Monday, January 20, 2014

Go, Go, Go

This seems to be the theme of our lives lately. James is non-stop lately! The house has finally been pretty much completely baby proofed...except for the drawers. There have definitely been a few pinched fingers lately, but that's just how you learn right? We've increased James' therapy so he has weekly speech at Children's, and twice monthly each speech, physical therapy and occupational therapy from early intervention. Needless to say I'm always on the go getting him from one appointment to another. There's certainly no slowing down.

This week was a bit tough for getting in miles. This week was crazy windy! I made my first Green Mountain summit of 2014, but it was a tough run in drifted snow and battling the winds. Most of the rest of this weeks miles were logged on the dreadmill. Dan's rig was down for the week and January is always a slow time at work for me. So we decided to take Friday off and finally get up into the mountains for some riding. It was our first time at Winter Park so naturally we headed straight for Mary Jane. It felt so good to finally get my board back under my feet. We really liked the mountain, it seemed to have more of a locals feel, but still had the amenities of a resort. And it didn't hurt that it was a powder day! A day riding definitely made missing out on getting some extra miles worth it.

James also is really starting to make progress with communication. His sign of the week is naturally "go" and he evens makes a "ga" when he does it. James gets so excited that he can finally start to communicate and I think Dan and I are probably just as excited to see some progress in communication. 

Sometimes you just need to realize that you can't control everything. That your miles and quality runs will get there, that James' speech will get there. You just have to keep going and get there and see what's there. The way you handle each of these situations is what makes every run great and every little accomplishment even more amazing!

Week January 6-12

Miles Running: 40
Hours Hiking/Riding and Running: 11

and there will come a time you'll see with no more tears, and love will not break your heart...get over your hill and see what you find there with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair -Mumford and Sons

Friday, January 17, 2014

Rollin' with 2013

Merry Christmas everyone! I just learned to clap!
Dan and I were out running and got to talking about how we would describe this past year. It was kind of a year that just was. So we mostly just rolled with it. There were some high points, finishing Leadville was definitely up there, but it wasn't the same not being able to share that with Dan. Overall I ran well, but I didn't feel like I was at my peak...there's definitely more in the tank and I'm excited to tap into that. At the same time there weren't too many low points. Sure James' health hasn't always been great and he had several surgeries, is still on oxygen...but nothing that's really rocked our boat I guess.

Overall in terms of running I had a pretty decent year. I ran top 10 at Quad Rock and got on the podium at the Leadville marathon and Bear Chase. And most importantly I finished the Leadville 100. Dan PRd the Leadville marathon by almost an hour! We had some amazing runs and saw some beautiful places. We had some rough runs, where everything felt hard, our legs hurt and lungs burned. But we both saw a lot of progress and have a good idea of what we need to do next year. And all that is despite Dan fighting bronchitis twice, buying and selling a house, spending nearly a day a week at Children's, oh and did I mention we both have full time jobs...and Dan got a new job this past summer. Geez if we can have one sorta settled year of training I can only imagine what we'll be able to accomplish.

Annual end-of-the-year run!
In terms of my training I buckled down, logged the miles, pushed the hills and focused on my nutrition. After Leadville I really focused on consistency. I logged nearly 50 miles every week with very few long runs. I wanted to get my body used to logging higher mileage during the week and next year I'll start incorporating more long runs. I feel like I'm starting off the year at a much better place physically then I did last year.
Pine Valley Ranch

James also rolled with it this year. There were a few hurdles, but the progress he made was amazing. He went from our little baby to a little boy! There's still a lot of work to be done, but he's getting there. If only we could get off the damn oxygen. Its hard to sum up everything James has been through and accomplished this year. He had a fairly major surgery in July that resulted in a huge progress with his development. Within a month of surgery he started army crawling, began to 4 point crawl, pulled to stand and was cruising on everything. It's amazing how a good nights sleep can really impact development. His hearing dropped to severely impaired, but I fought to get him another set of tubes immediately...and of course won. We have been through a year of feeding therapy and have watched James go from pushing any pureed food out of his mouth to eating nearly everything you put in front of him and even taking a spork of pasta out of my hand and feeding it to himself a handful of times. Some of these things seem remarkably little, but when you have worked so hard to achieve these little steps is hugely rewarding.
A frozen South Platte
One of the themes I've seen recently among runners resolutions for 2014 is to simplify. And the thing is I have to agree. A big goal of mine for 2014 is to stay healthy. Part of that is to be more diligent about doing my strength exercises and so far I've done them every day. I know taking 10 min a day to do these is going to keep me running much longer. We've simplified our diet and are following James' diet more with eating less gluten. Both Dan and I are already feeling better and healthier with the cleaner diet. The thing is we were already eating a pretty clean diet, very few processed foods, meals centered around fruits and veggies, but we're cleaning it up even more. 

And our focus has been more on what's important to and running. We've found several babysitters so we can run together and have plans for the summer so we can both get in our long runs. We've said if we can't run 100s and have a family its not worth it. So we're trying to find that balance. I know people ask me all the time how I have time to train. Its not easy, there are a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of weeks my floors don't get mopped and we eat a lot of Sunday-made freezer meals, but running is a priority. Not over James, but without it I'm just not me.

My other plan for running this year is to focus on quality runs and to train more specifically. I know I need to get away from my comfortable moderate pace, moderate distance runs. I need to do more workouts such as hill workouts, tempo runs, intervals, fartleks. This is really hard for me to do so we'll see how long it lasts.

2013 Goals:
  • Finish Leadville 100
  • UROC top 20 - I didn't end up running this race
  • Gashouse-Baldy Loop sub-2:40 - I really didn't do this loop very much this year
  • Leadville Marathon sub-4:30, okay this is VERY ambitious, sub-5:00 is a more realistic goal
  • Run as many 14ers as possible
  • Run the Four Pass Loop
  • 2000 miles for the year
  • Continue to be an advocate for James and Down syndrome research
  • To give James all the opportunities I can and never be what holds him back
  • To Run Hard, Live Hard, and Love Hard
2014 Goals:
  • Sub-28:00 at Run Rabbit Run 100
  • Quad Rock 50 sub-11:00
  • Win a race, Dan said I have enough 2nd and 3rds so its time for a W
  • Gashouse-Baldy Loop sub-2:40
  • Leadville Marathon sub-4:30, okay this is VERY ambitious, but I will get it someday 4:45 is probably a more attainable goal for this year
  • Run as many 14ers as possible
  • Run the Four Pass Loop
  • 2000 miles for the year
  • Train more specifically
  • Continue to be an advocate for James and Down syndrome research
  • To help grow Research Down Syndrome
  • To give James all the opportunities I can and never be what holds him back
  • To Run Hard, Live Hard, and Love Hard
When you love someone who has a disability and you experience how they experience the world it is instant perspective when you've been given incredible difficulties. -Savanah Guthrie

Its not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of worthy achievement, who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid soles who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt

Dan, next year Leadville is yours!

Week December 30 - January 5
Miles Running: 50.0
Hours Hiking and Running: 8

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Well it's certainly no longer fall in Colorado. Winter has blown in with a vengeance. So much for acclimatizing to the cold. Monday I ran in shorts and a long sleeve with a new running buddy and Wednesday I was in 2 pairs of tights, I think every shirt I owned and screw shoes. Oh it was a harsh slap in the face and needless to say after Wednesday's bitter cold run I only got more miles on the treadmill. I must be getting soft in my old age. After a week of getting great mileage this week was a bit of a disappointment. But I guess considering the sub-zero temps it wasn't too bad. 

We did also get our first real snow day. Mt Pritchard was reporting around 14-15" and -31 degrees. I seriously think I just got a chill thinking back to that. A Wisco girl at heart I'm no stranger to running in below zero temps, but it was hard to be motivated to run in it this time. It's December, my notoriously low mileage month, I'm super busy at work, its dark all the time and there just seems to be a million things pulling me in a million directions. Surprisingly I've been pretty good about staying on track with my mileage though. A few low weeks, but nothing too terrible. Last year I ran about 80 miles in December, this year was 195. I'd say I'm heading into 2014 even more prepared and in better shape. I'm looking forward to what this will do for my running next summer.

Dan and I have even gotten out for a couple longs runs. We got a babysitter for New Year's so we could get in one last 2013 run together! It's actually been quite awhile since we ran together and its been nice to get back to it. I've been running so much by myself lately that I've enjoyed the company and Dan's been keeping me from getting bored.

Its also time to start planning for next year's season. I paitently waited to not see my name on the Hardrock twitter feed and as expected it didn't show up. That just means a couple more tickets for next year! But I still need another Hardrock qualifier for next year since Leadville is only counting for one year this time. Run Rabbit Run is certainly looking like the winner. I'm getting more and more excited about it as well. But with the race not until Sept it's giving me this false sense of "I can slack a bit for now" feeling. I think it's just my excuse not to do speedwork or hill repeats.

I also got a call from daycare one day saying they wanted to talk about transitioning James to the wobbler room. What?! James a wobbler? I'm not sure which one of us took the transition harder. No more baby room in the baby building. No this is big time, he's in the big kid building now. No more bottles, he sleeps on a mat and sits through story and music time. Seriously they were telling me they would get my kid to nap on a mat at 12:45. Well it's been several sucessful weeks. Everytime I think he won't be able to do something like nap on a mat he surprises me. Now granted 12:45 is super late for a nap for him so he can barely hold his head up by that point, but still. He's also gotten better at using a straw cup, takes one with every meal. Granted he doesn't take a lot of fluid and will ususally only drink water from one, but its a start. He also decided to skip walking with his push behind walker and now just runs with it all over the house. I'm pretty convinced he may skip walking all together and just run. Wobbler James...oh how times are changing!

Week Deceember 2 - 8
Miles Running: 41
Hours Hiking and Running: 6.5

Week December 9 - 15
Miles Running: 29.5
Hours Hiking and Running: 5.5

Week December 16 - 22
Miles Running: 52.5
Hours Hiking and Running: 10.0

Week December 23 - 29
Miles Running: 40.0
Hours Hiking and Running: 6.5