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Everything posted by NCAthlete

  1. First month of marathon training, complete! Monday: Barbell Strength Tuesday: PM Spin – I had a REALLY bad day at work. Too many things happening at once sent me into a tizzy, to the point of almost crying. I was really looking forward to spin class after work and knew I was going to push it hard. I started warming up about 10 minutes before class started and then never slowed down once it started. Even during recovery tracks I was pushing it. I ended up with almost 15 miles (I typically average around 13) by the end of class and felt so refreshed afterwards! Exercise does the body SO good. Wednesday: REST – I hadn’t planned to stay for PM Barbell Strength because I was going to head straight home to pack for Rehoboth. I was going to have a long day on Thursday and knew I wouldn’t have much time to pack. I thought I might get in a few miles, but I’d started noticing my shin, just when walking around again – nothing painful but achy with every step. Ugh. I knew the speed was going to catch up with me but I just couldn’t slow myself down in those moments of feeling amazing. Also, I don’t know why I haven’t been wearing the compression socks that I own, especially on the long runs. Hey, here are these expensive socks I bought that I only need to wear when I’m injured. Come on, Chris! I had definitely planned to wear those for the race on Saturday, and I did. Thursday: REST Friday: TRAVEL – REST (I rested Sunday too, in case you’re keep track) Saturday: Rehoboth 13.1 – Rehoboth Beach, Delaware The Rehoboth House Although I had a GREAT run, it was mostly uneventful which is why I’ve included the race report into my weekly recap. The trip to Rehoboth was smooth and most of us had dinner together at the house Friday night. We were luck enough to get the same, awesome house as last year. Like last year, I didn’t sleep much Friday night – mostly because I was in a new bed and I just couldn’t shut my brain down. The race started at 7am and I got out of bed around 5:30. I’m never really hungry that early but I forced myself to eat a fig bar – same thing I ate last year that worked really well. The goal was a course PR – anything better than 1:47. The sub-goal was a 13.1 PR – anything better than 1:42. Road trip from DCA! It was cold at the start but not unbearable. I was actually surprised that it didn’t feel colder to me. I was expecting upper 20’s there to be much colder than upper 20’s in Colorado. I had on tights, compression socks, a Buff, thin gloves, a thin long-sleeved shirt, and that new thin Nike windbreaker that I blogged about recently. I didn’t overheat in it this time. I was going to let myself take off fast and just go with it. However, I was surprised when the first mile chimed in at 8:18 – it felt much faster than that. I picked it up. Miles 2-4 came in at 7:55, 7:40, and 7:36. I had really picked up the pace between miles 3 and 4 because I saw some of my buds and wanted to catch them before the half and full split. I was successful and was able to holler at Mr. Bacon and Randy right before they split off. Air goals… The tights I was wearing were brand new and I’d just bought them from Athleta. They were the softest tights I’d ever run in and they were amazing. EXCEPT, my effing FlipBelt kept riding up and was all the way up around my abdomen! It was pissing me off so I decided to take it off and carry it. The rest of the way. With my damn iPhone in it (and I didn’t even use it). Ugh. This caused mile 5 to slow to 8:02. Miles 6-7 were 7:50 and 7:56 and I was really proud of the pace I was keeping. Around mile 8, we enter a park and start running on a dirt trail. I really love this part but didn’t realize how much it slowed me down until I started looking at the splits. I was also feeling the speed by that point and was losing some juice. Mile 8-10 were 8:09, 8:19, and 8:20. I don’t remember which mile this occurred but I got right beside another girl and she let out the biggest burp ever! It made me giggle but she apologized. I let her know that it was impressive and that I appreciated it (and that she didn’t get anything on me). Unfortunately, I didn’t encounter many characters to report on. Besides the incredibly hairy, almost naked man with the Viking hat on… I saw him at the beer tent afterwards and got a pic. At mile 11, I knew I was going to be exiting the trail soon so I picked it up as much as I could. I also got beside a guy and started chatting with him, who told me he was trying to finish with a sub 8 average pace. That’s where I hoped to be (that became a C goal mid-race) but I was sure I didn’t have it in me. I was giving it all I had without burning out before the finish. He took off ahead of me and I never caught him. Miles 11-13 were 8:07, 8:08, and 8:05. Official finish time: 1:46:01 – COURSE PR! While the B and C goals would have been cooler, I met my A goal and I am so happy and proud of myself! I have come a LONG way in the last year and a half and I shouldn’t be anything less than proud. Rehoboth continues to be a magical race and is certainly my favorite. Ever. Sorry, Shamrock – at least you’ve got the PRs! Each year I am incredibly inspired and amazed by the performances of my other running buddies. I was able to stand at the finish line and cheer in some of them. Caitlin – who was just shy of a BQ but who got a massive PR instead. Carissa – who’d been in a boot a couple times this and STILL got a BQ. Randy – this guy had a ruptured achilles a year ago and finished the freakin’ marathon! – a 3:33 too! Finally, there’s Mr. Bacon (aka Prom King) who barely trained and still ran a 3:28. If those people can’t inspire you, get the fuck outta here. I miss Rehoboth already and am already looking forward to going back next year. This time, the goal WILL be a 13.1 PR. Yeah, baby! I miss you guys already!
  2. NCAthlete

    Rehoboth Runparty #6!

  3. NCAthlete

    Rehoboth Beach Marathon Recap and Happy Anniversary, My Achilles

    You were DTF and Rob missed it! Dammit Rob @RonSwansonsStache! Congrats again! Woooohoooo!!!
  4. I was slowed down last week by Aunt Flo and I was really pissed that it took away that high that I’d been riding for weeks – I was afraid that it would be gone for good. However, that amazing long run that I had on Sunday brought it back!! And the high lives on…not THAT kind of high though. I’ve been in CO for 5 years now and STILL haven’t tried any gonja – no plans to do so either. I was surprisingly NOT sore from the swift 13 miles that I ran on Sunday Monday: Barbell Strength – Do sharks complain about Monday? NO. They’re up early, biting stuff, chasing shit, being scary – reminding everyone they’re a fucking shark. On Mondays, I feel like a shark. A bad ass fucking shark. Tuesday: This is typically a 2fer day for me, however I think I’m going to have to revamp that. I knew I’d have to make some adjustments with all of this cross-training I’m doing. Since I take the barbell class at lunch on Mondays, I typically make up that long lunch by not taking a lunch on Tuesdays. It’s just not reasonably logistical for me to run and do spin on this day. I haven’t felt like getting up really early to run and I don’t have time to run before or after spin. So, I made a plan to run at lunch on Wednesday and do the barbell class in the evening. Wednesday 2fer: 4 mile runch – It was 60 degrees during this run! I brought a t-shirt and capris but totally could have run in shorts. I also forgot my sunglasses and it got pretty windy during the second half – there’s no telling what I might have gotten in my eye. The Cherry Creek trail is convenient, but it’s super sketchy and kinda dirty. I haven’t had any pace goals for my shorter runs, other than to just run with what feels comfortable. I’m gettin’ faster y’all! I finished 4.3 miles at an 8:51/mile pace! Aww yeah! Soon, I hope to be able to say goodbye to 9 minute miles for all runs! There is so much cool artwork to photo on this trail! I’m gonna try to get a new one each time! Barbell Strength- My biggest reason for taking this class is to build strength from the waist up, so since I ran earlier in the day, I decided to take it easy on the legs during class. This was only the second time I’d taken the class two times in a week and I could definitely tell my muscles were feeling a little fatigued from Monday’s class. Thursday: Belmar Run Club – I had 5 miles on the schedule and I hadn’t been to run club in a bit (like months), AND I was looking forward to having a burrito and a beer at Rocko’s afterwards. Guy Chris was there, and he usually arrives after we’ve already started. Chris is in his upper 50’s (I think) and is normally pretty fast – we always end up sitting by each other at Rocko’s and chatting. I started running with him and he proceeds to tell me that he’s also been battling shin splints. He ran with me for two laps, and I always run faster than intended when I’m running and talking to someone. I’ve been running primarily flat stuff and this route has a couple hills. By the end of the run, I could feel a sensation in my shin just a little – nothing worrisome but it was noticeable. I need to slow myself down a bit when running a route with hills. However, my plan for now is to only run flat routes, at least until I get stronger. Shamrock is super flat so there’s no need to run any hills right now anyway. I finished the run with an 8:40 average. Friday: This is an optional rest day so I TOOK it! Gladly Saturday: Long Run – I had 11 miles on the schedule, but hadn’t really thought about the fact that I was racing a half marathon the next weekend. I’ve been so adamant about sticking to the schedule that I hadn’t thought that it should be a cut-back week. So instead of 11, I ran 8. I didn’t feel like running the trails around my house but I also didn’t want to drive anywhere either. I ended up running around my house anyway and ran dirt trails for the first 2.5 miles, then the rest on pavement. I was trying my best to change it up and add some loops in, but it gets annoying when you get back to your starting point and you still have some to go. Anywho, it was a pretty uneventful run except for the fact that I can’t slow my ass down! I really should have ran this in the low 9 mins/mile and I really thought I was doing that. I ended up with an 8:53 average! GO! GO, Gadget Legs! Sunday: REST I have the Rehoboth 13.1 THIS WEEKEND! Holy cow!! So, I was curious as to how my training now compares with where I was at last year when I somehow ran an 8:11 average for the race. Last November: 56 miles total for the month / Run paces averaged between 9:20 and 10:17 This November: 65 miles total for the month / Run paces averaged between 8:40 and 9:25 Since I totally don’t want to sandbag what I think I could run this year, is a DISTANCE PR out of the question?? I’m thinking NO! My 13.1 PR is 1:42:08 with a 7:47 average. I’m just going to keep that in the back of my mind while I’m running and just keep the main goal of a course PR in the forefront. I’m VERY excited to see what happens and an RR will follow so you will know as well! Since I know you’ll be on the edge of your seat waiting… haha! Thanks for reading! Chris
  5. NCAthlete

    Shamrock Marathon Training: Week 2

    THANKSGIVING WEEK! Monday: Spin – Since it was fall break on campus, the group fitness schedule was all different for classes. Instead of doing barbell this day, I took Kelli’s spin class at lunch. What a great way to spend lunch! I was so sweaty by the time we finished and I got in 13.6 miles! Tuesday: Barbell Strength – Aunt Flo came for a visit and left me feeling like I was going to shit myself all day. I was supposed to run and do the barbell class this day but I pushed the run to Wednesday. I did make it through barbell without soiling myself – SUCCESS! Kelli rode to work with me and stayed for the class too! On the way home, Kelli was talking about her 2019 goals (NOT resolutions) and that she wanted to focus on getting stronger. Soooo, I kinda agreed to do a 2019 challenge with her. More on that after we figure out all of the details! Wednesday: REST – Instead of running after work, I went home and had a beer instead. I really need to work on handling my Aunt Flo weeks much better – it always seems to sideline me. Thursday: Mt. Morrison Thanksgiving Day hike – Kelli and I had talked about maybe doing a Turkey Trot but we decided to do something more challenging and FREE. Mt. Morrison is super close to both of us and our hubbies came along as well. That’s Mt. Evans back there covered in snow We were at the trail head by 8am and finished before lunch – 2000′ of gain in under 2 miles! It’s a pretty tough but great hike – this hike is very deceptive. I haven’t been hiking much lately – taking a much needed break from that. We spent Thanksgiving with Kelli and her husband and had a delicious vegetarian meal. We ended up dressing alike I told her that she was starting to freak me out with how much she reminds me of Erin! Friday: Lazy – I didn’t do anything this day. The holiday week/schedule and Aunt Flo threw me for the whole first part of the week BUT I made up for it in a good way – keep reading. I was determined to get in those 4 miles so I hoped that I’d do it Saturday. This also meant pushing my long run to Sunday, which worked out perfectly because the weather was supposed to be crappy on Saturday. Saturday: 4.7 miles – The mountains were going to get pounded with snow and there was a chance we were going to get a little. However, it was beautiful in the morning and there was a blue bird sky. I had bought some new Goodr glasses and a super thin Nike windproof jacket on Black Friday at my Local Running Store (LRS), and I wanted to try out the jacket (which, by the way, I paid WAY too much for at the LRS, but at least I was supporting them. But I just saw that I could have gotten it for HALF of what I paid. I did get 20% off though. C’est la vie.). I thought it was much colder out than it was and I got SUPER hot. I even had on fleece lined tights! Yowza! I somehow made it 4.5 miles before I took the jacket off. I hadn’t been looking at my watch so I ended up running 4.7 before I realized I’d gone over 4. I started walking and used the last hill as a cool-down walk – I was glad to not have to run the hill anyway. I managed an 8:59 pace! It did get REALLY windy in the afternoon and snowed a bit overnight. I like this jacket! I wish it had zippers in the arm-pits but it’s comfy and easily packable. Sunday: 13.1 mile long run – You know you’re a life-time runner when you’ve been running for 20 years, and you still get butterflies thinking about a solo, 13 mile training run. It was mainly nervous butterflies because I wasn’t sure how my shin was going to handle this longest distance since September 8th. I didn’t have any trouble pooping twice before I took off. You’re welcome. I jumped in my car and headed to Writers Vista Park via the Highline Canal- my favorite, local trail to run on. It is also the location of the last time I ran 13 miles. I knew this dirt trail would be great to run on since it had snowed a tiny bit overnight, and I wouldn’t have to worry about slipping. It was colder than Saturday but I didn’t want to over heat again. I brought the jacket again but decided to just run in a thin long-sleeved shirt. The training plan called for 13 miles at a 9:35 pace – the paces are just a reference point that are adjustable. I took off and waited to see what pace I would settle into. The trail was just lightly dusted with snow. The first mile was a 9:13 which was reasonable, but then I just kept hitting 8s! I felt so good and strong and I just wanted to go with it. I knew it was a little risky, since it’s only my second long run of training, but sometimes you just gotta go with it. Why slow down if you don’t have to?? The only thing I don’t like about this trail are the many street crossings there are – and, if you do an out and back, you have to cross the streets twice. The lights are really long and can leave you hanging for a bit. The only outliers (in 9 min range) I had were because of those stoopid crossings. I know it doesn’t really matter, but still. I brought two Huma gels and had some Skratch in my water bottle – I REALLY like Huma gels. I didn’t drink much and only took one gel around the 6 mile mark. I definitely started feeling the speed in the last two miles. However, I wanted to keep pushing it so that I’d have a great finish time. My hips got a little tight but not what I expected! I finished the 13.1 (of course I had to do the 0.1) in 1:56:28 and felt like I’d just ran a race! It was great to push it during a training run! So consistent for the most part! Even those last four miles! This run gave me such a confidence boost and made me feel at ease that my shin is probably healed 100% now. I’d rather err on the side of caution a times though, just in case. I’m ready to start a new week and get back to my routine. I missed a lot of cross-training last week due to it being fall break on campus. Let’s do this! I hope everyone had a wonderful, happy, and safe holiday. Christmas is just around the corner! Rehoboth 13.1 NEXT weekend! Thanks for reading, friends Chris
  6. NCAthlete

    Shamrock Marathon Training: Week 2

    I do need to learn to take it easier on myself, especially during that time. After all, I did get in all the miles that I was suppose to that week. I think I'm just being hard on myself because I am determined to stick to a whole training plan, for once in my life. Mmmm wine...
  7. NCAthlete

    Not the Race Report You're Looking For

    Love this race report! You're such a great story teller and I always appreciate the humor. What a great finish time!! Congrats! That 35-39 age group is a toughie! Oh, and what the heck was up with Jenny? Was she just SUPER friendly?
  8. NCAthlete

    Shamrock Marathon Training: Week 2

    The snow was pretty bright that day, even with the shades. My glasses were constantly fogging up which was pretty annoying, but manageable.
  9. NCAthlete

    Shamrock Marathon Training: Week 1

    Week 1!! Yeah baby, YEAH! I’ll tell ya… lately I feel like I’ve been walking around with the Austin Power grin – minus the gnarly teeth. I’ve never felt this empowered, motivated, strong, and unstoppable before. I’m gonna keep riding this high for as long as possible. Monday: Travel/Rest Day – I was coming back from Arizona and it was a long day, so this ended up being a rest day. I did, again, take the stairs and walk as much as possible in the airports. Tuesday 2fer: Kelli and I decided it would be a good idea to carpool on Tuesdays since we live really close together and will both be staying for her PM spin class! Spin was great as always, but I was the only one there! I feel bad that no one else showed up but we still had a great class! I told her she could still practice her routine with me. We turned the bikes towards the windows so we could both look out over Denver. The Wellness Center just started offering spin so I don’t think the word has spread enough yet. 45 minutes later, I took off outside for threasy. It was dark already and it gets really sketchy around campus after dark – it is in the heart of downtown Denver, after all. I decided to just run around the sidewalks of campus and just zig-zagged past my work building, the library, and other school buildings. When I reached 1.5 miles, I just turned around and went back. Easy peasy. Wednesday: PM Barbell Strength – I really upped my weights and pushed myself this time. I love seeing the quick progress I’m making in this class. Those guns are startin’ to pop again! Thursday: This week had been a busy one. I’d been playing catch-up from being gone and was working extra to make up for being out on Monday (my work lets me do flex time!). So I hadn’t been taking lunches, and I’d also been cat sitting all week. My plan was to drive to the kitties and run by their house, but once I got there the cats sucked me into playing with them. So I had a beer instead and decided I’d run on Friday. Cherry Creek Trail Friday 2fer: I got up at 5:15am so that I could make a 6:30am GT 45 class. It was something new that I wanted to try out at the Wellness Center, and Kelli was going too! It had similarities to the Functional Fitness class that I use to take at Calibrate. One thing we did that I think lead to some hamstring soreness (more on that later) were kettlebell deadlifts – I hadn’t done those in a while. After work, I changed in my office and headed out to the Cherry Creek Trail for four easy, urban miles. I certainly won’t run that route in the dark because there are too many creepy bridges to cross under. Saturday: Denver Pumpkin Pie Double (5K & 10K) – I had 10 miles on the training plan so this worked out perfectly! I love the idea of doing races as training runs because it does force me to push myself a bit harder than I normally would. I did this race last year and also ran the double. I remember it being cold but sunny last year. This year it was cold and misty and it was trying hard to snow. It is so much colder out here when there is humidity in the air. I rode to the race with Kelli and then we met up with a bunch of her fellow Wellness Center fitness instructors and friends. I also ran into Carol without even trying to find her! It was funny because we both had on really bright-colored tops. Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture together this time. I saw a few folks from my run club as well. Kelli and I planned to run the 5K at an easy-ish pace, and we did. It was pretty congested throughout most of the run as we wound through City Park. I had 45 minutes from the time the 5K started to finish, get my piece of pie, run back to the car and then back to the start. We finished the 5K in almost 30 minutes and I had it in my head that since the 5K started at 8:45 that the 10K would start at 9:45 (when in fact it started at 9:30). I did the same thing last year and ended up sprinting to the finish! I decided to only get one piece this year I was using a PoP when they started the 10K. I didn’t really care but I did end up in the back and had to weave my way through lots of people. I really had planned to run the 10K at about the same pace as we did the 5K, but I really think it takes me about 3 miles sometimes to warm up. I held a sub-9 pace the whole time and it felt really good. I’ve been feeling so strong lately when I run faster. It’s so weird that the sub-9 pace felt easier than the mid-9. The race was a 5K loop so I ended up doing the same loop three times. I was over it by the last one and was starting to feel tired during the last mile. I finished both halves of the 10K faster than we ran the 5K! My finish time was 54:43, an 8:40 pace. My confidence keeps building that I will get that course PR at Rehoboth in a few weeks! After the race, we went to Syrup where I ordered “The Kitchen Sink”. I thought it was called that because it had so many different things in it but it was also a GINORMOUS plate of food – and it wasn’t that great. I also got an Irish coffee which I now realize I don’t like. Blek. HOT DAMN! There was a biscuit on the bottom that I never got to. Sunday: Rest/Cook all the food – We are having a bake-off today in the office so I decided to make all three of the Superhero Muffins in Shalane’s new cookbook! They all turned out delicious. I’ll let you know if I win Look how pretty they turned out! These are GREAT for breakfast and freeze really well. Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving! Chris
  10. NCAthlete

    I ran a 5K!

    Last week was a great week of pre-training and the only day I took off was Thursday because I was traveling to Arizona to see my BFF! I only ran at total of 6.5 miles the whole week but I got in a whole lot of cross-training, a great 5K, and some quality time with Erin! Monday (11/5), I took my usual barbell lunch class. I’ve started adding more weight and can certainly tell a difference! I didn’t want to add too much too soon, because I don’t want to screw anything up. I’m all about being a smart athlete these days, and I have nothing to prove to anyone. There’s a step under there that we lay on… Tuesday, I was going to run but just ended up doing Kelli’s spin class only. I looooooooove spinning again! We get a cool view of the city from the studio! I’ll get to see the sun rise in the Friday AM class! Wednesday, I ran hill repeats since I didn’t run the day before. I hadn’t ran any hill repeats since the shin splints started and I was curious as to how it would feel. I ran them faster than I normally would and I started feeling my shin. It wasn’t excruciating but it didn’t feel good. However, it wasn’t sore afterwards and I haven’t felt it anymore, especially when I was running fast on Saturday – more on that later. This has been the weirdest “injury” ever. Thursday, I was traveling to Yuma, AZ to see Erin! I took stairs instead of escalators (when possible) and walked as much as I could to. When I got to Arizona, I went to Erin’s gym to watch her teach her kids Crossfit class. They were so cute and eager to learn, and I also ran and skipped around with them all. I HAD to stop for In-n-Out, doi. Friday, I took a Crossfit class that Erin was teaching. The session itself was an hour long but the actual workout had a max time of 16 minutes. We had to do a 21 calorie row, 15 tricep dips (supposed to be with rings but…PFFFF yeah right! I certainly modified mine), and a 400 meter run. It was 3 rounds for time and you were supposed to be done before 16 minutes elapsed. I did it in 14:30, with my modified dips. Whew! Deceptive! I didn’t puke though! Saturday, was the City of Yuma Turkey Trot 5K/10K, which is part of a series their Parks & Rec is having throughout the year – Erin is doing the series. This was the first race of the series and runs through March, because it gets hot as FUCK there in the summer. They basically have summer and fall there – that’s about it. The weather was perfect and the wind had finally settled down for the first time since I’d been there. People were FREEZING in the lower 60 temp! It’s easy to want to make fun of that but I can’t imagine having to live in 120 degrees in the summer…. Pre-race I told Erin that I’d likely see her at the finish since she’d planned to run about 23 minutes. I hadn’t been running anything faster than mid-8s and really didn’t think I’d be able to hold anything in the 7m/m range. Well… I honestly never intend to sandbag my times but it ALWAYS happens when I get to sea level! I never know what I’m going to run or how I’m going to feel. We started and I told myself that I’d just go with how I felt. Well, I felt good – really good. I started off with what I felt was conservative. I didn’t look at my watch until the first mile chimed at 8:02. Oh wow! In CO, an 8:30 pace feels like work. The course was an out and back so I was able to see who was in front of me when we turned around a half mile later. I could see that there weren’t many ladies in front of me and Erin was reachable. Race Chris just can’t help but to chase the pony tails! So that is what I did. The local RWB chapter snapped a photo of me! Folks around me were slowing down and I just kept speeding up – Mile two chimed at 7:50 and I still felt great and not winded at all. Right after the two mile marker, I caught up to Erin. I’d planned to just stick with her but felt I had more in the tank, so I took off. I didn’t hear a peep out of my shin and everything else felt so good. I forget how fast 5K fly by, especially on a super flat course. The elevation gain was 11 feet! HAHA! Mile three chimed in at 7:47 and I crossed the finish line at 24:34. That’s a negative split race, BABY! I was 2nd in the 30-39 AG, Erin was 3rd. I was 4th female overall and Erin was 5th! It isn’t a goofy pic if it doesn’t have a million side chins, haha! This race really gave me a confidence boost for Rehoboth and makes me hopeful that I can run a course PR. Sunday, Erin and I took the kids to Telegraph Pass. Her son had never hiked very far so we hadn’t planned to go to the top (5 mile RT), but he made it four miles!! Go O! I’m happy for Erin that they actually have some mountains to climb out there in BFE! That girl can do pull-ups with Ro on her back! BEAST! Thanks for reading! Chris
  11. NCAthlete

    Jim vs. Gwen Race 3

    Love this! Keep pushing each other!
  12. NCAthlete

    The Bangle Chronicles - Episode 16 - The Last Jedi

    Awesome sauce!!! What a great race and way to grind it out! I definitely have to do one of these big city runs someday...
  13. NCAthlete

    QC Takes On The Big Apple: NYC Marathon Race Recap

    I love this so much - you sound so happy! Congratulations on a fantastic race! You never cease to inspire me! #shero See you in 24 dayzzzzz!
  14. NCAthlete

    Shamrock Marathon Training!

    Ahhhhh – the feeling of make a new training plan, with the hopes of sticking to it. It makes me even happier knowing that I’ll be training to run one of my most favorite races EVER!! I have so many great memories from the times that I’ve ran this race, so this post will be filled with memories of Shamrocks past! I heart this picture, so much! It feels great to start with a clean slate and new goals, and I’m super hopeful that this one will be successful. I will obviously have a goal time (which will most likely be for a PR / sub 3:53 – around an 8:45 pace), but I don’t want that time to become a burden at any point. I will obviously want to stick with the runs and cross-training I have scheduled, but I’m going to force myself into a stretching/rolling/flexibility exercise routine. Coach Chris shared this amazing CARS Routine with me, that I will be make part of my routine. I should have started it by now but haven’t. I will. My first VA Shamrock experience (8K only) with my friend, Nikki. We drank A LOT of beer. The new wellness center on campus is AMAZING. I feel truly lucky to have it and I hope the students do too. I’ve taken yoga, spin, Pi-yo, and strength classes and have also used the row machine and stair-stepper. The two classes I am sticking with for cross-training are Barbell Strength (like BodyPump) and spin; they just added spin this month! Look at those faces! So my 18 week schedule, beginning next Monday, will look like this: Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Cross training. Barbell – M/W – The Monday class is during lunch and I LOVE using my lunch break for it! No getting up early or staying late. Wednesdays class is a 4:30 so I don’t have to wait around at all after work. Spin – actually they only have spin T/Th/Fri so for now I am actually planning to spin on run days. I will access how I feel with the two-a-days and if it’s too much, I’ll nix the spin. I definitely want to go on Tuesday afternoons because my bud Kelli is teaching! Fridays will just be spin – as long as I can make it to a 6:30AM class! Tuesday: Tempo/Regular run day – I won’t start tempos until week 4 so these will just be regular run days until then. Like I said, I will assess how I feel about adding on the spin class. My marathon PR race Thursday: This day will be a mix of hills and track workouts. One week will be hills, the next will be speedwork on the track. It will also be another optional day to spin at lunch, but we will see if that will just be too much or not. Friday: AM Spin / Optional rest day Saturday: Long Run day! I will only be running three days a week and will not have any weeks that go over 30 miles total. Also, I will only be running two 20 milers – Weeks 12 and 15 Sunday: REST I am fucking stoked. Stoked about getting to meet up with some of my best good friends at Rehoboth next month. Stoked that I feel so free and that I have control of my physical life again. Stoked for the Murphy’s stew, beer, and parTAY that will be at the Shamrock finish line. Just fucking stoked. I can’t remember the last time I felt so elated and strong!! I better bottle this shit up! I love all of this Weekly recaps begin next week! Happy Monday y’all and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE! Chris
  15. Ladies, I am emailing you all today to withdraw from the team. I no longer feel that this expedition is right for me. I do want to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity and believing in me enough to be a member of this team, and to be a part of the incredible training that we have done. I’ve gained great skills and knowledge that I do not believe I ever would have received otherwise. This experience has shown me that my love of endurance athletics can be pushed even further than I imagined. You all are amazing women that I likely never would have met, and I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend with you. I do hope that I can spend more time with you all in the future. Please let me know when/where I can return all of my gear. I want to give everyone who donated to my personal GoFundMe page the opportunity to have their donations refunded. If not, I will send you what I collected (after the fee was subtracted is was about $160). Ladies, I wish you all the best of luck and safety during the rest of your training and your summit attempt. I will be cheering you on and rooting for you! Let me know if there is anything I can ever do for any of you. Don’t be silenced, Chris I sent this out on Friday, October 26th to withdraw from the Denali team. It was a decision that I thought long and hard about and most likely bugged the crap out of all of my friends, seeking advice. This expedition no longer was a good fit for me and no longer aligned with my integrity and values. I won’t talk about many specifics but I wasn’t willing to accept that my role was only to “raise as much money as you can and get mountain fit.” I will never allow someone to continually speak down to me, not for any experience or opportunity. I wish these ladies all the best and will be rooting for them next year! Go sheros! This whole process was very hard and life consuming. I’m not sure that I would decided to take on something so consuming again. However, this experience lit a fire up in me and I am very grateful that I was able to go through those trainings and meet those amazing women. I certainly wouldn’t give that back. More amazing opportunities will come along. Thank you to everyone who followed along and supported me through this journey. It means the world to me. Stay tuned for my new and exciting 2019 goals!! Chris
  16. NCAthlete

    New MF Goals

    I heard the quote in the image above at an event I attended this morning, and it couldn’t be more perfect for me at the moment. I was thinking more about my decision to leave the team and how proud I am of myself for making it. I could have just sucked it up and/or brushed it off, but FUCK that. I had to suck it up and brush it off when I was in the Army, but we aren’t in the Army anymore, Alice. Always stand up for what you believe in. Always get the respect that you deserve. And don’t let anyone silence you. So, now that Denali is behind me for good, it is time to set some new goals. I am VERY excited about this! Training for Denali lit a fire inside of me - one that leaves me wanting to keep pushing myself further to do amazing things. Naturally, I immediately started to think of what those things might be… When I first heard of ultra-marathons and started running them, I toyed with the idea of completing a 100 mile race. After completing my one and only 50 miler (The Mountain Masochist 50 in 2012), I didn’t think I would ever be interested in going any further – that is, until I started preparing to climb the highest peak in North America! However, I am a terrible trainer. I rarely ever follow a training plan and I fail do the non-running things (like stretching, rolling, and other flexibility exercises) like I should. I am also set-back prone as well – getting some sort of minor injury or worrisome ache that sets me back in my training. So, there is no time like the present to turn myself into a well-oiled, training machine and go the distance! I want to work my way up to 100 miles as SMART as possible. I want to put in some kick-ass training, cover all the miles, keep my body healthy, and be ready to kill it when the time comes. This means doing lots of other “smaller” races along the way. I don’t even want to consider when I’d actually do the 100 miler until I can do at least two 50s without feeling like I want to die or getting injuries from them. Before I even do a 50, I’ll need and want to run some marathons. Since I won’t be running one at Rehoboth in December, I thought I’d pick an early/mid spring race. My first and obvious thought was VA Beach Shamrock (St. Patty’s Day weekend!). It’s in a close battle with Rehoboth for my most favorite race. But who needs to choose?! Another marathon that caught my eye was Salt Lake City, which is in April. Now, those two races are almost a month apart, and I’ve also thought of another fun goal that I could have for 2019. Become a Marathon Maniac! For now, I’d only get in at the lowest level which means: Since I won’t be doing the 2 marathons in 16 days, I’d have to go for 3 in 90; Yowza. Too much too soon? Most likely for now. Either way, I see this happening sometime along the way in training for 100 miles. 50 mile races that I would consider is a toss-up between Hinson Lake 24 Hour (September 28th, 2019 – and near my hometown) and The Bear Chase 50 miler (September 28- right in my backyard). I ran 38 miles at Hinson Lake in 2012 as training for the Mountain Masochist 50 miler. Since then, it has turned into an awesome Loop party, and the scene of some serious Loop Super Woman-ness that I want to witness! Also, there’s an amazing human (I’ll just call him Doom) that I met when I was in the Army and have always looked up to (no really, he’s a giant – haha!!) will be there as well!! I haven’t seen him in years and it’d be great! I think I know which race I’ll pick… These choices give me a year to train and get myself where I need to be. After that, I can assess the results, see how I feel, and then plan for another 50. With this schedule, I’d likely run the 100 in 2020, which I think sounds totally realistic. I will just have to ensure to do all that I can so that I don’t burnout before that. “Mt.” Hinson, haha (fellrnr.com) What can I do to help prevent burnout, you ask? Well! There are LOTS of miles involved in training for something like this. Why not incorporate other races into it as training runs?! I don’t have any specific races that I want to do yet, because I’m going to have to sit down and make a MASSIVE long-term plan, at least to give me an idea. I want to travel for races as much as I can as well, and hang out with some pals! (one of those is YOU, Abby!) Do you have any other suggestions to help prevent burnout? I am stoked for what the future holds for me and I’m excited to continue to remain a healthy and active athlete – but also to take that healthiness to the next level! I’m going to ensure I tap into all that my body has to offer so I can finally see the true potential that I have. I feel like this was a bunch of goal vomit, but…. BLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAHHH! (Haha!) Thanks for reading, Chris
  17. NCAthlete

    Shamrock Marathon Training!

    Ha! I did forget Thursday, didn't I? I got all the fucks in there but forgot Thursday
  18. NCAthlete

    Friday Review

    I don't miss working retail AT ALL, except for the 25% discount I had at Whole Foods. Glad you're able to get in some runs again! That's awesome! Happy spring marathon hunting!
  19. NCAthlete

    Putting the fun back into a workout?

    When I started my marathon training plan for Rehoboth (which I've now had to switch to the half, due to injury), I was only running three days a week and was LOVING it. Every other week I would either do hill repeats or a track workout for one of the runs. I really feel like it broke it up enough to keep things interesting. I was also forcing myself to cross-train at least twice a week. I'm really bummed that I only got to train for three weeks before I developed a bad case of shin splints in my right leg. Ah well. There's always next time. Maybe you don't want to do long runs for a while? Stick to the shorter stuff! There's lots more race options and it doesn't take up a lot of time! Running is running no matter what distance you choose. Do what feels right and makes it fun! My run club is awesome because there are people of all ability groups. Are you able to look/try around? I live near Denver so there are a bazillion run clubs to choose from. My hometown would be the OPPOSITE. I'd have to count me, myself, and I and call it a RC, haha!! I hope you find the right combination! It's out there...
  20. Race: Fort Bragg Army 10 miler When: 6:30 am, June 3rd, 2011 Temp: 69 glorious degrees with a little wind Outfit: New bright orange/white singlet (got 10% off for a grease stain), white/blue marathon slutties, and my orange/white Ghost 3 Brooks. Since the race started at 6:30, I had to get up at 4:45am to eat, get dressed and get to the parking area before it filled up. I forgot to charge my Garmin the night before and it was the very first thing I thought of when I woke up. I jumped out of bed, ran to my car to get G and then charged it while I got ready. Whew! I had my usual before race meal of an English muffin with peanut butter and honey and a small glass of milk (I don’t drink cow’s milk anymore, blek). I wasn’t sure how this race was going to turn out. I’d only ran a total of 25 miles after the marathon (a month ago) and hadn’t done any speed work. I was shooting to beat my 2007 1:19:05 PR (same race*) but really didn’t think it would be possible. I ran a 10K two weekends ago and I really bombed during it. I started off way too fast and ran out of gas. * I did this race in 2007 and was asked to be on the Women’s Army 10 miler team (for the D.C. race)! Unfortunately, I was deploying and couldn’t do it. It would have been an amazing opportunity but I was still honored to be asked : ) I was hoping for a miracle and for my Go-Go gadget legs to kick in! I met up with Erin and our friend (Shannon) and we headed to the start line. I was definitely nervous as I was waiting for the gun. I was so grateful for the overcast 69° and the slight breeze; quite ideal. The gun went off, and I took off conservatively. Race beginnings are always hectic – the weaving in and out until you find your zone. I got in a pretty good rhythm and felt good. The first miles were good and they had some hills. I was really feeling the gradual incline at miles 3-5. I’ve always hated that stretch of road because it goes on forever. At the turn-around point at mile 5, I didn’t think my PR would happen. I’d slowed down to about an 8:15 pace and that just wasn’t going to cut it. I kept trucking along and someone came up from behind me and told me I was doing a good job. It was a trainer that works at the gym I go to. I said hi and he moved along. I started to loosen up a little bit and was able to pick up the pace some. One of my friendly rivals, “Cindy”, was doing this race and I saw her ahead of me at about mile 3. I just wanted to keep her in my sights but figured she’d pull away. I stayed behind her the whole way but she did speed up at about mile 7. About that time, I saw the trainer again and he seemed to be struggling. I got up beside him and he said, “Cindy is just up there!” I replied, “Yeah, but I’ve been trying to catch her and it’s just not going to happen.” He said he didn’t have much left in the tank and was going to run the last bit conservatively. At that time, I sped up past him and I heard him say, “Ah, what the hell!” and he took off with me. I never saw him again though so I don’t know if he ran out again or what. The last approx. 1.3 miles is straight down a rolling road. You can see the finish and the few hills in between. It can be a bit demoralizing if your head’s not in it. I just gritted my teeth and went for it. I gradually picked it up and was giving it all I had; I even started wheezing a little bit. I was passing people left and right. I LOVE hills! All of a sudden, I see Cindy ahead of me! There was only about 0.3 to go and I didn’t think I could pick it up enough, keep that pace, and pass her. I went for it anyway and literally finished like 2 seconds ahead of her!! IF THAT! I didn’t look back when I finished because I was trying not to pass out. I just kept walking through the chute. I grabbed some trail mix, water, a banana, AND a bagel w/cream cheese. I scarfed that down then met up with Erin and Shannon. They both had good races, especially Erin who had been battling strep throat for weeks! She’s my HERO! I had a couple people tell me they were trying to catch my bright orange shirt, and that I was motivation to them! Erin said they were actually just looking at my butt. Red Robin was DELISH afterwards! I had two baskets of fries and a turkey burger. YUMMMMMMMMM! I did what I set out to do. PR! 1:18:38*. 14th in my AG (25-29) and 36th female overall. So proud of myself and looking forward to my 12 hour adventure race this weekend in Virginia! *That is still my 10 mile PR and I was also asked AGAIN to be on the women’s 10 miler team but I was already out of the military! I don’t have any pictures from that race and don’t think any were ever posted.
  21. NCAthlete

    Flashback Friday: Fort Bragg Army 10 miler (2011) Race Report

    I WISH! Although, I was very happy being in the 30-34 AG (will always be my favorite AG), but now that is gone. Boohoo
  22. NCAthlete

    OK, here's one theory.

    I hope the z-pak gets things back to normal for you! Infections are crazy beasts and it's crazy how they can effect your whole body.
  23. NCAthlete

    Week 8: Aspen to Crested Butte Double!

    Week 8 has come and gone and I haven’t ran since the end of Week 5. I’ve tried to take the shin splints seriously because it can turn into something much worse that would take me out longer. Consequently, with only 10 weeks to go, the chances of being able to run a marathon in December are starting to look quite bleak. If feel a PR is definitely off the table, but I do still hope to run the 26.2 miles. I basically didn’t do anything during the week. Aunt Flo came for a visit on Monday and I felt like asssssssssssss the whole week. I didn’t do a single thing until Thursday! Monday – Wednesday: Nothing. Even though I did nothing, my shin finally started not hurting while walking! That’s a big deal! (I almost said HUGE but that word has forever lost all value) The hike in Telluride had NO EFFECT on my shin! I actually hadn’t gotten excited about that until writing this (10/2)! Thursday: 2.5 mile hike at Apex Park – I had carpooled with W and we went straight to the park after work. I was only going to hike for as long as he was going to run, which ended up being a little over an hour. The hike was fine but boring – I did get to hear and see some bugling elk! It was good to get some fresh air. Friday – Saturday: Nothing. Ugh. I really let my motivation go away this week, although I was preparing for a great adventure that I’d be doing on Sunday and Monday… Sunday – Monday (of Week 9): The hike from Aspen to Crested Butte AND BACK! This totally made up for the lousy week that I had, and then some! When I’d initially talked to my friend, Bria, about doing this, I thought she only wanted to go one way. It wasn’t until a week before the trip that I realized she wanted to do an out and back! I was stoked as this would be an almost 22 mile adventure! Sunday: I got up at 2:45AM (yes, that’s right) to throw myself together, as Bria would be picking me up at 3:20. I’d been a good girl and had everything packed and ready to go on Saturday night. One of Bria’s co-workers, Summer, was going with us as well so it was set to be an awesome ladies adventure! We got to Aspen around 7:00, parked, got a shuttle to the trail head, and began our hike sometime after 8am. We figured that 11 miles should take us 6-7 hours at most – more on THAT later. Beautiful colors on the Aspen side I didn’t weigh my pack, but based on how wrong I usually am about how much my pack weighs, I’m guessing it was about 40 pounds (felt much heavier). 40 pounds might not sound like a lot but it is when you are carrying it over 11 miles and 3200′ of elevation gain. This was during the first couple miles There were a ton of people around during the first couple miles, until we reached Crater Lake (a “lake” that was bone dry – they like to call all bodies of water around here lakes too, btw. Cracks me up!). Crater Lake was only two miles in but it took us over an hour to do it. Those first couple miles were the most beautiful, as far as fall colors go and being able to see the Maroon Bells. Those mountains are so majestic and it makes it look like you’re looking at a painting right in front of you. Bria at Crater Lake It usually takes me a couple miles to warm up (running or hiking) so I was feeling better by the time we got to Crater Lake, and it actually leveled off a tad then. We were all kind of going at our own pace but whoever was in front would stop to wait for the rest to catch up. I ended up being in front after several miles as the incline got steeper. Headed towards the pass From the Aspen side, it is about 6.5 miles to West Maroon Pass at just under 12,500′. You can see the pass from far off and it felt like it took forever to get to the top. The weather so far had been perfect, although a tad warm. I had on a t-shirt and capri-length pants. I wore my Nike Wildhorse 4 trail shoes for the hike because I’m not a fan of hiking boots (which I’m sure you’ve gathered from previous posts). They worked great for the hike, minus some really rocky parts. You can see the top of the pass there. The willows were just beautiful – picture doesn’t do it justice. We stopped at the top of the pass and took a longer break. Bria wasn’t feeling too well and said she experienced her first taste of a bit of altitude sickness. Carrying a heavy pack at altitude can bring out all sorts of things – refer back to my Mt. Shavano hike. Once she said she didn’t feel good, we knew we needed to start descending and it was quite windy on the other side of the pass. Top of West Maroon Pass The Crested Butte side wasn’t nearly as pretty as the Aspen side. We were expecting/hoping to see lots of aspens but there wasn’t a single one on that side. The willows and some of the other ground cover was really pretty, and you could tell it would be covered with wildflowers in the spring – I would love to see that side in the spring. The descent was just under four miles but it felt like it took FOREVER. We were just ready to get those packs off our backs. This was our first view of the Crested Butte side. You can see all those spruce trees out there. We finally reached the East Fork trail head and dumped our packs. Strava said our moving time was 5:40 but our elapsed time had been 8:11. Wowza. The trail head had nothing but a sign – no trash cans, bathrooms, nothing. We set up our tents – Bria and I in one and Summer in another. We pointed the tent doors at one another, just in case, and we’d be sleeping at about 10,500′. I’d brought a package meal for dinner – it wasn’t freeze dried and it was self-heating. It was a bacon hash which turned out to be YUMMY, but was only 260 calories! I didn’t realize that until I was finished and still hungry. Bria had a two-serving meal so I had several big spoonfuls of hers. This was coming down the Crested Butte side of the pass The only thing at the trail head were signs, one of which that said we needed a bear canister for our food. We’d brought dry bags and a rope so that we could hang it in a tree, but the only trees around were spruce – not ideal for hanging bear bags. You’re supposed to hang it from at least 4′ out from the tree but all the limbs were really short and close together. I walked around for a while before I found anything remotely suitable, and it was a dead limb. I only needed two tries to get the rope where I wanted it! Yeehaw! We each just left our food in the bags that we brought but they were HEAVY! I really didn’t think the limb would hold but it did! Not really the right way to do it but it worked! Elevation profile Monday: It rained on us most of the night and luckily we’d put our packs inside the tents. I used my Jet Boil to make water to refill my bottles, coffee, and to cook the hot quinoa blueberry cereal that I’d brought. We’d planned to be headed back by 7am but we didn’t wake up until then! By the time we did everything it was already 8:30 and we would need to be back to catch a shuttle by 5pm. Sounds like plenty of time but we didn’t want to chance anything – we knew we’d have to push through pain to make sure we got back in time. The way back to Aspen would be “easier” because there is only about 2,400′ of gain but 2000′ of that is in that first four miles back up to the pass. We’d be working against tired legs and sore body parts from carrying the packs the previous day. We made it up the four miles in two hours which isn’t too bad! All along the way we kept smelling something that resembled wet dog. I think it was all of the dead wildflowers along the ground and the rain that had dampened them. Phew! Also, my Garmin was going dead so I decided to stop it at the top of the pass and use my phone/Strava for the rest. It worked even though I had no service! I thought that was super cool. Summer, Me, and Bria at the top of the pass going back! Once we crossed over the pass, it started to rain and we had 6.5 miles to go. Up to that point, it had been cool with an overcast – very nice. It was only a drizzle but enough to wear a rain jacket; I stayed pretty comfortable minus the fatigue and soreness from the pack. At one point I couldn’t do simple math by adding the four miles from my Garmin and the 3 miles Strava was saying. I announced to the gals, “We only have two miles to go! WOOOOO!” It took me two miles to realize my mistake, but apparently the gals already knew I was stoopid. I was tired and water logged… When we got to Crater Lake with two miles to go, we were DONE. None of us wanted to go any further but knew we had to. We threw the packs back on and went for it. I find that if I just zone out, the miles go by quicker. This is the one big thing I don’t like about backpacking… When the discomfort gets too great, you miss out on the great scenery around you. Just lovely We made it back in plenty of time for one of the shuttles; our total elapsed time for the return was about 7 hours, over an hour faster than the day before. Once we got back to the car, it was time to drive the three hours back to Denver. Walking the final path to the finish Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Week 9 and how I felt after the hike… Chris
  24. NCAthlete

    Week 9

    Monday: If you didn’t read what I did on Monday, you really should! Tuesday – Saturday: REST. I know, I know. I really shouldn’t be taking so many rest days but I’m just being cautious. I haven’t felt my shin a single bit in almost a week now! I had two pretty strenuous back-to-back weekend hikes and those didn’t make things worse. My calves got sore from the Aspen to CB hike, but not as bad as I was expecting! That tells me that my muscles are finally getting stronger and getting use to the long hikes. Sunday: RUNDAY! Well, I’m not sure if you can call it a run but I did conduct my first running motion since September 8th. UGH. It was also the first long-sleeved t-shirt and headband run of the season. (WTF does Colorado always have to skip Fall?! I literally passed a car with snow on it on my way to work this morning.) Anywho, I waited until 9:30AM to go out for the test run, and it was still 40 degrees. It was a nice morning though and smelled like fall outside. I walked down to the creek from the house, and did 2.5 miles of run/walk. I would feel some shin pain as soon as I picked it up, but it wasn’t anything intense, just dull. I was expecting that since I haven’t had any hard impact on it in a month. I was wearing my Altras and was running on dirt, just to make it that much easier on my shin. I plan to get back to it this week and will be hitting up the gym and hiking some. I’ll probably do some easy runs on Tuesday and Thursday because I really need to be getting in some mileage again. Not sure when I’ll make the call of switching to the half at Rehoboth or not, but I’ll have to make sure I do it before the race fills up. Thanks for reading, Chris
  25. NCAthlete

    Switching gears: The glass is HALF full…

    Well, today I made the decision to drop down to the half marathon at Rehoboth, which will make it my 3rd consecutive 13.1 there. That isn’t a bad thing because I have the BEST time there, but it’s just sad to give up the idea of running 26.2. There are several different reasons why I know that decision was the right one. While running is a great part of training for climbing Mt. Denali (20,310′ – I gotta remind myself of that from time to time), and I will still be getting runs in, I’m taking it as a sign that I need to focus more on that training and becoming stronger. We have SEVEN months before we will be leaving for the beast. Seven months will go by VERY fast and I don’t want it to sneak up on me. However, I don’t think this is the type of thing that could or should sneak up on anyone. Seven months is still plenty of time to get to where I need to be. I’m getting there, but progress is slow. I don’t enjoy carrying a heavy pack on my back, or the impact it has on my body, so I’m not motivated to do it often. I know I don’t need to do it all the time, but it needs to be much more frequent than it has been. Colorado is already throwing winter weather at us, and I think there is going to be lots of snow to work with this season, so I’ll even be pulling a sled soon as well. That’s Candice, one of our team leaders. She’s a badass. If I ran the full in December, I could wreck myself to the point of not being able to properly train for Denali, or even not at all! We can’t have that. I’ve been running a long time and have been through my share of minor, yet set-back injuries, and I’d like to think I have learned something from them by now. I’m embracing cross-training a lot more but still need to ramp that back up again, without pissing off my back again. I have all the resources in the world to make that happen – no excuses. By only running the half, that’ll leave more time for Rehoboth FUN! Most of my running favorites will be there, and some that I’ll finally get the chance to meet! I likely won’t be running next year, so I’m not sure when I will be back again. ALTHOUGH, this has turned into an amazing, yearly tradition for me and I don’t really have any of those. I could always fly across the country to be a spectator. Hmmmmm… How can one NOT want to be a part of that EVERY year?! I do think I still have a goal for this race. Course PR? 2016: 2:05:14 – This year and the previous were my running “down years” as you can clearly tell from this finish time. The course is flat as can be and the weather was spectacular. I preceded to get REALLY drunk after finishing this and missed out on the nightly festivities. I’ll never make that mistake again! 2017: 1:47:10 / 8:10 pace – I ran this time after only ramping my training up in September! I really think that even though I’ve had this set-back, I can beat this. 2018: ? – My half marathon PR is 1:42:08, that’s a 7:47 pace. I think I’ve only ran a couple 7 minute miles since being here in CO and I think it was during the 2017 race, NOT in CO. I don’t think I’ll be able to distance PR, but I do think a course PR is definitely possible. I did exponentially sandbag myself in 2017 (read here), so nothing is impossible! This will be my 19th half marathon (not counting heavy halves) and 12 years since I ran my first one! Instead of posting my “Week #” training, it will probably just be general weekly recaps – I like those. Thanks for reading, Chris