Bolder Boulder 2016

Pretty much as soon as I moved to Colorado last fall I started hearing about the Bolder Boulder race. I don’t know how it first came up, but I think Tabitha or my mom had mentioned something about it. I was told it’s a huge race on Memorial Day and is supposed to be really fun. After first hearing about it I kept seeing people with various Bolder Boulder shirts around. Sometime early this year my mom and I decided to do the race since it sounded fun. I heard a lot about the race from different people at work, about how there are slip and slides along the course, people handing out beers and bacon, and finishing the course going up a big hill to Folsom Field. Who wouldn’t want to do that race?!

race_1755_photo_37331281The Bolder Boulder is a 10k race that started in 1979 and since then has grown to be a bigger and bigger race. Within a few years they started a wave start and this year had about 100 waves (that’s huge!) for all the racers. This years race and for the past several years has had over 50,000 participants. Before this race I think the biggest race I had done (a triathlon with distances from sprint to ironman) had about 1000 people I think, so this was massive. For being so huge this race was extremely organized. The wave start was smooth and spread everyone out really well that I didn’t have trouble going the pace that I wanted. race_1755_photo_36691140

Along the course there was music (including several live bands), people hanging out on their lawns cheering, passing out beers, Jell-o shots, marshmallows (this was a popular one, but why?!), and even bacon. There were people watching and running in costumes with lots of flag themed clothing (it was Memorial Day after all), tutus, and people dressed as Doritos passing out Doritos. Since this was my first BB I skipped most of the “freebies” along the course, but it was definitely fun to watch and made for an interesting run.

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Looking at all these pictures really made me think I need to work on my form, yikes!

Our wave started at 7:39am which was perfect since it was a beautiful morning with lots of sun and even about half way through I was already getting pretty warm. It was a great morning to run and fun to have so many people out even though it was a bit early for a holiday. We made it through the run with no walking breaks and kept our pace really consistent between about 9:30 and 10 min/miles. My mom did great and was a trooper the whole race. The finish is a Folsom Field with a fairly long, steep hill leading up to this. I hadn’t been in the area for a while so I couldn’t remember the hill before the race, but everyone I talked to made it sound pretty rough. In reality I didn’t really think it was all that bad, but we have some way tougher hills on our regular daily route too. Finishing on a hill is definitely never easy though. The finish takes you around the track in Folsom field where you can look to see everyone running on the big screens with a bunch of people in the stands cheering. Right after this you get to go grab your snack bag which is an actual reusable lunch bag with the best snacks I’ve ever gotten from a race (the Little Secrets candy and Way Better chips were my favorite). You can hang out and watch more race finishers stream in and there a race expo right outside of the stadium where you can find even more free stuff. There’s also a pro race after the rest of the racers are finished, but we didn’t stick around since it was still a couple of hours away.

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Overall this was the most fun race that I’ve done and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year and hopefully for many more years after.IMG_3605

*All the pictures in this post except for the selfie were downloaded for FREE (hence the logos in the pictures) from photographers for the race which were everywhere. Plus iRewind made race videos, not embedded because I’m too cheap to pay WordPress for premium.  https://irewind.com/public/video/AN6UxhJWBlFBEGpqhWhP260ts

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Right Back At It Again

Now that I’ve been in Houston for a couple of weeks where it’s way warmer I’ve actually been trying to get back into my regular running habits. My first week here was rough for running. I lifted for the first time in a long time—I never lift, I prefer cardio, but I’m trying to get in more of both—and I lifted with a friend that really only lifts. Which basically means that I overdid it and then could barely walk for the next few days.  Of course the next day was beautiful out and since I didn’t want to waste the opportunity, I went out and ran anyway. My hamstrings responded with something along the lines of “What do you think you’re trying to do?!” It was a rough run and I only managed to get in two miles total with a lot of walking happening trying to finish my second mile. For the next few days I tried to stretch out the best that I could and kept trying to do some running even though it was way slow and short distances. My legs started to recover over the weekend and I ran four miles on Monday with only a short walk midway through. Tuesday I ran again and my legs finally seemed to feel mostly normal. It felt rough towards the end, but I finished back at my usual 3.5 miles and at a pretty average pace for me. I never thought that I would be so happy just to get back to where I was before, but it was a nice accomplishment. I did the same run in about the same time for the rest of the week, only taking off my normal days on Thursday and then today. Saturdays are usually a longer run day, but for now I decided to stick with just the 3.5. Partially because it was still a little tough and also because the park I’ve been running at is only 0.7 miles to a loop. Even when it’s beautiful out and there are plenty of people around for a distraction I’m still getting bored by the time I’ve done five laps (which is still infinitely better than the 12 laps to a mile at DMU’s gym). It’s nice to be getting back to normal after a rough month devoid of all but a handful of running days.IMAG2714

The next race I’m thinking about doing is a duathlon; 2 mile run-15 mile bike-2 mile run so I think I need to work more on my speed than distance for now. I also want to try to start upping my mileage though because after my Dad did his marathon now I’m starting to think that I at least need to do a half. Until I find a half that I’m really interested in though I think I’ll stick to the 5k’s and triathlons.

Lifting is my other goal currently; I’ve been more on the cardio side of things and just kind of screwing around with weights for a while. I’m reasonably strong with some upper body and back already because of climbing, but I really want to work on progressing my climbing and really doing some training for that so I think I need to get a little more serious on the weights. It’s not my favorite thing since I usually get bored with it quickly, but I think it will start to pay off if I can find the motivation to commit more to it. I don’t want to stay “average” in what I do and I think changing things up a bit will be a step in the right direction for progression. I’m trying to push myself to actually do more and be better rather than just think “wow, that would be really cool to be really good at that”. I want to actually be that good and it’s time to start putting in the time and the effort to achieve those goals.

Motivation from A Day to Remember

Progression and Regression

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I didn’t really start running until January of 2012. I had tried running in high school and it just didn’t really click and I didn’t keep trying. I tried again in college and it was maybe a little bit better, but I still didn’t improve at it and so I didn’t stick with it. I don’t really remember what it was that made me decide to try it again, but this is the time that it actually stuck. Now I’ve talked about some of my struggles and triumphs with running before and guess what? I still have both of them! I’ve been working on my running for almost two years now and I still have plenty of days that totally suck. The great part, though, is that the number of good running days has increased and I’ve still been making progress with my running distance, time, and speed. I mean significant progress too. I haven’t just steadily improved though, I’ve definitely had some big ups and downs, but overall I’ve still been trending up and that is such a great feeling for me. I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I haven’t quit.

In the past few months I think I’ve run more than I ever had in the rest of my life combined. I had been running pretty inconsistently over the summer (even though I had a triathlon in July, you think after a few of those I would actually start training for them more…), but what I did figure out is that I actually really like running in the morning. When I got back to Iowa and was running with my mom again we started running in the morning 4-5 days a week. We were actually running in the morning because it was way too hot to run in the afternoon. With my school and work schedule, though, it was actually pretty perfect to keep up with morning runs. We usually run 3.5 miles 3-4 days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday) and then a longer run, usually 5-6 miles, on Saturdays. We’ve been pretty consistently keeping up with that schedule since the end of August and it’s been great. I also try to fit in some rock climbing and some other workouts at the gym when I can. For a while I was doing 3 workouts per day and it was actually really great. I usually did about 30 minutes at a time so it was still only about an hour and a half but it’s nice to stay active throughout the day and do a few different things. I’m actually going to try to get back into that a little more again just because it makes me happy.

So just to sum up a little bit of my progress in the past couple of months.

Klompen classic 5k May 1st 2013: 30:12, 38/116 in my division. This was a few minutes faster than I did it the previous year, big jump.

John Deere 5k August 24th 2013: 29:13. That was my first time breaking 30 minutes in a 5k (some people do this so easy, but it’s taken me a while)1184865_697295403618660_1141060295_n

Me and my mom went out for a long run on a Friday afternoon before a 5k on Sunday and ended up running 7 miles. Our time for 7 miles was about an hour and 7 minutes, it used to take me almost that long to run 5 miles! That’s the first time I’ve ever run 7 miles and it was probably the best run I have ever done, ever. It was a beautiful day out, we going going at a really good pace, I got a great second wind right around 4 miles, and I just generally felt amazing. I think that is the most I have ever enjoyed running in my life, I was just so happy with that run. Then we had another great run at the…

Halloween Hot Chocolate Race November 3rd 2013: 27:57, 8/40 in my division and 55/414 overall. That was my best time by far and my best finishing place (at least in my division). I felt great for that race also, a little bit colder that day but still pretty great. I pushed my mom super hard since she was running with me because I really wanted to break 29 and I knew we could do it. She was feeling a little rough, but she did it (and somehow her time was a second faster than mine…) and she got first in her division!

A few of my friends that raced as well

A few of my friends that raced as well

So that was all of my progress, now for the regression part. The day after that 5k we went for a run and it was fine, but no where nearly as good as the two runs previous. That afternoon I went and gave blood because we were already planning on taking the next day off from running. Ever since then my running has sucked. For the first few days I think it was related to my being down a pint of blood. I did the Turkey Trot 5k two days later with some friends at school (not a race, just a fun run) and I had to walk up one of the last hills because I was feeling pretty rough. I kept up with my usual running though, it just was not going nearly as well. There was also a big decrease in temperature around then that really hasn’t helped. Despite the cold and crappy running, though, I had still been doing it. Last week I only ran a couple of days because on Saturday (November 23rd) I did the Living History Farms Race. This is a 7 mile off road race complete with creek crossings, pulling yourself out of ravines with ropes, and about 7,500 other runners. Oh and that day happened to be one of the coldest days of the month so far. It was about 10 degrees out with a 15mph wind. It. Was. FREEZING. I struggled a whole lot through this run and had to stop multiple times and walk because I couldn’t keep going. Let me rephrase that. I didn’t feel like I could keep going. Physically I think my body could have done it. Mentally, I was feeling like a failure and wanted to give up. Fortunately, this race is more for fun and the craziness of the terrain than about running fast. We finished the run in about an hour and 38 minutes, so just over 30 minutes longer than it took me to run the same distance about 3 weeks before, which actually isn’t bad considering the conditions.

So cold

So cold

I haven’t run since Saturday, I’ve been totally slacking because I was freaking out about my comprehensive exam yesterday and honestly running in the last few weeks has been causing me more stress than relief and I just wanted to take a few days off. I’ve had my break now and it’s time to get back in my routine before I lose it. I also need to get my run in to make up for all the food I’ll be eating tomorrow. I know what I’ll be doing tomorow morning…5 miles maybe?

Mountain Man Triathlon

Last Sunday I did my third triathlon, the Mountain Man sprint triathlon at Lake Mary in Flagstaff, Arizona. My third triathlon and again I really hadn’t trained for it. I keep telling myself “I’ll train for the next one”, but I really haven’t quite followed through on that yet. I think I had ridden my bike about 6-7 times total so far this year and I had swam once since my last triathlon in October. I had at least run quite a bit though and have been doing around 10-15 miles per week (most weeks anyway) for the past several months. Fortunately for me this was a relatively flat course so it wasn’t too incredibly hard. I thought the swim was about to kill me but I managed to finish in 26:02 (750m swim).

So happy to get out of the water

So happy to get out of the water

After that I made my way into the transition area and onto my bike, my transition was 3:43 so not too horrible. Got on my bike (I had realized the night before that I had somehow lost my helmet after my last ride and had to borrow one) and I was ready to make up some time. I really hate swimming so I was happy to be on my bike even though I was still trying to recover from the swim. Biking felt good and I managed to stay at a steady pace. Since I take so long in the swim I was basically alone for most of my ride, but I finally started to pass a few people in the last couple of miles.IMG_1199 Finished the 20k ride in 44:40, traded my bike shoes for my Mizunos and started running. I was so tired that as soon as I started running I just wanted to stop but just kept telling myself to keep going. It made it easier once I started to catch up to and pass a few people. Especially when I passed someone in my age group (my goal was to not finish last in my age group). So I kept running and looking at my Garmin I was really surprised by my pace. I was running between a 9:30 and 10 minute mile pace the whole time. I know this is super slow for a lot of people, but for me this is not much slower than my normal 5k pace so I was pretty happy with how I was doing, especially because I felt like a was moving so much slower. I was doing well for the run and in about the last quarter mile I saw two more girls that were in my age group ahead of me. I had been slowly but steadily been catching up to them for a while but I wasn’t sure I would pass them before the finish. Now it’s not like I want to make other people feel bad, honestly I want them to do their best too, but I knew I could finish just a little higher in my group and I wanted to go for it.  I started to speed up just a little bit, I was feeling pretty rough at this point and I knew I was too far to be able to sprint the rest of the way so I just steadily upped my pace so that I could pass just two more girls before I finished. I made it past and I was psyched, especially because I knew I was almost done. I finished my 5k portion of the race in 30:13 (at least I think, my T2 and run time didn’t get posted right).

Almost done!

Almost done!

My total time for the triathlon was 1:47:17 and I was really happy with my time (my last sprint tri was 2:23, I had been about 1:30 faster on the swim but more than 30 minutes slower on the bike and 5 minutes slower on the run last time). This was a faster course beccause it was so flat but I still did much better, especially without much real training. I ended up 6/10 in my age group so I was happy with that. It was also really nice to have David here for my triathlon. He had come to Flagstaff for the weekend and was with me at the race. It was just nice and relaxing to have him with me before and after the race, much better than being on my own. Plus he took pictures which is much better for blogging. IMAG1971

Even though they’re tough and my motivation to train apparently isn’t always the best, I love doing triathlons and I hope to do many more. My goal is to do an Ironman someday and since Boulder is going to be hosting a full Ironman next year I might have my location picked out (probably not next year though). I’ll definitely try to keep fitting triathlons in when I can and maybe one of these days I’ll actually start to train seriously. Until then I just keep having fun and doing my bestIMAG1975

Ride Flagstaff

About two weeks ago I went on my first bike ride here in Flagstaff. I live right off of Highway 180 and there are always people biking on it. The hard part is that 180 is super hilly. I went out South on 180 and immediately was going up hill. I made it like 2.5 miles before I had to stop because I was breathing so hard, I wasn’t quite used to the altitude yet. I took a short break though and kept going. After that I paced myself a little bit better and kept my gears nice and low for all the hills. I ended up going out just under 7 miles before turning around to head back. Riding back was much more fun because almost the whole ride back was down hill, so much better than going up. I want to try and ride this route a little bit more to work on my hill climbing. I also want to start working on riding up Snowbowl road. It’s a couple thousand feet up over a few miles (2,000ft and 5 miles from what I looked up) and I’d like to at least try it and work my way up as much as possible.

I also rode my bike downtown which was super nice. It was about a 3 mile ride with just a bit of uphill. Parking is a little crazy downtown so being able to ride was much nicer.IMAG1881

Yesterday I did a nice long ride on Lake Mary Road. This is where my triathlon will be next week. Since the race is in a week and I had only ridden my bike twice since I’ve been here I really needed to get out and ride. I went in the middle of the afternoon but it was a pretty nice day, right around 80 degrees and a little cloudy. It was weird when I was riding because there was a breeze that was part really warm air and part cold air, it was strange but the cold air felt great. I started out near the day use area and headed North for about 5 miles before turning around. It was a little hilly again but nothing too bad. Then I went back past where I started and kept going South (this is more where the race will go). It was a little more climbing going this way but I was still feeling alright and keeping a pretty good pace. Unfortuneately right now that part of the road isn’t completely paved and is just chip sealed so it’s a lot more rough. I went 5 miles out this way also and right when I was finishing that 5 miles I hit a super strong headwind that almost had me stopped even though I was on a slight downhill. Then when I turned around I still mananged to have a head wind, how does that even happen?! My last few miles back my legs still felt about the same (I think I pulled one of my adductors rock climbing the other day, my legs/hips were way tight) and I was breathing okay but I had just started to wear out. I made it back just fine though and had done about 21 miles in a little under 90 minutes. I was really happy with it for only my third ride in the past month.IMAG1947 Afterwards I begrudgingly got in the lake to do a little bit of swimming. Not nearly as enjoyable as my ride but the cold water felt great and it washed off the sweat that had been pouring off of me during my ride. I wish I had been doing better on my training for this triathlon but I think I’ll be able to finish just fine. I always get more motivated after every race so I’m looking forward to it.

You'd think I would be smart enough to put on sunscreen...Nice racerback burn

You’d think I would be smart enough to put on sunscreen…Nice racerback burn

 

Running Flagstaff

Last Sunday I went out for my first trail run in Flagstaff. The family that I’m staying with here in Flagstaff is super, super nice and their house is really close to the hospital but possibly my favorite part of living here is that the Flagstaff Urban Trails System (or FUTS, pronounced foots supposedly) runs right by their house. I mean literally right next to the house, I basically walk 30 feet out the door and start running.

Where I start my run

 

It’s amazing. Anyway I took off on my first run with a plan to go out for 1.5 miles and turn back for my normal 3 miles total. Since I had only run once in the previous two weeks or more and I had only been in Flagstaff one week (it usually takes about two weeks to acclimatize to a higher elevation and 7,000 ft is no joke) I didn’t really have high expectations for my first run. I figured at worst I would just end up walking more of the 3 miles. Once I started running I was actually feeling pretty good and decided that I should try to run at least my first 1.5 miles. My legs felt good and I was breathing kinda hard but even at my halfway point I was feeling good enough to keep running on my way back. I made it to 2.5 miles before having to stop. This just so happens to be in the middle of a super steep hill. Seriously this hill is ridiculous, it’s only about a tenth of a mile but it’s soo steep. Running down it is hard and even just walking up it is tough. I really only had to walk about 0.05 of the hill but had to take a short break at the top to try to breath again before finishing my run. I ran super slow throughout my run but I was really just happy that I was able to do as much as I did because I was thinking it was going to be way worse. It’s been just over a week since that first run and I’ve just gone out for four more runs since then; three on the urban trail and one on the Aspen Trail (separate blog about that and the running group I went with to come). They’ve all been pretty slow but have still gone pretty well and I’ve been happy with my running lately. It’s been really nice to run in a new place and to have a chance to run on trails more. I had gotten off of work a bit early today and it was a bit cooler this afternoon so I went running a little earlier than usual. Today was my best run since I’ve been here and ran my fastest three miles on this trail so far (it was still slow, but my fastest yet here). Especially my first mile and even the second were pretty fast. Today was the first time I’ve listened to music while out running (listened to “Omens” the new CD from 3oh!3 and loved it for running) so I think that’s why a ran almost 2 minutes faster than I had been for my first mile and still at least a minute faster for my 2nd (that hill in the middle of the third mile kinda killed my time). I’m still working on it but I’m really loving running in Flagstaff. The weather and the trails really make this an awesome place for running.Flagstaff-Urban-Trails-and-Bikeways-Map_thumb_pdf

Day Off

A couple weeks ago I signed up for my first 5k of the year, it’s the Klompen Classic on the 1st. To get myself ready for the race and because I’m still working on my 250 miles, I’ve been trying to up my running for the past week or so. Started out last weekend with my first long (-er) run of the year. I slacked off the day before so to make up for it I decided to try for a 6 mile run that day. I seriously didn’t think I was even going to make it the first couple of miles but it ended up being a pretty great run. I know it was a little bit slower than my pace for my usual 3 mile runs but I don’t know what the actual pace was. I had forgotten to charge my watch so it died before the end of my first mile. Right after our run I went out on a short bike ride, just 6 miles so nothing hard. Sunday we went rock climbing and then Brittney convinced me to go on a bike ride. We rode out about 6 miles and it was really nice until we turned around for the 6 miles back. It didn’t seem too windy going out but on the way back the wind was insane! The ride back was much more painful. The rest of the week I worked mostly on my running (with a little bit of lifting and rock climbing mixed in). Got a tough 5 mile run in on Sunday to finish out the week.

I'd like to point out that the hot pink room with the One Direction posters is not mine. My sister just happens to have a better mirror for selfies (imagine that...)

I try to keep it classy after I run. I’d like to point out that the hot pink room with the One Direction posters is not mine. My sister just happens to have a better mirror for selfies (imagine that…)

Ended up getting 17 miles in for last week, not too shabby. Sundays are usually my day off from running so instead it was back to rock climbing and biking. Except this time it was a 20 mile bike ride, so it still wasn’t exactly a relaxing day. Since the race is on Wednesday I decided today should be my last run before then. Went for 3 miles today and after a long week it was tough. It didn’t help that I had to stop twice, not because of the pain/fatigue but because I was getting assaulted by bugs. First I got one in my eye that I couldn’t get out but at least stopped noticing it. Then I caught another bug straight in my throat and immediately started coughing, that thing would not go either way. It wasn’t till I got home and looked in the mirror again that I found that the bug was, in fact, still in my eye. Got in the shower to de-gross myself and started coughing again, ending up spitting out a bug…awesome…How that thing stayed in there after a bunch of coughing and drinking a full water bottle I have no idea. Now that I feel exhausted I’m so excited to take tomorrow off. Well mostly off anway, I’ll still go rock climbing. And yes I count rock climbing as a workout, if you don’t think so maybe you probably just aren’t trying hard enough. Finally a day off!

Every Day is Cardio

The wellness center at DMU is pretty good about setting up different activities for students and faculty. In January they set up the 250 mile club. We could sign up and starting January 1st we could record all of our walking/running miles with a goal of getting to 250 miles by May 31st. Since I had gotten a little out of shape around the end of the year (has it been that long since I’ve blogged?) this was good motivation for me to get back into running. Since January I’ve been trying to be more consistent with my workouts, this is definitely still a struggle. On top of being busy with school sometimes it’s just tough to find the motivation to work out when there are a million other things that I could be doing. Cardio, particularly running, is what I’ve been working on the mostly. I’m trying to get a little more into lifting and some more sculpting/toning workouts but I can never quite commit to what exactly I want to do. Then I just get bored so I usually skip it. Plus running is much more simple, I think it’s harder than lifting for me physically but I don’t have to think much about what to do, I just start running and stop when I’ve done as much as I want to do. Especially since I’m doing this 250 mile challenge and I haven’t exactly been keeping up with it all the time I’m really trying to get my miles in now.

I think I'm up to 144 now, still a long ways to go

I think I’m up to 144 now, still a long ways to go

It was finally nice enough this weekend to run outside, it’s been nice a few days but Saturday was the first day that I took time away from studying to get out for a run. Saturday morning it was already about 55 degrees around 8:30am so I went out to run at Saylorville with my parents. Usually more fun to run with other people and I like running with my parents when I have the chance. I’ve had a cold for the last few days and my run at the gym on Thursday had totally sucked. So I didn’t have a lot of confidence that my run outside was gonna go so great. I hadn’t run outside since November and the trail we were running is pretty hilly. I was thinking that I would make it a mile at best before having to take a break. Ended up running the whole 3 miles! This is our usual distance and even though it was a bit slower pace I was really happy with it for my first run out there this year.

My run also finally gave me the chance to use my new watch and heart rate monitor. My parents had gotten me a Garmin 400 (I think that’s what it is, I’ll check it out and post a bit of a review blog for it) for Christmas and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to put it to use. So far I really like the new watch, way easier to use than my Soleus and it has a lot more functions.

Still working on my running but I feel like I’ve been building up my motivation a little bit more. Especially as it gets nicer outside I just keep thinking about trail running and biking and rock climbing. Plus shorts, tanks tops, bikinis and all the other fun things that come along with summer. Summer…that’s got to be some of the best motivation

Falling

I’ve taken plenty of falls in my life. I fell off my bike plenty of times when I was a kid, I’ve still got the scars on my knees to prove it. I think my worst fall on a bike was when I was 14 and we were mountain biking out at 18 road in Fruita, Colorado. Like always my dad and my brother were way ahead of me. So I’m riding along until a rock stops me dead in my tracks (it’s mountain biking, out of all the rocks I don’t know what this ones problem was) and it threw me over my handle bars. I remember the first thing to hit the ground was my right hand before the rest of me came down. My arm hurt and it took me a minute to get up but I could handle the pain enough to ride the rest of the way back. It was hurting worse and I realized that soon after getting off my bike I bent my elbow up and then couldn’t move it anymore and that pain was intense. My dad of course didn’t care (thanks Dad) and by the time I got home it hurt so bad I was in tears as soon as I saw my mom (the person I knew would be a little more sympathetic). It was the weekend so my mom took me to docs on call for an xray the next day. Turns out I had dislocated my elbow, either it just subluxed (out and right back in) or it relocated after riding my bike back. Either way I was lucky that nothing was broken and just had to be in a sling for a week before the pain stopped and I could move my arm again.

Snowboarding is probably actually where I’ve had the most falls. When I started snowboarding that’s basically all I did; falling over and over for hours. Then I finally figured out what I was doing and I didn’t fall as much but when I did they were usually a lot harder. I remember falling once right after coming off of Bill’s Run through Looky Looky (at Powderhorn) catching an edge and hitting hard enough that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to move after that. One of the scarier and more recent falls that I had must have been the last year that I had a season pass at Powderhorn, 2011 I think. I had taken either Mudslide or Thunder Mountain Glade (possibly my 2 favorite runs) and I’d just gone through a really fun boulder field and was just going through the last few trees before coming out on Snowcloud. I usually go through that boulder field pretty fast, mostly because it’s fun and because if the powder is deep enough you can get stuck.  I was being stupid and not wearing a helmet even though my mom was always reminding me, especially when I’m alone going through trees.  I caught my back edge just after I got into the trees and came down backwards and was sliding on my back. It’s weird how slow things seem to go in your mind even when everything is actually going really fast. In the 2-3 that I was sliding on the ground all I was thinking was “oh crap, I know there’s a tree that I’m sliding headfirst for.” I managed to jerk my body around enough that I just hit the tree with the side of my leg. It hit me right around the top of my boot and it hit hard enough that I decided that was my last run for the day. Thank God I hit my leg instead because if it had been my head I probably would have been lucky to get away with just a concussion. 

No falls here

No falls here

Never mind snowboarding might not be what I’ve fallen the most while doing. I’m sure it’s actually rock climbing. Why I didn’t think about that sooner though is probably because very few of my falls while climbing have been bad. People hear about rock climbing and think it’s dangerous or scary, but really it’s probably one of the safest things I’ve done. I’ve always got plenty of things to protect me if I fall while climbing. Now if you’re into free soloing than that’s a totally different story…The only time I really even have a chance to hurt myself when falling is when I’m bouldering, and with padded floors and crash pads those have pretty much always been okay. If I fall (or more likely jump) from the top of a bouldering route I might twist my ankle or hurt my knees a bit if I land wrong but that’s about it. When I’m actually top roping the falls are sometimes scary but it’s not like I’m really falling.

Even letting go from here is ok

Even letting go from here is ok

Even with all the falls I’ve taken until last Sunday I’ve never fallen while running. I’ve slipped while hiking and even tripped while just walking, but I’ve never before actually falling while I was running. I had gone running at Rustler’s Loop near Loma, Colorado the Friday after Thanksgiving and it was probably my best run ever out there. Then Sunday I almost didn’t go because I was being lazy and getting ready to head back to Mesquite, but I decided I shouldn’t be so lazy and go run. My run already started off poorly, I don’t really know what it was but I wasn’t running very well and I wasn’t doing a very good job of pushing myself. I was just about halfway through my run when I caught my foot on a rock right in the middle of the trail.

The culprit

The culprit

I don’t know if I had looked down at my watch or what but I completely missed it and hit the ground. I’m pretty sure I slid a couple feet after coming down. Every time I fall I wish that life somehow had instant replay, seriously, I want to know what actually happened because it goes way too fast to process. Even though it hurt I was really mostly surprised. I sprang right back up off the ground though because I knew some bikers were pretty close behind me and more than being concerned about getting run over it was mostly my ego that I was protecting. Luckily I think they were far enough back that they didn’t see my fall, at least they didn’t say anything so that means they were jerks and didn’t care or were being nice and sparing me ego. I think they just didn’t see though. Right away I noticed my right hand and left knee hurt, they were the most scraped up.

My knees have taken some beatings

My knees have taken some beatings

The reason I've been wearing a glove for the last week at work

The reason I’ve been wearing a glove for the last week at work

But when I started to walk I realized that it was actually my toe that I had caught on the rock that hurt the worst. It kinda felt like my toenail wasn’t quite where it was supposed to be so I took my shoe off and noticed my sock was already bloody. I was scared to take that off cause I really didn’t want to find out the status of my toenail attachment. Fortunately the nail was mostly intact but I somehow had torn up the skin over the whole end on my toe.IMAG1258 Apparently I kicked that rocked pretty hard, it got back at me by throwing my to the ground. In a great coincidence I was able to salvage a bandaid from my heal that was protecting an on blister from some other shoes and used that to keep the skin in place on my toe. IMAG1256I was seriously right around the halfway point of this loop and had to walk back limping. Luckily I had just passed where the road goes across the trail and I knew this would cut off part of the distance so I walked back to the road and took it back to my car. By the time I got back to my car I was really thinking that I should have just been lazy and stayed home. But what’s life without experiences right? Also me and my brother had just been talking the day before because he was telling me about falling while mountain biking that day. I said something about having less distance to fall while running so it’s not as bad. Well I’m only 5’3″ and I can say that even that far of a fall is still pretty painful.

Didn't noticed till I was driving home that I scraped this leg too, ankle, knee, and bruised all the way up by my hip. Apparently I should have worn tights that day

Didn’t noticed till I was driving home that I scraped this leg too, ankle, knee, and bruised all the way up by my hip. Apparently I should have worn tights that day (hard to see in this pic)

Grand Junction: Weekend Edition

My mom and my sister had been out in Grand Junction for about 2 weeks so my mom could help the Fenskes redo their kitchen. Since I was free last weekend I decided the 430 mile drive was worth it to go out and spend the weekend with them. When I was in undergrad I think I only saw my family 2 or 3 times a year for 3 years but after living at home I was missing them after only 6 weeks so I was really happy to be able to go see at least part of my family for the weekend (my dad was at home working so I just had to call him instead). I only had 2 days there so I had to try and fit in a lot, on top of the fact that they were still working on putting the house back together after the remodel. The kitchen wasn’t quite finished when I was there but it already looked amazing, I’m so excited to go back for Thanksgiving, I’ll cook everything myself with no complaints it’s that awesome!

On Saturday we did some shopping and cleaning. My sister had this awesome/ridiculous wolf hat. She later convinced me to buy a cow hat, it was so ridiculous but I couldn’t help myself, I loved it. I also realized that I may never need to go to Hobby Lobby ever again for scrapbooking stuff, I can just go shopping in Roberta’s craft room. I think I’ve realized that basically everyone in my family is a hoarder, seriously, they’re just organized so it’s sneaky.

To keep up with my sister dates with Anna I decided to see if she wanted to go to a football game with me. I thought I was going to have to bribe her or something but she actually agreed right away. One of my really good friends; we’re basically at matching kitten BFF t-shirt status (Just Friends, anyone?) plays football for CMU and this is his last year. He’s probably the most motivated person I know and has worked really hard this year. I even got to test out my PT skills after he managed to hurt himself (he got back to playing, so I apparently didn’t ruin it). Since it’s his last season I know it means a lot to him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play in all the time that we’ve been friends (I blame my friends in college for not going to more football games, that school needs some spirit). I knew this would be my last chance to see him play so I was excited to go. Plus my sister is possibly the only person that knows less about football than I do so I could actually teach her something about it. The game was fun, it was definitely rough for Mesa, but for playing the #1 team it could have been worse. The worst part was that every time my friend was out on the field and a play didn’t go right all I could think was “ooh, that’s gonna drive him crazy” and it was so stressful!
Even though it was freezing out it was definitely fun and I think one of our most memorable sister dates. By the way, those hats we had came in handy…

CMU Mavericks (basically cows right?) and the CSU Thunder Wolves. Seriously not even on purpose

Sunday we went to church and it’s the same church that we went to when I was younger. It’s so weird to be back there because some of the same people are there so it reminds me of being there years ago but it’s so much different. So many of the friends that I had there I haven’t seen it forever so it brought back a lot of memories, lots of good ones with people there. Funny thing is that my one of the best friends from there that I haven’t talked to in forever texted me later that day! Funny how life works sometimes. Later   me and my mom finally found some time to go trail running. Rustler’s Loop is probably my favorite place to run and I’ve missed running with my mom for the last few weeks. Even though it was about 20 degrees colder in Junction than it was in Mesquite it had finally warmed up that we could be out running in shorts and t-shirts, not bad for the end of October. It was gorgeous out, the sky was clear and the sun was shining. I kept getting an insane cramp in my diaphragm, probably cause we were talking so much, but seriously put me with me mom after 6 weeks away and I’m not gonna shut up even during a run. Otherwise the run felt amazing, it was a huge difference since the last time I had been out there and it was a lot more fun to run with my running buddy again. 

Sunday night my mom made cheesecake and I made lasagna for Treyce’s birthday since it was the next day. It was a great way to end my weekend back at “home” (seriously, I think it will always feel like home there). Then I had to make the long drive back to Mesquite but it was totally worth the weekend.