Official Race Photo

Official race photo from the Snowman Stampede. Check out the air my feet are catching! Form looks good, very signature Sonja form!
Photo courtesy of www.runningmemories.com
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So check this out! This is one of the photos that the race photographer took of me last Saturday. He took lots, but I really liked this one because it’s at that point in your stride where you feel and look the best! AND, I’m totally catching air. The prints are available for download so I bought this one. I think this guys race photography is pretty smashin’! I saw lots of great pics that he took.

Tread, Chains and Sweat

The details:
Total Time Spent Training: 9:30
Bike Miles: 44.52
Run Miles: 23.96
Race: 10 mile road race (included in run miles)

Welcome to my first installment of Tread, Chains and Sweat where I review my week in training.

This week felt great. The sun finally came out here in Denver for ALMOST an entire week. I have enjoyed getting to know my new GPS watch, and have put my first outdoor miles on my bike since December (excluding the duathlon races of Jan and Feb). I have realized this week more than any past how much my weight loss has effected my body and my speed. I am finally starting to feel like a thin person and my running is responding positively.

Speaking of positive, I also learned this week how to spell positive, no “a” in it, so I’m happy to not have to correct it in spell check anymore, because it seems to be a word that I type a lot.

I started some speed work this week (running). I did a fartlek run with some 30 minute pick-ups on a 5 minute start. I did three runs this week with Annie in the Chariot, and I am getting used to running with her. I think I am finally in good enough shape that doing this doesn’t kill me! She has been wonderful and very accommodating.

All in all, this has been one of my most consistent training weeks ever, and I’m looking for next week the carry in this weeks footsteps :). Goals for next week are to put together the seasons training plan, to race well at the final Beaver Creek race, and to have a consistent week in training.

Snowman Stampede 10 Mile Results

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Well, we got some snow last night but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The temp at race start time was 32 degrees, and there was a layer of quickly melting ice on the road. I decided to run in my YakTracks, and they made a big difference about the first 2-3 miles. My good friend Lindsay and her sister in law were at the race as well, and I can’t tell you how nice it was to have some familiar faces there! Troy decided to hook up the Chariot to his bike and ride the entire course with Annie to watch and cheer at different sections. This was AWESOME, it was so nice to he him, always smiling and telling me good job. We remembered the camera this time, and above I have posted race pics (for once)!
Okay, so the race. Well, 10 miles…it’s a long way! You can’t get all excited and go fast because there is just so much of the race ahead. This is the longest race I had ever run and I just decided to take it ONE MILE AT A TIME. So when we started I just told myself to calm down, stay relaxed and try to hit an 8 minute mile. I did that, so I thought, okay, another 8 minute mile…I did that. Well essentially the race went about like that from mile to mile. Each mile I gained more confidence that I could maintain this pace. My iPod helped a ton, I ran to the beat, and cranked it up really loud. Probably 90% of the people in the race had on headphones! 10 miles at 32 degrees…you have to have a little help!
The last mile I told myself I could go, I could let out everything I had left, and I aimed for a 7:30 mile. I indeed hit just that. The race felt really good, and I realized that it’s just about taking it one mile at a time and staying positive in your self talk!
My recorded time with the race officials was 1:19.20, so 40 seconds under 8 minute pace, or 7:56 pace.
My watch saw things a little different, it said 1:19.10. I’m not sure where those 10 seconds went, and I find it odd that it’s almost exactly 10 seconds. Here are my mile splits off my watch:
Mile 1: 7:58
Mile 2: 7:55
Mile 3: 7:45
Mile 4: 7:54
Mile 5: 7:56
Mile 6: 8:00
Mile 7: 7:57
Mile 8: 8:00
Mile 9: 8:08 (hit the lap button a little late)
Mile 10: 7:33

I will update my placing information when results are made available this evening. There were many many many fast ladies there today, so my placing wasn’t as glamorous as usual!

My official time is 1:19.12. I was 6th in the 20-29 age group, I was 43rd out of 144 racers in the 10 mile.

The New Toy

The new toy! My Garmin Forerunner 301
photo courtesy of the Garmin website:
www.garmin.com
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Oh, yes, it is. My new toy. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

Sometime back I returned my snowshoes to REI because they were pinching the top of my foot and I was worried about getting an injury since I am in them several times a week (I have such an awesome life that I can even say that last sentence). I ended up buying a pair of racing snowshoes on Ebay, so I still had a sweet REI credit waiting to be spent (Thank you Roger and Marla for buying me such nice snowshoes in the first place!).

My running partner has this Garmin and I was jealous big time! I used my REI credit to get it and it’s the bomb. It’s a GPS and a Heart Rate Monitor. So it can tell you where you are, how fast you are going, what your pace is, and how many calories you are burning, all in the same little wrist-watch-do-hicky. It has modes for running, biking, and other. It even has this Auto Pause feature where it knows when I stop running, like at a stop light and it stops my timer and all my stats, until I start running again…it just knows! What is even cooler is it’s all downloadable to your computer, and uploadable to your TrainingPeaks account. Another cool feature that I have been playing with is that you can program your workout on your computer, where it’s easy, and then assign it to a date, and then when you are ready to run you click a few buttons and it will start your programed performance. Soooo, say I want to run a 1 mile warm up, then I want to a workout where I do 1/2 mile running, and then 1 minute hard running and I want to repeat that 5 times and then do a 10 minute cool down. Well, it’s cake, you set up that workout on your computer using the very easy interface, assign it to a day, then on that day, you push go and it keeps track of everything and then beeps at you when you are changing to the next step and tells you what to do next. AWESOME! and REALLY FUN.

I really like the idea of assigning workouts because I generally take Monday, my day off, to plan my weeks workouts. So, I like that this is one more way for me to plan ahead and have my workout ready to go. Snazalishious!

On the Eve of the 10-Miler

Well, tomorrow is the big 10 mile race! The anticipation is making me loony, I can’t wait to get out there and run run run! The race is at Cherry Creek State park which feels like my adopted back yard. I’ve reviewed the course and it is generally flat-ish, nothing grand in terms of hills. There is snow in the forecast tomorrow, but I just feel in my heart that it won’t start until the race is over.
On the training front, I am having an exceptional week. I am full of energy and bounce. The weather has been delightful this week, temps in the 60’s with lots of sun. Oddly there is still snow out there, hanging on! But, most has melted and the paved bike paths are fairly clear, and very rideable. Annie has spent many hours in the Chariot this week.
I have decided to start blogging about the details of my training, so each Monday I plan to do a week update with mileage statistics, and contemplation regarding the week past. Look for that to start on Monday.
Also in the news, I treated myself to a little shopping trip at the Nike and Adidas outlet stores. I picked up some new running tops and shorts! Much needed!! Annie was a doll on the trip and had lots of fun pulling all the hats of the rack at the Nike store. Silly girl.

Chilly Cheeks Duathlon Race #3 – The Finale

Today was the last of three races in the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon series. When we arrived at Cherry Creek state Park the temp was about 25, but it quickly warmed up. By race time it was probably in the mid 30’s. We started in heats A-Z, I was in G. First off was a 10.8 mile bike ride, it was the same course as the other duathlons. I forgot to switch back to my clip-less pedals, so I was in my running shoes, with pedals with toe clips. Less than ideal, but worked just fine. Transition was interesting, you racked your bike and then had to run to the end of the transition area, tag a poster that said “Tag Me”, turn around, run back through transition and out the same way you biked in. I guess there was too much snow to have a normal transition, so that was what they came up with. The penalty for not tagging the sign was 30 minutes on your time! Eek.
The start of the run was TOUGH, I felt like a brick. It’s a very strange feeling to get off the bike and try to make your legs run. It doesn’t quite work. So I trudged along, waiting for my legs to wake up. I downed a packet of HammerGel, and things started feeling better, I passed a few ladies, and then a few guys, and FINALLY my legs came back to me. Whew. Then I flew, I flew as fast as I could. The race officials had shortened the course to 2.5 mile run due to some crusty snow drifts that they didn’t want us running through. So I knew I could haul tail and I wouldn’t bonk, b/c the distance was short enough. So I went. We had a long stretch of snow, which was crusty enough that I was able to cruise through it. Then we hit the road for the last mile and I was able to let it all loose. The finish was on an uphill which made things less than spectacular, but it was still a great race and a really nice course.

The stats: Time 59:06…felt good to be under 1 hour! I won the fat tire division for the ladies. That made 3 fat tire wins in a row, so I “took” the whole series in that division! I was the 6th female, regardless of division (so in competition with the road bikers). I was the 6th fat tire overall (so including the men). They gave away series awards at the end and I scored a whole bottle of hammer gel, and big tub of HEED (high energy endurance drink by HammerGel) for my win in the 0-39 fat tire age group.

A special thanks to Troy and Annie for being my ever constant “cheerers” and “supporters”.
Also a big thanks to Racing Underground Events and Timing. They did an absolutely wonderful job at putting this very successful series together. These events run like clockwork, but with a very relaxed, easy going feel to them. They think of everything, and have become familiar faces. Awesome job to them!

Jeremy Wright North American Snowshoe Championship Results

We just returned from a GLORIOUS weekend up in the mountains. We left Friday night (after a gracious friend took Arwen at the last minute) and headed up to Winter Park where our friends Chris and Taylor had reserved a condo for the 5 of us. We had a great night with them, chatting and catching up. Saturday morning we made our way to Winter Park Ski Resort which was a 2 minute bus ride from the condo. I skied in the morning while Troy stayed with Annie and then I met him at 1pm and we swapped. I picked everyone up in the car at the end of the day. Everyone had fun skiing, it snowed the entire day and the conditions were FABULOUS! The bumps were soft and we did some awesome runs off the top and through some dense trees. The snow was powder, and fluffy, and just lovely! That evening we had lasagna, garlic bread and a salad, prepared by yours truly. The boys all seemed to enjoy the food. Annie was an absolute RIOT that evening. I knew she was outgoing, but it was a hoot. She played with Chris and Taylor without even acknowledging us for about an hour. She would sit on their laps, bounce on their tummies, laugh, giggle, roll around, bounce on the couch, and act generally silly, all pretending we didn’t exist! She went to bed like clockwork and slept very peacefully. After getting her to bed I had several glasses of wine, a mimosa, and hit the hot tub! Ahhhh!

Sunday morning we checked out of the condo and drove over to Beaver Creek Ski Resort for the third race in the Beaver Creek Adventure Series, called the Jeremy Wright North American Snowshoe Championships. This is the largest snowshoe race in the world. They have a heavily competitive 10K, and a “more on the fun side” 5K. The 10Kers race for $$$, the 5Kers, for goodies! My very good friend Amy had taken the plunge and signed up for the race. This was to be her first race EVER, in any discipline. What a rock star! We met up with her at the free parking, and Troy dropped us off at the lifts. Troy went to check into our hotel in Avon, while Amy and I took two lifts up to the top of the mountain where the race was. The previous two races started at the bottom of the mountain, and therefore Troy could participate, or spectate. But the last two races are at the top of the lift and infants are not allowed on the lifts, so Troy and Annie must kill time until we are finished racing. We got dressed to race, took a small warm up, and stood around to let the nerves swell! Amy was nervous, and that made me even more nervous, but I tried to stay upbeat! The race was off! Swells of people with snowshoes all instantly on the move. The start was uphill, and not a very nice uphill. Quickly the pack broke into small groups as we trudged upwards. Somewhere between 0.5 and 0.75 miles the 10Kers took a left up some huge nasty hill while we 5Kers got to continue on a modest hill. I remember feeling tired and wondering early in the race if I was having an off day. I looked ahead of me, I could see 3 women and I thought to myself, what if those 3 are in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. How would you feel knowing you could get them now. I sped up. We passed the 1 mile marker (15 minutes…huh). I passed a girl, she passed me back. We took a dip into a deep powder section. The powder was knee deep, not runable (not a word, I know), dang. The girl ahead gained distance on me, I gained distance on her. The 10Kers joined us again. There was a 2 mile marker (apparently for them, not for us, b/c later we passed another 2 mile marker). A water stop, I passed it without water. We dipped into more powder. I had a fast 10K lady on my heals. One step before the end of the powder section I tripped on my snowshoe and fell on my face. We both had a strong laugh about that. “You almost made it” Hahaha. More hills, bye bye 10Kers, they turned off to more hills. The real two mile marker (30 minutes), and another powder section, this time hip deep. I got stuck several times, so stuck I had to yank at my leg several times to free it. Women were told to run through the powder on the right side of the flags, men on the left, I complied (apparently the winner of the 10K did not, but they let her keep her title…hum…interesting). Out of the powder and more rolling hills, I now loose the girl in front of me to the fog, she’s there, she isn’t. She’s far ahead, I’m all alone. Slowing down. I catch a glimpse behind me on a turn…girls behind me…close behind. I go, I go hard. Don’t want to get passed…no! It works, girl in front of me gets closer. I hear the announcer, the end is close. Time to haul. I pick it up, I dial in the form. I finish. I look around, not many women. I count 3. I get in the tent for snacks and see another 2. 6th, could I be 6th? Sure enough. 6th it is. Time of 47:08 for a 5K (although, this “felt” longer than 5K). I’m high…ooh, but now getting cold, very cold. I change clothes quickly and walk back along the course to cheer for others and watch for Amy. Sure enough, there she comes, looking strong as ever, and awesome as ever. You would never know it was her first race. I watch her run to the finish, so proud of what she overcame, and what she now knows is possible.

Ahhh, the sweet taste of being done and knowing you did well…ahhh.

We ride the lift down, meet up with Troy, and grab the provided lunch. I win a pair of Atlas kids snowshoes in the raffle and we head off to have a few celebratory drinks…thanks Amy!! Awesome race!

CO Mountain Mama Photos

Here are a few photos from our Mountain Mama Snowshoe hike yesterday. We had a great day getting out with the babies on our backs. The weather was nice, the kidos were warm and happy!



Annabelle at the Doctor

Annabelle had her very delayed 12 month visit to the Pediatrician today. She will be 15 months in 10 days (she is supposed to come in then too). So we combined the appointments today, which meant a double dose of vaccinations :(.
She handled her vaxs extremely well this time, much better than all previous visits. I assume it’s because Troy was there and she was on “big-girl”/”make a liar out of mommy” behavior. She screamed while they administered the shots and then crawled into dads arms and promptly calmed down.
The ped would like us to work on her sleep issues and her solid food issues. She is drinking about 2X as much milk as he would like to see, and not nearly as much solids as he would hope, but he assured me that as I stop offering the milk as often and let her get a little more hungry, her appetite for solids should pick up. He also thinks as the solids pick up, so will the sleep, especially if we put our foot down and stop offering bottles at night. This is going to be tough, Troy feels it’s the right direction, as do I, so we will be heading that way.
Her stats were once again hilarious, today she is 20 pounds, 2 ounces (12th percentile) in weight, and 32.5 inches (96th percentile) in height. Her head is normal, 18 inches (55th percentile).

Annabelle at the Doctor

Annabelle had her very delayed 12 month visit to the Pediatrician today. She will be 15 months in 10 days (she is supposed to come in then too). So we combined the appointments today, which meant a double dose of vaccinations :(.
She handled her vaxs extremely well this time, much better than all previous visits. I assume it’s because Troy was there and she was on “big-girl”/”make a liar out of mommy” behavior. She screamed while they administered the shots and then crawled into dads arms and promptly calmed down.
The ped would like us to work on her sleep issues and her solid food issues. She is drinking about 2X as much milk as he would like to see, and not nearly as much solids as he would hope, but he assured me that as I stop offering the milk as often and let her get a little more hungry, her appetite for solids should pick up. He also thinks as the solids pick up, so will the sleep, especially if we put our foot down and stop offering bottles at night. This is going to be tough, Troy feels it’s the right direction, as do I, so we will be heading that way.
Her stats were once again hilarious, today she is 20 pounds, 2 ounces (12th percentile) in weight, and 32.5 inches (96th percentile) in height. Her head is normal, 18 inches (55th percentile).