Tag Archives: racing

Thinking About Running

19 May 17
Heidi Kumm
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Thinking About Running. For Fun. Probably. Maybe. Or Not. We’ll See.

It’s finally happening…I’m thinking about running. It’s not just the “hey, look at that person running, I used to do that!” type of thinking that has been floating around in my head since I discovered running shoes. Nope. It is more serious than that. I’ve actually been thinking about the possibility of going running on the regular.

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#OmniTen Adventures: The OCC Recap

31 Aug 15
Heidi Kumm
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The days leading up to the Thursday morning start of the OCC, a trail race that took us through the Alps from Switzerland to France, I was a bit of a sandbagging mess. The original plan called for the group of Columbia runners to stick together. I was cool with that, yay friends! Then I met Colin and Landon and realized just how massive their calves and quads were. Um. Yea. I couldn’t keep up with those mountain legs! Even with a summer dedicated to running instead of studying it’d be a gamble. So I freaked out. Hourly. Until they finally told me I could run my own race. They say it was to calm me down, but I think they were just terrified of having to put up with me for 10 hours!

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#OmniTen Adventures: Running the OCC

25 Aug 15
Heidi Kumm
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Welp, let’s just chase this cat out of the bag! Columbia Sportswear has done it again — they have come up with a crazy idea, pulled all the details together, and made three trail runners feel very special! On Sunday morning I boarded a plane in Denver bound for Geneva, Switzerland. And that’s where I am…in Switzerland! Well, actually France, now. But they didn’t just send me here to sit around alone. No, of course not!

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Stunner Status [Wild West Relay Recap]

11 Aug 15
Heidi Kumm
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Last weekend [yea, yea, I’m still a week behind!] I took on the Wild West Relay with the #1 Stunners team, again. And just like my first time at WWR this was quite the experience, both as a runner and as a decision making adult. The night before the race I swapped out my mostly downhill leg for the hardest leg in the race, because sometimes life is mean like that. I crawled into a van full of not-quite-strangers telling myself this would be fun. And it was…now that selective memory has kicked in!

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Finding Fun in Misery [Steamboat Marathon]

29 Jun 15
Heidi Kumm
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Okay, this is getting a little bit ridiculous. It’s been nearly three weeks since I ran the Steamboat Marathon and, while I have a few failed attempts saved, I am yet to actually write about the race. In my defense I haven’t had time to write about anything but what’s really holding me back about this race recap is the gigantic gap between the important parts I want to share and coherent writing.

The race was important to me for a few reasons – it was a road race I had a few time goals for, my mom + friends + Jeremy spent the weekend in Steamboat for this race and because, at the end of the day, I learned how to have fun even when I was hating life. But for some reason I cannot figure out how to put the experience into words — not necessarily because it was so profound but because my brain is so exhausted with EMT training/medical jargon the thought of trying to process the experience into words freaks me out.

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Twenty Freaking Seconds [Colfax Half Marathon]

15 Jun 15
Heidi Kumm
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I’m about the recap my version of the 2015 Colfax Half Marathon approximately four [very long…] weeks after the fact. As a rather impromptu race it wasn’t necessarily a huge day for me but I learned a lot, got one heck of a confidence boost in my ability and finish just 20 freaking seconds shy of my half marathon PR so I really want to write about it, if only as a reminder of what I learned. In theory I would have been smart enough to take these lessons and use them during the Steamboat Marathon but…I’m not quite that smart!

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It’s runnable! [Greenland 25K Recap]

05 May 15
Heidi Kumm
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This past weekend I learned the true reason I like trail running. I tell people it’s because of the softer surface and the scenery but during the Greenland 25K on Saturday I learned that my true love for trails lies along mountainsides on steep, technical climbs…NOT on smooth, rolling climbs that are completely runnable. The amount of internal whining I did during this race is rather embarrassing…

On Saturday morning I made the drive down to Larkspur [aka, almost Colorado Springs] to take on the Greenland 25K as part of the Runners Roost team. I had high hopes for a strong training race that would give me a good feel for where I stood with the random marathon training I’ve been doing. I had no time goals but I really wanted to feel strong and run the whole race without truly hating myself while exerting the same level of effort throughout the race, regardless of my pace.

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Westminster Trail 10K [recap]

07 Apr 15
Heidi Kumm
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Alternate Title: Never Take Your Training Too Literally

I ran a race on Sunday. As in, I actually raced a race with a time goal in mind and a PR staring at me. I knew going in I had slim-to-no chance of beating my PR but that doesn’t mean I didn’t look up my PR time + pace, just in case! While I wasn’t officially gunning for my PR I was toeing the start line of the ERS Westminster Trail 10K with the goal of testing out my speed. I wanted to run hard from the get go and see what I could talk my body into surviving. It was a gamble, but if I’ve learned anything about running in the past year it’s that the biggest road block is your brain, not your body!

This race popped up on my radar when a friend, Sara, signed up for it and started talking about it. I had no business racing a 10K but…if she was driving down to the race why not!? We headed out early on Sunday morning and had plenty of time to debate the weather, contemplate coffee and pout when we discovered the local bunt cake store was closed for the day. Eventually we pulled ourselves together, pinned on our bibs and lined up at the start…fully prepared to take on the out + back course on a sunny Sunday morning, or so we hoped.


I left the start line prepared for an hour or so of pushing my legs, controlling my breathing and staying relatively focused on what my body was saying. The first quarter-mile was a fair bit of weaving as we all settled into our respective paces. Less than a half mile into the race my double-knotted shoelace came untied. Untied! It was double-knotted! I spent about 5 steps swearing then pulled over to the grass to tie it up.  Do you have any idea how long it takes to tie a shoe when you’re fingers are fat and clumsy and there is an imaginary clock timing you?!

By the time we hit the first mile everyone had kind of wriggled into a spread out line of runners and I was feeling good. I was actually surprised to see the mile marker. The second mile was spent picking off 2-3 people ahead of me while trying really hard to keep my effort + breathing consistent. As I approached the third mile I forgot how to breath properly and my ribs constricted in weird, painful cramps. I audibly whimpered a few times and while I’m sure my pace faltered I kept pushing forward. At this point we had hit our turn around point and I was counting the women as they ran back toward the finish line…I was the 9th overall female with the 8th female maybe 20 seconds ahead of me. No way was a stupid side cramp going to take that away from me!


I wrangled my breathing back under control, the side cramp magically disappeared and the pep was back in my step. I took advantage of the tiny descent and regained a little confidence in my pace. The turn around also gave me a chance to see just how close behind me a few other women were running. While I originally had no intention of racing against anyone during this 10K I was running without a GPS watch so I had no pace or splits staring at me, motivating me to move faster…so I used the women around me to keep me going.

For the second, third and fourth mile of the race everyone around me was running their own race, a few hundred feet away from the person ahead of them. We were all consistent…I couldn’t catch the women ahead of me but no one was creeping up behind me. It was frustrating and encouraging all at the same time. We were all holding our own, pushing ourselves.


This changed up a bit when we hit the fifth mile – my effort was unwavering but my pace seemed to be dropping. Nothing was falling apart but my body wasn’t used to going this fast for more than two miles so the effort was taking it’s toll. A woman in pink shorts passed me [then spent the rest of the race majorly cutting corners…NOT cool!] with a “good job”. At this point I wasn’t falling apart, per say, but I knew there would be no final sprint…I was leaving everything out there on the course. For the next half mile or so I heard a woman closing in behind me. She’d get close, almost passing, then we’d come upon a bit of a climb and I’d drop her. This went on for a while as we ran through the rollers of the course [who knew underpasses had so much uphill!?]. Eventually we hit a flat stretch and she snuck past me. Now I was rooting for her to overtake the woman in pink shorts because corner cutters do NOT deserve a podium finish, even if it is just age group!


As we neared the finish line I saw the time…49:xx. Hot damn, so close to 50:xx! I kicked it in a bit but didn’t have much to give. There would be no sub-50 finishing but I had an extremely solid race, even if I went out ambitiously fast and lost some speed toward the end. If I had been running with a GPS [or even had the sense to look at my basic wrist watch to see the overall time] I probably could have pulled off a sub-50 but alas, that’s just an excuse. Unfortunately this “so close” feeling has left me with the burning urge to run another 10K in the near future.

I finished the race with an official time of 50:22 which put me an 8:06 pace and earned me a 2nd place finish in the 20-29 age group. The winner of the woman’s race? She was about 13 years old, lead the woman from the get go and finished with a 43:08! Oh, and if you ever get a chance to run a race sponsored by Ultimate Direction…do it! Even age group finished for awesome prizes, like this colorful Jurek Endure waist belt that’s going to come in extremely handy during marathon training!

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The race itself went on without a hitch! We did start a little late so everyone could put the port-a-potties to good use but I won’t complain about that. The course was well-marked, the volunteers were awesome and we got a sparkly bunny finishers medal! After the race there was a surplus of chocolate milk for everyone along with hot dogs, burgers and pancakes for all the races. Even the kids got to have fun with a 1K race and Easter egg hunt. It was all worth the drive down to Westminster!

 The best way to recover after a 10K? Easter treats + bonfire + intense yard Jenga!

Ultimately, at the end of the day, this race reiterated one thing I’ve been learning and re-learning over the past year…never, ever take your training too literally. Like I said, on paper this race should have been slower or I should have felt MUCH worse running at the speed I was. But silly little numbers on a piece of paper can lie to you. Running mountain trails aren’t the ideal way to train for a fast 10K, but the miles of uphill will build strength. Running short two-a-day runs to/from work aren’t ideal for training your body to run faster for 6+ miles, but those stretches of pavement running get your body used to “comfortable” fast paces. Running a steady 12 miler the day before a hard effort 10K isn’t ideal, but weeks of back-to-back long runs can do awesome things for your confidence. All of that together gave me the race I had on Sunday. #worthit

Don’t let a few numbers on a spreadsheet or Strava or MapMyRun or whatever hold you back. Go out there, throw down whatever you have and believe in your ability to keep your head in the game…amazing things can happen. Even if it isn’t a PR it might be exactly the morale booster you need to take on your next long run with a bit more gusto!

Being an Ultra Runner: I Don’t Get It

23 Jan 15
Heidi Kumm
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In the weeks before and after my 100 mile race people told me the race would change my life…that I’d walk way from the it a different person with a new perspective on life. I was warned that I’d see my own soul while out on the trail and that I’d have to deal with it, whether I liked it or not. More than once I was told I could not let the reality of my personal life creep up and unhinge me while running. None of this ever happened.

DSC5014-LNearing the Summit of Mt Werner in the first few miles of RRR100 [PC: Paul Nelson Photography]

I’ve heard ultra runners from many different backgrounds talk about how the races change them, forever. That they got out on the trails and faced down demons they didn’t know were lurking in the shadows of their minds. No demons came wandering out during my race. I’m not saying I don’t have demons…I’m just saying they didn’t show up during my 100 miler or during any of my other runs. At least not yet…

I don’t get it. I don’t understand what these runners are talking about.

Maybe it’s because it was my first 100 miler? Maybe I didn’t push myself hard enough? Didn’t train hard enough? Didn’t want it bad enough? Didn’t suffer long enough? Didn’t puke on the side of the trail? Didn’t biff it on muddy trail? Didn’t chafe or blister or bleed? Didn’t battle adverse weather? Maybe I’m just haven’t earned my ultra cred yet?

A fun run at North Table Mountain…in January, gotta love Colorado weather! [PC: @lgsmash]

Maybe I was just cocky and over-confident but I never doubted my ability to cross that 102.5 mile finish line. Once I started that race my only option was to cross the finish line – unless my body truly blew up, which it didn’t…in part because I did everything in my power to avoid that. I never got to a head space where I wanted to give up. Sure, I wanted the 100 miles to be &#$*% over but I didn’t want to give up [and I have given up before…Dirty Thirty showed me that misery].

I didn’t walk away feeling like a changed person — instead I walked right back into real life where the 100 mile race was just an excuse for a few more hours of sleep and an extra 800 calories each day. I ran 100 miles, now it’s time to go back to work, to pay my bills, to do my laundry.

Am I doing this wrong?

I have watched videos and read snippets of many people talking about their life changing ultra experiences and all I can think is…that’s not me. I can’t relate to that. If that’s what it takes to be an ultra runner then I’m not an ultra runner. I am just a runner that doesn’t stop at 26.2 miles. And, truthfully, I am completely okay with that. I have fun being this person, I mean, she’s kind of awesome, IMHO.

…so awesome she makes a complete fool of herself while picking up other people’s dog poop bags. #trailkarmaFTW [PC: @mtnsandmiles]

I’m okay with being “just a runner”. I just run, because running is fun…and because my body + mind let me. And sometimes I sign up for races just to see how far my body will let my  mind take me when I’ve put money + ego on the line. That’s why Arizona 200M is happening – I’m not chasing demons or seeking out misery, I’m after that exhilarating sense of accomplishment that comes the instant you cross the finish line!

#Runabler Recap: Meaghan’s First Ultra

12 Dec 14
Heidi Kumm
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Note From Heidi: This is one of [hopefully] many race recaps I’ll be able to share for Meaghan…as well as other runners who don’t have a blog-like platform to share their recaps on. This recap is 1000% from the mouth of Meaghan, I just placed photos and added a few links. If you’re looking for a place to share your race accomplishments shoot me an email at runaroundaroo@gmail.com, I’d love to share your story!

I did it. I ran an ultramarathon.

This is a short blurb about my entry into the world of ultra running. Back in the spring of 2014, I decided that I was finally going to take the leap from marathon running to ultra running. I decided that a 50k would be the best option, after all, how much more difficult could 5 more miles be? I searched for a local race so that I wouldn’t have to worry about travel accommodations and could potentially be familiar with the course. The Indian Creek Fifties somehow caught my attention. I had run Waterton Canyon a few times and done sections of the Colorado Trail several times. Perfect! Mitch, Danielle, Allen, and I decided to do a “test” run in the summer at Roxsborough. After the run, I was immediately onboard to sign up for the 50K.

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