October Target Practice, or September’s Over Already?!

Okay, I know that tomorrow is still September, too, but chances of my finding time to blog tomorrow are about equal to the chances of Northern Colorado actually becoming the 51st state. So tonight, I’m looking back at my September goals and setting some up for October.

Target Practice
(As always, credit for the idea of target practice goes to Fit.Fun.Femme.)

September’s goals were:

Life:

 1. Stay on top of grading and planning. Nothing is worse than getting behind and feeling like you’ll never catch up.  I’ve done pretty well with this one; I’ve not been more than a week behind on grades, and planning is pretty much a necessity for my sanity, so all is well here. Grade: A.

2. Make dates with friends. I tend to let my relationships slide during the school year, and I don’t want to let that happen this year. Errr…whoops. Dear Cassie: Stop sucking at being a friend. Sarah and I went to a book sale and lunch once. And we had a few people over for dinner…I think that was in September? Grade: F.

Blog:

1. Take more photos. Note the number of photos in this post. Yeah…still not great about that. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve taken more pictures…they just rarely fit in what I write by the time I actually write a post.  Grade: D-.

2. Get on a regular blogging schedule, posting at least three times a week. Well, I don’t know about regular as in same days every week, but I have posted three times a week most weeks. I think. Grade: B.

Health: 

Sleep enough. Eat well. Take vitamins and drink Airborne. Sanitize my hands, desk, doorknob, etc. In other words, DON”T GET SICK! Unless I wake up sick tomorrow (knock on wood), it’s safe to say I conquered those nasty germs. Phew. Grade: A.

An now, on to October goals:

Life: 

I’d like to re-make the friend date goal, but since October is an insanely busy month, I’m going to loosen the parameters and say that those dates can be phone dates, too.  I need some of those, anyway.

Blog: 

1. Take more photos and better, relevant photos.

2. Post at least twice a week. (The next two weeks are nutso … Homecoming is next week, so this week is full of prep stuff and next week of Homecoming stuff. My computer and I aren’t going to be seeing much of each other, so even twice a week for the next two will be a challenge. Please don’t forget about me!)

Health: 

1. Keep up the successful germ-avoidance.

2. Try some new, healthy recipes.

Fitness: My marathon is October 20, so I’m splitting the month into (uneven) thirds: taper smart, race well, and recover smart, too. I wrapped up my last peak week (70 miles) today with one of the hardest workouts of training (22 with 12 at goal pace). Now it’s time to taper, then race, and then eat Halloween candy take good care of myself to recover.

 

Did September fly by for you, too?

Any advice about meeting these goals?

What’s something you want to accomplish in October?

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Another Random Thursday Post

I’m not sure what it is about Thursdays that makes me want to write these completely random posts. Perhaps it’s that I should be grading the massive stack of sophomore essays in my bag, but my grumpy and tired brain just can’t do them justice right now. It can’t formulate paragraphs, either, so you get another random list of things that run through my head but aren’t substantial enough for their own posts.

  1. Marathon training makes me a ravenous beast. I’m hungry 90% of the time. Confession: Every morning, when I go to put my lunch in the teacher’s lounge fridge, I go in hoping that there will be treats in the lounge.

    There are never treats.

  2. I hate goat cheese. I just feel like that’s something the blog world should know about me. I keep reading all these posts — “Goat cheese on my pizza!” “Goat cheese in my salad!” “Goat cheese in my oatmeal!” — and I want to gag. (Just kidding on that last one. I hope). I think goat cheese tastes like a goat smells: awful. And I do not want that in my mouth.
  3. I am not ready for winter. I am ready for one good, hard freeze so all these idiot flies will die. I’ve been patrolling my classroom with a flyswatter all day, every day. They’re disgusting. Die, tiny winged monsters, die.
    (image source)
  4. I said something about an ottoman during my journalism class yesterday. Four kids didn’t know what an ottoman was. FOUR. These are high schoolers. Whom I handpicked for journalism because they’re the best and brightest. So we had an impromptu nonjournalism vocabulary lesson.
  5. This girl always raves about Songza. I finally downloaded it. Holy good music. Best music app ever. Download it. Now.
  6. I read this article from Women’s Health the other day. It says that “interruptions at the office can make you feel exhausted.” Oh. THAT’S why I’m so dang tired at the end of every day. My job is pretty much nothing BUT interruptions. (I’m not complaining. I love my job. I just thought that was interesting.)
  7. This popped up in my e-mail yesterday. I can’t go, but I thought I’d pass it along so those of you who are closer to Boulder can score some deals on running duds.
    Our Pop Up Store on Pearl is Coming to a Close

Aaand I’m out. I hope you enjoyed the randomness!

Tell me something random, too!

Any fun plans for the weekend?

A Few of My Favorite Things: Gear Edition

Everyone loves to talk about how running is a super-cheap sport for which you don’t need much equipment. That’s true, but like most hobbies, the more into it you get, the more things you find to spend money on. These are some of my favorite pieces of gear — both for necessities and not-so-necessaries.

Fact:  I’m not a pro, or sponsored, or an anything ambassador. None of these companies gave me anything to write about them. These are just things I like that work well for me.   

Shoes: Mizuno Wave Inspire 

Picture 003I started wearing these when they were the Inspire 5’s. Now they’re the 9’s, and I still love them. I overpronate, so I need some support but also like a light-ish shoe. These are my favorites, and if Mizuno ever discontinues this line, I will cry a lot of tears.

Sports Bra: 7 Wonders Bra by Title NIne

7 Wonders Bra
(This picture is from Title Nine’s website. If you thought it was me, then you need to look again at the name of the blog you’re reading.)

I’ve had several of these bras, and have worn them on about a billion long runs and in all my marathons. I have yet to find a sports bra that doesn’t chafe at all, but this one is by far the least-chafing. It’s supportive and it breathes nicely, and the back hook-and-eye makes taking it off when you’re all sweaty much easier. I also love that it has the hook-and-eye but is still a racerback, since almost all my tanks are racerback, too.

At $56 before shipping, this is kind of a pricey little unit. But it’s well worth it for those of us who can’t get away with wearing the pullover bras from Target that everyone seems to love.

Warm-Weather Bottoms: Adidas Climacool Shorts

image: adidas Supernova Shorts D83991 (image from adidas.com)

These are the most comfortable shorts for hot-weather runs. The mesh liner keeps the air moving, and they wick sweat like mad. I also like the cut better than a lot of running shorts … they’re less diaper-like than some (like the classic Nike Tempo shorts).

Cold-Weather Bottoms: CWX Tights

(image from cw-x.com)

(This is a newer edition than the ones I have, but I’m guessing they’re just as awesome.)

My parents got me these tights for Christmas three years ago, and they’re still going strong as my favorite cold-weather tights. I fell on some ice two winters ago and tore a little hole in the knee, but miraculously, it hasn’t spread.

These tights are as awesome as their advertising claims. The compression feels amazing; the extra support on my knees, especially, really helps on long runs. And they’re warm but not stifling — they still breathe. I love them. A lot.

They’re also really pricey…but hey, it’ll be Christmas before you know it. Might as well start that wish list.

Hydration: FuelBelt Slice and Sprint Handheld Bottles 

  (images from fuelbelt.com)

I know some people can’t stand having things in their hands when they run, but I much prefer these to a belt. I take the Sprint on all but my shortest runs, and the Slice goes on longer and/or hotter runs with me. They’re comfortable to wear and easy to drink out of; what more could you want?

Hairties: Goody Slide-Proof Elastics

(www.goody.com)

These are the only hairties that keep this crazy red mane in place. They don’t slip out during any workout — running, lifting, plyos, whatever, that ponytail doesn’t budge.

Sunglasses: Maui Jim’s

estes (They’re on my face in this picture that I’ve used probably five times on this blog. I’m much too lazy to find and upload another photo.)

My parents won these glasses on a cruise and gave them to me. I love them (the glasses and my parents). No bouncing, no fogging, no pinching.


Watch: Garmin
 Forerunner 210

photo (7)I’ll admit that I don’t love this watch as much as I loved my 305. I miss being able to program in workouts, goal paces, etc. But this little guy is smaller and more comfortable, and he tracks my pace, mileage, and splits well. And he was way cheaper than the fancier Garmin options.

Treadmill: Sole F80

treadmill

This is my best friend when it’s dark, lightning-ing, or icy out. I’ve had it a little over a year and haven’t had any troubles. It’s not the fanciest treadmill out there, but it does what I need (speeds and inclines, though no decline, and runs for a long time). We’re BFFs.

I bought it at Dick’s; they have terrific sales, so if you watch, you can get a great deal on a treadmill that’s normally out of your price range. (Sweet fan and ironing board not included.)

One piece of gear I haven’t found and will need soon: Gloves that actually keep my hands warm. Any recommendations?

 What’s one piece of fitness gear you can’t live without?

Target Practice. Back on Sunday.

I am remarkably good at keeping a blogging schedule. I hope you’re not too jealous of my incredible time-management skills and ability to get out posts regularly.

But seriously. It’s Sunday, so let’s do some Target Practice and act like I always do it on Sundays, starting with checking in on last week’s targets.

(If you’re new around here: Target Practice is a weekly goal-setting post that I stole from Fit. Fun. Femme., whose blog is 87 times better than mine. But please don’t leave me, new reader.)

Target Practice

Last week’s LIFE goal was to do what I could to help flood victims. I feel weird talking about what I did/am going to do, so I’ll just tell local folks how they can help. The relief effort for Morgan County is really just getting organized and underway; for this first round, they’re requesting things like garbage bags, paper towels, safety masks, rubber gloves, etc. The full list of needed items is on Morgan County Disaster Relief’s Facebook. Caring Ministries in Fort Morgan is the drop-off location starting Monday. As far as I know, they’re not asking for manpower just yet.

My HEALTH goal last week was to continue eating clean and getting enough sleep. Overall, I did okay; I had a couple of unnecessary indulgences (I’m looking at you, concession stand popcorn), but otherwise did okay.

And my FITNESS goal was the same old: Follow my training plan. Strength train twice. Yoga once. Stretch and foam roll. This was a much-needed mileage cutback week. Here’s how it went:

Monday: AM:  7-mile fartlek run PM: Muscle Works class. So much soreness.

Tuesday: 6 miles slow (thanks to DOMS from Muscle Works) followed by core work and stretching

Wednesday: 10 Yasso 800s on the treadmill, 10.1 miles total, followed by core work. I don’t have easy access to a decent track (the one near where I live is locked up, and the one where I teach is a muddy mess…and it surrounds the football field where my students are practicing). I usually do speedwork at the park…

(from 9News)

Yep, that park. The one under the water. The water has receded, but the park is still closed and dangerous. And full of rattlesnakes who have been washed from their dens. So yeah, no speedwork there for me. I did my warm-up outside and then the Yassos on the treadmill, which worked out fine because right after I finished my warm-up, another thunderstorm rolled through.

Thursday: AM: 45 minutes bodyweight strength training. PM: 8 miles easy

Friday: Woke up suuper stiff. Ran 4.7 slow miles and then stretched and foam rolled for 15 minutes. I definitely needed more but had to go to work.

Saturday; 18-mile fast-finish long run. This is the exact workout that I did two weeks ago, and it felt easier this time. That’s a good sign. I also accidentally ran through a local 5k. Oops. I didn’t know it was there until it was too late.

Sunday: Rest.

Totals: 53.8 miles, 1:45 strength training plus some extra core stuff, and 2 stretching sessions. Again, no yoga. And given Friday’s stiffness, I probably should have done it.

Between Wednesday’s successful Yassos and Saturday’s better fast-finish, this week was a good confidence builder.  (For those who don’t speak Running, the theory behind Yasso 800s is that if you can hit 10 800m repeats in the same minute/second time that you’re hoping your hour/minute time will be in the marathon, you’re on track. My goal is 3:10:00, so I needed to run 10 800m repeats in 3:10 each. I’m not sure if they’re as effective on the treadmill, but I’m going to pretend that they are.) Two more weeks hard, and then it’s taper time. I can’t even believe it.

That was an unusually long workout recap. Are you still with me?

Good. Here are next week’s goals:

Life: J’s birthday is next weekend. He’s not a big celebrator, but I want to make him feel a little special all week.

Health: Keep up the clean eating and sleeping. Especially Friday night, when I’m working the gate at the football game and am going to be tempted to grab that concession stand popcorn when I’m done.

Fitness: See every week since I started Target Practicing.

And that’s a wrap. Or something. Have a great week, friends!

What’s your concession-stand weakness?

Ever accidentally interrupted a race?

Where do you do speedwork? 

Tasty, Healthy Cornbread

Hi friends!

I don’t know about you, but whenever it gets even kind of chilly, I start craving soup. This past nasty, scary, rainy weekend was no exception, so Sunday afternoon, I put this soup in the crockpot. When J found out that’s what I was doing, he requested cornbread on the side. Since I’m a cornbread addict, too, I was happy to oblige.

For years, I always just used the cornbread recipe on the back of the cornmeal box, but a couple of years ago, I decided to try to make it healthier. Eventually, I came up with this recipe, which tastes just like the original but is sugar- and oil-free.

Super Delicious Cornbread  (I came up with this name all by myself.)

1 heaping cup whole wheat pastry flour (you can use normal whole wheat flour, too, but use a scant cup instead of heaping)

3/4 cup cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup applesauce

Mix all those things. Dump in a sprayed 9 x 9 pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Eat like a boss.

cornbread

I put a can of green chilies in this batch. That’s why it has weird green spots. It’s not moldy. Also, I am bad at food photo-taking. Probably because I just want to eat it.

What’s your favorite chilly-day food?

Back in the Groove: Target Practice

I usually post Target Practice on Sunday nights, but it seemed a little inappropriate to go from “I’m worried about the flood victims” to “Look what I did and plan to do!” in the span of a couple of hours. I don’t know that a day is much better, but…

Target Practice

Target Practice is where I post my weekly goals. I “borrowed” this idea from Fit. Fun. Femme. I also give myself a grade on the previous week’s goals, because I’m a teacher and that’s what I do.

Here were last week’s goals:

LIfe: Call, text, and/or get together with at least one of the friends I haven’t seen in a while. Well, I did contact or was contacted by a number of friends I hadn’t talked to in a while, but not at all in the way I planned. Instead, I exchanged a lot of “You okay?” “Yep. You?” types of texts. (No grade here. Participation points only.)

Health: Eat clean and get enough sleep. I did fairly well with both of these. B+.

Fitness: Follow my training schedule, strength train twice, stretch/foam roll twice, and do at least a short yoga workout once. Here’s how the week played out:

Monday: AM3 x 3 miles at goal marathon pace, with 1000m recoveries. 12.2 miles total. Before work. I’m not gonna lie, folks, I felt pretty cool. PM: Muscle Works at the Body Firm. It kicked my butt.

Tuesday: AM: 30 minutes yoga PM: 9 miles easy.

WednesdayPM: 4 x 2-mile tempo intervals, 12 miles total. I nearly died.

ThursdayAM: 8.5 miles easy, followed by some quick stretching and foam rolling. I intended to strength train later but…I didn’t. Our nieces were playing volleyball here in town, so we went and watched them and then went to dinner with the in-laws. I would have had time to strength train later in the evening, but I just didn’t.

FridayAM: 7.3 miles easy

Saturday22 miles. Weird to think that a big chunk of those miles is now under water.
watch

SundayRest.

Totals71 miles (new weekly PR! By one mile, but hey, a PR is a PR), 30 minutes yoga, 1 hour strength training

GradeB. I missed a day of strength and only stretched once, but I’m okay with that during a peak mileage week.

Goals for this week:

Life: Do what I can to help flood victims.

Health: Continue eating clean and getting adequate sleep. Just one month until race day!

Fitness: Can you guess it? Follow the plan. Strength train twice. Yoga once. Stretch and foam roll. It should be a little easier than last week; this is a cutback week mileage-wise.

Do you celebrate mileage PRs?

Tell me a goal you have!

Mixed Emotions

Did you guys hear it’s been a little rainy in Colorado?

The floodwaters worked their way from the front range out to us yesterday afternoon/evening. This is just outside the park where I usually run, which, blessedly, is where the flooding here in Fort Morgan did the most damage. I say “blessedly” because no people were in there (thanks to our city police, who kept the looky-loos out) and, as of right now, no homes have been damaged. (Image source)

I’m heartbroken for those on the front range who lost everything, and even more so for those who lost loved ones or whose loved ones are still among the missing. I’m sad and worried for those near us who have lost property, too. We had enough warning out here that people were at least able to get their most valuable belongings and animals to safety, but I worry about the damage and the economic toll this will take on our farm families.

We found out a while ago that school is cancelled tomorrow.  Normally, I’d be happy for an unexpected day off…but it’s hard to be happy when the reason for the day off is that much of my school district is under water. I’m not sure how many of my students had to evacuate, but I worry about them.

But worrying won’t do any good, and I know that. So I’ll spend some time on my day off tomorrow looking for the best ways to help those in need. And I’ll make a donation to one of the places listed in this article, as that seems to be the best way to help right now.

This was kind of a downer post. Tell me some good news in your life.

Random Thursday Things

Okay, pals, I’ve had a few little things happen lately that make me think, “I have to put that on the blog.” But none of them are significant enough to merit a blog post alone, so I’m listing them all here. Sorry for the lack of coherence.

1. Tuesday evening, I went for my first after-school run this school year. The weather was glorious and cool, and I was having just a dandy time. I passed a couple sitting on a bench at the park, and — like I always do — waved and said, “HI!” Now, the expected response in this situation is an equally friendly salutation. What I got instead, from the woman on the bench, was “EFF OFF!” (She said the full word. I edited to protect the innocent.)

 –> my response.

That’s weird, right? What did I ever do to her? I just kept on running.

2. I have beanbags in my classroom, because I’m a super cool teacher (sarcasm font needed here). The beanbags are getting old and very flat, but I didn’t want to throw them out, because that seemed wasteful. So instead, I hopped on Amazon and bought some beanbag filling. File that one under “worst ideas ever.”

beanbag

 

Turns out, beanbags are hard to fill. And tiny Styrofoam balls are hard to clean up when spilled all over the floor.

3. This news story. A drunk man was arrested in Boulder. He was riding his horse. To Utah. With a dog in his backpack. So much stupid in one little package.

4. I was griping about this to Jordan as we stood in line at the grocery store last weekend:

candyMy grapes were $2.87. That Hershey’s bar is $0.68. Dear America: This is why you’re fat.

5. This is a peak week of marathon training, and it is HARD. I may or may not have just crawled up the stairs because walking up seemed like too much work after 12 miles of tempo intervals.

And that is all. I hope you all had a happy Thursday. The weekend is near!

Tell me something random about you. 

 

A Few of My Favorite Things: Colorado Races Edition

Among many other things, Colorado is famous for being a great place to run. It makes sense, then, that the state is chock-full of incredible races. I haven’t done nearly as many of them as I’d like to (I’ve never even run the famous BolderBoulder…pathetic, I know), but I have run some that stand out as fantastic. Here they are, with their dates for this year, in chronological order (from right now). All the names are linked to the race websites.

Rock ‘n Roll Denver Marathon and 1/2 Marathon: October 20, 2013

I first ran this race in 2009, the year before it became part of the Rock ‘n Roll series and was still the regular old Denver Marathon. Every year since, I’ve run either the full or the half, and I absolutely love both races. Both races start and finish in Denver’s Civic Center Park and take you on a nice little tour of Denver. Both courses take you past Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies), all around City Park (your spectators can catch you at least twice here), and through Cheesman Park. The full splits off at Cheesman and takes you through some more neighborhoods, over to Wash Park (another of Denver’s most popular parks), around some pretty ritzy neighborhoods, and finally back to Civic Center. The course is mostly pretty and very spectator-friendly — and the spectators are out in full force. From the bands to the cheer squads to the ordinary spectators, you’re never without someone to cheer you on.

DENL0381(This is me finishing the half in 2010…such a flattering photo.)

The course is pretty flat; the only significant hill is in Cheesman Park, around mile 9 or 10. A smaller hill at mile 24ish feels brutal just because your legs are dead, but it’s short and spectator-packed, so it’s really not so bad.

I’ve heard some pretty crummy stuff about RnR races, but this is one of my absolute favorites. It’s always been well-organized, and I’ve never had a bad experience here. (Knocking on wood for October…)

Yeti Chase 5k/10k: January 26, 2014

I have done this race only once, in 2012, but definitely hope to run it again. It’s held at Bear Creek Lake State Park, which is a beautiful park near the Denver foothills. I ran the 10k, which was challenging but incredibly fun. The course is hilly…I got tricked by the early downhills and burned myself out early — which is part of why I want to run it again. I know better now.

Anyway, the course takes you past two lakes, which are frigid but beautiful, and along part of the bike path through the park. It’s not a very spectator-friendly course, but I actually kind of liked that. The field is small, so I was running alone a lot of the time, left to take in the beauty and try not to think about how my cheeks were freezing.

One of the best parts about the race was the post-race homemade banana bread. The day before, Racing Underground (who hosts the event) posted on Facebook that they were baking banana bread. So obviously it was pretty fresh, and it tasted SO GOOD. Seriously, that’s a big part of why I want to do this race again. Also, you get to have your picture taken with a yeti.

yeti chaseThis race is now part of a three-part winter racing series: a 5k in December, the Yeti Chase in January, and a half in February. I’d love to do the whole series, but I’m not sure if it’s in the budget right now. Sigh.

Run to the Shrine 5k/10k: 2014 date not announced yet

The website still has the 2013 information up, but based on past years, I’m guessing it will be May 17. It benefits Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which is a pretty stellar cause.

This is the most challenging 10k I have ever run. Unless this is your first 10k, you will not PR. Not even close. The race runs up…waaaay up…to the Will Rogers Shrine at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. If you’ve never been there, here’s how the race website describes it: “The Run to the Shrine is a particularly demanding run due to the 8.5% gradient increase from the base of the Zoo (6,800 feet) to the Shrine (8,100 feet).” And that’s the first four miles. Yeah, it’s hard. I’ve never seen slower splits on my Garmin.

But then you get to run two miles DOWN that same hill to the finish line at the zoo. Yay, fast!

RTTS13_1(This was before the race, so my quads are still attached.)

The best thing about this race is the camaraderie. In just about every race, people are nice, but the runners here are honestly the nicest people ever. Everyone encourages each other the whole way. And with that sweet downhill bit, you’ve got lots of breath to shout encouragement to those still climbing.

The second best thing about this race is the medal. The first year I ran, the first three males and females in each race got a medal made of elephant poo (freeze-dried and in plastic). Last year, it was rhino. Maybe I’m just gross, but I think that’s the coolest thing ever. I desperately want one. In 2012, I was fourth. Last year, I was fifth. I fully intend to come back in May and be at least third. I want a poo medal, dangit!

Also worth mentioning — the post-race party is at the zoo, and there are keepers out with different animals that you can look at and sometimes touch. You also get a day pass into the zoo free with entry. And it’s a pretty sweet zoo.

Colorado Colfax Marathon: May 18, 2014

This was my first half (2009) and my second full (2011). The half course has been dramatically changed since I ran it (for the better — I hear it’s cool now), so I don’t think it’s fair for me to review it. I’ll talk about the full instead.

Like Rock ‘n Roll, Colfax gives you a pretty nifty tour of Denver — and you see things that you don’t during the fall marathon. It starts at City Park and runs along Colfax Avenue for a while, then drops onto the Cherry Creek bike path. The bike path goes through the heart of Denver, so you get to see some cool stuff — the Center for the Performing Arts with its statues, Elitch Gardens Amusement Park, and lots of downtown. Then, you run through Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos (this is new…when I ran it, we just ran around the stadium. Jealous.) You run around Sloan’s Lake (wave to my brother…he lives over there), through the campus of the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, through some nice, ritzy neighborhoods that make you scared to even spit, and then back onto Colfax, where you see some of what Colfax is famous for (sketchiness), but it’s amusing. Finally, you backtrack through the stadium and on the bike path back to City Park and the finish.

colfax(I don’t have any pictures from during the race, so here’s one from after with my brother and his girlfriend. It rained that year; hence my soggy noggin.)

I liked this race a lot. I’d love to do it again, but for the last couple of years, it’s been the same day as graduation. It is again in 2014. Lamesauce.

Estes Park Marathon: June 15, 2014

This is by far the most beautiful race I have ever run. Estes Park is one of Jordan and my favorite places, so that made this race even more fun for me. Estes is a mountain town, so although this is a road race, not a trail race, you’re still running in the mountains.

This is the view for pretty much the whole time. (Photo from the race website. I don’t know that guy.)

The course runs all around town, around Lake Estes, up by the Stanley Hotel…and never stops being stunning. It’s definitely a challenging race — I won the women’s division with a 3:37, my slowest-ever time (it was also super windy that year). It’s a small race (obviously), and spectators are spotty, but I loved every minute. If you’re a 50-stater and need a Colorado race, I’d say do this one, for sure.

estesPhoto from the Estes Park Trail Gazette.

That’s just a small sampling of the wonderful races Colorado has to offer. Try them out!

Colorado runners: Any races not on this list that I just have to try?

Non-Colorado runners: What races do I need to do if I come to your state?

Sunday Target Practice

Hello, friends!

Here we are again, all too soon at the end of another weekend.

The good news is that Sunday is Target Practice day, which means I get to set some mini-goals for the week, and you get to read all about them. So lucky, aren’t you?

Usually, I look back at the previous week’s goals and check in on how I did. Since last week was the start of a new month, though, I wrote some monthly goals instead of weekly. So instead of checking in on all those goals, let’s just talk about this week’s workouts, shall we? (Or should we not? Do you care about my weekly workouts? I always like reading other people’s, but maybe that’s because I’m a creeper).

Monday: AM: 8.4 miles of fartleks — one of the most fun (to do and to say) workouts ever!
Tuesday: AM: 9 miles easy PM: 45 minutes basement strength training, 15 minutes stretching/foam rolling
Wednesday: AM: 8 miles with 5 at tempo. Ouch.
Thursday: Exactly the same as Tuesday.  
Friday: AM: 8 miles easy
Saturday:
photo (7)

18-mile fast-finish long run. The first ten miles were at regular long run pace, and the last eight started at slightly slower than marathon pace and ended slightly faster. I’m not gonna lie, folks, this one was hard. I’ve got three more like it before the marathon; I’m hoping they get easier!
Sunday: Rest day. Maybe some yoga or stretching tonight, depending on how much grading I get done.
Totals: 60.4 miles running, 1.5 hours strength training, 30 minutes stretching

A word on those “easy” runs: People give me a hard time sometimes about saying things like, “I ran nine easy miles.” But “easy” is just running-speak for “fairly slow.” It doesn’t mean that I’m just prancing along like it’s nothing. Just FYI. 

And now, for this week’s Target Practice:

Target Practice
(I stole this idea from Fit. Fun. Femme.)

LIfe: Call, text, and/or get together with at least one of the friends I haven’t seen in a while. One the my September goals was to not let my relationships take the farthest-back seat now that school is in full swing, so I want to start making good on that goal.

Health: Eat clean (the marathon is just over a month away…no room for junk!) and get enough sleep. I’m super excited for this week’s forecast:
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Look at those glorious 70s! That means more evening runs and fewer 4:15 alarms. I’ll still have to do the earlies sometimes, when there’s too much going on in the evenings, but I LOVE running after work (it’s the best stress relief) and am very much looking forward to it.

Fitness: Same old, same old: follow my training schedule (this week is a pretty hefty mileage week), strength train twice, stretch/foam roll twice, and at least a short yoga workout once. This week, I cut the strength training 15 minutes short to work in the stretching and rolling. I’m not sure if that’s the best idea or not, but it worked for this week, anyway.

Did you do anything fun this weekend? I didn’t, really, so tell me your stories!

What do you want to accomplish this week?

And seriously, do you care about reading my weekly workout recaps?