Friday, June 28, 2013

Catching up and Park #4--Alderfer Three Sisters

Wednesday afternoon, I also got unofficial results from my actuarial exam.  I didn't pass.  It's hard to describe what it's like to put hundreds of hours of preparation into something and to feel like your ready for it and then to find out you failed.  Even though it's part of the process, it's still hard to not let it shake my confidence and let it get me down.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

-Theodore Roosevelt
A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.-John Burroughs 

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
-C. S. Lewis 

Back over Memorial Day weekend, Mickey and I went running up in Evergreen at Alderfer Three Sisters Park.  This my first time at the park and it was a nice run, although shorter than I was planning.  We started running on the south side of the park on the Evergreen Mountain trail West and climbed up to the summit trail where we got some good views.  

Views from the summit trail

Mickey enjoying the run
The actual summit trail

a view on the way up
We were descending on the Evergreen Mtn trail east when I tripped on a rock and fell hard on my knees, left shoulder and back.  Instead of exploring the northern part of the park as planned, I just wanted to get back to the car as I was scraped up and bleeding.  So, we'll have to go back and explore more of the park another time.

The weeks following that run, I started to get a lot of lower back pain and finally went to the chiropractor last week for an initial visit.  I've actually never gone to a chiropractor for adjustments, only for ART.  I guess I was pretty out of whack, probably from this fall, and maybe from all my mountain bike falls over the last couple years. It seems to have alleviated my lower back pain so far and hopefully is helping me run a little better.  I certainly felt better when we were in Michigan.

I raced a 5k 2 weeks ago and it wasn't pretty.  I had a migraine the 3 days before and that and possibly my migraine medicine led to my legs becoming extremely sore, mainly in my calves.  I also still had the low back pain. I was planning to do a race on Saturday, but skipped it hoping my legs would feel better for Sunday.  Then we spent 3 hours at the Denver zoo on Saturday afternoon and my legs really felt like junk.  I told myself that no matter how bad I felt, I had to get out there and race, and if I did I could buy myself some new running clothes.

So I did the Apex Father's Day 5k in Arvada.  According to the race mile markers I did my race as follows:
Mile 1: 6:24 This felt hard but controlled
Mile 2: 7:50 Passed the second place female at around 8 minutes in, got passed by another female and one male at the "2 mile" mark.
Mile 3: 7:10 Got passed by another female running with a dog, and maybe one guy.
Final time:22:10
I think the mile markers and the total distance were off, but not too far off. I really didn't feel good and fell apart after the turn around.  I finished 4th overall and even though I ran poorly I'm glad I went but hope that I feel much better the next time that I race.

Since I did do my race I got to order some new running clothes. I got two new pairs of shorts (they were on sale!) and a new sports bra.

Showing off the new clothes

I'm racing a 5k tomorrow morning and a downhill mile on July 4th so I'm looking forward to see how those go.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Park #2-Deerfield Park, Park #3-Leelenau State Park, and a wedding

This past weekend, Adam and I headed to Michigan for my sister's wedding.  The dogs didn't come along and we split all three of them up with Frito going to a petsitter, Cooper going to one friend, and Mickey going to another.

Frito made himself right at home at the petsitters.
Mickey with his buddy Max.

We flew in late, so we stayed in Mt. Pleasant where I grew up, before heading up to Leland (near Traverse City) where the wedding would be.  It gave me a chance to run at Deerfield Park in the morning.  Deerfield is where we went for walks as a family when I was a kid.  It was where we floated down the Chippewa river every 4th of July on inner tubes.  It was where I first fell in love with running as a teenager and where our high school cross county course was until my senior year.  I have a lot of miles and history in this park.  

It's a beautiful park--heavily shaded and much of it along the Chippewa river.  After living in Colorado for almost 3 years I've come to really appreciate the full thick shade that Deerfield provides.  You can't find shade like this in Colorado.  The only big drawback is the mosquitos.  You can't slow down, stop, or walk without them finding you, so I apologize for any fuzzy photos--I had to take them on the go!

Wildwood pathway

River Loop
I used to think this was a big hill
The covered brige--this was a long walk and a destination to get to when I was a kid!
The Covered Bridge from the other direction.
The swinging bridge
We had a lot of fun as kids and runners when this bridge bounced up and down.
The natural spring at Deerfield--iron fortified water.
On Saturday, we went for a run in Leelanau State Park near Northport, MI.  Adam really only ran to escape the mosquitoes.  I ran here 2 years ago when I came to visit my family for Memorial Day and watch my sister run the Bayshore Marathon. It's a beautiful park, again heavily shaded which I love, and with some steep hills and enough mosquitoes to keep you moving at a good clip.  

Adam looking over his shoulder for the killer mosquitoes.
Trying to drop Adam up a hill :)
Adam really likes trees like this

More Green!

Checking out the view of Lake Michigan from our room post run.
The weather was a little windy for the wedding which was on the beach, but it was beautiful.  The best picture the two of us got was near the parking lot unfortunately and it still wasn't great.  Thankfully there were a lot of great shots of the bride and groom.  We had a nice relaxing time and enjoyed seeing family.  It's nice to get back to Michigan in the summer to see how beautiful it is. 
Pre wedding.

My sister's dogs Charley Brown, and Timmy (you can't see much of Timmy)
Adam showing off the view from our room.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Introduction and Trail #1--High Line Canal

This is Frito. Running with Frito to me represents running for the sheer joy of it. Running to relax and escape everyday stress. Running to enjoy and explore nature.  

When I start to show even a hint that I am getting ready to run, Frito starts his running "dance". I just need to open the drawer with my running clothes, put on my running watch, start putting my hair in a ponytail, and he already knows its on. First he does a stretch.  Then he starts wiggling from his nose all the way to the end of his tail. Occasionally he lets out a long howl as if to say lets go!!!! As I put my running shoes on he chugs water, he knows he needs to hydrate.  Once I grab the leash he can't contain his excitement and he jumps, all four legs, 2-3 feet off the ground while wiggling from head to toe.  We call this a bah-boing! This is what Frito does when his is really really excited.  It's this pure excitement and joy that I want to have before and during every run.

There are some goals that I am working towards in my running right now.  The main one right now is  setting a 10k pr.  Another one is a little different.  My goal is to run in 52 different parks/trails in the next year.  I started this over Memorial Day weekend, so I have until next Memorial day to complete it.  I've decided it only counts if I take pictures, and share it, so I will be doing that here.  While I have run in more parks than 3, I have only taken pictures for 3 parks so far.  

This morning, Frito and I did an easy run along a short stretch of the High Line Canal in Littleton.  I like running this trail for easy runs, tempo or longer intervals, and occasionally for long runs.  It's pretty much flat and provides some shade. There are some good views of the mountains and depending on what stretch you run there are some nice houses to look at along the way. 

Frito stalking a bunny
Frito doing his slowmotion walk towards the bunny
Getting closer
 He probably thinks running=hunting.

Not the best lighting for pictures, but definitely the best time to run while it's still cool and shady!