Yellow dragons, moonlight, and another bonky Saturday…

Sport of choice…not running.

I know I just seem to rehash long run details for all my blog posts, but nothing is really going on. I have some work stress and have found some new recipes to try, but is any of that really all that interesting? And, since this is a running blog, long run talk it is.

Today was “only” 16 miles. I had plans to meet friends for about half and then do half on my own. I haven’t met a friend to run in about 3 weeks now, so I was really looking forward to it. Plus, I don’t see much of my friends anyways, and sometimes I just miss that time! I ate a good dinner and put out my run stuff the night before and went to bed early for a 4:10 wake up. Thunder woke me up about 11:30. It actually woke up everyone, as Cake was freaked out and Jasper was crying. I went into his room and it was quite cute that he was crying about a dream. ” Yellow dragon is getting away. Get it back, “, he sobbed. Despite how wonderful it is he Iives in a world with colored dragons, he needed to get back to sleep. After close to an hour we ended up with Mike in the guest room and Jaspy in bed with me but he was asleep, and me thinking ” if I fall asleep right now I’ll have 4 hours sleep, that’s plenty, right?”

The dreaded alarm goes off at 4:10. After one snooze, I am up, planning to be at town lake at 5am for 4 miles before meeting my friends. The little blond head next to me to breathing heavily in deep sleep. Yes! I quietly get ready and head downstairs and start shoveling my pre-run banana in. Mid shovel, I hear, coming from the stairs “Mommy? Where are you?” Ahhhhhh!!! It’s 445, I was just about to leave. Now I have a dilemma. Wake up Mike and say “Deal with this little child”, and head off to meet friends and feel like a shithead the whole time, or deal with the little child and take him for a stroller run and text a cancel message to running friends. I chose, the stroller and the cancel in the name of marital harmony

We started out at 5am for our stroller run. Who the hell does that on a Saturday? Me. Yes, fully aware of what a loser I am. I admit to frustration. I was looking so forward to a town lake friend run. A couple miles of negative thoughts go by and I hear ” Oh, mommy, look at moon. See it mommy?” And yep, just like that I couldn’t be too irritated with the situation. My favorite person in the world is on a run with me in the moonlight. Life is good, minus the 100% humidity.

8 miles later we hit the house and Jasper was fully encouraged to wake Mike up. Marital harmony is now over. Time to get up and take the little amateur astronomer. 8 more miles to go.

The good news: I finished strong at race pace. Also, I finished. Today was brutal. I ran out of water two miles to go, which in 100% humidity is like playing Russian roulette. I got home and needed a “Hello, my name is Bonky” name tag. Mega bonk once I was home, hence the smoothie and the breakfast taco.

I got my run done the best way I could. I missed my friends, but overall everyone was happy. I am tired now! There could be another post on all the crap we did today, but I will spare you. Bed is calling as I am just now remembering that 4 hours of sleep.



The terrible wonderful run…

An old photo of the black and white one on a run...
An old photo of the black and white one on a run…

I had 20 on the schedule for this morning.    I had a whole post planned about getting through a long run solo after I had such a great 18 miler last weekend.   I was feeling like a badass, and I was confident.  Got a so-so night of sleep, got up and got dressed, and started assembling all my stuff and a little voice said “come with us?”  (translation:  I want to go on the run with you.”.  Mike didn’t show any signs of life, and I felt like a jerk if I said “wake up and deal with this child”, so come with us it was.

I left 30 minutes later than planned with all the extra snack gathering and redoing Jaspy’s dinosaur “tattoos” that he requested the night before (done with a Sharpie, if goths can use it for eyeliner, little boys can use it for tattoos).  Anyhow, off we went.  My longest run with a stroller ever is 8 miles.  We usually do about 6-7.  I was hoping I could push it past 10 today and then have less than 10 on my own.  We saw tons of deer out and a took the wetlands trails and saw a mass take off of about 20 egrets.  Sharing these moments with my little boy is something special, as I have always believed there are special rewards for those who get up before sunrise.  The stroller slows me down some and I started thinking 20 was going to take awhile.  Jaspy and I sang songs and had a wonderful time together.  10.5 miles later, we hit the house.  This time I did scream for Mike to wake up and deal with the child, since the longer I stayed at home the less appealing 10 more miles in the heat seemed.  Did I mention it was super humid?

Anyhow, the black and white one (aka Pancake) was dancing and wimpering around me.  She clearly wanted a run.  Uggg, more delay as I search for the leash and get her out the door.  I finally break into a rhythm and a poop break stops it (Pancake’s break, not mine).  We do 4 miles together and it is mostly wonderful.  Pancake is 13 and I know her days of running are numbered.  And running with a border collie is watching pure joy in front of your eyes.  They love it.  But it was hot.  And humid.  At one point I might have decided to go online when I was done and look for jobs in Colorado.  I also might have fantasized about popsicles.

The start/ stopping run was taking its toll.  10 miles with a stroller ain’t no joke.  Did I already mention the humidity?   I made myself a deal:  20 miles or 3 hours whichever comes first.  I knew good and well 3 hours probably would since both my partners create a slower pace.  But in my head I convinced my it was just as good as 20 miles.

I got home, shoved Cake in the door and yelled “Dropping off the black and white one!”, and headed out for another at least 4 miles.  This is where I thought the run was Suckville.  By now the sun is glaring, and I KNOW there is coffee waiting at home since I smelled it on drop off #2.  I managed 18.2 and called it.  10 + miles pushing a stroller, plus 8 more, in the summer still = badass territory.  Not that I think I am anything but a very tired, headachy, dork who will end up sleeping in compression socks tonight.  But I’m counting this one.  Long run box checked.


Dang it…

I walked into work this morning to find a massive, completely untouched red velvet sheet cake with cream cheese icing.  Apparently it was to celebrate some doctor’s award, but doctors never seem to eat cake.  But staff do.  Dang it.  This thing is so big it will probably be hanging out here a couple days….

In better news, I updated my running podcasts to reflect what I am really listening to these days, as it was pretty out of date.  I also dig a lot of non running related podcasts.  Ira Glass is my hero for all you TAL listeners.  And don’t even get me started on my crush on Peter Sagal….


Running family and the sunglasses black hole…

My running family minus the black and white one , aka Pancake

Lately we’ve been a running family…..and it is awesome. Mike started running when I was pregnant with Jasper, but didn’t really take off with it until about a year ago. He set a new distance PR this week of 4.4 miles. He has no desire to race and just wants a healthy efficient way to get some exercise. But it does mean that I get a running partner from time to time. I really get three, because if Mike meets me to run I push Jaspy in the stroller and he deals with Pancake who is really the harder one with her leash antics.

Saturday I had an amazing 18 miler. I opted to go solo. I adore my running friends, but no one is marathon training right now, and I really hate going ultra early to get in miles on my own to get my full distance covered. I feel a little safer sticking to my hood if I need to go early. I broke the run into chunks: 7 miles easy in the flat part of the hood, stop by the house and refuel, 7 miles of hills, then 4 miles of family run so I guess I wasn’t completely solo. It went by pretty fast this way, and there is something very empowering about finishing off a long one (mostly) on my own. The rest of the day was insanely, crazy busy and it was one of those weekend days I just shoved random food into my face in between outings never getting to sit down. Not a fan of weekends that are that busy, but it happens. Sunday was quieter at least, and Despicable Me 2 is awesome. Yay for movie weekends.

On a totally unrelated note, I’m about to be on my 4th pair of Oakley sunglasses. Once you try these you’ll never go back to cheapies again. Hello, they do not fog up at all when you run, they do not slip with sweat and they do not pinch your ears. But they are super expensive and I discovered Oakleys never,ever go on sale. I also have a talent for losing them. This summer has been particularly disastrous and I will spare you the details, especially of time TWO pairs got lost within a two week time frame. Anyhow,I just ordered a replacement and I am taking a vow….if this pair gets lost it’s back to the cheap, fogging, sliding, ear pinching variety. Or I may end up spending more on sunglasses than full time childcare. Ouch.

Ok…per the monitor, the little lollipop eater just fell asleep. That means yoga core for me, then catching up on HBO to go. True Blood is getting really good. How did I not watch it first time around?


I’m not in charge…

Enjoying a chocolate ice cream cone in the bath.

I had a bike ride all planned a couple mornings ago. I was all gung ho and planned on a 90 minute ride. Someone had different ideas though, and woke up. Stroller it is. I draw the line at sitting a child out in the garage in 85 degrees and 100% humidity and no air flow to watch me ride the trainer. Yes, I am not in charge. The little boy is. No need to get greedy. I think I finally hit a sweet spot where I’m getting to do most the training I want to do, provided I take Jaspy with me some of the time. Not a bad deal. This morning I had 9 mile run ( yes, on a weekday!) and I decided this is not the time to change it up. BUT, our recent vacation was a reminder that things change. Jaspy is really on the cusp on doing a lot more. The day will come where he’s riding bikes and able to sleep all night and go camping, and can talk a little better and will understand things much more. Anyhow, the bicycle awaits…

That’s about all I’ve got. It’s full fledged summer here and I’m trying not to fight it and just savor our days at the pool. Fall marathon training makes me happy. And I’m creeping into the big miles. 18 this weekend and the first 20 miler next. Have I mentioned that spending the afternoon in the pool after a long run feels great on tired legs?



Newest obsession: miniature golf. Not my obsession though.

Confession: seeing all the cyclists in Colorado got me thinking about biking. Ok, I really started thinking about it when I read Chrissie Wellington’s awesome autobiography. I have a nice road bike I ride once a week on the trainer. I tried to get into cycling before I tried ultrarunning and I never got quite the same buzz from it that I did from a run. I was also very unskilled so maybe I just didn’t give it enough time. Once I started ultrarunning I gave it up. I didn’t have time or energy for rides after 6 hours on the trails . I still lack time, but if I omitted a couple of runs I might be able to do a couple rides a week. I feel very intimidated riding anywhere except my trainer so I really think I would need to hook up with a group. Group things are tricky when a certain little boy controls my schedule. Yes, here I am making excuses. Truth is I could probably find a way. I know that one day in my future I will start biking. Being a masters runner now, the writing is on the wall: I won’t be able to put in the miles I do now forever. Plus the cyclists I saw in Colorado riding up those mountain roads were just plain badasses. I was so impressed. Maybe I’ll just start with spin class ( I’ve been a member of the Y almost a year and have yet to make it to a class. Pathetic.). But my day will come. I’m not sure when, but I realize this is a good time to start riding a bike and not in the winter.

Obviously, this is not me.

It’s easy to think about being a bike rider tonight. I sit here with completely trashed quads after a week of binge training since I had little more free time. I did get an uber- painful massage today which was much needed but my legs are just toast. Mountains + extra days off to run more + lots of pool time in the sun ( aka dehydration) = painful legs!

Ok, time to start surfing the web for beginning cycling plans. 🙂


Winter Park half marathon report, aka hills are my friends…

Not on the race course, but saw a lot of this.
Not on the race course, but saw a lot of this.

I suppose I should do a quick little race report so I can have record of my early mountain running days (I say this as if there will be more!).  I sorta trained for this race.  I did very, very hilly runs, 1-2 days a week and pushed on them.  That’s it.  I also savored hard conditions.  On an 80 degree, 96% humidity morning, I pushed 15 miles of a hilly run, and once I nailed that I knew I could handle some altitude.  This race was super low key, and I also knew that going into it.   So I knew it wouldn’t be super competitive.  But check out this course profile:

That top peak is over 9500 feet.  I live at about 100 ft.  So I knew I had some work, even though it was a small race.  I just didn’t want to have a 13.1 mile walk.  The beginning was hills right away and they were monsters.  I was surprised to be passing a lot of people and kept telling myself to slow down.  I just felt great though.  I was so happy to be running in the mountains, on Forest Service roads, with water rushing around me and amazing views, I just couldn’t feel crappy on the mega hills.  I had one of those great days were I felt good and had no negative thoughts.  I do admit on the last big hill at mile 6 my legs were burning like crazy and I questioned my ability to take on more hills, but then the down hills started.  Bombing downhill is the weakest part of my running, so I got passed back by some of the folks I passed.   Once the down hill became more gradual, I caught a few folks and had less than 5K to go.  I know to my marathon and ultra friends a half marathon does not seem like much, but this was a very challenging course and I was pushing it the whole way.  I still felt good the last couple miles, but I knew my legs would be done when I finished.  Super happy to see my fam at the end, I crossed the finish line with Jasper and was very shocked at where I finished in the results.  I am not a fast runner, I’m mid pack at best, but I do think sometimes these harder courses suit me and they are a bit of an equalizer.  I seem to do ok with heat and hills.  Anyhow, I was really stoked to have a good mountain race and definitely want to do more.   I love that my normal pace is erased for the day and it’s all about what is possible on the hills.  I also really love this distance for a hard race.  It was a challenge but I was functional the rest of the day.  I was very, very sore the next day, but nothing I didn’t expect.  So, check out Mt Evans, my next bucket list race.

It was just a treat to run in the mountains and enjoy the Rockies.  It’s a good thing to have a regular vacation spot, as we are really starting to learn our way around.  Lots of hiking, wildlife viewing, ice cream eating, swimming, and chilling out rounded out our trip.  It’s good to be home though.  I missed my green monsters for breakfast, and sleeping in my bed (I get bad insomnia when I travel).   But I do look forward to the day I am rich enough to have a summer home in Colorado, oh and not have to work so I can enjoy it all summer.  Then you Colorado runners better really watch out.  🙂

Seen on a hike.  Jasper was concerned it was raining on the moose's head.
Seen on a hike. Jasper was concerned it was raining on the moose’s head.
Coaxing the little boy up a mountain at 12000 feet.  Summiting ruined by a request to go poo-poo.
Coaxing the little boy up a mountain at 12000 feet. Summiting ruined by a request to go poo-poo.