Sunday, December 29, 2013

Every single night's alright, every single night's a fight, and every single fight's alright with my brain

Those of you that know me know that winters are hard for me. I've gotten pretty good at living with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Or maybe it's just that I now live in a place where it is sunny and warm most of the year! But no matter where I live the winters are filled with listening to a lot of Fiona Apple. Gosh that girl just gets me. Some people think she's crazy. Maybe that's why I like her so much... makes me feel a little more normal. Well the title of this blog post comes from this song.

To get through the winter, I like to focus on training for future races. The next race coming up is the Moab Red Hot 55k in February. I've put in some good training with the last few weeks being in the 45-50 mpw range. But I've just been really disheartened this past week. First off, I've had some foot pain acting up again. It's always a different pain, but always on the same foot. This time I have pain on top of my foot on my metatarsals. I think it's tendonitis and it SUCKS. The downhills hurt the most and I just want to be able to cruise again. 

On top of that I have just had some awful body-related stuff. When I kick my mileage up, I sometimes get really bad heart burn. I've heard other runners mention that this happens to them too. The thing is, I know that 50 mpw isn't that much compared to what elite runners put in.  But with working retail I either work all day and don't run at all or I put in long two-a-days. Like this last week, for example... I've been working a lot for the holidays. So on Christmas Day I did a 6-miler followed by a fast, hilly 6-miler. Then on Friday I did a 10.5-miler before work followed by a 7 miler after work.

In theory I feel like I should be able to handle this. There are countless people who are able to handle many more miles than I can and make it look easy.  But for some reason when I hit the 50 mile mark, my body starts to break down. On top of the heart burn I've had some GI stuff that I won't go into but suffice it to say that when I looked it up on the internet I got a little freaked out. So last night's fight with my brain went something like this: you are not made to be a competitive runner/ you suck and maybe you should just do 5ks from here on out/ ha, you hope to run a 100-miler someday, what a joke.

Well, there's one thing I'm determined not to become and that's a whiner. Since I'm the world's biggest feeler, I'm going to try to focus on what I actually know. 1) I've been eating a lot of cheese lately and I'm lactose intolerant so that's not going to help anything. 2) I don't drink enough water and I always have a nagging dehydration-headache. 3) I'm hungry all of the time and we are poor so I eat a lot of low-quality food. 4) I spend all day everyday on my feet and maybe I should do some strengthening and stretching exercises for them. 5) After having surgery on my back in 2012 I have done exactly zero things to strengthen my lower back and hips and I usually just try to ignore them even though they are clearly the source of all of my other pains.

So with that said, no more whining. I finally got an iPhone so I've become addicted to taking pictures and using Strava while I run.

Paragliders on a run up Windy Saddle

Is this real life?


Babbling Beaver Brook

I love my mountain

Add a filter, if you like

Sun comes up

Christmas morning run in Gunbarrel

Best present ever

Buy it here, Buttercup

Cory's stocking contents

My stocking contents

Not a dog

Prance on

Two coyotes on the prowl

Favorite view of the city

Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas, here's a mix tape...

It's funny to think back a few years to when music used to take over my life. Now I'm just a music appreciator and running has taken over my life. Don't judge me, but music is one of my favorite training tools. I use it responsibly on the trails, not too loud or I take an earbud out if there's a lot of people around. So here's my Christmas gift to you: some jams.

1. Locked in a Cage - Brick + Mortar
2. Bit by Bit - Mother Mother
3. Beach Holiday - Fort Lean
4. Major - Asteroids Galaxy Tour
5. Beat the Devil's Tattoo - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
6. I Had Me a Girl - The Civil Wars
7. Soul of a Man - Beck
8. Tightrope - Yeasayer
9. Little Pistol - Mother Mother
10. Devil's Waitin' - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter Rewards

Today we had a whopping high of 9 degrees. I had a hard time getting myself bundled up and out the door, but I'm glad I did. Dare I say that I sweated during the run? I wound up running for a couple hours and it was one of those blissful, soul-filling runs. Here's some pictures.

I've never seen deer this close to the radio tower... to many people for their liking.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Usually November is a pretty low-key month for me. I try to rest up and cut down on the miles. But the word "rest"... what does it even mean? For me it just means that I don't have a prescribed plan of workouts for the week. It means that I run whenever I feel like it. Looking back at the month, I guess I just felt like running. I guess I also didn't feel like writing, so here are some highlights.

Some exciting news is that I am now a sales rep for a women's running apparel company called Run Pretty Far. I'm really proud to be bringing some great gear to stores and races across the state of Colorado. I've been in love with pretty much everything this company churns out and I can't wait to see how things take off.

Running-wise, I've been ramping things back up in preparation for Moab's Red Hot 55K in February. I'm pretty excited to get a dose of desert this winter. I haven't really finalized all of the races that I want to do, but for now after Moab I'm planning to do the Run Through Time again in Salida and the Dirty 30. These races are awesome and I just can't stay away. Other than that I'm planning to do a 50 miler this year and/or maybe a 100k. I like the idea of doing Leadville 50 and the timing seems about right, but I'm not usually a strong high-altitude runner. Run Rabbit Run 50 would be another good one at a little lower elevation, but I usually feel pretty fizzled out at that point in the season.

Here's some photo highlights from a loop I did in Boulder before Thanksgiving just after the trails re-opened. Went up Bear Canyon, snagged a Green Mountain summit, took the ridge over to Bear Peak, grabbed S. Boulder Peak before heading down Shadow Canyon. The trails were still pretty gnarly after the floods. Along the way I flew around a corner and almost ran into Tina Lewis. I also saw Buzz Burrell, the brand manager for Ultimate Direction.  Oh the perks of living in Colorado.

Snow's a coming

The fires here contributed to the severity of the flooding

Oh little town of Boulder

Crowded Bear Peak

The flat plateau is Table Mountain and the taller one behind it is my Green Mountain

Windmills with Denver in the background

Bear Peak is on the right and Green Mountain on the left

Does it get any more beautiful than this?

Alright, enough pictures. For Thanksgiving we went to Kentucky to visit Cory's family. It was actually colder in Kentucky than in Colorado. We spent a few days in the hills at a cabin near Red River Gorge. Running there was tough! Relentless hills (have these people ever heard of switchbacks?) and rooty trails strewn with slick leaves. Lots of turned ankles. The weather turned bad and we decided to head back to Louisville. Cory's parents live near a park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (Central Park designer) and the trails are about as good as an urban park gets. 

We did a Thanksgiving Day 5 mile race on the roads in the park. This year the race drew the most participants ever but race day was so cold that many people didn't show. The course goes to the top of a hill and back and I remember the first time I did this race a few years ago, that hill felt like hell. This year, though, it seemed easy.  I managed to run it in 35:19 which put me in 12th place overall and 2nd in my age group. For the first time in my life I won some money! $20 isn't much, but to get a piece of the cash purse for a road race is pretty exciting for me. Cory got 4th place overall and 1st in his age group with a time of 27:50. Two of the guys who beat him were former Kentucky high school state cross country champions.

So that was the month of November! Now we finally have some snow and I'm looking forward to breaking out the snow shoes.

Here was the sunset the other evening.