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Bike to Work Day

Bike Denver June 22, 2011 was Denver’s Bike to Work Day. I coordinated a small group at my work, some of which had NEVER biked to work. The work day, for me, normally starts at 5:30am, but I arranged to come in later in order to take in the full benefits of biking to work.

Left my apartment at 6am and headed to the Cherry Creek Trail. My start is at the South end of the Cherry Creek Country Club. There were already several bikers on the trail heading in both directions. North I went, and about 5 miles in I came to my first “breakfast station”. It was Whole Foods, where I received a banana and free water bottle from Kaiser Permanente. Coffee was also available, but I decided to wait on that.

Bike 2 Work Day

Denver Bike to Work Day

At about mile 9 was the 9 News breakfast station. I asked if Susie Wargin had made it in yet. She had left Highlands Ranch about a half hour before I left my place – I beat her.  Primal Wear Cycling had a tent and was giving out free socks! Drank some OJ and went on my way.

Finally got to Cherokee where I would exit from the Cherry Creek bike path and head downtown. Took a right on 14th and ended up in the Civic Center Bike to Work Day Extravaganza! Finally got my coffee, a bagel and many give-a-ways! WOW what a party that was! Could of stayed there all morning, but off to work had to go.

Got to my building, at 1999 Broadway, took the outside elevator down to P1 and locked up my bike on the rack. Headed back up the elevator to the lobby and heard my name called. The building management was there handing out a little gift pack to those of us that rode to work. “Kristen I have a present for you”, said Wendi. It was a bottle of Gatorade, a small Nalgene bottle and a packet of cherry Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews. COOL!!!

Work seemed to FLY by and I felt fantastic all day! Couldn’t wait to ride home. Noodles & Company handed out coupons at the Civic Center for a free bowl of noodles, so I headed there for lunch. Only cost me the price of a milk. It does a body good ya know…

It sure was hard staying until 4pm when I am usually off at 2:30pm, but I made it. Finally get to ride home! WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY FOR A RIDE!!!! Racing along the trail I went, passing other riders left and right (all on the left of course). At one point I heard someone coming along side me, then I heard them slam on their breaks and say “Hey, where did you get your rear bike light?” I said, “REI, in Seattle, years ago.” I had passed this guy a while back and he raced to catch up to me to ask about my light – too funny!

About a mile from home, Primal Wear Cycling had a tent set up and they were handing out Popsicles! SWEEEEEEEEEEET!!! Felt great on that hot afternoon. They also warned us of a flooded underpass up ahead – which was not flooded in the morning. Darn mountain snow runoff.

It is a little over 11 miles one way to work, and mostly on the Cherry Creek Bike Path, so it was overall a very nice ride. Now that the weather is nicer, I will ride to work more often. Gotta love a ride on a beautiful Colorado day!

Ride Strong!

 

 

 

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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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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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