Saturday, December 3, 2011

Checking In

I apologize for the delay in blogging, it's been a busy fall season. Here are a few running updates:
- Raced the 10k at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October. It was a fabulous experience, where I met many great athletes, coaches, staff, and locals. The athlete village was an experience in itself with dorm style living, a cafeteria with food 24/7, an entertainment area, beautiful pool, a walking path through the woods, a top notch gym, and hundreds of police bordering the outside. Guadalajara was a fun town to explore with historic buildings and sculptures, unconventional construction methods, a funny pedestrian crossing signal, colorful markets, and very excited locals. It was an experience of a lifetime!
- I decided to race the marathon Olympic Trials. It's not quite a distance I'm looking forward to, but I'm slowly embracing the idea of finishing my first marathon and being a part of an amazing race with many of the best athlete's in the USA.
- For marathon training I have had two new personal bests... longest run ever of 18 miles and most miles in a week of 80 miles. I'm sure these will increase over the next month and a half, Thanks to Russ, Chubbs, Jay, and Ashley for helping me through this week and the long run.
- I raced the United Way Turkey Trot in Denver at Wash Park. It's a 4 mile race that I have competed in since I was in high school. It's a race that my family enjoys together. Russ had a huge PR and placed 7th. I was the 1st female with a 7 sec PR (thanks to David for pacing me). My sister surprised herself with a great finishing time. And my mom came to cheer us all on. It's always a fun family event.

Now I'm just preparing for next weekends race...Club Cross Country Nationals!!! Can't wait to see everyone and to go get our trophy back (and to get our dance on). As I look out the window at the fast falling snow, I realize today's long run is going to be tough. I best get moving. Stay safe and warm!

PS Congrats to all the BRC-ers as we dominated all the turkey trots around the state. Congrats to Ali and Wendy as they raced for the USA in Japan.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Final Countdown

It's quiet. Too quiet.

It's coming down to the wire: Club XC is only two weeks away and on that day, we've got a lot of race to rock. It's going to be epic. So epic it will be earth-shattering. So epic that Chris Lear will write a book about it. So epic that the heavens will part and the angels will sing. So epic that Bruce Springsteen will write a song about it. Epic. It's high time that we earn back our trophy of the partly legless 'roided up runner chick with the absurd pectorals, and the guys too of course.

The team sounds ridiculously fit and ready to represent, this was evidenced moreso by everyone's Turkey Trot races a couple of days ago. Congrats to all who raced. I got to shake off a little rust down in Springs at the Briargate 5k Turkey Trot. It's a great little hilly course with loads of participants this year and beautful weather. Having really only been training pretty solidly--complete with actual workouts--for about the last three weeks due to a bit of a rough patch, I hadn't raced since Pearl Street last August, so was a little iffy going in, with the intention of treating the race as a workout, but came away with a win in 18:00 and felt very in control the whole way and rebounded quickly. Adam took the men's win so it was a good day for BRC/adidas. While my time was nothing to write home about it was nonetheless encouraging and was the perfect tune up and I was really pleased. Not to mention it's easy to be relaxed going into a race when it's a lot of fun to be there and it was great seeing everyone and being back in Springs as I really miss it. Once upon a time I wouldn't have dreamed of jumping into a race feeling so unprepared and compulsively would have needed everything to be 100% in order, but if you're always waiting for everything to feel perfect and for the stars to align for you, you'll never do anything and will miss out on some good times and who knows? Maybe even your best day. So take advantage of opportunities that pop up along the way since really, who regrets ever really trying something even if the outcome wasn't perfect?

My co-worker (and Broomfield H.S. coach) Greg Weich explained to me one day, "You know, I race really well when I just don't give a s**t. I had the best race of my life when I was up at 3 a.m. the night before eating sesame chicken." Now I wouldn't say I ever "don't give a s**t" but I catch his drift and it's true.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving as there is always lots to be thankful for. Next up: CLUB CROSS. See you on the other side.

Adam and Me post-race at the Briargate Turkey Trot

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm so happy I got to be part of such a great team the last few years. Although it's time to move on I know all the close friendships will remain. Thanks so much to everyone who made it such a great experience and to Cody and BRC adidas for making it happen.
If you want to keep tabs on me I'll be at

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This team is on FIRE!

We have had some AWESOME performances lately and I'm really proud of everyone on this team! Hana relays domination, Wendy's 10 miler and huge half marathon PR, Ali's 6th place finish at the 20k, Mario tearing up the roads everywhere, Cassies 9th place at the 5k champs, Tommy Jesse and Scott at Cow Harbor, Adams 3rd place trail adventure, Amanda's 5k, our team win at Tufts, and many many more. A BIG congrats to our newest trials qualifiers Matt and Adrian. It was exciting watching you guys in Chicago.
It seems like everyone just keeps improving. Lets keep the momentum rolling through clubs and the trials!
Huge thank you to BRC and Adidas for the support and GOOD LUCK to Cassie at Pan Ams in a couple weeks.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dreams Do Come True

I've always dreamed of wearing the USA jersey and racing for our wonderful country. I just was selected to be on the USA team for Pan Am Games!!!!!! I can't believe it, but I'm so honored, blessed, and super excited. I'll be racing the 10k on the track in Guadalajara, Mexico in the end of October.
This dream also meant I get to be on the national list for drug testing...yippee. It was time consuming to fill out my day to day whereabouts for the next three months especially because I barely know where I'll be next week. I thought "I'll never get drug tested"...i was wrong. I submitted my info on the 10th and was drug tested this past Thursday at 6am. This isn't the greatest time for guests but a great time to pee. Anyway, now it feels real that I'm really going to Pan Ams.
Today I'm in Providence, RI for the USA 5k and excited to race. I have no idea if I'm in 5k shape but it will be fun either way. Thanks Adidas for letting points cover travel and for the cool kit. Thanks to the amazing race directors, Charlie, Tony, and Jim. Hopefully it will be a wonderful day.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I have definitely been MIA for the past couple months. It's been a combination of things, the foremost being I forgot how to actually post on the blog, yup I'm an idiot. But along with that I had a pretty substantial ankle injury that bogged me down for the past 4 months. My last official race was the 25k Champs in May, which went pretty well, but starting the day after I couldn't walk right for about 2 weeks. Then I kinda just decided well I better get back in shape quick cause I wanted to run Chicago. So I hopped into some workouts with a buddy of mine and well needless to say it never healed right. So for the past 4 months I went into this on and off again cycle which culminated in a "F this S***" and a three and a half week running vacation. So instead of running we bought a house, I caught a bunch of fish, and probably gained 10 pounds of beer weight.

So all that ended three weeks ago and I have currently been running about 8 to 10 miles a day at a decent pace. The ankle still gets sore every now and then but for the most part I'm pain free. You would think being a PT and all I would be able to cure myself, but ask any PT and they will tell you we don't make the best of patients.

Anyway I'm finally starting to get psyched up again for probably the biggest 4 months of my running career to date. The main races being Fort Collins Turkey day 4 mile, CLUB NATS, and of course the trials in Houston. Let me just stress that CLUB NATS is gonna be awesome. My old team in So Cal started another Adidas sponsored running club and well we have beat them, period. So I'll be there in full force, and hope you guys and gals will catch fire and get pumped for the awesomeness that is CLUB NATS!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Break time

It’s been a little while since my last proper break from running. Over the past 13 months, I think I’ve taken a total of 9-10 days off including a week stretch in May when I was sick. This is by far the longest I’ve gone without taking a good 2 weeks to completely recover from all the nagging injuries that come with running. Really, there is never a good time to take a break since there is always a race coming that you would like to do, but sometimes, your body makes that choice for you.

I’m coming home from the US 20k Championships, which is now the site of one of my biggest blow-ups to date. My plan was to go out somewhat conservative and work my way into the top 5 towards the later stages of the race. I was actually in good position to execute the plan for the first 5 miles. The lead pack was a manageable distance away and runners were starting to come back. By 5.5 miles, I was completely cashed. The legs weren’t responding at all, and I started going backwards in a hurry. In hindsight, the 20k was probably a little ambitious after running a fairly tough Half Marathon 2 weeks before. Obviously, my legs didn’t recover in time and if I had to do it again, I would have skipped the 20k and focused on the 5k Championships that will take place in 2 weeks. Hindsight …

The Half Marathon I mentioned happened in San Diego 2 weeks ago. I ended up placing third with a time of 1:04:20 on a course that had some serious hills (up and down). I was hoping to run a little faster going into the race and was on track at 10 miles to do so (around 48:00). However, the biggest hills came at the end of the race and put a hurt on everyone. Overall, I was pleased with the result since it was a Trials qualifier in the marathon. Now, the focus will shift to preparing for the Trials in January and hoping my body will be able to handle the training necessary to do well in a marathon. We’ll see.

Also, my wife and I had our daughter August 6. Here she is:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 22-28

Monday:      90 minutes easy (12)
Tuesday:      20 x 1 on/off @ 90-95 % (13)
Wednesday: 105 min. easy (16)
Thursday:     85 min. easy (12)
Friday:         A.M. 4 x 3k w/ 3:30 rest 9:27, 9:18, 9:19 (12), 9:33 P.M. 30 easy (4)
Saturday:     A.M. 30 min. easy (4) P.M. 60 min. easy (8)
Sunday:       160 min. (24)

Total:           107

With only 6 weeks between now and Chicago I'm feeling pretty good.  The 3k's were tough but I mainly focused on getting in the mileage, whiling attempting to adjust to working again.  The next 4 weeks are slated to be 115, 130, 130, 120.  Time to buckle down. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


So, after months of not being able to run well and feeling run down, I'm so happy to say that I think I am back in the game. Today was my first little workout. In two months (hopefully sooner) I'm sure i'll look back and laugh at my puny workout. Today, however, was no laughing matter. With double side cramps, fighting a cold, and a little asthma for good measure, it was painful! But, I made it through without making any bargains and fighting the whole way through! regardless of where my fitness is, that is all I can ever ask for :-) There is nowhere to go but up from here!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What does running mean to you?

This is what I have been asking myself since last week when Scott asked everyone on the team just that. The funny thing is right now this is such a loaded question. When I got the chance to work with Scott I thought wow this is great nothing but good things could come from this and than I soon realized a lot of things were about to change. So what did running mean to me really? Was it worth all the drama, was it worth having to walk away from things that I love, was it worth losing relationships with people I thought would always be on my side? Than out on my second run today with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat I realized what running means to me...........
To me running is inspiring people to do things they never thought they would or could. Like my best friend who started running just to lose weight who can now run 7-8 miles and no matter how slow she thinks it is she is RUNNING 7-8 miles! Not everyone can say that! Its my long time friend who is going to run his first half marathon in October who asks for advice and I get to see post how he just finished a 5 mile run in heat. There are days I don't want to run in heat and he is out there kicking butt! It's my husband waking up every day at 4 am so he can go run 3 miles (if you knew how much he hates running it's a big deal)and show his kids he can race the Race against Cancer. It's the people I see at track group every Wednesday running their hearts out and giving it their all no matter if they are the fastest on the track or the slowest. It's my kids asking me how my race went and honestly giving me crap when I don't win. It's them knowing how hard I work to be able to toe the line with some of the best. It's my training partners who go out and do workouts And runs they would prefer to not do, but they are always there to help me get through it. Most of all it's all those people telling me how amazing I am to be able to run as fast as I am and still be a mom to two very active boys. Yes I know I am not even close to being the fastest mom i mean look at Kara Goucher, Colleen De Roucke, Magdalena Lewy Boulet (seriously rocking a 5k pr that anyone at any age would take) and Nan Kennard just to name a few could all kick my butt with little to no effort at all. All of these people think I am the one inspiring them when the truth is it's the other way around. I get through the hard workouts that make me want to throw up and quit, through the races that I am getting my butt kicked at, through the victories, the PR's and everything in between because of them! My inspiration is knowing they are rooting for me, knowing they believe in me when I don't even believe in myself.
Yes I have definitely given up a few things lately that I really enjoy and wanted to continue to do, lost some important friendships and have taken a risk that I can not guarantee will pay off. But I have those amazing people behind me, family, friends, Scott taking a chance on a nobody, my amazing teammates who inspire me and give me so much advice and a dream! next week when I toe the line in Edmonton I would love to get the PR I am looking for, I will dig as deep as I can, but if I don't I know it does not define me. My kids, family, friends and faith are what defines me. Running is just an added benefit.
So to the answer the question. What does running mean to me? It means EVERYTHING and NOTHING all at the same time

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Evergreen Town Race

Evergreen has got to be one of my favorite places in Colorado. It's so beautiful and a fun place to be. This past weekend they hosted the USATF Colorado State Championship for the 10k. Typically I (and most others) race the 5k since the course is quite a bit downhill and fast. This year the Colorado State Championship designation attracted many of us from the BRC team (Jay, Wendy, Robby, Paul, Christy-Marie) and other elite athletes. The 10k was a bit less organized than the 5k, but I don't think they usually get as many runners as they did this year. There was limited parking and the bus was quite late. Luckily we had a great bus driver who understood the importance of getting to the top quickly; she must have made record time.
With 35 minutes to warm up I was a bit nervous if I was loosened up enough. Luckily the 10k is long enough where a short warm up can work as good as a long one.
The first mile was quick with a steep downhill and adrenaline pumping. I stayed relaxed on miles 2 and 3, then picked it up to get out of no-mans-land to catch up to the guys ahead of me to keep focused. Thanks to those wonderful guys for being tough and dragging me to the bottom of the hill. I was dead with 1/2 mile to go, but finished the best I could. I finished first in a time of 34:40!! Close in 2nd was Wendy Thomas, then Candice Chavez, and for fourth, Kristin Johansen. It was a good day!
The awards ceremony was excellent and their were some great sponsors (Thanks runcolo, Honey Milk, USATF, and whoever donated the beautiful painting of Evergreen Lake). I was excited to see my family, many running friends, and other friends from the past that showed up to the race.
Now I'm extremely sore and tired from the pounding of the downhill. Yesterday I was a turtle, hopefully today I will feel better.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Comeback A Success So Far

It's great to be back to full training after 9 months of not being able. As I've said many times here, I was out for 5 months with a foot injury and then while coming back I was dealing with bad tendinitis in the same area and was stuck at relatively low mileage for the first 4 months back. Since then I've been hitting the PT's prescribed drills very hard and all issues are nearly resolved. In fact my foot has hurt just a few times in the last 3 weeks. I've been able to get some really solid mileage averaging just over 100 a week for the past 6 weeks. It feels great to be getting back into shape again but my fitness has come along very slowly. I still don't feel like I'm in great shape but I think a few more weeks and I'll be ready to go.

My next big race is The Great Cow Harbor 10k out in Long Island, New York in mid September. I'm excited to go back after missing last years race. They put on an excellent event and treat all of the 'elite' runners very well. I don't really consider myself elite but I guess I'm fast enough to make the cut to be one of a group that gets help with a portion of the cost to fly out and they even put us up with a great family while out there.

Most importantly though is that the year is about to get started for the Mountaineers down at Western and I'm very excited to get back to coaching after the summer break. We are going to have a great team again this year on both the mens and womens sides with an excellent chance to challenge for the win. As always though, there will be some very stiff competition and I know those boys and girls down south will be doin work.

On a final note I wanted to welcome Sean Brown and Loren Ahonen to the team. Both of them are recent Western State grads who I had the pleasure of being teammates with and coaching for several years. They both boast some pretty good PRs so watch out.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bix 7 Diaper money

I’m sitting at DIA with some extra time on my hands (partly thanks to United Airlines who feel they should be compensated $75 if I am going to fill a vacant seat trying to get home on an earlier connecting flight), so I figured this would be a good time to update the blog. I’m returning home after competing in my third straight Bix 7 mile this morning in Davenport, Iowa. Bix is probably the toughest road race I have run. (see course at The course is extremely hilly, but it’s the heat and humidity that really put it over the top. I’m not exactly sure what the temp and humidity levels were – all I can really say was that it was hot as hell out there. Despite the conditions, I was pleased with the result today. I went out fairly conservative just off the second pack for the first 2.5 miles. Familiarity with the course definitely helps, and I knew the predominantly downhill first third of the race turns into grinding uphills real quick. It was around the second big uphill (mile 2.5-3) that I surged into 6th place and tried to make a move to catch a couple Kenyans falling off the lead pack. I was slowly closing the gap through miles 3 and 4, but then started hitting the wall myself. The last 2 miles turned into a death march that I’m sure we’re all familiar with. I was hanging on to the 1st American position as best I could, but when Abdi passed me around mile 5.5, I couldn’t muster any response. I ended up 7th overall and 2nd American. I felt it was a pretty solid effort but not a great race.

I actually wasn’t planning on running Bix this year. My wife is 8.5 months pregnant with our first child, and it took some lawyer-like arguing to convince her that it was a good idea to run. I ended up spending about 18 hours total in Davenport and was calling every hour to make sure Courtney wasn’t going into labor. Looks like I’ll catch the birth of my first child after all.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Positivity" and Boulder Rocks My Face Off

Ever been asked, "if you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?" Einstein? The President? Elvis? Nastrodamus? God? Paul Michel? All good answers, but I'll tell you who you answer should be: Jason Hartmann. Why? Because he's a swell guy. And as it turned out, I did in fact have dinner with him while hanging out with some friends a couple of weeks ago. We got into some kind of lengthy and highly philosophical conversation about priorities in life, figuring out what you're doing, and more importantly why you're doing it. Sometimes someone tells you precisely what you needed to hear without even knowing that you really needed to hear it. I was interested to hear about his approach to his running given that technically it is his job, and as such it could easily become a chore and merely a means to an end. The bottom line of his subsequent impassioned (and unrehearsed) rant that followed was that life is all about finding a dream to chase, and chasing it for the right reasons. Do something because you love it and because you want to see what you can make of it. Live simply, cut out the distractions, stay away from people and situations that bring you down, the hinderances, and things that take the joy from it and complicate things that should be simple. Don't do it to make a name for yourself or to prove anything. His brilliant analogy was that of chef that starts out with a great recipe and starts trying to make it "better" by adding more and more, till eventually it's not as good anymore. "Positivity!" Was how he summed it up. While not all exactly his words, you get the gist. Positivity!

Long run near Boulder Res.

Moving on. At the risk of jinxing myself, I will say that training and racing is going GREAT! I've finally been able to get my mileage back up to a greater volume than I have in nearly four years, and I feel awesome. Seriously, there have been a few Sundays when I have been sorely tempted to sneak in another run in the evening after a long run. It's like, "What?! Where did all of this energy come from? Where has this been all this time??!!" It's like I'm high on whatever it is that they smoke here except I'm not smoking it! I have even come to enjoy track sessions. Astonishing I know. Boulder is AMAZING!!! Soooo many trails, soooo many good training partners, and Boulder Creek is the best ice tub you could ask for. I could not ask for a better place to train, and a better environment to be part of.

Last Saturday was the Classic 10k in Springs, which went pretty well! It was actually my first 10k race not on a track, and first one at altitude, so it was an altitude PR (by default, but who's keeping track?). While perhaps I could have raced more intelligently (that first 5k has you thinking you'll feel like a champ the whole way) I was still pleased with the result and felt pretty strong. It was good to see the BRC out there repping and HUGE congrats to Tera who is on a comeback of epic proportions! Great job to Adrian, Steph, Sara, Aucencio, Matt, Tommy, Adam and Robby. Lots of green in the field that day. Keep the good races coming! Out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

July Training


Again WOW is pretty much how my training has been going. Well I'm back to fitness from 2 years ago and it's just the right time to have a good build up for this fall and going into the Olympic Trials in January.

Last couple of weeks...

20 x 400m avg. 66 seconds.

10k tempo/race ran 31.02
next day/sunday 16mile progressive long run- total 1.31- last 3 miles 5.30, 5.38, 5.18

tuesday- 6x mile with Cody Hill and David "Greenhorn" Marino help. avg. 4.43 per mile

friday/today- 6 mile progressive tempo- fast first mile 4.59, 5.08, 5.04, 5.03, 4.58, 4.46

feeling very good today after the workout and ready for more! my next races looks like sept. 5th Park to Park 10miler Denver, CO, sept 17th The Great Cow Harbor 10k Northport, NY, Oct. 3rd USATF 10 Mile Championships in Minneapolis, MN.

I know for a fact that i'm going to be extremely ready them and it will be a lot of fun seeing what I can do in them.

Oh yeah, it's nice to hear Paul Michaels is back in colorado and i know that Banana Hands Hayfer is back running and Aucencio is back racing this past weekend at the classic 10k! Plus, American Distance Project is starting to really form now with Scott Simmons being in town for a couple of weeks. We now have Chris Barnicle, Renee and Austin Baillie that are moved into town for the group. More to come about the group the closer we get to Oct....


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Foot healed and running underway!

Good news last week, the bone in my foot has healed nicely, and I was given the ok to gradually start running again. The very first run went surprisingly well, not only with the foot but also my fitness and just the awesome feeling of running that I've missed. Since then, I ran two days, took a day off, ran two more days, and am swimming today. The runs themselves have been 20 - 40 min, plus the Incline yesterday. The legs and foot are a bit sore, but that will keep me from doing too much too fast. It's a good kind of sore that should keep getting better. I can't wait to get back to running my favorite trails with friends again.

There were some awesome performances by those who raced the Classic 10k this weekend, especially considering how competitive it was! Nice job Tera, Shannon, Adrian, Adam, Robby, Tommy, and Matt. Sorry if I missed anyone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The High and Mighty

So I have been meaning to post about this subject for some time now but could never really convince myself to put it out there on the internet where I can never take it back. However, after my most recent experience my mind has changed. I think it is time we adjusted the rules of trail etiquette when it comes to horses. As it stands right now all shall immediately yield to the high and mighty horse should one encounter one on a trail. Now I recognize that this is a safety thing for the rider as startling a hours could be potentially dangerous. I do not refute this fact but the part that rubs me wrong is the attitude that the riders have during these unfortunate encounters. Just about every time I have been forced to yield to the almighty horsemen, the horsemen has hardly been gracious and has more frequently spoken to me in an annoyed manner suggesting that my very presence has ruined the whole day's ride or more often than not they have scolded me for doing something improperly. I have been chided for failing to not announce my presence on the trail soon enough then in the next instance was scolded for alerting the riders too loudly. Now I ponder, how should one announce one's presence quietly from a significant distance? I have also had the unfortunate occurrence of crossing paths with the "noble" beasts while in the midst of tempo runs where maintaining a certain effort is kind of the point. On two separate occasions I have been forced to stop and follow the horse slowly until the rider could find ground suitable enough for him to allow the horses delicate feet to leave the trail. I felt like asking the rider if perhaps it would help if I were to lay down a bed of rose petals for the horse to trample. Please note that both of these instances occurred in areas of the trail where the sides were merely flat tall grass.
This brings me to my next issue with horses, the condition of the trail. Running down a trail that has seen any significant horse traffic is a miserable experience. Not only is there concern about having to actually encounter a horse and deal with the riders and their attitudes but the trail itself is pretty useless. Just about every time the footing on the trail is absolutely terrible because of all of the hoof-prints. Now I conceded the is little or nothing that can be done about this but the other, more offensive, ways in which horses ruin the trail do have solutions. I am of course referring to horse urination and defecation. Running down a trail where horses have recently passed is always an adventure in bounding over puddles that could qualify as small lakes of urine and tip-toeing past mounds of feces large enough as to worthy of being given names like so many mountains. These factors combine to make certain trails virtually impassable via any other mode of transport than the horse and this is why I take exception.
Are there solutions to these problems? Yes, there are. Perhaps a runner should just learn where the horses are and avoid those parks. This is the de facto solution that now exists but it is a shame because it limits access to great areas to train such as the Garden of the Gods, Bear Creek, and Greenland here in the springs and I'm sure countless others throughout the state. Perhaps we should just ban the horses. While this solution suits me alright it is however rather unfair to those who prefer to recreate on horseback. No, the solutions I propose are this: 1. we can keep the same rules about yielding the right of way on the trail but we need to establish a set etiquette about how to alert the rider you are approaching and how quickly that rider must clear the way if need be. Also, if the rider refuses to deal with the runner in a respectful manner he or she can expect to receive no respect back and this is to include a cease to waiting for the horse to move. 2. While little can be done about the ruined footing or lakes of urine, horse owners should have to pick up thier horses feces, immediately. We expect dog owners to immediately scoop and carry away their dog's "business" and those piles are at most 1/8 the size of a good horse deuce. While not all dog owners follow this (that's a whole another blog itself) it is the proper etiquette and without it our trails would be riddled with old crusty dog turds, which coincidentally is what the trails of the Garden are like with horse deuce. Now horse owners may not fancy hopping of their steeds to letdown there to fill up a plastic bag (or two!) mid-ride but it wouldn't be long before someone invented a receptacle that attaches to the horse or saddle to catch such things in action thus eliminating the need to dismount. Heck, there may already be such a thing I don't know I'm not a horse person. That's it, two little changes to the accepted trail etiquette and I feel that we would have much better trail interactions and for that matter trails themselves.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rolling back into action...soon!

Time for an update. It's been a fun summer so far with some time off work and cross-training in the form of swimming, biking, and hiking the Incline. Also, some friends are visiting from Baylor and Harvard so it's literally a houseful of runners and there's always something going on!

Last week, I saw the doctor for another x-ray. It was a 4-week check-in (total of 10 weeks). The bone is healing beautifully and looked great. But just to be conservative, he's giving it two more weeks. Most likely, I'll start running then! In the meantime, I can keep doing what I've been doing. My foot is a bit sore in that area, so I'll use the time to stretch and strengthen my feet and ankles and cut back on the extra support in my shoes. I'm grateful it has healed so well since it could have taken much longer or not healed at all. I'm a little anxious about change on the horizon, even if I'm looking forward to it, but there's really no need to worry or rush. Just enjoy the journey.

Friday, July 8, 2011

What lightning?

I have had quite that last few months, having officially graduated from PA school, passed my boards and now have the sole daily task of finding a job :( finalizing wedding plans and training :) As newly graduated and currently unemployed, I realize now what it would be like to have running as my full time job and it is pretty sweet. Although, it is a testament to everyone who works and runs because I have lived both and it takes a truly dedicated runner to run after a long day at work, or get up before the sun rises to get your run in. So hats off to all my employed friends!
I ran my first 5k since Club Cross a few weekends ago and it was bittersweet. David and I went into the race with a plan based on current fitness and I ran right on pace. While I was happy I ran to plan, it was hard to see my final time and realize how far I am from my 2008 year. I know that I have to start somewhere and now I know where that is. Thanks to Andy Rinne and his garmin for pacing me throughout the race, it was greatly appreciated!
Wanting to work on some speed I planned on running the Boulder Track series 800m last night. I left from the Springs and it took about 3 hours to get to Boulder due to pouring rain, flooding and rush hour traffic. I stressed the entire way up to the track and became increasing disappointed as I realized I was going miss my race. On the drive up I heard from Jay that they had postponed and were waiting till 6:45 to call the meet due to lightning strikes in the area. I had a glimmer of hope that I could still race after driving for so long. However, as I pulled up, the track officials were packing up and my heart sank. As Jay and I stood discussing the situation in the drizzle, we met a gentleman who had also driven up from the Springs who was hoping to run the 800 in preparation for the Master's World Championships next week. I told him I was considering jumping on the track anyway, I didn't see any lightning and we were here weren't we? Upon discussing my racing goal, he offered to pace me, as did Jay and his coworker. The track official then walked up and started to lock up the track and for the second time that day, I was crushed. However, our new friend talked with the official and convinced him to leave one gate open which we promised to lock up as soon as we were done. We left for a warm-up and on the way, met another rain soaked runner and invited him to our little race, he agreed and we proceeded with our warm-up.
Before toeing the line, the guys and I discussed my paces and who would be in front, next to and behind me. We started off with a plan. I haven't run an 800 competitively since high school but it was like I had never left it. The 800 is beautiful because it's tactical and fast and it brings out the competitive runner inside. We raced around the track, ran pouring down, spikes slipping on the flooded track but surrounded by 3 wonderful strangers and my fiance. This is what I run for, for these moments that seem surreal. As I hit the last backstretch, I went, and it felt so great that by the homestretch I picked it up, arms swinging, water flying, guys urging me on and came in under goal! I called David (my coach) and told him that I wanted to integrate quicker races into my schedule. I realized tonight that I was built for this, and while 5K's are fun, they are nothing like the thrill I get from the 800 and 1500. Thank you to Mike Wolfe, the Runner's Roost guy, Jay's co-worker Ryan and to Jay, who is always there for me when I need him. We'll see what future training brings, hopefully some new speed, continued health and maybe some PR's. Happy running!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Long time

I don't think many people would be super excited about running a marathon in 97 degrees. But I absolutely can't wait! In just over 7 weeks ill be toeing the line at the World Championships in South Korea for my first major race since January.
yep, January. For someone who would race every weekend if possible its been a tough year. Coming back from multiple foot surgeries hasn't been the easiest thing I have ever done. But I do think im a LOT stronger physically and mentally from the experience. I literally worked my butt off in the gym (its WAY too small right now!) in my time off and its paying off big time as I get into the full swing of marathon training. I didn't lose nearly as much fitness as I expected.
I know a lot of people don't think cross training does much but I'm a believer. I guess we will find out come August 27th.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Peachtree. wooooo!!

I spent this year’s 4th of July the same way I have the past 2 years – strolling 10k down Peachtree street through the heart of Atlanta with some of the fastest runners in the world. The Atlanta Peachtree has been my favorite event by far since graduating college and this year’s edition didn’t disappoint. I’m not sure if it’s the southern enthusiasm for the 4th or returning to the state I went to college, but I always seem to turn a corner at this race. This year’s Peachtree didn’t exactly go as well as the previous two, but I still came away satisfied with the result.

During the first half of the race, I was extremely worried it was about to turn into a disaster. Unlike 2009 and 2010, my legs just didn’t feel quite right from the start and the conditions were triggering my allergies. By 5k, I had lost considerable ground on the lead Americans and was probably around 35th place overall. The second half of the race is mostly uphill and really saved my day. The leaders were long gone but I was able to catch a decent amount of people and managed to sneak in the top 10 US finishers. Although I don’t feel as though I had a particularly great race, I was very pleased with where my strength was. I think I’m in decent half marathon shape and am now looking for a race to see if I can pr.

USA Nationals

Thank you teammates, family, friends, and Adidas for all the kind words and excitment about us racing the USA National Championship. It was a wonderful experience.

Working up to this race I was having the best workouts of my life and feeling amazing. Since Stanford I focused on training with two small races that served as workouts to keep my racing mood fresh. My best workouts were 12x300 and 6xmile. The 300 workout started at 57 and worked down with the last one at 49!! That was the fastest I'd ever run a 300 at sea level so I was a bit shocked that I hit that. The mile workout was the one I posted about previously that wouldn't have been possible without Cody, David, and Adrian. The week before the race I ran a mile on the track at Boulder, which I was hoping for a really fast time but it wasn't so I had a small panic moment that I wasn't ready for Eugene. Apparently, I was fine but I turn into a head case at times.

I flew to Eugene on Wednesday and hung out with Ali and my friend Ed from Charlotte. I ate dinner with the Charlotte crew and enjoyed a peaceful night at the Super 8 (unlike Ali's night that you will have to ask about, crazy story) in Springfield (supposedly it's not the nicest side of town but no one tells you this until it's too late). Thursday, race day, was the normal routine of a shake out run (on the Prefontaine trail), sitting in the hotel catching up on crap TV, finding food, and napping.

The Race. I felt amazing before the race except for a few tears from nervousness and uncertainty. On the line I knew I was ready for a great race and to be competitive and I must have been thinking too much because the gun went off and I ended up near the back of the pack. Ahh! I about panicked at 200m since I was nearly last, but remembered that there was still 24.5 laps to go and that David told me NOT to be too fast on the first few laps. So I slowly worked to the middle of the pack by 500m. I was worried about my position again after the next lap when many of the girls I typically race with were 10m meters ahead and separating from the group I was in. I listened to my splits and decided I was ok and going to stick to the plan on 78-79s laps and let the other group go. The group I was in was stacked with good girls too and we've worked well racing together before and with so many laps I had time to adjust later. I was a bit fast at the mile at 5:10, but was perfect at 5k with 16:27. Up to this point the race seemed to be a bit physical with girls jostling of positions, bumping, stepping on the inside, trying to pass on the inside, and clipping spikes. When did the 10k become so violent? Anyway, the pace was consistent and the second pack of girls came back to us. With a mile to go a few of us broke off and tried to thin the group. At 600m to go I picked up the pace and with a lap to go all I could hear was David yelling that I had to go. I finished in a 73 (which felt like a 60) to get a personal best of 32:55!!!

I was thrilled once I could stand straight again and comprehend what just occurred. I couldn't believe I just placed 8th and broke 33 minutes. Wow. I felt like I was living a dream and couldn't stop smiling for a few days.

It was so nice to have so many friends, teammates, and previous coaches at the race cheering me on. Thank you all!

Congrats to Ali, Nicole, and Kristin for having great races too!

It was also really awesome to have Eron and the Adidas crew up in Eugene too. They provided the AdiHaus to hang out at, which was decked out with tv's, video games, a pool table, a basketball game (ask Ali about this too, she add a new competition with the McMillans - we may have to have a shooting contest), basketball court, couches, and snacks. The decor was cool since it was posters of the Adidas athletes and the new Adidas apparrel. We got to meet many of the Adidas staff and athletes. The had some fun runs as a group on Friday and Saturday. The Friday run was "Run with the Pros" for local high school runners, which they all kicked Ali and I's butts as we slowly trotted with post-race legs. Saturday was "Girls Run" with Jen Rhines leading it and it was in honor of Grete Waitz. Both runs adventured through the Pre Trail, which was very pretty and soft. Thanks Adidas for everything!

P.S. I have pictures to post from the race, Eugene, and from the AdiHaus, but I'm having computer issues so it may be in a separate post.

Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Been One Crazy Year

Well it's been quite a year, a very very long year. A lot has changed in my life over the last year personally but things seem to be settling down finally. I'm still in gunny, still coaching at Western State, and still running but those are probably the only constants in my life.

As far as my running is concerned I'm not totally over the foot injury that put me out oct-feb but I'm darn near there. I've been running since the last week of February but it's been very low mileage, around 60 per week because my foot seemed to act up whenever I went higher. However, just recently it has started to feel a lot better and I hit 92 miles last week. Still a far cry from the mileage I would prefer to be doing but it's progress. Right now I'm pretty sure I'm dealing with tendinitis in the tendon where the bone is that I had a fracture in. It seems to hurt only post-run and is always ready to go by the next morning.

As far as racing goes, I ran a couple races during the outdoor season, all pathetically slow, but that was expected after missing so much time. Now that I am able to run decent mileage I hope to get fit quickly and may do a race or two on the front range between now and the end of the summer. My main focus is just to get the foot to 100% and be able to sustain some solid mileage through the summer and fall with the big races coming next spring.

In non-running news, I'm don't think any of you know but for work outside of coaching I run a handful of websites and I am in the process of launching a new site. It's not finished yet and my Gunnison web designer (Josh Eberly - a sub 2:20 marathoner) at Run Sleep Design is still making changes to it. The site is called You Review It and I'm really excited about its potential.

On a side note, props to our girls who ran the 10k at USA's, Alisha Williams, Nicole Feest, and Cassie Slade. And Big props to Cassie who placed 8th and got the marathon Olympic trial qualifier. Oh and not to be forgotten, Tommy Neal (originally from my home state of Missouri) ran a marathon Olympic trial qualifier also.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Olympic Trials Qualifier!

I raced at Gary Bjorklund 1/2 marathon 2 weeks ago and was able to hit a big PR and qualify for the long time goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials. I was a extremely cool experiences when I went to Duluth, Minnesota try and catch the standard. The morning of the race was raining and pretty chilly with what was going to be an good tail wind all the way in to Duluth. Which I knew were prefect conditions to have a shot at running 1.05 or under.

When the gun shot off I went out with the top guys knowing that if i was in the front i would be able to sore out pretty easy who was going to work together to hit 1.05 and under. after about 800 meters it was pretty clear that the lead pack was going much faster then I fancied which was like 4.30ish (I went through at about 4.48). shortly after that a group of about 14 Americans formed that were trying to run the standard. I was in front leading the group through about 9 or 10 miles and I believe we were about 49.24. That was about the time everyone pretty much started to pull away or fall off. I kept it pretty even and felt good but didn't want to make any big moves and keep from blowing up the last couple of miles. I kept holding on and went through the last mile marker and checked my watch for the first time to see where I was and how fast I needed to go to stay on pace. I knew I was close, but I didn't know how close I was until I hit the final turn. I looked up and it still said 1.04 low and I didn't know if I could make it in time to go under 1.05. I put everything I had into the last meters trying catch every second I could. I finished looking up at the clock that said 1.04.58, but there were a lot of questions I was asking my self after that. I didn't know which timing pad my foot crossed with the timing chip, when it crossed, which foot had the chip on it, or the big clock was right or if it was a couple of seconds off. All those things were going though my head and I was just hoping... just hoping that i was lucky enough to do it.

Luckily my former roommate Nate Jenkins and a old missouri friend Adam McDowell was there and is a super awesome guys to calm me down a little bit. when we finished cooling down I went strait the to computer to see my time and... 1.05.02 :( I was kind of bummed but at the same time i PR by over a min. and I know have a new coach! I wasn't on dead end street. I am really close and with the right direction I will completely rock out the next race for a qualifier. Nate and I where hanging out and I called some of my friends and family to let them know the good news of the race, but the small let down of being 2 seconds off. I was saying the results are not official yet and the could change, but I didn't think anything would change. All during the day I kept asking Nate, "do you think they will change the results?" I would again agree and also say, "yeah, i know it's very unlikely." I checked for like the 10th time and I said 1.05.00! I asked Nate if that put's me in or not? we checked USATF race entry and there is another guy that qualified with a 1.05.00 which means i'm in!!!! Nate and I jumped around, hugged, then we talked about how special it is to go, compete at the trials, his 7th place finish last time and how there is nothing like it to run in the race. First race I have ever hit a standard that I was training for and wanted so bad to get. It is one of those unforgettable moments I will always have.

Enjoy the dreams that come true, because time doesn't stop and you might not get another chance.

Thanks for all you the facebook messages, text, and phone calls.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Well, the month of June has pretty much come and gone and summer is in full swing. The heat is here, and the rain is not, but nothing can be done about that. Its interesting talking to people who live up in the high country and hearing about how much snow is there right now, and how green everything is. Back in 2005 when I moved to Gunnison, over that summer high altitude running was not a problem at all and all of the trails were clear of snow. I hear that running the trails near Crested Butte or even near the Taylor Park area is a no go due to the high amounts of snow, and down here we just would like to have some rain to keep things somewhat normal. So far this season has reminded me of the 2002 year when temps were high and rain was scarce. We also had to deal with the massive Hayman fire among other things such as water restrictions. Well enough about things out of antibody's control, here is a quick recap of whats been going on.
I didn't really race much in May and used the time to train. June has come and gone and racing is in full swing. Many BRC runners have been having great results such as Tommy Neal and the Man Mario Macias, so I wanted to say congrats to the both of them. I have raced 3 times this month and they have all been top quality fields which I have been glad to be part of. I ran the Uni Hill 2k in early June getting beat by James Hatch who ran a great time of 5:49 on a rather hilly and difficult course. I ran 5:55 and another BRC teammate Peter Remien was third in 5:57 I believe. A week later I ran our local Sailin Shoes 5k which is by far the most deep road race in the springs. I have been dealing with a little Achilles tendon issue on my right leg that just doesn't want to give up, so training has been good but not great. The Wednesday before the race didn't help things as I rolled my right ankle during a run. The end result was a 3rd place finish running 15:29. Agustas Mayo tore up the course and broke the record of 14:48 by 1 second, so congrats to him as he is really getting in shape quickly! The most recent race was the Stadium Stampede which was also the USATF Colorado 5k road champs. A pretty good field was assembled with many very good local runners and BRC'S own Scott D, as well as recent CU grad Matt Tebo. It was a bit of a late start (8:30) which did not bode well for anybody as the temps were already in the mid 80's not counting the additional humidity running along the Plate River. Matt would go on the run 15:12 for the win, and I was second in 15:24 (5 seconds were added on to the times for some reason), but there is a twist to the story. Being that this was a Colorado state champ race meant that all qualifications had to be met and the most important one being a USATF Colorado member. Thinking that I had finished second and being very happy about that , I was later informed that I was the winner due to I believe a processing mistake with Matt's membership. I want to make sure that first and for most Matt Tebo gets the credit for the win. He ran a great race and was gracious in what happened and I hope to see him again on the roads, so Matt Congrats. I has a great time with friends Andy Rinne and Chris Bittinger/Joseph Bittinger who went on to win the kids 1k race as well. I also wanted to say congrats to Robby Young, Amanda Ochi, Cassie Slade, Ali Williams and everybody else who has been running well. That's all for now!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Change is difficult

I have recently come to the conclusion that if you are not seeing any progress or disappointed in results you are seeing stop complaining and do something about it.
A couple of weeks ago I went down to the Springs and put myself into a situation I was really uncomfortable with. I felt like I was way out of my league. Being in a room with Renee, Alicia, and countless others I looked up to scared me a little. I couldn't imagine that Scott Simmons and Renato Canova would think I belonged there. I'm actually going to confess to something before I go any further, I didn't even really know who the coaches were other than I saw a few DVD's in our store by Scott. (go ahead laugh your a** off now, I know I know silly rookie) the original reason I decided to take a risk and head down was because I really needed to meet with Jay Dicharry concerning my mechanics. I have known for a long time I do not have very good form just had no idea how to deal with it. I learned so much! I waste so much energy, am very inefficient , my arms are bad, I lean back the list goes on and on. A couple hours with him and I now have a lot of drills and exercises to do to strengthen my weakness. I spent the next three days running on the trails in the Springs (which made me wonder why I ever moved away) with everyone and trying to just soak in everything I could. On my final day in the Springs I had coffee with Scott and Renato to discuss what they thought I was capable of, what my goals were, and what I was willing to do to get there. That's when I decided this was a chance of a lifetime. I couldn't pass it up! Yes I realize I could very well fail, but the odds are just as good that I will succeed. The point is I will NEVER know if I don't try.

Fast forward a couple of weeks............
Most of my family, friends and running community have been very supportive. Yes I have had to deal with some criticism from people close but the important thing is my family is totally supportive of me. When Scott sent me my first four weeks of training I looked at it with eyes wide scared to death. My first thought was there is no way I can do this. The intensity is a lot more than I am use to and my miles have increased. The first thing Scott told me however was do not let your head decide what you can do try it first and than tell me you can or can't. I have definitely surprised myself. I have done a few things new to me, progression runs, hill sprints, jogging recovery (no more stationary), fartlek to name a few. The last two weeks I have hit 90 miles and I feel great! Now there is a "down" side of course. Before I started with Scott I had a couple races on the schedule, Stadium Stampede and our 4th of July 5k. Normally I race every two weeks, I don't really try to peak for one race I just like to race, go fast and of course try for the W. It's hard for me to remember right now there is a big race I'm shooting for, I can not cut back for these little races coming up, I need to keep my training on schedule and just work the races into my progression. What does this mean? It means I go into these next couple races with 90 mile weeks, my legs are still adjusting to the higher mileage and I'm not sure they will have any pop. This is a hard pill for me to swallow, these 5k's could be really slow. I just keep telling myself "eye on the prize" and hope it gets me through these next couple months and to a huge PR in the half.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Great meetings with the American Distance Project in the last couple of days! Scott simmons and Renato Canova have a great plan for the group and we had a great turnout of top level athletes. On the guy's side: Chris Barnicle, Fernando Cabada, Austin Baille, and Me. On the Women's side: Alicia Shay, Rene Metivier Baille, Wendy Thomas, Lindsey Scherf, and Adrian Chouinard.
I met with Jay Dicharry, top in his field of Bio Mechanical research at University of Virginia. He gave me some great advice on my form. I lean over a little too much and put too much weight on my quads which in turn wastes energy. I also need to strenghten my gluteous minimus and stretch my quads a little more so I can get a more balanced leg drive. Great advice and will be doing everything that Jay passed along to T.
Second, I was able to do a workout with Renato and Scott watching on the track. It's kind of ureal when Renato stops me to say that I need to strike more on my forefoot. He gave me some drills to do after my easy runs to help teach me the sensation of striking on my forefoot. That was so cool! Scott and Canova are going to put together a training plan that sets me up for a 1/2 marathon to qualify for the trials in the fall if I need it. Canova also gave me quite a few more things I need to change, but for this race I don't want to change too much. Sunday I have another great opportunity to meet with Scott and Canova for my new training plan and post race review.
There is also going to be an article or two and photos in Running Times Magazine. They will also have online interviews with all participatnts of the 3 day group orientation of the American Distance Project.
I'm planning on qualifying this weekend at Gary Byjorklund 1/2 Marathon and I really only need to hit 4.57 pace. I do feel that I'm in better shape than I was when I raced the 15K champs and that was at 4:58 pace, I believe. So I know I'm ready to roll and go out in 5:00-4:55 for the first mile and then start to plug away.
I will post more after the race this weekend, but I am really excited to get this rolling with my new coaches!
As Paul Harvey would say...
Goooood Day

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Since I last wrote a lot has happened. Training had been going very well; I was feeling good, my long runs were good and I was really excited about my upcoming racing season and then things took a dive. I got bit by one of my dogs, a bit of an accident (I won't go into the details of the incident), but I ended up in the ER with a plastic surgeon putting about 100 stitches (4 layers) in my chin and lip. Re-constructive surgery is in my future, so training has taken a backseat to healing.

The good news is I am running some and am planning on running my first trail race--the Pikes Peak Ascent (Crazy I know)!! Since I can't train as hard as I want right now, I decided to do something that will be challenging for me and where I have no expectations. I hate running uphill and I am not a trail runner. So this race will be purely for fun and give me something to work towards so I don't become a couch potato (which is very tempting!).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Goings on

It's been a while without running for me, but 6 weeks is already here! Tomorrow, I see the doctor again to get another x-ray. The foot feels good, like it's healed, but it's hard to tell and things will most likely hurt when starting up again. But mentally, I'm ready to go!

Meanwhile, it took some time to get the motivation to go in the pool, but I finally did and it wasn't so bad. Well, the actual swimming was bad but it was relaxing at the same time. Most days I ran in place in the deep end for a mind-numbing amount of time, but yesterday I learned some tips from a buddy who was life-guarding. If my life ever depending on swimming, maybe there's hope after all.

Also meanwhile, I read/am reading a couple books that have been awesome: Ryan Hall's Running with Joy and Born to Run. I finished the first and am still working on the second. Surprisingly, the two books share a similar theme even though they come from very different perspectives: Hall a well-known, professional marathon runner who is a Christian and the Tarahumara people a primitive, isolated community in Mexico known for their ultramarathon ability. In his journey, Hall seeks a pure, simple love of running, something the Tarahumara are born with. In fact, BtR claims we are all born with it but most lose sight when the focus drifts to substitutes. If I didn't love running for it's own sake, I would've quit a long time ago. Health, awards, times, money, and/or recognition are nice bonuses, but that's all they are. I find that when I get excited about these or other things, I start to question why I run. Sometimes I need reminding or better yet, see it discovered in others' stories.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Possible New Coach

It's been a while since I post and I aways keep meaning to post again and again, but I didn't. I have pretty interesting news for the running world of Colorado Springs. So here's the small scoop; Renato Canova is at least going to use Colorado Springs as his American base for his training group. So he is going to have is athletes that are at Pre Classic this weekend move to town for a month to train here. Pretty Cool stuff, however there is more. Canova and Scott Simmons have worked out some deal and Simmons also wants to try to set up a group here in the Springs. So what they are in the process of doing is putting together 2 things. To jump start Simmons training group; Simmons and Canova will have a free Olympic Trials training group starting in October here in Colorado springs to try and get a good group together that wants to stay. To start to fund the group they are have a distance summit in Colorado springs to raise funds for all of this. Here's the website:
To me this is awesome, because I don't have to move anywhere and I will have one of the worlds best coaches ever at least living here part time! I pretty sure I'm in on there training group, but I am hoping to get some individualized coaching from both Canova and Simmons.

As for Racing I have only raced once since Penn and it was a small race back home in missouri. It went surprisingly well since I traveled the whole day before and didn't get very much sleep. I ended up running 14.28 ish. Like I said it was a very small race and they didin't really time the race. At the finish i was like 100 meters from the finish, I stopped, and finished with the girl that Race was raising money for. I had about 100 meters to run 18 seconds that would make it 14.28.

AND training.
It's going well the weekend I raced at home in Missouri and I was able to make a good training weekend of it. I had a good race and then a very good long run and closed it out with a good 1k workout on the track in warrensburg. I started off at 3:03, 3:02, 3:01, 3:00, 2.59, 2.55, 2.54, 2.52. I felt good and was able to slowly break it down to a good race pace type of workout. I have a had some up and down weeks since then, yesterday was pretty good. I did a track/road workout. It was a 3 x 2x1k, 1mile road- the 1ks were on a dirt track and again a road mile. I ran 3.06, 3.06, 4.50, 3.06, 3.06, 4.53, 3.11, 3.12, 5.01. I know I was tiered by the end, but I believe it was more the heat and not me blowing up. It was pretty hot when I ran so I pretty sure it was that that kind of slowed me down on the last set.

What's Next...
I'm racing Gary Bjorklund 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks in Duluth, Minn. I know my fitness is there to run under 1.05 and I know I have the endurance to be there too, however it has to be the right day for me to rock it out.

Run Time!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summertime. Wooooo.

As summer gets underway, I’m definitely missing the weather and trails of Colorado Springs. Tucson is starting to get into the triple digits on a consistent basis and the rattlesnakes have been out of hibernation for about a month. Basically, this means the runs need to be done by at least 7:30 and the trails are closed for business. There are a few runners in town that still brave the trials, however, I haven’t been able to get over my first trail run here where I almost stumbled on 2 rattlers on a 45 minute run. On the bright side, I get to see all my old homeless friends from last summer who haven’t lost their enthusiasm for runners.

I’ve had some setbacks in my training since my last race nearly a month ago. I came down with a nasty bug that was compounded by allergy problems, and I ended up taking a week completely off to heal and concentrate on my last week of finals. Now that school is out of the way for the time being and I’m healthy again, I’m trying to come back in time for the Atlanta Peachtree on July 4th. Since graduating college, this has been my favorite race by far. There is something special about seeing the sun come up at the starting line and seeing 55,000 people lined up behind you. It’s equally special to run a 10k course lined with people fired up to cheer for some Americans on the 4th of July. Hopefully, this year will be as fun as the last 2.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A short recap of the last few weeks...

  • First, a huge thank you to Cody, David, and Adrian for helping with a mile repeat workout this past Saturday. Poor Cody showed up to Monument Park without knowing we would be there and quickly got suckered into pacing me. Cody was a great pacer and pulled me through the first 5 mile reps between 5:24-5:26, and then killed me on the last rep as he dragged me to 5:11!! Adrian had an amazing workout especially after having a two hour drill and strength session at the gym the day before. David was a great coach and kept me controlled. Russ and Jay also had intervals on the road and ran very well. Amanda and Ashley did threshold workouts and had a very good day. Shannon happened to have an easy run at the park as well. It was like a mini team meeting.

  • Congrats to Ashley for graduating from PA school!

  • Congrats to all the BRC Adidas runners who took on the new course at the Bolder Boulder.

  • Workouts have been wonderful through the month of May. I have surprised myself with some faster paces that I wasn't sure I could hit and I defeated a couple workouts that previously were defeating me.

  • I ran on the Colorado Trail in Buffalo Creek on Sunday. Great trail and scenery. It was a gorgious day with blue skies and warm weather. There was an attempt to get in the South Platte River afterwards, but when the water feels like it's below 40 degrees I can't make myself even get a foot in.

  • Monday was another adventurous run at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. We had never been to this park but saw that there was a ton of trails. We definitely should have investigated a bit further...the trails were ridiculously difficult and gained altitude quickly. I was not ready for that after a huge mile repeat workout and a long run. There was some awesome sites on the trail though. There was a lake with an old cabin. At the top of the mountain you have a great view of Mt Evans and some other snow covered peaks. The most interesting thing we saw was the mountain lion kill that was on the trail. It was a bit strange, the hind was separate from the skeleton and the legs were broken off and scattered about. Luckily, no mountain lion sighting. Fair warning - this is probably a good trail run, but don't do it when you are tired or in need of a recovery day.

This weekend I'm running a local 5k to keep the brain fresh for competition. Then in two weeks I'll race the mile on the track at Boulder for a last workout before USA Nationals. I can't wait to go to Eugene, to race and to explore. Until next time, happy running and go BRC Adidas!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bolder Boulder

I've shirked my blogging duties long enough, and it's time to get back into it.

The Bolder Boulder will be my first serious race back after a medium hiatus from running that began with hernia surgery last winter. (My advice to everyone on this is don't get a hernia because its not fun. Women might have an easier time with this than men.) My training is finally going well--I've been logging 70+ miles for the last several weeks with some solid workouts--and I've had a couple of moderately successful low key racing including most recently a win in a 5k in Portland, OR while my wife and I were on vacation.

I'm focusing on the Bolder Boulder not because it's my favorite race, nor because I'm particularly good at the 10k (I'm much better at the 5k and shorter races), but rather because it's the only race non-runners in Boulder care about. When people find out I'm a runner the first thing they ask is, "did you do the Bolder Boulder?" and then "How did you do?" I might as well do everything I can to maximize my street cred with my friends and neighbors.

After that I'll be focusing on some 5ks and the Boulder Races Series (the 2k, 3k, and mile) which is more of my forte anyway.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

25K Championships

I spent my weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the 25K championships. When I first got here, it was ridiculously hot and humid. I was a little nervous, but the heat and humidity died down on Friday night and gave way to rain and thunderstorms. It was a wet race, but I was still happy with my time and performance. I was hoping to finish somewhere between 1:36 and 1:40. 1:38:36 was right in the middle and a 4 min PR! I'm going to take a short break and then start training for the Chicago Marathon in the fall.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Need Change?

Yes please!

In the hopes of getting myself out of what is becoming a bit of a prolonged running funk, I decided to join a training group and actually get serious about finding direction. While I've been mulling over possibilites for some time, this was spurred
on more quickly by several things; one of which was the fact that little while ago post-Mt.Sac I was running a particular loop for the umpteen-millionth time and the dawned on me that I had run it umpteen million times, at the same pace, at the same time of day. Afterward, while standing in the ice tub I was looking through my running log (yes I have one. Yes I'm that nerdy) and flipped back to....oh say, this time two years ago and realized that yes, I was doing the exact. Same. Thing. For some strange reason I was oddly depressed by these revelations. But at the same time it was a smack in the face because realistically, if you change nothing then nothing changes. I always liked to envision myself as having made some sort of progress with something, but the writing's on the wall. In any case, evidently I find it difficult to deviate from a comfortable routine, because I've been in the same routine for like, 8 years now. All this is to say, s**t or get off the pot, do it or don't, but stop dilly-dallying around because soon you'll be old and decrepid or you'll have 10.5 kids and a 9 to 5 and it will be too late to do this stuff and you'll always wonder...

So in light of this, I thought maybe a change in routine, approach, surroundings, peer-group, mind-set, and mentality may be just the stimulus needed to make me pull my head out, get my ish together, and maybe get out of the part-physical/part-mental (I won't deny it) slump I got myself into. So I decided to start training a bit with the Boulder Express group in Boulder (obviously) that Lee Troop coaches. It seemed like a terriffic opportunity with great people to run with, and how often do you get to have a multiple-time Olympian tell you what to do? This was kind of a big step since I'm terrified of change if it involves risk of any kind, however insignificant in the big picture. I'm a pansy like that. While the fact that they are over 100 miles away prevents running with them everyday, I'm able to train with them on occasion for now. Baby steps.

My initiation into their long runs last week included getting lost somewhere on a nice hilly 14 mile loop in Boulder, inadvertantly tacking on a few more miles, and learning that it is apparently important to at least look the maps that Lee emails out to everyone several days in advance of the runs. Or better yet, memorize them. But there are worse places to get lost and there's nothing wrong with a prolonged long run even if it did kick my ass that day. Furthermore I got to see some fantastic trail routes and I will say that it was very different actually having women around to run (and keep up) with. But they are a blast and it was a terriffic (although slightly unintentional) 2 hour and 15 minute long run on a beautiful day. Hopefully a step in the right direction!

Out of action, into the bone healing chamber

I got an unexpected surprise a week and a half ago. I found out I have a broken bone in my foot that I'd been running on for months, at least since January that I can remember. Of course, I didn't know that's what it was, and it never got bad enough to stop running or give it extra attention. I finally decided to make an appointment to check it out and see what could be done. The doc asked me to point to where it hurt and when he stuck his finger right on the spot I felt a lot of pain. He then took some x-rays, which showed one of the sesamoid bones, under the big toe joint, was fractured all the way through in two directions. I was reminded of Jesse's injury because this is the same thing that happened to him. If I can learn from his experience and stay off of it, I hope to be healed in four and half more weeks when I go in for another x-ray.

Injuries happen. I'm not upset, even with it happening at the start of summer and not knowing what caused it. When I start back, I'll look into whether my shoes are still appropriate. Otherwise, I'll see how training plays out to figure out racing since it's been awhile! In the meantime, I'll practice my water survival skills (some call it swimming) and golf of the frisbee and polo-and-khakis varieties.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A different perspective

Normally I only get the urge to blog after a race no matter if it's good or bad, it just gives me a release. This blog however came to me while I did my workout on Wednesday. As many of you that are parents know sometimes squeezing ten minutes out of your schedule is tricky let alone 2+ hours for a workout. I do have an amazing support system who helps with the kids so I'm usually able to get my workout in when needed. Last week however proved to be a serious challenge. Kevin was incredibly busy at work and with the school year winding down there were lots of school functions to attend. Luckily for me Wednesday was a nice day so I opted to take the kids to Josephine Jones park to do my workout, 400x4, 2 miles, 400x4, seemed easy enough. The boys were excited, the park has a large dirt loop that we have marked out from 400-2 mile courses. The best part for me is the trail loops around a nice big playground so the boys are pretty happy. I got in a nice two mile warm up and was ready to get my workout rolling. The boys were told that when I passed them at the park (the 200 meter mark of the 400) they were aloud to follow me to the finish and than we would all jog back to the start. This got them excited they got to participate. The first 400 went off well and believe it or not the boys did what they were suppose to no problem! I jogged back to the park, dropped the boys there and finished my jog to the start. It's funny 3 minutes usually seems like a long time between 4's but when you have kids there everything seems rushed. Number two got off I was running down the trail came through a couple trees and to my surprise Tripp was on the other side I yelled to him "watch out buddy run behind mom!" bless his little heart he tried to make a u-turn and ran right in front of me. I tried to put on the brakes and change directions but no luck. I knocked him over, he slid for ten feet on the gravel as I did a very clumsy looking flip over him and onto my own hands and knees. Needless to say I stopped that interval, picked up my little man, gave him some kisses, explained to him it would be much better if he ran behind mommy and started my workout all over. It was just one of those days as a runner and mom that you remember what really is important to you......your kiddos. Running is a huge part of my life, but if Tripp had wanted to leave after that spill I would have packed up and taken him for ice cream. It's a good thing I have my kids to ground me. I tend to get very hard on myself and my performances but when I come home to them and all they care about is that I ran. They dont need to know my splits or my time. They are just proud! They make me a better person and runner!

Oh, the 10k

The Good:
1. All three of the BRC Adidas ladies in the race qualified for USAs, woo hoo!
2. I didn't look at the lap counter starting with 24 laps to go.
3. I was able to stay awake until the race that started at 11:00 pm. A serious feat considering I couldn't even stay up past nine the night before (and I did try).
4. Perfect weather and lots of people to run with including Cassie and Nicole.

The Bad:
1. Racing at midnight Colorado time has seriously jacked up my sleep schedule.
2. I had a bit of 10k stomach after the race, so I couldn't fully enjoy my In-N-Out burger (animal style) at approximately 1:45 am. But, I did enjoy the company.

The Ugly:
1. Mile five.
2. The next morning.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Love-Hate Relationship

Congrats to all the BRC athletes in their recent races!! Wow we have an awesome team!

So I have a love-hate relationship with my spikes. I love my Adidas spikes for many reasons. I love the way they fit my foot, the way they make me feel fast, the way they look, and the way they make me feel "ready" when I put them on before I race. I especially love them because they helped me qualify for USA Track Championships and to acheive a 28 second PR (33:10) in the 10k this past weekend at Stanford (Payton Jordan Invitiational). I also love them for assisting with the 5k PR a few weeks ago. They are incredible!

However, the last few days I have hated them and cursed at them for the pain they have caused me. I hate them for making me not be able to walk flat footed when I first get out of bed or when my legs feel like they are on fire as I attempted to run. Both Tuesday and Wednesday I felt like my legs were about to break in a million pieces with the pain stretching through every muscle in my leg. My poor dog wanted to leave me behind because the pace was extremely slow (most likely the pace can't even be considered a run, more like a fast walk). I hated my spikes making my muscles so tight that my form was funky and I'm sure I looked pathetic. Oh spikes, why oh why do you have to cause so much pain in my legs for so many days?

Don't worry I will love them again when we meet again for a track workout or race.

Videos of the 10k race with Ali, Nicole, and I: Finish is at

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's good to be back

Well, the last time I got on here I wasn't in such a great mood. I was still injured and frustrated with my lack of progress toward getting better. Since then much has changed. I finally got things figured out thanks to Dr. Mathews A.R.T. and some patient help from Tommy at BRC. I figured out that I was over-pronating just a little bit so to patch things up I had to switch my trainers up and I now train in a combination of the Adidas Adapt and the Adizero Tempo. This training shoe switch has made all the difference for me and I have been training solid for 5 weeks now. Unfortunately after losing a month my fitness isn't where I wanted it to be and my motivation was suffering. There is of course only one solution to that problem, get in a race.

The first race I decided to hop in was the Boulder Distance Classic on April 23. I went up there because I knew that there was likely to be some good competition and getting my @$$ handed to me is a great motivator. I ran the 5k and surprised myself a bit. The weather was pretty awful with wind and snow but I scrapped my way to a 15:58. Although this isn't a blazing time I discovered that I had more fitness than I had thought and gave me some hope. If you look in the results my official time is listed as 16:08 which is a total load. In fact discussing times with fellow racers I discovered that everyone's time was slower than what they actually ran. I was even told that this was common with the timers that this particular race employs. Well, I just want to go on record and say that this is crap. Give people the times they run and nothing else. This should be a no brainer when it comes to running. Overall I would recommend this race but just be ready to time yourself.
The next race I did was May 1, the Cherry Creek Sneak. I hadn't planned to return to this race after last year but it just seemed to fit my training well and offered the opportunity to get in some good work. Like a crazy man I entered both the 5k and the 5 mile. The 5k was first and it went about as well as I could ask. I snapped my winless streak at 17 months since last victory running 15:43 to win by a few seconds. I was very pleased with this because not only did I run faster than the week prior but I did it with gas left in the tank. I didn't totally sell out for time as I knew the 5 mile was just an hour away. After the win in the 5k I was really relaxed for the 5 mile. You never know how the legs will respond as part of a double so really there is nothing to lose. Although I was never in the race to win as 1st and 2nd place took off early I got in a nice group for 3-6th. This group was all together until around the 3.5 mile mark. This point in the course turns uphill and feeling like I still had the legs I made a move and no one in the group could fully respond. Jay did a nice job of going after me but luckily for me the last mile has a lot of turns and this allowed me to keep him away. I couldn't believe that I still had legs at the end and was really surprised when I saw the finish time of 26:14. I hadn't figured I would be able to double back under 26:30 so I was quite pleased. It feels good race again and success is also a nice motivator. I'm not totally sure what is next on the menu for me but I've got the fire back so I'm sure it won't be too long.

3 race update

I’m sitting in crop duster right now heading back home to Tucson and figured it was time to stop shirking my blog obligations for the team. Part of the reason I haven’t been able to write since the Jax River Run in March has been because school decided I wasn’t working hard enough and threw every piece of garbage it could find at me. The other reason was because I wasn’t sure how to respond to being dubbed “no pants Burrell” by my favorite new teammate Tommy Neal. I’ve found a break in my workload, but I’m still not sure what to say to Tommy … You’re “no pants Burrell?”

Anyway, I’ve made some solid improvements since a disappointing run in Jacksonville, and I think I’m slowly getting back to PR shape. The first week in April, I ran 29:20 in a road 10k in Charleston. Overall, it was a decent performance with a brutal tailwind and a 2-mile hill in the middle of the race. However, I wasn’t able to finish with the strength and speed that I would have liked. My next race was a 5k at mt. sac. I felt certain I was in pr shape about a week and a half before the race. I had done a couple solid work outs with Jorge Torres who came down to Tucson for a time before the race (8x400 with 1 minute rest at 62, 400 jog, 6x400 with 1 minute rest at 59). Unfortunately, allergies and congestion, which have cripple most of my track seasons since leaving CO after high school, kicked in about 5 days before the race. I went in with a sore throat and plugged sinuses hoping the cool California evening would alleviate the congestion. It didn’t, but I ran 13:55 and still think the race went well all things considered.

I’m coming home right now from running the Bloomsday 12k in Spokane, WA. I’m still having trouble dealing with allergies with the severity depending on the day. Again, I think the race went relatively well. I placed 13th overall and 3rd American although I put myself in position to be top American and around 8th overall with about 1K to go. I was struggling for the second have of the race and ended up getting caught by a pack right at the end and lost about $5000 in that last bit – pretty difficult not to be upset about that even if I think I’m still improving.

Not sure what my racing schedule is going to be going forward. Basically, I’ll just keep after it until the allergens die down and the breathing comes to the level my legs are at (which has been at the Atlanta Peachtree the past 2 years – for some reason I have been able to breathe there). I’d also like to get a track race in the lower the 5k pr and will look to either Canada or Mexico. I haven’t been able to put together a good track race since 2007 so it would be nice to get that monkey off the back. We’ll see.

Go BRC Adidas!!!

Congratulations to all of my teammates on some amazing performances this past weekend. Nicole, Cassie and Ali rocked it at the 10K at Stanford; Amanda and Adrian both had great races down in Denver at the Cherry Creek Sneak; and Kristen and Wendy both ran fast 5Ks up here in Northern Colorado. I was very inspired and hearing about those performances made me really want to start racing again SOON!

The unfortunate part is that I am not quite ready as I have only been back running 4 weeks after taking 4 weeks totally off with only rock climbing and no cardio. So while my long run this week was 1 hour and 45 minutes it was slow and I am no way ready to step up to the starting line and give it my all. Instead, I am getting inspiration and motivation from my teammates burning up the roads and the track! Great job ladies!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Post Penn... 29:55

So, it was one of my first races really back from a couple of years ago that i have put up a decent time. Gate River Run was pretty good, but I didn't feel great and I didn't compete very well. I was hoping for a low 29s, but mainly a sub 29 min 10k.

The Race

I felt good last night or this morning... The race started at 12.15 or 12.30, but it was beautiful weather of little breeze, 65 degrees, and 60% humidity. I could have not asked for better weather for the race. We started out a little slow at 74 first lap and I felt good so I wasn't going to let that fly annnnddd... Was that my mistake... Maybe... Maybe not... I'm still not for sure, but I easily could have been. So I took the race over and hit a couple of 69's and went through the first mile in 4.45 still with a gap on the pack. shortly after that the pack caught up to me and I we started to crank out 70. Then I ask for someone else to do some work which a boy from Auburn jumped in and lead for the next mile or so. I took the lead again for pacing reasons and I still felt good. not for sure what my 5k time was or for that matter any other splits other then I fell off the lead pack with 2 miles to go. I never heard slower then a 73 called out and I fought tell the end to just go under 30.00min mark.

Not a bad race, but after talking to Blake and I kind of knew that my second lap surge might have taxed me a little too much to hold on for the last 2 miles. I do believe if I could have gotten to a mile to go with the 2 leaders then I could have stuck on, but 2 miles was my breaking point. I feel like I'm very close to a fitness jump and now I will bump up my miles a see if I can get into Gary Bjorklund 1/2 marathon for June.

Now for a great weekend in Philly and Penn Relays!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Build up 2 Penn Relays

So it seems like it's been for ever since i have posted and may be it has. I'm going it change that right about now!

I did race the 3k at boulder at that was kind of a sub par race. I was 3rd place and it was windy so I wasn't able to really get my legs moving as fast as i wanted too. I ran 8.53 for the 3k and went through the mile at 4.40, but that was more of a negative split to get to 4.40. I had to surge a couple of times just to get into 2nd place and I didn't have much left when i try to catch the leader.

My last couple of weeks I have been able to get some good workouts. I did a 2x2 miles with a 3x 1min. on/1min off in between reps. felt pretty good (5.14, 5.02) (5.02, 5.06) and did those in my adi tempo's, so a little heavier flat then i usually wear.

Then 8x1ks on the track 3.05, 3.03, 3.02, 2.59, 2.58 2.57, 2.58, 2.56. I didn't feel great, but was still able to break down to 2.56. I felt like effort was there, but my pacing was a little slow. Effort is key training here at altitude and my legs felt that sea level pain.

2mile tempo + 4x 800- 4.50, 5.13, 2.22, 2.28, 2.28, 2.20 feeling sharper and sharper for the race.

last workout before penn 10k and I was able to jump in with Gary Stains Group of Robert Cheseret and a couple of other Army WCap guy's. We did a 2k time trial on a cold, snow, and windy Saturday. We went out in 61 first lap and i was not up for that and slow to a 68, and when through the mile at 4.35. They were gone after the first lap, so i pushed it in the rest of the way. That was the best thing i could have done before Penn, because i needed a effort to get my heart pumping like i was at sea level again. That was my race buster that i needed.

I feel very good today and ready to race on Thursday. my legs feel strong, my mind sharp, and
my belief that I can run fast. I plan on going out in 4.30 to 4.35 first mile, 14.20 to 14.30 at 5k, staying right about that pace until 8 laps to go and closing the race up from there. sub 29. min 10k! Thats the plan and not pictures this time, because my camera acted like it took a picture and didn't take it. however I will describe it to you- It was Robert, Augustus, and me at Cheyenne Mountain Track after the 2k time trial and both the track and we were covered in snow. it was pretty cool pic