Sedona Marathon Training – Week 3 Recap

Welcome back! I am happy to report that things are still going well! Actually last week was pretty fantastic in all aspects of life.

sedona marathon event logoSedona Marathon Training – Week 3:

Monday: 4 miles due, 4 miles complete! This run actually felt really good! It was misty, cold and cloudy here in Denver, but perfect for running! It was just an easy run, so I took it easy, but I felt like I could have gone for way longer or faster! It was great!  My run was followed by work and then I had great company for drinks and a little haunted house adventure!

Tuesday: Rest day. I flip flopped Tuesday and Wednesday to get a little extra rest! Tuesday was also a day to celebrate because we started a new semi-private personal training program (in addition to bootcamps) at my work and it went off very successfully!

Wednesday: 1 hr fartlek ladder. 10 min warm up then starting with 1 min “on” (at a faster pace, or race pace), 1 min off, 2 min on, 1 off, 3 on, 1 off, so on and so forth to 5 min on. Then I repeated a 5 min “on” segment and went back down the ladder. 10 min cool down. I didn’t care about distance at the time, but while writing this post, I mapped it out due to curiosity and it came to over 7 miles!

pumpkinsThursday: Supposed to be some kind of tempo run but I did a trail run for an hour and a half, about 5-6 miles. I ran a new trail loop that I’ve never done before. I met up with a running buddy and we started on one trail that I’m familiar with but at a cross roads, went a different direction that I’ve never gone. Due to the hills, the trail itself, and the ridiculously strong wind, my run became really challenging! I was trying to avoid “speed work” but due to the elements, I think I was force fed the speed work.

The run was a after a fun trip to a local news studio to promote my work, Camp Missfits! That’s right, I’m FAMOUS now!!! Just kidding. But I was on TV. Every fall, the local news does a “Colorado’s Best” segment that features and promotes local businesses. My boss and Camp MissFits has been featured for the last 5 to 6 years, focusing on our signature Pumpkin Bootcamp annual event. My boss and I with three camp members dressed up in our rock star outfits, brought our pumpkins and exercised on live tv!! Check it out HERE! (I’m the one with the pink highlighted wig).

halloween costume 2013

This year’s halloween costume

Then of course, after my run, I participated in as much halloween related things as I could think of. I carved some wonderful pumpkins, handed out a little bit of candy to trick-or-treaters, got dressed in my halloween costume then hit the town!

Friday: Rest Day. ALLLLLL DAY! I completely checked myself out of work mode for my three day weekend and I’m pretty sure I was supposed to run, but I slept in reallllllyyyyy late and laid in bed. It was much needed and I don’t regret a moment of my laziness. I also had to clean up my house because we were expecting our local ghost hunters (not from the TV show) to investigate our house….

Yes, that’s serious!

Don’t ask questions.

Saturday: Back to double digits! 10 Mile Run…. the weather was soooo nice I ran in SHORTS! That’s right: SHORTS! My 10 miles went well with no problems, pains or anything. I feel like I’ve regained my milage fitness really fast. I followed it up with game night and deliciously cooked food with great company.

Sunday: Rest day, football watching and drinks with some friends.

See, what did I tell ya’? It was a great week!

Week 3 Total Milage: 26+ miles!

Sedona Marathon Training – Week 1 Recap

Wow. What an overwhelming week last week was! Luckily, my training is off to a good start! At least I think it is.

Marathon #2 Training – Week 1:

IMG_20131017_122722Monday: 4 miles, easy due. 2.77 easy with my cross country girls. This week was filled with easy miles for cross country because Thursday was regionals!

Tuesday: 1 hr fartlek due. 3 miles (about 30 min) fartlek. I actually called it short because I wanted to check out a cross fit gym that just opened by my house. It’s literally about two blocks away. I’ve fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to resistance training so I’ve been thinking about ways to motivate myself to add it in my weekly regimen again. Since the gym is so close, walking distance, I’d have no excuse to miss training days. But, when I got to the gym, they weren’t even open; Closed for lunch break! I did contact them by email and I’m still undecided.

IMG_20131022_163742Wednesday: Rest day! But I actually got in 2 miles with the cross country girls.

Thursday: The plan called for 2 miles warmup, 2 miles tempo, 2 miles cool down. I got in 4 miles at home. Kinda threw in a tempo chunk. Kinda. The cross country team I coach had their final meet this day at Regionals and then we all went out to eat as a team at the Keg (expenses paid!), a very nice steak restaurant!

Friday: 3 miles easy due, 3 done! Here in Colorado, we had a lovely, short snow storm that I drove through in morning. But being Colorado, it was done and over with by 10am, the sun came out IMG_20131020_224017and I had a wet, cold run as I ducked under sagging branches weighted down with the moisture.

Saturday: Rest day. I wish I could say my mind got a rest day. I was bombarded with un-needed stress and pretty much had a melt down!

Sunday: 8 miles due. 9 miles! And what a great run!! I haven’t felt that good and accomplished in a long time! I ran the entire 9 miles without stopping (despite minor complications – see this post) and felt good! And strong!

Week 1, total miles: 23.77

So, I’ve started marathon training, what about all of YOU? Are you currently training for anything specific?? Let me know!

A little update and a timeline

After getting caught up with all the race reviews WAY after they happened (and in random order nevertheless), I started realizing that it might be a little confusing to you all when these events happened and where I am at now. Let’s start from the beginning….

January: I did the Resolute Run 5K, really got into my personal training school, and Marathon training BEGUN!

February: Virtual Heart Throb 5K, Tackle the Miles Virtual 5K, and I started working at Hell Bally’s (in addition to working at Dick’s Sporting Goods AND school).

March: The Erin Go Braugh 7.77K,  and I quit Dick’s to have more time for school

April: My B-Day Month, The Rave Run, and The Horsetooth Half

May: Started with the Dino Half and ended with a trip to the East Coast where I did the Sugarloaf 15K, went to a wedding and…dun-dun-dun: My FIRST Marathon!

June: Nearing towards the end of school (i.e. LOTS of work), I got hired on at Camp MissFits, this is when “the boy” first shows up and Tough Mudder

July: Graduated, quit Bally’s, did the Half on the 4th race.

At Garden of the Gods in CO Springs; one of the places we explored.

At Garden of the Gods in CO Springs; one of the places we explored.

Which brings us to August: I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off!! I’ve had a bazillion and a half interviews, trying to decide what kind of place/job would be a good fit for me. On the fun side of things, earlier this month, I conquered the Manitou Incline (if you don’t know what that is, I’ll tell you about it in my next post), explored what Colorado Springs has to offer (where the boy lives), climbed another 14er, volunteered at the Leadville 100 Trail Run, an Alumni Cross Country Race and other random antics.

Running Related Antics:

So, since all these races, I was left with feeling pretty over trained and potentially injured. I had some really bad hip pain when I would run, especially during those last few races, and started developing a lot of heel pain.

My hip pain is gone. I still get a little tight, but I’ve been working on stretching a lot more, on a more regular basis.

My heel pain is still there. Not nearly as bad. I’m still trying to figure out what it is, but I’m leaning towards it being plantar fascitis.

Since my marathon, I have been running in addition to those two races. I’ve been running quite a lot. I just haven’t been recording it. And let me tell you, it’s been liberating!

I used to be very into mapping my run with my various phone apps and posting it all over facebook and twitter. But since my marathon, I think I’ve posted a run maybe twice.

In fact, I barely even care about how far I’m going lately. I’ve been running to feel good, to get back to the basics of running and why I do it. I’ve been running for time rather. A lot of times, I can only squeeze in a 45 minute run, so I stopped caring about how far I get and caring about how I felt and the intensity level.

I’ve also been doing a lot more trail running. I’ve had some more time since being out of school, so I’m able to drive a few minutes toward the mountains to some beautiful, fun trails.

I’ve been loving running. And I love that I love running again!

In addition to getting back to my roots of running, I’ve been really working on strengthing and flexibilty as injury prevention. I plan on doing a more detailed post on each of these aspects, but I’m really hoping it will help for when I start training for my next race.

Besides that stuff….Professional Antics:

I’m still working at Camp MissFits as a coach. It’s an all women’s bootcamp that focuses on personal training in a group setting. So, while the workouts are in a group setting, we meet with the ladies one on one to give them additional support and other information to help them meet their goals. I also am the admin support for this company which I was “promoted” to after only working for them for a month.

arvada bulldogsI have also started coaching cross country for my old high school, the Arvada Bulldogs! That has been a blast, and even though I’m only three weeks in, It’s already rewarding. It’s my favorite part of my day. I am an assistant coach to the other two normal coaches and I’m leaning about how to be a coach so that in the future I can hopefully be the head coach for some other cross country team. The format that this team has been doing for a few years is incorporating a lot of cross fit fundamentals into the cross country practice. Since I do all the workouts with the girls, I definitely experiencing some new strength since I’ve never really done cross fit. It’s a blast, and I can’t wait to see how it correlates when the girls actually get to meets.

Most recently, I got hired at a gym called About Time Fitness where I will be teaching a few group classes in addition to personal training. It’s not a normal gym, like Bally’s or 24 Hour. It’s only group fitness with a studio in the back for “renting” out for Personal Training. I will be getting certified in a cycling class, which I never expected I would do in a million years. It is actually quite fun and my endurance from running is perfect for cycling. I will then also eventually get certified in Core, which is a 30 minute abs class.

The most important part about this job is that the personal training side could be under my own business name. I am in the process of developing a business plan and marketing strategy to see if this is really a good decision. I realize this is risky, to just immediately start my own business rather than gain experience in a gym setting, but after a handful of interviews and my experience at Bally’s, I realized that a gym setting is not right for me. I just don’t agree with the way the big box gyms view fitness. I know it will be a hard go in the beginning, but it will be more rewarding in the end. And it’s not completely unreasonable, considering that I do have some cash flow coming in from the group fitness stuff I do! So we’ll see! Any advice and expertise in the area is great appreciated!

Upcoming Antics:

are 13.1 logoThis last weekend, I ran in the 7th Annual Arvada High School Cross Country Alumni Race (quite the tongue twister, eh) and was the first girl to finish out of all the current cross country girls (the ones I coach), the community and alum!!! I mean, there wasn’t that many people running, but still, I can claim it, right!? I also am set to run an half marathon early in September, the Area 13.1. I’m actually super excited; it’s an alien themed race held at night and you get an alien medal!!! I honestly don’t quite know if I’m ready for an half, but what the heck, right?? But I’m not stupid, I have been running and training everyday with my cross country girls, so I’m not going to hurt myself, I promise.

Also, in other news, I’ve decided I’m ready to start training (not run, TRAINING) for my next marathon. I’m still looking for the right one…but I’m leaning towards the Sedona Marathon in Arizona. Has anyone done this one and have any opinions (positive or negative)??

Your Turn: What’s the most interesting newest development in your lives?? Could be personal, running related or business related!

Horsetooth Half Marathon 2013 – Post Race Recap

horsetoth half logo(Here’s another past due post. I started writing this post shortly after the run and am finally finishing it now. The Horsetooth Half was on April 21st of this year. I wish I had time to write this post sooner than now! I wanted my excitability to show through into this blog! I will try my best to recover my post race enthusiasm…it shouldn’t be hard, this was a great run!!)

I returned to Fort Collins to run the Horsetooth Half Marathon for the third time. This is absolutely, so far, my favorite race. It’s a beautiful course, love the half marathon distance, it’s put on by great people, and it’s challenging!

IMG_20130428_195136First and foremost, this race is most dear to me because about three years ago this was my FIRST EVER half marathon. I decided to attempt the half marathon distance my last year in college mostly as a way to stay in shape. I didn’t know much about racing, or half marathons in general, I had only previously done 5k’s (not even a 10k!). I bought one of the online training plans from runnerworld.com.

Back then, I was a newbie. I didn’t realize I picked a particularly difficult half. I probably had awful shoes (in fact, I think I was running in Nikes….GASP!), I didn’t know to train hills, and I didn’t have a clue as to what I was getting into! It was a big feat to attempt while working, going to school for my last semester of college (graduating), and juggling a social life (living with four rambunctious boys). But I did it. Actually, following a training plan for a race is probably the only thing that kept me exercising and in shape at that time. It gave me structure and kept me in line. I loved it! I remember I was working for a vet clinic at the time, Banfield Pet Hospital (the chain in Petsmarts), and the vet I worked for as well as another co worker were both really into running as well and motivated me to keep at it. The Vet himself had actually run the Horsetooth in previous years and offered me advice from time to time.

IMG_20130428_200236I finished my first half marathon on the Horsetooth Half course in 2 hours and 12 min. I didn’t stop running, not once, mostly for fear that I wouldn’t be able to start again but also so that I could prove to myself that I could run that long.

I returned to the Horsetooth last year, two years after my first, to start my Racing the States project. You can check out that story here. It’s good one, if I do say so myself. Still is my most popular/clicked on post.

The Course:

I love the course they have mapped out for this race. It’s starts at the base of Hughes Stadium (the Colorado State University football field) and goes up! You’re immediately subjected to a incline of 6.4% and then after a tiny level spot, back up at 9.2%! That’s only the first two peaks and they’re in the first two miles. There are still two more hills after that! If those inclines don’t get ya, those declines certainly will! Don’t be fooled by the down hill.

IMG_20130421_072807Needless to say, it is a challenging course, but it’s just challenging enough. After those four hills, the second half of the course is down hill and spits you right out at New Belgium Brewery. It goes without saying that the pain is worth it. New Belgium beer is still one of my favorites: mmmm…Fat Tire…..

This year, they added a full marathon to the list (and after checking out the website, they wont be doing it again next year with the Horsetooth Series). It started farther up in the mountains, and from what I was hearing, the snow wasn’t completely melted and the race was slightly less than 26.2 miles. The marathoners met up with us after a couple miles (luckily not having to do the first 3 hills) and finished the course at the Brewery as well.

The “race:”

My race was fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it…well, maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word for the hills, but all of us runners have some sort of crazy in us and view “fun” differently than the rest of the world.

I look so sexy when I run, i know, but check out that view behind me!

I look so sexy when I run, i know, but check out that view behind me!

I’ve already said how dear to me this event was, and this year was even better. I knew a handful of other racers. One, was a Newton Running Coach/Sponsored Runner. Nick is his name. I actually met him at a previous race. Actually, it’s a weird story. While at the Erin Go Braugh 7.77K (which I still have yet to do a post on), there was a Newton Shoe booth for people to try on and test the shoes. Post race, I just wanted to know about the shoes. I had just been introduced to the Newton line (working as a shoe sales(wo)man) and wanted to know what it was all about. I went up and talked to the Newton ambassador. Later that day, while I was updating my twitter, I noticed a picture was in my Twitter feed with the caption something like, “after party dance at the erin go braugh.” It was tweeted by a runner I had recently followed, randomly, probably referred to me in the side bar of twitter. Turns out it was the same guy I had talked to about the shoes.

At the horsetooth half, I was minding my own business when a bright yellow Newton vest crept up beside me at while running. I turned, becuase of the brightness, and noticed who it was. I called out his name and we began a nice frienly conversation about running. Actually, talking to him helped me run as well as I did this whole race. You see, we kept playing tag. Once we approached a hill, he would surpase me as I fell behind, but on the downhills and straights, I would catch up, run with him a little then push myself harder.

As we neared the end, with about 3 miles left, he crepted up behind me again. “Uh oh, I caught you again. That means it’s time for you to pick up the pace!” I did. And I finished strong, ahead of him.  (Turned out, with gun time vs chip time, he beat me by a minute or so! Darn!).

The "medal" this year was a plaque/trophy thing and the commemorative glass

The “medal” this year was a plaque/trophy thing and the commemorative glass

There was another friend of mine that I met through twitter (not in a creepy way, I swear). Ryan, the photographer at CO2 Photography had posted pictures of 2012’s Horsetooth Half on twitter and I stumbled upon them while searching. After staying in touch through the blog world and twitter, we finally met at a race the end of last year, the Pelican Lakes Turkey Trot. This time however, he was pushing a wheel chair up the crazy steep inclines of the Horsetooth Half. I called out my hello as he zoomed by me on the course, behind his fellow racer of the Atheltes in Tandum program.

If you have never heard of this program, you should relaly check it out and some how get involved. Basically, this program allows athletes who otherwise can’t run to particpate in big events. A lot of the runs I do benefit this great cause and support the athletes. I’ve declared that once I’m strong enough (and maybe on a flat course), I would love to help out!

There was also as handful of people I knew from contacts through my school and potential job leads. It was very nice to know others around.

IMG_20130428_200526Oh yeah, I forgot about MY actual race! There’s nothing too notable about my run itself. I felt pretty confident and in shape. I was generally pretty distracted by talking to people while running or looking at the scenery. I beat my course record by about 10 minutes with a time of 1:57:18 (last year’s time was 2:07:59)!!! Not my half PR, but I’m damn proud of the course record!!!

The Post-race party:

Always a blast. I met my mom at the finish line and we promptly entered the beer garden and got our New Blegium Beers. There was a live ska band to entertain the delirious runners. I met up with a friend of mine from Fort Collins and he hung out with us as well. I even managed to catch some free swag they were throwing in the crowd: a brooks drawstring bag and Saucony arm warmers!

The Swashbuckling Doctors...or something like that

The Swashbuckling Doctors…or something like that

running for angels shirt and medalThe most important part:

I had also run this race in conjunction with a virtual 5K, Running with Angels. I had won a free entry, and in response, I promised to promote the race. If you remember, I had posted about this event in my blog and on Facebook. Maybe thats why I ran so fast, I was running with angels!

Special Thanks to my biggest fan/sponsor/driver/photographer/support team/psychologist/nurse/doggie day care/cheer leader/MOM. She always has been all of those things and even came with me to the Horsetooth on her bday weekend (the Horsetooth Half ALWAYS falls on her bday weekend).

IMG_20130423_214219

Additional Information:

Last Years Horsetooth Half Post

Horsetooth Half Marathon Website

Tim’s, the one who put on the Running for Angel’s Race, Blog