mt. hood 50 training. wah. wah. wah.

So I’m 5 weeks into training for Mt. Hood 50. I’m guessing some of you might be curious as to where my training posts are? Truth is… IT’S DAMN BORING. You’d think living in Steamboat Springs would be an AWESOME place to train for an ultra marathon. Well, it can be. But not when the trails are covered in 3+ feet of snow from October – holy thundercats who knows when.
I know people train on treadmills all the time. I mean sure. I would feel AWESOME about what I’m doing if I was training for some flat road marathon. However, that’s not my case. I feel like what I’m doing on the treadmill is inadequate as far as what one should be doing to train for a 50 mile trail race. I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m doing my best but I’m feeling really insecure about my training.
Running on a treadmill will NOT teach me anything about nutrition while running long distances on the trails, how to deal with heat, how to suck it up if my shoes become covered/clumped in mud. Sure I guess I’m training at altitude… but that will only get me so far. I feel like I’m missing out on so much.
I was able to get out this past Monday and run 16 miles on the roads around our home. ROADS. ROADS. ROADS. not trails.
I feel like every time I hear about people having their amazzzzing training runs on the trails (SANS SNOW) I just feel an instant flush of envy and am starting to even be slightly annoyed by it. Is that bratty? I’m sure it is. I just can’t help it.
To be quite honest each week when I look at my training plan I’m constantly thinking how it looks really darn similar to my marathon training plans. Except for the whole “back to back long run” thing. Which, I’ll be honest… those are going to hell in a hand basket trying to pull those off on a treadmill.
Since I’ve noticed I tend to be such a mental nut job when it comes to running I’ve decided to treat my Mt. Hood 50 training like marathon training until I can get out on the trails which will be around April-May. Which actually works out kind of perfect. I need to be at marathon distance by the end of April and I have Big Horn 50k at the beginning of June.
I’m tired of beating myself up over thinking that my training isn’t good enough. I think this might be just the trick I need to maybe be excited about “training”.
Right now my schedule typically looks like this…
Monday: long run
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: mile repeats/tempo
Thursday: easy
Friday: hill workout
Saturday: rest
Sunday: long run
I’m thinking of switching it to…
Monday: cross training*
Tuesday: mile repeats/tempo
Wednesday: easy “long”
Thursday: hill
Friday: easy
Saturday: off
Sunday: long run w/workout miles
*cross training = skinning, snow shoeing, barre or spin classes.
I think this is just necessary to get me through until I can actually get out on the trails. Whatever works, right? If something as simple as telling myself I’m training for a marathon instead of a 50 mile is what gets me through until this snow starts going away… then so be it.
In the mean time my mileage has gone as follows…
Week 1: 31.1 miles
Week 2: 37 miles
Week 3: 42 miles
Week 4: 42 miles
Week 5: currently at 31.1 miles with a long run on Sunday.
This was a pretty crybaby post. Don’t get me wrong.. I’m thankful to be running at all. I was just hoping for so much more while training for my first ultra.
What are your thoughts? Do you think this is a good idea? What do you do when your expectations aren’t being met?

merry christmas!

i hope you spent today doing the things you love with the people you love. we stayed put this year due to my being on call for work. which i’m more than okay with, i absolutely love my job && work for some of the greatest veterinarians i’ve ever worked with. living in a small ski town there aren’t any emergency animal hospitals, making those of us who work in the veterinary field on call a few times during the week, weekends && holidays. at the same time.. who can  complain about spending the holidays in steamboat springs? so grateful to be able to call such a beautiful place home.

we had a white christmas! it dumped “champagne powder” overnight adding to the good amount of snow that we already had. steamboat springs is already above it’s seasonal average. last night added an additional 11” at mid && 14” at the summit of mt.werner.

christmas day started with a picture that my dad sent of my sister enjoying her bike on a christmas day cruise.


if you aren’t family or a friend && have stumbled upon my blog, my youngest sister has down syndrome. she has one of the brightest spirits && the most genuine of smiles. it made me happy to see her enjoying the outdoors && exercise. i speak for my entire family when seeing rachel in an element that brings her happiness is better than any gift you could possibly ever wrap.

luke && i bundled up to enjoy the fresh snow around noon. we went for a short three mile jog around stagecoach mountain. three miles was about all i could tolerate. my body isn’t very tough when it comes to running in 10 degree temps. things start aching, hurting, screaming… etc. aside from the (always) cold it was a beautiful december bluebird day!


we had every intention of making a great christmas dinner. read: eat what we normally eat && bake one “fancy” dish. lately my appetite has been non existent, so making an entire dinner wasn’t exactly appealing. so we just decided to make the “fancy” dish as a holiday snack. baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows really isn’t all that fancy.. but it’s quick && easy that’s for sure.. also – delicious!



last year on christmas day we went out to catch a movie. so we figured, why not do it again && make a tradition out of it? we drove into town && ended up watching “life at 40″. it’s pretty hilarious, a little more serious towards the end.

i know i’m not the only person out there who is like this… but i absolutely LOVE the previews. like, i’m actually slightly bummed if i miss them. in the round of previews there was one for an upcoming movie called “identity thief” starring melissa mccarthy && jason bateman. there was a particular scene where jason bateman’s character was chasing down melissa mccarthy when she screams out…


at this my full on woody-wood pecker laugh slipped out filling the entire theater with my laughter. naturally, i was the only one in the theater (aside from luke) that found this absolutely hilarious. oops. the movie looks pretty funny so looking forward to seeing it when it comes out.

a very quite && low key christmas, but one that was very much enjoyed! i tend to get a little more excited about new year’s than christmas. the start of something new is always exciting!

how was your christmas?

the nine degree run.

i knew this morning waking up that i would be dealing with some very cold temps for my long run. however, i was still trying to wrap my brain around running in NINE DEGREES. instead of complaining about it, i mean why complain about things you can’t control, i just stopped thinking about the frigid temps outside && tried to pile on as many layers as i could.

i had 16 miles to get done. i practically had to beg luke to come along with me. so for those of you who have accused me of these nutso running adventures because my husband does them… don’t worry. i do crazy all by myself.

i’m not joking when i tell you that running while snow is falling is like a religious experience. it’s a complete escape that i can’t compare to anything else in the world.

i don’t run with my phone, however a requirement for my job is being on call during certain weekends. so i took my phone with me && made sure i’d never be more than three miles away from the car at a time. have i also mentioned that i actually enjoy running out && backs over && over? it’s freakish, i know.

anyways, running in nine degrees really isn’t that bad. i never had the thought, “omg, i’m so cold”. it was more so what the cold was slowly but surely doing to my body.

around mile 4.5 my hips started hurting pretty bad && i was having a strange pain in the tip of my right thumb. i had just turned around at mile 6 to go back out when my phone beeped. it was dr.dayna. i needed to come into the clinic.

i was relieved that i was literally .1 miles away from the car. however once i got into the car i was relieved that i had been called in. i had this excruciating pain in my thumb. everything else was warming up just fine. but my thumb was a pain all it’s own. it finally stopped after i had crammed my hand under all my core layers and held it against my skin for a bit. luke says it may have been a pretty close call with frostbite. i believe it. that shit hurt. i had funny sensations/twinges for the next hour or so.

even though i wasn’t able to get 16 in, i know it was definitely probably for the better. it’s supposed to warm up a smidge this week, so i”m hoping to just move around a few runs to fit it in. hard to believe we were running in this about two weeks ago…

&& now this.

also, this was taken on our way back from town after i was done at work…

a few things friday : co marathon training confessions, racing & diets.

co marathon training confessions

Since I haven’t been recapping like EVERY.SINGLE. RUN. on my  blog this go round… I feel it necessary to make note of the following: ….. you know… for the next time I decide to sign up for a spring race & train during the winter…

  • MY LONG RUNS STANK. OK, well aside from the 20 miler I did on the treadmill like a month or so ago & then the 18 on the treadmill before we left for NYC… the rest have NOT gone so well… like at all. Uhm, all in fact due to weather. THANK YOU WIND, you are well on your way to blowing out my “I heart long runs!” flame. Let’s just say, I should get a trophy for “the girl who cried the most tears while running” last weekend. Did I also mention the long run where I threw off my shoes at mile 15 & stood in the snow (my feet/ankles hurt from a weeks worth of nothing but pavement running THAT BAD.) Give me rain, heat humidity, falling snow, I can HANDLE those elements… just not the wind.. yet. That stuff sure is frustrating!  However, I know I’m not the only one. The rest of the runners in Denver are having to deal with it too && it seems like they are all pretty over it as well… Fortunately the forecast for the weekend & next week looks BEAUTIFUL! *crosses fingers*
  • I’M GETTING FAST (er)! The one thing I honestly can’t complain about. I’m more than pleased with my speed work… Yesterday I had mini mile repeat session with a  7:00-7:15 goal… with my miles coming in at 7:13, 7:08, 6:58, && 6:49. 6 miles total including warm up, cool down & 400m active recovery between each mile. Today it was ABSOLUTELY gorgeous & perfect weather for a run. I had 4 easy miles on schedule… however, once I started, the legs just didn’t want to stop. 8:32, 8:04, 7:45, 6:41 <— guess I should bump up that goal pace for the mile repeats, eh?


This Sunday Luke & I are racing the Runnin of the Green Lucky 7k. I’ve never run a 7k race before, so this should be fun! Those sub 7 miles can totally feel free to pop up at any time during that race.

Next Friday we will be traveling to Moab, Utah to race Canyonlands 1/2 marathon. I’ve REALLY been looking forward to this race… like A LOT. Not only will like 23728926 of our friends also be racing it, but I’ve heard wonderful things about it! After 3m 1/2 marathon I was more than pleased with my 8+ min PR, however I had the lingering question of “Did I push hard enough for long enough?” No matter the outcome of Canyonlands, I just want to finish knowing I couldn’t have possibly run any stronger.


Luke && I have decided to give the paleo diet a shot, starting this weekend! What sold me was that “beef jerky” was listed as a common snack. Sign me right up!

is the winter weather affecting your training? 

fall marathon decisions.

Luke and I have yet to pick a fall / winter marathon. Well, we DID, but then I started tossing around the idea of a few other ones as well! So, we’ve narrowed it down to three…

California International Marathon  : December 2, 2012 : Sacramento, California.

St.George Marathon : October 6, 2012 :  St. George, Utah  (registration for the lottery opens April 1)

Marine Corps Marathon : October 28, 2012 : Arlington, VA

I also posted the elevation profiles, you know.. in case anyone was curious. I’m not letting the way the courses appear to make a HUGE impact on our decision. As I learned in Portland, these elevation profiles can be pretty darn deceiving.

the few things we do know:

  • all boston qualifiers
  • all notoriously fast courses
  • CIM & St. George are point to point, MCM is not
  • St. George is pretty stankin’ beautiful (from what we hear)

So, here is where I turn to you! I would love to hear any && all opionions! 

Have you run any of these marathons? If so, did you love it/hate it && why.