The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…week 15: Greenland Trail 50k Training

Clearly you can see I am trying to squeeze in the last few weeks of training recaps before the race on Saturday. So, for fear that you’ll quit reading my blog out of sheer boredom, I promise this is the last one of the last weekly recaps of the 50k training. Some thoughts before the race and the race recap itself will be coming in the next week!

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Total Miles: 28.94

Monday: 5.86 miles
This was the week I GOT SICK! I started to feel a slight dry throat Sunday night, but didn’t think much of it. But when it was still there Monday morning, I got nervous. Really nervous. A lot of my students have been sick lately, but I have been pretty much a ROCK all this semester. Then, I considered the bipolar spring Colorado is so prone to have. Back and forth cold and warm. We will get into the 70’s for a few days, and this it will snow 8+ inches and be in the 20’s. Not sure what to credit for this supposed sickness. So…I started taking C and Zinc right away, 3x a day. I hoped for the best.

Another storm was coming in (Hey, Bipolar CO!) and it was just ramping up when I went for my run. Of course, I decided to run INTO the wind and my eyelashes were frozen within a few minutes. I kept my head down for my “out” and was thankful for the “back” portion.

Tuesday: 4.92 miles
Yep. Still sick. Although at this point I couldn’t really categorize it as a cold. It was just a dry throat. Not even sore.

I had 5x600m on the schedule and I took to the roads for this: 2:30, 2:32, 2:27, 2:21, 2:19

Wednesday: 8.16 miles
The dry throat is not. going. away. I fear the worst. I run to stop fearing. I tried to keep it around an 8:30 pace for the taper.

Thursday: off
It’s here. The cold. It’s real now. Stuffy nose. Dry throat. COUGHING. “Productive” coughs.Hot tea.

Friday: off
So tired. Not sleeping. Tried for a half day because all I want to do is sleep.

Saturday: off
Three days off. Ugh. I took NyQuil and slept in as best I could. Then I laid around all morning on the couch, coughing, and sneezing, and blowing my nose. Can’t remember the last time I did that. There aren’t enough Kleenex boxes in the world to suffice.

Sunday: 10 miles
After another NyQuil night, I can’t stay shut up in the house anymore. 3 days off is enough. I suffer through some sluggish miles. I’m tired. I’m trying not to cough because I know it will be downhill from there. I wait until mile 8 for that. And the last 2 miles are rough. At one point, I jump off the pavement to go around some people who are trail hogging, and when I hop back on, I tweek my left ankle. This is significant later… After the run, my chest is on fire. I’m coughing and hacking and not a pretty sight.

This is a bummer. I know we tend to be more susceptible to sickness during the taper, because our immune system is down, but I can’t recall that it’s happened to me. Until now. I’m nervous that I only have a week to go before the race and Saturday/Sunday were pretty bad. Am I on the upswing?



…week 14: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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Total Miles: 34.97

Monday: off

Tuesday: 6.2 miles
Brokenhearted from yesterday’s events at the Boston Marathon, I ran 6.2 miles in honor of those who were unable to finish the race.

Wednesday: 7.37 miles
After another spring storm hits Colorado, I was running through ankle deep snow drifts, over long stretches of ice, all through heavy winds. I hadn’t bothered with my Yak Traks, but perhaps should have! The sun was trying to break through and the warmth was a welcome change. I am definitely over the cold and wind.

Thursday: 25 minutes/Dynamic Warmups; 5.4 miles
My colleague and I coached our school’s Bolder Boulder Run Club today. We were indoors due to the weather, so we set up stations for the kids. I led the Dynamic Warmups-high knees, butt kicks, karaoke, high skips, etc. When I got home, I ran 5.4 miles for a little shake-out.

Friday: off

Saturday: 6 miles
Spent the weekend in Breckenridge, CO with some friends. One of the girls and I went on a 6 mile run on the River Trail that runs from Breck to Frisco. The path was clear, despite all the snow in the mountains. Nice to run at 9,000 feet and not feel too winded! Couldn’t figure out why my upper calves were SO sore, until I remember that I had done dynamic warmups for half an hour on Thursday! Duh.

Sunday: 10 miles
Feeling tired today. 2 weeks until the 50k!

Hoping my body remembers all the work I’ve done prior to the taper. Taper plays with my head! I know I should be fine cutting back on mileage, but my head says otherwise!


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…week 13: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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Total Miles: 34.07

Monday: off

Tuesday: 4.75 miles
Still really sore from the marathon, especially my quads. I took it easy and slow.

Wednesday: off

Thursday: 8.07 miles
My legs are starting to come back to me after the race, but I still kept it on the easier side.

Friday: 10.1 miles
Wanted to throw in a final back-to-back weekend, minimal though it may be. But I felt really great today! Feeling like I have my legs back with a sub 8 minute pace!

Saturday: 11.15 miles
Legs felt SO sluggish from the start of this run. I chose a new trail (Bobcat Ridge) that was very hilly and technical. My legs were throwing a tantrum right away and I had to force them to keep going. I figure they are still fatigued from the marathon, or they were tired from the previous days faster pace. Or both.

Was a little disappointed that my first week of taper ended up being so low on miles, but I am hoping that taking an extra day off helped me rather than hurt me.



…week 12: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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Total Miles: 61.03 miles

Monday: 6.48 miles
Intended to run for an hour, but cut it short by about 6 minutes or so due to tummy issues. Honestly, I blame introducing chocolate back into my diet. Seriously! Oh, and some foot/calf pain.

Tuesday: 11 miles
Took Chase for a spin around the neighborhood. More tummy issues. Chocolate. I know, because I remember what I had during the day. Chocolate. Foot still hurts but foaming and rolling it a lot.

Wednesday: 11.2 miles
Held off on the chocolate because I knew I had 10x600m hill repeats. Faired pretty well, except was a little slower than normal. Wanted to be cautious with any pain. I was ready to throw in the towel if I felt any sharp pain in my calf. I didn’t. 2:50, 2:43, 2:47, 2:52, 2:45, 2:46, 2:44, 2:37, 2:37, 2:36

Thursday: off

Friday: 4.15 miles
A little shake-out run and pretty sluggish. Hoping to feel fine for my training run the next day.

Saturday: 24.2 miles
Golden Gate Headlands Trail Marathon. I needed a 26 mile trail training run, and there weren’t any in Colorado, so I found this race in March and decided to run it. Not race it. It went pretty well. See the race report here. And yes, that is correct: 24.2. The course was 2 miles short. But I decided to not make those 2 miles up after the race. 😉


Sunday: 4 miles
Not running, but walking around San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, Presidio Park, and Sausalito. Probably way to sore for actual running, but the walking helped to stay loose. At least until I sat down at the airport that night! Yikes!

I didn’t cut back this week on miles just because of the marathon. Since it was a training run, I kept all of my workouts the same. This was to be my last big week before taper anyway. I guess for a 50k, you start to taper 4 weeks before, not 3. Things you learn…



…week 11: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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Total Miles: 50.81

Monday: off
Snow, wind, and sore from 24 yesterday.

Tuesday: 9.1 miles
Ran a tempo run over some gradual hills, pushing hard, and then practicing finding my pace again at the top. 7:41 pace wasn’t bad.

Wednesday: off

Thursday: 7.07 miles
Easy run with Chase.

Friday: 11.5 miles
Changed my mid-week “longer” run to today on purpose so I could do a quasi back-to-back run coupled with Saturday’s trail run. This ended up being more of a pace run at a 7:49 pace, but I hoped I would feel fatigued the next day!

Saturday: 16 miles
Felt great and it was my fastest trail run yet. Yes, my legs were a bit tired from the previous days 11.5 at 7:49 pace, but my lungs and breathing were strong.

Sunday: 7.14 miles
Definitely felt the weekends back-to-back runs today! Legs felt pretty sluggish, but this is exactly what I wanted.

Looking forward to warmer weather! A little disappointed with lower mileage, but also wanting to listen to my body for off-days. I think I will benefit from taking a random day off, rather than pushing through when I know better.



…week 10: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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Total Miles: 64.95

Monday: 6.85 miles
I knew this would be another build up week, ending with my longest training run ever. I eased into it all with an nice jaunt on a familiar path with a familiar face.

Tuesday: 10.5 miles
Totally nervous for 9x600m hill repeats. And to top it all off, there was crazy 20+mph winds. Naturally, I had to run INTO the wind as I was running uphill. I nearly changed my schedule and made this my mid-week long run, but I decided I wouldn’t become any tougher if I didn’t gut it out in the wind for the repeats. Not bad, considering: 2:43, 2:42, 2:40, 2:41, 2:39, 2:34, 2:41, 2:40, 2:39.

Wednesday: off

Thursday: 11.1 miles
Good thing I didn’t save my hill repeats for today in order to avoid wind. There was some of that today. I ran the first half solo and then Erika joined me for my last half.

Friday: 4.75 miles
Easy run with Chase around the neighborhood.

Saturday: 7.75 miles
Crazy winds made me want a dreadmill. Which is crazy in and of itself! Got come advise from a Montana Oiselle team runner: find a way to run parallel to the wind. I did my best finding a county road by my house to do so. Was able to nail a 7:45 minute pace. Not bad.

Sunday: 24 miles
Was contemplating what to do with this one. Really wanted to hit the trails but they were covered in 8-14 inches of snow. I figured it would be best to avoid all of that mess and ran pavement instead. I wasn’t overly happy about this, but I knew any 24 miler was better than NO 24 miler. I parked at a trail where I could do two out and backs from my car. I ran 6 out and 6 back for each direction.

3 Shot Blocks at mile 6, potato wedges with salt at mile 12, 3 Shot Blocks at mile 18, lots of food afterward. 9 degrees at the start caused my Hydrapak tube to freeze, so I didn’t get much water in the 24 miles, except when I stopped at my car at mile 12 for the potatoes. No nausea, perhaps from not being able to “over drink”? Tight hip flexors, but otherwise felt great. Tried to keep a 9:20-9:30 pace in the first half, picked up speed after 12, and was around an 8:35-8:40 pace in the last 6 miles.

Despite the snow and wind, I am can’t believe I only have a handful of training weeks left. I am starting to get nervous that I’m not doing enough to prepare for this distance. I suppose that since it’s the first time I’ve run 50k, I won’t truly know until I try it. I can always adjust the training for my next 50k…



…week 9: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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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…