Fit After Little Bits

eat right..work hard..play harder

Morning Workouts and a Chillaxed Day

Howdy, Tuesday friends! How was your day? Pretty quiet over here after our day in town yesterday.

Ken and I were up at 5:15 to ride the trainers this morning. It was nice and dark to start the day, but we made it through. We did an hour and I did 6 x 30 seconds of decently hard effort (as hard as I could do at 5am!!). We watched the movie Burnt and thought that it was really good! Followed it up with about 20 minutes of yoga because that was literally all the stretch my body could handle.

We got a little bit of snow overnight.

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Got into chores mode and put away some laundry. Brooke did her best to slow progress. Yes, that is my shirt and those are my socks with her tutu. Fit perfectly, huh?

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We played outside for quite a while this morning (it was pretty warm in the sun!). Brooke enjoyed some snow time while I moved fire wood over for the rest of the week. I also moved a planter off the porch to make snow removal easier this year 😉 Lessons that you learn. Ken had mentioned moving it (it is pretty large and heavy). We will see when he notices that it is already done!

Later in the day, we played “the fishing game” but had to use dinosaurs to catch them. A bit harder than usual!

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Just a little tea time to go with our play time. Dreaming of Hawaii much?

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Brooke practiced some letter writing while I tried to put together a workout plan for the next couple of weeks.

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Just enjoying our views.

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I love that her version of a perfect snack includes peppers and a tiny pear!

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Since it is dark at 2:30 (slight exaggeration), it is really nice to have these beautiful lights in my kitchen to keep me awake!

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Working on some grading tonight. The joys of online teaching….just when you want to go to bed, it is time to work 😉

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House Guests, a Casual Marathon and Decent Recovery

Hey there Party People! Just over here working our way through Tuesday.

Sorry that I have been MIA for a few, but we have been real-life-ing pretty hard over here and I haven’t had much time to sit down and type. So, let’s hit some highlights from the last few days/weekend!

Friday:

Spent most of the day cleaning up/getting ready for company and playing outside. Got a few easy miles in when the husband got home. Installed a vanity top and sink/faucet (okay, the husband gets credit for this one!).

Just our neighbors putting in a new road up a mountain. No big deal.

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Kombucha Scoby kinda creeping me out lately.

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When your kitchen is clean and you feel like you should go out for the next 17 meals so you dont get it dirty. Lasted 4 minutes.

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Quality evening trampoline jumping. Because, summer weather.

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Saturday:

Met my sister and brother-in-law in town to pick up race packets. Went for a quad/dirt bike ride (Brooke insisted on riding the entire time on the moto with Ken?!?!). Sat around and drank beer before jogging for 2 easy shake out miles. Went to bed.

Sunday:

Marathon Morning! I cannot tell you how casual I was about this race. I literally threw things together before bed and was in no way mentally prepared for the race. I just knew I was going to run for some hours and call it good!

We were at the start around 7 (race start: 7:30). Lined up and headed out. Since my sister was coming from sea level (to 8000+ feet), we kept a pretty chill pace (around 10:45 min/mile). We had a blast for about the first 11 miles chatting it up and enjoying the scenery. It was by far the prettiest race I have ever done.

Around mile 12, my sister really started to feel the altitude. Yeah, maybe it wasn’t our best idea to run an altitude marathon with her coming from Cali. Lesson learned. I sped ahead a bit at this point because I had drank water at all of the aid stations and my post-baby body requires more bathroom trips to rectify this! hahaha.  I knew there would be bathrooms at the 13.1 mile mark as it was the start of the half marathon. After hitting the port-a-potty, I hung around the aid station for a bit picking up used water cups. The volunteers looked at me like I was nuts, but it was better than just standing there!

I realized that my husband, brother-in-law, kiddo and pup were just a bit ahead so I asked a volunteer to keep an eye out for my sister and let her know that I would meet her just ahead. They were at mile 14.5 and I got to spend some time chatting, playing with water guns (it was HOT), eating and changed up my shoes.

Once my sister made it to us, it was clear that the altitude was taking a toll on her. Lots of cramping/hard time breathing….and she is a pretty seasoned marathoner! We dont have a lot of oxygen in our air here 😉

She caught her breath for a couple of minutes and then tried to head out with me again. Since she was suffering and didnt know how much farther her body would take her, she encouraged me to head off on my own (there was a 5:30 time cut off). I set off and did the remaining 11 miles solo (she had to bail at mile 16 after pulling a calf muscle and hitting the deck). I was pretty good until about mile 17 before battling some stomach cramps. Luckily, they backed off after about 10 minutes and I could keep moving. My farthest training run was 16 miles the previous weekend, so I felt those miles past that! Also, the downhill was a quad killer!!

I did some walking between miles 21 and 24 (some good uphills here and I just hadn’t trained enough). It was 78 degrees and I was pouring whatever water  I could on myself! Managed to pull it together and run the last 2.2 miles to the finish!

Finished with a time of 4:53ish. Somehow was 8/16 in my age group. My moving time according to Strava was about 4:35. Nice little break in there.

Overall, it was a great experience and somehow I was able to function afterwards!

Please excuse the face that I am making…pretty sure that I am saying “beer me”. 😉

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Quads were a bit sore the next day, but mostly just my sunburn hurt 😉

Enjoyed some time walking around town before grabbing some pizza, going home to hot tub it, shower and back to town for an amazing Mexican food dinner!

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If you are looking for a challenging, but gorgeous Marathon/Half/10k Steamboat has it for ya! Just do some high altitude training first 😉

Gave me a lot of confidence to finish on limited training/injury recovery.  Huge credit to the bike!f

Spectating was hard.

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Monday:

Our company left around 9 and Brooke and I spent some quality time playing before cleaning up the house.

We got about 40 minutes of riding in (trailer style) for a recovery spin. Legs felt decent, but the thunderstorm that was looming brought us home early.

Tuesday (TODAY!!):

Did some work for my class that is starting this morning before heading up to the pond for Jasper to play in the water! Brooke got just as dirty 😉

Came home and attempted to play in the sprinklers, but that water is COLD!

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I jumped on the trainer for an easy spin (1 hour) because they just sprayed our dirt roads and I didn’t want chemicals all over us and the bike!

Then we made brownies! They are currently cooling. And then we are going to try them 😉

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Hope you had an amazing weekend! Looking forward to relaxing a bit and then jumping back into some training!

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Racing for a Reason

There is just something about racing.

Running races, cycling races. Lining up at the starting line with a bunch of people that you do not know.  Strangers. All with the same intention that you have: making it to the finish line (and typically as quickly as possible!).

We train. Hard. We wake up early (and often in the dark) to log miles and hours in our given sport. We hop on the trainer or the treadmill after a long day, because we know that that extra edge is going to get us where we want to go. We know that these hours will get us to the finish line faster.

But why do we race?! What reasons do we have to put ourselves through the pain and suffering (okay, you know that is only slightly over-dramatic, but racing hurts!) of early alarms and sometimes grueling events?-> Hello, cramping legs and swelling hands-I am talking to you!

The endorphins? Sure. Those are pretty neat. Fulfilling our competitive nature? I would put a check mark next to this one. Giving ourselves incentive to keep working out and staying healthy? Absolutely!

But what if it was about more than that? What if it was about supporting a cause that you believe in? What if it was about raising money for a condition that you feel passionate about? What if it was more than racing?

Personally, I absolutely love when a race has a cause that it is standing behind. When I first started running, I knew that I wanted to race. And I knew that I wanted it to mean something. Wouldn’t it be awesome if more races would lend their support to a given cause??

Maybe I would race more 😉

Here are a few of the awesome races I have been able to participate in that had amazing causes behind them! Also, a look into my sister’s LA marathon run to support the Hirshberg Training Team!

Panerathon

The second race that I ever participated in was the Panerathon 5K.  One of the reasons that this race excited me was the amazing cause behind it! These guys want to Run Hunger Out of Town. If you read the statistics, it is mind blowing the amount of hunger in our country. It was amazing to participate in a race that I knew was helping to combat this issue. I love food. It breaks my heart that so many are not able to afford it. Go run this race. Right now.

Eagle’s Heart 5K

Running this race in 2011 was a great experience! It was a fairly small race and I managed to eek out a second place in the female division. My husband and our dog came to support me and popped around the course. The race benefited the local Boy Scouts. It was especially neat because the awards ceremony was tied into one of their expos and we got to explore and learn more about the program. It is a pretty sweet organization and they do amazing things in their community!

Mud Hen 5K

Oh boy do I remember this race. It was COLD! Rain/snow/wet. My poor husband had to suffer through watching me. I kid, kind of. I finished second in my age group the year I ran this race! It made me feel like a “real runner.”

The Mud Hen Races now support Habitat for Humanity in the St. Vrain Valley. Another great organization doing wonderful things in the community! Plus, can you beat a Mud Hen? 😉

Star Valley Half Marathon

This half marathon runs through the beautiful Star Valley in western Wyoming. It just happens to run right passed my in-laws house! In 2014, I decided to run this race on a bit of a whim. I trained for 2 whole weeks and got up to 6 miles for a long run. Needless to say, I had little expectation for race day 😉

Somehow, I managed to PR by several minutes and finished second in my age group. My daughter was 13 months old. I ran a 1:48 and couldn’t believe it.

This race is run to celebrate the life of Jeremy Kunz. He was a local runner who tragically lost his life to a drunk driver. This race serves as a remembrance of an amazing man and brings attention to the issue of driving under the influence. It is incredible to see the (fairly small) community come out and support this cause!

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These were all races that had amazing causes behind them! I would love to see more race directors teaming up with organizations that provide a back story to their race! The running community is such a phenomenal group. There is so much support for each other, but there is always this huge desire to give back.

While races with a cause are amazing, they are not the only way to run for something bigger! This Spring, my sister teamed up with the Hirshberg Training Team to run for pancreatic cancer! I asked her a few questions about racing for this cause and here is what she had to say…(Thanks, Alle and congrats on your killer race and outstanding PR on the LA Marathon course!)

Can you tell me a little bit about why you ran to raise money for the Hirshberg Foundation?
Originally I decided to run with the Hirshberg Foundation because the owner of the company I work for started the foundation in his father’s honor. I thought it was a great cause and immediately volunteered to put my legs to good use. Through the process of fundraising, however, I realized that pancreatic cancer was a disease with an incredible amount of people affected. Almost everyone I talked to seemed to know someone who had suffered from pancreatic cancer and was incredibly generous with donations and support. I even found out the my maternal great grandfather died of the disease at age 45, a fact I had not known until I began my fundraising journey.
Why it was important to you to raise money for a cause?
The more I raised for the cause and the more people I talked to, I began to realize that while this cancer had not directly affected me, it had touched millions of peoples lives and if I was doing even a small part to help, it was worth it.
Did it make it feel more important than other races that you have done?
It definitely felt more important. At mile 21, there was a huge group of pancreatic cancer survivors waiting to cheer me on and when they saw me coming around the corner in my team shirt, there was incredible outpouring of support like I have never felt. Right when I felt like I was hitting a wall, they were all there waiting to run a short distance with me and pick up my spirits. I rode that emotional high all the way to the finish line and it really gave me the strength to not only finish strong for me, but for them as well. The fact that those people had beaten the odds and survived such a horrible disease while enduring chemo, multiple hospital stays, and numerous surgeries, gave me a crazy amount of will power to give every once of every I had left to the course.
Would you do it again in the future?
Absolutely! I received nothing but support from friends, loved ones, and the foundation itself and if doing something I love can help others, I am all for it!
Any races for a cause you are interested in doing in the future?
I would love to do a race benefiting Type 1 Diabetes research. Since my husband, David, has Type 1, it is definitely near and dear to my heart.
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Yep, she KILLED it!!
Well, I hope that you feel inspired and ready to race! Find something that you are passionate about (I mean, besides running 😉 ) and get out there and support it! We can be advocates for so many things! Look for some of those races that mean something to you and get to training!! Good luck!
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