Five Reasons I’m Excited to Run the Fortitude 10k For The First Time

The Fortitude 10k is produced by the same people that bring you the Bolder Boulder and is held on Labor Day. 2018 makes this a second-year event. After my Bolder Boulder post from this year’s race, a marketing person from the race saw my blog post on twitter and emailed me, asking me if I’d like to be part of the Fortitude 10k Blogger program, aka be a FORT Ambassador! I get to run the race and promote it and I couldn’t be more stoked! I was already thinking about doing the race and this just sealed the deal! I’m actually really excited to run the Fortitude 10k up in Fort Collins and can’t wait!

This year’s Bolder Boulder

Here are a few reasons why I’m shaking with excitement:

1. I get to visit Fort Collins!
While the Bolder Boulder is in Boulder, CO and finishes in Colorado University’s stadium, the Fortitude 10k is in Fort Collins, CO and finishes in the Colorado State University stadium. It’s no secret that the Buffs (CU) and the Rams (CSU) are rivals and I am a proud RAM FAN through and through! I went to school at CSU and am excited to run through Fort Collins and see the new stadium they built. I miss Fort Collins a lot; it was a great city to live in!

The ironic part of this picture is that I’m with CSU’s mascot at CU’s stadium!

2. It’s another big 10k with the same production quality as the Bolder Boulder.
The Bolder Boulder is produced, managed and organized exceptionally well. From the pre-race experience (registration, packet pickups, and bus system) to race day experience (plenty of port-o-johns, the wave system, and the expo area, etc), they really have developed a great system to accommodate thousands of runners. The Fortitude 10k is brought to you by the same team and I can only expect good things.

3. A new lunchbox!
Part of the swag of the Fortitude 10k is a lunch box full of snacks and goodies! I have a fair few from my Bolder Boulder races, but again, one from Fort Collins will be AWESOME!

4. The fact that I get to race a 10k!
Cross Country season is in full swing and as a coach, I’ve been running with the team. I’m excited to see where my current fitness is. My goal is to just run as fast as I can; no watch to guide me! I want to push myself, feeling like I gave it all on the course, and see what I can do. The course looks fun and pretty fast!

5. I get CO socks!
In addition to the lunch box, the shirt, and the free beer at the finish line, you get a pair of Swiftwick socks! I think that’s a pretty fun addition for registering! If the images are true, it looks like they’ll be Colorado socks, too!


Join me at the race! 

Register online HERE and use coupon code WWINF15 to save $5!

HURRY! Prices go up on MONDAY, August 20th, by $10!

Prediction Run With 3W Races

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Ok, ok, I know I said I didn’t have any racing schedule for this year! This was another random sign up.

For a second year in a row one of the owners of 3W Races, held a Prediction Run. It goes like this: You predict your time for a 5k. On race day, you run with NO timing device. No watches, no phone, no Ipods…nothing. The person that finished closes to their predicted their times WINS!

If you ever get a chance to do a race like this, I highly recommend it. It’s fun, challenging and unique. I love that fact that ANYONE can win – fast or slow, it just comes down to how well you can know your body, pace and stay steady on your run.

For this race, we had a competition with all racers and then a friendly competition between staff members as well. I’m not going to lie, I was kind of nervous! I didn’t really know what to predict. As you know, running has been the easiest for me lately. Do I predict a slower time and take my time (risking not getting close to my prediction) or do I predict fast and go all out??

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Here’s what I did: I predicted about 45 seconds slower than last weekend at the Six Pack Race given that this course was more flat. On race morning, I tried to replicate how I felt at the previous race (in terms of burn in my lungs).

I felt pretty strong on the run and tried to just run hard and hold my pace. I’m pretty psyched to have won (out of three) a free massage by being the closest of all 3W staffers to my predicted time! I predicted 25:45 and was off by 21 seconds (running  25:23). Overall I was 10th closest to my predicted time – the other runners were GREAT at predicting!


3W Races – 1 mile to half marathon races all across the CO Front Range!

 

First race of 2017 – Highland Ranch Six Pack Series – 5k

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It may have been my first race of 2017, but it wasn’t planned out. In fact, I still don’t have a race schedule planned out for the year. The only other race I know I’m running FOR SURE is the Erin Go Braugh 7.77k on March 11th because I never miss it. A lot of this is due to my up and down motivation for running in general, but that’s a whole other story.

Last weekend, “my boss” (she hates that word, but for the sake of my readers, that is who she is; she is also my friend), asked if I could help out at the Six Pack Series in Highlands Ranch and just time part of it. She suggested I run the race and then take over the timing while she announced awards. That sounded like a good deal to me! I then added on shadowing the course-set guy because in a couple of weeks I will be setting the same course.

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My friend Jen and I

So after getting up early, walking the whole course, I ran the 5k! I had no goals, none whatsoever, just to run and feel the sun on my face, the burn in my legs and feel my heart pumping. BONUS, a friend of mine and fellow cross country coach, decided to come run! I had no idea (and she was just hoping I would be there). It was such a good surprise and nice feeling to have a good friend on the course. She is also coming back from a non-running stint due to other reasons.

When the whistle was blown, I took off at a nice comfortable pace. For the first mile, three of us ladies were sticking pretty close together, one to my right and one slightly behind me. The first place woman was way in front of us, so it was us three trying for 2nd and 3rd place. I’m not sure when the lady behind me fell back but at about a mile and a half we hit a hill and the other lady pulled ahead, leaving me in third.

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I decided then that I wanted to hold that 3rd place spot and kept up my pace. I reached the turnaround, cheered on by fellow 3W Ambassador (a team of 50 runners that run and promoted 3W Races), and kept pushing, telling myself there’s only less than half of the race left.  My friend was running the 4 mile and I saw her after the turnaround (as she was about to turn). I yelled out to “come catch me”, hopefully giving her a boost of energy. I knew exactly where I was on the course, having set it, and kept counting down the half-miles in my head.

Finally, I rounded the last corner, finish line in site, and pushed it in for the finished! I maintained my 3rd place and felt pretty great! (My friend finished 1st overall in the 4 mile, almost catching me in the 5k).

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For my lack of running and being on my feet that morning, I’m pretty proud! This race gave me a huge motivational boost in my running.


Six Pack Series Highlands Ranch (new series starting Fall 2017!)

3W Races – 1 mile to half marathon races all across the CO Front Range!

Patriot Day 5k – Post Race Recap and Unexpected PR

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Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a “post-race recap.” I’ve been running a few races this year but haven’t really taken the time to review them. Since this blog is partly about running, it’s about time that I recap a race of mine.

This past weekend was a “holiday” of sorts to remember and honor those that served our country on that awful day 15 years ago. I was a freshman in high school sitting at my desk in earth science watching the news as the two towers fell down.

I will never forget that day and our country will always remember those that had fallen with the towers. The company I work for, 3W Races, holds a race every year to honor those first responders and military that were there that day and that continue to serve our country. The Patriot Day race started out as a 10k and 5k but this year we only did the 5k. Not being responsible for the production of this race, I decided to run it! Talk about perks of the job!

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This race is in Denver and around a beautiful park in the city, Sloans Lake. Being a super flat course (the most flat of any of 3W’s courses), I wanted to see what my current fitness level is by racing as hard as I could. I didn’t want to wear a watch, I just wanted to go off of feel. After getting this time, I plan on picking some running goals and deciding what I actually want to do with the sport.

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I showed up to the park pretty early, getting plenty of time to talk with friends and get a warm up in. One friend in particular told me he wanted to PR which would be a sub 25 minute 5k for him. He told me he wanted run with me, or at least keep me in his sights. I figured we could run together since my time would be somewhere around 25 minutes anyway. That’s what I’ve been running in recent races.

The whistle was blown and off we went. My friend and I ran pretty hard from the start line. I have a bad habit of starting off too fast, and even though I tried not to this time, I knew we were running pretty quickly! I don’t know even remember what the time was, but we were both shocked when his watch beeped at the first mile marker. I told my friend that it’s okay, we can still get that PR as long as we hold where we’re at.

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By mile two, he was still on my shoulder; I knew he was set up for a PR. I waved my hand up, holding a “one” on my fingers telling him we only had one more mile left. I pushed it a little harder, still feeling great.

Then, with three-quarters of a mile left, I looked down and saw my shoe untied! I swear I doubled knotted that thing and ironically, I was even thinking about shoes untying while running.  UUURRRGGG. Not stopping, I just became very aware of where I was putting my feet down at.

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I passed a group and they reminded me of the mishap but I still kept going. I passed my friend’s wife on the course and told her he was right behind me. Looking up, the finish line was in sight and I pushed even harder.

Noticing that I was finishing around 23 minutes, my friend was definitely in for PR. I looked back and there he was, flying in for a minute and a half PR! So excited, we high-fived and he thanked “Coach Vestal.”

 

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Feeling pretty good, I started thinking about my PR. I honestly couldn’t remember it, but had my phone with me. Checking my blog, where I record such things, I found that I had beaten my PR as well. I couldn’t believe it. I had not goal of a PR, just a fast race. I have been feeling super slow lately, and not as fit as I used to be, but I had indeed ran my fastest ever 5k! The best part, is I still feel room for improvement!

A PR kind of day, about half a dozen of us gotten PRs! It was awesome! We all got to take turns re-setting the time clock to our times, and took some celebratory pictures then headed to a local brewery for celebratory beers.

1st in my Age Group!

I was also 1st in my Age Group!