Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Good Start to a New Year of Running and Racing

I began this year on the Big Island of Hawaii enjoying warm weather, clear oceans and some wonderful relaxing time with Nora and her family.  While we were there, we did a little running-it was wonderful to be shirtless and sweaty in January- and Nora, Jill and I hiked from the visitor's center at 9000 feet to the summit of Mouna Kea at 13,789 feet on New Year's Eve.  But moslty we slept in, relaxed, snorkeled, visited the volcanoes, kayaked, swam, shopped at the farmers market, ate amazing tropical fruits, and enjoyed the slow pace and lack of responsibilities that accompany a vacation on the island.

Rainbow Falls with Karen, Nora and Jill

Summit of Mauna Kea with Jill and Nora
Best Sign Ever
Team Testerman
Papayas, bananas and dragonfruit, oh my

The bay at Milolii
Shelly and Soren at the Halema'uma'u Crater overlook

Halema'uma'u Crater at night

yellow tang
CO trail runners
We got back to the mainland on January 6 and it was quickly back to the reality of work and a road marathon on the calendar in February that I was terribly undertrained for.  I did get out and run as much as possible and have managed three long runs, a trip to the track, some speed work at the park and a tempo run on the bike path.  On Jan. 19, Nora and I went out to the Bacon Strip and I ran two solid laps keeping the pace for the last 14 miles sub 8:00 and miles 19 and 20 (bike paced by Nora) were 7:06 and 7:23.  Not too bad.  I am particularly encouraged by this past weekend's running.  On Saturday I ran a steady 25 miles on the bike paths with Cat keeping the pace casual and close to 8:00.  Then Sunday, Nora and I along with a big Fort Collins crew: Nick, Scott, Mike, Kristel, Sarah, Jessie, Rob, Cecily, John and Lane went to Estes Park for the Frost Giant double.  I ran the 5K in 21:44 taking the first couple miles pretty easily- feeling pretty stiff from the previous day's run and then the 10K in 46:23.  Not only were these times good enough for 5th place in my age group, they were close to or faster than my times at this race in 2011 and 2012.  So maybe I'm in better shape than I thought.  I'll take it.
Final mile of the Frost Giant 10K
photo by Lane Eskew
Nora leading the pack up the hill towards
McGregor Ranch in the 10K