Monday, June 15, 2015

I Never Thought I’d Run In This

Remember I told you about that little race I am doing this upcoming weekend in Leadville, Colorado? (15.5 miles, 3,700 feet of climbing up a real live mountain). Here’s an update and photo I just got:

Attention Heavy Half Marathon Participants! We are hard at work shoveling through the incredible late season snow on Mosquito Pass for your race!


If there was ever a time to say “WTF,” it would be now.

I love running because you never know what the hell you are getting into. There are advantages to this scenario:

  • I can lie down and make snow angels when I am tired
  • It is the first time I will run in short with 4 feet of snow on either side of me (it’s supposed to be in the 60s that day)
  • No porta potty, no problem. I’ll just build a snow cave/igloo
  • I can write my name in the snow (hmmm..easier to do if you’re a guy. Or you have a Go Girl)

Last week was a decent training week, although I didn't et in the vertical climbing I wanted.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles – trail (500 feet climb)
Wed: 6.5 miles
Thursday: Rest/swim
Friday:  5.5 miles
Saturday: 12 miles (dirt road up to 8,500 feet – 1,200 feet climb)
Sunday: 4 recovery miles

Total: 32 miles


Magnolia Road outside of Boulder. Nathan Fire Catcher Race Vest.
Altra Trail Shoes. Shorts from Kohls – no joke they are awesome and $7.

I realize will will suffer on Saturday. I also realize it will be exhilarating, gorgeous and a confidence builder (or destroyer depending on how things go).

If you run on trail then you know there are times the trails are either too steep or too rocky (or both) so you have to power/race walk.  There is actually a skill to this. One that I do not possess. Here’s what I’ve learned.

  • Check your ego at the trail. It’s okay to walk
  • Keep cadence constant, stride short
  • Bend into the knees
  • Lean slightly forward, don’t hunch
  • Breathe
  • Don’t cry
  • Use butt more than quads/calf muscles
  • Fart for propulsion (I made that up but I think it might work)

Would you rather be hot or cold when you run? I think I’d rather be too hot. Cold destroys me.

What are the worst conditions you’ve ever run in for a race? Probably the Boulder 70.3 a couple years ago when it was 100 degrees by the time I started the half marathon.



  1. I cannot wait for your race recap on this one! Running is always an adventure.

  2. How do you like the Lone Peak? I tried them on and they seemed pretty cushy and maybe they also run large? Have you also tried the Altra Superior?

  3. This will be awesome! Can't wait to hear about it :-)
    My worst race conditions happened at a 13.1 in the fall of 2013. It was extremely hot & humid. I woke up on race morning feeling like crap (literally). No appetite. I had to force down a granola bar and almost gagged. The entire race, I felt like I was on the verge of a major porta pot stop...only this race was on a trail through a state park so there were ZERO porta pots. I kept drinking water, but felt awful. I finally walked around mile 7 or 8, and then my calves started cramping. My stomach felt like it was going to explode and the heat was unbearable. I had to run/walk the last couple miles. I had been on antibiotics and went to take my noon-time dose when I returned home...and that's when I saw on the bottle that two of the side effects of these meds were suppressed appetite AND diarrhea! Thankfully, nothing embarrassing happened while I was racing, but 13.1 miles of constant cramping & icky tummy stuff was SO nasty (and scary LOL).

  4. I have a friend doing this one too and she's a bit concerned about the snow and time limit. She was up there 2 weeks ago for a training run and said the road is snow covered still. What an ADVENTURE this will be! If I head up I'll be sure to cheer loudly for you!

  5. I can't wait to hear the race report!

  6. Sounds like the perfect conditions for an awesome run! I much prefer "cold" 10-15C to hot. I ran a race in 20C last fall and I thought I was going to burst into flames. Maybe at one point I actually wished I would burst into flames so that I wouldn't have to run anymore. Looking forward to hearing your report!

  7. Now that sure sounds like an adventure! I just love mountain running but have never done it in the snow before!

  8. I'd rather run when it's really cold than really hot. You can always put on extra layers, and when you're running hard you're making your own heat to keep warm. But having said that, I've never actually run in temps below about 25F!

  9. I'm pretty sure my definition of running in the cold is about 25 degrees warmer than yours. Sweet spot for me is 40-60. I can handle 65-70. After that I'm toast. That's why I live in So Cal - we get great temps year round!

  10. I say cold.. but I've never done Colorado cold. Just Seattle cold.
    Also, " Or you have a Go Girl"
    I died right here at my desk. HAHAHA.

  11. Haha love your tips! I would rather run in cold. I can't stand the heat at all.. I love it in every other occasion but running when it's warm really gets to me and no matter how hydrated I am I get dizzy and nauseous running in the sun.. It sucks. The worst race was definitely London Marathon when it was too hot and I got a heat stroke.

  12. I'd rather run in cooler weather than hotter weather.

    BUT - that being said, the most extreme run I have ever done was the Hypothermic Half here in Winnipeg just this past February. When we started out in the morning it was a brutal -47. Celsius. Yes, there is a point when it is just TOO cold.

    Have a great run! I'm in the Manitoba Marathon this coming Sunday. Thankfully the weather should be a nice 20 degrees (again, celcius).

    1. OMG just having the word "hypothermic" in a race title frightens me. You are a tough woman!

  13. I live in North Texas, so that means that I've raced (duathlon and trail run) in hail/lightining/blinding rain not once.....not twice......but three times! It's actually kind of a good thing. There's nothing that will motivate you to pick up the pace a little like getting pelted by hail and chased by lightning. Got me to a PR! Although I have friends who refuse to toe-the-line if I'm entered in the race. They have this crazy notion that if I'm there, bad weather is a foregone conclusion.

    I raced the Leadville Heavy Half last summer - GREAT run! But the hard-pack wasn't nearly as deep as what you're facing. The run-off/melt just before you get to the snow made a sloggy mess last year though. Yay, racing in a sloggy mess!

  14. Probably a dumb you need to wear shoes with special grip and if so, how does that work going from non-snowy/icy to snowy/icy and back again? Jodi

    1. Not a dumb question! In the winter I used yaktrax on my shoes or wear a trail shoe. For the run this weekend I will wear trail shoes. They are more sturdy and have a better grip to them.

  15. Pump those arms on the hiking sections, it will help you keep a good pace. Best of luck to you!

  16. Wow! That is the only word that keeps coming to my head as I think about the adventure you are to embark on. It's inspirational to say the least. I look forward to reading about it upon your completion.

  17. Definitely prefer heat over cold. Worst race was in pouring rain with trails ankle deep in mud, just slogging along interminably.

  18. Consider wearing some YakTrax or similar clamp-ons for traction.

  19. I would much rather be hot than cold when running! My body HATES cold weather.
    The worst conditions I have ever ran in was a half in an actual -8 degrees with a wind chill of -25. You couldn't see 10 feet in front of you. P.S. I got lost. =)

  20. The race will probably be both exhilirating and humbling at the same time. There's no way to be totally prepared for a race like that. Best of luck to you - hope you enjoy it as much as I would....

  21. I'd rather run when it is colder any day. I can always put on more clothes if it is cold. I don't function very well in the hot weather. There are only so many articles of clothing I can legally (and am willing to) take off. That race looks like fun! Good Luck!