

Head out for loop three. HOT AF. Dying. Force myself to eat a couple Honey Stinger chews. The lizards are out! I actually got a picture of one before he scurried off. Probably saw close to 100 on the trails. My stomach is feeling ok but I'm draining my bottles because I'm just so thirsty.
My only real goal at this point is to not get looped by Ben. I'm imagining he is finishing at this point. Lots of butterflies are out, and also some cool red birds, but they are too fast and I wasn't able to get a picture.
I come in after loop 3 and I'm actually surprised I don't see Ben. I stay at the aid station only long enough to have a "Gatortini" (basically a Gatorade slushie). I normally don't even drink Gatorade but I'm so thirsty and have a major depletion of everything I need to keep moving so I just take it and go. I am now walking up the hill with a styrofoam cup, but it has ice in it and I don't care. When I finish it, I shove it in my pack. I can tell I'm getting sunburned, but at this point it is the least of my concerns. I am struggling to force myself to run at all, but I finally see a gal in front of me and I wonder if I can keep up with her.

The road is way up there on the other side of that pavilion
After I cross the road I decide to set up my phone for short intervals for a while, since I know that there are really no major climbs and if I run even for 30 seconds, that is 30 seconds sooner I can be in the air conditioning and NOT on this course.

For a few miles I am able to do this, but all my running intervals feel incredibly labored. I can't believe how hard this feels. I feel like I have been in a steam room for hours. At the last aid station I switch it up and ask for orange soda. The volunteer asks me if I want ice in that. YES I WOULD LOVE ICE, I DIDN'T KNOW ICE WAS STILL A THING!!! The orange wasn't a great call, I should have stuck with coke. But the ice was amazing. I finished the orange soda and dumped the rest of the ice in my bottle. From here I knew I had a bit over 2 miles to the finish. I am done. I am toast. BUT... I caught up to the lady, so I decided to push as much as I could. I passed her, and then a short while later, I passed another guy with about a mile to go. Neither of them caught bac up to me before I crossed the line. I saw Ben at the aid station, and he got this very foggy picture of me running into the finish
SO.HAPPY.TO.BE.DONE. I was definitely much slower on this course than the last time I was out here, but obviously I'm not in anywhere the shape I was three years ago. Plus, I was in pure survival mode. We took a couple of pictures at the finish line.

We used some wipes at the aid station to get as much dirt and grime off of us as we could before getting back on the shuttle to get back to the car. OUR RENTAL CAR SAID IT WAS 91 DEGREES WHEN WE FINISHED. I believe it.

Garmin Distance - 26.67 miles
Garmin Time - 6:32:29
Official Time - 6:32:32
Overall Place - 21/35
Gender Place - 7/14
Miles 1-5 - 13:30, 14:04, 15:53, 13:03, 13:12
Miles 6-10 - 13:34, 13:25, 15:55, 15:38, 14:01
Miles 11-15 - 13:42, 14:06, 13:29, 14:01, 14:56
Miles 16-20 - 16:32, 14:10, 16:19, 14:07, 14:20
Miles 21-finish - 17:48, 16:58, 14:53, 14:21, 16:49, 14:29, 13:43

  • The course is really pretty. I just don't know that it was pretty by the 3rd-4th time around. (Kidding, it was always pretty).
  • It was SO FREAKING HOT. Like in the 10 days leading up to race day and the 10 day forecast after, we were easily 10 degrees hotter than any other day. If the sun would have come out earlier I would have died. #notdramatic
  • The swag was good, and I like that I can select what I want, rather than getting stuck with another race shirt I won't wear. 
  • Aid stations were ok, I was just so hot and out of it that I didn't want ANYTHING.
  • Course was exceptionally well marked. Really no way to get lost here.
  • As an aside, I usually get chafing under my arms when I wear a tank for long distances with a pack. I was definitely being risky wearing one, but I didn't experience any chafing at ALL - thank you Ultraspire for a pack that fits so well!
  • I know I say I won't run this again, but... maybe just not the MARATHON again.

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 ...