The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…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.


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.


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.


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!


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!



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

Grays and Torreys-May



Mt. Elbert-June


Mt. Sneffels-August



I met some fabulous, inspirational people.

Scott Jurek

Courtney C


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



I’ve done a little bit of travel.







Telluride, CO-August and September (2 trips)


Minnesota-March and December (2 trips)




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

Oiselle Team Badge


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.  



…the Steamboat Mountain Madness Half

Erika and I woke up early on Sunday and prepped for our half marathon. We made it into town around 7am for packet pickup. This was a small, grassroots race that was very informal and without chip timing. Honestly, it was just perfect for my 2nd race of the weekend. I didn’t need any pomp and circumstance. I just needed to get through 13.1.

My legs were like jelly from the get-go. And sore. The middle of my back was hurting too from my hydration pack rubbing me the day before. And it was hot. I pushed my complaints aside and just told myself to keep moving and get through each mile.

I was hanging around an 8:30 pace, chatting with a woman from Utah, and enjoying the beauty of Steamboat. We ran along the very low Yampa River, through some gorgeous neighborhoods, and along the county roads. I plugged up that hill from mile 2.5-3.8 and was very grateful for some downhill and flat afterwards. However, the rest of the course was rolling hills and it eventually took its toll.

Around mile 8, we hit a turn around point. From here on, we would run directly on River Road all the way back to the finish. This is where I bonk! I had been moving at a pretty respectable pace, considering how I felt, but then that queasy feeling came back. What in the world is going on?! I tried to think about anything except making a pavement pizza. I slowed way down. I lost a pretty decent placement in the pack. I clicked off each final mile…

I was never so happy to hit mile 13 and know that I was so close to the finish. Erika was back on the course cheering me in. She had finished long before I had, because she is a smarter racer!

At the finish, I found some shade and laid down. For a while. I’m happy to report there was no chunder from down under that made its way up. But it took quite a while for that queasy feeling to leave. Erika and I stayed and relaxed under a tent, all the way through awards. We don’t typically stay at a race for so long, but it was such a small event that staying a bit longer just felt right. We loved the 10 year old who was announcing all the runners as they rounded the corner to the finish line! She was a Race Director in training! She even announced all the awards and the over abundance of free prizes that were given away. Overall, I would certainly recommend this race! It was beautiful, it was a great rolling hills course, and the informality of it was a nice change to some big races I’ve run. I would love to run it again, as a single weekend event!

Time- 2:03:24
Pace- 9:24
Overall- 31/52
Women- 18/34
AG (30-39)- 8/10

So there is my bonk! I guess it doesn’t really matter. After all, this weekend wasn’t about placement or time. It was about taking on a new challenge. See what I could do. I’m very proud of myself and this little accomplishment! 🙂

Needless to say, I haven’t run since the weekend. I think giving my body a break for a few days is perfectly fine!

Now to plan my back-to-back marathon weekend….

Just kidding.

Happy 4th! The boy and I are off to a BBQ on the lake!



…back-to-back races

This is the weekend I’ve been waiting for! The weekend I overbooked myself to run. On purpose.

A few weeks before Boston, I registered for two races, back-to-back. The Leadville Heavy Half on Saturday, June 30th, and the Steamboat Mountain Madness Half on Sunday, July 1st. At the time, I thought, no big deal; I’m feeling great and I can maintain some decent mileage, while giving my body some recovery time after the marathon. Plus, these races were three months away from when I registered. Plenty of time to get in the training I needed.

I did pretty well with keeping up with some long runs and weekly mileage, until I got sick. Being out of commission for 9 days kind of felt like a set-back. And when I was finally back to running again, it was already the beginning of June. Oh sure, I’ve had plenty of trail runs and even “ran” some 14er’s (as best as that can be done), but overall, I don’t feel quite as ready as I’d like to be. But how often do we really feel “ready” for a race?

I know these two races won’t really be raced. I never intended to do so. That should take some pressure off! The Leadville Heavy Half is actually a 15.46 mile course; an out and back over Mosquito Pass, that until recently was closed due to a wildfire. The course profile is a little daunting, but I will approach as I would if I were running/hiking a 14er. At least I get to run back down! The other major factor for this race will be the altitude. The silver lining is that this will be a PR race since it isn’t truly a 13.1 race course! Yippee! I’m lucky to run with my friend, Danielle!

The Steamboat Mountain Madness Half is an actual 13.1 half. The course will be over several county roads and parallel the Yampa River at some points. I love Steamboat and just want to enjoy the area when I’m running. I think my legs will be pretty shot after the previous day anyway. At least elevation won’t be too much of a worry since I’ll be dropping 4000′ to run this one. That hill might hurt though! I’m lucky to run this one with Erika!

And of course, the boy (and the dog) will be there the entire weekend, cheering me on, taking pics, and just looking hot on the side of the course when I pass him.

My plan: Have fun. Exclamation points. I really have no choice but to just enjoy these races for what they are. Slow it down. Just have fun!

I’ll try to tweet along the way. Maybe even a pic or two. Albeit, blurry. Because we all know my iPhone pics look as though I just breathed on the lens to give it a blurred look. *don’t judge; holding out for iPhone 5*

Hoping to finally meet the running couple of the year, while I’m in Leadville! LC will be running the full, and he has a good overview of both the half and full on his site. Go.



…Boston 2012; Part 1: Pre Race

After obsessing about the weather, but never seeing a change, I came to grips with the fact that I’d be starting the Boston Marathon in the mid-70s. By the time I was halfway, it would be close to peaking at the high temperature for the day: 86 degrees. With a heat index of 89. Oh yeah, and about 50% humidity.

I woke early, as I normally do before a race, and completed the rituals: oatmeal, bagel, coffee. I had already methodically placed everything in my check-bag for what I might need after the race and I knew I’d be ready for a couple of hours in Athlete’s Village.

It was already pleasantly warm when the boy, and my family, left the hotel at 6am, headed to the T. I felt overdressed in my old, thin yoga pants and light GoLite long sleeve top.

I had planned to meet up with a few girls at Boston Common. With a meet time of 6:30, Kelly, Kaitlin, Amanda, and I found each other quickly, and after casual introductions, we got in line with the masses to head to Hopkinton.

A short hour later, the girls and I planted roots in a shaded corner, given off by the Boston College Team’s tent. Anything to get out of the direct sun and heat, as it was already in the mid-70’s. We chit-chatted, caught up with life, discussed fueling, and tried to avoid the elephant in the field. Probably the thing on everyone’s mind: the heat. I couldn’t help but wonder how BAA had prepared, knowing about some other marathons gone bad (i.e. Chicago 2007). But I had a lot of faith. If they had been sending out emails trying to warn people of the heat, then the MUST be preparing themselves.

I applied sunscreen. I packed my SpyBelt with fuel. I put on my lulu hat. I even decided to wear arm coolers. None of it would have really mattered.

The time had finally come. I packed everything else away in my check-bag. So much for getting rid of those old yoga pants and oversized GoLite shirt at the start line as my throw-away clothes. In fact, I had dropped them all soon after arriving at Athlete’s Village. I packed them in my check-bag too. Much too warm. I guess they remain for my next race.

If it’s possible to already by hot before a race, then this was that moment. Because I was. As I dropped my bag in the corresponding numbered bus, and walked the .7 miles to the start, I reminded myself to conserve. Go slower than my original plan and just see how I feel. No goals.

I hit the start mat and hoped for the best.



…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.


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…and drinks for G-Row!

My friend Kaitlin, who I met through our local lululemon Run Club, will be running the Boston Marathon this year for G-Row (Girls-Row) Boston. G-Row Boston is a community rowing organization that teaches and empowers girls to row. It is the first rowing program designed specifically for girls in the Boston Public Schools and reaches over 200 girls each year! It provides girls with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to learn to row and compete on the Charles River.

In an effort to meet her fundraising goal, Kaitlin will be hosting a WINEraiser at Bookcliff Winery in Boulder, CO on Sunday, April 1st at 3pm. The tasting is only $5 with an optional $5 donation for G-Row. I’m really excited that Bookcliff is the host winery, as they are one of my favorite Colorado vineyards! So, despite my verbal confessions to “go dry” on April 1st before Boston, I am stretching the rules a little bit so I can help out Kaitlin and enjoy some great wine.

Click here for the event invitation. It does require a “sign-in”, so if you are opposed to that, no problem! Just let me know if you would like to come via email or in the comments section. I will pass the info along to Kaitlin.

This is a great cause and you get to meet ME and THE BOY!!

Click here for Kaitlin’s fundraising website, where you can learn more about G-Row and Kaitlin’s passion. She is SO close to her goal!!
If you can’t make the WINEraiser (because I know that not ALL of my readers can say that they live in this fabulous place called Colorado), please consider a donation for G-Row.



…while her friend TRI’s Ironman

A huge shout-out and congratulations to my dear friend, Gina, who just completed her first Ironman this past Sunday! After 10 months of dedication, her dreams of racing a full tri came true. I am so proud of her and forever inspired by her love of the sport and boundless energy. If I could only swim, I would, perhaps, try a tri…

Lots of Love (Lol), Gina!