The Blonde Runs

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Bird Camp Colorado Partners

COSIt’s no secret that I’ve been running for Oiselle since 2012. In that time, I have seen the company evolve in so many way and it’s been exciting to be a part of that growth. Upon our return to Colorado last fall, I was asked to co-lead the Colorado regional team, as Oiselle had just recently expanded to include nearly 1700 team members world-wide. With over 50 girls representing Oiselle in Colorado, Lisa and I have had the opportunity to organize meet-ups, cowbell corners, and generally get to know some pretty amazing women.

At the end of 2015, Oiselle suggested regional running camps to those leaders who might want to provide a running-specific weekend for the gals in the local areas. Lisa and I were in, straight away!

We’ve been busy planning and promoting our Colorado Springs camp, that will be held next weekend! One of the most exciting bits of the planning process has been reaching out the local, and some not-so-local companies, asking for their partnership.  I find it amazing, the generosity of SO many companies and their founders.  Never underestimate the human hear.

This post is actually a shout-out to those companies for their support of our #BirdCampCO next weekend.  We are so very thankful for their generosity!  We will also be chatting about them over the next couple of weeks on Facebook, IG, and Twitter. Clickity-click on the images to head to their websites!

 

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colorado runner logo

 

flapjacked logo

 

Hank Orange logo

Hope foods logo

 

Justin's PB logo

 

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Noosa Logo

 

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Pt6.PRO.deal.Liberty.back.OUTLINED

 

Stance logo

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XO,


10 Comments

…Leadville Trail Marathon

I’m all settled in Canberra now, so it’s high time I get back on this blog-wagon!

I have to play some catch-up with a very real, very serious marathon I ran nearly a month ago…

When I was considering my Colorado race schedule early this year, knowing full well I’d be moving out of the country in June, I had this wild idea to run the Leadville full marathon as my send-off race. I considered it a “goodbye gift” to myself before heading off for foreign lands. Interestingly enough, the majority of my training would fall in the three months Nick would already be in AUS (he had to start work in April) and the marathon would fall the weekend before our wedding.

At the time, all of this seemed SO well planned. I would have uninterrupted training time and I would be in fit shape for the wedding! And yes, I did have uninterrupted training time. But I was so consumed with finalizing wedding plans, finishing my school year, packing up my classroom, packing up our apartment, and preparing to leave the country, that my mind was in a million different places. Constantly. Scattered. And my heart was in Australia with Nick.

Despite all of my distractions, I did stick with my training plan; I just didn’t get the mountain/elevation workouts that I had hoped for. I had run the Heavy Half in 2012, and I knew what would be expected of me. X2. So, I was uncertain how I would fare once on the course. A course that had to be rerouted due to snowpack still on the mountain. A course that once rerouted, increased in difficulty. Good thing I knew about that after-the-fact!

Original course profile:
Leadville-Trail-Marathon-Course-Profile

But, this was a race to be run. Not to be raced.

If you know anything about Leadville, CO, you know that it’s a historic mining town in the Rocky Mountains, that it is the host town of a huge run/bike series in the summer, and that it is situated about about 10,100 feet elevation. And the race course just goes up from there, capping out at just over 13,000 feet. So, I started slow. I paid attention to my body, yet also others around me, getting subconscious tips from them, and stopping at every aid station. I felt that with the elevation, combined with the distance, I needed to ensure that I was fueling, despite the time cost. I race enough with time constraints placed on myself, so this was a nice interruption from my usual MO.

During the first half of the course, I really wasn’t feeling the high elevation. My lungs didn’t feel any different than they normally would when running in the mountains. There was a lot of climbing/hiking, but I took it in stride, knowing that hiking up the mountains was just as efficient as running. Or more. For me.

This was the view on my way up Mosquito Pass (the second and main climb on the profile above):

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A very windy climb to the 13,185 foot summit of Mosquito Pass and despite the smile, I was freezing!

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I felt great on the way back down for my second half of the course. I was still keeping it easy. Drinking a lot of fluid. Eating what I needed to. Taking in the scenery. I was blessed enough to have Nick there, who had arrived into town the night before; he would be there to support me from beginning to end. Oh how I had missed him… Nick and Chase showed up around mile 17. It was so great to see them at that point! When I was tired, the hardest part was done, and I just needed a little boost to get me through the rest of the race.

But those final 9 miles were harder than expected. More climbing, combined with my trashed legs, presented a true challenge. This race was not for the faint of heart. I think I had to dig the deepest in these final miles. Not because I wanted to stop, but because I wanted to finish.

I ran the downhills, hiked the climbs, and cried a few tears as I rounded the corner to 6th street in downtown Leadville, that would take me to my red carpet finish.

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Time: 6:39:15
Overall: 272/435
Female: 57/103
AG: 19/34

It was done. I had earned my mug and medal. But the best part of all, was having Nick back in town to be my cheer squad.

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After this, it was all wedding business.

XO,

 


4 Comments

…I did it again. (Bolder Boulder 10k recap)

PR’d again, that is!

Sure, it was only by 24 seconds, but a PR is a PR.

I ran my usual 10k. I ran it at the usual last minute. Seriously, there is only ONE other 10k I have EVER run. And I actually love running this one over and over because I can compare my times each year on a solid, consistent course. The only thing that changes is me.

This year, I told myself not to worry too much about the race and my pace. I had signed up a few days prior, not even getting into the wave I qualified for (AA) because those bibs ran out; so I was bumped down a wave (AB). Yes, it’s a talking point. Yes, the wave you run in is a prestigious thing. Probably only to me, though. I had also run a decent hill workout Saturday and a tempo run on Sunday. My legs were mushy. And they HAD been mushy most of the week due to so other hill workouts.

Why all the hill workouts? Training for this itty bitty race in a few weeks.

I met up with Courtney, from Runners Roost, and my Oiselle teammate Laura at the start. As we chatted, I didn’t even have time to overthink the race or get nervous. So, I decided I would attempt the pace I needed to PR for the first couple of miles and go from there.

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Aaaaaaannnnnnnddddddd….it worked. Granted, my legs felt like they wanted to fall off around mile 3.5. The good news was that the couple of hills in this race felt like nothing. Typically, they are impacting enough for me to notice. Not this time!

It was your usual Bolder Boulder. Local bands. Local entertainment. Every kilometer is marked with a huge banner, so I just counted them down to get me through the race. Not that I wanted it to be over, but because I am notorious for counting down to everything!

Time: 42:09
AG Place: 6th out of 591
Female Place: 98 out of 24778
Overall Place: 825 out of 52000(ish)

And here are some other fun facts, provided by my brother’s wife’s sister.
Top 1.8% of all runners
Top .3% of all female runners
Top 1% of my division

After the race, I met up with my Oiselle teammates (there were 4 of us who raced) for some photos, expoing, and viewing the elite race. I realized this would be my last team race where the CO Oiselle girls and I would be meeting up. It made me sad to say goodbye to them, but I know I will see them all again!

Laura, Me, Lisa
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Bret, Me, Jess, Laura, Lisa
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Shalane Flanigan, pushing to the finish (she was 2nd)
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Overall a good race, a good day.

Is this the year of the PR?! At least for the 5k, 10k, and half it is! I am not holding my breath for the Leadville Marathon… 🙂

XO,

 


7 Comments

…Horsetooth Half Marathon Recap

So, I ran this on Sunday:

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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:

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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…

XO,

 


10 Comments

…2013 highlights

2013 was a big year for me, not only in the running world, but personally as well.  Sure there were some major disappointments to learn from, but overall, I had a full, rich year with new challenges and big leaps.  I certainly stepped out of my running comfort zone, and in doing so, have met some amazing people and opened myself up to untapped opportunities.  Below are some of the highlights of the year; moments that will be remembered forever.

March

Sharin’ O the Green 5k (2nd AG)

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April

Golden Gate Headlands Trail Marathon (1st)

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May

My first 50k-Greenland Trail

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June

Lake City/Handies Peak

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Minnesota

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July

Hired a coach and ran with one of his groups over the Continental Divide

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August

Started my 2nd year with the Oiselle running team

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Bellingham/Victoria with this sweet gal

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Golden Beaver Trail 1/2 Marathon (blonde nav. was tricky and I got lost;
but the knee deep water crossing was a part of the actual course)

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September

Ragnar CO-Ultra team (1st in all women/3rd overall)

Tears at the Finish

XTerra Trail 1/2 Marathon (where I met Heidi!)

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October

Oiselle Photo Shoot

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Aspen & Crested Butte trip with Nick

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November

Oiselle Meet-up for PAC12 XC

(Bret, Shanna, me, Laura)

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December

Club XC Nationals-Bend, Oregon

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Nick and my engagement announcement

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XO,