The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


9 Comments

…Oiselle Photo Shoot Sneak Peek

I am so excited to be a part of something Oiselle has up its sleeve! The Colorado chapter was asked to do a photo shoot for a little project they are working on. Of course I recruited my usual photographer, Nick, to take some shots while we were in Aspen and Crested Butte a couple of weekends ago. He took so many great ones (which is funny to me since I loathe pictures of myself) that I had a hard time narrowing it down! I sent my best off to Oiselle, but here a just a few for you…

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We also saw 3 moose hanging out together!

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Then we saw them a little closer. They came up by the road, we did not go down to them! Moose rules…
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It was the perfect weekend to be up in the mountains to see the changing colors with a gorgeous white-peaked backdrop.

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XO,

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Ragnar CO Recap

It’s been crazy around here. And wet. Very, very wet. Thankfully, my house/neighborhood were fine. We are waterlogged and it has been a complete inconvenience to get anywhere due to road closures and detours, but we are well. I had two school days off last week because of the floods and I’ll have another two (so far) this week as well. Before you start getting excited for me, know that I will have to make up at least a few of those days. And probably at the end of the year. But better that and ensure everyone’s safety in travel and work environment.

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Last weekend, I ran Ragnar Colorado. It was an experience unlike any other. And I’m still riding that runners high, days later.

As my first Ragnar and first relay, everything was new to me. But I was ready to take on this intense new challenge. My amazing teammates filled me in on all the ins and outs along the 200 mile course at high elevation.

Lisa, Meghan, Bry, Holly, Vieve, Yours Truly
Start area

We ran this relay as an ultra team (6 people instead of 12). Needless to say, there was very little sleep, but a lot of our favorite thing: running. With beautiful Colorado mountains as our backdrop, and a ton of great sponsors (in a subsequent post), we were set up for success.

Epic Views

Of course the pride of contributing to the teams Roadkillz was exciting!
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An encouraging van driver is essential. Especially one who gets into the spirit of things by embracing our theme. Nuun Ned/Papa Ned took great care of all of the girls in the van, never bothering with sleep himself either.
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Mood lighting for the night legs; which were only a little unnerving…
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And a division WIN never hurt anyone. 28:49:10 was also good for a 3rd place finish amongst all ultra teams (mens, womens, mixed), as well as coming out on top amongst the women’s 12-person teams.
Tears at the Finish

Needless to say, I was ridiculously exhausted at the end. But the fullness in my heart for my team and our accomplishment overcame all of that. I can’t wait to run another ultra relay with these girls!
Camaraderie

XO,


2 Comments

…Ragnar Colorado-5 Things

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In just 2 short days, I’ll be embarking on my next great adventure. Ragnar Colorado. I am beyond excited!

While typically a 12-person, 2-van team, Ragnar pushes your limits. Running several legs over 30 hours with very little sleep.

My experience will only be slightly different. I will be running on an ultra team. 6 runners, 1 van, extra running, and less sleeping. In total, I’ll run a little over 30 miles in just as many hours (or hopefully less).

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Ragnar has been posting from my team, Team High Nuun, on their blog and you should read! I was recently featured for the 5 Things a Newbie Should Know About Running Ragnar Colorado. Long title and only a slightly longer post.

Enjoy all of our IG fun and tweets when you follow us over this 2 day journey!

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XO,


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…Handies Peak and Lake City

The first week of June, my family, Nick and I went camping in Lake City. It’s about a 6 hour trek from the Denver area, but definitely pays back by way of the views, the 14ers, and the local bakery. We found a campground right on Lake San Cristobal; and since it was early in the season, there weren’t any other campers nearby.

This was our campsite view, including the beaver sighting on the 2nd night.

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I also saw my first moose!

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There were several Cat 1 and 2 14ers in the area, so we all summited Handies Peak together. “We all” included my parents (my mom’s first!), brother, sister-in-law, 2.5 year old niece, 9 month old nephew, Nick, me, and 2 dogs. We were quite the party! It was an early season 14er climb, so there was a lot of snow left on the mountain. Snow fields covered much of the trails, and on the way down, we were falling through, up to our knees, in the areas we couldn’t go around. Aside from dealing with the mud, of course. There was no one else at the summit, so we couldn’t get an entire family photos, but below are bits and pieces. Clearly, the view was spectacular…

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There were also several waterfalls in the area, so we searched one out and viewed the North Clear Creek Falls.

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The town of Lake City, in the San Juan Mountains, itself is small. 400 people small. Resting around 9,000 feet, it’s probably best known as the site for the Alferd Packer Massacre. Time to read up on your cannibalism stories. Main Street is all boardwalk, tourist shops, homemade fudge, soda fountains, bakeries, local coffeehouses, restaurants, and cute.

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This was a great Colorado find! A hidden gem. I’d definitely return and recommend it to those who are looking for some camping/hiking/4-wheeling off the beaten path.

Next stop, Minnesota!

XO,


16 Comments

…Bolder Boulder 10k

Holy PR! Yep. I went and spoiled this post with the first sentence. No build up here.

After the 50k, I wasn’t quite sure how to transition into speed work for the Bolder Boulder. I only had three weeks to prepare. At least that’s what I had in my head. In reality, I had really been preparing since January…

A few days after the race, I IG’d Ryan Knapp and asked for advice. He suggested a full week off, followed by some short speed/interval training. Sounded manageable to me. And since I didn’t want to risk injury by switching distances so drastically, I made sure to keep my weekly mileage relatively low. I threw in a couple of tempo runs and mile repeat workouts and before I knew it, the Bolder Boulder was was here.

I was up early on Memorial Day, pre-race routines, blah, blah, blah. I made it into Boulder for packet pick-up around 6:15. My AB wave would begin at 7:02ish. Warm-up, bathroom, friends, etc.

Startline. My goal? To PR, of course! I think 90% of the time that’s always my goal; whether it’s realistic or not. I knew that for this race, I needed to stay sub-7 minute miles to do just that. Like many runners, I figured I would take the first mile to see how I felt and go from there. I truly had no idea what my body would allow given the past few months.

Mile one. 6:46. Okay, the first mile of this race is always fast. I don’t care if they changed the course a few years ago. It’s the hype and the masses and the sheer excitement of starting the race with a bugle horn for every. single. wave. But the pace had me a little nervous. I was running 6:45 mile repeats the previous week and it felt tough. This did not. So I wondered how I would feel in a few miles and if I could really maintain it.

Mile two. 6:50. I guess this is maintaining. Granted, the hills are coming, the hills are coming! I take in all the course entertainment, the foot pounding, and heavy breathing around me. Running with 50,000 people is entertaining in and of itself.

Mile three. 6:57. That one hill. It’s fine really, as long as I stay sub-7. I’m thinking it’s getting pretty hot at this point. The sweat pooling on my forehead is probably a decent indicator.

Mile four. 6:53. That other hill. At the top, there is a sign, indicating it’s the highest point in the race. This certainly isn’t a flat road race. But after you crest Casey Hill, it’s mostly downhill from here. These last couple of miles are my favorite anyway.

Mile five. 6:45. Hey, downhill! Turns out, I am feeling okay with this pace at the end of the race. Running through downtown Boulder, directly into the sun, in the early morning hours, is the best part of the race. I don’t know if it’s because I’m so close to the finish. Or because it’s such a difference from how I normally view downtown Boulder. Either way, I know I’ve picked up the pace a little and it feels just fine. If “fine” feels like heavy breathing with a scrunched up face and fighting back puking.

Mile six.two. 6:54. It’s the final push and a long stretch down Folsom and into the stadium for a dramatic finish. I’m certain now of my PR, but don’t know for sure how much time I’ve shaved off my 10k time, until I cross the finish line.

Results
Time: 42:33
Pace: 6:51
AG: 9th out of 599
Gender: 115th out of 23,273
Overall: 926 out of 48,741

After I cross the finish, someone asks, “Are you @theblonderuns?” It’s Jessica! I’m so thrilled to finally meet her, after following her on IG and Twitter! Not as creepy as it sounds while typing this. I promise.

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Met up with Luke and Courtney.

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Finally met Laura, my Oiselle teammate, and her new little.

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This Bolder Boulder felt like a meet and greet! I loved every moment. And with a 1:45 minute PR, I was definitely satisfied with the day.

XO,


9 Comments

…week 1: Greenland Trail 50k Training

The week before training began, I was fortunate to be able to meet up with some of my fellow Oiselle teammates. Some from Colorado, some from out of state. And we all seemed to come from different running backgrounds with different running interests. Steeplechasers, distance runners, and everything in between. I think that’s the beauty of running. Each can find their niche in the extensive realm of running. No one distance/event is better than the other. We all just have this unspoken understanding of the beauty of running. The time on our legs together was refreshing and rejuvenating. It rekindled my passion for running and was a timely reminder of why I love what I do.

Sarah (MT), Amanda (CO), Meggie (NY), Yours Truly (CO), Jess (CO)
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In my somewhat extensive research of a 50k training plan, it seemed the same program kept coming up. After much debate and comparison of my previous marathon training plans, I decided to go ahead and use it as an initial guideline, with the flexibility of tweaking it along the way.

This program is different from any other I’ve followed, as it is based on “minutes” vs. “miles.” This will take some mind re-training! In general, the first few weeks look very similar to my past marathon training plans. There is a minute range that I will increase upon gradually. While I won’t follow each workout on the exact day, I will get in each of the runs required for the week.

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Week 1 Total: 41 miles

Monday: 5.22 miles
It’s been cold here in Colorado. A brief deep freeze before we return to our traditional 40’s and 50’s. Erika and I ran a well known trail in 12 degree weather. There just weren’t enough layers!

Tuesday: 5.2 miles
This was supposed to be a hilly run and I’d say the .8 and .7 mile hills on this route were satisfactory. I’ve run this path many times and the hills are long and gradual. The downhill is fast and faster!

Wednesday: 8.5 miles
Finally in the 50’s! This mid-week long(ish) run felt “easy.” Seeing the CU track team on the trail wasn’t so bad either. Made me feel old, though.

Thursday: off

Friday: 5 miles
A quick out and back in VERY windy conditions. This trail by my work is notorious for being windy. It feels like a wind tunnel. Almost as though it has its own weather system! Post run, I joined my staff for a Holiday Happy Hour.

Saturday: 10 miles
I’ve been running 12 mile long runs in my base training, so it was nice to have a little bit of a cut back before the mileage increases over the next 15 weeks. Erika and I ran Coyote Ridge, south of Fort Collins. This is a hilly, rocky trail, but great practice that will only make us stronger!

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Sunday: 7.08 miles
The boy and I have just started remodeling the interior of his house. Yesterday and today was primarily spent with paint roller in hand. He was working on taking off the old oak trim, around the floorboards and doors, and replacing them with new white trim.

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My run took place after a 2nd coat of paint in the great room. By the time I left, it was warm enough for shorts. Chase was anxious to get out of the house, as he had been secluded to only one room of the house.

Knowing I was SO close to a round number of 41 miles even, I made sure I got the .08 that I needed to make it happen. I’m particular. A little.

Reflection:
I’m happy with week 1. I’m watching my food intake, as far as less junk and more proteins/veggies/fruits. I’m anxious to explore more trails in Colorado, as I want all of my long runs to resemble the race course. And, come payday, I need to register for the race! ūüôā

XO,


8 Comments

…a 2012 wrap up in pictures (mostly)

My little running world has definitely been full of ups and downs in 2012.  Each has been a memorable learning experience and I know they will propel me toward my next goals.

Here is a photo-doc of 2012 with only a smattering of words.

Boston Marathon-April

While this 2nd running of Boston was less than thrilling, due to the heat wave (~90 degrees), I endured and finished with a PW.

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Leadville Heavy Half-June

I had always wanted to run in the Leadville Series, so I hit the trails/mountains during the summer and geared up for the Leadville Heavy Half (15.4 miles) with my friend Danielle.  The twist, I would run another half marathon the next day.

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Steamboat Springs Half-July

The day after running Leadville, I drove to Steamboat Springs for another half with my friend Erika.  I was really excited to attempt back-to-back halves, but I crashed and burned on this 2nd race.  The last 5 miles were painful.  I am happy with my attempt but would train differently next time.

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Great Urban Race-August

The boy’s brother came into town and wanted to run the Great Urban Race in Denver. ¬†It’s a mix of running, puzzles, and challenges. ¬†Surprisingly, we landed a 6th place finish!

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Redline Turkey Day 10k-November

All that running in 2012, coupled with a late 2011 marathon caused some scar tissue in my left hamstring. After a few rounds of PT in September, along with some build up in October/November, I felt ready to get back out for a race. This first race as a Oiselle ambassador was run with Erika and my brother on a cold, windy, Thanksgiving morning.  I loved getting out there!

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This year, I was also able to run/hike some 14ers this past summer.  Some old, some new.

Grays and Torreys-May

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Mt. Elbert-June

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Mt. Sneffels-August

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I met some fabulous, inspirational people.

Scott Jurek
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Courtney C

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Bridger (my new nephew)-Juliet (my niece)

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I’ve done a little bit of travel.

Hawaii-January/February

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Boston-April

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Whistler-July

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Telluride, CO-August and September (2 trips)

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Minnesota-March and December (2 trips)

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And of course, my proudest accomplishment was being accepted as a Oiselle ambassador-September

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To finalize 2012, I have one more race to run. ¬†Tonight, a local Resolution 5k at 6pm. ¬†It’s the best way I know to end a year and start a new one; with a run. ¬†Nothing¬†amazing, just something fun, light, and a reminder of why I do what I do. ¬†My love for running has carried me for over 20 years. ¬†It has brought about new distances I never knew I’d attempt, new friends I never knew I’d make, to new places I never knew I’d travel. ¬†Running helps define me.

I am a runner.  

XO,