The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…week 8: Greenland Trail 50k Training

I’m a smidge behind on my weekly reports. I’ll be catching everyone up this week with some boring updates. Yawn.

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Week 8 Total: 60.18 miles

Monday: 6.38 miles
In true Colorado spirit, today’s run was sunny and warm (shorts and t-shirt) after a weekend of snow. I have a feeling spring is around the corner, but the back and forth with cold and warm will stay for a bit. Erika joined me for this run and it was nice to catch up and start the week with a friend.

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: 9.8 miles
My last night of parent/teacher conferences was Tuesday and it kind of messed up my running schedule for the week. I rearranged as best I could to at least get all my runs in by the time Sunday rolled around. I hit “my” hill for 8x600m repeats. I was feeling sluggish, but my splits were consistent with previous weeks: 2:39, 2:36, 2:37, 2:39, 2:36, 2:37, 2:31, 2:39.

Thursday: 4.75 miles
Met Erika at her house, as she was expecting a delivery. We ran a familiar loop and were able to snap a few #oisellelookbook photos. You’ll see those in a different post! 😉

Friday: 22 miles
I had planned to take Friday off work, and use it to complete my long run. We had another storm approaching Friday afternoon and I had some things around the house to do with the boy over the weekend (remember that demo we are doing?). I ran a rocky, hilly trail in Lyons, CO that consisted of 2 lollipops, each about 11 miles. The first I completed solo, but Erika met me for my 2nd lollipop. I got a little sloppy with my running around mile 17. I fell at one point and rolled my ankle at another point. I was tired and nauseous by the end, but I got it done just as the new “storm” was coming!

Saturday: 7.05 miles
Pretty tight from yesterday’s run! Took Chase around the town anyway. 24mph winds. Yuck. A supposed “storm” was predicted to have started dumping snow sometime overnight but there was nothing where I live (north of Fort Collins). I could have sworn I saw some flurries as I ran, but…

Sunday: 10.2 miles
Still no snow. I think the boy and I live in a bubble. Not he and I in particular, but our home, neighborhood, town, etc. It seems we never get the snow that people even 10 miles south of us do get. {crossed arms} {hmph}. Finished up the week with what should have been my mid-week “long” run. Had to adjust so much with Tuesday as my off day and Friday as my long run day. Oh well.

Sometimes, you just have to adjust your schedule in order to meet your needs personally and professionally. It’s flexibility that counts.



…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.

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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

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.

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


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…week 6: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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Week 6 Total: 56.43 miles

Monday: 5.75 miles
As a teacher, I get those random government holidays. For President’s Day, I left the house for a slow recovery run around town. Holy WIND! My favorite, you know…This is why I don’t like winter on the Front Range!

Tuesday: 9 miles
Hill repeats! My hip had been a little bit tight since my weekend long run, so I had upped my foam rolling and heating. Everything held up great for my workout! While I’m not really sure what to expect/shoot for on these repeats, I do want them to be somewhat consistent. I don’t actually look at my splits or pace until I am completely done. I go off of feel. Here is how it went: 2:40, 2:37, 2:29, 2:39, 2:34, 2:31, 2:34.

Wednesday: off day

Thursday: 10.1 miles
I had a round of parent teacher conferences scheduled for tonight, so I took the morning off and was able to get my mid-week long run in around the county roads by my house. There had just been a small storm that passed by over night, so Chase and I made fresh tracks in several inches of freshly fallen snow. Cold, beautiful, and a decent 7:55 pace.

Friday: 5 miles
Easy run with Erika on an oft run trail. There was still some snow pack and ice to maneuver. My right arch was a little achy afterward.

Saturday: 20 miles
The off and on snow we’ve had has left the foothills trails a real mess. I decided to just stick to the city bike paths instead. I wasn’t thrilled about this option, but I also wasn’t thrilled about gutting it out through snow, ice, slush, mud, slipping, etc. I chose the lesser of two evils. Better than opting out completely, right?! At least I was able to get a few miles in on a trail around Dixon Reservoir. It was perfect overcast running weather. The calm before another storm…


Sunday: 6.58 miles
We were under a Winter Storm Warning when I took to the town for a loop. I was SO close to having the boy drive me to the gym so I could avoid the high winds, blowing snow, ice, and Yaktrak weather, but I decided to toughen up. I even took Chase with me to toughen him up too! Spoiler alert! We survived.

Is Spring here yet? I know the importance of training on similar terrain to what the race course will be. However, I’m stumped as to what to do when the weather leaves the trails either closed or impractical. I’m hoping that just getting out on the trails when I can will be enough. Unfortunately, the storms and poor conditions seem to be effecting those weekend long runs where I should be spending the most time on the trails!



…week 5: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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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.


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…week 4: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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Week 4 Total: 50.8 miles*

Monday: 5.5 miles
It was another windy day by my work, so I decided to head north and run where there was less wind. I found a new path in Loveland that was perfect for an out and back. The downfall was that it takes me about 45 minutes or longer to get to Loveland, and it was already dusk by the time I started.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles
5x600m hill repeats. I ran a 2.3 mile w/u. Hill repeats went as followed: 2:44, 2:38, 2:45, 2:40, 2:49. I wasn’t disappointed with the times. I knew my last one was slow. As long as I’m completing these, it’s good for the legs!

Wednesday: 9.5 miles
I’m cristening Wednesdays as “Windy Wednesday.” It seems all of my mid-week long runs coincide with windy weather. To be honest, I’m over it. If it were less than 10mph, I’d be okay with the wind. But it just isn’t. 20+mph. Annoying.

Thursday: 5 miles
Easy and slow. I had run 7 days in a row and I was ready for Friday as my “off” day.

Friday: off

Saturday: 16 miles
Ran 2 miles before meeting up with Erika for 10 of her miles. After she left, I ran another 4 on my own. Said miles were run in Lyons, Colorado: Heil Valley Ranch. On the trail, we ran into a herd o 20+ deer, grazing and not bothered by us at all. It was a gorgeous run. We were both done right as a snow storm was coming in. Not much accumulation, but cold, nonetheless.



Sunday: 7.3 miles
Windy. What?! Yep. 17mph. Chase joined me. He loves it.

I’m sick of the wind.

*If I had known how close I was to 51 miles even, I would have run another .2 somewhere!

And if you’ve made it THIS far in my weekly write-up, note that I’m actually finishing up week 5 of training, but am a week behind on the write-ups. Still, oops.



…week 3: Greenland Trail 50k Training

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Week 3 total: 47.88 miles

Monday: 5.7 miles
A weak storm brought some snow to the area right at the end of my school day. It made for a WET run with all those big snowflakes falling. I actually like running in the snow. There is something peaceful and ethereal about it. A loud silence.

Tuesday: 5.72 miles
A little ironic that this intentionally hilly run ended up being the same mileage as the day before. I’m just following the schedule, people! A pack of coyotes had made a recent kill, alerting me with their very nearby howls. Coyotes attack people in Colorado, as of late, so we are all a little more aware of them now.

Wednesday: 10.2 miles
It’s been really windy lately. And I don’t mean measly 5-10mph winds. I mean 20-35mph winds and gusts. Needless to say, Wednesday was one of those days. So, I was dreading this “long” run because of it. I chose a path where I would be somewhat sheltered from the winds with trees, but I still felt it so much on the run. However, I ended up with a 7:50 pace. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Thursday: off
My 3rd graders had a music program, so I opted out of a run for today, so I could by sweat-residue-less for the big event.

Friday: 5 miles
Just a quick run on my way home from work. Epic-less.

Saturday: 7.26 miles
I had intended to long run today, but the boy and I ended up running a morning errand, which turned into errands most of the day. C’mon! We ALL know it happens! So, by the time we got home mid-afternoon, I was less than excited to suit up and drive an hour for a long run. I decided to switch my weekend runs. Chase joined me. He loves it. But, I can tell he’s only running once a week with me. I had to drag him the last two miles! He certainly isn’t ready for 18 milers again any time soon.

Sunday: 14 miles
Chose a new trail in Fort Collins since I was going solo. This one paralleled Horsetooth Reservoir. The water was partially frozen, and you could hear the water/ice settling and moving around. Moaning like a baby whale. At least what I assume a baby whale moans like.


I’m following a basic “first” 50k program, but reference some of my previous marathon training plans off and on. I’m actually putting in fewer miles right now, at week 3, for a 50k than I typically do at week 3 for a marathon! I’m not sure if this should worry me or not.



…week 2: Greenland Trail 50k Training

Oops. I’m already behind. This is what happens when you work full time, are in the midst of training, and are also attempting a somewhat social/normal life. The blogosphere becomes part of the backgroundsophere.

Here are the week 2 updates from 50k training:

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Week 2 Total: 45.74 miles

Monday: 5.66 miles
I had MLKJr. day off from work (thanks, Government!), so I spent the majority of the day painting the inside of the house. I was partially waiting for it to warm up a bit. Once mid afternoon hit, I took Chase for a 50 minute jaunt around the neighborhood. I was feeling pretty sluggish from the weekend, but we made it just fine.

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: 6.85 miles
3x600m hill repeats were on the schedule, so I joined Erika at a local trail with some decent hills. She had 8x400m repeats to complete, so I just added a little more of a cool down while I waited a few extra minutes for her to complete her workout. Perfect! 2:40, 2:42, 2:46

Thursday: 9.15 miles
I was shocked at my 8:11 pace for this run! The winds were at a ridiculous 24mph and with my workout the day before, I thought this run would have been much slower. I would have been okay with that! But low and behold, my legs felt great, so I went with it.

Friday: 5 miles
I slowed it down a lot for this one. I knew my legs were probably more tired than I realized after the previous two days and I wanted to save something for the next day’s long run.

Saturday: 12 miles
This run was completed at Lory State Park in Fort Collins. I hadn’t been to this area before, but had read many great things about trail running in the area. The open space extends to the west behind Horsetooth Reservoir. It ended up the being a beautiful “mostly cloudy” morning. The trail was primarily muddy, which caused a lot of slipping, but coupled with the rolling hills and I was in for a great workout.


Sunday: 7.08 miles
Stuck around the neighborhood so I could bring Chase. Pretty uneventful. We both felt pretty good!

I’m always happy to run with friends. Especially for those tough workouts! Erika is so supportive and encouraging in all of my running endeavors that any workout with her is a good one. I was also happy to run in a new location! Lory State Park is a must-do. I have plenty of long runs ahead of me, so I’ll be back!