The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…2013 Race Schedule (Tentative)

2013 Race Schedule (Tentative)

March 16 – Sharin’ O’ the Green 5k (Fort Collins, CO)
April 6 – Golden Gate Headlands Trail Marathon (Bay Area, CA)
April 13 – Mt. Carbon Trail Half Marathon (Morrision, CO)
April 20 – Step 4 Life 10k (Brighton, CO)
May 4 – Greenland Trail 50k (Larkspur, CO)
July 21 – Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half (Napa, CA)

Looks like I’ll be spending some time in California this year!

While I don’t have anything truly planned until March, I am on the look out for something in February or even late January.  My official training for the 50k starts on January 12th and it will all depend on what fits in best.

After the 50k, I’m tossing around some ideas, but haven’t made any final decisions:

May 27 – Bolder Boulder 10k (Boulder, CO)
June 22 – Grandma’s Marathon (Two Harbors, MN)
June 29 – Leadville Heavy Half (Leadville, CO)
August 24 – Golden Beaver Trail Half (Red Feather Lakes, CO)
September 6-7 – Ragnar Colorado
October 5 – Fall EverGold Trail Race 10 miler (Idledale, CO)

It’s probably safe to say that I won’t be running all of the races I’m “tossing” around.  A lot of it will depend on how my body holds up during the first half of the year.  I certainly don’t want to overrun myself and get reinjured.  I just want to race healthy and smart this year.

Well, there you go.  I’ve set my race intentions for the year.

Now, let’s get to it!



…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.




…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.  



…Redline Turkey Day 10k

This past Thursday, I ran a 10k Turkey Trot. It ended up being the fun run that I wanted: running with friends/family, low impact on my still recovering hamstring, and my first race as a Oiselle ambassador!

The day started early, as I had an hour drive from my house, north of Fort Collins. The race was being held at the Broomfield Commons Park. Ironically, a race location for one of the high school meets when I helped coach high school cross country years ago. My brother and I arrived early (7:45am), as we still needed to pick up our race packets. The event area was fairly empty, save a slew of race volunteers. I suppose most participants were taking advantage of the late 9am start time.

So, Matt and I killed some time, sitting in his truck, staying out of the cold and wind. When Erika and her husband showed up, we met them near the start for a quick stretch session before heading to the line.

Miles 1-3 were so fun! Matt, Erika, and I all had somewhat similar race pace plans and we were conversational through mile 3. Making jokes, laughing, sharing running injury stories. Just the kind of lighthearted 10k you want to run! Then we hit some hills. And directly into a headwind. Miles 4-5 were a little more difficult to maintain the pace we had set for ourselves in those first few miles. But hey, we were still passing people up the hills. Might have been a fun run, but I can’t take out that competitive edge! 😉 The final mile went quickly and we picked up the pace a smidge as we got closer to the finish.

Time: 48:49
Overall: 89 of 364
AG: 8 of 93

Happy to be back racing! Now, I might want to consider some speed work…



…race registration happy!

I did it. I registered for a race.

On Thanksgiving morning, I’ll be running a local 10k. My brother and bff will also be running the 10k. Even better that I can do this with family and friends!

While I’m not hoping for any PR’s, I am looking forward to running my first race in my Oiselle gear! Shaking the legs out a little bit, after many of months of not racing, will be just what I need to feel great! It might even kick start a quasi-winter-racing season…?

I’m considering a couple of races in December: a 5k and a half. I guess we’ll see how well the 10k goes.

I was looking forward to registering for the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon that will take place next summer. There are 5 half marathons in the series, and if you run all three of the California races, you are awarded a Vertical Medal. This is the last one I need! Originally, the registration date was posted for November 15th, but it has just changed to the 30th. I’ve never experienced this; and although it isn’t a big deal, I am just curious if anyone else has ever had this happen?

Hmmm…what other kinds of registration trouble can I get into?



…the Great Urban Race (Denver)

While the boy’s family was in town, his brother, Jason, registered the three of us to compete in the Great Urban Race (GUR). I have participated in this adventure race twice, a few years ago, both times with good friends. I love this race because it’s more than just running! It’s mapping, it’s strategy, it’s clues, it’s puzzles, it’s fun!


This is how it goes:
At noon, all teams receive their envelope of 12 clues. Teams must follow the clues around their city and complete 11 of the 12, in any order they choose, and then make it back to the finish. Each clue essentially leads you to a location in the city where one or all of your teammates needs to complete a task: mental or physical. You may only travel by foot or public transportation. No taxis, no cop cars.

The morning of the race, we headed to downtown Denver to check in, prep, and talk strategy. Because you have to. You can use your smart phone and even call a friend if you need extra help.

Our plan of attack:
Solve all the clues immediately and map out where the locations are. We would then choose the farthest location and complete each challenge on our way back.

The way it went:
The three of us spent about 15 minutes initially, just solving the clues, finding out the locations, and plotting them on our iPhones and a handheld map of the city (which we pilfered from a local hotel on our walk from the parking lot to the start area).

The challenges seemed to be clustered in groups of 3-4, each about a mile or mile and a half from the start. Essentially, it looked like a big circle on the map. So, we chose the group of challenges that seemed the farthest away and started running toward them.

I couldn’t possibly remember ALL of the challenges, but here are a few that we were required to photodoc or video:

At Little Man Ice Cream, one teammate (Jason) had to move an oreo from his forehead to his mouth without using his hands

We had to solve sports puzzles at Adrenalin

One teammate had to lay on a bed of nails (Jason) at West High School

We made a donation at the Ronald McDonald House

Other challenges included solving puzzles by sliding cans around on a table to create a certain picture, solving word puzzles at a candy shop, math problems involving cars, accupuncture, catching popcorn in your mouth, spraying/melting away a taped-on Alka-Seltzer on a teammates forehead…

It took us just over 3 hours to complete everything and we were so surprised when we were medaled at the finish and found out we were 6th place overall (out of 100)! Originally, it was 7th, but a team before us had a penalty and we were upgraded a spot.

The even awesomer part is that the top 25 teams qualify for Nationals in Las Vegas! It takes place the 2nd weekend in November.




…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!