Rocky Mountain High!

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Last run in Manhattan!!!

Alright!! So here it is, I am leaving today for Denver!! Frank and I will be staying with our good friend, Scott, in Boulder, which is about 40 minutes away from the starting line. I am definitely excited to go… although I don’t think Elly shares that excitement.

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I did my last few runs, including my last time seeing the Linear Trail before the race. Seriously, I couldn’t stop smiling the entire run.

I am all packed up and ready. Oh… and this is my raceday outfit:

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I’ll be wearing my Roga Shorts and a Flyte Tank from Oiselle. I’ll have a lot of Gu packs on me, so luckily my Roga Shorts have enough pockets to accommodate that.

I still don’t know my bib number, but you can still check athlete tracking using my name. The race starts at 6:00 am MT… pretty early unless you are an east coaster.

Thanks for all of the advice and support you all gave me and for signing up for runner tracking. I might be the most tracked runner at that race. Haha! I am so excited to get on the road and get this thing done!!!

Only 3 days until the race! See ya’ll when I get back!!!

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Colfax Marathon Goals

It is time to talk goals.

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The Colfax Marathon is this Sunday. I do not know what wave I am in, but the marathon is not too big and the race starts at 6:00 am, so I should be on the course pretty early. The weather is supposed to be ideal for a marathon. Hopefully it stays that way.

The race is split into 5 sections. The first and last sections are largely the same and include a run through the Denver Broncos stadium where you get to see your picture on the jumbotron (not sure how much I’ll care about that in the first go through, but I’m sure at mile 20, it’ll certainly be helpful). From miles 1-16, it is a very mild uphill gaining about 500 feet of elevation. I figure I won’t really notice it too much, since 500 feet over 16 miles isn’t all that much. However, from miles 16-20 is a section called the “Screaming Downhill”. Running downhill has always been my strength and I will be looking forward to that section.

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Not a terrible elevation profile. 

My plan for the race is to run at 4:00:00 pace with the pacer until the Screaming Downhill. If the pacer goes out too fast, I’ll keep it chill and find them later. I trained for a 9:00/mi race, so 9:06 should feel rather comfortable. I want every mile before 16 to have a “9” in the front… not an “8”. I know it will be a problem if I start punching out 8:50’s and stuff. If I am feeling good at the top of the hill, I will let the pace go down a little and ride the downhill. The bottom of the hill is right into the Broncos Stadium for the second time at mile 20, I’ll probably be excited and once I exit out, I’ll be seeing Frank and our friends at mile 22. My goal from that point is to finish with the 4:00:00 pacer behind me.

So… that brings us to my goals. My main goal is to just have fun, so if any of the other goals (except the C goal) are in the way of that, I will abandon it.

A: 3:59:59

B: Under 4:10:00

C: Finish the damn race!

Since this is my first marathon, anything that gets me to that finish line is okay. If I end up walking, I’m sure that will be accompanied with tears, but Frank and my friends will put it in perspective that I will have finished a marathon. Any time is a PR for me and I will have another opportunity to crush it in Chicago come October. I do feel attached to going under the big 4:00:00 barrier, but it really is okay even if I don’t.

I have my outfit picked out (I’ll post it later), and my food and gels are ready. I have some laundry and a little packing to do, but I am basically done. The preparation was as good as it was going to get and I am ready to do this.

I’ll be getting my bib number on Thursday and will give you all that information then. You can search me on athlete tracking by my name (Kerry Regan). They have a funny system where you get email updates (my parents are already signed up, so if you take one of the other email slots, that is fine). My Twitter account will post splits, so you should see those on the sidebar on my blog or you can just go on twitter and search @thisyogiruns. They may have a system come race day in the results, but Run Colfax has not indicated how that will work. Either way, if you want to track me and see splits, I’m sure it can be done and it will definitely be here on the sidebar of my blog and on Twitter.

I really need to say thanks to all of you for your advice, encouragement, and overall kind words throughout the marathon training process. It seriously takes a village to get me to a starting line feeling confident and all of you have played a huge part in that. During those last 6 miles, when it is tough and I want to quit, I will think of all of the things you all have said throughout my training. It has really been a journey getting to this start line and I will not forget how much that journey meant.

I’ll be heading out to Denver on Thursday (It is a 7-hour ride, so that will be fun…). I will post again before I leave with the bib number, race outfit pics, and a little surprise about a race in the UK. 🙂

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Hey Denver!! I’m coming for ya!

What is your favorite race playlist song? I am putting together my marathon day music and I need some good ones!

Colfax Marathon Training Week 14

Thanks everyone who listened to my complaining last week and gave me encouraging words as I was heading into a race week. I spent a lot of my training unsure if maybe something was wrong with my legs or if I was on the verge of an injury. I am still having the extreme soreness, but I think it’s getting better. I’ve been making a gentle yoga practice a real priority while also trying to cut back on my mileage a bit to give my legs a rest. I am under four weeks out from my first marathon and this next week is my peak mileage week.

This was my week:

M: Total Rest Day – did a lot of whining though

T: 6 miles – easy pace + yoga

W: 8 miles – 5 at goal MP tempo + strength training

T: 6 miles – easy pace + yoga

F: yoga

S: 13.1 trail race + biking

S: 10 miles hiking

Total Running: 33 miles + 10 hiking

Last week started with a lot of nervousness and hesitation. I was having a nerve-like pain going down the outside of both of my legs causing weakness that felt almost like my legs were going to buckle out. It was very strange and not anything I’d ever felt before. I was supposed to hit some pretty high mileage last week, but since I had a race, and this weird pain, I decided to cool it and air on the side of caution.

As usual, my easy days were a struggle and my tempo run was fantastic (why is easy so hard?!). Even though I was having the weird feeling in my legs, I still held the pace fine and without too much effort on my lungs. This gave me a lot of confidence that a 9:00/mi pace will be okay at Colfax. I started to wonder if this feeling in my legs is just mental (I’m still not entirely sure that it’s not).

On Thursday I went for my sports massage. I gotta say, that was an incredible experience. The massage therapist tortured my legs for a while, but at the end asked me if I knew that I tend to kick my right foot out to the side while I run (he could tell by the “imbalances” in my muscles on that leg). Of course, I did know all about this. I’ve seen it in pictures and video of my running. Basically, he made a total believer in me of sports massage and of his knowledge of anatomy. It definitely helped the weakness and pain in my legs a lot, but it didn’t take it completely away. While practicing yoga, I came out of a handstand a little funny and felt it again, so it’s not gone, but it certainly got better.

I took a day off heading into my race on Saturday and was feeling reasonably refreshed. The race was AWESOME and those of you who follow me on twitter already know what happened. I’ll save the story for my race recap. But I will leave you with this photo:

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So… that happened. 😉

Frank and I went biking after the race for a few hours and then camped at a state park close to the race. The next day I woke up pretty sore, so instead of running, we just hiked about 10 miles through some of the hilly grassland prairie.

This week is the peak of my training. I’ll see how many miles I get in, it really depends on how I am feeling and holding up. I’m getting very excited about the taper, but the last 20-miler is definitely sitting heavy on my mind. My goal is to make it through with healthy legs so I can taper and be ready for Colfax in less than 4 weeks (really?!?).

Congrats to everyone that ran Boston yesterday! I hope you had a great time!

How do you mentally prepare for really high mileage weeks? Do you look forward to the taper?

Colfax Marathon Week 9: Halfway There

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!!

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I have reached the halfway point of my training plan. That means the Colfax Marathon is less than 9 weeks away and while I’m certainly not ready to go out and run it tomorrow, I do feel like running it is possible… eventually. I had a great week of training with the highest mileage I’ve ever run. I hit my paces, kept things feeling strong, and ate like everything ever in my house. Seriously, marathon training is bad for my food bill.

In all honesty, I feel like the time has passed way too fast. When I started training, the race felt forever away, but now it’s coming up. My first 20-miler is in about two weeks and things are getting real. In reality, I only have 4 more runs left that are over 14 miles before the taper. It’s amazing how much my definition of “running really far” has changed during this training cycle.

Monday: 6 miles Goal MP Tempo

This was a pretty uneventful run. I kept it at the right pace and it felt easy and short. I went around town and dragged Frank out with me for 3 miles of it. I was still a little sore from the backpacking trip, but my legs warmed up really fast and the soreness went away right after the run. I did some yoga after to keep myself from feeling too tight. That was it. Easy peasy.

Tuesday: 6.2 Hills + Some intervals

I was planning on doing an easy run, but I woke up feeling great. I decided to go out and do some hills and intervals. I warmed up for about a mile, went up and down a pretty sizeable hill four times and then did some intervals on tired legs. I ran around a park near the hill that is just over a quarter of a mile and used that as the interval. I ran 4 times around at a comfortably fast pace (we’ll call it 5k pace) and in between ran around the park at a very easy pace. I managed a negative split on the intervals with my final interval being the fastest, which was impressive given how tired my legs were feeling from the hills. I ran home to cool down.

Wednesday: 6 miles easy

This was just a chill run at a chill pace. I didn’t feel sore from the day before, so this felt nice and easy. I decided after to go to my friend’s fitness class, where she subsequently kicked my butt using kettle bells. I must say, I was not meant to be a weight lifter! I did some yoga after to stretch out so I wouldn’t be sore the next day.

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Bit of a gloomy day

Thursday: Rest! Did some yoga though

 Friday: 8 miles Goal MP Tempo

I went for a 1 mile warm up and then did 6 miles at goal MP. There were some hickups here or there because I was going over a hilly area of town, but I basically kept the pace controlled and close to pace. In the middle of the run, my mom called, so I talked to her while I ran. I’m pretty sure everyone running by thought I was insane, but whatevs. It’s like having a running partner when you run while talking on the phone!

Saturday: 16 miles LSD

Always the most important and hardest to get out the door run of the week. I went out in the morning despite the gloomy weather to check out some new terrain around town. I went down a few roads I had never seen, which turned out to be kind of hilly. Overall, it was a pretty good run, however, I did have a weird pain in my foot. I decided afterwards to retire the shoes (I have no idea how many miles were on them) and switch them out for the shiny new pair in my closet. So far, everything feels great again!

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Frank came for a few miles on his bike and snapped this pic.
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Check out these shiny new shoes!!!

Sunday: Rest – Went camping Saturday night and hiking Sunday morning!

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Frank and Ben hanging by the campfire

Total Mileage: 42 miles (Holy Cow!!)

So there you have it! I had my biggest week yet and it is followed by another big week… but so far everything is going great. Luckily I do have nice cut back coming up and I am looking forward to it!

How has your St. Pats day been? Do you have plans to celebrate tonight (I will be hanging out with a few friends as their DD, since I am afraid any amount of alcohol is going to completely derail my training)?

Colfax Marathon Week 2: Kickin’ Butt!!

Week two of my Colfax Marathon training cycle is over, and I only have 110 days to get myself ready! I know that sounds like a long time… but it’s not. However, it will be more than enough time if every week goes as well as this week did. Basically, mostly everything went right. I had a few weather snafus that stopped me from hitting my paces, but the effort was there, even if the clock didn’t say so.

Monday: 8 miles LSD – Long run pushed off from week before due to weather

I wrote about this run here. It was a pretty good long run, but was pushed off to this week due to arctic temperatures in Kansas.

Tuesday: 3 miles easy pace on treadmill + Yoga

It was still bitterly cold out on Tuesday, and I had kinda lost feeling in my legs by the end of my 8-mile long run, so I decided to take this one inside. I hate the treadmill, and even though it was an easy paced run, mentally, this run was pretty tough. I have such a hard time keeping my mind occupied while running indoors.

Wednesday: 3 miles in snowstorm + Yoga

I went out for a run during a rather nasty snowstorm. I figured that since the temps weren’t too bad, that I could take the snow. I was hoping to hit close to marathon pace, but couldn’t stop my feet from slipping on the snow, so I just did put a medium amount of effort into the run. I was pretty glad to get home and dry off a bit.

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This is what Elly was up to when I got back from my run. It was apparently too cold to be awake.

Thursday: 3 miles easy pace on treadmill + Yoga

Kansas doesn’t believe in plows and salt… so I ended up taking my run inside… again. By the end of it, I was ready to swear off the treadmill forever. I did some yoga after, and that made me feel better about being cooped up indoors.

Friday: 5 miles Marathon Pace… but not really + Yoga

I intended for this run to be at marathon pace. Frank and two of our friends came out for the run (although Frank only did 3 miles). It was icy and cold, which slowed us down a lot. Dodging the ice and snow made for an interesting run that almost felt like trail running. We kept it about 30 seconds per mile slower than MP, although the effort seemed pretty tough.

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The reads and sidewalks were caked in ice… and it really only got worse as we went along.
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Obligatory post-run selfie. Frank had already run inside to get away from the cold.

Saturday: Rest Day – Went to see the largest ball of twine in the world… and yes, that is in Kansas!

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Artsy shot of the twine. Kansas is a strange place…

Sunday: 10 miles LSD + Yoga

I went to a yoga class in the AM and ran in the afternoon. One of Frank’s co-workers expressed interest in training for a half marathon, so I took him along for 7 miles of the run… and he did great! This was the first long run that has actually felt like a long run in a while. It was a real milestone to hit double digits. I actually don’t think I have done that since my Chicago Marathon training back in October. It was a great run, and I even got to explore a new route. Frank joined me for the last three miles and really pushed the pace. I ran a negative split with the last mile well below marathon pace (Thanks Frank). I had intended to keep this run pretty slow, but with the ice gone and fresh legs, I felt too good to slow down.

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Zeb is learning how fun running can really be!!

Total Mileage: 32.4

Overall, this was a great week. I needed it too! With the A1A Half Marathon coming up, I think I needed a few confident long runs under my belt into order to go for a PR in Fort Lauderdale. Also, the higher mileage felt good on my legs, so I’m pretty glad to be back! This week, Frank and I will be heading to Boulder on Thursday night, so I’ll be doing a few runs at altitude!

This week:

M: Rest

T: 3 miles easy

W: 6 miles MP

Th: 3 miles easy

F: 6 miles

S: Hiking in Colorado!

S: 12 miles LSD through Boulder

How was your week? Anyone hit by bad weather? Also, I know Kristina and Ali are doing the A1A Marathon/Half Marathon. Is anyone else gonna be there?

Happy Wednesday! I am signed up for Colfax!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!! This is what Elly was doing on this fine morning:

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Isn’t she a lazy bum? I love her so much!

Well… Today it is official… I am signed up to run the Colfax Marathon on May 15.

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I am a ways away from the day, BUT I am already starting to get into training shape. I was pretty bad about running over the holidays, but now that I am back home, I am doing some easy chill runs to remind my legs how to run (and pathetically, they are sore EVERY DAY). Luckily, my friends have been coming on a few runs with me to help get my body back into gear!

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It was so cold! Jordie (the puppy) was there to pace us. 

I am still deciding on what training plan to use, but I have a few in mind (I’ll write a post once I decide). My “official” training begins in about 2 weeks, and honestly I can’t believe it’s already here. After not being able to run Chicago, I’ve been having a bit of run-anxiety, which prevented me from signing up for Colfax until now. I am constantly worried about getting hurt and not being able to run it. I have decided that time really doesn’t matter for this race. I only need to finish it and get a time to beat at Chicago in October. It’s just hard to keep that state of mind, especially when I have good days. Needless to say, there will be no mountain biking until after the race.

 

I hope everyone is having a great week! What training plan is your favorite? Any advice for a first time marathoner?

A New Path to 26.2

I have been avoiding writing this post, since I knew it would make this more real. But the thing is… it’s pretty real. So I guess I’ll just let it spill.

I deferred my entry for Chicago until 2016.

Several weeks ago, I was climbing a few 14ers (mountains that are over 14,000 feet) in Colorado, and on the way down from the last one, I twisted my knee a little. I didn’t think too much of it, so the next day, I still ran my prescribed 18 miles. It went horribly. I couldn’t go very fast and I spent a lot of it limping. I finished when I probably shouldn’t have.

Top of Mt. Democrat. This was the first of 4 14ers I did on the day I tweaked my knee. At least the view was beautiful!
Top of Mt. Democrat. This was the first of 4 14ers I did on the day I tweaked my knee. At least the view was beautiful!

I took a bit of time off, and it helped. I got back to running and everything was ok. But as soon as I got back on my feet, I got a terrible upper respiratory infection that included a high fever and lots of coughing. I couldn’t run at all for a full week. So… since I had basically missed out on my peak marathon training, I decided to defer until 2016.

HOWEVER… I am officially running the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa Oklahoma on November 22. I am back to running, and my knee feels good (my lungs feel okay). I realized that Chicago wouldn’t be very fun, but with training and hard work, Route 66 is gonna be awesome. The best part is… I already have a race to PR my marathon time next year!

Route 66 , here I come!
Route 66 , here I come!

Route 66 is going to be especially great. I’ll be running it two days before my 29th birthday and as soon as I’m done, Frank and I will be driving out to Utah for some canyoneering and mountain biking. I couldn’t be more excited.

Instead of being sad about this… like I was when I pushed the button to defer, I am using this as an opportunity. This is going to be tons of fun AND Chicago 2016 is gonna be awesome!