Big Cottonwood Training Week 12: Altitude and Half Marathons

me running workout

Last week of training was fun. How can it not be when you are traveling? My husband and I decided to take a mini trip out to Colorado. Since we were in town, we thought we would do the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon. I had no goals other than finish the half marathon and spoiler I did just that.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 75 minutes
Wednesday: AM: 4X1 mile with 2 minutes rest (total miles 16)
PM: Easy 6 minutes downhill
Thursday: Rest and travel to Colorado
Friday: 60 minutes shakeout run in Vail
Saturday: Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58) Total Mileage 20
Sunday: Easy 30 minutes

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets 56 MPW
Week 8: It’s Very Hot 58 MPW
Week 9: Tetris Runner 56 MPW
Week 10: Long Week and Personal 5ks 54 MPW

Week 11:: Quality Miles


What a week, my runs, for the most part, went well. My weekly mileage has been good, and I’m happy to get the running distance in. I was bummed I didn’t have the time to swim, but with travel, cross-training didn’t work out.  I’ve mentioned before, but swimming will always be there, and I’m not competing in swimming, so there isn’t a point to make myself miserable to get to the pool.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 mile

I got to run with my fast friend, Skip. Originally we had planned the track, but it was completely occupied, and there was no way to get on. We decided to head to a local paved path which worked out well, and I had my best workout in a long time.

Since Big Cottonwood Marathon is a downhill race, the race says “a speedy downhill slope,” I opted for 6 miles in the afternoon on the treadmill. I set my treadmill on a decline and run for an hour to get my quads adjusted to that. After running Phoenix and not being prepared appropriately, I asked for training tips for Big Cottonwood. Runnin downhill should have been a no brainer, but I’m glad someone suggested it.

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon 1:33.58:

I’ll have a full recap this week, but I had no plans for the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon other than to run smart. I took out the race very easy (for a race), and my first mile was 7:37. I didn’t know how I would feel. Looking back, I probably could have taken it out faster, but I haven’t done a road half marathon at altitude (I raced the trail Copper Mountain 25k last year).

The race itself is mostly on gravel, and it was one of the most beautiful races I’ve ever run. It’s a remarkably beautiful road race, and I would recommend it to anyone. I was able to negative split the race. Around mile 10.5 was the hardest hill I’ve ever climbed. It was a steep 300-foot climb in about a quarter of a mile. I found myself extremely winded for the rest of mile 10 and 11. I’m happy with the race, and afterward, I ran an extra 7 miles to get in 20 miles. I wouldn’t have done that, but that’s marathon training for you. For Big Cottonwood Marathon, all of my 20 milers will be on race day, and I appreciate that (but it does not make it any easier when it’s time to run after the race).

In all, I’m happy with the week of training. It’s hard to believe the Big Cottonwood Marathon is less than a month away.  My goal has always been to get to Salt Lake City and the start line healthy. My marathon training plan has been just to stay healthy and run smart. I’m running enough miles per week to feel prepared without being overcooked when it’s time to run 26.2 miles.

Posts from the Week:

Hiking Cheesequake State Park

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you run at altitude?

What is the most beautiful race you’ve run? 


  1. I’ve run the Pikes Peak Marathon four times. Three of those times I did the Pikes Peak Ascent (half-marathon) the day before. The first year that I did the “Double”, only 38 others did it with me. Now many runners do it. It’s not really that difficult. I live very close to sea level and I would get to Colorado Springs the day before the race. My only goal was to beat the cut-offs and to not fall on the way down. If I can do it, then any one can.

    For me, Pikes Peak is the most beautiful marathon as well. Seeing how the vegetation changes as you go up and down the mountain is the best part. So are the views.

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