Monday, January 25, 2016

SLC Marathon Training: 1/11/16 - 1/24/16

Since I'm not racing much right now, here's just a brief overview of what I've been up to over the past 2 weeks of training:

Week 1: January 11th - 17th:


Total Miles Ran: 52.01

Weight Loss:
Week Starting Weight: 136.7
Week Ending Weight: 134.4
Weight Loss: 2.3 lbs
Notes: I'm working on getting to "goal racing weight" of 122-125 by April. Running 50+ mile weeks makes it "easier" but I still have to watch what I'm eating (thank goodness for MyFitnessPal)! I'm hoping by sharing on my blog, it will help me to hold myself accountable!

Week 2: January 18th - 24th:


Total Miles Ran: 51.41

Weight Loss:
Week Starting Weight: 134.4
Week Ending Weight: 131.4
Weight Loss: 3 lbs
Notes: I am actually surprised by this weeks loss of 3 lbs (seems like a LOT for me) - yes I ran a lot, but I also had 2 cheat days on Thursday AND Friday. I guess my long runs over the weekend made up for it!

Overall, I like that I'm getting my mileage up, however, I feel like I've been in a rut "speed-wise" since I was sick at the beginning of January (easy runs feel much harder than they should). I also haven't been super motivated but I think the weather has been a factor there - we haven't been above mid-30's in months and most of the weekends have been gloomy which is a struggle for me. Nevertheless, I'm going to continue working hard and hope this all will pass and that things will start to feel better as the days get longer - 12 Weeks to go until race day (now that is a scary thought)!

Happy Running!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Goals, Part II

Well the decision has been made!

Drum Roll Please...

I will be running the...

Lean Horse 100

It is an out-and-back on the Mickleson Trail in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Some of my reasons for choosing this one were:
  1. It is a good first-time 100, with a non-technical gravel trail and only 6000' of total elevation gain throughout the course.
  2. It's within driving distance: 9 hours from Grand Junction (5 from Denver - so I can split it as well if needed).
  3. In the mountains: while it's not the Rocky Mountains, I'll still have some mountain views and lots of pine trees to keep me company!
  4. I have not been to South Dakota in my coherent years (apparently I went as a toddler), so it'll be a bit of a race-cation! I'm planning to stop by Mt. Rushmore on the way home!
It was tough decision not to go with a Colorado race, but I honestly think the challenge of 100 miles is going to be difficult enough. The technicality of the Colorado ones was a major concern: having to be conscious of looking for trail markers and watching my footing 70+ miles into a race on no sleep. I'm going to see how this one goes, and if I enjoy it, maybe in the future I can go for a Colorado race next time!

So, what's involved in training for a 100?

Well it's all new to me, so I'll be learning as I go, but the plan is lots of "back-to-back" long runs throughout the summer (anywhere from 15-30 miles both Saturday & Sunday), as well as a lot of hiking. I'll also be doing at least one training race:

Chase The Moon 12 Hour Endurance Run, 7/22-7/23
This race starts at 7pm on Friday 7/22 and ends at 7am on Saturday 7/23. It'll be great night training experience and I should get around 40-50 miles in (I'd like to go for 50 - but with it being dark, I'm not sure how it will go!)

My original plan was to do 1 or 2 more training races, but in all honesty I think I may decide to cut back a little on the racing this year and just find my own routes to do. I love racing but Ultra's are all over $100 each and it really adds up.

So there you have it. As far as the world of crazy ultra marathons anyways. I am, however, getting a little ahead of myself:

 As I briefly mentioned in my last post, I am still training for one more road marathon coming up in April:

I am taking this one pretty seriously, and have even hired a coach (I know - fancy, right?). I've been working with him for about 6 weeks now and have 14 more to go (this is when it starts getting serious...or as he says "fun"). Since I won't be racing as much in the coming months, I'd like to keep blogging a little bit about my training experience and how I'm improving. I'm also looking to be better about my eating and hopefully get back down to racing weight (I have this magic "racing weight" number - which, if I work REALLY hard on my diet, I can get down to - but keeping it off is insanely difficult - so I tend to go through this yearly cycle of working hard dieting to get down to racing weight and then slowly gaining it back the rest of the year). Lots of fun. So I may mention that in my blog posts as well. Really, we'll see. I know training isn't as exciting as racing, but I'd love to document the journey because it really is cool to watch yourself get faster with good, consistent training - so stay tuned for a few updates here and there!

I am also happy to annouce a few ambassadorships for 2016:

I am very excited to say that I will be continuing as a Skirt Sports Ambassador Captain for 2016! I've LOVED working with Skirt Sports this past year - they have awesome apparel, a great motto (#RealWomenMove), and everyone there is so amazing and nice!

Use code "KRC20" for 20% off your order at Skirt Sports!

I am also extremely honored to announce that I have been accepted onto the Runner's Roost 2016 Road Race Team as an ambassador! I've been shopping at Runner's Roost since I bought my first pair of "real" running shoes in 2012. They are one of the top running stores in Colorado with locations all over the Front Range offering essentially any running item you may ever need!

So that's about it! I've got a few other races throughout the latter half of spring, but they'll mostly be training runs:

Canyonlands Half Marathon - 3/12/16
Grand Teton Half Marathon - 6/4/16
Skirt Sports 13er - 6/12/16

Until next time, Happy Running!

Friday, January 8, 2016

2016 I really sharing this aloud?

One of the side effects of running (especially for people who just jump into it and see how much you can do in a short period of time) is that you tend to start believing anything is possible. Since I started running 3 1/2 years ago, I've kept adding all of these ideas, goals, and dreams to my plate. Now, there's nothing wrong with having big dreams, but it can make life a little tricky sometimes. Here's the thing: I'm starting to get older (I know, I'm as shocked as you are). And the Hubs and I do want to start a family at some point. Unfortunately running long distances at high intensities doesn't really work hand in hand with that. So, last year when I was planning out my 2015 goals, I knew I had to make a choice. I had 2 goals I wanted to do before having kids: running Boston and running a 100 miler. Lofty yes, but doable with enough work.

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I did not get my Boston goal last year. So the question was posed for 2016 - continue working towards the BQ, or move onto Goal #2 of attempting a Hundo? It was a tough decision. After MUCH deliberation, I've decided on a few things:

I worked hard to get that BQ and after all that work and not getting it, what did I have to show? Honestly, not much. I missed out on a lot when I focused so intently on road running. I got burned out. I barely did any trail running, which, while it is NOT my strong suit, I enjoy more than road running. Trail running always leaves me remembering why I run. Road running is much more short-term goal oriented and coming up short of those goals, is tough mentally. With trail running, at least at the end of the day I've spent time in nature (which, I know it sounds cheesy, but really does restore the soul).

So where does that leave me? Well, I've decided to give the BQ one more shot this spring. Let's face it - I don't run trails that much in the winter anyways, so I may as well focus on roads for one more training cycle. Therefore I will be running the Salt Lake City Marathon on April 16th with my goal to BQ.

However, that being said, running marathons for time is hard. Like, really hard (way harder than just running them for fun). So, if I do not get the BQ, I will swallow my pride and move on to bigger things (literally). I'm sure a BQ will happen someday if I continue running throughout my life. It's time to stop focusing wholeheartedly on it. It's just one race. And does running a 3:34:59 marathon really make me more of a runner than running a 3:35:01? (That's rhetorical, but if you must answer, make sure it's a "NO").

After said April marathon, I will start getting back into trail running with the intention to attempt* (and hopefully finish) a 100 miler before the end of the year. The plan is to attempt a late summer or early fall race.

(I say "attempt" because SO many things can go wrong in a 100. That being said, I will be training for this and I will go into the race very committed. I do not plan to DNF unless absolutely necessary - I just want to keep it in mind that it COULD happen).

Which brings me to my next problem - picking a 100 to try. ONE. HUNDRED. MILES. is going to be hard enough on it's own, let alone factoring in traveling, elevation, terrain, availability of pacers, etc. So needless to say, there are a lot of things that go into choosing a 100 mile race.

Ideally, I would love to stay in state. I love Colorado and would like to run on familiar territory. It would also make finding pacers and having my family there much easier. Which is where Leadville comes in. As cliche as it probably is, ever since reading Born to Run I've wanted to attempt the beast that is the Leadville Trail 100 (LT100). I know it sounds crazy that I would want to attempt this as my first 100, but, as surprising as it may sound, Leadville Trail 100 is actually one of the easier hundred's in Colorado (it is by no means, "easy", but easy in comparison to other 100's offered in the state). I also ran the Leadville Trail Marathon in 2014 and really enjoyed it. I generally don't have many issues with high elevation and that is one of the main reasons LT100 got it's reputation for being one of the toughest. My biggest issue with LT100 would be the time cut-off's. At 30 hours, it's not strict for most 100 milers, but it is for a mountain ultra with over 17,000' of Elevation Gain over the course. With all that said, I still want to attempt this beast someday.

So, at the beginning of December, I did the crazy. I entered the lottery for the 2016 Leadville Trail 100. 

At first I was terrified. However, the more I waited and waited and waited for the lottery to take place in January, the more excited I got. What if I got in? Obviously, I'd have some major work cut out for me. But I love spending time in the mountains. This would force me to hit the trails almost every weekend all summer. It would be tough, yes, but worth it.

Just as I was getting really excited about it, the lottery was announced yesterday. All that time spent planning things out...yeah, it was for nothing. I did NOT get in.

Here's the thing: when I first hit the submit button on my lottery registration on December 2nd, I started shaking. I wanted to "not get in" at that point. But, as I mentioned above, the longer I waited, the more excited I got, and so I was beyond bummed when I got that rejection email. This really was the only Colorado hundred miler that I had a strong draw towards (don't get me wrong - we have some other AWESOME options - I just had a strong connection to that one). I know when I really think about it, Leadville is probably a much better race to attempt once I have a little more experience under my belt, but it was still a tough reality to accept.

So, I guess that just means I need a Plan B. Deciding what that Plan B will be is another I am still working on, but for now, here are the top contenders:

I still have NO IDEA which one I'm going to go with (I change my mind about every hour), so stay tuned!

Flattop Mountain & Hallett Peak

I've been wanting to hike to the top of Hallett Peak ever since I found out it was the gorgeous mountain towering above Dream and Emera...