EXERCISE IN MARCH
The nice thing about March are the random warmer days. This was a month full of epic runs with the Striders. Between intervals around Monument Lake, speedwork on the CC track, hill repeats up BFNH at Bear Creek Park, fun runs at Red Rocks, and tempos and long runs on the Santa Fe, it was a really great month of training and working hard. My favorite workout of the month was probably the intervals around Monument Lake because I felt really strong on that run. We had super cold mornings as well as a few warm short sleeved days.
EXERCISE IN FEBRUARY
Like most Februarys it was fairly cold the entire month. I had some amazing workouts this month with the Striders and also a few strong runs on the treadmill when the roads were not feasible to run on. My favorite runs were intervals at Monument Lake, the Bear Creek tempo loop, the Cheyenne Canyon Climb, a fun run in the Gardens with Dionne where we saw big horned sheep, and some long runs with Caryn. Any work on the bike was mostly spent inside on the Peloton but I did brave the colder weather and went outside only once with Mike and was miserable the entire ride. Aside from running and biking I did spend some time skiing at Breckenridge. I hit the slopes twice this month and really had a blast!
Emma traveled to the University of Washington with the Kokopelli club team to run in the HS invitational. The weekend also hosted many college Div 1 schools and it was fun for her to witness what college races were like. Emma was one of two girls on her team that ran in the 3000m on Saturday evening. While we couldn't watch her run in person, we were able to watch her race via LIVE feed on RunnerSpace. This race was such an exhilarating race to watch. Emma ran in the fastest heat with two nationally ranked runners and she held her own in a tough field. One of my favorite parts was the beginning when she almost got boxed in but that fire emerged and she pushed her way to the front. She hung in the top 4 for a few laps, running faster than she is used to, but then listened to her coach who told her to slow down. She hung in 7-8th place and by the last few laps found that fire again and pushed her way to a 5th place finish in 10:06.92 (5:24 pace). WOW…go Emma! It was so fun to watch this with my parents and Andrew who chimed in on messenger!!
Emma's AFA indoor Track Meet
It’s officially still the off season for Emma with her running but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t working hard and pushing herself towards some amazing goals for her upcoming races. Her first indoor race of the season was at AFA where she ran the one-mile race. Her performance was phenomenal even though this race was only intended to be a kick start race to get her leg turnover figured out before the next race. She ended up placing 5th and got a PR of 5:31.77 (the top 5 were all within 3 sec of each other) even though she died a bit on the last lap and lost two places. Her upper body and arms were severely tired which meant that she will need to focus more on upper body strength throughout her upcoming HS track season. Still, she learned that she has to stay mentally strong even when her body isn’t feeling it. It was a great reminder for her as she focuses her mind on track running. At the end of the day, you only become a better runner by learning from each race.
Exercise in January
This year I wanted to do things that I have never done before. I’ve been praying for good health at the start of this year so that I can reach my goals. This month proved to be a successful one in so many ways. With the Revel Rockies half marathon in June, the Triple Bypass in July, and the R2R2R in October, I knew that I needed to start now to build strength in areas that are weak. I was pretty consistent in my routine and was able to fit in the peloton twice a week, Striders run workouts twice a week plus a long run, the Incline twice, both upper and lower body strength, core, and stretching every day. The weather was snowy, and the trails were not that great all month but the only run I had to do on the treadmill was a track workout which ended up being an awesome experience anyways. I was even able to fit in a morning of playing pickleball with friends after a hard run earlier that morning. Some of the things I learned this month was how exactly to approach the strength training days.
Christmas is over. The hustle and bustle of getting things done is over for now. Truly, I’m exhausted from the last several months of mission and holiday preparations and kid’s activities and events. But I wouldn’t change that for quiet all the time. I love my busy life. It is a good, fun, and fulfilling life. I have thought a lot about what my goals would be for this next year…physical and spiritual goals are written down. Today’s snowshoe run was exhilarating but also tough. It taught me that despite the rough conditions, if I just took it a little at a time, I could get through it. That is exactly how life was for me in 2022. It was definitely rocky at times. I do hope that this next year is a little kinder to me in some ways. And if not, I will just take it one day at a time, applying the things I learned last year to make this next year a little better than the last! So, here’s to an amazing 2023!
exercise in December
I started out this month strong, consistently running with the Striders and doing all of their workouts. I had just come off of a 6-week peloton power zone build so I was happy to be running and not be completely exhausted. One of my favorite workouts was the lake intervals around Prospect Lake. The sunrise that morning was amazing. Shortly after that I got sick for a week but then popped back into the workouts and did the Bear Creek Tempo loop where I wasn’t going to really tempo it. I went out easier with Caryn and Dave and did an easier tempo pace but then the last mile I picked up the pace and finished really strong. After a week of being sick that felt really good. Over the week of Christmas, I was skiing with the family and took some needed days off of running so I was all pumped up to do my annual day after Christmas run with Dionne at Garden of the Gods. It is a tradition we started a few years ago and continue to do every year. Later that week we met up for a lunchtime snowy run at Bear Creek Park. I didn’t get in as much running this month as I would’ve liked but the runs I did have were pretty great.
Exercise in March
This was my comeback month for exercise after spending the last month or so of being sick. Caryn and Dionne ran with me at the beginning of the month and did an easy run with me to help me get back to running. I spent most of the beginning of the month on the Peloton but was able to sneak outside with Mike on a warmer day and ride to Cottonwood Creek Park for an 18-mile ride. During spring break in Maui, I spent almost every day running outside. It was such a great way to get my running back on track. Then when we got back to Colorado, Mike and I were able to go outside on a beautiful Saturday morning and do an awesome 50-mile ride to Garden of the Gods.
Exercise in February
It was a rather slow month of exercise for me. With several weeks of feeling under the weather I just had to exercise during the good moments. Most of my workouts this month, though, were on the Peloton doing some easy rides followed by some light strength training. I managed to get a few runs in outside and a bike ride outside through Cordera and along the Cottonwood creek trail with Mike. After our bike ride we came home to some homemade bread and fresh honey from our friends. It was a remarkable treat after our 20 mile bike ride.
Exercise in January
This month started out so well with my running, biking, and swimming. I was determined to make this my best year ever and be more consistent not only with my cardio but also with strength training and core exercises. I ran on the Santa Fe trail with the Striders and then another day with Dionne and Caryn, I ran the loop at the Pineries, I did a track workout at the CC track, a bike ride up and around Garden of the Gods, a swim at Flying Horse and ran in the 2nd race during the Winter Series. Then I started getting signs of passing a kidney stone. The next week I took it easy and didn’t run much. The following weekend I thought I was better so I did High Drive with Caryn and although I had such a good time, this run was almost more than my body could handle. I got sick after that and couldn’t exercise at all.
Exercising in December
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!
REVEL Big Bear Half Marathon
Mike and I ran in the Revel Big Bear Half Marathon, and it was quite the adventure. We both PR'd which is amazing. I finished in 1:26.47 (6:37 avg pace), placed 1st in my age division (40-44), 6th female out 690, and 43rd overall out of 1101 runners. Mike finished in 1:48.41 (8:17 avg pace), placed 27th in his age division (45-49), 152nd male out of 411, and 259th overall out of 1101 runners. He only trained for 3 weeks since he had been injured and his longest run was 9 miles. That's incredible. I wasn’t injured so I spent the last few months training hard for this race including many severe downhill fast paced runs to get my legs ready for the pounding. My first 7 miles were between 6:16-6:22 pace and when I hit mile 8, I got the worst side stitch ever. I'm inclined to think I drank too much water when taking my gu at mile 7. It completely threw off my game and I had to really dig deep for that next 2 miles to get my head back in the game and to keep running sub-7. It was a mental suffer fest for the rest of the race, but I knew if I could just hold on I could still PR so that’s what I did. It just goes to show that sometimes even when you train smart you can still hit hurdles along the way. It’s how we face those challenges that determine how strong we really are.
Exercise in October
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.
Exercise in September
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.
Exercise in August
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.
Exercise in July
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.
Exercise in June
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.
Emma's Track Season
Emma is truly an amazing and gifted runner. She had an incredible season and PRd several times for the 3200m at elevation and finally got a new PR in the 1600m during the last meet. She was told by her coaches that she was the most mature freshman distance runner they have ever had. She ran smart, ran her own race, and was consistent throughout the season. She didn’t let the paces of other girls throw her off her game. It was so fun being able to watch that fire in her eyes during this season. With an extended season into the summer, she started to feel a little burned out and struggled during meets 5 and 6. They were not her best races (although still amazing times) but she showed up to her last meet ready to run hard. She came away with a new PR in the 1600m and ran that in 5:29.37. She beat not only my 3200m time several times during the season but finally beat my 1600m time which was her goal for this season. Her PR in the 3200m at sea level was 11:45.87 (Nike Chandler Invite) and 11:47.02 at elevation (Fountain Fort Carson Invitational). I made it to every meet except for the last one and that one I was able to watch on Livestream. Running in a competitive field and at the 5A level, Emma didn’t qualify for State for any individual events, but she was asked to be an alternate for the 4x800m relay team. She loved being able to attend the state meet with some of her teammates to cheer them on. It won’t be long before she is at the state meet running in the 3200m.
11:45.87 NIKE Chandler Rotary Invite (PR sea level)
12:18.76 Valor Early Qualifier
11:51.78 Broomfield Shootout
11:47.02 Fountain Fort Carson Invitational (PR elevation)
12:18.41 PPAC League Meet
11:57.12 Liberty Bell Invitational
11:51.53 St. Vrain Invitational
5:31.34 NIKE Chandler Rotary Invite
5:34.75 Fountain Fort Carson Invitational
5:32.17 Petrelli and Hunt Invitational
5:37.28 PPAC League Meet
5:29.37 St. Vrain Invitational (PR elevation)
Meet #1 - Valor christian invite