[Training Log] Rock n Roll Denver 13.1

My goal last week was to add an additional day of running each week.  Slowly I’d like to get back to 5 days of running, but I’m still adjusting to balancing my new job, and new live in status with the bf.  While my mileage is still low I am motivated by the increase in days, I know if I stick with it, it will all fall back into place.

Monday:

I had wanted to run after work, but discovered mid day that I had to attend a class for DPS.  By the time the class was done and I was back home, I spent my evening semi-lesson planning and unwinding from a busy Monday.

Tuesday: 3 miles@ 9:39 & 5 mile bike commute (to/from DBC)

 

 

I am a fan of the Denver Beer Co and decided I would try their run club.  Some how, I managed to be there on a day that they were doing a fundraiser for all of the natural disasters which included outdoor spin classes, yoga classes, and run club. The Lululemon test truck was also there & if you ran in their shoes for 2 minutes, you walked away with a black t-shirt.  ( I did wait in the line to run & get the shirt ) The run club was massive.  I ran well & much faster than I have but with it being such a giant group, there was no one to connect with.  After the run, I ran on the test truck and left.  It was a bit disappointing in terms of meeting people, but I did like the urban route.

Wednesday: Yin Yoga Class

Over the weekend I joined the most Denver gym.  Movement Climbing & Fitness.  I am wildly overwhelmed by the facility, but I am hopeful that by attending a few classes and using their equipment, I may gain the courage to start to rock climb/ bolder.  I’ve never taken a Yin style class before and while it was okay, it didn’t quite reach my needs.

Thursday: 3 miles @ 11:07

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I put J to work to cook dinner and headed out with Mdog for a few miles.  Within the first quarter mile I rolled my ankle and felt my it band strain.  At first I thought I was much more injured, but luckily after walking for half a block, I realized it was sore but okay to run on, and so I did.  The run wasn’t impressive, it was hot & I was tired but plugged along around the football stadium.

Friday: Rest & 5 mile bike commute to Joy Ride Brewery

Since pulling my ankle the day before, I decided to take the evening off.  Somehow J and I manged to muster up the energy to bike over to a new brewery for food truck & beer.  We also played the most epic round of rummy before heading home.

Saturday: 3 miles @ 9:44

I was suppose to do closer to 10 with Amanda, but my stomach was not a fan.  I had to cancel and went back to bed.  J and I ended up sleeping until nearly 11.  (which is wildly unusual for us) and it was awesome.  After we ran a few errands before tackling our house for some solid cleaning/ organizing.  J’s collegue from Belgium is visiting for a few days.  By the time we were all squared away, I had enough time for a quick run before we headed to see a show a Red Rocks. My splits were awesome (10:19, 9:49, 9:16)  I fully credit the huge drop in temperatures since earlier in the week.

Sunday: 6 miles @ 10:08

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The concert last night didn’t end until midnight.  By the time we got home had a snack & some water it was well near 2am.  I don’t know the last time I was up until 2am.  I forced myself up around 9 but was only working at 65% for most of the day.  Most of the day was dedicated to lesson plans & course work for DPS.  I would have skipped my run, but I was determined to add day 4 of running. J had taken the lead on cooking dinner so Mdog and I headed over to Sloan lake park for some miles. The temperatures were in my favor again and I felt great despite how over all tired I felt.  We executed beautiful negative splits and my running confidence is slowly building back up.

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I still have a long way to go if I think I am going to PR at Carlsbad but I am eager to continue to build on & up!

 

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Film on the Rocks

Ever since I was a teen, I’ve wanted to go to Red Rocks Amphitheater. I blame it mostly on the Dave Matthews Live at Red Rocks album, but really, it just seemed SO very different from any venue in the Northeast. Shortly after moving to Denver, I was checking out the concert line up to see what we might be able to attend before the summer season closed out. In the process, I saw that they do Film on the Rocks, where different movies are aired on a large screen.

The final week of the 2017 season was September 11th and they were showing Twister. Twister is on the list of guilty pleasures and I was super excited to go. J agreed to skip softball that evening to join me.

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We did many things right for this event, we packed a picnic dinner ( sandwiches, pickles, chips and cookies) an empty nalenge to fill in the venue, a sleeping pad to sit on, and a crazy creek.

Before the movie started, there was a local band that preformed. It was enjoyable to just sit and listen to music on a nice Monday night. (and leaving all the other responsibilities behind..)

The move started around 8:30 and was a lot of fun. The crowd cheered throughout the movie (most notable when animals were saved from the tornado) but was genuinely enjoyable. J & I are already looking forward to next years line up!

[Training Log] Rock n Roll Denver

I am still no where near running 5 days a week, but for the past 2 weeks I have managed to run 3 days. The temperature are finally about to cool off, most days for the past few weeks have been hitting high 80s, so the change is very exciting to me.  GIVE ME FALL !

I know I might regret it a bit depending on how the winters are here, but summer is not my favorite for athletic purposes.  Anyhow it has been wildly busy for the past few weeks as I am trying to get my footing at school.  Eventually it all has to come together.  I didn’t get a chance to open my computer once last week for personal enjoyment, so I missed my training log among other posts I had been sketching in my head.  Rather than an extremely long recap, I’ll shorten 2 weeks ago to simply what was done and a usual for the rest.

9/4-9/10

Monday: Heavy smoke day from PNW fires.

Tuesday: 21 Day fix Total Body workout video

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 3.1 mile run @ 11:00 + 9 mile bike commute

Friday: 3 mile run @ 10:53 + 9 mile bike commute

Saturday: 5 mile run @11:04 + 8 mile bike commute to Sunny Side Music Festival

Sunday: Off

Run total: 11 miles

Bike Total: 26 miles

9/11-9/18

Monday: Off. J and I went to go see Twister at Red Rocks !

Tuesday: Off.

Tuesday was tough for me, I was feeling super home sick and just bleh.  Eventually went out for a walk with Marcy dog but was pretty flat all day.

Wednesday:4.1 @ 11:40  & 9 mile bike commute

 

My colitis hasn’t been super well controlled lately.  And I am fairly certain I am not absorbing as many nutrients as I am eating, so I have been feeling extremely lethargic.  I do have reasonable health insurance now, but the only barrier is scheduling appointments around a school schedule. Anyhow, I felt tired & beat up, but headed out for a very slow 4 mile run.

Thursday: 9 mile bike commute

I don’t quite remember why I didn’t run on Thursday, but my guess is that its safe to assume that it was nearly 90 degrees.  J & I did take marcy dog for a walk to catch some pokemon. (yes, we still play.)

Friday- 3.2 @10:15 + 9 mile bike commute

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I easily could have skipped this run too, but J was going out for his own run and I really had no reason not to go out.  Plus we were going to grab a beer at another neighborhood brewery, but I wanted to get Mdog out for a bit of exericse. My lungs felt awful (even though most of the smoke has cleared out) but my legs felt strong once they shook out some of the biking.  Overall I felt far more encouraged with my effort & pace than I did on Wednesday.

Saturday- Rest / Colorado Springs

Initally I had planned to do 3-5 miles, but had forgotten that I had a class I needed to attend for working at DPS.  The class was engaging and the time went quickly.  When I returned we got our act together to drive down to Colorado Springs.  I had been there once nearly 10 years ago, but it was winter & we mostly did drive by sight seeing.  We enjoyed our afternoon exploring and I don’t regret missing a run.

Sunday – 10 miles @ 10:40

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I was very worried about running 10 miles.  I felt good when Amanda and I had run 8 two weeks ago, but my mileage has been low.  Since it was an out & back trail, I figured if I felt like hell, I’d throw in the towel and turn around. The first two miles were a bit brutal, but then I felt great.  Our return run was definitely faster than our out and I am feeling far more confident that I can build back up to where I was in May.

Run Total: 17 miles

Bike Total: 30 miles

 

After two weeks where I’ve managed 3 runs, I am hoping to squeeze it up to 4 this week.  I did join a gym ( gasp! I haven’t been a member of a gym in years, but since I am unsure of running routes & lighting & etc, I figured it was a good investment to allow me an alternative as I become more familiar with the city. I’ll also start focusing on building up my days & mileage to begin training for a PR at Carlsbad 1/2 in January.   The light is on at the end of the tunnel, now I’ve just got to look at it!

 

Sunnyside Music Festival

With both J and I being new to Denver we are constantly learning about events and the best way to plan for them.  Earlier in week we participated in a fantasy football draft.  Even that we were all beat up from Labor Day weekend & just work life in general, that was the most non social social event I’ve ever attended.  But in the process, we learned that J’s friends were planning on going to the Sunny Side Music Festival that weekend.

After a morning full of work & errands, we packed up our bags & bikes and headed off to Chaffee Park for the festival. We were able to take the bike path the majority of the way, and cruised on side streets until we arrived.  We locked up to some racks near a bar, but later saw that they did have a bike parking lot within the park.

By the time we had arrived, J and I were starving.  Unfortunately the food situation wasn’t great.  In one gated area, there was hot dogs & burgers & pizza and the other side of the park had extremely long lines for Mexican food.  We settled on the burgers and inhaled them.

After we went into the park to find our people.  By then, the last band was starting, and we enjoyed hanging out and chatting.  Because of some strange rules ( only beers of 3.5% or lower are allowed in the park, so the beer trucks had to have a gated off area to serve)  we had packed our own beers (technically they should have been under 3.5% but no one was checking) and enjoyed them in the park.

After the band ended, we said our farewells and we all headed back to our bikes to head home.  It was a mellow evening, but enjoyable to be out listening to free music.

Things we would do differently:

  • pack a picnic ( the food options weren’t great nor were they really worth the price.)
  • pack more beer.  We only had one each as we weren’t sure of the situation

Things we would do again:

  • bike-  biking allowed easy access without having to worry about parking

Overall its a free event, with opportunities to donate which goes back into the local community.

Denver Beer Company [Platte Street, Denver]

While I absolutely love owning a car, I was ecstatic to discover that neighborhood we are living in has easy access to bike trails. It was even more exciting to discover that I could safely bike to work. My bike commute time is about 20-25 minutes in the morning and about 25-30 minutes (there is a steady hill on my way home). A section of the the bike path is currently closed, so after a few zig zags trying to find the connecting trails across the river, I eventually decide to just bike on Platte Street to the end.  Much to my delight, I discovered there is a brewery on the road.

After driving past for several days, on a particularly tough Friday, I biked my little behind directly to the bar.  It was early (4:15ish) but the bar was packed.  I heard the guy next to me asking about where to find good pizza, and I couldn’t help but make a NY comment about how it wasn’t likely unless he traveled towards the east coast.

I wasn’t surprised when he mentioned that he too was from NY.  We chatted for a bit, discovered that we had some random friends of friends in common.  [ it’s a small world folks]

The bar cleared out once the CU football game started ( I think thats what it was) but still a solid crowd for early on a Friday.  After a bit, I was hungry enough that it was time to head home and grab some dinner.  While Denver Beer Co is a bit further than Little Machines or Seedstock (2.5 miles vs the 1 mile to the other two) it is easily accessible off the bike trail and their beer is delicious.

They also do a run club on Tuesday nights which I hope to get to once I settle in to school year a bit more.

To Note:

Every time I’ve driven by, I’ve seen food trucks, so I am lead to believe that like Seedstock and Little Machine, they food trucks available daily.

Dogs are most certainly welcomed, I’ve seen them all over the place at Denver Beer Co

Beers Drank:

  • Prince Yum Yum Raspberry (rated it a 3 on untapped)
  • Hey! Pumpkin  (rated it a 4 on untapped)
  • Incredible Pedal IPA (rated it a 3.5 on untapped )*
  • Graham Cracker Porter (rated it a 4 on untapped)*

*The following week I wanted to come home and go for a run, but I also wanted to drink delicious beer, I decided to do both, purchasing two crowlers at Denver Beer Company and bringing them home.  They were both quite delicious, and given my new hobby of biking, I certainly like the name of Incredible Pedal IPA.

[Training Log] Rock n Roll Denver

There really isn’t much to report for this past week of half marathon training.  It was hot here in Denver and my classroom is not air conditioned.  This means I spent my whole week being hot & sweating. By the time I’d get home, I was tired of melting and instead enjoyed sitting with Marcy dog.

I did bike to work 3 days, which puts me at about 27 miles of cycling for the week.

Certainly not impressive for a half marathon training, but after running the Broncos 7k on Sunday, I am feeling slightly more motivated than before.  (although truthfully, not nearly as motivated as I wish I felt)

With the forecast predicting slightly cooler temperatures, I will pull it together this week.

Broncos 7k

A goal I have for my little corner of the internet (this here blog) is to have done at least one thing each week to share. Part of that is to ensure that my blog doesn’t turn into strictly a running training log, but also to get me out of the house and exploring my new home. Although most would consider me an extrovert, being a teacher means I am on 100% Monday-Friday 7:30-3:45. Therefore, come nights and weekends, all I really want to do is hang out with J & Marcy dog, read, and sleep. (Although if I could run in the morning with Lindsey at SUNY Albany everyday, I’d be extra happy) anyhow, one of the first few days of moving into Denver, I saw a billboard advertising the Broncos 7k race.

We live less than a mile from the Broncos stadium, so it seemed like a no brainer to sign up. Plus with all the stuff J & I have going on at work, I suspected we wouldn’t take advantage of the long weekend to do anything other than get ahead of our work projects. (lame)  The race advertised that it sold out in 2016, so I registered at the end of July ($44.75).

I have been haphazardly running, and this past week included zero miles. Mostly due melting in my classroom daily & biking 3/5 work days. But a 7k (4.38 miles) would be manageable, so J and I biked over to the packet pick up on Saturday afternoon. A lot of people run this race and it appears that 90% of them had the last name between A-F. We waited for 35 minutes until I picked up my bib & t-shirt. I have run over 80 road races, varying in distance & cities and have never had to wait that long.

Fortunately, this seems to have been the only snafu of the entire event. Also a mental note to volunteer for packet pick up next year.

someone should do a study on last name & fitness predictors… this is the A-F line

 

After, I ran some errands at Target & King Sooper before setting back at home to make fish tacos for a delicious Saturday night dinner, despite forgetting to buy jalapenos. The rest of our evening was quiet, we watched an episode of House of Cards and I was in bed at a reasonable time.

 

Because of the race location ( 1 mile from the house) I slept until normal time (6:30) and slowly began the morning routine. It had been nearly 2 months since my last race and I certainly felt out of practice. Once I was dressed & ready, I hopped on my bike to the stadium. I could have jogged it, but since I had run 0 miles for the week & was already feeling warm, it seemed in my best interest to save what I could for the actual event. I locked up my bike and hit up a portajon before walking around the stadium.  Because the football season is just nearly starting, there are several portajons all over the place.  I did see some long lines at a few, which I thought was silly because if those folks walked 1 minute in any direction there wouldn’t be a wait, but to each their own.

After walking around the stadium, I did a second pee stop before finding my coral. Because of the large number of participants, the corals are set off in 5 minute waves. I spent a few minutes chatting with some women, one of which made me promise to do a Bolder Boulder in May & a triathlon next spring.

 

The race started on time with adaptive athletes leading the way. I was placed in the 3rd coral and was off by 8:40. Although the temperature was technically not high (66), the sun was warm and I immediately wished I had planned to run in my sports bra. I could tell within the first .25 that the race was going to be a bit of a struggle. The first mile included an uphill, which I generally appreciate because it keeps me from going out too fast, but it didn’t seem to work in my favor.

Everything was working hard, but they were not working well together. Heart was pounding, breathing was off and I was kicking my ankle (which I had stopped doing for the past 2 years)  I skipped the first water station because I figured the weekend before I had run 8 miles sans water & it would be fine. ( it would be, but the mini walk break might have helped).

I liked the run to the Sloan Lake Park and really need to get over myself and start running there more regularly, its the same distance as SUNY and while I love SUNY, this lake is definitely prettier.

I felt like hell by mile 2 so I slowed it down for mile 3.  Not having run a 7k before, I struggled with pacing. I definitely wanted to be able to run this at a 5k pace but my current fitness isn’t there. (yet).

I did grab some water at the second/last water stop and walked to drink it and felt immediately better.   My last mile wasn’t my fastest, but it wasn’t my slowest. As I returned to Mile High Stadium, I could see that there will still waves waiting to go.

The real reason I had signed up for this event was that the race finishes on the 50 yard line of the stadium and finishing a race in a stadium has been on my bucketlist for a long time.  It was a neat view point & luckily they had a path to run on, so that we didn’t have to suddenly switch to field ( although I suspect its more to protect the field than the runners).  42 minutes & change after I started I crossed the finish line to my very first 7k.  I had wanted to take a minute to enjoy being on the field, because really, how often will I ever be on the football field? but the volunteers kept us moving along. So a few blurry selfies and I was on my way to receive my enormous medal, some water & to meet up with J.

 

Despite the huge crowds, the space was so wide, that J and I had no trouble reconnecting. There is a large community expo, where I think there are Bronco players around for a meet & greet and such, but we weren’t all that interested. We sat in the shade for a few minutes as I complained about being out of shape before deciding to bike over to Habit Donut Dispensary.  (woah is me, I am slow right now, lets go eat donuts.)  I was hoping it would be fill the void of my beloved Cider Belly Donuts; while the donuts were tasty & unique because they can infuse them with liquor, it is not the same and the search continues.

Next year I plan to volunteer at packet picket up ( I am a firm believer in volunteering to help fix areas that need improvement, rather than just complaining about it.) I will also likely run it again. While slightly more expensive than I would generally pay for a shorter distance, the energy from the whole community is contagious.