2018 Goals March in Review

I started the month of strong, exploring new parks and adding a bit more about my Denver wanderings and then the month got busy, but overall, I am pleased with my blogging. (although not really considered apart of my annual goals.)

Run more miles than 2017 (108.5 / 1,043)

Initially I was upset that I ‘only’ ran 55 miles, but after reading February’s recap, I realize it was the right amount after a month of 6. It might be a stretch to run more miles but with a few more half marathons on the calendar, a triathlon and a marathon, it is still possible.

Pay off all debt. (starting amount: 6,176.09) current amount: $3,493

March was an impressive month for me financially.  It was off to a rocky start since I had forgotten that my 6 months of car insurance would be due, but still managed to have an extra $178 at the end of the month. ( on the last day of the month, I take whatever is left in my bank account and apply it to one of my debts) I put my rock climbing gym on hold, now costing $8 dollars instead of 65.  I think I'[ll end up canceling it entirely, but they are opening a new facility near my work so I wanted to wait it out and avoid the start up cost.  This month I also joined the Denver rec center as a DPS employee, I received a discount so the yearly cost was $276.  With plans for a tri- having a pool was important! On top of all that spending, I hosted bunco which included me buyting booze and making food for 11 other ladies.  I did my best to keep it budget friendly (tacos) but it adds up on the sheer number of people.  Despite all of these I paid off $2,000 in debt.  Most of it did come from my returns, but I am still excited that my total debt amount now is about the same as my monthly income. Only a few more months until I am debt free.

Read 52 Books (14/52)

It felt like I was off to a slow start, but I definitely kept up!  I would definitely recommend American Fire, which is about a series of Fires in the Delmarva peninsula (true story) I appreciated the way All the Missing Girls was written, but the story itself was meh.  A tree grows in Brooklyn was a lot slower than I remembered as a teen, but appreciated it still.  I would not recommend Touch or the Goddess. If they weren’t quick reads, I wouldn’t have bothered at all.

  • How Bad Do you Want it?
  • All the Missing Girls
  • American Fire
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Touch
  • The Goddesses

 

Volunteer 100 Hours (9.75/100)

Girls on the Run is in full swing.  This is a way better set up than when I did it a few years ago.  Having 4 coaches spreads the burden.  The girls have been great & I really enjoy it!

 

 

  • I took off 2 of my previous goals – rock climbing & wearing my wear differently.  I froze my gym member ship & it is a static mess here for me to wear my hair anyway!

Complete 12 things off my bucketlist.

This has been a common goal for many years, what is different is that I’ve already identified 10 to accomplish in 2018.

  • Complete a Sprint Tri
  • rock climb outdoors
  • 18 holes of golf (i’ve done 9 holes several times)
  • run a 4:30 marathon
  • run a sub 2 hr half
  • complete the San Diego Triple Crown
  • Volunteer with the Girl ScousT
  • Learn to Drive Standard
  • Change my own oil
  • Solve a rubix cube

 

I’ve booked my hotel for the La Jolla Half ( the 2nd of the triple crown) and am underway for the Tri.  The rest include a lot of basebuilding to aim for a 4:30 or sub 2 half marathon.

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TL: La Jolla Half Marathon & Sprint Tri

I just wrote out a whole sentence thinking of why it seemed so busy, and then I realized, I was busy.  I coached girls on the run on tuesday and attended PTA meeting. On wednesday I had a committee meeting at work and then had to buy supplies for cooking dinner for bunco.  Thursday was Bunco ! (and some other exciting meetings, which I’ll hopefully get to expand on in a few weeks) and then finally finally finally the weekend.  I feel a lot less guilty now that I see how the week played out.  I’d still like to spend more mornings getting exercises in, but I’ve resigned to the fact that it isn’t going to happen just yet.

Anyhow, I managed to squeeze in most of my planned workouts, even if most of them were this weekend.

Monday: Rest

I’m not sure what I did on Monday.  I probably took Marcy dog for a walk.

Tuesday:  Rest

Does it count as a rest day, if I just didn’t do anything athletic?  Long day at work / Girls on the Run / PTA meeting.  Was excited to just sit at home.

Wednesday: 3.5 miles

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As soon as I got home on Wednesday, I got dressed and was out the door.  I had about 50 other things I needed to get done, which may have helped.  Everything felt pretty terrible, but time on my feet is all I’m looking for at this moment.  Come June / July I’ll be training differently for Chicago but right now I just want to keep moving.

Thursday: Bunco

No workouts today. Had lots to hustle through at work and prep to do for hosting bunco at my house. Bunco was a huge success so yay!

Friday: 2 mile run

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For some reason I have mental hurdles to overcome if a run is over 2 miles or over 5.  But when I saw 2 on my plan, it was easy enough to lace up and get out.  I ran a slightly different route ( although the same route I use to bike to work on) and felt okay.  Mdog was wild which was frustrating, we need to some manners reminders.

Saturday: Myrtl & Oiselle Dozen /400 yard swim/ 3.5 mile run/ bike commute to/ from gym & to/ from bar for 6.7 miles.

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finally a proper bathing suit!

After a busy week, I knew I had to squeeze in all the workouts I failed to do during the week.  J has been sick, so I knew he wouldn’t totally mind if I was out doing my own thing for most of the day.  Swimming is definitely feeling more natural with each visit to the pool.  My watch was all sorts of funky when I ran on Saturday, but I keep reminding myself of how sick I was from December – February with colitis/crohns to give myself a little bit of slack.  I should have done a proper bike ride, but it was 70 degrees out and st. patricks day. Instead we biked to a bar had a beer or two &  lunch before biking home.  It still counts as time in the saddle right?

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Sunday: 400 yard swim / 35 minute bike ride/ 5 mile run & myrtl and oiselle dozen.

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Sunday was a test of the will power. I was tired from Saturdays workouts but I had a bit of a time crunch so I couldn’t procrastinate my morning.  I made it to the rec center and for the first time found the pool full.  Not wanting to share a lane, I headed into the weight room to do the mrytle routine & dozen.  Once finished, the pool was cleared out, so I headed in.  This time I brought coins with me so I could keep track of laps swam.  Although I’m only swimming 16 lengths, I seem to lose count easily, this definitely helped.  After my swim, I had enough time to get my bike ride done.  I haven’t fixed my road bike since the flat tire, so I used my clunky commuter to peddle out a little over 6 miles in 35 minutes. I do need to spend more time on my road bike, this week I hope to replace the tube and get it working again.  I hopped off my bike, got changed and J and I headed to meet with a realtor.  We are in the very early stages of house hunting but enjoyed looking at house & the realtor we met seems like a low-stress fit. We then had a delicious BBQ lunch before a quick walk in the town and heading home before the ski traffic left the mountains. Once home, J went to urgent care, and I thought about taking a shower and sitting on the couch. I had zero interest in getting my run done. I thought about putting it off until the next day but realized, I wouldn’t want to do it then either.  Instead I got dressed, Marcy dog got excited, & out we went.  We had a good run.  Started slow, but dropped down into a pace that felt comfortable & over a minute faster by the end.  It didn’t hurt that a thunderstorm rolled in with snow/hail/rain which gave us a little more pep.  We were the only idiots out there and I have to admit, I enjoy lousy running conditions.

This weekend was exhausting trying to cram in 8 workouts in 2 days.  I definitely want to get better about spreading these out over the whole week.  that said, I am also proud of myself for getting them done & will guilt free enjoy a Monday rest day.

TL: La Jolla Half Marathon & Sprint Tri

Monday: Myrtl & Oiselle Dozen

I had great intentions of making it to the gym, but I didn’t. I did manage to squeeze in the myrtl routine and oiselle before work.

Tuesday: Myrtl Routine & Oiselle Dozen

I woke up early, but not quite early enough for the gym. I did manage to complete the myrtl routine & most of oiselle’s dozen before having to get dressed and head to work.

Wednesday: AM: 25 minutes on indoor bike PM: 3 miles at Sloan Lake

I finally got myself out the door early enough to stop at the gym. I slept biked for 25 minutes before hustling off to work. After work & Girls on the Run practice, I stopped directly at Sloan Lake for a few miles. I knew that if I made it home, I would struggle to get back out the door. I ran at an easy pace until the last .5 when I could hear someone behind me, not wanting to let them pass I pushed it. I don’t really know where the sudden interest in not letting someone overtake me came from, but it was good to pick it up for the last few minutes.

Thursday: 3 miles with Belmar Run Club

I joined Belmar run club again with Marcy dog. I didn’t run quite as fast as the previous week, but definitely picked it up. Otherwise, I’ve been quite content to run easy effort runs. Mdog and I hung out at the store for a while, Marcy made some new friends! Before heading home. I won’t make it this week since I am hosting Bunco, but am working hard at making this a routine.

Friday: Bike commute to work (9ish miles)

The forecast was gorgeous, so I prepped myself up to bike into work. It was very lovely ride. (it’s now Sunday and I haven’t moved my car since Thursday night. I love being able to bike/walk/train to everywhere I need to be) Once i get a fresh tube in my road bike, I may start using that to commute, simply so I have more practice on it.

Saturday: 300 yard swim ( I think – maybe 350) & 2 mile run

I was busy chatting on the phone with an old colleague when I realized it was nearly 11 and that the pool would close at 11:30. I hustled, got dressed and biked over to the rec center. I had enough time to get in 300 yard swim. I did 50 yard of breast stroke to warm up. 150 yards of front crawl focusing on breathing and a 50 yard breast stroke finish. I don’t know what I was so hesitant to get in the pool this week because I really enjoy being in there.

Sunday: 7k Race & 3 mile bike ride home

Late last week I had seen an advertisement for the Running of the Green 7k in Denver. I sent out a message to a friend to see if she’d like to join me. We had a nice run, it was hilly! I didn’t set any time goals and simply ran with my friend catching up, since it had been months since we had hung out! After our celebratory beers, I biked the 3 miles home instead of taking the train. I may or may not have also harassed a runner who was wearing a race shirt from Saratoga! Overall a lovely Sunday.

I missed one swim, but try to make it up this week, but was excited that I did do the myrtl routine & oiselle’s dozen twice. My goal for this week is to add it in one more day.

Weir Trail

Last week I spent a significant amount of time on the Denver Parks & Rec website to familiarize myself with the parks, trails, and routes within Denver County.  As the weather is getting nice & I am training for a sprint triathlon ( and building a base for Chicago Marathon, I’ll be running and biking a lot.  While Denver might not be as well known for its bike friendliness, it blows Albany out of the water in terms of routes, bike lanes and overall general courtesy towards cyclist.  (PeopleForBikes.org supports this view as Denver has a score of 38 and Albany has a score of 9.)

In my through search on the Denver Parks & Rec site, I discovered that there was a trail that branches off of Barnum Park.  Needing to get a 30 minute bike ride in, I figured it would be a perfect time to check it out. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, so I pulled out my road bike, put air in the tires ( maybe) and headed out.

The trail, is not designed for road bikes.  It hasn’t been repaved in most areas in a while and was overall quite bumpy.  What was even more challenging, was that it crossed several streets, forcing me to pull my feet out of my baskets ( thank goodness I haven’t tried clips yet, I have a hard enough time with the basket) and navigate poorly planned sidewalk entrances.  Many of these street crossings had a slight ramp for bikes/strollers but then an immediate 90 degree turn to stay on the sidewalks followed by another 90 degree turn to get back onto the bike path.

With non road bike tires, its easy enough to just plow over all of that and keep a straighter line, but with my skinny tires, I tend to be more cautious.

I am not particularity skilled at turning on my road bike.  I have spent the better part of 30 years on a non road bike ( i can navigate the biggest clunker with ease) I am still very awkward on a road bike.  As I reached the end of the trail, I had noticed that my bike was riding funny, I hopped off to investigate and sure enough, I had my very first flat.  Being an inexperienced road biker, I don’t yet know how to change my own tubes. ( I have since signed up for a bike maintenance class)  I tried calling J twice, but knew he was out in the yard with his phone indoors.  Rather than walk it or wait, I ordered a lyft and hoped it would be large enough for my bike to fit.  (it was, woot!)

Anyhow, I would never ride my road bike on that path again, however I have since gone running on it and very much enjoyed the twist & turns as a runner.  It wasn’t a complete loss, and I was able to see other neighborhoods than my own.

 

 

Paco Sanchez Park

I spend a lot of time in Paco Sanchez park. I pass through when running at the stadium, walking Marcy or bike commuting to work.

There isn’t quite as much as this park as Barnum, but lots of green space for the using.  While I pass through regularly as apart of my mission to visit all Denver Parks, I paid extra attention to the happenings in Paco Sanchez.  On this day I saw a group of guys playing cricket, lots of disc golfers, dog walkers, and bike commuters. Plenty of people coming and going.

The park is a great spot for a field game but lacks any a

menities other than the space. (no bathrooms etc)

 

 

TL: La Jolla Half Marathon / Sprint Tri

It has only been one week that I’ve been back working out regularly & training, but I am excited about this new cycle. I’ve decided to lower my running mileage as I am increasing swimming and biking. This more diversified routine works well for me mentally and physically. I know it means my mileage will be quite low for La Jolla Half Marathon in April, but I expect some of the work done in the pool and bike will translate some for at least a strong finish.

Monday: 30 minute bike ride

I had thought about going to a spin class, but I was worried that my rib and lungs would be angry still. Plus I think I ended up staying at work a bit too late. Once I got home, I walked Marcy before heading over to the gym to ride on the bike & watch some rock climbers.

Tuesday: 3 mile Run

Marcy dog was raring to go, so we laced up and headed over to Barnum Park. Kept an easy effort as we ran around the lake at the park. After a few loops, we headed up the hill so Marcy could run around the dog park.

Wednesday: 2 mile run / 200 yard swim

My initial plan was to run to the rec center, swim, and run home. My plans were a bit foiled when I ran to the rec center and found that lap swim wouldn’t open for another hour and 15 minutes. Not wanting to leave the rec center, because i knew I’d likely not want to return. I ran my second mile on the treadmill, increasing the pace every minute. (5.2 ->6.2) after the mile I spent a few minutes stretching before getting ready for my first lap swim in a billion years.

Although I honestly can’t remember the last time I swam laps, it felt natural. I did notice my breathing was pretty erratic, but my arms and legs felt okay. I alternated each 25 yards with the breast stroke and front crawl. The pool was nearly empty, which I hope it will always be that way!

Thursday: 3 mile run (Belmar Run Club)

This run felt awesome. I mentioned it already in my post about the Belmar Run Club. I am excited for more runs to feel this way, but I know that not all of them will just yet.

Friday: Rest / walk with Marcy dog

After a solid week of training & I took it easy and walked Marcy dog through Paco Sanchez Park.

Saturday: 250 yard swim / 3.4 mile bike ride

I joined my local rec center (for a steal – 270 for the year!) and noticed that lap swim ended at 11:30, so I grabbed my gear and walked over. Less than .5 away! I did 50 yard warm up with the breast stroke. with 150 yards of front crawl focusing on breathing every 3rd stroke. I’ve always been a decent swimmer, with lots of room for improvement, but I am starting with my breath, I feel that having more control over that will help with my overall power. I finished with 50 yard cool down with the breast stroke.

After, I was excited to take my road bike out for a ride on a new path. I’ll likely post about the whole trail later this week, but the short of it is that the trail was a big rough for a road bike and my tubes in my tire were old. The trail had lots of street crossings and sharp turns that I am not comfortable doing with my feet in baskets so my pace was real slow and then I had a flat tire. J was working in the yard, with his phone indoors. I called twice and then ordered a lyft to take me home. Thanks goodness for technology.

Sunday: Bike Commute to the grocery store & 4 mile run

Part of my Love Where You Live Challenge, is to walk/bike commute more often.  Since my bike ride was slow & short yesterday, I figured there was no harm in bike commuting to the grocery store for this weeks haul.  I strapped a milkcrate to the back of my bike and headed off on some side streets to Safeway.  (riding on the main road isn’t quite an option, luckily the road parallel to it is much quieter) In all it was about a 4 mile ride. The ride home was a bit tougher as the winds had picked up and I bought just a little to much at the grocery store for the little basket. But I made it without losing anything along the way.

After I cooked all the things for the week ( almost, one more meal to slow cook Tuesday morning) and finished reading “how bad do you want it?” before finally lacing up and taking Mdog for a run.  I decided to run on their Weir Trail (the one that gave me a flat tire the day before) and I enjoy it a lot more as a running route, the turns and crossings spice it up and breaks it up. I finished with my usual SUNY morning run pace, although this was a bit more effort than some of those runs were.

 

I almost feel back to myself after the plague and am excited to get stronger over the new few weeks.  This week I completely neglected any core/ strengthening or stretching primarily because my ribs were still sore and I didn’t want to aggravate them.  As they are roughly 85% I’ll be trying to incorporate a bit more.

This week will also have a few forced AM workouts.  I am coaching girls on the run starting on Tuesday which means by the time I get home around 6:30, I want to be able to visit with J, eat dinner, and be done.

 

Belmar Run Club

When I was living in Albany, I found that it really began to feel like home the same time I began running with ARE. There is likely a correlation. Knowing this, I’ve begun early ( in comparison to year 4 of living in Albany) trying to join different running clubs. I’ve gone running with 3 different breweries Seedstock, Joyride and Denver Beer Co. I spent part of late fall & early winter running with Runners Edge and have run with Belmar Run Club several times. None of these groups have the same sticking power as ARE, yet.

On Thursday, I had zero interest in running. I had worked out each day, while my body was still adapting after my illness(es) but I am also on a mission to become more apart of my community so I laced up, grabbed Marcy dog and headed to Runners Roost in Belmar.

This group is a bit more loose than the breweries & ARE’s Wednesday night runs. Everyone scatters on their own run with a wide variety of paces, routes and distances. Since I haven’t found people that run my pace/ or seem to want me to join theirs, I bring Marcy dog for a little company (she’s also a good ice breaker)

We barely made it in time for the route instructions, the park we’ve run in before was closed & we’d be running along a bike path on Alameda. Mdog was fired up, so we went our own way to avoid her barking at ever other dog that had joined the group run tonight.

And man, did we take off, we were running 9:45s. I did some review and found that I haven’t run those paces since September. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fold after such a long illness and (for me) extended break. I was /am flexible with pace & effort right now as I get back at it.

Legs felt good, lungs felt great, it was definitely a confidence booster I needed to get back into training.

After the run, we hung out in the store for a bit, celebrated those that earned their t-shirts ( after 10 group runs) Marcy dog was quite the ham and spent most of the time in a full sprawl before finding a den under the chairs to curl up in. It appears Mdog is out of shape as well.

The run group disbanded and we headed over to Rockos for beer & food. With the temperatures in the 50s, I left Marcy dog in the car and headed in for a pacficio and some fish tacos. I saw a few familiar faces and enjoyed conversation before heading home.

I’m glad I made an effort to go even if I ran solo. The group effect gave me the push to run at bit harder. While I may not make it every week, but I’ll continue to keep showing up and maybe make some connections similar to those that I made in ARE.