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.
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.
Mike and I ventured up past Woodland Park towards the Lost Creek Wilderness to do a hike we had never done before. We hiked on the Bison Peak Trail which ended being about a 12-mile hike round trip. The Lost Creek Wilderness is one of the most unique wildernesses in Colorado simply because of its terrain. Above tree line on the Bison Peak Trail, there were some of the most bizarre rock formations you will ever see. Much of the Lost Creek Wilderness, which spans 120,000 acres, is dominated by these incredible rock formations, including massive polished granite domes and towering spires. There weren’t a ton of people on the trail and part of that is because this trail is not in a super convenient location to Denver. Also, the trail was incredibly steep just to get to the top plateau areas where you can view the amazing rock formations. Once at the first plateau the trail wasn’t clear, so we just wandered in the correct direction until we found sections that looked like trail. It’s a good thing that Mike had already hiked this trail because he knew generally where we were going. Once the wind started to pick up, we stopped to put on more layers and got a random Facebook call from Andrew. It was awesome to be able to talk with him up on the mountain. Our reception was that great once we started hiking again, so we had to say goodbye and continue onwards. We hiked for another 1-2 miles until we finally reached the summit. At the top, Mike immediately found the Geocache box and found the journal that he had signed several years ago when he hiked this with Peter and the rest of the Boy Scouts. I was just happy I made it to the top because I had been tired all morning and the steepness of the trail really tried me physically and mentally. I can honestly say that the views from the top and the many plateaus of unique rock formations was well worth the hike. Since the weather looked like it could be getting iffy, we didn’t waste any time heading back down the mountain. We hiked so fast going down. One thing is for sure, I always have a great time when I am hiking with Mike.
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
Being Epic Pass Holders, we were able to take the ski lift to the top of the mountain which was so much easier than hiking or biking up! We took the Royal Elk trail over to the lake and sat on the far side of the shore. It was so pleasant. We then hiked back down to the hotel. Why do trips like this have to end? It seems like it would be better if we could work 2 days a week and take 5 days off. I think life would be better if we didn’t have to work so much.
On Friday, we got up and road our mountain bikes uphill and took the village connector trail all the way through Beaver Creek. It was a bit of a beast to start climbing right away up the mountain, but once on the main trail, it was pretty spectacular. The views, the flower, and the flowy single track were pretty great. The downhill was fun as well. We had lunch down by the Westin in Avon, and then took the bus back up to the hotel. It was a beautiful day with great weather. The best part of the day, of course, was getting massages at the spa. The Spa at the Park Hyatt is one of the best we have ever been to. It’s just great and never disappoints.
There are just some places that are great to go with your spouse. Beaver Creek is one of them. It’s such a beautiful place. We took the weekend to spend without the kids at the Park Hyatt, which is one of our favorite places. The hotel is great, but there are lots of fun things to do there. Soon after we arrived, we headed over to eat dinner at Splendido. The food was wonderful, but the best part were the souffle’s for dessert. They were ridiculously good. Our dinner was a great way to start our awesome weekend trip.
One of the fun things about being around Sara’s parents is their love for biking. It’s great to have grandparents who are active and want to go out and do things. There are lots of great trails by their house like the Murdock trail, the Provo Canyon River Trail, and then long loops through the mountains to make sure that your legs will be burning and your lungs weeping. Sara, Franz, and Mike did the Alpine loop, which is a stunning, beautiful climb around Mount Timpanogos. The trees and scenery are stunning. Sara flew up the climb and proved that she is still Queen of the Mountain. Coming down, Franz went so fast it was a little unnerving to try to keep up. That man has no fear. It was a great ride. Another great ride we did with all the kids was biking up the Provo River trail to Vivian Park. It’s a great ride and just a beautiful river with great scenery. The kids did great. At the top of the trail, there was a park for Madeline to play at with her siblings. The best part, of course, was that the way back was all downhill. Downhill makes for happy kids.
Any vacation wouldn’t be complete without some silly long hike. Mount Timpanogos seems like a straightforward hike, and for the most part it is, but it is a long, long hike. The waterfalls, wildflowers, and stunning views make it all worth it. Peter and Andrew basically raced up the mountain, proving that it's really annoying to go hiking with younger people with good lungs and springy legs, but we kept up with them pretty well. Emerald Lake was beautiful and there were mountain goats just hanging out alongside the trail. Crossing the snowbanks was tough, but getting to the summit wasn’t too bad, especially since we’re pretty used to the altitude. The views from the top were perfect. It was a beautiful day to be in the mountains. The real beast was coming back down. It’s just a long, long way by the time you get back down. The entire hike was sixteen miles round trip. Sara ran down the last couple of miles and the boys spent time just enjoying all the waterfalls. Afterwards, it was a race to IN-N-OUT for everyone so we could refuel our bodies. It was such a great hike, but one we would pay for with sore legs for the next couple of days.
written by Mike
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!