Today was our last ski day and we lucked out with good weather again today. It was already 20F when we got on the lift and although the sun was hiding behind the clouds, it peaked its way out after our first run down the Paradise Bowl. We did the Paradise Bowl a few times with Abby and Madeline while the boys took Emma down the black Crystal run. Then we met up with Emma so that the boys could hike up to the top of Headwall and ski down that double black run. They had so much fun hiking up and being able to put their skis on their awesome backpacks and then killing it down the powder steepness. The rest of us skied down Paradise to Yellow Brick Road and down the blue Upper Park run to Lower Twister. Then we took the Silver Queen Express back to the top and skied all the way down to the Paradise hut for lunch. After lunch we ran into some friends (some of the Richin kids) and showed them the runs on the East River Express lift. The oldest two kids (Lizzy and Andrew) went with the Andrew, Peter, Emma, and I down Double Top Glades while the youngest (Sarah) hung with Abby, Madeline, and Mike. We spent an hour over there before heading back to the Paradise lift where we did another run before heading back down the mountain. Later that night we had some the Borg family over to the cabin for some dessert and games. It was a fun way to end our ski trip at Crested Butte.
Today was an epic day on the mountain with the kids. Everyone except the boys left around 9:30am and walked over to the Red Lady Express lift. We decided to start the day with an easy green run. We headed down Peanut to Lower Twister. After that almost too easy run headed up the Silver Queen Express lift and took the catwalk to the Paradise Bowl. The boys met us there and we skied down the Paradise Bowl to Lower Forest Queen to the bottom of the Paradise Express lift. The snow was awesome, so we decided to do that run a couple of more times before heading over to the East River Express Lift. Once at the top of the East River Express lift the boys and Emma went down the black Double Top Glades tree and mogul run while Mike, Abby, Madeline, and I went down the ungroomed blue Black Eagle run. We didn’t realize the run wasn’t groomed until we came to some moguls. It wasn’t the most ideal run for Madeline, but I just had her follow my line through the moguls and she got down without any problems. When I asked her what she thought of moguls she said she liked them. I can’t believe this little girl doesn’t have any fear. After meeting the boys and Emma back up at the top, I separated from Mike and the younger girls and went off with the boys and Emma down the Double Top Glades run. I loved the first part of this run which was a ton of powder through the trees. Once out of the trees we dropped right onto the main part of the run which was covered with rather deep moguls. I am not the best at deep moguls, but I did my best to get down. Then it was back in some trees to the bottom. This was probably my favorite run so far this season. We all met up and headed back to the Paradise hut for lunch. After lunch we skied down the Paradise bowl runs for the rest of the afternoon and then headed down the mountain to the Painter Boy lift and did a blue on the other side and then headed to the bottom to end our fun day. Back at the house we snacked, relaxed, ate dinner, watched a movie, and started a 1000-piece puzzle together. It was a fabulous day!
We woke up to amazingly cold temperatures and no water running in the house. Apparently, the pipes froze overnight and the gasket on the water meter outside burst. After calling the emergency maintenance line, we just chilled in our warm cabin and waited for the repair men to come out and fix it. Luckily, it was a rather easy fix and water was soon running in the cabin. Hallelujah! We ate lunch at the cabin and then got our ski gear on to hit a few afternoon runs. The weather had finally warmed up to the teens and the sun was shining so we knew we would be ok. The walk down to the lifts wasn’t that long and we all managed just fine. We headed up on the Red Lady Express Lift and headed toward the Lower Ruby Chief run. We went up the Paradise Lift and skied down the Paradise Bowl. The snow was a bit chopped up already, but Madeline seemed to manage just fine over the “bumps” on the once groomed runs. We didn’t love that run so we decided to skip the Paradise Express Lift and skied down the Middle and Lower Gallowich run to the East River Express lift. The snow was much better on this side of the mountain, so we decided to head up the lift and do the Lower Treasury run twice. Then we made our way back to the Paradise Bowl and took the lift to the top so we could head down Houston’s access to the bottom of the resort. It was a rather short day on the slopes, but we still had some fun and spent time getting reacquainted with this ski resort. Back at the cabin we all spent time outside the cabin playing in the snow. Andrew carved out a nice little sled hill and we used cardboard boxes we already had to make little sleds. It’s amazing how the kids can have just as much fun sledding and playing in the snow as they do skiing on the mountain.
After staying up way past midnight we all slept in and then packed for our Crested Butte ski trip. We divided all the stuff between two cars again and headed out in the snow for our long drive. The road conditions weren’t that great, but we all made it to the cabin in Crested Butte without too many problems. As we entered the town of Crested Butte the sun was still shining but the temperature was dropping fast. It’s a good thing we could pull both cars into the garage to unpack all our gear. It’s nice to have big kids to help with that part. The cabin we are staying at this year is quite spacious and really cool inside. Since we bought all our food ahead of time we threw in a quick dinner and enjoyed relaxing and being together.
I spent a good deal of time this month biking on the Peloton and running the Striders workouts on my own. After recovering from being sick after Thanksgiving, I decided to just have fun with my workouts this month. In conjunction with biking and running, I started a 4-week core workout program and made sure to do lots of stretching on the Peloton app after my bike and run workouts. The weather was a lot colder this month and I had to pull out all my winter gear to run outside. My favorite runs of the month were two of the coldest runs I did. The first was a fun run in 12F but the sun was shining, and I was in the zone. My second favorite workout was another fun run but this time in the Garden with Dionne. It was also freezing that morning, but the views were outstanding, and the conversation was unbeatable. My hope going into the new year is to continue being consistent not only in my running and biking but all the other supplemental stuff like core and stretching which will help me become a stronger athlete!
Christmas morning continues to be so much fun in our house. We still grace the older kids with Santa gifts, and we will do that as long as we can because it is so much fun to see their reactions to gifts they weren't expecting. The best gift this year to our kids was the anime drawings of our family that we commissioned someone to do for us. It truly was the center of everyone's attention first thing in the morning...except for Madeline who was only interested in her new toys from Santa. Some of the big presents given this year to the kids were a wooden bakery with miniature food items for Madeline, roller blades for Abby, a new iPhone 13 for Emma, a ski backpack, hiking polls and tools for Peter, and lots of cash for Andrew to buy new skis. One of the funniest gifts hands down went to the Danny DeVito sequin flip pillow that Mike bought for all the kids as part of our inside joke. The kids decided they are going to take turns with the pillow and pass it around over the years. We were pleasantly surprised to get a fantastic gift from Peter who spent his own money and bought us a National Parks board game! We are super excited to learn how to play it. Most of the other gifts for the older kids were things they needed and wanted such as clothes, socks, shoes, new cookbooks, and of course a big LEGO set for Peter and for Mike. This year we got Peter the Apollo Saturn V lego in keeping with the spirit of him wanting to pursue an aerospace emphasis in Engineering. It took him all day to build it. It was a glorious day of being in our pjs, eating cinnamon rolls and leftover Christmas dinner, enjoying our new treasures and spending time together.
I usually never get to exercise on Christmas Eve but this year I went out and did a track workout and some last-minute grocery shopping all in the morning before I started cooking our Christmas dinner. Peter and Emma went and delivered a few gifts while I started on the dinner. Mike was awesome at peeling and chopping and keeping the kitchen clean for me. We spent most of the day cooking, eating, laughing, playing music, playing games, and decorating sugar cookies to give to Santa. Mike had the older kids read his outline for the book he is writing, and the kids had some awesome pointers to give him. I loved listening to each of the older kid’s opinions on his story. It was fascinating to listen that conversation. I loved watching everyone enjoy being together on Christmas Eve. We were even blessed with an afternoon snow shower!! With how little snow we have gotten this fall, it made us all jump for joy! Instead of dressing up for our dinner, I gave everyone their Christmas pjs and we ate dinner in our pajamas this year. That was a ton of fun. Then we read from Luke, said our family prayer, and everyone played a card game while I made the cinnamon rolls for the next morning. We had all anticipated watching a movie after putting Madeline to bed, but we were all so exhausted. The big kids were banished to their rooms while Mike and I set up the stockings and gifts from Santa. Madeline’s bakery was a little tricky to put together (thanks Santa for not putting it together for us). Mike and I didn’t end up going to bed until 11:30pm. Although most of our kids are older, I still had a hard time falling asleep with good anticipation for the next morning. I just love Christmas.
Today we decided that since the Northwoods run was so much fun the day before, we wanted to go down that one again. While Andrew and Peter took Emma on a black tree run, Mike and I took Abby and Madeline down Northwoods. Madeline did an even better job than she did the day before. It was nice to do that run first since there weren’t a ton of people on the mountain yet. The second time I took Madeline down the catwalk and flapjack while Mike and Abby went down Northwoods. Madeline flew down the entire run, and I clocked her going 24mph. I had to work to keep up with her. We all met at the bottom at the Northwoods Express Lift. The third time I went down Northwoods by myself while Mike, Abby and Madeline went down the catwalk and Flapjack. I had so much fun flying down that run. Mike was so amazed at how fast Madeline was skiing today. The line was so long at Northwoods Express Lift, so we decided to wait for the older kids at the top. We headed over to grab a quick snack at the Buffalo hut. Once we met up with the older kids, we headed down the catwalk and did a run down the Sourdough Lift before heading to lunch. After lunch we knew the lines at Northwoods Express lift would be crazy, so we only did flapjack to the bottom once and then we headed over to do the Swingsville and the Cappuccino run. Cappuccino was a little steeper and icy in some sections but overall wasn’t a bad run. We did Hunky Dory twice and then headed back down the gondola.
Day 2 of skiing at Vail was just as much fun as the first day. The weather was beautiful with sunny skies and warmer temps. We were surprised that the groomed runs were still soft and not crunchy or icy. Instead of taking Madeline down the Timberline catwalk for the first run we decided to head down the steeper blue Northwoods run with her. At first Madeline looked down the run and wasn’t too sure she wanted to do it but I told her I would lead and so she followed me. She destroyed that run and went down it with amazing control. Then we went and did more of the same runs we did the day before. We ate lunch at Two Elk Lodge again, and then skied for just a little bit longer since the lines were crazy long at the Northwoods Express lift and the Mountain Top Express Lift after lunch. With only so many lifts open we ended up waiting at least 20 min every time we wanted to go up those lifts. Andrew, Peter, and Emma decided they wanted to ski down the entire mountain to the bottom instead of taking the gondola, so we parted ways with them. Abby wasn’t quite done yet, so I went down Hunky Dory with her twice while Mike took Madeline back down the mountain on the gondola.
Everyone was really excited about our ski trip to Vail this year. Even though the mountains didn’t have as much snow this time of year as in other years, we just wanted to ski together and have fun. We ended up driving two cars this year since we knew it would be too hard to fit the ski stuff, suitcases, and food for seven people into one car. It turned out well to give the kids more room to spread out between the two cars. We spent the first real day unpacking the cars and settling into our little condo right in the middle of Vail Village next to Gondola One. Our first day of skiing was a ton of fun and we discovered that the snow wasn’t all that bad. Only the front side of the mountain was open, so we headed over the Timberline Catwalk and did a few runs off the Sourdough Express lift. It only took Madeline one run plus the catwalk to remember how to ski. After doing a fair amount of runs in the morning, we headed to Two Elk Lodge to make our 11:45 reservation to eat inside. It’s a good thing we are all vaccinated because only vaccinated people are allowed to eat inside the lodge this season. Throughout the day we skied Boomer, Tin Pants, Flap Jack, Swingsville and Hunky Dory and we all stayed together the entire time which was a ton of fun. By 3:00pm Madeline was finished, so Mike and I took her back down on the gondola while the older kids did a few more runs.
Madeline was so excited to wear her pajamas to school for her class holiday party. I stopped in right before lunch so that I could help and take photos of the kids doing their holiday craft. The first craft they did was coloring their wooden ornaments at the group tables. They loved the coloring part but trying to put on the little bell and thread it through the twine was difficult for even the adults. After they finished with that craft they moved back over to their individual desks and made pipe cleaner snowmen. That was a much easier craft and super fun for the kids to do. When all the crafts were done, I helped to pass out the cookies they had decorated earlier that morning. I loved watching the kids gobble down their cookies and get ready for their movie time where they were going to watch the original Grinch movie. I love watching Madeline interact with her classmates. She is so sweet with the other kids in her class.
It is usually our tradition to put up Christmas decorations and decorate the Christmas tree during Thanksgiving break. Since we were headed to Utah this year for Thanksgiving, we decided to do the tree before we left. I spent the day decorating the house with all our Christmas décor and making our traditional poppyseed bread. When Mike got home from work, I gave the girls their new Christmas pjs and let them decorate the tree. Emma and Abby were the most excited to continue to tradition to put up the Danny DeVito ornament. It is now a huge inside joke in our family that started when Andrew and Peter put Danny DeVito’s picture in one of their framed ornaments one year. They put it on the tree and waited to see how long it took me to find it. When I realized what they had done I just laughed. Now Danny DaVito adorns our tree every year. While the girls decorated the tree, we listened to Christmas music and enjoyed eating the poppyseed bread. Although, I must admit that we have already been listening to Christmas music for the last two weeks. We just love Christmas in the Wilhelm house.
Emma’s XC coach had some amazing things to say about her season at the banquet. For good measure we recorded it so that we could remember all the nice things he said about Emma. She truly was one of the most valuable athletes on her team this season, taking the lead in 4 of the 8 races and was awarded 1st team for PPAC. However, her improvement was far beyond anyone else on the team this year and so she was awarded the Most Improved Runner for 2021. She ran sub 19:30 six times and sub 19:00 four times, including running the fastest time of the season on her team at Desert Twilight with a time of 18:08. That time put her as the #4 fastest time in PCHS girls XC history. She finished in the top 3 overall in 3 races during the season. She was 2nd at league, 3rd at regionals, and the 2nd runner on the team at state by literally a lean (.2 sec). She was an exceptional contributor to the team not just with her statistics but in how she encouraged other runners to run faster. I was later told by another mom of a JV runner that many agreed that Emma was the most positive, happy influence on the team. That is something to be extremely proud of.
For Halloween this year some of us recycled last year's costumes. Mike and I dressed up with Madeline which was a ton of fun. Madeline was Little Red Riding Hood, Mike was the woodcutter, and I was the big bad wolf dressed up in granny's nightgown. Emma and Abby went as Totoro and Pikachu. Since we didn't go trick or treating last year it was fun to take Madeline out this year. Both girls had some friends over for the night. Emma and Lauren when out with Madeline while Abby and her friends held down the fort at home. Madeline was super excited to go trick or treating but as we walked from house to house, she was very vocal about not going up to any house that had scary pretend spiders or other spooky things. Needless to say, it was a quick walk around the block before Madeline was ready to be done with trick or treating. She was just as happy handing out candy to the kids who knocked on our door. Emma and Lauren went back out and Abby and her friends headed out to get some candy of their own. Madeline enjoyed being part of the candy exchange with the older girls after they got back to the house. It was amazing how much candy Madeline got after only doing a small loop in our neighborhood.
AUGUST 28, 2021
CHERRY CREEK LOHMAN INVITATIONAL
CHERRY CREEK HS
5K - 20:30.20
The first meet of the season was up in Denver at Cherry Creek HS. Emma was a little nervous to run the course since it was all pavement, and she prefers to run on the dirt trail. I'm afraid she got in her head a little bit about the course but still was able to run a good race despite the weather being a little too hot and her calves being a little too tight. She wasn't too thrilled with her time as she wanted to be under 20 minutes. The first meet is not always going to be the best meet, but it is a good time to work out the kinks. Emma's motto after this race was to shake it off and move on.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
5K - 19:17.42 (PR)
Emma went into this meet with nerves as always and a stomach that wasn't feeling quite right. At the beginning of the race, she was in the front pack with five other girls. I yelled at her to stay with the pack. I was really hoping she would be able to do it. As I waited on the trail for the girls to do their out and back, I was floored when I saw the lead bike and the first-place girl come down the trail with Emma right behind. She was in 2nd place!!! She was only a few steps in front of her teammate, but she was able to maintain her position. As she ran up the last hill, Mike was there to encourage her and to tell her how far the girl behind her was. Emma took off like a bullet, running into the track at a 5:30 pace and rounded the last corner to the finish line at a 5:05 pace. She finished the race in an all-time PR of 19:17. She was beyond excited and surprised by her performance. This was a really good meet for Emma. After this meet Emma was ranked #8 in CO for the sophomore girls.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2021
LIBERTY BELL INVITATIONAL
5K - 19:35.20
There was so much pressure going into this meet as it is the highlighted meet of the season at elevation. Liberty Bell is a fast-paced course with both pavement and trail sections. It is the one meet where the athletes usually get their elevation PRs. Emma was super nervous today and her calves were still a little tight. Her goal was to break 19 min. She was seeded to be 2nd on her team at the starting line but at the last minute one of her teammates who is a senior, decided that she was going to take the 2nd spot. Emma was so nervous that she let her. After the gun went off Emma was tripped by the girl next to her but luckily didn't fall. She ran hard and even though after she told us that all she wanted to do was stop because she was hurting so bad, she kept on running. She finished the course in 19:35 which was still faster than any of her times from last season. She ran through the finish line and saw the clock which said 22 something and was so upset. What she didn't realize was the clock was the correct time for the boy's race which was 3 minutes before the girls Sweepstakes A race. She was somewhat relieved when I told her that she ran in the 19 min range. Her sweet teammate and friend Lauren grabbed some ice for Emma's legs. There is always something to learn from each race...stand up for yourself, give it all you have even when you are not feeling 100%, and be kind to yourself when you fall short of your goal.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
QUEEN CREEK, AZ
5K - 18:08.10 (NEW ALL TIME PR)
Desert Twilight XC Festival 2021 in Arizona was a BLAST! This was the MOST exciting race I’ve ever watched Emma run. It is the most coveted race of the season because it is a place where these kids who train at elevation can PR big time. And that is exactly what happened tonight. This race which is run late at night is so unique and so fun. Emma came in 1st for her team, 27th overall in the elite Sweepstakes race (23 teams from all over the Southwest) crossed the finish line in 18:08.09 (5:50 pace) and took 1 min and 9 sec off her previous best time. I believe her girls team also came in 4th overall. I’m in constant awe at her abilities and her sportsmanship. She is humble and kind to all her teammates. My favorite part of the night was turning around at the finish and watching Peter just hug her and jump up and down with excitement. He flew in just to watch her run. It was so fun to have Peter here to witness such an exciting time in Emma’s running career.
mandatory study time
warming up before the race
OCTOBER 1, 2021
DOHERTY SPARTAN INVITATIONAL
BEAR CREEK PARK EAST
5K - 18:42.00 (NEW ELEVATION PR)
Emma had another great meet running at the Doherty Spartan Invitational. This course was new to our team, but it ran along some of the same sections as the State meet course. With a few more hilly sections, this course has been deemed as one the hardest courses of the season. After coming off an extremely successful meet in Arizona, Emma was full of positive energy. With 1K into the course she was sitting where she normally does which is right next to her teammate Madelyn. She ran in line with her until the grind up the long hilly section where she pulled away. By the time she made it to the top and started her way downhill and on the flats, she was well ahead and in 3rd place. Running a 5:15 pace on that last flat section (I only know that from zooming into her watch) she closed the gap between her and the second-place girl. She finished strong in 3rd place, only 2 seconds behind the 2nd place girl. Emma managed to pull out an elevation PR of 18:42.00 on a really tough course. The Pine Creek girls team placed 2nd at this meet. Heritage HS from Denver took 1st. Currently, Emma is ranked #9 in CO for Sophomore girls.
OCTOBER 8, 2021
PPAC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS
NORTH MONUMENT VALLEY PARK
5K - 18:59.36
With three weeks in a row of racing, no one really knew how this race was going to play out. Emma seemed to be in good spirits all week and even when we were strategizing about the course, she said she wasn't all that nervous. We have been doing everything we can to keep her legs in tip top shape such as Grastron scraping, manual therapy stretching and pressure point therapy with Jenna who she and I see weekly for PT. The new thing as of late has been active release therapy (ART) with Dr. Wood. She has been able to run without super tight calves which has been awesome. He also makes sure her hips are in alignment since she tends to get out of alignment like her mom. Having done all of that, there is never any guarantees how an athletes legs are going to feel. At the beginning of the race Emma was in the same position she usually is in at the beginning of her races. She was in the front pack but never out in front. She tends to hang to the back of that fast pack and between mile 1 and 2 she usually makes her move and starts passing those in front of her. Just before mile 2 she had moved from 6th to 2nd place and held that position until the finish line where she pushed hard enough that last stretch to give herself a sub 19 minute finish time. With only 18 seconds behind her friend and club teammate Tessa, Emma finished in 18:59. It is worth noting that Emma has been consistently at least 40 seconds behind Tessa the entire season. So, this was quite a run for Emma on tired legs. The Pine Creek girls varsity team placed 1st for the fourth year in a row. The girls were quite excited by this huge accomplishment. I love this girls team so much and we will truly miss the seniors who are leaving next year as well as Alexis and Mikayla who will most likely be doing some serious biking.
OCTOBER 21, 2021
COLORADO 5A REGIONALS 5
NORTH MONUMENT VALLEY PARK
5K - 18:59.30
There was lots of excitement heading into Regionals. Emma seemed excited and a little nervous about an upset tummy she had been having all week, which made me all the more nervous as I watched her get ready to run this race. The beginning of the race was like most races she runs. She was out in the front pack but not out in front. She was sitting nicely in between four of her teammates as they pushed each other along the course. At mile one she was right where she usually is and by mile 2 I was expecting to see her further ahead but she was trailing by almost 10 seconds behind two of her teammates. I cheered her on at this point and told her to go and catch them. When she got to the top of the hill she told me that she just sprinted to catch up. By the last 800m stretch she and Maddie pushed each other to the last stretch of the race. Emma came in 3rd, only 2 seconds behind Maddie for an amazing finish to a somewhat mentally tough race. Emma ended up finishing in about the same time as last meet but was just ever so slightly faster. All the girls on the Pine Creek varsity XC team ran an amazing race and their team came in 1st for Regionals for the 4th year in a row. All 5 of their top scoring girls on the team came in the top 15, each earning an individual spot in the State meet. What an amazing accomplishment for these super talented girls!
OCTOBER 30, 2021
COLORADO 5A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
NORRIS PENROSE EVENTS CENTER
5K - 19:07.80
It is always exciting to make it to the State Championship race and all the more nerve racking to run this race in Colorado. Colorado has some of the best female runners in the nation. In fact, two of the high school teams that are in the 5A category are #3 and #6 in the nation (Cherry Creek and Arapahoe). That being said, the Pine Creek girls team held their own in a competitive field of runners. Emma ran this tough course in 19:07.80 which is a new state course PR for her. She cut over a minute off of her time from last year which is amazing. She tied with her teammate as they crossed the finish line as the first two girls on their team. Emma came in 27th place overall. Even though some of her teammates struggled on the course, their team was still able to take 5th place which is the best their team has ever done at a state meet. This truly was a great season for Emma and one in which she will never forget.
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.
This month was full of school happenings both with Emma at Pine Creek HS and Madeline at Mountain View ES. At the beginning of the month Emma was inducted into the National English Honors Society. Her English teacher for the second year in a row, Mrs. Gefreh, encouraged her to apply. It was so fun watching her become part of a fun group of kids.
After a year of no indoor concerts, it was really fun to be able to watch Emma play with the orchestra for their mid-fall concert. Since both Andrew and Peter were visiting during their fall break they came and watched her perform and had so much fun seeing Mrs. Margrave after the concert.
At the end of the month Madeline's class had a Halloween party and I went in to take photos and help with the cookie decorating. It was cute seeing all of the kids dressed up in their costumes. Madeline was dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood this year. Madeline's favorite part of the day was eating her decorated sugar cookie and recording the song, "Five Little Pumpkins" on her iPad.
EMMA'S HONOR SOCIETY INDUCTION