Emma and I flew to Phoenix, AZ for a 2-day track meet with her running club. Emma and I flew in late on Thursday night. It seemed like everyone else in the world flew in that night too as the kine for the airport shuttle was at least a 45 min wait. Eventually we made it to the hotel. When we got there, we were kind of disgusted by our room since we were on the cheaper side of the hotel. So, I went down to the front desk to see if we could upgrade rooms. Luckily, they had a room on the nicer side of the hotel with one queen bed. We figured it was better to share a bed in a nicer room. While Emma slept in the next morning, I woke up early and went on a fun trail run with Connilee. Then it was back to the hotel to pamper Emma all day and make sure she stayed rested for her first night meet. Luckily, we met up with Tina Johnson and her daughter Ella. We ended up driving to the meet with them and while the girls warmed up together, Tina and I just chatted. It was super fun to have each other there. Our girls were running in both the 3200m and 1600m at this track meet. The 3200m was on Friday night and it was the most incredible race to watch. Emma was in the 2nd fastest heat. As the gun went off, there was a pack of 9 girls that stayed together for most of the race. Emma stayed in the 4-6 position for the duration of the race. I loved watching her run and I could see her strengthen as she hung close to the front of the pack. She ended up finishing her very first 3200m in 11:45, which was 10 seconds faster than my best time in high school. She was so proud of herself. The next day she ran in the 1600m and also got another PR running that race in 5:31 on tired legs.
There wasn’t a ton of exercising in March as I was slowly adding back in running and biking after my surgery. It felt good to get outside and run, even if I had to do it in the snow. I surprisingly love running through fresh snow. There is something so calming about a new snowfall. I was able to run up Rampart Range Road with Dionne and Amber and did pretty well until the last mile or so. Mike and I biked together, and I actually got QOM on one of the Cordera segments. I was completely shocked. The last half of March I was preparing for our upcoming trip to Disney World so although I didn’t run or bike during the end of the month, I did do a lot of walking.
I was only able to exercise during the first part of this month and so I fully took advantage of some great runs and a surprise bike outside when the weather was cooperating. I did an easy run with Dionne on the Santa Fe one morning after a really stressful day the day before and that was a nice way to open up the month. Then I found myself being able to get on my road bike for a quick ride outside. It felt so good to be able to bike without the trainer. I ran the CRUD Cheyenne Canyon Hill Climb with Dionne and Caryn and that was an awesome run. I didn’t get my PR but I was only 10 seconds off from the month prior and this time the road and trail were definitely snowier. My last run before my procedure was a quick little run up in Cordera. It felt good to push the pace a little in the cold. My last bike was on Zwift where I challenged myself to the Innsbruck 15-mile hill climb. It was brutal but I’m so glad that I did it.
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!