Sunday, August 8, 2010

Magnolia Road Run – She’s a Bitch

I admit it. I’ve been getting  a bit psyched out about my run with Dean K. It’s two weeks from today. Here’s what’s causing the nerves:

  1. I’ve never done a trail race
  2. I’ve never done 20.4 miles on trails, racing or otherwise
  3. I’ve never climbed 2,721 feet on trails running from 8,000 feet to 9,400 feet. I can hardly breathe just typing it. Would it be wrong to run with on oxygen tank?
  4. I’ve never run/pooped alongside a celebrity runner
  5. I’ve never done 1-4 above all at the same time

You’d be nervous too.

Dean and I shared emails yesterday. I do love to say that. I told him I might cry if it gets too hard. He told me crying is good because it adds to the drama. At least I am being up front and he can’t say I didn’t warn him.

My interview with the big man is by phone on Tuesday. Thanks so much for your interview question ideas. They were a great help. I’ve compiled a list of some good ones, so stay tuned later this week to be the first to read the interview Q & A!

In preparation for the upcoming race, I told you I wanted to run the famed Magnolia Road west of Boulder. Ken and I did it today. This run has quite a reputation. She’s hard. She’s tough. She’s not for the faint of heart. She takes you up into the clouds. She chews you up and spits you out. This is what the bitch looks like on my Garmin (spoiler: yes, I did make it):


  I stole this from someone:


The alarm went off way too early at 5:45 a.m. I lay awake in those pre-dawn moments when you snuggle down into your sheets, face planted against the drool-drenched-mattress, knowing that you are way too tired to even think about getting out of bed let alone running 15 miles.

Ignoring each other because that’s what we do in the early morning, Ken and I filled up water bottles and my bladder with Accelerade and water. I grabbed a cup of steaming coffee for the 45 minute drive to the start and tried to choke down a piece of cinnamon raisin bread (whopping 32 carbs per slice!).

I loaded up my new hydration pack with the bladder and two 20 oz bottles of liquid. I had two GUs and my camera. Oh, and some Wet Ones should I need them during a roadside squat.

We got to the start at 8,100 feet by 7:00 a.m. The road had just changed from paved to dirt, which was fine with me. 50 degrees. Perfect.

Here’s where I look like I’m doing a l’il Irish jig:



By mile one, I knew the pack was not going to work for me. It just didn’t fit right and kept swinging dramatically from side to side with each step I took. Since I would be taking about 30,000 steps that might be an issue. I had the straps as tight as they would go. Don’t get me wrong. I think the pack itself is comfortable, light weight and practical. I just think it’s too big for puny self. I will say that once I removed the bottles, I still had some jostling of the bladder, but it felt much better and served me well during the run.

Since I follow everything that is told to me on the internet, I had cleaned out the bladder with Polident denture cleaner. Spearmint. Probably not the best move, but my water was minty fresh for the run and so was my breath.

As we headed up the first huge hill, we hit mile one huffing and puffing like we had just finished 15 freaking miles. Only 14 more to go. I hid the water bottles knowing they were causing the pack to move so drastically. I would have to survive on the 1 liter of liquid in the bladder. It’s kind of neat how I would transfer from the bladder in the pack to my bladder. Anyone else find that fascinating?

The hills seemed endless. Just as  you’d crest one and have a bit of a downhill respite, you’d be greeted by another incline shouting, “Oh, yeah? Try this one, you pussy!” At about the two mile point a herd of runners flew by us going the opposite direction. Damn University of Colorado cross country team. I know they love this run, as it was made famous by the CU x-country team in the book “Running with the Buffaloes.” Humbling to say the least watching these guys fly by, effortless.

Here come some of those damn buffaloes. They need to slow the eff down:


We trudged on and up.


At mile seven, we hit the Peak to Peak Highway, crossed over and ran another half mile on a rocky dirt road. At the turn around, we had our GUs, stretched and headed back. We both felt pretty strong at this point.

If I haven’t said so already, this road afforded amazing views of the foothills and the Rockies. Wildflowers grew everywhere. Occasionally the route would open up to a high altitude pasture with grazing cows and horses. The air in Colorado is so crisp, cool and bright with no humidity, especially up that high. Kind of like Florida. Or Texas.

Here is where we crossed over the Peak to Peak Highway:


Ken runs by a pasture:



And up a hill:


Told ya’ it was pretty (not me, the scenery dummy):


I did not have to stop to crap on this run. Miracles never cease to happen. So I did a fake out for you. If only I could poop with shorts on. Well, I can but it’s not pretty.


Here’s where I tell you about my studly husband. He has run several half marathons this year, and is training for another in October. He has never run more than 13.1 miles at a time. Today, he ran the whole flippin’ 15 miles with me. He wants you to know he has his first blister on his tender toe. Ever. Cue the violins. I smell a marathon in his future even if he doesn’t.

Nearing the end, some dude passed us on the last gargantuan hill leading to the car. I picked up the pace and kept a steady 20 feet behind him. He was letting out the most ungodly sounds – like he was either yakking or dumping or both. But, I think it was just an “I’m going up a big hill and I’m tired” GRUNT like none I’d ever heard. Think I’ll try that one with Dean.

Overall Stats:

15 miles
2 hours, 28 minutes
1,650 feet elevation gain
1,650 feet elevation loss
9:44 average pace (okay speedies, you try to run this bitch fast)

I do feel pretty good after the run with the exception of an aching ass. I’m glad we took it kind of slow.

Don’t forget my giveaway! Ends Friday.


  1. That's gorgeous and I have to say, you are one tough chick! I can't wait to hear about your run with Dean K. (I'm going to call him that too bc I'm not about to look up how to spell his name).
    Also love your description of the air, EXACTLY like Texas! LOL

  2. Beautiful scenery. I know you will do great on your run!

  3. That's an awesome route, and I'd love to do some Colorado running someday......

  4. That looks beautiful! And I am the only 25 year old I know who has bought Polident.... I usually rinse it a couple times to get rid of the taste.

  5. Wow that looks beautiful. Lucky that you live near to so much natural beauty. I can't say the same here for NJ...
    Can't wait for your interview and run with Dean!

  6. Totally awesome - that is an incredible trail - Oh to have the crisp clear air - with little to no humidity.

    Can't wait for the interview!

  7. I just did this run the other day, it's a doozy! good job!

  8. You are a superwoman.
    And Dean is lucky to run with you. I mean, ask him if he has ever ran with a chick as hot as you. :)

  9. Two more weeks! So exciting! Sounds like this was a good prep run. Congrats!

  10. Beautiful run! You did awesome!

  11. great job on the run to you and hubby!!! i love the pics!!! i am seriously considering the boulder marathon in the future... my boss has a house out there and claims he would take me under his wing and show me some mountains. your gonna rock the run with dean... man up and know it gf!!! who cares if you shit by him.... who can say "i shit by dean k?" not many people.... thats pretty fly if you ask me!

  12. What a fantastic run for both of you. It was gorgeous - much nicer than the concrete roads or stinking lake that I have near me.

    I'm feeling the same way about a hydration carrier; we have the same frames and I just can't imagine one working well for me.

  13. That sounds pretty fast to me for trails and elevation!!

  14. I can even fathom running that FAR at the moment, let alone at the pace you did! Glad to hear feedback on the hydration pack.

  15. Sounds like great training for your run with Dean, and beautiful too!

  16. Look at it this way, Dean has run with lots and lots of people, probably many that he will never remember but I bet he has never had someone stop to take a poop... give him something to remember you by. :)

    Great job with the hill (mountain) run, looks like a great time!

  17. Ok, I think you and I may be related in the poop issue area - I REALLY like the Wet Ones tip - I plan to incorporate those into my repertoire. Congratulations on having to only "assume the position" for show - isn't it a BEAUTIFUL thing when it's only for show??? :-) Love the scenery pics - that is such a pretty area. Good job on the hard hill work - you and Dean will be great!

  18. There's no crying at 8000 feet. 9400 feet - yes.

  19. Great run and good training for the trail run. Beautiful pictures. Well done!

  20. Amazingly beautiful run. Glad you didn't mar the landscape by dropping a deuce on it.

    Congrats to Ken on the new running milestone!

  21. incredible! you will do great with dean. you will have adrenaline you never knew existed!

  22. Very nicely done!! Those hills are what gets you...and you seem to have tackled those with ease! How technical is the terrain you are running on with Dean? any ideas.

  23. That looks like a challenging run! Next time I'm visiting my brother in Boulder, I'm going to mention it to him. Although, given my pace, finishing it will probably take all day.

    So excited to read about Dean K!

    I'm glad you commented on the backpack. I just bought a fuel belt this weekend and ran with it on Saturday. I didn't like it much. It just kept wiggling around and riding up my muffin top rolls and was totally uncomfortable. I debated buying a backpack style, but after reading this, I think that would be even more cumbersome. There has to be a better solution that carrying a water bottle.

  24. Wow- so lovely. Kansas sucks, as always.

  25. If it weren't for the uphills it would be a beautiful place to run! Can't wait to read about your chat and run with Dean K.

  26. lovely

    and once again I am so *super* excited for you

  27. The scenery itself motivates the run. Great job - both of you.

  28. I think a 9:44 average pace on a *flat* surface is outstanding!!! You flippin' ROCK, Lady!!!

    Doing something like this is certainly NOT on my Bucket List, but I *love* that you do it and share it with us. Thank you!

  29. You are right not to underestimate the trail's hard! You are a bad ass, tough girl though, so no worries.

  30. No crap? Such a let down. Thanks for the fake photo - it does help. You look equally as smokin' hot doing an irish jig. I say keep the jig - it'll make the INSANE run you are about to do a little "funner" if nothing else. ;)

  31. gah, Love these pictures and that this is in boulder - on my list, now! ;) Fist pump for trail run + 15 mile survival!! You'll do just fine with Dean K and the adrenaline that will come along with celebrity-running - no doubt!

  32. Wow...that run looks so amazing, but definitely brutal! Congrats on getting it done! You are going to do great with Dean! :)

  33. Looks like a tough freaking run. Trail runs are ALWAYS hard, especially out here. How are you liking your camelback?

  34. since this is such a new experience for you, you should really throw caution to the wind and go all out with new stuff:

    New shoes, better yet barefoot!
    Compression, everywhere

  35. Hey Beth! I just re-read this blog entry to pump myself up for tomorrow -- I'm running Magnolia! Your pictures and Magnolia story have me all nervous, excited, scared (in a good way). "she's a bitch" will probably be in my head all morning. Haha. Exciteeeddddddd. PS have fun at your bday party tonight! :)

  36. Just run royal arch, same gain in 1.75 miles ;-) Nice shots, got to hit that road before too long and see what's up.