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.
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.
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