Greetings from Washington, state that is. (+Updates)

Hello from Ellensburg – er….now I’m in Seattle. The Sea/Tac Airport to be exact. And I’m on my way home.

I have been in Ellensburg, WA for the past 4ish days visiting with some family. As much as the travel bug has been biting me lately, this was not on the list. Not to say it’s bad – just unplanned.

You see, my Grandparents live in Ellensburg which is about 1.5-2 hours east of Seattle. Over the last couple of years, my grandfather’s health has been declining, as what happens in life, but after a recent trip to the hospital, my mom and I decided to just make the trip out to see him.

So, last Monday, we bought tickets and on Friday we packed our bags and headed to the airport. Well, I’m sure my Mom packed her bags within reasonable time. I, being a professional procrastinator, packed the hour before leaving. No joke.

As much as I was looking forward to camping and a 14er hike with the boyfriend’s family, I am glad we finally got out to see my Grandpa because that is more important. I hadn’t been out this way for 6 or 7 years, although I did see my Grandparents at my Mom’s wedding a couple of years ago.

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It was a good, relaxing break from work. There wasn’t even WIFI (gasp!) so I spent a lot of time reading, watching football with Grandpa, coloring and watching the Disney channel with my cousins and hanging out with my Mom, Aunt and Grandma in the kitchen.

I even got in a run with my some special running buddies!

My Mom and two cousins!

My Mom and two cousins!

(Follow me on Instagram to see more pictures from my travels.)

Updates:

Since my last post from Oregon (geez, I need to get better at this blogging thing), I have been keeping busy as always.

-The day after I got back, I organized another one of my Brew Runs.

-I ran road Ragnar the weekend after returning from Oregon.

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-Went on a lovely date with the boyfriend to the Melting Pot….mmmmm…

-Volunteered at the Splash and Dash, a kid’s Triathlon.

-STARTED COACHING CROSS COUNTY AT GOLDEN HIGH SCHOOL! This deserves all caps because A) I have been wanting to coach here for a while, for many reasons but also B) Because this is quite a refreshing coaching job!

These kids are super motivated, really respectful to the coaches and each other, and just all around good kids!

If you’ve been following Racing the States for a bit, you would know that I have been coaching Cross Country at Arvada High School for the last two years (my alma mater). This year, the head coach left, leaving the spot open, but the athletic director filled it with a non-runner-teacher without posting the job. For gosh sakes the guy didn’t even know my name or realize he had another coach on his staff! Don’t even get me started on that guy/school….

Anyway, I was pretty bummed that I didn’t get the job, nor the opportunity to apply for it, but accepted the fact that I wasn’t coaching that season. However, on my friends coaches at Golden High School, which is conveniently in the city I live, and said there was a spot open…without hesitation, I say “DUH!” and started coaching the following week. IT’S BEEN AMAZING!

And yes, I still will be coaching track at Green Mountain High School in the Spring. Besides, Golden does already have a Jump’s coach.

Back to my updates….

-I went on my first backpacking trip to Conundrum Hot Springs in Colorado.

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-Went to a Cross Country meet that we did REALLY well at (the boy’s team took first and individually we had a 1st, 3rd and 7th place boys and a 1st place girl)!

The smiling faces of the Golden HS Cross Country Team!

The smiling faces of the Golden HS Cross Country Team!

-That brings us to last week, I had another Brew Tour run and got on a plane to Washington.

All the while I have been working my normal job, marketing at 3W Races, and at the recreation center in Golden. Hopefully it wont be nearly as long till my next post and I’ll be getting some race recaps finished up!

Bolder Boulder 2015 – Post Race Recap

I am going to recap this race first since it is most fresh in my mind. I still have the Colfax Relay from last week and the Colorado Women’s Classic from the week before to recap!

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The Bolder Boulder is one of those races that if you are a runner in Colorado, you have to go to this event. It’s the biggest running event in Colorado and voted America’s Favorite 10k! It’s, I want to say, the 3rd largest 10k in the country. Don’t quote me on that though.

It’s just a great event all around – and that’s saying a lot from me because with over 50,000 people, I don’t usually like being stuck in a crowd that large! But no matter if you’re a competitive runner, casual, social, or a walker, this race is perfect.

For that many people, you must have a wave system, and they do it perfectly. It’s always well-organized and tons of volunteers to help. They have a great transportation system in place (recruiting the local buses to help out), and a huge expo at the end.

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The wave system

The course is kinda difficult; pretty hilly and lots of turns, but it’s manageable. There is entertainment the whole way with bands, belly dancers, gymnastics, houses with slip and slides, beer, jello shots, bacon, cupcakes, and Doritos.

But the best part is when you finish in the stadium. With a quarter-mile left, you run up a steep, short hill and end up in Folsom Field, where the CU Buffalos throw a football around. There’s a ton of people in there and you make a horseshoe finish, with the sounds of everyone cheering for you! It’s an amazing and empowering moment.

The Bolder Boulder is also all about Memorial Day. There is a big Memorial Day celebration after the race finishes and elites have gone with a fly over, para gliders dropping in to the stadium and more!

This is the 5th time I have run the Bolder Boulder, but not 5 years in a row, I skipped one somewhere in there…

In 2010, I ran it with my dear friend, Joanna. In 2011, I ran it with a guy I was dating at the time. 2012, I returned by myself after I started Racing the States and crushed all my previous times with a 53:03. I skipped the race in 2013 when finances were tight. I returned last year when I got a free race entry from 3W Races for running as an Ambassador and lolli-gagged around the course to finish in 55 min.

 

This year, I returned. Another free entry from 3W Races, and I crushed my previous course record of 53:03 to kill it with a 51:53!

I debated between running it for fun and taking part of all the free jello shots and slip and slides, but decided to try for a PR. After all, I did PR on this course in reverse at the Heart and Sole 10k last year. Although, I was looking for a PR today, I told myself I would settle for a Course PR. And that’s just fine with me. This course is hard! This year, with a decently fast qualifying time, I got to register for wave EB, a 7:15am start. The first wave starts around 6:55am, I think, and EB is the EARLIEST I have every gotten to start, which means slightly fewer people on the course to dodge!

Before I started!

Getting ready! Rockin’ 3W gear and my skirt sports skirt!

I started off conservatively, with the idea of finishing strong. I felt really strong for the first half. I slowed a bit with the hill at the midway point, but with 2 miles remaining, I picked it back up and felt incredibly strong, flying by people. It was right within the last quarter-mile, that I described above, that I was struggling, and tried to give it all I had.

Finished!

Finished!

I very happy with how it played out. After visiting with a ton of friends and some of the kids I coached at Green Mountain that also ran the race, I jumped over to the expo where the company I work for had a booth set up. Seeing how busy it was, I jumped in to help and hand out some prizes for the spinning wheel.

Exhausted after tearing down the booth once all the racers left, I was driven back to my car and straight home to my couch! I was super tired!

If you live in Colorado and haven’t done the Bolder Boulder, you should give it a whirl. If you are looking for a great destination race, it’s worth the trip, even though it’s only a 10k!

MORE:

Fellow Coloradoan’s Race Report

Bolder Boulder Website

Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) Runs the Bolder Boulder! 

How To Date A Runner

37474So, you read “Reasons to Date a Runner” and now you want to date one, right?

OR you already met someone you really like and it turns out they are one of those crazy runners? Sorry about that.

In the spirit of the past holiday, let me help you out!

Before we get started, I would like to point out that, no, I am not actually writing this in direction at anyone in particular, as I don’t currently have a “boyfriend.”

… and I don’t know why I put the word boyfriend in quotes…

Although, I have adapted some of these from previous dating disasters, mistakes, experiences (ok, ok, they haven’t ALL been mistakes).  These would also be pretty good tips for anyone in the future that decides they want to try to take this on, court, deal withget involved with, wrangle, handle, woo, date me….

(Insert “Desperato” by the Eagles here).

This is meant to be a funny, comedic post, although I am in no way a comedian. And yes, these all (for the most part) apply to both men and women! And yes, I probably have a real-life dating story for every one of these points….

ebibTips for Dating a Runner:

I have made this easy. Replace [THE RUNNER] with your object of affection’s name. Easy peasy. 🙂

1. In the beginning stages…I’m guessing [THE RUNNER] talks about running, like, all the time, so chances are they have told you of their upcoming race. Remember that day. Write it down if you have to. No, you don’t HAVE to go to the event (because watching a running race is like watching paint dry), but you should text/call them with a “good luck” and follow-up with a “how did the race go!?” text.

Extra tip: If you don’t wake up in time for the “good luck text”, at least go for the “hope your race went well, let me know how you did!” text. Seriously, remembering their running events = amazing.

2. Feed [THE RUNNER]. A lot. You know the phrase, “the fastest way to a man’s heart is through their belly”?  I think “man” should be replaced with “runner.”

3. Oh, and beer. Give [THE RUNNER] beer. Especially after their races.

4. Once you’ve gotten a little closer to [THE RUNNER], try to make it to some of their events. At least to the finish line. Ask them what time they expect to finish in, figure out the time of race start, and be there at the finish.

Bonus: If you don’t ASK about time or location and you just show up! (Tip: If you know the name of the race, just look up the race info online. All of it is easy to find). (Tip: This may be slightly creepy if you haven’t known them long).

EXTRA BONUS: Go with them to the race, see them off at the starting line, take pictures for them (that’s good if [THE RUNNER] is also a run-blogger), and wait for them to finish. Tip: Bring a book. Depending on the length of the race/how fast your runner is, you might be waiting awhile. Extra Tip: Have food or water ready for them. Extra EXTRA tip: Just driving them to a race means a lot! Then they have more time to fix their outfit/shoes/eat/drink coffee in the car while you’re driving.

training5. Be understanding/supportive of [THE RUNNER]. Sometimes when a runner is seriously training for a race they are pretty anal about their running plans. And their sleep. Conversely, sometimes when a runner is training and is dating someone, they feel guilty for wanting to go out on a bunch of runs (less time to spend with that special someone), and might be incline to skip them. Encourage them to stick to their plan and be understanding if they’re crazy. Besides, once they run, they are probably easier to deal with (aka, endorphins).

5b. Don’t roll your eyes at [THE RUNNER] when they start jabbering about running. Just listen. Tip: Look up how many miles are in a marathon (or half, or 10k, or 5k). If you ever ask a runner that question, they are allowed to slap you. Also look up Fartlek.

6. Once you’re WELL into the relationship, and I’m talking “it’s time to give them birthday and/or christmas gifts,” think about the last conversation about running you had with runner-bf or gf. (See number 5b: you should have been listening). What race are they wanting to run? Pay for that race entry.

6b. Or shoes. Just buy them running shoes. Better yet, a gift card to a specialty running store (Not Sports Authority or Dick’s Sporting Goods. Think Runner’s Roost or Road Runner Sports, etc).

6c. OR a cute running shirt. OR Running themed jewelry OR Beer. Wait, that’s #3.

7. Complement [THE RUNNER’S] legs.

7a. And butt.

8. DON’T comment on their feet. We get it. Our feet are gross.

date-a-runner9. The best thing to do if you are a NON-Runner is to just be healthy yourself. Sorry to say it/be vain but most runners tend to care a lot about health and fitness and chances are if you’re not in shape, it probably wont last long. Personally, I have dated all sorts of athletes: soccer players, weight lifters, basketball players, cyclists, etc. and non athletes. Even the guys that weren’t already into health or fitness ended up getting into running with me and those that didn’t, well, they didn’t last long!

10. Think about getting into running. If you’re a boy, it might be intimidating when your date is faster than you, but if you’ve picked good one, I am POSITIVE she would love to go on a short/slow run with you. And if she’s nice, she wont make fun of you or leave you in the dust.

Extra tips for Dating a Runner (if you are ALSO a runner):

1 through 9 still apply, but here’s some extras:

11a. Go on a few runs with [THE RUNNER]. If you are faster, take your easy day run with them! Bonus: don’t complain about the pace!

11b. If you’re slower than them, ask them to work on speed work with you. Or say something to the effect of: “If I want to be faster myself, I have to run faster in practice. Can I run with you??”

6. Run a race together. You don’t HAVE to finish together.

Bonus: Points for finishing with them – just once! (Tip: if you’re a competitive or faster runner than your date, choose an event that you don’t care about placing in and finish with them! You can skip the hand holding over the finish line. That’s just cheesy… Oh wait, I’ve done that).

Disclaimer: Above all, dating is super tricky. Rules may not apply. Don’t hold me responsible if none of these work. Women are crazy and so are runners. If you’re a man seeking a female runner, GOOD LUCK!

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I swear I came up with this blog post all by myself (I was literally trying to fall asleep and it popped into my head – I grabbed my phone and started typing it up to edit later, and it’s actually been a post in the making for some months now), but I found this post written by another blogger back in May. Definitely worth a read: “How to Date a Runner” by Runners Experience.

Didn’t laugh? Fine, I’m not that funny. But this blog post is: “10 Reasons I would Never Date A Runner Even Though I Am One” by The Date Report

More: 7 Reasons to Date a Runner 

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Your Turn! Any tips you would like to add? OR any funny sorties about dating a runner or dating while BEING a runner??

Book Review – Running Encyclopedia

512COgAvqzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I’m a pretty big nerd and I’m big into running. One might say I’m a pretty big running nerd. I’m constantly talking about running, reading about running, and literally, actually running.

What I’m not is a running STATS nerd. Some people are. I’m not. I don’t care who won the Boston Marathon for the last two years, nor do I even know what the world record is for a marathon time. If I needed to know, I would just goggle it. (It’s 2:03:23 set by Wilson Kipsang in case you’re now curious. I just looked it up).

Why is the fact that I’m not a running-stats nerd important? Because I just finished the Running Encyclopedia and I may have skipped A LOT of it but I still feel like I can offer a good book review.

This book is actually pretty interesting for runners, even the non-stats nerds like me. There is more than just stats in there. The authors love to insert a little humor so the you don’t get bored by the monotony of an encyclopedia. For example, the definition for Gore-Tex starts out like this: “Al Gore may have claimed to invent the internet, but he didn’t invent Gore-Tex…..” and they insist on calling “rest” a four-letter word!

Although the version I got from the library was published in 2002 and is slightly out of date, it is still filled with years and years of running information. Complete with a user’s guide, there is everything thing from famous runners, different races, running shoes, brands, books, to definitions of running related things (i.e. fartlek or band aids – yes, that’s in there).

“The Running encyclopedia: The Ultimate source for Today’s Tunner” was written and put together by two famous running writers: Richard Benyo (a past Runner’s World publisher) and Joe Henderson (a magazine writer). It includes mostly information on road racing, like the 5k, 10K, half and full marathon, but has little on Cross Country events, Track and Field or ultras.

IMG_20140716_114233What I got out of the book:

  • Famous Races – maybe even a few I’ll consider for my out-of-state races.
  • More information on my running heroes – I know very little about famous runners, but the ones I do know are definitely listed in this book. Like, Kathrine Switzer, the first female to run the Boston with a bib in 1967. She registered at K. Switzer, so none of the race directors knew she was a women. I’m sure you’ve all seen the famous picture of the race director trying to pull her off the course. But, actually, it was Roberta Gibb to be the first female to run boston, sans a bib.
  • I picked up a few more running heroes – Like Joan Benoit who was the first ever American olympic marathon finisher for women in 1984. She had knee surgery just before competing and finished in 2:24:52 and that was the first year they introduce the women’s marathon to the olympics games.
  • Fun facts about running history – like tidbits from the first traditional olympic marathon and other races. (The Yonker’s Marathon is the 2nd oldest American race, after the Boston marathon of course).
  • Fun running related things to look out for – Like the Hash House Harriers, a drinking club with a running problem, that has chapters all over the world.
  • Fun new terms – Like Megamarathoners: people who have completed over 100 marathons!

IMG_20140716_114621What I didn’t read, but want you all may get from the book:

  • PLENTY of statistics – who won what race, with what time, whenever…blah blah blah.
  • Fun side stories or old articles from Runner’s World and other magazines written by the encyclopedia’s authors about whatever particular topic you’re on in the book.
  • There was LOTS of other people, american and non, that I had never heard of, nor would I ever remember if I had read about them and their running feats.

Other Fun Facts, if you’re interested/Did you know????

  • The first US marathon was held from Stamford, Connecticut to Knickerbecker Athletic Club in Manhattan in 1896. It had 30 entrants and only 10 finishers. The winning time was 3:25:55 by John McDermatt. This race was never run again, and the first Boston was held in the following Spring.
  • Some fun facts about the Olympic Marathon – The first modern olympic marathon was held in 1896, and actually, there was two races a few weeks before the official olympics competitors ran the course. The first was held for the area club members and there was a dozen competitors. The second was two weeks later, an open race, and 38 people ran. On April 10th, 1896, the 3rd traditional marathon was held for Olympic Competitors. There was one US guy name Arthur Blake, but he failed to finish. It wasn’t until 1900 that an american, Arthur Newton placed 5th and ran the distance in 4:04:12 and would have won the race if it weren’t for people cutting corners due to a poorly marked course.
  • Joan Benoit was the first US Female to win a marathon olympic gold in 1984 with a time of 2:24:52
  • In 1908, at The London Olympics, the distance was changed to add the point two to accommodate for the royal family to view the proceedings. American Johnny Hayes won and from there on out, the marathon was 26.2 miles.
  • In 1952 at the Helsinki Games, Emil Zotopek of Czechoslovakia won both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter races. He then elected to run the marathon, the first time ever doing that distance. He won with a time of 2:23:04!
  • How the marathon got it’s start: Pheidippides, the marathon patron saint! He died on the gates of Athens after running about 25 miles to announce the victory over the invading Persians. Little do people know (or, I didn’t know), He had previously run about 300 miles, round trip to Sparta and back. The encyclopedia states that it may not even have been Pheidippides that bore the message and he may have made a full recovery. I guess we’ll never know!

So, if you’re just curious about more running related things, or if you are a running stats nerd, you should definitely find a copy of this book. I checked mine out from the library – YES! Those still do exist!

YOUR TURN: Are you a running stats nerd?? Or do you follow famous runners either from the past or current?

Additional Information:

More information on the book, click HERE

World Records list for all running events

The Denver Hash House Harriers Club