The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'

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…week 5: Boston Training

I’ve had no time to blog this week. Something about 4am alarms going off so that I can run before work; and two 13-hour work days thanks to parent/teacher conferences; and celebrating my dad’s final year in his 50’s. Blah, blah, blah. Excuses, I’m sure. But going to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 every night has been nice…

Needless to say, I’m a bit behind in my weekly training updates. It’s the end of week 6 and I’m just putting up week 5. And if any of you were following me here, on Twitter, or Dailymile, you may already know that last week’s “cutback” week was a joke. It was a “cutback-cutback” week. Felt like nothing was in the cards for me to run.

Week 5: Boston
Goal: 50 miles
Actual: 32 miles

Monday: 5 miles/9:30 pace
Erika and I met up at the Coal Creek Trail late morning, since we were off work that day. The trail was still icy and snowpacked from the storm several weeks ago that dropped 2 feet. Everything usually melts quickly here in CO with our sunny days, but it’s also been very cold here, which has made the snow and ice stick around and therefore our trails are icky. We switched to roads and running through the downtown area.

Tuesday: scheduled off day

Wednesday: forced off day
This was to be the first of several days this week where I would be forced to “not run.” Or so it seemed. Colorado was being hit with incredible wind! 90mph gusts! So I decided to make today my speedwork day and went to the dreadmill at my fitness center. However, my fitness center was CLOSED because the outdoor heavy-metal, pool/patio furniture was picked up by the wind and flung into one of the fitness center windows, shattering it into a million little pieces. No run…

Thursday: 4 miles with 2×800 and 2×400
Another attempt at my speedwork on the dreadmill. This time, there are so many people on the machines that the circuit blew. Twice. So, I called it a day.

Friday: 5 miles/8:38 pace
Wanted to run 10 miles at the Coal Creek Trail again, but the entire trailhead was closed. Looked like they were resurfacing the area. I went to another trailhead a little ways down. When I got about a 1/2 mile into the run, the trail was closed! I double backed and ran through the downtown area again. I just laughed. I couldn’t believe my week!

Saturday: 17.9 miles/8:39 pace
I was kind of expecting something to go wrong with todays run, seeing as the previous three runs were foiled for bizarre reasons. I met up with Erika, Danielle, and Erin (who is also running Boston) at the Cherry Creek Res in Denver. This was a preview for Erika’s 3rd half marathon. I was feeling okay until around my 12. Then, I started getting nauseous. I finished the run, but not feeling great. I really don’t know what causes this for me. I struggled with nausea a couple of years ago, switched some things up and it went away. I hope this is not a returning pattern.

Sunday: off day
With the way the week had been going, it didn’t seem to really matter if I had some junk miles today. 32 miles for the week or 36 wouldn’t make a difference. Plus, I knew that the next two weeks would be high mileage. I’d rather save my energy.

Reflection: I was really upset the first couple of days when things were going “wrong.” Then, I realized that I can’t control everything and that I should just take this opportunity to rest. I was finally okay with my week’s low mileage on Friday. Took me a while, but at least I got there!



…or tries to

Ever had one of those weeks where you felt as though you just weren’t meant to run? Not because of effort or desire. Not because of injury. Not because you realize the sport isn’t for you. But simply because something or someone out there doesn’t want you to run.

Simply put, it’s not in the cards.

Well, I’m definitely having one of those weeks. I’m calling it my “cutback-cutback week.”

I started the week highly motivated for my cutback week. I had a solid 60 mile week previously, and I was looking forward to maintaining my training with some “shorter” runs for this week. I didn’t know that “shorter” would also mean “no” runs.

Tuesday and Wednesday were a joke with the 90mph winds we were having. Attempted the dreadmill in the fitness center, that 2nd day, but the window was shattered when a piece of patio furniture flew through it. When I attempted the same workout on Thursday, I was met with blown fuses. Twice.

I started my speedwork late, so I chose the dreadmill for lighting purposes. I did my 2 mile warm up and began my 800/400 combinations with a 400 rest between. During this time, several people had come into the once empty fitness center. They were all using the machines on the same wall (‘mills and stairsteppers). I had gone through one rotation, when a circuit blew. Two ‘mills were out. Mine being one of them. I tried to “reset” the machine. Plugging it in elsewhere. Another guy even tried to look for the breaker. Nothing. I decided to go home and come back later.

An hour later, and after eating half a box of Peanut Butter Puffins (seriously), I went back to the ‘mill in an attempt to finish the workout I had already started.

I arrived to a mostly empty fitness center, save the one girl jogging on a ‘mill. Sweet. Only two of us here. I can knock the rest of this out. I start a half mile warm up before my 800/400 combo’s. Sure enough, two more people walk in: one uses the other ‘mill and the other uses a stairstepper. All of us on one wall. I finish one combo and I wait for it…

Circuit blew. I quit.

4 miles total for the day. And not even at the same time.

I was initially upset. Disappointed. Even depressed. 3 days in a row, something has come up where I couldn’t run or couldn’t run how I wanted. But I decided that I wasn’t going to let my workouts effect my moods. I snapped out of it and chose to be happy that this cutback happened on a scheduled “cutback week.”

I am not meant to run this week. Or not much. We’ll see how today’s 10 miler will go. If or any of it. I’m expecting the best, though! I am!


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…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…


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…week 3: Boston Training

Week 3: Boston
Goal: 55 miles
Actual: 55.6 miles

Monday: 7.3 miles
Ran 3.1 miles with Erika on the Davidson Mesa trail that wasn’t exactly clear of the snow and ice. Or at all. It was too slippery and uneven for my liking. Erika was due for a short run, so I took to some nearby sidewalks after saying goodbye.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles
Took the dog, Chase, for my 3.5 mile warm up. After dropping him off at my place, I took to the dreadmill for my speed work. I wasn’t happy about this! The remaining ice on the sidewalks left me with little choice. At least for a quality work out. I ran 800, 400, 800, 400, 800 all at a 6:40 pace. It felt much better than I thought it would! I took a very slow and easy 1 mile cooldown.

Wednesday: 12 miles
I was dreading this one. I don’t know why. Probably because I was going it alone. So much easier to do these longer runs with company. I started from my place and ran some paths I had been wanting to explore. I ran back around 9.5 miles, picked up Chase and we headed back out for another 2.5 miles. He is always happy to run, and I knew I’d be regretting it later if I didn’t take him!

Thursday: 5.3 miles
After eating nearly a full sleeve a Trefoils, thanks to my Girl Scout students, I took Chase out on a little over 5 miles. It was slow and felt hard. I blame the cookies. But I’ve been so hungry this week!

Friday: off day
The boy had a work function that night, so I opted to join him for adult beverages and make Friday my off day.

Saturday: 17 miles
A fresh blanket of snow and frigid temperatures were a little off-putting for a 17 miler, but part of this run would be for Sherry Arnold, so I bundled up against 9 degrees and gray clouds and drove from Fort Collins down to Boulder (about an hour) to get started. 6 miles solo, 6.6 miles with Beth, Erika, and the Virtual Runners, 4.4 solo. The sun came out at the end and I felt great!

Sunday: 6.5 miles
Erika was running the Ralston Creek Half Marathon, so I surprised her and showed up to spectate! Erika has a goal to run 12 half marathons in ’12. One each month. This was her 2nd. It was 14 degrees at the start and only 18 when she finished! My goal was to find some shortcuts along the route and see her periodically, while getting in the 6 recovery miles that I needed. I was able to see her at miles 2, 9, and the finish. Also saw someone wearing a Sherry bib! Yay! With a little cool down, I totaled 6.5 for the day!

Reflection: Nice solid week. Felt good. I wasn’t sure about what to hope for on my speed day. This is the first time I’ve done speed work in several months. Hope I’m training how I need to. A little less than 9 weeks until Boston! Yikes!


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…week 2: Boston Training

I spent the majority of Week 2 in Maui, Hawaii, and while my intent was to get close to 50 miles for the week, it just wasn’t going to happen. What was happening were Mai Tai’s, sun, and relaxation. Even facing some of my fears.

Don’t be fooled by that “51 miles” nonsense. I’m not even sure I can count that 21 miler since it was on a road bike. Downhill.

Week 2: Boston
Goal: 50 miles
Actual: 30.11 miles

Monday: 7.11 miles
The brief sprinkles of rain were followed by a whole lot of sun! I ran on the Beachwalk, past all the fancy resorts, and northwest into some neighborhoods. A ton of runners on this route.

Tuesday: 3 miles
The boy and I ran barefoot on the beach, right where the waves were cascading around our ankles. We were often doing high knees to keep our momentum. I love this part of beach vacations! I was scheduled for 5 miles, but cut it to 3 because I was afraid my calves would be on fire the next day for my 10 miler.

Wednesday: 10 miles
The calves were NOT on fire. In fact, I wasn’t sore at all from the beach run. I ran these 10 miles along the same route I had run for the 7 miler. The scenery is beautiful, so I found no reason to find a new route.

After my run, the boy and I tried something new: Paddle Boarding. I’m sure you’ve seen the celebrities in People and US Weekly doing this (or so my bff says). Paddling, while standing on a “surf” board. It’s tougher than it looks, especially for someone who is mostly afraid of the water. That’s me. I’d like to blame my brother for this fear, because of the time when we were kids and he thought it would be funny to hold me under water at the pool. Yeah. Real funny. But, I’m sure there is something else that causes that fear. Anyway, it’s so tough because of the balance You start on your knees and once you feel balanced, you can pop up to standing position. Then, you have to feel comfortable with the balance once standing before you start paddling. For the first while, I was often up and down, just getting comfortable on the board. But once I was able to rock with the waves, instead of resisting them, I was able to stand and paddle. With the constant kneeling-to-standing routine, my quads were the muscles that ended up being on fire! For 4 days! The boy and I saw a sea turtle, not 15 yards away!

Thursday: 21 miles (bike)
The boy and I woke up at 3am to make our way to the top of Haleakala. At 10,023 feet elevation, we watched the sunrise and then road biked down to the bottom. It was so cold! And the wind was really blowing! But the view was beautiful and the ride was memorable.

Friday: off day (travel)
We took an overnight flight back to Colorado. I didn’t sleep much at all.

Saturday : off day (travel)
When we landed to 2 feet of snow, if was in complete climate shock! I was immediately pinning for those warm breezes and hot sun. I had planned to do my long run today, but I was so tired from the lack of sleep on the planes, that I opted out. I was also starting to get a little sick. Chest congestion and the beginnings of a cold. I slept, instead.

Sunday: 10 miles
I was feeling crummy. And I had planned on taking another day off. I’m lazy like that, I guess. But Erika suggested a 10 miler before our friends baby shower. I met her at the Boulder Creek Trail because we knew it would be clear of the snow. It was definitely a tough run, but I’m glad I was able to get in a quasi-long run and add more mileage to the week.

Given the fact I was on vacation, I was happy with putting in as many miles as I did. I suppose if I’m going to have a significant cutback week, it should happen sooner than later in the training program. And it should definitely happen on vacation.

More photos from the trip, coming up. Promise.



…week 1: Boston Training

I’m in climate shock. I returned from paradise this morning to just under 2 feet of snow in Colorado. And while you’d think that with all that snow, we’d have some moisture in the air, think again. My already out-of-place tan and supple skin, was sucked dry the moment I walked off the plane. I’ve been bathing in lotion ever since. Here is a little sneak peek:

Being in Maui the past week has put me behind in blogland. There are several items to attend to. The first being a review of my first week of Boston training. I’m only a week behind on this! I’ll then have to get to my week 2 recap right away, so I can post some pics of the island and the boy’s and my adventures! Also, the very important Virtual Run for Sherry is just a week away, and I want to make sure I get in a plug. I’ll be meeting up with SUAR at the Boulder Res next weekend. A run I’d be a fool to miss.

For Boston 2012, I am using an adaptation of the 55-70/12 Pfitz marathon training program. I say “adaptation” because I base my daily runs on his program, but might not always stick to it. I reference my own past training plans, as well as any influences from other programs I have used, or read about.

As mentioned before, I’ve been logging my miles for 2012 on I love this format! And, I downloaded the iPhone app so I can add my workout right away. My weeks run Monday through Sunday.

*Thanks Aron for the idea of posting the dailymile graph! Hope you don’t mind…

Week 1: Boston
Goal: 45 miles
Actual: 43.21 miles

Monday: 6.56 miles
Met up with Erika for a warm up. She was doing a hill workout, and we agreed that I would run my distance and meet up with her again for the cool down. Worked like a charm!

Tuesday: 5 miles
Lululemon run club. We hit 4 miles or so, and since I’m a slave to the numbers, I added another mile afterward.

Wednesday: 7 miles
Met up with Erika for a very windy run on a new trail. I think the trail has a lot of potential, but it’s wide open, set up against the Flatirons, so we were an open target for the gusts of wind. We’ll have to try it when January/February are over!

Thursday: 5 miles
This easy, recovery run was followed by a Level 2 yoga class. I’m really liking yoga! But, I find that I need to eat something quick in between the workouts. I’ve gotten a little lightheaded during some of the poses.

Friday: 15.5 miles
Erika and Danielle agreed to do a Friday afternoon long run with me, since I was going out of town the next morning. It was nice to have the long run done for the weekend, but it took some adjustments during the day. Namely, with food. It was cold, and headlamps were in order for the final few miles. I tried the newly discovered Peanut Butter GU Energy Gel and really liked it! It’s still a little sweet for me (my entire problem with the gels in the first place), but I could definitely buy more of these! Danielle had a great idea of trying Boulder’s very own Justin’s All-Natural Peanut Butter packets, since they are true peanut butter, not a gel. I picked up some of the almond butter packets (no peanut butter packets at the Sunflower Farmers Market I went to) to try it out.

Saturday: off day for travel

Sunday: 4.15 miles
An easy recovery run along the Ka’anapali Beachwalk in Maui. The sun was out. The waves were gently crashing. It was a pleasant way to end week 1!

Overall, I’m pleased with the week. I was only a couple of miles off of my goal. As long as I hit the long run, I knew I’d be fine with whatever was in between.


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…the 2012 goals in her head

Happy New Year!

A new year for new goals! Running goals that is…

Drink more water
Because we all should. But I’ve become bored with water, so I need to add lemons or limes or experiment more with flavored waters. Or just suck it up and drink it.

Pilates or yoga. Light weights and more abs. Tone up. Because I don’t think the swimming thing is going to happen yet.

Because I feel better. And foam roll. And ice. And take better care of me.

Explore a 30 miler
After Rim Rock, I was tired. But I briefly thought what if I could have run a few more? When I told the boy this fleeting thought, he suggested a 30 miler. Not a huge ultra, but something of a new challenge. Surely there would be some 30 mile races in Colorado. So, I’d love to look into it and just see what some possibilities might be for the end of 2012.

Leadville Half Marathon
The boy is so good about challenging me and offering food for thought. After we both read Born to Run, we discussed the possibility of running one of the races in the Leadville Series. Nothing like the 100. Or even the 50. I’d be surprised if I could run much farther than a few miles at the 13,000 foot elevation, but the half marathon looks rather appealing.

While I typically do a decent job of tracking all of my miles, I want to explore a different mode. In the past, I’ve been a slave to spreadsheets. I don’t mind spreadsheets. In fact, I like them very much. But in 2012, I want to utilize some of the online mile trackers that will also allow me to connect with other athletes. Enter Dailymile. I subscribed a while ago, but because of my Type A- personality, didn’t want to begin entering info until January 1st. You can follow my daily runs by clicking on the dailymile link on my right sidebar.

Boston Marathon
April 16. Patriots Day. I’ll be there for Round 2. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to run this epic course again. I know what to expect and perhaps my training will produce a time better than my previous there.

More trails
Get out of my routine and out of my comfort zone with the same old trails and paths I run. It’s time to expand my knowledge in an area abundant with trails.