Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Week in Review (February 15 - February 21)

Tuesday (22,322 steps) - Got up early to get my strength training done before I had to go into the office. After work I headed over to Stone House for my run. I was "excited" to try for my first real run after all my foot issues. My only goal was to hopefully be out for an hour and maybe have negative splits. The first few miles were really not great and I was starting to regret my decision to run since I just had "cardio" on my schedule.
Luckily I started to feel better and the rest of the run was fine. Even after all the snow we've had most of the path was in pretty good condition, except for a few really icy spots.
I even saw an owl! 
I headed over to Green Mountain to deliver a bunch of Girl Scout cookies and to have a beer before heading home.
Wednesday (16,468 steps) - We had yet ANOTHER storm in the forecast, so I got up and did my miles before work. Thankfully, I was out early enough that the dirt was sort of soft and not loose mud. 
I had hoped to get out of work early enough to miss the storm, but sadly, I had to work my regular shift. Sigh. Peloton ride when I got home.
Thursday (16,348 steps) - Work from home. I had hills on schedule - and my coach hilariously said I should find "runnable" hills with at least 600' of gain. I've never been good at hills and I had initially thought I was going to do trails, but we got a lot of snow. I did some research and figured I'd have to do repeats at Dinosaur Ridge. Turns out, the run was AMAZING. Like probably one of the best in a while. I set up 30/30 intervals for the steep east side of the road and then ran the rest. 

Later, I also did some strength training. After I got off work Ben and I went to Goldspot to drop off Greg's cookies. It was pretty crowded, so we only stayed for one beer.
Friday (11,728 steps) - Wash Park with the gang before going to work.
I managed to get out of work early enough to head home for... my Peloton Century ride!!

This was a pretty tough workout. Sadly, no shout out though.
Saturday (40,095 steps) - Up stupid early for my long run. I had mapped out a route in Broomfield/Louisville area. I'd had the foresight to make sure that none of the sections were closed because of the fire, but I neglected to realized how much snow/ice was still out. Within minutes I knew this was going to be awful, but I didn't have time to do something else. It was chilly, but a beautiful morning.

Sadly, probably 75% of my route ended up being pretty awful. Anywhere there was snow was probably 1-2" of crunchy snow that was tough to run on, and anywhere there were bike tire tracks or footprints was icy. It was not fun. THEN, I realized that I had missed my turn, and that I probably had done at least 3/4 of a mile in the wrong direction of the big route I had created. 


I had also intentionally planned my route to have a bathroom fairly early, and the detour obviously had me getting there later than planned. Thankfully, it was open. The other issue I had was mapping. I thought that it would be pretty easy to navigate, but there were a lot of areas where I had to pull out Strava to make sure that I was on track. Strangely, the part I thought I would hate (running on the bike path along the highway) was actually the best part. I also had apparently created my route through part of the Marshall Fire area. It was pretty devastating to see first-hand, and it still smelled like smoke.
I managed to adjust the route enough to compensate for the early extra miles so that I would be able to finish around the same mileage/time I had planned. I was SUPER happy to be done, and rushed over to the school for A's first scrimmage of the year. 
It was fun to watch! Ariel ran really well, setting a PR in the mile (6:43) and 800 (3:00). She also ran the 400 in the medley. We picked up Panda Express for lunch and then took Pika for a walk. When Ben got home we headed over to Bluegrass for snacks and beer with Tyler.
Sunday (10,558 steps) - We had a busy morning! First we had to drive to meet up with Ruth to give her Girl Scout cookies, then it was down to Parker for Ben's housewarming party! Holy cow, that was far away. His house is cute and it was a fun morning hanging out with all our friends we don't see too often. Stopped to deliver more cookies on the way home. Took Pika for a walk and did a VERY long Peloton ride. Then headed down to Golden to meet Ben at Over Yonder. It was pretty busy and they had a band, I hate noise :(
Monday (18,200 steps) - With the storm coming in I opted to run before work. The weather was actually perfect! Low 30's, but sunny. Thank goodness for the port-o-potty halfway...
Work from home even though Ben and Ariel both had the day off for President's Day. Got an email later in the morning that I was accepted for another year as a Zensah ambassador. Woot!
After work we went to the new Tatttered Cover in Westminster. Fun: they have a bar! Sad: small location and they didn't have the book that I went to buy.

Soap display perfectly represents Ben (Calm the F Down), Me (Working From Home) and Ariel (Sociel Anxiety) haha
Headed home for dinner and watching America's Got Talent Extreme - I actually "know" one of the contestants! Had an amazing beer for Stout Month, but woof, 11+% pm a weeknight is tough.

Stats:
  • 135,719 steps
  • 37.98 miles run
  • 150 minutes of cardio
  • 70 minutes of strength training

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Week in Review (February 8 - February 14)

Tuesday (7,604 steps) - Work in the office. Picked up the Girl Scout cookies for the season. Wheee.
Did a Peloton ride before dinner.
Wednesday (15,178 steps) - Went to work late because I had an appointment to get my foot looked at. Thankfully, after getting some X-rays done, it was determined I do not have a stress fracture. Diagnosis was mild tendinitis and an ankle sprain. Not a surprise, I rolled my ankle another two times during Elephant Mountain. I was told I could run and to just try to get the swelling down. Yay! Went to work in the office. After work I stopped at home to pick up Pika before going to Boulder. I don't think I'll be taking her for runs anymore... this was a really slow-going "run." She may be getting too old (will be 12 in July) or is just losing interest. Not much fun for either of us.




It was also REALLY muddy. By the time I got back to the store everyone was ready to head out. I stuck around long enough to have a beer and wait for Monica to pick up her cookies. Pika had to have a bath when we got home.
Thursday (10,410 steps) - Mildly embarrassing it took me so many tries to get this: 
Work from home. Did a row and the 45 minute Eminem bike boot camp. I thought I was going to pass out during that one... Took Pika for a walk at lunch. After work I picked A up and took her to Panorama so she could have her shoulder looked at. They did X-rays and determined she has a mild rotator cuff injury - which is apparently not that uncommon in long distance runners. It was suggested that she go to physical therapy, but also they gave her some strengthening exercises she can do at home.
Friday (10,195 steps) - Wash Park walk with the gang. Finally a warmish morning!
After getting coffee I went to work in the office. We had another storm roll in right in time for me to head home. We went to Kristin and Doug's house for happy hour with Tyler. Ate a LOT of fondue...
Saturday (17,047 steps) - Slept in - I think until almost 9?? It had snowed all night but it was sunny, so I decided I would head out for my run.


It was actually pretty good at the lake, and my foot felt fine on the crunchy snow. I had an hour to run, but opted to head over to the bike path for some steadier footing. I ended up having some stomach pains and had to make an emergency stop at the port-o-potty. Not more than a few minutes after that, I ran into Lisa!
Overall, the run was "ok" - I just hate having these stomach issues mid-run. It's been happening a lot more lately. After getting home I did a lower body video, then Ariel actually joined me for a core video (that almost killed both of us) and a stretching video. THEN, we took Pika for a walk. 

Ben and I had made plans with Kim to meet up for a beer and hand off cookies. We picked a brewery that isn't normally busy at all, and it turns out they were having a dog adoption event, so it was pretty busy. We waited a bit for people to start clearing out, and then headed in. Fun afternoon.
Nothing else, except Batman looked adorable cuddling with me on the couch.
Sunday (7,149 steps) - Ariel and I watched a cheesy horror movie (Countdown) and then took Pika for a walk. We spent the afternoon delivering cookies and then watched the Super Bowl. Batman was not not interested.

Monday (9,441 steps) - Work from home. Took Pika for a walk at lunch and then did a 30 minute ride. After work I took Ariel to the dentist. When Ben got home we headed to New Terrain for our Valentine's Day beer and chocolate event. It wasn't crowded and it was a fun evening.





We picked up Qdoba on the way home and then watched an episode of Ozark.

Stats:
  • 77,024 steps
  • 8.93 miles run (thanks, foot)
  • 120 minutes of cardio
  • 50 minutes of strength

Elephant Mountain 50K (Race Recap)

Cave Creek, AZ
Saturday, February 5
Ultra Marathon #38
Weather - Chilly at the start, sunny and warm

With my scary 2022 racing season looming, I was on the hunt for a "short" race to ease into all the trail running. I landed on Arizona after checking out possibilities in Texas and a few other "warmer" states. After the cold snap we had recently had in Denver we were both looking forward to dry trails - recognizing that this would be good prep for our upcoming events.

Race Day

I had not slept well the night before. With all the hotel drama we hadn't picked up anything for breakfast. We were staying in a resort type place that didn't have anything for us. We got out the door as planned, but we still needed to get breakfast somewhere. I was NOT optimistic as we were driving to the start as we seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. "Luckily" there was a Starbucks that was open and we got some breakfast sandwiches and coffee. 

Thankfully, we found the start without any issues. I'm always a bit worried when there is no physical address for a start. Since we were using a tiny car, we were able to squeeze into a spot in the main lot. We used the extra time to cycle through the bathroom line, pick up our bib, and get everything ready to go for the 7 am start.
Announcements started with a few minutes to go. We were reminded about the flagging and signage we needed to look for, and we lined up to go. We started right on time, with Ben going out with a front group and me taking my place in the back where I am comfortable. After taking a full week off from running because of my foot pain, I was pretty anxious with how this was going to go. 

The first mile went ok. It was a gradual uphill and not overly technical. I ran some of the less steep grades and hiked the rest. My hands were pretty cold in that first mile and I was mildly regretting that I had left my gloves in the back of my back. They warmed up pretty quick, so it ended up not being a problem. 

We headed up some switchbacks to the top and then we had some really nice rolling hills. However, my foot was acting up. It was definitely more painful than I would have hoped and I spent a LOT of the early miles wondering how stupid it was of me to be out there.

I passed some people in this section, until we got to a weird intersection where I had to look at the map because it was confusing. First aid station I just grabbed some fruit snacks and headed right out. We had to cross a dried out river bed a few times and then we had a short section of pavement before running on some pretty tame single track. I actually really liked this section, except this is about the time that the faster 35K people started to catch up and it was/is kind of annoying moving out of the way of people. Hit the next aid station and grabbed a cup of Mountain Dew and a pickle. Found out it was 5 miles to the next aid station. Foot hurts.

Kept going, a decent amount of hiking in this section. It was really pretty rocky here and between trying to not land weird on my foot and trying to not roll my ankle (which I have been doing a LOT of lately), things were slow-going and not a lot of fun. I saw Ben earlier (?) than I thought I would and let him know that if things didn't improve that I would have to entertain dropping. He talked me into taking some ibuprofen. I got to the aid station, grabbed more Mountain Dew and a small piece of potato, but nothing else sounded good. Headed back out for a lonely 5 miles. I put in one ear bud when I was about 3 hours in. That helped take my mind off things for a bit. 
Photo Cred: Let's Wander Photography



Considering how much my foot was hurting I was actually moving pretty well. I managed to keep my arm sleeves on through the next aid station - definitely longer than I thought I would. It was getting hot out and I was not looking forward to being out on the course. Even though this whole part was an out and back I didn't remember a lot of it. I actually passed a couple people in this section before the next aid station - the second to last one. I got there and there wasn't a ton of food options, but I had expected that. I filled up my bottles and begrudgingly head out for the approximately 5 miles back to the start/finish - but not to actually finish! We would have to use the finish line as an aid station and then head out after that for a 7 mile loop. 

For some reason I thought that I had already done most of the climbing, so in my mind, I thought it was going to just be a lot of downhill to the finish. Sadly, I was wrong. Once I turned onto the Go John Trail it seemed like it went up and up and up. It was still pretty rocky, and fairly steep in some areas. Being later in the day there were also lots of people out - both on bikes and hiking in groups. FINALLY, there was a fairly non-technical downhill for maybe the last few miles. It was going to be nice to actually have a downhill finish. I was not happy having to come through the finish line and not be done. At least Ben hadn't lapped me.

Filled up my bottles and grabbed a (disgusting) peanut butter & jelly since that was the only "real" food left. I only managed a few bites before I just couldn't eat more. I really really really wish aid stations would find something else to feed runners besides pb&j. At least for the last part of the route I knew what I had coming up - and that was a big climb to the top, some runnable parts, the big climb after the aid station (that we would not be hitting, since it wasn't on the loop) and then downhill to the finish.

While my foot was actually feeling ok by this point, now the bottoms of my feet and my big toes were in excruciating pain any time I tried to run. So that was really frustrating since my legs actually were ok, and my foot finally didn't hurt. It was HOT by this point, and there were a LOT of people on the trail - including a group doing trail work? I was pretty frustrating that it was more gain than I had expected, and it seemed like I was not going to be able to hit my goal of a sub 8 race. 

I ran what I could, actually passed a few more people, and finally finished. 
I have NEVER been in such pain after crossing a finish line. I barely hobbled over to the table to fill up one of my bottles since I had run out, and then sat down at a picnic table. My feet were THROBBING. If you know me at all, you know that I am basically dead inside, and this pain actually had me in tears. I could not believe how bad my feet hurt! Ben went to the car and got my flip flops while I took my shoes off. I seriously expected my feet to be bloody stumps based on the pain and was shocked to see that I had zero black toenails and not a single blister. I think it was just all the loose rocks on the trail that messed me up. Had a beer in the shade before getting a picture on our way out.


Official Time - 8:06:39
Overall Place - 60/74
Gender Place - 18/25
Garmin Time - 8:06:25
Garmin Distance - 31.78 miles
Garmin Pace - 15:18
Elevation Gain - 4,305'
Miles 1-5 - 15:11, 13:10, 13:16, 14:00, 15:18
Miles 6-10 - 14:14, 16:00, 14:58, 13:11, 14:56
Miles 11-15 - 15:39, 15:44, 13:53, 15:46, 16:47
Miles 16-20 - 14:17, 17:04, 13:28, 14:01, 19:50
Miles 21-25 - 17:42, 14:26, 13:08, 14:06, 18:42
Miles 26-30 - 17:27, 13:26, 18:25, 17:35, 15:52
Miles 31-31.78 - 13:30, 14:43

Thoughts:
  • Very convenient to Phoenix if you fly in. We stayed in Scottsdale the night before and it was about 25 minutes to the start line. Nothing really close to the race start - be sure you get food/water prior to heading out as the race starts very early and the only food we were able to get on the drive was Starbucks.
  • This was a pretty decent course. I didn't love having the last 7 miles be without water. I'd prefer to do the loop FIRST, then do the out and back so as not to have longest aid station gap be at the end, personally.
  • Volunteers were great, but aid stations were pretty unimpressive. Outside of pb&j, the only "food" was bean roll-ups - fancy wording for refried beans on a tortilla. I survived since I was only doing 50k, but there was also a 50 miler, and that would NOT have been enough for me. Lots of snack stuff that doesn't really have any calories or substance. 
  • Shirt is cute - gender specific and RED - which is my favorite color.
  • Same medal no matter the distance, which I do not like - I mean there was a 5k there, and they got the same thing as the 50k?? Maybe the 50 miler was different, but I didn't see what they looked like.
  • Saw multiple photographers on the course, yet AGAIN there was only one small sequence of pics of me on course and not at the section where there were cacti - which is pretty much the prettiest part of the course. Pics were $9, which is competitive, but again, only fast people seemed to get really good ones. I complain about this a lot.
  • I wouldn't run this again, but it was a good experience to learn what Arizona trails are like in training for Cocodona.

Week in Review (November 29 - December 5)

Tuesday  (6,368 steps) - Work in the office. Had an hour of cross training to do and ended up doing all of it on the Peloton.  In the middle...