Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Race Schedule

2014 Races

January 18 - Frosty's Frozen 5 and 10 mile  
February 15 - Snowman Stampede 10 mile 
May 18 - Colfax Half Marathon
June 7 - Ironman Boise 70.3
July 13 - Boulder Peak Olympic (maybe)
August 3 - Ironman Boulder

2013 Race Schedule

2013 Races
January 19 - Frosty's Frozen 5 and 10 mile  
February 16 - Snowman Stampede 10 mile 
May 4 - Ironman St George 70.3
June 2 - Elephant Rock Century Ride
June 23 - Ironman Couer de'Alene
August 17 - Rattlesnake Oly
August 18 - Rattlesnake Sprint(yes, the Crazy Back to Back)
September 6-7 - Ragnar Colorado Relay
November 3 - Oilman Texas 70.3

2013 stats wrap up

2013, by all accounts was a HUGE year.  I PR'd in pretty much every race I did and had my largest training numbers ever.  More importantly, I had FUN doing it.

(now, if only my job would follow suit and be more fun... ugh)

In 2013, I learned to love hills.  Ok, maybe love is a strong word here....  Maybe I love what hills do for me and how they make me stronger.  I got an incredible custom TT bike and I still can't believe I spent that much on a BIKE, I do love him.  And I think I've figured out what it means to push myself and see what I'm capable of.  I've got a great base to build on and I'm looking forward to even more training and racing in 2014.


Swim: 144h 33m 49s - 411,035.22 Yd 
Bike: 237h 30m 38s - 3,232.67 Mi 
Run: 138h 07m 54s - 717.35 Mi
Strength: 2h  
Skiing: 39h 00m 
Yoga: 7h 00m


Swim: 82h 53m - 231,174.3 Yd 
Bike: 117h 34m 39s - 1,624.36 Mi 
Run: 57h 04m 47s - 289.09 Mi 
Strength: 3h 20m 
Aqua Jogging: 20m 
Elliptical Training: 40m 
Skiing: 60h 00m 
Walking: 2h 15m 
Yoga: 6h 00m

Also, its interesting to note that these are annual distance records for me, since I started keeping track of this sort of stuff.  What's most impressive is my swim distance.  I really didn't think I swam this much in 2013...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santa Stampede 2013 Race Report

I did this race series last year.  In fact, last year, the 10k was my first race since breaking my heel.  I had been running for maybe 2 months, but never fast and never that far.  So I was excited but apprehensive.  And I was going to be happy with whatever time I finished with.

Fast forward to 2013, which friends have nicknamed "the year of PRs" for me.  And honestly, it has been one PR after another this year.  Really, freaking cool.

I sat down with my race result spreadsheet (yes, I am a nerd) and went through my paces at that distance.  Last year I ran the 10k in 1:04:37 (10:26 pace).  I did a trail 12k in October at a 10:09 pace, and that included hills and uneven footing.  So... if I did this 10k at the 10:09 pace, that would put me around a 1:01:30 (give or take).  Why not round down to sub-60 (9:40 pace) and make it a goal?  I'm pretty sure I've never ran that fast in even a 5k before.  Sure!  No problem!

Temps were in the 20's when we got there at 8:30 AM.  I was smart and wore sweat pants AND ski pants over my running outfit (capris and socks) and I also wore a hoodie and jacket/scarf (over my t-shirt).  I was toasty warm.  Yay!  (related funny: no one recognized me with all my layers)  I saw Will off for the 5k and went inside the lodge to warm up - I found some friends there, so it was nice to hang out with them during the 5k.  After 15 minutes, I went outside to cheer on Will and some other people from my tri club.  While I was waiting, some poor girl (HS cross country?) turned the corner and started puking.  Couldn't even move out of the way.  Her coach or someone finally helped her to the side and to the finish.  I felt her pain, it is uphill to the finish and it hurts.

Once Will finished, I needed to strip down to my run clothes and do a 20 minute warmup.  I always mis-judge the time and never get my full warm up in (sorry Michelle!).  I did get in 15 minutes and included some strides.  I got to the race start with minutes to spare and made a last minute decision to ditch my arm sleeves.  I was pretty cold at the start of my warmup (I think it was low-30 temps by this point?) but by the end I was pretty warm.  I knew that with pushing my pace, I'd only get warmer and I'd end up rolling the sleeves down.  Better to just get rid of them.  And running cold always gives me more motivation to run faster.
sporting my Colfax Ambassador gear and my
festive elf socks
The race plan was to start out semi-conservative for the first mile, keep my pace around 10:00 and HR around 160.  Then start pushing and after 2 miles, ignore my watch and just run fast.

And that's pretty much what I did.  I ran and found a few people I wanted to chase.  I was trying to stay in control for the first mile but I probably did a bad job.  I just wanted to RUN.

Miles 2-4 were basically "lets see how fast I can run but still breathe".  There were two girls (also in elf socks) with their moms and we kept leapfrogging each other.  They eventually got in front of me but were running at my target pace, so I just used them as pacers.  It turns out it was their first 10k and they were shooting for a 11:00 pace.  Oh, and a podium in their age group.  They provided a nice little distraction for me, which was much appreciated it.
after winning 1st and 2nd in their age group
This year they changed the course a bit, and had us do an out and back on a side trail.  Most of the run was in one direction on the Platte trail, which was great.  You had room to move and could (mostly) avoid the patches of packed snow and ice .  But on this side trail, traffic was in both directions, AND there was packed snow on both sides of the trail so you had no where to go.  To make it even more crowded, they put a water aid station (to service both sides of the trail), which was a terrible decision.  You had people walking through the aid station and other people trying to run past, all very crowded with patches of ice/snow and no room to move.  I think we had ~1 or 1.5 miles of this crap.  Not cool.

Once we finally got to the main trail again, we had 2 miles left and I decided it was really go time.  I left my 9-year old pacers and just focused on running and not dying.  The not dying part is hard because the last 2 miles are a gradual uphill and as a bonus, we had a headwind.  Yay!

I don't remember too much about those last two miles except just trying to run fast enough to hit my goal and not die.  With about a mile or so left, I came across one of my friends (who is speedy) and I passed her.  I was expecting her to pick it up and hang on, but she never did.
this is apparently what I look like when I'm dying
Then more running, trying not to die, running, running faster.  Finally I hit the hill up into Hudson Gardens (who was hosting the race) and I knew I only had 0.25 mi left, mostly uphill.  I saw Will in about the same spot I saw him, he asked me to smile and I was borederline-pukey and all I could manage was to shake my hand "no".  I couldn't even shake my head.  ha!  Then up to the finish (don't die had been replaced by don't puke) and I was happy to see the race clock was under 1:00, meaning I had hit my goal.
game face
Right after the line, some volunteers were cutting the timing chip off my shoe and I was having a pretty lively internal debate about puking there on the spot or if I should find a bush to puke in or if I should try and walk it off.  Lucky for everyone, I really hate puking, so I just walked it off.   And used my inhaler about 20 times because I really couldn't breathe.  But yay - PR!

Time: 59:25, 9:35/mile pace
Place: 33/56 age group, 298/509 overall

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gear Review - Yakety Yak Knee High Running Socks

I got these socks specifically to wear at my local Santa's Stampede 10k.  Race organizers give you a santa hat to wear, but I get warm easily and the fit on the hat is always wonky, so I end up holding the hat as I run. Not festive!  But now that I had these socks, I was festive and ready to run.
as modeled in my dining room, pre-race
Socks can be a bit risky for me, mainly because my feet hate me.  Really, my feet are very picky and its rare when I can pick something off the shelf and have it work for me.  (see: my collection of rarely worn but very cute running socks.  Honestly, there's only 2 or 3 brands out there that I can wear comfortably).  To add to the challenge, my right pinky toe was possibly broken.  I refuse to get it xrayed and it usually feels fine when I'm running.  Just don't ask me how it feels when I'm not running.  *sigh*  I haven't been able to wear most shoes (other than some old runners) and I had to be selective on my socks because anything too tight would hurt.  And here I was, going for a big PR in a 10k in strange socks.  No worries!
ready to run
These socks are very thin and lightweight.  I had plenty of room in my toes (they didn't bother my broken* toe).  They are a bit tight in the calf (see how stretched they are in the first photo), but the tightness wasn't uncomfortable.  In fact, it probably helped the socks stay up. There isn't any cushion to these, but I normally don't like cushion in my socks. These may look like compression socks, but they really aren't.  They're more like a fun lightweight tall sock.  So keep that in mind when you're buying and wearing them.  They come in a variety of colors and designs.  I definitely see myself getting these St Patrick's Day themed socks or these cute pink/green argyle ones in the future.  They cost $9.99 - very affordable for something "fun" to wear during races, on festive training runs, or when you need something cute or spunky as extra motivation to get out the door and run.

My race went really well, in fact I had a 5 minute PR and beat my goal by 35 seconds.  Along the course (and before and after the race) I got plenty comments about my socks.  They were definitely festive and easy to see!  As for performance, I didn't even notice them as I was running, which to me, is high praise.  My legs and feet felt awesome the entire race.  My toes had room to move and I never developed any hot spots or foot discomfort.  Hurray!
sprinting to the finish - all my husband had to do was look for the socks
Buy them at Gone for a Run, an online store for $9.99

Get 10% off through Dec 20, 2013 with the coupon code "GOTRIERIN10"

*disclaimer* Gone for a Run provided these socks to me to wear and review.  All opinions remain my own.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Paleo Chocolate "Pudding"

Recipe Wednesday!  (not that this ever was a thing, or that I plan on doing this regularly, or on Wednesday)

I've been eating paleo/clean for nearly two years now and breakfast is probably one of the things I struggle with most.  I saw a few different "pudding" recipes on the interwebs and decided to give it a go.  Its a bit weird, but holy cow, it really tastes like pudding.  And its crammed full of tasty and good for you things.

But the best part - I ate a half serving on Sunday before my 1 hr long treadmill run.  Usually I can't eat anything other than a little fruit snack before a run because my stomach gets crabby.  I ate this about an hour before my run and I had zero issues.  Like "my stomach didn't even act like there was food in there" kind of zero issues.  Sweet.

As with most of my recipes, measurements are dynamic and approximate.  I rarely ever make this the same way twice.

Chocolate Coconut Paleo Pudding
Makes ~4 servings
1 can coconut milk (I use the full fat kind.  mmmm, fat)
coffee (I don't always add this, and when I do, its left over stuff from that morning and I don't measure.)
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4-1/2 flax seeds
1/4 cup honey
pinch salt
1/4 c almond flour (I go back and forth on including this one)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chia seeds

In a blender, mix up the coconut milk through almond flour until you feel that the flax seeds are broken up.  (I've read that you don't get any of the nutritional benefits of flax if they're whole, so I blend them).

Pour into large bowl or storage container.  Mix in chia seeds and shredded coconut.

Pour into eating receptacles (ie divide into 4 for servings or you can leave it in a big container and scoop out what you want later on)

Put in the fridge and let it chill overnight.  The chia seeds gel up and turn this into a pudding-like consistency.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Trying to stay inside as much as possible

Winter has finally arrived to Denver.  We got hit with a cold spell Tues night and we've been hoovering around 0 degrees (F) ever since.  Its beautiful with fresh snow and blue skies, but it is COLD.

To complicate my life, I whacked my right pinky toe on the coffee table Sunday night.  I didn't think I hit it that hard - it really didn't hurt that night.  But Monday morning when I was getting ready for swim practice, I put on my work shoes (as opposed to old running shoes) and couldn't take 3 steps.  Crapola.  Probably broken.  And I've got a 10k in a week (that I still need to register for) and ski season.  Right now, I can't fathom putting this toe in a ski boot.
toes are so ugly.  its hard to tell, but I had a DARK purple bruise.  Probably worse
than my CDA toe. also: you can still see my surgery scars
I ended up swapping my Tues and Thurs workouts around so I could put off my run until Thursday and give my toe a chance to de-swell.  I've also been wearing my bright pink Brooks PureFlows to work because they're the only shoes that have a wide enough toe box.  Not exactly classy with work clothes - or warm.  But it was either that or no shoes.

Yesterday my toe felt good enough to try running.  I ended up hitting the gym treadmill because it was maybe 5 degrees out and I didn't want to freeze-burn my lungs.  I ran last year in ~10 deg temps, and while it was AWESOME at the time, the next day I was hacking and wheezing like I was a lifetime smoker.  So this year, I'm going to try and be a bit smarter and run inside when its cold.  I also didn't think it was a good idea to run on slick surfaces with a potentially broken toe.  See, I'm trying to get smarter.

I am completely out of my routine for going to the gym for non swim practice type things.  I put my clothes on at home, grabbed a water bottle, got my gym ID out of my gym bag and headed out the door.  When I got to the gym, I realized I forgot my MP3 player at home and that my headband (to control hair whisps) was in my gym bag, which was also at home.  I didn't feel like driving home for these 2 important but non-essential things so I toughed it out and ran without them.

Fortunately, Thursday's run was intervals.  Intervals make the treadmill SO MUCH BETTER.  20 min warmup, 10 [ 2 min hard / 2 min easy], 10 min cool down.  Having something to do every 2 minutes made things so much better.

Surprisingly, my toe felt fine - like nothing was wrong.  This was only when I was running (weird, right?) and when I got off it was sore.  I hate icing body parts when its freezing out.  Sure, I'm inside on the couch, but mentally, I do not want to put ice of my foot in the winter.  Random aside: Zipper really likes bags of ice.  She'll lick the bag and I even caught her biting the thing.  Not cool because then ice cold water leaks out of the bag and onto me.  She's a weird cat.

Today, my toe was more sore than yesterday.  I went to swim practice, where my coach tried to drown us (9x100 with 6 underwater dolphin kicks off of each wall. that crap is HARD).  I had another 30 min run on my schedule today, so I just put my run stuff (this time with music and headband!) and ran right after swimming.  I knew that if I had to go back to the gym for a 30 min run in the afternoon, then I'd just skip the run.  So I got some mental toughness bonus points and got it done.  And my toe is a bit more sore, so I get to spend more time with an ice packet (and Zipper) today.

Running easy is pretty boring on the treadmill.  I try to make it a bit better by increasing the speed by 0.1 mph every 5 minutes.  Really, its just a trick to break the run up into 5 min increments instead of 30 life-sucking-minutes on a hamster wheel.

Sunday I've got a 1 hr run and I'm pretty sure it will have to be inside as well.  I am not very excited about it.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

November 2013 Training Totals

Just doing this out of habit, I guess.  November was definitely shows off season numbers.


Swim9h 34m 25s - 27184.65 YdBike: 7h 17m 54s - 110.41 Mi (most of this was trainer time)

Run: 5h 45m 14s - 32.74 Mi (nearly half of this was from my race - ha!)
Swim: 13h 03m - 36,581.37 Yd
Bike: 19h 48m  20s - 275.66 Mi
Run: 11h 29m 18s - 63.15 M

Oh and look - OTHER things besides sbr!
Strength: 30 min
Skiing: 8 hr
Yoga: 2 hrs


Swim: 13h 03m - 36,581.37 Yd
Bike: 19h 48m  20s - 275.66 Mi
Run: 11h 29m 18s - 63.15 Mi

So goals for December are:

ski more - although I've got 2 jam-packed social weekends, so we shall see.

yoga - I've been "shopping" for a yoga class at the gym.  I went to a hot yoga 2 weeks ago and last week I went to a "slow burn" yoga.  What always irritates me in yoga classes is when they whip right through the poses and never hold anything.  I'm not there for a cardio workout, I'm there for stretching and strength.  What I also like about the Slow Burn class is that the instructor (Karen) has us do a series of poses with our eyes closed.  That definitely makes you slow down and focus.  I really liked it.

I would really like to hit 700 mi for the year running.  I'm 21 miles away from that.  I may have broken my pinky toe Sunday night, which could complicate things.  We'll see.  21 miles is ONLY 4 miles a week, which is totally doable.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Turkey Day Skiing

We were invited to a friend's house in South Fork and spent the day after Thanksgiving skiing at Wolf Creek.  This ski area is pretty well known for large amounts of snow - they got 42 inches the week before Thanksgiving.  That's a lot.

Window lift tickets are pretty reasonable ($58) and the place has a low-key anti-resort feel, which I like.  The main drawback is that this is some of the better skiing within a "reasonable" drive of Texas and Oklahoma and the place was riddled with really, really, really bad skiers.  I really wanted to yell "get out of my state" several times.

Pro tip: do not leave your ski boots outside in your car overnight.  In the parking lot at the ski area, I could not get the damn things on to save my life.  That plastic was so cold that it would not budge.  So I hoofed it over to the lodge and found a nice open spot inside by the rental counter.  It took a bit of wrestling, but I got them on., but not before an older (and overly helpful) ski instructor decided to give me tips on ski boot wearing.  (he started with "those are really nice boots" and me replying "yes, I know they are" and then he gave me tips on getting into the boots and how to buckle them.  ugh.)  I really think he thought I had no idea what I was doing.  It was a bit humiliating.  Next time, my boots are sleeping inside.

We didn't study the ski map very well, we just went up and found runs we thought would be ok.  We did a green run to warm up and it was a pretty boring wide groomer.  Next was a blue that started on a cat-track and ended in bumps.  Wha?  Based on my very limited exploration of the hill, it seemed that most blues were either crappy cat-tracks or ungroomed and bumpy.  The run we did several times ended in pretty big bumps which funneled into a central area with even more bumps and rocks and trees.  Every time we went down, there was someone who had crashed at the focal point and was blocking traffic.  They either need to warn people or groom the runs.  I liked the bumps but when I'm trying to find something easier for Will to navigate, bumps aren't generally what I look for.  Although, he did really well on the bumps, so I'm happy.

After lunch, we went and explored another part of the hill.  More trees, better snow (really, all the snow was good), some powder.  We did two runs over there and Will did pretty good.  Until he buried himself quicksand-style in powder and needed help getting out.  Our friend was really nice and helped while I stood there laughing.  A lot.  I just couldn't stop.  The snow was so deep and fluffy that every time Will went to push himself up, his arms sunk into the snow, which made him do a faceplant.  It was funny (and yes, I feel badly about thinking this is funny).  We gave him some poles and he drove the poles in up to their grips.  That's some deep snow.

After those 2 post-lunch runs, Will was done and our friend and I headed over to the far side of the area.  I was just blindly following him along.  He headed towards a double black diamond that was called Waterfall #4 or something.  It wasn't bad - not very steep, trees.  Then all of a sudden the ground dropped away from us and this is what we saw:
It didn't occur to me to actually take photos myself - I was focused on getting down.  Photos borrowed from  http://www.coloradotravelblog.com.
There were some people ahead of us and only one real way to enter the area, so we just hung out until they were through.  While we were waiting, some snowboarder crash landed to a stop right above us and wasn't too happy about what was ahead of him.  The only way out was to go down.
yeah, that's steep
looking straight up
This was easily the steepest skiing I've done in a very long time.  Fortunately the snow was really soft, so it was easy to control my turns and speed.  If it was icy, I would have been screwed.  I just took my time and actually, it was just fine.  Maybe 3-4 turns down, not a whole lot of sliding down sideways.  I picked my path really well and was in control the whole time.  I actually felt really good my skiing on that.

From that point, it was just really fun, nice powdery bumps and tree skiing.  We did two runs in the trees and I was in my happy place.  The pine trees smelled great and I was just really happy.

And then it was 3:00 and our legs were done.  It was a really good day.  I love skiing trees and bumps and wow, I still really love my skis (Volkl Auras).