The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…Horsetooth Half Marathon Recap

So, I ran this on Sunday:

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 6.11.26 PM

I don’t know why I choose these types of races and expect to PR, but that’s exactly what I expected. And I expected it in the minutes. Might have been a little lofty but I didn’t realize it or accept it until around mile 10.

We have been blessed here in Colorado with some beautiful weather in the 60’s and 70’s. We’ve even hit 80 a couple of time in the past two weeks. But typical of Colorado’s bipolar spring weather, we were hit with a nasty little storm late Saturday and all day Sunday. Perfect for race day, I did not say. Temps in the mid-20’s, wind that dropped that temp even lower, and a snow/sleet mix that surely left a burn on my sweets cheeks. I was not excited for that headwind.

I jogged a great warmup with some striders so that my HR was up a bit right from the start. Didn’t want to start this race on an uphill at a resting HR! Thanks, Coach Ryan! I owe you on this one. I knew I wanted to play the hills conservatively and just push on the downhill and flats; despite that blowing snow/sleet headwind…

Mile 1 (8:23)
Mile 2 (8:15)
These two miles were all uphill, as clearly seen in the profile pic above. And not a pretty uphill. Despite all that upness, I was happy that I didn’t feel like I was overdoing it and I felt great when I hit the top and started the downhill.

Mile 3 (6:42)
Mile 4 (7:10)
DOWNHILL. That downhill was nice. I felt like I was floating. Aside from the wind and the cold and the snow and sleet which made me feel very much like I was on the ground. A few rollers in between those hills but I was feeling strong. Tried to just remember to take it “easy” on the ups.

Mile 5 (7:12)
Mile 6 (6:45)
Another big up. At least it was short. I noticed that when someone passed me on the beginning of the uphills, or pulled away from me if they were ahead of me, that by the time we would reach the top, I had caught them again. I’m not sure what this means, really, but it did make me feel like I was tackling the hills “smartly.” Starting the hills conservatively, but still having umph at the end when I crest the hill and make my way over.

Mile 7 (7:00)
Mile 8 (7:27)
The final two hills. And although they were both short, they both fell in mile 8, and I know this is what made my legs finally feel shattered. At least looking back. In the midst of it, I was just clicking off the miles in my head, happy to be 5 miles away from the start. I was still feeling really good.

Mile 9 (7:02)
Mile 10 (6:59)
And these were my last miles of feeling good. While this was a flat, even slightly downhill section, I don’t remember much from it, aside from being in a zone and being so excited about hitting mile 10 and having merely 3 to go.

Mile 11 (7:22)
Mile 12 (7:41)
I don’t know why I’m so prone to nausea lately while running, but once again it reared it’s ugly head. Almost exactly at mile 10. I didn’t see this coming at all! I never do. It just starts deep in my stomach and refuses to go away. And I did everything I could to fight through it and keep going. I know this caused me to slow down. That and the extremely slick 200 meter wooden bridge. I probably caught myself 4-5 times from falling. And this is when that hope of a big PR felt lofty.

Mile 13 (7:44)
Mile .1 (1:29)
And the final push. Ouch. The legs were pretty trashed at this point too. Almost forgot to mention that, I was so overwhelmed with the nausea. But, I’ll have you all know that I did NOT stop for a good puke sesh at anytime during those final 3.1 miles. No matter how much I was trying to talk myself into it.

I crossed the finish with a nice little grimace. Laura and Gordon (our Aussie counterparts) were there as my “Nick” to cheer for me. And I faked this little smile for them:


Time: 1:37:36
Overall: 62/1091
Female: 15/???
AG: 3/109

My previous half marathon was 1:39:02 and this race allowed me a minute and a half PR!! While deep down I was shooting for 1:35, I hate to be disappointed and get PR greedy on such a tough course. Given the hills and the elements, I will take this little PR and be happy with it. For now…




…Sharin’ O The Green 5k

I don’t know what it is about me and signing up last minute for 5k’s. But I did it again.

I had originally put this race on my radar at the beginning of the year. Then, all of a sudden March was here and I actually had to recall what I said I was going to race this month!

When I saw that I had chosen a 5k, I was less than thrilled. Those things hurt!! So, I put off making a decision. Finally, late Thursday night, I pulled out the ol’ debit card and registered. Good thing too, since they sold out and weren’t accepting registrants on race day.

SOTG-logo (2)

I’m finding that the longer distances I run, the longer it takes me to “warm up.” I decided on an easy, slow 5 mile warm up. This may seem like a lot to you! And I think so too. But, I was hoping to get a total of 16 for the day, so I figured an easy 5 prior to a fast 3 wouldn’t hurt. Literally and figuratively.

Since I’m throwing this race into the middle of my 50k training, I didn’t expect my legs to feel fresh. And they didn’t. In fact, they felt pretty brick-ish during the warm up. I guess I’d have to see what happened at the race.

The course was a flat lollipop through the downtown neighborhoods of Fort Collins. The current fire blazing up our trails to the west of town caused poor air quality and high smoke clouds, but I couldn’t smell a thing. Instead, everyone was dressed up in their St. Patty’s day best! A sea of green.

Mile 1-6:43
I didn’t really know what my goal pace should be. It’s “only” 3 miles so I figured I would go hard and hope mile 2 wasn’t as awful as most mile 2’s are for me. This part of the course was completely straight. No turns at all. I kind of liked the view of seeing everyone pull away. I started to practice “eyes up”; my biggest downfall in running. I channeled my high school racing days and picked someone’s back who was ahead of me. My goal was the pass that person.

Mile 2-6:44
This mile was a the lollipop. We did a quick mile around the High School and the Flower Garden. This mile is always my toughest. But later, I was happy to see I was only 1 second off of my first mile’s pace. I kept the same plan, keep my eyes up and pick people off. It worked well in the first mile. I could see a woman in green (duh!) that I’d been eyeing the first mile and I was slowly drawing her in. I hoped to catch her in mile 3.

Mile 3-6:22
Off of the lollipop, I knew it was a straight away to the finish. I was breathing hard, working hard, and now it was time to turn on anything I had left. The woman in green was getting closer. I was passing a few other people, but I wanted her! Finally, at 2.5 I passed an older man who whispered, “Get her.” Of course, I knew this was said in the friendliest of manners, as we all have an appreciation for catching and passing the person in front of us! ūüôā When I caught up to her at 2.6, I told her to “stay with me.” We pushed each other (hard!) for the next quarter mile. I barely pulled ahead at the 3 mile mark where I sprinted past another runner right before the finish.

I made sure to congratulate the few I had just passed, including the woman in green.

Official Time: 20:24
Place: 47/2342
Female 6/???
AG 2/545

As I was walking away from the finish, the woman in green asked if I’d ever like to go for a run with her! Later, Monica and I exchanged information and chatted about running. I love these connections!

In a beer town, the typical prize is a pint glass from a local brewery.


I was certainly tired afterward, but as usual, I wonder what I could have done differently in miles 1-2 since I had a 20 second deficit in that final mile. Could I have pushed harder in the first 2 miles? Would pushing harder at the beginning have made my final mile a little slower, resulting in a similar overall time? Does it really matter since I didn’t train for this distance?

It’s safe to say that all this 50k training doesn’t hurt the 5k distance.

This is actually my PR as an adult. I can’t compare my 5k times when I was 17 years old, right?! But, I AM close to breaking my high school time too. Hmmm….Am I in my prime?!


PS-I didn’t complete the full 16 for the day. After waiting around for the awards ceremony, I was freezing. I contemplated going home to get Chase to finish my final 8, but once I got home, I just wanted a shower. So I did. ūüėČ


…the Resolution Run 5k 2012

On a whim, I decided to run a 5k to end 2012.  I have never run a Resolution Run, but have wanted to for several years.  So, when we realized we would be home for New Years, I started shopping for a local race.  I found a 6pm race on the 31st to be run through the CSU campus.  Good enough for me.

I haven’t run a 5k in nearly two years. ¬†From what I remembered from that experience, as well as all of those 5k’s in high school cross country, is that they are fast and they hurt. ¬†I was expecting the same from this one.

So, I was nervous.  I was nervous about the short distance.  I was nervous about the hamstring.  I was nervous about not having done speedwork in months.

But when I toed the line, I put it all behind me and just focused on flying through the next 3.1.

The race would be two small laps around the interior of campus along with a short out and back. ¬†It was dark and cold. ¬†15 degrees or so. ¬†And I would soon find out that about 1/3 of the course was snowpacked and icy. ¬†My plan was consistency. ¬†Especially in mile 2. ¬†My all time worst mile in a 5k. ¬†I know many of you can agree with me! ¬†I wasn’t sure what my time goal was going to be. ¬†It all depended on how the first mile went and felt.

The group of us (a few hundred) gathered at the informal start line.  At the countdown, we were off.

Mile 1-6:53

We immediately started on snowpack and ice. ¬†I saw a group take off and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them. ¬†Instead, I weaved through a few, found a pace and held through a handful of left turns. ¬†The course was marked fairly well with an arch of orange cones at each turn, along with a few volunteers waving flashlights. ¬†I’d never raced at night, though I have run many time after dark. ¬†I wasn’t sure how the experience would be and considered wearing a headlamp. ¬†I could have gone either way.

Mile 2-6:54

During another snow/ice section, I was seriously wondering if it was worth it to try to keep a sub 7 pace. ¬†I mean, it was just a 5k. ¬†Just a 5k I randomly registered for. ¬†Just a 5k I hadn’t trained for. ¬†Maybe this breathing hard thing wasn’t all that fun. ¬†Oh yeah, back to the 5k’s-are-fast-and-they-hurt bit. ¬†I figured I may as well stick with it through mile 2 and see about that last mile.

Mile 3-6:59

Fell off the pace a bit here. ¬†Don’t really recall why. ¬†I kept my eyes up to catch a few people. ¬†And I did. ¬†That’s always fun. ¬†I was looking forward to wrapping this little race up so I could take a hot shower. ¬†It was cold.

Time:  21:34
Overall place:  30th
Female place:  5th
Division place:  1st

I was surprised at my placing, but super happy with the result, despite the not-so-fast time. ¬†I can’t wait to run another few 5k’s this year, hopefully with a little more training!

This race put me at 1337 miles for the year.  As I embark on a new challenge this year, I am excited for healthy running and many more miles for 2013.




…Liebster Blog Award

I was recently nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Courtney!


I’m going to break the rules a bit for this award. When it was originally created, it was a No Strings Attached award, but “rules” began to pop up over the last couple of years where random facts and questions were added. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about people and learning more about them, but I just can’t eek out 11 random facts about myself. I’m just not as cool as you think I am.

Random Facts:

1. I always “lace lock” my shoeslaces when I go running.

2. The boy and I have grand DIY ideas for his house, including a wine cabinet made out of beetle kill wood. ¬†Now we have to see about that follow-through…

3. I can’t stop laughing at Duck Dynasty.

4. I’m obsessed with Essie nail polish.

5. I wish I could always have fresh flowers in the house.


1.  What is your mantra or motivational quote?  What the mind believes, the body achieves.

2. ¬†What is the next big goal on your list? 50k! ¬†(Surprise! ¬†I guess it’s out now…)

3. ¬†What is your favorite place in the world and why? Anywhere with the boy….and a trail.

4.  Best way to spend a recovery day:  Baking, reading, blogging, foam rolling.

5.  If you could travel and run a race anywhere, where would it be?  Athens Marathon.

I nominate:

Corrie Ann






Place the award on your blog, list 5 random facts about yourself, answer my 5 questions, and spread the love to 5 others.



…Beautiful Blogger Award!

It’s been a “winner” of a week! ¬†I won a 2nd blogger award! ¬†jumpeatrun recently nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award and I couldn’t have been more surprised! ¬†Ironically, I was just about to post her as the winner of the GoodBelly giveaway (of which she had no idea she had won) when she sent me an email letting me know of the award! ¬†I love Lish’s blog and hope she and her man can find a way to move to Colorado. ¬†Because they’re looking for jobs. ¬†And this is a pretty great place. ¬†Thank you Lish!

Here are the rules:

  1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and post it in your post
  2. Thank the person who nominated you & link back to their blog
  3. Tell all of us 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers & comment on their page to let them know

7 things about Rebekah (that’s me):

  1. I have never broken a bone.
  2. I was first-chair violinist from 5th-8th grade and continued to play by ear for several years after private lessons and orchestra participation.  Then, running found me (though I was already dabbling) and I was all in!
  3. Favorite movie:  The Princess Bride
  4. Favorite food:  Sushi
  5. I am very picky about my bananas. ¬†The slightest brown spot, and I deem them unworthy to eat. ¬†And I won’t.
  6. I typically take my coffee black. ¬†But there is nothing like an Americano Misto or latte’ every once in awhile. ¬†Preferably with a shot or two of coconut syrup. ¬†And the boy always knows when I need them.
  7. I grew up with horses. ¬†In fact, my parents still have several at their little ranch. ¬†I don’t ride very often, but they’re their in case I ever want to.

7 Nominations:

  1. Holly at Our Interestingly Boring Life
  2. Courtney at C is for Courtney
  3. Heather at Just a Colorado Gal
  4. Corrie at Corrie Ann
  5. XLMIC at Taking it On
  6. Paula at Return to the Motherland
  7. J at We Wander and Ponder