Monday, August 19, 2013

Pike's Peak Marathon

Well, I did it. I've wanted to do it for three years and it actually happened yesterday. I didn't think I was ready, but I actually felt pretty strong the whole race. I think the key was really just patience. Patience waiting in the bottle necked areas and conserving energy and patience with my tired legs the last two miles on the steep switchbacks. I couldn't have asked for better weather, so that helped a lot, too.

It's been only four weeks since the Half Ironman. I was hoping that my fitness from that race would really help me on Pike's. It turns out that it totally did. I was hopeful that in my Ironman training I could incorporate some hill climbing, but I really didn't do to my calf injury and the element of time. There was so much cycling I had to do, that when it came time for running I often just wanted to get it done. There were a couple of times I made it up high in July (Mount Audubon with Dan), but most of the training for Pike's came after Lake Stevens. I'm so grateful to Dan who ran with me 4 days on our vacation after the race so we got in something like 41 miles and 11,000' of climbing. That was huge! A week later I ran up to the Keyhole on Longs and then over to Battle Mountain, spent two hours on top of Evans with Amanda (great for acclimatizing!), and then ran up Buffalo Mountain on our anniversary. The third week I did Green Mountain after a day of CDE work in Denver, a lap and a half on South Arapahoe (mentally this was awesome training--and for the legs and lungs, too!), and South Boulder Peak with Dan. The week before the race I really took it easy with some swimming, biking, and a quick jaunt up Sanitas. Yesterday my legs felt good and I was ready to go!

I ran through Manitou Springs on the road. Then when we turned off onto the fire road I started hiking. It's just too steep to run efficiently. After the first aid station the two-mile narrow switchbacks begin. Three years ago I expended a lot of energy trying to pass people, but yesterday I resolved to just go with the flow. I settled into a slow pace, but it was good to wake up my climbing legs. People were super friendly and we had some good laughs on the way up. Around Bob's Road where the trail begins to open up (and descent a little bit!) I got some running in. I was nice to actually do some good 'ole trail running! From there to Barr Camp (7.5 miles in) it was a mix of hiking and running with a decent amount of room to pass if needed. Thank goodness for the restrooms and grapes at Barr Camp. They were a godsend twice! After Barr you begin get up into Krummolz and thinner air AND narrower trails. I couldn't believe the lines here--and people were going slower due to the elevation. I did do some passing here because I needed to. Soon, we popped up above treeline and the real fun began. At this point, people were really nice about letting me pass and we started seeing the leaders fly down the mountain (ok, the first couple of men we saw before treeline). Race rules require that uphill travelers step aside for those coming down, so there was plenty of opportunity for rest steps. As we got higher, the traffic jam got bigger. The 16 golden steps were a clusterf*** of runners going up and down. Though I made it to the top in 4:33 (10 minutes faster than 3 years ago), I seriously think I could have done it five minutes faster without all the traffic. Oh well. Patience. The weather was perfect. I didn't even need to put on gloves or a long sleeve shirt. Despite the thunderstorm off to the north, I couldn't have asked for better conditions.

At the summit I stretched for two minutes and then started down. It was so nice when people got out of the way for me! There was great comraderie the whole time up high--everyone was giving everyone encouragement. The trip to the treeline went pretty quickly and before I knew it I had the trail to myself. I keep getting lots of grapes at all the aid stations because they tasted so good and they had water in them. Barr Camp came up quicker than I expected (at mile 7.5). I made another pit stop and refilled my camelbak. I tried something new (which you're not supposed to do during a race, but it worked really well!) and put Nuun tablets in my camelbak for the last hour or so of the race. This really helped keep me in balance, that and the extra salt I added to my bag of pretzels! The cloud cover on the way down was AWESOME! It kept the temps a good 10-15 degrees cooler. After Barr Camp there were some uphills, believe it or not. I decided to walk these because they were really hard. The last couple of miles started to get to my knees, but I kept a slow pace and really kept watching my footing. This seemed to really help (today my knees don't feel bad at all!). The last mile and a quarter were on HARD pavement. Boy, I could really feel a difference from the tail at this point. We went back down the fire road and I realized just how steep it really was. The last half a mile I let it all out and just ran as fast as I could. I was ready for the race to be over and I wanted my finisher's shirt! The streets of Manitou were lined with people giving high fives and cheering for all the runners. A great atmosphere! I was so happy to cross the finish line, and do so so in relatively good shape. I hit all my goal times for the day and finished in 7:28:18. Today, I still can't believe I did it :-)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

NW Part 2 (with Dan)

Monday, July 22

After dropping Mom off at the airport, Dan and I headed for a ferry boat that took us to Southworth. From there, we drove to Olympic National Park. It was sunny and clear all afternoon. We drove up Hurricane Ridge to a dirt road to Obstruction Point. Unfortunately, the road was gated off halfway to the point because a park ranger was re-grading it. So, our hike began at the gate. The views were unbelievable. The flowers were extraordinary. We even saw Washington marmots! We hiked about 4 miles up to Obstruction Point (still don't know what was obstructed about it, because you could see forever!) and started on the actual trail we had wanted to begin on. It was already late and the shadows were making it cool up at 6150'. We got to a large snowfield and decided to turn back. After 3.5 hours of hiking we made it back to the car and then had dinner at a great Italian restaurant in Port Angeles. We continued to drive to Forks, where there was no room in the inn--any of them. Dan found a great place south of town that had a room for us---and 6 of our friends---that was available.

Abridged version of rest of trip...

Left forks, ran on Ruby Beach, saw starfish!! Saw big tree, walked rainforest nature trail. Started driving towards Wenatchee (got a little lost in Tacoma). Got awesome fresh fruit. Dinner @ McGlinn's with Matt and Kerry. Drove to canyon south of Ellensburg to camp. Slept right along the river.

Drove to Rainier NP. Ran 11 miles and 3600' from east entrance, to 2nd Burrough, then Glacier Basin Junction, spur to glacier view and back. Saw bear! Drove to Hermiston, OR. Dinner at sports bar.

Oregon Trail, lots of driving. Camped just outside Sun Valley, ID. Dinner at local Mexican place.

Sun Valley awesome run! 1:30 & 4 mi up to cabin, 1:40 and 4.5 mi back to TR. Lunch in Ketchum. Craters of the Moon-some hiking around. Up big black hill and to view large craters. Drove to Jackson Hole. Dinner at Thai place.

Grand Teton NP. Hiked past Amphitheater Lake to start of 3rd class scramble up Disappointment Peak. 3:48, 11.5 mi 3300'. Car overheated in middle of "grizzly country." After it cooled, we managed to get to Laramie, WY. Then it overheated again. Cooled once more and drove home. Yay Boulder!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I did it!

I finished the Lake Stevens 70.3! Woo hoo!

NW Trip--Part 1 (with Mom)

Saturday 7/13

We left Boulder and headed north for Sheridan, WY. Stopped in Douglas and walked along the North Platte River. Big rodeo in Sheridan the night we were there. Didn't go to see it, but saw everyone decked out in cowboy/cowgirl gear. Really nice downtown. Excursion to Montana after dinner. Sat in the hotel parking lot and ate Ben & Jerry's :-) (I did an awesome bike ride/run on a road that led up to Montana Sunday am.)

Sunday 7/14

Left Sheridan for Shelby, MT. Stopped outside of Billings at the Battlefield of Little Bighorn. Took scenic roads to Great Falls. Stopped in Great Falls and walked along the Missouri River before arriving in the very small town of Shelby. Found an awesome little restaurant down the road with burgers and steak.

Monday 7/15

Left Shelby and headed toward Glacier NP. Awesome windy, Mom says scary, open range road to park entrance. Drove Going-to-the-Sun Road. Very, very scenic--especially the crystal clear lakes and streams. Saw 2 mountain goats and left the park before all the big tour buses arrived. Visited White Fish, Montana ski resort town. Huckleberries everywhere! Drove more scenic roads into Idaho. Stayed in log cabin room next to highway in Sand Point. (I rode into town of Dover where I saw an osprey). Devoured huckleberry cobbler for dessert!

Tuesday 7/16

Headed south for Coeur D'Alene. Very impressed by the clean city, pristine lake, and scenic forests. We walked on the world's largest floating dock and then hiked around Tubbs Hill. Downtown was very cute, especially the beach where the Ironman starts. Searched for Mom's 1965 Girl Scout Round-up and learned we had passed the state park already. Next time... Continued south through Idaho and then cut west on unending scenic roads to Washington. Arrived in the wine country that is Walla Walla. Very cute downtown surrounded by dry, yellow, barren hills with the occasional vineyard. (I ran in the morning in Sand Point and swam at the Walla, Walla YMCA in the evening.) Dinner was at the Olive.

Wednesday 7/17

High tailed it out of Walla Walla for greener pastures....or should I say whiter mountains? :-) Drove through Yakima to Rainier National Park. Awestruck by the ginormousness of Rainier. It was huge and had lots and lots of glaciers on all flanks. Scouted out many waterfalls and hiked up part of the Skyline Trail to get a closer look. Sad to leave the park...but carried on to cute, historical town of Elber. Got fresh picked cherries and world famous northwest capuccino. Landed in Puyallup at fancy Best Western. Dinner along the Puget Sound in Tacoma followed drinks at the outdoor lounge area with fire feature.

Thursday 7/18

After a quick run in the parking lot, we headed west for the Pacific and Olympic National Park. The beach was huge and you could drive your car on it. Crazy! Saw giant trees, rainforests, and rocky shores. Very, very cool. Stopped to walk in Quinalt and also Port Angeles. Stopped for the night in Sequim, home of the Lavender Festival. Dinner included lavender-raspberry-white chocolate ice cream which was nasty. Tasted like soap. Lavender was pretty, though.

Friday 7/19

Finished the tour of the Olympic Peninsula through the cutest little town of Port Gamble. Looked like it was straight out of a movie. Took a ferry right into downtown Seattle. Walked (and ate) through Pike Place Market. The berries, flowers, fish, and everything else were incredible. Saw the "original" Starbucks and then walked around the Pioneer District. Saw the Space Needle and headed up to Everett. Replaced a tire on my bike and headed to Lake Stevens to check things out and go for a quick ride. Dinner was homemade salad in our hotel kitchenette.

Saturday 7/20

Walked around the waterfront in Mukilteo and then went to Lake Stevens for the official check-in. Got the lay of the land and previewed half of the bike course before picking up Dan at Sea-Tac. Brought him to Pike Place Market for late lunch (and lots of berries!). Early night for the big race in the morning.

Sunday 7/21

Race Day! I made Dan and Mom get up at 4:30 so we could leave by 5. Drove to Lake Stevens and got ready to race. I was the first wave of age-group swimmers--6:38am start time. Race day was cloudy and cool and the water was warm. I had an awesome swim (35:43), a very hilly bike ride (I swear we just climbing miles 30-50 with no downhill!) and a decent run (lots of awesome energy on the course). Finished around 1:00 and Mom and Dan had chocolate milk for me. Yum! AFter a dip in the hot tub back at the hotel, we had dinner in Mukilteo by the water.

Monday 7/22

All three of us went on the Boeing factory tour and then we dropped Mom off at the airport.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 18

Swimming: 7000m (4.3 miles)
Biking: 125.8 miles
Running: 19 miles
Climbing: once at gym

Calf is still touchy, but runnable. Big event is next week. Yikes!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 17

Swimming: 7400 yards (4.2 miles)
Biking: 105 miles
Running: 18 miles (woo hoo! 8 of these miles was up and down Mount Audubon!)
Hiking: 4 miles + a couple of good walks around the neighborhood
Climbing: once inside, once outside

Calf is good! Not perfect, but good! Feeling strong and excited the race is TWO weeks away. Getting tired of always running, biking, and swimming so it was good to mix it up with a lot of trail running and climbing this week. Great to get in the mountains!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 16

It's getting race, that is. Three more weeks. Yikes!

Swim: 7080 yards (4.02 miles)
Bike: 166 miles
Run: 11 miles running! + 60 min on the elliptical (total equivalent of 17 miles)
Hiking: 3.5 hours
Climbing: once a gym

My calf is definitely getting stronger, which is very exciting. My 5-mile run today felt really good.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 15

Swim: 7500m (4.6 miles)
Bike: 126 miles
Run: 10.5 miles
Climb: once inside, once outside
Hiking: 5 miles (approx.)

Today was my warm-up Olympic Tri. I PRed by a lot! It's hard to make a direct comparison because the bike course was almost 2 miles shorter than last year due to construction on Diagonal Highway. However, even if I account for the additional mileage, I still PRed by 7 minutes. Woo hoo!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 14

Swim: 6600 meters (4.1 miles)
Bike: 201.1 miles (3000' climbing)
Run: 2.7 miles (yay!)
Elliptical: 3:50 (23 miles equivalent)
Hiking: easy 2.5 miles

FINALLY, I can run again...a little bit. Three runs this week...1/2 mile, 1 mile, and 1.2 this morning. This is really great news, especially since I'm supposed to be racing next weekend. Also, this week's bike rides are my all time record. Woo hoo! It was fun to get some climbing in there, too, up in Dillon/Frisco/Breckenridge. I definitely want to go back and ride more stuff up there. Got to swim in the Rez for the first time this season, too. All in all, an awesome week.

Five weeks to go...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 13

Swim: 7100 yards (4 miles)
Bike: 148 miles
Run (Elliptical): 260 minutes (4:20 hours/equivalent of 26 miles)

Finally my calf is starting to feel better. Did a couple of walks the last few days and so far so good. I hope by the end of the week I'll be able to run a little bit. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and I climbed once at the gym and once outside at Catslab in Clear Creek Canyon.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 12

Swim: 6350 yards (3.6 miles)
Bike: 127.6 miles
Run (Elliptical): 18 miles (180 minutes total)

Well, my calf is still not great. Went to the PT and she said it was a muscle strain or tear. I need to stay off it for another week (biking, swimming, and elliptical are fine), and then hopefully I can at least start walking or hiking. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mountain biking on the trails south of Nederland

Laurel and I rode some trails starting at the West Magnolia trailhead. Some really difficult sections! I had to walk a few parts but rode most of it, including some white-knuckle downhills. Our route. Pics.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 11

Swimming: 5100 yards (2.9 miles)
Biking: 169 miles (I think this is a new weekly record!!!)
Running: 4 miles

Well, I'm definitely feeling much healthier this week. However, on my first run my calf got all knotted up to the point where I could barely jog home. Decided to stay off of it and have an appointment with my PT next week. I hope my trying to be smart this week ensures a quick recovery.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 10

Swim: 1875 yards (1.06 miles)
Bike: 27 miles
Run: 7 miles

Just Tuesday and Wednesday....then I got Dan's death disease. Cold, fever, nasty sore throat couched me for four days! Yuck!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 9

Swim: 7800 yards (4.4 miles)
Bike: 128 miles
Run: 20.7 miles

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 8

Swim: 5300 yards (3 miles)
Bike: 111.7 miles
Run: 22.5 miles
Hike: 3.4 miles
Elevation Gain overall: 4750'
Climb: 7 climbs @ gym

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 7

Swim: 4700 yards
Bike: 117.1 miles
Run: 21.8 miles

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 6

Bike-63.9 miles
swim-4300 yards
Run-18 miles
Climb-2 times at the gym

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week 5 Triathlon Training

This was the first week that I followed Coach Russ' plan. For the most part, it matched up with what I had been doing distance wise, but he included many more intervals and a LONG bike ride on Sunday. He also has his own strength training program that kicked my butt this week and took over an hour to do both times.

Swim: 4200 yds (2.4 miles)
Bike: 100.3 miles
Run: 10.8 miles
Climb: 1.5 hours at the gym

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 4

So much for an easy week...

Biking: 137.4 miles (yikes!)
Swimming: 3300 yards (1.875 miles)
Running: 12 miles

This week marks a milestone in my training. I decided to hire a coach. For the last six years I've done everything on my own (well, with Dan's help and MANY magazines and websites), but I've decided to get some professional help (I need all the help I can get!). Monday marks the first day of his training plan for me. I'm a little nervous, but I just talked to him and it seems in line with what I've been doing. Right now the 50-60 mile ride on Sunday is making me a bit nervous. Well, a lot nervous. But, I guess it's what I need to start doing. Woo hoo! 16 weeks until the big day!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Triathlon Training Week 3

This has been a big week. It certainly helped that I didn't have to work and the weather was really nice. It's also comforting that I was able to almost triple the swim and bike race distances this week (typical tri guidelines are to triple the mileage of each discipline during a week of training once you get closer to the race). It's also great that I have a lot of friends (and my hubby!) that I can ride and hike with. I rode bikes with five different people this week and hiked/snowshoed with three. If I'm actually going to do the half Ironman, I'm going to need a lot of training buddies! Next week I get to cut back as it will be the fourth week (build for three, cut back the fourth).

Swim: 5200 yds (2.95 miles)
Bike: 133 miles
Run: 9 miles
Hike/snowshoe: 11 miles (1800' vertical)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Skunk Canyon to Royal Arch hike

Nice warm sunny day today! We rode bikes to Chautauqua and hiked to Skunk Canyon. The bottom of the canyon was still a bit snowy and we just had sneakers so we didn't want to go too far up -- plus there was a raptor closure farther west. A faint trail going steeply up the north side of the canyon took us up to some unknown Flatirons (we heard people climbing) and then up to a ridge. From the ridge we saw swarms of people around the Royal Arch to the North. We bushwhacked a few hundred meters across the valley to the bottom of the Royal Arch rock. That wasn't too tough, but once we were around the north side of the arch the terrain was steep and snowy. Finally made the trail and hiked it to the arch. About 5 miles round trip and 1400' gain in 3 hours.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Half Ironman Training Week 2

Swim: 3350 yds (1.9 miles)
Bike: 35 miles (very cold and snowy week--much of this was indoors. Yuck!)
Run: 11 miles
Ski: 20,000 vertical feet

Monday, March 18, 2013

Half Ironman Training

Well, I know we haven't posted anything in 6 months (I WILL get the Hawai'i stuff up some day), but it was really motivating for me last year to post training mileage totals as I prepared for my Olympic distance triathlon. Now that I've officially begun my 70.3 training (1.2 swim, 56 bike, 13.1 run), I'd like to try to do the same thing. So here goes...

Week of March 11th:
swim: 3250 yards (1.85 miles)
bike: 90 miles
run: 7 miles
hike: 3 miles