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Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)

Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t think I would be running the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon. We didn’t travel to Ouray for the race, but the timing worked out so, we thought…why not? The start of the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon starts at nearly 8000 feet of elevation. It runs from Ouray, Co to Ridgeway, Co. The Mt. Sneffels Marathon runs from Ridgway to Ouray, back to Ridgway. It was one of the most challenging and beautiful half marathons I’ve done. I’ve raced probably 500 times, and this is one of my favorites. The race is named after the beautiful Mt. Sneffels which is located in Ouray.

We stayed with family outside of Montrose and only 40 minutes from Ouray. We picked up our packets the night before, and it wasn’t until the night before I realized the race started at 7:30 am, not 6:30 (the Mt. Sneffels Marathon began at 6:30 am).

We arrived in Ouray around 6:30 and just relaxed. It was nice to take in the scenery. I knew the race would be tough, and my goal was to run smartly. I didn’t want to dry heave my way to the finish line and also didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize the Big Cottonwood Marathon coming up.

The race started promptly at 7:30. I ran the first mile with my husband. The first mile went through the town of Ouray, and I found myself out of breath by mile .5. Oh…this is going to be something I thought. I just relaxed and found myself finding a groove. I hit the first mile in 7:37.

During the next mile, we headed into a small park and then onto the gravel road. Most of the race was on a gravel road through the mountains. I was happy for the soft surface. I began to find my groove and hit the second mile in 7:16.

The next few miles, I ran alone. The mt. sneffels half marathon was a bigger race, but I found myself in a pocket of solitude, and I didn’t mind. I took in the gorgeous mountains around me and just focused on me. I ran a 7: 00-minute 3rd mile, followed by 6:54, and 7:04.

I was happy my miles seemed to have progressed. I wouldn’t have been mad if my overall pace was closer to my first mile, but I felt good I could settle into something faster.

The race course director had warned us that mile 5 would have some rougher terrain as they are fixing part of the road. It was hard to get a footing in the soft gravel mixed with rocks, but I didn’t think it was terrible.

By the time I knew it, it was mile 6. I saw the leaders for the Mt. Sneffels Marathon. It was awesome because the second place overall was female.

I passed a couple of people and kept running. I felt strong, but miles 6-9 can be challenging in any half marathon. You don’t want to get too cocky and surge, only to ride the pain train home. I ran a 6:58, 6:57, and 6:59. I was happy with it.

I crossed mile 10 in 1:11, which is a full minute faster than the Sea Legs Shuffle I ran last month. Completely different circumstances (it was sweltering there) but it was comical. Then at mile 10, I saw about .5 ahead, the most prominent hill I’ve seen in a road race. I thought, there is no way we would climb that…but I was wrong. I saw in the distance a few people climbing. So for about half a mile, I was starting at the hill. We started climbing, and my legs and breathing were on fire. I relaxed and focused. When we got to the top, the women asked Gatorade or water, and I was so out of breath I just pointed. I finished mile 10 in 7:21. I was happy with that effort.

It took me about 1.5 miles to feel comfortable with my breathing again. I ran a 7:18 12th mile. The final mile, I was focused on the end. I kept thinking if they are okay with throwing that mile 10, who knows if there are some crazy hills on mile 13. Luckily there wasn’t, and I just powered to the end.

I crossed the finish of the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon in 1:33.58 and was second in my age group. It was a surprise because I was not expecting that.

Thoughts:

In all, I’m happy with my efforts at the Mount Sneffels Half Marathon. It was a beautiful race, and I hope to do it again sometime.

Questions for you:

What is the highest elevation you’ve run at? 

What is the most beautiful race you’ve run? 

 

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Big Cottonwood Training Week 12: Altitude and Half Marathons

Big Cottonwood Training Week 12: Altitude and Half Marathons

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

Thoughts:

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? 

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

The morning of the Sheehan Classic Asbury 5k was chaotic. At 6, I was debating going to the race but decided I would go. I was tired and hadn’t got much sleep, and I’m not someone who functions on little sleep.

Asbury Park is around an hour from me, and I arrived around 7:30. The pickup line was long, so I only had time for about 10 minutes of warmup. Usually, I like to do about 2-3 miles before a 5k, but that wasn’t an option.

When we lined up, I was delighted to find out Governor Murphy was standing right near me. He gave a quick speech, and we were off. Our Governor is a runner, but I never seem to line up at the same races (For those curious, Governor Murphy ran around 28 minutes). I’m still working on trying to get him to come to a south jersey race.

Anyway, the first mile went out fast. The Asbury Park Sheehan Classic (and Belmar 5) races are notoriously competitive and fast. The last time I ran, it was a different course, but I knew the competition wouldn’t be much different.

We went up a small hill, and I hit the first mile in 6:17. I thought I could maybe break 20 minutes. My legs didn’t feel great, but I was moving fast enough; I thought it could be a possibility.

During the second mile; I realized how much my legs don’t have the turnover. My breathing didn’t feel difficult, but my legs just couldn’t move faster. We went up a small hill, and I hit the second mile in 6:26.

During the third mile, I knew it would be close to 20 minutes. I tried to move my legs faster, but they weren’t doing it. When we entered the boardwalk, I saw my watch at 19:20, but I hadn’t quite reached the third mile.

The finish line felt like it wasn’t getting any closer. They told women to stay left and men to stay right. I thought it was unusual for finishing. I crossed in 20:04. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to break 20 but happy for my effort the day, considering I almost didn’t go.

After crossing, they gave me a number, number 18, which I realized meant 18th female. I didn’t understand why but then they gave the top 50 finishers a cool mug.  In all, I’m happy with my race and performance at the Sheehan Classic Asbury Park 5k. From almost not going to running my fastest 5k in a while, I don’t have any complaints.

Questions for you:

Have you ever gotten a coffee mug at a race?

Have you seen your Governor before? (Let’s say the last Governor wasn’t doing road races LOL)

Big Cottonwood Marathon Week 11: Quality Miles

Big Cottonwood Marathon Week 11: Quality Miles

The goal of this week was to get the mileage in. Isn’t it always? In general, my week of marathon training was good.

Anyway-

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: AM: 4X1 mile averaging 6:40 pace with 2 minutes recovery
PM:  6 Easy downhill miles on the treadmill (elevation drop 750)
Thursday: 3000 Meter swim
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k: 20:04 Total mileage: 10
Sunday: 17 mile Long Run Averaging 7:59

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:

Thoughts:

The week started slow, but I felt strong towards the end. Everything seemed to go off with no significant issues. I had some personal life stuff, but nothing that kept me from running. My weekly mileage remained high, and my peak weeks with 20 miles will come hopefully in the next two weeks.

Swimming:

I was able to get into the pool once last week, which I’m happy about. I’ve been hard on myself because as marathon miles increase, once in the pool seems to be about all I have time for. It’s nice to get some cross-training each week. Due to travel, I don’t think I’ll be able to next week.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 mile averaging 6:40 with 2 minutes rest in between

My good friend, Skip, and I decided to head to the track on Wednesday. He was much faster, but it was nice to have someone running around with me. It was already 85 degrees when we were running, so it felt tough, but I’m glad we got it done and ten total miles for the day.

In the afternoon, I did six downhill treadmill miles. Since the Big Cottonwood Marathon is downhill, I’ve been trying to get a few downhill miles in each week. Big Cottonwood is known to be a remarkably beautiful road race with a speedy downhill slope. When I ran another downhill marathon, the Mesa-Phx, I wasn’t prepared, and it shredded my quads.

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k: 20:04

This was the race that almost wasn’t. I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. At 5:40, I found myself desperately wanting to sleep before the race. I decided since it was a beautiful day I would o anyway. I’m glad I did, and I ran my fastest 5k in a while. My splits were 6:17, 6:26, and 6:35. Of course, I wish I broke 20 minutes again, but I’m happy with my effort for the day.

Long Run 17 miles averaging 7:59 pace:

I knew I wanted to run hard, but I wasn’t sure what my body would allow. I’ve been enjoying running in Philadelphia lately. I did the 8.4-mile loop twice around the Schuylkill River Trail and added on. My last few miles were my fastest with a 7:33 and 7:36 in there.

In all, I’m happy with the week. It’s one of the few that has gone by with no hiccups, which is great because there are only five weeks until the Big Cottonwood Marathon in Utah.

Posts from the Week:

Brooks Ghost 12 Shoe Review

Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer vs Collagen Latte

Town Square Diner (Matawan)

Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave (Guilford, CT)

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. This week is all about the Nike Next%, Turbo 2, and Fly. 

Questions for you:

Where is your favorite spot to run?

How much sleep do you get on average? 

 

 

Big Cottonwood Week 10: Long Weeks in the Heat

Big Cottonwood Week 10: Long Weeks in the Heat

The goal of training last week was keeping my mileage high.  I struggled a lot throughout the week with motivation, but I was able to get quality mileage in. Right now, my goal is to start and finish the Big Cottonwood Marathon healthy.

Training through the summer has humbled me more than any other training cycle. There have been a lot of days I questioned whether I wanted to run Big Cottonwood. I do, but ask me if it’s more enjoyable to run 17 miles in 60 degrees or 85…the answer is easy.

Anyway-

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: AM: 5X1000 with 90 seconds recovery (total mileage 11)
PM:  5 Easy downhill miles on the treadmill (elevation drop 650)
Thursday: 3000 Meter swim
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Personal 5k: 20:43 Total mileage: 8
Sunday: 17 mile Long Run

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

Thoughts:

As I mentioned, training the last week has humbled me. I’m in the part of training where I seem to question myself and wonder my “why.” My goal is to start and finish healthy. I’ve got a strong enough base for that.  I don’t have a time goal for the marathon because it’s downhill, and I can’t compare the weather here in NJ to weather in UT. I will be happy to finish healthy and strong.

Workout Wednesday: 5X1000 with 90 seconds jog

I averaged about 6:45 pace for the 1000s which is not where I would like to be. I was happy to accomplish the workout and felt heavy the entire time. When I checked the weather (after the fact), the dew point was 74. I did 5 miles downhill on my treadmill in the afternoon. Since Big Cottonwood is a downhill marathon, I know I need to work more on that. During the Pheonix marathon, the downhill shredded up my quads.

Swimming:

It was my first time getting in the pool in two weeks, so I was happy to get back to it.  Not much else to say,I’m happy to get back into the pool again.

Personal 5k (20:43, 6:51, 6:40, 6:34)

Life got busy last week, and on Saturday, I wasn’t able to make it my 5k. Instead, I decided to run a solo 5k. When I hit the first mile in 6:51, I was somewhat defeated but was able to pick it up and negative split. I’m happy with my effort and making the best of the situation.

Sunday Long Run: 17 miles averaging 8:14

I decided to take a field trip into Philadelphia (to be fair, it’s 10 minutes away). I like running around the Schykill because it’s 8.4 miles around and I know I have bathrooms, water, etc. I also do better with “loop” or “out and back” runs. Despite the heat, I was able to negative split and my last 2 miles were my fastest (7:46,7:47).

In all, I’m happy with the week. I did what I wanted despite hiccups.

Posts from the Week:

July Training

Sea Legs Shuffle 10 Miler (1:13.03)

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. This week is all about recovery+a giveaway. 

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

When is your favorite time to train? 

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