Week 6: Clovers and Cross Country

Monday – Sunday rest days mean that you have to set an alarm to run on Monday. Womp womp. When my alarm went off, I considered turning it off, but I had plans to run with Dan and Meaghan up Lookout. We took it pretty easy and got in 8.8 miles and 1200 feet of climbing.

Tuesday – I had plans after work, so I had to wake up early again on Tuesday for my run. I went out on my own on the bike path to Pine Ridge Road. It was windy out there and I cursed it. I was hoping to feel light and easy on this run, but it felt harder than I would have liked. I got in 6.8 miles and almost 600 feet of climbing.

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Pine Ridge Road: windy but still dreamy.

Wednesday  – Clovers at November Project! Every month, we race “clovers”, a quarter mile circuit of stairs and running at the Civic Center Amphitheater. I’ve been doing these for three years as part of NP, so I’ve done this workout sooo many times now. The goal is to keep track of how many you can run in exactly 35 minutes and hopefully you see progress over time. I remember when finishing 17 laps was a huge accomplishment for me but I’ve been stuck in the 17s range for months and months now and making progress is getting difficult. Running 18 clovers is to me like running a sub-X 5k is to other people. I treat the monthly workout like it’s race day. All that to say, I was really excited about clovers this month because we had perfect weather and no ice or snow and I was feeling good. I told practically every person there my goal of running a PR and/or 18 clovers. And I went for it really hard. I didn’t quite get 18, but I did get SO close, closer than I ever have. I was trashed at the end. 4.25 miles in 35 minutes. Plus a short warm-up run before.

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Friendship: when your buddy chases you to try to help you succeed.

Thursday – I met up with my favorite Golden friends for 4 miles and coffee to celebrate one year of PlayGldn, which has turned into a fun little run club over the past few months. I was planning on running again after work and then we got snow and I was like NOPE.

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It wouldn’t be PlayGldn without a blurry photo.

Friday – On a snowy and cold day, I’m really glad it worked that I had planned to rest anyway. No miles, no nothing. I think I got in only like 6,000 steps.

Saturday – The plan was to run 10 miles SLOW with Robyn and Meaghan, but damnit those girls are fast and we ended up running at an 8:06 pace. It’s starting to hit me that what feels easy to me now is below what I was training for as race pace when marathon training. After the cold run, I took an Epsom salt bath that felt amazing on my legs. Then, Dan and I went on a special date night to the Colorado Symphony, which was awesome! We ended up walking a few miles and I was wearing heeled boots, which wasn’t great for my feet. This is why I wear sneakers everywhere…

Sunday – The West Side Best Side Cross Country series has become one of our favorites – we love the unique courses, team racing aspect, the snacks, and the cool race directors. This was their first race of the year and our third time running it, but the first time at the Arvada location. The best part about this race was the number of November Project friends that were out there running too!

We started with a 3+ mile warm-up on the course, which felt hard, of course. I had an arbitrary goal of running under 21 minutes,  but I made that without any idea of what the course was like. The course was pretty tough. There was over 100 feet of elevation gain (which sounds like nothing, but it gets to you in a 5k!) and some loose footing on the rocky dirt roads and grass trail. It felt like running a very short trail race, which was fun! I just ran strong and hard and said thanks to volunteers and tried to cheer for people as I passed the turnaround point.

I ended up finishing the 3 miles right around 21 minutes flat. The last mile took a lot out of me with the uphill but I had a good kick at the end. I’ve been wearing a Fitbit Charge HR lately, so I have heart rate data (which I don’t entirely trust its accuracy). It says that my average HR for the race was 154. I feel like that is fairly low for such a short fast race and I probably could have run harder. Overall, I think I was 6th female and our team came in 2nd to another NP ladies team – good racing all around!

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Final stretch!

I’m hoping for a big week of training this coming week. I feel like it’s time for me to start putting the pedal to the metal if I want to be ready for the half marathon on April 9th. Here we go!

Total mileage: 41.8 miles

Total climbing: 2,277 feet

High: Clovers PR and all the support from everyone that morning. It was a good lesson in owning my goals. I’ve learned that no one actually cares about your numbers, but people want to see you succeed, whatever that means to you. Because I told people my goal was to run 18, I felt like I had people  invested in it too. It was awesome!

Low: Snow on Thursday, robbing me of my new favorite pastime of running in the sunshine after work while listening to a podcast.

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