Sunday, February 15, 2015

Skinned Knees

4:30 am...time for hillsprints
I swear Mother Nature is out to test me on Sundays. Every week its this constant tease to see if I can suck it up and finish my week's training or if I'm just going to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a book. After yet another Sunday blizzard run, my eyes frozen shut, the front of my pants no longer looking black and my pony tail a frozen icicle slapping my neck, my miles are in and while today's tempo run lacked anything that even remotely resembled a tempo I can proudly say I beat Mother Nature for another week. 

This week was painful. I recovered more slowly from last weekends race than I expected, I'm sure the lack of sleep I've been running on had nothing to do with that. I battled through my training runs though. Another 4:30 am hill sprint workout. For some reason at 4:30 in the morning a foot of snow doesn't look so deep and it seems reasonable that you would tie your shoes on the edge of the treadmill and head outside. It honestly did sound like a good idea when I walked out the door. I slogged my way through mud and glaring sun on Green. And Dan and I went for a 19 mile date run on Friday. Friday was actually the best I felt all week. And then Saturday was nice enough to go for a family run. All in all it was a good week of training, I hit my miles and workouts, but it was not an easy week. My legs just felt like they had a lot more taken out of them then I expected from the race. I'm already ahead of last year in terms of miles and vertical so I'm pretty happy with where my training is at right now. Especially since I have a late race this year.
snowy morning run

The past couple weeks I've been thinking a lot about one of my dear friends. She has always been this source of strength for me. She's handled every challenge that comes her way with grace, confidence and a smile. She has held my hand through every step of my journey with James. She made me realize that sometimes its not about hoping or praying for a healthy kid or for things to go your way. Its about having the strength to handle the unexpected. Its not that I don't wish every day James was healthy and I didn't worry about his heart or his immune system, but that was the card he was dealt, all that matters is how I handle it. No one sails through life down the easy road. And if you do you're probably missing out on a lot of things. So instead of continuously looking for things to get better if you look for the strength to handle these situations the rocky bumps will be better. You'll learn to love the look of skinned knees and scars, the oxygen tanks will one day make you laugh and you'll learn to cherish little moments in hospitals when you glued red hearts to your faces with vasoline. I know right now she is a pillar of strength as she waits for decisions to be made and that no matter what the outcome she will continue to be strong for herself and her family because if there is one thing I know about this amazing woman...she is strong. And I will continue to always look to her for strength. 

Mr Attitude
So Friday when I got the news that James didn't get into daycare I had my short-lived pity party before I told myself to suck it up. We weren't getting anywhere by being upset about it. It's just hard not to feel like you didn't let him down. Because I didn't want to inconvenience myself to camp out overnight James didn't get in. I know in some ways that sounds totally ridiculous, but at the same time there just aren't a lot of options that work for us. Getting in to this one preschool was about the only option that I could make work. Now I'm left to figure out how we're going to get James enough therapy. It's just not my personality to pray for James to get into a certain school. That's just not me and not something I'm comfortable doing. Instead I'll buck up and figure out a way to get him the therapy he needs and give him the same opportunities he would have in a public preschool. It's not the easy road and will definitely take some fighting and finagling on my end, but I'm determined to find a way to do it. 

you're better than you think you are and you can do more than you think you can -Ken Chlouber

Week February 9 - 15

Miles Running: 50.8
Hours Hiking and Running: 9.0
Vertical: 7200 

Monday: 5 miles, recovery run with Dan at Matt-Winters

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: 4 miles hill sprints 10 x 30 sec in an early morning blizzard

Thursday: 7.3 miles, Green Mountain

Friday: 19 miles, with Dan, Green Mountain, hogback and Matt-Winters, legs felt much better

Saturday: 7.5 family run at Bear Creek

Sunday: AM: 4 miles family run at Bear Creek; PM: 4 miles of neighborhood laps in another blizzard
Ralston Creek Half Marathon finish line

Green Mountain summit

Green Mountain summit...again

Valentine's fish and chips

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Drink Water

Celebrating Wear Red Day for
Congential Heart Defect Warriors
This week was painful for everyone involved. It was a hectic week to begin with. Not a lot of appointments, but I had some big work meetings and some other work nonsense that sort of popped up over the weekend and snowballed into what made for an even crazier Monday than usual.

James had been hit with the stomach bug Saturday night and well lets just say Dan and I have yet to avoid it once it hits James. A week later I have finished somewhere in the realm of 40 loads of laundry, learned how to remove grape juice puke stains from couches, cleaned out nook and crannie of the house I never even knew existed, and cloroxed everything that could possibly be touched by human hands. I doubt my house has ever been this clean. 
a beautiful day to play outside

Its a wonder I managed to get in as many miles as I did, but I guess 4:00 am wake-up calls help with that. So my training seemed to stagnate as I approached my first race of the season. I had no idea what to expect in such a short race and now I really had no idea how I would even hold up to attempting to run fast. Plus I also had to do something to salvage my weekly miles which meant getting decent runs on Friday and Saturday before the race. 

First race as a PI Champion Team member
Sunday blew in with a gust...literally. Dan turned in bed and asked "Is something moving in? that's really windy." I tried my best to ignore it and just kept thinking well maybe in Arvada it won't be as bad. Wrong. The first 8 miles were a total struggle just to stay upright. I started off running strong but into my third mile I knew it just wasn't going to be my day, so I backed off and just tried to enjoy the race. Even with the 40 mph headwinds it wasn't that bad...until miles 6-8. I swear it felt like I was running on a treadmill and I wasn't sure I would ever make it out of the tunnel. I nearly stumbled a couple of times when I got blasted with even stronger gusts. I couldn't look up to enjoy the view, I couldn't look around to see where I was, all I could do was stare at the bike path beneath my feet. Which by the way I probably need a new pair of shoes. After staring at them for so many miles I'm pretty certain I know every single thread that is pulling apart. Finally on the big 'climb' we hit one switchback with the wind at our backs. It was like a little bit of heaven. I didn't even need the wind not to be pushing me uphill, I mean I wasn't going to complain, but not having it blast your face was an amazing feeling. I finally started cruising again and my running felt like what it should. It was still too late to salvage a good race, but at least I could finish feeling decent about it. But seriously that race will probably rank as one of the most painful races ever...and that includes 100. I swore to myself this year I would not complain about the last 6 miles at Run Rabbit if it wasn't this windy. So the first race of the year is in the books and I'm pretty sure I only have up to go from this one. 
a Toddler 2 tantrum...

This week James also moved up to Toddler 2! Its a transition room for preschool so I've been excited about it but also nervous to see how he would do. They would finally start working on potty training with him. Which I knew he would need a week or so to adjust to going at school, but I guess I just wasn't ready to hear he wouldn't go at all. It's just frustrating. I also knew it would be a rough week since he was still getting over being sick and would have to adjust to a new room and new teachers. Granted he knew all these teachers and had been sneaking into the T2 room lately, but still it's different being a part of it. Overall though James did great. He sat at the table to eat (this is a big deal because in Toddler 1 they had to corner him into the table to make sure he would stay there), he went on walks and learned about groundhogs day, gravity and ice. Well at least according to the sheet I got at the end of the week that's what they learned. Its tougher dropping him off in this room though when the other kids all call him by name and come up to me to tell me about their day. They're all twice the size of him and eat with forks and just so many things I feel like James isn't doing yet. He'll get there I know. I feel like that's my mantra these days. But with every room we move up the distance between James and his peers seems to grow. And so we had some growing pains this week. One of Liza Howard's posts rang true with me this week as she talked about pain as well. And so I'll drink water and keep running so that I can keep moving forward.

When my life disintegrated over a decade ago, I wrote a group of NOLS friends for comfort.  One of them, an African from Tanzania, told me to make sure to drink water.  Reading his email, I almost smiled.  What a useless thing to advise someone in my situation.  And yet, in retrospect, it’s as good advice as any.  Words don’t fix anything.  They don’t soothe a loss.  There is nothing that can be said and nothing that can be done.
You simply keep living, and you try to make peace with the pain.
Drink water.
 The only real use of running ultramarathons is that they allow us to practice endurance.  They ask us to tolerate adversity and uncertainty.  We keep moving forward despite physical and emotional pain.  And we hope the exercise gives us the grace and fortitude to do the same through life’s actual trials. - Liza Howard

Week Feb 2 - 8

Miles Running: 41.7
Hours Hiking and Running: 6.25

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 7 miles early early AM; warmup, hill sprints  30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, 1 min, 30 sec, x2, cool down

Wednesday:  6 miles early early AM

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 8 miles easy

Saturday: 7 miles moderate, feeling better

Sunday: 13.4 miles; Ralston Creek Half Marathon

4:00 am is never too early to run

Leadville we handle the stomach flu

I swear it's like spring...more beautiful days in Colorado

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Challenge

Matthew-Winters from the hogback
People ask me, 'What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?' and my answer must at once be, 'It is of no use.'There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron... If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for. ― George Mallory

As I debated my race schedule this year I thought a lot about if I had to do another 100 this year. Dan was debating it, Sandra wasn't doing one, Allisa wasn't doing one. So why do I need to do one? Or do I? It was a decision that circled around my head for quite some time before I finally decided to do it. I'm still not sure what was the final deciding factor. Maybe it's all the Leadville videos James has been insisting on making us watch every night. Or maybe it's the challenge I'm seeking. Can I do it one more time? You can gut through most races if you have to, but a 100. That's a different beast. If your head isn't there, if you're training isn't there, if you don't really want it then it's not going to happen. In the end I decided to run Run Rabbit Run again which means I'll face that challenge of if I can will my body to keep moving a little bit longer, a little bit farther. I may not have a good answer as to why I want to run another 100 and why I'm actually really excited for it and am loving the training, so I guess it comes down to loving the challenge. I've never backed down to the question Do you think you can do it?
Red Rocks

This week my training seemed right on track. I was excited and ready to go. I also managed my fourth week in a row of hill/speed work. That must be some sort of new record. But I can feel each work out getting easier, so I suppose I'll just keep doing it. I also got in my first long run of the year. My legs felt great afterwards, but the run itself felt like a struggle. It wasn't the most scenic route out there and I was running by myself so maybe that was part of it. But overall I felt good and was glad to get back at the miles. 

James decided he had apparently had enough of being healthy for a few months which meant Monday was a quick trip to the pediatrician for more antibiotics for a 'nasty bacterial infection' and a bad ear infection. Just as we were on the mend from that Saturday James started getting really clingy which is never a good sign. I knew deep down that it would likely be a long night. The stomach bug hit around 7:30 that night so Sunday ended up being a long day sitting on the couch snuggling and watching Leadville videos, but hey if nothing else I was extremely motivated to run by the end of the day. Here's to hoping we just got all the nastiness out of our systems in just a condensed time and now we can move to spring! One can always dream!
Pre-stomach bug cookie making

Week January 26 - February 1

Miles Running: 53.8
Hours Hiking and Running: 8.0

Monday: 7.3 miles, easy effort Apex run. Front side trails in great shape, but Enchanted Forest and shady parts on top pretty icy.

Tuesday: 6 miles, warmup 8x30 sec hill sprints, cool down, felt so much easier and faster paced than the first time I did this workout a couple weeks ago.

Wednesday: 5.5 miles, super crazy windy run with Dan and James at Bear Creek. Pretty tough workout pushing the stroller in the wind.

Thursday: 6 miles, fast treadmill miles in the early morning.

Friday: 18 miles, Green Mountain and Matt-Winters for a little elevation and mostly dry trails. Legs were heavier than expected on climbs, but overall felt good and no tiredness after. Must mean it's time to step it up.

Saturday: 4 miles, Flying J, was going to take the day off, but had a feeling that Sunday might get crazy, which it did.

Sunday: 7 miles, Flying J, felt great and glad to get the miles in.
Green Mountain summit

our lil baker!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

On A Snowy Curb

Snowy run at Flying J
The dreaded debate on junk miles. Yesterday I sat there and contemplated and contemplated, I looked at my shoes, the treadmill, the hill outside my house. Sure I could go get 4.5 miles to say I hit 50 this week, but are those 4.5 miles actually going to help me prepare for my next race? Are they actually going to be of any quality? The answer was no. 4 miles in January was not going to make or break my season. And so I settled for a few less miles than I had planned for the week. But I got in some quality speedwork, a family run pushing the B.O.B., and loads of snowy slog miles almost a foot of snow at times. Those extra hard miles have to count for something right? 

This week I also began to answer the question what next. So I registered for Run Rabbit Run 100 in September. Dan is really focused on the Never Summer 100k and decided he wasn't sure he really wanted to commit to a 100 miler after that. So that left RRR for me. I'm still trying to psyche myself up for Cow Creek...that might take the next 8 months to prepare for, but otherwise I'm excited to go back to Steamboat. Its a great town for the race, easy to manage with James and Fish Creek Falls is worth the cow manure. I still have to figure out my race schedule leading up to that and tweak my training a bit. I was starting to make a big push now for Leadville, but I can probably back off and ramp up again since the race it quite a ways off. But small steps I have a goal race for the year and that's the most important part. 
Family run at Bear Creek

I've been busy getting things updated for the World Down Syndrome Day Virtual Run/Walk as well. That little pet project of mine actually takes more time than I thought it would. I'm determined to make it bigger and better than last year. Hoping for 500 participants which would more than double last years numbers. I've got to get cracking though as we're getting close to race day!

Who needs preschool? I'm going to be a musician!
The highlight of this week was also getting up at 3:00 am on Tuesday morning to go register James for preschool. Seriously it was crazy! Apparently the first 10 people in line had gotten there at 9:00 pm the night before and camped out! There was even a cop there to watch out for crazy mom fights I guess. What we would do without Ipads and Kindles I have no idea. I sat on that curb freezing for a good 3.5 hours reading a book. I mean what else are you going to do in the cold, dark early hours of the morning? I'm usually only up at this time to run...certainly not stand in line for well just about anything. Except for preschool I guess. 

Preschool has been the bane of my existence lately. Public preschool is the only way James will still get therapy once he turns 3...well aside from private therapy. But then I learn that therapy is based on access not necessarily need. So because James can access the classroom and playground he won't qualify for PT. Because he's somewhat independent fora 2.5 year old he won't get much OT and will get limited speech. So that made me wonder if it was even worth it. Mind you public preschools don't seem to be geared towards working parents. Our home preschool's full day program ends at am I supposed to do that? It's 20 min from my office. And half day is 9:15-11:15. I flat out refused to look at the school with the special ed program. My thinking was if he's not registered there they can't put him in the special ed room. We'll see how that plan works. I will fight tooth and nail on this one if I have to. I understand for some kids the special ed room is where they need to be. But I have been fighting for 2.5 years to keep James with his peers because he progresses so much more when he sees other kids doing things. Maybe at some point in the future he will need the special ed room, but for preschool I want him in an integrated classroom. 

This all led us to waiting in line at 3:00 am. The preschool near my office has a full day program that goes until 5:00 which is why it's so popular. I'm not sure James is really ready for that, but since the school is basically next door to his daycare and my office I can shuttle him between daycare and preschool relatively easily. Plus I really like that while this school does not have a special ed classroom they do have a special ed team onsite. And they have several kids who are non-verbal so they felt comfortable handling James' communication needs. For now this is the plan...if he gets in. We should find out in early Feb, but by my calculations I think we got into the half day program. Fingers crossed. If not private preschool and private therapy it will be. Sometimes I just have to find that balance between what works for our family and what James needs. I would never take something James needs away from him, but if I can find another way to make it work so I don't go crazy than that's the compromise we need to find and work out. 
And somehow found time to make a homemade
gluten free deep dish pizza

Now comes the next preschool battle...the dreaded IEP (individualized education plan). I'm prepared to fight and anyone who really knows me knows you do not want to fight me. I will fight for James to be in an integrated room with everything I have. I know that's what he needs right now. It'll be easier to move him to special ed later than it will be to get him out of special ed if it's not working or what he needs. 

Week January 19 - 25

Miles Running: 45.5
Hours Hiking and Running: 8

Monday: 3.5 miles; literally running errands

Tuesday: 5 miles; hill sprints at Flying J

Wednesday: 6 miles; neighborhood laps in the blizzard around 9" of fresh snow

Thursday: 8.5 miles; at Apex with Sandra, front trails somewhat packed down, but Grubestake was pretty bad definitely could have used microspikes

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 11.0; laps around Flying J during naptime

Sunday: am: 4 miles at FJ; late am: 7.5 miles with the boys at Bear Creek so warm it was wonderful!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Now What...

In case no one believes that someon
didn't actually get in!
I should know by now that as soon as you have a plan and your training is going well something will derail that. I don't know why I assumed I would be getting in to Leadville, but I did. I've read a few other people saying they assumed the same thing...except they got in. So far I think I've seen one other runner who didn't get in. But while everyone else got congratulatory letters welcoming to dig deep this summer I was left with an empty race schedule. I never expected to get in to Hardrock so it wasn't a let down when my name wasn't picked. But to be one of two people to not get into Leadville was just downright disappointing. It's going to take a few weeks to regroup and figure out what my new schedule will be. I keep reminding myself that not getting into a certain 100 ranks pretty low on the scale of things to feel bad about so I need to pull up my big girl pants and move on to another race. What that will be who knows, but I'm sure it will be an adventure!

I think I also felt bad about Leadville because I had put in another really solid week of training, especially for January. My speedwork felt easier which said to me that it was paying off. I got in some good vertical for January. Getting vertical in January means a lot more time on feet for less miles so it's not always super easy. 

Elk Meadows
Dan and I had an awesome run at Elk Meadows on Friday. There were some slow sections for sure, but it was really good to get out for a longer run on some mountain-ish trails. We went up Bergen Peak and for the most part the trail was really runnable. There was a section along the top that was really crusted over and hadn't been packed down and a few icy spots, but overall it was in great condition. 

And warm temps over the weekend meant I was dreaming of spring. A very dangerous situation since it is still only mid-January. We have a lot of winter left, but it was amazing to get out in shorts and a t-shirt several times this week. 

James' swim lessons went even better this week! It has taken him awhile to get used to the new setting and new people, but this week the real James was starting to peak through. He absolutely loved jumping into the pool and climbing back out and pushing off the wall. He's getting kicking down too! It's pretty fun to watch him enjoy it so much. Lately every day James seems to be showing more and more progression with communication. This week he nailed all done as in verbally. He rarely even needs you to cue him to use the words rather than the signs now. Of course he sometimes gets so excited he can say it that he forgets he doesn't actually mean all done! But hey it's progress. And everyday on the way home as soon as we turn onto our road I see him sign Dada in the rearview mirror. Its definitely a blast to watch his development lately.

Week January 12 - 18

Miles Running: 50.8
Hours Hiking and Running: 8.75

Monday: Off

Tuesday: AM: 4 miles fast on the treadmill; PM: hill sprints at Apex 30s/1min/2min/2min/1min/30s

Wednesday: 7.1 miles easy on Green Mountain bike path

Thursday: 9.5 miles at Apex with Allisa

Friday: 14 miles at Bergen Peak at Elk Meadows with Dan

Saturday: 7.5 miles super icy FJ run

Sunday: 6 miles pushing James at Bear Creek, almost too windy to take him but he had a great time
Elk Meadows

Loving the warm towels from the sauna

Learning guitar

Football Sunday!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Training Time

sunny run at FJ
The first full week of training for the year and I was determined to stick to my training plan. Of course I have no idea just how well this training plan will work, but its something I put down on paper for myself and that's more than I usually do. Usually my training plan consists of a long run thrown in somewhere, telling myself I should do speed work on Tuesday or Thursday (only because those are the days we always did speed work in college) and then run 6-10 miles every other day. So a calendar with handwritten pre-planned runs is a big step. The real test was if I could follow it. 

Overall I did really well. I did my speed work which included a two-a-day with a 4:00 am fast run! Running at 4:00 isn't necessarily hard, you actually don't even realize what you're doing until its over. The hard part is getting your body to move that fast that early in the morning. The only run I really missed was my long run went from 15 to 12. I was planning to do the run on Friday, but dang work got in the way and I just had too much that needed to get done. 

This week was also week 2 of James' swim lessons. Dan was able to come this week and the wet suit I ordered for James came just in time. He still was shivering by the end and ready to be done, but at least he didn't turn blue! Hands down his favorite part is jumping in. The kid will pull himself out of the water onto the pool edge like a pro as soon as he realizes what time it is. He's also really getting the hang of kicking! He went under water a couple times and I managed to not freak out which I considered a huge success...for both of us!

We also started with a new private therapist since our amazing therapist left the Sie Center a couple weeks ago. Well lets just say the new therapist did not live up to my standards. Maybe my expectations are too high, but James was curled in the corner of the room crying at one point. I know she had to do her evaluation so it wasn't a normal therapy, but she just didn't click with James. She hardly interacted with him even when trying to play a game to see if he could do it. She also mentioned she's never worked with anyone who was non-verbal. Well that's not what I was told when I made the appointment so I was not real happy about that. I realized when we left that James needs people who 'get' him. Not everyone will. I get that. Needless to say she is no longer our speech therapist. Another victory for me in not screwing around and giving her a thousand chances because I don't want to fire her. We'll try again with a new therapist from Children's in a couple weeks.

Week January 5 - 11

Miles Running: 48.0
Hours Hiking and Running: 7.5

Monday: 6 miles easy; Met Dan downtown for a lunch run.

Tuesday: AM 3 miles fast on treadmill before work; PM 4 miles of 8x30 sec hill sprints on the hogback! Wahoo actually did my speed work for the day!

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 8 miles tempo; went to North Table thinking it might be a bit dry, but I was sorely mistaken. Turned out not to be so much of a tempo run due to all the mud, had a really hard time keeping traction anywhere.

Friday: 8 miles moderate; neighborhood laps

Saturday: 7.5 miles moderate; Flying J laps, felt good and beautiful day, trail super runnable.

Sunday: 12.0 miles moderate; neighborhood laps, thought I would beat the storm but started snowing 1/4 mile into the run so mostly got to run through another white out, exhausted but legs feeling great. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Retrospect 2014

Super James rockin' his heart cath
Okay seriously where did this year go? It's already January again! I swear we tried to really appreciate the little things, but this year seemed to fly by. Overall it's been a great but crazy year. I look back to where we were a year ago. I was just starting to take James to private speech. He was barely babbling, had no signs and absolutely hated books. He now has a couple words, tells us stories non-stop, over 60 signs and even has a few favorite books. We still mostly stick to short board books, but at Christmas he insisted on reading Polar Express every night which was huge for him! By far the longest book that's ever held his attention. He started not only walking but running! And really has become a little boy! A terrorizing little boy, but none-the-less a cute one! 

James' year started off with a bang, or well a heart cath. But he rebounded quickly. His eye surgery was a huge success which means I think we can delay having tear ducts created for a few more years, yay! He hit the 20 lb mark which is also huge! We still have a ways to go and no end in sight for his oxygen dependence. I'm so used to living with a trail laid before me. It may be rocky and hilly but there's always been a path. As James gets older it seems more like we're having to forge our own path...blaze a trail. It can be frustrating and some days I just want there to be a plan, but I guess sometimes you just have to trust things will work out and that whatever path you make is yours and there aren't always trail signs and answers.

In terms of running it was an up and down year. I had a great race at Quad Rock and then got excited, over raced and wasn't performing as well as I wanted to be. It's a struggle to balance the excitement and energy of racing with being able to run quality races. Looking back last year I tried to cram too many races into too short a period of time. This coming year I plan to spread my races out a bit more and probably cut back on how many I do. I've always been of the mindset that a few good races is better than a ton of mediocre races. It's personal preference and I know a lot of people that would rather just race all the time even if it's not always a PR. That just doesn't seem to work for me. So time to scale back and focus on quality over quantity.

But really I can't complain too much about my season. I won money at 2 races which is 2 more races than I've ever won money at before. I held my own at a 100, which even though I wasn't in the elite field, was a mental victory for me. I got my BQ again (without training) and I got on the Pearl Izumi Champion Team. All in all I'd say I stepped it up and have been doing some of the best running I have in a long time, maybe ever. I feel really good going into the 2015 season. I'm ready to take on the new challenges and see what I can bring to the table. 

Chicago Marathon - finishing our
321 mile challenge
This past year putting family first and still getting in our training was a big focus. We got James geared up in his BOB and logged some serious miles in that thing. Almost every Sunday when the weather is good we go for family runs. Dan and I both said the moment we can't both train and have a quality family life we stop 100s. It's just not worth it to us. But I feel like we did a really good job working to find that balance this year. We are by no means high mileage ultrarunners. But that's okay, because we make each mile count and I don't think overall it's really hurt either of us. I mean really we aren't elite runners looking to make a career of this. We just want to be able to finish races and have fun in the process. 

My other plan for running this year is to focus on quality runs and to train more specifically. I know I need to get away from my comfortable moderate pace, moderate distance runs. I need to do more workouts such as hill workouts, tempo runs, intervals, fartleks. This is really hard for me to do so we'll see how long it lasts. Okay so this is a direct quote from last year and I failed miserably at it. I think taking a bit of a break at the end of the year really rejuvenated me for training, but again we'll see if I can actually make it stick this year. So far I'm 1:1 for getting my speed/hill workouts in. 

2014 Goals:
  • Sub-28:00 at Run Rabbit Run 100
  • Quad Rock 50 sub-11:00
  • Win a race, Dan said I have enough 2nd and 3rds so its time for a W
  • Gashouse-Baldy Loop sub-2:40
  • Leadville Marathon sub-4:30, okay this is VERY ambitious, but I will get it someday 4:45 is probably a more attainable goal for this year
  • Run as many 14ers as possible
  • Run the Four Pass Loop
  • 2000 miles for the year
  • Train more specifically
  • Continue to be an advocate for James and Down syndrome research
  • To help grow Research Down Syndrome
  • To give James all the opportunities I can and never be what holds him back
  • To Run Hard, Live Hard, and Love Hard

2015 Goals:

  • Leadville 100 - Big Buckle (sub-25:00)
  • Win a race, Dan said I have enough 2nd and 3rds so its time for a W
  • Quad Rock sub-10:00
  • Gashouse-Baldy Loop sub-2:40
  • Leadville Marathon sub-4:30, okay this is VERY ambitious, but I will get it someday 4:45 is probably a more attainable goal for this year
  • Run as many 14ers as possible
  • Run the Four Pass Loop
  • 2000 miles for the year
  • add speedwork to training
  • Continue to be an advocate for James and Down syndrome research
  • 500 entrants for World Down Syndrome Day Virtual Run/Walk
  • To Run Hard, Live Hard, and Love Hard 
  • Cheyenne Mountain 50k

    first baseball game

    Leadville Marathon

    Leadville Marathon

    North Fork 50

    LT 100

    RRR 100 

    Adam's Camp 
    Team B.O.B.

The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark. -John Muir

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go. -T.S. Elliot