The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…week 1: Greenland Trail 50k Training

The week before training began, I was fortunate to be able to meet up with some of my fellow Oiselle teammates. Some from Colorado, some from out of state. And we all seemed to come from different running backgrounds with different running interests. Steeplechasers, distance runners, and everything in between. I think that’s the beauty of running. Each can find their niche in the extensive realm of running. No one distance/event is better than the other. We all just have this unspoken understanding of the beauty of running. The time on our legs together was refreshing and rejuvenating. It rekindled my passion for running and was a timely reminder of why I love what I do.

Sarah (MT), Amanda (CO), Meggie (NY), Yours Truly (CO), Jess (CO)


In my somewhat extensive research of a 50k training plan, it seemed the same program kept coming up. After much debate and comparison of my previous marathon training plans, I decided to go ahead and use it as an initial guideline, with the flexibility of tweaking it along the way.

This program is different from any other I’ve followed, as it is based on “minutes” vs. “miles.” This will take some mind re-training! In general, the first few weeks look very similar to my past marathon training plans. There is a minute range that I will increase upon gradually. While I won’t follow each workout on the exact day, I will get in each of the runs required for the week.

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Week 1 Total: 41 miles

Monday: 5.22 miles
It’s been cold here in Colorado. A brief deep freeze before we return to our traditional 40’s and 50’s. Erika and I ran a well known trail in 12 degree weather. There just weren’t enough layers!

Tuesday: 5.2 miles
This was supposed to be a hilly run and I’d say the .8 and .7 mile hills on this route were satisfactory. I’ve run this path many times and the hills are long and gradual. The downhill is fast and faster!

Wednesday: 8.5 miles
Finally in the 50’s! This mid-week long(ish) run felt “easy.” Seeing the CU track team on the trail wasn’t so bad either. Made me feel old, though.

Thursday: off

Friday: 5 miles
A quick out and back in VERY windy conditions. This trail by my work is notorious for being windy. It feels like a wind tunnel. Almost as though it has its own weather system! Post run, I joined my staff for a Holiday Happy Hour.

Saturday: 10 miles
I’ve been running 12 mile long runs in my base training, so it was nice to have a little bit of a cut back before the mileage increases over the next 15 weeks. Erika and I ran Coyote Ridge, south of Fort Collins. This is a hilly, rocky trail, but great practice that will only make us stronger!


Sunday: 7.08 miles
The boy and I have just started remodeling the interior of his house. Yesterday and today was primarily spent with paint roller in hand. He was working on taking off the old oak trim, around the floorboards and doors, and replacing them with new white trim.


My run took place after a 2nd coat of paint in the great room. By the time I left, it was warm enough for shorts. Chase was anxious to get out of the house, as he had been secluded to only one room of the house.

Knowing I was SO close to a round number of 41 miles even, I made sure I got the .08 that I needed to make it happen. I’m particular. A little.

I’m happy with week 1. I’m watching my food intake, as far as less junk and more proteins/veggies/fruits. I’m anxious to explore more trails in Colorado, as I want all of my long runs to resemble the race course. And, come payday, I need to register for the race! 🙂


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…week 11: Boston Training

Didn’t quite make the goal, but they would have been junk miles anyway. I could have added an extra warm up mile or cool down mile in my speed workout, but again, not totally necessary. So, I remain calm about my lack of goal-meeting during taper.

Boston: Week 11
Goal: 40 miles
Actual: 33.2 miles

Monday: off day
This was catch up day for being gone 8 days during Spring Break. Laundry. Bills. Work. Etc.

Tuesday: 5.04 miles/8:32 pace
A chilly run with Erika before a much needed sports massage. If you are in Colorado, go to Amy! Best massage I have ever had. Ever. She does a thorough consultation before starting and even uses her feet at the end. Yeah. That’s awesome in my book.

Wednesday: 5.9 miles/8:15 pace
3×1600’s. 6:12, 6:15, 6:47. I started the first one pretty fast, but didn’t realize my overall pace until I was almost done. I had intended something closer to 6:30. The second one seemed fast too. And it was. I was spent and knew I couldn’t handle another at that pace, so I purposely slowed it down for the final one.

Thursday: 8 miles/8:45 pace
My legs were feeling some effect form the speed the previous day, but I ran 6 with Erika, followed by 2 solo.

Friday: 4.16 miles/9:17 pace
Extremely windy! Like, faster-to-walk kind of windy! I cried the whole time I ran directly into the wind. Ugh.

Saturday: 10.1 miles/8:59 pace
Erika and I ran a trail we hadn’t run since last summer. It was nice to chat ultras and Boston with her.

Sunday: off day
I could have run, if I had gotten up extra early, but I felt better about sleeping in a bit. After church, the boy and I went to a friends house for lunch and then my parents house for dinner. Can you say food coma?

I wasn’t too concerned with pace this week. I was lower than planned on mileage, but I got the speedwork and long run in as typical.


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…week 10: Boston Training

Week 10: Boston
Goal: 50-55 miles
Actual: 46.69 miles

Monday: 5.2 miles/8:37 pace
Running around the boy’s hometown in northern Minnesota. The weather had changed and it was now overcast, chilly, and windy. I immediately missed the sun. I spent this one thinking about Boston and all it encompasses. I’m excited!

Tuesday: 10.3 miles/8:43 pace
Big loop around Eshquagama Lake, where the boy grew up. Easy warm-up followed by 5×600’s. The wind had them much slower than planned, but at least I felt the pace change. Nice long cool down.

Wednesday: 8.94 miles/8:10 pace
Smaller loop around Eshquagama Lake with a faster pace than expected. My hips were pretty tight for this entire run.

Thursday: off
Road trip back home.

Friday: 4.15 miles/8:29 pace
An easy run to loosen up the legs after sitting in the truck for 2.5 days. Nice to be back in Colorado! I missed the warm weather.

Saturday: 14.1 miles/8:40 pace
The first half felt sluggish. I blame the taper, but it could have been the heat and the residual effects of the road trip. Chase ran with me, but wasn’t feeling up to it. We ended a mile earlier than planned, but when Chase immediately laid down in the shade, I knew it was the best choice.

Sunday: 4 miles/8:47 pace
After a morning spectating the Boulder Spring Half Marathon, I ran another easy 4 miler. Pace was slow. Go figure.

First week of taper went alright. I was a few miles short of my goal, but in the end, I’m not sure those few miles will matter. I got my long run in and I got some speedwork in. At this point, it’s just keeping my head in the game. But I feel like my thoughts about Boston are all over the place. I need to start thinking about my plan for this one with my three goals.



…week 9: Boston Training

My final high mileage week. And the biggest week I’ve recorded yet! 70 miles! I knew I would be road-tripping to Minnesota with the boy on Friday after school, and we would be on the road until Saturday evening. I had to get in as many miles as I could before Friday at 4pm. This meant running my final long run, of 22 miles, on a weeknight.

Week 9: Boston
Goal: 70 miles
Actual: 70.08 miles

Monday: 15 miles/7:57 pace
A lousy workday allowed me to push the pace a bit in order to get out my frustrations. Erika joined me for my first 5 and I was thankful for the company.

Tuesday: 10 miles/6×800 (3:26, 3:11, 3:03, 3:06, 3:09, 3:05)
A warm day with Erika for repeats. She was due for 400’s, me 800’s. We managed to do a lot of passing back and forth on the trail depending on our rest/run time. It made for some good encouragement! The first two 800’s were slow (I blame uphill and a slight headwind), but the final 4 evened out and I was happy with them! I took a very long and slow cooldown.

Wednesday: 11 miles: AM-5 miles/9:38 pace AND PM-6 miles/9:14 pace
Double Day! My morning run was slow and easy. The hardest part was passing the two Starbucks. That afternoon, I had only scheduled another 5 miler, but Erika and I ended up meeting Jean and Becky for a couple of miles before heading out on our pre-planned course. I was okay with the extra mile since I wanted as many as possible before Friday afternoon.

Thursday: 22 miles/8:35 pace
I was nervous for this one. The boy says I always say that before my long runs. But this time it was really true! I don’t typically run my long runs after work, and I wondered if I was eating and drinking right that day. I was lucky enough to have company the ENTIRE time! Danielle joined me for my first 10 miles, where we met up with Erika, who joined me for my final 12. My low points were miles 13, 17, and 19. I certainly couldn’t have done it alone. Those last few miles I always feel a little out of it. But I was done!

Friday: 4 miles/10:28 pace
I had high hopes of running this morning just to knock out a few more miles. I knew that I just needed to play it by ear though since I would only have 9.5 hours of rest between that 22 miler and this recovery run. When I started out, I told myself 4-5 miles total, as slow as I need. I cut it at 4 and called it good since my legs were like jelly.

Saturday: off day/road trip

Sunday: 8.08 miles/8:19 pace
Sea level is nice. I ran a trail in Forest Lake, Minnesota before heading three hours north. I was SO happy to finish up this week feeling good.

I was crabby this week. I know because I was told by the boy. And I agree! The workweek started out pretty lousy and I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to finish those 70 miles strong. And to finish the majority of them before Friday. I had 62 miles before we left. I was holding it together pretty well emotionally. Then the long run. Then Friday road trip. Then very little sleep coupled with exhaustion. Then more road tripping on Saturday. Then my emotional moment Saturday night. Or moments. I think I finally felt better when I had completed the final 8 on Sunday and the high mileage week was over.

I don’t remember feeling so emotional in the past PRIOR to the taper. Sure, the taper messes with my head, my emotions, my body, but this week leading up to taper was tough.

Now for true taper tantrums!

I apologize in advance, boyfriend.


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…week 8: Boston Training

Week 8: Boston
Goal: 50-55 miles
Actual: 48.18 miles

Monday: 8 miles/8:30 pace
A nice and warm afternoon on a “newer” trail. I have only run this once and was happy to see that it even continued at my turnaround point of 4 miles. I looked later and it actually connects to the backside of another trail I frequent: Marshall Mesa.

Tuesday: 5.68 miles/8:38 pace
Ran 7×400’s with Erika for my speedwork. The 400’s were at a 5k pace and felt good with some quick turnover.

Wednesday: 10 miles/9:01 pace
I haven’t been doing much trail running since I like to train similar to what my race will be. And apparently Boston is NOT a trail run. I like the trails though, so I ran with Erika for the first 2/3 of the run and took the final part solo.

Thursday: 6 miles/8:33 pace
My legs were feeling pretty tired today. Which I thought was strange since it was a cutback week.

Friday: off day

Saturday: 18.5 miles/8:27 pace
I ran a lap around Coot Lake and the Boulder Res, then met Erika for a new trail that I had been researching. It’s the Cottontail/LoBo trail that takes you from Boulder to Longmont. It was a beautiful day with clear skies and a mountain backdrop!

Sunday: off day

I wasn’t too worried that I didn’t even meet the low end of my goal. I knew that the following week would be the final big one before the taper (that’s the week I am currently running).



…week 7: Boston Training

Another week in the bag with not much time to go. As I finish my cutback and prepare for my last high mileage week, I begin to consider Boston a little more closely. This could be, in part, because one of my teammates will also be running Boston this year too. This is her first time, and Kelly has been asking a lot of questions as of late. Which I love! Not only is it running, but it’s Boston! We’ve discussed the course and fueling, as well as making sure we meet up the morning of the race in Boston Common to bus out together to Hopkinton. I’m getting so excited!

Week 7: Boston
Goal: 65 miles
Actual: 65.33 miles

Monday: 8.1 miles/8:31 pace
Met up with Erika for some conversation. She filled me in on her latest 1/2 marathon. After she left, I got in a few more miles, during which a huge brown cow came charging toward me on the trail, just missing me by a few strides. Who knew that cows knew physics! Runner A is traveling west at 8mph and Bessie Cow is traveling east at 12mph. How long will it take Bessie Cow to collide with Runner A…

Tuesday: 9 miles: 5 miles/3x400m hills and 4 miles/8:36 pace
Ran hills with Erika since I’ve been paranoid about the upcoming hills in Boston. Finished with a light cool down at lululemon.

Wednesday: 15 miles/8:26 pace
Solo for this run that was cloudy and 40 degrees colder than the previous day. I started later than I wanted and ended up running the last 30 minutes or so in complete dark. Headlamp was left in the car. On the upside, during the final few miles, I “ran” into a run club that was doing speed work in the same direction I was running. I inadvertently sped up when we were going back and forth passing each other. Made the run go faster. Obviously.

Thursday: off day
Final night of parent/teacher conferences

Friday: 9.08 miles: AM-5 miles/9:13 pace and PM-4.08 miles/8:55 pace
Double day! First run was beautiful with the sunrise at my left and the moonset on my right. The birds were out and it was the fresh, crisp Spring morning. My second run left my left feeling heavy, so I took an ice bath afterward. Haven’t done this in ages!

Saturday: 20 miles/8:47 pace
My brother met me for my first 9 miles at the Boulder Res. We then met up with Erika and Danielle for our final miles. Matt needed 17, so we turned around in our out-and-back and dropped him off at his car. They finished my final 3 with me. Tried salt tablets for the first time and I think I liked them! I wasn’t nauseous at all and I actually still had some energy at the end! I had major cottonmouth by the time I took my second one around mile 17. Still want to try them the next few weeks.

Sunday: 4.15 miles/8:32 pace
Slept in today and made an easy run around the boy’s neighborhood. Followed up with some relaxing and some Beau Jo’s pizza. Mmmm…

I made it! The second week of high miles for marathon training. Next up is a cutback week and I’m feeling like I need to give extra attention to my legs: stretching, foam rolling, ice bathing, etc. They were feeling really tired by the end of this week and I want them ready to go when I hit 70 next week.



…week 6: Boston Training

I was bound and determined to get my 65 miles in for last week. I knew what I was up against, what with two nights of parent teacher conferences and one night of a birthday celebration. So, I had scheduled out all of my runs, and at what time they would be completed, for each day during the week. Most of these required a 4am wake-up call. I braced myself for a long week and started looking forward to Saturday right away. But I was going to do it. I’m too stubborn not to, so says the boy. So, I planned it all out while I was watching this little on Sunday night: my 1 1/2 year old niece Juliet.

Week 6: Boston
Goal: 65 miles
Actual: 65.25 miles

Monday: 7.1 miles/8:58 pace
Woke up at 4am to start my week off with a decent run. Right after work, the boy and I would be heading down to Morrison, CO (southern foothills) for dinner at The Fort for my dad’s 59th birthday. The Fort is a fancy place that I can’t afford. However, for two weeks in March, Denver has what is called 5280 Week(s), or Denver Restaurant Week(s). During this time, hundreds of restaurants in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and everywhere in between, offer a pre fixe menu that costs $52.80 for a couple. The menu will typically have a minimum of 3 courses. It’s a great way to try new restaurants or try restaurants you don’t normally go to. This time, dad’s birthday fell over 5280 Week, so we went to his favorite place.

Tuesday: 7 miles/4×1200 at 6:40 pace
4am for speedwork on the dreadmill. It’s hard enough to do speedwork, much less when you do it so early in the morning. I knew it would be a long day, as I would be at school until 8pm that night talking to parents. I was expecting to hit a wall around 2pm, desperate for a coffee IV, but it didn’t come. Conferences went great and I was in bed very soon after getting home.

Wednesday: 15 miles/8:33 pace
“Slept” in today until 6:30. I suppose that 9 hours of sleep was essential in the middle of the week. Right after school, I met up with Erika in south Boulder at a trail we frequent. She only needed 5, and I was going to push for all 15. After a short out and back with her, I made a loop around the South Boulder Creek Trail, which put me just under 12. I did another out and back, finishing up just as it was getting dark.

Thursday: 4 miles/10:24 pace
4:30am came early after being so tired from the long run yesterday. But I got up, ran a painfully slow 4 mile recovery run, and prepared myself for another long day. I was a little stressed and overwhelmed that morning. The thought of what I still had left to do that day (late night) coupled with the fact that I was really only 1/2 way through the number of miles I needed/wanted for the week, sort of got to me. But I rallied. I was getting it done. The work week was almost over. I was definitely tired mid-afternoon and I know my eyes were mostly blood-shot during conferences.

Friday: 10 miles/6 miles-am/8:37 pace and 4.15 miles-pm/8:35 pace
Today was a double day. 4:30 wasn’t so bad, just knowing it was the last day this week where I would have to get up so early. I decided to run my longer run in the morning and finish the day with an easy run. I finished the morning run at sunrise. Beautiful. My afternoon run of 4 miles was great! I was breaking in my new shoes: Mizuno Inspire’s. It’s amazing how a new pair of shoes can make you feel so much better! Both runs ended up being very similar pace-wise.

Saturday: 18 miles/8:43 pace
My brother, Matt, is training for his first marathon in May. He had 16 miles on his schedule and he asked if I could join him for part or all of it. When I found out he was starting at 6, I choked. I had been looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday! I asked if we could start later, but he had things he needed to do. I compromised a little and said I would meet him at 7:30, at his half way turn around point. This ended up working well. We ran back to his start point (8 miles) and then I ran back to where I had started, adding the extra mileage on the end. The run back was really hard, as I was now running west and into the wind. It had decided to kick up this morning to 30+mph winds. I’m so tired of the wind. It slowed my overall pace down a bit, as the first 8 were around an 8:35 pace. I was lucky to have Chase with me for all 18 again! What an animal! Literally! He was sleepy afterwards…

Sunday: 4 miles/8:30 pace
My sleep-in day! I was so excited! Even though it was only until 7 or so, I was glad to have it! I ran sometime that afternoon in the warm sun. The boy and I finished the day at another 5280 restaurant participant: Vesta Dipping Grill. Mahi mahi was so tasty, but I was also so tired…

So proud of my accomplishment! I made my goal and worked long hours too. I love when it comes together and I can make it happen. I blame my grandmother for my stubbornness. Thanks, Mimi!