The Days are Getting Shorter and the Runs are Getting Longer

I ran 15 miles for my long run on Sunday! While this is technically less than where I should be in my training, I’ve been fighting hard for a month to beat the 12-13 mile slump that I found myself in. More importantly, I’m recovering well and continuing to work towards my last long training run before the big day.

I was nervous all week but when I woke up Sunday morning I was ready to go. I felt well rested and in good spirits. I fueled up with some almonds and a coffee protein smoothie! These have been my jam lately, recipe below. 

My playlist was stacked with two of the bands that get me pumped up the most, The Menzingers x The Bronx.

I had water, snacks, gels (ew, forever, ew).

The weather on Sunday was perfect. A sunny 70 degree, feels like fall, warm in the sun, cool in the shade, kind of day. . I hit the Clear Creek trail with a vengeance. This trail has has defeated me twice already. My turn. 

The Clear Creek Trail is a beautiful trail that stretches from Denver to Golden. On the trail you are literally moving closer to the mountains as well as passing many parks and lakes. A couple of weeks ago I saw thousands of painted lady butterflies on the trail as they migrated for the season. I’m sure it’s an amazing bike trail but it is not my favorite place to run.

Clear Creek Trail is good for long runs simply because it is so long but the sun exposure and monotony makes it tricky. It’s not good for heading out on a long run unprepared and getting 8 miles out to only be able to run 4 miles back (guilty as charged). That’s a little tough on the ego.

The last few weeks my focus has been on trying to take a more relaxed approach. I got myself a Groupon for a month at Core Power Yoga, which is going to be hard to say goodbye to when the month is up. I’ve been running fewer days during the week in favor of yoga as well as running with other people which has forced me to break up the discipline of training a bit.

I was talking to Jim on Saturday about how I was nervous for Sunday and he pointed out something that hadn’t even crossed my mind.

J — “What did you run last week?” 

M — “13.5” 

J — “Isn’t that the farthest distance you’ve ever run?”

M — … 

M — “OMG YOU’RE RIGHT!!!”

So rather than set out with a hard and fast goal on Sunday I set out simply to do better than the last week; to run farther than I had ever run before; and I did it!

I heard a quote on an MTA podcast a few weeks ago that I wrote on my training chart. Though I forget which guest said it to credit, it’s really stuck with me time and time again, reminding me to be grateful for my body…

“Take what your body gives you each day, and nothing more.”

We had a great relaxing Saturday which I’m sure helped put me in the right mindset for my run. I’ve been dying to get into the mountains to hike and see the leaves but it’s been rainy and cold. The crappy weather took enough of a hiatus that we were able to get in a good hike on Saturday. There is nothing better than being out in nature.

Hessie Trailhead to Lost Lake | Nederland, CO

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Lost Lake

AAAND I can’t forget the sweet, sweet BBQ that we found in Nederland at James Peak Brewery & Smokehouse. The folks were a bit strange but the food was quite delicious. If you ever find yourself in Nederland, I recommend checking this place out.

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My Coffee Protein Smoothie

  • Iced Coffee (3/4 of a Nutri Bullet blender tall cup)
  • Ice
  • 1 serving Chocolate Protein Powder (I like Vega)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Coconut Milk (optional)

Blend together until smooth and you’ll have a refreshing & energizing iced coffee/smoothie hybrid. The final result will be closer to the liquidity of coffee than a standard smoothie.  *Ice is super important, especially if you’re starting with warm/tepid coffee.

By the way, I’m sure it’s GREAT for you to chug a giant coffee with a straw every morning 😀

 

 

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