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Week 6: Springtime in CO

Mother Nature reminded us this week that while the flowers might be blooming and the grass is getting greener, winter’s not quite over yet. Throughout the week, it was pretty rainy and gloomy and everything from the foothills to the 14ers received a solid covering of snow. As anyone here will tell you though, “We need the moisture,” and it couldn’t be more true. Luckily, training still went pretty much as planned. I’m getting excited though for more shorts-and-tee shirts only runs!



Monday: Lookout Mountain (9 miles)

Back at it with the Golden girls! We did the standard jaunt up and down Lookout, and not one, not two, but all three of us had to use the bathroom at some point. Happy Monday? I always enjoy starting the week off with this crew and this run, but I also didn’t sleep well at all the night before (ugh, again), so the rest of the day was kind of miserable. I felt like I was getting feverish all day and even had two coworkers tell me I looked clammy/pale. Compliments, I’m sure. No idea what happened there, but maybe I’m getting too old for early mornings following short nights.

Tuesday: Easy around Wash Park (7 miles)

I hadn’t actually done my standard 7-mile Wash Park loop in a long time, and I was happy on Tuesday to indulge in a super relaxed run after sleeping in a little. While nearly the entirety of Denver hangs out at this park on the weekends, on the weekdays in the early morning I like to think it belongs to the runners (and walkers). There’s a lot of “regulars” out there and we all kind of recognize/know one another; it’s like a quiet, comforting little active community.


Mommy it also belongs to doggies!

Wednesday: Clovers at November Project + after work dog jog (12 miles)

Clovers again! At the end of every month, we run a course of stairs and straightaways at November Project and everyone is supposed to count their laps and try to beat their previous PR. It’s one of the best NP days of the month as everyone is super energetic and encouraging, plus it’s our hardest and best workout.

On Wednesday, my goal was to get over 17 clovers. My PR is something like 17.3, but considering that it was kind of wet out and I’ve only run over 17 three or so times, it felt like a good goal. I slowly ran the two miles there as a warm-up, and when I got there I was surprised at just how much the prospect of rain had scared people away. It was a small group! This is actually a good thing for clovers, because it makes it easier to navigate around the tight turns. Anyway, off we went and I was feeling great! I felt relaxed but also really strong, and I was actually thinking early on that I might be able to pull out a real PR. I was cheering on people and knocking out laps one after another and on one 90 degree turn…splat! I slipped on the wet brick and took a pretty decent fall, landing first on my elbow and scrapping up my knee. A few people stopped around me (I think it looked worse than it was…) and after a minute or so of assessing that there wasn’t any permanent damage, I continued on. I remained a little more cautious about my turns throughout the rest of the workout (two other people fell too!), but as we approached the end and I realized that I was nearly at 17 clovers and I’d lost a minute when I fell, I was kinda pissed. It felt like a wasted opportunity considering how good I’d been feeling beforehand, but…safety first. I finished with one section of stairs short of 17 clovers, and later on realized we’d only been allotted 33:30 of the normal 35:00 time window. Dang. Next time I’ll be ready to bust a move!


My elbow pain lingered the longest following that fall, in fact I can still feel it a tad 4 days later, but ultimately I got lucky.


Knees are weird looking. This is from Saturday.

I decided after work to double up on the day and take Mona out on a little run. This went better than the nightmare of a run we had the week beforehand, but man…my stomach is not into running in the afternoon. Wearing the hands-free leash around my midsection doesn’t help anything out either, so I might need to be a little more strategic in planning my lunches on days where I do these afternoon jogs. It was nice and slow though, and it’s a good way to get in some shake out miles without a lot of wear-and-tear.

Thursday: Rest!

I really, really wanted to go to PlayGldn, but it had been several days of running in a row and I was ready to sleep in. I had intentions to go to yoga but instead just did a long walk with the dog instead after work. Real dog > downward dog.

Friday: Easy run with Adam (8 miles)

Adam and I decided to take Friday off work (like, three weeks ago) in order to have some scheduled time to hang out together. I’d been looking forward to our day off for a long time and obviously scheduled a “group” run for the two of us to get everything started. Unfortunately, Adam really wasn’t feeling great on Friday morning, but he muscled through and we ended up taking the whole run pretty easy for both of us. Fortunately for me, this meant that the 8 miles weren’t especially taxing on my body and throughout the rest of the day I had kind of forgotten I’d run that morning. That’s probably the way recovery running is supposed to go, eh? Anyway, the better parts of the day included a long delicious breakfast and a long delicious (?) trip to REI where we were both patient enough to leave with new trail running shoes that should be good for both mountains and smooth single track.


Marriage real-talk: when a selfie on the couch together is an accurate description of “quality time.”

Saturday: Long run with progression finish (17 miles)

I had been watching the Saturday weather like a hawk all day Friday and didnt’ really know if I’d be able to do my long run. It had sprinkled rain all day Friday, and it was supposed to turn into consistent snow throughout the night and through Saturday morning. I was really hoping to run long on Saturday instead of Sunday, but before I went to bed on Friday night I decided I’d need to make a game time decision upon conditions in the morning. I naturally woke up around 6:30 on Saturday morning feeling very refreshed, peeked out the window and…no snow! There was a bit of precipitation in the air, very Seattle-ish in fact, and I quickly made the decision to go for it. I took my time a little waking up, drinking coffee, and outfit planning – all of which got me in the long run mode. I haven’t done a long run alone in a long time actually, and while I missed my crew I was actually excited for a solo effort along with some tunes.

I headed for the Highline Canal trail and the plan was to do a second-half progression. I wanted the first half to feel easy and consistent and to make it hurt in the second half by gradually cutting down my pace every mile. I’ve never done this workout during a long run before, but in my limited experience with progression runs it’s important to be very patient. Go too fast one mile, then it’s going to be even harder to go faster the next mile, on and on. The point of the progression is to practice accelerating on tired legs, which is really good prep for race day, or you know…so I’ve read :).

Anyway, off I went on the easy miles with my earbuds in (throwback!) and I felt fantastic. It was 34 degrees when I started which is actually my ideal running temperature, assuming I’m dressed correctly. I was clipping off very even 7:55s and feeling like I was holding back a lot, which was encouraging. I wasn’t paying a ton of attention to my watch during the first half but every time I glanced at it I had to slow down to save some steam for the second part. I was feeling great though and kept picturing running into and striking up a conversation with one of the Broncos’ players who live in the area (okay, mostly just Peyton Manning). Alas, only a bunch of regular rich people :(.

I stopped briefly at my halfway point and calculated (in my head) how I ought to go about my progression miles. Since I had 8 of them to do, I couldn’t get too ambitious right away, so I decided that shaving off 5-6 seconds per mile would be perfect and land me right above 7:00/mile by the end. I switched the screen-face on my watch to show lap pace so I could keep close tabs on my speed, and off I went with a fresh Pandora station blasting (Pitch Perfect radio, FWIW). Right off the bat, I had to keep reeling myself in pace-wise, which ended up being the trend almost every mile. Stay patient, stay patient. This workout got a little scarier every mile, which was actually kind of entertaining. One mile would beep on my watch and it was time to kick it up, but just a little bit. Overall, it was a great practice in control and making small adjustments, as well as staying in the current mile. Forewarning: this required a lot of watch stalking and like I said to Julia later that day, it’s actually a good workout to do by yourself. I’m really happy with how the progression miles went, and I was definitely fighting for those two at the end:

7:48, 7:43, 7:37, 7:30, 7:25, 7:17, 7:12, 7:06

One cool-down mile and I was toasted, which was exactly the goal. Admittedly, it was a little intimidating to think that the ending pace of that progression is where I’d like to be half-marathon pace wise (comfortably…), but this was also supposed to be a tired leg, race-simulation situation at the end of a 50+ mile week. Calling it a success.


So this was a braid at one point.

Sunday: Yoga + long dog walk

I slept in for real today, took Mona on a big park loop and eventually found myself indulging in a Core Power class. I don’t go to CP regularly because of cost and general time availability, but I do enjoy it on the off chance I decide to go. My hips and hamstrings certainly appreciated the love, and it was a super sweaty and satisfying class overall. Good Sunday!

Total: 53.6 miles

Highs: I was able to run over 50 miles including two non-running days and a lot of slower miles, which meant that I didn’t feel overly exhausted at the end of the week. My two workouts this week were clovers and my long run, and while clovers didn’t go exactly as planned, I felt pretty fit during both harder sessions.

Also! I was way better about foam rolling and stretching at night this week, which I think were really helpful.

Lows: My sleep has been relatively poor recently, which is really counterproductive to training and my overall demeanor (I’m a mean tired person…).






Week 5: Good, Not Great

Cut-back week! I’m on a mission to do a better job of implementing some lower-mileage weeks in my training this year, and this felt like a good time to execute on that goal. Overall, as the title of this post suggests, I’d say that this week was good…not great. I got in three really solid workouts, but none of them felt especially fantastic, and all of my other running felt super bleh.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 2 x 2 workout with warm-up and cool down (8 miles)

Julia and I met at Sloan’s Lake Park (halfway between our houses) for a workout. The plan: 2 x 2 miles at ~7:00 pace and 4 x 400s, plus a warm-up and cool down. We both got out of our cars less than enthused for the whole thing, and I’m pretty certain that had we been by ourselves, we both would have bagged the workout and run easy instead. But, that’s the thing about accountability: when two people have a plan, it’s a lot harder to back out of it than if it’s just you.

So, after a two mile warm-up that went by too quickly, off we went on the first set. The fast miles felt…fast. They were a little less comfortable than I would have liked, but we still felt under control. I kept a pretty sharp eye on my watch the whole time to make sure we stayed on track. Before we started the second set, I thought it would be a good idea to just stick to the 2 x 2s and not do the 400s; we were both still cooked from the previous weekend and I knew just finishing the main workout would be a win in and of itself. Luckily Julia agreed, and I think we were both rejuvenated at the thought of just getting the second set done. Our third interval felt by far the best to me and the last one felt the hardest (no surprise there). We averaged 6:56 for the miles, and I was super glad we’d muscled through and got them done. Considering we were both desperate for a bathroom on the cool down, not doing the 400s was definitely the right call.


Sloan’s Lake sunrise: the best in Denver!

Wednesday: November Project + after-work run (5 miles)

Ugh. Nothing went right exercise-wise for me on this day. I drove to NP instead of running as a means of keeping mileage down, and I just felt sluggish and off during the workout. I think I almost tripped three different times just jogging up stairs. We did a “dog bone” workout including push-ups, abs stuff, box jumps and mountain climbers, and while I ordinarily like these circuits, I just couldn’t get into it. Oh well.

Things didn’t improve much after work. I’d planned to do a super easy, podcast jog with Mona in the afternoon. Basically everything went wrong. My podcast app kept freezing (?), my stomach felt awful, Mona wanted to chase every dog/goose/human we saw, and the 9:30 pace we were running might as well have been a 7:30 pace.


What’s worse? No photos, or lame photos of my legs up the wall before bed?

Thursday: PlayGldn at Dino Ridge (7.5 miles)


Another Thursday, another trek to Golden for a great run with the crew. I wasn’t totally sure how the hill repeats would feel, and I wasn’t very optimistic after Wednesday’s disaster. Regardless, after I got started, I felt decent enough to push a little. Again,  it was good…not great. I was happy that I felt better than the week before, although I’ll say that those ups and downs at Dino never get much easier.


Run buddies…the best!

Friday: Rest

I had good intentions of going to yoga on Friday, but it was too pretty after work to not be outside. So, I took Mona on a long walk (while podcasting, always) and did a Jasyoga video while making dinner. Adam was gone for the weekend, so I had all the time to myself to stretch, relax, etc. I took full advantage of that on Friday night, and I was trying to simulate race-prep mode for the hard workout we had planned on Saturday.

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Saturday: Long run with 8 miles @ HMP pace (13.1 miles)

Another lovely example of Julia creating workouts and me saying, “Okay then!” The plan was to do a 3 mile warm-up, 8 miles around 7:10 pace, and a 2.1 mile cool-down. There were a bunch of NP friends doing their own long runs on the Cherry Creek bike path, so there were lots of friendly faces to see. After our short group warm-up, Julia and I took off for our 4″out” fast miles on the moderately uphill portion of the path. Admittedly, I didn’t feel too great on the warm-up, so I already had a sneaking suspicion that this workout would take a lot of work.

Oof, and a lot of work it was! Neither of us felt great right from the start, and factoring in the slight uphill during the first half of our fast miles, we both kept our heads down and focused on one mile at a time. Luckily, we were still hitting the splits without a lot of difficulty, they just didn’t feel great. We took a short break at the halfway turnaround point, and then headed back to the start with a little more gusto than before. The wind was at our backs and we were no longer fighting an incline, which all around made the second half of the workout better than the first. However, within the last mile, I was hurting. Both my hips were aching and my stomach was no longer on board with running fast. All in all, not the greatest run in terms of ease and strength, but it was really good for mental preparation and continuing to grind when things don’t feel optimal. We averaged 7:08s for the half-marathon pace miles and 7:30s for the run overall.


Kind of hard to believe I ever used to run alone.

Sunday: Recovery run (5 miles)

My goal for the week was to not run over 40 miles, so an easy five miler to round out 39 miles total sounded just perfect. I slept in, lounged around, and finally made it out with very few expectations for this run. Surprisingly,  I felt pretty darn good! I wore my watch but kept it on the time-of-day mode and just focused on running super easy and relaxed. Running slow felt awesome and to my surprise afterward, it didn’t even end up being that slow.

Thinking I’ll do another Jasyoga video today before gearing up for a big week next week!

Total: 39.3 miles

Highs: Hitting splits and getting the work done despite not feeling optimal

Lows: Both my hips ached a bit last week, which they haven’t done since the middle of February. Planning to roll as much as possible this week!

CO Half-Marathon Training Week IV

Roman numerals just feel right for blog post titles recently. Going with it.

I’m typing this while a snoring doggy is snoozing away in my lap, and frankly I feel about the same. This was a big week! It was mostly all good, and I’m happy with the momentum that seems to be building.

Here’s how training went over the past 7 days:

Monday: Lookout Mountain (9 mi)

After last week’s weather fiasco, I really wanted another go at Lookout for the full experience. Luckily, the weather was positively perfect last Monday; crisp, clear and still. Thanks to good ole’ DST, it was much darker on the way up the road than it has been recently, but the sun rose on the way down and it was gorgeous! Julia, Meaghan and I all agreed that this jaunt more than made up for the week before. And bonus…I felt super strong and fresh. I was encouraged by this run, as I’ve been trying to get stronger on hills, and it was overall a great start to the week.

Also, I wore a new pair of shoes (Saucony Freedoms) and I loved them! They are super lightweight but also sturdy and good for all-around wear.

Tuesday: Long Fartlek workout (9.5 mi)

I read about an awesome time-based workout on the Picky Bars blog (designed by Lauren Fleshman, no less) that I was itching to try out. I’ve never done an interval workout that’s based on time instead of distance, which is what really piqued my interest. Here’s what was on tap:

10x – 3:00 on, 2:00 off (10 minute warm-up, 10 minute cool-down)

For the “on” intervals, my goal was to run around 10k effort, which I thought was probably around a 6:45 pace. I managed to wrangle Nina to do this workout with me, which I was so thankful for because it kept me honest to stick to the plan and not skimp! Nina did 7 of the 10 intervals with me, and overall we stuck closely to the prescribed “on” pace and enjoyed a nice easy jog during the “off” 2 minutes. I felt good through about 7.5 intervals, and the last 2.5 were tough! I had to muscle through them, but I felt very satisfied and comfortably wiped afterward.

When I finished, I texted Julia that the workout really compounded on itself; I felt really good at first and the fatigued just gradually settled in. Great workout!

Wednesday: NP5280 + run to/from (8.2 mi)

I was ready for an easier day on Wednesday after hills on Monday and speed on Tuesday, so I took it pretty easy on my run to and from November Project as well as at the workout. My stomach also felt kind of terrible when I woke up, so I was wary of it throughout the morning.


On your marks! Look at those pretty new blue shoes and that dirty old white hat (lower left)

We did a couple of sprints around the Capitol Building which were fun, as well as a stairs + push up + sit up workout that acted as my lone strength work for the week.

Thursday: Dino Ridge hill repeats (7.5 mi)

I slept approximately 3.5 hours on Wednesday night, and had I not already been awake when it was time to get up to run, I would have bagged the whole thing. Not exactly setting things up for success.

I really wanted these hills to feel good, but deep down I knew I was probably in for a not-so-great run, which I was unfortunately right about. My legs had zero gusto! I was happy enough to just be out there with the PlayGldn crew under a beautiful sunrise. Hopefully next time I’ll have a little more fire.

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Friday: Rest


I think I had less than 4,000 steps on Friday. Taking rest days very seriously over here.

Saturday: Mt. Bross – March 14er! (6.2 hiking miles)

Oh man, Adam and I were about as close as you can get to not doing this one. We were both so tired from the week, and generally a 14er day didn’t sound super appealing to me. But, I knew there wouldn’t be much more time to get in a 14er for the month of March, and as we’ve said so far throughout this “challenge,” we want to at least give ourselves a chance to succeed at it. So, on Thursday I made a dog boarding reservation for Mona “just in case,” and somehow that was enough of an inspiration to muster up the energy to go.


It was so fun! We decided to hike Mt. Bross, which is a mountain ordinarily done as one-of-four in the summer months (Democrat, Cameron, and Lincoln are the other three). Admittedly, Adam and I have poked fun at Bross for just being kind of a walk-over, ant hole of a mountain that you happen to do when you do the others.

However, after doing this peak on its own from an alternative route, my respect for it has greatly increased. We didn’t follow a standard trail due to avalanche safety precuation, but the route we did create for ourselves was super steep! We hiked the east-facing side so it was nearly all dry above treeline, and we both wore t-shirts for most of the hike. It was lovely but also a bit alarming considering it’s technically still winter and there was hardly any snow. Anyway, we were up and down in about four hours and it was overall a great day.


Third 14er of 2017!

Sunday: Long run (16 mi)

The adventure of Sunday’s long run started before we even put our feet on the pavement! The plan was for a group of us to run Magnolia Road in Boulder which is an iconic 16 mile, high-altitude rolling dirt road. The weather was ideal, everyone’s schedules synced up, it seemed too good to be true. And unfortunately…it was. On the way into Boulder, we noticed that there was smoke billowing out of the foothills and wondered if there was some kind of fire. Sure enough, Meaghan called me minutes later and told us that the road up to Magnolia was closed. We tried to keep the group momentum going and opt for another Boulder option, but it was frankly too smoky for anyone to safely run outside.

My car (Adrienne and me) weren’t on any time restriction necessarily, so we decided to follow Julia and Meg back to Golden so we could copy-cat Dan on the long run he’d done the day before near Golden Gate Canyon State Park.

And it turned out as the best happy accident! The run was so beautiful, challenging and all-around awesome. The climbs and descents seemingly never ended in the best kind of way, and you truly felt completely isolated from any nearby city. Loved the run, the company, and loved how (mostly) good I felt! My legs were feeling the mountain climbing from the day before, but I still felt strong and capable throughout the 16 miles we covered. Near the end, I was flirting ever so slightly with the threat of bonking, but it never happened and I ended feeling exhausted in the best kind of way.


Longest run since December, too!

Total (running and hiking):  56.6 miles, 7,826 feet of climbing

Highs: 14er and awesome long run. My kind of perfect weekending!

Lows: Bad sleep throughout the week, poor stretching/rolling/recovery regimen. Will do better this week!





CO Half-Marathon Training: Week III

Well look at that…three blog posts in three weeks! According to my TimeHop app, this hasn’t happened in a long time. Speaking of which, I’m shocked at how much I had (or at least thought I had) to write about back then! I used to run alone so much during the early blog days, so I suppose I had no other outlet for all my running-related thoughts. Now that I have training partners (teammates!) to share my runs with, I think I’m just left with less to say online. I positively prefer the way things are currently; running friends are the best.

Last week was finicky, but overall good. I began the week thinking that I’d have a lower-mileage/down week, but then I got into a bit of a groove and just rolled with my new “normal” mileage (40-45 mi). I did do a shorter long run, on trails no less, which made my weekend a lot less pound-inducing than usual, which I’m happy about.

Monday: Lookout Mountain attempt + easy after work (10 mi)

Monday was wild! I headed to Golden to run Lookout Mtn. road with the Monday crew, which ordinarily would have meant about 9 miles with 1,200 ft. of gain. It was a crisp, bright, and calm morning…almost eerily so. Meaghan even commented about how “weirdly calm” it was out. Well, within a few minutes we turned a corner and were hit smack in the face with a massive headwind and snow! It was so fast-moving and strong that we had no choice but to turn around, which all of us did without any hesitation. Even after so many years of living in Colorado, the craziness of our weather patterns never ceases to amaze me.

After work, I decided to add on some miles for the day with an easy jog with Mona! It was super cold out and I was feeling less-than-stellar, but I was really glad I went afterward and Mona hit a personal distance record! Proud dog mama.

Tuesday: Full rest day

Wednesday: November Project + run to/from (7.5 mi)

I wanted to take Wednesday a little easy since I was planning a speed workout on Thursday. However, NP got sneaky and did a workout that kind of necessitated sprinting and races plus some body weight exercises. It was super fun and the vibe was strong, but I was wiped afterward! My hip flexors were super stiff the whole day following, and since I actually tried to do my burpees with correct form for the first time…I was sore from those too.



Thursday: 8 x 800s + warm-up and cool-down (9.75 mi)

Track Thursday! There’s an NP group that’s been going to the South High School track on Thursdays and I’ve been itching to join them. It’s infinitely easier for me to go to the track when there are others around rather than just going on my own, so I jumped at the chance to recruit people to join in.

800s are my default track workout, partly because I really like them, and partly because I’m too lazy to figure out my paces at other distances.

Ideally I wanted to do eight, but I decided six would suffice if I was feeling overworked. The goal was to run around 3:15s for each interval (6:30 pace) and for them to feel like work but not entirely out of my comfort zone. This is a little embarrassing, but I only recently discovered the Garmin feature that shows average pace for a single rep instead of just current pace. Game changer for intervals! I checked my watch every 200 meters or so to make sure I was staying in range of my goal pace. After four intervals, I was feeling a little cooked already but decided to keep going and try for the eight I’d planned on. Splits:

3:13, 3:10, 3:13, 3:13, 3:12, 3:13, 3:11, 3:10

Needless to say, I was psyched with that consistency! I jogged a lap between each one and including the run there and back home, I ended up with a little over 9 miles for the day.

Friday: November Project hill repeats (7 mi)

NP was at my favorite Friday location: Little Man hill at Hirshorn Park in the Highlands. I normally love to run the hill repeats hard at Little Man, but after the workout day before I was more than happy to just cruise up and down while socializing instead. I jogged a few miles beforehand too, which I was thankful for since my legs needed some warming up!


Saturday: Green Mountain (10 mi)

Oh sweet, glorious trails. I’ve been wanting to take advantage of the dry March trails, and since I also didn’t want to do a very long run this weekend – the standard 10 mile loop at Green Mountain was calling my name. Before heading over there, I drank coffee and ate breakfast over an hour (very pleasant) and registered for my third Pikes Peak Ascent! The Ascent might be my favorite race of all time, so I was positively giddy after submitting my registration and was brimming with excitement to run some trails as a celebration.

The combination of my good mood and the foggy 40 degree weather made for an A+ run! The trails were ever so slightly damp, which meant the traction was perfect, and as much as I love the sun, the humid and cloudy air felt so good after how dry it’s been otherwise.

I decided to push a little bit on the final descent, and I ended up running the whole loop faster than I ever have before! It was really encouraging and I rode high all day afterwards.

Sunday: 6 mile hike

I planned on not running on Sunday and just doing whatever felt good, which ended up being a hike with my family (Mona included). It was lovely out and a great, easy way to move on an otherwise sluggish DST day.

Total: 44 miles

Highs: Green Mountain unicorn run and speed consistency on the track

Lows:  The forced bailout of Lookout Mountain was disappointing, as was my continued inability to implement a regular at-home stretch/strength regimen. Trying harder this week!

Goal for this week: Take some darn photos!





Real Training: Week 2

I don’t really have a countdown yet in my head for Colorado Half-Marathon prep, so we’ll just call this officially week 2. This week started slow and picked up a lot of steam at the end; I had nearly chalked it up to a dud, but then two awesome runs made all the difference. Isn’t that how it always goes, though?

The best part of this week, aside from those two key runs, was that I finally, finally, felt like myself again. I feel like over the past two months I’ve been running in a “walking-on-eggshells” fashion. I’ve been hyper-aware of aches and pains, I’ve been fearful of doing too much or going too fast, and generally I’ve just been a little overly-cautious most of the time. Not that having caution is a bad thing at all, but it’s not a very enjoyable way to constantly be feeling with running. But this week, I felt strong, controlled, and like I was actually in a groove again. A great feeling, especially on the onset of spring.

My goal for this week was to run 45 miles, which I managed to do in only 5 days of running – meaning 2 rest/non-running days. While I would love to comfortably run every day, my body responds well to two days off from running, especially when I’m in the midst of coming back after a break (which I still feel like I am right now). Not to mention, I freaking love rest days.

Here’s how the week shook out:

Monday: Easy (7 mi)

I ran 4 miles around Wash Park nice and easy. I was a little creaky from the cross-country race the day before, but it felt nice to get some blood flowing. After that first loop, I swung by home to pick up Mona for a few miles with her. Two birds with one stone; I love running with her!

Also,  I decided to go rogue and do squats and abs after my run. I felt super smug about it, but then I was so sore from the squats all week. Note to self: even air squats will bite you if you don’t do them regularly.

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: NP + to/from (7.5 mi)

It was pretty cold on Wednesday, and after a few weeks of moderate weather and nicer mornings, I resolutely decided that I am DONE with the cold. My muscles really don’t love sub 25 degree weather either, and running in the cold is just all around achey. Hugs were still had, kumbaya.


Thursday: Dino Ridge hill repeats! (8 mi)


Together Everyone Achieves More (®Turbo)

Real talk: Doing hills with the PlayGldn crew is a humbling experience for me. Hills have never been a strong suit of mine, and these Golden kids are a bunch of fasties – especially when it comes to moving up and down anything. The first time I met them all for the 0.7 mile repeats at Dinosaur Ridge, I sorta got my butt handed to me. All that to say, I wanted a little redemption on Thursday! We had a big group of runners, and somehow the combination of the lighter morning, the beautiful weather, and the larger crew netted out to a super kickass workout for everyone! I haven’t had that much fun running in a long time; everyone was working hard and encouraging one another – it truly felt like running with a team. I finished with 8 miles total and 900 feet of climbing all in a 7:46 average pace. Not to mention, I felt super strong! I had a runner’s high the entire day after.

Friday: Easy (8.6 mi)

I am really trying to use recovery runs for just that…recovery. Still getting in miles while soothing my tired muscles from the day before. Luckily, I actually felt pretty good after our fast workout from the day before, and a run around both Cheesman Park and Wash Park seemingly flew by.

Saturday: Long run (15 mi)

I’ve been piggy backing off of Julia’s half-marathon training, which has worked out well for me for a number of reasons. Not only do I not really have to think about what to do, I always get in a good run, AND I get to run with friends. Win, win, win!

On Saturday, Julia, Meaghan, and I teamed up again for a 5-5-5 mile workout on Cherry Creek trail. Jules wanted to run 5 easy, 5 at her goal half-marathon pace, and 5 more easy for 15 miles total. Meaghan ran 5 ahead of time to get 20 total for the day, so we all had our heads down for the task at hand. And it went so well! The 5 fast miles went by so quickly, and the sub 7:10 pace felt much more do-able than expected. Probably the easiest that pace has ever felt in a workout, which was super encouraging. Good miles, strong women, and coffee in the sun with our men afterwards. Great morning!

I also took an Epsom salt bath afterward and walked Mona in the afternoon – both of which encouraged some good recovery for my legs.

Sunday: (Active) rest day!

Sunday was going to technically a rest day, but I’m not really counting it as one since I did yoga and hiked! I went to a 75-minute flow class which was good, not great, but a nice way to start the day after sleeping for over 9 hours. Then in the afternoon, Adam and I took Mona on a hike up Lookout Mountain trail. It was 5 miles total, and while I love hanging out with the two of them, it was admittedly a little frustrating just how many people and off-leash dogs there were on the trail. PSA: unless you are at an off-leash designated dog park, keep your leash on your pooch!

Total: 46.4 miles (running only)

Highs: The literal runner’s high from Dino Ridge and feeling super strong on Saturday’s long run

Lows: Realizing that winter isn’t gone, and we’ll still have darkness and cold for another month (at least)







Does this thing still work? Why yes…I think it does! Jokes about my lack of blogging aside, this is kind of how I’ve felt about my legs and my running recently. It’s been kind of two steps forward, one step back ever since the 50k in December. I was full-fledged burnt out and showing signs of generally being over-trained after that race, and I was ready to approach the spring season with patience and caution. I took a few weeks off, I ran very infrequently in the  weeks following, and I didn’t stress myself out with any immediate goals or expectations.

Once I did start “really” running again, both of my hamstrings – particularly the left – were essentially achey rocks more often than not. While running, while at work, when I woke up in the morning…it was impossible to get any kind of fluidity going through my hammies and hips. Nothing painful, just clearly overworked from the past season. I maintained an every-other-day type of running routine through January, and until recently  I never ran more than two days in a row. Slowly but gradually, things are feeling much better and in working condition. It’s an interesting and tricky thing to not feel injured but to still feel so off. Basically, I focused on ingraining the “little things” that I ignored for too long and consequentially landed me with all my achiness; lots of evening flexibility work, a few chiropractor trips, and generally taking it easier than I had in 6 months. I only got frustrated a few times with my slow progress, but that’s kind of what this winter season is all about: resetting and regaining.

All that said, I feel like I’ve been “training” again for about three weeks. For what race, you might ask? Well, since I’ve retired from spring marathons, I decided to focus my efforts over the next few months on one of my absolute favorite distances: the half! I’m registered for the Colorado Half-Marathon in the beginning of May, and I’m pretty psyched to really fine-tune my fitness and speed over the next 2+ months.

Taking a hint from my favorite fast couple, I’ve decided to start recapping my training again on this blog. It helps me stay accountable, it keeps me honest, and after all…I renewed my domain subscription for a reason, right??

Here’s what this past week looked like:

Monday: Mt. Bierdstat! 8.5 hiking miles, 3,241 ft of elevation gain


President’s Day! Adam and I had the day off from work so we decided to head for the hills. I had this crazy idea last year to try and do a 14er every single month in 2017. Obviously we pack in a ton during the summer months, but there’s something so wonderfully challenging and exciting to me about tackling these mountains in the winter. Anyway, we had one last shot in February to attempt a summit, and Monday did not disappoint. I really didn’t feel great on the majority of the ascent, but once we reached the top I was instantly reminded of why I love these mountains. Not to mention Adam and I got to spend a whole day just the two of us, which is always my favorite part of our big hikes.

Tuesday: Rest – much needed after the long day before

Wednesday: November Project clovers + run to and from – 8.4 miles

Clovers! I decided before even starting that I wanted to take it easy at November Project’s PR day in order to save my legs for the race on Sunday (spoiler!), so I stayed relaxed for most of the 35 minutes and cheered everyone on. Particularly, I was focused on Julia who was attempting a new clovers PR of 18! She is the absolute queen of clovers and I was happily distracted watching her cruise. I jumped in at the end with her and wound up doing 16.5 myself, kind of surprising given I felt very relaxed otherwise. Love clovers, every time.


Photo by: Morgan Anderson

Thursday: 6.6 easy miles

I took recovery miles seriously and ran very easy around the park once then picked up Mona for an additional 5k! I love running with her; she’s getting much better on the leash and I barely feel like I’m running because I’m so distracted by encouraging her the whole time 🙂

Friday: HotVin yoga

I was sad to miss November Project with TROY leading it on Friday morning, but I was in desperate need of some extra sleep and I’m glad I stayed in bed, ultimately. I managed to make it to a rare after-work yoga class which was one of my favorites: a combo of hot and vinyasa which is always super sweaty and stretchy. Exactly what I needed at the end of the week!

Saturday: 10 mile long run

I met up with Julia and Meaghan for an easy 10 mile out-and-back on the Platte River. Continuing the trend of what happens when I long run with these ladies, we intended to go slow and ended up running faster than any of us expected. Regardless, I always feel strong running with these two and it was a beautiful, albeit cold, morning.

Sunday: West Side Best Side XC race! 8 miles total (3.3 warmup, 3.0 race, 1.7 cool down)


This was the third time November Project has participated in the West Side Best Side cross-country races, and we showed up in a big way at today’s race! We had SEVEN teams of five runners and made up the majority of the field. I’ve been thinking of this race as a jumping-off point for the spring, and I wanted to run hard and execute my best effort to kick off real deal training.

I am mentally incapable of not getting unnecessarily nervous about these races. Running fast is my absolute favorite thing, as is racing, but I still get flooded with nerves at that thought of pairing them together, especially among peers. However, I also think my ability to channel this energy toward my race is a strength, so I just kind of embrace it.

Anyway, I managed to chill out once we all got there (which is what always happens…), and a crew of us warmed up along the course. It was clear that the course was going to be much more authentically “cross-country” than the other races we’ve done; the terrain was a combination of dirt road, rocky trail, sidewalk, and generally unstable footing. Not to mention…hills! It was going to be fun.

My loose goals for the race were to finish in the top 3 NP females, and it would be a bonus to finish in the top 5 females overall (they award top 5). Generally, though, I wanted to race hard from start to finish.

From the gun, it was hard to not have fun since I knew basically everyone around me! There’s nothing quite like running with a team, and I felt focused and powerful to be surrounded by friends. I felt controlled in the first mile as everyone weened out a bit; not too fast but still keeping up with the front-ish pack. Eventually I was running basically side-by-side with Erin, another NP lady, and I knew if I could keep up with her I’d have a good race. Around mile 2 there’s an out and back where I was able to assess where we were among the ladies, and I noted that I was currently around 7th female. Time to buckle up! Like I said, the terrain of this race was super fun and wild – it was more like a trail race than anything else, and I knew Julia would be loving it. Erin and I passed another woman, and as we rounded the bend to the final 800 meters (uphill!), I knew it would be a guts race to the finish. Erin turned on her 4-wheel-drive and I held on the best I could, finally managing to pass the 5th place woman in the final 100 meters. I finished in 20:38 as 5th lady, 3rd for NP women! Our team finished 2nd overall and the other NP women’s team finished 1st! How lucky am I to have such fast friends to run with and against??


I am really happy with this race and my effort, and mainly I’m excited to capitalize off this race and start training hard.

Total weekly miles: 41.8 miles (including hiking miles)

Highs: 14er on Monday, XC race, and running the exact same mileage as Julia without us even trying.

Lows: My knee bothered me for a couple of days, but then I realized I was pushing 650 miles on the pair of shoes I was wearing. Swapped shoes, problem solved!

Taking ownership of my goals and training is something that’s always helped me in the past, so my intent is to keep  up these weekly recaps. The Colorado Half-Marathon is on May 7th which is my primary “A” race, and I’m planning to schedule a couple more short races along the way.

Here’s to a fast, healthy and fun spring of running!

2016 ECSCA 50k Race Recap

Here’s the deal: I ran a huge race, the same huge race as last year, and it didn’t go exactly as I’d hoped. But, that’s okay! I still finished, I still ran a PR on the course, and I still had a great time with my friends. Dang…spoilers!


While the results may not have felt like the grand finale to my year as I’d hoped, I probably learned more from this race than I would have on a unicorn day. In the weeks afterward, I’ve wallowed a little, but mainly I’ve reflected a lot on this past year and withdrawn the key snippets of takeaways that I hope will carry on through 2017.

So while the title of this blog states “race recap,” this post – certainly my last of 2016 – is also a reflection on what was undoubtedly my biggest year of running yet.

The Lead-Up 

The best part of this 50k wasn’t the race at all, but rather the training that went into it. I had so much fun, I ran with people – namely Julia – more often than not, and I felt fit. Following a summer or 14er hiking and consistent mileage, both my endurance and speed felt in tip-top shape. I was recovering quickly too, which meant that I could pack on mileage week-after-week while seemingly still making progress and not burning out.


25 miles on Saturday, then winning a cross-country race on Sunday!?

That was until…the end of training. Two weeks out from the race, kind of all at once, everything caught up to me in a not-so-subtle fashion. My left hip and hamstring started to feel irritated and sore; not painful, but just…lazy? I really hoped it was early-onset taper craziness, but I kind of knew it was potentially problematic. Anyway, I was still able to run and the feeling would ebb and flow, so I just focused on tapering and hoping for the best. I really, really wanted to have a good race – and I felt so ready for it!

So in the days leading up, I was willing myself to get psyched. I ran very little, I slept a lot and I went through all the motions as I normally would. But in the back of my head, I just felt a little overcooked. I was worried about my hip, certainly, but I was also having trouble garnering my usual pre-race focus and energy. I just couldn’t find my hype, simply, which I don’t think has ever happened to me.

But like I said, I wanted a great race and I wanted to be mentally strong, so I hoped for the best and kept up with standard protocol.


Adam and I stayed with friends on the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge which worked out perfectly. We had a nice relaxed night before the race, ate a substantial and nutrient-dense dinner, and went to bed around 9 pm.

I slept like a rock. From 9:00pm to 4:30am I didn’t move. It was great in the moment, but in hindsight, this was probably a warning sign of my blasé mental state going into the race. I have never, I repeat never, slept well before a big race – let alone any race? I normally don’t sleep well before 5ks, so this instance was a bit shocking. Also shocking – I had no pre-race bathroom success. What!? Again, not something that ever fails me, but my PRP was nowhere to be found. Luckily I knew there would be more opportunities and worst case – this was a trail race. There would be natural bathrooms literally everywhere!

We drove to the shuttle very easily and arrived at the race start with a little under an hour to go.

Julia and I had planned to run the race together which I was really excited about. It was relieving to think of sharing the effort with someone else, plus we each have our own respective strengths in races – helping one another only made sense after all our training together.

I was admittedly worried though about how my bum booty and less-than-stellar attitude would impact our race plan. Before we even started, I was prepared to tell Julia early on to run on without me, because I didn’t want to hold her back in any way. PSA: while this is certainly polite, it’s not exactly the best pre-race mentality to have.

Regardless, the show had to go on. We all lined up, I gave Adam a pre-race hug and kiss good luck, and Julia and I situated ourselves near the front of the pack. I was nervous, mostly for how my hip would do, but also excited to spend a beautiful day on some beautiful trails!

Miles 1-9

The plan was to not go out too fast (first mile is downhill) and focus on keeping ourselves reigned in for the first half. There are six big climbs in this race, two of which (nearly 2,000 feet of vert. total) are within the first 9 miles. We were prepped for this, and even though we were probably able to run the whole time right out of the gate, we decided to start hiking early in the second climb. I was proud of this decision, and even though my hip felt fine and my energy was super high, my legs just felt kind of…beat.

I realized this around mile 5, and it was a bit frightening. After two weeks of tapering and tons of rest, I should have felt peppy and fresh. Not the case whatsoever, and this early into a 50k I certainly did not want my legs to feel as tired as they did. I hesitantly expressed this concern to Julia, and she said she was feeling the exact same way. Okay, I thought, maybe if we’re both not feeling great, it’s just a taper fog that will gradually wear off. Julia said during this point that we’d make up for our physical woes with our brains, and I wholly believed it: we were well trained mentally as well!


Along with the two big climbs in this section, there were steep declines as well. We held back on these too and tried to just cruise. I felt okay – warming up a little bit – but generally just cloudy. I was willing my body to recognize that it was running a race – an A race, in fact – and to get it together! Luckily nothing hurt and our pace felt fine, so I just tried to keep trucking.

Miles 10-14

Miles 10-14 are the longest climb of the day up Cardiac Hill. I loved this climb last year as it’s easily the most runnable climb of the race and you get to traverse back and forth on awesome switch backs. We had joined a great conga line of runners that were all moving in a similar pace, and we all chatted and steadily made our way up and up.

This was the point that I knew in the back of my head that Julia and I were going in opposite directions physically and mentally. I’ve run with her enough to know when her energy is picking up and she’s feeling strong, and without her even saying anything I could tell running behind her that she was gaining momentum on Cardiac. Yours truly, on the other hand, was starting to struggle. The running was manageable, but I knew that the fatigue I felt early on wasn’t going to let up; in fact it was increasing, and it was on Cardiac that my lazy glute started to feel especially tired. Basically, it felt like I was getting no help from my left hip and hamstring, and while I’ve never had a muscle-firing issue, I imagine this was what it felt like. The only reason I didn’t stop to hike during this climb was because we were in a long line of people, and I wanted to stay with Julia for the time being.

Alas, we made it to the top where there’s an awesome aid station. A lot of people hit the bathrooms and pulled over for a big food refuel, but Julia and I quickly had our bottles refilled (Tailwind!), grabbed a few things, and were off. We were about to plummet into the Muir Woods which was the most technical section of the day, and it was a good opportunity to put a little distance between the big group we were with.

Miles 15-23

Just as I suspected, Julia was totally reinvigorated following the Cardiac climb. I think she made a comment about her new found energy, but at this point I was just trying to keep up on the root-filled and rocky descent we were on. It definitely felt good to be going downhill, and I was trying to rethink my way into actively competing in this race. I thought that the Muir Woods could be the catalyst for what would be an exceptional rest of the race…right? Well, just as that thought came about and we were trapezing deep into the woods, the outside of my left foot hit a rock and my ankle rolled right over it. Gah! Not good.

My ankle bounced back up without any issue, but I wasn’t sure how dire of a situation it was. I gingerly kept hopping on it but pulled over to let the runners behind me pass. The guy directly behind me who saw it happen shouted a friendly, “Just run ‘er out, run ‘er out!” as he went by, which made me smile. I could tell nothing was too bad so I got back on the trail and kept moving. At this point though, Julia and I had been separated by the people who passed me. Not to mention while I was cautiously trying to assess my ankle situation, Julia was doing what she does best – tactfully bombing down the descent. I admitted to myself that our races were officially going to be split, and although I was sad, it was probably the best thing that I could have done for myself and for her.

My ankle felt okay, but my pinky toe was on fire. For about five minutes of running, I thought it could possibly be broken, or badly sprained, but the pain started to subside gradually so I resolved to just pay attention to it and hope for the best. Since I was alone now, I decided to truly assess how bad my less-than-stellar physical condition was: my left hip was fast asleep, my left IT band was getting super talkative, my right foot was tingly and numb (?), and my left pinky toe was on red alert. It wasn’t ideal given my fitness going into the race, but so long as nothing got worse or painful, all in all I was going to be fine. And the primary saving grace…my energy was super high! I felt awake and alert, which gave me some confidence that not all of my physical strength was depleted.

On and on through the woods we went. I was happy to be running my own race and to be able to tend to the needs I had that day, namely hiking more than expected and taking it easy on the downhills. This isn’t exactly what I’d pictured, but it kept me composed and in-the-moment. I thought about Adam a lot (as I always do when we’re running the same race) and hoped he was having fun out there. I focused on getting to mile 20, since this is where I knew we’d be out of the woods and headed back toward the start line.

I wasn’t especially thrilled with my running during the Muir Woods portion of the race, but once we started to make our way out, I was happy that my body hadn’t seemed to have broken down much more. Things were still tight and fatigued, but I was hanging on. I had been fearful that I might have to DNF (something I’ve never had to do) once I realized it wasn’t going to be my day early on, but as the miles continued to tick off, I became more resolute that I could make it.

I ran into the mile 20 aid station anxious for some full-sugar Coke and a deep IT band stretch. As I stretched out, I got a pat on the back from NP founder Brogan, whom I was surprised I’d caught up to. After a minute or so, I darted back out in anticipation of the long flat section to come, followed by the hardest climb of the day.

I remember enjoying the flat-ish section from miles 20-23 last year, but this year it just seemed to go on forever. Strangely, my legs and bum booty felt better when I was either going up or down. This flat stretch just felt like never-ending work without much production, and I was actually excited to get to the steep uphill. I did hear a familiar, “Yea, Birdie!” as superstar 50-miler Dan passed me around this point, and it was so nice and encouraging to see another familiar face.

Miles 23-31.8 (Finish)

The only flat section of the course finally changed into the intimidating fire roads I’ve remembered clearly ever since I faced them last year. They aren’t even close to runnable (for me at least) which I was somewhat grateful for in the sense that I could put my head down and focus on a strong and steady power hike. With each stride I tried to stretch out my tired legs too, which really helped especially with my super-tight IT band.

Up and up I went, cheering on the marathoners as they came bombing down and also looking out for NP Denver leader, Woody. He was running his first marathon and I knew it would be an energy boost to see him. There were small portions of this ascent that you could try and jog, but generally the whole thing was a power hike, and along the way I realized I was actually feeling…recovered? My energy had felt good all day for the most part, but as I hiked and extended my stride, I started to feel a little more relaxed and pumped up.


I saw Woody close to the top of the climb, got a big hug from him, and a switch flipped in my brain. I was ready to finish this thing and run strong! In my head I thought, “Took ya long enough, huh?” but all at once my brain and body found their symbiosis.

I bombed down the next descent. I was so, so happy to be going downhill, and I grinned the entire way down. I finally felt like myself and I was on a mission to not let a bad day get the best of me. I thought of Julia up ahead of me and just knew she was crushing it, which made me proud and determined to show some strength. I came up to the mile 26 aid station which was electric! So many people were cheering, including friends from Denver, and I smiled from ear-to-ear. I grabbed more Coke, filled my bottle with water, and set out for the final chapter of a long day.


Photo by: Nina Pantz

I plugged along well enough on the next ascent (the last one of the day), mostly implementing a hike-run combo. I’d run for a few minutes, hike for a minute, so on and so on. This section is tough because you’re so close to the finish yet the uphill goes on longer than you’d expect, but I was prepared for it after last year and still riding the high from my new-found enthusiasm.

I reached the final aid station and by-passed it entirely. My energy was solid and I was ready to put this thing to bed. The final miles of this race are steep downhill, which I thoroughly enjoyed last year, and no matter how my trashed legs may have felt – I was going to get the most out of them.

Down I went, and it was wonderful! I was passing a ton of people both going out and coming back and everyone was cheering and smiling. I felt more alert and determined than I had all day, and without any knowledge or care of my finishing time or place, I was intent on putting in a solid final effort. I ran my fastest mile of the day (7:07 pace) for mile 30, in fact, which I’m really proud of since I’m not normally very aggressive on descents.

It was a *tad* disconcerting when I realized that the course was a little longer than last year as I approached the final mile, but regardless…I was nearly there! I trucked along the best I could up the final road stretch, and up ahead I saw familiar faces cheering me in. I took the sharp turn toward the finish line, looked up with a big smile, and exhaled deeply as I crossed. Holy shit…done!


Official time: 5:31:02

I regrouped and re-hydrated immediately upon finishing, and proceeded to spend the next couple of hours cheering in friends at the finish line. It was magical and a solid reminder that running is infinitely better with a team around you.



I will be the first to admit that I love to perform well when I’m surrounded by my peers. I love to run fast, I love to race hard, and I’m highly motivated by the thought of succeeding on a big stage. I’ve always been fiercely competitive, which can be both an asset and a liability, and I assumed that I’d experience that kind of competitive takeover at some point during this race – regardless of how good or bad I felt. But that never really happened, and for maybe the first time in my running career, I ran a race content just to finish and to not quit.

I’m both proud and not proud of this. Immediately following the race, I was super down on myself. I felt like I hadn’t even showed up and that I’d given myself an out before I even started. And honestly, both of these things aren’t untrue. I’d never experienced this kind of mental surrender before, and I hated the way it felt.

But the fact is, quite simply, when I showed up to run this race, I was over-trained and mentally wiped. I’d run all year – without really coming up for air – and I’d run lots of miles week after week. Not to mention I’d run a lot of races, including three big PRs, and I never really let my body or brain chill afterwards. Like I said in the beginning of this post, I was having so much fun with my training that I never really considered that I could be overdoing it. I’ve certainly overdone it in the past, but there were so many more warning signs then, so I never really thought that I’d reached a tipping point. I am normally so cognizant of prioritizing rest in my training, so I was disappointed that I had to relearn that lesson the hard way.

However, given my mental and physical state when I showed up, I am proud of how I ran this race. I finished with my head held high on a day where I very easily could have beaten myself up the entire time. It was a great reminder that sometimes accepting what the day has to offer is the greater accomplishment than the time we hope to run.

Also, if you had asked me before the race how I would have felt chasing Julia from mile 15 on, I would have told you it would have defeated me. Not because I wanted to be the one in the lead, but because I would have known that we weren’t going to have a magical hand-holding moment at the finish line. However, knowing that she was paving the way was actually unbelievably comforting and motivating. I realized as I trudged along in my own race, that if only one of us was going to have a good day – I absolutely wanted it to be her. I’ve had a ton of good races this year, along with generally a long and healthy year of running. Julia’s training was top-notch for ECSCA, and after several months earlier this year of being sidelined with an injury, she deserved to have a killer breakthrough race. Do I still want us to have that unicorn hand-hold finish line moment? Of course! But there’s time for that, and it just means we’ll need to keep honing our training and our racing.


So after all that, what’s the lesson learned? Well, I’ve primarily understood that there is a very fine line between the perfect amount of training and too much training. This was the first time I was over-trained without a horrible injury or complete mental burnout, and unfortunately I didn’t recognize it until it was a little too late. Fortunately, this race and the months of training beforehand have nestled me right into a super restful offseason, and I’ve had a good time reflecting on what to do and not do in the year coming up.

And frankly, I can’t wait for next year! Despite tipping the scale a bit, my training this year was the most consistent it’s ever been – and I’m excited to see how I can take the lessons gleaned from it in the months to come. Maybe I’ll even write about my plans and goals for 2017 – who knows!

Thank you for making it this far, if you have, and thank you to my running family who has made this sport infinitely better for me.


Strava activity: 31.8 miles, 6,249 feet of climbing

Race results: 5:31:02, 63/515 overall, 17/218 females, 7/41 age group

Fastest mile: 7:07 (mile 30)

Slowest mile: 16:25 (mile 24)

Fuel during race: Tailwind (3-4 bottles), 1/2 pack of Shot Blocks, 3 (?) cups of Coke, two handfuls of pretzels