Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Beast

The only way to describe this week is it was a beast. I'm tired thinking about it! It actually might have been the best mental training possible. Running 100 miles has nothing on what it took just to stay alive this week. Monday through Wednesday seemed like a dream. Just easy days with Robert. And then came Thursday...daycare closed. James' daycare moved to a new facility so they had to shutdown from Thurs until Tuesday. That meant 5 days of me with both boys. It was honestly the hardest thing I've ever done...and that's not just because I was left pushing a 70+lb B.O.B. to get my runs in. 
Night hike

The double B.O.B. is a Beast in it's own right. That's the only way to explain it. As I heaved that damn thing up Mt Carbon I just kept reminding myself how easy it would make running up the ski hill in a couple weeks seem. But we did have fun. We played at the lake on our run, we rode our bikes, painted, baked cookies...okay yes anything possible to  keep the monster busy. I absolutely love James' energy, but if only I could contain it or channel it and use it at appropriate times. Balancing an infant and a James is a ridiculous task. But watching James love on Robert and want to be able to play with him was worth all the exhaustion, headaches and tears. 

Friday my legs were screaming from the 16 miles I'd run over the past couple days with the Beast so when Dan called to say he was coming home early to go camping for the weekend I was thrilled to have an excuse for some short runs. But let me tell you camping for the first time with an infant and a James is no easy task. 

All worth the hell of both boys at home

Training-wise it was a bit of a disappointing week since I wasn't able to get in a long run. While Pike's was a long run in terms of time on feet I'm definitely a bit worried about two weeks in a row without a real long run. I still have a couple more weeks and my overall mileage wasn't too bad so hopefully it will all come together before I have to start tapering. 

Week August 17 - 23

Miles: 54.5
Hours: 9.5
A little driveway art

They got to go nuts in the old classroom before they moved

Insisted on wearing his backpack for our after dinner hike

The Beast

Dinner getting used to the camper

Yes, I built a sandbox at the camp site for James

Leadville weekend!!!!

Camp site

Sunday, August 23, 2015

PIke's Peak Ascent Race Report

Since I didn't get into Leadville Dan and I decided this was our opportunity to run the iconic Pike's Peak races. Dan was going to end his season with the marathon and I'd start mine with the ascent. Dan has been rehabbing his knee since Never Summer and while he most likely could have finished the race...slowly...he decided it was best if he didn't run. He would have finished only to not run for 6 weeks or so while he started his knee rehab over. It just wasn't worth it. So that left me to run the ascent.

I worried all week I wasn't ready for a race like this. Would my legs hold up? Did I have the endurance? The speed? Would my stomach hold up? What I didn't ask was if I was ready to race? I kept telling myself this is a training run? It will help with Run Rabbit. But I never prepared myself to actually race. As it turns out the months off of racing left my racing mindset just as out of shape as my body. 
This is what happens when Dad watches the boys!

The only thing I read about the course was not to waste your energy passing in the Ws and not to redline there. I took this to heart a bit more than I should have. I'm not sure my heart rate ever broke 100, I was never out of breath, my stomach never went south and all I kept thinking was "man I'd really like to be running more". Needless to say my performance was seriously sub-par for my capabilities. I was really disappointed at the end of the race. But really I have no one to blame but myself for not being mentally race ready. It was a good experience though. I know I need to work on my mindset before Run Rabbit or I'll end up with the same results. The good thing was at the end of the race, at over 13k feet my legs felt amazing! I started powering uphill more with no fatigue. Hell I chugged a PBR with a quarter mile left, at that point I figured why not, and then sprinted into the finish. So I know my legs have it. I know I'm strong enough for Run Rabbit the biggest question is endurance. 

Overall though it was a fun and very well organized race. I didn't run well, but I learned a lot that will better prepare me for Run Rabbit and I dusted off the cobwebs. Better to have a lackluster race at Pikes than RRR right? Now it's time to step up the training and get serious...both mentally and physically. 

Week August 10 - 16

Miles: 59.0
Hours: 12.5

Thursday, August 13, 2015

White Shoe Boxes

Last Friday I sat in the back of my Uncle's car next to Robert and listened as the lyrics heaven let your light shine on me played on the radio. We were heading to celebrate her amazing life and the legacy she was leaving behind. I couldn't help but think that I was pretty sure my Gram's light was shining down on me at that moment. I can only hope that I can reflect some of Gram's light onto others. 

Little Grammy as we so affectionately called her outlasted everyone living to 97! That's a full life and a life that will be very missed. She was honestly the sweetest, nicest woman you could possibly ever meet. She not only never said a bad word about anyone, but she always saw the best in them. I'm not nearly that good of a person, but maybe if I try I can be half as nice, that would still be pretty much up there on the sweet scale. 

The one thing she taught me above all others though was love. My Grandpa passed away long before I was even born. But as long as I knew my Gram's she always wore her wedding ring. I don't think I've ever known another widow to wear their wedding ring every day for 46 years. That's true love. I might not have known my Grandpa but he must have been a pretty special man for her to never even think twice about finding love again. And they must have had a special relationship for her to feel that way. I look to her for guidance on days when Dan or I are being particularly 'awesome' and I need that little reminder about true love. She is a strong and amazing woman. 

Though she be little she is fierce 

Every year a couple weeks before Christmas a white shoe box would arrive in the mail. Inside the box was perfectly folded sheets of wax paper protecting these delicate cookies. My favorites were these little butter cookies with raspberry jam. I have tried a million times to make these cookies and I can't even get close. Gram's were perfectly pale, the jelly perfectly cooked and they never spread out, there were literally the perfect cookie. Mine are always slight odd shaped and golden brown around the edges. Maybe in another 60 years I'll have them perfected. I'll never forget that white shoe box that was packed full of Gram's was my favorite part of Christmas.

I'll never make perfect cookies like Grams, my apple pie will never be as flaky, my tomatoes never as plump and my grass never as green, but I will try every day to show my family as much love as she showed me.

Week August 3 - 9

Miles: 52.5
Hours: 9.5

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Kazoo Bands and Badasses

After last weeks dismal miles I was in a panic to get my training back on track. I feel like the days are ticking by toward Run Rabbit and a long run hasn't happened since Cheyenne. So this week I made it my priority to run and get in my miles at any cost. I hit the treadmill with a vengeance at the beginning of the week. Tempo runs, incline workouts, speed workouts, all followed by hiking with the boys afterwards. I figure pushing a double B.O.B. up the mini mountain in our neighborhood has got to count for something. My legs certainly would tell you it counts!
Top of Mt Pritchard lap 10!

Thursday was my best bet for a long run. So I loaded Robert into the B.O.B. and trudged up our mini mountain...10 laps for 20 miles and 3500 ft of vertical, one feeding break and one mention of a crazy neighbor. Seriously one older man came chasing me down on his moped to ask what I was doing. Yes, I'm your crazy neighbor who is training for a 100 mile race by running this 2 mile loop. Someday I'm sure I'll be that old neighbor watching the young kids from the porch and thinking they must all be crazy.

The crazy neighbor was quickly forgotten though when Sunday I was pushing James up Mt Carbon and a guy came up from behind calling out "wow, you're a badass running like that". I think badass is a much better way to close the week than crazy neighbor so I'm sticking with it. 

James raced his Ironkids event on Saturday, although I was a bit disappointed that they changed the format from last year so it was just a fun run. No bike. We've been working so hard on the Strider bike to get him ready. Oh well, we'll find another race for him to rock his bike at. 

In other news James learned to play the kazoo at Adam's Camp...he hasn't stopped playing it either. And Robert's starting to let out a couple smiles, but mostly just grunts his disapproval at us. I'm pretty sure he's siding with my neighbor that I'm more crazy than badass.

Week July 27 - August 2

Miles: 64.5
Hours: 10

Post race celebration!