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NCAthlete last won the day on February 16

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About NCAthlete

  • Birthday September 2

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  1. NCAthlete

    Questions and thoughts of a seasoned and confused runner

    That picture is from one of our first 14er hikes when we moved here. It is a good one.
  2. NCAthlete

    Questions and thoughts of a seasoned and confused runner

    I'm thinking of getting it tattooed somewhere. Forehead maybe?
  3. NCAthlete

    Questions and thoughts of a seasoned and confused runner

    Gwen, I honestly couldn't care less what others think about my pace. I just keep beating myself up because I'm not as fast as I use to be and I keep getting all these stupid little injuries. It's all me. Head games, indeed.
  4. NCAthlete

    Questions and thoughts of a seasoned and confused runner

    "...that altitude is a speed stealing jackass that can go straight to hell." YES!!! I look forward to the day that I'm closer to sea-level again. It is cool to see the improvements I've had in the last couple years, at altitude, but I'd much rather be running in NC again. Bring on the humidity!
  5. I’ve been thinking about this training plan and marathon business a lot lately, and it’s brought up some interesting thoughts and questions. I’ve been a runner since my junior year of high school (1997) – twenty two years. I’ve run at different capacities during my life: High school cross-country team where I was flying by the seat of my pants and just doing what my coach told me to do. I don’t remember running much outside of practice and meets, so I was just doing it to be on the team. I did really enjoy it and got a taste of competing, but didn’t know what it really meant to be a runner. I graduated in 1999, started going to community college, and became an occasional runner. I’d run around while playing volleyball and softball, and run a couple miles here and there around campus. I joined the Army in 2001 and got out in 2009. This is when I really learned what running was about. Started running faster and longer – loving competing in races. When I became a competitive runner, I did start looking at training plans with the hopes of following one and that it would make me a better/faster runner. It would typically turn into something like a compass – I would refer to it in terms of where I should be, but it wasn’t something that stressed me out. Why does it stress me out so much now and why do I feel the need to follow it 100%? I think there’s at least a few reasons… Moving to Colorado took away my speed and started a downward spiral of getting out of shape. I tried so many things and I just couldn’t get back to where I wanted to be. I thought that by following a training plan it would bring me back. Nope. SO many of you have so much success following training plans and having coaches – some of which also make it look VERY easy to stick to. That would work for me too, right? Nope. I always want to challenge and push myself which I can do now by either trying to get faster or running longer distances. In my mind, to do those things you need to following a relatively strict training plan. Could I do it that way? Nope. If I love running SO much, why can’t I do this? Hang on… Who says a runner has to follow a plan to improve? This is what is always in the forefront of my mind these days. I’ve had so much success in the past just using plans as a compass. By looking back, I can see that success now. Sure they work wonderfully for some people – it’s a proven fact that they can help you improve. They don’t work for everyone and I can attest to that. All it does is add worry and stress and makes me feel like I’m not good enough when I miss a day or two. I now feel that I can still improve if I can just add more consistency and refer to a plan when I need to know around where I should be, mileage wise. Also, why am I feeling the need to still run marathons and beyond? If it’s so hard for me to train for, then why am I doing it? I don’t have anything to prove to anyone, not even myself. I need to cut myself some damn slack and stop trying to up the bar after everything I accomplish. I don’t know when I reached the point of feeling like everything I do (athletically) has to be something amazing or better than the last thing I did. Maybe it’s getting older and closer to 40. Maybe it’s because I spent so long in the Army doing great things and I miss it. Maybe it’s because I took on the ultimate challenge of climbing Denali and it didn’t happen. I’m sure it’s a lot of things. I have to realize that things do change as you get older, and there will come a point when I won’t be hitting PRs anymore (pfffff, haha!), or I might not be able to run longer distances without getting injured along the way. I’m not going to accept any of that right now, but I am going to start cutting myself some damn slack. I am 37, healthy and active, and am so lucky to be able to do the things that I do. I live in a beautiful place with many beautiful things to see and do. I’m going to soak up all of that while I still can and I’m going to enjoy it without stressing about whether I am doing the best I can or not. Being a runner is a big part of me and I need to be whatever kind of runner I want to be. I need to make it my own and not try to follow what others are doing all of the time. For me, running is a hobby and not a job that I’ll ever get paid to do. It’s OK to compete with myself and others, but it needs to be done in a healthier, more realistic way. It’s also OK to try things that others have success with. If it doesn’t work for me, move on. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Relentless Forward Progress. Lastly, the days of week-to-week training recaps are over – probably to the relief of many (which is also why not many people will be reading this – thank you to those who have stuck with me). Why write weekly recaps when I have a training log AND Strava that basically do that for me? Moving forward, I hope to write more about thoughts and memorable experiences. And race reports, of course! For now, and hopefully forever, I’m going to stick to the advice of some of you and Just Fucking Run – JFR. JFR, friends.
  6. NCAthlete

    Gooooooood Morning VietnaauuhhhhAtlantaaaaa!

    All sorts of yesssss for this post 😁
  7. YAS! So many questions. Sweet Mags can say what she wants about me. I'm immune to the kitty shit talking I just see it as sweetness. xoxo Mags
  8. YES! I know it's not supposed to be easy but it's not supposed to be this hard. I know I'll likely run more marathons, but now is not the time. I hope to see you soon and I hope you are doing well!
  9. Insanity or hopeful determination? I'm not sure where my repeated tries at properly training for a marathon fits, but I'm over it. Time and time again I fail at this, and each time I still try to convince myself that this is what I really want, and you can do it this time. I'm over stressing week after week that I'm not hitting the numbers. I'm over worrying about whether or not I'm going to get so far behind that I could injure myself if I keep going. I'm over trying to hold this standard over myself week after week. I guess it's just not for me - or at least right now. So, I'm still running the NJ 26.2, but I'm going to get there by doing what I can with the time I have left. After that, I'm done with marathons and anything beyond. Until I can get my shit together, I'm just going to run, workout, and run shorter races. I still have my goal of one race each month, and I plan to do that. This isn't a pity party. This is trying to enjoy what I love doing without stressing out about it anymore. I'll write when I feel like it.
  10. NCAthlete

    Sweet Mags Farts on a Hoka and I Don't Really Care Cause It's a Dumb Shoe

    I wish there was a love reaction button. Or even a turd.
  11. NCAthlete

    Ralston Creek 13.1 Race Report

    I’m sorry you’re always injured! I’ve done 3 creeks as well and it’s not too bad. I might do that one again sometime. I forgot how hard RC was
  12. NCAthlete

    Back in the Race

    Nice race! Happy training!
  13. NCAthlete

    Ralston Creek 13.1 Race Report

    Ralston Creek 13.1 – Arvada, CO / Sunday, February 3, 2019 2/12 – Race per month 2019 goal In case you forgot, I have a goal this year of running a race (of any distance) each month of the year! This was my February race. I ran this race in 2014. The weather was pretty awful – cold, snowy, and the trails were pretty treacherous. At least one person had to have gotten injured during that one by slipping on ice. The weather is hit or miss this time of year so, “You never know what you’re gonna get.” I actually ended up having to wear the jacket that I brought because the layers I had on weren’t enough – Athlinks says the temp was 26°. However, this year was much different and it was about 47° and sunny at the start! I was in carpis and a thin LS shirt. The race director had reported the day prior that there were only a few icy spots on the course which were pretty negotiable – they even covered up a longer icy portion with carpet! They had eight port-o-potties at the start, which turned out to not be enough. W and I had gotten there about an hour before the start and just sat in the car. I didn’t realize what the PoP situation would be and didn’t need to go until I was ready to go to the start. The line was LONG. There was one single line for all of them, which I think was fine, but it was moving slow – they needed more shitters. I HAD to pee BADLY and there were tons of buildings around, so I had to stand in line. The announcer kept asking any 5K runners to let the halfers go first, since their race didn’t start until 15 minutes later. I got through with THREE minutes to spare! They still started about five minutes late. This one chick had a dog that piercingly barked through all of the announcements and I didn’t hear a thing. When we took off, that dog was raring to go and was pulling her down the road. I can’t see running with a dog for an entire half marathon. This was supposed to be a training run and I was supposed to keep the pace around a 9:20, but I can’t bear to run a half over two hours if I don’t have to. Once I started, the goal was to just go, not TOO fast, but just to go with what felt comfortable. I felt heavy and clunky when we started and wasn’t sure I’d be running under two hours. We ran on a wide road for about half a mile but then turned onto a smaller, standard-sized greenway that can comfortably fit about three-wide. It got really crowded and I was feeling claustrophobic. I got around as many people as I could and finally settled in. I’m #236. I was able to take my headband off after the first couple miles. After a fast-ish first mile at 8:24, I settled into a nice pace: 8:40, 8:46, 8:39, and 8:45 for miles 2-5. Until looking at the elevation profile, I hadn’t realized how much of a uphill the whole first half is, so that makes me even prouder of that pace! After mile 5, we hit a hill that seemed like it would never end. It wasn’t steep but it was long, over half a mile but I didn’t walk once. Mile 6- 9:24. I had to wear my runway Goodr glasses because I forgot my others. I also got a little sunburned on my face. Once I crested the hill, I wanted to try to make up some time because I could see the next and biggest hill coming up in the distance. It was hard to see it from so far away and see all the bright shirts of other runners in the switchbacks. Mile 7- 8:45. I took a run/walk approach to this hill, just as I did during the Mt. Evans ascent, and it really does help. When I was passed by a runner while walking, I’d end up passing them back when I started running again. This hill was about a MILE and I still managed a 10:18. It was basically all downhill after that and I wanted to make up time again. Race Character: “Alice” – I remember first seeing Alice in front of me very early in the race. Once I realized we were going at about the same pace, with her about 5 seconds ahead of me, I thought I’d try to pace off of her. She was very energetic and kept talking to the people she’d pass. She would hoot and holler even when no one was around. She yelled out after almost every mile marker. When we hit the half-way point, and actually at the 10K mark, she yells out, “HALF WAY THERE!” A few seconds later, and with the correction of a guy in front of her, yells out, “OOPS! SORRY! ALMOST HALF-WAY!” We did a bit of leap frogging up the hill, but she settled in again in front of me after it. Mile 9- 8:02. It had heated up by this point and I was getting a little warm. I was starting to feel the effects of the heat and my inconsistent training. Miles 10 to 12- 8:28, 8:37, 8:53. I was trying to keep up the pace but was running out of gas. At mile 12, I was just trying to maintain and to keep it under a 9 min pace. I had nothing left in the last mile and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I let two ladies pass me in that last mile, one while I could see the finish line. Mile 13- 9:04. I had nothing left in the tank – just as I like it. I think the course was a bit long because everyone around me had watches going off well before we got to the mile markers. Mine was 0.25 over which isn’t insignificant – that’s a whole lap around the track! I was running the tangents as often as I could. Anywho, my official time was 1:57:00 on the dot. Good and surprisingly enough for 3rd place in the 35-39 age group! I almost didn’t even look at the results because I thought there was just no way I’d place. Alice finished about 30 seconds ahead of me and was in the F45-49 age group : ) We gave each other high-fives in the finish area and I let her know how much she helped me. The wind picked up after the race, and when I got tired of waiting for the awards ceremony, I went up to the table to ask about it and they just gave me an award mug They had awesome breakfast burritos and chocolate chip banana bread in the tents! Race Stats: (2019 vs 2014) Finish Time: 1:57:00 / 1:55:31 in 2014. UGH! I didn’t think I’d ran it that fast in 2014! Overall: 85 of 248 / 127 of 484. WOW! What a drop in participants!! Gender: 21 of 125 / 39 of 282 F35-39: 3 of 21 / F30-34: 11 of 63 Weather: ~50 / ~26 (Athlinks) Yeah, that was five years ago but I always want to do better. Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER proud of myself and the effort that I put out. On race day, there is nothing I could have or would have done differently.
  14. NCAthlete

    She's Got the Rhythm

    If you can name the song/artist I picked my title from, MAJOR kudos… I have this CD and use to wear it out in my teens! The artist is one of my all-time favorites. I promptly had to play this song on my iTunes when I wrote it in the title, then kept playing other songs – it’s been a while! This is my kitty, Gwen (Gwenie Poo). She was NOT impressed with the Super Bowl last night. Now that the car wrecking/buying shite is behind me, and I no longer feel like a raging bitch, I can get back to focusing on training and get back into a rhythm. While I was trying not to give myself a hard time about slacking the last couple weeks (considering everything that was going on), I did anyway. Each day I felt guilty about not sticking to the training plan. Yes, I have fallen a bit behind, but I will still run 26.2 at the end of April. If I don’t have any more setbacks, I still have a decent amount of training left and can possible still put up a great time. Anywho… Monday: I took a personal day at work because this was actually the day I was picking up Black Betty (bam-ba-lam). I waited around all day for the call to go to the dealership, but it ended up being 3:30 before they were ready. I decided to take a rest day since I ran my long run the day before. I did hate to miss Barbell. Tuesday: Treadmill Progression – Since I haven’t been running consistently, I haven’t been doing much speed work. However, I have been on the treadmill more than normal lately because of the weather. I am STILL liking the treadmill (I’ll never say loving). As long as I have some tunes and my Jaybirds, I’m good. This time I was planning to run 4 miles, with the same progression as the workout last week. It ended up being: 9:13, 9:03, 8:56, and 8:48. I liked it. Next week, I’d like to start at 9:03 and work my way down from there. I’m just kinda doing my own thing when it comes to speedwork. Wednesday: Spin with Coach Kelli – I always look forward to spin because I get on it and just go. I’m typically at least 10 RPMs over the range the instructors say that we should be in. Kelli teaches on Wednesdays and I love working out with her! She is definitely perfect for being a group fitness instructor, and she constantly keeps me motivated. I started spinning 15 minutes before class started which gave me an hour – I got in 14.3 miles. This is the view I had from the studio while spinning! Thursday: Matrix Treadmill PCT run! I had a busy Thursday planned and was needing to leave work at 2pm for an appointment that typically takes about three hours. AND THEN I needed to ensure that I was able to feed and walk my friend’s dog by 6pm (more on that in a minute!). I knew I’d be strapped for time and would absolutely need to get up early and run if I was going to get it done. I didn’t sleep well Wednesday night and was awake off and on from 2:30AM. I didn’t get to the wellness center and start running until about 6:30. I’d never run on a treadmill at the WC before and they have the Matrix ones. It lets you pick a workout and a place to run, and then you get to virtually run the course. I chose the PCT! I will say that I’m not sure I liked it all that much. Choosing a trail run wasn’t smart because I kept wanting to jump over rocks and felt myself leaning/shifting a bit in switchbacks! The workout was great though because it had some incline changes. I like not having to adjust the incline and also actually using incline on the t-mill; I’ve been keeping it at 0 on my other runs. I kept the pace on 9:13 the whole time until the last mile when I bumped it up to 9:03. Considering the inclines, it was a good pace! I had a 30 minute limit set and ended up with just over 3.2 miles. My friend has asked me if I will walk and feed her dog a few nights a week. Patches (Patch, Patchy Poo) is a very sweet dog and I love being around him. She adopted him when she was doing some volunteer work over in the Bahamas years ago. He’s such a good and smart boy and can be walked without a leash – he also stops when we need to cross a street and waits for me! Can I keep him? Haha! Anyway, I’m very excited about being able to see him each week and earn a little extra money in the process – it’s much needed right now! He doesn’t like his picture taken as I can never get a good one of his face! Ha! Friday: Threasy – While those in the North are freezing their jibblies off, it has finally been pretty nice here and melted a lot of the snow pack. I’ve been hoping to bump up my runs to four a week instead of three since I’m behind in my training. The fourth day would just be threasy and that’s what I did. Amy and I runched! Runch is THE BEST! I absolutely love using my lunch break to run outside, especially when it is gorgeous out. We ran around our usual group loop which takes us by Elitch Gardens, the LoDo REI, the Broncos stadium, and runs along the Platte River. It’s really a great loop and is perfectly three miles. Happy sighhhhhh Saturday: Hot Power Fusion Yoga – I thought about using this as a rest day, but I was really feeling motivated with how the week went and for my race the next day. I ensured I wouldn’t be dehydrated for race day by pounding lots of water this day. I always feel so refreshed after sweating buckets in this class. Namaste. Sunday: Ralston Creek 13.1 – Race Report to follow! I had a fantastically productive week, in regarding to training! It felt so good! January Re-Cap It was a bit of a rough month and start to the year, but maybe I just got all the shitty shit out of the way early in the year? One can hope. Running miles: 60 Not as much as I should have ran but it’s not bad! Higher than December but 5 miles shy of November’s total. Should only go up from here! Spinning miles: 50 (Nice!) Races: 1 – Resolution 5K New trucks: 1
  15. NCAthlete

    The Park

    Great read! I had the same kind of moment last week when, a part of the path I was running on smelled strongly of pine. I realized where I was - across the creek from where they mulch Christmas trees. I took several deeps breaths and closed my eyes for a second. That smell is one of my most favorites. It's all sorts of nostalgic and fresh.