The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…week 9: Greenland Trail 50k Training

Screen shot 2013-03-26 at 7.39.44 AM

Total Miles: 45.31

Monday: 6.46 miles
Easy run to start the week. Took to a Boulder path that ran west. Great views and lots of sun!

Tuesday: 8.5 miles
The boy was out of town this week and the few doggy daycares I called were full, so I rushed home today so I could run with Chase. I was supposed to make this one a hilly 65 minute run, but I made up for it with a faster pace: 7:40.

How can I say “no” to this face…


Wednesday: 10.5 miles
Sunny and warm on the Boulder Creek Path. So many people were out enjoying the break in the weather. 85 minutes and felt great!

Thursday: 4.75 miles
Rushed home again to take Chase out for a quick jaunt. I didn’t want to overdo it but my pace kept settling around 8-flat. I like some variety in my runs so I had to keep slowing myself down. That’s a good problem, I suppose. Later that night, I signed up for a 5k on Saturday. It’s a good thing too, because they filled up and weren’t taking race-day registration.

Friday: off

Saturday: 8.1 miles
Ran a 5 mile warm-up before running my adult PR at the local St. Patrick’s Day 5k! Yes, an adult PR is a big deal. I haven’t been this fast in over 14 years. I love being in my 30’s…Race report here!

Sunday: 7 miles
Took Chase out for another run through Fort Collins. Took to a popular paved path for an hour. Sunny and hot! Finished before the wind picked up. I was still on a PR high from the day before.

Later that night my favorite running couple come through Fort Collins on their way back into the mountains. Dinner and running conversations always make me happy! Luke and Courtney are so genuine and I just love spending time with them.



I guess 50k training does make one faster! Even though I’m not doing traditional repeats (800’s or mile repeats), I am doing hill repeats and many of my runs include hills. And according to Luke, that translates to speedwork. Hey, if it means 5k PR’s, I’ll take it. Is it too crazy for me to want to throw one more 5k into my training and hope for a LIFETIME PR? I’ll have to consider it…



…week 5: Greenland Trail 50k Training

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 9.22.22 AM

I know, I know. These write ups are boring. And it’s all I’ve been writing about on my blog. But, it’s for posterity, people. And probably my Type-A personality. At least this post will catch me up, as I really did just finish week 5 of training.

Week 5 Total: 52.1 miles

Monday: 5.75 miles
I tried to keep this one pretty easy and slow, as my legs were shot from the weekend runs. I’m noticing that my trail long runs are leaving me pretty sore for a few days after. They are hilly and rocky and I know I’m asking more of my body than I normally have in previous training cycles.

Tuesday: 6.35 miles
I needed a 55 minute hilly run. Erika and I wanted to run a bit together, so we chose a trail where I could hill run and she could do mile repeats. It actually ended up perfectly! We ran our warm up together, she continued on a flat course for her repeats and I went up the hills for an out and back. By the time I was coming down the hill, she was finishing her last repeat and we cooled down together. Couldn’t have been planned better!

Wednesday: 9.85 miles
Windy Wednesday! 23mph winds and I was irritated by the time I hit the last 10 minutes to go. I’ve over the wind, but it’s not over Colorado. Wish I had a better attitude about it, but wind is probably my least favorite type of weather to run in. And 8:07 pace was my consolation.

Thursday: off
Sushi with the boy! And lavender roses that show you fell in love with someone the moment you saw them. ❤


Friday: 5 miles
Was supposed to run with Erika again this afternoon, but the long week and my tiredness warped my thinking. Went to Davidson Mesa instead of Marshall Mesa, where I was going to meet her. Oops. I text her, she understood, and we ran separately. Feeling stupid, I just continued driving, hoping to get a little closer to home before running. I ran around McIntosh Lake in Longmont. It’s really only 3.6 miles around, but I added a little out and back. My legs felt heavy and uncooperative.

Saturday: 18 miles
Started at Coyote Ridge, in south Fort Collins, a trail I’ve run a few times. For the 9 miles out, I went south along the Blue Sky trail and nearly made it to the Devils Backbone trailhead. Parts were incessantly rocky. “Difficult” in mountain biking terms. But I kept up an even pace the whole time, even passing people in the final hills of the final miles. The views of the Rockies and Longs Peak wasn’t too shabby.


Sunday: 7.15 miles
Warm, sunny day for a post-long run shake-out. Shorts and t-shirt in February? Yes, please. No Chase today. The boy and I had taken him to a dog park earlier and wore him out with catching tennis balls.


I’m sore after my long runs. I’m trying to stretch and foam roll more, but it might have to come down to ice baths again in the near future.


1 Comment

…week 4: Boston Training

Week 4: Boston
Goal: 60 miles
Actual: 60 miles

Monday: 13 miles
I started this neighborhood run with the intention of only running 9. But as I began to review my running schedule, personal schedule, and work schedule for the week in my head, I began to make adjustments. Make this a 10 mile run. Then I won’t have to do as many the day or two before my 18 miler. Now I’m at 10, make this little loop for another 1.5. Well, I can do a .75 out and back and get all 13. While I didn’t feel great for the run, it was nice to have completed my mid-week long run so early.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles
Valentine’s Day. And a speed workout. That morning, the boy and I had determined that we wouldn’t be going out (he was suffering from the “I-can’t-taste-anything” portion of the cold I had given him), so I spent a little bit of time on the dreadmill knocking out a Jack Daniel’s time-prescribed ladder: 1200 at 5:16, 800 at 3:20, 600 at 2:16, 400 at 1:40, 200 at :49. Later, the boy surprised me with a bottle of wine and these:

And I surprised him with some Safeway Select Chicken Noodle Soup, salad, crackers, and even ice cream. I’m awesome like that. It was a very relaxing, quiet Valentine’s Day.

Wednesday: off day
I planned this off day so I could enjoy Happy Hour with a friend.

Thursday: 5.55 miles
Up at 4am so I could complete this easy run before work. I had a co-worker’s baby shower to attend right after work, and the plan was to do some late night yoga with another co-worker, Molly, after the shower. However, those plans changed when Molly had to head home to be with a sick fiancee. I was half tempted to get in another easy 3-4 miles, but called it a day when I started feeling pretty tired.

Friday: 9.15 miles
Feeling like a homebody and trying to avoid the ever present snow and ice that lingers on the trails, I stuck to the neighborhood with some mini-loops.

Saturday: 18 miles
My brother, Matt, is training for his first marathon! He’s been building his mileage and was due for a 14 miler. I had 18 on the schedule, so I arrived at our pre-determined location about 45 minutes prior to meeting him to knock out 4 on my own. Well, not exactly on my own. I have the boy’s dog, Chase, and he came along. Chase has run up to 14 miles with me and I was curious how he would handle all 18. Turns out he handled it just fine. And he probably ran more than 18, what with all of his running back and forth along the trail chasing rabbits and prairie dogs. I was shocked at his energy level. 2.5 hours of a run and he was still darting off in those final miles. Energizer Labrador. This long run felt good at an 8:35 pace. Matt and I were talking the whole time and the minutes just clicked away.

That night, I went to a friend’s house for a girls overnight. In total, four dogs were there, and Chase continued to run around and play. I thought for sure he would be sore the next day.

Sunday: 6.8 miles
We got home from my friend’s house around lunch time. I knew I needed to finish off my 60 mile week and kind of found the 7 miles needed to be daunting. I was considering piecing it out: 4 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon. But when Molly wanted to take a yoga class that night as a make-up to our lost yoga class on Thursday, I decided to just knock them all out at once. Although Chase showed no signs of being sore, I left him at home since he had been crashed out on his bed all day.

A few hours later, I joined Molly for an hour of Candlelight Flow Yoga, sans the candles. Whatever.

Reflection: I was pleased to hit 60 miles at this point. I’m feeling good for the most part, aside from some tightness in my left hip still. I’m trying to foam roll, heat, ice, and stretch as much as possible. I am now thinking too far ahead into the next few weeks after cutback. My 65-70 mile weeks, two in a row, are both of my parent/teacher conference weeks. Wondering how to hit the mileage and work 14 hour days. Hmmm…



…a few unphotographed trails

It’s been a long week. And a busy one at that! I haven’t had much time to sit and update. But as I’m sitting here “updating,” I realize I have nothing of importance to report! Unlike all my other posts which are extremely important!

I guess the most important thing is that I’ve been running. And since this is a running blog, I should mainly report on that. I put in 36 miles this week as I build some base miles for Boston training, which will officially begin on January 22. That gives me one more week at mid-30 miles. Then, upwards of 60+ in the subsequent weeks. I’m excited for this training, and hope for health the entire way.

This week allowed me to explore some new trails. Neither of which I got pictures for. I always tell myself to take a picture, but obviously forget if I’m not posting any! Earlier this week, I ran at Betasso Preserve. A few miles up the Boulder Canyon. It was super windy, hilly, icy, and definitely snow-shoe worthy! Up to my ankles in soft, dry powder. So soft, dry, and slippery that I took a fall right on my hip. Maybe that explains the bruise. It was a slow run at 6500 feet elevation, but a great workout!

Yesterday, my long run was at Hudson Gardens, south of Denver. The bff is racing a 10 miler there next weekend and she wanted to preview the course. There is a really nice path behind the gardens that runs for 8 miles along the Platte River. Again, it was really windy, especially on the turn around when we were coming back south. What is it with the wind in January?!

Today was an easy recovery run with my favorite 4-legged running partner. The boy is 7 hours ahead in England this week, so I’m in charge of the dog is in charge of me. My only defense against him is to run him. And even then, I don’t hold much weight. He usually gets what he wants when we are in the same room together. This includes, but is not limited to petting, belly rubs, treats, and any kind of attention. When I do “get onto him” for annoying me, he looks at me like “Really? That’s all you’ve got?” {sigh} He’s just too cute.

This week: More running!!!



…in unseasonably warm December weather

Headed out for a balmy 61 degree run today! 61. In mid-December. In Colorado. Yeah, not feeling like Christmas around here; except for the lights, music, and awful traffic.

Luckily, I’m finished with my Christmas shopping. Right down to the jingle bell collar and oversized dog bone for the dog. With my Winter Break under way, and a mostly free calendar for the next 2.5 weeks, I can enjoy this weather with some runs, sans headlamp (can’t wait for longer days!). And just in time, since my “off season” after the marathon is over.

I’ve been able to enjoy several weeks of cutting back, slacking off, and gaining weight. But Boston is a mere 17 weeks away, which gives me about 5 weeks to start increasing my mileage again before training officially starts.

Sunday: 4 miles/34:07/8:31 pace


Leave a comment

…the Hewlett-Gulch Trail

Better late than never, I’m posting about Thanksgiving!

After discussions of a trail run the weekend prior to Thanksgiving week, the boy and I finally followed through with a Thanksgiving morning early afternoon trail run.

We had previously decided on the Hewlett-Gulch Trail; a mountain bike/running/hiking trail that lollipopes its way through 6 miles in the Poudre Canyon, just northwest of Fort Collins in the Roosevelt National Forest.

I was excited to trail run, since I hadn’t done that in a while. But, I got a little nervous when I saw the recently posted signs about mountain lion and bear sightings in the area. The bears, not too concerned about. The mountain lions, most definitely! Because they are watching you when you don’t know. Because they are stalking you, without a sound. Because they’ve been coming down from the mountains a lot in the last few years and attacking people in neighborhoods. The neighborhoods where I work! So, if they are confident enough to do that, then they are confident enough in their own environment to stalk and attack me! A helpless blonde! Good thing the boy and the boy’s dog were with me. Hopefully, they would be attacked first. Then, I would get help.

The trail starts out at a low 5680 feet elevation. I found the trail to be pretty gentle, which is probably what I needed in returning to the mountains. There are numerous streams to cross; where I find out that the boy gazelles over them, without hesitation. I, on the other hand, have to stop at each one and evaluate each rock that I will step on. Oh Type A….

After about 2 miles up the canyon, the wind picks up and the clouds come out, putting a little bit of a damper on this 60 degree day. It’s wet, and snowy, and muddy. The boy’s dog is flinging up mud and splash-back is covering my front. And now, my mind starts playing games with me, as we come into a dense area, surrounded by trees, undergrowth, and the like. I start to hear sounds in the bushes and branches. They don’t belong to the boy’s dog, who is in front of me. I’m convinced it’s a mountain lion stalking me. I mean, why wouldn’t it be?

I get a little paranoid and turn back around 2.5 miles, for a 5 mile total. I’m fine with this. I don’t want to die.

I did like the trail for something short and easy. Not a lot of uphill, although I’m told it gets fairly steep in the section we didn’t run. I’d love to run it in its entirety another time.



..with the dog

Since the boy has been across the pond for nearly two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of watching his dog. Now, the dog isn’t just any old dog. The dog is a 70 pound black lab with hair (fur) shinier than mine. The dog is all legs. The dog is 4 going on 1, and thus has the energy of a hummingbird. Seriously. The dog has been known to run a 14-miler with me, rest for a few hours, and be raring to go again.

Therefore, I’ve had an excellent running partner for the last couple of weeks. Although he does pull on the leash when we first get outside (he has no clue how to pace himself…obviously). And we do have to stop for bathroom breaks on occasion (him, not me). But he’s a real trooper. Mid-week long runs. Two-a-days. Speed work. Hill pushes. The dog won’t stop. He starts hyping out when he sees me change into my running clothes. It only accelerates when the shoes and watch go on.

His other problem is that he’s just so cute. I have no defense against him. I tried to be stern with him the first few days. I had very strict rules about him sleeping in my room (and that lasted a night). I had very strict rules about him being in the kitchen (and that lasted a few hours). But look at those droopy eyes. And those big floppy ears. Exactly. Guess who’s been running the show around here?

But, hey, he’s not my dog. I only have him from time to time. It’s like having Lucky Charms cereal at your grandparents house. Because you can. Because you have to bend the rules somewhere.