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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Race Recap: Tenacious Ten

Cowbell medal (It works!)

The Tenacious Ten took place Saturday, April 22 at 8:00am in Seattle, Washington. The race had two distances: 10k and 10 miler. I ran the 10k. [Race Information]

We registered before our move and when we found out flights were a lot cheaper (and direct!) from Bozeman, we decided to stick with it. As I mentioned in my goals post, the trip came at a weird time, but it all worked out. It was a nice break from all the moving crap!

Packet Pickup
We arrived Friday afternoon, road the train to our hotel, then walked to packet pickup. I had a VIP registration and since this race was presented by Oiselle, I received a Flyte tank, Roga shorts, a drawstring Oiselle logo bag, and a wristband for the VIP tent at the race. Alex and I both received the race trucker hat and temporary tattoos. (I probably wouldn't do VIP registration again because I now have three Flyte tanks and I like Toolbelt Roga shorts better.)

Pre Race
Oh yeah! On Friday morning I woke up with an aching ankle. It bothered me a few times during runs the week before, but nothing quite like the pain I had on Friday. I ended up buying athletic tape and wrapped and iced my ankle when we got back to the hotel. I think we went to bed fairly late (I blame cable), but the 6am alarm wasn't the end of the world. I forgot my normal PB and bread, so I tried to make do with whatever I could find.

Gas Works Park
The walk to the race start was over a mile and my ankle still hurt. I was pretty bummed. At first, I thought maybe it was a phantom pre-race pain -- all mental. Unfortunately, it was real. We got to the park at 7:30am for announcements, I went to the porta potty while Alex checked our bag, and then I found some of my Oiselle friends before we lined up.

The Race
I lined up near the back half of the 8:00 corral, chatted with some ladies, turned on my podcast (2 Dope Queens), and started my watch a little bit before we crossed the timing strip. I intended to run Friday to get used to Seattle air, but decided to rest my ankle. I was happy to find it was extremely easy to breathe! Finally!! I forgot what it feels like to be able to run 6 miles without stopping for deep heaving breaths.

Free race photos!
The course had a few rolling hills ranging from 30 to 130ft. I'll be honest: if I still lived in Columbus I would have walked the big ones. My Bozeman training is already paying off! I ran the hills and didn't have a significant slowdown!

My ankle hurt until about mile 4 when my entire body started to ache, so I didn't notice it as much. ;) I can't really do a mile by mile recap because my GPS goofed (see map below). Plus, it was a pretty uneventful race. The scenery was mostly lovely with lake and city views, runners spread out so I never felt crowded, and traffic was perfectly controlled so I was never intimidated by cars. I didn't carry a water bottle, so I stopped at two water stops. There was a GU stop, but it was pretty early on. I think they should probably move it to a later stop next year.

I swear this is an optical illusion, b/c I never saw these people near me! (minus the couple on the right)

Around mile 5 the 10 milers split off and the 10k went up a hill and over a bridge. The hill was a butt kicker even though it was one of the smallest in the race. Again, very thankful for Bozeman. I felt sluggish and slow in mile 6, but I got into the 7s even on my bum ankle. I have to admit I was very happy I didn't sign up for the 10 miler -- and, of course, started to question running a mountainous 25k in June.

Regardless, I came around the final turn into the finish and I guess I sped up, but not fast enough to keep another Oiselle teammate from passing. I did not care in the slightest. I just wanted to be done!

Trotting home.

Post Race
I got my cowbell medal and water, then found Alex. He was beat. He ran a 7:00 pace and claimed he's "out of shape." He also hasn't run more than 2.5 miles in months. (What a turd.) But he was super tired the rest of the weekend (and even on our run last night) so I don't feel too bad. I could have run another 6 miles about an hour after the race ended. I guess I need to work on "leaving it all on the course?" Puke pace or bust?

Freebies at the end included small donuts, big donuts and chocolate milk in the VIP tent, Picky Bars, Picky Bar samples, Nuun samples, some other kind of energy bar, and a few other tents I didn't visit. The DJ was good, too. I hear the weather got a little dicey during the awards ceremony, but we'd already started our walk back to the hotel. (And ended up walking 11 or 12 miles the rest of the day! Needless to say, we figured out the bus system Sunday.)

The rest of the weekend included a few more Oiselle events: a tour of the O office, an O party at a brewery, and a photo shoot. More to come on that last thing.... assuming the photos look good.

Messed up data. Green start mark at mile 1, yet it gave me mile times...(?!)

Stats and Thoughts
First off, I would run this race again in a heartbeat. I'd like to imagine Alex and I in super shape next year. Since it's a direct flight (one of the few from Bozeman) it is a nice excuse to visit Seattle.

Final Time: 53:41 (8:39 pace)
Overall (10k): 160 / 651 (25%)
Female: 111 / 539 (21%)
Age Group: 24 / 106 (23%)

I guess I PRd? (I don't race 10ks.) My Strava data is messed up so it didn't mark it as my fastest, but my official chip time suggests I met my [revised] A goal. I think I could have crushed it if I'd had one more month of training in Bozeman (and if my ankle was 100%, of course). Oh well.

Honestly, this was a nice confidence booster. I've been struggling on nearly ever run in Bozeman. Even when my paces are good, I can't make it more than a mile or two before needing a short break to catch my breath. Perhaps I need to schedule flat, sea level races every time we travel. ;)

Up Next: I might sign up for a race this weekend in place of my long run. If not, we're going to run some 5ks in May.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Goals: Tenacious Ten

This weekend Alex and I are heading to Seattle to run the Tenacious Ten and tour the city for the first time) We booked the race last year and flights were cheaper (and direct) from Bozeman so we decided to stick with it.

Unfortunately, for about a million reasons this trip comes at an inconvenient time. For instance, we haven't moved into our house and most of our stuff is still in storage –including my luggage, cute shoes, and my bathing suit. It's also inconvenient because we don't have any close friends in Bozeman so we have to board Tobias while we're gone; something we've never done. He had a trial night last week and seemed fine, but now he's got the sniffles and I'm running through all of the worst case scenarios.

Most importantly (running wise), our move in March interrupted my training and I've had a hard time figuring out my speed with altitude and elevation. I did the last 6 weeks of a combination of Hal Higdon's 10k Advanced and Intermediate plans, but some runs were a struggle. I killed a 10x400 speedwork session, then bombed a fun run 5k a week later. I have some speed, but in short bursts. I know I'll have this all figured out in a few months for the Missoula Half Marathon, but right now I'm really confused about my pace and expectations.

I thought I'd list my goals since this is my first race in a while and I feel like I've forgotten how to approach it.

A: This is a perfect day where we assume cool temps, low humidity, and extra air from being at sea level. Let's pretend my "altitude training" was worth it. 54:00 or an 8:40 pace.

B: New PR. The old one was set in the middle of another race because I haven't raced a non-trail 10k. 55:06 or an 8:55-ish pace.

C: Under an hour. 9:35 pace.

I'm super bummed because a fit me from 2016 would have killed at least an 8:30 pace. But I've got to be realistic. No burnout! No DNF! Just treat it as a nice tempo training run... Start slow, get faster.

(By the way, even with all my whining, I love Bozeman and I've been enjoying my runs.)

Anyone else heading to Seattle? 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Weekly Review: Getting Settled

Mountains everywhere!
Hola! I'm a day late for my Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin, but what can I say? Weekends are full of food and hikes and blogging takes a backseat.

March 20–26
Monday: 3 mi run
Tuesday: 3.5 mi run 
Wednesday: 3.1 mi run
Thursday: 2.6 mi run
Friday: rest
Saturday: 2 mi hike Story Mill Spur; 2.2 mi hike Triple Tree Trail
Sunday: 3.3 mi hike Triple Tree Trail loop, 3 mi run

Running Miles / Elevation: 15.4 miles / 98 ft
Hiking Miles / Elevation: 7.5 mi / 1031 ft

New Plan
Work helper
We're settling into Bozeman and a new routine, so I decided to start a new training plan. I chose Hal Higdon's advanced 10k plan to focus on April 22's Tenacious Ten in Seattle. Of course, I don't have 8 weeks, so I had to start on week 4. Even with my pathetic previous month of training I knew I could pick it up in the middle without too much issue.

My only "failed" workout came on Wednesday when I did 4 x 400 instead of 9 x 400. I did a mile warm up and cool down (unheard of for me!), but ran my 400s way too fast (7:00-7:15 pace) so I was spent by #4. I really could have run more, but I called it quits. Lazy!

Overall, my runs were too fast and I paid the price when my IT band started to act up by Thursday. I broke out pigeon pose and my foam roller and made sure to take the two prescribed rest days.

New Job
I planned to spend last week doing our taxes and running errands. That didn't happen because I got a job. It was serendipitous... or something. I've been working with the same freelance client for a few years and when I turned in a project on Monday they asked if I'd be interested in a steady job. I love working with them so it was a no brainer. I may get a job here in Bozeman someday, but for now I'm enjoying the illustration work and semi-flexible schedule.

View from Triple Tree
New Trails
On Saturday we ran bunch of errands, went to a brewery for lunch, then tackled the very easy Story Mill Spur Trail. It was only a mile one way but lead to another brewery, so we stopped for a drink and turned around. We still had energy so we went to the Triple Tree Trail. We went a mile through prairie and mud until we hit a second entry point. Alex and I didn't feel like doing the remaining 3 mile loop so we turned around and went to the grocery.

Triple Tree before we got to the top
On Sunday we went to brunch, lazed around, then went back to Triple Tree to finish the 3.3 mile loop. It was a decent climb full of switchbacks and we had another great view of Bozeman. Besides the periodic muddy parts it was an excellent trail. It's also right next to a neighborhood of giant houses with an amazing paved street that would be perfect for hill work. I will be back!

As seen along Saturday's walk
I still haven't joined a running group. I need to get my bike out of storage so I can get around town (free bus system seems cool, but it takes a while to get anywhere if you need to switch buses). I'll figure it out.

Until next week...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly Review: Bozeman

View from our temporary rental parking lot
I'm back for the Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin and I thought I'd do a GIANT recap of our first 8 days in a new city to help me remember what we've done so far.

March 11–19
Saturday: 2.8 mile run 
Sunday: 2 mile run
Monday: Hike (College M Trail)
Tuesday: 3.14 mile run
Wednesday: Hike (Hyalite Canyon), 2 mile run
Thursday: rest
Friday: Hike (Sourdough Canyon Trail), 3 mile run
Saturday: Hike (Drinking Horse Trail)
Sunday: rest

2017 Total (Running): 163.6 miles

Elevation, Acclimation, and Weather
The elevation is about 4,800 ft. Our neighborhood in Columbus was 700 ft, so getting used to the higher altitude took a little while. Besides having to stop during runs, we both took naps in the first half of the week, and got a bit dehydrated. Luckily, we didn't have headaches. Also: the weather has been fantastic! We've been so spoiled with temps in the upper 40s to upper 60s. It's nuts!

First brewery stop
Activities by day
We kicked off our first non-moving day in Bozeman (Saturday) exploring Main Street for brunch (Jam!) and shopping (we found the running store). Afterwards we went on a 3 mile run around our hotel and a nearby pond. We both needed to stop for air and after two miles Alex bailed and I ran back to the hotel alone. Later that night we went to our first brewery for dinner and drinks (Bridger Brewing).

On Sunday we moved into our temporary rental, then went out for shopping and lunch (the Pour House). Later, I explored the neighborhood on foot for 2 miles. What's weird about running here is my paces are exactly the same, but I have to take breaks. One positive: Bozeman itself is very flat. If I want hill training I have to go up in the mountains.

Halfway up the College M Trail
Speaking of mountains, we did our first hike on Monday with the dog. The College M Trail was a steep climb (about 900-1000 ft gain over a mile) and took us to a fantastic view of Bozeman. Before that we went to the bank to get pre-approved for a home loan and try another brunch place (Nova Cafe). That night we went to Montana Ale Works for happy hour.

The pond in our neighborhood park
On Tuesday we finally met our realtor in real life (I've been exchanging emails with her for about a month) and saw 6 condos and houses. We found one we loved and drafted an offer later than afternoon. (We got it, but can't move in until the end of April.) Afterwards I ran 3.14 Pi Day miles. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, but it was a decent run.

The frozen water at Hyalite Canyon
On Wednesday we went to Hyalite Canyon to check out the frozen reservoir. We took the dog and did a mini hike until the snow got too deep and he refused to go on. I don't think he enjoyed that hike as much as Monday's because when we got back to our apartment he refused to go outside! Alex and I went for a run to check out a nearby neighborhood (and the giant houses). It was hard to maintain a faster pace with him but at least it was only two miles. Luckily, he was exhausted after. ;)

Thursday was overcast so I worked on my current freelance project. In the afternoon we checked out a fro-yo place and another brewery (White Dog). Alex went to the running store to scope out the run group while I continued to do work. Glad I didn't go because he said it was a bunch of guys faster than him and one fast girl. Ugh. I wanted low key! The runners said it was abnormally empty because of spring break, so I guess we'll see. I hope it turns out to be a group I can join...

Sourdough Canyon Trail was a bit slushy
On Friday we went back to Main Street to buy postcards, explore book stores, and check out Bagels, Etc for lunch (so good). We also went to the library and got library cards and checked out a few books. I'm currently enjoying Big Little Lies -- the first book I've read in eons! (This move really interrupted my normal reading schedule.) That afternoon we went on another short hike on the Sourdough Canyon Trail, then celebrated St. Patrick's Day at Bozeman Taproom.

Close to the top of Drinking Horse
Saturday kicked off with more freelance work while Alex ran to the storage unit to find stuff. We spent the afternoon hiking Drinking Horse Trail, which was another short but steep climb with a great view of Bozeman. I think it was my favorite trail so far. I can't really imagine running it yet, but at least it was only 2.5 miles. Since we had nature time, we had to follow it up with beer at MAP Brewing.

Yesterday (Sunday) I put the finishing touches on my freelance project while Alex ran errands to prepare for his first day of work. Minus work, it was a lazy day.

Besides freelance, I'll spend this week filing our taxes and spending a lot of time doing boring transition stuff from our old house and setting up new accounts here. I'm really hoping it all calms down soon so I can veg out and soul search before I get another full time job.

All-in-all, it was a very eventful first 8 eight days. I'm so thankful for the great weather and I'm happy to report Bozeman is even better than I expected. I'm happy I agreed to move here. I miss my friends, but I do not miss Columbus. I think this area of Montana is the perfect fit for Alex and I. Every trail mentioned above was less than 30 minutes away (and most only a 10- 15 minute drive). I can't really believe we live in a completely different state, but at the same time it feels like it was meant to be.

Have you ever been to Montana?
Did it snow in your neck of the woods this week?
Unseasonably warm like here?  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Weekly Review: Wahoo! The house sold!

This week's sky shot -- Friday in Cincinnati
After a few crazy weeks preparing our house for sale (and being SICK), I'm back for the Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. I'm not really training for anything because of our upcoming move, but I had a solid week.

Week February 20–26
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 2 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: 3.2 miles

Total: 22.2 miles
Elevation gain: 289 ft
2017 Total: 140.1 miles

The past two weeks were all about prepping our house and unfortunately I was sick for 9 days straight (and ran 5 miles total!) On Monday the photographer came to take photos for the listing - which marked a big milestone for us. Afterwards, we went to trivia with our old group and while we didn't win, it reminded me why we used to go every week!

On Tuesday we ran a ton of errands and even though I was still a little sick, I got in a solid 3 miles.

Brewdog on Wednesday
I was also able to run in the middle of the day Wednesday, but unfortunately my running shoes were DONE (~320 miles) and I felt like I was running with about 20 extra pounds, so it was a good run to cut short. That night we tried a new brewery with a friend (we're trying to hit a bunch before we move and that one opened this week).

New shoes are dog approved.

Luckily, my new shoes arrived Thursday so I took them out for a 4 miler. It was a solid progression: 9:18, 8:50, 8:41, 8:14. I think Thursday was my laziest house day of the week -- and much needed!

Our house was listed Thursday at midnight, so I woke up Friday to our first showing request. We hit the road for IKEA to get a replacement faucet for the bathroom and during our drive to Cincinnati I received at least 10 requests for showings between Friday and Sunday. When we got back to Columbus we got a call from our realtor. We had our first offer! The offer came with a tight deadline (because 7 other people were drafting offers and they wanted us to accept theirs first). It was a fantastic offer including a 30 day closing and no repairs! We have an inspection this week, then we'll move forward. It's not 100% final, but barring any complications the house sold in less than a day!

Part of my group! (I'm holding the yellow water bottle.) 
After two weekends of sickness, I was finally able to get back to my training group Saturday! It was 78º on Friday and the temps plummeted overnight. Our run started in the low 40s. It was sunny and I wondered if I'd overdressed, but by mile 5 the sun was gone and we were caught in a hail storm! After the tiny hail balls stopped the wind picked up and the last 5 miles were in the upper 30s. Brr!

Another brewery on Saturday (Sideswipe)

We still had a few showings on Saturday (just in case), so Alex and I had to stay out of the house for most of the day. Luckily the showings after 4pm were canceled when our agent marked the house as "in contract," so we were able to relax a bit before going to a party at our neighbor's house. Saturday was a long and exhausting - but fun - day! It's funny how much we wanted to go home and relax!

Sunday runday funday
I woke to a migraine Sunday (I blame the constantly shifting weather), but managed to get out to breakfast with our neighbors while Alex did a full day of tree work. Post-breakfast I felt pretty icky so I hung out in bed most of the day, finally going outside around 4pm for a short run. I'm so glad I did. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Only 44º, but that's perfect running weather for me! Post-run I made dinner, did a bit of packing/organizing, and watched Twister in memory of Bill Paxton. 

Did your area have a crazy heatwave? 

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