Since January is one of the coldest months during the winter in Colorado, it is extremely important to keep up with a good exercise routine. It was too hard to bike outside most of the month with the frigid temperatures and snow lined roads, so running remained one of the only things I did for exercise outside. This month I was able to run with Dionne and Caryn doing some of the Striders workouts, the Incline, the Cheyenne Canyon hill run, the Bear Creek tempo run, and a fun run at Red Rocks in the snow. I had such a blast dividing my time between fun, easy runs and some more challenging runs. There is nothing better than running with friends when it is the hardest to get yourself outside to run.
Dionne took me on the coolest fun run downtown Colorado Springs where we saw over 20 murals in 4 ½ miles. After running downtown over the last several years, I never even noticed or knew that there were that many murals painted all over the city. Some of my favorites were the 3D multicolored mural outside of the library, the buffalo, and the girl in the cotton fields. Dionne and I had so much fun videoing ourselves running away from the buffalo. I love that we could just do a fun run together and not worry about pace or distance.
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
Since our race at XTERRA Beaver Creek was still a go in June, Mike and I spent a lot of time working hard and putting in the time to bike, swim and run. We often had to double up 2-3 days a week in order to fit it all in but we both enjoyed being able to bike and swim together. Some of our favorite rides this month were biking at Rampart Reservoir and Staunton State Park. We even fit in some Red Rock rides and some road biking on the Cottonwood Creek trail and up into Cordera and Wolf Ranch. We felt blessed to be able to swim at Flying Horse 2-3 days a week and really enjoyed our mornings swimming together. The only thing we didn’t do together was run. I ran mostly with Dionne and Caryn and we followed many of the Striders workouts. I ran at Garden of the Gods, Barr Trail, Bear Creek Park, High Drive, and Black Forest Section 16. I didn’t get in as many runs as I would have liked since my foot was still healing but I got in enough hard runs keep up my endurance. It was a really great month of training!