Colfax Marathon Relay – Pre Race Review

downloadWhen a lady that regularly attends my bootcamp classes at the City of Golden Rec Center asked me if I wanted to join the Colfax Marathon Relay team, I said yes before she could even finish her sentence!

A couple weeks ago, I was asked to join the corporate relay team because one of the team members had to drop out. This “bootcamp regular” is an employe of the City of Golden and the relay team is paid for by the City, so it’s a must that it be an employee that runs it.

CCM12_UUT_transparent_smallWell, wouldn’t you know, I AM a city employee! I was really excited. It’s the corporate cup relay of the Colfax Marathon, a very popular race here in Denver. It’s a whole weekend of events. If we are to place, the winnings will be donated to charity. Last year, the City of Golden team took third – no pressure or anything!

Tomorrow morning, at 6am, I’ll be lining up for the first leg of the corporate cup. We’re called the Golden Foxes and will be sporting yellow shirts! Yesterday, I went to the expo and picked up my packet which was at Mile High Stadium (Sports Authority field – where the broncos play). The expo was nice, organized and not as crowded as I was expecting from the last time I was at a running expo. (When I did my first marathon, I was in an unfamiliar place, with no friends or family with me and the expo was chaotic and crowded. I nearly had a panic attack and had to sit down in a empty lobby for a moment. It was not fun). This expo was neatly laid out, and plenty of fun booths to visit and lots of workers to direct you to where you needed to be.

Let alone was the swag bag for the race pretty awesome, but the booths had some fun things for sale and to give away. I won a sweet water bottle from a yoga booth!

While meandering around, I ran into a few fellow 3W Ambassadors and we had some fun before we all had to go our separate ways.

3W Ambassadors!

3W Ambassadors!

I’m really excited for this race. Like, REALLY excited! I haven’t been this excited for a race in a really long time. Which is a GREAT feeling! I was beginning to wonder where my love of running disappeared to!

I want to try my best and push hard for the team. I’m feeling pretty confident and ready! I am the first leg of the relay, starting it off with a 6.4 mile run from City Park to Mile High Stadium. I let my team know I should be there in an hour, which is my goal: 60 minutes or under.

I’m really looking forward to the thrill of a big race, pushing hard, and of course the festivities after (free beer, duh). I have a lot of friends that will be running, working/volunteering at a booth, or helping a disabled runner. Expect lots of pictures, instagrams, tweets and Facebook posts, friends!

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By, the way, this is my first blog post from my phone. Please excuse an potential formatting or english mistakes. I write this as I wait for the next event at the Colorado State Track Competition!  I’ve been assistant coaching high school track and field (mostly long jump and triple jump) for Green Mountain High School and we have a bunch of athletes in multiple events competing!

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Updates

I have some good news and some bad news. I would say I would start with the bad news first and end with the good, but it’s all kinda combined together.

Do you know how hard it is to write about running when you haven’t been running much?? Well, it’s pretty hard. It’s like a guilty feeling. Good news is, I’ve been slowly getting back to my normal running…

Running Updates:

My last post before my New Years Resolutions was about hitting my training “wall” and unfortunately I haven’t run many miles since that post.

Ah, excuses

Ah, excuses

December flew by in the running world due to many reasons. Here are the many reasons excuses why I didn’t run (in order):

1. The first week or so, Denver was plagued with absolutely freezing weather.  Like “boogers you didn’t know you had instantly freeze in your nose” freezing.  Since I don’t have a gym membership, I didn’t get much running in. (I coach boot camp at a community college where we “rent” their gym, but due to changes with our contract, I felt awkward working out there. It’s hard to explain and would be a very long story).

2. At the end of my last long run, I believe the end of November or very early December, I developed horrible knee pain, so I was also scared to run again.

3. Then, I was hit with the flu mid December. It knocked me on my ASS! I had the fever, body aches, coughs etc. I didn’t move from my bed for about 3 days, and when I finally did, I only managed to make it over to the boy’s house, make homemade soup with equally sick him, and back to sleep again.

4. Once I was able to move again, I still had a dreadful cough. Horrible! I didn’t want to compromise my lungs with a cold run, or any run in general.

Snowboarding around X-Mas

Snowboarding around X-Mas

5. Then finally, around the holidays, I was invited to spend the week in Breckenridge with the boy and his family and spent every day snowboarding (and before you assume, yes, I still was at the end of my sickness…and yes, I chose to snowboard through it – don’t judge me. I do what I want!). Even when we returned after that week, we drove up there a handful of other times. (Just so you know, I’ve been snowboarding more times this seasons than my last two seasons put together!!).

6. Then finally, I decided to lace my shoes back up and oh man..the pain! I had a horrible pain, made me cry pain! It was in my left knee! Which was really strange to me, because I have no pain when I snowboard.

Just to put this in perspective for you, we are now were in the first week in January in this story.

I really wanted to run a race on the first, but I’m glad I didn’t, because I’m guessing with the knee pain I experienced a week into January, a race wouldn’t have gone well. I went snowboarding New Years day instead. It was Jan 6th when I laced my sneakers back up again. I know this exactly because I cool running log book from my Mom for Christmas!

That's where is hurts!

That’s where is hurts! (camera – mirror image, it is indeed my left knee that hurts).

I decided to just go for it and run at my work; weird feelings and all. (It’s a really complicated situation, I swear). I ran for about 1 mile only on the treadmill that day and the knee pain started. I ran through it at first, thinking it was just one of those weird tweaks or something. You know what I mean, right? But when it wouldn’t go away, I hopped off the treadmill.

The next day, I decided to aim for a small three mile run, outside, to try it again. I only made it about a mile before I was crying, in public, because my knee was reallllllllly painful. I was a mile from home, so I had to scrambled back. I walked a bit and the pain would subside. Then I would pick the pace back up only to pick the pain back up as well. It was terrible.

Before you assume, I had been making sure to stretch and foam roll. I do need to do it more, but since I discovered the pain, I’ve been foam rolling before the few runs I’ve done and then foam rolling again with static stretches (just like I learned from school) after my run. I also foam roll and stretch a lot on my non-running days.

I tried the treadmill again the next day and only made it about a quarter mile before my knee was killing me.

Yeah, I got to play with cute puppies while working!

Yeah, I got to play with cute puppies while working!

This is when someone asked me the question: “Does your knee hurt when your snowboard?” It hadn’t been previously, so that brings us up to two weekends ago. I was working an odd job up in the mountains where I got to snowboarding a tiny bit (see a little later in this post for more, fun, info), and no pain! What. The. Heck?????

I was on my feet pretty much all weekend, so I rested Monday and Tuesday and decided to give it a try again on Wednesday.

I tied my shoes, stretched my legs, and attempted to run….I made it through a 2 mile run with NO PAIN! I was really achy afterward, but there was none of the sharp pain I felt inside my knee when I was actively running. So that’s good. And confusing.

In order to figure this out and not cause damage, I’m taking this running thing slowly. Realllllyy sllloowwly. I rested on Thursday and went snowboarding friday.

I laced up the ol’ tennis shoes on Saturday and ran 3 whole miles with no pain!!!

I worked the Bronco’s game on Sunday (WOOT! GO BRONCOS!) and was on my feet all day.

Then Monday, yesterday, I managed to get through 3.2 miles, no pain. Well, not entirely. At about 2.75 miles, the pain was staring to show up…but I was so close to home, I kept going….and wouldn’t ya know, the pain just vanished!

UGH! So confusing! But that brings me to my next update….

sedona marathon event logoSedona Marathon Updates:

I’m not doing the Sedona marathon. There it is. And I’m super bummed (Biggest understatement of the year).

I was actually crying when I started this post.

So you read about the knee pain I was experiencing…

After the holidays, I was pretty confident I could get myself in marathon – endurance shape by the beginning of February. At that time, I didn’t know I would still have the knee pain.

being brokeEven if I didn’t have knee pain or even if I was back up to marathon endurance, the fact of the matter is I can’t afford to do the race. I never registered, and I’m glad I didn’t, because then I wouldn’t have been able to afford the travel costs. I’ve been emailing a friend I met while volunteering at Leadville, and she would have housed me (and fed me, she said) but there’s no way I could afford the travel expenses – driving or flying.

Ya know, the knee pain is one thing, and I’m glad I’m not doing it due to that because I don’t want a long-term injury. But when it comes down to the fact that I’m not stable enough, at my age, to afford a race that I can drive to, that’s where I get really upset.

running is my lifeAnd there’s even more to it than that. You see, running is my thing. It’s pretty unique to me (out of the people I grew up with and am currently around). It defines me. It’s something that I truly am passionate about (hence why I changed my career) and it’s something that makes me incredible happy. Especially racing, and challenging myself (it’s not like I’m breaking olympic records here) And that’s important to me. I know there’s plenty of people in this world that can’t do things they truly enjoy, but running and racing, to keep a long story short, keeps me sane. It’s not like a picked a super expensive hobby.

So when I can’t afford to do the main thing that I enjoy, I get really frustrated because I’ve been trying soooo hard to be able to do things I like for the past few years.

running-cheaper-than-therapySorry about that rant.

Which brings me to my next set of updates…

Career Updates:

I’m not trying to tell a sob story here, or make you feel bad for me. I’m just trying to explain that I’ve been working pretty hard to better myself only to keep meeting roadblocks that I have no control over.

I was doing pretty well with my current job (and I feel like I can post about it because I’m 99.9% sure my boss would never read my blog.

suck less, thanksBasically, to TRY and make a long story short, I was asked awhile back to put my own personal business on hold by my boss at the boot camp company. She offered me more hours at the time with the goal and intention of getting me closer to full-time soon. This was back in August or September. She wanted help with starting a small group personal training group within her company because small group training is apparently all the rage right now, not one-on-one training.

She also said she would help me learn the ways of the fitness world and it would be way “better” for me. I would get the experience and even though I wouldn’t be making as much per hour as I would on my own, I would be saving in the cost of marketing and stuff like that.

I took a few days to decided and I put Apocalyptic Fitness on hold. I became very loyal to her. Pretty much doing anything and everything she asked with the hopes of getting more and more hours.

With the few months that followed, I was doing alright. I was making ends meet, barely, but things were looking good and promising.

Then, December happened. Our agreement with the gym we kind of rent was changed, as I’ve mentioned previously, and my boss decided she wanted to look for a building of her own. The idea of having our own building opened up many opportunities for her business as well as my career in the long-term future. But in the short-term future, that meant cutting costs to save for this new facility and thus, cutting my already few hours.

Apocalyptic Fitness Logo 001I’m pretty disappointed to say the least. I get kinda angry when I start really thinking about it. It’s really frustrating that I put my own momentum on hold only to be let down.

So, with the recent slash in hours, I have been spending a lot of time job searching like crazy and picking up random odd jobs where ever I can.

In the last few months…

I may or may not change my name each game I worked...

I may or may not change my name each game I worked…

…I have worked Bronco Games pouring beer – which is oddly fun and I got to see the last quarter of my Broncos win the AFC Championship!!! SOO exciting! SUPERBOWL!

…I have house sat for a good friend of mine – I slept on the couch with 2 big, fluffy creatures (dogs).

…And the best odd job I have had is working as a Brand Ambassador for Bear Naked Granola in Keystone! I passed out samples, bandanas and best of all, I got the boy a job too and we were sent to the top of the mountain to take super sweet succession shots of people in the Terrain Park! I even go to take picture of the boy wearing some promo gear that Bear Naked Featured on their own facebook page!!! Check it out:

That job was a blast and I will be working with them again in March at Vail!

The awesome photo I took of my boyfriend..posted on the Bear Naked Facebook!!!

The awesome photo I took of my boyfriend..posted on the Bear Naked Facebook!!!

Anyway, I’ve been job searching and networking as much as possible for additional hours in the fitness world, the running industry (i.e. Cross Country or Track Coach) or the brand ambassador industry (that is a whole, interesting world – people do stuff like that for a living! Can you believe that!?).

I am also looking at starting back at getting Apocalyptic Fitness up and running again. A couple of friends of mine have a little garage in downtown Denver that they use for martial arts instruction and when I get clients, I will be renting the space to use! We have a good thing going here – as long as I get clients! 🙂

I think that covers it for updates… I’m honestly not sure. I’m trying really hard and right this second, I’m feeling pretty optimistic, but when it comes to my current situation, especially related to my recent job changes, I get pretty frustrated.

I was pretty missing in action on my blog, but I have admittedly been missing in action when it comes to real life and my friends as well. It’s a big circle of emotions…I can’t do my marathon because of finances -> my finances were fine until this job -> I’ve been working hard -> etc -> etc…. honestly, I get kinda depressed. And, like a lot of people, I withdraw. In conjunction with the holidays, being out-of-town, and spending a lot of time job searching, I hope this explains a lot to my friends why I’ve been missing in action and may have not followed up on our plans or texted you back. I’m sorry. I’m trying to be better. I have come out of hiding!

Sedona Marathon Training – Week 6 Recap

Greetings from Fayetteville, Arkansas! Yes, that’s really where I am. And let me tell you something…. I’m definitely cut out to be a Colorado girl! It’s cold out here! While it is the same temperature as it is back home, the air is filled with a lot more moisture and that kind of cold is WAAAAYYYY different! Brrr!

But, I’m still running in it! I assure you that! Actually, Fayetteville has a fairly new, extensive trail system they’ve been developing. I can easily get on it from my Dad’s house and it’ll take me as far as I need to run in any direction! It goes north to Arkansas Lake (I haven’t ventured that far yet) and South to the Arkansas Razorback’s Campus (I did go this way today).

Before I get too distracted, lets recap Week 6

sedona marathon event logoSedona Marathon Training – Week 6:

Monday: I decided to take the day off from training because I was indeed sore from the previous day’s long run. Although, I was still pretty proud of myself for busting out that run! I bragged about it to all of my bootcamps ladies! I love working in the fitness industry. Not everyone is a runner, of course, but in the fitness world, they appreciate your success no matter what the sport.

Tuesday: 4 miles due. 4 miles complete. This is a typical Colorado week. I ran this day in capris and a t-shirt. On Thursday, it was snowing and I was bundled from head to toe.

keep calm hug a runnerWednesday: National Hug a Runner Day. The question is, would you liked to have hugged me before or after running? Actually, I didn’t get a chance to run this day. I literally worked from 5:45am until 9pm. The only break I got was from 7-9:30 and only because I was waiting for my boss to get home. Don’t get me started on this day. I wanted to murder this day.

Thursday: SNOW!!! Tough Runner Weather. 3 miles – kinda speed work. I did get the chance to see the new Catching Fire movie. It was FANTASTIC!!! Way better than the first one and it follows the book pretty well. I loved it!

cold weather running

IMG_20131126_174315Friday: Worked then napped on and off for most of the day – my body was not having it, so I decided not to run. I needed the sleep. I ran off to work again (ugh I hate my split schedule) … Then, I got to see Warren Miller’s Ticket to Ride for free! The special someone picked up free tickets for us that a local radio station was giving away and I met him down town to see the show. It was amazing! I don’t know if you have ever seen a Warren Miller film, but if you haven’t and you are a skier or a boarder, you need to check them out. I have never even been able to catch one on DVD or netflix, let alone in the theater, so I sat wide eyed and jaw dropped for the entire thing! Very impressed to say the least. The whole event was pretty neat. It was at the Paramount Theatre in Denver on the 16th street mall (They actually having showings all over the Denver Metro Area). I have never been in the Theater before either so that was a treat as well for me (it’s a very pretty, historic building). Out in the lobby they had  a lot of the sponsors with giveaways and other information. They also had a huge giveaway from the actual film hosts during intermission as well!

Saturday: After having a late date night, I woke up before the sun to get in a car and head east to Arkansas. That’s a 13 hour drive in case you’re wondering. Although, I wasn’t allowed to drive, so I slept most of the way, which made it seem like it went by pretty fast! No running was had this day.

 

Actual footage of an Arkansas run.

Actual footage of an Arkansas run.

Sunday: I wanted to get in my long run this day, but after visiting the grandparents on the farm (yes, I said farm. You can’t go to Arkansas and NOT visit a farm), we got back to my Dad’s house a little too late to venture out for a 10 mile run. I chose to keep it short, still get some miles in, but push my long run to Monday when I could go in the middle of the day, when it’s safer.  With my Dad’s help, I discovered a wonderful trail system, and got in 4 miles. Running here looks a lot different than my Colorado.

—Monday, of week 7: 10 miles due, 10 miles complete. New trail fully discovered and I got to see parts of Fayetteville I have never seen!

Part of the trail

Part of the trail

Coming up: I have a race in Eureka Springs, Arkansas on Thursday morning. It’s a trail 5K! I’m super excited! And my Dad is coming with me! What about you all? Who’s doing a turkey trot come Thanksgiving morning?? 

Sedona Marathon Training – Week 5 Recap

(I actually did finish this on time for Tuesday Newsday, I just forgot to press publish! Such is life!)

Welcome back! I have every intention of writing more than one blog post a week and every intention of writing some more interesting, running related posts. But for now, you’re stuck with my weekly updates on how training is going. But guessing that most of my followers are runners themselves, I’m sure you’re ok with that!

sedona marathon event logoSedona Marathon Training – Week 5:

Monday: 4 miles easy, done and done.

Tuesday: 1 hour fartlek due, 45 min fartlek done. I woke up a little later than I wanted to, so in order to squeeze in my workout before going to a meeting I had, I had to shave 15 minutes off. I did another “fartlek ladder” this time. Starting with a 10 minute warmup then: 1 min ON (race pace), 1 min OFF (slow jog), 2 min ON, 1 min OFF, 3 ON, 1 OFF, repeat 3 ON again, and back down the ladder with a 10-ish min cool down. QUESTION: Do any of you do workouts like this??? This is the first time I’m incorporating any type of speed work into my own personal training program. I find this workout in particular pretty difficult, but once I finish it, I feel very accomplished. I did quite a bit of speed work with the cross country team I was coaching, but on a smaller scale and I wasn’t training for anything.

Wednesday: Rest day. I’m really good at rest days.

Thursday: Um, I also skipped this workout. It was supposed to be a tempo run. 3 mile warm up, 3 miles tempo and 2 miles cool down. Slacker? Yes. Tired? Yes. Lazy? Yes. But, hear me out! I was up late the night before! Ok, not a good enough excuse? Then…I got nothin’.

Yes, that person in the picture is actually me.

Yes, that person in the picture is actually me.

zombie tshirtFriday: 5 miles easy due. Snowboarding complete. I got in a lot of snowboarding this day. It was a good day on the mountain, they opened up a few more trails than last time I was up, and I got off work at 8am. Snowboarding was a a done deal. After cleaning up, the special someone and I got pizza and drinks at Old Chicago where I picked up my long awaited zombie tshirt that I earned from the halloween mini beer tour.

Saturday: Rest day actually scheduled. It was a busy day though. Work followed by a mimosa brunch with my bootcamp ladies to celebrate them completing an 8 week team challenge. Then I attended my first ever baby shower. How many jokes can I cram in about not having babies?? Then I met up with a friend for a drink and followed up with an early night in. I’m pretty sure I was asleep by 8pm. No joke.

Sunday: Woot woot! 14 miles due. 14.4 miles complete! BOOM! After last week’s failed attempt at my long run, I was not looking forward to this run. But I made up my mind the night before that I was going to do it. Just get up, get dressed, eat my breakfast (and drink my much needed coffee) and run my 14 miles. And I did. Sometimes that’s all it takes, changing the mindset.

The run itself was decent. I wasn’t really feeling tired until there was about 3 miles left. Mostly my calf was sore from previous week’s activities, but as I was nearing the end, my hip and knees started acting up and feeling a little painful.

Pre-Game, watching the Half Time Show Practice for Honoring our Veterans. The Row closest to us is the Wounded Warriors and there's even some doggies with them!

Pre-Game, watching the Half Time Show Practice for Honoring our Veterans. The Row closest to us is the Wounded Warriors and there’s even some doggies with them!

After the run, I had to shower and change and get ready to work the Bronco’s game, so I spent the following 7 hours on my feet.

I woke up monday morning pretty sore; mainly my left hip (which is the same hip that was bothering me mid-year after the Tough Mudder). So I decided to take it easy and foam rolled for a good hour.

Upcoming: I have a busy week at work, but this Saturday starts a week long “vacation.” I am heading to Fayetteville, Arkansas (oooo, exciting, I know) to visit my Dad and Grandparents for Thanksgiving. I actually WILL be getting to run a race in that state, and I’m really excited to knock off state number 11 (and to get a week off – although, I have a lot personal projects I want to work on, career related).

Your Turn: What are you thanksgiving break plans?? Am I still allowed to call it a break as if I’m still in school?? Sometimes I wish I was still in school.