This was a big month of training both on the bike and with running. Mike and I spent most of our time on the bike doing some intense hill training as well as some endurance rides. We started with our typical loop to Garden of the Gods and back home. I got my first flat in a long time and learned how to change it on my own. We attempted the 719 loop again and just did it casually, It was still a beast even though we weren’t biking hard, We also rode up in Denver a few times and did some rides up Cheyenne Canyon. On the running side of things, we spent most of the time at Bear Creek Park doing tempo loops on the “dirt” track, hill repeats, and intervals on the flatter garden side of the park. Dionne and I ventured one day and did Section 16 to the Palmer trail. The short but steep section up Section 16 is never an easy one and I was breathing hard the entire time. However, the effort is worth it after you crest the top and run down the flowy Palmer trail. Overall, training this month was really awesome!
Mike and I headed up to Denver the day before the race with hope that our race would go well after an extremely stressful week for both of us. We did all the things that would help us have a successful race the next day. When we got to the drop off point and headed on the bus to get to the starting line, we quickly realized that the bus driver didn’t know where he was going. We eventually made it there but not without some anxiety. That should have been a sign to me that the day would not turn out like I had expected. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a running race. I started at the front with all of the other fools and when the gun went off I went out at my intended pace and was able to hold that even through the crazy first 2.5 miles of rolling hills. The uphills were not insignificant and by the time I made it to mile 4 I was already a little tired. It was the first time that I had no umph or energy at the beginning of a race. It was all I could do to hold a 7 min pace. As I descended down the course, I noticed how horrible the road was with a bank at every turn. This did not pose well for someone like me who already struggles with a testy SI joint. Despite all of this, I gave it my best and just tried to hold a somewhat decent pace so I could finish. Somehow I still managed to place 2nd in my age group even though I only ran this race in 1:33.37. It would have been easy to be disappointed in my time that was 6 minutes slower than my last revel half marathon, but I knew deep down that my efforts were truly the best I could have done that day.
Exercise this month was almost exclusively in the Garden, at least all of my weekday runs. The weather was warmer and with that were some epic runs with the Striders doing intervals around the dirt track in the Garden, another RRR downhill tempo, another clockwise tempo loop where I PR’d, and a fun run around the trails. Most of my long runs were done running down the Cottonwood Creek Trail and the Santa Fe trail. Mike and I even did one last downhill run down the backside of Woodmen and Blodgett. It was a month of highs and lows as I ran some of my fastest runs only to get sick and have to slow things down. I’m not sure I ever fully recovered physically between getting sick and my body shutting down from stress. However, I tried to just keep going through the end of the month in preparation for my upcoming half marathon.
Madeline had another fun running season participating in the Landsharks track program. She was able to run in 2 of the 3 meets this season and made it to all of the practices. She loved running with her friends after school. For the two meets she ran in, she did the 50m for the first meet and the 100m dash for the second meet followed by a 400m race. Madeline is definitely a better runner the longer she has to run but this season she just wanted to run the shortest race. I was definitely ok with that since the shortest race finishes first. She loved running her one lap around the track and then getting her ribbon. I am so happy that Madeline loves to run. She has real potential to be an amazing runner. I hope she continues to love running as she gets older!
meet #1 - Rampart hs track
meet #2 - rampart hs track
It snowed a ton in April which made it hard to train for my half marathon. I did, however, love running up Rampart Range Road twice, working on pushing the downhill sections. Emma joined one of our Striders runs and enjoyed running with the faster guys and leaving the rest of us girls in the dust. We did have some nice days mid-April and Mike and I took advantage of that and headed on a longer bike ride to Criterium and back. I also took my mountain bike and headed to Pineries to do the loop there. I spent one morning by myself and ran an easy loop in the Garden after the kids were in school and that was so rejuvenating. Some of the hardest runs this month were in the Garden running the clockwise trail tempo loop, hill repeats up the Strausenback hill, hill repeats on Ridge Road, and the road tempo to balanced rock. This month ended with a beautiful, snowy climb up the Incline with Dionne. You never know what you are going to get in April, but one thing is for sure, you are bound to get both snow and at least a few short-sleeved running days.
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.