Back on Barr Trail

It’s been a frustrating couple of months with illness (stubborn sinus infection) following injury and me trying to stay patient and positive.   Waking up today, I felt somewhat better and decided to go on the first Barr Trail run of the season this morning.  I figured I’d take it as easy as I needed to – I just wanted to be out there!    The run went pretty well – managed over 8 miles and while my pace wasn’t the best, I actually did better than I’d expected.  I am glad to have this first trip behind me!

As I posted on my facebook page earlier:

first trip up Barr Trail this season was as difficult as anticipated. But it’s done! It’s all up hill from here 🙂

beautiful day
got a few comments on my pink socks...

 

On the way home, I finally got my new VitaMix.  I have been eyeing this appliance for a while, I am so glad I got it!  I’ve already made my first drink – a delicious beet, fruit smoothie with chia seed that revitalized me post run.  I am looking forward to eating more raw style – especially my veggies and fruits.

beets, carrots and some fruit
cheers!

 

Mods Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day in Boulder on a summer-like day…Title 9K (6.1 miles around the Boulder Reservoir) with my babies and a backyard picnic catered by Illegal Pete’s at a good friend’s home.   It was perfect.  I enjoyed running with my daughter and her friends.  My younger son also ran the 9.9K course – but he chose not to hang out with the girls.  My oldest son cheered us on along with my husband.   No pressure for me as I decided well in advanced that I would not turn in my bib, so no finish time to worry about!   It was refreshing to run without the normal race day stress out!

The girls did great.   We did have an unfortunate snake sighting at the Boulder Reservoir but we survived.

Mods 2 and 3 running with Mom
Dan with the ever present headphones. he really was happy to cheer us on 🙂
my babies and me
running with the girls
me and Soph
eat our dust!
go Andrew!
scary moment when we saw a few of these type of snake (bull snake)

 

New tunes on my iPod!

Dear Miami by Roisin Murphy

Fidelity by Regina Spektor

In My Arms by Mylo

Love Like a Sunset Part II by Phoenix

Neighborhood #3 (power out) by Arcade Fire

another update and some tunes

The Colorado Marathon is in just two weeks and being 100% at peace with my decision to bow out this year, I am so excited for my fellow runners (the beans) who have trained with such dedication and resolve.  I am really so proud of them.  And while they are enjoying their taper, I am enjoying my slow return to running.

For the most part, I am running with no pain.  I feel a twinge when I push the pace and the trail is more comfortable than concrete.  My active release sessions are over but I still have a few more scheduled sessions of shockwave and light therapy.

I have been trying some dynamic stretching to help prevent a reoccurrence.  Dynamic stretching has proven to be a great way to warm up and ease myself into these runs – rather than going in cold or even using static stretching.

So anyway, I am on my way.  And I also registered for the 2011 Pikes Peak Ascent.  So much for my post-Ascent declaration from last year (I am never doing that again)…

and here are some of the cool new tunes on my iPod:

Living in America by Dom

Swimming in the Flood by Passion Pit

Second Chance by Peter, Bjorn and John

23 Minutes in Brussels by My Robot

You were the Last High by The Dandy Warhols

If You Were Here by The Cary Brothers

 

the last couple of weeks

 

 

spring break in San Diego

Mark and me, our kiddos took a relaxing, fun vacation in San Diego.  The weather could’ve been a little better but we took advantage of the sunny moments and hit the beach whenever we could.

 

some stormy evenings

 

beach time

We roamed La Jolla Cove, watched the seals swim to the beach for their naps, shopped, ate lots of yummy food (the vegan options in SoCal are unbelievable)..we took a day trip to LA and spent time with friends… it was quite perfect.

 

la jolla cove

 

chillin' with the wildlife

Having the ART doc’s blessing, I ran a couple of times including an easy 5 miler on the beach.   Leg’s holding up, shin pain during the San Diego runs was minimal.    Momentum was on my side and then I caught a cold.. that lingered for a week and ended up becoming a sinus infection.  So I found myself derailed again (albeit temporarily) this week after our vacay.

Needless to say, I was frustrated, had a mini, irrational meltdown. You know: “poor me, somethings gotta give type of thing.”   But anyway the extra days off maybe fortuitous because after laying around sick for a couple of days, I tried a quick treadmill run and while I felt like total crap, my leg didn’t hurt.. at all.   Same story today – an easy 4 miles.. no pain ..at ..all I haven’t been able to say that in a very long time.  Fingers crossed.  In the meantime my Nike tempos are laundered and ready to go.. it’s springtime after all 🙂

 

i need a few more pairs

long road

Last week I was given the okay by the (active release technique) ART doctor to start running… slowly and short distances but running nonetheless.    After the last month-and-a half of cautionary advice against all running, this was pretty damn good news!

So I left the doctor’s office with a happy, positive attitude.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was still hoping to head to Ft. Collins for at least the half marathon.  But after a couple of short runs, I had to accept some realities.

First of all, I can still feel some pain when I run… back of the knee, calf and the inside of my shin.. the familiar twinge is still there.    It’s 90% better than the morning of February 7th when I woke up with a stiff, achy leg that could bear little weight without pain, but it is still there.  Then the next appointment (two short runs later)with the ART doctor indicated that the running increased the inflammation a little bit and even though he wasn’t concerned, even encouraged me to keep running, it opened my eyes as to how long this road is really going to be.  Ft. Collins isn’t in the cards for me this year… but I’ve come to terms with that.    There will be a race for me to tackle once I can get to a 100%.  If I do things right hopefully it will be a little sooner than later.

a couple more tunes:

Cut Copy – Need You Now

She Wants Revenge – Must be the One

 

injured

I have been plagued with calf pain and what seems to be posterior shin splints for about 6 weeks now.   I made the common mistake of running through the pain when it first started and inevitably, I ended up having pain not only while running but it got to the point where I had difficulty walking first thing in the morning.   My pain/stiffness starts when I get out of the bed in the morning… as my muscle/leg warm up during the day, it decreases.   It’s not good – I say this because i have run through many aches and pains in the past without serious concern – until now.  This time the nagging, constant pain has finally forced me to seek professional help.

I’ve now heard the standard “don’t run for two weeks” mantra from both a physical therapist and a Chiropractic Sports Physician (specializing in active release therapy)…. the weeks are adding up to almost 4 because I saw the ART doctor a week and a half after I started PT.     Fortunately both the PT and ART doctor do not suspect any stress fracture – just severe shin splints and a potential calf strain.  So I am approaching the end of week two of no running (by no, I mean very little) and a lot of cross training – time on the elliptical machine, spin bike and yoga and weights classes.   I’ve broken the rule a little with an occasional quick 2 miler on the treadmill but for the most part, I am focused on the XT in an attempt to maintain fitness.

I was initially very disappointed (ok, I acted like a big baby) because my injury has completed derailed the momentum I had training for the Colorado Marathon.  But the reality is – I am lucky.  Runners get injured, sometimes pretty badly.  While I’ve had a set back, I am still able to stay active while working toward complete recovery.  The most disappointing part this experience is the likelihood that I will be switching my race distance from the full to the half for this spring’s Colorado Marathon which completely sucks – but the silver lining is that I have run Colorado before.  If all goes well, I will get better (hopefully quickly) and I can gain my momentum back and find another full distance – maybe this summer or fall…


In the meantime.. here are some tunes that keep me going during my time spent on XT:


Quiet Hours by Wild Nothing
Houdini by Foster the People
All the Wine by The National
Rescue Song by Mr. Little Jeans
Black and Blue by Miike Snow

the weather outside is frightful

I should’ve known that we would have to pay for last week’s spring-like weather.  I ran 16 miles last Friday under the sunniest of skies, 60 + degree temps in my shorts with a feeling of spring time in my step.   Friday seems like a distant memory  now… as I sit in my warm cozy house, in front of the heat dish… while temps rise to a balmy 1 degree fahrenheit above zero outside.

1 degree – a heat wave compared to the weather we’ve had here in Colorado over the last 48 hours or so.  Temps hovered around -12 degrees  yesterday with windchill reports from -20 to -30 below… The kids’ school has been cancelled for two consecutive days and not because of snow (because we really didn’t get much of that)  but because of dangerously low temperatures!  I haven’t run – much less been outside much at all since last Saturday.   I have really appreciated my  lovely, convenient Precor treadmill  in my home gym.   And I can’t wait to get back outside!  Friday is looking promising with forecasted temperatures back into the mid 40s and sunshine… just in time for the planned 18 miles.   In the meantime a few of my favorite things:

Presto HeatDish from Costco keeps me toasty

Mark putting some miles on Precor Treadmill in the home gym.
post run shoe.. warm, comfy Sole Exhales

I have been wearing the SOLE Sport’s Flips for some time now – no matter what the weather , the flips have been my recovery shoe of choice.  In colder weather, I just slip on a pair of Injini toe socks first.

Then I discovered the SOLE Exhales.

“The Exhale features the same wear moldable, orthopedic platform as our original Sport Flips. This slipper/shoe hybrid is perfect for all sorts of activities, from après-ski to lounging around the house. A Sherpa lined footbed and fold down heel panel offer slip-in comfort. A uniquely styled upper made with mini-ripstop polyester featuring insulated baffles guarantees maximum coziness. An inner PU coating makes these water-resistant and Polygiene® helps combat foot odor. All SOLE Custom Footwear is wear moldable, to conform to your feet.”

The product description is right – these shoes offer “maximum coziness.”   I like how The Fit Writer describes the Exhales as one of  “those items you would never have thought you needed until you got them…And then you wonder how you ever did without them.”  perfect description.  And while they might not be the cutest shoes, I love them.

side note:  cold weather led me to get creative in the kitchen.  New recipe:  Black Eyed Peas.

Hood To Coast: The Movie

Everyday People.  Extraordinary Journey

the movie

The Hood To Coast premiere and one and only showing was last night: 1.11.11.    The movie played in theaters nationally and fortunately one of the showings was in a theater right up the road from me.   The stars aligned and my husband and I were able to take a break and catch the film.

Hood to Coast focuses on four of the teams that participated in the 197-mile journey from Mount Hood to the Pacific Ocean in 2008.    Specifically, the film follows a few members of each team, giving the documentary a personal touch which kept it rather engaging as we followed the participants on an adventure that was both emotional and amusing.

Team Dead Jocks in a Box is a veteran Hood to Coast team, a group of older (mid 50s-60s) men, successful runners who call themselves “dead” jocks as they feel their days as athletes are more or less “dead.”  This is despite the fact that they normally place in the top 6 among the masters groups and team members are still running 7 minute miles.  I guess it is all relative.  Team members have a good time, the van is adorned with a “dead jocks” coffin, the jocks run hard and when they aren’t running, they are squirting other participants with giant water guns, taking Polaroid pictures to tape to their van and cheering on everyone – in particular the young females.   I think a couple of them could have been on team ‘dirty old men’ but seriously, it was all in good fun.

Team Heart n’ Soul includes several older women including one very seasoned runner named Kathy Ryan who had completed over 70 marathons before collapsing and nearly dying during the previous year’s Hood To Coast run.  We meet her in her house, her trophy room, filled with medals from her many marathons (including a couple of Boston), bibs and a finally a newspaper article from last year:  “Dead Runner Brought Back to Life”.    Her story was intriguing.  At 67, Kathy clearly lived to run … until she almost died.  A year later, after a triple bypass surgery, she is back for another Hood to Coast.  Viewers see her determination to get back out there and to keep running.  She explains that she simply doesn’t know how to give up that part of her life – I think most runners can relate to that sentiment to a certain degree but in my mind, I kept going back to the fact that she nearly lost her life.   Her doctor is sympathetic yet firm in the fact that Kathy should not overly exert herself.   She is advised to wear a heart rate monitor during this year’s relay and to keep her effort under 120 bpm.   In a particularly poignant scene, we see all the Heart n’ Soul runners participating in CPR training (a couple of CPR trained runners saved Kathy’s life last year – being at the right place at the right time).   Kathy’s doctor advises her against running the first leg of the relay, a crashing 6 mile, quad burning section.   Of course she runs this leg anyway, we see her heart rate climb, we see her team members support her, worry about her and ultimately, we see her persevere.

Team Thunder and Laikanin (named for their graphic arts company) is the most entertaining team to me.  Members signed up for the race on a whim… looking to do something outside of their comfort zone.  Their training was depicted as non-existent and most of the pre-race footage showed them ogling race maps/relay legs over beers… many beers.  Viewers were treated to several exclamations of “what the f*ck”  as they carefully evaluated elevation gains on the map.   In the end, the team decided that they would regret not participating in the race more than they would with the follow through and we get to see their self proclaimed “mediocre” trip from mountain to sea.   One of the more amusing scenes is a juxtaposition of an elite runner wishing he could just puke a little after a grueling, fast run with a Thunder and Laikanin runner, complete with pink hair, chowing down on a cheap hamburger before running one of his legs.   The same runner, post run said that participating in the relay made him appreciate coming home, plopping on the couch and doing nothing.  Another team member holds her finisher’s medal at the end, smiling while she says “I am wearing the same medal as the Nike runners.”  perfect. hilarious.

Team R. Bowes’ story was the most emotional one for me.  The team is named for Ryan Bowe… father, husband, son, brother and friend who passed away before the relay at the young age of 30 from a congenital heart problem.   This team’s journey demonstrated how each family member or friend was handling Ryan’s untimely passing and ultimately celebrating his life by remembering him during the Hood To Coast relay.   The family was often in tears when interviewed pre-race. Ryan’s mom describes how she talked to her son during one of her relay legs – at night, under the stars.  Ryan’s wife, who gave birth to their son shortly after his death, told viewers she was not a runner but we get the impression that her Hood to Coast journey may have changed that.   I had tears in my eyes as Ryan’s father (driver of the team van) described how Ryan first participated with his father’s team in Hood to Coast at age 12 and later wrote about the experience for his college entrance essay.

I enjoyed the movie, it was timely as I (along with my husband and several running girlfriends) recently signed up to be members of a local relay team.  We are participating in the inaugural Rocky Mountain Epic relay this summer.   Through this movie, I experienced first hand (from the comfort of my theater seat) the realities of running in the dark, relying on port-o-potties, no sleep.. all of which will be a unique and  hopefully fun experience.

music

Some time ago I wrote a blog post about my tunes.   I was pretty passionate about the need for music to run.  Things have changed  a bit since then as I’ve learned to enjoy some music-less long runs and I’ve definitely learned to enjoy Barr Trail without the iPod:  no music  on the mountain!  I just had the sound of my own breath and  muttered expletives for this year’s Ascent.

Anyway, all that said, it is fun to plug in and run to some favorite tunes and I’ve shared some of my playlists on this blog.   Recently, I found a new way to share these playlists compliments of Grooveshark. Grooveshark is cool – you can listen to full songs for free: just click the link for a quick listen.

Here are the  tunes that I am currently running to 🙂

Artist Song

1.  XX                                            The Islands

2.  The Temper Trap                  Fader

3.  Coconut Records                   Nighttiming

4.  Delorean                                 Stay Close

5.  XX                                             VCR

6.  James Yuill                            No Surprise

7.  Phoenix                                   Girlfriend

8.  Foster the People                  Pumped up Kicks

9.  Broken Bells                           The Ghost Inside

10. Maximum Ballon                Communion

11. Limousines                            Internet Killed the Radio Star

12. Phantogram                          Mouthful of Diamonds

13. Coconut Records                   Microphone

14. Florence & the Machine     Dog Days

15. Modern English                    After the Snow

16. Jack Penate                            Pull my Heart Away

17. Kings of Leo                           Radioactive

18. Lemonheads                          It’s a shame about Ray

19. Matt and Kim                         Cameras

20. The English Beat                  Save it for Later

21. Neon Trees                              1983

22. Arcade Fire                             We used to wait

23. The The                                    Perfect

24. TV on The Radio                   Heroes (David Bowie Cover)

25. Crystal Castles

(ft. Robert Smith)                          Not in Love

26. The Psychedelic Furs            Heaven

27. Echo and the Bunnymen      Seven Seas

28. James                                         Say Something

29. The Ocean Blue                       Between Something and Nothing

30. Cut Copy                                    Lights and Music

happy running

complete playlist: December 2010

running toward the end of 2010

The end of another year approaches and we are busy with family gatherings, shopping, end of year projects and finals for the kids, squeezing in a few runs and races.. and of course planning for 2011.    Mark and I committed this week to running the Colorado Marathon .  Let’s hope for a do over of the race that I ran in 2009.  More thoughts on the year to come later.   In the meantime, a few thoughts and a handful of pictures from our last few runs of 2010:

Turkey Trot 2010 November 25, 2010

After much concern and debate regarding the weather (predicted wind chills of -15 degrees), the family decided that tradition won over weather and we all bundled up and headed out for our annual run!  Everyone had a great race and while it was a bit chilly, the sun made the conditions pleasant.  I had a strong run, was on pace for a pretty good 5k, if not a PR but the course ended up being .20 miles short – so who knows?   My result: 23:48

the family after the 2010 Turkey Trot

so proud of these little girls

Rock Canyon Half Marathon, Pueblo CO December 4, 2010

This wasn’t my favorite (or my fastest) course but it was relatively flat (with one rather steep hill at the end) and you can’t beat the value: a $25 race that includes a bright purple sweatshirt to lounge around in!   The race is on paved roads at the beginning and end but the majority of the miles are on a rocky, uneven trail.  It was a chilly morning, but ended up warm enough (it is winter in CO after all).  The trail required some maneuvering, I had a few stumbles and lost focus/momentum several times during the race.  My result: 1:58:55 …  not the greatest but I had a great time with my husband and fellow bean, Julie (my 2011 Colorado Marathon mentor/partner 🙂 ).   Post race Starbucks never tasted so good.

not the cutest race attire, but warm
managed a bit of a kick at the end
Julie, Mark and me - last adventure of 2010. many to follow in 2011!
lounging in purple

The rest of 2010 is going to be fun.  I am looking forward to the holiday season with my family and some fun, easy running with my friends.    2011 will bring new challenges.  I’ve been reflecting on the year that is about to end while at the same time looking forward to a new year, new adventures – all the thoughts are in my head and will end up out here on this blog soon I am sure!