Week 9: Perspective Shift

Monday: Lookout with my ladies! We needed a do-over after the previous week’s failed attempt on the mountain. This week was much better; there was a beautiful sunrise and the weather was mild. I ended my last weekly recap complaining about wind and lamenting about how poorly I felt all week. It was like I switched a flip on Monday morning, though, and I was determined to have a good week, which this run set up nicely. 9 miles total, 1,268 feet of climbing. It’s amazing how you can change how you feel by changing how you think.

The only picture I took was from the port-a-potty that we raced to at the bottom of the hill.

Tuesday: Whew! I did a workout! I set my alarm for 5:20, got up, then got back in bed and fell asleep until 7:15. I think DST hit me. So, I had to squeeze my workout in after work and before going to Golden Beer Talk that evening. I wanted to do something by effort, rather than pace, because I knew I would have hills to contend with and I was just running in neighborhoods. Robyn had told me about a workout and she ended up doing it that morning, so I decided to copy her. The plan was: 10 minute warm-up, 3 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy x 10, 10 minute cool-down. Simple enough. After work, I parked my car at a nearby park that is close to a network of neighborhoods and is flat-ish. I was antsy during the 10 minute warm-up and it went by too quickly. As for the repeats, I started out strong – I didn’t look at pace at all, just tried to stick around 10k effort. I really liked that the intervals were in sets of 5 minutes. It made it easy to keep track of the workout. I ended up looking at my watch a lot, especially as it reached the signal that 3 minutes was up and I could recover. After about 5 repeats, they were getting pretty hard. I was hitting miles in around 7:20, with the fast and slow sections but you couldn’t really predict pace because it depended on how the sections shook out within that mile. After the 7th one that had a hill in it, I felt like I was losing it. I did stop my watch between the fast and hard segment and took a minute or two to recover, hands on knees style, which helped a lot. I was so happy to get that 10th one done. I ended up with 9.1 miles at 7:41 pace. I picked the neighborhood because it was “flat-ish” and I still got 541 feet of climbing – that is life as a runner in Golden.

Wednesday: NP in the morning mostly involved me running some stairs slowly. I also did a short, easy, podcast run in the afternoon. I listened to the newest episode of How I Built This with the founder of 5 Hour Energy. I’m not a fan of the product and I wasn’t really a fan of this guy either. But, I do quite enjoy these afternoon runs.

Thursday: If you’ve read any of my posts in the last month, you know that I love our PlayGldn Thursday morning runs at Dinosaur Ridge. This week, I already had a good handful of miles in my legs, so I decided to take it a little bit easier on the hills. Though I said it ahead of time, my legs didn’t really give me a choice – I was moving slower but it felt like the same amount of effort as normal. But, I wasn’t complaining – we had a solid group, a stunning sky, and warm temperatures.

Don’t mess with this crew.

Friday: Rest day. I hadn’t been sleeping great this week and I was hoping to snooze long after Dan got up. That didn’t happen, though, so this felt a little less satisfying. I was thinking I’d go for a walk in the afternoon, but didn’t even do that. Instead, we drove to Hops n Pie in Denver and ate an entire large pizza.

Saturday: The plan was to run long on Sunday, so I wanted to take Saturday easy. By Friday, I had already run a little over 30 miles for the week. With the 16 planned for Sunday, I didn’t want to run longer than 5 miles on Saturday. I haven’t run over 50 miles in a week since before the 50k and I didn’t want to jump too high too fast. I parked at my favorite coffee shop on Tennyson, Allegro, and ran to Sloan’s Lake and around the park for a little over 5 miles total. I then enjoyed some coconut mate tea, walked around, then went to Denver Sports Recovery where I spent almost 2 hours doing some prehab work. Nothing hurts, but it was good to treat body to a little self-care.

City running.

Sunday: The plan was to meet up with a group of ladies and Mike Bell to run the infamous Magnolia Road. To be honest, I just had a bad feeling about things the night before but I hoped I was just being cranky. Then on the drive from Golden on Sunday morning, Meaghan and I noticed some smoke in Boulder. It looked like it might be coming from Boulder Canyon, but it looked much lower than where Mags is. Sure enough, we turned onto Boulder Canyon and got stopped by police, as they were shutting down the road. The group reconvened and we decided to try running around the Boulder Reservoir, but it was far too smoky. Unfortunately, we all got split up because of the timing and driving. Meaghan, Robyn, Adrienne, and I decided to head back toward Golden and run where Dan had run the day before.

We parked at the intersection of Golden Gate Canyon Road and Crawford Gulch. The run starts off with a climb that seems never-ending, but we were all happy to just be chugging along. We went up and up and then we went doowwwwn and ended up in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. We turned around at mile 8 and knew we had a monster hill ahead of us. The hill, which Dan had warned us about, climbs about 700 feet in a mile and a half. Brutal! But we knew that once we got to the top, we would cruise 5 miles to the finish. I don’t even want to say more about this run because it was so beautiful and I have such positive memories about it, but words could never do it justice. Overall, 16 miles, 2,518 feet of climbing, and lots of smiles and “eff yeahs.”

When you and your training partners sync your period up, you know you’re doing it right.

After looking on Twitter, it seems that the fire was/is pretty serious and over 1,000 people had been evacuated. I’m hoping that it gets controlled soon and that we get some rain!

Adrienne charging uphill but not up “the hill.”

Total mileage: 51.5 miles

Total climbing: 5,466 feet

High: Sunday’s surprisingly great long run after a rough start to the morning. Being able to run  with good friends in sunshine in such a beautiful place.

As I alluded to in Monday’s blurb, this week was so much better than the previous. I ran more miles and got in more elevation gain than I have since before the 50k. And I feel pretty good! I needed this. I also needed some run therapy and to change my attitude. On Wednesday night, I learned that a friend from November Project – Denver, Megan, passed away. Megan was smart and active and such a bright light and I couldn’t believe that all of a sudden, she was just gone. She had seemed invincible. Her death provided a great deal of perspective for me. Things that I had been complaining about or bummed about seemed so insignificant after learning about Megan’s passing and thinking about what her family must be going through. Live every day with purpose. Love your people. Don’t take a happy, healthy life for granted. My thoughts are with all of Megan’s family and friends.


In memory of Megan Dickie.




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