This was an exciting month of training for my upcoming half marathon. The beginning of the month graced us with warmer weather and so I continued to bike outside as often as I could. My running training was solid and focused as I worked on race simulation long runs, hill repeats where I focused not only on running uphill but pushing the downhill sections, track workouts, fartlek runs, and some severe downhill training. I was so lucky that we had such great weather throughout the month. At the end of the month our new Peloton bike came and that was a lot of fun riding on those cooler days. My favorite run of the month was my 6-mile race simulation down Rampart Range Road in Garden of the Gods. My mile splits were spot on for my race and I felt great for most of the run. The most exciting thing I noticed this month was my weight. I finally got down to my lowest weight (108) in 16 years.
It has been so much fun switching gears and focusing more on running. After finishing my last bike race last month, I have been focused on training for my upcoming half marathon in November. I didn’t want to lose too much fitness on the bike, so I consistently rode twice a week to cross-train and I was amazed at how much stronger I felt on the bike compared to last year at this time. I was able to get on my mountain bike and rode with Dionne at Red Rocks. That was a ton of fun. I had some amazing runs this month. My top runs were with my running group, the Sunrise Striders, on the 3x8min tempos at Rock Island trail, the Bear Creek tempo run, the MVP 3x1 mile repeats, the 4x400m (4 sets) at the Manitou track, my own personal 4x4 min tempos up in Cordera/Wolf Ranch, and the Rampart Range Road hill tempo where I pushed the pace coming downhill. After focusing so much time on biking I was amazed at how fast my speed came back. I still have some work to do but this month was encouraging.
The month of August found Mike and I very busy trying to get ready for the Double Bypass bike event near the end of the month and my Pikes Peak Hill climb the beginning of the month. I found myself mostly biking this month with the occasional run with the Striders or with Dionne. Mike and I had some fun rides this month. My favorite ride was our anniversary ride where we rode up and back on the Cherry Creek trail and then the South Platte River trail inn Denver. It was a gorgeous day and a fun ride. We stopped along the South Platte River trail for a quick snack and enjoyed resting for a bit before finishing up our almost 63-mile ride. Some of my other rides included Sanctuary Pointe with Emily, the 719 segment with Mike, and some of our routine Cottonwood Creek trail rides.
The Double Bypass (part of the Triple Bypass bike event in the Colorado mountains) was such an awesome challenge ride. Mike and I choose to start with the shorter but totally sweet 65-mile ride up 2 mountain passes. We climbed about 6000ft, braved the cold elements throughout the race, took photos on top of the world, tried pickle juice at the aid stations, cheered on other bikers that we passed along the way, and challenged ourselves in an epic endurance ride. I love that we do these things together. We started out together but once we reached the first climb, I went on ahead. In hindsight, I should have waited for him at the top of the first mountain pass. Mike took time at each aid station to enjoy all the perks and enjoy the ride whereas I rode it for time. I finished the ride in 4:53:52 and Mike finished in 5:24:51. The next big bike event we do we will ride together because it will be more fun that way. Go team Wilhelm!
I’m so happy with how I did on my first ever bike only race. Today was the Pikes Peak Hill Climb race which is 12.14 miles and 4721 ft of climbing. It was a different feeling racing up this mountain rather than just riding up it. The competitive women’s categories all started together except for the 2 professional women who started after us (10 women in my heat). I placed 2nd in my age division and 5th overall woman for the competitive category. The first 2 professional women came in 30 min ahead of the rest of us. It was so amazing to watch them as they passed us. I didn’t break 2 hours which was my goal, but I got pretty darn close. I crossed the finish line in 2:00.30 which was a new PR. Now I just need to come back next year even stronger so I can destroy that 2-hour time!! It was fun to meet a new friend at the race. She and I were in the same age division!! She just moved from Yokosuka, Japan which is where I lived 8 years ago. We had so much fun talking about Japan the entire way down!
This was the heat for the competitive women ages 20-60
This is the leaderboard for people I follow on Strava for the Pikes Peak Cycling race. Wow, my dad rode this race fast back in 2017!
This month was bike heavy for sure as I got ready to race the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and prepare for the Double Bypass. I tried to sneak in as many runs as I could. I met with the Striders at Red Rocks and did hill repeats. On a separate day we did trail climbing on Red Mountain and Iron Mountain with a road tempo on the tail end of the run. I also ran a new route with Dionne and Caryn up the Sunrise trail. That was a lot of fun. The rest of the month was spent road biking up Gold Camp Road, mountain biking from Pulpit Rock to Austin Bluffs, a practice ride to the top of Pikes Peak, long rides on the Cottonwood Creek trail, and exploring and getting records on the 719 bike segment. I crushed the previous women’s record by 3 minutes and came in under 1 hour for the segment. It was a month of fun both on the bike and on the run.
June is always the most coveted month for exercise outside in Colorado. The weather is finally warm but the mornings are still cool so you can enjoy being outside without sweating too much. I joined Peter on a run through Fox Run Park. I wasn’t in the best shape, so I was really sucking wind running up the back section of the park. In my defense, Peter was running rather fast. He realized he had gone out too fast and said, “Don’t worry mom, we can slow down!” What a good kid. It was the first time I had run with him in a long time, and it was so much fun. I joined the Striders for some of their last running workouts at Garden of the Gods and joined in the group photo. I biked in the Gardens by myself and with Mike, did some mtn biking in the Pineries and at Red Rocks, and biked with Mike up in Denver. We hit our longest ride ever biking 70 miles along the Cherry Creek Trail from Cherry Creek State Park to South Platte River Trail to Bear Creek Trail and back. It took us a little under 5 hours. It was a great training ride for our Double Bypass adventure in August.
With all the crazy end of year festivities and spring sports season being pushed into June, Mike and I desperately needed some alone time away. In typical Mike fashion, he booked an amazing trip to Beaver Creek and Vail. We drove up early on Friday morning and parked our car in Frisco and got on our bikes to ride up Vail pass. The trail leading to Vail was incredible with amazing views of the mountains and the river. We were pleasantly surprised at how much easier Vail pass was to bike than we had originally thought. After turning around at the top, we coasted down the path and loved every minute of it. We headed back towards Frisco and then decided to bike around Dillon Lake. On the opposite side of the lake, we found a farmers’ market. We walked our bikes through the market and found some great street tacos for lunch. Then we headed back on the trail to make the full loop back to our car. We ended up riding around 46 miles. Then we got in the car and drove to Beaver Creek where we stayed at Ritz Carlton. We normally stay at the Park Hyatt, but this was a wonderful change. Everything about the Ritz was amazing. We spent the first night ordering room service for dinner and watching the Olympic trials.
May is always an unpredictable month when it comes to exercising outside. For the most part the weather was pretty good, but we did have the random snowstorm and chilly, windy weather. Still, Mike and I were able to go on an awesome long ride on the Cherry Creek Trail in Denver towards Cheery Creek State Park. We biked all the way to the park from downtown and around the lake. It was so nice to bike somewhere other than our typical ride on the Cottonwood Creek trail. I headed to the pool once which was nice and spent some time on my mountain bike. I enjoyed some more Garden runs and a fun run with some really fast girlies in my running group.
I was finally able to start getting back into real running and biking shape this month. I had some amazing runs at Garden of the Gods with my running group and good friends. I even managed to get back on the mountain bike and attempted the Ladders/Gold Camp/High Drive/Captain Jacks ride with Tina and felt pretty good on the ride. I started getting back on the road bike since the weather was finally a little bit nicer and did some rides along the Cottonwood Trail and even the Sinton Trail. I still had to wear all of my layers on most of the bike rides, but it felt good to be riding outside instead of on the trainer. While visiting my parents the end of this month I was able to get in some good rides in warmer weather. I had my longest ride ever at 60 miles at 4000ft of climbing. It was a great month to jump start getting ready for the summer months of riding.
Madeline and I took a little 5-day vacation and headed to see grandma and grandpa in St. George over my birthday weekend. Our last trip back in November was so much fun that we decided we needed to do it again. Instead of flying into Las Vegas and driving 2 hrs. to St. George, we flew directly into St. George from Denver. It was amazing. When we got to my parents' house, my mom had tulips and chocolate waiting for me in my room as a birthday treat. My mom is always so thoughtful. Madeline was so happy to be able to spend time with her grandparents. She and my mom spent lots of time playing, going on walks around the neighborhood, working on her learning book, watching movies and dancing in her dress ups, swimming at the rec center, playing at the playground, and going on a bike ride. I was able to spend some time biking with both of my parents and pulling Madeline in the burley. It was a lot of fun biking with my dad to Sullivan’s Park and then meeting my mom and Madeline there. We attached the burley and headed all the way to Thunder Junction Park. We stopped at Jersey Mikes and picked up lunch and ate in on the way to the park. Madeline had the most fun on the twisty tube slides and riding the train around the park.
The next day I rode 60 miles with my dad up Snow Canyon, around Tuachan, through Kayenta and to Gunlock Reservoir. Then we headed back and met my mom and Madeline for lunch at this amazing burger place called the Ice Box. Then my dad and I climbed Snow Canyon one more time. It was the most epic bike ride I had ever been on. The views from Snow Canyon were incredible, and although I had climbed Snow Canyon before, it was just as amazing as the first time. We finished the ride at 60 miles and 4000ft of climbing. We picked up John from the airport that night and went to the Ironman Expo downtown. It was fun to be able to spend some time with him before I left to go back home the next day. I rode early on Friday morning with John and my dad back up to Snow Canyon for John’s shakeout ride before his race. My legs were a bit tired, but it was still a good time. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone that afternoon. I could have stayed in St. George for another week, and I would have been so happy!
There wasn’t a ton of exercising in March as I was slowly adding back in running and biking after my surgery. It felt good to get outside and run, even if I had to do it in the snow. I surprisingly love running through fresh snow. There is something so calming about a new snowfall. I was able to run up Rampart Range Road with Dionne and Amber and did pretty well until the last mile or so. Mike and I biked together, and I actually got QOM on one of the Cordera segments. I was completely shocked. The last half of March I was preparing for our upcoming trip to Disney World so although I didn’t run or bike during the end of the month, I did do a lot of walking.
I was only able to exercise during the first part of this month and so I fully took advantage of some great runs and a surprise bike outside when the weather was cooperating. I did an easy run with Dionne on the Santa Fe one morning after a really stressful day the day before and that was a nice way to open up the month. Then I found myself being able to get on my road bike for a quick ride outside. It felt so good to be able to bike without the trainer. I ran the CRUD Cheyenne Canyon Hill Climb with Dionne and Caryn and that was an awesome run. I didn’t get my PR but I was only 10 seconds off from the month prior and this time the road and trail were definitely snowier. My last run before my procedure was a quick little run up in Cordera. It felt good to push the pace a little in the cold. My last bike was on Zwift where I challenged myself to the Innsbruck 15-mile hill climb. It was brutal but I’m so glad that I did it.
The beginning of this month didn’t start out too well with 2 weeks of being sick with what I can only imagine was in fact COVID-19. Add kidney stone issues on top of that and this was a slow month of exercise. Nevertheless, I managed to get out a few times to run, bike, and do some Cross-fit with Mike. This was Mike’s best month of exercise. While I was sick, he was diligently in the garage doing a variety of Cross-fit workouts and then lifting more afterwards. He also went on a few mountain bike rides by himself. It was a good month for Mike and just an ok one for me.
I was really glad that I was able to spend a few days with my parents after going to Don’s funeral. I really needed that time to just be with my parents without other distractions. Madeline loved spending time with each of them either playing with toys in the house or walking to the park and playing there. I was able to run once and bike twice with my dad. We took advantage of the gravel bikes and did Snow Canyon one day and then rode Turkey Farm road and went a little longer to connect with Snow Canyon. That was a really long bike ride but a lot of fun to do with my dad. I loved spending some quiet moments with my parents at home, eating good food and binge watching The Chosen. It was a trip I didn’t know I needed but realized after how much it helped me to heal and feel whole.
LEAVING ON A JET PLANE
MADELINE WITH GRANDMA AND GRANDPA
RUNNING AND BIKING WITH MY DAD
This month was filled with lots of biking and running adventures and a fun hike up the Incline. The weather was so nice this month and although I had to pull out the long sleeve shirts, I was able to get by with wearing shorts for most of the month. I ran a few times at Garden of the Gods and a run at Bear Creek Park with Striders. I even had an amazing brick workout day with Mike. We ran 10 miles from home down to Costco, then got on our bikes and rode 21 miles around Garden of the Gods and downtown back to Costco. Mike and I had some fun mountain bike rides around the Falcon Trail and the Pineries loop. I had fun hiking the Incline with Caryn and her friend and then took it easy on the run down Barr Trail. It was a fun and successful month of exercise.
I loved every minute of biking and running this month. Some of the highlights this month was mountain biking with Mike at Pineries, biking up Cheyenne Canyon Rd with Caryn and some fun people from USATF, and finally meeting the Striders for some group runs. I’m lucky I had great running buddies during the worst of COVID, but it was great to see people I hadn't seen in a while and to feel the desire to not slack in the group workout. I loved our track workout of 5x1000s with 200m recoveries and the tempo run up Section 16. Both were solid workouts. Exercise is such an integral part of my life and I'm so blessed I have great people to exercise with every month.
After finding out that our XTERRA Beaver Creek race was cancelled, Mike and I decided to keep running and biking but to just have fun doing it. I spent a good deal of this month running and biking on a new trail in our area called the Pineries Open Space. The 8.4-mile loop proved to be a great trail. I also spent some time running with Caryn and Dionne at Ute Valley Park, did speed work on the Santa Fe trail and some climbing on the Ute Pass Trail. I divided my biking between mountain biking and road biking and just had fun with it all. I pushed myself to new PRs which was awesome. I may not have been able to officially race this month, but I still pushed myself to achieve new goals
On Friday, we got up and road our mountain bikes uphill and took the village connector trail all the way through Beaver Creek. It was a bit of a beast to start climbing right away up the mountain, but once on the main trail, it was pretty spectacular. The views, the flower, and the flowy single track were pretty great. The downhill was fun as well. We had lunch down by the Westin in Avon, and then took the bus back up to the hotel. It was a beautiful day with great weather. The best part of the day, of course, was getting massages at the spa. The Spa at the Park Hyatt is one of the best we have ever been to. It’s just great and never disappoints.
One of the fun things about being around Sara’s parents is their love for biking. It’s great to have grandparents who are active and want to go out and do things. There are lots of great trails by their house like the Murdock trail, the Provo Canyon River Trail, and then long loops through the mountains to make sure that your legs will be burning and your lungs weeping. Sara, Franz, and Mike did the Alpine loop, which is a stunning, beautiful climb around Mount Timpanogos. The trees and scenery are stunning. Sara flew up the climb and proved that she is still Queen of the Mountain. Coming down, Franz went so fast it was a little unnerving to try to keep up. That man has no fear. It was a great ride. Another great ride we did with all the kids was biking up the Provo River trail to Vivian Park. It’s a great ride and just a beautiful river with great scenery. The kids did great. At the top of the trail, there was a park for Madeline to play at with her siblings. The best part, of course, was that the way back was all downhill. Downhill makes for happy kids.