Fresh Legs

In the midst of documenting the process of screwing my trail shoes [for traction on ice] I had an “aw, crap…left that in the car” moment which lead to a quick scamper down the stairs and across the parking lot, sans jacket. As I was bouncing down the stairs I randomly noticed how happy my legs were. They wanted to flouncy about, they wanted to run across the parking lot, they wanted to move.

For the last month or so being intentionally active has been rough. I still lack the endurance to bust out a 3 hour run and somehow that gave my brain the right to veto shorter runs because they weren’t badass enough. While fighting my own internal battle of “to run or not to run” I was also wiggling my life schedule around to find time for strength training, yoga and spin classes.

Defying Gravity on the AlterG Treadmill

This post comes with two disclaimers. First, I was given the opportunity to run on an AlterG Treadmill free of charge in exchange for an honest blog review/recap. I was not compensated and all thoughts and opinions are my very own. Second, I will never be the best at describing technical things or explaining the specific science behind things so instead I’m sticking to my experience. If you’re looking for the nitty gritty details check out the AlterG site or shoot me an email/comment with specific questions and I’ll get you legit answers!

About a week after I ran the Run Rabbit Run 100 Miler a PR agency reached out to me offering a chance to “run on the moon”. At first I wasn’t sure…mostly because just thinking about running made my very crank Achilles tendon have a panic attack. But who says no to a chance to try out technology!? It took nearly six weeks to get an appointment scheduled but that was no fault of the physical therapist I visited – my life was stupidly busy! Last week I finally got the chance to try out the AlterG Treadmill at Windsor Spine & Wellness.

Running the 4 Pass Loop [Maroon Bells]

This past weekend I wandered west on a bit of an adventure…to Aspen and the Maroon Bells with plans to run the 4 Pass Loop with Ann, Holly, Paula and Logan. I’ve spent the last few days recuperating and I think I’m finally ready to actually tell the story. The story of a beautifully ass kicking trail run with some bad ass ladies!

The little adventure was born on Twitter when Logan got us all excited about her run-all-the-trails Colorado adventure and it became real on Friday night when Logan and I spent about 6 hours making the trek from Fort Collins to Glenwood Springs! SIX HOURS! Our late arrival at Ann’s was made even more exciting when the alarms starting going off at 3:37am. We drug our butts out of bed, slathered on the sunscreen and chugged double shots of espresso.

After a little “uh, do I have enough stuff packed?!” panicking we made our way to the Maroon Lake trailhead and were running toward stunning alpenglow mountains before 6am rolled around. We hit the 4 Pass Loop counter clockwise and spent the first few miles scooting along the trail making our way toward Buckskin Pass.

The Count Down Begins… [RRR100]

In case anyone else is counting I am currently less than 9 weeks away from the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 miler. Yup, that’s something like 60 days left for 100 mile training. As in less time than the standard “probationary period” at your new job. Or the same amount of notice you need to give most landlords if you want to move out. Or…not very much freaking time!

*que panic attack*

No, seriously, I’m freaking out over here. But only if I think about it, so I try really hard not to think about it. Which is counterproductive because I need to think about it if I’m going to train for it. My solution to that problem? Think about the race but forget that there is an actual date attached to it…instead I’m focusing on the miles, the trails, the time on my feet and keeping everything “in the moment”.

Trail Running - North Table Mesa - Golden - North Fork 50 Training

The Game Plan [North Fork 50M]

Tomorrow morning I’m getting up early, slathering myself with sunscreen, pulling on a neon BRC singlet and pinning a bib to my shorts. I’ll start my second 50 mile race at 7am and by 9pm I’ll either be appropriately rehydrating with a pint glass or getting yanked off the course because I missed the 14 hour cutoff. I’m really hoping for the first option…

So, what’s my plan?

Survival. I’m going back to the Quad Rock game plan that worked out alright for me. For me this is a training run with aid stations along the trail and safety pins in my shorts. That is all, nothing more. Technically speaking the North Fork course will be easier than the Quad Rock course but it could be [and probably will be] toasty warm and we’ll be running through burn areas with minimal shade. This means my focus will shift from merely covering the distance to paying attention to hydration and nutrition.

Bring on 50 miles…

…because I either get excited about the adventure or curl up in the fetal position under my desk and tremble as fearful tears streak down my face. As entertaining as the latter option may be for my co-workers I’ve decided to go with option one and channel my inner crazy girl excitement at the prospect of taking on 50 very hilly miles on Saturday.

At this point running more miles will do no good, so I’ve resorted to fueling. It’s safe to say running 50 miles will burn a bajillion or more calories so stock piling my cookie dough and donuts and gummy bears reserves is a great plan, right? If it’s not, don’t tell me. In my defense I’ve also been sucking down water like it’s Mt Dew…which it definitely isn’t, ftr.

A Miserable Reality Check

Just a heads up – this post is going to be whiny. I had a rough run this weekend and I want to talk about it. However, there is a pretty good chance you don’t actually care about the running part…so I’ll give you a little mountain eye candy.

On Saturday morning we headed west to Buena Vista to run a chunk of the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run 25M course that Chris will be running on next month. He wanted to get a feel for what he would be racing on and I needed hilly miles on single track…done and done! Turns out I was also about to get a miserable dose of reality…and, now that it’s all over, I’m incredibly glad that Saturday’s run sucked. Because I needed a bad run to make me appreciate the good ones…and I needed this craptastic run to go down before race day on a different course.

Palmer Lake 24 Hour Race

Palmer Lake 24 Hour Fun Run {PDR!}

Earlier last week I saw a post about the Palmer Lake 24 Hour Fun Run. On Friday morning Paula, Chris and I signed up for it. Saturday morning rolled around and we headed south with a few bags of food and many layers of running gear having no idea what to expect.

We went in with the goal of 6 [or 7] hours at the race then heading back to real life and such. We really had no idea what we were doing and if it weren’t for Paula waiting for a ride I may have stayed in bed. The idea of showing up at a small ultra terrified me. It was a laid back event put on for the sake of getting people some training miles but I had decided I was going for a PRD [Personal Distance Record] of at least 32 miles and that got me all worked up.

Improvising…to make it work!

After writing out my survival plan for Quad Rock 50 I dug up a legal pad and wrote out the dates of all the weeks leading up to the race. They all fit on one side of the paper. Uh oh. That is not very many weeks, for the record. I am well past the point of freaking out about my barely there training plan. It’s been decided that I am going to make the most of the time I have left, which requires a little creativity.

I have befriended two-a-day runs and even taken on a few three-a-days just for fun. It has become rather “normal” to get up early for a country road jaunt, pack up running clothes for some Wyoming runching and then stop by a trailhead on my way home for a few extra miles. It’s not perfect but it is getting me miles on tired legs so I’ll take it!

Double Races = Double PRs {Snowman Stampede Race Recap}

Lately my running has been very…sporadic, to say the least. Two weeks ago I had an extremely solid week with two-a-days, races and long runs. I hit a mileage high and was feeling pretty darn good about the Quad Rock 50M. If I jumped right into next week I’d probably be able to keep this confidence. The two weeks in the middle?! Well, we’ll forget they ever happened! Instead we’ll focus on the awesome that went down at the Snowman Stampede on Saturday, February 22nd! I had signed up for the 5 mile and 10 mile races in hopes of forcing myself into a double digit run. Sure, it was on flat pavement not on the technical climbing trails I needed but sometimes miles are miles! Right?! Close enough…