Monday, March 5, 2012

Lost Dog

Sunday morning I woke up to 35 ° temps at 6:00 a.m., which is balmy as hell for Colorado this time of year.  Time to hit the trails before a retreat I had scheduled for 11 a.m. in Boulder.

I love getting in my workouts first thing in the morning. Honestly, if I don't do them then, they are not going to happen. As the day progresses I will be sidetracked by anything from rearranging my sock door to finding a cure for cancer. I am very multi-facetted. Or scattered. You decide.

We tried a new trail at Hall Ranch called the Nighthawk Trail. Because of trail conditions, elevation gain, rocks, roots and animal shit, you never know what you will find on the trail. It is like trail roulette. As we started climbing, I quickly realized I wasn’t having that much fun because I couldn’t breathe and my heart rate was 350 bpm or something like that.

 

You can see the trail etched into the mountain. It may not look like much. Shut up. It is.

The climbing was relentless and the wind had kicked up. As we started to come into completely snow-packed trails at about 4 miles, we turned around. We did 8 miles in about 1 ½ hours. I felt a bit better about sucking wind when I got home and loaded my Garmin info. The climb was 1,437 feet over 4 miles, which means it was uphill. I’m funny.

I got home in enough time to throw dinner in the crockpot (pork carnitas – really good recipe), shower and head out for my retreat, which focused on meditation, slowing down and being present.  I was hoping I would come away enlightened, but I have a long way to go.

I love Boulder for many reasons, but reason #152 is that you are surrounded by ridiculous athletes who make you feel humbled, in awe and/or really inadequate. At the retreat it took me about 2 hours to realize I was sitting by this girl:

Darcy Africa. Ultra runner extraordinaire. She’s done about a million ultras and has won some of the most famous ultra races. I wanted to tell her I was tired from running 8 miles that morning, because I knew she would be very impressed. If you need some motivation this morning, go read this article about Darcy from Outside Magazine HERE.

Some things I find fascinating about Darcy:

  • She doesn’t run with a Garmin. She doesn’t focus on pace or distance, just time on the trails.
  • She does her speed work on a treadmill.
  • She trains alone for the most part and does not use pacers
  • She does not put in high mileage weeks. In fact, she says she’s never done a 100 mile week.
  • In training for the Hardrock 100, she ran up and down Mt. Sanitas in Boulder for 12 hours (it is a 3.3 mile up and down run with 1,500 foot gain in the first 1.5 miles).
  • She’s never done a road marathon

Darcy and I chatted a bit over lunch. I was glad to hear she has some butt pain too. She calls it “cranky butt.” We actually go to the same PT so I think (hope) I am on the right track.

Well, I’m off to get on the the trainer for an hour, shower, then head to a home visit in Denver. But before I go, check out this picture sent to me from a reader, Lindsey. She saw it at a gas station on her way to New Orleans for the marathon this weekend. If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know why this struck a chord with me (only he isn’t missing a right ear. Maybe I will remove that later today.).

IMAG0156

What time of day do you prefer to workout? For me, it’s always morning.

What athlete inspires you the most? I have so many of them. I have the most respect for athletes like Darcy who have jobs and kids and marriage and still find the time to train and reach their goals.

SUAR

40 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this about Darcy. So freaking awesome. I love that she does speed work on the mill & that she's never done a road marathon.
    So incredible.

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  2. I've never heard of this Darcy chick, but I'm loving her. No garmin, out in the woods, just running to run. She's a hippie runner. Can I join your drum circle Darcy?!

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  3. I like my workouts done in the morning.. I usually have to teach fitness/yoga classes at night- and there is no way I would workout after those- since they end right around my bed time! I don’t think I could pick one Athlete that inspires me the most.. Maybe Dara Torres..

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  4. I love Boulder... my sister lives there and I did as well for 10 years while in college (yes, college in Boulder took me 10 years) I am doing the Bolder Boulder this year and can not wait. I love Boulder because if you want to find a class on how to meditate for rollerblading ninja's it is available somewhere in that city.

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  5. I'd prefer working out in the morning, but I am a chronic night owl. Trying to sort that out still!
    Darcy sounds pretty incredible…I need to go read that article!

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  6. I like late morning or early afternoon to work out. I think it's awesome that Darcy trains on her own without a garmin. I think maybe it's easier to do an ultra-like distance when not constantly looking at the numbers?

    All of the wonderful running, blogging moms I follow provide constant motivation. It's so great to read about everyone's journeys.

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  7. I like the IDEA of an early morning workout but my body thinks it's better to run mid-morning or early afternoon. I hate it when my mind and my body are on different pages...

    Motivation for me comes wherever I can find it. I guess that means if I want to be motivated *I* know where to look.

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  8. Wow--Darcy is a rock star. How cool that you got to chat with her. AND that you share the same PT--so glad it seems to be working for you.

    I am a morning runner, all the way.

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  9. Adore this post. BUT..... I have to know,.. why isn't our friend neutered yet, this concerns me :)

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    1. Oh whoops!! Yes of course he is neutered. For some reason I was thinking castrated meant total removal of the genitalia. I never said I was smart!

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    2. Awesome, haha! Ok then, back to the point... ;)
      I hate running in the morning. Is that weird? I would very much describe myself as whatever the opposite of a 'morning person' is, so I guess that should be no surprise. I also work at night, so I run during the day.

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  10. Yep, loving our balmy morning temps the past few days. Now if the wind would just slow down.... Beautiful pics. Darcy is an inspiration. It probably felt like sitting next to a movie star??? Very neat.

    I am definitely a morning runner.

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  11. I prefer working out during the lunch hour...keeps me from eating too much...seriously though, because the weather is the nicest and I'm off work then.

    So, somebody is searching for your dog? I wouldn't take him with you next time you head to New Orleans!

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  12. Always a morning workout. I ran once after lunch and my body had no idea what I was doing. I promised never to do it again.

    I'm in a Boulder running group and was introduced to this really nice lady named Ellen. It took about two months for me to realize that it is Ellen Hart Pena. No wonder she was kicking my a**. (to be honest, everyone in that group kicks my a**) You are right, Boulder is full of a-MAZ-ing women athletes!

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  13. I am a morning workout person, like you said, if I don't get them in first thing I'm not going to get them in period.

    The pictures from your run are gorgeous, you are very lucky to have such a beautiful setting for some of your runs.

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  14. Every time I see pics of Boulder I am ready to pack up and move!

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  15. First thing in the morning is when I *prefer* to run. Because I have (husband, kids, job) a life, evenings are when I do run during the week. I run with a group two nights a week. Saturdays, I'm able to meet a different group at the butt crack of dawn for a good 5 miles or more and be home before the husband and kids take their toll on the house and two cats.

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  16. Only in Boulder! I swear, there are so many amazing athletes there, but it can be so intimidating sometimes!

    I definitely prefer morning workouts but I struggle with my work schedule. I've resigned myself to nights because I refuse to get up with a time that starts in the 4's!

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  17. Will you pleaaassseee just have a blog readers weekend of some sort so that we could all go out there and run a few of these scenic runs with you?? Pleeaase.

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  18. Before I comment I have to ask WTF is: my sock door

    I can't figure this out for the life of me.

    Now how crazy is it that there is almost an identical Lucky out there? That is crazy.

    Domino's is advertising on your blog right now and I'm so hungry I would even consider eating that.

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    1. i beleive she meant sock drawer

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  19. I get to the gym during the week at 4:15am and weekends I run outside again morning but not until 6:30. I like to get it done in the morning so I can spend my evenings with my husband and daughter.

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  20. My workouts times very greatly but pretty much never get done in the morning. I'm just not a morning person. I could totally be a morning person if morning started at say...noon.

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  21. May not look like much? WOWOWOW! I am an evening person...me and the mornings aren't friends. At All. lol

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  22. i love boulder - no matter what sport there is out there you can pretty guarantee the top level people of that sport live or train in Boulder. Sounds like you had a great day!

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  23. I'm an evening runner because I love to sleep in. Wish I was a morning runner though....
    I love when you post about trail runs; you post great reviews and need to add a page to compile all of them! Just moved to Denver and can't wait to hit up some of the trails you talk about.

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  24. Wow, I've never heard of this Darcy (not a shocker), but am totally digging her!! I'd love to do morning workouts, but it seems my bed doesn't let me, or my day job gets in the way....

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  25. Your trails are prettier than I am, and that is saying a lot.

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  26. During the week I can only get workouts in at lunch or in the evenings because I already get up at 5am to catch my vanpool.

    On Mondays, my day off, I definitely have to go to an early class at the gym or get out to run early, or else it will never happen.

    I saw that sign while running a few months ago! In my little ol' town of Rancho Cucamonga California.

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  27. Mornings for sure, as the day goes on my little ones take more and more out of me. :)

    Aimee Mullins - check her out!

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  28. Love to run/workout in the morning! It's great to spend the rest of the day knowing I've done something good for myself. The athlete who inspires me most is Julius Achon. I read about him in Runner's World a few months ago. He is an Olympic runner from Uganda, who escaped a horrific childhood by learning how to run. But instead of just simply enjoying his success, he's dedicated his life to supporting 11 orphans he found on a trip back to Uganda, and the non-profit organization Achon Uganda Children's Fund that he founded. He is a completely selfless, compassionate human being who is using his talent to improve the lives of others, even at the expense of his own comforts. Yesterday I ran my first marathon (Napa Valley!) in honor of Julius and his organization. http://achonugandachildren.org/

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    1. Wow, thanks for sharing such an amazing story. I will have to go back and read the whole thing. I love it when people use their talent/gifts/celebrity status to do better in the world.

      Congrats on your first marathon too!

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  29. I prefer to work out in the mornings ecause that way I get it done. On the other hand, I usually sleep better if I work out in the afternoon.

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  30. Well i have to admit i'm a morning person or it will not happen
    You are the one who inspires me....and always makes me laugh

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  31. It's morning for workouts or it usually doesn't happen--somehow the motivation seems to seep out the later in the day I wait to do a workout. How cool to get to chat with Darcy!

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  32. Awww! That "Lucky" dog sign is too perfect! I only have one question - why didn't Lindsey steal it for you??

    I definitely prefer to workout in the morning. My schedule forces me to stick with mostly evenings right now and I just don't like having it 'hanging over my head' all day. I feel so much better when it's done early. Weekends especially... if I don't get it done first thing, it won't happen.

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  33. My schedule is all over the place and I run or workout at all different times of the day..I would like a real schedule one of these days, but with my kids and husbands crazy schedules, we do what we can..Right now, I would just like to get off the couch--this nasty virus turned ugly thing--that I contracted some how, has had me stuck for 9 days now. So much for being too healthy and fit to get sick..
    Darcy sounds amazing. I have yet to wear a Garmin..but I do have my road ID on (at all times) and my iphone Runmeter app with me on most runs.

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  34. I prefer running in the mornings, when both the day and I are fresh.

    My running idol is Ellie Greenwood. She also runs ultras and regularly does trail running. She lives in Banff near Calgary.

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