Category: Running (page 2 of 25)

Steamboat Springs Marathon Race Recap + Training Weeks 17&18

I know, I know, I took my sweet time putting this race recap together. Let’s be honest, it’s basically pure laziness that kept me from writing this. I actually had a post that was mostly finished but magically deleted itself. Oh well, I’ll try to remember as many details as possible!.

Before we get started on the race though, here’s what the last two weeks of training before the race looked like:

Week 17

Sunday: Off

Monday: 1 mile warm up, 6×1 mile with .2 mile recovery (8:34, 8:09, 7:51, 8:04, 7:50, 7:49) 1 mile cool down.

Tuesday: 7 easy miles @ 10:17 average

Wednesday: 1 mile warm up, 10 mile tempo @ 8:25, 1 mile cool down

Thursday: 2.7 miles @ 10:04

Friday: 7.32 miles @ 9:28

Saturday: 10 miles @ 9:45

Week 18

Sunday: Off

Monday: 5 miles @ 9:56

Tuesday: 5.15 miles @ 9:51

Wednesday: 6 miles @ 9:53

Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:34

Friday: Off

Saturday: Off

Okay, now for the good stuff.

My legs were feeling heavy and tired so I skipped Friday and Saturday hoping that would help them rest up for race day. Seth took Saturday off work and we headed to Steamboat bright and early with a stop at the shooting range in Walden, of course.

img_2221 img_2171 Once we reached Steamboat, we stopped at the race expo to pick up my bib and the boys made a “beeline” for the Honey Stinger tent. They love those waffles!img_2174 After checking into our hotel, we spent the rest of our afternoon swimming – definitely a highlight for the boys!img_2175 Our next stop was downtown for supper.img_2207 Not sure what the boys were discussing over their root beers, but it must have been amazing.img_2210 I’ve been mostly vegetarian for nearly a year and I did that one thing you’re not supposed to do the night before a marathon. I ordered and ate a giant reuben, greasy fries, and a beer. It tasted so good in the moment.img_2216 After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to hang out and I set out my race kit for the next morning. Not pictured: sunscreen and bodyglide that were liberally applied the next morning. The sunscreen worked.img_2220 The morning of the race, I got up, dressed, applied sunscreen, drank a cup of coffee, ate 2 granola bars (new breakfast on race day – oops!) and headed downstairs to the hotel shuttle. We stayed at the Holiday Inn (putting those IHG points to good use!) and they offered a free 5:30am shuttle to the bus loading area by the courthouse. I used this last year and it has always worked out great.

All of the buses were lined up on the street behind the courthouse with full marathon buses on one side and half marathon buses on the other. After boarding the bus and finding a seat, I began to feel a twinge of nervous energy but tried my best to stay calm and enjoy the ride up to Steamboat Lake. It was already starting to feel warm and the day was supposed to be hot so I was happy that I had chosen the coolest (although, very unflattering) running gear I owned.

At the lake, I got off the bus to use the restroom and then climbed on the bag bus to stay warm until the start. Unfortunately, it was already feeling warm on the bag bus so I knew I would be in for a hot morning of running. I applied bodyglide, handed my bag over and walked to the start where I took a gel and drank two cups of water. Before too long, the gun went off and away we went.

Miles 1-3: 9:34, 9:46, 9:24

My plan was to use the first 3 miles as a warm up and then pick up the pace. The morning was clear and sunny and I was feeling good, but a little out of breath due to the altitude so I tried to take it easy and run off effort instead of the pace that I had planned.

Miles 4-6: 10:10, 8:36, 9:17

I stopped to pee at mile 4 which I took as a sign that I had hydrated well and then tried to pick up my pace to the 8:45 I had planned. In mile 5, I decided that I would need to adjust my race goal and pace if I wanted to finish. During mile 6, I was passing three women running abreast as we ran up a hill and we were all gaining on a man that was clearly beginning to slow down. Trying to make a joke, I whispered to them, “Would it be mean if we all blew past him together?” The woman closest shot me a horrified look and snapped, “Yes!”

So I passed the women with no sense of humor and caught up with the man. I said hi and commented on what a nice day it was as I passed. He sped up to match my pace and started chatting between breaths. We had both been shooting for a sub 4 but knew that it wasn’t going to happen that day. A friend he was running with had dropped out with a foot injury at the first aid station and my new friend was struggling to keep his planned pace too so he asked to stick with me.

Miles 7-10: 9:34, 9:11, 9:06

I was struggling to maintain close to a 9:00 pace and failing miserably. My new friend stayed right at my shoulder though and always managed to catch up each time I began to pull away. He was huffing and puffing harder than me but  managed to tell story after story between breaths. He had been bit by a rattlesnake two years ago during a trail run so he told me all about how he had survived that.

Miles 11-13: 9:25, 9:00, 8:59

We finally began to speed up a little as we hit more downhill sections and my new friend commented on how nice it was to have someone to pass the boring middle miles of the race with – it was. Then, he told me about being hit by a car during an icy run last winter and we saw a man dressed in a sasquatch suit walking down the road waving to runners.

Miles 14-16: 9:12, 8:59, 8:58

It was starting to get uncomfortably hot in open spots on the road but I was taking in a water and a sports drink or two waters at each aid station and fueling with a gel every 45 minutes. My new friend told me about a time he was swimming in the ocean 20 years ago and was bit by a shark. I was starting to hurt but his stories were entertaining enough to distract me.

Miles 17-19: 9:46, 9:32, 9:20

It was really starting to get hot and the big hill in mile 17 was un-fun. The bodyglide I had applied earlier was completely worn off and my arm was chafing my back fat like crazy. One of the aid stations had a stick of bodyglide set out and I stopped to reapply. It was amazing for a few minutes but I was so sweaty already that it didn’t work well for very long. My new friend told me about how hard marriage and raising children is but how great his two grown daughters had turned out and how proud he was of them. He told me about his 30 year marriage failing. It was hard to hear the sadness in his voice as he talked about thinking they would always be together and not realizing how much resentment had built up over the years until his wife insisted that they begin couples therapy and their relationship rapidly deteriorated. I’m always curious about what causes long marriages to end as my parents divorced last year after 30+ years of marriage.

Miles 20-22: 9:29, 10:24, 9:27

Hot, hot, humid, hot and no shade is how I would describe this section. My hips, legs, feet and chafed arm were screaming that they were ready to stop. The mile 21 aid station was dousing runners with a water hose so I stopped and it felt freaking magical. My new friend decided to drop back and I ran on from there alone……..in the hot, hot, sun.

Miles 23-25: 10:05, 9:08, 10:11

A volunteer at the next aid station offered to dump water from a cup on me and, when I accepted, propelled me down a gauntlet of volunteers who all gleefully doused me in cold water. It was magical. With only 3.2 miles left to the finish and most of it downhill, I thought I would be able to speed up and hang on to a 9:00 pace. I was wrong.

Miles 26 & .2: 9:59 and 4:25 (I forgot to stop my watch)

I tried to speed up again in the last mile only to feel a sharp, shooting pain along the outer side of my right foot. I limped along looking for the finish and just wanting it to be over. I passed another woman who had started to walk and my foot began to hurt so badly that I decided to stop and try to roll it out on a curb. The woman that I had passed started running again and she looked like she was in my age group so I scrapped the foot rolling idea and chased her down. After I passed her, there was one other runner between me and the finish but I couldn’t tell from the back how old she looked. I passed her as we crossed the finish (douchebag move as I realized too late that I was blocking her finish photo) and the race was mercifully over.
img_2225Official time: 4:09:30

I moved up from 9th for the past two years to 8th in my age group. For a while after the race results were up, I showed as 7th but now I’m listed as 8th and the woman who I (rightly) guessed was in my age group beat me by 4 seconds even though she crossed after me.
img_2235The Steamboat Marathon is a hard, hot, but beautiful race that is small, well organized, with awesome volunteers. I’ve looked forward to it every spring for the last three years, but I don’t think I’ll be back again next year because I want to try a new course next year. I’m not going to say I won’t ever run it again though – it’s my white whale!

Next on the calendar will be the Equinox Half Marathon in Fort Collins and then I’ll decide if I want to run the Colorado Marathon next spring or train for shorter distances and then run a marathon next fall. Right now, I’m leaning toward a fall marathon so that I don’t have to spend so many cold, snowy mornings running in the dark!

Marathon Training: Weeks 12 – 16

So I took a longer than planned break from posting training updates. Oops.  Looks like we have several weeks to cover so let’s get to it!

Week 12 (April 17-23)

Sunday:  5 easy miles @ 9:35 and 16 minutes easy on the spin bike

Monday: 1 mile easy, 4×1.5 mile with a half mile recovery (8:18, 8:12, 8:09, 7:57), 1 mile cool down. As you can see, I need to work on even pacing.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 1 mile warm up, 9 tempo miles @ 8:24, 1 mile cool down

Thursday: Off (I should have done 5 miles)

Friday: 8 easy miles @ 9:28

Saturday: 10 miles @ 9:28

44 miles total

Week 13 (April 24-30)

Sunday: 7 easy miles on the schedule but I did 45 minutes on the spin bike instead.

Monday: 3×2 miles on the schedule but I skipped this too. I started on the treadmill after work and did a quarter-mile of the warm up before deciding that I needed to spend the time with my kiddos who were fighting, playing video games (they had played with grandma for 3 hours after school), and hungry for their supper.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 1 mile easy, 9 mile tempo @ 8:15 (oops, too fast!), 1 mile cool down

Thursday: 6 easy miles @ 9:30

Friday: 6.50 easy miles @ 9:07

Saturday: 16 miles @ 10:13

39.77 miles total

Week 14 (May 1-7)

Sunday: 5 easy miles @ 9:55

Monday: 1 mile warm up, 2×3 miles with a 1 mile recovery after each (7:49, 8:01), 1 mile cool down

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 1 mile warm up, 9 tempo miles @ 8:26, 1 mile cool down

Thursday: 5 easy miles @ 9:36

Friday: 8.25 easy miles @ 9:26

Saturday: 10 miles @ 9:27

49.35 miles total

Week 15 (May 8-14)

Sunday: 7.7 easy 10:22

Monday: 1 mile warm up, 3×2 miles with 1 mile recoveries but I only got the first two out (8:14 & 8:27) and skipped the cool down. I had started to feel sick earlier in the day and was hoping that it was just allergies, but I started feeling dizzy on the drive home from work and it gradually got worse through the run.

Tuesday: Off (and I was so happy it wasn’t a running day!)

Wednesday: I began to realize that I was actually sick and skipped my 10 mile tempo in the morning with plans to run after work when I was sure to be cured…….that didn’t happen. I was working in a different building with 2 coworkers from our Calgary office and the 3 of us were crammed into a tiny cubical with me on the end coughing, sniffling and sneezing. By the end of the day, they told me that I really was sick and not to come back the next day. I went home and skipped the 10 mile tempo.

Thursday: 6 easy miles on the plan, but I stayed home and in bed.

Friday: 6 easy miles on the plan, but I was still not feeling well so I went to work, but skipped the run.

Saturday: 16 miles @ 10:20. I was still not feeling 100%, but took it easy.

29.29 miles total

Week 16 (May 15-21)

Sunday: 5 easy miles on the plan, but skipped this one too. By now I was starting to feel a mild panic about even being able to finish Steamboat due to all the runs I have missed. Seth just rolls his eyes at me.

Monday: 1 mile warm up, 4×1.5 miles with half mile recoveries (8:23, 8:43, 8:22, 8:20), 1 mile cool down. I was trying to slow down in the second mile and ended up too slow so I just went back to what felt right.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 1 mile warm up, 10 mile tempo @8:28, 1 mile cool down. I’m supposed to be running these tempos at an 8:35 so I’m getting nervous that I’m taking them too fast and will end up going out to fast at Steamboat thinking I can do more than I’m now capable of and then end up either walking the last half or not even finishing. Seth rolls his eyes at this too.

Thursday: 5 easy miles @ 10:07

Friday: 8 easy miles @ 9:53

Saturday: 10 miles @ 9:46

44.84 miles total

There you have it! I’m disappointed that I was sick and missed runs but it couldn’t be helped. There have been several other runs though, many on Sundays, that I’ve missed due to it being the only day our family has together each week and not wanting to make everyone work around me wanting to run. I’m a fairly non-confrontational person so it’s easier to just keep the peace than insist on running out the door for an hour ;).

And now, I’ll entertain you with some pictures that cover the last few weeks:

My dad sent a set of Louis L’Amour audio books for Jackson to listen to at bedtime. They have been a hit with both boys and I love that they are being introduced to the same characters and stories that I grew up with. We’ve started borrowing the ones at our local library, but they only seem to have three, so we may have to start looking on Amazon soon.This was a picture to commemorate a long run that actually took place outside. Most of my Saturday long runs are spent on the treadmill after Seth leaves for work so this one had to be documented.
Random silliness from Tucker…..…..and more random silliness from Jackson.
Going all Daryl Dixon at Dick’s Sporting Goods one Sunday.My friend, Tera’s boyfriend gave me his daughter’s slightly used pair of Brooks Cascadia’s and they are exactly my size. I am super excited for trail running in them!
I bought a pair of Saucony running shoes in a moment of desperation when my Mizuno’s started giving me insane blisters on the heel due to how they were wearing. When you don’t do even a tiny bit of research before buying a pair of shoes, you can be guaranteed to end up with something that doesn’t work. They’re cute, but my high arches hated them so I stuck it out for a couple of weeks and then picked up a pair of Brooks Pureflows because I know they work well for me. Spoiler alert, they’ve started giving me the Mizuno  blisters too.
A mall near us has these cool motorized animals so we thought it would be fun to let the boys ride them. All of the other children that we saw were riding nicely next to their parents. Our boys took off zigzagging between kiosks, stopping nose to end across the hallway, and culminated with a grand finale of Jackson crashing directly into the all glass front of the Apple store (not breaking anything, thankfully) and getting stuck. I’m not really sure how many times we have to take them out in public to learn that our boys are a little more intense than other children.Jackson made me a hilarious book for Mother’s Day full of sweet and funny observations that he’s made about me but I can’t decide what to think about this statement.img_2033

Tucker made this one – can you tell that my little pigmy shrew loves farts?
We found new gloves for the boys that should last longer than the old ones. They haven’t taken them off since we left the store.  Fishing at Lake John by Walden one Sunday between rain and hail storms.
I took last Tuesday off so that Seth and I could hang out and go hiking while the kids were in school  but it was such a rainy cold day that we just ended up driving around, eating out and shopping.

Let me tell you, it was the most magical thing in the world to walk around a furniture store and sit in a restaurant without kids.I finally ordered night stands for our room after doing without for nearly 3 years and it is amazing. I wish the rest of our room…..and house…..and yard, would just decorate themselves so that I don’t have to think about it.
Seth brought home some plants for the yard, so I’ve been helping him pretty it up. I’m glad he took the initiative because I would have never done it myself or got around to hiring a landscaper.
I did walk through the garden section in Target and thought about getting  a planter or two for the front porch. I was torn between the white or the gray ones on the bottom shelf and ultimately couldn’t decide so I didn’t get anything. I don’t know what I would have put in them anyway and you can forget about watering them so there’s that.img_2106I just had to include this picture because I love Jackson’s smile when he’s having fun.
In other news, my sister, Tina ran her very first half marathon last weekend in Fargo! My dad, another sister and a brother-in-law were all training to run too, but ended up not being able to due to sickness, injury, etc. Tina ran anyway and did great! I’m so excited for and proud of her! (Tina’s husband took the picture, but I wish I could have been there in person!)img_2090

And last, but definitely not least, Seth graduated from college!!! He’s been taking classes around  work for the last few years and all of his hard work and perseverance finally paid off. I am so proud of him!!!img_2058It’s less than two weeks until Steamboat and my last 10 mile tempo was today. Every run from here is easy and gradually shortens – I’m a little nervous but getting excited too!

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