Saturday, October 30, 2010

2 Weeks Post-Marathon

Memorial Park, Houston
I ran the Denver marathon on 10/17, hiked in Colorado the week after and then I was home the second week after the marathon. Since I was running in the second week after the Big Sur marathon, I started running this week, too. The more I ran, the easier it felt.

Monday, I ran 5 miles at 10:35/mi pace on a humid day, but the warmth felt good at first. (8 days post-marathon.)

Tuesday, I ran 7 miles at 10:04/mi pace on another humid day. OK, ready for winter now!

Thursday, Zoe and I got in a great 5 miles because the humidity was so low that I hardly sweat - only my socks were damp. I ran at a 9:52/mi pace.

Friday, I ran 8 miles at a 9:32/mi pace and it was a chilly 50 degrees! It's warmed back up since Friday, but soon we'll have more cool days. I'm looking forward to training for the Houston marathon through the winter.

A few interesting articles: 

Eat the Right Fats Sorry, this one has a RW pop-up ad. Skip fat-free. Eat salmon, avocados, walnuts, and flax.

Women & Heart Rate Women are not small men.

Nike has turned the city of London into a game board for a two-week competition called the GRID which the shoe manufacturer hopes will ultimately encourage young people who already jog for exercise to start identifying themselves as "runners."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Scenic Drives and Views in CO


Today my husband and I went for a scenic drive along the Big Thompson River outside of Estes Park on Hwy.34.


We looped back to Estes Park on Hwy.43 and stopped off at the Gem Lake trailhead for a short hike.





Later on, we drove up part of Trail Ridge Road under falling snow... 

...And a moon-lit sky. Good night!

Snow in RMNP!


Friday's plan: hike to Fern Falls. Elevation: 8150' - 8850'. First destination: the Pool, 1.7 miles from the trailhead.


The last time my husband and I were at this bridge at the Pool in 2002, we took a picture so we took another one for old time's sake.

 

After crossing the bridge, the trail was up hill for a mile (so it was down hill a mile on the way back!) and it snowed. I was hoping that it would snow! There was a little trickle of rain/snow water in the middle of the path so we walked on the edge to keep our feet from getting soaked.


We made it to Fern Falls (2.7 miles from the trailhead)! We hiked a little farther and ate lunch beneath a tree on a rock before we turned back. Nothing tastes so good as lunch in the woods and in the snow!


On the way back I ran a little, very slowly, hoping to thaw out my cold toes - my first run since the Denver marathon last Sunday. : ) If I lived here, I'd run on the trails all of the time.


The 5 1/2 mile hike took us 3 1/2 hours. I'm so glad that it snowed, something we don't see much in Houston, maybe once a year, maybe not at all.


The clouds sitting just over the mountains made for some pretty views.


 We had a great hike!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park in Colorado


Thursday's first stop: Alluvial Fan Trail, where my husband gave me a short geology lesson. 


When I was young, I memorized the names of rocks for fun. Wish I could remember more than granite!


 At Sprague Lake, we stopped for a picnic lunch.

From our car, we saw coyote enjoying the perfect weather in the 60's.


Bear Lake at 9475' elevation gave me a slight headache. We took it easy, stopping to enjoy the views.


And there was snow!


Later we drove into Estes Park where I saw more elk than I could count wandering the streets, in yards and in city parks nibbling on grass.


By the time we arrived, the cookie shop was closed for the evening.


But at least we got to see one more wild animal!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Estes Park Visitor

My husband and I drove from Denver to Estes Park today. We had only been in our room 5 minutes before the excitement began...


We rushed to find the camera and take a picture of this huge elk outside our door on the other side of the creek. Apparently there's some pretty good eating over there because he hung around at least until it was dark...


And when it was dark, I needed to walk to the hotel laundry room. I took my wimpy plastic whistle to blow in case of emergency. ; ) Thankfully, no more elk sightings, but our clothes are nice and clean!

Warming Up By the Fire, Room #4

3 Tips to Push Past Running Pain

I just crossed the finish line!

In the last 10K of the Denver Marathon, I wanted to quit but I wanted to finish even more! Here are three tips that might help me in the next race from How to Push Past the Pain, as the Champions Do

  • Know the course so you'll know how to pace yourself. (I wish I'd seen at least the last mile before the race.)
  • Resist the feeling that you are too tired and have to slow down. (I reminded myself of my successful long training runs. And then I told myself that as soon as I finished I could lay on the grass in the finish area. Can you imagine how difficult it would have been to get back up?! Instead I walked around the finish area and back to the hotel - a smarter choice!) 
  • Concentrate on increasing the intensity of your effort rather than trying to get your mind off of it. (I asked myself "How much do I want 4:00?" and I pushed harder.)

Yesterday in Denver, I walked to the book store for a little reading and then walked over to a frozen yogurt shop where I met Jill for some running talk - fun! She said that the altitude must have slowed me down Sunday. I hope so! ; ) For dinner, I finally had some post-marathon pizza! Finally!

And today my husband and I head to Rocky Mountain National Park! I've been able to walk up and down stairs every day since Sunday so I think and hope my legs are ready for some hiking.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Denver Rock 'n Roll Marathon Recap


Feeling calm, walking to the start (white sweatshirt). 

Today I ran my 8th marathon - the Denver Rock 'n Roll Marathon! I left the hotel at 6:20 and walked straight to my corral in time for the 6:55 start.

I used the down hill start as a warm-up, but maybe I should have let myself speed up when I had the down hill help because I needed extra time to get up the hills, like the one in the next picture around mile 4 and the bridge at mile 23 that we ran over twice without any break in between!

There were many turns and I tried to run close to the corners. I did better at that than usual except for the time I ran all of the way to the left side of the street only to find that we were making a right turn at the corner. At least I only did that once!

I'm in the center of the photo, dark pink top and black shorts.

I ate a GU gel every 5 miles and drank maybe 4 oz. Cytomax between gels. There was ice in some of the Cytomax cups - nice touch! I drank the Cytomax and let the ice melt in my mouth. Around mile 20, my stomach felt bad and my hands were puffy - sometimes that happens on my long runs. Maybe this water/electrolyte balance table will help me figure out how to avoid that.

I was especially thirsty today and what a small problem that was since there were plenty of water stops. : ) I've been reading how important it is to go by thirst and not to focus too much on the number of ounces you're drinking. I think I did that today, stopping at most of the tables for a drink.

Focused!

I didn't see the 4 hour pace leader at the start, but I finally found him around mile 20 when he caught up to me. I ran with the group for a short while, but when I stopped for a drink, I lost them and never caught up. I walked though most of the water stops and unfortunately, 3-4 more times.

 It was fun running a new marathon course. The course ran through a nice part of town, shady parks with lakes, nice neighborhoods and then ran through an older, less scenic part of town towards the end.

In the second mile, I threw off my sweatshirt. The weather was perfect - sunny, clear skies and 40-65 degrees.


I liked the fact that most of the hills went up and then down so that you're rewarded after you top the hill - the opposite of our underpass "hills" on the Houston Marathon route (I've run that one 5 times) where you run down and then have to run up hill. Most of the hills weren't very steep or long.

I talked with a Houston friend who ran the half today and we both thought that the Houston marathon has more course music than they did at this Rock 'n Roll race! It's not a big deal, but I thought the RnR races would have more music.

Pumping My Arms for the Finish

A couple of not-so-good things I saw... Some intersections were open to traffic where police officers directed the drivers and not once, but twice, I saw a policeman come inches away from getting hit by a car when he yelled and put up his hand to stop an oncoming car from driving through an intersection in front of me! Also, I saw many runners cut corners and run over the sidewalk!


But there was plenty of good, like the cheering spectators who knew just the right words to say late in the race, like "Pump your arms, your legs will follow" and "You made it this far, you'll make it across the finish line".

I'm disappointed that I slowed later in the race but I'm fine about it (it's just a race!) and I was smiling while crossing the finish line. : )


Look at how surprised Ronald McDonald was to hear that I finished in 4:11:35!


Or maybe he was just stretching. ; )

Splits: Times/Pace (which takes into account all of the preceding miles)
5K - 28:50/9:17/mile
10K - 57:05/9:12
11 Miles - 1:40:57/9:06
13.1 Miles - 2:00:40/9:13
19.7 Miles - 3:05:22/9:25
26.2 Miles - 4:11:35/9:36 overall average

Age Group (45-49): 28 / 124
Women: 342 / 1357
Overall: 1101 / 2894

Update: Looks like the 2010 Denver Marathon was actually a little long.

11/9/10 Update on the update: Our times have been adjusted for the officially long course. My adjusted time is 4:10:38!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

One More Post Before Marathon Day


Dinner with Happy Trails (they're on the left, my husband and I are on the right) tonight was so much fun! I ate spaghetti - carbs - I hope they make me fast tomorrow at the Denver Marathon!

After dinner, we walked back to our hotel and saw horse-drawn carts and musicians.



The Marathon is Tomorrow!


I ran 3 miles in Denver this morning. It was 40 - 50 degrees and shorts felt fine. I ran down 16th street to Riverfront Park. It's been a long time since I've heard the sound of a rushing river. Some friendly folks asked me if I was enjoying my run when I stopped on the bridge to take this picture. 


Larimer street has some neat old buildings and shops that I found myself running very slowly by so that I could look in the windows.


Most of the time I ran on 16th street.


This is the most creative method I've ever seen to make a contruction site pretty - crocheted flowers all along the fence. : )

After my run, I stopped to pick up some breakfast to take back to the hotel. Cranberry bagels with honey butter are very good!

 I can't wait to run the Denver Rock 'n Roll Marathon tomorrow!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Denver Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Expo & Capitol

So what did I see and do at the expo? I picked up my Denver Rock 'n Roll marathon shirt - I like the tree on it. I saw some new clothing, 110%, that has pockets to hold ice packs and is tight to compress you, also. I was able to sample many flavors I've never tried before from Nuun, Larabar and Clif Shot Bloks, but the best food I ate was a brownie that's sold locally!


I guess I was all pictured out by the time we got to the expo because I didn't take any pictures. On the way there, my husband and I visited the state capitol where I took lots of pictures.


We climbed tons of stairs, but not these stairs that go up to the very top of the capitol dome, not open to the public.

Here's a view of the marathon start location at Civic Center Park from a window in the state capitol. It's so nice to see mountains in the background!

Two days until the Denver Rock 'n Roll marathon!
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