Yesterday was my 4th marathon, and it was a doozy! Along with some of my BRF”/ mainbitchesforlife, I have been training for a 50k later this month. The marathon was the longest run of the training. It all started out really good. I have never run a marathon with friends, so I was so excited. We stayed down in Colorado Springs so we could get a little more sleep before boarding the bus to Monument to the start. Our mantra was sleep, poop and don’t die. We didn’t sleep, but had high hopes for the other things! We met up with a friend Jeannene at the start, and it felt like a really cool, small race on what appeared to be a pretty trail through the Air Force Academy. The first few miles were great. We actually had to slow down few times, probably because of the slight downhill. For me, around 18 miles, the wheels began to fall off. I started to get really sick to my stomach. No idea why, but it just got worse by the mile. Eventually, Amanda and Amy pulled away from Amy and I. They looked a lot better than we were feeling. Around 20 miles, we ended up on mainly concrete. That really started to hurt. I felt like everything was broken. That last 10k really did feel like the second half of the race. It was hot, smoky from the fires all over and everything just sucked. There was so much swearing in those last miles, and lots of questioning why in the hell we were even thinking about doing a 50k. I was totally like, “oh hell no, there is no 50k happening”.
Today, after a good night of sleep, of course I feel much better. There will be a 50k, but probably no more marathons. I kind of prefer the food and more laid back feeling of the trail and ultra races. I also realize that some races just suck. It’s hot, smoky and concrete just feels awful after running 20 miles. Also, comparing myself to people who seem to have a great race, every single time, is just a complete waste of my time.
I have been trying to come up with my word, and that’s not an easy task. Today, riding home from our first 25k of the year, my mainbitchesforlife helped me. My word is RESILIENT! I’m resilient as hell!!!
The reason why I am is definitely because of running. I began to love running at 30. Not at a young age like many people do. In fact, I thought running was hard when I went to boot camp and had to do it. Running actually was the one thing that finally helped me conquer an eating disorder that I had struggled with for about 15 years. I was a mess in high school with it. I went to the military, partially in hopes of quitting it. In the end, I was kicked out of the Marines because of it. A couple of years later, I had my son Alex. A few months after that, I was hired as a deputy sheriff. It seemed as if things were going great, but the old eating disorder ways came back. I would fall back to it whenever life was stressful. And life is full of stress when you’re raising a little kid alone, with no family nearby, all while working crazy hours and lots of overtime! I looked like I had it together on the outside, but I was a disaster inside. I began to go to the police brotherhood boxing gym to workout, and we had to run. At first, it just sucked. Soon, I began to like the stress relief I felt. I could deal better with the stress of work, custody issues and life in general. I still remember my last binge and purge. I ran the next day and felt like shit. I told myself I’m never doing that and abusing myself that way. That was 20 years ago!
A few years into running, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. That was a real punch to the gut because I had no idea what was going to happen to me. I had no control of it whatsoever. It really sidetracked me for about 3 years. I ended up on meds that made me so much better, and I was back to the running I loved!
From running I have made friends for life and community I never knew was possible! My main group of friends are the best! We call ourselves #mainbitchesforlife. We all love Skirt, trail and the people we meet out in our community!
A couple of weeks ago, I did my first 50k! It was the Bear Chase in Morrison, Colorado. I had decided to do it in March, because the friends I was training with for the Leadville Heavy Half were planning on doing a 50 miler in December. A 50k was going to be in their training plan. I decided that since I was turning 50 this year, it only made sense to run a 50k. Amy, Amanda and I trained all summer, with the help of lots of our BRF’S for the long runs, but our longest run on the plan was 20 miles. It made us a little nervous to only run that far, but our coach Kim is awesome, so we trusted her plan! Mainly we ran back to back weekly to be used to running on tired legs. Come race day, we were ready!
The weather was cool and perfect for the race! We had heard how hot it could be, so we really lucked out there! It was a 3 loop course, the first being the 10k loop. We took it pretty easy and stopped for the bathroom, and then to laugh after Amy took a little trip on a turn. The second loop was really great with 3 crossings in the creek, and plenty of stops at the aid stations. The last loop we expected to be really hard, but we kept feeling pretty good, even after 20 miles!!! We stopped for a picture once we hit the 26.2 mark! That was my longest distance in 5 years!!
Still smiling. With a couple of miles to go, Amanda’s family drove by and cheered us on. We were super happy to be feeling like running to the end.
All in all, I had such a great day! I would totally run another one! I had never felt so great after a road marathon, but we all felt really good after this! Nothing beats trail running, especially in Colorado!
Last week I did my BIG race of the first half of the year, the Leadville Heavy Half! It was one I’d been contemplating for awhile. I new it would be really hard going from 10,000 to over 13,000 feet in the first half of the 15.5 mile course. I had a couple of friends who signed up with me. We hired a coach, who wrote a plan for us that didn’t seem overwhelming to me at all, but seemed like it would get us to the race well trained and healthy. We ran trails all winter long, despite the snow. We did some Fat Ass runs with a cool group of ultra runners, as well as lots of our girls! Training for this was awesome!
So, that is the course elevation map!! It’s a real tough one, far more difficult than any other trail race I’ve done up to this point. On race day, I was super excited and super nervous. I was glad to have Amy, Amanda and Caitlin to go up with! We ran into our coach Kim up there in time for a quick picture.
We listened to the pre race speech by Ken Chlouber. He told us to dig deep when the inevitable crisis came! What?? Oh shit, what’s going to happen out there? There was lots of walking in the first half uphill, and running in the flats and downhills. It was so beautiful you just had to take pictures. At the top of Mosquito Pass, Ken posed with us for pictures. I told him I hadn’t encountered any crisis yet, but my crisis could be if I fell. Naturally, I fell. I took it much slower on the second half due to leg cramps, but it was so much fun! I saw my friends along the way, and talked to many great people. I’m so in for next year now that I know what to expect and how to train a little bit better!!
I’m super behind on blogging between working a lot and training hard! Revel Mt. Charleston was early May, in my hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the inaugural year for the race, so I talked Kenny into running it with me.
We got to Vegas early the day before and got to the packet pickup as soon as it opened. Everything was very organized, but it was a fairly small expo. We visited an old friend Sheri to see her family museum of cars and collectibles. It was amazing!
We took it easy and got to bed early for our very early wake up to catch the Revel bus to Mt. Charleston. There were plenty of busses and it all ran super smooth. Kenny and I ran together for the first mile before I took full advantage of the 8 miles of downhill. I chased the 1:50 pace group for 8 miles until it flattened out on the course! I’ve never seen that pace group, other than at the start before! I had to really dig deep those last miles to keep a good pace because I knew I’d PR. In the last mile I knew I’d be faster than my previous PR, so I kept pushing until the end. I came in at 1:55:54, a great time for me! I was instantly sore, and wanted to throw up, but was super happy! Kenny came in a few minutes later. He was not happy at all. He hadn’t trained much, so it wasn’t super fun for him. He will be sticking with short races from now on. Overall I highly recommend this race! It was great scenery, and it’s always fun to get away to Vegas for a few days!
My Skirt Spirts Ambassador “assignment” is to write about my first Skirt! It was a very memorable item of clothing to me, and totally changed my running fashion game! I was pretty sad and unfashionable before, as evidenced in this photo from March 2007.
Just terrible, right? And then, one day, I was signing up for the Colfax Half Marathon. I see this great offer to get a Skirt for half price!! I am all about a deal, so I had to have it! Instantly, I was a little more fashionable!
It was all Skirt love from then on❤️ Later that year the first race, the Convert To Skirt came to Boulder. I got another Skirt with that entry and had a great time running with some friends. Living so close to Skirt Sports was awesome! My friends and I had the chance to go to the warehouse sales! I once even played sick to leave work early to go shop! A few years ago, when I got to apply to be an ambassador for the company I love, I had to do it! I was beyond excited to be chosen as one of the first group of ambassadors! Now, I’ve barely got room for all my Skirt stuff.
That’s far from all of it, but I have a job and no time to run all over taking pictures of it all. Who knew one simple item would change my life! I’ve made friends along the way because of Skirt! We get so many compliments at races on our great outfits!
Saturday I did my 11th half of the year! That’s 144.1 miles, not that I count miles or anything! I’ve never done this many halfs in a year, but it was easy to get caught up in the madness with lots of friends suggesting different races! Saturday was a rough one for me. There was ice and mud and I was just tired. Also, I’ve become accustomed to running my halfs with my friends. We don’t care much about our times, we just talk and have fun, so I felt a little lonely out there.
I did get to try the new Mizunos I won from the Shut Up And Run giveaway last month. They were great! Plenty of cushion in the forefoot where I need it. I’m be never worn Mizunos before so I was hoping wearing them for a half wouldn’t be a huge mistake. I got lucky this time, and may have found my new long run shoe! I’m looking forward to 2016 and running lots of races with friends!