Longest long run

This weekend was a long run of 16 miles on the schedule. After a crazy and hectic week and weekend, I wasn't sure I was going to make it at all....but then I somehow stole a pocket of time this afternoon. (My mom is out visiting this weekend, and she took the shorties to go do Gramma-type things like eat ice cream and listen to story time at the library.) So hubs agreed to come with me on my long run this afternoon. Yahoo!

Now, it's important to note that usually I try to do all my long runs on relatively flat dirt or gravel trail-type locations....because I'm kind of a sandbagger like that. But today we decided to just run from the house and take to the sidewalks and streets around Highlands Ranch. In case I never mentioned (yeah right), it is friggin hilly around my house. That 16-miler ended up at 15. And it was a long and tough 15 at that. There was light-headedness and near pass out at mile 9. So then there was walking at mile 10 until we could hit King Soopers to score some water, which I believed was the problem. (Also could have been after-affects from the martinis and french fries at dinner last night, but I won't split hairs.) Re-hydrated, we picked up to run again, as it progressively got colder and colder out, with the snow that was scheduled to roll in....and the last 5 miles all uphill (Wildcat Reserve Parkway, I hate you!). Dang.

Well, we finished that hilly be-yotch of a run and really the only good part of it was that 1) it was over and 2) I got quality couple-chat time with the hubs (he was a great sport, though he probably won't ever do a long run with me again...). Here's to getting that bad one over, and making room for the good ones!


The Mindf*uck Has Officially Become Useful

You know how sometimes you get tripped up, solely based on your mind telling you to stop, you're tired already, and you can't run 20 miles anyway...yeah, the Mindf*ck.

Well, I have so mastered the art of mindf*ckery that I have actually come around full-circle to back to putting it to good use for me. (And I do thank my regular running buddy for putting up with it, "Streetlight." You're the best, MWAH!) That's how I really know the distance running has made a big change in my life. I find myself making $hit up and creating little falsehoods to get me through just about anything these days. Oh, you know how it starts on the runs:

M2's Inner Voice: oh, come on it's just one tiny little hill and
then you get to get freaky with the Downhill the rest of the way, and then it's
flat.. Easy Peasy.
Reality: It is one large hill, followed by a short downhill and then two more uphills. It is in no way "flat."

M2IV: It's only a 5K left and then you are done.
R: It's a 5M left and then another .5 after that...and maybe one more mile after that. And then you are done.

M2IV: You only have to keep running to the next streetlight, and then you can walk if you want
R: You will not be walking at that streetlight, or any other. You will just keep repeating the streetlight thing until you are back home, or your RB tells you to shut up already.

M2IV: Iactually prefer running at 5:30AM because then I only have to
shower once per day
(as opposed to the before-work shower plus the after-run
shower if you go later in the day).

R: The shower part is true, but I still am not a big fan of waking up at 5:00AM. Nor will I ever be.

M2Iv: Peanut butter M&Ms are an excellent pre- (and post- for that matter) run snack; protein, "healthy" fat, and carbs for "energy."
R: Duh, candyholic, it's the M&Ms that make you feel like crap at mile 2.
I can tell I am upping the miles, the peanut butter obsession has officially

And of course there are all the numerous Chunk It Up lies that you tell yourself to get through the long runs, "It's only 6 miles out; just stick on another mile out, you won't even notice it; 12 miles, halfway done; if you're going to do 14, you might as well just do 16...or 20...; one mile to go, that's only another 5 minutes of my life, I can do this for 5 more minutes (when of course it's going to be 10 minutes); after that other hill, this one isn't really even a hill, I'll call it more like flat...and I can run on flat easily...; just a mile to go, a mile is nothing; etc. etc. etc.

I had a nice midday run yesterday from work. Iwas up until midnight Monday night doing some work, and had another long day in the office planned yesterday and knew I was probably going to be still working last night. So I brought my gear and hit Wash Park for an afternoon run. The weather was good, a sunny 40 degrees, clear and bright. The park has two main routes around it--a larger gravel trail loop around the very outside, and a somewhat shorter paved road loop inside the park. I typically run the gravel loop because 1) it's longer 2) it's gravel and 3) there are no cyclists to annoy me. Well, yesterday it was still snow-covered and I didn't feel like running on snow, so I took to the paved road loop which was clean and mostly dry. Only problem was that I didn't know exactly how far it is around it, cause I never run on it. And Gizmo went to sleep on me just a mile into the run, so I had to wing it. I figured it to be about 2 miles. And it is a mile to get to the park from my office, so I was thinking I would do 2 loops, plus the mile each way to the office for about a 6 mile run. And maybe I would tack on a little more if I felt good at the end. So that's what I did. And upon getting back to the office and chatting with coworkers, they informed me that that loop was more than 2 miles. And I had tacked on quite a bit. So I was curious to see exactly what I had done in my hour and 20 minute run, if it was more than 7 miles. Turns out it was 8.8. I mindf*cked myself into thinkging I was only doing 6 little miles and turned out a good tempo 8.8 (on an empty stomach, I might add)! It's amazing what you can do when your mind thinks you're doing something else.... yeah, well I am finding myself doing that in a LOT of areas of my life lately.


Home is Where the, uh, Dump Is

Friday I took the day off and spent it skiing up in Keystone with the hubs. It was a great day--new snow, not crowded, not too cold--and I finally got to break in the new skis I got for Christmas. I felt like Lindsey Vonn racing down the hill in 'em--suckers are FAST!

So after a day of downhill and somewhat tired quads, I wasn't sure what to expect for Saturday's long run. The HRRC group was meeting to run over at the Platte River trail, which I like very much. It is very flat, and runs along the gurgling river the whole way; I could literally follow the trail all the way to downtown Denver. What it lacks in beutificous mountain vistas, it makes up for in flatness and cute little wood pedestrian bridges. And geese (which also means geese poop). The thing is covered with geese. Which is ok, as long as they don't park their feathery assess on the trail and just glare at you when you approach, refusing to move out of your way. (If you yell and curse at them, it usually does the trick and they will slowly waddle just out of the way enough for you to pass; hoping that one day they don't decide to take a peck out of my leg just for spite, though I'm sure it's imminent.)

It was a bit cool and had snowed a tad Friday night, but the trail was plowed pretty clean and the light flakes that fell actually felt kind of nice on my face, especially once we got going. I ran the first 4 miles with the HRRC running group. They stopped to turn around and head back at 4 miles, and I opted to keep going a little further before heading back, knowing I had to get in at least 14 miles.

Overall it was a great run, I kept a good pace (faster than my plan requested of me but not blazing fast, all praise the Running Gods) and enjoyed it. I think my favorite part of the trail is the bit that goes right by the Waste Management transfer station and dump. Though I've never noticed before, today I noticed the apartment complex that sits LITERALLY right next door to WM. And they have the balls to put up this banner....

Apartments For Rent: easy access to Platte River Trail/Waste Mgmt Dump. Cheap Rents!
Please enjoy my panoramic photos skillz, above.

Ah, trail or no, I think I'm happy that's not home for me.

PS: the only thing worse than goose poop all over the trail, is goose diarrhea all over the trail.


I love a Good Run

Well, I didn't do one of the Valentines' 5k races in town this weekend. However, I did have a GREAT 12-miler (12.4 to be precise) Saturday. I ran on one of my new all-time favorite trails: Waterton Canyon.

I don't think these pictures really need explanation, but as for the trail's greatness I will say this: it is a very gentle incline up as far as you want to go, which means a heavenly downhill on the way back. Personally, I felt the incline was almost unnoticable, but I did feel the decline on the way back down. I managed a negative split, except for the last mile when I had a couple of walking patches as I was again V.E.R.Y. thirsty. (Contrary to my previous beliefs, it seems I actually DO need to bring water with me on the double-digit runs, even when it is cold out. Duly noted, Running Gods, duly noted.)
Waterton Canyon trail on the right (flat, wide, and dirt);
picturesque mountain stream on the left.

A frozen waterfall in the stream next to the trail.


Superbowl 5K: PR?!

Ah, more like DNS.

Yeah, so I bagged the 5k last Sunday. Reasons why (all excuses, I know; feel free to chastise me in the comments):
  • It was snowing, with full snow groundcover, at racetime
  • I ran 11 on Saturday and technically was supposed to "rest" on Sunday (per my very official marathon training plan which only calls for 3 days of running per week...best not to contradict the Marathon Training Plan Gods, I know what happened last time I did that, hello fress stracture)
  • Hubs wanted to sleep in (if I had raced, he'd have had to get up to deal with Shorties, which he had already done on Saturday so I could long run and meet up w/running group)
  • I hadn't registered, so I wasn't out any money by choosing not toget out of bed and go get soaked and cold in the snow. In fact, the raceday registration would have cost me $10 more than had I registered early, so I actually saved myself money by sleeping in--win-win! (see how I can manipulate anything to my "benefit" Yeah, it's a skill.)
  • I wasn't really going to race it anyway
  • Did I mention it was snowing--and cold--at racetime...and...cold, and snowing? Only the hard core runners come out to race in that $hit, which means I would have probably finished 10 out of 10 in my age group, instread of the 10 out of 200 like I might otherwise (who are we kidding, it's probably more like 30/200, whatev). No it wasn't DC-level snow, but it was snow all the same.
  • Needed sufficient time to prep for the Super Bowl Pizza Orgy that was scheduled to occur that afternoon
  • 99% chance the t-shirt was ugly anyway (per the HRCA racing series Offical T-Shirt Design Guidelines)
Yeah so I bagged it....I have 14 miles on-deck for this Saturday but there are a couple of fun-looking Valentines races this weekend, so we'll see...I won't pre-promise any race reports to avoid disappointing you all. Nor will I commit to altering my trainng plan, in order to avoid the MTPG's wrath. You'll just have to stay tuned.


Life, and Stuff

I am alive but have just been busy the last couple weeks with:

  • Running - consistent early (5:45AM) morning runs with running buddy Shawna two or three times a week. We've got a good flow and schedule between 3-5-7 mile runs, on hills, some days faster, some days slower, couple of tempo-ish. Did have a brief hiatus (see: Health, below) last week/end though.
  • Racing - my first race since last fall is coming up this weekend, yay!! The Super Bowl 5K is on Sunday and while I'm running it, I am not real sure how hard I'll actually be racing it. I have a long run up (10-12 miles) tomorrow morning, so it really depends how I'm feeling Sunday (see also Health, below), as to how hard I "race" it. More of a social activity to kick of the 2010 HRCA race season. Here's to hoping they have stepped it up on the t-shirt design front this year.
  • Work - just friggin busy the whole month of January, culminating in a speaking engagement this week, which was complicated by voice-loss (see Health, below). But February (the month of love! and chocolate!) looks much more promising for a lighter workload. No doubt that will change.
  • Life - just friggin busy with kidstuff the whole month of January, such as swimming parties, sleepovers, playdates, soccer registration, basketball season prep, and such.
  • Health - spent most of last week with a bout of tuberculosis/pleurisy/bubonic plague which involved very sore throat, very sore sinuses, very awful cough, fever, and loss of voice (hubby celebrating that symptom).
Look forward to a mildly exciting race report in the near future; Go Saints!