Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Never Underestimate the Power

Sometimes in life there's a picture or a story that captures your heart and touches your soul. Maybe it was Blake's million smiles that reminded me of James' miles and miles of smiles. Maybe it was the fight he had. Whatever it was about Blake, he touched not only my soul but so many around the world. Soar high little buddy and when you meet my friend, Rob, take his hand and let him show you Heaven's tallest mountain.

This week was my last week of training before Bear Chase so I was really shooting for some quality miles. It was also a busy week with appointments so scheduling was a bit tricky. I've taken to most of my week day runs now being at Mt Falcon. Not the easiest of trails for typical week day runs thats for sure. I'm just trying to remind myself that it will make me a stronger runner in the long run. But may do those hill climbs hurt! I'm also used to charging every hill climb there, but it I'm running Falcon consistently I need to only charge one climb a week. This is easier said than done, but I'm getting there. By the third day I managed to run to the top 30 seconds slower (33:32) than the day I charged to the top (33:05) so I'd call that progress. I really focused on keeping my heart rate low and steady on that climb, which really helped me feel much better as I was climbing. By spring I'm pretty sure I can get this climb under 30:00 and be setting myself up for a strong summer.

I had what felt like a terrible run at Staunton, but my time for the first climb was 46 minutes, which judging from times in the marathon the week before would have put me pretty much with the top guys, so maybe I felt terrible because I was pushing harder than I thought. My legs just felt done though. So we'll see how I end up feeling come Bear Chase. I was really hoping for some better training.

On the James front I got a call from daycare Monday morning that he had thrush and I needed to pick him up. So we had a lovely outing to the pediatrician to get meds for that. Tuesday we had a followup with ENT to see if his ear infection had cleared up enough that his hearing test would be valid. He was pretty sure he saw James' tubes had fallen out. We pressure tested the tubes and whether they're in or out they aren't working and there was fluid behind his ear drums, so no hearing test for 6 weeks. Then we'll evaluate for another round of tubes. I'm not a doctor, but I can pretty much say in 6 weeks this kid is still going to need tubes. It just concerns me that not hearing well for over 6 weeks will affect his speech.

Friday we went to Leadville to have his cardiology appointment. His VSD and PFO are both still small and very unlikely to need surgery so that's awesome. They did see pulmonary hypertension, which wasn't really unexpected since that's why we were there. Its pretty mild so we'll just keep him on oxygen a bit longer and ween him off of it a bit slower, but he'll get there just like everything else he does. At least we're getting answers as to why he still needs oxygen at night.

It was an unbelievably gorgeous day in Leadville, not a cloud in the sky. So what's better than going for a mom and son hike on Hope? So James and I joined the people around the world celebrating Blake's life by hiking Hope Pass. Nick had told me about a trailhead a bit down from Twin Lakes where you didn't have to do the river crossing so we headed there. This trail was a bit steeper, but you didn't have to cross the meadows or the stream. We had a blast! We sat by the river where the trails merged and blew bubbles. James loved the bubbles! All in all a great mom and son day, something we'll have to do more often!

Week September 16 -22

Miles Running: 42.0
Hours Hiking and Running: 9.5


Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Working the Elk Creek aid station
I have never in all my time in Colorado seen a week like we've just had. I studied the 1997 floods and while it was similar rain totals it didn't last for a week! Seven straight days of no sunshine! I was begining to wonder if I was really in Colorado. Alaska? Wisconsin? Yeah I wouldn't think twice, but not Colorado.

Monday I was getting ready for an afternoon run and since it was lightening down by my office I opted for running up the mountain. I left my office, turned onto the freeway and the storm hit. After sitting in the middle of the freeway for 10 minutes waiting for the rain and hail to subside I figured running was out of the question. Just getting to daycare was going to be rough. 35 minutes later I finished the 3 mile drive to daycare. The whole place was completely flooded. The road back to the center was washed out and it was unlike anything I had seen before.

The rain had subsided a bit by Tuesday morning and I wanted to see how Apex had faired in the storm. Plus the mountain tops were socked in with fog and I LOVE running in the fog. The Apex trail was a mess! There were rockslide/mudslides that covered the trail in several spots. I was able to get passed the first area where the trail was washed out, but the second one was huge. Too big to jump across, too deep and vertical to scramble down and up. I backtracked a bit and then looped back up the mountain. It was gorgeous and amazing running weather. Unfortunately I didn't realize the flooding that was occurring elsewhere. The county ended up closing Apex after I got done running and it is still closed, along with several other parks. James' daycare ended up getting shutdown on Thursday and Friday so they could fix the leaking roof and the parking lot a bit. The main entrance is still shutdown and the whole road needs to be rebuilt.

More rain and fog Wednesday so I ran the Falcon hill climb. It was one of the best runs I've ever had. The rain had chased most of the people away and I was one of the only ones on the trail so it was just quiet and peaceful. A perfect run!

The rain let up for a bit Saturday while Dan and I captained Aid Station 1 at the inaguural Elk Creek Marathon. We had a blast! And James as always won over the hearts of many! This was our first experience with someone "knowing". As I handed a glass of water to one guy he leaned over and smiled at James. "My sister has a kid with Downs, he's amazing" and then he took off. I was a bit stunned. I mean I know James' features are becoming more prominent as he gets older, but I just wasn't expecting that. And then a couple hours later this group of 3 women came walking in. They were walking the half and having a great time. One of the women put her hand on James' head and said what a blessed child he is. It seemed a bit strange at first, but then when I looked at her the expression on her face said it all. She went on to say she was a special ed teacher for 30 years and that I had a pretty special kid on my hands.

All in all it was quite an exciting week. The rain and flooding definitely forced a light week in terms of mileage, but I certainly had some exciting adventure runs checking out the damage, running through puddles and getting wet!

Week September 9 - 15

Miles Running: 28.6
Hours Hiking and Running: 6

Elk Creek Marathon AS1
Apex trail
The road to James' daycare
Apex Trail

Apex Trail

Monday, September 9, 2013

Moving Forward

For the first time in a long time I don't have a race I'm training for. I've been focused on Leadville for nearly 2 years now. So what's a girl to do without a race on the horizon? Keep running! I've been focused on solid, consistent runs the past couple weeks. Its a strange position to be in. I'm enjoying training without a direct purpose.

I wish I could have gotten in some more exciting runs this week, but I still got pretty decent mileage and was really able to push it and not feel total exhaustion in my legs. It was also ridiculously hot again this week so running down the hill was no fun.I mostly ran laps at Flying J, where it was much cooler. Next week I'll get back to hills and speed work, it should be getting cooler. I heard reports that maybe some snow on some of the peaks! Hoping to check out some new trails next week...or at least move away from FJ for something a bit more exciting!

Just hanging out standing by myself!
I'm not the only one moving forward though. Thursday we took James to the Sie Center. When we walked into the PT room I set James down on the mats and instantly he crawled onto his belly, pushed up on his hands to one knee and one foot and half crawled, half bear crawled to the PT sitting on the other side of the mats. I just looked at her astonished. He's been super close to really crawling lately, but has never crawled across the room like that. Ever since then he has been on the move. Not quite fast enough yet that you lose him in a matter of seconds, but you definitely can't take your eyes off him for longer than a minute. If you do he's likely in the entertainment center playing with the cords. The highlight of the week though was Sunday when James was playing in his circle of neglect (aka. excersaucer) and looked at me with his arms stretched up "mom, mom, mom". Yep, no run can ever be greater than that!

Week September 2 - 8

Miles Running: 40.5
Hours Hiking and Running: 7.5

Friday, September 6, 2013

Run of Your Life

Our lil stander!
I spent a good portion of the weekend (22+ hr) following UTMB. Rory Bosio has always been a fun runner to watch, telling jokes with a huge smile on her face even late into a 100 miler. So when Rory had the run of her life breaking the course record by 2 1/2 hours and taking 7th overall it was an incredible moment to "watch" via irunfar! Certainly an inspirational run and one that I hope I can have in my own small way one of these days.

I may never destroy the field at UTMB, but I can have the run of my life. That's the beauty of running, we race against ourselves and we can all have these amazing runs. So I've been inspired to run hard and maybe even throw in a bit of strength training (lets not go crazy I'm not talking gyms and weights, but maybe lunges, resistance training, that sorta thing). I want to see how well I can run.

I was still trying to take it easy this week so just tried to maintain my runs. No long runs, nothing too crazy. Mostly just had fun running in the mountains. Explored so new trails at Staunton and Maxwell Falls. We also looked and with a bit of finagling and quite a long run, but doable, we can run to Mt Evans from our house! Nothing like bushwhacking to make things interesting! All in all I'm feeling great and ready for fall running. That's always when I have those runs of your life, where everything feels good and you're moving well and just enjoying the whole thing. I'm done with this ridiculous heat!

Week August 26 - September 1

Miles Running: 42
Hours Hiking and Runinng: 9