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TEAM Success!

Platt River Half

Strong Finish in Platte River Half Marathon

Life Time Fitness… I LOVE YOU!

I am a runner, no Kenyan mind you, but I am a runner. Completed my 4th marathon (26.2 miles) last June and finished strong in a half marathon (13.1 miles) on April 10th. The number of half marathons I have run are too numerous to count. The Platte River Half Marathon, in Denver, 2 weeks ago, was by far, the most memorable race I have run over the years. It wasn’t the course, the volunteers, the spectators or the beer at the end that made it special. On that April Sunday, I got a Personal Record (PR), by cutting 15 minutes off of my fastest half marathon! I finished the Platte River Half Marathon in 2:29:02 in a head wind!

How did I accomplish this you ask?! Easy, I am almost 8 weeks into TEAM Weight Loss at Life Time Fitness. I have lost 15 pounds and 3 pant sizes since I started!!!! Which improved my running. WOOT!!! DO THE DANCE OF JOY!!!! It is NOT a diet, but a lifestyle change. There is no more soda at lunch, no more french fries by the handful,  I am just making better food choices over all. With the help of Mandy, my personal trainer and nutritionist, I now successfully read food labels, track my food, have healthier alternatives and work out 6 days a week.

I have tried to lose weight on my own, without results. It just took the right tools and knowledge to get it correct. Life Time Fitness was able to provide me with those tools to help me reach my goals.  The tools for me were:

  • Polar RS400 Heart Rate Monitor
  • CardioPoint test (to find my heart rate zones to make workouts more efficient)
  • Regular workouts (not just running on Wednesdays and Saturdays)
  • Nutrition knowledge
  • Accountability
  • TEAM Weight Loss
  • Run Club (became Run Club Lead)

All of the above helped me get to where I am today. I am a new person and feel FANTASTIC! As I ran the Platte River Half, I kept looking at my watch in amazement. First, I hit 5 miles in under an hour and when I hit 10 miles in under 2 hours I thought to myself, “WOW I think I am going to get a PR today!” Mile 10 had the worst of the head winds for the day, making me feel like I could walk faster than trying to run in it. The break in the race was mile 12, after climbing the steepest hill of the route, we turned a corner and FINALLY got a tailwind! I could see the finish line and could feel myself filling with emotion. This was it! I was accomplishing one of my long time goals – to run faster. As I crossed the finish line, I yelled out “I love you Life Time Fitness AND Thank-you!”

My journey is not finished yet. There are 4 weeks left in TEAM Weight Loss and I also joined the 90-Day Challenge, so I will continue to improve in all areas with a smile on my face!

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T.E.A.M.

TEAM Weight LossLife Time Fitness is more than “just a gym”, it is a community and family. I have loved every visit since I joined in 2009.

March 7, 2011 I started TEAM Weight Loss, which has been one of my best decisions since becoming a member. T.E.A.M. stands for Training-Education-Accountability-Motivation.

T.E.A.M. Weight Loss is a 12-week, small-group weight loss program that meets three times weekly with a Nutrition Coach/Registered Dietitian and a certified Personal Trainer. The program provides nutritional guidance and support while offering the full benefits of working out with 9-18 of your peers who are determined to achieve the same goal-weight loss!

My goal is to lose 20 pounds in order to become healthier and a better runner. It is not a “diet”, but a “Lifestyle Change”. This is the start of week 4 and I truly already feel better. There have been some sore days following a workout, but it is always a good sore. Since normally, all I do is run, my soreness comes from the upper body workouts – using the muscles I normally do not use.

We meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights from 5pm-6pm. In addition to those workouts, I also have racquetball on Tuesday nights, Run Club on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. I LOVE IT ALL! My body is already changing, it is toning in new areas. Our trainer told us she does not weigh us in again until the mid-point, for she does not want anyone to get discouraged. The pounds may not come off at first, but we will notice changes in inches – this is what I am experiencing.

Eat more protein, include it in every meal – this is very important. It has been fun to clean out the cupboard and start fresh with healthy choices. Snacking is big for me, so finding better foods has been a challenge, but not impossible.

I hope to become a lean mean running machine! Stay tuned for updates as the weeks go on…

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1,098 Steps

Fight for Air ClimbSunday February 27, 2011 I climbed the highest building in Denver, CO. The money raised from the Anthem Fight for Air Climb helps the American Lung Association fight for cures, clean air and smoke-free kids. I raised over $300 for the cause! No one should struggle to breathe. I was recently diagnosed with Exercise-Induced Asthma, so I know what it is like. That is why I choose to join Team Life Time Fitness and take on the challenge.

Wow 56 floors, 1,098 steps, this would really be a workout. Have I ever done something like this before?? NO! The most stairs I had done in the recent days were the steps up and over the freeway to get to the train every morning. Those felt long, so how was this going to feel?

Denver Buildings

Denver's Tallest Buildings

In 1928, the Republic Building was built with financing from Republic Drugs. The former U-shaped medical tower housed a drugstore and some of Denver’s most prominent physicians and dentists in its 12 stories. The Republic Building was demolished in 1981 to make room for Republic Plaza. Construction was completed on the 56-story office tower in 1984. Republic Plaza is Denver’s tallest office building and a prominent local landmark. Located on the 16th Street pedestrian mall, Republic Plaza is in the heart of downtown Denver’s central business district. Republic Plaza includes 1.2 million square feet of office space, and three retail levels devoted to shops, restaurants, and business services. This elegant building is renowned for its spacious three-story marble lobby that features a quarterly “Art in Public Places” program of Colorado and regional artists.

Republic Plaza

Republic Plaza

I work in 1999 Broadway, which is the 5th tallest building in Denver. It is a 544ft (166m) tall skyscraper, was completed in 1985 and has 43 floors. 1999 Broadway has a unique shape, it is shaped like a triangle with a scoop in the side. This is caused by the desire to retain the historical Holy Ghost Catholic Church at the base. The church stands partially inside this scoop, where there is an interesting curved concourse at ground level. Firefighters often come to our building to practice on the stairs. Many mornings I let them in before the building opens, as I come in to start work at 5:30am.

It is fun being in the heart of downtown. I would love to see the view from the top of each building. That Sunday in February, I was finally able to get the view from Republic Plaza.

There was free parking in a garage down the street from Republic Plaza. As I arrived my two other team mates, Brentnie and Jonathan, from Life Time Fitness were standing on the corner waiting for me. After meeting up with them, we headed to the building. I kept looking up and thinking OMG what am I about to do?

Kristen Top

Kristen at the TOP!

Upon entering the lobby, the smell of sweat overcame us all! WOW! So glad Life Time Fitness does not smell like this (due to their fantastic ventilation system). There were several booths of vendors set up with a lot of people milling around.  We headed down stairs to packet pick-up and registration. I had already picked my packet up on Friday after work. Then it was on to gear check to unload our sweats and coats. We found the end of the line that led to the start. It was quite long, but went rather quickly. Each person was let up the stairs in 8 second increments. There was a timing clock and an official at the bottom of the stairs letting each runner go one by one.

I ran up the first 5 flights, then thought to myself, ok better pace myself a little better there are still 51 flights left! The ventilation system was blowing into the stair well, which was nice and cool. Floors 10, 17, and 35 would be the water stops along the way. There was NO ventilation from floors 18 to 30 – that was brutal! My heart rate was through the roof during most of the climb. At floor 15 I said out loud, “Who the hell talked me into this?!” The people in front of me said, “I was just thinking the same thing.” One step at a time I kept telling myself.  On the 20th floor I had to use my inhaler, that helped.

Team Life Time Fitness

Team Life Time Fitness

As I reached the 28th floor, there was a guy sitting on the steps. I rested on the landing, and saw him using his inhaler. Raising my inhaler up, I asked him how he was doing. He said it was brutal. Told him to just take it easy, that is was not a race and he could sit there as long as he needed to. Then he told me he was really dizzy. I asked him if he wanted me to get someone, and he said no.  I patted him on his back as I went by him and said hang in there and rest, then up I went to get help for him.  Since the next stop was not until floor 35, I tried to hurry for him. At floor 30, I found a volunteer and told them about him, and they said they would go take care of him for me.

Chugging up and up and up I went. Everyone was to stay to the right and pass on the left.  It never was really very crowded. Once in a while a big surge of people would come through, so I just stepped to the side on a landing and let them pass by. As you would get closer to a water station floor, you could hear cheering and cow bells ringing. It made you push a little harder.

Floor 35, the last water stop before the top! This is it! Take a break and push through the pain. Actually I felt slight burning in my thighs, but my knees were not hurting like I thought they would. So, this was a good thing, all of my training for running was paying off. Really the only annoyance was my heart beating out of my chest to the wall. I didn’t need my heart monitor to tell me I was above my anaerobic threshold!

Sounds started filtering down from the top… I was almost there I could taste it! Just a few more floors and another accomplishment would be added to my list. Now the legs were feeling really heavy, but not painful. Just keep going, don’t stop, the top is near… Rounded the last landing and the final stretch of stairs. “I’M ON TOP OF THE WORLD” Ok, maybe the top of Denver, but it felt like the world. Once I grabbed some water and caught my breath, I found Brent and Jonathan. We got our team photo taken and I got my individual photo taken. I DID IT!!! My final time was 22 minutes and 55 seconds. Will I do it again next year? Maybe…

 

 

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Life Time Fitness Run Club

LifeTime Run Club

When I lived in Seattle, I was part of a large running group, Chuckit, and I absolutely loved it! You become a family, and spend many training hours together. In 2007 I moved to Colorado and was hoping to find this same family to train with in the Rocky Mountains. It was hard, most clubs were quite a distance from where I lived, so I trained alone…

In 2009, I joined Life Time Fitness, when the club in Westminster, CO first opened. Started first with the treadmills, then the upper body machines and finally to the lower body machines. One day I found a flyer about the Run Club at Life Time Fitness. Found out it was FREE with my membership! So I signed up at the Activities desk and started getting emails.

One Saturday in January of 2009, I decided to run with the Run Club. It was freezing outside, so I dressed in my usual outdoor layers. A couple runners showed up, then a Life Time Fitness trainer. I asked her if she was with the Run Club, and she said “no, I’m Brent and am teaching the CardiO2 training upstairs” and I was welcome to join them on the treadmills. So I changed into shorts and joined them. It completely changed my running! I was exhilarated and wanted more!

Polar RS400

Polar RS400 Heart Rate Monitor

Talked with Brent all about the program, and got signed up for the next 8 week session. In the mean time, I purchased a Polar RS400 Heart Rate Monitor and took the CardioPoint test.

Identify the optimal heart rate zones where your workouts are most effective. Ideal for everyone from beginner to performance athlete. Measure key cardiovascular training markers, including anaerobic threshold, aerobic base and VO2. Know how many calories you burn during exercise. Develop a customized cardio plan.

The test consists of you wearing a mask, that measures your oxygen, while you run on a treadmill. You look funny, and I felt like Hannibal Lecter. The results are what make your training effective. Now, knowing the where my “zones” are is what changed my running for the better.

The CardiO2 Training was phenomenal. I got to know and train with some really great people, two of which worked for Life Time Fitness. I used what I learned from this training and applied it to my everyday workouts.

In December of 2009, I still had not run with the Life Time Fitness Run Club, instead I trained on my own. I had started my Rock n Roll Seattle Marathon training. Spent countless hours running inside on the treadmill due to snowy weather. My longest run on the treadmill was 15 miles – yes, brutal!

After a few months of training on my own, I went to Roadrunner Sports to get some new shoes. There I met Nate, and within a few weeks we started a running group with the store. I created a Google Groups site that the group used to communicate and it took off from there. I did all of my long runs with the group and got great support.

My marathon came and went and I continued to train with Roadrunner Sports. That is where Emily from Life Time Fitness found me. She saw what I had done with the group and asked if I would like to help the Westminster Life Time Fitness Run Club improve. I of course said “YES!” We met and talked about different ideas. I paced a runner for 10 miles at the Life Time Fitness Leadville 100 Trail Run, helped out at the Life Time Fitness UDO Race, ran with the group, and helped Emily out however she needed me to.

In November 2010, I moved from Erie to Denver, now the Westminster Life Time Fitness would be too far of a commute. Opening in December, only 15 minutes from my new place, was the new Centennial Life Time Fitness! I was ECSTATIC!!! I could stay with Life Time Fitness – OH HAPPY DAYS!!! Emily contacted Justin, Centennial’s Run Club Coordinator, and Meredith, Centennial’s Group Fitness Manager, and told then all about me. I met Justin at the Open House and kept in close contact.

Justin and I worked well together in those first few weeks of the gym opening. He and Meredith decided to bring me on as a Run Club Lead. I felt like a little kid on Christmas when I got the news!!! WOW! I was actually going to get paid to do something I love! All of my years of training, running and organizing had finally paid off.

RunnersOur group is already planning on some group events.

This is just the beginning. Our group is growing everyday. Currently we run on Wednesday nights at 6pm, on the treadmills until the weather gets nicer, and Saturday mornings at 8am outside for longer runs. This will expand as time goes on. One night we had 16 people on the treadmills with the group!

I am so fortunate to be part of such a great gym along with a fantastic group of people.

Run Happy!

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Half Marathon for the Cure

MRI

Foot MRI

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Year after year, I Race for the Cure to do my part in helping to find a cure. Seattle and Denver are the two cities I have raced in over the years. Denver is by far the largest – over 50,000 people participated!

This year was different than the rest, for I was unable to run it, I had to walk. Lets go back in time… June 26, 2010 I completed the Rock n Roll Seattle Marathon. After the marathon, I have severe pain in my big toe, upon removing the nail polish, the bruise is revealed. I may lose my toe nail. A week later I am still in pain, so I have to have a hole drilled in the nail to relieve the pressure – NOT a fun task. The hole did help a lot. Several weeks later I start running again.

Next toe stop: Leadville 100 in August. I’m pacing my runner, who has already ran over 60 miles. We are in the pitch black with nothing but our headlamps to guide the way. Three miles into the 10 mile journey… BAM! I slam that same big toe into a tree root. “Oh, that is going to leave a mark” I say to myself. And that it did. As the days and weeks wore on, it started hurting more and more. The pain gets to be too much and I head back to the doctor.

Toe

Owie Toe Smiles at Me

Thinking that it is the nail that is causing all the pain, I am ready to hear that it will have to be removed. Upon examination, my doctor says that the nail looks fine, except for the fact that it may come off, and what I may have is a fracture in the toe. An MRI is scheduled (after a trip to Urgent care and an X-Ray) to find out the cause of the pain.

The doctor says I have to stop running until we find out what is going on. I tell her, but I’m training for the Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon on October 17th. Mmm she says, well you may have to sit it out. I had not registered yet, which really seemed like a good idea at that point. She saw my face drop and then said, lets wait and see what the results say.

The day AFTER the Rock n Roll Denver race sells out, I get my MRI results. It is NOT a fracture, but a bone bruise – which she says is just as painful. There was also soft tissue swelling at the end of the toe. So what does that mean, I ask my doctor?! She said, well you need to rest for several weeks, no running. “You can run the half marathon, but you must ice it immediately after the race”, she says to me. “I’m not going to lie to you, it is going to hurt” she says. She put me on 600mg of Ibuprofen 3 times a day. All I am allowed to do until the race is ride my bike and swim. I walked the Race for the Cure, which she told me I had to do slowly, but I wanted to do more.

Rock n Roll Denver

Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon

Now I need to find an entry for the half marathon. I Google for free entries and the only ones available are for charitable entries. Those entries get you registered for the race, but then you must raise $1250 for the charity by November 1st – uh NO WAY, too impossible. I start scouring Craigslist. Answered several ads, but heard nothing back. Posted an ad of my own stating my case and adding photos of me running. That was Thursday, over the weekend I hear nothing. All I see on Craigslist is postings for others wanting entries too. GREAT what am I going to do?!

Sister's Race for the Cure

Sister's Race for the Cure

Monday is here and I drag myself out of a cozy bed to go to work. I am very busy right now at work, which is great, so I didn’t even see that I received a new email… There it is! A response to my “Wanted” post on Craigslist! It read:

My sister lives in Aurora and was looking to do her 1st ever half at this race… but due to some training injuries and work demands, her training hasn’t been what she wanted and she is looking to get her bib to someone who would put it to better use. Her work blocks craigslist, so I am helping her find a suitable buyer…

SCREAMING for joy, I jumped out of my chair! I answered him right away (he and his wife were coming from Omaha to run the race too), and we worked out the details for meeting at the Expo. I was on cloud 9!

Marathon for the Cure

Marathon for the Cure

NOW, I want to make a difference with this race. This was a sign that I was meant to run this event and pay it forward. While looking at information on Race for the Cure, I stumbled upon Marathon for the Cure. Google found it for me once again, so I read more about it. I would need to raise $500 for Susan Komen for the Cure. This was an obtainable goal and I was determined to make it happen. Here is a little information about Marathon for the Cure:

Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure® is a grassroots fundraising program offering fitness enthusiasts the chance to join in the fight against breast cancer by running or walking a full or half marathon.

Marathon for the Cure expands the reach of Komen for the Cure beyond the Race for the Cure 5K Series and offers participants the opportunity to raise much needed funds in support of Komen’s vision of a world without breast cancer, while training for and running or walking in some of the most elite distance events in the world.

Race for the Cure

Race for the Cure

Right away I set up a participation site and a Facebook page fund-raising efforts. My excitement for this entire event is not describable with words. This years Race for the Cure touched me more than any I have done over the years. Seeing all the names of survivors and those that were lost to breast cancer really hit me hard. I want to make a difference, I want to help, I know others that have it, have survived it and have died from it. In my 20’s I had a scare when a lump was found, but I was one of the lucky ones, it was not cancer. I had never been so scared in my life over those agonizing weeks of tests and waiting for results. I cannot even imagine what it is like to get the news that you have breast cancer.

We are all in this together, we can ALL make a difference. Every donation can help find a cure for this terrible disease. Cancer does not care what race you are or how much money you make. I am going to fight cancer 13.1 miles at a time. I dedicate the Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon on October 17, 2010 to fight against Breast Cancer. And I am going to kick it one boobie at a time! Lets do it for the girls!

Run Happy!

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400 Miles

Center Field at Wrigley Field

400 is NOT JUST a Number

400 can mean a lot of different things to many people and situations. In New York, it may mean the NY 400, which is the New York State Route 400 in Erie County. Kentucky thinks of the number 400 as the 400 Mile Sale that spreads through the state. Cub fans think of 400 as the Center Field marker amongst the ivy covered wall. Maybe it is just the number between 399 and 401.

Mile Marker 400

Mile Marker 400

To me the number 400 is another milestone. On Saturday, 6 miles into my 10 mile run, I hit the 400 mile mark for running in 2010! WOOT HOOT AND YIPPEE EYE YEAH!!!!! How sweet is that?

Not only did I reach another goal, but I did it semi-naked.. Yes, I said semi-naked. I always run with my Garmin GPS 205 and my iPod. As I got ready for my run, in front of Road Runner Sports, on went my iPod and a flip of the switch… NOTHING! Turned it on and off a couple times, still NOTHING! That’s it I’m going home and back to bed! Well… I am already up and ready to run, so I decided to stay and tough it out semi-naked.

Flat Irons

The Flatirons

It was a beautiful Colorado morning, with clear blue skies and cooler temperatures. We started at 6:30am, so that helped with the milder temps. Off I went, music free. After about a mile or so, I really started noticing more that I had in the past. Heading West on the Big Dry Creek Trail to Standley Lake was a very familiar run. This run, was different. Birds, crickets,  and toads OH MY! What glorious sounds I was hearing! Is this what running semi-naked is like?! THIS IS GREAT! My run actually felt shorter than a normal 10 mile run, I think is was because I was looking around more to find the sounds I was hearing.

After getting to Standley Lake, I ran along the edge for a while just to hear the water hit the beach. Ah, that with the smell of campfires was perfect. There were a few water skiers out on the lake too. I hit mile 5, so it was time to turn around and head back to the store.

One mile East of the lake is when I hit 400 miles and did a little dance! Not sure if any humans saw me, but I know the hawk in the tree gave me a head tilt. I think he approved, once I told him what the jig was for. That is the great thing about running. Satisfaction can come in the many ways, whether it is a PR (Personal Record), finishing a marathon, hitting milestones, etc. Once back at the store, I celebrated once again by eating a BIG CHOCOLATE DONUT!

400 is not just a number. It is another milestone met, with many more to come.

Run Happy!

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Leadville 100 Trail Run

Leadville 10,152 FT

Leadville Elevation

Wednesday, I got a call from Emily, a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness, to see if I would be interested in pacing a runner at the Leadville 100 Trail Run on Saturday. I jumped on the opportunity right away without hesitation! WOW! Leadville! I had paced marathons and half marathons in the past, but had never done a trail run before.  This trail run would be like no other, it would climb to 12,580 on Hope Pass.

Life Time Fitness

Title Sponsor was Life Time Fitness

Our weather had been less than co-operative over the days leading up to the race. The Leadville area, along with the rest of Colorado, experienced large amounts of rain and mud. I wondered how the route would be on race day. Saturday arrived, what a great day for a race! The weather was BEAUTIFUL!!! The car was packed up and I was ready to head East for a great adventure.

At about 3pm, I arrived in Leadville. Found the Start/Finish line, so I got out and checked it out. It was pretty much a ghost town since the race had started at 4am and all where on their way.

After a bit of exploring, I headed to my pacing start, Twin Lakes. When I arrived, the highway was lined with cars on BOTH sides of the road, and every possible spot off the highway was packed with cars! OMG how am I EVER going to find anyone in this?! Pulled into the parking lot and did find a grassy area to park. I got out, and walked around a bit to get the lay of the land. Found where the runners enter the parking lot, which from there they continue up a side road and into the Check Point. Life Time Fitness had a tent set up next to the Check Point, and the only people in it, at the moment, were those seeking shade.  I did run into Kathy, a Life Time Member from Parker, then later Katie, from my location.

Profile

Leadville 100 Trail Run Elevation Profile

This is an out and back course. The runners would go 50 miles then turn around and head back. The portion I would be pacing with my runner was the 60-70mile markers (miles 40 to 30 on the elevation profile). They would just be getting back from climbing over Hope Pass TWICE (the large spike on the profile)! YOWZA!!!!

While I waited for the 7pm to 8pm mark to roll around, I ate a couple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some string cheese, carrots and then drank Gatorade & Water. I tried to take a short nap in my car, but I was too amped up.  Finally around 6pm I decided to change into my running gear. Doing this in the front seat of a car is quite the challenge.

Now I am ready to go! Grabbed all of my stuff and headed to the Life Time Fitness tent to meet Emily, Phoenix & Katie. We cheered on the runners that were continuing on their way – which was STRAIGHT UP A STEEP HILL! I said “Ummmmm… I’m NOT going up that… hee hee, just kidding”. Some kids were playing on this hill and getting in the way of the runners, so Phoenix went over and had them move out of the way. Of course one of them fell and got hurt, a kid that is, not a runner.

At the tent, we had a wipe-off board crew members could write on to request a pacer for their runner.  Katie took one of the runners from the list when they arrived and was off. Shortly after Katie left, Emily took off with Kamil, another Life Time Fitness member who was running the race. Several times two women came over to the tent to check on pacer statuses.  I told them to keep checking, because pacers were coming in and may keep going.

I had been pre-arranged to pace Kathy, a Life Time Fitness member from Minnesota, so I was anxiously awaiting her arrival. Most of the early evening I had scoured the area for her crew, but it was next to impossible to find the right people if they were not at their vehicles with their runner’s number listed on it. So I decided to hang at the Life Time tent. Time goes by, and finally Kathy arrives, but with another pacer! I introduced myself and said, “Do you have another pacer? Do you not need me any longer?” Kathy said, “Yes, I’m fine”. GREAT! I thought to myself, NOW WHAT?! So, I went and found the women that kept checking on pacers, and asked if they still needed one.  They were a mom and daughter looking for a pacer for the husband/dad. They said “YES!” and I told them, “well I’m your pacer”. Cheers of joy errupted!

Petzl Headlamp

Trusty Petzl Headlamp

Terry, my new runner, was set to arrive at about 8:30pm, which was about 30 minutes away. The sun was starting to set, and by the time Terry arrived it was dark. Headlamps were now our new best friends. I helped Terry’s wife & daughter get him ready for our leg of the race.  He changed shoes and socks, they were soaking wet from the several creeks he had to run through. Long shirts were pulled out and he ate as much food as he could tolerate. After about a 10 minute rest he was ready to go.

The first part of this next leg was straight UP! We scrambled up the side of this mountain and made it to more of a single-track trail. Several race officials were coming back from hanging green glow sticks from sporadic trees to help mark the trail. These came in real handy a few times when it was hard to tell which way to go.  Terry had me go in front of him, so that I could guide him in the right direction and warn him of the many roots and boulders along the trail. We got to know each other a little bit and talked a lot about different races we had run.

As the miles wore on the terrain varied. We had to hike up the inclines, then we would run along the semi-flat portions and the downhill runs. Those darn hills were INSANE! I could hear my heart beating in my head – OH YA, my heart rate was HIGH! I didn’t need a heart rate monitor to tell me that!.  Every once in a while we would have to pull over as far as we could on the single-track to let other runners bye.  I took these opportunities to let my heart slow down a bit. These were short breaks, but they helped.  The first creek we came across, my right foot slipped off the rock and SPLASHED right in the FREEZING cold water – NICE! At one point Terry said, “Did you ever think you would be hiking and running in the middle of the night?!” That got a good laugh out of both of us. Laughing was good, for it made you forget that your legs were starting to feel like rubber… DANG! How do these people do 100 miles, when I’m dying 7 miles into only 10 miles?! Ok, they have trained for it, I have not. The altitude was brutal, if it was not for that I think I would of been fine.

There were about 2 miles left to the check point, where Terry and I would part ways.  We had pulled to the side of the trail to let some runners by. I looked up and he was gone! Well, he must of slipped in between the passing pack, so I continued on.  More runners went by and I still can’t see Terry. GREAT I’VE LOST MY RUNNER!!!! I just kept running along and made it to the checkpoint.  I checked at the table to see if he checked in, I said “I lost my runner”. Luckily he had JUST checked in, so they said he was probably in the food tent. Looked around and didn’t see him, then he came up behind me. I apologized for losing him. He said, no problem, I had gotten him through the toughest part and he was very grateful to me. We went and got some food, well he did anyways, I had one potato chip.

Phoenix was suppose to meet me at this check-point. Unfortunately, we found out that cars were not allowed there and I had 4.5 more miles to go! OH CRAP! Terry said, well I know this was as far as you were going to take me, so did I just want to pace myself and he would go on. I said sure, and wished him luck.  So I decided to rest a little, then continue on. Well, that all changed in a matter of minutes… I sat down to rest and started to feel really weird. Then all of the sudden, I thought UH OH! Got up from the chair and ran around to a tree and lost everything I had in me (sorry gross). After that fun time, I felt really dizzy, so I went over to an aid person and told them what happened. Altitude sickness was the likely culprit – we were at almost 11,000 feet.  They took me to the medical tent, put me on a cot by the heater and covered me up in a huge heavy blanket. I could not stop shivering. They brought me chicken noodle soup and some water. I was in the tent with 3 other runners. Two were injured (one an ankle the other a foot), and the third was delirious and suffering from altitude sickness.

After about 30 minutes they told me and the two injured runners that someone would be here shortly to drive us back to Leadville. It ended up being one of the runner’s crew that drove us down. The only problem, was that my car was at Twin Lakes, which was about 20 miles from Leadville.  I kept trying to get a hold of Emily, but no answer, and I didn’t have Phoenix’s number. It was a long slow bumpy ride down the trail to the main road.  I had them drop me off at the finish line, figured I could find someone that was going to Twin Lakes. They were off to Denver to DIA, so they could fly back to Arizona.

It is now around 1am. I watched a few runners finish, one of which was the FIRST woman of the race to finish!!! WOOT!!! Shivering again I went into the food tent to warm up by the heater and get some soup. I asked if anyone was going to Twin Lakes, no luck. Several more finishers came in.  A couple of them had raced their hearts out to finish before 2am so they could hit last call at the local bar! I talked to the main medical guy and told him I was trying to get to Twin Lakes, that I couldn’t get a hold of any of my crew. He pondered it and said he would see what he could do. About an hour later, he came back and said I think I have a ride for you in about 20 minutes. I told him I loved him – LOL!

Search and Rescue was my ride.  She asked me if I was allergic to dogs, and I said nope, I have two and love them. So along came her Border Collie – oh what a sweet girl she was! I thanked her up and down for the ride. We talked about how she got into Search and Rescue – her husband was also in the business and was running the mobile command center for the race. Got to my car and she made sure it started before she left.

Ah… home sweet home for the night, my car! I stripped down, dried off and put on warm dry clothes. I had gotten the seats in my car all read to sleep on – the front folds down to the back seat, which also folds back to make a bed.  I crawled into my down bag and continued to shiver… 3am, and I was cold and couldn’t sleep. At some point I did fall asleep, for my phone woke me up at 5am when Emily texted me to say she was still pacing her runner – OMG I bet she is going the whole 40 miles to the finish with Kamil! I rested for about another 30 minutes, and turned the car on to blare the heater to try and warm back up. Ok, lets just get up and head back to Leadville for some coffee and watch the finishers.

Barefoot Ted

Barefoot Ted Finishes in 27:16:32.5

6am and I’m back at Leadville.  The local coffee shop just opened, so I got a coffee and a ham/cheese croissant – YUMMY! Walked over to the finish area, and the runners slowly came in. Made some new friends that were waiting for their runners to come in. At about 7am, it was time to break out the sunglasses and cheer on more finishers. This was great! These people had just finished running 100 miles! Then I heard some great news! Barefoot Ted, from Seattle, was nearing the finish line – SWEET!!! Yes, this man runs races barefoot. For trail runs he uses special sandals, like those you read about in Chris McDougall’s book Born to Run.

Born to Run

Born to Run by Chris McDougall

When Ted got near the finish line, I recognized his pacer… it was Chris McDougall! OMG! I was soooooo excited!!! Two great men, that I admired, were right here and finishing together. They looked GREAT! Hard to believe they had just completed 100 miles. Only 10 of it kicked my ass.

I had texted Emily when I got to Leadville to see if she had finished yet. After Ted finished I got her answer, NO. WOW she is going to come into the finish with Kamil – that is AWESOME!!! So I decided to walk to the top of last hill the runners come up before heading down to the finish.

Ted and Chris

Barefoot Ted and Chris McDougall

It was probably about a mile to the top, so it was a nice walk to loosen back up after standing around for so long. The sun was now shining down on us and I was getting warm, which really felt good. Got to the top of the hill and watched runners walking up on the other side. The sighs of relieve were big when they reached the top and saw the finish was down the hill.

Emily and Kamil

Emily and Kamil Finish in 28:54:18.3!

I didn’t see Emily yet, so started to head back to the finish. About 100 yards from the finish I spotted Phoenix.  We met up and he said Emily had called and she was close. So back up towards the hill we went. Now I had a cow bell, and we both shook them as each runner went by. As we got to the top of the hill, we spotted Emily and Kamil. They were spent! I so did not blame them.  Emily said that around 5am, they pulled over to the side of the trail and took a 15 minute nap. They decided that once they were down the hill and closer to the red carpet, that they would run in the rest of the way. Phoenix and I ran them both in, ringing our cow bells the whole way.That was AWESOME! Kamil’s Dad had found us, he was Kamil’s crew. We got them checked in and to the food tent.  The runners are weighed at the start and finish of the race. Some were immediately taken to the medical tent. It was a variety of delirious runners to those that look like they could keep running.

The Life Time crew was going to head to breakfast, but I opted to head back home to beat the I-70 Sunday traffic. This was such an incredible experience. Would I ever run an entire ultramarathon? HELL NO! Would I ever pace one again? Mmmmm maybe, but I would have to train better for it, like running in higher altitude. For now, I think I’ll just stick with Half Marathons, like the Boulder Half in September and the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in October.

Terry, my runner, finished the Leadville 100 Trail Run in 29:17:06.5 – so proud of him! WAY TO GO TERRY!

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Bud Light, I think I LOVE YOU!

Benchwarmers

BenchWarmers in Erie, CO

It all started as a simple Friday night. I was going to meet a co-worker at BenchWarmers, which is walking distance from my house, for a beer. Arriving around 5:30pm, I looked around for my friend and did not see him, so I took a seat at the bar. About 5 minutes later he arrived and bought me a beer. He was meeting an old buddy there as well, so he went to find him. His friend was sitting at a table with about 6 other people, so we were both invited to sit with them. Introductions were made, and then one of the waitstaff came over with entry forms for a chance to win a spot at the Bud Light Port Paradise III Cruise Party. Four spots were going to be drawn at 7pm, and you had to be present to win. It was then explained to us, that at the party, you would have a chance to win a spot on the Bud Light Paradise III Cruise to the Bahamas! Sure! Sign me up!

The evening went on and it was finally time for the drawing.  This was the whole reason my co-workers friends were there, they wanted to win the cruise!  One of the bartenders got up on the bar and drew an entry. She read off the number, instead of the person’s name, and the suspense began. It was not mine.  She was hard to hear, so as she started to read the second entry, I moved closer.  I heard every number except the last one… I said “Did you say 6?” She said “Yes.” OMG IT WAS ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And boy did the entire bar know it! I defiantly won the most exuberant winner award! Two more entries were drawn, then all four of us were told what the next steps were. Three guys and myself listened to the Bud Light rep and the BenchWarmers HQ rep give instruction. They were as follows:

  • The following Thursday, go to the Aurora BenchWarmers
  • 4pm-6pm BenchWarmers would feed us and give us drinks
  • 6pm board the Party Bus & continue drinking
  • 6:30pm arrive at Bud Light Port Paradise III Party in Denver
  • After the party the bus would take us back to Aurora
Bud Light

Bud Light My New Favorite Beer

This sounded great! They verified that the info on our entry form was correct, for we would receive an email in the next couple days confirming our party entrance. We were allowed to bring a guest, and the email would get their name on the list at the party. The Bud Light rep bought us all a round of , what else, Bud Light! Everyone was now my “best friend”, for they all wanted me to take them to the party. I hung out for a while after the drawing and celebrated before heading home.

My sister, Heidi, was my first choice, and got the first offer to attend the party with me. She and I were going to the Lady Gaga concert the night before the party, so she declined my invitation and said to take her best friend Mary instead. So Mary became the lucky “plus one” for me. I had a list of “waiting list” people in case Mary couldn’t go at the last minute, it was quite comical what people offered me to go to the party.

Mary was to be my designated driver. Thursday arrived and we headed South to the Aurora BenchWarmers.  We were almost there when I got a call from my roommate Chris. He says “Dude, where are you?” I said “Almost at the Aurora BenchWarmers” Chris says “Well, don’t get your hopes up”. I said “OK”, thinking he meant about winning a cruise. Chris says “No dude, the Erie police are at BenchWarmers and they just arrested Kevin (the CEO) and shut down the bar”. “WTF?!” I exclaimed! So Chris and I talked a while and thought it was just a temporary shut-down and that the bar would be back open for the weekend.  After getting off the phone with Chris I tried to call the Aurora BenchWarmers… no answer. When Mary and I arrived a the bar, it was closed with signs on the door.  We found the woman (who’s name I cannot remember for the life of me) that was at the Erie BenchWarmers the night I won and had given us instruction to come to Aurora.

BenchWarmers Seized

BenchWarmers Seized by State of Colorado

I got out of the car and asked her what was going on. She apologized and said they had tried to get a hold of all the winners to let them know to just go directly to the party in Denver, which I never received. It was confirmed that the 3 locations of BenchWarmers in Colorado were closed for business forever (Boulder Daily Camera story). The employees were loading their cars up with food saying, “We need to feed our families, we have not been paid in over a month.” I didn’t blame them and told them how sorry I was that they lost their jobs. It is just awful how one persons ignorance can ruin so many innocent people’s lives.

Over the weekend, the Erie BenchWarmers employees held a car wash to raise money for the unpaid employees. They would pay the kitchen staff and hostesses first (since they did not receive tips), then the remainder of the employees.  The Monday after Kevin’s arrest, the state Seized BenchWarmers (Boulder Daily Camera story). The sad part is that Kevin had done this before! He had two restaurants in Erie that were shut down for the same reasons and served jail time from 1998 to 2003. The reason it took so long to catch him this time is due to the fact he had put everything in his daughter’s name. She too was arrested with Kevin.

This was a great local bar and was PACKED every night. It was just what Erie needed. Now everyone wants to pool money together and buy the building to re-open another sports bar. I know at least one person with an offer in on the place, but they have to wait out all of the court red-tape before they are accepted.

Ok, back to “The Party”. Mary and I drove to Denver and arrived a few minutes before they opened the doors. The attendance at this Bud Light Port Paradise III Cruise party, were all the Denver area winners and their “plus one”. Only the original party ticket winners were eligible to win the cruise, which was about 60-70 people. As we filed into the building, were carded, wrist bands were placed on our wrist, and each party ticket winner filled out another entry to be placed in the cruise drawing. Now we were free to PARTY! So of course it was all the Budweiser products you could drink, Bud Light being the number 1 choice.

Bud Light Girls with Kristen

Bud Light Girls with Kristen

We mingled among the other guests, ate the snacks, drank some beer, mingled, drank some beer… Met a lot of really fun people at this party. At one point I was kicking beach balls with all the guys, out into the crowd and up into the Bud Light umbrellas hanging from the ceiling.  I knocked over someone’s beer, and said “Oh, I’m sorry, let me buy you another one…” went to the bar and got her a fresh one… free of charge of course. Had an absolute blast. Did the limbo & won a tee-shirt. One of the other Erie BenchWarmers winners ended up hanging out with us for most of the night. Fun was really had by all.

Finally they were ready to draw the winners of the cruise. They had 15 to give away, so our odds were pretty good.  All 15 were pulled from the box, and then, like American Idol, “We will announce these winners after these messages…” UGH the anticipation!!!! After about 10 minutes they were ready to announce the names.  Lined up on the stage were 15 Bud Light Girls & Guys, with blue/white leis and a lanyard with a laminated card attached “I’m On The Boat”. As a name was announced, it was also put up on a screen. Everyone cheered as each winner went up to the stage. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6 ,7 ,8 and 9 had been given away… Little did I know number 10 was my new lucky number… and the next winner is… KRISTEN SCHULDT! OMG I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ran up to the front and slid in on my knees with my arms in the air screaming YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I again, was the most exuberant winner of the night!!! After they put the lei and lanyard on me and snapped a photo, I went around and hugged EVERYONE!!!  I didn’t even hear the rest of the winners announced! I’M ON THE BOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bud Light Port Paradise III

I'M ON THE BOAT!!!

The celebration just kept going and going! They brought all the winners to the back of the room and took a group photo, which I still have not seen. We all congratulated each other and couldn’t stop smiling!  I called my sister and told her I won, but she didn’t believe me so I passed her onto Mary.  I told her she was my first choice to join me on the cruise Dec 2-5th. OMG I still just could not believe I won! I’ve never been on a cruise or out of North America for that matter.

We all stayed at the event for quite a while, they started cleaning up around us.  Since is was obvious they wanted to close up shop, we moved the party to LoDo’s in Downtown Denver. It was two for one – WOOT!!! As we sat, with other winners, basking in the after glow, I got a call from my sister. “Do you need me to come pick you and Mary up?” says Heidi.  I said “Um, yes I think that would be a good idea”. So much for Mary being my designated driver… My wonderful little sister drove all the way to Denver to pick up our drunk butts, but I wouldn’t of changed a thing.  We had the time of our lives for the evening and the cruise will be even better!

Heidi is unable to go on the cruise with me, for she is in school to become and teacher and will have finals during the cruise.  Mary, will again, be my plus one and we are going to have a BLAST!  I entered the code on the back of my lanyard online, a few days later I received and email that took me to the rest of the registration. Mary came over and we filled it out together and paid the $190/each in taxes for the trip, which includes the following:

  • Round-trip airfare from Denver to either Miami or Port Canaveral (two boats all filled with Bud Light winners = 7,400 people)
  • Transportation to/from airport to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
  • Accommodations on the boat
  • All meals on the boat & drinks at parties
  • Transportation to private island for private Stone Temple Pilots concert
  • Fun! Fun! Fun!
Wrigley

Wrigley After Bud Light Party

I have already applied for my passport and am ready to go.  We should get our travel arrangements by November 15th and we will be set for our trip to the Bahamas December 2-5, 2010!!!!

BUD LIGHT, I THINK I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2010

On June 26, 2010, I ran the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. It took 6 months of training, 345 running miles, one toe nail, a little blood, some tears and a huge amount of desire and determination to complete the race.  I am not a fast runner, by any means, but I finish.  The challenge for me is the thrill of the race. Endorphins kick in and you just GO!

Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

This was my fourth

marathon. The other three marathons were as follows:

  1. North Olympic Discovery Marathon 2006 (Port Angeles, WA)
  2. Chicago Marathon 2006 (my favorite one by far)
  3. Eugene Marathon 2007 (Eugene, OR)

People thought I was nuts to go on vacation to run a marathon. Actually, most people just thought I was plain crazy. These comments were, of course, from my non-running friends and family. I would get asked “will some body be chasing you?!” or “how far is that marathon?!”. I would just laugh and educate these couch potatoes.

How did I come to decide to run the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon when I live in Colorado? Yes, there are much closer races to home, but this one was special.  Back in October 2009, I went to the Denver Marathon & Half Marathon race expo to pick up my packet for the Half Marathon. The Denver Marathon was going to be joining the Rock ‘n’ Roll series in 2010, so they had a variety of booths set up for the various Rock ‘n’ Roll races.  One booth was for Seattle and you could enter to win a free entry into a Rock ‘n’ Roll race of your choice. I moved to Colorado in 2007 from Seattle, so of course Seattle was my FIRST choice on the entry. I ran the race and time went by. About 2 months later, I received an email that I had won a free entry to the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon from the Denver Marathon! I FLEW out of my chair at work and ran up and down the halls jumping up and down with joy!

There was absolutely NO question that I would indeed sign up and run the full marathon!

Deep Snow

Colorado Snow Storm

Training started Christmas weekend. My plan was all laid out and ready to go. Living in Colorado, weather can be an issue in the winter. A Summer marathon, means training in all different types of weather. I had everything from ice, hail, rain, snow, overcast, sunny, hot and cold. The first 6 mile run of my training was on icy sidewalks. Yes, right after mile one…BOOM down I went. It seemed to not fail, that on the weekends, we would get a snow storm and I was forced to run my long run on a treadmill at Life Time Fitness. I did not want to risk any more falls. My longest treadmill run during this training was 15 miles. Luckily, I am a TV and sports junkie, so the row of TVs on the wall at Life Time Fitness made these mile go by quickly.

In March I joined running group with Road Runner Sports. I had not been in a running group since leaving Seattle in 2007. To gain a larger participation base, I helped the leader with ideas to get the group more exposure. I created a Google Groups page, this is how we all communication with one another for long runs, races, training plans etc. It is a GREAT group of people. We run every Saturday morning at 8am (and added a 6:30am group to beat the summer heat), and on Wednesdays at 6pm. This group really helped me get more out of my training.

Seattle Sights

Seattle Sights

Finally after all of the training, my trip to Seattle was here.  I left Tuesday after work and stayed until the following Wednesday.  This way I had time before and after the marathon to have fun and relax. It was great to go back and act like a tourist. I took in the Cubs vs Mariners game after I hit the race expo. Those are my dream World Series teams! The Cubs ended up winning in 13 innings!

The day before the marathon, I made sure to take it easy and drink lots of fluids.  I was staying with my friend Matt, so we stayed in and got pizza for dinner and watched a movie.  All of my race day items were laid out. I built a mini-Kristen to make sure I had everything. This is a ritual of mine and a lot of runners. You lay out your entire outfit for the race, this includes shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, race bib, timing chip, iPod, and any nutrition you plan to carry during the race.  Also packed was clothing for after the race. This all goes into the “bag check” bag that you load on UPS trucks before the start of the race. At the end you find your bag waiting patiently for you. We made it an early night since we had to leave the house at 4:30am.

Race morning, I got up as soon as my alarm went off. Got dressed & made my pre-race oatmeal with protein powder.  I put it in a paper cup so I could eat it on the way to the shuttle buses.  This was a point to point race.  So we all loaded shuttle buses at the finish of the race (near Qwest Field and Safeco Field) and were bused South to Tukwilla for the start.  Matt was kind enough to get up early and drop me off at the buses.

We loaded the bus and were on our way… unfortunately, our driver had NEVER been to Seattle in his life AND was not given a map to the start! Yes, he got us lost! Luckily, another runner when up to the front of the bus and directed him to where we needed to go.  This is why you get to races early, to plan for the unexpected. We clapped and thanked our driver when we arrived safely. It was an hour and a half until the race was to start.  I walked around to scope everything out, then found a spot to sit and eat the rest of my breakfast.  I brought another paper cup, a small carton of milk & Cheerios – YUMMY! After cereal I had a banana along with a bagel the race provided. In my scoping adventure, I had found a row of Port-a-Potties that did not have a line, so I took the opportunity to use it before the line began!

Seattle RocknRoll Marathon Start

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Start

This race was also to start in waves. I was in wave number 27, so at 7am I entered my coral and waited for us to make our way to the start.  While waiting, I made friends with a girl from Chicago, Monica, and we are now Facebook friends! It took 45 minutes for our wave to hit the start line! AND WE WERE OFF!!!

After training at the mile high altitude of Colorado, this Sea-Level running was AWESOME!!! I was NEVER out of breath in the entire race! WOW what a difference that made.

This was quite a hilly course, with many out and back spurs. Our first spur was once we hit the I-90 floating bridge.  Here the half-marathon headed west and the full-marathon headed east across the bridge. So of course this was an uphill battle. Being out on the bridge also brought the wind. At least once we turned around on the bridge, it was downhill until we headed up to the tunnel. At the tunnel is where the half and full marathoners met up again. There was a band in the tunnel and MAN that was LOUD!!! Once out of the tunnel, we headed towards downtown Seattle and worked our way to the Columbia street on-ramp to the Viaduct. Here was another half and full split.  The half went South and full went North.  We were on the lower level of the Viaduct and headed through the Battery Street Tunnel. Here again we encountered a long gradual hill up and over the Aurora Bridge. At the turn around it was downhill back across the bridge and through the tunnel. This brought us to the top level of the Viaduct with great views of Puget Sound, the waterfront, Mount Rainier and the stadiums.

Mile 22 is where it all changed… Approaching the off-ramp from the Viaduct, that goes down to the stadiums where the finish was, I noticed we were not turning, but kept on going forward instead. WHAT?! I can hear the finish line and smell victory! No! we still had another hill to go down, up, down and up before we got to come back and take that exit. So yes, it was another spur of an out and back.  At this point my feet were really starting to hurt and my big right toe was in agonizing pain. I swore I was running on bloody stumps for feet and kept looking down at my shoes half expecting them to be turning red… they didn’t. I had to start walking, and run just spurts. The pain was becoming too much. Made it to the top of the hill and turn around and thought, OK you are on the home stretch!

I finally made it to that off-ramp which was all downhill! Fans lined the remaining of the route. Got to the bottom of the ramp and waved my arms up and down for people to cheer more!  I knew all I had left was a turn through a parking lot and then the finish line was right around the corner!  Looking down at my watch, I saw it was at 5 hours and 58 minutes… I am NOT going to go over 6 hours! So I hauled ass, as fast as I possibly could, with my bloody stumps for feet to the finish line. It felt like I was running faster than the Road Runner. There it was! The Finish Line!!! As I crossed I raised my arms, screamed out a YES and jumped in the air!!! My watch read 6 hours and 15 seconds! Not my best finish, but I was happy!

Crossing Finish Line

Kristen Crossing the Finish Line!

They put my finisher medal around my neck, and I could not get the smile off my face! I had just finished my 4th marathon!!!

Marathon Finisher Medal

Marathon Finisher Medal

I worked my way through the finishing chute to the food. Got my water, banana, orange slices and bagel. Next stop would be the UPS trucks to get my bag. Now it was time to sit, eat, and get my shoes off. I was so afraid to see what my socks were going to look like. Ever so gingerly I took my shoes off, and my socks were still white. Slipped on my slides and put the shoes away.  Rested for a bit while I ate and got a hold of my friend Matt on the phone to see where he wanted to meet. Several streets downtown were still closed, so we agreed I would just head towards Pike Place Market and we would eventually run into each other. OMG, getting back up from that chair and trying to walk was another story. I hobbled along for a while, then finally got my feet back under me. Had to go quite a few blocks through Pioneer Square. About 2 blocks from Pike Place Market, Matt came driving up and I hopped in.

Marathon Finisher

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Finisher!

Back to his house in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle we went. Still afraid to take off my socks, I got ready to take a shower. Peeled my socks off and not a single blister in sight! Guess the pain was just friction.

My big toe still hurt like heck, and I had blue nail polish on so I could not see what was happening.  I figured it was bruised from all the up and down running, and just from running the marathon period. Got all cleaned up and we headed to a friend’s for a BBQ.

Of course it was a house full of non-runners, so they all made fun of me hobbling around after being in a seated position for any amount of time. That was the BEST BBQ I ever tasted. Ok, Ok, I guess I may of been a little hungry. I probably could of eaten a heal and thought it was delicious.

It took about 2-3 days to comfortably walk and go up or down stairs. Keeping active after the marathon really helped get the legs working again. All-in-all it was a TERRIFIC way to spend my vacation. Not only did I get to run a marathon, I got to see old friends and have a great time. Playing tourist was awesome! Pike Place Market, Mariners game, Storm WNBA game, Pride Parade, BBQs, old High School friends, IKEA and much much more. Thank-you Seattle for a everything!

Ended up having to go to the doctor after I got back to Colorado for my toe. It was still hurting like a son-of-a-gun the Friday after my race (almost a week). I got the nail polish off and saw the bruising. A lot of pressure had built up causing the pain. My doctor laid me down and drilled a hole in the nail to relieve the pressure. YOWCH!!! I think the entire doctors office heard me scream when she got through the nail. There was no numbing before hand, it was just drill and relieve! She put me on antibiotics bandaged me up and sent me on my way. I will probably lose the nail, but at least some of the pain was relieved. One month later, the nail is still intact, but still badly bruised. Only time will tell.

What’s next? I will be running several half marathons this summer leading up to the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in October. A special medal will be mailed to me after that race that says 39.3. If you complete two Rock ‘n’ Roll events in one year, you get a special medal with that mileage (26.2 for the marathon and 13.1 for the half marathon = 39.3). I can’t wait!

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