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Blacksmith Fork Freedom 15K

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Member Since:

Jun 11, 2009



Goal Type:

Local Elite

Running Accomplishments:

5K- 16:37

6K CC - 19:55 

4 miles- 22:10 

10K- 34:38

15K- 49:57 

Half Marathon- 1:12:03

20K - 1:08:38 

Marathon- 2:35:49

Short-Term Running Goals:

Stay fit and have fun doing some local races.

Get my youth cross country team, off the ground.

Long-Term Running Goals:

Feel energized. Stay healthy and balanced


Four awesome kids ages 4, 8, 10, and 12 years old. Love to run, play, and write. Married to entrepreneurial Aaron.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Book Dissolved Lifetime Miles: 6539.00
Altra Intuition Lifetime Miles: 35.00
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18 miles in 7:37 pace

Ran with Aaron's 22oz hand held water bottle this morning and punched myself in the face once when I was trying to drink while running.  Its pretty heavy and annoying when its full.  I think I'll buy a strap for one of my little 10oz fuel belt water bottles since I can fill up at two different spots on my long run course anyway. 

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7 slow and easy miles with Aaron at 6 a.m. before we loaded up the car and started our trek to Utah.  The drive was pretty uneventful except for our 1yo puking in the final 10 minutes.  We pulled up at Scott's house in a mess but got it cleaned up quickly and enjoyed the BBQ with lots of Cache Valley Bloggers.  I think Aaron is posting pics.  It was really fun to meet everyone and enjoy a delicious dinner.  Thanks SO MUCH, Scott and Karen for hosting such a fun party!

Race: Blacksmith Fork Freedom 15K (9.3 Miles) 00:53:18, Place overall: 1
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After the FRB get-together at Scott Ensign's house last night, we slept in his basement.  Allie came over at 6 a.m. and we all drove to the race start together.  Had a little mix-up with Scott's neighbor whom we thought was going to give us a ride, so after waiting for him for a bit we ended up just going up in Allie's car and parking quickly so we could pick up our race bibs and get somewhat of a warm-up.  I jogged around for about 5 minutes, did a couple of strides, and visited a tree (since the porta-pot lines were too long.)  Lined up on the start line with Paul, Allie, Scott and others.  Temp was pretty chilly since the sun was still behind the mountain but once we got running I warmed up pretty quickly. 

Mile 1- 5:53 Legs were resisting the pace a bit.  Some tightness in my hips and quads.

Mile 2- 5:56 Still trying to get moving.  

Mile 3- 5:50 Slight downhill helps.

Mile 4- 5:44 Okay, now the legs are submitting to my will (after that 5k warm-up).

Mile 5- 5:30 Quite a bit of dowhnill, some headwind.  I followed a guy in a blue jersey and imagined a pony tail on him to motivate me to race him. Then I looked down at his legs and the hairy poof just made it really hard to imagine him female.

Mile 6- 5:38 Still some headwind and downhill.

Mile 7- 5:50 First half of this mile was downhill, second half was pretty steep uphill

Mile 8- 5:52 Still pushing up the steep hill.  Crested the hill and had a half mile of flat brought my pace back down.

Mile 9- 5:30 Gradual downhill, one intersection with no officer directing traffic.  I was lucky there were no cars because I ran a red light.

Final .3- 5:18 pace Little more downhill and a sprint to the finish.

After I finished I drank a couple of cups of Gatorade and jogged up to run Allie and Ruth in.  Aaron was taking pictures of everyone and Scott's wife, Karen was helping keep an eye on our kids (who kept raiding the post-race food and gatorade).  FRB-ers did really well!! Lots of PRs and overall/age group wins.  After chatting with bloggers (Paul, Jon, Cody, Scott, Allie, Ruth, Dave) for a bit Aaron left with Cody to go mountain running and Karen watched my kids so I could do a little cool down with Allie and Ruth.  I am very pleased with the race.  That was my first time racing 15K; it is such a fun distance to race!  Its just long enough to really get into a groove and feel good without getting too fatigued.  I didn't need any liquid or gu in the race so there were no distractions and no tummy/bowel problems.  Super fun race!  

The kids were enjoying themselves at the playground nearby while we waited for the awards/raffle.  After all the runners finished we sat down and listened to the awards.  Milliseconds timing group had a little confusion since they had not gotten the finish line pad down until after the first 6-8 runners had already finished so they were asking us our finish times (its a good thing most runners time themselves).  They gave fireworks to the kids and a nice pottery bowl trophy to the overall/age group placers plus lots of raffle prizes.  Just after Scott was complaining that he never wins anything in those raffles he was proven wrong when they called his name and gave him a free backpack.

After that I gave Allie and Dave S. a ride back to their car up the canyon at the race start and went back to Scott's house to shower and get our stuff while we waited for Aaron.  Karen made some yummy sausages and hot dogs for lunch and we hung out for a couple more hours until Aaron returned and we left for our family get-togethers.  

We had such a fun time in Cache Valley and are really grateful for Scott and Karen Ensign's kind hospitality and generosity in hosting us for the night, feeding us and helping with our kids.  It was really fun to get to know lots of bloggers better and race as a way of celebrating our Freedom and this great Country in which we live.

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7 miles in 8:41 pace

Camping in Little Cottonwood Canyon just below Snowbird Resort in Tanner's Flat campground.  Kids woke up at 6:00 a.m. so I went running while Aaron got them dressed and fed.  I drove up to the top of the canyon by Alta Ski Resort to run around Albion Basin.  Enjoyed exploring the trails and running around the ski runs.  Saw one moose.  Beautiful morning!

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12 miles in 7:49 pace

Was grateful Aaron decided to stay an extra night so he could hang out and watch the kids again while I went running.  I decided to drive down and park my car at the bottom of the canyon this morning so I could run on Wasatch Blvd which was much less hilly than the trails in Albion Basin. It was still hilly, but at least smooth and fast.  The view along that road is spectacular.  I could see the entire Salt Lake Valley.  Ran from the mouth of Little Cottonwood to the mouth of Big Cottonwood and a little bit up Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Then back towards Little Cottonwood past La Caille (that place is gorgeous) and all the way to 103000 S. or so before I turned around and went back to my car for an even 12 miles.  Legs feel pretty good but I decided I'd give my legs a break from Tuesday speedwork.

Aaron left for the airport with his brother when I got back.  The older kids went hiking up at Snowbird while I walked around camp exploring with Breanne and Ali.  Bre showed me her "secret hideout" (another campsite across the stream from us).  I started riding my nephew's little recumbant bike around camp and giving Ali a ride from place to place, which she loved.  Then I decided to pedal it up the hill and give rides down the hill to my kids and my neices and nephews.  It was a lot of fun.  I kept going up the little quarter mile hill and then loading one kid on my lap and one kid standing on the back of the bike holding on to my shoulders for the gradual downhill glide.  Breanne and her cousin, Sarah found the most enjoyment, evidenced by their little giggly squeals at a nearly defening decible.

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Rest Day

Last day camping in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Enjoyed the morning with the kids.  Took them for a little walk around the campground and spotted a couple of deer.  Ate a yummy big breakfast of eggs, sausage, and pancakes.  Packed up all the sleeping bags, pads, bags, blankets, and took down the tent.  Enjoyed exploring a bit more and hugged cousins goodbye.  What a FUN camp trip this was!!

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21 miles in 7:35 pace

Decided to stay in Utah one extra day after camping so I could do a long run with Allie and stay with my Mom one more night.  Allie was kind enough t meet me in Kaysville at 6 a.m. and we ran a route that my friend, Jami recommended into Centerville and back.  Got a little mixed up in the final few miles and ended up doing an extra mile, but I was okay with it.  Time went by quickly as we ran and chatted and when we finished it didn't feel like I had just run 21 miles.  I had water and fuel near miles 10 and 15.  I didn't feel like I needed very much this morning because it was cool and shady and I've been over-eating pretty much all week with all the family meals and vacationing.  It'll be good to get back to my regular routine of healthier food and better sleep.  

After the run my Mom met us at the park with my kids and we chatted for a bit and Jami came back to say hi.  Then I headed back to Moms, showered, ate, and drove the 8 hours back to Colorado.  The drive went very well, my kids behaved like angels and I was able to keep stops pretty short.  I did struggle with fatigue for part of the drive and since Aaron was not there to trade off driving, I guzzled a very large diet coke and  the caffeine enabled me to be more alert and arrive home safely.

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10 miles in 7:39 pace

Easy 10 around Standley Lake.  Saw at least 8,291,243 yellow butterflies fluttering about and another 34,235 dead on the ground from being hit by cars.  What is with the yellow butterflies this time of year? 

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Met my group at Palo Parkway.  Colleen lead the group today.

20 minutes warm up, stretching, strides.

4X8 minutes at half-marathon pace (5:51, 5:55, 5:51, 5:59 pace)

My legs were pretty tired, but no aches and pains to be concerned about. 

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9 miles in 7:19 pace

7X50 stride pick-ups

Monday, Monday!!

Now I'm off to the gym to lift weights and do some core work. 

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Met the Tri group at East Boulder Community Park.  Darren and Colleen were both there and John from the Running Republic group was there, but other than that it was pro triathletes (Darren coaches them on their running).

20 min warm up (actually 17 minutes...the same route it normally takes the Running Republic group to do in 20, but apparently the triathletes warm up faster). Stretching, Strides

3 sets of 1,2,3,2,1 fartlek with 1-2 minutes in between each push

My pace stayed between 5:10-5:47 pace, actually mostly between 5:20-5:35 pace.  And then I really pushed it on the final minute trying to stay right on Colleen's heels and we ran 4:50 pace.  Tough workout in pretty hot sun (around 82 degrees).  I was happy about the fact that my pace seemed to get a little faster as the workout progressed and I felt strong on the final set.

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Last night before I went to bed I experienced a severe muscle spasm in my neck and as I slept it got super tight and painful I could barely roll out of bed this morning.  It hurt to move it in any direction.  I hate it when this happens!!!  Seems like it happens to me about every 6 weeks too. Usually I just grit my teeth and go running anyway, but I didn't have the gumption today. So I went for an easy 7 mile bike ride with my 4 yo in the toddler seat.  Then, later in the afternoon I went to the gym and lifted weights and did core work for an hour.  I went in to see my ART guy and he worked on it quite a bit but these spasms generally take a few days and sometimes a week really relax all the way.  Ugh.  I also got some ART done on my ever niggly achilles and my right shin that keeps getting waves of tightness every few days.  I felt pretty beat up when I left but hopeful for recovery. 

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11 miles in 8:28 pace

My neck is still super spasm-like tight and I never felt good on my run until it was over and I was sitting on the floor stretching.  

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10 miles in 7:55 pace

My neck is feeling a little better.  I did still feel pretty sluggish this morning though.  Guess its just my body telling me ease back a bit.  I could also go for some healthier eating.  I had two birthdays this week with my daughter turning two on Sunday and my son turning six yesterday.  I've filled my quarterly quota for cake and pizza.  Its been fun though.  Yesterday we went to Water World as a family and had a blast.  Then today we had our son's birthday party at a place called Pump it Up where they have bounce houses, slides, ect.  He really enjoyed partying with his friends and it was fun to see them all having such a good time.  Its been a busy week and now tomorrow we're off to watch Aaron finish his second 50K in the mountains.  Good times! 

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Aaron ran a 50K in Pine today and all of my babysitters were unavailable so couldn't get out to the workout with my team.  Instead I enjoyed the morning with the kids playing with all of Abe's new toys and new basketball hoop in the back yard.  I thought I would get my run in later in the day but my achilles was pretty tight all day and by the time I drove to Pine, hiked around with the kids for an hour, cheered for Aaron as he finished his race, hung out for another hour, and drove home, I was out of energy and/or motivation to run.  So I just took the day off.  Its probably good to have a lighter week every now and then anyway. 

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10 miles in 7:41 pace

Fresh start to a new week with an 85% healed neck. 

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Met the group at Palo Park.  We had the biggest Tuesday morning group I have ever seen this morning with 22 people, I think!  Lots of fasties to push the pace too.  I brought up the rear (hung on as best I could) to the fastest group consisting of a couple of super fast triathletes, John, Simon, and Colleen.  It was awesome to be pulled along by such strong athletes.

20 minute warm up, stretching, strides 

8X1000 meters back and forth on the Cottonwood trail which is about as flat as it gets in Boulder but it does have a very slight decline for the first two, slight incline for the second two, and back and forth like that.  My times were 3:26, 3:21, 3:26, 3:24, 3:26, 3:19, 3:28, 3:19, which according to my watch, was 5:36, 5:29, 5:36, 5:35, 5:36, 5:28, 5:38, 5:29 pace.  Odds were supposed to be at 10K pace and evens at 5K pace, so thats why every other is a few seconds different.  I didn't really look at my watch much, I just went by feel and tried to stay somewhat close to Colleen (I was probably 5-10 seconds back each time though).  Also since I was bringing up the rear of my group and we were going by Simon's watch, I got between 1:45-1:50 of rest each time rather than the full 2 minutes.  This didn't seem to bother me much as I felt my heart rate go back down pretty quickly after each repeat.   

10 minute cool down.  Started to rain lightly during the cool down.  The weather could not have been more perfect for this workout.  63 degrees and overcast.  Reminded me of Fall.  I LOVE Fall weather.  I also love cool summer morning weather.

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10.5 miles in 7:38 pace

Couple of slow miles before my legs really got moving, but felt good after that.  Awesome morning weather again.  65 degrees and overcast.  Oh yes.

Getting ready to leave for river rafting on the Snake river this weekend.  We depart tomorrow for Alpine, WY where we'll camp and do some river running.  Running of the river, if you will.  

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16 miles in 7:40 pace

Ran early on Big Dry Creek. Legs felt good. Upon returning, packed up the cooler and remaining bags and departed for Alpine, WY. Aaron and I listened to "The Five Love Languages of Children" on the long drive and had some good discussion and discovery on how to speak each of our kid's love language. It's a good book, I recommend it to all parents.

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A.M. 7 miles in 7:24 pace

My legs felt suprisingly good this morning. Aaron was gone running from 5:30 to 8:00 a.m. So I ran from 8-9 and left for river rafting as soon as I got back. I got to take our 4yo daughter on the raft and enjoy some time with her. She has a contagious little giggle that rolled out over each rapid. Our 2 hour run was super fun.

P.M. 6 miles in 7:25 pace Aaron met us at the take-out spot and I ran the 6 miles back to camp. It was hot but a strong headwind down the canyon kept me cool. After lunch I showered off in the campground spigot and played with the girls while Aaron took our 6yo on the raft. We went to the market, ate creamies, and went up the canyon to take pics of Aaron and Abe on the river. Such a fun day!

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10 miles, about 4 of them in 5:10-5:50 pace.

Having not charged my Garmin in a few days I wasn't suprized when it died just after my turn-around point. My workout consisted of random 1-4 minute intervals I made up as I went with 1-2 minute jog breaks between each. Gotta love watchless running.

After my run I watched two of my bro and sis-in-laws kids while they went rafting with their older two and Aaron went running, then in the afternoon they watched two of our kids while Aaron and I took Bre and went rafting. I started out on a single person duckie while Aaron stayed in the big raft with Bre. We were going to swap half-way so Aaron could try the duckie too but I ended up needing to swap him earlier because on just my third rapid I pulled hard while coming out of it and pulled my shoulder out of socket. I panicked for a moment when I realized I was the caboose of our group and was slowly coasting sideways toward the next rapid with a useless dislocated right shoulder. Luckilly I yelled loud enough for another guy in a duckie, Eric to hear me and pull up beside me to hold my raft steady while I kneeled high enough to yank my arm back into its socket. Whew! I thanked him for his help and asked him to catch the raft and have them pull over so I could swap Aaron spots. Then I prayed that I could get through the next couple of rapids safely with my spasming shoulder. My endorphins were kicking in and I was able to barely manage through the next couple of rapids and pull into the eddy where Aaron's raft was waiting for me. I swapped Aaron spots and asked to be put on the left side of the raft so I could use my good arm to help paddle us through the upcoming larger rapids. Aaron executed the rapids like a pro in the duckie and I enjoyed the safer ride in the big raft with giggly Breanne. My shoulder finally stopped spasming about 10 minutes later but it felt pretty sore the rest of the day. I'm pretty bummed because even though I've dislocated that shoulder about 20 times before, it had been a year since the last time I did it so I was starting to hope I was out of the woods. But all it takes is one sloppy, hard pull and its out again. I just have to remember to keep good form and protect my shoulder from awkward movements because I'll tell you what, those few moments when it is out are not super fun.

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10 miles in 7:14 pace

My legs felt surprisingly good this morning after driving in the car for nine hours yesterday.   Thank goodness.  So I did my ten miles with 7X50 stride pick-ups after a couple warm-up miles and enjoyed the beautiful morning.  We really have been having great weather in Colorado this summer.

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7 miles in 7:41 pace

Met with Coach De Reuck last night at his house and came up with a more concrete race schedule and training plan.  As we were meeting in his kitchen, Colleen was there cooking dinner during the second half of our meeting so she threw in a little input which I appreciated.  I didn't realize when I signed on for Darren I'd get Colleen as a sub-coach too, but I'll take it! 

We talked about doing a four week cycle of 70-75 miles one week, then 65-70 miles the next week, 60-65 miles the third week, and 50-55 miles per week as an easier week.  He asked me if I thought I could ever hit 80 mpw, and I frankly told him I don't really have the space in my schedule.  Plus, going up to 75 is 10 more mpw than I did last summer, so I'm happy with the gradual increase.

We revised my race schedule to delete the Skirtchaser 5k (since it is just one week after the Hobblecreek Half and one week before Park to Park), add a 5k tonight, and include another half marathon three weeks out from Baltimore (see race schedule on sidebar).  He also suggested getting me into the New Haven 20K on Sept. 6th instead of Park to Park so I could race the elites but I am resisting the idea because I don't see a huge need to travel away from my family when I can stay home and get decent competition, a potential $500 cash prize, and a beautiful course at the Park to Park 10-miler on the same day.  I'm still considering it though. It would be good to go race faster women at sea-level in preparation for Baltimore.  

We talked a bit about goal pace for each race and also made plans for how I will get my weekly mileage in.  He wants me to do at least two days where I break my mileage into two runs so my body can recover between each run.  I agree with his training philosophy, its just hard for me to take the time for two runs, but I committed to him to do it two days week.

I am really excited about the upcoming few months of training and racing and the opportunity to hopefully get the Olympic Trials qualifying time in Baltimore.  Darren was laughing about how crafty I am to keep finding good races to run on Saturdays since I prefer not to race on Sunday and he told me that the USA Half Marathon Championships will be in Houston on a Saturday in January and the Olympic Trials are also on a Saturday in Houston in January of 2012.  Sweet!

Race: Freeman Myer Sunset 5K (3.07 Miles) 00:16:41, Place overall: 3
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Ran the elite criterion section of the Freeman Myer Corporate Challenge 5K this evening.  Companies organized teams and competed against each other to prove who had the most fit corporate team and I guess the elite race was the entertainment for the night because after the corporate teams finished, they all had food and drinks in hand while cheering on the elites.  They started the elite men's race one minute before the elite women's race, which I was kind-of disappointed by because starting with the men would have added more depth and more competition for us but as it was there were only six women in our elite women's race.  SIX!  And the top five got prize money.  I felt bad for the sixth place girl because she knew before the race started that she was going to get her bum kicked as she nervously asked what kind of time we were shooting for.  She was tempted to just not run because she didn't want to look stupid, but we all encouraged her to just run and see what she could do, so she did.  

The course was back and forth on one road with a cone at each end where we turned around.  Three laps slightly over a mile each as flat as a pancake with a mild puff in the middle.  Exactly one minute after the men took off, we went out pretty fast as well.  Five of us were pretty close for the first mile (sixth place was a bit back already).  

My watch said 5:15 at mile one, but the race announcer said we came through in 5:20.  I'm not certain their mile markers were exactly correct because a few of the guys I talked to after the race said their garmins measured a bit short for the overall distance and so did mine.

 Anyway, my next split on my garmin was 5:29 and I had lost a few meters on Benita and Fiona but had also gained a few meters on Nuta.  (An Aussie, a Kiwi, a Romanian, and Me ;)  I kept trying to hang on to Benita and Fiona to see if one of them would drop off so I could fight for another spot but they had gained a few meters on me.  Mile three was the toughest as I started to feel that beloved high-altitude, "probably went out too fast" oxygen debt kicking in.   Benita and Fiona were battling for first and I was trying to keep them as close as possible and hang on for a PR.  Garmin says 5:36 for mile three.  

The final .07 was a 4:35 pace sprint to the finish knowing that I had secured third place and just trying to get the best time I could.  I had a happy moment of joy as I was sprinting to the finish and this old guy in a 10 year old USA track warm-up suit (the same one I got after Jr. Nationals years ago) yelled "GO BYU!!" at me as I ran past him.  Apparently he was the former CU Cross Country coach and had just been chatting with Aaron about how I ran at BYU and how he knew Patrick Shane well.  Anyway, it made me smile and helped pass the final seconds.

So the overall results were

Benita Willis 16:21    $400

Fiona Docherty 16:29    $300

Me 16:41      $250

Nuta Olaru 17:16      $200

Michele Suszek  17:54     $150

After the race I said hi to Aaron and the kids, chatted with a few of the elite guys and noticed Benita and the men's winner, Andrew taking off for their cool down.  I ran up to them and asked them if they'd mind me tagging along and they were very welcoming and kind.  So I ended up cooling down with Benita and getting to know her better.  She is a very sweet person; friendly and super easy to talk to.  Learned that she has been in four Olympic games for Australia and has run a 2:22 marathon.  Benita and I barely got back in time for the awards and chatted for a few more minutes, then I found Aaron and we gathered our kids and left.

I am super happy with the race and how well it went even though I probably should have run more even splits.  Maybe if we would have had started with the guys I would have had more people around and would have been persuaded to run a more realistic pace from the start.  And maybe not.  Hard to say.  Maybe the course was a tad short but even if it was it is still a huge PR for me in the 5K (previously 17:27).  I'm really happy that I was able to be pulled to a fast time by some cool veterans and enjoy a fun, fast race close to home.

Aaron got some pretty sweet pics and already posted them on his site, so I'll just copy and paste what he did here:

Womens Elite start - a whopping 6 entrants!



All 6 women went out together, that didn't last for long



1 woman has fallen off so far - almost to the 1st mile point which was about 5:20




down to 4 women 1/4 mile later



Now Down to 2 women at the lead coming into the finishing mile, Nan holding strong onto a small gap



Benita Willis takes 1st in 16:22



Fiona Docherty is 2nd in 16:30



And Nan finishes strong in 3rd at 16:42 - huge 5K PR for her.




Nuta Olaru comes in next at 17:17 - Nan and her have been swapping back and forth the last few races this year

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18 miles in 7:19 pace

Long run this morning on somewhat tired legs after racing last night.  Took a few miles to get moving, but once I warmed up I felt pretty good.  My right shoulder was actually the most noticeably tired spot; I guess it is still recovering from being dislocated last Saturday.  Better start hitting the weight room again (I've been slacking off on lifting for a few of weeks now). 

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4 miles in 8:00 AP 

Legs were pretty flat this morning.  Coach only wanted me to get 55 miles this week anyway, so I got to take a super easy day.  Slept in, went to the gym around 10 a.m. and ran 4 miles and lifted weights.  My right shoulder fatigued quite quickly. I only got about 20 minutes of lifting in before it started wigging out (feeling as if it could slip out of place again.)

After the gym I took the kids to the Denver Aquarium and enjoyed seeing sharks and ten billion other types of fish.  We also saw MERMAIDS!!  Yes, they have three real live mermaids there who put on a show in the big tank and take pics with the kids afterwards.  It was my first time ever seeing a mermaid.  I used to think they were just fake, but now I can attest that they DO exist!!  I saw them with my own two eyes!! 

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Met the group at Tom Watson Park

20 min warm up, stretching strides

15 minute tempo in 5:58 pace

4 min jog

10 minute tempo in 5:48 pace

3 min jog

5 minute tempo in 5:52 pace (with a big hill and stopping to get my water bottle)

10 minute cool down

Now we're off to the lake and to play with friends all day.  

Happy Saturday, everyone! 


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