The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


69 Comments

…a Oiselle giveaway!

As many of you know, I’ve been on the Oiselle racing team this past year. It has been one of the most positive experiences for me! Not only has it given me reason to push myself just a little bit harder, but I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most fantastic women. Their encouragement and support, both near and far, known and unknown, have warmed my heart and boosted my spirit. There is certainly something to be said about the running community. But certainly something extra special about the women who find themselves in the sport, are running and racing their hearts out, and want to see the same fire in others.

I am so very excited to announce that I was renewed for another year with Oiselle! While the team names have changed (Oiselle Haute Volée-sponsored elites, and Oiselle Volée-ambassadors) to reflect the companies French name, the concept remains the same. Run well, build community, race clean and with fire. The entire manifesto is here.

My recent trip to Washington, to see Gina, coincided with the announcements and I was thrilled that she was willing to take me to meet the entire Oiselle team at HQ last week.

A #runch around Green Lake with KMet and Lauren followed by coffee with JJ and Julie!
OiselleRunUp

OiselleRunUp2

    To celebrate, I’m doing a Oiselle giveaway!
    Package includes:
    One Medium Start Line 50/50 Tee
    One Medium Rundelicious LS Running Top
    Random goodies I throw in

OiselleGiveaway

I have both of these tops and they are awesome! Perfect for running or lounging. Or both.

    To enter:
    Leave a comment below
    For an extra entry, Tweet about it!
    For an extra extra entry, blog about it!
    For an extra extra extra entry, IG about it!

Open to US residents only. 😦
The giveaway will close on Friday, August 9th at midnight
Winner announced on Monday, August 12th during the day

Best of luck! This is a good one!
XO,

Advertisements


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.

JPandme

Met up with Luke and Courtney.

Candme

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

Lauraandme

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,


19 Comments

…Golden Gate Headlands Trail Marathon Race Report

I needed a 26 mile run the first weekend of April to fit into my 50k training. Instead of just any old 26 mile run on my own, I started searching for a trail marathon. I mean, if I’m already going to run 26 miles, why not an extra .2?! Unfortunately, there were no trail marathons in Colorado that particular weekend, so I started looking for a destination race. The boy and I are always looking for excuses to go to California, so I was excited to find one just outside of San Francisco in the Marin Headlands: Golden Gate Headlands Trail Marathon. Many a blogger have posted photos of their views in this area, so I found it to be an incredible opportunity to get a glimpse of what some of my fellow runners see.

Keep in mind, this was a training run. It was for the sole purpose of practicing fueling and pacing. I didn’t expect it to end the way it did.

You can scroll down now if you’d like to see the results…

GGHstartfinish

The boy and I arrived at the start area about an hour before the festivities began. As many other small races, and I can assume other trail races go, this was a casual gathering of fellow lovers of running. Not a huge crowd. Not a lot of pomp and circumstance. I totally appreciate this!

It was overcast with low hanging clouds, and then it started drizzling. I stayed in the warm car as long as possible before meeting up with Paulette, a fellow Oiselle team runner.

GGHpaulette

We were able to chat for a bit at the start before I realized the marathon group was starting. I was in the back of the crowd of runners and couldn’t hear the RD announce which group was starting first (no megaphone). Oops! I abruptly left the conversation and caught up with the small group of marathoners.

I told myself to just have fun, talk to some people, take some pictures, and take the pressure off! My main focus was to practice for the 50k.

There is a 2 mile climb right away. Being as I was at the back of the pack, I was getting a little boxed in on those single-track trails and stairs. I was finally able to pass some runners and be on my merry way. Since I would run this lap 2x, I wanted to take it all in and decide where I wanted to stop and take pictures on the 2nd lap. That’s where my Type-A comes in…

Around mile 3, I ran with a group of 3, one of which was a 65 year old ultra marathoner. I chatted him up about ultras as we cruised down the muddy trails. About a mile and a half later, the half-marathon leaders started passing us. No worries, I told myself, you still have another lap to do! At this point, there was another 2 mile climb. I considered hiking it, because I know I need to be okay with this. But I really wanted to run as much of the course as I could. Especially on the first lap. So, I kept trudging on. All the while being passed incessantly by half-marathoners. This is also where I pulled away from my group of 3 running buddies. Around mile 8, when everything began to even out on the trails, I found myself running completely alone. The fog was so thick, I couldn’t see more than a 100 yards or so ahead of me. Totally unfamiliar with the area and the course, I only hoped I was moving in the right direction. Orange flags. Orange flags. A couple of times, I really questioned myself on the trails because I hadn’t seen any. Then, I’d see them waving in the wind. A final half mile ascent and then, views of the finish at Rodeo Beach. As we come down from the Headlands, the final push is running through the sand on the beach. A complete shock to your leg muscles!

GGHbeachlap1

As I finished the first lap, I was feeling good. Feeling great! I was soaking wet from the rain, muddy from the trails, but incredibly happy. This was awesome!! I glanced at my watch. Just around 12 miles. Hmmmm….Did I really cut the tangents that well? Like, a mile well?! I checked at the aid station, the boy fed me potatoes and snapped a million pictures of me eating, and I was off again for lap 2. Here’s were the pictures come in.

Stair climb in the first 2 miles
GGHstairs

A big, squishy puddle
GGHpuddle

The trails were much worse on the 2nd lap. A combination of continued rain and all of the 7 milers and half-marathoners that had come through, the trails were just a mess. There were many time I wasn’t able to get traction either going up or going down. A lot of slipping and sliding. At each aid station, I checked in with my bib number and chatted with the volunteers.

This beautiful sight was a “must capture” for lap 2
GGHtrees

After running the two 2-mile hills on the 2nd lap, I was definitely starting to feel it in my legs! On that 2nd hill, I did power walk and jog it, off and on. I would only give myself a certain amount of time or a certain distance to hike, and then started running again. But I was constantly moving. I was doing a great job of fueling and wasn’t nauseous at all (something I struggle with from time to time). I was still cruising on the downhills at about an 8:30 pace. I wondered if I was pushing it too much, but I felt good and, overall, was maintaining a pace I typically did on my trail runs.

At the top of the final hill, you overlook Rodeo Beach and the finish
GGHfinish

I ran down the hill, tears in my eyes, happy that I had completed another marathon in such a beautiful location, feeling amazing throughout, and having the boy there with me.

The run across the beach was lonely as most other runners had left, due to the weather. As I approached the finish, the boy said, “I think you were 10th.” Some bundled up girls were cheering me on from the side. And at the finish, the timers said, “You’re the first woman!” What?! No, I’m not! “Yes! You get the chicken purse!”

I was shocked. I’ve never been first female. Ever. I had no idea that the whole 2nd lap, when I was running solo, that I was actually vying for a Female Win. I’m still in awe.

GGH1st

Time: 4:13:53
Gender: 1st
AG: 1st
Overall: 10th

My Garmin 610 read 24.2 miles. I was half tempted to run another 1.8 miles to give me 26, but I was done when I crossed that finish line. I don’t think missing those 2 miles will make or break my 50k race. At least I hope.

XO,

As an aside, the boy realized there was a 7 mile race option and he registered within 10 minutes of the start. He hasn’t run in months. That’s how he rolls. Naturally, he killed it couch-to-7mile. I heart him.

Time: 1:05
Gender: 12th
AG: 2nd
Overall: 17th


7 Comments

…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! 🙂 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.

Results
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.

Odellspint

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?!

XO,

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. 😉


3 Comments

…week 7: Greenland Trail 50k Training

This was the week I almost quit.

Luckily, it didn’t happen until right before my long run, so I only had to deal with this feeling for a few days. And, since this was over a week ago, I’m totally okay talking about this now.

Screen shot 2013-03-04 at 8.20.31 PM

This was a cut-back week, and I ended up taking a little bit more advantage of this because of parent/teacher conferences, report cards, and my dad’s 60th birthday bash.

Monday: off day
Conference prep

Tuesday: off day
Conferences

Wednesday: 7 miles
Just a little run, not because I wanted to, but because I felt I had to. Looking back, I guess my “I quit” feelings started here.

Thursday: off day
Dad’s 60th birthday party

Friday: 5.35 miles
Really frustrated with this run. Was going for a trail but turned around after .25 miles when I realized it was all going to be a slushy, icy, snowy, muddy, wet mess of a run. I stuck to clear sidewalks instead.

Saturday: 16 miles
This is when it hit the fan; that “I quit” feeling. I was dreading this run…A) the trails were still a mess from the off and on storms we’ve had B) this was the 2nd long run in a row where I couldn’t hit the trails C) I felt guilty for not being gung-ho about toughing it out and trudging through the slush, icy, snow, mud, and wet messy trails D) I didn’t want to run city bike paths E) I felt guilty for not running much during the week F) I am so tired of running in the WIND G) I just wanted to stay home because working 75 minutes from home and training for a 50k was slowly catching up with me.

Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials…

This was also the day I actually/finally REGISTERED for the 50k. So, I think I was just overcome with a ton of stress on a ton of different levels. But, I ran anyway. Because I refused to give in. Did I cry during the run? You bet I did. Was it probably because I was listening to Country music? I’d like to think so. Did I cry in the shower after my run? Absolutely. Was it probably because I was listening to Country music in the bathroom? Absolutely not. No, seriously, I wasn’t listening to Country music then. A few hours later, I was over it.

Sunday: 7.4 miles
After a downer of a Saturday, I was feeling much more positive about my training and my choice to attempt a new distance. I actually saw a photo on IG, posted by Jay_Funkysocks, that said “Remember why you started!” As simple as it was, and as silly as it sounds, it was just what I needed at just the right time. I know that in the fall of 2011, I ran a marathon that inspired me to run a 50k. Circumstances prevented me from attempting that in 2012 and this is the right time for it. If I don’t do it now, I may never do it.

Reflection:
I’m halfway through training, and I’m not throwing in the towel. So, there…

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.

IMG_4936

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.

IMG_5238

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.

IMG_5256

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!

GUR1

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!

redlineturkeytrotme

**********

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

Grays and Torreys-May

DSCN4534

DSCN4538

Mt. Elbert-June

DSCN4603

Mt. Sneffels-August

DSCN4693

**********

I met some fabulous, inspirational people.

Scott Jurek
scott3

Courtney C

courtney

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

withJuliet2

**********

I’ve done a little bit of travel.

Hawaii-January/February

hawaii

Boston-April

IMG_4954

Whistler-July

whistler3

Telluride, CO-August and September (2 trips)

telluride

Minnesota-March and December (2 trips)

minnesota

mnchristmas2

*********

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

Oiselle Team Badge

Oiselle

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,


6 Comments

…Liebster Blog Award

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

liebsterblogaward

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.

Questions:

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

Alice

Holly

Janice

Jess

Nominees:

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

XO,