Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lap 5 and 6 - Jeff Loats and Glenn/Marcia Briskin

Date: Tuesday, December 24th, 1:30 PM
Temp: 34 degrees
Lap 1 Time Up: 30:28 Minutes
Lap 1 Time Down: 18 Minutes
Lap 2 Time Up: 34 Minutes
Lap 2 Time Down: 21 Minutes

**warning, I have a lot to blather on about today.  Don't want to read it, that's fine, I have lots of pretty pictures to look at**

So I had a rough week in the way of meeting my running goals.  My legs felt like tired and with the exception of a good track workout I just felt like I wasn't performing optimally.   That makes sense as I was at the peak of my training for my marathon (which is in 2.5 weeks) and it's normal that my body is just going to feel tired.  I figured I could stretch one lap of Sanitas in this week, but probably not more than that.  Then, on Saturday night, my good friend Michael asked me what my running plans were for this week.  We both have a track workout planned for Wednesday, but I knew I had to get at least another run in before then.  He suggested two laps of Sanitas.  

Normally I wouldn't have done this on my own, but since he put the idea out there, I checked the weather.  Looked clear on Sunday but we were planning on seeing the Hobbit and running some errands.  Monday (Christmas Eve) the forecast looked a bit dicier as snow was predicted later in the evening.  That meant most likely a white Christmas.  Yay!  That also meant there was a possibility of getting some snow on the mountain.   I decided to go ahead and dedicate these two laps to two very special people that are helping me raise money for my cause (more on that at the end).   Jeff Loats, one of my best friends and Glenn and Marcia Briskin, my in-laws who are amazing.  All three people have been such great supporters on my running journey.

Michael Kelly standing in front of Sanitas

I left work a bit early as the office I was working at was empty by noon.   I swung by and picked up Michael and off to Sanitas we went.  It was a bit chilly but both of us knew that we'd be pretty warm once we started up the mountain.   Michael, who is amazing at pacing was a bit surprised when I took off up the mountain.  I was feeling pretty good actually but was stupid enough not to pace myself well enough (you can see the difference in the times at the top).   

On the way up.  Great view of Boulder!

The first lap went really well.  Mike and I had some great conversation (as we always do on our runs).  He has some interesting insights on myself that I just hadn't ever thought about.   I pretty much bombed the downhill.  It felt good to be really getting some speed and stretching out my legs.   Again, I really should have paced myself better for the second lap and took it easier heading back down.

At the top after the first lap!
At the top after the second lap!

On the second lap up I begun to have some stomach issues.   This has been something that has been plaguing me for the last several years with my running.  My doctor thinks it probably has something to do with not enough water and salt.  This day I had left my water bottle in the car, probably a big no-no.   Once we got to the top my stomach had settled down a bit.   My legs were pretty wobbly going back down the second time, we ended up taking it quite a bit slower.  

Michael looking fresh as can be!  I think he must have used Old Spice today.

I asked Michael a question on the way up the second time.  I was wondering how many laps he thought he could do.  He thought probably 4.  Myself, I was thinking 3 without a ton of extra mental work.  Anyway, Michael also was generous enough to donate to Team AllEars and Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.   He said that my Christmas gift was that I didn't have to run up Sanitas if I didn't want to.  Ha I say!  I told him instead we'd have to pick a day and try for three laps.   The one catch is that it had to be after the marathon. ;)  

 Legs feeling like jelly, this is the initial descent from the top.  

Right now, I'm two weeks out before I head to Florida for race weekend.  It's basically 17 days away.  I've started my taper (which mentally feels great btw).  I have a few more runs to go including a snowy track workout tonight and probably a 13 mile run this weekend.  I just want to thank everyone who has given me support on this journey including and especially the people that have helped me meet my fundraising goal for Team AllEars.  I'm still about $150 away from my fundraising goal, so if you'd like me to run a lap of Sanitas or pick up one of our amazing Team AllEars cookbooks, you can go here to find out more information.

Here is the current tally for Sanitas Laps:
Jen Alexander - 1 Lap - Done
Laura Cissell - 5 Laps - 3/5 Done.  Saving at least one for her.
Andrea Oakley - 1 Lap - Not done
Glenn and Marcia Briskin - 1 Lap - Done
Jeff Loats - 1 Lap - Done
Michael Kelly - 3 Laps - After marathon weekend.

This week I hope to complete a very special lap for Andrea Oakley.  Friday is a full moon and I'm hoping to get some friends of mine to bundle up and do a night run up Sanitas in the dark.  The weather forecast looks cold but the plan is just to bundle up and do it!  I hope everyone is having a happy holiday!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lap 4 - Laura Cissell

Date: Tuesday, December 18th,  12:30 PM
Temp: 43 degrees
Total distance 2.39 miles. Elevation gain 1262 ft.
Time up: 31:15
Time down: 20:52

So this week I got to tackle lap 4 of Sanitas, once again one of Laura's laps.  One of the caveats she put on me is that if I ran Sanitas I had to take Andrea up with me.   Luckily not only Andrea agreed to come, but I also got Jeff Loats and Mike Kelly to come with me as well.   Let me tell you, doing Sanitas with friends is much more fun than doing it alone. :)  

My running buds!  Andrea Oakley, Mike Kelly and Jeff Loats

The weather this week has been forecast for us to get some snow.  They said there was a slight chance on Tuesday and then we would get 3-6 inches on Wednesday.   I was hoping that we could get our lap in before the weather set in.

Up and up and up....

As  you can see, the weather turned out to be really great.   We were all questioning how many clothes to wear as it was a bit breezy.  Once we got moving I know I realized I probably slightly overdressed.

Touching the pole (the ritual for when you get to the top)

This was Jeff's first time to the top.  Andrea had hiked it before but never really ran it.  Jeff like me is a bit sensitive to heights (hope you don't mind me mentioning that) and both of us feel a bit weird when we stare down into Boulder from up here.   For me it's mostly passed but still every time I go up there are a few sections that I don't feel 100% comfortable with.

On the way back down

Cheesy Grin

Thank you once again Laura.   Because of your donation we are helping save lives.  Not only that, you are giving me a great excuse to get healthy and spend time with some of my wonderful friends. I hope soon you can come join me on one of these laps. :)

If anyone would like to donate for Team AllEars and Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, I'm still a bit short of my goal.   The big race weekend is only 3 weeks away now.  You can find more information on the first post of the blog here.  I still have a few Team AllEars cookbooks also available if you are interested in that.   Anything you can afford is appreciated.

Next week the hope is at least two laps and one of those will hopefully be a full moon nighttime lap at the end of the Month.  Stay turned!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lap 2 and Lap 3 - Laura Cissell

Date: Tuesday, December 11th, 12:30 PM
Temp: 38 degrees
Lap 1 Time Up: 34 Minutes
Lap 1 Time Down: 21 Minutes
Lap 2 Time Up: 35 Minutes
Lap 2 Time Down: 21 Minutes

First of all, thank you to everyone who has generously donated to this awesome cause.   Cancer is one of the most destructive things that touch our lives.  Anyway, I had a ton of donations this week and so I needed to start knocking out some of these laps.   

Just this last week, here is the list of donations for laps that I've received:

Jen Alexander - 1 Lap (Done last week, yay!)
Laura Cissell - 5 Laps
Andrea Oakley - 1 Lap
Glenn and Marcia Briskin - 1 Lap (I think?)

Since daylight was a bit of an issue the last lap I did and also I knew I had quite a few laps to make up, I had to fit in at least two this week, preferably on one day.   I really wanted to run my first two back to back runs for Laura as I knew it would be tough and she sort of embodies the idea of tough in my mind.  :)   

Normally my running schedule goes as such.  

Tuesday - Tempo Run (basically an hour long run that is around my 10k pace)
Wednesday - 45 minute easy run
Thursday - Track Workout with Michael K - Speed Workout
Saturday - Semi-Long run (1/2 my Sunday run)
Sunday - Long run

Trying to fit in Sanitas has been a bit of a challenge but I have decided there are really three slots I'd put it in.  Either one lap can be on Wednesday.  Or I can fit in a lap or two on Saturday if I take it easy.  Or I can use it for my tempo run but to do so, I need to wear my heart rate monitor and stay within the proper effort of my normal tempo runs.  That's what I choose to do this time.  

Waking up, some snow on the ground gave me worry

When I woke up on Tuesday morning, I had noticed it had snowed.  It wasn't a lot, maybe not even an inch.  But it gave me pause whether climbing up Sanitas in the snow was a good idea.   There are a lot of rocks and I was a bit worried about it being icy.  To be safe I decided that I'd try and go up around noon (long lunch) so that the sun was hopefully melting off any sort of ice.  Really it ended up being a non-issue.  For the most part Santias was beautiful.  No real ice to speak of and the trail was in great shape.  There was a bit of snow but most of it was melting off by the time I got up there.

Really worried for no reason.  The trail was in great shape.

The first lap felt a bit sluggish.  I took a bit more time as I was worried more about the impact going up and down the mountain was having on my knees.   Also I wanted to feel good for the second lap.   By the time I got to the top of the first lap, my initial thought was "Why oh why did I think this was a good idea?".   It is hard, and it hurts.   I really was trying to come up with pretty much any excuse to not do another lap today and just head back to work.  On the way down, I had my first spill on a trail.  Everyone warns you about this when you start out trial running.  Sometimes you just trip and fall.  Normally it hasn't been an issue for me, but somehow coming down I just caught my foot on a root and took a bit of a head plant on a patch of dirt (much better than doing it on rock). A nearby hiker stopped to see if I was okay and after brushing myself off, I was fine.  The little bit of adrenaline might have even helped. Luckily by the time I got to the bottom I realized that I was feeling pretty good and I might as well get as many of these knocked out now, rather than later this month when the weather could be even worse.   I turned around and headed back up.

The second lap overall felt really good.  I ended up putting on some music and that seemed to help.  While the time was close to the first lap, I felt a lot better going back up the second time.  The wind did pick up a bit and it was getting a bit cold by the time I got to the top.  Not to mention I was running a bit behind schedule from when I needed/wanted to get back to work.   I pretty much nailed the downhill run the second time (I love coming down from Sanitas, it's pretty fun though maybe I'm a bit too rough on my knees).  

The top after lap 1.

Overall I was really happy with both laps up.  My heart rate was right around 175-180 which is where it should be for a 10k (maybe a bit low).   It was a gorgeous day and it really gave me a lot of time to reflect on why I'm doing this, both the cause of raising money for the fight against Breast Cancer and my own fight for fitness that I've been going through over the past 3 years.  It was a fabulous day, though tough.  I can't wait to get to more of these laps here in the upcoming weeks.  I have at least two laps coming up where friends are going to come up with me that I'm especially looking forward to.

3 total laps done.  Thanks Laura, you rock! :)

If you want to know more about the cause that I'm trying to raise money for, you can check out my first post here.   Also if anyone else still would like to donate to either make me run some laps, to have me send them one of our Team AllEars Cookbooks or to just donate to a great cause, contact me and I can give you more information on how to do so.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Sanitas: Lap 1 - Jen Alexander

Date: Friday, December 7th, 4:00 PM
Temp: 40 degrees
Time Up: 31 Minutes
Time Down: 20 Minutes

So today was my first lap up Mt Sanitas for raising money for Team AllEars.   If you didn't read my initial post, please go back and read here.  It explains what I'm doing and who I'm raising money for.  Basically for every $25 that someone donates, I'm doing a lap up Mt Sanitas here in Boulder.  Mt Santias starts out at 5520' and goes up to 6843'.  My trail group a few years ago would do their yearly time trial up Sanitas.  It's a pretty hard climb/run/hike as it's only 1.2 miles long.  It's short but also pretty technical.  

Anyway, Jen Alexander was my first donation to have me do a lap up the mountain.  Right now I'm in the end part of my marathon training and quickly realized that I needed to get these done asap so that they don't interfere with the rest of my training.   Also with the possibility of snow shutting me out of the mountain one of these days, I couldn't procrastinate.   So when Jen said she donated I decided that the very next day I had to get up on the mountain.

Looking up from the bottom

I was busy working all day, and couldn't get out too early.  With the prospect of it getting dark fairly early these days I knew I would be cutting it close.   I bundled up with what clothes I had and took off.

When I was thinking about doing this challenge, I wanted to choose something hard, but also something that I could do 10 or so times (hopefully) and not impact my training so much.  Sanitas is basically just one large hill repeat.   I think the problem won't be doing one lap.  It's going to be those days where I might have to fit more than one lap into my workout in order to finish them all.

Fun uphills!  Going downhill is even more fun.

As I was heading up to the top this day, I was noticing that I was passing lots of people that were on their way down, but I didn't see many on the way up.  Maybe it was because of the lessening light.  Next time I go out at this time, I'm bringing my headlamp. ;)

The Top

I got to the top just around 4:34.  31 minutes after I started.  I think my best time to the top was last summer when I did it in around 28 minutes.  I hope that I can do that again but with all the long runs, speedwork and tempo runs right now, I don't think that's going to be possible until after the marathon.   Anyway, thank you once again to Jen and the Alexander family for helping support the fight against Breast Cancer.  :)

Team Allears 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

As many of you know, this year I'm once again running the Disney World Goofy Challenge. It happens on January 12th and 13th. I’m not running this race alone, instead this is the third year that I’m running with Team Allears. Team Allears is an online group of friends dedicated to raising money Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I myself have pledged to raise at least $500 for this cause. We have approximately 100 team members from all over the world this year running the 5k, half and full marathon. Last year we raised over $67,000 between all of us. We hope to break that record this year.

You can donate money to the cause by going to the link below. Select the Donate Now button on the right. In the personal note section please just make a note that this donation is going towards Michael Paxton so that it counts towards my $500 commitment that I have made to raise money.

Also for a limited time, I’m offering two specials.

1. If you donate at least $25 I will run one extra lap of Mt Sanitas in your name. What is Mt Santias you might ask? It's pain. 1.2 miles up and then back down. 1343' of elevation gain on the way up. All you have to do is make a donation and then let me know either by Facebook or E-mail that you donated $25 in my name and I'll make sure to do the lap for you.

2. If you donate at least $40 I will send you a copy of the Team AllEars Cookbook that we have created this year. Again, just let me know either by E-mail or Facebook and send me your address so that I can send you a copy of the cookbook. I only have 5 of these so the offer goes for the first five people.

If you want to know more about Team AllEars, you can visit our website here.

Thank you!

Mike Paxton