Friday, May 24, 2013

Off the grid

I am very excited to be heading off to Mexico this morning. I won't be at a nice resort with wifi and an open bar. I will be at a sea research station and ranch, with very limited electricity and no running water. But that makes me even more excited. This means you won't hear from me for the rest of the month. So have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and I will catch up with you guys in June! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Four months from today....

I can't believe that Ironman Lake Tahoe is only four months away! It feels too close, especially since I am traveling out of the country for 12 days and training will be little to none. But my coach says it will be fine and I will be focused and ready to get after it when I get back. Then the real work begins!

Matthew Winters Trail

I really love trail running, and finding a new trail to run on is one of my favorite things in the world. I find trail running in Colorado very different than running on streets or paths with all the hills and technical sections. So I don't always get to spend time on the trails like I would like. If I have 20 miles on my schedule it my be too difficult for ME to do so on a trail (I know ultra runners do it all the time but I can't on top of Ironman training) but I do find anything less than 10 miles works and is a good hill workout. This past weekend, I had a shorter run on my schedule so I hopped on the internet and found a new trail not too far from our house. Matthew Winters Trail seemed like a good choice. DSCN8228.JPG

Everything is SO green right now!


The trail started out rolling and very runnabel


There were some deer along the trail




As we ran into the south parking lot we could have turned around and headed back the way we came or along the Dakota Ridge trail. We opted for Dakota Ridge, but if I could go back I would backtrack. Dakota Ridge trail is beautiful but not runnable for me, it was steep uphill on rocky terrain that often had stairs cut in. I really did enjoy the views, unfortunately our camera died halfway through so no pictures of the second part.

Do you enjoy trail running? Do you find it difficult to run as far?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe – Week 20

I can’t believe it’s week 20 already, about 125 days until Ironman Lake Tahoe! So far training has been fun, a little sporadic and light hearted. I have a work trip coming up this week that will disrupt training so my plan is to do what I can now and really start focused training when I am back on June 3rd. Here is how last week shaped up:

Monday: 12 mile easy run before work
PM: a MUCH needed massage!


Tuesday: 2600 m swim (had to miss track because I had a work event in the evening)

Wednesday: am strength training
PM: 80 minute trainer ride

Thursday: yoga with the pug
PM: Maters Swim: 3100 yds

Friday: 4.5 mile tempo run
PM: Friday night climb 28 miles

Saturday80 mile ride (no big climbs) with a 15 min t-run. This ride felt great, I finally feel like I am making some progress on the bike

Sunday: 6.5 mile hilly trail run

Total ~ 17.5 hrs training. I would have liked to have gotten in one more swim and one more strength session last week but BBQ plans trumped even open water swim. I am so excited that it’s officially triathlon season. Lots of friends racing and an Ironman to follow almost every weekend makes me happy.

What did your week look like?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Colorado Marathon Race Report

On May 5th I ran my second marathon (3rd if you count Ironman, but I don't and that's another conversation). I almost dropped to the half but I am happy with my choice to run the full. It hurt and I had some GI issues but I had fun and didn't have to pay $20 to switch. So besides MY personal experience that you can read about, here are my thoughts on how this race is run.
You must pick up your packet on Friday or Saturday before the Sunday race, this is a little bit of an inconvenience for Cory and I as it's over an hour drive from Denver. We didn't want to make the trip twice. We opted to stay in a hotel the night before but didn't think about this logistical issue until the week before and ended up in a slightly seedy hotel (I brought my own pillow and blanket). The expo is easy to get into and navigate but also very small with basically no swag other than your race shirt. The shirt this year is very nice, much better than two years ago with women's cut available.
Race morning you must meet down town between 4:00 and 4:30 am to catch tour busses to the race start. The race is point to point, basically they drive you 26 miles up the mountain canyon and you run out. We caught a fairly early bus because I am type A like that. The ride was comfortable and there was a bathroom which was nice for a runner on an hour long bus ride. It is a little surreal to ride what you will have to turn around and run out it makes the distance very real. The bus was full of nervous chatter but I was feeling fairly at ease since I had put no pressure on myself to do anything more than just finish. When we got to the top it was dark and we had over an hour before the race start, good news was that the bathroom lines were short, bad news is we froze!
Even with sweats it was cold and I didn't want to sit and lose more heat so I stood freezing for 90 minutes, not the best start to marathon. If I did it again I would catch a later bus. Another issue at the start was not enough bathrooms. The lines were ridiculous!
the start couldn't come fast enough I was ready to run and warm up!
Aside from some of my complaints the course is breathtaking. It is awesome to run down the canyon with the sunrise and the river flowing next to you!


The first half of the race is so scenic that the miles just click by. One mistake I made was not hydrating correctly. I was at the back of the bus when the volunteer gave us updates, both Cory and I heard that there was aid stations about every mile. Looking back at the race site it actually says every other mile so we must have miss heard and it was more like every 2.5 miles so I didn't always take a gel at the right time that led to some GI distress later.

About mile 16 you make it out onto the plains and run along a busy road, this is my least favorite part of the run but it is still nice. Marathon.jpg
One thing to note is that the canyon road is closed to traffic which is great for safety but if you want a lot of crowd support, you're not getting it at this race. You probably won't see your family until mile 18 of the marathon. If you like having cheering fans and seeing your family multiple times, this race is not for you.

After my stomach started to bother me I was really ready to be done but seeing my parents and their dogs after 21 and a half miles really lifted my spirits. I told myself at the beginning that if I was really hurting or on the verge of injury I would pull out when I saw them. I wasn't feeling great but I really wanted to finish so I trudged on.
Hey mom!

The rest of the course is along a bike path, nice and flat until you turn into old town and run up the road to the finish line.
I was so happy to see the 26 mile flag. While I enjoyed most of the run, the post race was a little lacking. There wasn't a party feel, and the food was oatmeal. It was Cinco de Mayo and they were serving Oatmeal! Others may have liked it but I wanted guacamole and a margarita! On the bright side the medal was cool.

Colo marathon medal.jpg
After the race we refueled like a boss with lots of mexican food! Thanks mom and dad for all the support!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I changed my mind…..

So last week I wrote a post about paying the price for inconsistent training, how I missed key workouts and was going to have to drop to the half marathon. My coach suggested the switch and I agreed it was the SMART choice. I decided I was going to switch but was fairly grumpy about it and wasn’t really looking forward to racing the half. I ran the full in 2011 and loved it. Added to that was the lingering disappointment that I skipped last year’s marathon due to an injury while training for IMCDA.

On top of being grumpy about dropping to the half, I found out it would cost $20 to switch. I understand why they charge, it takes staff time to change people and they don’t want a bunch of people switching. But I had already paid for the more expensive race I didn’t want to pay more to do the half. The nail in the coffin was Cory telling me he still wanted to run the full (he had done a little less training than I had) and he thought I could do the full if I wanted. I was sold, and magically excited about the race again. I was excited to run a marathon, to get my second open marathon in the books and I really didn’t care what my time was. I knew with my shabby training that I was undertrained, there would be no PR and it would hurt but I was still happy to be there.


And I survived and had a lot of fun, ok, the last 10k sucked and hurt but doesn’t it always? I don’t care that I didn’t PR or run fast at all, it was an event and I had a really good time. My parents came out to cheer for us and seeing them at mile 21 really lifted my spirits, thanks mom and dad! I will write a race report later this week to talk about race details. For now I am trying to recover and be able to walk normally.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Moab Day 3 and 4

Lots of things to talk about but I need to wrap up my posts about our training trip to Moab.You can read about day one and day two if your missed them. Day 3 and 4 don't get their own posts because both ended up being half days unfortunately. Saturday we woke up to some light rain and very cold temps. Hoping that it would clear up we layered up, packed up our bikes and drove out to the start of our long ride for the weekend. Some very dedicated folks started from the hotel had 100+ miles on the schedule my plan called for 88 miles and lots of climbing up in Canyonlands .

As we were driving out to the parking lot (and the 6 people were riding) it started to really rain hard. As we regrouped at the parking lot shivering we got word (thanks smart phones) that it was snowing at dead horse point ,where we were headed. I was very nervous about riding in the cold rain since I was still recovering from a very nasty cold/sinus infection and I didn't want to risk relapse. Plus I was miserable just standing in the rain, I couldn't imagine riding in it. The rain was forecasted to stop in two hours (10 am) so we decided to head back to the hotel, get some food and wait out the storm. Most of the dedicated riders pushed on in the cold and wet, I am amazed by the toughness and dedication of these guys (and gals)!
photo (1).JPG
Long story short we waited much longer than we would have liked for the rain to stop and our "long" was cut to 48 miles and the transition run was completely cut out.
We had a team dinner to get to at 5:30, priorities. I was disappointed to be cut short but I think it was the right choice and the views were still amazing!

Happy to finally be on the bike!

After a short ride we went to a team dinner, over 60 triathletes in one place was a lot of fun. After dinner it was early to bed so Cory and I could get up and head back to Arches for a trail run.
While we didn't get as many miles in as we would have if we had run on the roads and we did get lost a couple times
It was fun running around and finding arches everywhere
I just wish we had more time to spend on the trails, but we had to get back for check out
Next year….check out first and drive home sweaty so there is more time for trails!
Double Arch
Can't wait to go back!

Friday, May 3, 2013

In May...

I haven't lived in Colorado long so it really freaks me out to have 5+ inches of snow in MAY!

I am not going to complain though since last year we spent the summer with half the state on fire, we will take every bit of moisture we can get. I am excited for a fresh new month.
April was a hit and miss month for me in terms of training. I was sick for the first two weeks and had a pretty crappy race while coming down with the demon cold. Then just as I was recovering it was off to Moab for 4 days of triathlon fun. I was not 100% but I was at least well enough to participate and that made me happy. I came back to town and got a fairly decent week of training in with a killer brick in the sunshine. Then the end of the semester hit. I am just entering finals week so there is a lot of work to do for school, luckily this week is a recovery week so I can focus a little more on classes/finals/research/etc. Then after finals are over in a week I have almost four and a half weeks before summer semester starts (bliss).
In May…..
May will be a little hit and miss as well for training but I knew that was coming. I am going to Baja for a research trip for work. This won’t be a cushy work trip with hotel pools and gyms to work out in. This is sleeping in tents and avoiding scorpions. I don’t know exactly what the conditions will be but I am hoping I can get some running and hopefully ocean swims in while I am away for 12 days. Obviously there will be no biking. I am nervous what this will do to my fitness. But I have three weeks before I go so I will try to get as much time in on the bike between now and then and just deal with the consequences when I get back. So my goals for May are simple:
  • Follow training plan completely for the next three weeks
  • Foam roll and core at least 4 times a week
  • strength training two times a week
  • Yoga two times a week
  • Work on our yard during school break so we can enjoy it during the summer

Anyone had to travel while training for a race for so long without equipment? Did you lose fitness?