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.
skiing at breckenridge with dionne
Dionne and I had such a blast skiing together today. I gave Dionne a tour of all 5 peaks at Breckenridge! The powder on Peak 7 and Peak 6 were amazing today. I introduced her to Bliss and she went down that run twice with me. We got a little bit of sun coming down Bliss and some on Peak 9. Most of the day was cloudy but we were plenty warm. I really enjoyed being on the mountain with one of my best friends and hope we can continue doing this every season!
SKIING AT BRECKENRIDGE WITH MADELINE
I let Madeline ditch school today so that we could head up to the mountains to ski together! My legs were a little tired from working out hard this week, so I was happy to go Madeline’s pace for the day (which isn’t all that slow it turns out). We parked at the south gondola garage so that we could charge the Tesla while we skied. It ended up only costing $7 to charge for 5 hours which was awesome. We had a great time skiing all of our favorite runs while trying to avoid the crowds. I took Madeline on 4 of the 5 peaks today. We started on Peak 7 and made our way to Peak 6 to ski Bliss a few times. Then we headed back to Peak 7 to eat lunch before making our way to Peak 8 and Peak 9. We skipped skiing the blacks off Peak 10 since the weather was starting to turn colder. We hit all of the fun little kid zones in the tree sections. Madeline could’ve skied those all day and been happy!
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!
It was a super fun day skiing with Mike and Madeline. We took Madeline on all 5 peaks at Breckenridge. She tried the blacks off of Peak 10 for the first time and loved them. Her favorite runs of the day were Double Jack off Peak 10 and Bliss off Peak 6. We made our way through all 3 kid fun zones on Peak 9 with Madeline and had lots of fun. She loved skiing under the spider and through the various tunnels. Some of the lift lines were more crowded than the last time we were at Breckenridge, but we never waited more than 8 min for any lift. We did a total of 15 runs, 18,530 vertical ft and 20.24 miles. It was a lot of skiing in one day, especially for Madeline who is only 6 years old. However, we celebrated our victorious ski day by eating dinner at an amazing Mexican restaurant with some old friends who were visiting Colorado during the long weekend.
Ski date with mike at breckenridge
Sometimes as parents we have to take a step away and focus on each other. Mike and I spent the day skiing just the two of us and we skied all 5 peaks at Breckenridge. It was Mike's first real introduction to the entire mountain at Breckenridge. We started on Peak 8 and made our way over to Peak 9 and 10. We decided to ski the blacks off of Peak 10 while our legs were still fresh. We loved Centennial and Double Jack and the first part of Cimmaron. The last part of that run was a long cat trail which made the entire run not worth it. After getting our fill of Peak 10 we tried some runs off Peak 9 before heading to lunch at Ten Mile Station. After lunch we did a few runs off Peak 8 and Peak 7 and headed straight to Peak 6 so that I could take Mike on Bliss. I had the most amazing flow on that run and was so excited by it. Mike loved it too but we decided that our legs were getting tired so we headed back to 7 and all the way down the mountain. It was a marvelous day of skiing together!
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.
SNOWSHOEING AT SPRUCE MOUNTAIN
The day after Mike got back from his reserve duty training in DC, we decided to head out on the snowshoes to one of our favorite places. We love snowshoeing and hiking at Spruce Mountain Open Space. There aren’t usually a ton of people there which is nice. The first part of our hike was filled with some sections that were a little barer than others. As we approached the top of the plateau, the view was amazing, and the snow was plentiful. Our hike was serene and peaceful! Along the way we saw a few different groups of people. We saw a few hikers, a couple of people on fat tire bikes and a group cross country skiing. Even with the occasional sighting of people, it still felt very private and quiet. We decided to not trek it all the way to the end but went out 2 miles and then turned around. We were both so happy that we didn’t try and push it too much since we were pretty spent by the time we got back to the car. Snowshoeing with Mike in the winter is one of my favorite things to do.
Snow Day with madeline
Every time it snows outside the first thing Madeline asks is if she can go outside to play in the snow and build a snowman. Up until this recent snowstorm it had always been so cold that going out to play in the snow was not a possibility. So, she convinced Andrew to go out with her to play. Then I joined them for a little while. We tried to build a snowman on the first day, but the snow was so light and airy that we could not pack it very well. So, we just made snow angels, pulled Madeline in the sled, and threw snowballs at each other. One time when Andrew was pulling Madeline in the sled, he whipped it around so fast that she flew right out and landed face first in the snow. We picked her up and brushed her off and just laughed it off. She is such a good sport! The next day the snow was still around so Abby went out with Madeline and built a snowman and pulled her in the sled. Sometimes it just takes having a little one in the house to get the rest of us to go out and enjoy the snow!
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.
OAHU ADVENTURE WEEKEND . DAY 3
The last time we were in Oahu together we kayaked to Lanikai beach in a double kayak and had the best time. This time we decided to do single kayaks and I soon realized that was a bad idea. This was the kayak trip that tested my strength and endurance. The headwind was so strong it seemed like I wasn’t moving at all. With my little T-Rex arms it was very hard to steer the single kayak. Mike got to the beach first and eventually I made it there also. Getting there was hard, but the reward was sitting at the most beautiful beach for the rest of the day. It was well worth it. The breeze was a little too strong and chilly for me to want to go snorkeling, so Mike went ahead and did some snorkeling on his own while I sat on the warm sand and enjoyed the warm sun. We relaxed for quite some time and snacked on crackers, cheese, and grapes. It was the perfect beach snack! The kayak trip on the way back was much easier since we were moving with the current and the wind was at our back. Once back at the car we put on some normal clothes and headed to the mall for some shopping. We found the older girls some clothes at Uni Qlo and some treats at the Aloha sugar shop. We aren’t big candy eaters, but it was still fun to browse around this ridiculous store filled with more candy than you think is possible. Since we were getting hungry, we headed back to Waikiki and ate dinner at the Udon restaurant. We waited in line outside for about 30 min before getting our fill of the most wonderful Udon outside of Japan. This famous Udon restaurant is always packed with a line of people anytime of the day. It is that good!
OAHU ADVENTURE WEEKEND . DAY 2
For today’s adventure we decided to head to Kokohead first to do the Hawaiian version of the Incline. It was just like hiking the Incline in Colorado except the views were more spectacular and there was so much oxygen. I kept thinking that it was amazing that I didn’t need to stop. Halfway up to the top there is a little side trail called Murphy's Bypass. We took that instead of continuing on the railroad ties since that little section is sketchy with no ground underneath the ties and there were too many people who didn't know what they were doing. After passing that we got right back onto the main trek. After we made it to the top, we ventured over to the crater rim and hiked along the ridge line. Up at the highest point of the ridge the wind was so strong that my visor blew away. It was so sad, and I felt so dumb for not holding onto it because it was actually Mike’s visor that he let me borrow since I forgot to bring a hat on this trip. We headed down into the brush to try and find it but it was long gone. We headed back along the crater rim and made our way down the railroad ties to the bottom of Kokohead. We were still up for some adventuring, so we drove to the Makapu’u Trail and decided to run/hike the paved trail to see the views and the lighthouse. Our legs were a bit tired from Kokohead hike and it was a bit hotter than earlier in the morning. The views at the top were amazing and well worth the run to get there. We stopped on the way back to Waikiki to get Leonard’s donuts which are some of the best donuts ever. We ate our donuts on the way back to the hotel where we showered and relaxed for a few hours before heading back out to Secret Beach to enjoy the ocean before eating dinner. Mike went snorkeling while I sat on the sand and had fun watching the seals that were sleeping in the cove. We eventually made our way on foot to eat dinner at Monkeypod at the request of some of our friends. The food was pretty good but the dessert not so much. We ate it anyways and then headed back to Secret beach to watch the sunset. It was a pretty perfect day!
kokohead and crateR rim
secret beach and dinner at monkeypod
Oahu adventure Weekend . day 1
I wasn’t sure Mike’s reserve duty was going to happen this year in Hawaii. With all the holds on funding in the government, his approval kept getting pushed. So, we planned a Hawaii trip with the kids for spring break and had a marvelous time. Then the approval finally came through and I found myself preparing to go back to Hawaii for just a few days during my birthday weekend. I couldn’t have made this happen without the loving kindness of one of my best friends. Myisha didn’t hesitate when I asked her to come and stay with the kids. She always jumps at any chance to be with my kids.
To my surprise, when I checked into my flight, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Mike had upgraded my ticket to First Class. I was on a smaller plane, so we didn’t have separate pods, but the service and extra space was so incredibly nice. It was like flying on what used to be business class. I felt so spoiled and special and blessed all at the same time. When I got to Hawaii, I took an Uber to the hotel and headed up to our room. There was a fun bag full of Japanese candies and a note from Mike. He had booked me a massage at the adjoining hotel. So, I got on my comfortable clothes and headed out on a walk before indulging myself in an hour of bliss. I love a good massage and this one didn’t disappoint. My massage therapist was a native Hawaiian with the most incredible spirit about him. He started out with a prayer and placed his hands on my head. It was a spiritual experience and I immediately relaxed. I have never experienced anything like it before and I will never forget the feeling of gratitude I had for this stranger who I knew had a good soul. If every adventure could start out this way, then watch out world because that is pretty freaking awesome!
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.
Spruce Mountain Open Space Hike
When the weather is warm on the weekends during the winter, we try to take advantage of it by being outside doing something fun. Since it was a rather warm Sunday, we got the itch to go hiking. Abby and Madeline didn’t feel like going for a hike, so Mike and I took Emma and headed to Spruce Mountain Open Space for a jolly good time. We hit some snowy sections on the way up which wasn’t all that surprising since it was technically still the winter. We ended up hiking the big loop all the way around the plateau and back. The views were incredible, and it was so enjoyable to be hiking at a rather brisk pace. Sometimes it is fun to have an adventure with one kid at a time. We loved being with Emma and listening to her talk on our hike. She is such a great girl!
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.