colorado marathon race recap.

I’ve been wondering how to write this recap. To approach it as “here’s my time, here’s a few splits, marathons are full of glitter, beef jerky && sunshine!!!” Then I realized how much of a lie that would actually be. So please, sit back while I share with you my miles, smiles, sweat && tears.

In this post I’m just covering race morning & the race itself. I’ll be sure to make another post about the rest of the weekend—it was a fun one for sure!

2:45 am: My alarm goes off. I wasn’t really sleeping. I believe I had woken up probably every 45 minutes. I lay there for a minute, not really sure what I was doing, or needed to do. I then told me self, “MOVE. DO SOMETHING” I fumbled around the hotel room, getting ready.. in no specific order… brushed my hair.. braided it. No. that looks like crap. Braided it again. Tried the other side. Finally about the 5th time I was pleased with my little bang side braid. You know, important 26.2 race prep. I head down stairs wearing my hot pink compression socks, moccasins, running shorts, && a blue brooks running shirt I had won the day before– to grab a cup of REAL coffee. The room only had decaf… <—one of the most useless things on earth, ever.

3:05 am: I come across the guy at the front desk and ask him if there is any coffee. He said, “Yup! Just for you! I was left a note that people would be wanting some at 3:30 and some at 4:00, so I just made it at 3:00!” I replied, “You’re a lifesaver, thankkkk you!!! Both of those times would have been a little too late for me.” He then proceeded to ask me which distance I would be running that day. I replied, “The marathon, 26.2 miles!” I think that’s when it first hit me that… OMG. it’s here. I didn’t back out && it’s too late now. He answered with, “That’s a really long ways! Would you like some carbs?! I can get you a bagel!” I told him no thank you. That I had been eating enough carbs to feed a small village all week long, and getting down 1/2 a cup of oatmeal was going to be enough of a chore. NO MORE FOOD, EVERRRR! Was what I really wanted to say.

I then returned to our room. Luke finally woke up. The next 45 minutes were a blur. It started with Ke$ha and ended with some Trivium. Somehow, I ended up dressed && ready to go with my oatmeal in hand as we were leaving. fun fact: I decided to purchase a new fuel belt the DAY BEFORE the race at the expo. I’d never run it, but it seemed pretty alright. So… why not give it a shot? My shorts only had one TINY key pocket, and I don’t have enough room in my sports bra to shove gels..comfortably.. not that I have huge boobs… but stuffing gels in my top just isn’t for me! I used a spi belt for PDX marathon… which was MEH. There had to be better. The weekend before I had seen this NEAT contraption made by level called a “flip belt” at the Cherry Creek Sneak. I thought about it all week, and was regretting not purchasing one then. So I was pretty excited to see them at the expo! (don’t worry! i’ll do a review!)

4:10 am: We headed out to the parking lot to meet up with Liz, her brother and friend so that we could all follow each other to where we would then be taken by bus to the start.

We park, and then head to stand in line for the bus. It was collllllld. How cold? I couldn’t tell you. Cold enough. 40.. maybe high 30’s. That’s my guess. We weren’t in line too long before we boarded the bus! I was so thankful it wasn’t a school bus. It was actually nice, with a restroom and everything! The bus took us through town and up Poudre Canyon. The only part that stinks about being shuttled for a point to point race, is that it gives you time to realize how far you are actually running.

We all get to the start. The sun is starting to rise, but we aren’t in the sunlight yet && it’s still SOOOO COOOOOLLLLD. We stand in line to wait for the porta potties. The lines looked long & moved like molasses, but we moved through && had about 12 minutes to spare. Just enough time for some nerves to start setting in. Luckily.. I have these guys!

The drop bag truck comes up, we take off our cover ups.. which I did NOT want to part with! We did the smallest warm up ever. Like… pretty sure It was less than .25 miles. I really was okay just standing there && shivering. We line up. I’m standing with Liz and her brother. Luke is up ahead. So we’re standing there, we all kind of get quiet. I’m freaking out  inside my head. It was the most collected freak out I’ve ever experienced. It went something like this, “You made it. You’re here. 26.2 miles is a really long ways to go. But you’ve done it before. It’s going to hurt, but you know you can do this. You don’t quit, you never backed out && you won’t now. No matter how bad it hurts. I believe, I believe, I believe. EVERYONE BELIEVES IN YOU. They are waiting for you!”

6:15 am: The race starts.

If I told you that I didn’t have a plan going into this race, I’d be lying. Even before the initial training started I had decided this was a course to start strong && expect not as strong of a finish. The first 17 miles are known to be collectively downhill, then it “flattens out” from what I read/gathered/heard. I drew the conclusion that it wasn’t going to be easy to make the transition from running “downhill”, to running “flat”. Originally I had planned to do a few long runs practicing that technique.. Which never happened. A few days before the race a teammate, Milan, warned both Liz && myself that it was like running two completely different races. That it took him four attempts to figure it out. So the game plan = strong 15-17 miles && then ease off if I needed to for the rest. Given the course.. given that I hadn’t even run further than 15-17 miles in OVER THREE MONTHS… after training went the way it did.. I knew this was my best approach to at least run under my previous PR.

The first six miles fly by. I’m feeling great. I’m throwing myself my own little pep rally in my head. At mile six a Roost car drives by and I hear, “Lookin’ strong, Roost!” **SMILES BIG** Taking the downhills easy but maintaining it on the uphills. I knew better then to pound it downhill. Uphill? Oh yes, those. After every nice little downhill, there was a shape/form/ of uphill that never failed to greet you shortly after.

mile 1: 7:50

mile 2: 7:51

mile 3: 7:39

mile 4: 8:00

mile 5: 7:55

mile 6: 7:57

At this point I’m enjoying the beautiful scenery. It is seriously gorgeous! With a river running right alongside you, crashing over rocks…Running, weaving down the canyon.. in and out of the rising sun. Feeling great, thinking about how awesome running is. How much stronger it’s made me… Appreciating that I could still see Liz ahead of me… which meant I was still running strong & was right where I should be at that point.

mile 7: 7:58

mile 8: 8:03

mile 9: 7:56

mile 10: 7:57

mile 11: 8:01

mile 12: 7:59

mile 13: 8:04

mile 14: 7:57

mile 15: 8:10

It was pretty perfect/uneventful until around mile 15. Which is when things started happening that I was fully expecting. I was getting super TIRED. I felt this way at a certain point during Portland, but it definitely wasn’t with 11.2 miles left to go. I kept reassuring myself that I was doing great. That I met my goal of running a strong first 1/2. GREAT! That is was okay if my pace started slipping. It was NOT a big deal.

mile 16: 8:22

mile 17: 8:14

mile 18: 8:19

At mile 17 you are well out of the canyon && on your way into town. There was a big group of people cheering at this point.. which is probably what gave me a little extra pep in my step! Kids giving hi-fives, more “good job Roost!” I was no longer enjoying the course, but was def enjoying the crowds/people at the aide stations. Right after mile 17 I had a brief moment where I was starting to feel a bit better, but it quickly faded. I was THIRSTY, my legs felt heavy, like they were barely moving. I was talking OUTLOUD to myself.

Around mile 18, I saw Lara. I think it was mile 18? Maybe it was sooner… I reached out & touched her arm. She flashed a smile. By her face && tone I KNEW she knew I was having a hard time. She so kindly offered to run me in. I had no idea what she was trying to run, but I did know that I wouldn’t be speeding up && didn’t want to hold her back. So I politely declined. Which, sure enough, she & the group she was with pulled ahead– looking strong, great && amazing!

I needed something to look forward to.

I remembered that David with Runner’s Edge, and probably a few more people that I would know were going to be around mile 20. I could stick it out until then. Right before mile 19 was the “BIG HILL” of the course. It’s not HUGE, but…it was huge to me that day. I put my head down, just looked at the pavement in front of my feet… but with not much left of the hill I found myself “power hiking” the hill. I figured, UGH. I’m running slow enough, just hike it for craps sake. I start getting frustrated with myself, feel the tears coming. I  wanted it to be over. I was walking during my second marathon, which I hadn’t even done during my first.

Then I hear someone call out to me, “Alright ROOST, LET’S GO, let’s run up this!!” I hadn’t met him before, and I can’t remember exactly what he said to me, but it didn’t matter. I started running again and kept running after that. It ended up being Bill Rodgers. We get to the top && I jogged through the aide station, then continued on. We didn’t stay together too long. I don’t really remember what happened, but thank you Bill!

mile 19: 9:08

mile 20: 8:43

At mile 20 or something, I think I ran through another aide station. I hear “hey hey COURTNEY COURTNEY!” It was Byron, from Texas! I had met him earlier in the week when I met Drum! <–yah! that happened! He calls out, “how ya feelin?!” I answer with a huge smile on my face and a thumbs up, “I FEEL LIKE CRAPPP!” The entire aide station laughs, which made me laugh. He tells me to keep up the good work. It was so nice to hear something so unexpected! It’s amazing how AWESOME you can feel running through aide stations… && how quickly it can fade. These miles were feeling like an eternity.

mile 21: 9:06

Just after mile 21 I finally see David & Julie. I was so happy to see them! I flashed them a “fake it till you make it” smile!  It took everything I had not to start sobbing. More people that I know, cheering me on! Somehow, I pulled off smiling! For some reason if I’m struggling, I get really really emotional when people are cheering me on. Haha, what a freak.

After I saw them, I felt like I couldn’t move any faster. Basically my body quit, and my mind took over. Every step I was taking was thanks to my brain convincing me that I could.I was getting really hot, felt sick, incredibly thirsty. I didn’t even care about my splits anymore. I couldn’t make out the mile markers, started confusing the numbers. I thought mile 23 said mile 21…. All I cared about was that I kept moving. I knew as long as I was moving, I could run under 10 minute miles.

My hamstrings were screaming. I stopped to stretch. Then I realized my version of stretching at that moment was standing there with my knees bent and my hands on them with my head down. As soon as I realized I wasn’t being very productive, I told myself to keep moving….Aide stations came up, I stopped to drink two cups.. I stopped to take my last gel. I stopped to drink GU BREW… I DON’T EVEN LIKE GU BREW!!! But I didn’t care.

mile 22: 9:51

mile 23: 9:43

mile 24: 10:07

Don’t ask me what happened at which point. Because I honestly can’t tell you. I’m sure my splits say enough. After mile 24, I found myself around more people. It didn’t make me feel better, but I felt relief in that I WAS ALMOST DONE.  A gal all decked out in Lululemon was beside me. She had come up from behind. We stayed together for the last two miles.

mile 25: 9:50

mile 26: 9:35

Never saying anything. I could tell she was hurting as bad as I was. I mean… DUH, all of us were hurting. We round the corner and I can see the finish. She pulls slightly ahead of me. I think, “Whatever… you go glenn coco”.  As soon as I told myself, “Just let her have it.” I hear a voice to my left say, “Are you really going to let me beat you?” I look… && it’s a much older man. I reply, “OKAY FINE! WE’RE GOING!”

Where this burst of energy came from, I have no clue. I blow past Ms. Lulu, && a good chunk of other people. Feeling like I’m running faster than I ever have in my entire life. Sprinting, probably looking like a complete ass with such a short final speedy kick that came from who knows where.. like someone was trying to kill me or something. I hear my friends calling my name. I hear my name on the loud speaker. I see 3:43:xx. I’m crying before I even cross the finish line. So, those pictures should be pretty interesting. I cross the mat and really don’t remember much else.

mile .39: 3:35 (9:13 pace) (best pace 4:51… <–HA!)

I was so proud of myself for finishing. I was so proud of myself for even starting. I was proud of myself for not quitting. I was so glad it was OVER.

I was given my medal and turned around. Standing next to me was the guy that helped me find my final kick. I threw my arms around him, giving him a huge hug & thanking him. I finally find my way to the reunion area, which DEFINITELY wasn’t as long of a walk waddle as PDX was. I found Luke quickly, stood there && hugged him for a good 2 minutes. I was done. I wasn’t moving. I just wanted to stay right there.

He told me to turn around, that I had people waiting for me! I did, and in no particular order I saw Heather who just ran her half marathon and did great!! Lauren and Phil came up! Lauren looking SUPER STINKIN’ cute in her Tri-Bella race gear! I finally met Emily, who came in like SECONDS behind me. Lara did fantastic too!

I saw Liz a few minutes later. Who knocked out an AWESOME time. It was a PR’S FOR EVERYBODY moment at the finish line. It was pretty neat. I wanted to stick around longer to chat… but at the same time I wanted to lie down. to sleep.. I felt like I was going to throw up or pass out.

We made our way to the car. Well, actually, I sat down on the sidewalk, Luke brought the car to me.

So. There’s the race.

I am VERY proud of my 10+ minute PR. I fought HARD for it. However convincing myself that I FOUGHT for it, is hard.. when I had to stop or walk at one point.

Do I feel like I thrived? Not at all. I feel like I SURVIVED that one. I definitely made some nutrition mistakes, however I don’t feel like I could have run that race any differently than I did. Considering what happened with my training… I’d say what I DID pull off.. WAS PRETTY DARN INCREDIBLE.

Here is the course elevation map. 

Doesn’t it look great? Well… don’t be fooled. There is still a nice amount of uphill…

Elevation Gain: 1,230 ft
Elevation Loss: 2,375 ft
MinElevation: 4,952 ft
MaxElevation: 6,166 ft

It was a really tough but an amazing day all at the same time. However you better believe… CIM…training.. coming at you with a vengeance!!! Until then, bring on the trails!!!

race week, it’s here! it’s here! && a giveaway!

Are y’all just as shocked as I am that I’m goo-goo-giddy excited that… IT’S RACE WEEKKK!!!! I won’t talk about how craptastic the training was, because if you don’t know.. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN && GET OFF MY BLOG! Okay, kidding. Sorta. Not really. OKAY JKKKKKAYYYY!

So, I’m going to be honest with you guys and myself, I now officially have NO GOALS (cou* NO LIMITS*gh) going into this race. Who knows, I might not even finish the race. Somebody might offer me a beer at mile 18, and I might just sit my happy ass down and drink it.

Anyhoo, earlier this year I did a “predict my 10k time” giveaway. I don’t know about you guys, but I thought it was a ton of fun!

The Goods:

nuun tri-berry

hammer gels

&& a pair of point 6 socks!

(yes i will be using all of the above for CO marathon!)

Marathon Background Information:

I’ve only run one. I ran Portland Marathon 2011 in 3:53:47

The Rules

Whoever guesses the closest to my finishing time for Colorado Marathon will be the winner of the giveaway! The cut off to enter this giveaway is on Saturday May 5th!

Who Can Enter:

This is the sticky part. I don’t do giveaways to “bump up” my blog. I do it as something fun for my faithful readers, because I glitter-heart them!  I find it annoying when “strangers” only comment/get involved/read for a giveaway. So, this giveaway is CLOSED (so to speak) The only people who can enter have to meet one of the following:

  • we’ve run together
  • i actually know you in real life/or have met you (probably at an expo or race)
  • we ALREADY both follow each other on twitter & interact with one another via twitter/blog/email.

So that’s pretty simple!

Some helpful information:

My races so far this year have been…..

January 21:  Frosty’s Frozen 5 miler – Littleton, CO :: 38:08

January 29: 3m Half Marathon- Austin, TX :: 1:41:29 :: PR

February 18:  Snowman Stampede 5 miler – Littleton, CO :: 37:47 :: PR

March 17: Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon – Moab, UT :: 1:53:47 <—- that day sucked, bad!

April 29: Cherry Creek Sneak 10 miler – Denver, CO :: 1:18:57 :: PR

 

 

Is it Sunday yet?!

cherry creek sneak 10 mi, race recap!

I went into this race with SUPER low expectations. It’s been a rough training cycle. I made a goal of just averaging around && maintaining an 8:20 pace. *fingers crossed that pace felt remotely easy/maintainable.*

The night before the race was our co-ed bachelor/bachelorette BBQ! It went SO WONDERFUL (blog post on that later!). I was on my third glass of the wine for the evening when I was talking about the race to our friend Andrea. I believe I said something along the lines of, “I should probably start drinking water for tomorrow’s race, so it won’t be a COMPLETE disaster!” She then told me of a guy who holds the record for running the most consecutive sub 3 hour marathons, && how he SWEARS by drinking tons of red wine the night before. That it helps him run better. Well, shoot… BOTTOMS UP! Also add forkfuls of delicious cake to the mix!

Luke and I wake up the next morning around 6:05 am. The first thing I notice is that my lips are so dry THEY HURT. Hello, Courtney… you are insanely dehydrated. Awesome! I alternate between chugging nuun && water. Not sure how much it would actually help. Get dressed and out the door by 6:45. We arrive and go to pick up Luke’s bib && hit the porta potties. While picking up his bib, we see Andrea! We hang out before the race, head over to the start line. I positioned myself in the 7:30-8:00 m/m group. I prefer to start a little bit ahead of my goal pace group. (Which has ALWAYS worked in my favor.  ;) )

The race starts. I’m feeling great. My legs feel fantastic, my head is in the game. I’m ready to run! I glance down at my garmin and see a 7:04 pop up. Uhm, no ma’am. I try for the LIFE of me to slow down. I was finally able to slow down to a 7:51 for the first mile. But it felt SO. EASY.

I honestly really didn’t know much about this course. I was told it was pretty flat, except for Cheeseman Park and a few areas around it. I think not knowing the course actually helped me a TON.

I felt amazing 97.9% of the time. There were a few sections around miles 5, 6, && 9 where I noticed I was having to put in a little more effort, things were feeling a bit tougher. My splits show it && so does the elevation profile! Around mile 7, I started getting some stomach cramps, like an OMG, might not make it stomach cramps. However, I kept telling myself that most of the “work” on the course was done for. I could def hold what I had for 3 more miles!

1 7:50.7 1.00 7:51
2 7:48.5 1.00 7:48
3 7:51.0 1.00 7:51
4 7:44.9 1.00 7:45
5 8:17.0 1.00 8:17
6 7:46.0 1.00 7:46
7 7:59.7 1.00 8:00
8 7:36.9 1.00 7:37
9 7:42.8 1.00 7:43
10 7:57.8 1.00 7:58
11 :24.2 0.07 6:02

Around mile 8 there was a spectator cheering people on. I hear him call out, “Looking strong, looking good ROOST!” It took about 2.5 seconds for it to sink in… HE WAS TALKING TO ME!!! I smiled realllllllllllll big. It was probably the most AMAZING FEELING EVER. It made me think of all the wonderful/ talented people that I get to call my teammates! How strong they are, that there is a big group of them at the finish line cheering us all on! insert the <OMG I LOVE RUNNING && I LOVE MY LIFE> here moment!

The next mile breezed right on by. If any mile felt the toughest it was probably the last one. It FELT tougher for sure. I thought it was flat.. and thought, it shouldn’t feel like this if it’s flat. Little did I know that it was a gradual uphill. Which, there was a lot of that on this course! My garmin beeped before the finish.There was a guy I managed to pick off by two steps at the finish line… that was great! My final .07 came in at a 6:04 pace, best moving pace 5:23! <—neat!

I was greeted at the finish line by two of my teammates, Jeannene & Stella! I caught my breath and then caught them off guard with sweaty hugs! Beth knows about my sweaty finish line hugs too! Before I could hug them, Jeannene snapped this photo:

whaddup, runners high!

(i need to work on my water drinking skills)

Luke and Andrea then came over, I was so happy to see them! It’s a little bit of a blur what happened next aside from walking back over to the Roost tent. I was on CLOUD. NINE. We grabbed our stuff then headed back over to the finish line to watch the 5 mile finish! I really enjoy getting to watch the rest of our teammates/friends race!

 my final results:

10.07 miles in 1:18:57

10th in my age group.

75th female.

249th overall out of over 1,600.

I got even more excited when I realized a year ago today I ran a 10k (in houston) at an 8:19 pace.. and today I finished a 10 miler for a pace of 7:51. :D

I loved everything about this race && can’t wait to run it again next year! After this weekend I am MORE than confident that I will do well at Colorado Marathon next weekend!

ps: If anyone is going up to FoCo, stop by our room! There will be plenty of red wine && cake! ;) :)

 


running lately. cherry creek sneak.

I’m sure all of you know I am OVER this disaster of a training cycle. Guess I might as well jot down what I’ve been up to.

Last week I ran 40 miles. Meh. None of these runs were SPECTACULAR. I did do a small 6 mile speed workout with my mile repeats coming in at  6:58, 6:53, 6:49…. WHICH IS PRETTY STINKIN’ COOL TO ME!

Tomorrow will put me at 35 miles for this week. 5 mile cut back week… that’s considered a taper, right?! HA. I didn’t really have much to taper down from… okay… maybe back a month or so ago when I was knocking out 50-60 mile weeks… but not currently. So I honestly have nothing to blame my current craziness on anything like some other people do.

All I know, marathon #2 is like… EIGHT DAYS AWAY. I’m actually a SMIDGE excited about it now… I can’t lie. Why? Because even though training hasn’t gone as planned.. at the end of the day… OMGGGG I STILL LOVE RUNNING!!!!

I’m signed up for a local ten miler this Sunday called the Cherry Creek Sneak. No, it’s not going to be a balls to the wall speed attempt. I’m just shooting for an avg pace of 8:20ish. With the marathon a week out it seems a little foolish (to me) to dish out an effort like that. But then again, WHO KNOWS, maybe 8:20’s will feel like an all out balls to the wall speed attempt??? I won’t lie… I’d be a tad disappointed. Actually, I don’t even know what I’m talking about considering I don’t even have a clue to what my goal marathon pace is going to be…

 

So that’s running lately. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

a wknd full of volunteering && runspiration!

Last week I ran a grand total of 8 miles… EIGHT. MILES. There are a lot of things I can argue about with my body. Upper respiratory infections aren’t one of them. On Wednesday or Thursday, I ran 3 horribly wheezy/phlegmy miles. Followed by a mini meltdown, where I think it came across that I hated running. correction: I DON’T HATE RUNNING. I’M NOT BURNED OUT. I’m just burned out on the thought of my body and it refusing to cooperate for an extended period of time this spring. Are we clear? Good. :)

To kick start the weekend I got the rest of my Runners Roost gear in & a new pair of trail shoes that Luke had ordered & surprised me with! So there was my first piece of runspiration for the weekend

in case you didn’t know…

I LOVE MY TEAM<3

saucony peregrines

On Saturday morning I orginally told our bossman that I was unavailable to time a race because it was my last long run before Colorado Marathon. HA, clearly that was out. Luke was scheduled to time a race, so I decided to just tag along and volunteer instead. Didn’t have anything better to do! We woke up and headed up to Boulder for the Thunderchiefs 5k! It was a fun little race, not too big, everyone was super nice!

was a smidge chilly. sunlight, i love you.

luke, making colorado race timing look sexy.

that guy. so hot right now.

the start of the thunderchiefs 5k.

waiting for the runners, to collect their chips.

hoping i don’t get puked on.

So that was fun! After the race we headed up to Magnolia Road in Boulder, you know, the one that was made popular by that book (that I haven’t read) called Running with the Buffaloes. It’s been called A MUST RUN THIS &&  I now know why. I’ve somehow picked up calling at “Mags”. I think I got that from Efo? I’m pretty sure I did. Anyhoo…

before our run && my “OMG I LOVE RUNNING SO MUCH” face

We only ran 5.5 miles on it due to my awesome wheezing && basically that was all it took for me to absolutely fall in love with Mags! I can’t wait to go back and && run the whole thing!

We then headed back into town to grab lunch with Efo & Weeze! While on our way back, we either drove past Anton Krupicka … or his twin. Either way, I almost fainted.

ohhh AK.

*not my picture* but isn’t it an awesome one?!

Had lunch with Efo & Weeze. It was so great catching up with them! We hadn’t gotten to see them in a while! Maybe next time we go to run Mags they’ll come with!

After lunch we swung by Luke’s parents house. Chatted a bit, then headed over to his Grandma’s house… for her 21st birthday. ;) :)

On the way home Luke and I discussed “racing”. I quickly learned that we speak very different languages on the subject of “racing”. Luke’s idea of racing, “win it, race other people.” My idea of racing, “stay on pace, don’t die or run too fast at the start, you might burn out”. He then mentioned to me that he thinks I should run a race without the garmin. The only goal: RACE SOMEBODY (or something like that) Considering my 5k PR is 22:27 at sea level, don’t think I’ll be WINNING any races any time soon.. but sure, I could give Luke’s version of “racing” a shot. <—maybe this summer?

At that moment he also decided we were going to watch “Without Limits” that evening. The autobiography of Steve Prefontaine. I’m so glad he suggested it! I really enjoyed watching it && it opened my eyes a bit more to the idea of actually “racing” or basically… RUNNING AS HARD AS YOU CAN AT ALL TIMES. I cried at the end, duh. If you haven’t watched it, do it! I also finally understand this one shirt I own a bit more…

On Sunday morning we woke up and headed over to Littleton to join some of our Runner’s Roost team mates in volunteering at the Platte River Half Marathon. We were the first aid station on the course! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! A lot of the team raced it too! Luke and I also saw SO many other people we knew as well. It was fun being there to cheer them on & pass out water!

After our duties at the aid station were fufilled, we headed to the finish to continue cheering && congratulating our friends! We went to grab a cup of coffee afterwards and met up with Chelsea who flew in just to race the Platte River 1/2! She did AMAZING!

So glad we got to chat for a bit! I think they’ll DEF be coming back to CO!

(can you tell we had two diff cameras going?!)

Fill the rest of Sunday with lots of napping && episodes of Lost!

Monday I knocked out 15 miles for a pace of 9:12. My legs were a little twingy, coughed a ton–but no wheezing! How did this take place? I woke up and said, “I’m going to run 20 miles today.” Coach says, “Maybe you should just aim for 14-16.” Apparently, my brain isn’t on the same level as my body or Coach Luke. Let’s just say I am SO THANKFUL for my team mate Ben who rescued me at mile 15. I guess it probably wasn’t the brightest idea to try and run MORE miles than I ran last week.. in one run. As Ben put it, “Sounds like you bit off more than you chould chew this time.” He was right.

So in case you couldn’t tell… the last thing I am is burnt out on running. Glad to have my body slowly but surely getting back on board.

 

 

running. april. week 1. + a new race + new sexy jamz.

sunday-off

monday- 4 miles, 30 min swim, core work.

tuesday- 4 miles, core work

wednesday- 7 miles

thursday- 5 miles, 25 min swim

friday- 6 miles, 20 min swim

saturday- 12 miles.

weekly total= 38 miles.

fun fact #1: I came down with bronchitis on Sunday…naturally.. just after I had revamped my Colorado Marathon goals… obnoxious. My lungs hate Colorado && my allergies are absolutely out of control. Am I still running this week.. YES. Outside–NOPE! Took Sunday & Monday off… dear body=DEAL. we have work to do… ya jerk.

fun fact #2. Luke registered me for a 10 miler. The Cherry Creek Sneak which is on April 29th; the week before Colorado Marathon… which is now less than a month away. Never have I ever been so unprepared in my life. I could puke.

fan fact #3. I came across Kimberly Cole last week && am OBSESSED with this sexy little song of hers….

I’m counting that it will make me think of…… dancing….. instead of running. As I wheeze my way through some miles. I am thankful for albuterol.

march was a mess. putting the hay in the barn in april, to burn it down in may.

If you read my goals for March you would know that I only had one particular goal this month. I ACCOMPLISHED that goal. Our wedding planning is DONE. We have final meetings left with our photograhper, cake & food provider && the DJ. I guess Luke should tell the groomsmen what to wear… HOWEVER, if they end up naked… MY HANDS ARE CLEAN Y’ALL. My girls have their dresses done && taken care of!

I figured just focusing on that would HELP me not to get so stressed out. BAHAHA, wrong. March was an ABSOLUTE DAMN DISASTER as far as running goes. I am honestly not proud of it. Granted, 99% of the crap that went wrong, was beyond my control… BUT STILL. I really tried to remain optimistic about it all… but at the end of the month… ovz it… CAN THIS GIRL CATCH A BREAK PLEASE?!

The latest : I had a root canal done last week that I felt 80% of.  They proceeded to give me shot after shot.. I lost count after 20… which didn’t work or wore off in 5 minutes. I cried, screamed, kicked my feet, sweat through my shirt… basically had an anxiety attack in the dentist chair. Yeah, it was the most painful/miserable experience of my life. Then the days following I continued to wake up in the middle of the night (when the pain meds were definitely no more) crying & muffling my screams due to the pain. TERRIBLE. Today my mouth feels more normal than it has in a week, but is still not 100%. At this point I am convinced it will feel this way FOREVER.

Anyways

Today as we walked home from breakfast  (OMG I KNOW, WE WENT TO BREAKFAST… because I gave my long run the middle finger <—cause I sorta really hate running right now) Luke says to me, “Why, do you have to be so intense all the time? Just have fun.”

Then the following thoughts flew through my mind so fast I’m pretty sure it blurred my vision… “Do I really train for 18 weeks.. blood…sweat…tears… just for fun?” “What’s the definition of fun? Training your ass off && having killer results to show for it, getting it done & being good/getting better at what you do/love– now THAT is fun!.” This lady LOVES a challenge.

Pick apart my thoughts all you want, it’s just the way I think. *HI MOM! HAVEN’T CHANGED A BIT!* :D

What about when it doesn’t go your way? Figure it out, fix it, make it go your way. When life feels like it’s running YOU, remember to RUN.IT. I feel like I’m mostly “running it” when I have many goals to keep me on track. So, back to the list o’ goals it is!

Running /Fitness / Health:

  • swim once a week.
  • weights twice a week.
  • run 200 miles.
  • stretch daily.
  • race weight by May 6th = 130.
  • no booze.

I’ve been mentioning that I REALLY want to drop to the 1/2. At the same time I feel like if I do that, I won’t be prepared for my 50 miler in July. So I guess I better stick it out… EVEN IF IT SUCKS.

I’ve also decided that for Colorado Marathon my new time goal would be 3:40. Not the 3:30 I was hoping to go after, however it’s still a 13 minute PR && I still have CIM to try && knock out the 3:30 goal. >>>insert big dramatic sigh here<<< . I know it’s not fair to sell myself short, but it’s also not fair to expect something SO HUGE from my body when my training hasn’t been going the way it should be. I mean, my speedwork has been great… but my LR’s… I don’t want to talk about it. OH PORTLAND, training for you was PERFECT compared to this disaster.

At the start of Portland Marathon back in October, I was able to start next to my friend Becca (who just did a 100 mile ride today, uhm, you’re AWESOME!) Before the start she kept saying, “the hay is in the barn!” All I could think of after she said those words was “TIME TO BURN IT DOWNNNN!” I’m not sure WHY those words came to my mind, but they did. I think it’s something along the lines of maybe doing ALL that work just for that moment where you can like fall back on it all… trust your training… set fire to it, bring the heat, etc, etc.  OKAY OKAY OKAY, I don’t know & I can’t explain it! It’s just what came to mind!

anyways…

Oddly enough, those words bring me back to one of my FAVORITE BANDS that I started listening to in 2006. Portugal. The Man…. specifically their song “Chicago”. ps: Waiter: You Vultures!  is STILL my favorite album && doesn’t even compare to the stuff they’ve put out since then. (if the MF bomb offends you, maybe don’t take a listen… but this song gets me PUMPED!)

oh && for anybody who’s counting. I ran 137.3 miles this month….. lowest monthly mileage since NOVEMBER. womp. womp. womppp.

also, somehow i didn’t post this picture, but this is the result from my spill last weekend…

some tough runs & hello saucony kinvara!

Last week I was bound and determined to do all of my running outside. It was absolutely gorgeous so running outside was an absolute treat! I am for sure guilty of spending WAY. TOO. MUCH. time on the treadmill in January & February. Which, looking back, all that time on the treadmill was making running a TAD too easy for me. Like I was forgetting how to run outside… that’s SO SAD. Anyways, last weeks training came in at 37.7 miles up from 16.1 miles the previous week (thanks sickness). Personally, 37 is looking really dang sad at this point in my training for Colorado Marathon. Although, I did put a LOT of work, sweat & blood (NO TEARS!!! yayyyy little victories!) into last week… let’s just take a look!

Sunday: 6 miles at Arches National Park in Moab, Utah! ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! What better way to explore!

&& yes, that’s the lululemon top i wanted for my birthday!

used my birthday $$, thanks dad!

Monday: off

Tuesday: 8 miles at Wash Park! I had every intention of going to Waterton Canyon.. however this conversation with Luke happened…


I’ve gone from worrying about being attacked by shady characters in the city of Houston to being a tasty little cat snack! So, on that note, I drove north about 25 minutes for an 8 mile run. ;) :)

Wednesday: 5.5 miles at Green Mountain with Laurie doing MOUNTAIN REPEATS! That was no joke. I have a LOT of work ahead of me when it comes to this workout. my. goodness. gracious. In those 5.5 miles there was 1,750 ft of gain. Talk about kicking my butt! I’m glad Laurie let me chase her! Afterwards I drove home to let the dog out for a bit, then headed over to Runners Roost where I ran another 3.1 miles with my friend / team mate Abby! It was probably my most difficult three miles to date. My legs were BEAT!

Thursday: off.

Friday: 4 (what felt like slow) technology free, beautiful miles on the Highline Canal.

Saturday: 11.1 miles at Wash Park. This run was interesting. My legs felt like dead weight. I’m assuming they were still beyond beat from Wednesday. To make matters even more interesting, I was also having some shoe issues (get to that in a moment) so I opted to wear my Brooks Defynace 4’s… which are the heaviest shoes I own. I think a mix of these things may have contributed to the little spill I took at mile 5…

As quickly as I had superman-ed it. I popped back up on to my feet. Put my hands on my head, took in a big deep breath to shake away that moment of shock, then kept running. It didn’t hurt, just scared me a little. The sweat that got into it & cleaning it up hurt more than the spill itself. I was honestly hoping to get a much longer run in.. but with the dead legs, aching feet & stinging wounds.. I decided to try again the next day.

*the next run isn’t included in the mileage, but I’m beyond PLEASED/PROUD with it so I’m going to share!*

Sunday: 17.5 miles at Waterton Canyon/Colorado Trail with Luke … 2,171 ft of elevation gain! bing bang boom, I’m one happy lady! There was an AWESOME AWESOME head wind for the first 6 miles.. however after having raced in ridiculous wind, running in it now is definitely not as discouraging as it used to be. WIND HAPPENS Y’ALL. If you’re lucky.. sometimes you get to run with it, but unforunately I find a tail wind extremely rare. Pretty sure most of us do!

the wind blown face.

can’t you tell i love that top?

WAIT!!! WHAT ARE THOSE ON MY FEET?!

So, after running the Canyonlands 1/2 marathon, my feet were SUPER sensitive. I had a blister forming on my left foot, my toenails were hurting… even before then I was having SUPER tight/sore calves constantly. Once home, I decided to give my beloved Pure Connects a break. Maybe just do shorter runs/races in them. I went back to my Saucony Mirages for the week, however quickly discovered that they weren’t quite big enough anymore…. the tips of my toes were at the very end of the shoe not leaving much room at all. My toenails were pretty unhappy…. that being the reason I ran in my Defyance 4’s on Saturday… which I’m really not a fan of anymore but at least they were the correct size.

Saturday afternoon,  Luke and I went into Runners Roost to try the next 1/2 size up in the Mirages. (well, now they are the mirage 2). However, the next 1/2 size up was HUGE… entirely too big. The gap between the two sizes was kind of puzzling. I was a little bummed, because I really didn’t know what to do next… or which shoe to turn to.

I told Marissa (the associate) the issues I have with my feet.. what I like in a shoe.. what I don’t like.. etc. I felt really bad…. because it was a pretty extensive list. She suggested the 1/2 size up in the Saucony Kinvara 2’s. That really the only BIG difference between the two is that the Mirages have that flexible medial support (which I needed BADLY at the time I first got them) & are a SMIDGE heavier than the Kinvara. The Mirages weigh in at 8.0 oz where the Kinvaras come in at 6.7 oz.

I figured the Kinvara 2 sounded like a pretty good solution.. they fit well & from what I could tell in the short amount of time I spent on the treadmill at the store seemed to feel pretty good. Well.. as g0od as a shoe could feel with an untaped blister && angry toenails.

welcome to the family!

17.5 miles on Sunday was MORE than enough time to get acquainted with them. Pavement, gravel, dirt, snow, ice.. you name it && the shoe performed perfectly! They felt absolutely fantastic! Which says a lot when you are running on this:

ps: thank you nick && laurie for the 101 course on blister care this wknd!

She also shared with me that the Kinvara 3 && a trail version would be coming out soon!! I already knew about the Kinvara 3’s thanks to Dorothy! I’m crossing my fingers this is a shoe I can actually stick with for a while.

fun fact: I tried two new gels this weekend!

My stomach still entirely loathes GU, no matter how delicious the flavor! However, although EXTREMELY sweet the Honey Stinger gel is an absolute WIN!

the race i wanted to quit. canyonlands 1/2 marathon – moab utah.

I knew going into this race that after being sick all week pulling off a PR would be a miracle.. my ultimate goal before I got sick was to go under 1:40. I’m sure as you can tell, since clearly I haven’t blew up my facebook, twitter, instagram or blog about it.. it didn’t happen. I took VERY good care of myself and did everything I possibly could the week leading up to the race trying to get better… including NOT RUNNING (whuttttttt). No dice.

Anyhoo, alarms go off, pre race- routine. blah blah blah. Since it was a point to point race we had to be shuttled by buses up to the start. The last bus left around 8:15. The race didn’t start until 10am. Which basically means you stand there and FREEZE in a canyon.. no sun… tons of wind. oh boy.

luke before the race start, proudly rockin the lehigh hoodie.

me in the back… clearly discussing shoes.

So, after shivering for what seemed like forever… the race started. I started with the 1:40 group… && there was a TON TON TON of bobbing & weaving. I felt okay for the first mile & that’s when I started noticing the head wind… THAT WOULD NOT QUIT… that’s also when I started evaluating how I felt… it wasn’t too great. My legs felt like lead & breathing was an absolute chore…  trying to hack up a bunch of stuff, etc. I managed to stay on my “A-race pace” until about mile 5 1/2. Then I knew there was absolutely no way I’d finish at that pace… considering I had already hit my inhaler once &  basically felt like hell. At some point not too long after this, I saw a line of empty port-a-potties. I officially decided it was going to be a long run when I jogged off the course to use one.

At mile nine there was a huge mondo hill. I’m not going to act like I’m some sort of badass… I POWER WALKED STRAIGHT UP THAT PIECE! I had had enough. At this point I had already wanted to quit like 30 million times. I was also wanting a beer like nobody elses’s business.

Mile 11 WAS THE WORST. It comes out of the canyon onto an open road through town.. When you think the wind that was already a pain can’t get any worse, it doubles, stirring up dirt, cars driving WAYYY too close to you. I could have seriously reached out and touched an 18- wheeler.

I finished in 1:53:47 for an 8:39 pace. Not my slowest, CLEARLY not anywhere close to my fastest. But again, solid long run? I won’t pretend like I wasn’t disapointed. I was… even given my situation. I was really really really looking forward to this 1/2. I don’t have any intention on racing another one until June.

I sat down with half a banana and a cup of gatorade. I’m glad I left my sunglasses on, because I DID shed a tear or two. I’m not exactly sure why… if it was beacuse I was so disappointed or if it was because I was proud of myself for actually finishing it. I can’t think of ANYTHING I’ve wanted to quit so badly.

Until now I’ve been PR’ing my ass off. Luke warned me this day was coming soon, when I don’t PR at a race, but cheese & rice that one hurt BAD.

On a happy note, the course is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! (good thing, since this year & last it dished out a head wind for 13.1 miles) The volunteers along the course are AWESOME! Right after that huge hill at mile 9 they have a big group of volunteers playing bongo drums! So that was pretty neat!

liz (PR’ed her face off), myself && heather.

heather, 1st female! her 6th win of the year! OUT OF SIX RACES!

oh, && also her 30th birthday! she’s a badass.

Yah, so I now associate Utah with wind, hence why I decided to not even enter the St. George lottery.. PASS. CIM, here we come!

oh && also: I’m a fan of being honest with myself. I really don’t believe a 3:30 is in the books for me at Colorado Marathon. Hopefully training for CIM will go much smoother.

ps: i really really really hated writing this blog post.

my marathon training is turning into the hunger games :: got our runners roost kits!

This past weekend was another failed long run attempt & DNS at Running of the Green 7k due to sickness. I decided to skip the race because I knew I had a 1/2 6 days later and wanted to give my body a chance to rest. Well, it’s Wednesday I’ve run 3 miles since then && have only gotten worse. Eating well, drinking lots of water, resting, water, tea, ricola, mucinex, dayquil, nightquil.. you name it, I’ve probably taken it.

I went to the Dr this afternoon & described what was going on. I was excited when he said that I didn’t have an upper respiratory infection. YAY. He then continued.. “BUT, you do have the common cold virus which is right now is lasting around 3 weeks, peaking at days 7-10.”

insert sad face here. /:

We are traveling to Moab, Utah on Friday to race Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon on Saturday.. which is right around that 7-10 day thing.

He then proceeded to tell me there was nothing he could prescribe, just to take mucinex, push the fluids & get lots of rest.

I asked him about running before the race to which he replied, “As a doctor, I recommend that you don’t. It’s just going to irritate everything. As a runner, maybe 1-2 miles max to keep the legs fresh.” I’m glad my doctor is apparently fluent in speaking “runner brain”.

He then decided to go ahead and share the following with me, “I’m not sure if you are trying to qualify for something or hit any certain goal… but if it requires a hard effort, be prepared to maybe not hit that goal at this race…”

I’m pretty bummed that I’m not going to be healthy for this race. I’m still racing, but have no idea what to expect.  In that case, since I don’t know what to expect, I don’t want to underestimate what I could still possibly be capable of pulling off…

Canyonlands 1/2 Goals:

a : sub 1:40

b : 1:45 (my PR is 1:41:29, but i feel like if i can’t pull off a 1:40.. then i most likely won’t be PR’ing either) (gotta stay realistic!)

c : give it my personal best for the day, don’t fall, get lost or stub my toe. ; ) put that goal together thanks to some of my amazing runner friends! thanks guys!

This was supposed to be a good measure of where I’m at in my training for Colorado Marathon. Guess it won’t be too accurate this weekend. Like I’ve mentioned before, this training cycle is definitely giving me some attitude… it goes something like this…. “Oooooh girllll… this ain’t Burger King, you can’t have it yo’ way!” **double finger snap** …pretty much…. sick, avoiding injury, wind…weather.. yuck! At this point I kind of feel like my marathon training has turned into  The Hunger Games. It’s like a constant battle trying to get in a good run, more specifically long run. Like somebody is totally screwing with me. Can’t a gal catch a break?! (ps: if you haven’t read the books. DO IT!)

So, until the 1/2 on Saturday game plan… rest. water. mucinex.

On an exciting note, we got our Runner’s Roost Team kits this past weekend! On Saturday morning Luke and I joined some other team mates as we packed them all together for distribution! Since we were already there we were able to take ours home! I absolutely love them! Thanks so much to Runners Roost && Nike, they look great!

So, running might not exactly be going my way lately… but I’m still more excited than ever about it! I’m very lucky to have such great friends && to be apart of such an amazing team to offer advice && encouraging words along the way!