Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Doth the stars align????
It's snowing - again.
I'm in the throes of taper-nutty-slugishness due to this week's light mileage.
But - none of that matters!
While crafting a letter requesting permission to run across the Mackinac Bridge, I found out the most amazing thing: The Mackinac Bridge is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
And, their anniversary celebration is going to be held July 27-28.
And, I'm due to arrive at the north end of the bridge on July 28th!!!
And, when I told my younger son about this he replied with "Isn't that the one-year anniversary of your retirement?" And he's absolutely right!!!!
Holy smokes!!!! Cosmic forces - whatever they may be - are smiling on The Bridge!
(The picture is from the Mackinac Bridge Authority photo gallery - beautiful isn't it?!
The bridge, the 3rd longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere, connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan - and Petoskey ...my hometown...the town I'm running to... is 35 miles south of the bridge. )
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Review, regroup, and rev up
- The first half of 2006 I averaged 45 miles per week (early-year mileage was particularly low as I was coming back from a broken arm-induced lay off).
- Mid-June, 2006 I started running 60-mile weeks.
- August I moved up to 70-mile weeks - my treat to myself upon retiring July 28th.
- After getting six 70+-mile weeks under my sneakers, I moved up to 80-mile weeks in October.
- Again, six weeks of the new mileage level, then it was on to 90-mile weeks the last week of November.
- Since then, the mileage as been a bit jumpy: 90 miles, 58.5 miles (planned easy week), 86 miles, 95.5 miles, 51.5 miles (the week my dad died and we went to Michigan), 77 miles, 95.5 miles, 100.5 miles, 50.5 miles (less mileage than originally planned due to flirting with injury), 70.5 miles, 100 miles, 110 miles, 73.5 miles (higher quality/faster paced), and this week's 50-60.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Loops of good runnin'
First we headed through the CU cross-country property and out a back trail - where I pointed out that furry creature you see sleeping in the tree (we all believe it's a raccoon, although we couldn't see a distinguishing striped tail). Then it was over the back gate and onto the South Boulder Creek trail where we saw a magnificent hawk watching the world move about him from high in his tree, and a few paces later a heron flew overhead, then a hawk with something (grass? a stick?) sticking out of its tail flew overhead, then we spotted a hawk sitting in a tree eating its breakfast.
All the while, the sun shone down and a light wind danced about us. Not bad for a winter weather alert day!
(btw: I got my camera phone working again - thus today's picture and I added a picture to the Feb 21 entry)
Friday, February 23, 2007
Forecast for tomorrow (Saturday/traditional long run day): snow and high winds
Smart move of the day: run long today!
It was a solo run, but a fine one indeed in shorts and long-sleeve t: from my house, north towards the Boulder Reservoir, country roads north and east of the rez - accompanied by a bevy of hawks and geese, then east to the town of Longmont. And that's where the bread comes in.
The owners of the Great Harvest Bread Company of Longmont, upon hearing of my run, jumped right up and said they'd send me bread along the way. Then, on top of that, they said if I happen run to Longmont I should stop by for refueling - which is just what I did today. So! After 3.5 hours of running, I trotted into the bakery, got a big welcome from proprietor Matt, and was loaded up with thick slices of bread (cinnamon burst swirl and nine grain - both fabulous) and a topped-off water bottle. And, just as I was turning to leave, Matt said "Oh! You should have some of this too" and handed me a packet of peanut butter. He was exactly right - the bread plus the peanut butter was absolutely scrumptious and did an admirable job of tiding me over while I caught the bus back to Boulder and home. Thank you Great Harvest of Longmont!
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
'Twas another fine day here in Boulder. Shorts, sunshine, and dry trails!
I ran one of my most favorite trail loops - but one I haven't been able to run since November 22 because of all the snow we've had. The loop goes from my house south to the western portion of the South Boulder Creek trail, west (uphill) on South Boulder Creek to the Mesa Trail, a short northwest segment on Mesa over to the Bluestem Trail, and east (downhill) on Bluestem, then back home. Going west on South Boulder, which is a bit rocky, teaches me to pick up my feet; going east on Bluestem, which is quite smooth running, lets me stretch it out and fly. And there are great views both ways: the flatirons going west and the plains going east.
What a glorious run!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
An all around good day
- saw a blue heron near my old office
- stopped at my old office to tell them about the heron and saw some of my old work buddies - one of whom has my old plants and, my goodness, they look grand
- saw a whole bunch of hawks swirling and swooping
- ran a route I haven't run in many years - past the school house that was built the year my dad was born (1911), past the farm house I've admired since the first day I saw it...and it's now listed as 'historic' and is for sale, past the old brick house with three stories, big porch, nooks & crannies everywhere
- glorious view of the Continental Divide
- saw a coyote who saw me and we both trotted along giving each other long looks
- did the middle of the run as a tempo run singing Yankee Doodle to myself (which works out to a 9 mpm pace), and counted steps per minute before and after the tempo section to be sure I was going 91 steps per minute (counting just the left footfalls) - and felt great while cruising
- it was sunny! the roads were dry! I was wearing shorts!
I ran back only as far as a bus stop, took the bus back into town and went to the next smile-generating function of the day: a free concert at the Boulder Public Library - the Gypsy Swing Revue band - great foot tapping music and superb musicians.
Next it was a run home (via the "hill" neighborhood near CU - somewhere I haven't run since the snow hit - fun hills, ran past a house I lived in during grad school, great change of scenery from the last couple of months). Only a brief stop at home for a quick bite, shower and change then off to a retirement party at CU for a fellow I worked many a project with. 'Twas old home week...many many people I used to work with throughout my 26 years at CU. Very fun to catch up with everyone.
Now, it's back home - and the smile's still on my face. A good day. A very good day.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
110 - phew!
- I ran 110 miles this week!
- I put a 18 mile Saturday morning run and 4 mile Saturday afternoon run back-to-back with a 17.5 mile Sunday run and am still mobile!
- I didn't fall on the ice; I didn't break anything.
- I ran with friends on four different occasions - which sure does make the miles fly by.
- I saw hawks galore, two bald eagles, a cow in labor, and a herd of llamas.
- Today's run, along a highway, included many stretches of very runnable dirt shoulder...quite the treat for the tootsies that have been pounding so much concrete.
- I ran in shorts today!!!!
So how did the 110 miles come about:
- Monday a.m.: 9 miles round about to my massage, 1 mile from the bus to home
- Monday p.m.: 3 miles to and from the post office (round about)
- Tues. a.m.: 12 miles including running to the hill drill hill, two sets of drills then bailing due to slick snow & ice, 3 miles on the treadmill, then home (round about)
- Wed. a.m.: 12 miles gorgeous run until another snow storm blew in - the bald eagle/birthing cow run.
- Wed. p.m.: 3 miles in snow and ice around the neighborhood
- Thurs. a.m.: 6 miles squeezed in between when it started getting warm enough for good footing and when I needed to be at my volunteer job - managed to even run a trail I hadn't been on for about a month
- Thurs. p.m.: 10 miles running with a friend on her errand (the first few miles) then continuing on out and about cuz the weather was so nice and I knew I needed to get in some more miles
- Friday a.m.: 11 miles from my house to the post office then to AndyE's house then a big loop including some runnable trails and back home again after dropping AndyE off at his house
- Friday p.m.: 3.5 miles running errands from home to downtown in quite decent weather
- Saturday a.m.: 18 miles with the first 7 or so on extremely icey surfaces until the sun came up, the next couple getting out to the rendezvous point with Joe and AndyE, then 9 miles of great running on dirt roads and trails around the Boulder Reservoir
- Saturday p.m.: 4 miles from home to the running store to buy my new watch. Yay!
- Sunday (today): .5 miles out the door and back after deciding to change from a jacket to a short sleeve sweatshirt, 2 miles out the door and back after deciding to change from tights to SHORTS!, 15 miles out the door and on to Lyons...a little town north of Boulder where my husband met me and we went out for a most delicious lunch (catfish po'boy, sweet potato fries, black bean salad, two glasses of ice tea...yum!)
...decreased quantity (80 miles),
...increased quality (tempo, hills, fartlek, quicker overall pace)
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Then I got onto the country roads north of town.
The sun was rising higher, roads were dry, horses were whinnying, cows were grazing, hawks were flying, the three-legged dog that had chased after me a few months ago was tied up, and my running buddies were waiting at the rez with smiles. The second nine miles of the run were delightful. Sunshine, a new loopy route, good company, lovely views of the mountains, almost no traffic, great footing and a quick pace. All was right with the world once again.
As for the second run of the day (in my desperate attempt to get to 110 miles for the week by the end of the day tomorrow) - I ran to a running store and bought a new watch. The band was breaking, the battery was running down (the 2nd battery its had), and my tired old eyes are having a harder time reading the white numbers on a black background of my old watch. So! I now have a new watch with easy-to-read black numbers on a light background, a cloth watchband, and the same controls as the old watch so no learning curve involved. I can't wait to take it for a run - which will probably be a 17 miler tomorrow to get my 110...a good first workout for the new timepiece!
Friday, February 16, 2007
Tired tired tired
I ran 11 this morning (in much less wind than predicted), got home, stretched, ate, sat (briefly) in an ice bath, showered, stretched out on the couch to read the newspaper...and fell asleep. Read, nodded off, read, nodded off - then changed into running gear and ran errands around town. Got home, did a few chores, ate dinner, stretched out on a different couch to watch TV...and fell asleep. TV, nodded off, TV, nodded off - then got ready for bed, stopped by the computer to write this, then will actually go to bed. It's out-the-door at 6 a.m. tomorrow for a long run including a rendezvous with the satboys gang at the rez at 8.
Oh yeah, it's snowing again.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
..........A hint of sunshine.
...............Two bald eagles in a tree.
.....A cow giving birth.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
More miles? Well, then, more snow!
As for last week's running, I got in my second 100-mile week. By Friday I was feeling pretty creaky - enough so that I had my doubts about Saturday's runs. But, sticking to the plan, Saturday morning I pulled on my running gear, loaded up my pockets with Lara bars to munch on during the day, and headed out for my run to the xc races - and felt great! What with the excitement of the xc competition, I continued to feel great all day as I buzzed around doing my volunteer thing. By the end of the day, though, I was getting a bit concerned about Sunday's long run since Saturday had included 8 continuous hours on my feet, 3 runs, and very little food until dinner (oatmeal for breakfast, and 2 Lara bars, 1 cup of coffee, and 1 bottle of Gatorade during the day). But, again sticking to the plan, I headed out Sunday morning set on getting the 17.5 miles I needed to finish off my 100 mile week - and felt great!
You know how when you embark on something new and challenging, be it sport or academics or professional pursuit, you start from a comfort zone (often born of ignorance in my case) and dive into a whirlpool of struggling newness, thrashing your way through trying to master new skills and new knowledge and eventually, if you keep at it, you find yourself on a new higher-level comfort zone. So....I'm wondering....have I reached a new level? I hope so!
Meanwhile, today, it's just the snow/ice/cold vs. my gumption...
Saturday, February 10, 2007
An extraordinary day of running
...Masters men & women 8k races, Junior women 6k, Junior men 8k, Open women 8k, Open men 12k.
...A serpentine 2k loop around a golf course in Boulder, snow-lined grass and dirt track with one small ditch jump and one big ditch jump (Jonesy's surprise, named after Steve Jones), tons of mud head to toe on runners, splattering spectators, sidelining lead vehicles.
...Fantastic spectator viewing options - and an estimated 10,000 spectators dashing about in the mud and snow to watch the action .
...The best of the best of USA's runners vying for spots on the World Cross Country Team going head to head, stride for stride, mud splat for mud splat.
Put it all together and you have a spectacular race.
I was very proud (and very lucky) to be a tiny volunteer cog in this extraordinary event...
- to witness a 15 year old win the Junior girls' race by 14 seconds,
- to cheer for not one, not two, but 5 over-80 Boulder Road Runners cruised the course (and another 9 70+ year olds).
- to see first-hand what the announcer described as "perfect form" as Deena Kastor stretched it out with each lap of the course to win by 61 seconds over 3000 meter American record holder Shalane Flanagan
- to hear the roar of the crowd as hometown boy, CU grad and Olympian Alan Culpepper moved up through the pack, eventually overtaking Adam Goucher, Dathan Ritzenhein, and Jorge Torres to lead the four-man former-CU-runners sweep at the finish.
And, if ever in the future you have the opportunity to participate in a National XC meet, do it!
Friday, February 09, 2007
Glorious run, volunteer fun
After the run, it was a quick trip home to stretch, ice, shower, and eat before I headed off to the National XC Championships packet pickup headquarters where I handed out t-shirts for a few hours. Very fun seeing so many runners from all over the country...young runners, mature runners, men, women, tall, short, skinny, stocky...all quite excited about tomorrow's race. The race will be held at a golf course in town (a flat course as a concession to the altitude, but with a couple of ditch/stream crossings just to keep things interesting). The course has been plowed and the water has been squeegeed/blown off it. So it's pretty much ice-free but the runners should be cruising and the mud should be flyin'!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Run and run some more
- I woke up knowing it would be an icey morning given the prior day's warm temps and the mounds of snow still lining all the roads and yards. So, I figured I'd have my short run in the morning and a longer run when the day got warmer. That meant Jester would get to come on the morning run. At least one of us was psyched. I made a poor choice of routes: home to the CU cross-country property. The road into the CU property was an ice skating rink. The trails within the property were chopped ice. The bike paths I took out of the property (to avoid the ice rink road) were rivers of ice...absolutely impassable. I ended up hiking through snow banks. All in all, very little running and a whole lot of grumpiness.
- Post-run I met up with friend Debby to strategize on sponsorship possibilities, PR, logistics, etc. and ran into running buddy Joe. Debby always brings my psyche around to a good place and Joe suggested an afternoon run together. The mood was on the upswing.
- The afternoon run with Joe was over our regular fartlek loop (without the fartlek). Shorts weather. Clear roads. Great stuff. All was well with the world again.
- As part of the National Cross-Country meet activities, there was going to be a nutrition panel/talk in the early evening. The sun was still up, the talk was only a couple of miles away, I decided to run there.
- Wednesday totals: 3 runs, 14.5 miles, full stretching routine, no ice bath
- This morning I was to meet up with AndyE for an early run. And we had a new weather challenge: fog...so thick where AndyE and I were meeting that you couldn't see the length of a block. We cut our run a bit short though I still managed eight miles by taking a round-about way home.
- To get my 100 for the week, I really needed to get in an afternoon run. My body was not too terribly thrilled with the idea so we had a rather intense discussion. "You're going to be running two-a-days all summer, you'd better get used to it." "Yeah, but I'm achey and would really rather just sit with my feet up." "What's 180 miles in a week going to feel like if you can't even muster 100 miles?" "What's another run today going to feel like if you're already tired, eh?" Well...I won that argument. uhhh...which side was I on/not on? Anyways. Went out for another 5.
Sunday I'll run as many miles as I need to get my 100. So far, I've got 56.5.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Second: the hills! The plan was to meet AndyE at our favorite hill-repeat hill. I ran about 50 minutes to our rendezvous point, and we found a horde of runners gathering for their hill repeat session at our hill. It turned out to be Mark Plaatjes' training group and when they saw us hanging out behind them (no way were we going to the head of the line) they encouraged us to join in. Well, heck, why not?! Every train needs a caboose! So there we were, running hill repeats with Plaatjes' speedy striders. 10 repeats in fact. And it was a blast. We were by far the slowest in the group but it turned into an excellent workout. They'd make it to the top and turn, and as soon as we saw them turn, we turned. They'd pass us on the way down, and when we saw them turn at the bottom, we'd turn to go back up the hill. 5 repeats or so into the workout, I started playing 'rabbit' - trying to stay ahead of the fastest runners with Mark exhorting his runners to catch Paula. About 8 repeats in, only Mark caught me and we both burst out laughing when he sneaked up on my shoulder (that man is a beautiful runner...his feet barely touch the ground as he flies by). And, upon finishing the 10th repeat, off I went for the rest of my run...50 more minutes, all of it spent dreaming of the ice bath I'd be treating my legs to as soon as I got home. Great fun!
Saturday, February 03, 2007
winter winter winter
.....uphill. into the wind. on ice.
Friday, February 02, 2007
Colorado through Wisconsin is mapped!
The Wisconsin route can be found at: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=681821
I'll be in Wisconsin from July 10 a.m. through July 21 p.m.
The route through Wisconsin is 289 miles long.
And, best of all, the route includes a lot of trail time:
- Chippewa River State Trail from Durand to Eau Claire
- Mountain-Bay State Trail from Weston to just north of Pulaski
fyi - The routes through the states leading up to Wisconsin can be found at
Colorado (still to be converted from mapmyrun):
0-105 miles: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/united-states/co/boulder/178670771
Thursday, February 01, 2007
gyah I'm sick of this
The nice man on the radio shortly thereafter said: "They're now predicting 8 inches of snow."
Yesterday it was all of 17 when I went out for my morning run - and I ran south which turned out to be into the wind which dropped the temperature to I-don't-know-what bitter cold. And as I was headed toward a trail a fellow was coming from that same trail and said: "It's really choppy, really icey, really bad." So I turned (which got me going with the wind and warmer) and ran one more stupid circle on this stupid snow with this stupid ice.
Today it was 5 degrees when I headed out and I was dressed better than I had been yesterday so stayed almost warm. But yesterday's really fine dry snow coated the streets which were then packed down by cars and everything was slicker'n'snot. I met up with AndyE about 40 minutes into my run and we ran some stupid sidewalks around in stupid circles avoiding the supid snow and stupid ice.
Tomorrow we're supposed to see a high of 10 degrees, with wind gusts up to 28 mph, and we'll have that up-to-8-inches of snow on the ground.
Are we having fun yet?!