Category Archives: Training

So Ends Summer: An Adventure Photo Dump

I’m typing this a 10:30 on a Monday morning while I drink coffee. Next week at this time, I’ll be frantically putting finishing touches on my classroom, readying it (and myself) for my twelfth year of teaching. I report back to work on Wednesday of this week, and kids come on Wednesday of next week, and so here we are: the end of summer. It’s been a darn good summer, though, and I’m lucky to have the flexibility to enjoy summer so thoroughly. I’ve blogged very little this summer, choosing instead to enjoy every moment as much as possible. I feel that a photo dump of my summer adventures is the best way to catch you up, so here we go!

The first week of summer was packed with fun. Summer started for me on Memorial Day weekend. Graduation was Saturday, so Jordan and I hiked up to Bridal Veil Falls outside Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday:
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The next weekend was the Skirt Sports ambassador retreat, culminating in the Skirt Sports 13er, which I won!
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The following Thursday, my friend Kelly and I climbed my first 14er, Quandary Peak, Words cannot do its beauty justice, so check out these pictures, courtesy of Kelly:

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There were so many mountain goats, and they were not shy at all.

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Kelly and me at the summit

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Views for days!IMG_1322.jpg

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I went from 14,000 feet to 0 feet in just over 24 hours, heading to Cabo San Lucas that Friday for a long weekend with my college girlfriends. A lot has changed since we met at age 18, but when we get together, it feels like no time has passed at all. I’m not posting any pictures of us except the snorkeling one, because in all our pictures, we’re wearing swimsuits, and as adults with careers, we don’t want that stuff on the internet. So take a look at the ocean instead:

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My girl Sam and me snorkelling in Cabo. Confession: I was so seasick getting here that I nearly puked in my snorkel mask.
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Ocean: I am beautiful! But I will make you vomit allllll daaaay.
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It wasn’t all seasickness. This is where we spent most of our time, swimming and talking. Not a bad place to spend the weekend, right?

My adventures slowed down a bit after that first week, but I still got to spend a lot of time in the mountains. J and I camped, hiked, and rode our bikes in RMNP and Estes Park:

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Our spot in Moraine Park campground
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Jordan making the turn from Cub Lake to Fern Lake
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Fern Lake
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Outrunning (outbiking?) the rain in Estes Park

I won my age group in in local 5k on the Fourth of July:

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I ran a lot of trails and made new friends along the way:

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Before a 6-miler at Bobcat Ridge Open Space with Skirt Sports sisters Lynette and Becky
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Running in the Rawah Wilderness with the Gnar Runners from Fort Collins (Photo credit Ed Delosh)
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Near the top of Clark Peak in the Rawah (Photo credit Ed Delosh)
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Yep, we’re going UP that! (Photo credit Ed Delosh)
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Solo run at Devil’s Backbone
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Gorgeous wildflowers near Eccles Pass
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On the other side of Eccles Pass. Colorado is so beautiful.
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Making friends from Ultra Dirt Divas and frolicking in wildflowers near Eccles Pass
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Solo run in RMNP

We visited my parents and grandparents on the Western Slope, and I didn’t take pictures because I’m the worst.

We camped in the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness with my family to celebrate my dad’s birthday (and I didn’t take a single picture of any family members, just this one of myself,  because I’m narcissistic like that):
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And I celebrated my birthday and the end of summer with an epic day in the mountains with some more new friends. (Just this one picture today, because this run deserves its own post):

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Odessa Lake in RMNP

Yep, summer has been good to me this year. My trail marathon is September 15, so I still have a few trail days in the coming weeks, but these will need to be more focused, on-a-time-crunch training runs — probably no more full days in the mountains, jumping in alpine lakes and taking long photo breaks. But that’s okay: I’m looking forward to meeting a new group of students and trying to make year 12 the best one yet!

 

What has been your best summer adventure so far this year?

When does summer end for you? Are you on a school schedule or a real calendar?

 

 

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Horsetooth Half Marathon Training, Weeks 7-8

Looks as though my blog is becoming just a training log, eh? Oh well. It’s better than not blogging at all, right?

As my mileage is building back up, I’ve been feeling pretty good. I’m really trying to listen to my body, as apparently this hamstring thing is just one of those nagging injuries that never really goes away, so I want to keep it in check while getting myself back in shape. That means being less of a slave to my training plan than I ever have been before — it used to be that no matter how I felt or what was happening in my life, if the plan said to run 8 miles, I ran 8 miles, dang it. I’m working hard to break that mindset, stay healthy, and organize my training around my life, rather than vice-versa.

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Keeping some perspective on why I run. Headband from Skirt Sports. You can use code 841SONN for 15%. (Not an affiliate link, just making your life easier. You’re welcome.)  

Here’s how it’s gone the last two weeks:

Week 7: February 19-25

Monday: This was a wicked-cold week., and it felt worse since Colorado’s had such a mild winter. We had a high of something like 13 degrees on Monday, and I needed to lift in addition to running. We also had snow on the ground, and I knew that if I ran in the cold and got all wet and gross, I would just get in my nice, warm car and drive home for a nice, warm shower. So I hit the treadmill for 8 miles of “hill” intervals, then lifted.

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This is my “taking a selfie at the gym is awkward” face. 

Tuesday: My PT doesn’t want me running more than 5 miles on the treadmill, and I found out why: the ol’ hammy was pretty sore on Tuesday. I listened to it  (praise me, please), and did a made-up-by-me spin bike session for 40 minutes, then did some core work.

Wednesday: I couldn’t take any more indoor stuff, so even though it was still cold and icy, I bundled up and headed out for 8.3. I was an ice cube when I got home, but ice cubing is better than indooring.
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Thursday: Rest day.

Friday: Again, it was super cold, and again, I needed to lift some weights, so again, I hit the treadmill. Capped it at 5 like not-an-idiot.

Saturday: We had a Skirt Sports Ambassador meet-up, which are always super fun. We ran along the Boulder Creek Path (I think? Goose Creek Path? Something Creek Path). There was nobody my pace, so I jogged along with a few different groups and sometimes alone for 6 miles. Then, we had an oatmeal bar and tried not to buy all the things. Even though we’re supposed to take lots of pictures and spread the love at these things, I’m the actual worst and only took two pictures, neither of which turned out. Just imagine a lot of women having a good time, okay?

Sunday: Finally, the weather turned, and Sunday was in the 40s: perfect for 10 miles with 3 at goal pace. Last time I did this workout, my splits were way off. This time was much better: the goal pace miles were 6:55, 6:53, 6:55. I don’t think that “just under 7” is my goal pace for Horsetooth, because of the hills, but it is for the Skirt Sports 13er in June, so that’s what I’m basing training paces on.
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Week 7 Total Mileage: 37.3

Week 8: February 26-March 4

Monday: 3.6-mile recovery run, nice and slow, followed by a bunch of stretching and foam rolling.

Tuesday: 7 miles easy, then strength training. If last week was brutally cold and snow, this week more than made up for it. I was in capris and a T-shirt and got too hot.

Wednesday: Tempo intervals: 3-mile warm-up, 3×1-mile at tempo with 90 seconds rest, 3(ish)-mile cool down. I did the tempo part on hills because I guess tempo intervals don’t suck enough already? Either way, it was a beautiful day and a good, solid run.

Thursday: Yoga to stretch out yesterday’s hard workout

Friday: It was 65 degrees. I  told myself to stay at work and get some things done, but… it was 65 degrees. So I ran 8 glorious miles, then strength trained. I regret nothing.

Saturday: Another downright amazing day of weather. I hoped to run some trails in the foothills, but after last week’s snow and this week’s sun, all the trail reports said they were a muddy mess. Instead, I ran 14 miles on the Poudre Trail (a paved bike path that connects Greeley to Fort Collins). My legs were a bit tired from Friday’s workout, so I took it easy,  especially at the beginning, and just enjoyed soaking up the sun.
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Sunday: My training plan said 4 miles, but my body (especially Mr. Hammy) was tired and a little sore after yesterday’s long run, so I rested. See that? I may actually be getting wiser in my old age.

Week 8 Total Mileage: 41.6.

These last two weeks felt good. I feel like I’m slowly returning to myself, and that’s a really, really good feeling.

 

I ask the same questions every time. Tell me something new. 

 

Horsetooth Half Marathon Training, Weeks 4-6

I was doing so well with the regular blogging … for a few weeks. And then, as I often do, I fell off the blogging bandwagon. In an effort to reboard the wagon, I’m back tonight with a recap of the last three weeks of training. A three-week day-by-day would be all sorts of boring, I think, so I’ll hit the high points.

Week 4: January 29-February 4
32 miles run
One day of cross-training (cycling)
Three days of strength training
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That week, I had my first tempo run in ages. The workout was 7 miles total, with 2 at tempo. It felt better than I worried it might. I also had a ten-miler with three at goal pace. I don’t really know what goal pace is, to be honest, so I shot for around 7-minute miles. That was hard, but not impossible. Overall, a pretty decent week of getting back in shape.

Week 5: February 5-11
39 miles run
Three days of strength training

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Freezing my buns off around mile 2 of the Sweetheart Classic. Yay for free race pics!

Highlights of last week included my first weekday eight-miler (a fartlek run) in quite some time, running in Denver before a conference, and the Loveland Sweetheart Classic 4-mile race. The day of the race was 11 degrees and snowing. It was cold and miserable and awesome all at the same time. I’ll write a separate post for a race recap.

Week 6: February 12-19
We’ll go the day-by-day route for this week:

Monday:  30 minutes easy cycling, then strength training

Tuesday: 6 easy miles, then core work
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Wednesday: 8 miles with the last three progressing to tempo

Thursday: Rest day. We had parent-teacher conferences, and the weekend forecast looked lovely, so that sounded like a perfect combination of reasons to rest Thursday and run the next three days.

Friday: I had the day off, thanks to conferences the night before. Although I spent most of the day grading and emailing parents who didn’t come to conferences but whom I needed to talk to, I took a break in the morning for 8 hilly miles, then another in the afternoon for some gym time.

Saturday: 4 recovery miles, plus core

Sunday: 13 miles. It was 50 degrees at 8:00 a.m. Colorado is weird.

Total: 39 miles, two days of strength

I’m still feeling rather out of shape, but I feel a bit stronger and fitter every day. I’m also relearning to balance higher mileage, strength training, and, you know, life.

What’s on your race calendar?

How do you balance training and life?

 

Horsetooth Half Marathon Training, Weeks 2-3

Look at me, blogging three weeks in a row! It’s almost as though I’ve achieved work-life balance… but it may be more that I’m choosing different things to ignore. Whatevs. (Do people still say that? I don’t think they do).

Anyway, I’m plugging right along with training for the Horsetooth Half. I’m feeling good, getting a little fitter all the time, and starting to feel more and more like my old self. Here are the deets (I’m all about the ’90s slang today) from the last two weeks.

Monday, Jan. 15

I felt the need for a day off (see Week 1’s recap), and I had the day off work and just a couple of days left on the 30-day unlimited yoga pass I bought in December. I took the day off running and went to hot yoga instead. I like hot yoga now. Then I went to physical therapy in the afternoon. Self-care for the win!

Tuesday, Jan. 16

Short hill repeats: 10 x 30-second hill sprints, 5.2 miles total with warm-up and cool-down. My favorite hill for short repeats — which is my favorite because it’s close and there’s never any traffic — was PACKED with cars that day. Turns out, the highway construction nearby is detouring cars on my favorite road. For several months. Guess I need to find a new hill. Whomp whomp.

Wednesday, January 17

Rode the spin bike (and forgot to log it in Strava, I just realized) and did some strength work.

Thursday, January 18

6 miles easy plus 4 strides. I am so loving the longer days.

Friday, January 19

4 easy miles, followed by strength training

Saturday, January 20

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Horsetooth is hilly, so I need to run big hills. The weather was lovely, and a big storm was rolling in overnight. Clearly, the combination of these meant I needed to trail run. I headed up to Fort Collins for a climb up Towers Road. If you’re not familiar with Towers, here’s what you need to know:
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Someday, I will run the whole thing. Saturday, I did a decent bit of hiking. 10 miles total.

Sunday, January 21

Rest. It’s rare for me, especially now that I’m uninjured, to run only 4 days a week, but my body was begging for rest after Saturday’s workout, and if that injury taught me one thing, it’s to let the body rest when the body wants to rest. Plus it was snow-storming out, so it really was a perfect day for rest.

Week 2 Total Miles: 25.2

Monday, January 22

3.1 easy miles, then strength training.

Tuesday. January 23

6 x 2-minutes at 10k pace, 2-minutes recovery. 5 miles total, with warm-up and cool-down. I had an after-school training that required an early-morning treadmill run. I’ve managed to avoid those for most of this winter, so having to do one morning wasn’t SO bad.

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Tried to take an artsy picture for Instagram. Artsy and 4:30 a.m. do not mix well.

Wednesday, January 24

4 miles easy, then strength training.

Thursday, January 25

6 miles plus 4 strides. I tried to take a cool jumping picture. Instead, I made this face and did this with my arms:
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I’m SO COOL.

Friday, January 26

Rest day! I had a meeting-slash-happy-hour and then a basketball game, and decided that rest was better than another early workout. Look at me, trying to be smart. It only took me 32 years.

Saturday, January 27

Jordan had a meeting and I had a haircut, both in Loveland, so I dropped him at his meeting, then ran, then took my gross, sweaty head to the hairdresser. Yes, I tipped well. My training plan said 5 miles, but the clock said “Stop or you’ll be late” at 4. Oh well; that one mile probably won’t make or break my race in April. (That’s sarcasm, FYI).

Sunday, January 28

11-mile long run on the hilliest route I can run without having to drive anywhere. It was lovely. Welcome to Colorado, where we run in short skirts while there’s still snow on the ground.

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Week 3 Total Miles: 33.1

If you looked only at these two weeks, you’d think I was egregiously breaking the 10-percent rule, but worry not: I’ve been consistently running 30-35 miles/week for several weeks; last week was just a weird one.

The upcoming week brings my first tempo run in 1.5 years and a fast-finish long run, which I haven’t done in… I don’t even know how long. Should be interesting.

What are you training for?

Does anyone still even read this blog? If you do, say hi!

Spring Break Successes: Manitou Incline and an Injury Diagnosis

Guess who’s on Spring Break right now?

Did you guess me? You’re right! Of course, break is flying, but so has the school year thus far. I’m sure it’ll all be over before I know it.

Jordan and I are in different school districts now, which means we have different breaks. His was two weeks ago. That’s lame, but I’ve managed to have some fun without him. On Monday, some colleagues and I headed down to Manitou Springs to climb the infamous Manitou Incline.

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At the bottom… hopefully my co-workers don’t mind my posting their picture on the Internet…

If you’re not familiar with the Incline: It’s a popular trail/staircase that literally goes straight up a mountain. It was once a cable car track, and when the cable car was damaged and removed, but the railroad ties stayed and looked like a staircase, someone thought, “Hey, we should walk up that.” And ever since, it’s been a quintessential Colorado workout. Because what’s more Colorado than going up 2000 feet in just under a mile?

This video from Out There Colorado gives you an awesome overview, if you can spare two minutes to watch:

The hike burns, that’s for sure. But  the view from the top is well worth it. It took me 38 minutes to get to the top. Yes, that’s 38 minutes for a 0.8-mile hike. And I was the fastest in our group (was I proud of myself for beating the 20-something Crossfit coaches in our group? Yes, yes I was).
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Once everyone made it to the top and we snapped a picture (“pics or it didn’t happen,” right?), we headed back down Barr Trail, which is a longer but much less scary way to get down (I would NOT want to go down the Incline). I ran down with my boss, which was fun. She and I haven’t spent much time together this year, and I was pleased at how well we got along. Also, this was my first trail run of 2017. I hope there are many more to come!

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We all made it!

That hope of trail runs to come brings me to my next topic: this hamstring injury that just won’t go away. I was pretty nervous about climbing the Incline, especially since the injury had flared back up again last week, causing me to skip my long run. But it held out well, and while I was certainly aware of it, it didn’t hurt badly enough to concern me.

And then, today, I finally ventured to a physical therapist (yes, nine months after this injury originally occurred. I am an idiot). She told me that it’s not actually a hamstring injury, but rather bursitis. The bursa sac where my leg joins my body is inflamed, which then irritates the hamstring. BUT here’s the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time: she thinks I can be better in just a few weeks. We have to get my pelvis realigned and improve some flexibility in my hamstrings, and then the bursa sac should stop being irritated and I’ll be okay again. AND, she said that running won’t cause any major damage — it’ll make me sore, but it’s not dangerous. Soreness I can handle. Bring on the training and the health!

I’m so relieved to finally have an answer… and regretful that I didn’t go see a PT sooner. But, live and learn, and soon I hope I’ll be healthy and enjoying more Incline-esque adventures!

 

Have you hiked the Incline? What did you think?

What’s a quintessential “your state” thing to do?

Ever had bursitis? Please tell me it’s easy to fix once you know what it is…

 

 

 

Skirt Sports 13er Training, Weeks 3-4

You guys, it feels amazing to be training again.

I’m following a plan that repeats weeks to avoid increasing mileage too quickly, so I’m just going to list the last two weeks together, okay? (Of course it’s okay. Three people read these posts). Here we go:

Monday (2/27 and 3/6)
4 miles easy/3 miles easy, plus 15-minute strength workout

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This is my view when I run now. I don’t mind. 

Tuesday (2/28 and 3/7)
Fartleks: 8 x 2 minutes at 10k pace, 2-minute recovery. With warm-up and cool-down, I ran 7 miles on the 28th and 8 on the 7th. Both were on the treadmill because I am a wuss and didn’t want to run fartleks in the wind AGAIN. Followed by core work

Wednesday (3/1 and 3/8)
3 miles easy/ 5 miles easy, plus core work/light ST
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Thursday (3/2 and 3/9)
6 miles easy, followed by 20 minutes strength work

Friday (3/3 and 3/10)
3 recovery miles, followed by foam rolling. These were my first 6-day running weeks since getting injured, so I wanted to take it super easy.

Saturday (3/4 and 3/11)
11 miles. The 4th, I ran from my house. Since it was my longest run since we moved here, I got to explore a little farther than I’d been. I made new friends.
IMG_3565This week, I ran in Boulder as part of a Skirt Sports ambassador meet-up. Because I’m the WORST blogger ever, I took no pictures. Yep.

Sunday (3/5 and 3/12)
Rest day!

Totals: 34/ 35.8 miles

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve been slacking a bit on the yoga and foam rolling, and I’m afraid that’s playing with injury fire, so I need to be more faithful again. It feels good to have a “3” in front of my weekly mileage, and I can’t wait until it’s a “5.” But I’m taking it slow and steady!

How’s your training going? What’s your next big goal?

Skirt Sports 13er Training: Weeks 1-2

Remember when I used to do training recaps? You know, when I was training? That seems like about a million years ago. But I’m finally training again, albeit slower and with less mileage than before, so it’s time to bring back the training recaps. Plus, it gives me something to blog about, and I really need to get back on a more regular blogging schedule.

The Skirt Sports 13er (don’t forget, you can get a discount to join me by using code SKIRTAMB15) is June 4. Normally, I’d do a 12-week plan for a half, but since I’m coming back from injury, I decided that 16 weeks would be better for building my fitness and preventing another injury. I’m also making a serious effort to thoroughly warm up before each run and finish with some sort of strength or core work and foam rolling, and I’m keeping with my nightly 15-25 minutes of yoga. Here’s how weeks 1-2 went down:

Tuesday, Feb. 14 –First day of training!
Fartlek run — 8 x 1-minute at 10k pace with 2-minute recoveries. Total mileage, including warm-up and cooldown: 7 miles.

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Skirt and short sleeves in February! What?!

Wednesday, Feb. 15
3-mile recovery run

Thursday, February 16
Rest day

Friday, February 17
Had the day off, hooray! 5 miles, finished with a few strides

Saturday, February 18
9 miles! Longest run in a loooong time

Sunday, February 19
Rest day. Taking three rest days in one week felt weird, but Monday and Thursday were scheduled rest days, and I felt like the ol’ hamstring needed one the day after the long run. I’ll start taking Sunday rest days again, I think. That works best for my body.

Week 1 Total: 24 miles

Monday, February 20
4 recovery miles

Tuesday, February 21
Same 7-mile fartlek workout as last week. It was SO windy out. My paces were absolutely ridiculous: super fast when the wind was at my back, super slow when running back into the wind.

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Clearly had a tailwind here — see how my skirt is plastered to my legs?

Wednesday, February 22
3 miles easy. Super slow. I was exhausted and felt like crap, so I was not sad to only run three.

Thursday, February 23
5-mile easy run on the treadmill. The gorgeous, non-Februaryish weather was gone, and it was windy and snowing out. I knew that if I ran in the cold, all I’d want to do when I got back would be take a hot shower, and I’d likely skip my strength workout, so I ran did an alternating run/strength workout in my basement.

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No, this picture isn’t staged at all! Why would you ask? …

Friday, February 24
Rest day

Saturday, February 25
10 miles!!! I went to a “writing marathon” at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Saturday morning, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to do my long run in Denver City Park after. It feels pretty darn good to be back to double digits!
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Sunday, February 26
Rest.

Week 2 Total Mileage: 29

I’m hoping to get back to six days of running this week or next. Just gotta play it by ear and see how my hamstring feels. Either way, it feels great to be running consistently again and to have a goal on the horizon.

What are you training for these days?

Ever had to come back from an injury or other setback? Tell me about it!

Injury and Identity Crisis

I’m one of those lucky runners who, for whatever reason, can put in lots of miles without getting injured. I try to be smart about it — not building too quickly, strength training regularly, listening to my body if something hurts — and it works. At least that’s what I thought.

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A few weeks ago, for no apparent reason, my left butt cheek started hurting in the middle of a fartlek run (insert butt-and-fartlek jokes here), and the pain didn’t stop, despite my stretching and slowing down. I have no idea why this would happen now, when I was running less than half the mileage I run when I’m training for a race, but the pain was there, and it was persistent.

Some Internet research told me I had hamstring tendinitis, and I found stretches, strength moves, and general advice on how to treat it. I’ve been doing it all religiously: stretching, strengthening, foam rolling and rolling on a tennis ball, taking short walks to keep it loose, taking several days off running and resuming with short and easy runs (no hills or speed), and even getting a massage, but still the pain persists. I can run 4-5 miles, but 5 is the most I’ve run in over a month. Frankly, it’s starting to mess with my head.

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I know I should be grateful that I can run at all, and that this happened when I don’t have any races on the calendar. Plus, I’ll be so busy soon with moving and starting a new job that running long shouldn’t be my priority anyway (but I will have this new town to explore…).

But there’s a huge part of my identity that is distance runner, and even though it’s been only a few weeks, I feel like that part of my identity is misplaced. Sometimes I toy with the idea of just moving on from that identity — becoming someone who works out purely for health reasons, with less cardio and more strength training and yoga — and for a minute, that seems like a great idea. After all, I’m certainly not a professional — it’s not like I’m paid to run long. There’s no logical reason for me to keep doing it. In fact, it would probably be healthier to go the other way.

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But then I see an ad for a race, or a post in a Facebook group about an epic trail run coming up, or my trail shoes sitting by the door, looking sad because I haven’t taken them out lately, or even the “4.00” on my watch at the end of yet another short, slow road run, and I think, “No, the just-for-health exerciser is not who I am.”

I realize this post is a complete pity party, and if you’ve made it through my word vomit thus far, thanks for sticking around. I feel like I should end this on a positive note, especially because I know, in the grand scheme of the world, that this is not that big of an issue and probably doesn’t even warrant its own blog post. But I feel grumpy and negative right now. Here:

Commiserate with me: Tell me about an injury and how you recovered/are recovering. Or give me a magic piriformis-healing bullet. 

 

Blue Sky Trail Marathon Training, Week 11

My second-to-last week of training is done, and tomorrow starts race week. The second-to-last week is always my least favorite: close enough to the race that I’m tapering, but far enough away that my brain thinks we should still be killing it. Taper madness is real, folks.

Do I make a tapir/taper pun every training cycle? Yes. Does it ever get old? No.

Here’s how this week looked:

Monday: 

Rest. I don’t like to rest on Mondays (running = sanity), but my body needed it after Sunday’s long run.

Tuesday: 

7.2 miles of fartleks to shake the legs out, followed by core work.

Wednesday: 

10.1 miles with Jaylin. It’s so fun to have a running buddy! I love my solo runs, too, but I’ve really enjoyed these weekly meet-ups.

Thursday: 

5 miles easy + core and upper body… by which I mean I tacked 20 push-ups onto my usual core workout. I’m hardcore.

Friday: 

4 miles of “hills” on the treadmill, followed by core and — believe it or not — stretching.

Saturday: 

5 easy miles, plus the same hardcore workout as Thursday.

Sunday: 

10 miles easy. This was the first long run of training that I haven’t gone to the trails, and I”m pretty proud of myself for making it to the trails consistently. I didn’t go today because I figured it was silly to drive twice as long as I’d run, especially since I had a LOT of housework and grading to do. The work has been done now; one more short trail run would probably not impact my race.

Total: 41.3 miles

One week from today, I’ll toe the line at my very first trail race. I wish I’d decided to run it sooner — I’d feel a lot more confident with 16 or 18 weeks of training under my belt instead of 12. But I can’t change it now; all that’s left is to get out there, try my best, and most importantly, have fun. Wish me luck!

Any main events coming up for you soon? 

Blue Sky Trail Marathon Training, Week 9

I can hardly believe it, but my second-to-last week of heavy training is finished. I’ve got one more big week, then a two-week taper, and then the race. I wish I’d decided earlier to do this race, so I would’ve had time for a 16- or 18-week training plan… I’m feeling less ready than I’d like. But there’s no going back, so I’ll just have to see what a 12-week plan will do.

Here’s the rundown on Week 9:

Monday:

AM: 7.3 miles of hills. Thanks to Labor Day, I went out to the only real hills around.
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PM: Strength training

Tuesday:

11.1 miles “easy.” It’s still a little warm out in the early evenings, but it’s nice to decompress after work. I’m sure Jordan is also grateful for my return to evening running, as it makes me much more pleasant for the rest of the night.
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H
ow could this not make you happier?

Wednesday:

I ran to the gym, spent three miles of steep climbing on the incline trainer, then ran home for 5 miles total. It took me the same amount of time as my 7-miler Monday. Hopefully it’ll make me stronger come race day! I also did some core work when I got home. I’m hoping that, too, will make me stronger come race day.

Thursday:

AM: 10 miles with the same group I’ve been running with the last couple of weeks. We planned nine but math is hard.

PM: Strength training

Friday: 

5 recovery miles and some core work.

Saturday:

Jordan had a meeting (and thus a hotel room) in Golden, so you know I had to crash that party and get in a long trail run. I ran 20 miles at Green Mountain (the Lakewood one, not the Boulder one). It was hard, but the climbs are pretty similar to the first part of the race. And the views were not too shabby.
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I intended to run 21 miles, but I ran out of water, and it was getting hot out. I didn’t really want to risk passing out on the trail, so I called it a day. Still, I got in almost 3000 feet of vertical, which for this flatlander is pretty darn good. I’m planning to run there again next weekend, since we’ll be in town for my brother’s wedding.

Sunday: 

Rest. I didn’t even do yoga, though I probably should have, as I’m a bit sore and stiff from yesterday.

Total: 58.4 miles… 12 miles short of what my peak weeks are for road marathon training. I’m not sure what to think about that.

Well, I’m working all of three days this week (yay, wedding!), so I’d better get rested up. Ha. Have a great week!

What’s your usual peak mileage?

What does a run with lots of vertical look like for you? Go ahead, ultra-runners. Make my 3000 feet look paltry.