The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


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…through a few more Boston thoughts

Thanks to everyone for your support in my running of the Boston Marathon this year! Your encouraging comments/tweets mean so much to me!

The night of the marathon, I got a little emotional with the boy. The fact is, I was disappointed. But, I couldn’t really pinpoint why. Boston was reportedly the 2nd slowest in its’ history and also the 2nd hottest. Given this, I should probably have just been happy to run it experience it and know that one day someone will ask me if I had known anyone who ran “that one really hot year in Boston.”

Part of me was disappointed that one of my best training cycles, with my highest mileage week ever, had gone to waste. That I had pushed myself so hard, even when my work weeks were absolutely nuts, to make sure I hit all of my daily workouts.

I was disappointed that my body had responded so poorly to the heat and fueling. I worked through the same nauseau/lightheadedness once before and never expected it to hit me again. Especially at Boston.

And I was disappointed with my time. About halfway through the marathon, I began negotiated with myself. Maybe I can make it in by this time. A few miles later. Maybe I can give myself 10 extra minutes. A few miles later. Maybe I can beat my old PW. A few miles later. Maybe I can beat the next half hour mark. All of these thoughts were weaved between thoughts of gratitude for just being there again. Just being thankful for the ability to run. Just trying to enjoy the experience and take from it what I could. See things I hadn’t seen before. Notice things I hadn’t before. Focus on the journey, not the destination.

Because of all things, you can’t control the weather.

The truth is, I’m pretty hard on myself. I set expectations. And often, when they don’t come to fruition, it takes me some time to cope. I knew I’d come around. I always come around.

So, I had my night (and maybe a few moments since) of frustration and disappointment, but I’ve managed them well. I’ve chalked this up to a great experience and I’m definitely happy that I ran the race and completed it without visiting the medical tents. That alone was probably a big enough feat!

While I’m not turned off by running (not sure I every could be), I am turned off by marathons. At least for the time being. I didn’t really have any marathons in my long term plans after Boston, anyway. Instead, I’m anxious to get moving toward a new goal…

PS-I heart you boyfriend. Thanks for you-know-what.

XO,

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…before Boston 2012

I’m all in! The boy and I took an easy jog this morning before heading to the Boston Expo today for some most necessary items.

Tomorrow is the day and heat is on the way! BAA has sent numerous emails in the past 2 days with warnings about the unseasonable heat wave on Monday. The latest: 90 degrees as a high. The latest from BAA (after offering deferment to 2013):

-The weather conditions that we will be seeing on Monday, April 16 will involve even more risk. It will involve an increased element of risk to all participants due to the heat. Only the fittest runners should consider participating.

-Therefore, in cooperation with the Boston Marathon’s Medical Team, it is our recommendation that anyone entered in the marathon who has not met the qualifying standards for their age and gender strongly consider not running, and that they strongly consider deferring until next year.

-Everyone who does choose to participate should strongly consider running significantly more slowly that they normally would plan to run a marathon. We have extended the opening of our finish line in support of this recommendation.

-For the overwhelming majority of those who have entered to participate in the 2012 Boston Marathon, you should adopt the attitude that THIS IS NOT A RACE. It is an experience.

When asked if I was going to go ahead and run Boston this year, my response was quickly: OF COURSE! I have worked too hard for the past 12 weeks to just give it up. I don’t really know how many more Boston’s I will be able to run, due to qualifying times, possible goal changes, etc. So, I am going to run the ones I am able to! One day I will not be able to do this; today (tomorrow) is not that day! I may not have the best marathon time tomorrow, but I am going to approach this 26.2 as I do all the others: conserve. I know the training I’ve put in and I know what I am capable of. I am willing to adjust my race goals depending on weather and how I feel. And I am already prepared to take extra precautions thanks to the heat. But I am going to run it and I am going to finish it!

I’m ready for the morning and am excited for all the day will bring!

Talk to you on the other side!

XO,


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…Boston with a different plan?

I wasn’t nervous about running Boston this year. I wasn’t nervous about the course. I was planning on running this marathon like I’ve run the other 6. I was planning on replaying the same mantras in my head. That is, until I saw 85 degrees for the high that day. Then everything changed.


(yes, that’s three sites I’ve been checking; call me obsessive, I really don’t care)

Now, I’m rethinking it all.

Adjusting my three goal times to something a little more heat-conscious. Adding some mantras like: Drink early, drink often. Taking my salt tablets a little more often. Hoping that spectators have wet paper towels, and taking as many as I can! Wearing sunscreen. Considering carrying water now.

The truth is, I’m still so freaking excited to go! And despite the weather, I’m going to run it the best I know how.

And then I’m going to hope that boyfriend throws ice chips at me when he sees me during the race.

Tomorrow, we leave!

XO,


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…with thoughts of Aron

On my final long run before Boston this weekend, my friend Erika and I took to some trails behind the Boulder Res. It was sunny and slowly began to warm up as we trotted along. As we chatted, Aron‘s race naturally came up, as I knew she was just beginning her dream that very morning.

I told the boy just this weekend, that I am naive enough to believe that every blogger behind the blog is a wonderful person. I was right about Aron! We met Aron last year at the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon. She is one of the nicest people I’ve met! I’m not sure what it is about the running community, but I feel that we are a different breed; in many ways. We encourage, we support, we admire, we inspire. And we don’t even meet most of the people who we read about or who read us! But it’s sincere.

I have read about Aron’s many marathons over the years, her BQ, and her Boston race. So when last fall she announced her hopes to run a 50 miler, I was so excited for her! It seemed the natural progression for Aron in her running. Ironically, I had just finished my 6th marathon on a somewhat challenging course, and had talked to the boy about running a 50k in 2012. So, I was anxious for Aron to run the 50, as I would absorb and take note of all of her training.

And let’s just say, going from “marathoner” to “50-miler” in just a few months is quite a feat! I have been amazed at her training these past 18 weeks, and feel in some way, that I’ve been a part of it, just by reading her blog posts and tweets.

So, when I found out we could watch the finish of the American River 50, via the live feed, I was kind of excited! After my long run, I logged onto the site. It was great to see the first place male and female come through: 5:53 and 6:18 respectively! Holy buckets that’s fast! 7:03 and 7:33 pace! I can barely hold that for a half marathon… ho-hum…

I was keeping up with her placement via twitter, as her amazing support crew kept everyone in the loop as to where she was and how she was doing. As she progressed, I even got a little teary eyed at a few points, because I was so excited for Aron to be accomplishing something so big! Okay, and I’ve been a little emotional lately. Taper…? But the more I watched people come through the finish, the more excited I got for a 50k in the fall. My confidence grew a little.

I was lucky enough to catch Aron come through the finish, looking strong, and wearing a huge smile! Why shouldn’t she be? She just finished something she worked so hard to attain! 18 months of hard training and many sacrifices. I am so proud of her and everyone who ran the 50 miler yesterday morning. They are all a true inspiration to our passion of running.

Maybe a 50k is attainable for me. We’ll see.

XO,


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…the Change It 5k Challenge Virtual Training and Run

My friend, Kaitlin, recently told me about a unique 5k challenge! Kaitlin’s friend Meg, founder of Spark Behavior, is running a 5k virtual training program with a culminating run to “spark challengers around the nation to walk, run, skip or crawl their way to their first or fastest 5K.”

This Change It 5k is a creative approach to the increasingly popular virtual run, as this challenge will also have a 5 week virtual training plan for athletes to track their workouts and motivate/inspire other participants! As someone who has blogged for many years, I can speak firsthand about how important the virtual running community has been to me. I have learned so much from other runners around the globe and we have supported each other in our challenges and successes. In many ways, it’s like another family! Imagine the camaradarie participants will feel as they, perhaps, embark on their first 5k; a lifestyle change; sparking a new behavior; all while working towards a common goal.

Workouts will be tracked through active.com’s FREE trainer. Once your profile has been set up, you can begin to connect with Coach Meg and the other challengers. You will receive weekly training programs, tips, and feedback. For many of us, who already have a means for tracking our runs (i.e. dailymile), this may seem like yet another thing to do, but by taking a few extra minutes to input your workout on active.com you might be able to motivate and encourage that one runner…or many (new and veteran)!

On the weekend of April 21st and 22nd, you will participate in your own virtual 5k. This can be a 5k that you personally register for, and race. Or, you can simply go for a 5k run from your front door! On Sunday afternoon, a “post-race party” will be held on Spark’s facebook page, so we can celebrate our accomplishment.

Even if you are training to run a different race (like me), this is a great motivation to stay on track and encourage someone else.

The first day of virtual training begins Sunday, March 18th. To get all the details and instructions, email Coach Meg: info@sparkbehavior.com

Also, join their facebook page for articles and posts about each challengers progress.

Do this with a friend, a group, or go solo. But, do this to spark positive behavior!

XO,


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…week 5: Boston Training

I’ve had no time to blog this week. Something about 4am alarms going off so that I can run before work; and two 13-hour work days thanks to parent/teacher conferences; and celebrating my dad’s final year in his 50’s. Blah, blah, blah. Excuses, I’m sure. But going to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 every night has been nice…

Needless to say, I’m a bit behind in my weekly training updates. It’s the end of week 6 and I’m just putting up week 5. And if any of you were following me here, on Twitter, or Dailymile, you may already know that last week’s “cutback” week was a joke. It was a “cutback-cutback” week. Felt like nothing was in the cards for me to run.

Week 5: Boston
Goal: 50 miles
Actual: 32 miles

Monday: 5 miles/9:30 pace
Erika and I met up at the Coal Creek Trail late morning, since we were off work that day. The trail was still icy and snowpacked from the storm several weeks ago that dropped 2 feet. Everything usually melts quickly here in CO with our sunny days, but it’s also been very cold here, which has made the snow and ice stick around and therefore our trails are icky. We switched to roads and running through the downtown area.

Tuesday: scheduled off day

Wednesday: forced off day
This was to be the first of several days this week where I would be forced to “not run.” Or so it seemed. Colorado was being hit with incredible wind! 90mph gusts! So I decided to make today my speedwork day and went to the dreadmill at my fitness center. However, my fitness center was CLOSED because the outdoor heavy-metal, pool/patio furniture was picked up by the wind and flung into one of the fitness center windows, shattering it into a million little pieces. No run…

Thursday: 4 miles with 2×800 and 2×400
Another attempt at my speedwork on the dreadmill. This time, there are so many people on the machines that the circuit blew. Twice. So, I called it a day.

Friday: 5 miles/8:38 pace
Wanted to run 10 miles at the Coal Creek Trail again, but the entire trailhead was closed. Looked like they were resurfacing the area. I went to another trailhead a little ways down. When I got about a 1/2 mile into the run, the trail was closed! I double backed and ran through the downtown area again. I just laughed. I couldn’t believe my week!

Saturday: 17.9 miles/8:39 pace
I was kind of expecting something to go wrong with todays run, seeing as the previous three runs were foiled for bizarre reasons. I met up with Erika, Danielle, and Erin (who is also running Boston) at the Cherry Creek Res in Denver. This was a preview for Erika’s 3rd half marathon. I was feeling okay until around my 12. Then, I started getting nauseous. I finished the run, but not feeling great. I really don’t know what causes this for me. I struggled with nausea a couple of years ago, switched some things up and it went away. I hope this is not a returning pattern.

Sunday: off day
With the way the week had been going, it didn’t seem to really matter if I had some junk miles today. 32 miles for the week or 36 wouldn’t make a difference. Plus, I knew that the next two weeks would be high mileage. I’d rather save my energy.

Reflection: I was really upset the first couple of days when things were going “wrong.” Then, I realized that I can’t control everything and that I should just take this opportunity to rest. I was finally okay with my week’s low mileage on Friday. Took me a while, but at least I got there!

XO,


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…or tries to

Ever had one of those weeks where you felt as though you just weren’t meant to run? Not because of effort or desire. Not because of injury. Not because you realize the sport isn’t for you. But simply because something or someone out there doesn’t want you to run.

Simply put, it’s not in the cards.

Well, I’m definitely having one of those weeks. I’m calling it my “cutback-cutback week.”

I started the week highly motivated for my cutback week. I had a solid 60 mile week previously, and I was looking forward to maintaining my training with some “shorter” runs for this week. I didn’t know that “shorter” would also mean “no” runs.

Tuesday and Wednesday were a joke with the 90mph winds we were having. Attempted the dreadmill in the fitness center, that 2nd day, but the window was shattered when a piece of patio furniture flew through it. When I attempted the same workout on Thursday, I was met with blown fuses. Twice.

I started my speedwork late, so I chose the dreadmill for lighting purposes. I did my 2 mile warm up and began my 800/400 combinations with a 400 rest between. During this time, several people had come into the once empty fitness center. They were all using the machines on the same wall (‘mills and stairsteppers). I had gone through one rotation, when a circuit blew. Two ‘mills were out. Mine being one of them. I tried to “reset” the machine. Plugging it in elsewhere. Another guy even tried to look for the breaker. Nothing. I decided to go home and come back later.

An hour later, and after eating half a box of Peanut Butter Puffins (seriously), I went back to the ‘mill in an attempt to finish the workout I had already started.

I arrived to a mostly empty fitness center, save the one girl jogging on a ‘mill. Sweet. Only two of us here. I can knock the rest of this out. I start a half mile warm up before my 800/400 combo’s. Sure enough, two more people walk in: one uses the other ‘mill and the other uses a stairstepper. All of us on one wall. I finish one combo and I wait for it…

Circuit blew. I quit.

4 miles total for the day. And not even at the same time.

I was initially upset. Disappointed. Even depressed. 3 days in a row, something has come up where I couldn’t run or couldn’t run how I wanted. But I decided that I wasn’t going to let my workouts effect my moods. I snapped out of it and chose to be happy that this cutback happened on a scheduled “cutback week.”

I am not meant to run this week. Or not much. We’ll see how today’s 10 miler will go. If or any of it. I’m expecting the best, though! I am!

XO,